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Laura and Charlie’s relaxed and natural wedding with heavenly country garden flowers and handmade details

Charlie / 13 November 2012

Natural wedding

Natural wedding with heavenly country garden flowers

It’s with great pleasure that I get to bring you another real wedding from a couple who planned a beautiful, handmade and natural wedding.  Bride Laura used a number of TNWC businesses to help her create the wedding that her and groom Charlie dreamed of, and they were even inspired by my own handmade wedding invitations.

Brown craft wedding menu and country garden flowers

I know you are just going to love this wedding and I’m sure you’ll find inspiration for your own day here.  So stop what you’re doing, make yourself a cup of tea and settle down to read all about Laura and Charlie’s beautiful day (and if you like specific details you’ll find links to all the suppliers at the bottom of the post)…

Seasonal country garden wedding flowers

Laura and Charlie got married on a very rainy Saturday in July at Silchester House in Berkshire. “We wanted the wedding to be fairly informal and very relaxed.  Charlie and I are very casual so it would have felt a bit false to go for something overly traditional.  We tried to make the day feel like ‘us’ wherever possible.”

Natural bride and bridesmaids with country flower bouquets

“We also avoided having a specific colour scheme as we wanted everything to be as organic and natural as possible.  I think this approach made planning the wedding a bit more work – we ended up DIYing lots of the elements when we couldn’t find any alternatives that we liked – but seeing everything come together just as we wanted made it worthwhile.”

Blackboard wedding sign

“We chose Silchester House for both our ceremony and reception – we both loved the homely feel and the fact that it was a bit of a blank canvas that we could put our own stamp on.  Having the place to ourselves was a real bonus as we wanted our guests to feel at home and treat the place as ‘ours’ for the day.”

Silchester House wedding

Pink peony and garden mint bouquet

“I was quite relaxed on the morning of the wedding because it felt like we’d done everything we could, and now it was time to enjoy it.  It made a change from the days in the run-up to the wedding, which were very busy and hectic!”

Laura and Charlie's natural wedding

“We were lucky that we didn’t have to do much setting up on the day – we had to put out some of the decorations but fortunately our florist and venue staff were on hand to do most of the work.  We couldn’t have coped without them!  All our ushers and bridesmaids did a brilliant job helping with the final details to make sure we were ready for our guests’ arrival.”

Natural country wedding bouquets

“With all our lovely helpers, I was able to have a fairly relaxing time getting ready.  I opted to do my own make-up but had my hair styled, and the hairdresser also did the bridesmaids’ hair, so we were able to get ready together which definitely helped ward off any potential nerves!”

Blink Photography

Natural bride

Laura had a bit of a struggle finding her wedding dress, facing all those issues we have when we are looking for a wedding dress that is a little bit different but feels like ‘us’.  She told me about her experience, which I’m sure will be reassuring to many brides-to-be out there worried that they haven’t found the right dress yet…

Bride in 1920s inspired wedding dress

“My wedding dress was a bit of a project – I had no idea what sort of dress I wanted when I started looking, although the idea of something vintage appealed.  After many, many fruitless and often frustrating shopping trips with my mum and bridesmaids, I tried on a 1920s inspired dress that had elements I loved, although it still wasn’t quite right.”

Staircase with ivy

“By this stage I was getting desperate and starting to think that a custom made dress might be the only way to go!  It was around this time that a friend at work passed on the name of the brilliantly talented Clare Copeland, who happened to specialise in creating vintage-inspired wedding dresses.”

Wedding dress

“Soon after, almost by chance, I came across an original 1920s dress in the wonderful Annie’s in Angel.  I loved the top half of the dress, which was made from beautiful vintage lace and was a perfect fit, but the skirt wasn’t quite right – it was knee-length and looked a little bit like a child’s party dress.”

1920s inspired wedding dress

“However, I decided to take the risk, bought the dress and and took it to Clare, who immediately understood my vision for the dress.  Having Clare create my wedding dress was amazing – she’s so creative, had lots of suggestions and was able to advise on what would and wouldn’t be a good idea.  I couldn’t have been happier with the final dress and received so many compliments on the day.”

1920s inspired wedding dress

Laura wore a beautiful fascinator made by TNWC business A Alicia Accessories, who she came across at a small wedding craft fair.  She adored her pretty accessories which are all created with vintage or ethically sourced materials.  “My fascinator was made from a very pale blue felt covered with vintage lace, so it ticked something old, something new and something blue off the list.  I also borrowed a simple silver bracelet from my mum.”

Blink Photography

“I wore a simple pair of diamond earrings, which had real sentimental value – they were made from the stones from Charlie’s grandmother’s engagement ring.  This was actually the ring that Charlie proposed to me with, and we decided to to put one of the stones into my engagement ring, which we designed ourselves, and the other two became the earrings.  I was so pleased to be able to wear them on our wedding day.”

Bridesmaid in nude coloured dress

“My two bridesmaids chose their own dresses because they are such opposites.  I didn’t have any set ideas on what I wanted them to wear and as we didn’t have a set colour scheme they weren’t limited by a colour.  We ended up going for nude maxi halterneck dresses from French Connection – they both looked gorgeous in them and the dresses were really in-keeping with the feeling of the day.”

Groom and ushers

Putting on buttonholes

As a girl and therefore a bride, I think it’s so lovely after the wedding to look at the pictures of the boys getting ready – for me I think it’s such a special moment (and for the girls getting ready) and one as the bride you can only ever see in pictures…

Blink Photography

Groom Charlie wore a navy blue three-piece suit that was made to measure: “We had lots of fun choosing all the little details and finishing touches, although there were far more things to think about than we would ever have imagined!  We bought ties for all the men in the wedding party in the same accent colour as Charlie’s suit.”

Groom with blue tie and rose buttonhole

Rose and rosemary buttonholes

Groom wearing buttonhole

The wedding flowers including the stunning bouquets were created by none other than TNWC business Jay Archer Floral Design found through The Natural Wedding Company directory.  “When it came to picking a florist we didn’t have a clue where to begin.  We don’t the know the first thing about flowers and didn’t know what we wanted other than loose, natural arrangements – a very vague brief!”

Country garden wedding bouquet with roses, herbs and scabious

Natural country wedding flowers

Love in a mist buttonhole

“The Natural Wedding Company directory was a godsend as we found Jay Archer Floral Design – we loved Jay’s creativity, enthusiasm and commitment to using locally sourced (and even homegrown) flowers wherever possible.”  

Natural country garden bridal bouquets

“Jay was brilliant in guiding us through the process and even taking me and my mum to New Convent Garden Flower Market so we could see some of the flowers we’d been discussing for real, which really brought things to life for us.  Jay was so pro-active in making suggestions and sending me through ideas, even setting up a Pinterest board for us!”

Country lavender bouquet

Country wedding flowers in jugs

Seasonal country wedding flowers

“We ended up with lovely, bright, country-inspired arrangements which were incredibly eye-catching and received so many compliments.  I adored my bouquet so much that I didn’t even consider throwing it!  After the wedding I dried it out and now have some lovely lavender in our living room from the bouquet, a little souvenir of the day.”

Rose and herb country garden wedding bouquet

Laura and Charlie’s ceremony was held in the Music Room at Silchester House.  They had planned to get married outside in the beautiful grounds, but sadly for them the bad weather put pay to that idea.  Luckily, Laura and Charlie had planned their ceremony in such a way that it could easily be swapped to an indoor location.

Wedding ceremony seat with flowers

Laura’s ‘reserved’ signs for the seats were inspired by my own handmade wedding invitations

Brown card 'reserved' wedding sign

Blink Photography

“We hired some lovely olive trees from our florist Jay, which we sat at the end of the room.  We also had vibrant molucella tied to the chairs on the aisle, and Jay added some other lovely touches such as stems in jam jars on the signing table.  We did very little decoration other than the flowers as we wanted a very natural, pared-back country feel.”

Country wedding flowers in jugs

Blink Photography

Brown craft ceremony programmes

You might recognise the style of Laura and Charlie’s order of service as they were inspired by those from our wedding: “We had been really inspired by what we’d seen on The Natural Wedding Company website.  It was very time consuming making all the order of ceremony booklets by hand, but we were pleased we did because we had the opportunity to really personalise them, including a ‘thank you’ to every single guest.”

Brown craft and raffia ceremony programmes

Laura and Charlie wanted a low-key ceremony, one that wasn’t overly traditional or formal, and that involved their families.  “The music was from a Spanish guitar duo who were brilliant and were even happy to learn a couple of songs for our processional and recessional which helped us to make the ceremony more personal.”

Blink Photography

Laura told me about her feelings as she saw Charlie for the first time that day.  “Walking down the aisle was quite daunting – I’m not used to having all eyes on me!  But I was so proud when I saw Charlie waiting at the top of the aisle and just thought how handsome he looked in his suit.”

Natural country wedding

“Walking into the ceremony room and having all your friends and family in one place with so much goodwill is a lovely feeling – we felt really privileged that everyone had made such an effort for us.”

Blink Photography

“Charlie wrote a few words about our story, which we sent to our registrar in advance, and we really pleased when he incorporated this into his opening words on the day.  My brother and Charlie’s dad both gave readings, which they chose themselves.”  

Wedding ceremony at Silchester House

Fascinator by A Alicia Accessories

“It was a little bit daunting planning the ceremony and we found the format a bit generic, so I’d recommend other couples try to weave elements in that reflect you wherever possible.  Just do it your way and don’t worry about whether it’s ‘proper’ or not.”

Wedding ceremony with hessian wrapped olive trees

Blink Photography

It was lovely to hear from Laura that their confetti came from TNWC recommended supplier The Natural Confetti Company after Laura found their promotion during my birthday celebrations back in the spring.

Natural petal confetti

Before my own wedding I never thought I wanted lots of pictures of just my husband and me, but I have since realised how important those moments just after you’ve got married are when you get to just be the two of you.  Emma from Blink Photography captured some beautiful photos of Laura and Charlie in the grounds of Silchester House…

Laura and Charlie's relaxed and natural wedding

Blink Photography

Natural bride in lace wedding dress

Wedding photography in a field

Photographer Emma also captured these few images on film – aren’t they stunning…

Blink Photography

Natural bride

Black and white wedding photography

After their wedding ceremony, they had a drinks reception accompanied by more lively Spanish songs before their wedding breakfast. “We didn’t want all the tables to look too uniform so each had a different flower arrangement with different combinations of larger and smaller vases.  We also had the tables decorated with votives and tealights.  We made the table numbers and menus ourselves to match the rest of our stationery, which was heavily inspired by The Natural Wedding Company!”

Seasonal country flower wedding centrepieces

Natural wedding reception tables

Notebook wedding favours

As Laura mentions above, she was inspired by my own wedding stationery, “We decided to make all of the wedding stationery ourselves – we had been really inspired by the invitations that we’d seen on The Natural Wedding Company website, so based our design on them.  We loved the idea of using recycled brown card as base stock to fit in with the natural feel.”  

In some of the photos below you’ll spot just some of the ways she incorporated our ideas (like the bunnies which was on the cover to our wedding details booklet, and that Laura used for her table numbers)…

Brown craft table numbers and country garden flowers

Seasonal country flower wedding centrepieces

Country wedding flowers and brown craft place cards

“We were struggling to decide what to do about wedding favours until I stumbled across some gorgeous recycled notebooks – I loved the designs and as soon as I saw these I knew I wanted to give them to our female guests.”

Pretty notebook wedding favours

“For the boys we had mini rubix cubes to keep them entertained!”

Rubik cube wedding favours

Laura and Charlie created a simple but beautiful table plan by pinning their printed tables onto a gorgeous piece of wood…

Wedding seating plan pinned to log

Ammi in tiny metallic pot

Wedding table plan displayed on wood

“On the table with our guestbook we placed some family wedding photos of our parents and grandparents, and also made up a sign with our initials on made out of stamps.  We ran out of time to do everything we’d planned – I had mountains of jam jars which I’d intended to decorated with lace and fill with tealights, but in the end we focussed on the details that were most important to us and didn’t miss the jam jars.”

Initials made from postage stamps

Family wedding photos

With so many DIY and handmade elements, there’s bound to be something that is a bit stressful – Laura shared her moment…or rather her bridesmaids and brothers…  “I think the most stressful DIY moment probably fell to my bridesmaids and brother – we’d bought our wedding cake from M&S and they had been tasked with constructing it during the drinks reception.”  

Blink Photography

“I’d thought it would be a very straightforward case of putting one tier on top of the other, but little did I know it was delivered with little pillars that were placed between the tiers that made the job much more complicated!  Like professionals they managed it and one of my favourite photos is of them all hard at work looking very serious and worried!”

Cutting the wedding cake

The beautiful wedding cake…

Blink Photography

Laura told me that the speeches were one of the highlights of the day for her: “As the bride you’re so involved in the planning of every other aspect of the day, and this was the one part where I didn’t know what to expect at all.  We had four speakers and they were all fantastic.”

Blink Photography

Blink Photography

Blink Photography

As well as the speeches, this lovely moment also sticks in Laura’s mind… “I’ll never forget coming back to the dance floor and seeing the whole room having turned into a massive dance off with Charlie doing some strange kossack-style dancing, followed by an impromptu conga when the music finished at the end of the night.”

Blink Photography

English country garden flower arrangements

They set up a photobooth for their guests with plenty of props…

Wedding photobooth

Wedding photobooth

Wedding photobooth props

Laura and Charlie chose Emma from Blink Photography to capture their wedding day, “We couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures, we loved Emma’s style as soon as we saw some of her photos – she captures such beautiful shots and her pictures always seem to tell the story of the day.  She was brilliant on the day, you would hardly have known she was there, yet she captured precious moments that you almost weren’t aware of at the time!”

Blink Photography

“Looking back on the day, it does all go so quickly, so I’d recommend that all couples just take time to take it in.”

Just look at these gorgeous black and white photos of Laura and Charlie dancing that photographer Emma captured on film – I can just imagine their grandchildren looking at these fondly one day…

Black and white wedding photography

Blink Photography

What a gorgeous wedding Laura and Charlie had, and I’m so pleased they went with what they wanted from their wedding day.  Afterwards they honeymooned in Bali, the perfect place for a well earned break after the busy months leading up to their wedding: “We enjoyed lots of down time on the beach, off-set with white water rafting, yoga, traditional Balinese dancing and snorkelling.”

Blink Photography

A few months on and Laura and Charlie are enjoying married life in their little flat in north London and are busy saving up to buy a place of their own.  “We feel like we’ve got so much more time on our hands now that we’re no longer wedding planning, so we’re just making the most of it.”

Blink Photography

A huge thank you to Laura and Charlie for sharing their wedding with us all, to their photographer Emma from Blink Photography who kindly sent through all the images, and to Jay from Jay Archer Floral Design who was the one who told me about this beautiful wedding.

{ Details }

Photography: Blink Photography
Venue: Silchester House
Dress: Vintage from Annie’s and remade by dress designer Clare Copland (email: clarecopland@googlemail.com)
Hair: Tass at Natasha Wiggins
Fascinator: A Alicia Accessories (recommended supplier of The Natural Wedding Company)
Groom’s Suit: Basilica Duo
Flowers: Jay Archer Floral Design (recommended supplier of The Natural Wedding Company)
Ceremony Musicians: Los Amigos
Paper Details: homemade inspired by The Natural Wedding Company
Wedding Favours: recycled notebooks from Rosehip
Confetti: The Natural Confetti Company (recommended supplier of The Natural Wedding Company)

Comments

Sophie on 14. November, 2012

THIS is why I have chosen Emma as our photographer! She’s amazing! Absolutely stunning wedding & photos! x

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