Regular readers of the blog will know that we like to kick start the week with an extra special wedding and today’s feature is no exception. We are absolutely delighted to be sharing the wild, woodland wedding of Hannah, one of our wonderful ‘Lovettes’. The Lovettes are a team of blogging brides dedicated to sharing the highs and lows of their own wedding planning journey. You can take a peek at Hannah’s witty, heartfelt posts here.
Hannah, a doctor, married Chris, a project manager, on the 11th of July, 2015, at All Saints Church in Thornham, Norfolk, followed by a reception at Happy Valley. The couple’s big day was captured on camera by Red on Blonde, but let’s begin by taking a look at the couple’s captivating wedding film – and by the way, be prepared to wipe a tear or two away as the film was created by one of our absolute favourite film makers in the universe, the utterly wonderful Jon Aleksander of Happy Wedding Films.
“I had always dreamed of a wild and natural forest wedding (think Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves!). The venue initially proved elusive but once we found Happy Valley, the rest fell into place (with a lot of hard work, obviously). Our videographer was one of several Love My Dress finds. We chose Jon of Happy Wedding Films after spotting a film of his on the blog. We received our trailer last month and we adore it – we are so very lucky to have such a special reminder of our day. I also love the music Jon chose – as soon as the first chords started I was in tears. He is such a very talented man.”
“I came across Jane Bourvis after seeing this real wedding feature on Love My Dress. Jane and her lovely assistant, Edel, were so very patient and welcoming. Jane creates all of her dresses as one-offs, mostly from vintage lace. My dress was created using a 100 year old veil.”
“I loved the fact that it had a story, a ‘past’, but that it was now part of something more, something new and unique, just for me – It was such a special feeling and a total privilege. Maybe one day I can hand it down a generation to add to its story.”
Isn’t that naked cake below just the most spectacular? It was created and decorated by a friend.
“Chris and I met at a Scotland rugby game when I was at university in Edinburgh – my stylish tartan trousers obviously made an impression! We had been together for around four years when Chris proposed on a boat while we were sailing the Whitsundays. It was a total surprise, only my dad had been pre-warned.”
Hannah and Chris knew they’d found the perfect photographers for them, after spying this real wedding, captured by duo behind Red on Blonde, on Love My Dress. You can find Red on Blonde listed in our Little Book for Brides, a carefully curated directory of wonderful and hardworking wedding suppliers.
“Han and Toby were great on the day – inconspicuous enough to capture some super natural shots, whilst making their presence known enough to organise our families for group pictures – not an easy task! They embraced our craziness and fit into our day as though they were guests, whilst being total professionals. Our photos came beautifully presented and I will always remember watching the slideshow with Chris and both laughing and crying (happy tears of course!) at their attention to detail.”
Hannah and Chris’ beautiful floral arrangements were expertly put together by local florist, Jo Flowers.
“We wanted a local florist who could create something wild and natural looking to suit the feel of our day and we hit the jackpot when we found Jo’s website. Jo’s flowers are genuinely one of my favourite things about our wedding and her creations were so beautiful it makes me emotional just thinking about it. I shed a tear when she presented me with the most beautiful bouquet I’d ever seen – the sweetest smelling roses, cosmos, and greenery, complete with gorgeous natural dyed ribbon from .
Jo’s attention to detail extended to the buttonholes for the boys, corsages for mums and grannies as well as mine and Faith’s floral crowns and the most beautiful of displays in the church. I have already told Chris that I would love it if he could organise a mini replica for our anniversaries (to which he replied he would like an annual golf membership…err?!).”
“My flower girl, Faith, reminds me of the lead in Disney’s Brave – she knows her own mind and is not your ‘traditional’ princess, so I wanted to find a dress more suited to a flower fairy than a princess. We had a fab girly shopping day up in Edinburgh and Faith luckily loved the ‘Estella’ sparkle dress from Monsoon as much as I did – especially its ‘twirling’ potential.”
Chris looked every bit the Scottish gentleman in a kilt and jacket purchased from The Kilt Company in Kinross, complete with a Sgian Subh (a traditional Scottish dagger) handcrafted by his brother, Liam.
Hannah’s dad walked her down the aisle to Kate Rusby’s version of ‘Blooming Heather’, performed live on an acoustic guitar.
“My daddy walked me down the aisle – as you will probably see from the photos he was a wee bit of an emotional wreck on the day, bless him, but it was lovely having the journey to the church and that walk with him, especially looking so very smart in his Savile Row suit!”
“We were married in All Saints Church, in Thornham; a beautiful Norman church home to hundreds of bats. Our vicar, Susan, was so very lovely and extremely quirky, which made her the perfect person to lead our service. We met on several occasions before the day, so we could get to know each other and the service was so personal.”
Our couple opted for two readings: Corinthians 13: 4 – 13, read by Chris’ mum and a fantastic quote by Bob Marley, chosen by Hannah’s uncle.
“As a nod to the Scottish contingent, we had piper Dave Harper play us from the church. We hadn’t told our guests of this plan, and the surprise when the bagpipes started up at the end of the service was perfect. Dave played while we were outside the church for photos and then managed to hotfoot it across to Happy Valley to welcome our guests. He even posed in our photobooth!”
“One of the best moments of the day was seeing that my great grandma had made it, despite being very unwell. It was really special and she looked beautiful in her pink outfit.”
“My mum had arranged with my friend, and riding instructor, Sarah, a surprise four-legged guest in the form of Harvey, the horse I learnt to ride on from the age of 13, and had competed on and had on loan. He is the epitome of ‘not judging a book by its cover’ – the most special horse and he scrubbed up so well.”
Our couple held their reception in a marquee at the wonderfully named Happy Valley…
“Finding Happy Valley was such a relief and a joy. It was brilliant discovering that our wild and natural venue actually existed – a beautiful house surrounded by trees, fields and a pond with a ‘secret’ island.”
“For our décor, we collected lampshades from charity shops, recycled bottles from a local café and encouraged everyone we knew to stockpile jars for the flowers. We borrowed vintage teacups and saucers from my auntie and a talented cousin made the hessian bunting and table runners.”
“We dismantled pallets for signage and hired some amazing festoon lights and garden games from Penny at The Little Lending Company (who have recently joined Little Book For Brides). Penny has such an amazing selection of props to hire out and was so helpful with our last minute additions.”
“During the afternoon, our brilliant band, The Woodleys, played some covers as well as their own songs. A lasting memory is when they played Mumford and Sons ‘I will Wait’ for the second time (as an encore) and we all piled onto the dancefloor and grass outside the marquee and danced and danced – my mum, in particular, showcasing some ridiculously high quality moves!”
Hannah and Chris’ relaxed wedding breakfast was catered by Purple Plum and their gorgeous flower covered, naked wedding cake was lovingly made by a friend.
“During my dad’s speech we released some Tortoiseshell butterflies that my dad had nurtured through the summer, in memory of those that couldn’t be with us on the day. It wasn’t until we saw our photos that we realised my Dad and I each had one on our shoulders during the rest of the speeches.”
In the evening, ceilidh band Willowspin got everyone up and dancing with their jigs and reels…
“Willowspin were excellent and very patient when our timings went slightly array, played later than planned, and completed the day perfectly by getting everyone onto the dancefloor for an amazing version of ‘Strip the Willow’!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Surround yourself with positive people, who know you best – the sort that will listen to you patiently when you need to download. Don’t be too disappointed, or take it personally, when some people don’t behave with the social ‘etiquette’ you perhaps expect.
Go with your gut on suppliers, don’t try to cut costs at the expense of your own sanity. Find your creative friends and relatives and harness and celebrate their talents, without abusing them. And, as many brides before me have said, take a moment to breathe it all in together on the day itself.
Great advice from our lovely Lovette! A huge thanks to Hannah and her husband Chris for sharing the details of their big day, as well Red on Blonde for documenting it so very beautifully. If you’d like to see other bride’s wearing Jane Bourvis’ beautiful gowns, please follow this link.
Have a great week!
Photographer – Red on Blonde
Film – Happy Wedding Films
Venue – Ceremony at All Saints Church in Thornham, Norfolk, followed by a reception nearby at Happy Valley
Wedding Dress + Veil – Jane Bourvis
Headpiece – Fresh flower crown created by Jo Flowers
Shoes – ‘Mimosa’ by Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Scent/perfume – Orange Blossom Cologne by Jo Malone
Groom – Kilt and jacket purchased from The Kilt Company
Bridesmaids – H&M dresses
Flowergirls – ‘Estella’ dress from Monsoon + gold sandals from Debenhams
Florist – Jo Flowers
Cake – Created by a friend of the bride
Transport – A vintage Jaguar from The Marriage Carriage Company
Entertainment – Dave Harper + The Woodleys + Willowspin
Rings – Tustains
Catering – Purple Plum
Décor – Favours, signage and guest book from Stag Design; festoon lights and garden games from The Little Lending Company; petal confetti from Shropshire Petals
Stationery – Created by the couple, using a Noolibird stamp and printed by TW Printing, Leamington