Sheila Harding Elegance for a Relaxed Garden Inspired Day in the Cotswolds

Kate Nielen Photography 158

Today’s bride and groom, Claire and Edward, married in the Cotswolds and you can completely understand why photos of this area are always used to describe the epitome of English village life- the whole area is just idyllic and the villages look like they’ve just stepped out of a storybook.

Claire and Edward chose Cornwell Manor for their big day on the 7th July 2017 and it’s as pretty as a picture.

“We were very inspired by the gardens and surroundings at Cornwell Manor but also wanted to create a very relaxed atmosphere throughout the day.  Our style was a bit of everything – vintage, country, shabby-chic, boho but also quite traditional.”

Photography by Kate Nielen

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Claire looked beautiful in a very elegant gown by Sheila Harding, which she purchased from BOA Boutique in Richmond, London.  I particularly love the intricate lace bolero.

“It was my mum who first spotted this dress and it was the first one I tried on.  I instantly knew it was the one, mainly because of how comfortable I felt.  It was the beautiful embroidered ‘Spring’ Bolero which made me fall in love with it along with the shape of the dress – it suited my personality and my body shape perfectly!”“As soon as we saw Cornwell Manor we fell in love- it blew us away.  We wanted a venue we could hire for a few days and have our friends stay in tipi tents on the grounds, so as well as it being the most beautiful venue it ticked all our boxes.”

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“We hired a wedding coordinator (Dany Fremantle at Oasis Events) to help with the smooth running of the day.  We’re so pleased we did this as it meant we could completely relax and enjoy ourselves.”

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The newlyweds met while travelling in New Zealand ten years ago and Edward proposed in 2016, just after they moved into their new house together.

“Little did I know Ed had arranged a surprise engagement party which happened shortly after he popped the question to me on one knee in our kitchen.”

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On her feet Claire wore white satin shoes, designed by Linda Johnson at Beretun Designs in Brighton, while in her hair she chose to wear fresh flowers, picked that morning from the gardens at Cornwell Manor.

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The gorgeous florals were by Rose Hamson Flowers.

“Our flower knowledge was pretty limited but Rose got the look we were going for straight away and even found a flower that perfectly matched the bridesmaids dresses.”

“From the bouquets, to the church, to the table centre pieces, the flowers and colours she suggested were spot on.  I was so happy with the final result, it all looked better than I ever could have imagined.”

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The bridesmaids looked lovely in Kelsey Rose gowns in desert blue and each had their own style to suit them best.  Meanwhile the flower girl looked equally beautiful in a blue and white dress from Amanda Wyatt.

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“As a wedding present before the big day Ed presented me with the most beautiful pair of  Alomo Picasso olive leaf drop earrings from Tiffany & Co along with the matching pearl necklace.”

“Needless to say they were exquisite and the most wonderful wedding gift.  My stepmum also loaned me a diamond encrusted Tiffany bracelet to wear as my ‘something borrowed’.”

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Edward wore a bespoke morning suit by Cad & The Dandy, worn with a waistcoat from Sir Plus and shoes, tie and shirt all from New & Lingwood.  Very dashing!

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Claire’s father accompanied her down the aisle to ‘You’re So Cool’ by Hans Zimmer from the film ‘True Romance’ (I love this piece and walked back up the aisle to it at my own wedding).

For readings, they chose ‘Carrie’s Poem’ from Sex and The City, ‘He’s Not Perfect’ by Bob Marley and Ruth Chapter 1 Verses 16-17.

“We chose Carrie’s poem because a lot of my friends and family think I look a bit like SJP (my nickname at uni was Bradshaw) and the show was a huge part of my teenage and university years.”

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“We chose ‘He’s Not Perfect’ as I really wanted my brother to do a reading and once I found this it made me well up and I could instantly imagine him saying these words to me as my brother so it was a perfect fit.  The passage from Ruth felt appropriate as Ed and I met travelling and one thing we love to do is travel as much as we can.”

“Our wedding rings were designed and made by Lawson Ward & Gammage Ltd in Hatton Garden.  They were recommended to us by the jeweller who made my engagement ring, Roger Hinchliffe.”

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Today’s beautiful light-filled photographs come to us courtesy of Kate Nielen.  Take a peek here for some more weddings on the blog photographed by this talented lady.


“From the moment I first saw Kate’s work I was a big fan; her photos are simply stunning!  She was so fantastic to work with on the day and knew exactly what she wanted to capture.  As a result, the photos took up very little of our time, which meant we could enjoy most of the drinks reception which was a real bonus.  I absolutely adore her style and we honestly couldn’t be happier with her photos – she captured us, our day and the atmosphere perfectly.”

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As well as traditional photographs, Claire and Edward chose to have their day filmed and chose Lauren at A Piece of the Party for the job.  A little teaser of their day can be seen here if you have a few extra minutes today.

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Claire’s mum made the elegant and stylish cake herself, what a clever Mama!

“It was my Mum’s idea to do the marble effect icing and make the colours match our dresses – ivory to match my dress, purple to match her dress and blue to match the bridesmaids.  Mum decorated the cake and dressed the cake table all on her own and the sword we cut it with belonged to Ed’s Great Grandfather.”

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Catering was by Ross & Ross Catering and for favours, guests were each given a miniature bottle of Miller’s gin, Edward’s favourite.

“My Grandma, Hana Pothecary, painted the designs we had on all our wedding stationery.  We then used Epsom Print Solutions for all the printing and were very pleased with their service.”

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“We used lots of ivy to decorate the church and ballroom as well as old wooden pallets to create outdoor signage.  We hung lanterns, put up festoon lighting and decorated the ‘chill out’ area to make it look like a relaxed VIP section at a festival. Our marquee company (LPM Bohemia) supplied the low-level seating and the In fine Spirits bar (which is in an old VW Campervan) and also supplied a photobooth which all added to the atmosphere we were trying to create in the Walled Garden.”

“We tried to make everything as personal as possible.  For place names I found fun photos of each guest that we made into mini polaroids and pegged onto wine glasses.  I stamped their names on letter by letter and they went down a treat, it was also a great talking point at the table and every guest took theirs away as a keepsake.”

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The evening’s entertainment came in the form of the marvellously named Old Dirty Brasstards, followed by The Wedding DJ and guests danced late into the night.

The newlywed’s first dance was to ‘Strangers in the Night’ by Frank Sinatra, chosen by Edward as the lyrics reminded him of he and Claire’s first meeting (swoon!).

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Our motto was ‘YOMO’ – you only marry once so just go for it!   Obviously be reasonable, but it really is the one day you don’t want to look back on with any regrets.

The day itself is so overwhelming so constantly stop for a moment to take it all in. Absorb as much as possible as often as possible because the day flies by so quickly!

Stick together – we barely left each other’s side through the entire day.”

The little details really make a difference – so many people complimented us on all our personal touches throughout the day. We wanted to give everyone there a real sense of who we are as a couple.

Be thoughtful – your guests really appreciate it.  One of the nicest things to hear about our day is that we’d thought of everything.”

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Huge thanks to Claire and Edward for sharing their beautiful and very personal day- some of the photos look straight out of a Jane Austin novel, they’re so lovely and quintessentially English.  If you have some extra time today, take a peek here for some more beautiful weddings in this gorgeous part of the country (you might want to bookmark it- there are so many wonderful ones!).

Much love,

Shona x

Credits & Thanks

Shona Raffle-Edwards

Shona Raffle-EdwardsView all Shona's articles

Shona is a wedding admiring bookworm with a love of the countryside, flowers and all things organisational who is currently based in sunny Yorkshire with her husband and beloved cat

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