A Charming English Country Garden Wedding With a Sassi Holford Bride and Bridesmaid in Needle & Thread

Sassi Holford bride confetti shot

If you’ve not had a chance to catch up with our latest lockdown advice article, I encourage you to bookmark it here for reading later.

The article is full of practical and useful information on how you can continue to plan your wedding in lockdown and it’s been super well received by our lovely bridal community over on Instagram.

From our perspective, there’s a lot of conversation out there about when weddings will be allowed to happen again. Nobody of course knows and I’m not too sure the conjecture is more harmful than it is helpful at this stage, but one thing is for sure….

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…one day, the date as yet undetermined, weddings will return my darlings, and until then, we are going to continue to share the most beautiful inspiring weddings, every single day, to encourage and inspire you and provide a gentle reassuring little boost to your wedding planning experience.

PR Manager Emma and Managing Director Tom tied the knot on 8th June 2019 with ceremony at St Mildred’s Church in Tenterden, followed by a beautiful reception held in the grounds of Emma’s family home in Bethersden, Kent.

“As we decided to get married at home, we knew from the get go it would be a garden wedding. I had a specific colour palette in mind which included peach, cornflower blue and lavender, green and white so my sister designed an invite drawing flowers from our family garden.”

I love how Emma teamed her elegant dress with a sassy pair of silver heels courtesy Jimmy Choo

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Silver Jimmy Choo Wedding ShoesBaby page boy in bow tie

We are thrilled that Emma chose to wear a gown by our Little Book Wedding Directory member, the wonderful and talented  Sassi Holford.

“I only booked appointments with two designers, Sassi and another in North London.  Sassi was in the shop when I went in for my first appointment and asked me about details on the wedding. Between her and my sister they picked out a few styles but the Henrietta dress felt modern yet timeless.”

Sassi Holford backless wedding dress

The bride’s chosen wedding day scent was Chloe, Eau de Parfum

“It’s a scent that has also made me feel great and I’ve worn on special occasions. I also wore my grandmother’s pearl bracelet and pearl earrings made by Eaton and Jones in Tenterden, Kent. I borrowed a veil from my sister and made for her wedding by Belle and Bunty.”

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“One of my oldest friends Clemmie James runs Theatre of Flowers. Clemmie, along with my Mum, helped me choose the flowers based on seasonality. I wanted a statement flower in my bouquet and on the tables so luckily, pink peonies were in season, as well as hydrangeas. I created a Pinterest board which we all shared and kept adding to.”

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Emily was accompanied into the ceremony by her dad, to the sound of Gabriels Obe.

“It’s a song I have loved for a long time. Our vicar, Margaret Roylance, was my Religious Studies teacher and school chaplain so knew me (Emma) since I was very small so was very special to be married by Margaret.”

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“I was christened in the church and it has always been a dream to get married at home and celebrate with all our friends and family in a place that is so special.”

Sam Le Prevost made my engagement ring (secretly with Tom) so he was of course our preferred designer for our rings. Tom wanted a platinum band, around 4mm so his design was quite straight forward. I opted for something which reflected my love for travel. A band with a dotted-type mould from Myanmar, where I’ve spent a lot of time with work, with six diamonds spaced around the band. I love it!”

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“Our vows were quite traditional and set by the church but felt very meaningful. We chose two readings; Song of Solomon 2.10-13; 8.6,7 and Union, by Robert Fulgham.”

“Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.”

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“We met in January 2017, via Tinder. Our first date was in London but Tom was at the time living in Bristol. We became engaged the following May in Mozambique as the sun was setting on Machangulo Peninsula and married June the year after.”

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These beautiful photographs which so wonderfully capture the relaxed, family vibe, were taken by Kent and London wedding photographer Matilda Delves.

“Our photographer, Matilda Delves, had previously worked with my sister on some of her branding so we got in touch straight away when we got engaged.”

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“Matilda understood our vision from the beginning. We wanted more of a reportage style, especially during the drinks reception and speeches/wedding breakfast. We had a few line up pictures but mostly relaxed images that captured the spirit of the day perfectly.”

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The gorgeous, sweet little flowergirls wore traditional dresses from The Little Wedding Company and silver shoes (to match the bride and bridesmaid) by La Coqueta.

By the way, the image below is my favourite! And a perfect example that not all ‘posed’ wedding photographs will go to plan which is completely OK because those imperfect photographs are always the best.

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In keeping with the garden inspired vibe, the bridesmaid wore a floral dress.

“I found a Needle and Thread dress which also had many of our wedding colours and was perfect for my sister who was a bridesmaid – the dress design became the foundation of my Pinterest inspiration board.”—

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“We chose a three-pole marquee from Piece of Cake Marquees who also helped us source rustic trestle tables and chairs which set the design foundations for the marquee. My wonderful friend Clemmie who runs Theatre of Flowers helped me design the floral concepts, including a flower canopy over the tables, table flowers in vintage bottles which matched the bouquets and milk churns to create entrance features.”

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The decor inside the marquee included a headturning hanging floral installation comprising ferns and other forms of greenery and a series of floral hoops. Peach and coral floral decor was found dotted around the wooden trestle tables and the guests would dine under a string of canopy lights. Imagine how wonderfully romantic this all was come nightfall? The dream!

“Our flower canopy really made the marquee and looks great in pictures.”

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Calligraphy table names and place names added a touch of effortless class.

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“We decided not to have an official wedding cake. I really didn’t want another posed for photo moment after we’d all had a drink so Tom’s Mum made a red velvet cake to be served with the evening meal as pudding. Delicious!”

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“We are very fortunate that my Dad is a trained chef and Tom’s Mother is a caterer. They did all the food and we hired a couple of chefs for the day.”

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Instead of providing favours for their guests, the couple put additional money towards covering the cost of extra drinks at the bar.

“My sister is a graphic designer so did all our invites, menus, order of service etc. We also worked with a calligrapher called Ellen Waldren who did all our name places, table plan and table names in the most gorgeous calligraphy style.”

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The couple’s first dance was to the song ‘How Long Will I Love You’, from the film ‘About Time’ – the first movie the couple watched together. What a lovely touch.

“We both have so many wonderful memories. Walking into the marquee seeing all our favourite people in one space, seeing everyone on the dance floor and different friends chatting together.

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“My brother-in-law and his band, Hootenanny, played for us followed one of their friends who DJ’d till late.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Be strong. You will know what your vision for the day looks like and make you talk openly with those you’re close to so they know what to expect and can support you to make sure all comes to life. Also, as a bride, you do need to be open to compromise, your husband will also have ideas and may want to take some tasks on. Keep the Bridezilla in check.”

“Do invest in some pieces you can then sell, vases, signs, frames for pictures. We’ve sold most items we bought and has funded a weekend away!”

“It’s an emotional time leading up to the big day and you’ll feel like you have to constantly work on plans, however, it’s also very important to still plan those date nights and time away from wedmin.”

“Keeping a normal routine will help with the wedding blues post wedding.”

“Tom and I did want certain extra details, for example, additional drinks at the bar and a DJ as well as a band, the party was so important to us. So this exceeded the budget (approx. £20,000) by a small amount and we covered the extras.”

“Top tip would be to share Pinterest boards with your suppliers. When you’re planning an event which is so based on visuals, sometimes words can’t explain the vision you’re trying to convey.”

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Credits & Thanks


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.