Morning lovely! It’s time for a real wedding… and I promise you this one’s a diamond! We have the most beautiful English bride and gorgeous groom – their happiness is infectious. There are the prettiest details, the most romantic moments and the sweetest glances exchanged… my heart might just melt this morning!
All of today’s fabulous images are by Nicola Casey Photography, who is based in Cambridgeshire and photographs weddings all around the UK. Find out more about Nicola here:
Deborah’s interview at the end of today’s feature is a classic. It’s full of brilliant advice and tips, with lots of helpful stories especially for DIY brides. I laughed out loud at Deborah’s comment that her big box of gypsophila “smelled like feet” – it soooo does! I’ve always wondered if florists know something about gypsophila that the rest of us don’t!
Grab a cuppa, hang on to your mouse and prepare to smile your way through the next ten minutes with a truly wonderful couple. Enjoy. Oh! And when you see who caught the bouquet you will giggle… promise. 😉
The English Wedding Blog interview: Deborah and Stuart
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Of course. Nicola made us both feel really comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. We had an engagement shoot with her a couple of months before the wedding as well and she took some lovely photos of us then, so we knew we could trust her!
Ceremony at St John’s C of E Church in Stanmore, reception at MHO The Venue in Bushey.
16th May 2015
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Full of family, friends and laughter, it was beautiful but on a budget.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
Happiness and laughter; we were sent a sneak preview slideshow set to music and it was like reliving the day from start to finish, particularly as Nicola had arranged a second photographer to capture Stuart and his best men getting ready. As that’s the part of the day we didn’t get to share with each other, it was really nice to see! It gave us a few laughs too as there’s a couple of really funny ones where I didn’t realise photos were being taken – the sign of a good photographer, sometimes you don’t even notice they’re there!
Your wedding style or theme:
Traditional, simple, home-made
Where did you find your suppliers?
Locally and by recommendation. I used to work with Nicola so when I found out she had started her own photography business I contacted her to ask for a quote and she sent me examples of previous shoots she’d done. The caterers, Heriots, were a well-known local company who had been recommended by a family member who had used them for her wedding. I had a stroke of luck with the venue, I’d been googling and looking at wedding websites but was struggling to find somewhere with the right atmosphere. As we were having a church wedding, I didn’t really want to have the reception at a hotel. I happened to drive past The Venue on my way to work one day and decided to contact them for a quote as the building looked beautiful. They had only just started their events business, hence me not finding them listed on wedding websites when I looked. The owner was so helpful and accommodating and he gave us a great price. The DJ was recommended by The Venue. The best man’s fiancée is a beautician and gave me a gel manicure and pedicure (the gels lasted for AGES!).
Best bit of budget advice?
Make use of creative friends and family – lots of money can be saved if you make some things that might otherwise cost a lot! My mum and sister made the invitations and flower bouquets and in turn saved us hundreds of pounds. As the church and venue were both within 10mins drive of my parents’ house, I didn’t want to fork out for an expensive car and driver, so I asked a family member with a lovely car to drive me to the church and the reception and that was his wedding present to us – he put ribbon on the car and flowers in the back window to make it special! For the things you just can’t do yourself, try to negotiate with suppliers – there’s no harm in asking.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
Homemade. While looking for ideas I came across a website that provided free templates – I found a cute quirky one that Stuart and I both liked and once I mentioned this to my mum she took it as a challenge and decided to make them with my sister! They borrowed a laminator and had a fun day making them (then a second not-so-fun day remaking them when I was forced to point out how wonky some of them were – that was a tad awkward..! N.B. this is a drawback of having family help with things – if something goes wrong they might not take constructive criticism the same way a business supplier might).
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Doesn’t every bride?! Yes, I loved it.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
David’s Bridal at Westfield Stratford
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
I bought a beautiful pearl and diamante hair comb from Etsy.com and also wore a pearl earring and necklace set given to me as a 21st birthday present by my auntie. My shoes were a pretty pair of metallic silver sandals from Very.co.uk.
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Hire suits from Moss Bros for the groom and the 2 best men. Shirt from M&S and boots from Next.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They chose their own shoes and I found their dresses at Forever 21 – my mum spotted them while we were Christmas shopping after my wedding dress fitting and I loved them. They were such a bargain that I got myself one too, ha!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hair and makeup was done by a friend I used to know from college. She had started her own business and was advertising on Facebook, so I contacted her for a quote and had a trial with her to make sure I was happy with everything beforehand. My skin hadn’t been in great condition and I needed to know I could count on someone else to sort it out and cover it up. She did a fantastic job.
My mum, sister and auntie made the bouquets and centrepieces with a selection of flowers bought at the New Covent Garden Market and from a local florist, and also decorated the church with them. It caused a bit of a headache trying to get them all sorted out the day before and also transported to the venue – no one tells you what a pain gypsophila is! All the bunches kept tangling themselves together, and the big box of them smelled like feet! With hindsight, this is one thing I would probably advise my friends to pay a professional for to avoid the stress – but they did look fantastic and I’m so proud of my family for the great job they did.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
No, the beauty of The Venue is that it really doesn’t need much added. It’s a deconsecrated church and still has gorgeous windows, ceilings, and with the added bonus of a fairy light wall and uplighters. We only added a bit of bunting and the table centrepieces and it was good to go!
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Save the Dates, invitations, flowers – we managed to do quite a bit of it ourselves! My bridesmaid Tanya came shopping to help look for extra touches like lace to put around the cake, numbers for the tables, scatter decorations for the centrepieces etc.
DJ – mix of old and new music to please everyone!
On the day tips and advice:
It all goes so quickly, try to pause and take everything in! Relax and enjoy yourself. Also, make sure you’ve got a list of photos you want taken and hand it to the ushers/groomsmen to call people over, it helps coordinate things a bit better if there’s a lot of people.
What’s the best thing about being married?
You get to spend the rest of your life with your best friend!