People ask me what I look for from a wedding submission for the blog…and this shot of a Laura’s bouquet is exactly the kind of image I LOVE… it sets the scene for one of the loveliest weddings I’ve seen all year. Bride Laura is gorgeous, Kris is ever so handsome, and the images capture the spirit of the day from the ceremony through to the dancing at the end of the night – and with so many glorious details in between. I’m thrilled to feature Kris and Laura’s wedding on the English Wedding Blog
“We hadn’t really gone for a theme, we just wanted something quite informal (hence the non matching bridesmaid dresses). When I got my dress we worked the style and materials around that. Kris’s waistcoat had been worn by his step-dad at his wedding to Kris’s mum so we were thrilled to be offered that, and that helped set the colour scheme, and we live a very rural life in Wiltshire so it was natural to go for a sort of harvest festival feel with the wheat ears.
“We did a lot ourselves as we were on a budget; the cake was Sainsbury’s fruit cake which I decorated with writing icing. The wheat we gathered ourselves from the edges of local fields and the flowers we used a little local shop in the town I’d grown up in which I’d walked past loads of times but never bought from. I made the seating plan and for name tags I pulled all the heart shaped wooden pendants off a string of bunting and personalised them with a paint pen. We glued flowers around the edges of all our candles onto their wooden coasters, which Kris’s step-dad Martin gallantly tried to cut for us from a fallen eucalyptus tree in their garden! However, he eventually conceded that they would have to be less locally sourced!”
Images are by Denise at One Love Pictures, who told me “It all felt really relaxed from the start, the sun was shining and even the church ceremony was full of laughter. The whole atmosphere just felt so much about family and friends. Laura looked amazing with quite an unusual dress, finished off perfectly with a pretty flower crown. I totally loved the reception venue too and plan to return for a pub lunch at some point! There were lots of little touches that made the day interesting and beautiful.
“The Bell Inn in Ticehurst is quite intimate and very quirky! The staff were amazing, which always makes a huge difference to the general atmosphere, especially from a photographer’s point of view as someone who’s also trying to do a good job.”
The English Wedding Blog interview: Laura and Kris
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We had actually booked some one else – we had spent a while researching as we didn’t want formal photos, and didn’t want our day to be a photoshoot. We found a great photographer who had a style we loved, and booked him back in January. However, he had suffered a back injury and so had to cancel our booking which I had a complete freak out about as we only had a few months to go, but he recommended Denise as an alternative and she was absolutely brilliant, stepped in at the last minute, and was exactly what we wanted!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We were so thrilled with Denise! She was just amazing, she caught things we hadn’t even noticed or asked her to do, and was everywhere without being intrusive at all. We met for a coffee before the wedding and so we were totally at ease with her on the day. Our timescale slipped slightly due to a hiccup with the wedding car being run into and Kris’s parents getting lost on route to the reception venue, but Denise just ran with it, switching around when and where she had planned to get the formal photos and staying late so as not to miss our first dance.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Denise was a real tease, she put them up one at a time on her Facebook page as she edited them so I knew there were some lovely ones, but it was amazing sitting down and reviewing the whole album and reliving our day. Where Denise had several subtly different shots of the same thing she had left them all in for us so we could choose the ones we liked best to print out, which we really appreciated.
We got married at Tenterden Church and had the reception at the Bell Inn in Tenterden. The flowers at the church were all done by the volunteers and were exactly the right colours for the feel we were going for. I stayed overnight at the venue on the night before the wedding so when we went off to the church it still hadn’t been set up, so walking back in after the reception was amazing, it had gone through a complete transformation and really had the homely feel we were going for.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Fun, relaxed, family friendly day with lots of giggles
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Lots of magazines mostly, I’m a sucker for glossy pictures!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Decide where you want to spend your money and be strict with yourself for the extras. You’ll be amazed how much really doesn’t matter on the day; we bought table runners which we forgot to put on the tables which were not missed at all! And of course, it’s such fun doing the DIY wedding decorations!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Definitely having as many guests as we had gave the day a real buzz. We also chose to go for Chapel down sparkling wines and pay corkage rather than the cheaper Prosseco option as we both much preferred this!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Kris’s dad Simon Assirati runs a printing business (but doesn’t usually do wedding invitations!) but he very kindly printed all of our invitations for us to a rough design we had scribbled on paper.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Completely! The dress was not what I had expected to buy at all, and my mum was actually going to make me a dress, but we went to lots of little boutiques in Derbyshire for ideas and I completely fell in love with it. There weren’t many in the shop that I liked but we’d booked an appointment so I picked a few to try convinced I wouldn’t like any of them. The dress was way too big, and so it was hard to see what it would look like until I was pinned in, but as soon as I came out I felt so much like myself in it, and I knew it had to be the one. My wonderful mum spent days adjusting it to fit me perfectly and changed the neckline from one shoulder to halterneck to make it absolutely perfect!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I don’t actually rate the place I bought the dress from so I won’t tell you where it is! It didn’t have a great atmosphere and where all the other places we browsed made you feel really special and enjoy your day this one felt more like the fast food equivalent, with not enough sales assistants even though we had booked an appointment. The dress was an Eternity Bride dress.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I wore the earrings my Dad gave me for my 21st birthday, the cross I received as a confirmation gift and the cream shoes hat I wore as a teenage bridesmaid at my Mum’s wedding. They were a bit scruffy, but so comfy that I could dance all night, even if one of my bridesmaids was horrified I didn’t want something more showy! I had fresh flowers in my hair and wore a blue opal ring on my right hand which my grandad made for my mum as a 21st birthday present.
And what did the groom wear?
Kris had set his heart on a slightly textured navy blue suit to go with the waistcoat and cravat from him Mum and Martin’s wedding, and we found just what he wanted in Jeff Banks, which was a real achievement as he is so tall and narrow it’s hard to find an off the shelf suit that properly fits. Mum cut the waistocat down for him, and Kris’s grandma made his two nephews matching bow ties for their suits.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaids dresses were sourced in a heart-stopping online order as I wanted each dress to be different, but to be in the satin, with a similar skirt style and a rose theme and in 4 different colours, and the only way to do that was to buy each one individually and keep my fingers crossed that they all worked, which they did! My mum then tailored them to fit as they were just off the shelf.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Kris’s step-mum is an incredible make-up artist and she very generously did all the girls’ make ups, and made even my sister Melanie (who doesn’t really do make up) totally comfortable and feel incredible. Check out her website! http://www.sarahwoodhouse.com/sarah-woodhouse-makeup-and-wedding-services.html
I also had my hair done, but I have hugely thick hair and even though we did a trial run, the hairdresser got in a bit of a tangle over the big braid I wanted around my crown to weave the flowers into, so my mum stepped in to the rescue and all the years of doing my hair paid off! The hairdresser then finished off the back and did a really lovely job. She also did mum’s hair, but all the bridesmaids had their hair naturally down.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We ordered our bouquets from Flower Craft Workshop, and the whole feel in their workshop was exactly what we wanted for our wedding! Juliet has a real eye for design and worked with me to use the flowers we wanted and got the colours and the feel to be just what we were hoping for. She arranged the bouquets and buttonholes, and supplied the rest of the flowers which Mum, Melanie and I arranged into champagne flutes for the tables and gathered around the candles as centre pieces on my bedroom floor the night before the wedding.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The Bell had a great ambience of its own, we just brought in hops and wheat ears to add a bit of our theme, and other than that it was pretty much perfect!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
It had to be fruit cake really. It’s a nice, traditional cake that you always have with your family. More practically, it stacked well without pillars and keeps really well, which we needed as I was decorating it myself. Mum also made a sponge cake which we served for those who didn’t like cake.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a jazz band and they were brilliant! They had enough rhythm that at least one group of people was up and dancing for every song from the minute they started to the end, and they had an appeal which crossed all the generations. They played classics that we all knew as well as less popular music, and were at just the right volume to keep the atmosphere buzzing and people chatting.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
I don’t think we thought about it enough to have come away with words of wisdom – but maybe that’s the trick. We had fun from start to finish and didn’t ever do mad “wedding planning”. Yes, some things fell though the cracks, but we didn’t miss them on the night.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Kris would say no wedding planning! For me, the best thing is having a much bigger family who know that I really am here for keeps.