A 50’s Inspired Boatneck Gown For an Elegant Spring Wedding


September is here, and where did the summer go? If you’re beginning to get those ‘back to school’ blues then I’m sure that today’s wedding, the marriage of Sophie and Mike, will go a long way to cheer you up. There’s something so effortlessly elegant about a pared back colour palette of blush, grey and cream, so please, sit back and enjoy these photographs.

Sophie and Mike married earlier this year on 6 May 2017, in a beautiful ceremony at St Alkmund’s Church, Whitchurch, Shropshire with a reception afterwards at the magnificent Combermere Abbey. Sophie, a dental nurse, and Mike, a sales manager, had a traditional approach to their wedding day, choosing a church service and a classic and elegant reception style, full of springtime flowers.

We very much wanted a traditional style wedding and it was important for both of us, not because of religious beliefs but out of tradition, to get married in a church. We wanted the wedding to be classy and elegant without being over the top.

Photography by Nesta Lloyd

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Sophie’s Ronald Joyce gown with its simple, crisp lines and jewelled waist detail looks classic and sophisticated, and makes the perfect backdrop for her opulent, luxurious flowers. I love the off-the-shoulder neckline balanced out by the full skirt, oh and that is also features pockets.

“It was classy yet traditional and at the same time had something different about it. I tried the dress on at least four times and each time fell more in love with it.”

The couple originally met at school, but only got together in 2014 and had a year-long engagement before marrying.

We met when we were both at school and we were part of the same friend circle. We then went our separate ways for some years but always kept in touch. We then started dating in January 2014 before getting engaged in April 2016, just over a year before our wedding.

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The gown’s structured lines were softened with the addition of a waist-length two-tier veil from Shropshire Country Brides. The sparkle of the gown’s belt is reflected by Sophie’s Bridal Adornments drop earrings and beaded cream headpiece, found at Jessica’s Bridal in Shrewsbury.

She kept the rest of her look simple, with just a bracelet handed down from her Welsh grandmother and Monsoon shoes.

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What do you think of these glorious spring flowers? Florist Juliet Glaves put together the beautiful bouquets, garlands adorning Combermere Abbey, buttonholes and flowers for the bridesmaids’ hair. The natural, hand-tied style of the flowers, with those creams, soft pinks, apricots and lots and lots of foliage, create such a romantic and timeless feel.

We chose Juliet after seeing her work at another family wedding where the flowers were incredible. She only uses flowers that are in season and grows them all herself on her farm based in Ludlow. The things she can do with flowers is amazing.

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The groom and groomsmen chose to wear traditional wedding suits, hired from Peter Posh Formal Suit Hire in Shrewsbury, with T.M. Lewin shirts and ties. The lavish buttonholes soften the dark suits beautifully.

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In keeping with their traditional approach to their wedding, the church ceremony was kept simple and classic. Sophie walked down the aisle with her father to Purcell’s ‘Trumpet Voluntary‘.

We again chose the traditional approach here opting for the traditional vows;  ‘til death do us part‘. We feel that the words used in the traditional vows mirror our views on marriage.

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Their ceremony was made personal by their choice of readings.

We had two reading during the ceremony. The first was read by Mike’s father – a reading from the Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6 – 7. The second was a reading by Sophie’s Sister and was a poem called ‘On Your Wedding Day‘. We chose the first reading as we wanted to include a traditional Bible reading in the ceremony. Sophie’s sister chose the second reading as a personal reading from her, which she felt was appropriate.

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My favourite moment was walking up the aisle as a married woman with my new husband, to the sound of all our family and friends cheering.”

The couple chose their wedding rings at Manchester’s Slack & Andrews, where Mike had designed Sophie’s engagement ring.

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We used a specialist ringmaker – Slack & Andrews. We chose to use them as family members had used them previously and this is where Sophie’s engagement ring was made. I was very impressed with the service I received when choosing her ring and was able to pick the setting as well as the diamonds that were going to be used.”

“I finally settled on a wedding set three stone ring with a platinum band. The wedding rings were equally as nice with Sophie opting for a half-covered diamond platinum band and me opting for a plain platinum band.”

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The grown-up bridesmaids looked elegant in floor-length grey Dessy gowns in a variety of styles, which again are the perfect colour to show off the colours of the flowers.

More flowers adorned their hair, and they also wore Bridal Adornments earrings.

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After the wedding, the guests and newly-weds travelled to the beautiful abbey for the reception held in the immaculate grounds. The tree-lined avenues and walled gardens made the perfect place for Sophie, Mike and their guests to mingle, chat and play games, and for photographer Nesta to capture these relaxed photographs.

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Photographer Nesta Lloyd is the talent behind these beautiful light-infused images. She has captured the beautiful ‘getting-ready’ moments as well as the beautiful Shropshire backdrop and the joy of the church service so wonderfully.

It was an absolute pleasure having Nesta at our wedding, we barely knew she was there all day and yet the pictures that she and her second shooter, Claire, have produced are out of this world! We couldn’t be happier with the way these turned out and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone.”

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The newly-weds video was created by Nicholas Visuals, who come highly recommended.

“As you can see from the video they have produced, they are extremely talented and absolutely love what they do. They were incredibly friendly and great fun to work with taking lots of very natural shots. So many of our guests have commented on how little they saw them, the sign of a good videographer in our eyes!

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The wedding breakfast itself was held in Combermere Abbey’s Pavilion. I really like how the outside has been brought in by the lovely table flowers and soft green garlands which adorn the pavilion’s walls and roof. Sophie chose to add lots and lots of candles to create a timelessly romantic look.

We added lots of candles and tea light holders that we purchased from Amazon. Lanterns, that were used to form part of the centre pieces on the tables in the main pavilion, were from B&M Stores! The rest of the decoration was floral designs again done by Juliet Glaves.

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This magnificent tiered wedding cake came from Cakes by Millrise. How lovely to see such exquisitely crafted sugar-flowers. I really like the cute cake toppers – the perfect images of the bride and groom.

We chose to use Cath upon recommendation from a family member who had used her various times in the past. We chose a very traditional four-tier cake consisting of fruit cake, chocolate sponge, lemon sponge & Victoria sponge. Cath crafted some sugar flowers to match the bouquet and we had a personalised cake topper.

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In the evening, the guests partied to music provided by The Singles Table.

We did choose a first dance track, however, we don’t have ‘a song’ that is ours per se so this was a bit more difficult. We wanted to avoid the usual suspects and pick something different so eventually agreed on Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together‘ which the band performed an amazing cover of.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Make sure you enjoy it. Everyone knows it can be stressful but just take some time to reflect on the amazing thing that you are planning. It should be fun, not a chore, and talking from experience try not to stress over the little things because as everyone told me, on the day they really don’t matter.”

“This day is all for you and your partner to do what makes you happy, not what other people want. Don’t try to do it all yourself; it should be something that you can enjoy planning together, as a couple.”

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Thank you so much Sophie and Mike for sharing your wedding with us. I love the timeless style and flower-filled pavilion – so pretty for a spring wedding. Thanks also to Nesta Lloyd for your wonderful photography.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend

Ele xx

Credits & Thanks

Eleanor Crossland

Eleanor Crossland View all Eleanor's articles

Ele lives in the Lincolnshire countryside, close to the beautiful coast. A qualified Pilates teacher, she loves fitness, yoga, Pilates and has a healthy addiction to baking, writing and travel.

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