Today’s is a wedding with breathtaking photography, a truly gorgeous bride and groom, beautiful details and the most amazing venue: “Guesten Hall at Avoncroft didn’t need much decoration as the roof is decoration enough and we didn’t want to take away from it.
“We added some small touches, such as photographs of various family members from key moments in their lives as well as amusing photos from our childhood and strung fairy lights across the hall to add a bit of sparkle.
We made a lot! All the name places were hand-stamped, and we cut out hundreds of hearts from wildflower paper for the wedding favours. We started the handmade elements at least a year before the wedding, so there was no last minute rush or panic.”
Images are by our lovely friends Rob & Sarah Gillespie Photographers, who you can discover more from here:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Emma and James
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Rob and Sarah were recommended to us by James’ Mum, after she had attended a wedding where they were working. We were keen for the photos not to look too posed, and after looking up their website and scrolling through their blog posts, we loved their style of photography and felt they were exactly who we wanted to capture our day. It helped that they were incredibly friendly and approachable too!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Throughout the whole process, from the initial meeting at their house to talk through options to receiving the final USB so beautifully presented in its wooden box, Rob and Sarah were thoughtful, friendly and helpful! They put us at ease in front of the camera, and we were thrilled with the end result. They got married at the same venue as us, so could offer tips and insights that we wouldn’t have known about too.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We had just got back from our honeymoon in Iceland when we got the email to say that our wedding photos were available to view, which was much earlier than we were expecting! We were both nervous and excited to see the photographs and needless to say we were blown away – they had captured our day perfectly. Even now looking through the photos, it still gives us butterflies of happiness as we remember the day.
Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Bromsgrove
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Personal, low-key and fun!
Your wedding style or theme:
We incorporated elements of our favourite hobbies, such as travelling, into our day – the tables were named after our favourite cities, but there was no overall style or theme as such. We wanted the day to be relaxed for both ourselves and our guests. We are both pretty laid-back and felt that this should be reflected in our wedding day.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mainly via word of mouth, or via family and friends recommendations. Avoncroft also has a list of suppliers from which to choose from. Emma found her makeup artist from looking on this blog!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Have a wedding spreadsheet so that you can track your spending to make sure things don’t get out of hand! It can be easy to get carried away…
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photographers and catering were the main areas we wanted to make sure were perfect. We also put some money behind the bar to ensure that all of our guests could have a drink on us to get the party started! Bars on the Run provided the bar and certainly knew how to make a cocktail!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
It was a labour of love. We designed and made all of our stationery, from the Save the Dates, where we made our own photo strips of us holding up the information, to the invites and name placements. It allowed us to save money for the more important elements of the day.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I loved my wedding dress! As the dress was the sample in the store, and was several sizes too big, I was able to alter the design to make it more how I imagined my dream dress to be. Jacqui at Gatehouse Brides was amazing, and was often more excited than me when it came to the fittings! After finding a bolero that matched the lace I was able to add the sleeves that I knew I wanted, and following A LOT of alterations I couldn’t have been happier with my dress!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
The dress is called ‘Denia’, and it was by La Sposa. I bought it from Gatehouse Brides in Worcester.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My shoes were from Monsoon Bridal, and were unbelievably comfy. I wore opal earrings that had been a 21st present from my Grandma and James’ parents kindly bought me an opal ring to wear on the day. James’ Nan also gave us both a lucky sixpence which had been in our shoes the night before for good luck!
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
The groom wore a Charles Tyrwhitt royal blue suit with black brogues, and a watch from Fossil.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaids all wore navy blue dresses from Debenhams
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Emma Shuttleworth from Makeup by design (contacted through Makeup by Jodie) did a wonderful job of makeup, and Chloe Cowley, who is our regular hairdresser, travelled up from Swindon to do the hair for Emma and her wedding party.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The flowers were arranged by The Nursery Shop in Redditch.
We went for a looser bouquet of mainly white and ivory avalanche roses and Singapore orchids for the bouquets. The groomsmen all had ivory avalanche roses, James had an extra touch of claret as he is, unfortunately, a Villa fan.
The tables all had a flower centerpiece, which was again a loose arrangement of the same flowers.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
A friend of Emma’s mum made our cake. We went for a simple three tier cake (fruit, chocolate and vanilla), all covered with marzipan and icing. Sugar flowers matching the wedding flowers cascaded down the front of the cake, along with a hidden surprise of Mylo, our cat, made of icing and peeking out from behind them!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We asked The Playlist, a local cover band, to play at the wedding, and they were fantastic! James had previously been in a band with the lead singer, who was also one of his ushers, so we had an idea of what we were going to get! They closed their set with one of our favourite songs that they learnt especially for the wedding.
Another of James’ ushers set up a photobooth which our guests were able to run by themselves by writing a message on a chalkboard speech bubble and pressing a button on the back of it to take the photo. The results were hilarious!
We also hired out the minature railway at Avoncroft, which was great fun for our guests. Finally, as we got married on St. George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday, there were other activities going on at the site, such as a dragon slayer and Tudor insult workshop!
On the day tips and advice:
Relax and enjoy it, as cliché as that sounds. What happens, happens and the best thing is to just enjoy time with those that you love. If the canapés are late – who really cares?
What’s the best thing about being married?
In all honesty, nothing has really changed, which we see as a good thing! The best thing is knowing that we have both married our best friend and we get to say husband and wife!
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms: