Pink Peonies, Pronovias and Elegant Vintage Touches ~ Chinese Tea for a Stoke Place Wedding…

It's no secret to regular readers of Love My Dress how very much I adore good old fashioned film photography. Some of my favourite photographers in the UK and indeed the world shoot exclusively with film – there is something about the dreamy tones and textures that this photographic technique produces that win my heart every time.  The PR images on my 'About' page were taken by film photographer Polly Alexandre and I love this personal study taken by the immensely talented film photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre.

It's no surprise then that each time I receive a wedding submission shot entirely in film that I feel a little weak at the knees with excitement.  This gorgeous set of photographs was sent in by the darling London and Ibiza based film photographer, Polly Alexandre, who was lucky enough to be present at Anna and Chris's wedding on 24 June last year, at Stoke Place in Buckinghamshire.

I adore the movement that Polly has captured in that beautiful Pronovias wedding dress below… 

"I think I tried on about thirty two dresses and this dress was the very first one I tried on and eventually picked. I fell in love with it as soon as I wore it but being the first one, I wanted to be sure!

I absolutely loved the cut, the elegant silhouette, the intricate lace, delicate draping, the diamonds and pearls at the bust line, the train and how it fit like a glove.  I could go on but most importantly I loved that the dress still alowed me to feel like me when I was wearing it…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Polly Alexandre

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

A rather pucker setting for photobooth opportunities later in the evening when guests are revelling in the joy of the occasion, don't you think 😉

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"I read somewhere that a good place to start is to take just one element you love and build your theme around it.  I started with my engagement ring – it was clear in choosing it that I wanted to introduce a touch of 'elegant vintage' into the styling of our wedding.

Deciding on this quite early on definitely made it easier to choose everything from my dress to the flowers to our photographer to the venue.  There are so many choices out there and for me it helped to have some focus – and some ruthlessness!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"That moment I thought I'd found 'the' dress, was confirmed by the three very honest friends I took with me when I was making my final decision.  Here's a tip – if you don’t mind taking a male friend with you when trying on dresses then do it. 

Someone once said to me, women often see the dress while men see the woman in the dress.  Not sure if it’s always true but it was useful to have a male opinion on it – which was always funny if not always useful!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"My bridesmaires wore H&M dresses and nude shoes from River Island. They were a bargain and the girls looked beautiful in them…."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"The pink/nude shoes I wore were ones I owned already.  Having spent a small fortune on my dress I didn’t mind not getting new shows and loved the ones I had anyway.  I originally got them from Aldo..."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pink peonies

"Chris and I met at teenagers.  He went to sixth form with my sister and we became friends when our mutual friends started hanging out together.  He knew very early on that he wanted to marry me even though we weren’t even going out!  Obviously he didn’t tell me at first as I think I would’ve freaked out though it is very romantic to recall it now…" 

AC-B053

"Both of us were born and grew up in the UK and whilst I’m Chinese, we were keen to incorporate elements of my culture into the wedding such as the Tea Ceremony which is the formal equivalent of the marriage ceremony/signing of the register. 

I wore a Chinese red and gold dress for this which are the traditional colours for a Chinese wedding.  The Tea Ceremony was followed by games organised by our friends who did our service – the games were traditionally used to break the ice between the bride and groom and help them get to know each other better…"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"Gail Smith was our chosen Florist.  I opted for peonies, roses, hydrangeas, sweetpea and dahlias in soft pinks, white and creams to reflect our Summer, vintage feel wedding.

Gail and Janye were amazing at exploring what I liked and wanted to create for the wedding.  They came up with romantic, sentimental and beautiful designs which I loved…"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"We have been married just over a year now and it has gone by so quickly.  I absolutely love being married to him and hope we have many many happy years together.

When we were recalling the day, he told me that his favourite moment was waiting for me just as I was about to walk down the aisle.  I think it’s the feeling and anticipation of the happy times to come and I’m looking forward to taking that feeling throughout our marriage!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"What can I possibly say about our wedding photographer, Polly Alexandre, that hasn’t been said before!  Polly was simply amazing; she took on board the types of photos we wanted and using her trademark style made every shot as beautiful as the last.  We feel very fortunate to have been able to have Polly capture our day.  She has created beautiful long lasting memories for us..."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog


Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"My necklace was from Swarovski and came in a set.  I presented the earrings to my mother as a thank you present before the ceremony and loving them she decided to wear them there and then.  I know it sounds silly but sharing the set with her felt like being closer to my mum on the day. My bracelet was given to me by one of my bridesmaid as something borrowed (but she gave it to me anyway!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"Chris proposed in December 2010 while we were on holiday in Thailand.  We took a boat to Railay beach which was beautiful with crystal clear water and soft soft sand.  There’s a famous cave there which when we climbed through saw the most amazing stalagmites and stalactites.  We decided to explore further and climbed to the top where we found an opening.

We were met by the dazzling view of the beach below and the surrounding lush cliffs and that is where Chris decided to propose.  (I knew he was going to do it there and then as he was acting very strangely!)"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"My father gave me away.  We walked down the aisle to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac but sung by Naya Rivera (Santana in Glee!) The song and its lyrics are beautiful and summed up what the day meant for Chris and I and fell in love with this version of the song.…"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"We chose our wedding venue, Stoke Place, for its beautiful grounds, boutique design, delicious food and warm and welcoming staff.

"The room which held our wedding breakfast was decorated with the flowers created by Gail Smith. We had flowers in big silver vintage bowls, little ceramic pots and vases and ceramic tea lights.  My friend lent me her vintage tea cups which Gail used to place small flowers in and placed them around the room.  Stoke Place provided fairy lights which hung from the ceiling.

As we had an outdoor blessing, Stoke Place provided the tall candelabras, the white wicker chairs and red carpet.  I also bought some white lanterns to place them on a beautiful tree to have some photos under.

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"My Ungar & Ungar engagement ring was from Anthony Gray in Hatton Gardens.  Chris and I actually chose it together.  We visited pretty much went into all the stores in Hatton Gardens and I kept an open mind when trying the rings on as I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted.  It became clear that I favoured the vintage style rings and when I tried on an Ungar ring in Anthony Gray we knew it was designer we wanted to stick with.  We eventually found the perfect one on the website and revisited Anthony Gray (where Bernard Ungar had dropped off the rings) for us to try on.

Anthony Gray were amazing to deal with.  They were extremely patient, professional, never pushy and always friendly and happy to help.  It is a family run business and their warmth and eagerness to help you find the right ring always showed in their friendly and polite service. I highly recommend them. 

My wedding ring was from Wedding Ring Studio in Bluewater. The owner is also the designer and he hand crafted my wedding ring to fit the unusual shape of my engagement ring.  I liked their personal and professional service and they were the only ones that showed me something that I liked that didn’t cost the earth.  Chris’ ring was from Lesley Davies also in Bluewater.  They had the most variety of rings that he liked and he was impressed by their professionalism and service."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"We didn’t hire an Event planner but we worked with Holly Nicol – the Wedding Planner at Stoke Placeto pull together all the elements of the day.  She was very helpful and supportive, always considering any ideas we had which weren’t necessarily a service offered by the venue. 

For instance, we thought it would be nice to offer all our guests two options for each course in the run up so they could build up their menu for the day.  Although it might have meant a longer service due to the different combinations on each table, the coordination of the whole team at Stoke Place and their genuine wish  to make our day as special as possible meant service ran perfectly and everyone commented on how lovely it was to be able to choose each one of their delicious courses."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"Our wedding cake was from Hummingbird Bakery, and was a present from my sister Selina.  Each tier was a different flavour – chocolate, carrot and red velvet.  It was delicious and went down a treat. Our friends still talk about it now!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"We provided white vintage style photo frames as wedding favours for our guests which also doubled up as place names.  It’s still so nice to see the frames when we visit friends a year later.  We got them from an online company in the US and had them shipped over (sorry but we can’t remember which company!"

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

"We definitely wanted the dance floor to be filled all night and without the funds for a live band, we opted for a club DJ.  DJ Zulu plays at Madam JoJos and other venues and was a friend of a friend.  He took on board what music we liked and added his spin on it!

When it came to our first dance, we didn’t really have a song but we chose Everything by Michael Buble because it’s happy, perfect for a wedding and we could dance to it!  We decided to get some ballroom lessons to dance to the track and the song just made us both smile..."

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Pronovias, Chinese Tea Wedding at Stoke Place, Film Photography by Polly Alexandre, Love My Dress Wedding Blog

Words of Wedded Wisdom…

 

Every bride is different but for me these tips helped me:

Heart  Create a mood board or scrap book for all the ideas you like and separate them according to each element that make up the day e.g. wedding dress, colours, themes, favours, flowers, etc. A clear theme will emerge and you can start making decisions that fit the theme. It definitely does help you to focus and not waste time and money buying things that definitely do not go together.

Heart  Aside from honest friends, take a male friend for dress fittings for a different perspective {see my comments above!}

Heart  A week before, brief the bridesmaids and best men, etc on how the day should run so they know what to do on the day.  I didn’t do this as I just ran out of time but thank goodness I had an amazing Maid of Honour and Chris had a fantastic Best Man who took charge.

Heart  Be open minded throughout – some things might not work out but a better idea always comes along.

Heart  Make sure the day is about you and your man and that it reflects who you two are as people.  It’s not about showing off and upmanship.  All your friends and family are there to help you celebrate and they wish nothing more than the two of you have one of the best days of your lives.

AC-B062

What excellent advice and words of wisdom they are Anna – thank you so much, and happy first wedding anniversary to you and Chris! You sure do make a beautiful couple, and what a stunning wedding day, in every single aspect.

Huge thanks to my lovely friend and colleague Polly Alexandre for sharing these wonderful images.  Anyone interested in film photography like this should look up Polly to photograph their own wedding. I can't recommend Polly enough.

Take a moment to leave a comment for Anna and Chris – are you a Pronovias bride too? Or are there any other readers planning a wedding at Stoke Place?  I'd love to hear from you ladies – and gents!

You can see more similar inspiration in these categories; Polly Alexandre, film photography, pink, red and Pronovias – or simply use the drop down menus at the top of this page.

So much love all,

Annabel

Heart

Photographer – Polly Alexandre
Venue – Stoke Place in Buckinghamshire
Brides dress – Pronovias
Brides Veil – Bride and Groom, Bromley, Kent
Brides shoes – aready owned by the bride, via Aldo
Groom – hired via Bride and Groom
Bridesmaids – H&M dresses + nude shoes from River Island
Florist – Gail Smith
Cake – Hummingbird Bakery
Hair and make-up Artist – Dina Catchpole
Entertainment – DJ Zulu

Annabel

Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She has a passion for photography, walking, yoga, nature, and loves to support talented artists and creative businesses. In 2013, she became a published author. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel supports Philip in the running of the family flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She is also co-founder of What About Weddings.

17 thoughts on “Pink Peonies, Pronovias and Elegant Vintage Touches ~ Chinese Tea for a Stoke Place Wedding…

  1. Can I say that the thing I love most about this wedding is that they seem to value the photography so highly on the day, and saved money in other areas 🙂 (I mean that in the best possible way).

  2. No Kirsten, I know exactly what you mean – lovely Anna openly declares she saved on her shoes, her bridesmaids dresses etc – it is so good to see a couple invest in their photography isn’t it? I was astounded to read on Twitter last week that one popular wedding magazine has published data to suggest the average price of photography is less than £800…..!
    Crazy…….

  3. I firmly believe you can spend £7,000 on a Vera Wang and it can look pants in photographs if you have the wrong photographer.
    And I saw those H & M dresses on Polly’s blog when she first posted this and thought they cost a fortune.
    I also want to go here for afternoon tea. Anyone?

  4. Here here, I really must write a blog post addressing this soon, it is such KEY advice that far too many couples STILL continue to overlook/misunderstand!
    Thanks Becca
    xXx

  5. Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave such lovely lovely comments! They have touched us and brought wide smiles to our faces!
    Kirsten – totally spot on with your comment. We viewed photography as one of the most important elements of our day. Polly did a fab job capturing all the small, big and intimate moments – creating beautiful memories for us that we will treasure forever and surely that’s worth putting top of the list!
    Anna x

  6. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. And a big congratulations to Anna & Chris. I absolutely loved working with you both, it was so effortless and fun, and you make such a lovely couple. Lots & lots of love for a magical future together!
    Annabel, thanks for the feature….it was so lovely to relive this wedding again, and I love that you picked up on Anna’s ability to pick stylish things that are within budget and make her budget work for her. Anna has a great eye and I would never guess that her shoes & bridesmaids dresses were High St. It’s not what you wear but the way that you wear it hey?! I agree on the photography too – I just got married myself and my single largest spend was on my photographer….it wasn’t something I wanted to compromise on & I feel it was money well spent. xxx

  7. My best friend is getting married soon. She bought the H&M dress years ago just because but now would love for all of her bridesmaids to wear it. I found this site in search of the dress! Any advice as to where to get these dresses now? Any help would be appreciated! Beautiful wedding by the way!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Top