Claire and Nico’s wedding is fabulous – full of pretty homemade touches and all with the help of their wonderful family and friends. The flowers are stunning, the rustic wooden props and accessories look gorgeous!
“Our wedding was the happiest day of our lives… totally perfect! I wanted something really chilled and relaxed, nothing too styled or formal. It was very much a homemade affair styled around the English countryside, relaxed, and shabby chic!
Lots of the bits and pieces were homemade. My amazing mum made 180 metres of beautiful bunting, the cake (and not just one – there were so many practice runs that we were all sick of the sight of cake by the time the wedding arrived!), the wedding favours (lovely vanilla fudge) and far too much else to mention. I spend weeks steaming labels off jam jars and covering them in twine, making the table plans by hand and so on…
My uncle made our cake and cheese boards and sourced the pieces of wood used for the table plan and decorations. The flowers were from Fosseway Garden Centre in Moreton in the Marsh – actually they were recommended to me by my hairdresser! Otherwise, Google was my main source of inspiration! Pinterest was brilliant for coming up with ideas!
Images are by lovely Jennifer Sinclair Photography, who you can discover more from here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Claire and Nico
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
It was obviously fate…! Originally I’d booked a different photographer back when Nico and I got engaged in 2014. I thought we were all sorted and ready to go until this January, when she rang me and told me that her husband had been relocated to New York and she wouldn’t be able to take our pictures! I was on the edge of panic, but then she suggested Jennifer. She’d already spoken to Jennifer and told me she was available, and I had a look at her website. Well, I was blown away by the gorgeous photographs and delighted that Jennifer would now be taking our photos! As soon as I spoke to Jennifer on the phone I felt like I’d known her for years and couldn’t wait to meet her and work with her.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Pleased doesn’t even begin to cover it! We were absolutely delighted. I’d spoken to Jennifer so much before the wedding and felt like she was an old friend by this point. There were so many little touches that made all the difference… she sent me my first bridal magazine and lovely little wedding trinkets. When Nico and I received the engagement photos I cried, they were so lovely! And the actual wedding pictures… wow! I was always nervous about having my picture taken for the wedding as I don’t have any pictures of me I like (until now of course!), but Jennifer totally put me at ease, and took the most stunning photographs. She was really unobtrusive on the day and she felt like a guest, rather than someone who was there to do a job (although we had about 2000 pictures from her, so she obviously worked so so hard!). I couldn’t recommend her enough.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
They made us feel like we were re-living the magic all over again. I went through all 2000 of them with the biggest grin on my face (and a glass of prosecco in my hand!) and just thought they were perfect. The totally captured the spirit of the day, which was really chilled and relaxed. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Now the only hard part is deciding which ones to display, there’s so many!
The Mill House Hotel, Kingham.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Shop around! There were lovely things I wanted to buy from nice websites, but when you look on Amazon or in Hobbycraft you can get the same thing for a fraction of the price! Having lots of homemade bits saved us money too… although my mum made so many cakes for practice it may have ended up cheaper (for her!) to have bought one!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The photographer! Jennifer’s albums are beautiful and we knew this would be the thing that would give us a permanent reminder of our day. The venue was obviously our biggest expense, but they were superb and organised all of the food too, which was stunning. So many people said to us that it was the best wedding food they’d ever had, and I felt like every aspect of the wedding was so well organised by them.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Both! The save the date cards and invitations came from Norma and Dorothy on Not on the Highstreet. I made the rest of the bits myself, like the table plan and name places, using some large luggage tags from Amazon and a gold pen! And so much twine I ruined my nails!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Totally head over heels! It was the first dress I tried on and I knew instantly it was the one! I’d never seen anything like it and I felt like a princess. When I wore it on the day I felt like a million dollars and I didn’t want to take it off.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
The dress was a David Fielden design with a customised matching veil, and both came from Carina Baverstock Couture in Bradford-on-Avon.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My shoes were by Rachel Simpson and were honestly the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. I didn’t take them off once and danced all evening! Our wedding rings came from Beaverbrooks, and my wedding earrings were from Phase Eight. I didn’t have many accessories because I wanted my dress to be the main talking point!
And what did the groom wear?
Nico had a lovely navy suit from Moss Bros. His tie and shoes were also from there.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My gorgeous best friend Cassie and beautiful sister Sophie wore dresses from Phase Eight. They looked so beautiful! Ava, my nice, was the most perfect little flower girl and wore a dress from Monsoon.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I had my hair and make up done by Marie Kelly from BeautyCall. She did my hair and make up trial the morning of our engagement shoot, which was great because it meant I was looking my best for both sets of photographs! I was initially in two minds about having professional make up done – I don’t normally wear any and I didn’t want to look like someone else, but Marie did the most amazing job and I felt totally natural and didn’t want to take it off! She was great.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Hannah Belcher at Fosseway Garden Centre. They were lovely… I was a little tricky because I didn’t really know what I wanted, just something that would look natural, not too overstyled and would suit the relaxed theme of the day. I’d bought some antique jugs for the tables that I just wanted filled with flowers, and then something simple for the bouquets. She did a wonderful job and the colours were lovely.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The Mill always looks beautiful. The gardens there are stunning and Maria, the owner, always has lovely hanging baskets outside in the summer. We hired a marquee for the wedding breakfast and the guys who put that up did a great job. It was full of fairy lights and chandeliers and they also put up all the bunting!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Loads of things were handmade – the cake, favours, table plans, name cards… It was quite stressful at times doing all this (especially for my poor mum!) but I’m so glad we did as it felt so lovely and personal.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My mum did a fabulous job on the cake. She’s a fabulous baker so I only wanted a cake if it was from her! She did so many practice runs to make sure it would be perfect… even to the point that the birds in the garden were eating leftover cake as we couldn’t face anymore! The bottom tier was lemon, the middle chocolate and the top tier was pink champagne and strawberry flavour. Utterly divine!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We used a local band and artist called Pete Watkins. He plays at the local music festivals and I known him for years. He was there all day, playing his guitar and singing songs in the beautiful sunshine. In the evening he played with his band and they did the most amazing job. We were up dancing all night! We hired a magician too, which was a surprise for our guests and was brilliant fun! We used Richard Young and he was awesome! I’d seen him perform before and was watching like a hawk but still couldn’t work out how he did his amazing tricks!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Try and take some time together on the day. It went so quickly and I feel like I missed lots of things, purely because there is so much going on! Get your friends to download WedPics so you can see the photos they take with their phones on the day – it gives a good perspective of what everyone else saw!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and soulmate.