Welcome to the weekend! I got you some flowers… in the form of Hannah & Ben’s gorgeous and hydrangea-filled summer wedding. This is all just too pretty – the flowers make a huge statement but the wedding is joyous and beautiful and REAL – and Hannah & Ben make the loveliest, happiest couple! Their beautiful images are by English Wedding member Becky Harley Photography. Becky is a Hertfordshire wedding photographer specialising in timeless, relaxed and heartfelt photography. Her review from Hannah & Ben is FABULOUS to read!
Hannah described their wedding theme to me in a nutshell: “FLOWERS, FLOWERS, FLOWERS with a touch of gold. I wanted the decor to fit in with the barn but wanted it to have the WOW factor.” And oh, boy, it DID!!!
“Eden Floral Design did my beautiful flowers! Jade and her Mum set up the flowers on the day. She was so nervous! There was no need it was absolutely perfect. She arrived at the hotel where I was getting ready and the bridesmaids just started screaming. They couldn’t believe how amazing they were! They made the day! Everyone could not stop talking about how beautiful the flowers were. I was midway through having my hair done and ran to the window to see the van full of my centerpieces. At that moment, I thought this wedding is going to be amazing! The next day, we filled my parents garden with the flowers, it looked incredible. At the end of the day, my family and friends were fighting over centerpieces to take home.”
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
I went to primary and secondary school with my photographer. I looked around at local wedding fayres and on websites but no one matched Becky Harley. We liked her bright, candid photographs that told the story of the day. I wanted to feel relaxed with our photographs being taken. I’ve always felt so self conscious and I knew Becky was a lovely person and that I would be happy to have her with me all day. It was also important to me, to be able to look back and remember the day and our planning. Becky came to our house, we chatted and she showed me her beautiful albums. We made up our mind instantly, Becky was the woman for the job!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
I couldn’t be more happy with Becky Harley. We had an engagement shoot before the wedding. This made me relax. I was reluctant to have an engagement shoot but I am glad I did. Becky was able to calm my nerves before the big day and we were able to feedback what angles we liked the most and explain in a casual way how we wanted our day to be remembered. On the day, Becky and Nav were fantastic. They captured the happiness of the day. Becky and Nav managed to take photographs of all the small finishing touches that I had spent so long planning and deliberating over.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
The day after the wedding, we were still reliving all the special moments in my parents garden with some family and friends. Becky sent me a text with a couple of photographs. They were incredible! We were so excited and showed them off to everyone there. Not long after, Becky sent us a slideshow of the main photographs. It was like receiving the wedding video. We were so happy. Becky sent us a link to all of our photos and we had a very difficult task of selecting which ones to put into an album. There were so many we loved, the first count of photos we felt we ‘simply had to have’ was over 100! I can’t recommend Becky enough. She was wonderful!
Discover more from Becky Harley Photography at
We got married at Our Lady Queen of Peace and then went to Maiden’s Barn Wedding Venue. We knew we wanted a barn, we had around 100 day guests and so this had limited our search. Maiden’s Barn were fantastic. We looked around the venue as a couple but decided that we wanted to show my parents before we signed anything. They were more than happy to let us return with them to take a look. This was actually very useful. The first time we had looked at the venue it was being set up for a relaxed rustic wedding, it worked wonderfully with the venue. The second time we came to the venue, the decorations had no flowers and a retro disc-jokey theme. This was the moment I decided to change my theme, I was originally going to go for pastels and I decided that the venue would look more impressive with bright statement flowers. We came back to Maiden’s one more time with my parents, to show them how the decorations could be transformed. We met Mercedes who we then liaised with up to the big day. Every single person that we dealt with at Maiden’s was incredible. Their staff are so organised and dedicated to giving you the fairy tale day. I didn’t stress about hiring someone to decorate the room, the barn itself is beautiful and I now had a clear vision (with the help of Pinterest) about how I wanted it to look. We trusted Maiden’s to follow our instructions and they got everything ready on the day. We hired a van and dropped off the decorations the previous day with the set of instructions and then simply turned up after the ceremony. It looked absolutely incredible! We were over joyed. Not having to run around like headless chickens in the morning was important for us and Maiden’s were the perfect venue for this. Our wedding was the hottest day of the year, hitting 36 degrees and all the staff at Maiden’s made sure that we were drinking and eating and not standing in the blazing sunshine for too long. The food was also incredible! From beginning to end they were fabulous!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Bright flowers, happiness, sunshine, amazing food, joyous celebration of love.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We found our wedding videographer at Brentwood Wedding Fayre, Inverve. They were a unique style and we wanted this for our day.
We had been to a local florist and had a mega expensive quote so kept looking. I knew Jade through friends, she had done the flowers at my friends wedding and I had attended Eden’s wreath making classes. I liked Jade and her Mum; this actually has been a deciding factor with who to choose to share our day with. Jade is reasonably priced, so talented and she made sure she understood my vision.
The chair ties and the post box were from Ellis Events, recommended by Maiden’s. They matched the theme beautifully.
We used Etsy for the table numbers, name places and cake topper.
The wedding car, a Rolls-Royce, was from Nixon and the coach for guests was from Dons Coaches. Both were recommended suppliers for the venue. All of them added to the smooth running of the day.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We sprayed jars and bought my vases, from the range, to save hiring them. It also meant that the next day we could just pick them up and take them home.
We had a nice car and so did our friends. We managed to only pay for one wedding car and use our Range Rover for the boys, the girls were picked up in a convoy of Audis supplied by family members. In fact, it was actually so exciting to see them pull up I much preferred it. We wanted a photo booth but managed to set up an ipad on a stand and download an app rather than pay for a professional for a fixed time frame.
We managed to get discount on our favours by emailing Smith and Sinclair about their alcoholic pastilles directly.
We also saved money by doing our own makeup. I wanted to look like myself and I knew that my bridesmaids were all talented with their makeup and could save me if I got nervous.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Someone said to me before my wedding, what will stand out about your wedding? What will make it different? I knew that the main focus would be flowers and that this would impact the budget. I wanted to tie everything together and spent a long time looking for everything to be just right. I had two meetings with my florist and decided we weren’t going to have much cost saving greenery. The flower arch, I deliberated over as it was adding quite a bit to the cost but I knew it would look amazing and I am so glad we went with it!
We also had name place settings made, they matched the cake, the table names and even though were a little pricier, tied everything together. We also paid for table games, this was an unnecessary cost but it did make tables chat and play together, mixing both sides of the family.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made our own wedding stationery with the help of Stella Makula on Etsy. It was most certainly a labour of love. We loved how everything worked out in the end but I did have my entire family working like elves in the North Pole.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I didn’t instantly fall in love with my wedding dress as I tried it on in peach, I then had to have straps added and it almost felt like I was ordering a new dress. It was very nerve racking!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I got my wedding dress from Bellissima Weddings. It was a full princess dress and covered in bling from Mori Lee. It was called Mystique.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My hair accessories were made by her sister, my sister had it for her wedding and it was my something borrowed. My something new was gifted to me that day and my something old was a shilling from my Grandad that my Mum had at her wedding. Eden Floral Design made hair grips with real orchids to put in the bridesmaids hair. I gifted them matching earrings and necklaces so that they all matched.
And what did the groom wear?
The groom wore a three piece, tails suit from Anthony’s with the matching Dessy’s tie. We used Anthony’s for the suit hire because he had used them before and the local business is highly rated.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Our bridesmaid dresses and the mens ties were from The Bridesmaid Boutique. We found them online. We had had some unsuccessful shopping trips and found them the most professional, with the most choice. The girls dresses were stunning and were exactly the colour we wanted. The flowers in their hair tied together their different styles.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hair was done by Anna Rose Hair – Wedding Hair Boutique. I didn’t hire a professional but I did have a MAC makeup class and bought all of the products.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We bought crates and made our own decorations but the wedding venue itself didn’t need a lot once you had put in the centrepieces.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We did enjoy the homemade decorations. I didn’t love making the stationery, I think we underestimated how hard this is!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
I had a family friend as a wedding cake maker booked to create my cake at a bargain rate and unfortunately a few months before, she had the most awful accident and had to have pins and surgery on her arm. I had a last minute search and Pinkface were recommended to me. We set up a meeting, sampled their cakes. I am a coeliac and we managed to include gluten free cupcakes as a safe option with a gluten cake. The flavours were delicious.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a live band called The Cassettes and a Piano DJ. We took a long time debating music choices and liaising with them. They were both fabulous. We bought sweets and used containers bought on Amazon.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Everyone says it but the day goes so quickly. Take a moment with your partner to step back and look at everyone enjoying the day.
What’s the best thing about being married?
The best things about being married is spending the rest of my life with my best friend.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
I got my wedding dress from Bellissima Weddings.
We found it hard to get a MOB outfit we ended up at Coco Hadleigh.
My hair was done by Anna Rose Hair – Wedding Hair Boutique.
Suit hire from www.anthonyformalwear.co.uk
Our bridesmaid dresses and the mens ties were from The Bridesmaid Boutique
Favours were from Smith and Sinclair
Chair ties & postbox Ellis Events