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A Temperley dress, family farm location, and inspired by Four Weddings & A Funeral - we couldn't love this relaxed countryside wedding any more! Read on to hear how real WPC couple Lizzie and Ian planned their beautiful wedding, and discover the suppliers they would recommend based on their own experience.
We’ve never been into big, grand gestures so Ian took me on a picnic to Richmond Park, a place we have visited often since meeting five years ago. It was very casual and Ian was remarkably calm! He had hidden the ring box in a tin of biscuits!
We really loved visiting the showroom and seeing everything laid out – especially the kitchen area. It helped us to imagine how the items would look in our own home, which really helped us to get a feel for sizing and quantity required. The advice and support from our wedding list advisor was also so helpful throughout the process.
We got married at the church I grew up attending in Worcestershire, I was even christened here. My parents also got married here almost exactly 32 years ago to the day. The reception was held in a marquee on my parent’s farm, a short tractor and trailer drive down from the church. I have always wanted to get married here so it was a no-brainer.
We hired our marquee from local supplier, Ian Few, who runs an amazingly slick operation across the Midlands. He and his team had everything covered, from the tables, chairs and lighting to the dance floor, loos and catering tent. We even had an attendant with us on the day, lowering or raising the sides, according to the changing weather. We didn’t have to do anything, they subtly made sure everything ran smoothly from start to finish.
I arrived at the church in our dear friend’s vintage, red MG. I have had my eyes on this since I was about 12 years old and our friend ensured it was perfectly polished for the big day.
Driving away from the church we borrowed another friend’s car. This time it was a classic navy blue Morgan. Ian says this was his favourite part of the day – driving us away – and has certainly given him ideas to have one himself!
As I grew up on a farm, we couldn’t not have a nod to my childhood. So, guests who had been dropped off at the church by taxi were able to hitch a lift on a tractor and trailer that my brother drove. We made sure both tractor and trailer had been washed down thoroughly before hand!
Perhaps somewhat ambitiously, my mum and I had always said we’d do our own flowers. We roped in an awful lot of help from friends and ladies of the village who usually do the church flowers. We bought the flowers through a local wholesalers – P&M in Worcester – on the Monday and had them delivered on the Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday it was all hands to the deck and we filled up both the church and the marquee with fresh blooms, including a spectacular archway in the church – a somewhat delicate operation which saw my dad hanging off some precarious scaffolding in order to get the archway in place!
Ian had always wanted to have a halo-style arrangement for above the top table so we constructed that together on the Thursday.
On the morning of the wedding I made the buttonholes and my mum made my bouquet and my two bridesmaids’ bouquets. It was her first ever attempt but she managed to make beautiful arrangements. I see a new career path in sight!
I had always loved Temperley dresses but never thought I would ever have one myself. However, after a visit to the flagship in London with my mum I fell in love with the Zaida Dress, which fitted me beautifully and completely reflected my style. It was a complete dream to wear one of Alice’s creations.
My shoes were from The Rainbow Club, which I had custom dyed to match the pale pink of my bridesmaids’ dresses.
I wore baroque-style pearl earrings that hung from a red-stoned hoop which reflected my ruby engagement ring. I also wore my signet ring, which had been given to me by my grandmother, who had been given it by her father who had received it on his wedding day, back in 1912. So that was very special.
My hairdresser from home - Wicked Hair - did my hair on the morning. She and her team also did my bridesmaids’ and mum’s. I always wanted a loose bun with flowers carefully dotted in my hair. Nothing too stiff or formal, just something elegant yet boho. I did my own make-up with my bridesmaids.
I already owned a morning coat from Harvie & Hudson, so this was one less thing to think about. I also already had a pair of morning suit trousers but felt this was a great reason to buy a new pair, so I picked up a new pair from Favourbrook on Pall Mall. My shoes, simple black toe caps, were bespoke-made by our friend’s shoe company, Newman & Regent, and were a very kind gift for the day.
My shirt was from Turnbull & Asser on Jermyn Street. Apparently two weeks before your wedding is a bit late to be looking for a shirt, especially when you have an uncommon neck size, but they were able to make one for me in time – I would not recommend this last-minute route, as it wasn’t exactly stress-free. The cufflinks were a pair Lizzie gave me for my 30th and my tie was an elephant-covered number from Salvatore Ferragamo (elephants symbolise good luck – which you’ll need on the day if you’re planning to remember your vows off the top of your head, like we did).
My waistcoat was powder blue, double-breasted from Ede and Ravenscroft. It was linen because we thought wool might be too warm on the day (wishful thinking perhaps…). The usher’s waistcoats were of a similar style and colour from Neal & Palmer in Piccadilly Arcade – having worn one at a friend’s wedding previously, I knew these would be a good choice.
We used a caterer that my family have used for years. Bishops Catering is a local sister team who do the most delicious food, using locally sourced produce. To start we had smoked salmon roulade. As my father is a beef farmer, we had to have beef so the main was beef with dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal greens. We had a trio of puddings which was then followed by coffees and fudge.
Our cake was made by the very talented Charlotte Pearman of Farmhouse Cakes. Again, she is local to the area and we met her at a wedding event back in the autumn. Charlotte made us a traditional three-tier wedding cake: lemon drizzle sponge, bakewell tart sponge and a simple vanilla sponge. Each tier was iced in white icing with delicate piping work. Then around each layer Charlotte made the most exquisite sugar flowers including dahlias, sweet peas and roses, reflecting the flowers in my mum’s beautiful garden.
Later in the evening guests were able to help themselves to wedding cake, local cheeses, sausage rolls and dried fruits.
When guests arrived at the reception we served sparkling wine and Pimms with canapes. Then for the breakfast a classic New Zealand Sauvignon was served alongside a Californian Shiraz, which was a bit of a nod to Ian’s American roots. We also had barrels of beer from Wye Valley Brewery, a brewery local to home, and gin and tonics made with Silent Pool gin (a gin made on the estate that my uncle is estate manager for) and fresh pink grapefruit.
John Hancock and his partner Rachael were fabulous photographers. John is local and usually photographs the hunt, however he also does weddings on the side! Both John and Rachael were so discreet on the day, we didn’t even notice them working tirelessly to get the shots.
We are so thrilled with how they have turned out; we love the candid style and the way they have captured emotion.
Our band was called “Wake The Neighbours” and they certainly did that! Rob, who leads the band, used to conduct the orchestra I grew up playing in so when we started looking for a band I got in touch with Rob and he came up with the goods. The band played a mixture of classic rock and disco. We then had a Spotify playlist for after which was filled with all the music we grew up listening to. Everyone danced the night away – we nearly broke the stage from all the stomping!
Gee Brothers did our beautiful invitations. We stuck with a traditional look with navy blue writing and cream envelopes. Ian learnt how to do calligraphy (!!) and spent a week writing the invitations and envelopes. They were a complete work of art, so I hope our guests have kept hold of them!
For the table names my very talented friend painted beautiful water colours which were of places that were special to us.
I actually completely forgot about this tradition, but I suppose my something old was my engagement ring which is an antique ruby and diamond ring from 1914. My something new was my wedding dress. Temperley stitched a pale blue embroidery flower into the dress and my something borrowed was probably the makeup I borrowed from my bridesmaid on the morning!
We had our very own Four Weddings moment with our vicar who lost her place multiple times throughout the service and even forgot a hymn! But it was so funny no one minded. We’ve been asked multiple times since whether she is for hire!
It was also incredibly touching seeing so many of our family members and friends travelling all over the world to be with us on our special day. Guests flew in from New Zealand, Singapore, America and Ghana, whilst others literally walked down the road.
It’s a cliché for a reason, but don’t stress over the little details!
Do give yourself plenty of time to do your invitations - we spent quite a lot of time proofing them and then actually writing them took longer than we expected.
Wedding List - The Wedding Present Company
Photography - John Hancock
Marquee - Ian Few
Bridal Hair - Wicked Hair
Catering - Bishops Catering
Wedding Cake - Farmhouse Cakes
Stationery - Gee Brothers