Ella & Ludo’s creative DIY wedding at Firle Place, with Emily Black Photography
I’ve been so excited to share today’s lovely wedding with you! Ella looks amazing in her floaty light, boho gown and wears an heirloom veil handed down through generations from her great grandmother’s wedding in 1924. Ludo’s her perfect match – I adore that floral tie! These two wanted their day to be very personal, laid back, and fun, with a botanical, English country garden feel. Their wedding is really personal, with Ella doing the flowers and Ludo’s sister making their gorgeous cake. The home made elements make it really special – and hey, who needs a sit down dessert when you can have a wheelbarrow full of ice-creams?!
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
The photography for our wedding was very important to me. My parents asked my uncle to photograph their wedding, 30 years ago, and after taking photos all day discovered my uncle forgot to put any film in his camera. So, beautiful photography that I could treasure forever and show my children, one day, was always high on my list. We knew we wanted informal, natural shots that captured the fun and emotion of the day, and the small intimate moments between people, rather than anything too staged. I did lots so searching and finally found Emily, at Emily Black photography, who was perfect!
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Emily is incredible. From the very start she made us feel at ease. Friendly, engaging and passionate about what she does. We didn’t get the chance to meet in person until the day itself, but from speaking on the phone, by the time we did meet it was like having a friend with us. She was calm, professional, incredibly kind and went above and beyond, taking away any stress on the day. She allowed us-to-be-us and just enjoy each others company in the moments we had away from the whirl wind of the day. We love our wedding pictures and feel they capture the day perfectly, full of laughter and joy.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
Our wedding was held at Firle Place in East Sussex. Firle is a beautiful village nestled in the South Downs, not far from where my parents live. It is a meaningful place to us as a family and being able to have our wedding there was very special. Our blessing ceremony took place in the village church followed by our reception on the lakeside lawns and in the beautiful Georgian Riding School, of File Place.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
I loved floating around in my etherial tulle dress on the day. I felt amazing.
From the start I new I wanted something flowing, with a decent train and within my tight budget. Most importantly however, it needed to work with my family veil which I was honoured to wear. The veil was first worn by my great-grandmother in 1924, then by my grandmother in 1953 and then my aunt in 1995, so it meant a lot that I was able to carry on the tradition. It is very delicate lace and so beautiful. I felt wonderful wearing it.
I have never loved shopping, but trying on wedding dresses turned out to be quite fun! I limited how maybe people were with me at each shop, as too many opinions could be quite overwhelming, in the end it was just me and my mum when I finally bought the dress.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
I have always loved the idea of working with flowers, and decided that I would take on the challenge of doing the flowers myself. It may seem like a daunting task but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of getting the day ready. I sent a lot of time researching flowers that would be in season and planning the logistic of ordering, making and keeping them alive (the fact that flowers can die is definitely the scariest part) but, depending on how extravagant you want your arrangements (we wanted simple and natural which helped), DIYing your flowers is definitely possible and a great budget saver. I found the amazing Triangle Nurseries online who sell great quality wholesale flowers and deliver directly to you. They were really simple to use and offer loads of advice, as well as video tutorials which were very handy, and I can’t recommend them enough. Then a few days before the wedding, boxes of gorgeous flowers arrived at my front door, ready to be turn into jam jar arrangements, button holes, flower crowns and of course bouquets the day before the wedding.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Ludo’s sister is an amazing baker and offered to make our cake for us. It was delicious and beautiful and we were so lucky to have such a great cake maker in the family. We chose three tiers, with different flavours that fitted with our botanical theme, courgette cake with lime curd, mojito, and lemon, blueberry and elderflower with lemon curd. They were all delicious and my top tip would be to make sure theres enough extra cake to take home with you and snack on over the first few days of married life.
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We wanted the day to be about us and our families joining together, so tried to make it as personal to us as we could. We incorporated lots of pictures in a picture tree walk, used my very old family Land Rover as my wedding car and had all our parents give speeches (not just my dad). I also love crafting, so much that one of the first things I though after getting engaged was, ‘What can I start making for my wedding, right now.” So it made sense that almost all the decor and design details would end up being be made by me. We found unused pallets which we turned into our wedding signage, I hand painted all our stationery and made lots of bunting. DIYing lots of elements for the wedding was great way to make the day more unique and personal to us as well as being great money saving activity that I enjoyed doing very much.
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We had three readings in the ceremony, including You Deserve a Lover by Freida Kahlo (one of my favourite artists) and an extract from Philip Pullmans, His Dark Materials, (Ludo’s favourite books). We also had three great song, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, Perfect Day by Lou Reed and One Day Like This by Elbow, which the whole congregation sang. Hearing all our loved ones singing at the top of their lungs made us incredibly happy.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
We had the fantastic band, Soul in the Belfry, play at our reception and they did a fantasist version of David Bowies ‘Heroes’ for our first dance. Picking a first dance song was far harder than anticipated and we had a very long short list to choose from. We are big dancing in the kitchen fans and finally we chose a song we love to boogie to together and that was upbeat enough to properly dance to. There are several favourite moments I have form our wedding day, but spinning around the dance floor, feeling so in love, is definitely one of them.
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