Amy & Paul’s English vineyard wedding on the hottest day of the year! With Danielle Smith Photography
Amy and Paul were lucky enough to be married in an English vineyard – it was a gorgeous summer day and the vineyard was the perfect outdoor setting for such a relaxed and informal celebration. Everything was very simply styled but the simplicity made everything look all the more elegant, don’t you think? West Street Vineyard is in the Essex countryside in Coggeshall with ceremonies literally amongst the vines. The sunset was incredible for our beautiful bride and groom, so do make sure you scroll all the way down to see every last gorgeous shot of their day!
I was looking for a tight fitting lace dress that was in all the magazines I was looking at at the time. When I tried these types on they were just not quite right. We were in Bridal Re-dress in Colchester when my sisters (also my two bridesmaids) actually made me try on my dress – the complete opposite to what I was originally looking for! When I couldn’t stop smiling and whirling around in it we all knew it was the one!
I wore a hairvine from Ivory Co. which was an impulse buy but I got goosebumps when I put it on at a wedding fayre. My shoes were from the high street – lacey and flat. There was no way I was going to be thinking about my aching feet all day, plus those worries of tripping down the aisle on grass were minimised.
Paul wore a grey-blue suit from COES, an Essex supplier of formal wear who were very helpful and it was a positive shopping experience for the boys!
We shopped a total of three days for bridesmaid dresses with no success. We retired to a coffee shop and started shopping on ASOS. Before we’d finished our coffee we had dresses they both loved and looked fabulous in at a great price!
Wedding photographer’s website:
We were looking for someone whose photography style was very natural, catching all those split second moments so you never forget. We are also big supporters of local business and because Danielle was not too far she was able to meet with us and discuss plans whenever we wanted.
Danielle was fantastic! It’s difficult to put the account of your wedding day into the hands of someone that you hardly know. Danielle took the time to get to know us, was very approachable, easy to get along with and answered all our concerns quickly and proffesionally. I would say I am a bit camera shy – especially with the pressure of looking gorgeous! When Danielle joined my bridal party on the big day we didn’t feel at all like we were on a photo shoot like I was worried about. Danielle darted between dresses, flower deliveries and family trying to get a sneaky peek of us, taking account of all the nervous excitment in the room with beautiful photographs. She used the same skills from afar at the venue and we never felt in the spotlight of a camera. Even after our wedding, the care an presentation of the photographs showed how much Danielle loves her profession.
Danielle sent us a few teasers before we got all the photographs! We couldn’t wait to show everyone who would look! Everyone who we showed those first few to all remarked how much love and happiness was shown in the photos. Those emotions came over so strongly to one person they actually shed a tear! Not something that can be put across in set up photographs. The emotions shown in the photos by our family and friends means that everytime we look at them we can remember all those special moments and words said to us.
West Street Vineyard, Coggeshall, Essex
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Your wedding style or theme:
English country garden
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
All our suppliers were small, local businesses with a few bits bought from recommended retailers.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Compromise! Most brides especially, have ideas about their dream wedding. When I realised that what mattered was the people that surrounded us that day we were able to prioritise what was more sensible to spend our hard earned cash on!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photographer as our memories of the day were very important to us. For me it was that we allowed a large budget for the grooms group as it’s important they look and feel good too! Also the live band we had in the evening – our guests were remarking on how awesome they were for weeks afterwards!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
The invitations were something I had a really clear vision of so I decided with a little help from a local designer and printers to put them together myself.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We wanted a laid-back day so I hired a professional, Georgie Harris from Georgie Bridal, to make my day just that bit more stress free.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
From my initial thoughts Hannah Louise Flowers took them to the next level. Her expertise meant the rustic, meadow look I wanted was developed into a beautiful combination of flowers and herbs. Why can’t they smell as well as look good?
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Our venue was a perfect summer venue with huge panaramic windows of the vineyard and a large terrace. Flowers were a big part of our decoration along with some hessian bunting and colour matched bunting my sister made for us.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I didn’t want the classic guest book, so with the help of the venues’ white tree we had our guests write messages and memories on gift tags and hang them up on the tree.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
I won our cake at a wedding fayre raffle! I couldn’t believe it – I never win anything! Heart and soul cakes are passionate about cake and treated us just like they would have paying customers. We made the decision to miss out of the traditional fruit layer, there were just to many other great flavours to choose from. It match our wedding invitations on the bunting theme and the lilac colour we chose for bridesmaids, flowers and accessories.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
The band we had was called End of the Century, They read the crowd really well so we were dancing all evening!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Enjoy your day and don’t over complicate it. If you pick the right proffesionals for you, trust them to do their job.
What’s the best thing about being married?
We love making plans together, snacks and a pad of paper and we can spend hours sketching and making notes. Seeing them become reality is amazing when we realise what we have acomplished as a team.