Hannah and Justin’s wedding is quintessentially English, elegant and charming – and has some pretty handmade touches too. This beautiful bride and her groom were married just as the May blossom was at its best, and their Nonsuch Mansion celebration is so pretty, perfect for the time of year.
Hannah found many of her wedding ideas online. She told me, “living in a household full of boys, it was lovely to be able to indulge in creating a very delicate, girlie scheme. I tried not to make it too themed and instead our wedding deccor evolved into a hotchpotch of things I love and ideas I had sourced on Pinterest and wedding blogs.”
Hats off to Justin for having the most excellent taste in music (we’re 100% with you here at English Wedding Blog HQ!)… [for that one you’ll have to read the English Wedding Blog interview at the end of today’s post!] Highlights include Hannah’s superb tip to “Create a time machine or learn to freeze time! In all seriousness, the day just flies by like some extraordinary dream.”
Images are by lovely Becky and Geoff at Dennison Studios in Sussex. Find out more:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Hannah & Justin
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
They’re the best husband and wife photography team there is! We honestly can’t thank them both enough for everything they did on the day and during the lead up to the wedding. Everyone commented on how lovely they both are and it was an absolute honour to have them capture our special day.
Nonsuch Mansion. The Georgian mansion is set in Nonsuch Park, a couple of miles from where we live and somewhere we visit regularly with our boys. It was the first venue we visited and once having seen inside we couldn’t see the point in viewing anywhere else! Completely sucked in by its stylish decor, the clever mix of old and contemporary and its surrounding landscape, we were sold!
Your wedding style and theme:
We had a colour palette of dusky vintage pink, soft dove grey, and white. This was accented with touches of glitter (every girl needs a bit of sparkle on her wedding day!) and LOTS and LOTS of paper doilies.
Best bit of budget advice?
Just because you are on a budget it doesn’t mean you can’t have your dream day. We set a date 18 months ahead and this meant we could spread the cost. We got married mid-week which saved us a lot of money and were able to give our guests plenty of notice to book the day off work. Every single one of our guests made it, and in fact our wedding fell on the Wednesday before Good Friday, which meant most guests also booked the Thursday off and were able to enjoy an extended weekend, tagging the bank holidays on too.
During the wedding planning I came across a LOT of very beautiful and fabulous ideas, and it can be very easy to get carried away and completely blow your budget. Justin and I became total bargain hunters, and we also got very good at thinking outside of the box. If you want something, there is always a way to make it happen – whether it be a fancy photo booth – do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. Or a fabulous rustic ‘naked cake’ – find a friend or family member that can bake. We did all our centrepieces ourselves – sourcing our cake plates from Homebase and the glass cloches from TKMaxx. One of our chalkboard signs was a children’s easel from Ikea!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
All stationery was designed and handmade by myself. I had struggled to find anything which matched the image I had in my head of what I wanted, and anything which came vaguely close was WAY over budget. So with an HND in Graphic Design and a natural creative flair, I decided to take on the challenge myself. One purchase of a shiny new printer, several cans of spray adhesive and many hours later, we had our perfect wedding stationery. It was a labour of love but the finished collection was worth every effort. We had so many lovely comments from many of our guests.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I wore Mori Lee Dress 4808, purchased from Aurora Bride in Cheam, Surrey. A strapless, ivory organza ball gown dress with a sweetheart neckline. I like to think the dress chose me as it was in the window of the shop and the first one I pointed out to my mum and the assistant. Originally, the belt was designed to simply tie at the back, but I had my seamstress make it into a formed bow which fastened neatly on with poppers. I had been to a few weddings where the bride’s sash had come undone over the course of the day and had been hurriedly re-tied. I wanted to ensure my bow always looked perfect in every picture (I’m a slight perfectionist!)
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
Knowing our venue is set in a park, I couldn’t see the point in spending a fortune on shoes, only to sink into the grass or traipse through the woodland for pictures. My shoes were from good old Dorothy Perkins and cost me about £30! I buy most of my heels from DP as they seem to fit me well, so when I saw this pair in pale grey with a sparkly heel, I just knew I had to have them. I managed to track down the last pair locally in my size. A close friend gave me a silver sixpence for luck which I glued into one of them.
I wore a chapel length veil, handmade by www.veilsonline.co.uk. I had ordered a swatch pack from their ebay store so was able to match the colour exactly to my dress. My side tiara was a bargain ebay purchase and only cost £15! My bracelet was bought in the Accessorize sale for £7.
The necklace I wore on the day was given to me by my mum for my 27th birthday. It was a delicate silver bow on a fine chain and tied in beautifully with the bow on my dress. The earrings, bought for me by my husband, were small, and perfectly simple, and matched my necklace.
My beaded clutch bag was given to me by a dear friend and was used on her wedding day – so this became my something borrowed.
I had a handmade art deco style garter, with a beaded clam design – again another ebay find.
I had also bought a feather-style, Jenny Packham caplet in dusky pink to wear in the evening, had it been cold. Luck would have it, the weather was gloriously warm and so I never got to wear it.
The groom wore:
Justin wore the most fabulous three-piece, airforce blue suit from Reiss. It was the first and only suit he tried on. He teamed it with a slim fitted white shirt from Next and a Jeff Banks knitted tie from Debenhams. His shoes were from Ted Baker, which he wore with pale pink socks to match the groomsmen.
His outfit was accessorised with an engraved pocket watch which I had given to him on the morning of the wedding and a pair of cufflinks – a gift to himself.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Justin’s three nieces were my flower girls. Lola, the eldest wore a vintage pink toile dress from BHS teamed with a wrist corsage, while the two youngest wore pink and gold dresses from Monsoon.
My two grown up bridesmaids were my younger sister Millie and my best friend Zahra. They wore full length chiffon dresses in dusky, vintage pink from Debenhams. Not wanting them to look too traditionally formal, we styled these with statement necklaces from Dorothy Perkins.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
www.silkblooms.co.uk – They produce the most stunning, life-like silk flower bouquets on the market! Our guests couldn’t believe it when I explained that our flowers weren’t real, and several still insisted burring their noses in them! I couldn’t bare the thought of spending huge amounts of money on something that would have been dead by the next day, and with Justin suffering horribly with hay fever, silk flowers were the perfect choice. It also meant I was able to have my favourite flowers, peonies, which would have been out of season.
lavendersoflondon.com – Lavenders of London is an Aladdin’s cave of wedding supplies and from where we sourced our silk flowers for our tables. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and were able to advice us on how best to construct our floral arrangements.
What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?
Walking into the ceremony room was one of my favourite parts of the day. Seeing Justin waiting for me at the end of the aisle, his bottom lip quivering at the sight of his bride, completely melted my heart and in that moment all I could see was him. He looked so utterly handsome and I could tell he was overcome with emotion.
As we stood side by side to take our vows I felt a little person push his way between us. As I looked down, there was our youngest son Indiana, holding tightly onto his Daddy’s hand. Our wedding was always going to be a family affair and it was incredibly special to share this moment with our children too.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
I have to confess to pretty much being given free rein when it came to the wedding decor. Justin will be the first to admit he doesn’t have a creative bone in his body, and really struggles to envisage how something will look. So living in a household full of boys, it was lovely to be able to indulge in creating a very delicate, girlie scheme.
I tried not to make it too themed and instead our wedding deccor evolved into a hotchpotch of things I love and ideas I had sourced on Pinterest and wedding blogs.
We had paper pom-poms on the ends of the aisles.
The venue was filled with gold glitter votive candles and pink glass vintage style votives. Milk bottles wrapped with paper doilies and bakers twine lined the mantlepieces and were filled with blowsy roses and pink spring blossom. The handwritten blackboards directing and thanking guests looked amazing, and the framed photographs we’d had taken several months earlier to finally mark our long engagement, stood proudly by the bar for all to view.
The venue has lots of tall windows allowing natural light to flood in. The Orchid Room were the wedding breakfast took place is very light and airy, so wanting to retain this feel we used lots of glass. Our table centrepieces were glass cloches stood on glass vintage-style cake plates, under which we arrange pink silk hydrangea, dusky pink roses and foam white flowers. These were surrounded by lots of clear glass votives. For the place settings, each guest had a handmade paper pinwheel attached to which was a small luggage tag with their name on.
Our seating plan was a sheet of MDF which Justin painted and I upholstered with wadding and pink linen. To this Justin attached a wire birdcage I had sourced, and we then used bird shaped pegs to attach luggage labels with all our guest’s names on. Justin is a fan of Formula 1, so all our tables were named after British motor racing tracks.
Our top table was Brooklands, located a few miles from where we got married and where we spent our first night as husband and wife!
As we got married four days before easter, each guest was given a glass jar filled with chocolate mini eggs. Each jar was adorned with a personalised label and a grosgrain ribbon. These were given as favours.
For Justin, music was right up there with one of the most important parts of our wedding day. He has a huge love of music and although not all our guests would appreciate some of his favourite music choices (thrash rock metal!) he was keen to ensure that there was something for everyone to enjoy.
All our RSVPs asked for guests to submit a song request that would be guaranteed to get them on the dance floor. Our DJ was Mitch Matthews (www.djinc.co.uk) He was highly recommended by Nonsuch Mansion and after a hilarious meeting with him in his hometown of Brighton, we knew we had booked the right man for the job. Mitch is absolutely bonkers, but a true professional and is incredibly personable. He makes it his mission to create the best night for you and your guests, and even called us the day before to see how the nerves were holding up and to reassure us he had everything in hand. Mitch not only produced an awesome set for us but also did a great job of acting as master of ceremonies.
During the evening we had lots of things which guests could get involved in while resting their dancing feet.
We created a DIY photo booth from a basket full of props we had collected, and using a Polaroid camera, guests were encouraged to take silly pictures which they then stuck into our guest book.
We had a framed picture which everyone printed their fingerprint onto to complete the image – something we will now be able to display in our home.
We also had a candy cart which the children absolutely loved and there were certainly a fair few grownups getting stuck in too! We hired the cart from Chelsey at Sweetdreams Candy, but as we are vegetarian we supplied all the jars of sweets ourselves.
On the day tips and advice:
What advice would I give? Create a time machine or learn to freeze time! In all seriousness, the day just flies by like some extraordinary dream. I’ve heard it said so many times before by brides, but try and take just a few minutes together and take in all that has happened. Stop and look at all your guests around you. It is probably the one and only time you will have all your favourite people in the world, all in one place at the same time.
Definitely arrange for someone to put some wedding cake aside for you. We had both a wedding cake and cheese tower and neither of us got to eat any on the day as we were just too busy with everything else going on. It was so lovely to have some to tuck into the next day.
Don’t worry about any little hiccups that might happen on the day. The only person who knows what is supposed to happen is you, your guests will be none the wiser. We were supposed to have giant globe tassel balloons but due to some ridiculous health and safety rule, my friend couldn’t find anyone willing to inflate them for us. On the day I really couldn’t have cared less. What really matters is that you are getting married.