This timeless and elegant, Hampshire countryside wedding took place back in the summer of this year.
On 24 July 2021, Freddy and Chris wed in the St Mary’s Church in Easton, with a marquee reception afterwards, in the field opposite her parents’ house, in the same village.
The couple’s day was relaxed and timeless, with its styling inspired by the glorious, summery Hampshire countryside – pure white flowers with lots of foliage.
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The bride chose her Rita Vinieris ballgown in New York, flying it back to the UK to have her final alterations done.
“Wedding dress shopping was slightly different from what I had imagined, given that we were in New York in 2020 with no hope of family or friends visiting in the short term.”
“I was keen to get my wedding dress shopping underway despite this and being in NY, booked an appointment at Kleinfeld Bridal where ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ is filmed, just for fun!”
“They were really great there and let me get my sister and mum on Zoom to join in with the fun.”
The first dress my consultant pulled was the dress I ended up buying (after touring many other bridal shops in NYC). It was made by Rita Vinieris, a Canadian designer, and was exactly what I was after – a timeless and clean ball gown. And they did ask me, ‘Do you say yes to the dress?’.”
“I felt amazing in the dress and nothing else compared. I was initially worried the train was a bit over the top for a country marquee wedding but it bustled so easily and was so comfortable I ended up wearing it all night.”
“I had my alterations done at Bride & Alter in London, after getting the dress over here with its own seat on the plane.”
“I was really nervous as the dress was very big for me but they did an amazing job to put me at ease and the dress fitted me so perfectly on the day.”
Freddy’s low, sling-back shoes were from Rainbow Club.
“They were so comfortable and I wore them all night.”
Bride & Alter designed a bespoke veil with a scalloped lace trim, made to perfectly edge the gown’s train.
“As the dress we so simple I loved having the lace veil in the church and I’ve already had requests for friends to borrow it.”
Freddy selected her bridesmaids’ deep navy gowns from Rewritten, a brand who we are so happy to support on our Love My Dress Wedding Directory.
Freddy and Chris met at Bristol University and planned their wedding over the course of the pandemic, having luckily chosen, from the off, the first weekend after restrictions were lifted.
“We met towards the end of our time at university through a mutual friend, who was the best man on the day.”
“Fast forward five years and we got engaged whilst skiing down ‘Le Face’ in Val D’Isère in December 2019.”
“We were engaged for just over 18 months with a pandemic and moving to New York for ten months thrown in, just to make planning even more interesting.”
“I grew up in Easton, a small village outside Winchester. It has a beautiful village church and a great community so we always knew we would love to get married there.”
“The bonus for us was having the marquee within walking distance in the heart of the village opposite where my parents live.”
“As we were getting married in a country village I really wanted the wedding to be a relaxed but fun affair, with the décor to be timeless but traditional, countryside-inspired.”
“We wanted the flowers to be white with lots of greenery and the bridesmaids in navy with the ushers and groom in morning suits.”
On the day, there were still a few Covid restrictions that Freddy and Chris had to adhere to.
“Our guests had to wear masks in the church, have no singing inside and have a seating plan but other than that we could focus on having a great day.”
“We also got to do the last hymn, ‘Jerusalem’, outside which turned out to be quite epic.”
“We always agreed that no matter what (two or 120 people) we would get married on 24 July and could always have a party later.”
“I think that helped us focus on what was important and not get too attached to a big wedding, although of course we always had our fingers crossed.”
The bride walked down the aisle with her father as a string trio played Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’.
“Our village vicar officiated the ceremony. It was his second to last wedding before he retired and he did an amazing job.”
The couple exchanged rings from John Lewis and headed outside with their guests to sing the hymn ‘Jerusalem’, one of their favourite moments of the day.
“There were honestly too many to choose from but it was probably standing outside the church singing ‘Jerusalem’ (we weren’t allowed to sing hymns in the church due to Covid) and the sun coming out.”
The wedding reception was held in a beautiful marquee from local company Pole To Pole Marquees.
It was so beautifully decorated for the celebration with the gorgeous floral pieces and garlands of fairy lights.
“We had four beautiful long tables with small flower arrangements running down them and candles in different shades of blue.”
“I made the name cards from ivy we picked in our lane and wrote each name in Sharpie. They looked amazing!”
“I also made the table plan by sticking leaves to a wooden board and writing the names by hand.”
Freddy and Chris hand-made a lot of the wedding elements themselves, but have a word of warning for other couple’s planning to do the same.
“I wouldn’t have left so much DIY to do in the last week.”
“I made all the orders of service with hand-tied ribbons, the place cards for the table, the table plan and printed the menus.”
“Whilst it meant I got to make sure everything was perfect, it was a lot!”
“For favours we had personalised envelopes with wild flower seeds in them.”
“Outside the marquee we had croquet, ring toss, Jenga and other games for people to play during the Aperol Spritz hour.”
Wild Garlic Event Catering provided the wedding breakfast and the simple, semi-naked cake was by Little Bee Bakery in Romsey.
“We opted for a mix of two flavours with lemon sponge and orange icing and served it as dessert for our meal.”
Freddy found the photography, Grace Pham Photography, on Instagram and the couple fell in love with her documentary-style photographs that capture a day’s atmosphere so well.
“I liked that she mentioned on her website that she had a limit on the number of group shots, as we were keen to spend as much of the day as possible having fun.”
“We were blown away by the photos and everyone has been raving about them, especially as Grace was so discreet on the day that lots of people don’t remember there being a photographer, in a good way.”
“Looking back at the album is like reliving the day and we are so grateful to have these memories recorded.”
The bridesmaids wore pearl hair clips to match the bride and each carried a bouquet of pure white flowers and greenery created by the florist, Stem & Green.
“We are very lucky to be neighbours with our amazing florist Pauline who is retired now but has showed at Chelsea Flower Show in the past.”
“We were keen to stick with whites and greens and local where possible. We even got some of the flowers from the local flower farm which was set up in the field we walked through from the church to the marquee.”
“My bouquet had greenery and white flowers including beautiful peonies.”
“We had a flower arch over the church where we were married.”
“In the marquee, we had a beautiful hanging flower arrangement (a ladder covered in flowers hoisted between the poles) which included ivy and birch which we hand-picked from the local farm and white agapanthus from the next village.”
As night fell, the evening party got started with music from Dance Floor Fillers, found on entertainment agency Entertainment Nation. Take a look at Entertainment Agency’s Love My Dress Wedding Directory listing for more information about the huge variety of bands and musicians they can connect you with.
“Dance Floor Fillers are an amazing, seven-piece band. They played disco classics and we danced the night away for the first time in 18 months.”
The first dance was to we chose ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young.
“This was a last-minute change as we wanted something upbeat for the first dance. This song is special to us as we have a great memory of it playing at a festival we went to before we were going out in Croatia.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Don’t start planning too early. We organised the main things (marquee, caterer, church) 18 months in advance but only started the details with five months to go.”
“It becomes all-consuming and I’m glad we didn’t start any earlier as it will definitely fill all your time.”
Freddy, I love your choice of timeless ballgown and thank you to you and Chris for sharing your celebration with us.
For more countryside-inspired days, you can get plenty of ideas from these weddings.
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Grace Pham Photography
- Venue - St Mary's Church, Easton, Hampshire + a Pole To Pole Marquees marquee
- Wedding Dress - Rita Vinieris via Kleinfield Bridal + alterations at Bride & Alter
- Veil - Bride & Alter
- Headpiece - Etsy pearl clip
- Shoes - Rainbow Club
- Accessories - Tiffany pearl earrings + a Monica Vinader bracelet
- Groom - Morning suit
- Bridesmaids - Rewritten gowns + Etsy hairclips
- Florist - Stem & Green
- Cake - Little Bee Bakery
- Transport - A neighbour's vintage Rolls Royce
- Entertainment - Dance Floor Fillers via Entertainment Nation
- Rings - John Lewis
- Catering - Wild Garlic Event Catering
- Stationery - The bride