Today’s wedding is what dreams are made of. Fresh greens and clean whites against beautiful blue sunny skies; one to bookmark for the traditional brides out there who love all things crisp, elegant and gorgeous. Want to know more about the bride and groom behind this big day? Then we better get introduced…
Beauty Therapist Emily and Director Elliot were married on 27th August 2017 at the Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa in Christchurch, Dorset. The couple met when they were teenagers at a party and were engaged on Emily’s birthday in 2016.
“We were going to Thailand for a 3 week trip and stopped in Dubai to celebrate. On the morning of my birthday, Elliot arranged for breakfast to be delivered to the hotel room with roses, a birthday cake and champagne. After breakfast he gave me a present and hidden inside was a ring. He then got down on one knee with the ring and proposed.”
Photography by Nick Rutter
“The reason we fell in love with this venue is because our initial plan was to marry in Italy so we had our hearts set on a wedding near the sea with sunshine. However, due to circumstances, this didn’t end up being a viable option. We chose this location as it was away from Northampton but close enough for guests to travel to and from.”“In addition to this, Elliot’s family had visited the hotel and the area for the past 30 years on holiday so many childhood memories had been made here which gave it sentimental value too. The venue is a stone’s throw from the beach and the sea came right up to the hotel so there was a ready-made and beautiful backdrop for the wedding and pictures. It also gave us that away from home feeling that we were craving.”
“I went for a short, one layer veil as I didn’t want to over-complicate the dress, and my shoes were from the bridal collection at Jimmy Choo. I fell in love with the shoes from the moment I saw them. I knew they would look amazing with my dress as the fabric of it allowed the detail in the shoes to stand out.”
“The knee-length split in my dress was also perfect for showing off the shoes and they were visible all the time. The sparkle from the crystals in the sunlight was the finishing touch, along with the ostrich feathers moving in the wind. I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved my shoes.”
“For my accessories I wore a pair of diamond Carat earrings. They were my only pieces of jewellery as I didn’t want to take anything away from the dress and the shoes. I did however wear Estee Lauder bronze goddess body wash, body lotion and perfume. I love this summer fragrance.”
Emily chose an utterly perfect and timeless gown for her special day by designer Charlie Brear via Style Ventoux.
“I tried on a princess dress first then tried on my dress and after that, I knew it was the one straight away, even though it was quite simple in design. I absolutely loved the simplicity of it – less is more in my eyes.”
“The texture of the silk was so soft and floaty on my skin and I felt completely free. I knew my dress would compliment the style of the wedding and go beautifully with the mens suits too. I added a sparkly belt to finish off the look and never doubted my decision once. The centre of the belt matches the brooches on all of the wedding stationery too.”
“My bridesmaids all wore sparkling champagne coloured Carvela by Kurt Geiger open toed shoes and the dresses were from Maids to Measure in a cream soda colour. The flower girl’s dress were from Stunning Bridal and designed by Mark Lesley. The colours were made to match the bridesmaid dresses and I also had some extra layers of skirting put in and an extra big bow put on the back for that wow factor. She also had a mini version of my bouquet to match and a flower crown.”
The pair gave themselves 18 months to plan the wedding and were aiming for a classic and elegant theme with neutral colours and hints of gold.
To capture the gorgeous day on camera was Bournemouth-based wedding photographer Nick Rutter, and on hand to catch it all on film was videographer Simon from Final Cut Videography.
The groom matched his best man, ushers and father’s of the bride and groom in 3-piece dinner suits from Next, finished off with a small gold pin collar shirt and burgundy belt and brogues. They also accessorised with pocket watches, with Elliot’s belonging to his Great Grandfather.
“For the decor we used material drapes hanging from the oak tree and large free-standing blossom trees in the drinks area, giant Mr and Mrs letters in the disco area, ivy hanging from ceiling lights, lanterns, flowers and draping in the dining area and as a focal point, a swing in the gardens.”
To tie in with the timeless and elegant day, Emily chose gorgeous fresh greenery and white florals for her bouquets and arrangements, all created by florist Natalie from Flowers By Design.
“The flowers were one of the most important elements of our day. I love flowers so picking the right florist was a hard job. When I met Natalie she understood straight away the glamorous yet classic style that I wanted. With flowers, my opinion of less is more did not count and I went all out! We had some of the most beautiful wedding flowers that I’ve ever seen and all the guests were amazed. Natalie really kept the colours of the flowers simple yet effective, making sure they matched the bridesmaids tones and wedding stationery too. I had a very large bouquet and the bridesmaids all had a bridal size bouquet. I couldn’t have asked for more from Natalie. She treated me like the only wedding she had that year and took the time to ensure she understood exactly what I wanted. She saw the vision that I had and with a lot of hard work, created exactly what I wanted.”
Emily walked down the aisle accompanied by her father to the classic Wedding March played on the harp, and were married by the local registrar from the Dorset Registry Office.
“Our vows were very minimalistic and we had two readings; one from the mother of the bride and one from the brother of the groom.”
“Our rings were from Steffans Jewellers in Northampton. Elliot had a simple white gold band and I had a full double band diamond ring.”
A canapes and drinks reception followed the ceremony with guests congregating by the sea in the searing sunshine whilst listening to a solo guitarist, as the wedding party went with photographer Nick for the album photo’s.
In keeping with the fun party vibe that seemed to be the theme of the day, guests were gifted with a shot of sambuca as the favour, served in shot jars along with personalised chocolates and love hearts and bubbles. The stationery was all provided by stationery designer Sharon at Quills Northampton and included place names, menus, table numbers, the guest book and lots more.
“Sharon provided an amazing service. Everything was made bespoke and the colours perfectly matched everything else which was important to ensure consistency in the scheme, and we worked very hard to match all the shades.”
Guests were wowed on entry to the dining area with gorgeous green foliage hanging from the chandeliers, beautiful tall table centre pieces arranged by florist Natalie and the wedding cake taking centre stage set high on the cake table.
“The cake was made by Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design who certainly lived up to her award-winning reputation. The cake perfectly matched my colour scheme and style and tasted delicious too!”
The wedding breakfast which was provided by the venue had a relaxed summer vibe and was followed with the speeches and then the first dance.
“Our first dance was to Love Will Stand When All Else Fails by Beverly Knight. We picked this song from a musical we went to see in London one time. We love musicals and the words were very special to us.”
“Then we had DJ Party Dexx Dorset play the evening entertainment who had a playlist with old school r’n’b classics because we love a good party and a dance!”
“I couldn’t possible pick a favourite part of the day! Though I loved walking down the aisle and holding Elliot’s hand when I got to the end. The weather was beautiful and the sun shone all day non-stop. The whole day was magical!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Don’t stress and enjoy every minute of it and pay attention to the small details. Also, try to include an event the day before or the day after to extend the celebrations. Having this before is great as everyone is excited for the big day. We had a beach party the day before around the corner from the hotel where we hired a beach hut and put up gazebos. All our guests joined us for fish and chips and ice cream. I was an amazing day and made the most of the seaside venue.”
“The wedding was more than just a day, it was a mini break for everyone there. Everyone had travelled from Northamptonshire and stayed at the venue or a local hotel nearby. We started off with the beach party on the Saturday, wedding on the Sunday then also had a group breakfast on the Monday before heading back to the beach for more sunshine and ice cream. We were fortunate enough to have beautiful weather. It was as good as being abroad! We all managed to feel like we had had a break in beautiful surroundings.”
That sun though! Emily and Elliot really couldn’t have picked a better weekend for glorious wall-to-wall sunshine – what a seriously gorgeous day. A big thanks to the newlyweds for sharing it with us and to Nick Rutter for capturing it all so beautifully.
Until next time…
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Nick Rutter
- Videographer - Final Cut Videography
- Venue - Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa
- Wedding dress - Charlie Brear
- Shoes - Jimmy Choo
- Perfume - Estee Lauder
- Bridesmaids - Maids to Measure
- Bridesmaids shoes - Carvela by Kurt Geiger
- Flower girl - Stunning Bridal
- Groom - Next
- Groomsmen - Next
- Catering - Christchurch Harbour Hotel and Spa
- Officiant - Dorset Registry Office
- Florist - Flowers By Design
- Cake - Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design
- Rings - Steffans Jewellers
- Stationery - Sharon at Quills Northampton
- Hair stylist - Emma at Aubern Hair Design Dorset