As a little girl I used to try and make my own dried flower bouquets… so I was delighted to see Paula’s bouquet from today’s wonderfully country wedding: it really is beautifully different. In fact today’s wedding is one of those I love for every little detail which comes together to make a creative, exciting and unique overall style for a magical day.
Sean and Paula chose their wedding venue for its windmill. Paula’s dress was chosen at the very last minute… and wow, it must have been fate because it’s beautiful!
The rustic stationery and DIY touches are what make today’s wedding look so unique – and the photographs are out of this world – I really struggled to cut the images down to a reasonable number to show you… because between the venue, the gorgeous bride and groom and the fabulous photographer, they make for some of the best wedding photos I’ve seen and shared. A favourite, definitely!
For more from the wonderful Rob and Sarah Gillespie check out their website and previous features on the English Wedding Blog:
Our rustic wedding at Avoncroft Museum: Paula and Sean
Our wedding story: Paula and Sean
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Rob and Sarah were one of the best decisions we made when planning the wedding. From the pre wedding shoot right through to picking up our wedding album, we were constantly overwhelmed by the quality of their work. We lost count of how many of our family and friends were blown away by our wedding pictures, and Sean and I look back on them with huge smiles on our faces.
Avoncroft Museum in Stoke Prior near Bromsgrove, West Midlands. I had seen the venue on the internet and thought it looked quite different. I was keen to try and make the wedding as unique to us as possible. Sean and I were driving along a country lane one afternoon and Sean saw a windmill in the background; I explained that was part of the museum I had mentioned as a wedding venue, and he was sold from that point onwards.
Friday 22nd August 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Rustic charm, handcrafted with love and thought.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
I cried! I really didn’t expect to feel the way I did, but the day was captured perfectly, exactly how we remembered it. The pictures told a story of the day, in a way that no wedding video could have.
Your wedding style or theme:
There was no theme as such; once the venue had been decided I then chose some gorgeous dried flowers from an Artisan Dried Flower company. They were so different and unique – the rustic feel of the flowers influenced my choice of hessian around the venue and the stunning stationary range from a fab lady called Lucy. Once the flowers and stationery were sorted, I decided to incorporate the buttons and lace on the stationery as a running theme for handmade decorations. I took a real punt on all my ideas coming together without having a particular colour or theme, but I was so pleased with the outcome. The day just had a really lovely natural feel.
Where did you find your suppliers?
I did all of my research on the internet and once I had narrowed down some ideas, went to see things in person where appropriate. I stumbled across the flower supplier after hours of discounting more traditional options, and the stationery was the result of a search on NotOnTheHighStreet; I found some evening invites I liked the style of by a designer called Lucy Ledger. I then followed the link to her website and fell in love with her work! Most other things were picked up as and when I saw things that I thought would fit the ideas in my head.
Best bit of budget advice?
Spend money of the things that are important to you, not what you think will impress other people. Don’t skimp on the photographer, it will be the best money you spend if chosen well.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
“Homespun Collection” by Lucy Ledger Designs for all of the wedding stationery, table names and menus and a gorgeous A1 table plan!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes! Eventually……my original dress was ordered 15 months before the wedding day. For one reason or another that I won’t go into here, the dress didn’t arrive at the supplier until 3 weeks before the wedding day. It was slightly longer in the body than the one I tried on and it totally changed how it looked on me. I stood my ground and was left with my money back but no dress two weeks before the big day. I went to the first off the peg dress shop I could find and after a quick browse, picked one, tried it on and bought it there and then. I absolutely loved it and can’t imagine wearing anything else. A true story of fate!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I can’t find the name of the shop as it was an off the peg store in Birmingham and it was all a bit of a whirlwind…but the dress was from a collection by Gino Cerruti.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
Shoes from Faith and a hair vine ordered online from a website called Glitzy Secrets. I’d seen the same hair vine in a wedding shop for £120….I saw what I thought looked exactly the same online for £50..it arrived and was identical. Be brave and take risks!
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Ted Baker “Tails of the Unexpected” from Moss Bros Hire.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Some neutral dresses from Debenhams. 2 long and 2 knee length – they were the first dresses the ladies tried on and they all looked stunning.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I used a lovely lady for makeup who had done a few of my friends’ weddings, Vanessa from We Are Makeup Artists in Worcestershire. Vanessa is really excellent and uses MAC cosmetics. Our hair was done by one of my bridesmaids mobile hairdressers, a lady called Sarah.
“Rustic Country” collection from The Artisan Dried Flower Co, Staffordshire. We had all of the bouquets, table flowers, cake decoration and buttonholes from here and they were stunning and so different. A really modern twist on dried flowers and now we have the bouquets to keep forever and gave all of the centrepieces to family members to keep as a memory of the day.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
No, the beauty of Avoncroft is that the venue itself is unique and beautiful without having to style it like you would a hotel or function room. There are so many quirky and unique aspects to the whole site that we didn’t want to be over contrived with any other style aspects. We were pretty much told we could do what we want with the venue, and we did have to do it all ourselves. We just used some lighting from the DJ Company as the Guestian hall at Avoncroft is an aspect of style in itself with its stunning roof.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
I made some homemade candle holders out of jam jars and made name places to tie in with the wedding stationery using brown bags, lace and buttons’. I also made my own order of the day stand out of a chalkboard and easel rather than making individual paper copies. I loved being creative and the homemade touch made it really special for me.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Just a plain white cake from Marks and Spencer’s, decorated with flowers from the flower supplier.
We had cocktails from the excellent Bars on the Run and a DJ from JAM Productions – music, cocktails and a room full of family and friends was all we needed! We did hire the fantastic miniature train at Avoncroft for an hour in-between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, and that was something really different for our guests to enjoy.
On the day tips and advice:
Just enjoy it all. Take time out to reflect together and take it all in.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Relaxing after the build up to the big day and appreciating each day we get to spend with each other and the ones we love. We spend a lot of time planning our future and what we want to achieve together, and it’s really exciting.