In my five years writing for Love My Dress, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an astronomy-inspired wedding, full of celestial touches. Today’s sparkling wedding features stars, references to space and the most divine embroidered veil and Vera Wang gown.
On 16 October 2021, Hayley, who works at a private hospital, wed Nick, who works in finance, at Dryhill House, Ullenwood near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. Inspired by the bride’s love of space and stars, the couple hosted their relaxed yet elegant reception in a marquee from Boutique Marquees amongst the vines, overlooking the Cotswolds.
Photography Especially Amy Photography
Love My Dress was recommended to me by a friend when I first got engaged and I really loved it. I found it a great source of support and guidance throughout the whole planning process. The bride
Hayley’s full ball gown was a Vera Wang design, featuring a full, layered tulle skirt and sweetheart neckline.
“It was my dream to wear a Vera Wang gown but I was sensible and decided that if I didn’t absolutely love it, then I shouldn’t get it just for the label. Luckily for me, my dress was on the mannequin when I walked in to the bridal boutique and I knew it was the one, even before I knew it was Vera Wang.”
She wore a custom-embroidered veil by Agnes Hart via Etsy.
“Because my dress was so large and striking, I didn’t want my veil to detract from it in any way. I went for a short, fingertip veil, and got a little swatch first to match the dress colour – a soft caramel.”
“I had ‘H & N’ embroidered on the back, which made it feel very special.”
The bride’s shoes were blue, embellished Manolo Blahniks.
“Having been a huge ‘Sex and the City’ fan, it was my dream to wear the famous blue Manolo Blahniks for my wedding. Nick very sweetly bought them for me on Valentine’s Day in New York 2020, the last overseas trip we would take for a very long time.”
“She was absolutely amazing. She stayed until 8pm for touch-ups and a re-do of my hair and make-up for the evening. She was easy-going and very attentive.”
The couple chose wedding fragrances for each other a few months before the wedding.
I had really positive experiences with all of my suppliers, especially the artisans I found through Etsy. It was lovely to know I was supporting small businesses. The bride
“Our florist Abbie Digweed of Your Cotswold Florist was recommended to us by our wedding planner. She was really lovely and completely got what we were trying to go for.”
“It’s a small, bespoke suit shop in Shoreditch. They offer great customer service and good value. We highly recommend them.”
The couple had already officially married at the family church on 16th October in 2020 (swipe to the end fo this article to see some of those lovely images). But for this, their main wedding celebration, the ceremony was held under an open-sided tent and Hayley chose to walk down the aisle to meet Nick on her own.
“All of my bridesmaids are quite different from each other and I didn’t want to force any of them to wear something that they weren’t comfortable in or made them feel self-conscious. They each chose their own style of the taupe blush dress from Maya Deluxe.”
“I walked down the aisle to Van Morrison’s ‘Into The Mystic’.”
“I had two favourite parts of the celebration. The first was getting ready with my girls in the morning. It was so much fun and they were so supportive. I had five bridesmaids and my maid of honour came from America to be with me. It was such a privilege to have them all with me on my big day.”
“When I said goodbye to my mum just before the ceremony, I got very emotional, so my bridesmaids put on ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Cyndi Lauper. We grabbed some hairbrushes and sang our hearts out. It was the best.”
“My other favourite part was saying my vows to my husband, having him hear them, and having people laugh (I really wanted to be funny!). Nick’s favourite part was dinner.”
Hayley and Nick exchanged vows that they had written themselves and the ceremony had readings from the couple’s favourite books.
“We had my brother Chris perform a traditional hand-fasting. It was perfect.”
“One of my bridesmaids read an extract from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho.”
Explore our wedding readings directory
“My mum read from one of Nick’s favourite books, ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Philip Pullman.”
The bride and groom gave each other rings from Cartier, where Hayley’s engagement ring was also from.
“Having had such a good experience, Nick also bought his rose gold wedding band from there.”
The couple exited the ceremony into a confetti tunnel of knitted pom poms, ensuring the photographer could capture this joyful image. Absolutely one we hope the couple have framed!
The couple found photographer Especially Amy, who captured the main wedding celebration as well as their 2020 church service and a photo shoot on their original wedding date.
I invite you to discover more about Amy and her fabulous work here on our Wedding Directory.
“Amy was great. We ended up having her do all three sets of photos and they came out beautifully.”
“Amy is very no-nonsense which we loved because, on your wedding day, you don’t want to miss out on time with guests because the photographer is taking ages and chatting away. “
“he knew what she wanted to get a good shot and told us.”
Gorgeous Films created Hayley and Nick’s wedding film.
“Jo and Gary were dreams to work with, Gary made us feel very happy and comfortable on the day.”
“Dryhill House is a really beautiful home that we could stay at for the whole long weekend with our family, with stunning views across the Cotswolds.”
“It’s also dog-friendly which was important to us because we wanted our dog Lola to be there with us.”
The couple enjoyed some beautiful time together in the vineyard for their portrait shots before sitting down beneath the star-strewn marquee for the wedding breakfast.
“I’ve always loved stars and space and it seemed a natural fit as Nick is not really in to pinks and florals.”
“We were originally due to get married in a church in Cheltenham and have the reception at Dryhill, but when the pandemic hit and everything got moved, we decided we didn’t want to wait to be married.”
“The décor was all Katie from The Vintage House That Could. She was absolutely amazing and bought lots of her own bits to really make everything special. She used decorations we had bought in ways I never would have thought.”
“The table plan was a Lego ‘Star Wars’ theme, designed and put together by me. The menus were folded to be little fortune tellers to go with the celestial theme. The place cards and signage were all done by the amazing Katie.”
“The food was from Sam from Cotswold Canapés & Catering. Everything was absolutely delicious and my only regret is not eating more of it! The canapés were absolutely gorgeous.”
“The casino was so much fun and everyone loved it. We also had an eco glitter bar from Eco Stardust.”
For the evening reception, the bride slipped into a sequin ASOS dress and white glitter Kate Spade Keds.
As well as a constellation0-inspired doughnut wall, there was a blue and gold wedding cake from The Vanilla Pod Bakery in Cheltenham.
“The Vanilla Pod was a recommendation from our wedding planner. The baker, Pia, was so fun and passionate about what she does. We had a great cake tasting with her and the cake turned out just as we’d hope. It was so delicious as well.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Try to enjoy the planning as much as the big day itself. But, don’t worry too much if all the details don’t quite come together. You’ll almost always be working with professionals who will have huge amounts of experience and will be able to adapt as necessary.”
“I found it really hard to keep up the excitement for the main wedding celebration on 16 October 2021, because we had had such a perfect little church wedding the year before and I felt as though I didn’t need anymore. But, we couldn’t cancel as we would have lost so much money.”
“In the end, it didn’t matter because the day was just so lovely and being married already took the pressure off that part of the day. We could just enjoy ourselves with our friends and families. It felt completely magical and for many extended family and friends, it was the first time we had seen them in years because of Covid, so it was really heart-warming.”
We thought you might also like to see some of the lovely church ceremony images, also captured by Especially Amy Photography.
The church ceremony had just 14 guests as well as the bride and groom, with them celebrating in a larger way the following year.
“We arranged a small wedding of just family at my childhood church in Sutton, Surrey on 16 October 2020. It’s where my parents were married, where I was christened and confirmed.”
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer - Especially Amy Photography
- Film - Gorgeous Films
- Planner - Golden Pineapple Hospitality
- Stylist + stationery - The Vintage House That Could
- Venue - Dryhill House, Ullenwood, Gloucestershire + Boutique Marquees
- Wedding Dress - Vera Wang
- Veil - Agnes Hart via Etsy
- Headpiece - Rose Red Rose White via Etsy
- Shoes - Manolo Blahnik + Kate Spade Keds
- Accessories - Carrie Elizabeth earrings + Liberty London necklace
- Perfume - Le Labo via Liberty London - Santal 33 (groom) + Lys 41 (bride)
- Groom - Beggars Run suit, Hermès tie + Velasca shoes
- Bridesmaids - Maya Deluxe via Asos
- Florist - Abbie Digweed of Your Cotswold Florist
- Cake - The Vanilla Pod Bakery
- Entertainment - David Willmott, Sevens Casino Nights + Eco Stardust
- Rings - Cartier
- Catering - Cotswold Canapés & Catering
- Hair Stylist + Makeup Artist - Morgan at MACH Management