Today we are heading to Oxfordshire for this gorgeous wedding of Emily and Stephen. It’s a super pretty wedding filled with so many gorgeous pastel details, and of course my favourite, a copper sequin runner! Hannah K Photography has captured the day with a light, bright and super summery feel and the results are these beautiful photos. I just love Emily’s BHLDN dress and her stunning bouquet, so pretty! The party really comes to life though when the New York Brass Band take to the stage and then take the party outside with their amazing performance.
It was the most perfect day surrounded by everyone we love. It had a very relaxed atmosphere, and everywhere we looked we could see personal touches and how our friends and family contributed to make our day so special.
Emily and Stephen were married on the 10th June 2017 in a ceremony at St Peter’s Church followed by a reception at The Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire. ‘We enjoy walking and the area around the church and reception are beautiful – we just knew this was where we wanted to get married. There are amazing views over the Oxfordshire countryside from the top of the Wittenham Clumps – a series of hills in the area. We thought the hills would be a perfect backdrop or we could even walk up them for our wedding photos. We had 90 guests to the day and 120 in the evening. We had 18 months to plan and it took us the whole 18 months to plan, save up and make everything for the day.’
How they met
We met at university in a not very glamorous Wetherspoons pub in Norwich. We were out for my best friends birthday who happened to be dating one of Stephen’s best friends at the time. My friends did not know Stephen’s very well and we were sitting on a massive table; girls one side, guys the other. Stephen introduced himself to me to get the conversation flowing between different sets of friends. The rest is history! We’ve been together for 8 years.
It was our seven year anniversary – which was on a work night. Stephen treated me to a night at a local spa before driving home to surprise me with a few more anniversary gifts. One of which was an updated photo collage similar to one that he had made me at university that I had lugged around from house to house over the years and was looking worse for wear – he then made me close my eyes for the final surprise, which was him down on one knee with his great Grandmother’s ring!
How did you allocate your budget?
We started off with an amount we didn’t want to exceed. When we started getting quotes for things we realised we needed to prioritise certain costs over others – for us food and entertainment were most important.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We spent big on the entertainment and the food. We think food is always going to be a big cost on the day, especially if you want something beyond bacon wrapped chicken! As Stephen plays in a brass band, the entertainment was a New Orleans style brass band – New York Brass Band. This was a big splurge, but was worth every penny.
Why did you choose your photographer?
I did loads of research online, specifically Pinterest, looking for photographers who had taken photos in the area before. I wanted someone who took natural, unstaged and relaxed photos. Hannah was exactly this, with her photos incorporating vibrant colours and really capturing the moment. We met up with Hannah at a coffee shop and just knew from that first meeting she would be the photographer for us.
Again, I did loads of research and the dress I really loved was from the Anthropologie wedding dress shop online – BHLDN. I was nervous about ordering this online so scoured the UK for shops that sold it. My dress was from Coco and Kate Atelier in Warwickshire and was designed by Watters. Shoes were by Cleo B. The accessories were all found from little shops on Etsy.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The suit was by Kenneth Cole, bought from House of Fraser. It was decided early on that Stephen did not want ‘tails’ or anything like that, and wanted something he would be able to wear again.
Bridesmaid dresses were from Coast.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Just pretty summer colours but not too intense so pastel colours – peaches, turquoises and pinks
We found this amazing flower farm on the banks of the river Thames. All flowers were locally grown. We both liked the idea of supporting local businesses. We went a year before the wedding to see what sort of flowers were being grown at the time of year to get an idea of what we liked. We did not know what flowers and colours we would be having until a week before the day. A week before we went to the farm to put together a cutting list for the florist. We both love sweet peas so these featured prominently in our day. They were in the bouquets and small bunches adorned the church pews. We also had peonies, Icelandic poppies, Nigella and beautiful grasses and foliage including mint. As well as looking amazing the bouquets also smelt amazing.
We made all of the decorations ourselves. These included; handmade tissue paper pom poms of varying sizes and colours, chair back hearts made from sheet music, salt dough in printed hearts to tie up the cutlery, a photo line strung around the room showing us through the ages from birth through to a few weeks before the wedding, sweet pea towers at the entrance to the reception venue that we grew ourselves, glass jars with tealights to light up the courtyard in the evening, potted plants, gold sequin table runners, heart confetti – punched out of pretty patterned card, and small cut glass vases that we collected from charity shops for a year that we filled with flowers for the tables.
Sharing platters of:
Starter – mozzarella, tomato and basil, beetroot stained gravadlax with dill cream cheese, selection of cold meats, all with rustic breads
Main – lamb tagine with jewelled cous cous, spinach and feta filo pie with pomegranate seed and honey dressing green salad, roasted new potatoes.
Desert – sticky toffee pudding, fresh seasonal fruit salad, lemon and blueberry trifle.
Made by my aunt. Four tiers including; fruit cake, lemon drizzle, chocolate and orange (gluten and egg free), and carrot cake. Simple white icing but with a handmade country floral wreath wrapped around from top to bottom.
New York Brass Band – a New Orleans style brass band.
We designed, made and printed this ourselves.
We did most things ourselves. Pretty much all the decorations were done ourselves. We particularly loved the pew end sweet peas my auntie had made for the church service. My cousins put together a crazy photo booth – they brought lots of inflatable props and funny signs for everyone to wear. It went down really well – and we sent out these photos to people in our thank you cards.
Stephen’s Dad made some jam as wedding favours and elderflower cordial for the tables.
We also made the bar ourselves out of wood collected from Stephen’s parents church that they were refurbishing. We stocked the bar with local ale (Loddon) and cider (Tutt’s Clump) and took a trip to France for the table wine and champagne.
We also made our own confetti by collecting and drying out rose petals from our garden for a year – it was such a long process but they smelled and looked amazing.
Special Moments or Highlights
There were so many. The church service was beautiful – the church was filled to the brim with everyone. Also, walking into the barn and being introduced as Mr and Mrs Thorpe! We also had a personal touch in that we designed a pub quiz for everyone to take part in – we go to a pub quiz most weeks and this brought a fun competitive edge to the day.
Also at the end of the night, partying in the courtyard with New York Brass Band as the sun was setting. They got everyone dancing and singing along and was a truly memorable end to the evening.
Advice for Other Couples
Do what you want to do – try not to get caught up in what you think others want, or what your family wants. It is your day and you only get one. Tips for the day; take a couple of minutes every hour to look around with your partner to bank some memories and have a moment to really appreciate what is around you.
For Stephen, his brother (due to be his best man) could not attend the wedding as he was away with the army. It did not stop him getting involved in the day as he prepared a video speech to be displayed on a projector. It was a complete surprise and made the day extra special knowing he was with us in some way.
Supplier Shout Outs
Truly Scrumptious www.trulyscrumptiousoxford.co.uk
Green and Gorgeous Flowers www.greenandgorgeousflowers.co.uk
New York Brass Band www.newyorkbrassband.co.uk
Claire Nicole www.clairenicole.co.uk
Coco and Kate Atelier www.cocoandkate.co.uk
For more information on Hannah’s work go to:
www.hannahkphotography.co.uk / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / BLOG