Isn’t it wonderful how flowers and their scent can carry you back to a specific place or time? When I saw the beautiful soft blue hydrangeas that were ubiquitous at the wedding I’m sharing with you today I was immediately transported to my grandma’s garden in Yorkshire, whose borders overflowed with cloud-like bushes of dusky pink and blue blooms.
Let’s meet Natalie and Kevin who married on 8 July 2017 in a rustic and summery barn wedding at Caswell House, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire. With a soft colour palette of blues and pinks, they aimed to create a relaxed and informal day that made the most of the beautiful barns and gardens of their venue. The couple knew they wanted to create a relaxed, rustic style and found their perfect setting at Caswell House.
“We loved the look of rustic country barns; they can so easily be dressed up or down and look beautiful whatever the weather. We looked at two other venues before visiting Caswell House and, as soon as we drove up the winding driveway and stepped into the main barn, it really was love at first sight. Even in the middle of winter the stunning Cotswold stone walls and flagstone floor could never disappoint and the grounds are just stunning. The perfect mix between old and new.”
Photography Lucy Davenport
I’m so happy to see that Natalie asked some of our Little Book for Brides favourites to help her prepare for her wedding. If you haven’t yet discovered our curated wedding supplier directory I really urge you to put aside an hour or so to take a look. It’s full of enthusiastic and simply brilliant people who are ready and waiting to work with you.
One of these is the team at Hannah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique in Botley, Southampton, where this bride found her ‘Halo’ gown by Hayley Paige. Its frothy tulle skirt really sets the tone for a relaxed summer wedding and that intricate gold strap detailing on the back is so beautiful – I love the modern update that it adds to the more traditional line of the skirt.“Like most brides I would spend hours on Instagram trying to find inspiration and as soon as I found the ‘Halo’ gown by Hayley Paige I absolutely loved it. I made an appointment with the nearest boutique that stocked the dress which was Hannah Elizabeth Bridal. It’s not a particularly traditional dress and I think that’s what added to the relaxed feel of the wedding. The ivory lace top is a work of art and the large tulle skirt really made me feel like a princess.”
She added a glamorous Swarovski Diapason necklace and simple infinity stud earrings from Thomas Sabo, wisely keeping the rest of her outfit simple with just a sheer tulle veil and cream and gold Monsoon shoes.
“They were ivory with gold trim and laser cut floral fabric across the toe to match the top of my dress. I wanted to be comfortable and these turned out to be perfect.”
“I decided to do my own makeup but for my bridesmaids and mother we had the lovely Maxine Wilson. Maxine has the absolute best personality, incredibly warm and friendly and knew just what to say to calm the nerves. Maxine did a fantastic job on the girls; they all looked beautiful. For hair we had Rachel Mulford.”
“Rachel is one of the sweetest people you could ever wish to meet and very accommodating when it came to my indecisiveness, I absolutely loved how my hair turned out. She also managed to create three different, but equally beautiful, hairstyles for my girls that lasted all throughout the day.”
“We had three Needle & Thread Coppelia embellished ballet tulle dresses; one in a light blue which was slightly shorter than the others, one in a baby pink and the other in a dusty, darker pink.”
Paired with nude pink Aldo at ASOS shoes with floral ties around the ankles, and the same Thomas Sabo earrings as the bride don’t they look so pretty? They each wore a different hair pin from Gypsy Rose Vintage on Not On The High Street and Natalie gifted them each a personalised bracelet from Not On The High Street.
The couple hail from the same town and went to school together. Bumping into each other again whilst Natalie was home from university for the weekend, they became a couple in 2010 and Kevin proposed five years later in Orlando.
“Kev got down on one knee on the beach at our favourite hotel after tricking me into thinking we were going to a cocktail hour with a few other selected guests from the hotel. There was Champagne, chocolates, and tiki torches; it was beautiful.”
Now onto my favourite element of this particular wedding – the flowers. The soft colours are so romantic and rustic, and the pew end arrangements are so sweet.
“Joanna Carter did all our beautiful flowers. We only needed to meet with her once; she seemed to know exactly what we wanted and had so many ideas that would fit perfectly with the venue. We went with soft pinks, blues and creams for my bouquet with similar arrangements around the venue and the bridesmaids had slightly more simple bouquets as we didn’t want their dresses to be overshadowed.”
“Our favourite arrangements on the day were the balls of gypsophila that we had hanging from the ceiling. They were stunning.”
Natalie’s Ernest Jones wedding ring was chosen to match her engagement ring – which was made by one of her bridesmaid’s parents, jeweller Bradley & Willows. Meanwhile, Kevin chose a simple titanium ring from Fraser Hart which he would feel comfortable wearing from day to day.
Natalie entered the ceremony room on the arm of her father, to wedding favourite ‘Canon in D Major’ by Pachelbel.
To continue the light, relaxed feel, Kevin opted for a light navy textured suit from Next, with his best men, ushers and the fathers wearing the same. Their ties and pocket square were in a summery floral design from Etsy.
“We had so many compliments on the ties and how well they complimented the floral arrangements and the bridesmaids’ dresses. The groomsmen also had matching gold cufflinks in the shape of a leaf to go with the rustic theme. The groomsmen and the groom had matching shoes – the Pudsey brogue in tan from Dune.”
Photographer Lucy Davenport has perfectly captured the emotion and joy of the couple and their guests in her lovely, light-filled pictures. After the ceremony, the newly-weds took a few minutes out to spend time together and have some beautiful portrait photos taken. The meadow by the barn was a lovely location for these with its wild flowers and long grasses.
“We were very particular about what style of photographs we wanted. We wanted someone who could capture the relaxed atmosphere and candid moments but equally we wanted a classic feel to the photographs and Lucy Davenport managed all of that perfectly. We felt so comfortable around Lucy and it was like we had known her forever.”
“Lucy is everything you could want in a photographer; friendly, funny and very understanding and we had so many compliments from our guests about how lovely she was. Needless to say, the photographs were exactly what we had hoped for.”
Natalie and Kevin turned to online wedding shop The Wedding of My Dreams to source many of their decor items, including the log slices that the table lanterns were placed upon. The sequinned table cloth and table runners were found online at The Sweet Party Shop.
The soft colours of the flowers were matched by the simple, pretty leaf design on the stationery by Beyond Vintage. Designer Lou also made bespoke signs for the venue, including the table plan and the sweet table menu.
“We chose the Succulent stationery set from Beyond Vintage but had the colours altered to match our colour scheme. Lou was absolutely fantastic and very quick to respond to
After enjoying canapés and drinks, the party sat down to a three-course meal cooked by the venue’s caterer Indulgence Boutique Hospitality. The laser-cut wooden place names by VM Bespoke doubled as favours.
The couple created a very inviting sweet table laden with all sorts of goodies including macarons and fudge hearts, all made by Cake by Rachel, who also created this pretty wedding cake.
“Cake by Rachel was recommended to us by our venue and was an absolute dream to work with. She went above and beyond her requirements helping the venue to dress the sweet table and make sure everything was exactly how we had imagined. To compliment the rustic look of the wedding we went for a white cake with green sugar leaves tumbling down each tier with cupcakes wrapped in laser cut cases to match.”
An upbeat first dance of ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell got the party started, with live folky music following.
“We knew we wanted a band rather than a DJ, again, to fit in with the rustic feel and as soon as we heard Mister Kanish at our best friend’s wedding a year earlier we knew we had to hire them to play at ours too. Each one of the band members is very friendly and courteous and they had everyone dancing from the minute they started to the second they finished – they even threw in a few encores for us. Their folk style set was perfect for our wedding and they played a fantastic selection of songs both old and new.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“My best piece of advice would be to just do exactly what you want to do. Everyone is going to have an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t be doing or booking but this is your day, a day to celebrate you as a couple and whatever it is that you want to include in the day then just do it. Do what makes you both happy.”
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing your wedding today Natalie and Kevin, so many congratulations and thanks to you both. From more rustic wedding inspiration you can browse through other Love My Dress weddings here and if you’ve loved Lucy Davenport’s beautiful photographs click this link to look at more weddings she’s captured for these pages.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Lucy Davenport
- Venue - Caswell House, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire
- Wedding Dress - Hayley Paige 'Halo' at Hannah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique
- Veil - Hannah Elizabeth Bridal Boutique
- Shoes - Monsoon
- Accessories - Swarovski necklace, Thomas Sabo earrings
- Perfume - Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet
- Groom - Next suit, Etsy tie + pocket square + Dune London shoes
- Bridesmaids - Gowns from Needle & Thread at ASOS, Thomas Sabo earrings, Not On The High Street bracelets, Gypsy Rose
- Vintage hair pins + Aldo shoes
- Page Boys - Marks & Spencer suit + Etsy bow tie
- Florist - Joanna Carter Flowers
- Cake - Cake by Rachel
- Entertainment - Mister Kanish
- Rings - Engagement ring by Bradley & Willows, wedding rings from Ernest Jones wedding ring (bride) + Fraser Hart (groom)
- Catering - Indulgence Boutique Hospitality
- Stationery - Beyond Vintage
- Hair Stylist - Rachel Mulford
- Makeup Artist - Maxine Wilson