Mood: cheery, fun
Palette: coral, peach sherbet, cream
February feels like the perfect time of year for a color palette like this, when we’re all ready for the snow to melt and the flowers to bloom, but I do think you could easily make these colors work for spring or summer, too. The coral balances the pink and peach, keeping it from being overly sweet, while playful black pin dots add texture prevent things from getting too fussy (this bow from Ban.do or this dress from Minikin are other fun ways to incorporate this motif).
Tell me if I’m wrong, but seeing yesterday’s magical wedding and now this one, I’m thinking English brides must be terribly spoiled with the endless historic venues and magical gardens to choose from for their weddings – so beautiful! Like Patricia and Philip’s sweet garden wedding from photographer Dasha Caffrey at The Olde Bell…
The bride’s favorite moment? “There were so many wonderful moments it’s hard to pick just one. Walking up the aisle was slightly terrifying – I was convinced I was going to trip so it was extra wonderful to see Philip at the top and to be able to hold his hand and know everything was going to be okay. We both found it very odd not seeing each other all morning.”
After the ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a cocktail hour boat ride along the river to the reception site: “We traveled from the church to The Olde Bell by boat,” says Patricia. “This was one of the few things Philip had his heart set on and it worked brilliantly. He arranged with the lock keeper in Marlow that the boat could pick us up right at the bottom of St Peter’s Street, just two minute’s walk from the church. We decorated the boat with oversized balloons and streamers and served champagne, strawberries and shortbread brilliantly baked and prepared by Philip’s mum. The sun shone and the Thames countryside was so beautiful as we glided by, past blossom, weeping willows, rowing boats, barges, swans and waving crowds on the banks. It was magically relaxing after all the excitement of the morning and lots of people have told us it was their favorite part of the day.”
Says the bride of the choice of venue: “We’d already fallen in love with The Olde Bell as a reception venue when we first stayed there before we got engaged and loved the cozy vibe and the riverside location. We went back while scouting for wedding venues – the stunning gardens were in full bloom and we knew the hotel would provide the perfect combination of a relaxed country pub and luxurious boutique hotel. We were able to take over the whole of the Malthouse building and its gardens, with a marquee [tent] in the garden for the wedding breakfast. That meant our guests could explore the gardens and all the nooks and crannies of the Malthouse (the library, the Music Room, the Vegetable Patch) as they saw fit.”
Patricia talks about finding The Dress: “My dress was the Vivienne Westwood Ball Tie Dress, made by the lovely couture team at the Davies Street store. As much as I tried to fall in love with another dress (it was a long way over budget) and as many beautiful dresses as I tried, I kept coming back to the Vivienne Westwood. It was made of a very fine ivory georgette with an ivory French lace trim and ties – the ladies had the idea to embroider the lace with tiny pearl beads which I loved. It was so delicate we had a “no jewelry around the dress!” rule while getting ready for fear of snagging it and although deceptively simple it came with a detailed list of instructions for getting me in and out of it!”
As an alternative to traditional table numbers, seating was indicated by vintage illustrations of various flowers.
The tent was decorated with pastel paper lanterns, papel picado garlands, and LOVE spelled out in giant marquee letters. And instead of settling on just one type of dessert (the bride loves cupcakes and the groom wanted a wedding pavlova instead of cake) they compromised with a table of all their favorites.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We got engaged at a beautiful hotel in the South of France which was once F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home, full of fabulous Art Deco touches. As a result, we wanted a nod to the 1920s, which influenced our color palette: soft pink and gold, with lots of sparkle and glitter throughout. The 1920s inspiration also led us to incorporate pearls – on my dress and bag and on the bridesmaids’ shoes, bags and wraps. I also gave my bridesmaids and flower girls seed pearl bracelets as thank you gifts.
What advice did you receive as a bride? The Saturday before the wedding I was convinced I had broken the zipper in my dress, and arrived at the store more than a little stressed – the amazing Florian instantly fixed it, arranged for a few last minute alterations and calm was restored. He also gave me my very favorite piece of dress advice: “When wearing a train, you must walk in a circle, never reverse. The bigger the train, the bigger the circle.” It’s true!
What advice do you have for other brides? Make sure you get all the necessary paperwork in hand sooner rather than later. A few days before the wedding we were still waiting for final permissions from the Church which was just a little nerve wracking. Also, never underestimate the challenges of finding the right underwear to go underneath a clinging white dress. It’s more difficult than you think.
What is it about this garden wedding from Sarah Gawler?! From the whimsical venue, to the wildflower-inspired bouquets, to the bride’s gorgeous curls… everything about it has me feeling like I’m in a dream!
Says the bride: “My something old was the bridesmaid’s dresses which were all vintage; my something blue was the little flowers in the bouquet; my something borrowed was a beautiful little beaded purse my bridesmaids gave me on the day (which I haven’t actually given back – whoops!); my something new was my veil.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We instantly fell in love with the barn. We knew we wanted the day to be centered around a big feast and the barn was the perfect setting.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite look of long flowing hair and flowers headpieces. It kind of worked with the gardens and lake at the venue.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Walking into the barn with Freddy and seeing the beautiful smiling faces of everyone we loved all there together.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Let others help you! It saves money and takes some of the stress off your plate. Freddy’s mother made the beautiful cake, friends helped with catering and supplies, other friends did the music, and everyone was there on the morning helping to dress the venue.
What advice do you have for other brides? I became utterly addicted to blogs, saving pictures and making mood boards for food, dresses, location dressing, hair, make up. It helps to define your vision and be clear with suppliers about what you want.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Choose the things that matter the most to you and spend the money on those things. The guests aren’t obsessing over every tiny detail like you are.
I’m always such a sucker for a Gatsby-inspired wedding! Take this glam celebration from Love Me Do Photography for example: elegant bow ties, gilded paper details, a champagne tower… not to mention the beautiful photography!
Says the bride: “What inspired me most for the reception was Gatsby itself; the novel was always a transcendent, sensory experience for me, and I tried to envision what it would have been like to attend one of his epic parties. Our aesthetic vision was to keep everything white and textural, with touches of gold, and for our guests to have everything they could possibly want, right at their fingertips.”
“What inspired us most for our ceremony were our very strong feelings about how we wanted our marriage to begin. What meant most to us was crafting a ceremony that was intimate, personal, and authentic, and we did that by writing our own vows and asking our friends and family to help us create the rest, from having a friend as our officiant to other friends and family performing music and reading love letters from famous couples in history (and having our beloved Yorkie, Dexter, be part of the ceremony!).”
“As an English teacher, The Great Gatsby has been close to my heart since the first time I read it 15 years ago, and the second we walked into Cairnwood Estate, I felt like I had been dropped right into Gatsby’s house. The house itself is impeccably maintained and truly captures the ornate beauty of the Gilded Age; its incredible detail and non-traditional layout was perfect for us, since it required very little additional decor and allowed us the chance to create “rooms” for our guests, each one home to a different experience.”
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? The ceremony was definitely our favorite part of the day. Michael and I really put our hearts into our vows, and our friend Dan did an incredible job as our officiant. The ceremony was so honestly and authentically “us,” and I cannot imagine our marriage beginning in any other way.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I received was to just be present and enjoy the day. After all the planning and careful attention to detail, something will still go wrong, but it really doesn’t matter because you are marrying the person you love, and that is the most important part of the day.
What advice do you have for other brides? At some point, you just have to let things go. Not everything can be perfect, but no one else is going to know that except you, so stressing over those little details isn’t worth it. Choose a few things that matter most to you and stand by those choices, because in the end, the rest will not matter that much.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? I was lucky enough to have a pretty open budget, but I did try to save money in some places so I didn’t feel so extravagant spending money elsewhere. If you are crafty, DIY as much as you can, within reason. I saved a lot of money making my own menus, programs, and photo booth backdrop and props. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to help, too, because they all want to!
By the time February rolls around, many of us are just aching for some color! If you dream of bright, bold, cheerful flowers but you’re tying the knot during late winter (February and March), Sarah Winward of Honey of a Thousand Flowers (a Snippet & Ink Select vendor!) has some inspiration for you. Lovely photos by Kate Osborne.
Says Sarah: “For the bride that just can seem to submit to wintry colors, poppies and citrus fruit are in season in the late winter. They are just the dose of bright that you need in the late winter months.”