Hannah and Terence had decided throughout their planning that they wanted a very relaxed day – they weren’t fussed about formality or traditions, they simply wanted a day of celebration. They managed to do this so well, the whole day felt very natural with real joy. It was a beautiful day, but so cold and Hannah and Terence were real troopers going outside throughout the day so I could do my thing. I loved that Hannah wanted to keep Terence’s jacket on for their portraits – it made it feel completely real.
“The reception area of Layer Marney Tower is already beautiful so didn’t need much adding to it. We had some candles and foliage on the mantelpiece above the massive log fire, and foliage and fairy lights on the stairs and banisters… and that was it really! I wanted a lot of candles so we also had tealights on the tables, along with collections of our favourite books (which some of our guests borrowed to enjoy themselves!) and milk bottles with a few flowers in. We tied the place names to small pots of jam and chutney from Wilkin & Sons in Tiptree (where I grew up) as we thought these would be nice for people to take away with them.
I’m pleased we made so much ourselves, though at times it was a bit stressful! It was nice to do something creative and to see it all come together, it’s not often the opportunity arises these days!
Wedding photographer’s website:
Neither of us are fans of having our photo taken – we have a tendency to freeze and panic! We were looking for someone that would help us to feel comfortable and really become part of the day. I came across Ayshea’s website online and loved her pictures – and as soon as we met her we knew she’d be great. Ayshea was fantastic! So friendly and relaxed, and happy to help with anything which was lovely. She really made us feel at ease, and was careful to make sure that she was capturing what we wanted from the day.
Ayshea sent us a teaser photo quite soon after the wedding, which made me desperate to see the rest! I was gutted when we had to postpone our first viewing but I think the suspense made it even better when we did see them a few weeks later! It was so lovely to be able to relive the day – it felt like a bit of a dream by that point as we had moved house immediately after the wedding so that took over a bit. Ayshea has captured the day so well that it felt like being there all over again 🙂
Contact & Bookings: Ayshea Goldberg Photography
Our venue was Layer Marney Tower in Essex, near where I grew up. It’s a beautiful Tudor building, with amazing grounds that looked particularly stunning in Autumn with the orange and browns of the trees coming out.
From Ayshea Goldberg Photography: www.layermarneytower.co.uk This is a stunning Tudor hall in Essex countryside. The original family still live their and their pets often make it into the photographs! Hannah and Terence wanted to bring their loves into the day and along with the pubs being their table names, they used their favourite books to decorate the tables alongside the flowers. They were getting ready to move to their new home, so were planning to just pack them and take them straight to their new home. But they encouraged their guests to also take them home to read and enjoy. The hall is pretty magnificent as it is, so Hannah and Terence decided to keep it true and just had a few of their own touches and some greenery to keep the vibe. The fireplace was lit and it was really cosy in the hall. In the spirit of the tudor hall, they had a roast hog and warm winter vegetables served for their wedding breakfast which people really enjoyed.
I love this place, no matter the time of year, Layer Marney Tower is amazing, but in the autumn as the leaves have fallen , its just incredible.
2. Was the venue a good one?
The venue is an amazing one! The grounds are stunning and the staff make you feel like nothing is too much trouble for them. The families cat Marmaduke kind of struts round like he owns the place and everyone loves him – he was even under the top table during the speeches. There are so many photo opportunities that a photographer can never get bored there. We selected Hannah and Terence’s favourite spots to make the most of these during the short daylight. I also love that Layer Marney Tower have an old red double decker bus that you can hire to take guests to the venue – it’s a fun way to travel. And they also provide a vintage car, complete with a traditionally dressed chauffeur to collect the bride and then take the bride and groom out for a little drive so they can enjoy some private time between the ceremony and the celebrations.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Everything we had hoped for
Your wedding style or theme:
We didn’t have a theme as such – we knew we wanted a relaxed feel to the day, and for it to reflect us as much as possible. I found the idea of having a fixed theme a bit too restrictive, so we kind of just went with the flow and fortunately it all came together in the end!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
There was a LOT of googling. Rather than asking for recommendations we mainly asked for advice on what people had looked for and really appreciated in their own suppliers previously and tried to make sure we were comfortable with each of them when we met.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t spend too much on the little details – it’s easy to get carried away, especially in the last few weeks! Also make as much as you can yourselves, it will end up looking just as good and makes the day feel more personal. We also were fortunate in being able to call on family and friends for a few favours.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Our photographer, my dress, and the food and drink.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made all our stationery (with the help of some friends!)
Invitations – I made these on photoshop using a photo I took at Layer Marney when we initially went to visit it the previous Autumn
Place names – We made these using luggage tags and stamps, which was time consuming but they looked great and cost about £10 in all!
Table names and plan – Our friend Ben is a fantastic artist, and drew sketches of our favourite pubs for us to use on the tables and our table plan
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I absolutely loved my dress – it was perfect. One thing I would say though is that it wasn’t a case of putting it on and knowing it was ‘the one’. I was massively torn between 2 dresses, one more simple one and the one I ended up going for. I think I would have been happy with either but am pleased I splashed out and went for the slightly more extravagant option!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Suzanne Harrington at Vintage Trousseau (http://www.vintagetrousseau.com/)
Suzanne makes all her dresses from scratch and they are absolutely beautiful! This also means she can make any changes that you would like – making the dress really unique to you. Suzanne is also one of the loveliest people I’ve met, and made the whole experience a joy and really personal.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I have very short hair, so wasn’t really sure what to do! I ended up wearing a headpiece from Britten Weddings, which I love. My shoes were from LK Bennet – I wanted something a bit different so chose some red suede shoes which ended up looking great as a contrast to my dress, and matched the flowers almost exactly (pure coincidence!). For jewellery I wore some simple earrings and a gold gate bracelet that was my mum’s.
And what did the groom wear?
Terence wore a suit and shoes from Marks and Spencer (he works there so we made full use of his discount!)
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We ordered bridesmaid dresses from an online shop based in China – and they were absolutely brilliant! We used the made to measure service and then had a couple of alterations done when they arrived but they were still great value and looked absolutely stunning.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Our hair and makeup was done by Michelle Lacey at Bumblebee bridal. I found Michelle’s site online and loved the photos of her work. She did an amazing job and was lovely – we had a great time getting ready! She also put together a schedule which kept us in line and made sure we were ready to go nice and early, and meant we could relax and really enjoy ourselves.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
We used Blossom Hill Florist in Danbury, Essex (http://www.blossomhillflorist.co.uk)
Natalie was fantastic, really lovely, and nothing was too much trouble. We added on some flowers for the tables quite late in the day but she was more than happy to accommodate this. All we really offered was a suggestion of colours and that we wanted something quite relaxed and rustic, and the results were really stunning.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We agreed early on we didn’t want to spend loads on a cake – so we ordered one from M&S (again making use of Terence’s discount!) and it was delicious. It was a simple sponge cake with Ivory icing, and the addition of some flowers by Natalie made it look lovely. We also had a cake of cheese for our evening buffet which seemed to go down well!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Our band were fantastic – we booked The Confidentials through Function Central. They kept the dancefloor busy all night and have already been booked by one of our guests for their own wedding! We were so pleased we decided to go for a live band, they added a lot to the atmosphere, and it was great to have them play our first dance song live.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Try not to overthink it – it’s easy to get stressed about things that on the day you probably won’t even see. Your guests are there to celebrate with you, and won’t notice if their placename isn’t identical to the one next to them, or if someone’s forgotten to add something to the centrepiece. And enjoy the day itself, it’ll be gone in a flash!
What’s the best thing about being married?
For us, it coincided with moving out of a rented flat to the house we now own – so I guess it really marked the start of our grown-up lives together!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Hair & Makeup: