Summer weddings are wonderful: the glorious light and wonderful warmth of those endless days will be back before we know it… and so this morning I would love for you to join me to reminisce over hazy days and summer celebrations.
Rozie and Al’s wedding is the most perfect example of an English summer wedding – I love the styling of their day, the beautiful flowers and stationery, Rozie’s stunning bouquet and dress… oh, and their countryside location is blissful.
Images are by Sarah Williams Photography, who told me a little about Rozie and Al’s day. You can see more from her beautiful website and social media channels here:
“The wedding of Rozie and Al was such a beautiful, happy occasion and the attention to detail that they had put into their day was outstanding. From the pretty bunting that Rozie spent her evenings making in the run up to the wedding, to the flowers, arranged perfectly by Al’s mum, it was a dream to photograph. The couple, their friends and family were all so lovely and the whole day was full of love and happiness.
“Rozie and Al chose not to hire a professional wedding venue, instead hiring a lovely barn on a farm and cleaning and decorating it themselves, and hiring in all the furniture. There were even house martins nesting in the eves of the barn which was certainly a talking point during the reception. It was perfect!
“One of the best decisions we made for our wedding day was having Sarah as our photographer. From our first meeting she put us completely at ease; something that was consistent right up until the end of the day itself. From giving the bride the encouragement to believe she could get down the aisle without falling over, to being friendly and considerate to all our friends and family, Sarah and her lovely husband Alex were a huge help. Many of our guests remarked on how great they were to have around on the day and we 100% agree.
“When we received our final wedding pack, we were absolutely delighted by its immaculate presentation, lovely details and of course the photographs themselves. Sarah’s thoughtfulness and attention to detail meant that she captured our day beautifully and we are so glad to have such lovely pictures to treasure and share with family and friends in the years ahead.
“We cannot recommend Sarah Williams Photography highly enough. If you are looking for a photographer who will be accommodating, patient and treat your wedding as a special occasion rather than another day at the office, Sarah is the photographer for you.
Sarah, thank you so much for all you did to help make our wedding day and wedding memories as special as possible.”
~ Rozie and Al xx
Your (first) names
Rozie and Al
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Having researched styles, we knew we wanted a relaxed, documentary style photographer. With that in mind I searched a number of photographers on the internet, and particularly liked Sarah’s style. We also found that her packages were really well priced compared to other photographers of the same standard.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We are so glad that Sarah was our wedding photographer and would recommend her to anyone. She was friendly, thoughtful and attentive from the very first email enquiry, and when we met her we instantly got along. Throughout the planning process and on the day itself she was helpful and put us at ease. We were so grateful to have her around on the wedding day, and lots of our guests commented on how lovely she was.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We loved looking through our photos for the first time and were quickly picking out our favourites! Sarah had captured all the personal details of our day and the pictures really told a story, helping us to relive all our favourite moments.
Ceremony: St Nicholas’ Church, Arundel Reception: South Stoke Farm, South Stoke, Arundel
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A relaxed, happy day with a party in a barn.
Your wedding style or theme:
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Google was my best friend!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
1) Find a non-commercial venue. We hired a working barn on a farm and decorated it ourselves.
2) Shop around for a dress – I bought mine from a sample outlet and had it altered by a friend.
3) Favours don’t need to be big to be thoughtful – We donated to charity and bought personalised love hearts on eBay which people loved.
4) Catering – There are some really fun, more relaxed alternatives to a formal 3-course meal. I had decided I wanted a picnic wedding when I was about 12 so it was easy for us!
5) Be crafty (if you enjoy it) – It’s not for everyone, but if there are things you particularly like making, this can save loads. We made our bunting, table numbers, confetti cones etc and instead of buying vases, we collected empty jars and decorated them with lace. It saved us money and made things a bit more personal. However, if you don’t enjoy craft or don’t have much time, it is not worth the stress!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Entertainment – We were really glad we spent money on our evening band, Strobe. We wanted everyone to enjoy the party and they got everybody dancing. – We also umm’d and ahh’d about hiring a camper van Photo Booth, but we were so glad we did! It got lots of people mixing and having fun, and also meant that we got a different type of fun, informal photos of our guests.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
A friend designed the insert for our invites and I made the rest. It was a labour of love, but also a labour of stress! I would advise all brides-to-be to think carefully before embarking on such a project – I was eventually really pleased with the results but at points I was drowning in lace.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes! When I bought it in a sample outlet it wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I loved the fabric, fit and had an idea of how to adjust it. After having the back and neckline altered I was really pleased.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
For jewellery, I kept it personal: I wore the bracelet Al gave me when I got my first full-time job, the necklace my bridesmaids gave me at my hen party and earrings my parents gave me shortly before the wedding. I thought about buying new shoes, but I already had a pair of white lace heels that Al had always liked and decided I wouldn’t be able to find any better!
And what did the groom wear?
A navy suit from Next. He wore a strong pink tie to match the roses in my bouquet, and the groomsmen wore mint green ties from TkMaxx. We found a matching mini-suit for Al’s nephew in BHS.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My adult bridesmaids wore mint green dresses from Etsy. I chose the fabric and asked them each to pick a style. My two flower girls wore lace dresses, also from Etsy, with mint green ribbons around their waists.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Massive thanks to Gemma Souter! http://www.gemmasouter.co.uk
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Al’s mum is a florist, so she helped make my floral dreams come true! It was lovely having someone close to me to plan with – we discussed ideas and visited wholesalers together. She did an amazing job and I was so pleased with the flowers when I saw them on the day, and love how they were captured in the photographers.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Yes – we hired an empty barn on a working farm, so we arrived a few days before to begin sweeping and decorating! We brought in everything – furniture, catering and toilets ourselves. I made about fifty meters of bunting and we used flowers and lights to make the place feel really special.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Bunting – this was time consuming as I made 40-50 meters, but I was really pleased with the result. Vases – family and friends collected jars and we decorated them with lace Pallets – Al got some wooden pallets from Free Cycle, which we painted and used as signposts around the barn and along the route from the church to the reception Seating plan – I hand-wrote a card for each table and used ribbon and pegs to hang them on a wooden pallet Place-cards – Written by hand
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Strobe Function Band – http://www.strobeband.com – fantastic!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Don’t stress too much – it’s one day and it goes very fast, so just enjoy it as an opportunity to celebrate with the people you care about. If anything goes wrong, it’s unlikely that anyone else will even remember!
What’s the best thing about being married?
A sense of mutual commitment and certainty.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: