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Sally & Matt’s English country garden party wedding – in a castle! With Jennifer Jane Photography

Shades of summer, blissful memories and a beautiful bride – today’s wedding is out of this world. Sally and Matt were married at Wadhurst Castle in West Sussex in September. They caught the last of our summer sunshine and have some of the loveliest images to treasure their day by.

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I asked the gorgeous bride and groom to share the story of their day and they didn’t disappoint – you can read their English Wedding Blog interview at the end of today’s blog feature. Sally gives some great advice on everything from kinder eggs to harpists…

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Images are by lovely Jennifer Jane Photography, who is based in Devon. I love her style and approach and would encourage all of you to check her out here:

http://www.jenniferjanephotography.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/jenniferjanephotographyuk
https://twitter.com/JJFotography

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This is more than just a beautiful wedding: Sally’s advice make it a full feature of advice and tips for anyone planning a wedding. I love the idea of hiring a jukebox; it’s great to hear how amazing a harpist can be; polaroids are a genius idea; a wedding prep weekend sounds like so much fun! Read more when you’ve snuggled up with a cuppa to scroll through the pics. Enjoy!
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The English Wedding Blog Interview: Sally & Matt

Wedding photographer’s website:

http://www.jenniferjanephotography.co.uk/

How did you choose your photographer?

We saw her work on a facebook friends page.  We loved her style so got  in touch!

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Very pleased.  We had a wonderful engagement shoot in Greenwich Park with Jen and throughout she was making us laugh with her wicked humour and the result was a selection of beautiful, natural shots.  On the day, she really fitted in with how our day ran and got pictures of all the important things.  She even got a shot of my mother getting tearful – something never before caught on camera! Her assistant was great with the guy’s getting ready shots too.  He really captured the mood.  The results of Jen’s work have been smashing.  She created a gorgeous slideshow, online album and sent a beautifully presented box with some prints and a USB of all our pictures.  We cannot wait to see our album now!

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

We were on our way back from honeymoon and Jen posted a couple of teaser photos on her facebook page.  We hadn’t really seen many pictures from the day as we went straight on honeymoon so it was a lovely way of combatting the post-honeymoon blues and reliving our special moments.

Wedding venue:

Wadhurst Castle in West Sussex.

Wedding month:

September 2015

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

Elegant, rustic, English country garden party – in a Castle!

Your wedding style or theme:

Rustic shabby chic with lashings of lace and pearls 

Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)

We used a couple of suppliers recommended by our venue but other than that, I sourced the ideas from pinterest (every Bride’s favourite tool) and checked out reviews on blogs and by reading about how certain ideas went down at other people’s weddings

What’s your top tip for saving money?

Get creative and try to do your own wedding stationery.  Pull on your friends’ talents (our best man did our design work), get family and friends involved in putting things together (I hosted a wedding prep weekend – it was great fun).  You get an amazing sense of achievement creating such an important part of your day too! We saved hundreds of pounds.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

 Music. We had a harpist during the ceremony and drinks reception which was just beautiful for an outdoor wedding.  We had a touchscreen Americana Jukebox for our evening music and hired the disco lights and speakers too.  It was the entertainment for the evening and music rolled into one.

And food! We had a canapé starter during a slightly longer drinks reception so we could spend more time with our guests. Then we were seated for a main course and a cake stand of mini desserts. In the evening we had an amazing cheeseboard, sausage sandwiches and falafel flatbreads. I’m a coeliac so our caterer worked closely with me to make sure the food was all gluten free. (caterers were http://www.amuseprivatecaterers.co.uk/ )

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

As outlined above – making it was a labour of love!  We found making our own invites added a personal touch and really helped keep everything in theme as we used the same materials throughout.  I used the same material to bind the invites as I did on place settings and I even gave some to my florist to tie my bouquet with.

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes – when I saw it for the first time just 4 weeks before my wedding! I went to a wonderful dressmaker (Emma Tindley) who I trusted entirely from the off to make me look like a princess.  She had me try on a few dresses until we found one we knew was the right shape for me. Then she went about making me my bespoke dress based on what I said my likes and dislikes were.  She made me a beautiful French corseted dress with sequined lace which, as it was made to measure, fitted perfectly.  Not only that, Emma took the time to add a bespoke lace design to my bridesmaids dresses so they too were unique.  The same lace was also used as edging on the wedding cake.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Emma Tindley http://www.emmatindley.co.uk/ 

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

Shoes I bought from a shop on Carnaby Street in London called Irregular Choice.  They had a blue and white paisley design (my ‘something blue’) with pearls on the toes so they were in theme.  The jewellery I bought from Emma Tindley and instead of a veil, I opted to have flowers in my hair. 

And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?

We got all suits from House of Fraser.  We got a really good deal and a personal service. It’s not always easy to get 7 men to go shopping and come back with happy faces but somehow the salesman there managed it! All wore navy blue three piece suits with a pale grey tie to match the bridesmaids.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear? 

I had two bridesmaids and they wore pastel grey knee length dresses from House of Fraser. We had lace motifs added to the necklines by Emma Tindley. They wore pale pink shoes and, of course, diamond and pearl accessories.  They too had flowers in their hair.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

DIY! I took my bridesmaids to MAC where I paid for us all to have a makeover lesson. I then bought all the products so we could do our own on the big day.  It made for a lovely girly afternoon out while the boys were on their stag weekend and on the day itself we were able to top up our make up throughout the day.  For our hair, I used a lady called Margerita who works freelance and was recommended through a friend.  She was wonderful the morning of the wedding.

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

I used the florist recommended by the venue as I knew they would know what works best in the space.  Kim at the The Flower House Studio (http://www.theflowerhouse.biz/ ) met me at the venue and talked through what would look best and be in keeping with the theme.  We went for roses for buttonholes (pale pink for the groomsmen, pale and hot pink for the groom) and the bride and bridesmaids had pink and white roses, dahlias, gypsophelia, and lisianthus with green and grey foliage.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

Not at all. We had the natural beauty of the walled garden for our ceremony and the drinks reception was outside on the terrace with stunning views of the Sussex hills. The inside of the castle is beautifully decorated and has the feel of a stately home.  There were suits of armour in the wood cladded halls and beautiful high ceilings so little decoration was needed.  We had flowers for the table centres and we put our bouquets in vases on the guestbook table so they could be admired for the rest of the day.

Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

For the wedding favours, we created mini branded bottles of sloe gin and put them with kinder surprises on each place setting.  They went down a storm! The kinder surprises were a real conversation starter around tables and the sloe gin was lovely to have after the meal.  We also created our own signature cocktails for the evening.  As you can imagine, we very much enjoyed making them all! We had a polaroid guestbook too.  We had the guestbook made for us, using a shot from our engagement shoot as a background on the pages.  It’s a lovely keepsake from the day and a lot of fun for guests!

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

The mother of the bride made our wedding cake.  She is incredible talented and spent hours making dahlias from icing and lisianthus so the cake would match our flowers.  She made it so that we could keep the icing flowers from the top of the cake and use them on a future cake.  We went with one fruit and one sponge (we had two deep layers) as these are generally favourites at a wedding.  I’m a coeliac so my mum made me a miniature gluten free version for me.

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

Definitely look into hiring a jukebox.  As long as you have your own playlists loaded and a responsible person to make sure Agadoo doesn’t get played 5 times in a row (I delegated a bridesmaid!) it can be really good fun.  A harpist on our day was beautiful too.  A lot of people write them off as an idea thinking it’s all classical music but we had a lot of chart music played as well as some classic Elvis and The Bee Gees!

On the day tips and advice:

Relax! There’s no point in getting stressed on the day because things are out of your hands by that point.  It’s the suppliers and bridesmaids/best men who are responsible for fixing any problems on the day.  Create happy memories of your day rather than memories of worrying about things you had no control over.

What’s the best thing about being married?

Knowing there will always be someone there to do the washing up for the rest of your life!

Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:

Venue: http://wadhurstcastle.co.uk/

Site we used for our guestbook: http://www.mixbook.com/uk

All other links pasted in the answers above.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in 2011 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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