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A gorgeously sunny, country chic English wedding blog

Jonny and Amelia make the most adorable couple! Their Dorset wedding looks beautiful; and they tell a story of a beautiful celebration filled with love and laughter. I’m over the moon to be sharing their wedding on the blog today. The overall style is country chic, with wonderful details from flowers to corn dollies. Watch out for the lovely milk churns in the wedding marquee – they’re brilliant! My favourite touch has to be Amelia’s Dad’s surprise… but you’ll have to read on to find out more!

Images are by the very lovely Tom Redman, and at the end of the blog today you’ll find Amelia and Jonny’s wedding report and list of recommended wedding suppliers. I hope you love this wonderfully sunny, warm and charming wedding as much as I do! I almost feel as though I was there… it’s just fabulous. And isn’t Amelia stunning? Enjoy! Claire xxx

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Jonny and Amelia’s gorgeous country chic wedding in Dorset



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Wedding venue:

Ceremony at St Peter’s Church, West Knighton and marquee reception at Amelia’s father’s farm just outside Dorchester, Dorset

Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?

Sunshine, love and laughter in an elegant country setting.

What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time? Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?

Tom and Lizzie were super speedy and had already put some of our photos up on their blog by the next evening so it was amazing to see a few photos so early! The whole family were crowded around the computer ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’! We were absolutely thrilled with all the photos and felt that they perfectly captured the day.

We couldn’t have been happier with Tom & Lizzie. They made us feel completely comfortable, were lots of fun to be around, super organised and liaised well with the caterers about timings rather than bothering us with the finer details. They were full of energy and ran around getting all our friends and family together for photos in order to capture every element of the day in an inconspicuous way. Some friends were so impressed with our photos that they have since booked Tom & Lizzie for their wedding next year.

Your wedding style and theme:

Style: Country chic.

Theme: We had a couple of mini themes or motifs running throughout the day. We made some nods to our rural Dorset location via Thomas Hardy quotes on the Save The Dates and in the order of service, vintage Hardy hardbacks as decoration in the marquee, flower-filled milk churns and our food which was largely locally sourced. Highlights were the Dorset crab starter and the locally-reared hog roast main courtesy of Posh Pigs.

The other theme at the reception was Cardiff, which is where we met (at university) and where we later got engaged. We had a map of Cardiff as our seating plan board and all the tables were named after our favourite Cardiff haunts, including Chippey Alley, which raised some smiles from our university friends! Amelia’s brother created some brilliant photo cards of the locations for each table.

How long did you spend planning your wedding?

About 12 months.

Best bit of budget advice?

It sounds obvious but before you start booking any part of your wedding, work out which aspects are the most important to you both and when deciding on the specific areas to budget, prioritise these key aspects. You can’t splurge on everything!

Invitations and stationery:

We were fortunate that Amelia’s brother designed all the wedding stationery aside from the invitations (which was a huge help to the wedding budget!) Ben designed our Save The Date email from a photo of us on the farm and he created all the menus and table name cards. We opted for classic invitations from Gee Brothers who were recommended to us by a friend.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes – which was impressive as it was the last dress I tried on after 2 straight days of appointments! It was lucky no. 45! Before I even stepped foot inside a bridal shop I was fairly convinced that I wanted a Pronovias dress, it was just a case of which one! I love the relaxed, elegant styles and I was desperate for a light fabric that would complement a farm wedding. I opted for a Grecian style chiffon dress and I felt incredibly comfortable on the day. My favourite part was the intricate detail on the back.

Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:

As the dress had quite a bit of jewelled detail on it I needed to keep my accessories simple. I opted for silver strappy sandals, a simple veil, silver bracelet and watch and a bridesmaid’s diamond earrings as my ‘something borrowed.’

The groom wore:

Morning suit with cornflower blue tie.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

Stunning cornflower blue maxi dresses from Armani Exchange.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

Professional for both at Medusa Apothecary in Dorchester.

Wedding flowers:

Calla lilies for the bouquets and buttonholes provided by The Flower Shed. A combination of cornflowers, delphiniums, roses, lilies & chrysanthemums for the reception and church. I loved the displays in the milk churns at the entrance to the marquee.

The ceremony:

Traditional church ceremony. One of my bridesmaids sang Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring during the signing of the register which was very special.

Wedding readings?

Two of our close friends read:
He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven – W.B. Yeats
Song of Solomon

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Yes! We were incredibly lucky with our idyllic setting – a field at the bottom of the valley with lambs in the surrounding fields, but it was a blank canvas so we needed to work hard to make it a wedding venue. We were thrilled with our wonderful marquee provided by Western marquees who were incredible.

We wanted to keep the marquee elegant but fun so opted for cornflower blue drapes and one of their fabulous daisy lights as the focal point. We also chose a reveal curtain which kept our fantastic dance floor and bar area hidden until after the meal.

Inside, we had some beautiful floral displays; some rustic corn dollies dotted around and added personal touches, such as our ‘Jonny & Amelia’ old school nametapes which we tied around the napkins and a string of special photos of us above the guestbook table.

The biggest hit of the day in terms of decoration was actually a surprise to us! Amelia’s father got up early on the morning of the wedding and positioned his tractor (which he’d specially decorated) just outside the marquee surrounded by hay bales. It was loved by kids and adults alike and I think it’s fair to say that most wedding guests have a photo of themselves posing on the tractor! The photos Tom and Lizzie took of us and our ushers and bridesmaids on the tractor are some of our favourite from the whole day.

The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?

A mixture of both. As neither of us are fans of fruit cake and we’ve seen so many desserts left uneaten at weddings, we decided to opt for a three tier vanilla and chocolate cheesecake and serve it as dessert. There was none left so we think it went down well!

Entertainment:

The evening band was one of the first things we booked – about 2 months into our wedding planning. But then 2 months before the wedding, they pulled out and completely let us down which was incredibly frustrating, particularly as the other bands we’d originally looked at were now all booked for our date. So I sent out a plea for help on twitter and the response I got was amazing and we were so appreciative of all the help. Someone pointed us in the direction of Warble Entertainment and we found quite a few bands of interest. We ended up choosing The Legends who were absolutely fantastic on the night – they learnt and performed our first dance song and played hit after hit, meaning that the dance floor wasn’t empty at any point.

We also booked a steel band to play during the drinks reception. They were excellent and created a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. It also helped that the sun was shining!

On the day tips and advice:

Delegate anything that needs doing on the day! You can’t be running around organising things as the bride and groom so make sure that you delegate key responsibilities to family and bridesmaids and ushers in advance.

If you possibly can, try and take some mental snapshots of the day. I remember taking a second just to look around the room during the meal and loved seeing everyone chatting and tucking into their food.

Try and make sure you have at least 5 minutes just the two of you at some point. It really does fly by so it’s nice to have a quick break and take stock of the day together.

Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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