Today’s wedding, sent over from the UK by Lisa & Scott of Lisa Dawn Photography, is full of dreamy little details: the bride’s Jenny Packham wedding gown, a venue with roaming peacocks, and potted herb centerpieces. You may remember their own wedding we featured last year!
From the bride, Kate: When Jonathan and I got engaged in South Africa, we chose to design the ring ourselves. Jonathan knew I loved the elegant simplicity of an emerald-cut diamond and ‘shortlisted’ some stones, before we chose the style of the ring together. It wasn’t intended to be of a particular style/era, we just liked the shape and the fact that it was a little unusual, but it ended up becoming the starting point for an art deco/1920s inspired wedding day.
The first thing that we decided on was the venue – it was a really easy choice! We had spent a long time looking online for relaxed, informal venues with little success. There were so many choices but none of them felt quite right or were within budget, so we had stopped looking until one quiet afternoon in the pub. We were with some friends who’d got married at Larmer Tree Gardens, a venue we’d been to a few years previously for an amazing music festival, but hadn’t considered as it was so far from where we live. But as soon as we looked into it we knew it was perfect; it’s like a secret garden, with meadows, orchards and woodland dotted with original 19th century architecture and, of course, the peacocks!
The next bit to slot into place was the dress – another easy decision. I had looked at loads of dresses online and discounted them all for being ‘too weddingy,’ and I had seen the Eden in Jenny Packham adverts but thought we’d never be able to afford it. I looked online for once-worns, trawled vintage shops and websites and looked into dressmakers before eventually arranging to go and try it on in the Jenny Packham store in London. I was really nervous to try it in case I fell in love with it, which of course I did, but as soon as I put it on I felt relaxed, comfortable and confident – this was the one. Thankfully, my mum offered to help with the cost, and I was sold!
Then came the wedding stationery. We really wanted something handmade and unique to us, nothing too formal, so we decided to do it ourselves and incorporate aspects of the venue into the design. I hand drew a template with the Singing Theatre, peacocks, deck chairs and lantern crooks, and added a tandem bicycle as we are both keen cyclists, before pencilling in the text. There were a few Photoshop evolutions as ‘save the dates’ became invitations, and then programmes and seating plans, all printed at home on the same laid white card from Paperchase.
From the outset, we had said that the things we wanted most for our wedding were good food and good music, so choosing a band was crucial. We had danced the night away to the Dollars at our friends’ wedding and knew that their repertoire was exactly what we had in mind, so found them on Alive Network. It was a really useful way of looking for a band as we could sort available bands by price, listen to demos and read reviews, but after finding loads of available bands we decided to stick with the Dollars as we’d seen how good they were.
The flowers were done by Rustic Rose florists, near Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire. Katy was really helpful and ordered in lots of flowers for us to look at and discuss. I love peonies and really wanted them in the bouquets, but also to incorporate some roses for the romance and some other more ‘English country garden’ flowers. We settled on fragrant freesias and delicate astrantia with some grey-green eucalyptus leaves. When the ‘Cezanne’ roses we’d chosen came in a few days before the wedding looking much too orange, Katy got in touch straight away and emailed photos of alternatives, and we decided on ‘Sweet Avalanche’ instead, which I think actually looked much better than our first choice would have! For the tables, we decided to name each after a different herb and to have a potted plant in the centre surrounded by vintage inkwells containing freesia and astrantia. Rustic Rose provided half of the inkwells, while we sourced the rest from eBay. In the end, we forgot to label the herbs so guests had to have a little bit of culinary knowledge in order to find their seat!
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t get caught up in the details and forget the bigger picture: you’re getting married and that’s far more important than ‘the perfect wedding’! Don’t bankrupt yourselves or stress too much about this one day, nobody will know if you’ve forgotten something or not done something you wanted to – they’re there to celebrate with you not to judge. And remember to enjoy the day; it flies past!
Bride’s Processional: “Clair de Lune,” Debussy
Newlyweds’ Recessional: “She’s a Rainbow,” Rolling Stones
First Dance: “You Do Something To Me,” Paul Weller
Wedding Location: Salisbury, UK / Wedding Photographer: Lisa & Scott of Lisa Dawn Photography / Wedding Venue: Larmer Tree Gardens / Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham “Eden” / Wedding Shoes: Rachel Simpson “Tilly” via Luella’s Boudoir / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Jenny Packham “Acacia” / Bride’s Earrings: Glitzy Secrets “Deco Dream” / Makeup: Laura and Natalie of Bridal Treats / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monika Kunat / Groom’s Suit: The Kooples / Wedding Flowers: Katy of Rustic Rose / Wedding Cake: Waitrose / Wedding Music: The Dollars / Invitations: made by bride / Transportation: Premier Carriages