Summertime in the English countryside is really something special; all those soft green leaves, warm sunshine and softly-scented cottage garden flowers.
It’s an idyllic backdrop for any wedding but add in timeless Cotswold stone buildings and fine art photography and the result is simply exquisite.
It’s a pleasure to introduce Camilla and Geoff, whose marriage took place on 11 June 2018 at All Saints Church, Crudwell near Malmesbury in Wiltshire with a reception afterwards at The Rectory Hotel, next door to the church.
Photography + Film by Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film
The couple fell in love with the hotel and its elegant glasshouse during a long weekend break there, and took inspiration from the summer season to style their romantic day. Cue a relaxed English country garden vibe with lots of delicately pink blooms and soft grey foliage against pure white gowns.
“We were inspired for our day by our love of the time of year. June is our favourite month as it is both of our birthdays and we are usually very lucky with the weather. We hoped that the sun would be shining and the garden would be beautiful with lots of seasonal and lovely flowers. We wanted the day to feel laid-back, relaxed and romantic. We were aiming to enhance what the venue already offered and have a very relaxed English country garden style of wedding which the Cotswolds offers so beautifully. By choosing white bridesmaid dresses I felt the colours of the flowers would really stand out and speak for themselves.”
The fine art photographs are the work of Grace and Mitch of Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film, whose style oozes romance and elegance. The couple’s work is ideal for the country garden setting; I just love their eye for fine detail, beautiful light and gorgeous composition. The team also created the romantic film.
“I cannot recommend them enough. Such a wonderfully friendly and professional couple, we loved working with them from beginning to end. They are so talented and couldn’t do enough to make sure we were happy with the photographs and video – which are amazing!”
“We had stayed at The Rectory Hotel for a long weekend before we were engaged. It was such a lovely weekend in late summer and the hotel was beautiful. We remember saying to one another that it would be such a perfect wedding venue; we imagined a summer wedding with drinks and canapés in the garden and the wedding breakfast in the lovely glasshouse. The church being next door was such a bonus. It was very important for both of us to get married in a church.”
The flowers and foliage were echoed by the stationery suite, expertly hand-drawn by the wonderful Wildflower Illustration Co team who are based in the Cotswolds. One of their prints adorns my own bedroom wall and I love its delicate artistry.
“All of our stationery was done by the wonderful and talented Rebecca and Karl of Wildflower Illustration Co. We worked closely with Rebecca and Karl and enjoyed some coffee and croissant planning meetings with them. They worked so hard to create beautiful, bespoke stationery which complemented the theme and the flowers on the day.”
The night before the wedding, Camilla, her bridesmaids and her dad and step-mum all stayed at The Rectory Hotel.
“The girls had a lovely evening getting pampered ready for the big day. In the morning, we got ready in my bridal suite with Prosecco and breakfast whilst getting our hair and make-up done. There was such an excited buzz and it was the perfect evening and morning. The boys had an evening meal at the pub opposite the hotel, stayed in a cottage on the grounds and did a fantastic job helping to set up on the morning.”
“We had five bridesmaids; my two sisters and three best friends. Geoff had two best men and two groomsmen. They were all amazing in the run-up to the wedding. On the day we were so grateful. A few of them had travelled from as far as Dubai and New Zealand to be with us.”
“Geoff gave me some beautiful Monica Vinader earrings as my wedding present and I was so happy to wear these on the day. My wonderful friend and bridesmaid lent me the bracelet that she wore on her wedding day as my ‘something borrowed’; this was very special to me.”
For a romantic feel, the bride’s blonde locks were woven into an inverted braid and relaxed bun, finished off by her petal headpiece. Camilla’s make-up was glowy and natural, with a gorgeous metallic rose gold eyeshadow that is so pretty.
Camilla chose to have her bridesmaid in all-white outfits and they found their midi, lacy summer gowns at Seed Heritage. Happily, their design echoes the bride’s own gown and I love the bold lace overlay.
They wore them with dusky pink, heeled sandals from New Look and fresh roses and foliage in their hair.
“We gave my lovely bridesmaids a rose gold pendant necklace to wear on the day. We also gifted them a blush-coloured monogrammed clutch bag to use in the evening.”
I’ve fallen head over heels for Camilla’s pure white Rime Arodaky gown. It features a fitted appliqué bodice with a deep V-back and front, and an unusual embroidered overlay which flows behind her so elegantly and makes for some gorgeous photographs. She found it at The Mews Bridal in Notting Hill.
“I absolutely loved the lace overlay. It was so beautifully detailed and different from anything else I had seen. Being able to take it off towards the end of the evening transformed the dress and made it very easy to dance in (although when the time came I didn’t want to take it off!).”
“I felt that the dress was very elegant and classic but with a modern twist. It had a low lace back and was lightweight and comfortable so I knew it would be just right for the time of year and fit with the theme of the day perfectly. I couldn’t have been happier with it! The wonderful team at Sewn Right in London altered it so well; they were great to work with.”
Like many brides, Camilla wanted a special scent to wear on her wedding day and found it at Jo Malone.
“I made an appointment at Jo Malone to pick my wedding scent. I already wore Peony & Blush Suede, so it felt like me. I wanted something a bit more special for the day, so I mixed it with Velvet Rose & Oud. I treated myself to the shower gel and body crème too.”
“I had ‘something new’ which were my beautiful earrings from Geoff, ‘something old’ was an antique ring belonging to my step-mum which we tied to my bouquet, ‘something borrowed’ was a bracelet from my friend and bridesmaid that she wore on her wedding day and ‘something blue’ were the flowers in our bouquets.”
I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned the cascades of flowers yet. Styled by Rachel Husband of The Rose Shed they are romantic and so reminiscent of a full-blown summer garden.
“I followed Rachel on Instagram for a little while and thought her flowers are always so beautiful. I was delighted to book her and we worked closely together to choose my flowers as they were such a big part of the day. They blew me away. We chose a colour palette of dusky pinks, ivory and blush with a touch of blue throughout as my ‘something blue’.
“We had big fluffy-headed peonies with blush pink Quicksand roses, white astilbe, white sweetpeas and also oxypetalum, a dainty pale blue flower. We focused on pale grey foliage such as eucalyptus, olive and senecio and added in trailing jasmine and hysteria vines. The bouquets were beautiful, wild but elegant.”
Having got ready in The Rectory Hotel, Camilla and the rest of the bridal party made the short walk to the church.
“My step-mum got crafty and prepared our confetti for the church. She decorated hearts, C’s and G’s to hang from shepherds’ hooks along the path going up to the church. It looked great.”
“I gave Geoff an Omega watch as his wedding present which he wore on the day.”
“We bought the best men and groomsmen blue suits from River Island; they were a linen blend so perfect for a summer wedding. We gifted them some silver knot cufflinks, a blush Reiss tie and pocket square.”
For a fresh, modern look, Camilla donned a pair of nude Carvela sandals from Kurt Geiger and a short waist-length veil from Helen Martin Veils which framed her face. Her handmade headpiece by Tocados Le Touquet, inspired by delicate blossoms, really is something else and I love its natural look.
Camilla entered on the arm of her dad and walked up the aisle to meet Geoff as a pianist played Ludovico Einaudi’ ‘I Giorni’. The Church of England ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Sarah Wyman and included two readings.
Camilla and Geoff met through friends whilst she was in school doing her A Levels and Geoff was studying at university in Cardiff. They got engaged in March 2016 after six years together.
“We are so lucky to have spent so many years growing up together and to have an amazing group of mutual friends and family. I had booked us a surprise holiday to Marrakech and Geoff surprised me in return by proposing. At the end of the holiday we spent a wonderful evening at Beldi Country Club.”
“Geoff got down on one knee whilst we were having a pre-dinner drink and walk around the gardens. I was so surprised and so happy. I was also lucky enough to be taken back to this spot on my hen do with all my favourite girls. We had a longer engagement of just over two years. Although it went quickly, we couldn’t have been more ready and excited when the day finally came.”
“The first was a biblical reading: a love poem between two lovers (Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Verses 10 – 13 and Chapter 8, verses 6 – 7) which was read by Geoff’s brother, Matthew.”
“The second was a compilation of poems on love, put together and read by my sister and bridesmaid, Georgia. It was so beautiful and meaningful it put tears in both of our eyes.”
“I’ll love you till the ocean is folded
And hung up to dry
I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
Until Africa and China meet.
I love you without knowing how
Or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly,
Without complexities or pride.
And I will be there when you feel like being quiet
And you can cry on my shoulder
When the mirror tells us we are older.
And as sure as seasons were made to change
Our love is surely made for years.
Our love is old and sure,
Not new and frantic. You know I’m yours
And you know you are mine.
So, the truth is
I would rather face one lifetime with you
Than face all the ages of this world alone.
It is as simple
And as complicated,
The couple exchanged rings from Cirencester jeweller John Titcombe.
“Geoff designed and purchased my engagement ring from our local jewellers, John Titcombe. We went back there together to choose our wedding bands. Geoff had plain platinum and I had a platinum and diamond band.”
“Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. It was so heartfelt and personal and felt as though Geoff and I were the only people in the room. We were both so happy to see one another and to get married, a feeling we will never forget.”
The gorgeous weather meant that the newly-weds could enjoy relaxing with their friends and family’s in The Rectory Hotel’s beautiful walled gardens, with live music in the background.
“For post-ceremony in the garden and the first set of the evening we had the amazing Fiddlin’ About.”
The Rectory Hotel’s airy glasshouse needed little adornment, apart from a few personal touches here and there.
“Our venue was so beautiful we were lucky to not have to decorate too much – we are not very crafty! However Geoff used some large trellis and got Polaroids of all our guests to do the table plan. It turned out great and he was very proud! We had an order of the day designed by Wildflower Illustration Co on an easel which was perfect.”
“Along with our lovely stationery by Wildflower Illustration Co on the tables we had lots of our beautiful flowers, blush candles and gold animals. We kept it quite simple.”
I’m so taken with the couple’s gorgeous favours – honey from the bride’s grandparents’ own hives.
“My grandparents kindly provided us with their homemade, delicious honey (they keep their own bees!). They made up mini jars for all our guests with personalised tags which said ‘Meant To Bee’. We also gave each guest a drinks token to claim a free drink from the bar after the wedding breakfast.”
The wedding breakfast was provided by the venue’s catering team whilst bridesmaid Hannah baked and decorated the magnificent tiered wedding cake.
“My best friend and bridesmaid Hannah made our cake. We were so grateful, and it was delicious; Hannah is a fantastic baker. We had three tiers – lemon which is our favourite, vanilla sponge and salted caramel. She did a semi-naked cake with white chocolate frosting and fresh flowers from my florist. It was so beautiful.”
The day turned into evening with a touching first dance to Joshua Radin’s ‘I’d Rather Be With You’ performed by Fiddlin About and music from a DJ from Stylish Entertainment.
“We chose this song as it is special to us. Back when we first started dating Geoff learnt it on the guitar and played it to me. We have remembered it ever since!”
“In the evening we had a fire pit with a S’mores stand and blankets to keep everyone warm. This went down very well!”
The couple have such lovely memories of their special day.
“Being surrounded by our closest loved ones, it felt so special to have everyone from our lives and families with us to celebrate and share the day.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Having made a few mistakes and learning from them during our time wedding planning, the most important thing is to remember why you are doing it. Things don’t always go to plan and it can be stressful but you’re marrying your loved one. It will be the best day, regardless!”
“Enjoy every minute of the planning – celebrate the small things, keep it personal and get excited.”
“Try to spend as much time as possible together on the day. It will go so quickly but the memories will last forever. It’s the beginning of a new chapter.”
Well lovelies, what do you think? I can’t get over the beautifully romantic colour palette and the wonderful gardens. Please join me in sending thanks and congratulations to Camilla and Geoff for sharing their day with us, and the team at Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film for these beautiful, beautiful photographs.
Credits & Thanks
- Photography + Film - Grace Elizabeth Photo & Film
- Venue - All Saints Church, Crudwell + The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
- Wedding Dress - Rime Arodaky via The Mews Bridal + Sewn Right alterations
- Veil - Helen Martin Veils
- Headpiece - Tocados Le Touquet
- Shoes - Carvela from Kurt Geiger
- Accessories - Monica Vinader earrings + a borrowed bracelet
- Perfume - Jo Malone
- Groom - Hugo Boss suit, Church's shoes, Reiss tie + pocket square, Howick cufflinks + Omega watch
- Bridesmaids - Seed Heritage dresses + New Look shoes
- Florist - The Rose Shed
- Cake - Bridesmaid Hannah
- Entertainment - Fiddlin' About + Stylish Entertainment
- Rings - John Titcombe
- Catering - The Rectory Hotel
- Stationery - Wildflower Illustration Co
- Hair Stylist - Louise Alway Hair
- Make-Up Artist - Amy Elizabeth Makeup Artist