It's Friday! Another week has completely flown by, but I had only expected it to be honest, as we've been very busy all week planning for today – my eldest daughters 8th birthday! At 10:00am today, it will be eight whole years ago that I welcomed my first daughter into this beautiful world of ours – an experience that changed my life in an instant and taught me on a whole new level what love is. Happy Birthday darling Eska Eleanor Beeforth And now, to prepare for the party and gang of excitable friends coming for a girly sleepover, Monster High movie fest and associated mayhem. What on earth have we let ourselves in for?! Please send gin luck!
This morning's wedding comes to you from photographer Abigail Cole of The Cole Portfolio, who was present on Sarah and Brendan's lovely summer wedding day. Sarah, a Paediatric nurse and Brendan, an Aviation Sales Executive, got married on 27th July at St Marys Church in Fittleworth, West Sussex, followed by a reception at Bignor Park, Bignor.
I adore Sarah's dress (that cut-out detail on the bodice is so feminine and lovely), and those fabulous florals by Jay Archer have a real wow factor. I'm also a little in love with those lovely details on the chairs – what a stylish alternative to the usual ghastly chair covers!
Photography Copyright (c) 2013, The Cole Portfolio
"We were really guided by the venue, our way of life and where we live. We both love living in the country and were instantly excited by the rustic feel of Bignor Park. I just knew we were going to be able to make it amazing, it was like a beautiful blank canvas with the most amazing gardens.
We wanted the English summer garden party feel but without the bunting! So we made it our own by using my favourite flowers, sunflowers, and cornflower blues with Delphiums to hopefully achieve a rustic classy feel!"
"Brendan and I met in our early teens when we had the same group of friends. We then went to the same college where Brendan would give me lifts in his very cool VW Beetle that would constantly break down at the traffic lights! It was then that we became incredibly good friends spending hours together, often bunking college.
I never saw Brendan as a boyfriend as we were such good friends, but it transpired he felt differently but didn’t pluck up the courage to tell me! (ahh!)."
"He left college before me as he was the year above and although we saw each other occasionally I was in a relationship at the time so our friendship grew distant. A few years later Brendan and I finally caught up, we were both single and I realised how gorgeous he was!
Brendan popped the question very romantically in August 2011 in a hot air balloon with champagne. We were engaged for two years before the big day."
"Bignor Park is local to us and personal to me, as when I was little my Dad used to take me there to ride his friends horses from the very stables we had our party in. It was lovely when we went to look at the venue and saw the way it has been transformed from working stables to a lovely space for weddings, but still had the feel of being in the barn/stables."
Our day was very unpredictable weatherwise and just as it was time for a few group shots the heavens opened! Abi was able to work quickly and organise the whole wedding party to be photographed in all sorts of places which weren't in the original dry weather plan! Basically what could have a been a living nightmare ending up being completely pleasurable and fun – need I say more!"
"Our Florist was Jay Archer. I always thought I might like blues as a wedding colour but sunflowers are my absolute favourite flower and so I decided to put them together without any roses to create a laid back pretty feel, which hopefully fit in with the aesthetic of the day."
"My bridesmaids wore blue floral dresses from Karen Millen and the younger girls wore cream dresses from BHS. The older girls shoes were from New Look in varying styles, but all in blue, and the little ones wore shoes from Next."
"Wedding stylists Gemma and Katy at Distinctly Yours helped us make our vision become reality! Working as a nurse, not having much time in between shifts, and with no family members close by I started to panic that I may not be able to achieve all that I wanted at Bignor- these guys were incredible! They worked alongside me to create my vision. They worked so hard and wow they are perfectionists!
Fantastic girls with loads of talent, they managed to understand completely what I had in my head despite not really being able to communicate all that well most the time! I couldn’t have asked for better help to make the dream of Bignor come alive!"
"Our photographer was Abigail Cole of The Cole Portfolio. We literally couldn’t have asked for more from Abi. What a fantastic photographer! At the beginning I was unsure about having a photographer at all because I was so worried about having to be photogenic and pose all day, but from the moment Abi came to see us and did a few practice snaps I knew I’d be fine – I felt completely at ease the whole day and even better, I love my photos (including the ones of me!).
Abigail is the loveliest person and it was because of this and her incredibly bubbly enthusiastic nature she was able to engage with all of our guests really well, everyone was happy to be photographed, however camera shy!"
"I wore a plain veil (no spakles or lace) and again from proposals as above. Brendan had always envisaged lifting the veil!"
"My lovely Mum walked me down the aisle to the sound of Camille Saint Sans, Symphony No.3 in C minor…(you will probably recognise it from the film ‘Babe’) We loved it"
"We had the Apache Wedding Prayer, and Song of Solomon as our readings – they are both really lovely. The Apache Wedding prayer is a modern, beautiful non-denominational blessing, expressing the love that two people can have for each other and what a difference it can make to their lives.
The Song of Solomon incorporates beautiful imagery of nature and wildlife and seemed perfect for our country setting."
"Our wedding favours were aluminium racing horse shoes which doubled as our place settings, sourced from my very own farrier, Mark Rees."
"We had the 'house cake' by Choccywoccydoodah ,and it was the most beautiful cake I have ever seen, with white chocolate, milk chocolate and a lemon sponge centre with a couple of white chocolate love birds perched on the top. Why wouldn’t we have wanted this amazing creation, which most definitely did not break the bank, and served our 80 guests with dessert, yum yum!"
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
"Try not to spend a fortune, the day goes so quickly, and as long as there’s booze nobody cares! DO NOT get upset or angry about anything even if everything goes horribly wrong, you would regret it because your day will remain in your memory forever, and should be the best day of your life – mine was!
I have a few special moments I’m afraid! Walking down the aisle with my mum, saying my vows to Brendan as if nobody was watching, and hearing his to me, the yummy food, speeches and, of course, the party and dancing with all my friends and family! Oops sorry that really is quite a few!"
"On reflection I wouldn’t have been thirty minutes late to the church (which wasn’t actually my fault, despite my reputation!), and I'd have had a slightly better bad weather plan so that poor Abi, our photographer, didn’t have to think on her feet!
Don’t forget to use all of your friends and family for jobs even if last minute – that’s what they’re there for! Most importantly when getting wrapped up in wedding stuff try not to forget what the day is actually about and remind yourself how lucky you are to be so in love."
Such a lovely day – thank you so much, Sarah and Brendan, for sharing your absolutely beautiful day with our readers – I adore all the sunflowers and smiles. And huge thanks to photographer Abigail Cole of The Cole Portfolio for submitting these lovely photographs too.
If you love sunflowers, take a look here!
With much love,
Photographer – The Cole Portfolio
Wedding Stylist – Distinctly Yours
Venue – Bignor Park
Wedding Dress – Novia D’Art from Proposals in Chichester
Brides' shoes – Lotus, via House of Fraser
Groom – Moss Bros
Forist – Jay Archer
Bridesmaids (older girls) Older girls-Karen Millen (no longer in stock)
Bridesmaids (younger girls) - BHS (no longer in stock)
Bridesmaids Hair Accessories – Jay Archer
Cake – Choccywoccydoodah
Car – Bentley ‘R’ Type
Entertainment – Mobo award winning Esco Williams and the Kontrollers
Favours – silver 'good luck' horse shoes
Table name animal design, Emily Wright
Rings – Ungar and Ungar via Kellerwood Jewellers (Sarah) + Amazon (Brendan)
Catering Company – Buns to Banquets
Stationery (order of the day) – the bride and groom
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