A Sassi Holford Puff Sleeved Wedding Dress at Aswarby Rectory

Puff sleeve Sassi Holford wedding dress

We’ve shared literally thousands of weddings over the past 13 years, all of them I love very much, but there are some weddings that leave a beautiful, indelible mark, simply for the sheer and utter joy they represent. This is one of them.

Harriet’s smile says it all in these gorgeous images that capture all the love, joy and celebration. Here wedding to Johnny was held at Aswarby Rectory in Lincoln on 12th March this year. That utterly perfect puff sleeved gown is by our all-time fave designer, Sassi Holford and we are in deep love with the gorgeous, thoughtful floral design by absolute mega talent, Hattie Shackleton of Honour Farm Folk.

By the way you can enjoy lots more real weddings with Sassi Holford brides here on Love My Dress.

Enjoy folks…

Puff sleeve Sassi Holford wedding dress

Aswarby Rectory Wedding Venue

Originally, we’d always thought we wanted a wedding in somewhere like a forest or somewhere in the wild as we love the outdoors and long walks out in the countryside but when Jonny found Aswarby Rectory there didn’t seem to be anywhere other than there for our special day.

We’d recently finished a big renovation on our house and so to hear that the venue was a renovated rectory, and a venue that was truly unique and only did a select number of weddings a year, it provided the inspiration for it to feel like a big intimate party in a beautifully decorated space.

The colour palette of burnt orange and greens was still in keeping with the earth tones of the outdoors, whilst also nodding to elements of our home that we’d recently built together.

We had no Event Planner or Stylist – the venue were incredible with helping make everything look gorgeous. We supplied the table linen, plates and flowers and they put it all together on the evening before the wedding.

A Sassi Holford Puff Sleeve Wedding Dress

My dress was by Sassi Holford, from The Dress bridal boutique in Teddington. There were always two things I knew I wanted; puff sleeves and a big headband, the rest was open.

I made some mood boards when I started my search and magically, the dress I ended up with was exactly what I had in my head from day one, I loved the puffy sleeves and the headband.

A modern twist on a classic look – it was amazing feeling like a princess for a day.

Shoes & Accessories

My shoes were by ASOS Design and my headband was from NativeMixStore on Etsy.

Zara Ebony Wood is a perfume that I’ve worn since our engagement and a smell that Jonny knows so well.

The Engagement

Jonny had a dark blue woollen suit from Cad and Dandy which he had tailor made on Saville Row in London.

Jonny and I have been together for 8 very happy years, meeting on Tinder (when that first became a thing it seems).

Groom in Cad & The Dandy suit + orange tie

We got engaged on a snowy mountain top in the Lake District in December 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, which made celebrating with friends tricky which is why we wanted our wedding to feel like a big party rather than a traditional wedding – we wanted to have all our friends and family together in one intimate space to celebrate us and our life to come together as we grow old.

Aswarby Rectory wedding, Sassi Holford bride in puff sleeve dress


I walked down the aisle to Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home. After renovating our first home together over the last 3 years it felt like an appropriate way to nod to the incredible journey we’ve been on together through blood sweat and tears!

Our rings were by Clarice Price Thomas. Clarice worked with Jonny in lockdown to create my bespoke engagement ring and so there wasn’t anyone else that we would have approached for our wedding bands. She made a matching band for me with small diamonds to compliment the 3 diamonds on my engagement ring. Jonny went for a chunky gold band.

We wrote our own vows, promising to always be each other’s biggest cheerleader as we grow old together. For readings, we had John Cooper Clark’s, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ – read by one of our mutual best friends Josh. We also had an extract from Ernest Hemmingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’,  read by my best friend and bridesmaid Amy.

Find these and more beautiful readings here.

The Photographer

Sara Lincoln of Lincoln Pictures was the photographer for one of my work colleagues a few years ago – and when I saw her photos I knew that if that day ever came that Jonny and I would marry – there was only ONE thing I wouldn’t budge on, and that was to have Sara.

Her photographs are stunning, her style is so unique and the way she told the story of our day was more amazing than we could have wished for. She managed to capture the smallest of moments. We didn’t want formal wedding photos, we wanted the smiles, the tears and the atmosphere. All weddings should be shot by Sara!


I didn’t want the bridesmaids to feel they’d been forced to wear a dress they weren’t comfortable in on the day, they all have their own style and that’s I love them all!

ASOS Design bridesmaids dresses come in the same fabric but in different styles to suit different tastes/body shapes and heights and so it was amazing that all three of them naturally gravitated towards a style that suited them. I ended up with three dresses, in the same fabric but all slightly different, which I absolutely loved.

Bride in puff sleeve Sassi Holford wedding dress. Bridesmaids in pale grey ASOS dresses.

Flowers by Honour Farm Folk

Hattie Shackleton of Honour Farm Folk is a good friend of ours, and a very talented florist. Her floral arrangements on the day were stunning and guided us through every step leading up to the day.

Floral staircase by Honour Farm Flowers

I gave Hattie a few suggestions of the type of flowers we wanted, whites and greens and she managed to source such unusual flowers that made up a unique display up the stair cases and across the fireplaces in the venue. She also picked the stem flowers for the tables too.


The napkins were sourced from a fabric shop in Shepherds Bush in London and then my mum ripped the material to create the torn effect napkins for all 80 guests, after the venue we gave 8 to each of our closest friends so we can continue to enjoy them together at dinner parties together in the years to come.

Elegant minimalist modern wedding stationery

Decor & Detail

We designed all of our wedding stationery ourselves with help from Jonny’s mum who works in publishing, she helped us print everything on matching card to our wedding invites which helped us keep costs down. I got our order of the day boards printed at work.

We wanted a rustic looking cake, nothing fancy or formal, to go with the overall vibe of the day. We both love Carrot Cake and so wanted a 3 tiered cake – one that homemade and not too commercial.

We found the lovely Lisa who is based in Grantham so local to the venue and she came and dropped it off on the morning of the wedding. She was also really thoughtful with catering for Vegan and GF guests so made some extra cupcakes so they could enjoy the cake too!


Favourite Moments

The whole day was a total dream come true apart from one small sadness – both my brothers tested positive for Covid the night before our wedding, so weren’t able to join us inside the venue.

Sassi Holford puffed sleeve wedding dress

As I walked down the aisle, I turned to my left and saw them both at the window in their masks cheering us both on – that was so special to have them with us, albeit at a distance.

Also, I will always remember the first thing my husband said to me when we held hands in front of our close friends and family was “of course it has puffy sleeves” – a man who clearly knows me very well despite knowing nothing about my bespoke gown process.

Evening & Dancing

We danced to Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Right Down The Line‘. We have really fond memories of signing this at the top of our lungs in the car on the way to camping holidays with our friends. “When I wanted you to share my life, I had no doubt in mind, it’s been you woman right down the line.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

Don’t stress, it’s the happiest day of your life. There will be so many things that people will never ever notice – don’t sweat the small stuff!

Make sure you take time to for some alone time with your partner, either by going for a walk around the venue or just standing back and watching everyone on the dance floor. They’re the memories which will stay with you forever.

Try not to compare yours to other weddings – every ones wedding is unique and different for a reason and it can be stressful – don’t get too carried away with it being “perfect” – it will be perfect in your own way.

We did a fair bit of standing back and taking it all in – looking at all our amazing family and friends all together in one room was so overwhelming but so magical.

Budget wise, we did try our best to save costs with the statioery, and making all the confetti ourselves (thanks to my mum) but there were also things which we didn’t scrimp on as they were so important, mainly the venue and my dress – worth every single penny.


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.