A Laidback and Fuss-Free English Country Wedding in the Autumn

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Hello lovely readers, I do hope you had a wonderful bank holiday weekend? If you have found the return to work a little painful, let your spirits be lifted by today’s lovely, relaxed English country wedding, filled with wildflowers, kilts and haggis canapés! Alice wed Euan on the 6th of September 2014 at the bride’s family church in Sussex followed by a marquee reception in the field beneath her parent’s house.

Our vision for the day was an autumn country wedding, as relaxed and unfussy as possible. Most of all we wanted our guests to have a great time and to feel as involved as possible. It was important to us that the day equally reflect both Euan’s Scottish roots and my own Sussex upbringing too.”

Photography by  Jacqui McSweeney

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Alice’s beautiful bespoke gown was created by local dressmaker, Tanya Shearman.  After a stressful few months visiting bridal boutiques, Alice was very relieved to find Tanya. We recently wrote about the stresses and strains associated with finding the right gown. If you are still searching for your wedding dress I highly recommend taking a peek, it’s a great read. You can find the article here.

I went to various bridal shops and found the whole process really stressful and difficult. I felt under pressure to know straight away exactly what I wanted and to find ‘the one’. After a friend recommended her, I went to see Tanya Shearman armed with a few images. Tanya instantly knew what I was after and sketched a drawing of exactly what I had in mind.  It was amazing to see the dress change and grow and for the end result to be a gown completely personal to me. My dress was also far more reasonable than many others I’d tried on in designer shops. I think that that my favourite part of it is the back, as the lace and blouson effect is so lovely.

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Alice wore gold Kurt Geiger heels and her scent was Love by Chloé. Our bride accessorised with beautiful fresh flowers in her hair, arranged by The Flower House and a necklace made by a family friend.

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

We chose to get married in the village I grew up in because it is a place that’s special to both of us and we wanted to be able to share it with our friends and family.

My Dad used to drive me to the station each day when I was at secondary school in our Morris Minor and it’s a car that all the family love. My brother drove me and my Dad to the church in the Morris, the bridesmaids having decorated it with hops and flowers.”

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Our photographer was Jacqui McSweeneyJacqui was great to have around on the day. She was warm, lovely and discreet but also strong and loud when she needed to corral all the family members into a semblance of order!

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photographyenglish country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Alice’s bridesmaids wore pale pink dresses purchased in the Boden sale…

“as I had six bridesmaids I didn’t want to go too mad on costs!”

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

We met through mutual friends in a pub near Euan’s work seven years ago. Euan proposed just before Christmas 2013 in Cologne. It’s fair to say that Euan was probably more ready to settle down than I was which might explain why it took 45 minutes (and three glühweins) for me to say yes! We married just over eight months later.

Both my engagement ring and our wedding bands were designed by Michael O’Sullivan of Carriage Jewellery in Hatton Gardens. Michael’s a top guy!”

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Our Scottish groom Euan, and his six groomsmen looked very handsome in a variety of different coloured kilts, pulled together by matching jackets and ties.

Most of the groomsmen were Scottish and had their own kilts. I didn’t want them matching apart from the charcoal Argyle jackets and greenish tweed ties. It was a colourful affair.”

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

It was amazing walking into the church with my dad and realising that I knew everyone. For both Euan and I our favourite part of the day was saying our vows to one another – it turned out that nothing else mattered!

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Our couple chose two readings by John Steinbeck, the first a letter written to his son (“which we felt talked about the reality of love”), the second, a religious reading by the same author.

At the end of the service we sang the Scottish song Mountain Thyme, which our organist very kindly learned especially for us.

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photographyenglish country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Our couple held their reception in a marquee in the field below Alice’s parent’s house:

We hired our marquee through Camelot Marquees, who were brilliant and made sure that the marquee was in the best place in the field in order to catch the evening sun. They took great care with everything.

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Our food was catered by Chicks That Chop. I have known Jan and Carolyn since I was a child and even worked for Chicks That Chop as a teenager. They have also catered for our friend’s and family’s events before, so we knew that they would do a great job. They prepared a fantastic barbequed lamb with different warm salads, and included lots of Scottish touches – like haggis toasties for our canapés. For our pudding, they made raspberry hazelnut meringues, an Autumnal twist on their summer pavlova.

Euan’s Mum made our wedding cake and we just passed all decision making to her greater baking knowledge! She’s an amazing baker and so we just gave her free rein. She made a triple layered cake that had a chocolate base, carrot middle layer and lemon top layer.”

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

With a little help from Alice’s mum, our couple decorated the marquee with seasonal foliage, flowers, lanterns and fairy lights:

Since it was harvest time – and we were serving lots ale from Harveys, our local brewery in Lewes – we hung garlands of hops around the place as well as armfuls of wheat and oats from the surrounding fields. We suspended paper lanterns from the roof of the marquee and I went a bit nuts with fairy lights which ended up not really making a massive difference!

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

I absolutely love Alice and Euan’s wild looking flowers! Arranged by Kim of The Flower House, they perfectly complement the setting…

When we explained to Kim that we wanted colourful, wild looking flowers she understood completely. She was very helpful, and suggested we put buckets on the pew ends at the church that could then be moved to decorate the marquee, and the bridesmaids’ bouquets doubled up as table settings.

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

For their evening entertainment, Alice and Euan employed the skills of License to Ceilidh, who play pop music as well as traditional Celtic jigs and reels; “we wanted to encourage lots of people onto the dance floor and so thought it was best to have a mix”.

I wouldn’t change anything about our day, even though some little things went wrong, none of them really mattered. Euan says he would have not left things to the last minute…like presents, groomsmen ties and writing his speech at 2am!

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography
english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

english country wedding, jacqui mcsweeney photography

Thanks so much Alice and Euan for sharing the details of your lovely wedding and to Jacqui McSweeney for capturing these beautiful images. If you’d like to peruse other English country weddings you can find them here, for more autumnal nuptials click here.

Annora x

 

Photographer – Jacqui McSweeney
Venue – The bride’s family home in Sussex, Marquee hired from Camelot Marquees
Wedding Dress – Bespoke gown by dressmaker Tanya Shearman
Headpiece – Fresh flowers by The Flower House
Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Bride’s Scent – Love by Chloé
Groom – Groom’s own kilt
Bridesmaids – Boden dresses
Florist – The Flower House
Cake – Made by the bride’s mother
Transport – The bride’s family Morris Minor
Entertainment – License to Ceilidh
Rings – Michael O’Sullivan, Carriage Jewellery
Catering – Chicks That Chop
Stationery – Designed by the bride’s mother, artist Kate Penoyre
Hair Stylist – The Mill Hair Salon

7 thoughts on “A Laidback and Fuss-Free English Country Wedding in the Autumn

  1. What a sweet and very pretty wedding- love it. I especially love the car (and the fact it belongs to Alice’s Dad is even more lovely), the firepit, the images themselves, and the flowers- very much into that wildflower look at the moment. Of course, it goes without saying that Alice’s dress is beautiful too, thanks for sharing guys 🙂 x

  2. Love this wedding and especially the bride’s big smile! You can see what a happy and joyful day it was. Brightened up my week!

  3. Such a lovely, soulful wedding. I really enjoyed writing about it. Wishing you both every happiness in your married life together x

  4. What a beautiful day, the feeling from the shots is so warm you can truly feel the love the couple has for each other as well as all of the guests present. It looks so relaxed, the ultimate compliment for a wedding in my opinion. I love the inclusion of the firepits!

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