One thing that really marks a wedding for me is the menswear: as a wedding blogger it’s something I look out for even more than the dress. You just know when the guys are wearing something a little more interesting than hired suits, it’s going to be an amazing wedding. Beverley & Jackson – your day is the perfect, gorgeous, brilliant example of the kind of celebration I love!
Today’s stunning bride & groom married at Gaynes Park, Essex. “The venue is so beautiful that it didn’t need much decoration at all. We chose to have some festoon lighting in the barn, which turned out to be a great decision as when we sat down to eat the heavens opened, so the lighting made the room feel cosy and intimate.”
They saved money on flowers: “The biggest saving we made was through our choice of dried flowers. Dried flowers are much cheaper than fresh and it also meant that we could make up the arrangements ourselves.”
Images are by lovely Suffolk wedding photographer Clare Butler Photography. Discover more from Clare here, especially if you’re looking at Gaynes Park or any Essex or Suffolk venue!
Beverley told me – amongst other brilliant snippets of advice, which you can read below the images – “I know it’s a cliché, but don’t get upset if it rains! We had torrential rain and we didn’t let it ruin our day, if anything it made it even more eventful and has left us with some really funny memories.” And you know what? You’d never know from the pictures – they’re just beautiful.
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Beverley and Jackson
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We actually entered a facebook competition that Clare Butler was running to win free wedding photography, we didn’t win but were offered a preferential rate and after meeting Clare we felt really comfortable with her and knew she would be great on the day.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Clare was truly brilliant on our wedding day. Most of the time we forgot she was even there as she blended into the background capturing some beautiful moments, which was just we wanted for our day. We didn’t want group shots to take a long time or to be away from our guests for too long, so the way Clare works was perfect for us. The collection of photos we now have of our day are really beautiful, the romantic style and colours of the shots are stunning.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We were lucky to have a sneak preview of some of the photos that day after our wedding, as Clare kindly shared a collage on facebook with us. This was such a lovely surprise as we got to see some of the shots before heading off on our honeymoon. But when we got all the photos through in a gorgeous presentation box we were so excited. They were even better than we had imagined. Even the torrential downpours didn’t affect the photos, you’d never know!
Gaynes Park, Epping
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
English summer wedding complete with rain, love, lavender and lace
Your wedding style or theme:
As we were planning our special day, we knew we wanted a rustic feel to the day, we chose dried flowers, hand-made invitations with doilies and dried lavender, ordered mis-matched waistcoats and of course I chose my beautiful lace dress. I like to call our wedding style Lavender & Lace.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Most of our suppliers were either recommended by friends or by the venue wedding planners. They were fantastic at helping us get things organised.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We designed and hand-made all our stationery which saved a lot of money. But the biggest saving we made was through our choice of dried flowers. Dried flowers are much cheaper than fresh and it also meant that we could make up the arrangements ourselves. We borrowed vases, jugs and jars from mums, sisters and friends to fill with our dried flowers to decorate the venue. Doing it ourselves made it even more special when we walked into the venue and saw our vision for the first time on our wedding day.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Food and drink – we are foodies and so the menu and wine choices were important to us. We had canapes, scallops, pork belly and a trio of deserts. And then finished the evening with a paella cooked in front of our guests and a vintage ice cream van. It was all worth the money!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We designed all our own stationery and used printed.com for the printing. I was most proud of our invitations which we made up with doilies, rustic string and dried lavender.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I found dress shopping the hardest part of planning the wedding. It’s such a big decision to make and I was nervous about making a mistake. It wasn’t until my final dress fitting that I really fell in love with it and was so excited to walk down the aisle in it!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Pronovias Omaya bought from The Wedding Shop in Colchester
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I wore pastel green vintage style shoes by Rachel Simpson, they were so beautiful and I loved having a flash of colour under my dress.
We were extremely lucky to have our wedding rings handmade for us by my sister who designs and makes bespoke jewellery (Jewellery Rocks London – https://www.facebook.com/jewelleryrockslondon/?fref=ts)
She also made bracelets for all the bridesmaids as well as a necklace that was a surprise gift from Jackson to me on the day.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
The groom and grooms party all wore dark blue trousers with mis-matched tweed waistcoats. We wanted a rustic feel to the day, so the tailored suits were never a consideration.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My bridesmaids and flower girls all wore different style dresses in different colours, lemon, sage and pink. The mix of pastel colours looked really beautiful together.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I had a hairdresser come to my mums on the morning of the wedding to do mine and my bridesmades hair as well as my makeup. I wanted a natural look so I went for loose curls with a plait, finished off with a hair garland made with dried flowers.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We wanted something a little different, so we chose to have dried flowers, which was perfect for the rustic theme. The flowers were from The Artisan Dried Flower Company and included dried lavender, wheat, https://www.artisandriedflowers.co.uk/
The bouquets, button holes and hair garland were all made-up for us, and then we made our own arrangements for table centre pieces and to decorate the venue. The smell of lavender will now always bring back happy memories!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue is so beautiful that it didn’t need much decoration at all. We chose to have some festoon lighting in the barn, which turned out to be a great decision as when we sat down to eat the heavens opened, so the lighting made the room feel cosy and intimate. Other than that our dried flower arrangements and some hanging hearts were enough.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I loved the creative element of wedding planning and wanted to do as much ourselves as we could. We hand-made all our stationery and made our own flower arrangements. I also hand-made our wedding favours, which were home-made fudge in 3 different flavours, packaged in small cigarette tins. I loved coming up with unique and different ideas.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
The cake was a naked style cake made by the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride. It was lovely that they were able to contribute to our day with something sweet!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
One of the highlights of the day was the walk down the aisle, The seven page boys and flower girls walked down the long outdoor aisle, carrying a sign that said ‘Uncle Jackson, here comes your girl’. This was a lovely surprise for the groom and all our guests commented on how special that moment was.
Our band were brilliant, they were entertaining and got everyone on the dancefloor which is just what we wanted. I would definitely recommend them to others.
On the day tips and advice:
I know it’s a cliché, but don’t get upset if it rains! We had torrential rain and we didn’t let it ruin our day, if anything it made it even more eventful and has left us with some really funny memories.
What’s the best thing about being married?
The best thing about being married is the feeling that we are a proper unit, we come together, we support each other in everything and we have such a special day to look back on and remember. We’ve always been very close and so our relationship hasn’t really changed, we’re just a stronger partnership than before.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Band – The Guilty Pleasures – www.theguiltypleasures.co.uk/
Flowers – The Artisan Dried Flower Company – https://www.artisandriedflowers.co.uk/
Jewellery – Jewellery Rocks London – https://www.facebook.com/jewelleryrockslondon/?fref=ts
Hair & Makeup – Lauren Taylor – www.laurentaylorhair.co.uk
Vintage Ice cream van – http://www.icebaby.co.uk
Wedding dress shop – https://theweddingshop.uk