Emma & Adam’s minimal, classic and elegant Manor by the Lake wedding, with Martin Dabek Photography
I’m doing everything I can to shine positivity into the interweb and keep our screens beautiful, inspiring and happy through difficult times. We all need a little joy, whether that’s from a spot of sunshine in our back gardens or from scrolling through favourite websites and wedding inspiration channels. I hope, lovely readers, today’s wedding will lift your spirits as it has mine. The happy couple are Emma & Adam, and Manor by the Lake wedding photographer Martin Dabek captured their day so beautifully.
As this was a January wedding, the colour theme was black and white with a hint of emerald green. Adding succulents to a foliage-filled bouquet kept the floral styling beautifully up to date, while ivy wreaths and creative lighting turned Manor by the Lake into an even more enchanting space. The overall look is minimal and classic, with some truly lovely handmade touches from this creative bride and groom. (Emma is an illustrator: @penningtonillustrations). The venue is a manor house and in itself is beautiful and didn’t need extra decoration, but their ‘winter package’ included fairy lights, white tree decorations and up-lighters. Emma and Adam added some ivy wreaths around the crystal chandeliers which really brought the room to life.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer for Manor by the Lake?
We chose Martin Dabek for his relaxed style, broad portfolio and his experience with winter weddings. We got married in winter with not that many hours of daylight so we wanted someone confident with experience of working after dark. It helped that he is an award winning photographer as we are both perfectionists and wanted (as everyone does) these to be the best!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Absolutely. He was truly brilliant the whole day. It was something that we didn’t have to worry about as I was confident he was capturing the day. For the key moments during the ceremony we didn’t even notice the camera and yet he captured some fantastic shots.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We made a bit of a thing of it. Martin had prepared a slideshow for us to watch together before looking at the photos so we sat down with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, watched the slide show and then looked through the photos together. We were so excited that we devoured them quickly at first and then went back through them a second (and third time) more slowly.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Simple, elegant, relaxed, fun, playful, wonderful
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Google mostly and a couple of blogs. We read magazines and blogs but found a lot of them quite overwhelming.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Asking yourself ‘do we really need that?’ and ‘will it make a difference when we look back at the day?’. We also made things ourselves wherever we could to save money – such as illustrating and printing the wedding stationery and guest book, making our own cake topper and floral wreaths with LED lights in for the table centrepieces.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We added ivy wreaths around the chandeliers in the ballroom which was a last minute decision but something that I am glad we did as it really added to the look of the room. They are visible in almost all the evening/meal time photos and looked great.
Our clothes – we both spent a reasonable amount on the dress and 3 piece suit but have no regrets as they were comfortable and made us feel special on the day.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
It was a labour of love and a family affair. All our wedding table names, place cards, table plan and invitations were illustrations drawn by us (the bride). The bride is an illustrator: Pennington Illustrations – https://www.instagram.com/penningtonillustrations/
Once the illustrations were drawn, the stationery was then designed and printed by the brides sister Kate Smyth of http://www.heantondesign.com/
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely. It was one of the first few I tried on in the first shop we visited. I tried on others to make sure it was right but it was definitely the one, my sister said she could tell from my face.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Designer is: Romantica of Devon and the Bridal boutique is Future Brides in Chipping Sodbury. (https://www.futurebrides.co.uk/)
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
In my hair I had a beautiful hand-made hair vine, it was really delicate with little pearls and diamante crystals that matched the tiny sleeve details on my dress. Made by Melissa Morgan Designs from Not on the High Street. My shoes are by Rainbow and are a classic white satin with a slim ankle strap and mid-low heel. I love them, I am planning to get them dyed a colour now so that I can wear them again. I wore very minimal jewellery as my dress didn’t warrant it but my sister/bridesmaid and I had matching style Swarovski earrings – hers in emerald green and mine in clear crystal.
One accessory I loved was the fluffy jackets my sister and I wore. As it was January and very cold we had glamorous cream feather boleros and they were such a luxury!
And what did the groom wear?
He wore a Ted Baker suit using their ‘Tailor Me’ service through Moss Bros. It was completely bespoke. It has little blue details on the buttonholes and fit perfectly. He also had a personalised message on the inside pocket of the lapel with our names and wedding date.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I only had one bridesmaid – my sister. She wore a lovely dress from David’s Bridal in emerald green.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired professionals as I am not capable of that kind of skill! My hair was done by Laura Turner – https://www.instagram.com/lauraturnerextendandstyle_/?hl=en
and make up by Charlotte Carlton Smith – https://www.charlottecarltonsmith.co.uk/ They were both absolutely lovely people and very talented. They created exactly the look I wanted.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
My wedding flowers were by Leaf and Blossom Cheltenham and were absolutely stunning. I wanted something different and opted for a bouquet that included vegetables. It had some incredible artichokes, cabbage leaves and berries with succulents and very dark (almost black) calla lilies. In keeping with the winter theme the palette was all natural greens and rich, almost black purples. It was just perfect and Leaf and Blossom completely understood what I wanted.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
we really enjoyed them. We made the cake topper ourselves. It is a small clay sculpture of two bears hugging. Sculpted in clay, then painted white and then illustrated on top of with fine line pen before being glazed. The illustrative style fit with the hand-made illustrated wedding stationery. We also made the table wreathes with fake ivy, willow stalks and interwoven LED lights on copper thread. Drawing the illustrations was also enjoyable and a good excuse to make time to sit and draw.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We were tricky customers as we are both gluten, dairy and sugar free. This was no challenge though for our amazing cake makers! We used a company called: Well Seasoned Cotswold Cateres who we found through a cafe in Stroud called Woodruffs. We had a three tier cake with 2 chocolate tiers (because both bride and groom LOVE chocolate cake) and a third tier that was almond, coconut and lime. This flavour combination jumped out at us and the bride loves a hint of citrus. Both flavours were utterly delicious.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
The Manor offered a great ‘disco’ package which took all the hassle out of the music. We used a playlist we created with our favourites on and had lights, speakers and a small stage with a star-light curtain backdrop.
In terms of surprises/treats it would have to be the best man speech. An in-joke with the bride, groom and best man (who is the groom’s brother) is that because we are tee-total, gluten dairy and sugar free he never knows what to bring us when he visits as it can’t be wine or chocolate. So he brought us some rice one day. This became an ongoing joke and ahead of our wedding he spoke with Tilda rice about personalising packaging in our honour! Anyway… that wasn’t something Tilda could achieve but they did send a huge wicker hamper with a selection of all their rice varieties! It was hilarious, completely unexpected and also brilliant because we don’t need to by rice now for quite a while. Everyone loved it!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Do what you want. You know yourself the best so even if everyone tells you what they think you should do or ‘moments’ you should have it’s up to you and you can make it how you want it. At the end of the day your friends and family are there to celebrate with you.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Having my best friend and partner in crime by my side now forever.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: