Hello lovely readers! Did you know that nearly a quarter of all marriage proposals occur on Valentine’s Day? In fact, recent research suggests that at least 80% of engagements happen on or between Christmas Eve and the 14th of February. Huge congratulation to our recently betrothed readers and a very warm welcome to those of you who are new to Love My Dress!
Regardless of whether you intend to celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow, or not, today’s colourful, English country garden wedding, featuring beautiful bride, and a groom dressed in tweed, is sure to brighten up your weekend. Ben, a plumber, married Donna, a wedding photographer, on the 5th of September 2015, at Otley Hall, a stunning, moated Tudor Hall, surrounded by ten acres of gardens, nestled in the Suffolk countryside.
“We didn’t have a colour scheme we just chose the colours we liked. We wanted our wedding to have a relaxed country feel. I loved taking ideas from Love My Dress and putting my own twist on them to make them unique. Love My Dress is full of inspiration and it’s great having so many different styles and ideas in one place.”
Donna and Ben’s big day was captured beautifully by photographer Matt Penberthy. Matt is listed in our recently launched Little Book for Brides, a carefully curated resource designed especially for couples searching for their perfect wedding suppliers. Take a peek at it here!
“As a wedding photographer myself, choosing a photographer for our wedding was the most discussed topic during the whole process- much more so than the dress! I had every confidence that Matt would produce beautiful images, but the quality of photos we received was absolutely mind blowing; I often find myself just staring at them! We both felt so comfortable around Matt and he even got Ben to smile! Matt really brought Ben out of his shell.”
The couple’s wedding breakfast was provided by Daisy Chain Caterers and their wonderful cake was created by Donna’s mum.
“My amazing Mum, Michelle, made our beautiful cake. It was covered in colourful flowers and took a very long time to create!”
“After texting for a while we had our first date on the beach in Aldeburgh, where we later got engaged. These days, we often take our dog Bobby to Aldeburgh for walks (it’s one of our favourite places) and the day Ben proposed it was a typical freezing, December morning.”
Donna’s bridesmaids and flowergirls wore multiway dresses purchased in the sale at BHS (with one of the dresses costing an incredible 99p!)
“The bridesmaids picked their favourite colour and wrapped their dresses as they liked. I really wanted them to feel comfortable.”
The couples’ beautiful blooms were arranged by Laura of The Flower Shed…
“We wanted the flowers to be very colourful and look as if they had just been picked. We attached brooches with photos of my late grandad, Ben’s dad, nan and grandad to the bouquets.”
Donna looked lovely in a full skirted lace gown called ‘Juliet’, which she purchased at Perfection Bridal in Bromley. ‘Juliet’ is part of a collection of wedding gowns exclusive to Perfection Bridal & Menswear.
“I loved the lace and A-line shape of my gown – It really accentuated my waist. I knew before I even looked in the mirror it was the one. I felt absolutely beautiful in the gown and I knew Ben would love it too. The veil and tiara were my ‘something borrowed’ and were from my auntie Tracey, which made it extra special.”
Meanwhile, Ben looked every bit the country gentleman in a tweed waistcoat from Mark Darcy, a checked shirt by Champion and a pair of chinos from Next. Our groom purchased his shoes from Lambretta and his handmade tie was from Frederick Thomas.
“Ben is a Suffolk boy through and through, so tweed was a 100% must!”
Ben and Donna tied the knot outside in Otley Hall’s magnificent gardens…
“I walked up the aisle to ‘Tenerife Sea’ by Ed Sheeran, accompanied by my dad. We aren’t religious and wanted a relaxed and laidback ceremony. We walked out to ‘A sky full of stars’ by Coldplay, as it’s an upbeat song and we LOVE Coldplay.”
“Ben’s best man, Paul, (a childhood friend) wrote the most amazing speech – it was really heartfelt. Ben’s brother added in a bit at the end, paying respect to their Dad, James, which had the whole room in tears – It was beautiful. I never got to meet James, but I know he was with us every step of the way.”
Ben and Donna styled their venue with lots of little rustic touches perfectly in keeping with the country setting. Our couple hung brightly coloured paper honeycomb baubles from the ceiling and filled jam jars with colourful blooms…
“We used lots of bunting, flowers, hessian table cloths, tweed and LOTS and LOTS of jars.”
Ben and Donna set up a photo booth in the back of a vintage VW camper van, complete with plenty of silly props. What a brilliant idea!
“One of my favourite parts of the day was the buzz of getting ready and screaming when the sun came out! The drive to the venue with my parents, my dad walking me down the aisle, our ceremony, the speeches and our VW photo booth were also highlights. We loved it when the party got started too- we have some legendary dancers!”
“It’s such a lovely song and we had never heard it used as first dance.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Invite who you want and do what you want – it’s your day. It’s ok to be selfish – you cannot please everyone and anyway, your wedding day is about you and the one you love.
We found that providing a few blankets and heel stoppers went down well. Plus, flip flops are always welcome when the shapes get going on the dance floor!”
Congratulations Ben and Donna! Thank you for agreeing to share the details of your big day and to Matt Penberthy for the beautiful images. If you’d like to see other inspiring country garden weddings, please follow this link.
Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow!
Photographer – Matt Penberthy
Venue – Otley Hall, Suffolk
Wedding Dress – ‘Julie’ by Perfection, purchased from Perfection Bridal in Bromley
Shoes – Miss KG by Kurt Geiger
Accessories – Earrings from Debenhams
Bride’s Scent – Black Opium by YSL
Groom – Tweed waistcoat from Mark Darcy + Champion shirt + Next chinos + Lambretta shoes + Frederick Thomas tie
Bridesmaids – Dresses from BHS + New Look shoes + ASOS hair accessories + jewellery from Debenhams
Flowergirls – Dresses from BHS
Florist – Laura from The Flower Shed
Cake – Created by the bride’s mum.
Entertainment – The Mementoes Band
Rings – Bride’s ring from Aurus Diamond and Wedding Rings; groom’s ring from H. Samuel
Catering – Daisy Chain Caterers
Stationery – Ros O’Donnell Design
Hair Stylist – Michelle Colquhoun
Makeup Artist – Sharon + Emma at Elegant Hair & Beauty