Jessica and Sean’s wedding is traditional with a modern vintage twist – combining pretty pastels and soft floral arrangements with a classic cake, venue and wedding dress brings together this quintessentially English wedding beautifully.
They were married at Priory Hall, Hadleigh, in August last year and I just couldn’t resist sharing this wonderfully sunny, deliriously happy day with you all this morning. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
Jessica told me it was important to take time out and appreciate everyone’s company on the day: “all of the people you love in the world are under one roof for this one day – and they’re all there for you two – make the most of your time with them and don’t let anything stress you out“.
Images were captured by Lee Allison Photography. Lee is a wedding photographer based in Essex and Cambridge, and recently proposed to his fiancee (congratulations Lee!!) – so he really is a wedding expert! Check him out here:
Our wedding story: Jessica & Sean
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Yes, couldn’t be happier!
Priory Hall, Hadleigh (wedding ceremony was held at Stoke-by-Nayland Church)
30th August 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Quintessentially British with a shabby chic twist 🙂
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
I cried – every emotion was captured. I didn’t get a chance to take in what everyone was wearing, their reactions throughout the day, their emotions so seeing them for the first time was incredible.
Your wedding style or theme:
Shabby Chic Vintage
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
Best bit of budget advice?
Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Believe me, those ‘ooh, I’ll just get this’ moments sure add up!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
I fell in love with a design online which was going to cost me £15 per invite (with a guest list as long as mine, this wasn’t feasible) so I roped in an amazingly creative friend and managed to bring costs down to just £2 per invite – it took a lot of late nights to pull together but was so worth it!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, absolutely. My sister (MOH) actually picked the dress out when we were shopping together. I nearly didn’t try it on as we ran out of time, but when I did I knew instantly that it was ‘the one’.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Mori Lee. Hilary B, Colchester.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
Very minimal – I had Pandora pearl studs and a beautiful pearl Tiffany necklace. Oh and one of my friend’s daughters made me a blue loom band to wear around my ankle as my ‘something blue’ 🙂
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Ted Baker suit with lapelled waist coat.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Beautiful navy dresses from Début, Debenhams so they didn’t break the bank (I had an army of bridesmaids as everyone liked to remind me). I also had a lot of different ages and shapes within my army so it was important that I found a suite of dresses that could work for all girls – I didn’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable and I wanted them to feel special. Same colour, different dresses – definitely an approach I’d recommend.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
One of my best friends is a professional make-up artist so she lovingly offered to do my make-up for free 🙂
Again, a friend did me an amazing deal on my flowers so I didn’t have to compromise on style or quality for price.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Yes, it was a ‘blank canvas’ – but that’s what I loved about it – it gave me the opportunity to really stamp our personality on it.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
- Invites – as mentioned earlier, I fell in love with a design online which I simply wasn’t prepared to pay the extortionate cost for so I roped in a designer friend, organised my own print and spent probably circa 24 hours in total assembling the beauties
- Table numbers – I découpaged my table numbers – all in different papers to fit with the mis-matched ‘shabby chic’ look
- Table plan – I found a great design on Pinterest that I fell in love with. It was a wooden wheelbarrow with flowers in and sticks holding each table number. So we hand-painted our wheelbarrow and filled it with artificial flowers (nobody could tell), sprayed it with perfume and then placed bamboo sticks at varying heights holding cards displaying table numbers and names. This now takes pride of place in our hallway – we couldn’t bring ourselves to sell it!
- Flower vases for tables – simply jam jars, cooking jars (all sorts!) with lace wrapped around the top – simplistic but so effective
- Pew-ends in the church – we bought what can only be described as our body weight in hessian and created big bows filled with sprigs of Gyp for each pew-end – added a touch of classic colour to our stunning church
- Favours – my amazing mum used to be a chef and helped me to make some stunning home-made macarons. Everyone commented on them because she made this amazingly strong blackcurrant jelly which we put a piece of in each one – all 350 of them!
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Traditional. I went for the ‘naked cake’. It was reasonably priced, fit perfectly with my theme, stunning to look at and I knew that because the cake itself would be on show, that it would taste amazing (I was using my cake as my dessert).
The same ‘amazingly creative’ friend that designed my invite is also a very talented DJ and very kindly agreed to DJ for me. My cousin is also a very talented singer and sang our first dance for us.
On the day tips and advice:
Take time out just you and your new husband at varying times throughout the day and take the time to watch people’s faces, how they’re interacting, and remember – all of the people you love in the world are under one roof for this one day – and they’re all there for you two – make the most of your time with them and don’t let anything stress you out.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend (bit corny I know!) and I love that he now has his wedding ring on – it just makes a difference. When people look at you they know you’re married – it’s lovely.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Lee Allison Photography – http://www.leeallisonphotography.co.uk
www.hobbycraft.co.uk – everything you could possibly need to DIY your way to a beautiful, reasonably-priced wedding
http://www.wandmsmith.co.uk/ – this was local to me so ok because their opening times are a bit sketchy but you get amazing things at trade prices – a haven for the craft junky!
http://www.gemmahaining.com/ – First-rate catering, this was my biggest expense but worth every penny!
www.booker.co.uk – got a Booker card or know someone that does? Get as much of your essentials for the day there – you’ll save so much money! And it’s perfect for stacking up on essentials for hen and stag do’s too!
http://www.greenshootsprint.co.uk/ – I use Greenshoots for work and they were the most reasonable for the expensive stock I wanted. They’re local to me and pulled it out of the bag for my invites and saved me tonnes!