I’d marry these two myself… gorgeous Martha & Phil had the most joyful, character-filled, fun and beautiful wedding at Bruisyard. They say the LOVELIEST things about their wedding suppliers – lovely Emily Tyler Photography gets a glowing and heartfelt review from the happy couple. They’ve also recommended a huge list of Suffolk wedding suppliers from personal experience, so do check those out (at the end of the feature). Do NOT scroll too fast through all the images though, because they’re BLOODY BEAUTIFUL. What an amazing day… Martha, Phil, congratulations! We think you’re awesome!!
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Our photographer Emily was THE BEST. She was really friendly and warm from the get go and was always excited for us every time we spoke. She even sent us a little prep package with tea and chocolate and a booklet to answer all the questions we might have. We also decided to have a couple’s shoot a few weeks before the wedding which gave us a chance to meet Emily and get used to being photographed – definitely the right choice, we had a lot of fun and had some great photos of us to put on the tables! Emily is an amazing photographer – she captured the day and most importantly, every bit of the joy.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Emily is an amazing photographer – she captured the day and most importantly, every bit of the joy. On the day, Emily fit right in with everyone, she knew just how to get the best out of all of us – she even managed to win over our little flower girl who was in a bit of a grump before the ceremony! We can’t get across how delighted we are with her photos – they’re just stunning and have given us the most wonderful memories to hold on to. She even made sure that we’d booked ourselves a night in with a glass of bubbly before she sent us the link to our gallery – it was perfect. Always listen to your photographer!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
She even made sure that we’d booked ourselves a night in with a glass of bubbly before she sent us the link to our gallery – it was perfect. Always listen to your photographer!
Bruisyard Hall – We’d been to a wedding where they had rented out this huge house in the country so a load of the guests could stay there for the weekend, and everything was done in that house. We just remember having the best time and not having to faff around with taxis or anything like that – just had to crawl up the stairs to bed in the early hours!
Going in to our planning, we knew we wanted something along those lines – somewhere where we could stay on the Friday night as well, and where we could have at least our bridesmaids and groomsmen stay with us. Martha gets nervous around crowds of people and big social gatherings, so having a smaller gathering the night before and waking up at the venue (rather than having to travel on the morning and be in and out in 24 hours) was a top priority. There aren’t many venues like that, so when we found Bruisyard Hall, we knew it was the one – we don’t even have any connection to Suffolk! It was just the perfect venue, a 12-bedroom house that you get from Friday to Monday, and the barn to get married in on the Saturday. It’s also pretty much in the middle of nowhere so it really felt like we were in our own special bubble. We had some of our closest people staying with us in the house, everyone pitched in for the barbeque on the Friday night and then we had everyone around on the Saturday morning.
Your wedding style or theme:
The colour scheme was dark green and gold – it was something Martha had had in her head for a long time and then when Phil bought her a gold engagement ring with emeralds and a pearl it confirmed it!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Blogs, google, etc.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We were really lucky in that Bruisyard doesn’t need a lot of decoration, the barn is already beautiful on its own. So we really focused on the tables. We couldn’t fit expensive floral centrepieces into the budget so knew we’d had to make them ourselves. We also saw it as an opportunity to personalise it and really make it feel like it was our wedding. Each table was named after a band that we’d seen live – we love going to gigs and music was one of the things we first had in common when we met. The centrepiece was a stack of books with dark green spines (Martha is a MASSIVE bookworm), with a mini chalkboard at the top with the band’s name on it, and one of the band’s CDs resting against the books. We then added jam jars with gold stones in them, a couple of gold candleholders with tea lights and a photo of the two of us in a gold frame. The final touch was table confetti – which, as Phil will tell you, was a LOT more of faff than we anticipated! Instead of just buying table confetti from a shop, we had the bright idea of printing song lyrics for each band on green and gold paper and using a heart-shaped punch to cut the confetti out. It took FOREVER. We loved the final look but we definitely didn’t make it easy for ourselves!
For our table plan, we found a video on YouTube and Phil replicated it – an empty gold frame with string to hang a card for each table.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Get the venue, photographer and music sorted early and don’t be afraid to invest your money there – they are the most important bits!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Our friend has excellent handwriting so very kindly wrote the cards for us, as well as the placecards. We then added menus which we had printed in the same style as our wedding invitations.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I’m a curvy woman so I was not looking forward to shopping for dresses – the bridal industry largely focuses on young, slim, white, non-disabled, cisgendered women – a very narrow image that can feel quite exclusionary. I found a shop called Heavenly Bodies Bridal in Beckenham – Patricia is the best! All the dresses were in larger sizes, and your size is never referenced, you just get to try on loads of different dresses and feel beautiful! My final dress was not what I imagined I’d pick – I always wanted lace (flipping love lace), but when I saw it on the hanger, it looked terrible – had no shape at all! Turns out, there was a corset inside, so when I got it on, it just felt right. I didn’t want to take it off, I wanted to call Phil and get him to come marry me then and there!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Heavenly Bodies Bridal in Beckenham
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Shoes were from Irregular Choice – my favourite shoe brand, that was a foregone conclusion before we even started.
I discovered the crown when I went to the National Wedding Show in London. We walked past Nichola Ruby’s stand and I was just struck by how beautiful all of her pieces are, so my friend convinced me to sit down and try some on and I fell in love! I knew I wanted my hair down and curly as it always is (I wanted to feel like me), so I never figured how a veil would fit into that, and then here was this STUNNING headpiece which was so much better than a veil!
Earrings were by Sarah Hickey, found on Not On the High Street. I came across them and they were perfect – green and gold with little pearls!
The final touches were from my mum. She gave me a gold ring with pearl and turquoise as my something old, borrowed and blue. On top of that, she handmade a beautiful lace bag to match my dress – that was a lovely surprise on the day.
And what did the groom wear?
I wore a blue, single breasted suit that was custom made from Suit Supply in London. I knew I wanted a blue suit, but wanted it to be a bit different to what Team Groom were wearing, which was to be navy suits. The guys in Suit Supply were so helpful and made the whole experience an utter joy. There were so many stages that I hadn’t even considered from the button, to the lining, or little touches like my new initials on the inside and the date embroidered on the inside of the collar.
We wore white shirts that we all picked up from Charles Tyrwhitt. I wanted white, because I thought it would really help the colour of the blue suits and also to help our bow ties and pocket squares to stand out. The bow ties and pocket squares were from Mrs Bowtie, who were great when we ordered. Due to them all being custom made, they advised sending a swatch of the fabric out to make sure we were happy with the design but this added little to no time to the delivery.
My shoes were Monk shoes from Kurt Geiger on a deep brown which complemented the suits excellently.
I’m a massive comic book movie nerd and so I wanted to reflect this in some way so myself and Team Groom all wore Batman socks, which added a nice bit of whimsy to the outfits, which I picked up from Amazon.
I was very lucky to be gifted by my future wife a pocket watch, something I’ve long enjoyed wearing specially for the wedding and something I will treasure in the years to come.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The bridesmaids all wore dark green dresses to fit in with the theme. Three of the bridesmaids wore the same and then the Maid of Honour had a different dress which had lace at the top to tie in with my dress. They all came from the slightly unfortunately named “Sexy Her” – don’t let the name put you off, the dresses were fantastic quality and very reasonably priced! I also bought them all Sarah Hickey earrings to match mine as a gift.
The flower girl’s dress was complete good luck – we’d left it until January to start looking because she’s growing so quickly and couldn’t find anything in green or gold! Then by total coincidence, we went to her third birthday party and her little friend turned up in this gorgeous dark green dress, we couldn’t believe it! The friend’s mum was completely happy for us to borrow the dress for the day and she looked so adorable in it!
For Team Groom, the guys all sorted their suits at the same time as Phil, which just left Sophie (the woman on Team Groom). Martha found a long navy dress online at Chi Chi London, which Sophie looked amazing in.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Helen Newman – http://www.helennewman.net/ – was such a fantastic florist! I knew I wanted roses, and had thought about adding in an additional colour like dusky pink to lift it a little bit (otherwise it would just have been white and green). I also knew that I didn’t want it to look too ‘neat’, but that’s as far as I got. Each of the bridesmaids had a bouquet (including the flower girl) and Phil had a buttonhole. We gave Sophie a corsage to wear on her wrist to mark her out as a member of Team Groom, and then my mum also had a corsage to pin onto her wrap.
Helen had the great idea of having some different roses and using them to tie the various different floral items together:
Martha’s bouquet had three different roses (along with other flowers)
Two of those roses went into the bridesmaid’s bouquets, and the two corsages for Martha’s mum and Sophie
The remaining one was the same one that went into Phil’s buttonhole
Phil’s buttonhole was also connected to Sophie’s corsage with the wax flowers
It’s the sort of thing that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell just by looking but we knew it was there and it was just another little touch that made the whole thing special for us. She also managed to incorporate the gold from our colour scheme, she really nailed it!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
As we mentioned, our lovely friend Michelle made our cake for us. She made it, drove it all the way from London to Suffolk and assembled it on the morning of the wedding, dressed in her wedding outfit – absolute LEGEND. It was three tiers – lemon & poppyseed, carrot, coffee & walnut, all covered in cream cheese icing – it was YUMMY.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a photo booth (who doesn’t love a photo booth) and found a supplier called Snap Station. We really liked all the different options they had for backdrops and personalisation, and it came with a guest book which was perfect for us as that was something else we could cross off the to do list!
Our main entertainment was The Shuffle Set. We always knew we wanted a live band as we love live music and choosing one wasn’t easy. Then we came across these guys – their set list was all nineties/noughties hits! We never would have thought that Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus would be the song of our wedding, but it was and it was GREAT. They also learned “We Are Young” by Fun which we had as the final song of the night. Fun was the first gig that we ever went to so it meant a lot to us and the band really did it justice – all of our friends stood around us in a circle while we danced and sang and it was the perfect way to end the night.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Ideally been a bit less stressed during the planning period, and have communicated better with each other. I (Martha) would potentially have had the wedding slightly earlier. We got married at 3pm – my choice! – because I didn’t want to have to be up at the crack of dawn for various beautifying things, the only downside is then that you have less time after the wedding to cram in all the various rituals – photo shoots, confetti, cake cutting, speeches etc. On the day we actually ended up ahead of schedule (yet another reason why Emily is the best) so I didn’t feel like we were rushing anything, but it was such a great time, I wish we’d had even longer!
What advice would you give to future bride and grooms-to-be?
– Keep the faith that it will all be worth it even when you’re drowning in wedmin!
– Know your own limitations. Sometimes I (Martha) wondered if we should have gone for a really wacky unique wedding in like a warehouse where we did everything ourselves but actually I had no time and was stressed enough as it was – imagine if we’d had to organise caterers, furniture etc on top! Instead we found a venue that did everything and didn’t need a lot of decoration so we just had to show up – best decision ever.
– Stand your ground on what’s important to you, its your wedding!
– Get the venue, photographer and music sorted early (and don’t be afraid to invest your money there)
– For brides: Just. Be. You. Don’t lose weight, don’t be pressured into wearing a white dress (or any dress!). Trust that your partner proposed to you as you are, you don’t need to change yourself in order to qualify as ‘a bride’.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Photographer: Emily Tyler Photography
Venue: Bruisyard Hall and Barn – https://www.bruisyardhall.com/
Dress: Heavenly Bodies Bridal – https://www.heavenlybodiesbridal.com/
Make up: Sophie Saunders – https://www.sophiesaundersbridal.co.uk/
Hair: Karen Lowe – http://www.karensbeautifulbrides.co.uk/
Flowers: Helen Newman – http://www.helennewman.net/
Crown: Nichola Ruby – https://www.instagram.com/nichola_ruby/
Earrings: Sarah Hickey – https://www.sarahhickey.co.uk/
Bride’s Shoes: Irregular Choice – https://www.irregularchoice.com/
Bride’s Nails: Katie @ Fancy Fingers Royston – http://www.fancyfingersroyston.co.uk/
Band: The Shuffle Set – https://www.entertainment-nation.co.uk
Photobooth: Snapstation – https://www.snapstation.co.uk/
Suit: Suit Supply – https://eu.suitsupply.com/en_GB/home
Shirts: Charles Tyrwhitt – https://www.ctshirts.com/uk/home
Groom’s Shoes: Kurt Geiger – https://www.kurtgeiger.com/
Bow Ties & Pocket Squares: Mrs Bow Tie – https://www.mrsbowtie.com
Wedding Rings: Unique Rings – www.unique-rings.co.uk/
Sophie’s Dress: Chi Chi London – https://www.chichiclothing.com/
Bridesmaids Dresses: https://www.sexyher.co.uk/
Invitations & Menus: Hip Hip Hooray – https://www.hiphiphooray.com/
Bruisyard HallCharles TyrwhittChi Chi LondonEmily Tyler PhotographyEntertainment NationFancy Fingers RoystonHeavenly Bodies BridalHelen NewmanHip Hip Hoorayirregular choiceKaren's Beautiful BridesKurt GeigerMrs Bow TieNichola RubySarah HickeySexy HerSnapstationSophie SaundersSuit SupplyUnique Rings