You might think it’s the lambs which clinched this wedding as a must-have for my blog, but I promise it was the beautiful bride and fabulous flowers that won me over first. Then the lambs… sooo sweet! Hollie and Darren had a rustic village hall wedding with a twist of historical Britain, brought to life with red, white and blue in true style.
There are too many highlights here to list so I’ll leave you to jump right into the wedding photos, and we’ll end the feature with Hollie and Darren’s excellent wedding report. They’re gorgeous, amazing and such fantastic personalities – and they share lots of great advice and tips as well.
Our wedding report: Hollie and Darren
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Pleased is an understatement. Rebecca is a brilliant photographer, everything is personalised and for us she achieved exactly what we wanted and so much more.
Museum of Kent Life – Maidstone
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
The most perfect day we could have ever imagined.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
It was very emotional but very exciting at the same time. We got to relive our day not only from our perspectives but through everyone else’s eyes. It was wonderful!
Your wedding style and theme:
Rustic, vintage with a twist of historical Britain.
Any happy tears on the day?
Yes a little from both of us. The ceremony was amazing, when Darren looked at me for the first time, my heart melted. When they announced we were Mr and Mrs Braham for the first time facing our loved ones, I had to hide behind my bouquet for a second to recompose. The speeches were also very emotional; the beautiful words that my dad said made me well up. I think we managed to hide it well though.
How did the two of you meet?
We met at a firework display when we were 16 and 17. It was through a mutual friend and as they say the rest is history!
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
We spent about 16 months- the bit that took us the longest was trying to find a venue and then once we had fallen in love with Kent Life the rest fell into place.
Best bit of budget advice?
We had two pieces of advice that we stuck to during our planning. Firstly, ask people for help. A lot of our friends and family helped us to save a lot of money- whether it was collecting jars or corks for decoration or making 60 meters of bunting, everyone chipped in.
Also prioritise what’s most important to you as a couple, for us creating our memories was incredibly important.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
One of my best friends created and printed the invites for us. Sarah is incredibly creative as a visual merchandiser and we couldn’t have had a better invite for us! The day stationery we printed ourselves which also saved us a lot of money.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I found the whole wedding dress experience very daunting. Don’t get me wrong I loved trying on all of the beautiful dresses but because I didn’t feel the bolt of lightning that so many other brides feel I found it very nerve racking. Then I met Keeley and with her guidance and advice, along with my mum, sister and 3 best friends, I found a wedding dress that couldn’t have been more perfect for me. When I picked it up two weeks before our wedding, I fell in love with it!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
White Rose from Bridal Way in Ramsgate.
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
My hair slide was made by Lorna Green and my veil by Heading Up. My beautiful comfortable shoes were by Rachel Simpson, they are the most beautiful and comfortable shoes I have ever owned!
The groom wore:
Darren, my dad and our three best men all hired suits from Moss Bros.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Our 6 beautiful bridesmaids all wore dresses from Monsoon. With a red, white and navy theme running through our day, we knew we wanted the girls to be in navy with white flowers and our youngest bridesmaid to be in white, with red flowers. The dresses suited them all and they looked so lovely and our little bridesmaid looked so cute!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I didn’t DIY it and I am glad that I didn’t. I would never have been able to create such an elegant look where I felt incredible- Lara James my makeup artist was wonderful. Justine Loft, our family hair dresser, created my incredible up style and it felt amazing. I can be very fussy at times and both Justine and Lara were extremely patient with me- we had trials that lasted for hours but I am so glad we did because I was over the moon with the end result.
Our flowers and a lot of our decorations were put together by Chic Weddings. We wanted to incorporate the red, white and blue theme in with our flowers. Laurie and her team were amazing- they created a timeless look and everything came together so well. We kept thinking of extra ideas leading up to the wedding and Laurie was very accommodating to them all. I particularly loved my wedding flowers; there was some rosemary in them so they smelt great! I loved my flowers so much that I hinted to Darren that I would like some for our first year anniversary!
What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?
I remember a few things, squeezing my dad’s hand as I was about to walk down the aisle. Darren and I turning to each other as we said our vows and looking into Darren’s eyes, feeling overwhelmed with emotion but so much excitement at the same time! Darren remembers everyone’s smiling faces smiling back at us. We really enjoyed our ceremony, I didn’t want to leave!
Sonnet from the Portuguese – Elizabeth Barrett Browning – How do I love thee? This reading was particularly important as it reminds me of the strong love between my grandparents and it was beautiful. The Beauty of Love, anonymous, was also read.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Kent Life is quite a blank canvas which was one of the reason we loved it so much. We got married in the 1897 chapel which we decorated with white drapes, scattered white petals and jars of red, white and blue flowers with the help of Chic Weddings.
The flowers in jars were a theme that ran between the 3 rooms. In our 1950s hall we decorated it with 60 meters of red, white and blue bunting (made with love by my 3 best friends), jars, ivory and photos of us during our 12 and half years together.
In the wagon store, where we had our wedding breakfast, we decorated again with jars on the tables, corks ,candelabras and personalised table signs. Our tables were named after the Knights of the Round Table, so Darren created a brilliant shield to display the table names on scrolls; we also hired a George VI post box from our DJ and had a vintage suitcase for presents.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
We would say a bit of both! We brought a traditional three tier cake from M&S. Then our dear friend Victoria decorated it with a sleeping dragon, cuddling a gold heart with a shield that displayed our initials. It was great!
We had a disco in the evening, which was great, playing a mixture of our wish list and other songs for all generations. From Richard we also hired the garden games that went down really well. As the evening guests arrived we had a taxi photo booth that had a permanent queue outside of it! This was so much fun and we asked our guests to stick the second copy of the photos in a guest book and write a comment! It is amazing and something that we can keep – the comments and the photos are hilarious!
On the day tips and advice:
Just enjoy yourself, let the day unravel, take it in. Darren and I were fortunate enough to have 20 minutes together after we got married to go for a ride in the Rolls Royce which was lovely. During the meal and the disco I just stood back for a minute, taking it all in, enjoying the moment and thinking this is our wedding day!
What’s the best thing about being married?
You can’t explain it! It sounds so cheesy but it’s a brilliant feeling! Looking at each other’s rings and refering to each other as ‘my husband, my wife’. It’s amazing knowing what an incredible journey we have been on and the future we are about to experience.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Rolls Royce: http://aarionweddingcars.com/
VW Campervan: http://www.bridalbugweddings.co.uk/
Taxi photobooth: http://www.photo-crazy.com/html/taxi_photo_booths_hire.html
Cake decoration: http://victoria-sponge.com/
Wedding dress: http://www.bridalway.co.uk
Hair piece http://www.greentiara.co.uk/
Bridesmaid dresses: http://uk.monsoon.co.uk
Suit hire: http://www.moss.co.uk/