I love today’s wonderful winter wedding – I know you’ll adore the bouquets, and bride Hayley looks absolutely gorgeous. Also – they hired a Jag for the whole week? Genius!! I love that!
I had the stereotypical crying-in-front-of-the-mirror experience when I found my dress! I had gone in with a very set vision of what I wanted, but then Lauren the sales assistant suggested something totally different. I was feeling open minded so tried it on, and ended up buying that dress.
My bridesmaids wore stunning emerald green multiway wrap dresses which I bought from a seller on Etsy. I wanted all three girls to be comfortable and the wrap dresses meant that they could decide exactly how they wanted to style their dress; sleeveless, halterneck, one shoulder or with sleeves. We paired it with a cream cashmere pashmina to keep them warm.
Don’t panic! Everything will come together on the day. What might feel like a total disaster before hand (the tablecloths aren’t quite the right shade of ivory!) will be completely trivial once you are face to face saying your vows. That’s the most important bit.
Images are by lovely Olivia Johnston, who is a wedding photographer based in Rutland. Discover more from her here:
“Rushton Hall was decked out with fantastic Christmas decorations, even an enormous Christmas tree in the ceremony room. Despite it being December we were very lucky to have such a clear, crisp day – I was especially pleased that Hayley and Nathan were brave enough to come outside during the chilly evening for a dramatic photo in front of the Hall.
Rushton Hall is a stunning venue, it is immaculately decorated and has a large courtyard in the middle which is brilliant for taking photographs in natural light, as well as pretty grounds for couples’ pictures. Hayley and Nathan’s wedding breakfast was in the Pavilion, which is currently being replaced with a large Orangery to provide more of the all-important natural light through its big windows.” ~ Olivia Johnston Wedding Photography
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We approached a local wedding photographer who was unfortunately outside of our budget. But thankfully she recommended Olivia to us. We loved her natural style of photography and got on really well straight away. We knew that she was the right photographer for our wedding.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Olivia was fantastic. We exchanged emails about the type of photographs we wanted and had a pre-wedding shoot before the wedding, which really put us at ease for the big day. She really took the time to get to know us before the wedding.
On the day, Olivia captured all the little details and important moments, without ever being intrusive. She photographed the venue first thing in the morning, spent the entire day with us, and stayed well into the night to capture some beautiful (and hilarious) moments at the reception. I recommended Olivia to every bride I meet; she’s photographing my maid of honour’s wedding in March!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
The first time we saw our wedding photos was pretty magical. We were actually spending the night at our wedding venue for New Year. Olivia sent the photos over to us and we spent New Year’s Day with a bottle of champagne reliving all of the moments from the day together. There were lots of happy tears!
Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
An elegant, English, winter wedding
Your wedding style or theme:
Emerald and gold, inspired by my engagement ring.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Haggle! I think most brides are far too embarrassed to negotiate a price with suppliers but I learnt that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Most were happy to give some sort of discount or throw something extra in for free. By offering to pay up front with one supplier we saved almost 40%.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The venue. A lot of our budget was spent on the venue itself which meant that we had to be careful with everything else. However I am so glad we did; it set the scene perfectly for our entire day. All of our guests were so well taken care of and there were plenty of rooms for everyone to stay the night. It was very important to us that our family and friends felt comfortable and Rushton Hall did that perfectly.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
I found a lovely lady on eBay to do all of our stationery – ‘kaysweddings’. The service was fantastic and we got exactly what we wanted for a brilliant price.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Sincerity Bridal from Lola Bridal in Northampton.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My husband chose and bought my jewellery for me as a gift on the night before the wedding. It was a beautiful gold and diamond tennis bracelet and a gold necklace with an emerald stone to match my engagement ring. He won lots of brownie points that day.
My shoes, bag and earrings were also a gift from my mum and sisters;I was very lucky!
And what did the groom wear?
Nathan and my Dad chose their suits which were a beautiful royal blue with matching waist coats, white shirts and an emerald green tie and cufflinks. They both looked very handsome.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired a professional make up artist and my mum’s friend is a hairdresser and so we asked her to style our hair. It meant that no one had to worry about sharing a mirror or curlers! I would definitely recommend it for a more relaxed morning on the day.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We had Julie-Anna Flowers as our florist. To fit in the with the theme we had lots of dark green winter foliage and white winter flowers. Anna added in pine cones and dark blue berries and used the spare material from my dress for a stunning finish.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
As it was December, Rushton Hall was ready for Christmas which meant that all of the decorations had already been done for us! We had a 10 foot real Christmas tree in the room where we got married and warm gold fairy lights all over the venue to give a beautiful atmosphere.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
To save money on the centrepieces I bought 10 wooden candlesticks for the flowers to sit on in the centre of each table. I bought some gold spray paint and spent an afternoon in the garden getting them ready. The effect was beautiful and it saved so much money, although it was a bit cold being out in the garden in November!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My aunty is a fantastic baker and offered to make our wedding cake as a gift. Neither of us like fruit cake so we decided to have something less traditional. Nathan loves lemon drizzle cake and I love chocolate, so we had a tier of each! It was so popular that every single slice was eaten; the sign of a great cake.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We really wanted a harpist or violinist during the day but simply couldn’t afford it. After searching iTunes I found this amazing quartet (Vitamin String Quartet) who cover popular songs in a classical style. We played it throughout the meal and it set the same atmosphere without the cost. For the evening we had a good old fashion DJ, you can’t beat singing your heart out to Abba at the end of the night!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that whatever happens, we’re in this together for the long run.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: