It’s almost the weekend lovely readers and I have the most gorgeous end of week treat for you. Charlotte and Dan married on the 3rd of June 2017 at the beautiful Secret Garden near Ashford, Kent.
We have friends who live not far from this area and its just so beautiful- rolling fields, vineyards, oast houses and old brick buildings- very different from my (equally beautiful!) native northlands. Philippa James Photography captured this lovely day in all its glory and I can’t wait to share it with you.
“We went to see a couple of other venues before the Secret Garden. We thought about a barn or hiring a tipi tent but when we saw the Secret Garden, we knew that it would be perfect for us. The garden and gazebo where the ceremony is held is beautiful. Plan B (if it rained) was a gorgeous glass house.”
Photography by Philippa James
Charlotte wore the most fabulous two-piece gown by Watters by Willowby, which she purchased from Ava Louise Bridal in Southampton. Just look at the utterly fabulous tulle skirt, and the beautiful embellished bodice. I’m completely in love.
“My dress was actually a skirt and a beaded top. I always had that shape of skirt in mind, but was quite open minded to different styles. My bridesmaid Sarah works at Ave Louise so it felt extra special trying on dresses with her help. Sarah kept it as the last one to try on as she knew that it would be the one for me. I love the relaxed feel to it, and the beadwork on the top is just stunning.”“Being a June wedding in the UK you can never be too sure of the weather but we were lucky that we didn’t have to use it. We didn’t have a theme to the day, we just wanted it to be relaxed with a bit of a rustic feel. I guess we incorporated the blue from the bridesmaids dresses into the bits of decor we chose but I definitely didn’t want it to look too matchy matchy or overly ‘done’.”
“Gwenda, our florist from Bohotanical, was lovely. I knew I wanted peonies, stocks and lots of greenery but apart from that I struggled to know what flowers were called. It is a bit of a daunting thought wondering if you managed to convey what you had in mind to your florist.”
“When she came to the hotel with my bouquet I got quite teary- they were exactly what I had in mind and knew instantly that the venue would be everything I dreamed of.”
On her feet Charlotte wore simple silver sandals from Steve Madden and in her hair, a romantic gypsophila crown, created by florist Bohotanical. For scent she chose Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel.
“Coco Mademoiselle has always been one of my favourites. Dan went to Vegas for his stag do and got me a bottle as a present. It seemed like the perfect choice for the wedding day.”
“I don’t wear much jewellery on a day to day basis so I just wore a simple pair of stud earrings from Accessorize. I didn’t wear any other accessories as I didn’t want to take away from the beaded detail on my top.”
Dan and his groomsmen looked very smart in a three-piece, blue Ted Baker suit, hired from Moss Bros hire, paired with a grey tie and pocket square.
“We met at a gym we both went to about six years ago and were engaged for fifteen months before the wedding day. Dan proposed to me in France as my mum and stepdad live there. It was nice to include them so they could see the ring. They have two dogs which I’m obsessed with and Dan proposed while out walking them round a woodland park which has a lovely lake. We included the dogs in our wedding day by having pictures of them incorporating the table numbers.”
The bridesmaids looked wonderfully summery in cornflower blue dresses from ASOS, with gypsophila in their hair.
“I knew I wanted blue but I struggled to find dresses for ages. I also looked into doing mix and match dresses but I couldn’t get them to look quite right. We returned so many, but finally found these. The girls looked stunning, and they were all so happy with them.”
“As thank you gifts for all the bridesmaids I got them Kate Spade heart of gold bangles and little initial necklaces from Accessorize. They all decided to wear them and they looked so subtle and cute with the dresses.”
Charlotte’s mum accompanied her down the aisle to ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri.
“The actual wedding ceremony itself was my favourite part of the day. Just us two up there making it official as Mr and Mrs was amazing.”
The newlyweds swapped rings as well as vows, choosing wedding bands from Goldsmiths.
Hair and make-up was the work of Emma Smission.
“Emma was amazing- a true lifesaver. We had a slight ‘hiccup’ before the wedding involving an iron and a bridesmaids dress. We laugh at it now but Emma literally saved the day. Not only did she make us all look flawless, she was handy with a needle and thread.”
The talent behind today’s images is the lovely Philippa of Philippa James Photography. Take a peek here for other weddings on Love My Dress which were photographed by this clever lady.
“I was recommended Philippa by a friend. I wanted photos to be relaxed, I didn’t want to have too many staged photos and I wanted the day to be natural. As soon as I saw her website I couldn’t stop thinking about her style. We looked at photographers more local to us, but nothing really seemed to fit what we had in mind. Luckily Philippa was happy to travel to Kent for us.”
“We couldn’t be happier with the pictures- they are perfect. Neither of us are confident in front of the camera and she just made us feel so relaxed. She captured the day perfectly.”
“The venue is so stunning it didn’t need much decoration. We wanted the garden to be the main feature of the day.”
“We wanted a really relaxed reception and decided against the traditional sit down meal, and instead went for afternoon tea. It came out in a savoury course and a sweet course.”
“My bridesmaid Ellie made our cake and it was incredible. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. I got a Mr and Mrs cake topper from Ginger Ray, and our florist decorated it with fresh flowers and herbs. Everyone complimented it and it looked and tasted amazing.”
Charlotte and Dan both wanted a DJ rather than a band and were recommended DJ Sparkie by a friend.
“He was brilliant. We sent over a selection of songs we wanted and gave him the types of music and he filled in the rest.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Pinterest is amazing but there is so much on there that I think it is good to have a cleanse every now and then. Look at the photos you have pinned, look at the ideas you have taken from it, and ask yourself if that goes with the overall look you are going for.”
“There were so many times when I think my wedding board went in several different directions that I wasn’t sure how I wanted the wedding to look and would get a bit flustered.”
So many thanks to Charlotte and Dan for sharing this oh-so-beautiful day. Have you fallen for Charlotte’s dress as much as I have? If so, take a look here for some more gorgeous gowns by this designer.
Have a lovely weekend!
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Philippa James Photography
- Venue - Secret Garden near Ashford, Kent
- Bride's Dress - Watters by Willowby, purchased from Ava Louise Bridal, Southampton
- Flower crown - Bohotanical
- Shoes - Steve Madden
- Scent - Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
- Jewellery - Accessorize
- Bridesmaids' dresses - ASOS
- Bridesmaids' Jewellery - Kate Spade + Accessorize
- Make up artist and hair stylist - Emma Smission
- Groom's Outfit - Suit, Ted Baker suit, hired from Moss Bros hire
- Rings - Goldsmiths
- Flowers - Bohotanical
- Invitations - Vicky Perry
- Table plan calligraphy - Belles Soeurs
- Entertainment - DJ Sparkie