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Winter wonderland meets vintage glamour: A Danesfield House wedding with Samie Lee Photography

Today’s beautiful bride Anouska is an interior designer, and so the styling and details of this winter wonderland wedding are so carefully considered and coordinated… it’s truly magical. From the flowers to the little birds, trees and fairy lights, every little aspect is so personal and charming… winter brides will LOVE seeing today’s wedding.

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“I had white, blush pink bouquet with crystals and white thistles. Peonies are my favourite flowers and were out of season, so Sue and Lucy sourced me the most stunning fake silk peonies and added them to my bouquet – nobody knew as they were so realistic and what’s lovely is that I get to keep them forever.” www.suebartonflowers.co.uk

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Anouska and Greig’s advice for other couples is something I would emphasise to every bride- and groom-to-be: “Cut down your numbers and spend the money making the day extra special for yourselves and the people you love the most. Put your own stamp on the day – it should be a reflection of who you are and what you love.”

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Images are by lovely Berkshire wedding photographer Samie Lee Photography, who Anouska and Greig were absolutely thrilled to have booked for their winter wedding. Discover more from Samie here:

www.samieleephotography.com
Instagram.com/samieleephoto
Facebook.com/samiejlee
Pinterest.com/mail1345
Twitter.com/SamieLeePhoto

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The English Wedding Blog Interview: Anouska & Greig

Wedding photographer’s website:

www.samieleephotography.com

How did you choose your photographer?

I was recommended Samie by a friend of mine who’d seen her beautiful work.

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

We were absolutely thrilled with our photographer! I instantly clicked with Samie when I met her over a coffee. Samie made me totally at ease and relaxed which I knew would be important on the big day. I was very emotional on the day we met and completely opened up to her about all we’d been through to get to this day, so that she could fully understand our love story and how important and special the wedding day would be to us.

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

Samie was heading off on holiday first thing, the day after our wedding, so when she edited a few photos on the night of our wedding and sent them through to us before she left on her holiday, we were overwhelmed. Samie selected 3 or 4 of her favourites and emailed them to me. I opened up the email at breakfast the morning after the wedding – I couldn’t believe that she’s done that for us before she’d left. I was totally blown away by the photos – they looked like something out of a magazine.

Wedding venue: Danesfield House www.danesfieldhouse.co.uk

Wedding month: 20th December 2015

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words? The happiest day of my life.

Your wedding style or theme: Winter Wonderland meets Vintage Glamour

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

My bridesmaids and I also went to the National Wedding Show at Olympia, as well as a few Bridal Fairs to make contacts but to be honest, I found most of my contact and suppliers online and from magazines.

What’s your top tip for saving money? Cut down your numbers and spend the money making the day extra special for yourselves and the people you love the most. Put your own stamp on the day – it should be a reflection of who you are and what you love.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on? I’d say my accessories as they made me feel a million dollars on the day, and they can be worn again. The wedding favours from Lily Belle – we had personalized engraved bracelets made for all the guests with their name on each with the date. I see my friends and family wear them all the time and it’s a constant special piece of the day that everyone can cherish. Personalised favours From: www.lilybelle.co.uk

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

Greig runs a creative print management company called Logical Connections so we were lucky enough to have our Wedding Invitations and Order of Services designed to our requirements by his design team. www.logicalconnections.co.uk

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

Yes I did – however, I was never sure about the neckline. 6 weeks before the wedding I totally changed it and had the top section of the dress was re-designed completely! I knew I wanted the biggest fish tail skirt I could find and I wanted to feel really sexy – those 2 were my main criteria. 

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique: Bridal Rogue Gallery, Chiltern Street, London. The dress was by ‘La Sposa’. www.bridalroguegallery.co.uk

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

I was honoured to be given a diamond heirloom necklace by my Mother in law which I wore on the day. I spent months trying to find earrings to match, but because it was so unusual and vintage, I couldn’t find anything. As a surprise, my husband had some diamond earrings designed and made to match the necklace which he gave to me on the morning of the wedding. I burst into tears when he gave them to me! www.cftm.co.uk

I had the most beautiful headdress on the day. I knew I wanted a headdress and it took me months to find the right one. As soon as I saw the one – I knew. It was very similar to the necklace so I knew it was fate. From www.bridalroguegallery.co.uk.

I had a crystal encrusted belt with a satin sash bow which I wore all day. I wasn’t sure whether to just wear it in the evening, but I decided that ‘more is always more’ and what better day to be at my most glamorous! Everyone knows how much I loved sparkle and the dress code was Black Tie and ‘Christmas Sparkle’ so I went for as much sparkle as possible!

My ‘piece de resistance’ was my jewel encrusted ostrich feather cape which I had made bespoke for me by Ruth Milliam. I met her at a wedding fair in London and I knew that I had to have one of her capes. It was incredible – Ruth made it to compliment my belt and jewellery with hand sewn silver beads and individual crystals. www.ruthmilliam.com 

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

Greig knew exactly what he wanted when he went to Gresham Blake in Brighton to get his suit designed and made bespoke. They even made his shoes! All the items were engraved and embroided to make them extra special. The date of our wedding is embroided in the lining of his suit jacket.  Greig has a Scottish heritage so he wanted a dark tartan, velvet lapels and detailing, 3 pieces which were ultra fitted and sharp. He looked incredible – I have never seen him look so handsome. www.greshamblake.com

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

The adult dresses were from Biba at House of Fraser, and they wore beaded capes which were also sourced from House of Fraser. The dresses were champagne coloured and the beaded capes were blush pink, rose gold and silver. It was important that the girls had a vintage feel to their outfits to complete the overall theme. www.houseoffraser.co.uk

The Flower girl dresses were from a shop in Ascot called ‘Keepsake Kreations’. The girls and I wanted traditional flower girl dresses which I couldn’t find on the high street – the girls wanted to feel like snow queens so this was achieved with ivory dresses, faux fur capes, tiaras, sparkly high heels. The girls absolutely lit up when they tried on their outfits and they were very much involved in the styling, including make-up and hair. www.keepsakekreations.co.uk

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional? I hired a professional to do my hair – Sarah Thorne. She was so calm and lovely to have around on the day. Sarah also did the flower girls hair. www.thornebrides.co.uk

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

I was lucky enough to have the most wonderful florists. I actually miss Sue, Lucy and David! I have never met such a wonderful family who care so much about what they do and are so passionate about making the day perfect for their brides and grooms. Nothing was a problem – they went out of their way to make every detail perfect. They were so much fun too! I had white, blush pink bouquet with crystals and white thistles. Peonies are my favourite flowers and were out of season, so Sue and Lucy sourced me the most stunning fake silk peonies and added them to my bouquet – nobody knew as they were so realistic and what’s lovely is that I get to keep them forever. www.suebartonflowers.co.uk

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

I am an interior Designer so I was very particular about how I wanted the room to look. I opted to change the chairs and the aisle to a colour to suit my theme.(Rose gold, ivory and blush). I then called upon my good friend Myk Newport who is a set designer for the BBC to help me create a winter wonderland feel which we achieved by cutting down trees, spraying them and covering them in fairy lights and tiny twinkling birds to line the aisle. I knew exactly where to go for the décor! I sourced many items from ebay, etsy and the high street, including Christmas decorations of flying unicorns with colours to match our theme. I wanted the décor to be a true reflection of our style and who we are. I often design the décors for various parties and events so I knew exactly what I wanted and how to achieve it. I sourced many items from the high street – as it was Christmas I was lucky enough to have an array of decorations to choose from. www.noushkadesign.com

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

Myk and I sourced items from Hobbycraft such as Christmas twigs which we sprayed gold and decorated with fabulous decorations. We collected vintage tea light holders to give an eclectic feel on each table and placed tiny birds on the tables to continue the theme. Myk cut down a tree and sprayed it gold which was used as the base of our USA mailbox which had our name and date embossed on it. 

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

The cake was incredible. It was a blush pink/gold ombre effect made up of tiny icing discs that faded as they went down. I used Pinterest to get design inspiration as I just didn’t get excited about any of the traditional cake designs I’d seen in magazines or at the bridal fairs. Anne Vine, who made my cake was fantastic. She totally understood the look I wanted and achieved it beyond my wildest dreams. When I walked in and saw the cake, I was blown away. The cake was topped with 2 of our tiny sparkly birds which continued the theme. We had 3 tiers – carrot cake (my favourite) Chocolate Cake (children’s favourite), and Victoria Sponge (Greig’s favourite).

We also had a cheese wheel cake from Godminster. www.godminster.com 

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

We had lots! ……………….

The first surprise was a soprano singer with a pianist who sang throughout the civil ceremony and blessing. Jennifer made the ceremony so incredibly special. I would highly recommend her – she had everyone in tears! Jennifer was so helpful in choosing suitable songs that suited her voice but that were also special to us. Jennifer sang a rendition of ‘Song bird’ by Eva Cassidy as I walked down the aisle with my Father – it brought tears to my eyes as the song is so special to Greig and I. www.jennifer-coleman.co.uk

The second surprise was a Gospel Choir who appeared at the Mezzanine balcony of the Grand Hall during our Champagne Reception. They started with ‘Love is all you need’ so it was like the scene out of Love Actually! Everyone was blown away! They did a mix of uptown hits chosen by Greig and I as well as some Christmas Classics. It was so magical with the log fire burning, sitting by the Christmas tree listening to Christmas Gospel music. www.singgospel.co.uk

The third surprise was a firework display outside on the terrace in the evening. The toast master told everyone to go outside on the terrace to watch me throw my bouquet. As I threw it in the air the fireworks began – it was sensational! They were spectacular and are a memory that I will cherish forever. www.starfireworks.co.uk

On the day tips and advice:

My biggest tip for the day would be to enjoy every moment and make every moment count. The day goes so quickly, that you have to keep taking time to absorb the moment. For example, on the morning of the wedding, in our suite, I was surrounded by my best friends (bridesmaids), my Mother, my Mother in Law, my daughter and my step daughter – I stopped for a moment and thought to myself – I am so blessed and so lucky to have this moment with them all – it was magical.

What’s the best thing about being married?

 The best thing about being married is the unity it’s brought us as a family. Greig and I have 4 children between us from previous relationships, and seeing how happy and unified it’s made us all is the icing on the cake. It was like a marriage of 6 not 2. During the service, we included a ‘Blended Family Sand Ceremony’ so the children could be part of the service. We all poured different coloured sands into a jar to show us as 6 individuals coming together as a family. It was very emotional and heartfelt. It is a memory I will always cherish. The joy of the children added a whole new level to the day that we could never have imagined. 

 

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 November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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1 COMMENT
  • Wendy {Wendy Bell Designs}
    3 years ago

    Gorgeous photos and a really elegant venue decor.

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