We were inspired by the idea of a ‘spring garden party’, with all the romance of an English country garden in full bloom. The beautiful grounds of Findon Place in my home-county of Sussex were the perfect venue, with the hills of the South Downs standing over us. The weather was very kind, and after weeks of ceaseless rain, the sun shone and everyone was in a good mood because of it!
We had such a good experience with our wedding suppliers. Our photographs were taken by Toni Heath at Cuttlebone photography: she is a pro at documenting the story of your wedding day, and we were blown away by the thoughtful compositions and the emotions she managed to capture.
Our flowers were made by Sue at Bramble and Belle and were inspired by a spring garden. My mum is a keen gardener and I grew up with her filling our house with her flower arrangements. The florals had a loose, natural feel to them and included flowers that were sentimental to me, such as peonies, foxgloves, sweet peas and jasmine. The warm pinks, peaches and corals brought a fresh and cheerful feel for a beautiful May bank holiday.
Music is very important to me and I secured this element of the day before anything else…including the venue! We had two Brazilian guitarists who placed an acoustic set during our ceremony and drinks reception and for the evening dancing, we moved to the gorgeous wood-panelled ballroom at Findon Place where we were entertained by ‘Das Brass’: a modern brass band who were the perfect combination of glamour and fun- I didn’t want their set to end.
Food was provided by Gastro Catering, who brought our vision of a ‘summer feast’ set along trestle tables, to life. We had food inspired by different elements of our time together and our travels as a couple, such as a Mediterranean antipasto sharing platter, roasted beef sirloin with chimichurri, and a mango and passionfruit panna cotta for dessert.
Last but by no means least, my dress was made by Lisa. This had so many sentimental elements woven into it, from the exquisite handmade flowers encircling the skirt, to the ribbon around the waist (just like my mum’s wedding dress). I took a lot of inspiration from one of my favourite designers, Marchesa, and Lisa was instrumental in bringing all the different elements I loved to life in one dress. The veil was my ‘something borrowed’ from my lovely sister-in-law, and Lisa added some flowers to this to tie it into the dress.
Having a bespoke wedding dress made with Lisa was by far my favourite part of wedding planning. I tried on dozens of wedding dresses before finding Lisa, 6 months before my wedding. I had collected lots of elements from different dresses that I’d liked along the way, but I didn’t yet feel that I’d found ‘the one’. I also felt rushed into making a decision as most boutiques told me that I would struggle to get hold of a dress in time for my wedding. I went to see Lisa for a consultation (which felt entirely like a chat with a friend over a cup of tea), and everything fell into place.
As a designer and dressmaker, she is utterly professional and knowledgeable: it was clear to me that I was in safe hands from the word go. She managed to take my collection of ideas and inspiration and create a bespoke pattern that fully complimented my body shape, style and personality. The process was so enjoyable too.
As a person she is incredibly warm, modest, and makes you feel completely at ease. She never made me feel like I was asking too much, even down to her taking up my dress one final time during the week of my wedding to help me feel more confident about dancing in it. It is this part of the process that meant the most, and is what makes me miss our dress fittings so much.