Doctor Sophie married Toby, a teacher, on 4th September 2021, at Sophie’s parents’ home.
This is a beautiful example of how to host a wedding at a family home using a marquee – a choice popular with many of our readers. We are also completely thrilled to have found that Sophie discovered Miss Bush, the boutique where she found her gown, through Love My Dress.
These images are from one of our fave British photographers, Lee Garland. They capture everything we love about good wedding photography, all the joy, love and celebration as it naturally unfolded. Enjoy pouring through them and feeling inspired!
Shoes, Veil & Accessories & Beauty
I have loved wearing Jo Malone for many years and always knew I wanted to pick a new scent for the day which I could wear for years to come and evoke memories of the happiest day. I love the fresh and crisp notes in English Pear and Freesia, whilst also being subtle and feminine. It felt very in keeping with my English garden wedding!
My mum sewed tiny blue ribbons into the lining of my dress as my something blue, and I wore the same earrings that she was given by her Granny on her own wedding day as my something old. I also wore my mum’s antique gold bracelet as something borrowed.
Hair and makeup was by Natasha of Something Blue Hair & Make up, who made me feel like the very best version of myself, carefully choosing colours and techniques that looked natural and barely-there, but lasted the whole day and evening. Natasha was such a kind and calming influence as we got ready.
The Dress & Veil
Not only was Love My Dress a source of endless inspiration, it is also how I learned of Miss Bush. I am very indecisive, so choosing the dress was always going to feel intimidating and a bit overwhelming.
All apprehension quickly disappeared on meeting the amazing Emma at Miss Bush who intuitively understood what I was looking for. She encouraged me to try on a whole spectrum of shapes and styles (from boho to ballgown and everything in between) in order to find what intuitively felt the most like me, and what I felt as comfortable as I did special.
Emma helped create the most beautiful custom Jesus Peiro dress with a detachable bow and train. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the shape, the fluidity of the fabric and the unexpected drama of the very low back, cleverly constructed bow and magnificent train.
I wanted a dress that respected the traditions of a church wedding and felt elegantly timeless, but was equally at home on the dance floor.
My veil was also by Jesus Peiro, from Miss Bush Bridal.
After so many years together, we wanted our wedding day to feel like a huge celebration of love with those we know the best and love the most.
The day felt like an explosion of pure joy; it was relaxed and uncontrived and very much about all the family and friends who have shaped and supported us. As such, we knew that what mattered the most to us was incredible food and an amazing band to get everyone dancing – and I think we achieved just that.
I had only ever imagined getting ready in the house I grew up in, being married at the village church at the end of the road, and celebrating with views over the fields that have were the backdrop to my childhood.
The countryside inspired the colours and textures of the wedding; we included lots of seasonal English flowers and the designs reflected the garden and autumnal fields.
My mum, Fiona, was effectively our wedding planner – and so much more!
Recording the day with photography that was natural, personal and unobtrusive was really important for both of us, and it all just clicked when we met Lee Garland.
He captured the day so perfectly and the photographs are more beautiful than we could have imagined. His experience as a journalistic and news photographer means that every picture tells a story.
Hiring a Videographer
Although initially unsure about whether we really needed a videographer, having Irene Piera with us on the day was one of our very best decisions.
She understood what mattered the most and caught every moment with a creative eye and sensitive approach. We have watched our video on repeat, smiling, laughing and crying every time.
How They Met
Toby and I met when we were just sixteen, through friends at school. Two universities, six years at medical school, teacher training, three new cities, countless long distance train journeys and 10 years later, we finally moved into our first home together in 2018.
Plans for any big theatrical proposal went out of the window thanks to the pandemic and instead, one gloriously sunny afternoon, we hiked up our favourite hill for a picnic with our dog Ted and with uninterrupted views of the city we love, Toby got down on one knee. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We were engaged for eighteen months before we got married.
We wanted flowers and greenery that felt natural and organic, with nothing too formal or cultivated – we were, after all, celebrating in the middle of a field! We chose seasonal whites, delicate creams, soft light pinks and touches of peach with vibrant seasonal English greens including autumnal tones and dark green and olive undertones.
My favourites, however, were the chocolate cosmos which gave a rich pop of colour to the tables. Izzy Hudson of Flower & Press, brilliantly translated our very abstract ideas into stunning reality; walking into the church and then the marquee for the first time felt like an absolute dream.
I had four bridesmaids, each with their own individual style, so I let them pick their own dresses within the colour scheme of softs pinks and gentle greens. I really didn’t mind if the dresses matched – I just wanted them all to feel fantastic. They chose stunning dresses that complemented each other beautifully.
Their dresses were from Roland Mouret, Ghost and The Own Studio.
Reception, Detail & Decor
From the very start of our planning, we knew that we wanted a wedding that felt like a party for friends rather than a formal occasion. Having it at home meant we celebrated the home-made, and included as much of the countryside and garden as possible into the colours, materials and decorations.
We filled the garden trees with paper lanterns, hung white bunting from pergolas and fences, and lit everywhere with fairylights and torches so that everywhere felt magical once the sun had gone down.
Evening & Dancing
Our fabulous band, Hitsville Soul Stirrers, who we hired via Warble Entertainment, were the highlight of the night – Toby and I didn’t leave the dancefloor for a minute (even managing to miss the late night cheese toasties!) as did most of the guests, who danced enthusiastically and wildly all night – exactly as we had hoped.
They learned our first dance song and performed it beautifully, which meant so much to us.
We were driven to the church by my uncle in his beautiful vintage Rolls Royce.
Words of Wedded Wisdom
Having all of our family and friends together after such a challenging year and being surrounded by so much love was just magical. The band was probably the highlight of the night and really brought everyone together.
We budgeted carefully and prioritised the things that mattered the most to us – delicious food, irresistible cocktails, memorable music. It was worth every penny.
Decide what really matters to you both and agree the non-negotiables. Then work around them. Don’t worry too much about the small stuff – on the day the only thing that really matters is having everyone together.
Be generous hosts – make sure no-one is hungry or thirsty! We had baskets of home-made flapjack for everyone arriving at the church in the afternoon. At midnight, our late-night cheese toasties were devoured, and our espresso martini cocktails have become the stuff of legend.
Abandon heels and wear dancing shoes. I had a specially embroidered pair of white Converse hi-tops.
We had discussed and imagined our wedding day for years and it was everything we had hoped for, and more. Everything, and everyone, exuded such joy, and I only wish we could go back and re-live every moment.
The planning process was made so much more enjoyable by all the people who worked with us to bring our ideas to life; they were all so kind and endlessly patient, especially given a time of such uncertainty. I cannot thank or recommend them enough.
Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She has a passion for photography, walking, yoga, nature, and loves to support talented artists and creative businesses. In 2013, she became a published author. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters Eska and Leanora and menagerie of furry hounds. Annabel supports Philip in the running of the family flower farm at at Moonwind Flowers. She is also co-founder of What About Weddings.