Good morning lovelies, welcome to the start of another week on Love My Dress and another 7 days full of stylish, modern, contemporary wedding inspiration.
Now this wedding oozes the kind of laidback, effortless glamour that Love My Dress has become synonymous for. Lucy, who is Brand Director at Olivia von Halle, married her beau Jack, a professional musician, on 5th August last year, tying the knot in a charming and quintessentially English country chapel, and celebrating party-style in the field down the road.
The couple combined their love of hosting parties with their wish for a very laidback and fuss-free day. An utterly cool, modern bridal vibe was present throughout the day by way of Lucy’s incredible gown..
“My dress was handmade by the incredibly talented Angela Stone, a family friend who ran a fantastic bridal studio in Richmond but is now retired. I worked with Angela to design the dress from scratch. I had a really clear idea of what I wanted but not a clue about how it would work in practical terms! I work in fashion and so wanted something that would feel really modern and cool whilst still being ‘bridal’. I must have tried on fifty dresses before I decided to have one made and whilst there were lots that I liked, none ticked all of these boxes, so initially this seemed an impossible task, but Angela completely nailed it! I don’t often wear dresses and every one I tried on felt so forced, but Angela’s felt like the most natural extension of my own personal style.”
Images by Lucy Little
“I was completely obsessed with the detachable train element of my dress. The actual dress was quite a slim cut, but the train added such a sense of occasion for the ceremony. It fastened to the dress with the most beautiful little buttons, that Angela covered in the same fabric by hand. Being quite intimidated by even the thought of wearing a dress I Initially wanted the length to be much shorter, but Angela said more is more – and I’m so so pleased she managed to persuade me of this! I loved the train so much I didn’t take it off until gone midnight.”
“We both love music and hosting and throwing parties that go on to the early hours – so as clichéd as it sounds our number one priority was that everyone had a great time! We wanted both the ceremony and the reception to be personal and informal. We married in the most beautiful little white-washed church in the field opposite the house in which I grew up, and then held the reception in a marquee down the road. The field in which we pitched the marquee was completely remote – we were adamant not to host the reception in a venue that would impose a curfew.”
“Both our families are from Herefordshire and we love the countryside, so it was a really easy decision for us to have the wedding there. Finding a venue was slightly less easy.”
“We met through a family friend and were engaged for 20 months before we got married – which sounds a lifetime but it absolutely flew by!”
“All our wedding stationery was beautifully illustrated by one of my best friends, Lucy Dawn Bayliss. She took inspiration from the countryside in which the wedding was held and did the most amazing floral illustration that incorporated the hydrangeas and stock we had as wedding flowers. I loved having that hand drawn element and that it was such a personal project made them feel even more special.”
“I did my own hair but my make-up was done by one of my oldest friends, Grace, who is the most brilliant bridal makeup artist and works both remotely and from her own salon ‘Grace Beauty’.”
“It’s so invaluable to have a run through to make sure everything is perfect and that you’re comfortable, and also to have that indulgent moment of pampering on the morning of – it was the only time I really sat down and relaxed all day! She also does the most dreamy Elemis facials that are so perfect for the run up to the wedding.”
“Accessories wise, I wore a pair of antique baroque pearl earrings from Etsy, and my grandmother’s gold diamond ring.”
“The bridesmaids all chose their own dresses, shoes etc. – the only brief was that the dress colours sit nicely alongside the tones of the flowers.”
“I absolutely loved everything about the dress but perhaps my favourite element was the fabric. I was sure all along that I wanted a fabric with a beautiful texture to it – I was the most difficult customer.”
“But Angela found the most insane silk-wool cloqué that had to be especially made to order from a mill in France. It was just so beautiful; it had that classic bridal silk feel but with an unexpectedly modern twist – the dream.”
“My dad and I arrived at the ceremony in a beautiful vintage Riley. We actually ended up with that car after my mum spotted it in the street and left what can only be described as a love letter under the wiper detailing how her daughter was getting married and that this would be just perfect. Completely random, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
“My dad Nigel walked me down the aisle, to the sound of ‘Here Comes the Sun’, by The Beetles.”
“Our wedding bands were designed and made by our great friend Julia, who is the most talented jeweller. Jack decided on a gold band with a semi-matte finish whilst mine was made to match the width of my engagement ring, with a polished hammered finish.”
“One of our bridesmaids, Lucy read Song of Soloman 2.10-13; 8.6, 7 .”
“We asked one of the groomsmen, Lee, to choose a track for the signing of the register and he picked Romeo & Juliet by the Dire Straits – it was so nice to have an element of surprise in the ceremony so if you can relinquish control on one or two things do – surprises make for some of the best memories.”
“We wanted to walk out to something happy and uplifting so chose Eight Days a Week by The Beetles.”
Now, the bouquets – be still my beating heart! As a self-confessed adorer of all things hydrangea (so weird, used to really dislike them years ago – now I can’t get enough of them) I am in love with these simple, statement making bouquets. Just a couple of stems in each bouquet, how gorgeous is this? Such a lovely idea.
“We wanted the flowers to blend seamlessly with the countryside around so opted for English country flowers. We ordered some from a wholesaler, Triangle Nursery, and the rest came from my grandparent’s garden and Jack’s mum’s garden, before being expertly arranged by our bridesmaids.”
“One of the things we found hardest was looking for a photographer – we were among the first of our friends to get married so we didn’t have much in the way of recommendations, and searching online just seemed an impossible task. But eventually we stumbled upon Lucy Little’s work and immediately fell in love with it.”
“I’m sure everyone says this, but Jack and I both hate having our photo taken! But Lucy blended in so seamlessly with the wedding party for the entire duration of the day it honestly felt more like having a friend rather than a photographer there – I barely noticed I was having my picture taken at all, and I think that is so apparent in the final pictures.”
“Lucy is such a talent and did the most incredible job of capturing the mood of the day – it’s all those fleeting and atmospheric moments that really take you back when you look through the pictures, and she does them so well. We were completely blown away when we saw the final pictures. They are so much more than we ever would have hoped for and feel so lucky to have been able to work with such a brilliant photographer.”
“We hired a stretch tent from Freestretch which was so stunning it barely needed any decoration at all! It had festoon lighting, a huge Persian rug dance floor and the marquee was left open on three sides to draw in the panoramic view of the valley.”
“Jack’s dad built us the most incredible bar out of old pallet wood and old scaffolding planks. We decorated it with rosemary plants in terracotta pots and it looked fab! We hired the Paris cross back chairs from Virginias Vintage Hire and tables, deck chairs and wool blankets from Bath Vintage Hire.”
“A hog roast from a local farm shop, accompanied by Ottolenghi style salads expertly prepared by my mum and Aunty Jacky! My hometown of Ludlow is super foody – we made the most of this and used all locally sourced produce where possible.”
“For the canapés, we had the most delicious mini scotch eggs from The Handmade Scotch Egg Company, Jack’s mum made up Ludlow sausages in local honey and mustard and we also had a crostini with blackberry, fresh basil with goats curd from Neal’s Yard Creamery.”
“We love cheese so we went for a tiered ‘cheese cake’ from our local cheese monger, The Mousetrap, rather than a traditional wedding cake. It had five tiers of local cheeses and went down an absolute storm.”
“We hired a photo booth in a silver airstream trailer from Belle Studio which everyone absolutely loved! It was brilliant as it brought so many people together who perhaps might not have met otherwise, and everyone loved having the prints as a memento to take away. We looked through the digital album on our honeymoon the week after and it was hilarious! Some of our favourite pictures.”
“We booked The Atlantic Soul Orchestra who play the most incredible soul music – we’d seen them a handful of times at London’s Blues Kitchen and they were the very first thing we booked. They play the best of Ray Charles, Otis Redding and James Brown, which kept the dance floor full all-night long. Afterwards a DJ friend did a set of disco funk and soul – everyone was begging him not to leave when he finally threw in the towel at 5am.”
“Our first dance was to ‘Try a Little Tenderness’, by Otis Redding, played live by The Atlantic Soul Orchestra. We chose this song purely because we love Otis Redding, and it’s one of our all-time favorite tracks! It’s so soulful and was incredible played live by The Atlantic Soul Orchestra. “
“It’s so so hard to pick a favorite part of the day, but if I had to pick I’d say dancing all night to an incredible soul band with Jack and all my family and friends around me. Also, having all our family and friends together in one place, laughing, drinking and dancing all night in the most beautiful spot in the countryside.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Don’t obsess too much over the small things. On the day, you’ll be having too much fun to notice. People told me this before, and I sort of didn’t believe them but it is 100% true.
Delegate. We were so overwhelmed by how much everyone around us wanted to get stuck in and help – the hardest part is letting yourself ask for help! So do yourself a favour and allocate in advance. It’s OK to rely on other people.”
“If you’re working with a limited budget, think outside the box. We got our hog roast directly from a farm shop, and our flowers from a wholesaler – going straight to the supplier is so easy and can save you so much money.
Imagine yourself there on the day and splurge on the things that are most important to you. We spent a lot on the band because we knew that would make our night.”
“Give your guests something different – it’s the little quirks that they will remember. I think the easiest way to do this is to make the day as personal as can be – and don’t worry about the stereotypical things that make it a ‘wedding’. Jack and his dad are both musicians (and friends with the boys in the band) and halfway through the night they joined them on-stage and played a couple of songs. So many people told me this was their favorite part of the day – it got literally everyone on the dance floor – and it was completely impromptu.”
“The day will fly by so savour every moment. Make your reception as long as possible – there are so many people to catch up with it can be hard getting around them all. And don’t forget the people closest to you!
I would have done so many things differently with foresight – but on the day, it was perfect and exactly what we wanted at the time! No matter how well you prepare, not everything will go to plan so go into it knowing that and just remember you’re there to have the time of your life, not obsess over table settings!
Our budget was really modest – we were so lucky that we had so many friends and family members from whom we could call in favors. Almost all our vendors were friends and went above and beyond.”
Sending you all positive Monday vibes.
Love Annabel xXx
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Lucy Little
- Tent Hire - Freestretch
- Venue Styling - Virginia's Vintage Hire + Bath Vintage Hire
- Bride’s Veil - Angela Stone
- Bride’s Shoes - ASOS
- Accessories - Etsy + heirloom ring
- Perfume - Olène by Diptyque
- Grooms Suit - Adam of London
- Bridesmaids - own choice
- Florist - DIY using Triangle Nursery
- Cheese Cake - The Mousetrap
- Entertainment - The Atlantic Soul Orchestra
- Rings - Julia Smith Jewellery
- Catering - The Handmade Scotch Egg Company + Neal’s Yard Creamery + local suppliers
- Stationery - Lucy Dawn Bayliss
- Hair Stylist - Grace