Happy Tuesday, lovelies! Are you doing ok? I wanted to brighten your day a little with this beautiful Nottingham wedding – it’s glorious and full of love and relaxed, happy vibes. Lizzie and Steve look AMAZING, the garden theme is beautiful and all the little handmade touches are just WOW. (Felt flowers are the future!!) Then there’s the sports day, which looks so much fun! The venue is the Walled Garden at Beeston Fields- a unique marquee wedding venue in Nottingham set within the grounds of a Victorian garden. All images are by lovely Nathan Walker Photography.
How did you choose your photographer?
Having been to a few weddings we didn’t want the normal staged pictures with the constant stopping to try a new Instagram pose every 10 minutes. We are more of a laid-back fun couple and wanted our pictures to reflect that. We knew that we wanted to use a photographer local to the wedding venue and who reflected the same ideas as us. After trailing through websites and recommendations, we eventually found Nathan from a google search and immediately liked what we saw. After a lovely hour long skype chat, we quickly realised that Nathan was the guy for us.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Nathan is great because you don’t even know he is there most of the time. He’s nonintrusive and took pictures of friends and family having a great time, he captured all the little moments that we didn’t get a chance to be a part of or see on the day. For us that was the best bit about seeing the pictures, it was like viewing our day from everyone else’s perspective. He made us feel at ease and had great suggestions for areas to focus on.
We also appreciated the pre wedding shoot for a practice run. This helped me to relax and get an idea of what to expect on the day and how Nathan works.
In the run up the wedding Nathan kept in touch on a weekly basis, checking in on the plans and helped with a picture timetable to guide us through the day. We went through who would be on hand to help him fetch members of the family for staged pictures and had a few back up plans for unforeseen issues like rain.
We really can’t recommend Nathan enough; you must trust your photographer as it’s a massive task to capture a wedding. If you get it wrong there isn’t any going back, you can’t do it all over again.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Have fun, don’t worry about pleasing everyone and remember that it is your wedding day. Family and Friends will have a great day if they can see that you are.
What’s the best thing about being married?
It’s weird because you don’t know if things will change when you get married, and everyone does the normal jokes of oh it will all change. But, for us I think it’s the security and commitment to one another that we always knew was there anyway, but now it’s obvious. Our families and friends see us differently now and life just feels settled. Looking forward to the next thing on the list.
What did you love about your Wedding venue?
EVERYTHING! We chose the venue not only because of the setting in the walled garden but also because our first impressions of the staff were amazing. We viewed 8 venues in total and the walled garden staff, especially Ella were very welcoming, not pushy and were genuine people. None of the bullish sales pitches we had experienced in our other viewings. Plus, as my Dad noted we were offered a coffee and that made all the difference, simple gestures.
The communication from them was also great, we have meeting every few months and were very accommodating with meeting dates with us living in Bristol. Ella had plans and to do lists premade for me to run though when convenient. No ask was too big, I’m so glad we had them to help us.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A mix of tradition and two daft personalities made for the most wonderful day. So, no I can’t ?
Your wedding style or theme:
We chose daisies as the main theme and the rest came from that, my favourite colours are blue and yellow. It was all about the garden really.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We did a lot of google searching, and word of mouth recommendations for some of the unknowns. But we were lucky in that we already knew a lot of the suppliers already existed.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We made all the decorations ourselves, including 150 chair sashes. You need to make sure that you have enough time to do the homemade touches and not be too precious if your first attempt isn’t what you expected because trust me, after the first few it all comes together.
I didn’t have real flowers for my decorations, bouquets, and buttonholes. I made everything from felt. I’m a crafty person anyway and wanted to put as much of me into our wedding as possible. It was worth all the late nights making individual flowers.
We shopped around for the other things like candles, vases and candelabras to get things on sale or from charity shops. If you have a vision in your head, try and make a mood board or draw stuff out to stick to the plan. I found myself being drawn to other things that we didn’t need.
We also made our own playlist for the entire day and made our own entertainment. Once the speeches were over, we took everyone outside for an adult’s sports day with egg and spoon races, unicorn ring toss and space hopper races. Stephen, my husband is a primary school teacher and the school very kindly let us use a lot of their equipment. It was fantastic. Then in the evening we had done a DIY fancy dress box with blow up instruments, hats and wigs. You don’t need to spend lots on hiring photo booths etc. just think outside the box.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We LOVE our food and wine we spent most of the budget on this. There is nothing worse than being hungry or thirsty at a wedding and we wanted there to be something for everyone. After the ceremony there was a selection of canapes followed by afternoon tea. In the evening when we were joined by more guests, we had a BBQ with glazed gammon and beef brisket served with salads and all kinds of other naughty nibbles, including an old-fashioned help yourself ice-cream trike, the kids loved this.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We did Vistaprint for the invites and the name places we made by hand. Look out for discount offers. We had over 200 invites etc to do and this helped to save money.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I spent a lot of time looking for what I wanted and couldn’t find it anywhere. I was after a classic, elegant look but very plain. my poor family went through what felt like about 50 options over various days. In the end I found my dress at the White Wedding Lounge in Papplewick, Nottingham. The owner Kayleigh was amazing, she had me try on a few different styles.
In the end we talked about all the alteration I could do to make the dress closer to what I wanted. I did cry when I put it on for the first time, once you have a veil added it makes it all quite real.
I purchased the dress nearly 15 months ahead of the wedding but couldn’t make any of the changes until the 6-month mark. It was hell waiting.
But luckily, I had an amazing seamstress, Tracy who owns Javellie Brides in Nottingham made all my ideas come true. She is a fairy godmother and was just a dream to work with. She also altered all my bridesmaid dresses and my mum’s dress too.
In the end we removed a lot of the skirt, as I didn’t want is as wide. I had the back lowered to match the front and the neckline changed to sit just on my shoulders. Towards the final stages I added on removable sleeves to give me some coverage if I need it. And lastly, I had the front raised to show off my blue shoes. In the end I obviously loved my dress.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I kept things simple with blue shoes and simple pearl and diamond earrings/necklace. I’m normally a lover of all things bling but didn’t want these to detract from the dress and annoy me if I was too hot.
And what did the groom wear?
Stephen wore a Ted Baker suit in a chalky blue colour teamed with a crisp white shirt, brown bowtie and brown brogues. I loved the jazzy bee lining in the suit, it was very fitting for the garden theme. He looked very handsome on the day and had the Best Men, Ushers and our Dad’s in in a similar colour.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had 4 very different bridesmaids all living busy lives and some in other countries. In the end I had to go for a multiway dress in pale blue to allow all of them to make it their own. It was a great back up plan but I really would have like to have had a proper day out with them all to find what each of them wanted.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hired the professionals to do all hair and makeup. Hair was done by Katie Jane’s, and make up by Lauren Wolf, both ladies are Nottingham based and are lovely, patient and fantastic at what they do. They kept me very calm on the day and can’t thank them enough.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you?
I made these myself from felt. It was the last piece I did with only a week to go. I loved making it and now can treasure it forever.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The walled Garden is beautiful with nothing in it. The marque is a permanent fixture and is kitted out already with beautiful wooden floors and lights. Its Surrounded by beautify flowers and little secret pockets of seating and greenery. If you don’t have a big budget, you could get away with the bare minimum here. The staff are also great at letting you use things they already have around and can show you examples of whats been done before to help give ideas.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Everything was home made. All the chair sashes, decorations, card post-box, bouquets, buttonholes. We loved making them.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We went for a cheese tower instead of a traditional cake, mainly because we are a family that loves cheese. Supplied by the lovely guys at the Cheese Shop and Deli, based in The Flying Horse Arcade, Nottingham. They were great and let us have a taster morning to sample all the cheeses. Cheese heaven!
We followed the felt idea for the cake topper, one of Stephen’s friends, Jayne Challen, made us a stunning bride and groom topper from felt. We could not believe the likeness she captured, and they are something we will eventually pop in a frame to enjoy.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: