Chris and Emily styled their Sussex wedding beautifully. They chose a venue which fitted the relaxed wedding style they wanted to have, and the simple and impactful fairy light and lantern decor makes it fun, pretty and welcoming!
Emily is absolutely gorgeous. Despite being a tomboy at heart, she told me, “I really surprised myself by finally choosing a fit and flare dress, it really stood out to me as the delicate ivory lace had a modern feel and it was offset against a light gold satin which gave it a vintage feel. I took it to a seamstress to make some alterations so my dress is one of a kind and I felt like a million dollars on the day.”
Emily saved money by buying a sample wedding dress that was about to be discontinued. “It needed a few minor repairs due to being tried on in the shop but even with these it was half the price of having one custom made.
I love all the little candles dotted around, and another top tip for all of you brides and grooms on a budget is sparklers. They’re fun, and look amazing in your photos: “We had sparklers on the lawn and toasting marshmallows in the evening which went down really well and created some of my favourite photos!”
All of the lovely images of the day are by It Must Be Love Wedding Photography, based in Hampshire:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Emily and Chris
Wedding photographer’s website: www.itmustbeloveweddings.com
How did you choose your photographer?
Chris was the photographer at my best friend’s wedding. Not only were his photos amazing with the natural style that I love, he was also great to work with and put in so much effort on the day, without really being noticed.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Chris was very professional and also put us at ease throughout the whole process. After first contacting Chris he took us out for coffee just so we could get to know each other and had an engagement shoot to get us used to having our photo taken. My husband and I aren’t very comfortable in front of a camera but Chris made us feel really relaxed and did everything he could to put us at ease. Chris and Helen were great at communicating on the lead up to the wedding and we couldn’t be happier with the finished product! We can rest easy knowing that in years to come we have these amazing photos to look back on to remember our special day. He worked really hard to get lovely photos of all of our friends and family, as well as all of the little details.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Before even seeing the photos I was blown away by Chris and Helen’s attention to detail, our photos came delivered on a beautiful wooden USB stick with a special keep sake box which I love and matched our rustic wedding theme perfectly! We picked them up from the post office at 6am so that we could look through them before heading off to work and couldn’t have been happier. We must have gone through them 100 times in the first couple of days as we loved them so much and the reactions from our friends and families have been priceless. Still 4 months on we aren’t bored of looking through them and I still struggle to narrow down my favourites.
Southend Barns, Donnington, West Sussex.
Wedding month: August 2015
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
The perfect day with all of our friends and family
Your wedding style or theme: Rustic chic
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
The photographer, florist, band and hairdresser were all recommendations but other than that it was mainly online blogs and search engines. I tried to use local suppliers as much as possible but ‘Wedding of my Dreams’ was particularly useful.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Weddings are notoriously expensive but I managed to get a discount on almost everything. Most of the time it isn’t even difficult, you just have to ask! We got married on a Thursday which meant many of our costs were negotiable as suppliers had less demand. Also I really enjoyed making lots of our decorative items i.e. table plan, candles, favours and pew ends. This is a great way to keep costs down and adds a personal touch that you can be really proud of. Pinterest has loads of simple ideas that are really effective to fit in with any theme and it is a great way to get your wedding party involved. We really utilised who we know as my mother in law made the cake, we had friends entertain the guests/video the day and borrowed cars which really kept costs down. Another great saving was buying a sample wedding dress that was about to be discontinued, it needed a few minor repairs due to being tried on in the shop but even with these it was half the price of having one custom made.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The band and the food were the two biggest expenses from our wedding day and they were worth every penny. I wanted to make the food a real feature and it was worth splashing out as it was all delicious. The catering company also managed the running of the day which was included in the cost and made the day so relaxing and ran very smoothly. We both really love live music so did a lot of research into bands and decided on an 8 piece band, Supatight. They were very professional and absolutely amazing, the dance floor was full all night and even those who didn’t want to dance had live music to enjoy. We weren’t going to have a photobooth as I have seen many that I haven’t been impressed with, but having put some time in to researching, we found Boothstar and they were amazing. This was mainly because Damon the host was fantastic, someone who takes pride in their work makes such a difference.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
A good friend designed them for us so we only had to pay for them to be printed which was a huge saving!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
As an indecisive tom boy/county girl, I was quite out of my comfort zone with dress shopping and was dreading it. To my surprise I liked most dresses but struggled to find one that ticked every box I was looking for. I also found lots that I liked online, but couldn’t find them in shops which I found frustrating but we visited some lovely shops with great customer service. I really surprised myself by finally choosing a fit and flare dress, it really stood out to me as the delicate ivory lace had a modern feel and it was offset against a light gold satin which gave it a vintage feel. I took it to a seamstress to make some alterations so my dress is one of a kind and I felt like a million dollars on the day.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Ronald Joyce at Confetti and Lace, Farnham – although my favourite shop was Anya Bridal Couture in Droxford
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I loved my shoes by Ronald Cartier, they matched the dress perfectly as they were light gold with jewelled embellishments and were surprisingly comfortable. I chose a floor length veil to compliment the fitted silhouette of my dress in a champagne colour which was made by my seamstress.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
Room 10 in Farnham were great and really accommodating. They were the only shop we found that hired a modern looking, fitted suit at a reasonable price. They were great as my husband is very broad across the shoulders with a slim waist so they even tailored the hired suit to fit him. As we hired the suits we bought all of the groomsmen some rosewood shoes which went down well with the boys.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My lovely bridesmaids wore a mint green pleated chiffon dress from Karen Millen. I bought these in the sale without them so I was really pleased that they liked them and that they fitted.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I had a professional to do my hair as I really wanted my hair up for a more glamourous look. I had a couple of trials with make-up artists but found them all too heavy so in the end I bought some good quality products and did it myself. I found this much less stressful as I could practise as many times that I liked and I still use the products today.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
I used Tara’s florist in Waterlooville who is an independent lady who works from her own house. She has done flowers for a number of friends’ weddings and was really lovely to work with. As a flower novice, she took time to explain what went together, what was in season and even sent photos the day before whilst she was putting them together to put my mind at ease. I went with a delicate lilac and white mix with hessian binding to give it a wild flower feel.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Luckily no as I wanted to keep the natural rustic charm and this was the main reason for choosing this venue. There was a wedding the day before so I didn’t get to decorate it myself but the staff there are so amazing and organised, I gave them a plan of everything the day before and they did it all for me on the morning of the wedding. It looked stunning, the finishing touches they provide make it an amazing venue!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
This was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning and has definitely given me the bug for craft making, so much so that I have made lots of Christmas presents this year. My bridesmaids and I made around 50 lavender candles for table decorations which made my house smell delightful. We made all of the pew ends which were hessian cones filled with wild flowers. We also made our name places/favours out of wooden discs and burnt names in with a wood burning pen, the table plan and various signs for the day which have made nice keepsakes.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We were thrilled to have my mother-in-law make our wedding cake and this meant more to us than the design itself. Luckily she is very talented and managed to replicate my dress with an ivory base topped with a light gold edible lace. The florist finished it off with some of our flowers. We had a mixture of fruit and sponge which must have been delicious as I didn’t even get round to eating any before it got devoured.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
As we went all out with the band, we tried to keep other entertainment as cheap as possible so during the ceremony my friends and family sang/played the violin. We then had sparklers on the lawn and toasting marshmallows in the evening which went down really well and created some of my favourite photos!
On the day tips and advice:
Relax and enjoy every second, everyone told me how quickly it would go but I didn’t anticipate just how quick that would be. I wish I could have spent more time with guests but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the day from getting ready in the morning to dancing all evening.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I love having a husband and sharing the same name. Whilst it is tricky to get used to, it feels like we are more of a family rather than a partner. I also loved having a day to celebrate with all of the people that have been instrumental in our lives over the last few years, it was our way to say thank you to them so we hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
It Must Be Love (Christopher Ison) – photographer
Southend barns – venue
Field and Fork – caterers
Supatight – band
Boothstar – photobooth
Tara’s florist – flowers
Anya’s Bridal Couture – wedding dress shop
Room 10 – Tailor
My best day ever – seamstress
Wedding of my dreams – supplier (website)