A Fishtail Plait and Pretty Flowers for an Eco Friendly Village Hall Wedding was last modified: June 24th, 2015 by Annabel

Monday is full of matrimony in Love My Dress world. TWO elegant weddings to inspire you.  Our second wedding today was photographed by our sponsor and recommended wedding photographer Victoria Phipps, who shot these portrait images on film – perhaps that’s why I love them so much, but then there is nothing not to love in these sweet photographs of a wedding held in July last year.

Talented textiles designer Emily (visit her website & blog!) and Mark wanted an eco-friendly celebration and filled their wedding day at Langley Village Hall with the prettiest florals. And being a rather talented pair of designers, they also worked together to create their own stationery and favours.  I love the laid back elegance of this wedding day…

We wanted to create a relaxed laid back day for
everyone; a day which felt at home in its setting. The views of the
Langley countryside and surroundings are so beautiful, we felt we didn’t
need to go over board on lots of details.  The location spoke for
itself.  Obviously it was always going to be weather dependent whether
we could stand outside on the day but luckily for us the weather was
glorious. We were so lucky we couldn’t have picked a nicer day,
especially considering the awful summer we had last year.

I also wanted the wedding to be very eco-friendly – we used a
fabulous catering company who grew their own vegetables and used local
food suppliers. Our flowers were from the Manchester flower market from
local Cheshire suppliers. We also used a lady from the village to make
the cake and a local brewery for the gorgeous ales in the evening.

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2013, Victoria Phipps



“My dress was called Versailles and was made by Forget Me Not Designs.
I bought it in a wedding dress shop that was closing down in Bramhall,
Cheshire. It was a sample dress and 3 sizes too big but I loved it and
knew it could be adjusted so we went ahead and bought it for
£375 (normally £1,500).

It actually turned out to be a bit of a drama with the dress;  I’d
left the dress at the shop as the owner said she would have it dry
cleaned and we’d be able to pick it up a week later. Weeks after we
hadn’t heard from her and were getting a little worried as we had paid
for the dress, so we drove to the shop only to find it all boarded up.
We knew she was closing, but she had obviously done a runner as we
couldn’t get hold of her (brides beware when buying from shops that are closing down!).

My mum being the Miss Marple, phoned up every
dry cleaning shop in Bramhall, on the off chance they might have my
dress, eventually she found the dry cleaners where the owner had been
taking the dresses to be cleaned. Turns out the dry cleaners were owed
lots of money from the wedding dress shop and had been refusing to give
back the dresses to her until she paid up. Luckily for us, they had my
dress and we paid for the dry cleaning!”



“We used a fantastic lady called Debbie for the alterations from “Adeava” in MacclesfieldShe
adjusted the size and also changed the front of the dress by lowering
the silk sash and adding some new beading to the middle, she also added a
bustle for the evening so I would be able to dance in it without it
getting in the way. I was delighted with the results and would
thoroughly recommend her.

 I loved the shape of the
dress and the delicate lace sleeves that made it feel very elegant. It
was covered in beautiful French lace and beads that sparkled, and it had
a small train at the back that worked really well for walking down the
aisle. It felt unique as we had customised the dress with a new sash and
beading. I couldn’t imagine spending too much money on a dress that I
was only going to wear for one day.



I actually entered a competition on Love My Dress to win a bridal headpiece by the designer Jannie Baltzer and couldn’t believe I won it! Jannie is the sweetest lady and her work is absolutely stunning.  I chose a headpiece called Elena, which was covered in beautiful
French lace with presiosa crystals and pearls – it went perfectly with
my dress.

I also wore pearl earrings that my mum wore on her wedding day and a simple pearl bracelet.  My hairdresser bought gems from different haberdashery shops and fed them onto wires which were then wound around the plait.



“Mark and I, designed and made the wedding stationery, as we are both designers (my website and Mark’s website).  I
designed the illustrations and Mark drew the typeface and put it all
together, we printed the invitations on recycled card and then I screen
printed one of my bird designs on each envelope. We saved lots of money
by designing it and printing it ourselves, it was personal to us and it
was lots of fun working together. We also used the same style for the
order of service booklets we made.

Mark hand painted
wooden blocks for table numbers, he also made black boards for the table
plan and the bar drinks. We hand painted signs for outside the hall to
point people in the right direction of the party and the loo!



A lady called Jane Duncan, who lives in the village did
all our flowers. Jane is not a florist, just loves doing flower
arranging for friends. As soon as I met her and went through my ideas I
knew we were completely on the same wavelength. She knew exactly the
sort of flowers I wanted and was able to offer so many creative ideas on
how to display them.

We wanted the flowers to look as
though you had just stepped into an English country garden. We used lots
of beautiful smelling flowers and herbs such as sweet peas, stocks,
roses, lavenders and rosemary. Jane bought all our flowers from local
suppliers at the Manchester flower market. Sweet peas were also used as a
reminder of my Nanna Betty who couldn’t make the wedding, she used to
grow them in her garden every summer, sadly she passed away a week after
our wedding.
  We picked the lavender ourselves from a two
acre lavender field at a pub called The Swettenham Arms. It was amazing,
we were able to pick as much as we liked, then gave a donation to the
pub. We used the lavender all over the hall which made it smell
beautiful and even displayed it in baskets hung off fences outside.

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“My dad, Stuart walked me down the aisle – we wanted to keep the
church service traditional, I walked down the aisle to the Bridal
Chorus, played on piano by my brother in law’s Auntie Rosemary.”

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It always make me laugh when I think about how we met!
In 2002, I was walking home with my friend from a six form leavers do.
Mark was driving back from a night of delivering pizzas with his drunk
friend in the car. Mark’s friend spotted us and asked him to pull over.
Turns out Mark’s friend knew my friend and invited us back. I instantly
warmed to Mark, we had so much in common as we both are very fond of art
and music, we chatted to the early hours and he managed to get my
number before we left.

Mark moved to London 3 months later
to start his design career and I started my degree in Fashion/textiles
at University of Brighton – we would see each other once or twice a
month in London or Brighton, it was a long distance relationship but we
persevered!  I then moved to London in 2006 and we moved in together a
couple of years later.

On our 10 year
anniversary Mark took me away to Lisbon, Portugal.  The day he proposed
we went to a beautiful beach, he gave me a little wooden plaque in the
sea he had hand painted with a very sweet message, it was perfect! A
memory I will treasure forever.

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My sister Lucy wore a ruched bodice maxi dress in teal we
purchased from John Lewis in the sale, it was a bargain and such a
beautiful colour and fit on her.

Lucy also wore her own
flower in her hair bought from accessorise and her daughter Holly wore a
smaller version on a flower in her hair.
  Holly the little flowergirl also wore a lovely silk ivory dress we bought in the Monsoon
sale for £30. We added little sleeves to the dress so it would mimic my

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Mark wore a Paul Smith suit called ‘The Floral Portuguese
pin-dot’. What a coincidence, since he proposed in Portugal. He wanted
to buy a suit that he would be able to wear again.
  We bought
it from the website ‘Matches’ and then went to the Paul Smith shop in
Covent garden to have it properly tailed, to fit him perfectly.

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I spent lots of time on the internet
searching for the right photographer when I came across
Victoria Phipps. As soon as I saw her work we knew she was the right person for
the job, her photographs are beautiful!

We had a pre-wedding
shoot at The Barbican
in London, which was so much fun and a chance to
get to know Victoria before the big day – it made us feel very relaxed.
Victoria was so easy to talk and instantly felt like a friend we’d known
for years. She was amazing, capturing all of the beautiful details and
creating the perfect reminder of our special day. We can’t thank her
enough for providing us with photos we will cherish forever!




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My silver shoes were ballroom shoes called ‘ Tappers Elena‘. I purchased them online from a dance wear company.  I
wanted to feel comfortable throughout the day and to be able to dance
all night so I didn’t want to go for a big heel. These were perfect and
really cheap and as they were made for ballroom dancing they were
perfect for dancing all night in! My sister (bridesmaid) also wore the
same shoes



“I used a fantastic makeup artist called Suzy ShowmanWe
had used her previously for my sisters wedding and I knew as soon as I
started planning my wedding I wanted Suzy to do our make-up again. She
works on the Bobbie Brown counter in John Lewis, so most of the products
she uses are from Bobbie Brown – which just so happens to be one of my
favourite make-up brands. It was so lovely to have her over to our house
on the morning of the wedding, she is incredibly sweet and makes you
feel very relaxed as well as being an amazing make-up artist

I was also so lucky to find the most amazing hairdresser, called Nicola JewsburyI
knew as soon as I saw photos on her website of her work she would be
perfect. Her work is fresh and modern, she is also incredibly friendly
and listened to all my ideas.

I had one hair trial, it was
all I needed as I knew exactly how I wanted my hair to look and Nicola
listened to everything I said.   She also suggested I have some extra
hair jewellery in the plait so she made the gem hair pieces. As she
pointed out “Often brides are forced to spend hundreds of pounds on hair
jewellery and pieces that are not quite right. So at the trial I often
offer to make something that perfectly suits the brides hair and wedding

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We were married at Langley Methodist Church, Macclesfield. We’re both originally from Macclesfield but now live and work in London. Mark was brought up in Langley, which is a beautiful village 2 miles outside the town. As soon as we started planning our wedding we knew we wanted to get married in the North as both our families still live up there.  Langley was the perfect setting with its stunning, picturesque views of Cheshire. 

It also meant we could hire Langley’s local village hall for the reception, which conveniently was only a 2 minute walk from the church. By hiring the hall for the day, it meant we could put our creative stamp on the place.  We also liked the fact there had only ever been one other wedding reception held there, it felt unique to us.”



“The church service without a doubt was the most amazing part of
the day for us. We had the brilliant Reverend, David Stretton, who gave
us a beautiful, personal service. My brother in Laws Auntie Rosemary
played the piano for the hymns.

My mother in Laws choir (The Macclesfield Mydel Ladies Choir) sang 3 songs during the service,
Shoshone Love song – Traditional Native American Song, May it be- from
The Fellowship of the Ring and The Clare Benediction by John Rutter
The choir sounded absolutely beautiful and even made grown men well up.

We also had lots of unplanned funny things happen during the day – the
cake ended up on the floor by mistake! That sounds awful, but it was a
hilarious.  Mark lost his speech just before he was about to do it, but
ended up doing an amazing, heartfelt speech, I still get goose bumps
when I think about it.



My sister Lucy chose and read a beautiful reading, ‘To Love is not to Possess’;

To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.

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“We used vintage jugs from eBay,
large jam jars wrapped in hessian (an idea I had seen on Love my Dress
blog) and bits of Jane’s beautiful crockery collection to display the
flowers. We also used large milk churns from my sister’s farm to display
flowers outside the church. After the service friends of ours moved the
large flower displays down to the village hall to be used for the

Victoria took some brilliant photos of our friends carrying
large milk churns of flowers down the road

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I’m a printed textile designer, so it made perfect sense to make something for
everyone from my hand printed fabrics. I made each guest a napkin with a
different pattern/design on each. They were used on the tables for the
wedding breakfast, guests could then take them home after the wedding


“In keeping with our eco-friendly focus, we used lots of gorgeous smelling flowers to decorate our day!  We used my mother in law’s beautiful vintage white lace tablecloths for the all the tables.

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Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds to have an amazing
day with your loved ones, if you have a budget stick to it! We decided
early on we would keep the wedding to under £10,000. We were able to
keep the costs down by hiring the village hall which was only £8.00 an
hour, making all the
invites and table decorations ourselves, asking friends to dj and
using local suppliers in the village. We also bought all the booze for a
paid evening bar and gave the profits to a local charity.

as many friends/family involved in the build up to the wedding, it
makes it so much fun for everyone. We loved having a few days before the
wedding decorating the hall. Both our families threw themselves into
helping make our wedding day as good as it was and we are so grateful to
them for their love and support.

Relax on the day and enjoy every second, I know many brides say it but the day really does go so quickly.

Don’t expect everything to work out exactly how you want it too,
we had a few problems in the build up to the wedding but take it in your
stride and don’t get too stressed out – it’s not the end of the world
if a few things aren’t perfect.

And finally, Love My Dress was my favourite wedding blog – I still go on it now and look at all the beautiful weddings.”



Such a sweet day, thank you so much Emily and Mark for sharing your beautiful wedding photographs with us.

I’m keen to encourage all you brides still looking for a wedding photographer to check out the fabulously talented Victoria Phipps too – and I’d like to know if any of you book her for your own wedding day please! That would make me smile very much indeed.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this wedding. Also, with regards Emily’s near-dress disaster, I wondered if anyone else had had a similar experience? Thank goodness for Miss Marple Mum’s eh? So pleased you managed to track down your gown Emily.

With much love,



Photographer –Victoria Phipps
Venue – Langley Village Hall
Wedding Dress – Forget Me Not Designs
Headpiece – Elena byJannie Baltzer
Brides’ shoes – Tappers Elena
Groom’s Attire – Paul Smith
Bridesmaids – John Lewis
Flowergirls – Monsoon
Stationery & Favours – the bride and groom
Catering – Jayne Rudd
Hair Stylist – Nicola Jewsbury
Makeup Artist – Suzy Showman


Leave a Comment!

14 thoughts on A Fishtail Plait and Pretty Flowers for an Eco Friendly Village Hall Wedding

  1. Hello Katrina here from Forget me not Designs. One of our brides to be spotted this beautiful wedding in your blog, and after reading it I just wanted to write and say how lovely it all looks. A real traditional village wedding feel and such radiant smiles form the bride that you can see reach her heart.
    Congratulations to you both.

  2. Awww, always nice to see a familiar face on here :) Gorgeous couple and such a beautiful wedding! Lovely photographs from Victoria too, particularly love the end of the night dancin’ dancin’ ones! Congrats Em and Mark xx

  3. Oh she looks lovely!, That hair is stunning. My hair is short so a fishtail wouldn’t work on me but it is making me consider if I should grow out my hair haha! I love the end shot of them partying, keep it real and fun! Looks like a great wedding thanks for sharing the photos!!!

  4. Hi Emily, what a beautiful wedding you had! Things I love: you look beautiful (gorgeous hair styling & accessories) plus your husband’s outfit, the flowers and OMG the stationery – such talented designers too!
    I was glad to read you managed to track down the dress – so awful of the shop owner to take your money and vanish. Yay for your Miss Marple mum!

  5. Hi Katrina, thank you so much for your sweet comments. I was going to send you this blog post, so I’m pleased you have already seen it :-) I absolutely loved wearing Versailles, thank you for designing such a beautiful dress. Emily xx

  6. Such a wonderful wedding, this is just how we’re planning ours, local and a lot of DIY! Our reception will be in a old church hall very similar to this, and I love the how the bunting is strung – I’ll be stealing this!! The couple look so happy, and a beautiful day!

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