I love this wedding! The flowers are gorgeous, Laura is simply stunning – I love Andy’s bright blue suit as well – wow! Today’s gorgeous couple were married in June in Herefordshire. Their wedding was a classic English wedding day in the countryside, with lots of pretty touches. Images are by English Wedding Directory member Cassandra Lane Photography, who gets a glowing review from the happy couple!
We got married at Lemore Manor in Hertfordshire (http://www.lemoremanor.com/) – an amazing country house with an amazing staff. Margaret and her team made the day effortless for us – we commented several times that we were so pleased to have chosen Lemore for our venue. Not only was it beautiful, but we could relax and enjoy every moment without stopping to think about the running of the day – Margaret and team had it covered! Special shout out too for Micky, the chef. The food was amazing, we had so many comments on how lovely everything was. The venue and food are such a large part of the day, so we were so pleased with picking Lemore.
We chose Jane (of Long Barn Flowers http://www.longbarnflowers.co.uk/) to take care of our wedding flowers and she was exceptional. Really knowledgeable and talented and she knew Lemore really well as a venue so could recommend lots of little touches that we may not have thought of ourselves. We talked through our colour scheme and the types of flowers we would like and Jane really ran with it, adding beautiful thoughtful touches (such as a small sprig of thistle-like flowers into Andy’s mum’s corsage to reflect her Scottish heritage). We asked for white freesias for Laura’s bouquet, as they were the first type of flowers that Andy ever gave her, and the bouquet was gorgeous. The combinations of flowers and foliage for the bridesmaids’ bouquets were also amazing. After our meeting with Jane where we discussed ideas (and showed some pictures from our Pinterest board!) we felt so confident in what would be produced that we could completely relax. Jane did not disappoint and the venue and flowers looked absolutely beautiful. We couldn’t recommend Long Barn Flowers more!
Lemore Manor is beautifully finished and we felt that all we wanted were minimal decorations, predominantly flowers and some vases and lanterns with candles to line the walkway to the ceremony room. We did set-up some photos on the card table but aside from this a lot of the decoration was just the venue and grounds themselves!
Wedding photographer’s website:
Cassandra Lane Photography (www.cassandralane.co.uk/)
We’ve admired Cass’s work for several years and all originally met as Laura worked with Cass’s husband (Josh). After we got engaged we talked and both immediately knew who we would want to photograph our day – Cass’ work is beautiful and she has a unique style, it had to be her.
We were thrilled, Cass was excellent (as expected); Cass has an amazing balance of being there when you want her to be without being intrusive, she can command a crowd but also manages to blend into the background and capture candid shots of people – I think some of the candid photos of our close family are our favourites! Cass was brilliant at making both of us feel happy and relaxed which made all the difference for our portraits.
When we got the link to the photos after the wedding it was magical and emotional – the photos made us feel our day all over again. Cass managed to get some beautiful shots of both of us getting ready, the ceremony, the reception and all of our guests. It was fun and exciting to look through them and it also showed us parts of the day that we would never have seen. The photos really captured the spirit of the day and we love them – thanks Cass!!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Memorable, Joyful, Unique, Relaxed, Elegant, Beautiful and Fun!
Your wedding style or theme:
We wanted a relaxed, elegant, minimal, laid-back-lux kind of day where everyone could enjoy themselves and help us celebrate with no pressures. We had a colour palette of greens, whites, blush pinks and soft grey and wanted the countryside to feel like it was indoors too with flowers and foliage throughout the house.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Our suppliers came from a range of places – we had lots of helpful recommendations from our venue about local suppliers which really helped. We also went to several wedding fairs and searched online for recommendations too.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
If you can, plan ahead with plenty of time and definitely make a defined budget. It’s hard to do sometimes as you feel that you can’t make decisions on some things until nearer the date, but it’s really worth starting to research different aspects of your day as soon as possible to give yourself ideas of what you like or don’t like (we had lots of Pinterest boards!). That way, you can slowly tease apart which aspects of your wedding are the most important to you, and how you want to budget accordingly. This can then allow you to determine which parts you might like to do yourself and which you’d rather leave for the professionals! Also, think carefully about you actually really want/need. Seat covers can look really nice – but does anyone ever remember them? That’s a few pounds saved right there 😉
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We decided that for us the venue, the food, the photographer, the music and our clothes were top of our list for allocating budget. We are so pleased that Andy had a suit made for the occasion – it’s gorgeous and fits him so well, definitely worth the time and money!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made our wedding stationery ourselves (it was one of the areas we decided we could do ourselves and save money) and we certainly developed a new-found respect for PowerPoint!! All the stationary was based around a watercolour painting of Lemore Manor that a friend of the family made for us (Chris Lockwood). Once we were happy with our designs we had them printed via a well-known online printing company. There were some teething problems when we started but it was really worth it in the end, the stationery is something of which we are quite proud! We had an extra-large print of the Lemore Manor picture made for the day which everyone signed instead of a guest book, which we have framed at home.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, completely – I really wish I could wear it again and again! I had tried on quite a few dresses on the same day but not quite found anything that I really loved. This was my first day of dress shopping and I had already tried various styles of dress to no success and so I was feeling a little overwhelmed and deflated by the time we arrived in Henley-in-Arden for our final appointment of the day. Stepping into The Bridal Boutique and meeting Madi (the owner), I immediately relaxed – the store is petite, plush and beautiful and Madi is warm and welcoming. I browsed the amazing collections and Madi was great, helping me to pick out several different types of dress all within the style I was leaning towards. When I tried on my dress, that was it! It seemed to fit to my shape really well and I felt fantastic. I slept on the decision before confirming for sure but was back at the store the following weekend to try on my dress again and show my parents. I felt the same sparkly feeling as the first time and so went for it there and then. I knew that I hadn’t tried on many dresses compared to some brides, but for me, I was content knowing that I had found a dress I really loved and didn’t need to look any further. Madi really is excellent at her craft, I would highly recommend her and the team at The Bridal Boutique, I always felt special when I visited.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Essence of Australia – The Bridal Boutique, Warwickshire (http://www.thebridalboutiquewarwickshire.co.uk/)
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Shoes – I designed myself a pair from Shoes of Prey (https://www.shoesofprey.com/) – it was fun and exciting and meant I had a unique pair of shoes to treasure after the day (which I could wear again and again!).
Jewellery – I wore a necklace from Accessorize (I found it in the week leading up to the wedding!) a pair of emerald studs (a gift from the groom) and a pair of drop pearl earrings made by our jeweller friend Jocelyn McMichael (these were also a gift from the groom).
Veil – this was my mum’s veil and it was really special to wear it on the day
And what did the groom wear?
Andy had a really good idea of what he wanted to wear for the wedding and actually kept some parts secret from Laura so she had some surprises too! Andy wore a custom designed 3-piece blue suit made by Adrian Barrows (https://www.thebespoketailor.co.uk/) who was brilliant. This was matched with a white shirt with a blue floral cravat that he sourced from a supplier on Etsy, burnished red shoes (Jeffrey West), a duck and a goose set of cufflinks (by Paul Simmons) which relates to our nicknames, as well as a pocket watch (a gift from the bride).
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
They wore a soft grey strapless floor length chiffon dress which they dressed up with a sparkly diamante belt. We went to several shops all together for them to try on different styles of dress. Both Andy and I were happy to have bridesmaids in slightly different colours and different styles of dress if that’s what the bridesmaids had wanted – for us the most important part was that they felt great on the day too – we wanted a very happy wedding party! As it turned out, everyone liked the same style and colour of dress and so we went online and ordered them from “For Her and For Him” (https://www.forherandforhim.com/). It felt like a slight risk as it was all online, but the dresses cost less than half of what we would have paid in any of the stores we looked at. As a fail-safe, we ordered them in enough time that if there had been an issue, we could still go out and find nice dresses for everyone before the day. As it turned out, they were delivered earlier than expected, they were beautiful and the ladies all had them altered to fit them perfectly ahead of the big day, so we were all really pleased.
The groomsmen and Dads were all in blue suits which we found and hired from Peter Posh (https://www.peterposh.co.uk/), aside from Ross (Andy’s brother in law) who wore a kilt. We matched the cravats into the general colour scheme, they wore their own shoes (again relaxed comfort was key!) and they all looked very dapper on the day!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired a professional hair stylist and a make-up artist for the day as I have never been particularly talented with either hair or make-up and didn’t want the pressure on the day! I was so happy with both of the wonderful women who were there on the day for us – both recommended by our venue! My hair was styled by Tabitha MacCurrach-Paine (https://www.hairbytabitha.com/) who was amazing. The online portfolio Tabitha has curated was really gorgeous to look through (and get inspiration from!) and I felt really happy when we met for my trial. We found my hair style on the first try, but we played with lots of other options too just to check I was happy which was so great. Tabitha actually recommended my make-up artist Naomi Emmanualle (https://www.naomiemmanuelle.com) and when I checked online, the “about” section on her website really resonated with me, so I contacted her to find out more. We weren’t able to meet in person ahead of the wedding as I’d left it quite late to book in, but we scheduled a phone appointment and when I talked through what I thought I wanted (minimal natural looking make-up) Naomi immediately understood and talked me through some lovely colours and plans for both my make-up and the bridesmaids, putting me totally at ease. On the day both Tabitha and Naomi looked after me, my bridesmaids and the mums, joining us in the Hen House at Lemore Manor where we were getting ready. They were both a pleasure to be around, so kind and friendly and everyone was thrilled with their work, including myself. They made the morning so much more relaxing for me, as I wouldn’t have enjoyed the pressure of doing my hair and make-up myself. It felt more like a fun mini spa day ahead of the wedding with them both there!Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We did print out lots of photos of us as a couple over the years we’d been together to display on the card table (we had two vintage birdcages set up for cards, which our friends loaned us from their wedding day), and we set-up two photo frames containing photos of our grandparents on their wedding days, flanking our parents on their wedding days. We enjoyed putting this together as it was nice to include some of the tradition and history in our day. We also spent time setting up the menu cards and table names (photos of places we’ve travelled together) the day before with help from friends and that was really fun and exciting.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a naked cake as we are not fans of icing or marzipan. Tom’s Cakes (http://www.tomscakes.co.uk/) was recommended to us and we spent a good amount of time tasting their products in the lead up to the wedding… such hard work!! ? In all seriousness though, we called in and spoke with Tom about what we wanted (a multi-tiered multi-flavoured wedding cake) and settled on four layers; Lemon sponge with lemon curd and cream, Rich chocolate sponge with chocolate ganache filling, ginger cake with cream cheese filling and a classic vanilla sponge with cream and jam. Andy’s parents picked up the cake the day before and brought it across to the venue on the morning of the wedding. Myself and my bridesmaids put together the cake on the morning of the wedding and finished it with some small pieces (extra icing sugar, dowels and cake boards from Tom, sprigs of flower off-cuts from Jane) and then added the cake toppers Andy and I selected (a pair of ducks, which now live in our lounge!). I was so proud with how it looked and the cakes were so delicious to eat!! We had plenty of cake to go around and even had some left for the relaxed after party the following day in the local village pub.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had organised a lovely string quartet for the ceremony and drinks reception called The Rosettes (https://www.wedding-bands.co.uk/acts/the-rosettes) who were phenomenal and were happy to learn specific pieces for us, as we wanted non-traditional songs for both the ceremony and the reception. We then had a live band in the evening – The Suits (http://www.thesuitsband.co.uk/) – who were fantastic. We first heard them whilst at a wedding fair and signed up on the spot! They are based in the West Midlands but were happy to travel. They’re really talented and lovely guys, with a great repertoire of songs and they got everyone up and dancing! We loved them! ?
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Definitely make a budget and then try to keep back some “contingency” money just in case! And always chat to your vendors, explain your budget and see if they can work within it – if not, consider whether you’d be happy to go with another supplier. Communicate how you both envisage the day and share the joy of organising so it doesn’t fall on only one of you – Andy and I both worked hard to bring the day together and it meant that we both enjoyed all the different aspects that much more! Most of all just try to enjoy the whole process; ultimately all the planning is so that you can celebrate your love for each other and share a beautiful moment of your lives together.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I wondered whether it would feel any different after we were married as we had been together for 8 years already before the wedding, but it really does. It feels really great and for me has amplified my feeling of us being a team.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Photography; Cassandra Lane Photography – www.cassandralane.co.uk/
Venue; Lemore Manor – http://www.lemoremanor.com/
Artwork; Chris Lockwood – http://www.chrislockwoodwatercolours.co.uk/index.html
Bridal store; The Bridal Boutique – http://www.thebridalboutiquewarwickshire.co.uk/
Shoes; Shoes of Prey – https://www.shoesofprey.com/
Groom’s suit – https://www.thebespoketailor.co.uk/
Bridesmaid dresses; For Her and For Him – https://www.forherandforhim.com/
Groomsmen’s suits; Peter Posh – https://www.peterposh.co.uk/
Hair stylist; Hair by Tabitha – https://www.hairbytabitha.com/
Make-up artist; Naomi Emmanuelle – https://www.naomiemmanuelle.com
Wedding Flowers; Long Barn Flowers – http://www.longbarnflowers.co.uk/
Stationery; Vistaprint – www.vistaprint.co.uk
Photos for card table and table names; Photobox – www.photobox.co.uk
Decoration; IKEA (candles and vases), Kelly Hoppen (lanterns) – https://www.kellyhoppen.com/
Wedding cake; Tom’s Cakes – http://www.tomscakes.co.uk/
Music; The Rosettes – https://www.wedding-bands.co.uk/acts/the-rosettes, The Suits – http://www.thesuitsband.co.uk/
Cassandra Lane PhotographyChris LockwoodFor Her and For HimHair by TabithaLemore ManorLong Barn FlowersNaomi EmmanuellePeter PoshShoes of PreyThe Bespoke TailorThe Bridal Boutique WarwickshireThe RosettesThe Suits BandTom's Ckaes