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English country garden bridesmaid dresses

I’m delighted that the incredibly creative Lucy from Lucy Says I Do, a recommended TNWC supplier who designs beautiful wedding stationery, will be joining us for a series of guest blog posts whilst I’m off on maternity leave.  Lucy had a stunning wedding that was featured on Love My Dress and she booked wedding photographer Mark Tattersall after seeing his photos of our wedding.

Lucy created so many lovely things for her wedding, that I’m really excited to share some of them here with you – I just know you’re going to be inspired.  Love Charlie x

Over to Lucy…

I knew I wanted to make dresses that suited the wedding, so my thoughts were: English Country Garden, summery, fun, and natural.  In addition to this I wanted the girls to feel really special when wearing them, so they needed to be high quality, feminine, soft and elegant.

My sister (one of my lovely bridesmaids) and I designed the bridesmaids’ dresses together.  We decided to design the print as an English country garden story.  When developing the design I created an ‘English Country Garden’ inspiration board to help focus my ideas for the print.  Here’s my print inspiration board:

Moodboard for English country garden bridesmaid dresses

Taking different natural elements of the English Country Garden idea we developed the print to include lots of detail including: flowers, fruits and insects.  I loved the way the print developed, and the way that every time you looked at it you’d notice something different.  Including the little bumblebees!  We made sure we incorporated botanical elements such as the strawberry plant, but we balanced this with soft painterly effect flowers to make sure the print maintained a softness, like that of wild flowers.

Here’s a sample piece of the print, how many different elements can you spot?

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Sorbet coloured bridesmaid dresses and flowers from Ellie Gillard Photography

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and that the sun shone for you, at least a bit.  What better way to start the week than with an exclusive offer for all you lovely TNWC readers!  

One of recent additions to the directory, Ellie Gillard Photography, was keen to introduce herself to you – I was delighted because not only does Ellie take gorgeous photographs, but like all our businesses she does her bit to run her business in an eco-friendly way.  

So if you’re on the hunt for a wedding photographer then get to know Ellie Gillard Photography a bit more, and enjoy looking at some beautiful pictures from weddings she’s captured.  Plus, at the bottom you’ll find an exclusive 15% off last minute availability offer if you book before the end of May 2013!  Over to Ellie…

Wax orange blossom tiara by Ellie Gillard Photography

Hi, I’m Ellie.  I’m the photographer, owner and general dogsbody at Ellie Gillard Photography.  I love to photograph couples who want to break for the norm, I always think a picture says a thousand words but what you might not know is that I’m also eco-friendly, both in my life and in the way I run my business.  So I make four key promises.

Woodland wedding ceremony by Ellie Gillard Photography

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Boho country bride

This time last year my sweet friend Jen was getting married to her Mr, Chris, as it happens in the lovely village church that we both go to sometimes.  It’s in a gorgeous little village called Dunham Massey in the countryside south of Manchester.  Most of the cottages are owned by the National Trust so it still has this old fashioned feel to it, and the vicar is just the best ever.

Homemade wedding cake with rose petals

Soft pink jasmine flower crown

Village fete wedding marquee

I was lucky enough to meet Jen a couple of days after her wedding for my TNWC 5th Birthday Party and we had previously met up for a cup of tea when Jen emailed me and we suddenly realised for a few months we’d been sat in church together whilst she was busy reading my blog – she created some beautiful paper details for her wedding based on our own wedding stationery.

Ice cream wedding van

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Dave and Laura's autumn wedding

Autumn barn wedding with a handfasting ceremony

It has been a while since I featured an exclusive real wedding on the blog, more through my own fault than lack of them to share.  Whenever I put together a real wedding feature I feel this immense sense of responsibility to the couple who’s wedding it is – after all  this was their special day and I want to do my very best in portraying it here on my blog.

As a result it takes me a great many hours to put together the beautiful photographs and carefully answers questions submitted by the bride.  Today’s wedding is a very gorgeous autumnal affair, that was inspired by the couples love for the countryside.

Laura and Dave got married in Stratford Upon Avon during the autumnal month of October, with a humanist ceremony.  Their wedding was captured beautifully by TNWC photographer Sarah Brittain Edwards Photography.  Over to bride Laura to tell us more about the day…

Real leaf wedding signs

The Little Caravan Photography

Groom in waistcoat and mustard coloured bowtie

“We both love Autumn and were keen to reflect the season, with it’s lovely cosiness and beautiful colours.  We wanted it to feel personal and handcrafted – no ‘Gold Package’ all inclusive deals!  And being a country girl at heart, I wanted it to feel rustic, homely and unfussy.”

Autumnal wedding flowers and grasses

Autumn bride and bridesmaids

Wedding sparklers

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People Tree fairtrade organic dresses

People Tree is one of the original fair trade clothing brands in the UK and one that I love.  As ‘ethical’ and ‘fairtrade’ has become more mainstream it has been great to see People Tree’s collections grow and there to be even more choice of beautiful clothes.

I ended up on their website checking out what was in their sale when I spotted a number of dresses that I thought would make perfect summer bridesmaid dresses and knew I had to share them with you.

Please bear in mind these are currently in the January 2013 sale so they might not stay around long.  Even if you come across this post later, do check out their current collections as I’m sure there will be more lovely items – www.peopletree.co.uk.

Lora V Neck Dress

This vintage inspired dress is made from a pretty floral print in 100% organic Fairtrade certified cotton and is £37.50 (50% off) in the People Tree sale.  Perfect for a English country garden wedding.

Vintage inspired floral print bridesmaid dress

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Colourful wedding bunting from vintage fabric

Now I say ‘colourful’ but it’s really that certain kind of deep hued colours from another era – almost like a cross between the old fashioned colours of a circus crossed with a gypsy caravan. This pretty wedding took place on a farm in Portland, Oregon (a place I’d love to visit) and the bride owns a vintage hire company which explains the very lovely eye for detail.

I’m not a huge fan of the over-the-top art style installation ceremony backdrops you see in some weddings, but this use of the mismatched fabric bunting for this outdoor wedding on a farm seems to fit quite nicely.

Outdoor wedding ceremony with bunting

What’s more appropriate for an outdoor wedding ceremony on a farm than hay bale seating, and in keeping with the other rich colours at this wedding they are covered with a variety of crocheted blankets.

Colourful crochet knitted blankets on hay bales

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Emma & Gianni rustic country wedding

Rustic country wedding (part one)

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.

>> Read part two of Emma and Gianni’s rustic country wedding here <<

rustic natural country wedding

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.

darling buds of may wedding ideas

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.

cripps barn gloucestershire wedding venue

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