Just to keep things in perspective and remind you how very lucky we all are with all this glorious sunshine, I thought I’d share this elegant winter wedding with you this afternoon.
Chris and Amy tied the knot on 1st February this year at The Roman Baths in Bath. The couple had guests fly in from Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Ukraine and Switzerland to join them on their happy day and they had support with on-the-day styling and assistance from wedding planner Matthew Oliver.
Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Lisa Darby
“We’re an international couple who met online late in 2006. Chris [English] designed a website that I [Canadian] signed up for! He sent a generic ‘How do you like the website?’ message to the first 50 users and I replied saying that as a designer myself and that I loved the design. He was hooked!
We bonded over web design and decided to meet up. By 1st February 2007, we were official. We did a long distance relationship for a little over a year before I finally took the plunge and moved to England. We got engaged in September 2012 and tied the knot on our 7th date-iversary.”
“We toyed with the idea of a daytime church wedding, followed by an evening reception at The Roman Baths & Pump Room but struggled with what to do with 75 guests in between. Many of our guests had travelled internationally, so we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to figure out how to get from A to B as well. That made our choice easy – we’d just marry at The Roman Baths.”
“I had planned on sewing my own 50s style dress, but sewing grew tedious and I fell in love with my lace, beaded, off-the-rack Phase Eight dress. Once we chose the venue, I decided to carry through the romantic vibe instead, focusing on stone colours, lots of texture and smokey evening makeup. And dusky pink, for good measure!
I went into Phase Eight to try on a dress for a friend’s wedding and found myself being zipped up into Evelyn Lace. It was a curve-flattering cut, the beading was gorgeous and the price was right!
My mom started knitting the shawl shortly after our engagement and finished it just before the wedding. She’s so talented, but I think I know where I got my procrastination gene!”
Amy’s shoes were by Lucy Choi.
“I wore a 1970s vintage fur coat that was given to me many years ago by an ex-boyfriend’s mom. It is a coat that has seen me through many of life’s ups and downs: fancy anniversary dinners and funerals alike. It seemed only natural to wear it on The Big Day.
My headpiece was a bespoke piece by Britten. Sarah is a close friend and neighbour of mine and agreed to make me a custom, hand-beaded piece. Sarah’s work has a timeless quality about it and definitely contributed to the romantic theme of the day. She even matched her beading to the style of my jewellery!”
“As both bridesmaids traveled from Canada, I asked them to choose their own dresses in dark grey. The bridesmaids chose their own jewellery and I bought the vintage gloves and furs on eBay and their hair accessories were from A Feathered Affair on Etsy.”
“We bought our niece, Catherine, a faux fur coat for Christmas from Ted Baker’s kids line at Debenhams. We knew it would look so sweet on her at the wedding!”
I love the idea of the couple having their own Instagram hashtag!
“Our photographer Lisa recommended Bramble & Wild florists to us. Sophie and Grace’s work exceeded my expectations! I chose them because their look is rustic and natural, perfect for a romantic setting.”
“Our photographer was Lisa Darby – I booked Lisa before I did any other wedding planning at all. I knew she would do a fantastic job and the photos are proof! Lisa and Scott really went above and beyond for us. They’re creative, professional and have a really gentle manner which sets you completely at ease amidst all the chaos of the day.”
“Chris and I got carried away in Tiffany’s after Christmas (it’s the free champagne, I swear) and blew the entire ring budget on my wedding band! His palladium ring is a last-minute purchase from an independent shop in Bath.”
“I changed my hair between my trial and my day-of and hair stylist Helen Farley tackled the challenge with ease. She worked with my clip-in hair extensions and my bridesmaid’s bonded ones with ease and didn’t tug once.
I couldn’t recommend my make-up artist Katy Pheiffer enough. She understood exactly what I wanted to achieve and made it happen. Any tweaks I had at the trial were executed to perfection on the day.”
“I think my mum looked beautiful on the day – intact, I think she may have upstaged me!”
“My dad Brian walked me down the aisle to the sound of Norah Jones’ ‘The Nearness Of You’.
During the ceremony, my dad did a Christian blessing before dinner, based on Matthew 7:24-28. It’s about building your marriage on a strong foundation.”
“My mom and I baked the cake ourselves. It was an apple spice cake with buttercream frosting, a throwback to “Spanish bar cake” – a cake from my childhood in Canada. We guessed on the scale and winged the icing, but it turned out great and we saved a handful of money. Plus, it was great to have a day with my mom before the Big Day!”
“Our favours were bars of soap, handmade by our friend Anna. Soap from Bath, get it? Anna designed a female fragrance based on my personality and a male fragrance based on Chris. We wrapped them in travel-themed wrapping paper and tied them with string.
As the day drew closer, I became more and more disorganised. I had agreed to give Matthew Oliver, our planner, a detailed list of what was to go where and box everything up carefully on a per-table basis. I ended up chucking Matthew in the deep end as I dropped everything at the venue in giant ikea bags with no plan (nor time to make one) and just kind of told him, ‘good luck styling!’. He did a really stellar job and I couldn’t have done it without him!
To style the venue we used doilies which I collected on eBay and had dyed pink and grey. We also put flowers into mercury glass vases that I had picked up on a wholesale basis, so that guests could take them home. Matthew also collected lots of vintage suitcases to help set the scene too.”
“My favourite part of the day was the ceremony. I had imagined it for so long and, yeah, things went wrong due to lack of rehearsal (Read: “What do I do with my hands?!”) but it was just so surreal to be standing there and living that moment with all of our friends and family surrounding us.
Chris says his favourite part of the day was the dinner, after our speech, because the pressure was off!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“Don’t assume that the co-ordinators that venues and caterers provide will be available on the day! Our venue was rather chaotic and disorganised as a result. Things will inevitably go wrong and your timing will go out the window, but don’t fret; go with the flow. The outcome will be the same, either way: you’re marrying your love! There’s no sense in worrying about the small details. The day goes by too fast, anyways!
Also in hindsight I would have hired our wedding planner, Matthew, to plan the whole thing from start to finish rather than provide on-the-day support. Matthew Oliver is a close personal friend and we hired him to be onsite at the venue to do the styling for the day. He gave us a ton of advice and proved invaluable! With a year and a half to plan, I grossly underestimated how much work was involved and procrastinated too long. Matthew gave us a ton of valuable advice and raised questions that we hadn’t even thought to ask ourselves. The timeline he created for us was the driving force for the day!”
Congratulations to you both Amy and Chris – thank you so much for sharing your day with our readers. This is certainly how to pull off a winter wedding with style.
Many thanks to photographer Lisa Darby for sharing her work also.
Any of you brides planning a winter wedding right now?
Photographer – Lisa Darby
On the day styling & support – Matthew Oliver
Venue – The Roman Baths, Bath
Brides Dress – Evelyn Lace via Phase Eight
Veil/Headpiece – Britten
Bride Shoes – Lucy Choi
Bride’s accessories – Necklace & Earrings via Swarovski
Groom – The Napoleon suit via Reiss+ tailored shirt via Garbucci
Bridesmaids – own choice dresses + headpieces via A Feathered Affair on Etsy
Flowergirls – Debenhams
Florist – Bramble & Wild
Rings – Tiffany
Catering – Searcys
Stationery – Chris & Amy (the bride and groom)
Hair: Helen Farley
Make-up Artist: Katy Pheiffer
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