English countryside weddings, we love you so. Nina and Gareth are an Australian-English couple who traveled to the groom’s home town to exchange vows in front of their loved ones. Luckily for us, Laura McCluskey of LM Weddings was there to capture it all for us to admire!
From the bride, Nina: We wanted a relaxed day in the countryside that represented both of our upbringings despite coming from opposite sides of the world. An English countryside setting with plenty of Australian inspired details, food and drinks as a nod to my childhood. With many overseas guests, we wanted to take the opportunity to show off Gareth’s beautiful home town during the glorious British summertime. We took inspiration from summer wildflowers with lots of blues and greens and hints of red. We also incorporated elements of the countryside with lots of wood, natural light and maps.
The whole event was very DIY, and everyone’s contributions made it feel so special. There was such an overwhelming sense of excitement and love as we all set up the hall together the day before. One of my favourite memories is watching my father and my husband-to-be working together to saw the table number bases on the grass outside the hall. My cousin Arielle Gamble is an illustrator and we were incredibly lucky to have her involved with everything from the invites to the table numbers, seating chart and signage at our village hall reception. My mother and sister put together the dozens of flower centrepieces, which looked beautiful and made the hall smell amazing with all the fresh herbs. My mother lovingly collected all the linen napkins and Australiana tablecloths and brought them over with her. I made all the bunting from scraps of Liberty print fabric I had collected.
We worked with The Meadow Garden, a small flower farm based next door to the village hall. The flowers could not have been more local! They offered us a beautiful array of seasonal, sustainable English flowers and we chose a mix of summer wildflowers that included scabiosa, poppy heads, daisies, ammi, cornflowers, snapdragons, cream roses, salvia and herbs like oregano, catmint, lavender and rosemary. I wandered around the farm the day before the wedding helping them pick a few more sweet peas that had bloomed overnight, which was a dream come true.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Listen to your instincts and try not to get overwhelmed by the huge amount of inspiration available. Remember it’s your day and your budget and you should do what feels right for you and your partner even if it’s not traditional. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help! We were so lucky to work with our talented friends and so many pitched in to help with djing, catering, flowers, invites etc. It was definitely a labour of love! If guests are travelling from abroad, try to organise a casual event the day after the wedding so you can make sure you spend enough time with them. The actual day will go so fast and you will be grateful for a little extra time to spend with the people that have made such an effort to be there for you even if it’s just a picnic in the park.
Processional: “England,” The National
Recessional: “Love Is Love,” Lungfish
First Dance: “This Will Be Our Year,” The Zombies
Late night singalongs: Saves The Day and Jimmy Eat World
Wedding Location: Braunston, Rutland, England / Photographer: Laura McCluskey of LM Weddings / Florist: The Meadow Garden / Ceremony Venue: Oakham Castle / Reception Venue: Braunston Village Hall / Wedding Dress: Vintage from Etsy / Reception Dress: Vintage from Etsy / Wedding Shoes: Office / Hair and Makeup: Lipstick & Curls / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Vintage / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Loake / Bow Tie: Liberty / Caterer: Magnus Reid and Laura Marten from Yolk Bakery / DJ: Bless (Tom Pinchard) / Wedding Invitations: Arielle Gamble