How is it Monday already? I hope you’ve all had glorious weekends filled with loved ones and laughter (and if you’re planning a wedding, muchos wedmin productivity). Tomorrow marks four months until our big day so, of course, I’ve decided its high time I learnt Calligraphy. I love the delicious, swooping script of modern calligraphy and really wanted to address our envelopes in a way that did justice to the beautiful invitations inside (shout out to the invaluable Little Book for Brides for putting me in touch with The Charming Press). If any of you lovely lot have taken it upon yourselves to get inky I’d very much like to hear from you; my scrawling handwriting has got a long way to go.
So, onto the main event. The gorgeous Katie and Mo held their civil ceremony on 17th October 2015 at Caswell House in the Cotswolds. Bringing together their different cultural backgrounds, our couple recognised each religion separately before celebrating en masse at this delectable honey coloured venue. A lovely way of honouring diverse beliefs (and extending the big day bliss), this final wedding hurrah was captured by the incredible Joseph Hall. Both doctors, Katie and Mo have since made the move to Australia and I’m not at all jealous that they will be reading this whilst sunning themselves in glorious Melbourne (hi guys!).
“I come from a Catholic family and Mo’s family are Muslim. This meant that we ended up actually having three wedding ceremonies; Islamic and Catholic ones with just our families and then our civil ceremony at Caswell House with everyone. It was really nice to celebrate our different cultural backgrounds in an intimate setting. For our civil ceremony it was really important for us too make it as personalised as possible so everything we chose had significance to us as a couple.”
Joseph Hall soaked up the atmosphere of the whole day through his camera lens, bringing the venue, couple and loved ones to life with his natural and joy filled shots. We champion Joseph as one of our wonderful Little Book for Brides members, I implore you to take a peek of more of his divine work here.
“We loved Joseph’s style of photography from the moment we found his website. His photos are beautifully natural and perfectly capture the emotions of the day, which was exactly what we were looking for. Joseph is a wonderfully friendly guy who made us feel completely at ease in front of the camera as well as getting on fantastically with our friends and family. We absolutely adore our wedding photos and couldn’t have asked for more. They are a beautiful reminder of everything we loved about the day and we will treasure them for years to come. It was a pleasure to have Joseph photograph our wedding and we really cannot recommend him highly enough.”
Tori Handsley’s Harp (in our heads, sadly). I’m such a sucker for a proposal story; to have an insight into a couples love story, then see all of their wedding dreams become reality is so blimin’ moving!
“Very cliché but both being doctors we met at medical school (As did both of our parents so I guess we were just following family tradition). The proposal was a complete surprise to me, which was amazing as I always thought I’d suspect something. At the time we were living separately due to work commitments, I was in London and Mo on the South coast. We has annual leave in October and decided to book a last minute trip to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast as we love Italy.”
“Secretly, Mo had met up with my sister Lucy and gone shopping for an engagement ring; they couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for so commissioned one of the jewellers in Hatton Gardens to create the ring Mo had in mind.
On the second day of our holiday Mo suggested we go for a walk before dinner through nearby gardens, which are known for their beautiful views over the coastline. The gardens were really peaceful as the sun was setting and most visitors had already left. As we were walking through a secluded area Mo stopped under a little dome, told me he loved me, kissed me and then asked me to marry him! It was perfect.”
Opting to take inspiration from elements of other dresses to design her own perfect gown, Katie enlisted the help of couture wedding dress designer Shanna Melville to bring her vision to life.
“I had been to a few wedding dress shops with my Mum before we discovered Shanna Melville but I had only found a few parts of dresses I liked rather than ‘the one’. From our first appointment to collecting my dress Shanna was incredible! She is so friendly and welcoming and makes you feel completely at ease.
Shanna worked with me to design my perfect dress, which was such a lovely experience in itself. I really wanted to incorporate lace into the dress and have sleeves as it was Autumn and I always get cold! The final dress was so elegant and luxurious, the silk flowed effortlessly and I felt amazing in it!”
I am head over heels for the sweetest, smile inducing arrangements by JamJar Flowers. Berries nestle into delicate blooms and matte Eucalyptus while explosions of gypsophila and dried hydrangea hang from rustic beams in a fresh take on the autumnal vibe. Having a garland frame your ceremony space is such a powerful way to add your own stamp onto a venue.
“The whole team at JamJar are amazing – they are full of ideas and incredibly talented and creative. Using berried eucalyptus, wax flower and tiny rose buds they crafted my fresh flower hair garland. As a surprise they also added a single ‘love in the mist’ flower, which was a beautiful touch. They made the most stunning flower balls to hang from the wooden rafters in the main barn and a beautiful wild garland to go above where we had our ceremony. I told JamJar the colours and flowers I liked from their instagram and left the rest up to them – the end result could not have been more perfect! ”
Treat yourself and have a browse of more beautiful floral hair adornments here.
Katie’s Dad walked her down the aisle to the sounds of ‘I Giorni’ by Ludovico Einaudi. Our happy couple chose to write their owns vows and had a grand total of four readings.
“We chose an extract from Captains Corelli’s Mandolin as we felt it was simply a beautiful description of love. ‘The Jar of Life’ and ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley were chosen as they are light hearted but the messages are true to what we believe as a couple. ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ is a personal favourite of mine.”
“Tori Handsley is an incredibly talented harpist who we met at the Caswell House wedding fair. She played beautiful music for our ceremony and throughout our drinks reception. What we really loved is her hugely diverse repertoire of music; we never knew the harp could be so versatile. She is amazingly friendly and extremely professional, a highly recommended addition to our day.”
A sumptuous dusky blue tone was chosen for the Dessy Bridesmaids dresses, matching the subtle autumnal elegance of the day wonderfully. These lucky ladies were gifted with Oliver Bonas bracelets in different colours, with Katie’s Maid of Honour (her sister Lucy) given a beautiful gold necklace from Dogeared.
Mo was suited and booted in an Aquascutum suit and tie with Paul Smith shoes. He added a shirt from Hackett, pocket square from a tailors on Jerome Street and a Maurice Lacroix watch. The groomsmen were given a thank you box on the day that contained an Aquascutum tie, socks and pocket square from Jerome Street to wear with their French Connection suits.
Injecting their personalities into their final wedding celebration, Katie and Mo made sure to include a smattering of old and new photographs of themselves growing up and with friends and family. There’s always time for a trip down memory lane in my opinion.
“Making our table plan was by far the most time consuming and hilarious project; instead of names we chose an amusing picture for each guest. Some were old pictures, others were fancy dress, it certainly caused a few laughs and proved a good talking point. We used a fancy dress box and polaroid camera to capture photos for our guest book, it was so much fun!”
“The year before we got engaged one of our close friends had a barn wedding and it was so beautiful we fell in love with the idea. We didn’t have anywhere in particular in mind and our friends and family are spread throughout the UK so we were pretty open to most locations. I found Caswell House after hours of internet searching and instantly knew it was the one! We really liked the fact that its a family run business on a working farm. Plus the Cotswold stone barns and gardens are stunning.”
“We didn’t do too much to the venue as the barns are beautiful by themselves and we wanted to keep things feeling natural. Our table flowers were arranged in small glass bottles and we wanted it to feel as though they were freshly picked. Table names were places that had meaning to us as a couple and we printed them as old-fashioned travel posters. We also had candles in hurricane vases on the windowsills, which gave a lovely soft light to the barn after sunset.”
This tower of cake, cream and berries (cue Homer Simpson moment) was made by The Organic Wedding Cake Company, I advise you not to browse their website whilst hungry.
Katie’s Mum lovingly made the scrumptious favours, three delicious flavours of biscuits: rose shortbread, pecan and maple biscuits and raspberry, white chocolate and oat biscuits (I bet most of them were devoured before the guests got home, yum).
Ed Sheeran’s spine tingling powerhouse ‘Thinking Out Loud’ was the couples first dance. Soulshine Band then had the whole guest list boogeying the night away with their infectious energy and charisma.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Try not to worry about every last detail and what will happen if things don’t go to plan. You’ll be so busy enjoying yourself on the day, you wont even notice, honestly! It really is the most incredible day and it passes in a flash, treasure every second!”
It’s no coincidence that we feature so many weddings held in the golden calm of the Cotswolds; the backdrop of rolling English hills and Cotswold stone is pretty hard to beat. Caswell House is a family owned, 15th century manor house and cluster of medieval barns, I can totally see why Katie fell in love with its elegant, homespun splendour.
Well said lovely Katie, all of that planning and decision making is to ensure you have the happiest day of your life, and you cant have the happiest day of your life if you’re fretting about the planning and decision making.
It’s been a pleasure to share Katie and Mo’s big day, thank you so much to the happy couple for letting us all swoon all over your nuptials (I hope Australia is treating you well!). Of course, a huge thank you to Joseph Hall for taking such sublime images for us all to enjoy.
I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to my fiancé for covering our home in glitter and now ink smudges, I promise it will be worth it!
Have a great week guys,
Photography – Joseph Hall
Venue – Caswell House
Dress – Shanna Melville
Shoes – LK Bennett
Fragrance – Chloe
Fresh Flower Hair Garland – JamJar Flowers
Bridesmaids – Dessy Style After Six 6709, Colour Stormy
Groom – Aquascutum suit and tie, Paul Smith shoes, Hackett shirt
Groomsmen – French Connection suits, Aquascutum tie
Florist – JamJar Flowers
Rings – Solitaire Jewellers in Hatton Gardens
Caterer – Indulgence Catering
Cake – The Organic Wedding Cake Company
Harpist – Tori Handsley
Stationery – Designed and made by Katie and Mo