A Vineyard Wedding in Beautiful Blue…

Good morning all, let’s waste no time getting to what we know you’re all here for this morning – pretty gorgeous weddings.  The wedding of Laura & Luke was submitted by the two wonderful photographers that are Craig and Kate of Craig Williams Photography.

Laura and Luke tied the knot on 17 September at Mersea Island Vineyard near Colchester, Essex. What an amazing venue! Love it when I discover somewhere completely new through a wedding submission.

Laura’s dress came from ‘Grace and Lace in Ipswich‘ and was a creation by Designer Jean Fox

“I must have tried on fourteen dresses in total! The first shop I went in I have to admit to not liking any of the dresses! Then I went to Grace and Lace which was just lovely. Lovely large store with such friendly staff.  My dress was the first I took off the rail and the first I tried on. I was drawn to it as the material was so different to all the others. As it was silk it had a totally different look, feel and sound.  I loved the fact it was more matt looking rather than shiny satin; the fact it kind of crumpled with the most beautiful sound that is really hard to describe!  It was light weight and made me feel amazing. I tried numerous other styles of dresses that I ‘thought’ would be what I would want…something with straps and sleek and floaty….none of them did anything for me at all and didn’t give me that ‘wow’ feeling the Jean Fox silk did so it was an obvious choice! It was the only one I tried on twice. I loved the big full skirt and that I could swish around in it! I just loved loved loved it!”

Photography by Craig Williams


“All our flowers were from Helen Mason, an ex-work colleague who is also a florist.  Mum and I went to Helen’s one evening to discuss styles and flowers that would be in season at the time and that would reflect the venue.  I wanted them to be open stemmed, quite natural with a hint of blue which is where the blue thistle comes it to it.  As Nicola’s dress was so striking her flowers were kept simple with just cream colours and hint of green. Mum and Debbie, Luke’s Mum, had a beautiful single white orchid. A lovely striking flower on its own that didn’t need anything with it….”


“My favourite colour is blue, hence the colour theme! I always knew I wanted to wear blue shoes. I love Irregular Choice designs and when I came across the blue suede ones I had to have them! They were not too high either as I don’t do too well in heels!  Blue was an obvious colour choice, as it’s both our favourites! We love Mersea Island Vineyard, so we tried to keep it as much Mersea related as we could. Enjoying the wine grown from the vines surrounding us was just lovely. We didn’t want things to be fussy; we just wanted it to be fun and quirky and about us as people…”

I knew I didn’t want a tiara, and when I tried on a veil it freaked me out! I remember a few years back seeing a celebrity with a forehead band and always loved the look. So I found some pictures of what I liked and showed my hairdresser who made mine for me. I loved it; it was exactly what I had imagined it would be…”

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“Me, Mum and Nicola were driven to the wedding in my friends’ bright blue VW camper van! It was brilliant! It was important to me that we all travelled together. Emily and Matt went to great lengths to make it perfect for me. The ribbon on the front and the ribbons inside were lovely. Matt had even got a champagne bucket full of ice and bottle of bubbly ready for us! He was the perfect chauffeur. Emily had made a CD of songs for the journey which was so thoughtful of her and each one was very well chosen and made the 40 minute drive very relaxed….”


“Luke wanted just a simple single cream rose for all the men. We also had one for my Dad that my Mum carried in and we placed next to a candle we lit for him.

As I only had the one main bridesmaid I wanted all my closest best friends to wear a flower. So Helen made a single cream rose with an ivy leaf background.  She did such a great job with the flowers and mine smelt amazing as she put in a sprig of eucalyptus and a sprig of rosemary too….”

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“My hairdresser Charlotte Humm did my hair, Nicola’s hair and Mum’s hair. All our make-up was done by the lovely Sharon from Dior in Debenhams, Colchester. The morning was really relaxed and chilled with hair in the lounge and make-up in the conservatory! A nice atmosphere all round….”



“I made my necklace to match the beads on my head piece. I bought the silver locket second hand. It took me ages to find the ‘right’ one. This was incredibly important to me as I wanted to place a photograph of my Dad in the locket to keep him as close to me as I could.

Dad passed away last year which obviously made things difficult for me and planning the wedding without him quite bittersweet. He knew we were planning on getting married in September so we felt strongly that we needed to stick with that original plan. I also wore his necklace round my ankle…”


“My bracelet was a birthday gift from Luke’s Mum, my now Mother –in-law! My earrings were a wedding gift from Luke; they came from White Shine in Colchester – one of my favourite jewellery shops.

When we got engaged we had my ring made by a guy called Patrick who was recommended to us and lives in Haverhill. Due to the shape of my ring we decided to have our bands made by him too so they would fit together properly.

We loved the whole process of having the engagement ring made, designing it ourselves, even choosing the diamond! So when Patrick made our wedding bands it all felt more special as we played a part in it all. I wanted a plain band as I didn’t want to take anything away from my engagement ring as I love it so much! Luke wanted quite a chunky ring with a hammered type finish and came up with his own design which Patrick created so well…”

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“As we sadly lost my lovely Dad last year, there was only ever one other person I would ask to give me away and that was my Mum. At first she wondered if I might ask my Uncle to still have a male figure fill the role. For me, it didn’t feel right to do that and it was a huge honour that Mum stepped into those shoes. I know she found it difficult but at the same time, was very proud to do so.  She looked so beautiful and was a special moment that we will always be able to share. I have no doubt that Dad was with us every step of the way anyway…”


The couple chose Mersea Island Vineyard near Colchester, Essex as their venue…

“We chose this venue as we really wanted to get married in Mersea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I grew up by the sea and Luke spent a lot of his childhood in Mersea as his Granddad had a beach hut there! When we first met we used to visit Mersea regularly for fish and chips and a walk along the beach. We have also been known to visit the café on a Sunday morning for a fry up! When we discovered the Vineyard had got its marriage license it all just fell into place. The vines are beautiful, you can see the sea from the top of the hill; it is calm, peaceful, laid back and just lovely! We also had free reign over how we wanted to decorate which meant we could totally take control and make it how we wanted it…”

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“Luke’s suit came from Reiss; the men’s slim fit shirts were Ventuno from Moss Bros.  The Groom, Best Man and Page Boy all wore black Converse trainers….” 





“I always knew I wanted Nicola’s bridesmaid dress to be blue. As Nicola, my sister, was my only bridesmaid I was really happy for her to have as much input in her dress choice as possible. I wanted her to be happy, comfortable and to feel great. She came across the Dessy range and discovered that Hilary B’s in Colchester stocked them. The sapphire blue was perfect and needed to be in satin to make it so striking. She tried on so many dresses and we got it down to two. Thankfully we both favoured the same one!

She looked amazing and she carried the colour so well with her dark hair. A beautiful bridesmaid!”


“Our flower girl was my god-daughter Lilly. She looked so cute in her dress from Debenhams. Me, Mum, my friend Kelly – Lilly’s mum and Lilly had a great day out shopping for her dress. Lilly thoroughly enjoyed being turned into a Princess! Her cardigan was from Monsoon. Our florist made her a special wand to play with instead of her having flowers….”

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“I chose one of my favourite Sigur Ros songs to walk into – Hoppipolla. It is a very emotive piece of music; so beautiful and captured the moment exactly how I hoped it would…”



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“Our first date was 17th March 2008, exactly 3.5yrs before our wedding, to the day! That wasn’t planned either, we realised a few weeks after weeks booked it so it was perfect! We got engaged 18 months later whilst on holiday in a place we love – Cheddar Gorge.

We went on a walk right up into the Mendip Hills and Luke got down on one knee, surrounded by nothing but lovely views a few cows in neighbouring fields. I laughed as thought he was joking! He then produced a cute little amber ring that I’d seen a couple of months before and told me he was in fact serious! It was so thoughtful of him to have remembered the little amber ring but said he wanted us to get a ‘proper’ ring made so it was only temporary. I of course, still have that amber ring!


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“We decorated our marquee with bunting. I ordered it from a great EBay shop and it was so reasonably priced I couldn’t have made it cheaper! It really brightened up the marquee and made it fun. We didn’t want flowers inside so we kept it simple with blue hurricane vases as the table centres with candles burning inside. We finished off the tables with scattered shells all collected off Mersea beach. We were really happy with how the marquee transformed just from doing what we did. It wasn’t expensive, it didn’t look OTT and it felt very ‘us’….”

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“Our wedding favours were sticks of Mersea Island rock! We got them from the beach shop by the caravan park in Mersea, can’t remember the name! I think the lady thought we were a bit mad buying so many but everyone seemed to love it! Our name places were made from oyster shells that we spent hours collecting. Mersea Island is known for its oyster beds so we wanted to keep it as Mersea related as we could. I hand wrote everyone’s names on their shells which then gave everyone another little keep-sake from our day…”

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“My very good friend Lindsay made our cake. We talked about it for a while and I showed her pictures of what we liked and the style we wanted. We knew we wanted cupcakes as we liked the idea of everyone having an individual cake. We also had a main cake as a topper. As we got married on an island, we had a beach type theme going on; she decorated them with shells made from icing. She also made some lovely icing seahorses to go round the side of the large cake. For a bit of fun we had a few ice-cream cone cakes with a flake! On the top Lindsay took inspiration from the name places I had done on the tables and wrote our names inside larger shells. It was amazing. It was what we wanted with a few extra special touches from Lindsay’s imagination!”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom…

“I think it should be an enjoyable time planning something so special to you and your partner so I didn’t find it particularly stressful. I would just say to others to try not to stress, keep it about you as people and everything will come together.

Try to be imaginative to make it more original and don’t worry about what others may think of your ideas! We wanted our day to reflect us and tried to keep it laid back and fun and I think we achieved it!”


Isn’t that just lovely! A beautiful set of uplifting wedding photographs for a rather gloomy Monday morning {from where I’m sat at least1}.

Huge thanks to Craig and Kate Williams for sending in these lovely photographs…

“Our photographers are the wonderful Craig + Kate from Craig Williams Photography.  We had a pre-wedding shoot with them earlier this year which was so much fun.

We are so unbelievably happy with our photos, not only did I cry when I saw them, they totally told a story and captured so many of the emotions we felt on the day.

We had a great day and would thoroughly recommend other couples do a pre-wed to make you feel comfortable on the day.”

Anyone else loving blue for the wedding day, or any one of you planning a beautiful vineyard wedding by any chance?

Much love all,

Annabel xXx


Photographer – Craig Williams Photography
Venue – Mersea Island Vineyard
Brides Dress – Jean Fox via Grace and Lace in Ipswich
Head piece & jewellery – hand made by Bride & Bride’s hairdresser Charlotte Humm
Shoes – Irregular Choice
Bridesmaids dress – Dessy from Hilary B’s in Colchester
Grooms Suit – Reiss
Flowers + Cake – a family friend


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.