Today is pretty exciting on two counts – the new website has been launched and I get to share with you my first exclusive wedding. This wedding has not been featured on any other blogs so I am utterly honoured that Emma chose The Natural Wedding Company to be the first place to share her beautiful wedding.
Emma told me that The Natural Wedding Company “was my bible during the planning of the wedding and I used many tips and links that you posted.” So without further ado, here is part one of Emma and Gianni’s rustic country wedding photographed by the talented Andy Rapkins…
Emma and Gianni were married in July 2011 at Cripps Barn in Gloucestershire. They planned a simple, relaxed and rustic wedding full of handmade pieces, charity shop finds, and meaningful details crafted by family and friends.
The theme was eclectic vintage meets ‘Darling Buds of May’ – we did a lot of the details ourselves and what we didn’t do we worked with friends and local suppliers.
We chose Cripps Barn because we wanted somewhere relaxed, informal and peaceful. The owners of Cripps Barn have a really relaxed yet organised approach, also all the food was locally sourced and we’d heard how amazing it was. Gianni has a large family with lots of children so we wanted somewhere they could be free to play.
On the morning of the wedding I was really calm and excited – me and my bridesmaids stayed nearby and went to Cripps Barn to set up the photobooth and other details, and to meet the florist. Cripps Barn were so organised so we left the rest to them and went back to the hotel and I debated whether or not to eat! I went with not!
How many other brides found they couldn’t eat the day of their wedding? I don’t think I was able to eat for about 24 hours before our wedding – I find it fascinating how our body reacts to moments like this!
I wanted natural make-up – fresh and summery. I had an awful trial before the wedding and was thinking about doing it myself, then I saw a post on The Natural Wedding Company about Clare from Pure Pampering and thought she sounded more like what I was after. Clare was so lovely and relaxed, and helped on the morning keep things in perspective for me. I was intrigued by mineral make-up and now I’m hooked!
Draped over the TV are the gorgeous handmade headpieces made by one of the bridesmaids.
My dress was from Jenny Packham, not real vintage but vintage inspired – an extravagance that I just got swept away with! It was worth every penny to feel so special for a day. One of my bridesmaids did my hair, a 1920s inspired messy look to match my vintage style dress and headpiece.
My bag was from a Etsy shop Daughters of Simone and came all the way from the US – the two girls who run the shop were so sweet and it was a really personal service, which made everything nicer.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel as special as I hoped to feel, so I asked them to choose their own dresses within a colour palette – I’ve never been one for matching things. It worked out really well and some of my favourite pictures are of them all together as the colours were so lovely.
Here’s Emma’s littlest flowergirl with a sweet sock rabbit gift made by one of the bridesmaids.
Gianni wore a Cerruti suit, Pal Zileri shirt and knitted tie – I’m a knitwear designer so it pleased me that he wore a knitted tie. Gianni had two best men, they were his friends since childhood and he couldn’t choose between them. He had one for the ceremony and one for the speech.
We stayed near by and used our own vintage Fiat 500 to get there, decorating her the morning of the wedding, and driven by my dad. Gianni’s family are from Sicily and we bought the Fiat there a couple of years ago. It has extra special meaning to us and his family to bring some of Sicily to our wedding.
Our florist was amazing and bought on the first tears of the day when I walked into her studio to see all the table displays – they were so much more amazing than I’d hoped for. All the buttonholes were slightly different, made from herbs and lavender that mum and I picked.
The florist was actually the mum of one of my bridesmaids and we worked hard to use seasonal flowers and greenery to create a meadow feel.
The wedding ceremony was held outdoors in a beautiful glade beneath a rustic shelter in the grounds of Cripps Barn. Emma’s advice for planning an outdoor wedding ceremony is to have a back-up plan and an indoor option: “never pin all your hopes on an outdoor ceremony as the weather is so tricky…and have some wedges as a shoe option as trying to walk up the aisle pretending your heels aren’t sinking is tricky!”
Emma and Gianni decorated the chairs with bunches of dried lavender tied on with natural coloured raffia.
We designed the order of service with our friend Fred, who also did our invitations – he was brilliant! We wanted something unconventional – a lot of people commented that the order of service reminded them of vintage fairground posters, which as we met at a fair seemed perfect, if unintentional.
Both Gianni and I are very private and shy, so we were incredibly nervous about the ceremony. We wanted it to be informal and personal.
I was ridiculously nervous about the ceremony, having 120 people watching you is a terrifying thought! Walking down the aisle was such a blur, looking at Gianni made me tearful and beyond happy, so I tried to look for faces of friends and family to delay the inevitable tears…it didn’t work very well!
Just try to remember that everyone there cares and loves you – be yourself more than ever.
Doesn’t Emma look so beautiful in her wedding dress and with her handsome husband beside her – another couple who look utterly timeless and so in love on their wedding day…
Emma told me when she first sent me her wedding photos that more than anything she wanted me to know that my directory and blog gets used – if it gets used to create such beautiful weddings I am utterly and truly delighted.
Here’s Emma and Gianni spending that all important time together, just the two of them, before the evening party, with their cute vintage Fiat – I think it’s so lovely that this is more than just a pretty vintage wedding car, that this little car has come all the way from Gianni’s family home in Sicily.
Come back tomorrow for part two of Emma and Gianni’s wedding and full details of their wedding suppliers.
All photographs taken by Andy Rapkins Photography.
Categories: Real Weddings