Happy Tuesday Lovelies,
We have a gorgeous summer wedding to brighten up this miserable Tuesday.
Carly and Matt said ‘I Do’ on the 13th July 2013 at Northease Manor in East Sussex on what was the UK’s hottest day of the year. They wanted a relaxed, country, rustic wedding where everyone could chill and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and rolling countryside of the South Downs which provided their idyllic backdrop. Just lovely!
We love their yellow theme which is the perfect compliment to the gorgeous sunshine they were blessed with and the happiness that radiates from them both. If there was ever a wedding that was guaranteed to wash away the winter blues then this is it!
Enjoy this one peeps – its a keeper!
Over to Carly…..
A Rose-Gold Solitaire Diamond Ring
The proposal was simply lovely. Matt & I had been together nearly 5 years and life had thrown everything at us in that time. We had been through a lot for a young couple, had got through some very bad times with the sad passing of both of our Dads & had come out even stronger so we knew it was for life! I knew we were going to get married & it had got to the stage where everyone was expecting it to happen so whenever we had one of our monthly ‘date nights’ all of my friends & family assumed that would be the night! However, in 2012 we were planning a holiday to Hawaii so I was convinced it would happen then. In early April 2012 we had one of our usual monthly dates and Matt picked me up from work in central London and we went for a very low-key Italian (my favourite!) Funnily though, this was the first date night where none of my friends made any remarks about a proposal and it just wasn’t on my mind! As it was mid-week I didn’t want it to be a late night, so when Matt suggested we take a walk along the Embankment after dinner I wasn’t too keen and asked him if we could just go home to snuggle on the sofa as I had to be up early for work the next day! I became suspicious when Matt didn’t let me get my own way and he continually pestered me with how much he really wanted to go for a walk so in the end I gave in and we wondered off to the embankment. It was a lovely evening and we sat on a bench outside Somerset House and looked onto the glorious London skyline which was all lit up. I absolutely adore London, it is my favourite place in the whole world and I was the happiest I’d ever been when, a few months previous, we had finally moved there together. It was just then that Matt got down on one knee and proposed. It was perfect just the 2 of us sharing this intimate moment with no-one around. Of course, I burst into tears when I saw the most stunning rose-gold solitaire diamond ring (exactly what I’d always wanted) and I said yes! It was perfect! I called my mum straight away to tell her and learnt that Matt had actually lied to me a week before and hadn’t been at football practice but had travelled back to Sussex to ask my mum’s permission! I couldn’t believe that they had all been able to keep such a secret!
Lace, Lace and More Lace…
My beautiful dress was Lorie by Maggie Sottero from Whyte Weddings Bridal Boutique in Eastbourne. As I’m sure most Brides would agree, my dress was definitely one of the most important parts of the day to me and I absolutely adored dress shopping! I knew exactly what I wanted; lace, lace and more lace! Strapless with a sweetheart neck, some subtle sparkle and a small train! I didn’t actually need to try on that many dresses before I found ‘the one’ and I have to admit that I did experience that cheesy moment where I had put it on and just knew, straightaway, that this just had to be my wedding dress! The subtle sequin detailing all over the Lorie is just divine and the lace is so delicate and intricate. I wasn’t very keen on the belt it came with so I got a thin satin belt made and sewn into the dress to nip in my waist. I felt like an absolute princess in it and I wish I could wear it again! It’s so unfair we only get to wear these beautiful pieces for one day! What was a surprise was that I found it in a bridal boutique in Eastbourne but this actually became a huge help as I spent so much time going back to Sussex at the weekend it was great that I could schedule in fittings and alterations at the same time!
The Ultimate Bridal Accessory!
I knew I wanted a veil, I mean when else do you get to wear one? It is the ultimate bridal accessory! I was very lucky that my wonderful Mum let me wear her wedding veil as my something old. My Mum’s veil is beautiful. It has stunning lace and sequin edging so it matched my dress perfectly and hung at exactly the length I wanted! It was really emotional for me to put on my Mum’s veil that she wore to marry my wonderful Daddy who very sadly passed away when I was 20. It made me feel as though there was a part of him there with me as my Mum proudly walked me up the aisle and I know he would’ve been the happiest Dad on Earth that day!
My gorgeous shoes were called Georgie Girl and were by Diane Hassall for Rainbow Club. I was working as a footwear Buyer at the time and was actually given them by one of my suppliers, which saved me an awful lot of money and I will be forever grateful. They were exactly what I was looking for and were the comfiest shoes I’ve ever worn!
Airbrush Make-Up and a Calming Presence….
I knew that I wanted to treat myself and have airbrush make-up done for my wedding day, and I honestly cannot recommend the lovely Natalie Purves enough! Natalie was very attentive and listened to exactly the look I wanted, whilst also making suggestions & recommendations to what she thought would suit me. I was so overjoyed with my make-up on the day and honestly can say I don’t think I have ever been as happy with the way I looked! Airbrush make-up is totally worth splashing out on; it was so light yet gave amazing coverage, was completely waterproof and stayed on through the tears and scorching Summer heat. Natalie was so lovely to have around in the morning; she was very calming and professional and went above and beyond – even covering up a bruise on my sister’s leg! I will never be able to thank her enough for making me look as I’d always dreamt I would look on my wedding day!
A Relaxed Country Theme….
The setting and venue were really the main inspiration behind the day as they provided the backdrop for our relaxed, country theme! We are both from the country so even though we love the city, we were always going to go back to the countryside for our wedding day as not only is the English countryside ridiculously beautiful but it is what we have grown up around. I knew I wanted a beautiful rural, rustic barn-type venue as I adore country cottages and thatched roofs so I started with the venue and everything else fell into place! We just wanted to incorporate anything we thought would be fun, remain true to ourselves and that had some sort of sentimental value to Matt and I along with being pretty and charming and not like any other wedding we had been to before.
Beautiful Rolling Countryside and a charming building….
Both the ceremony and reception took place at Northease Manor, Lewes in East Sussex on Saturday 13th July 2013 on the hottest day of the year! It was important for us to have both the ceremony and the reception at the same venue so the day didn’t feel fragmented. I knew I wanted to get married at Northease Manor as soon as I saw it online and taking one look around the venue confirmed it completely for me! Northease Manor is set amongst the beautiful rolling countryside of the South Downs, and is a wonderfully charming building steeped in rich history. It dates back to the 17th century and is Grade 1 listed and was once home to an ancient order of monks (how cool!) Northease Manor is now a school for boys who are unable to gain entry into larger independent schools. I fell in love straight away with the rustic Tudor Hall with its amazing thatched roof, which became our ceremony room and the beautiful, breathtaking views of the South Downs and surrounding scenery. The whole venue was exactly what I had pictured for our wedding day and to make it even more of a dream come true they only do 12 weddings a year and the only day they had left was the day we wanted…it was meant to be! A marquee was also included in the price which was perfect as we wanted a very outdoors wedding and it meant everyone could eat outside and helped keep things relaxed and informal which was very important to us!
The Book of Love….
My best friend (and bridesmaid)’s fiancé is a musician and so did all of our wedding music. We made a CD of love songs for the guest’s arrival and a CD with more uptempo, happy love songs to be played after the service whilst everyone mingled outside with drinks!
I walked down the aisle to ‘The Book of Love’ by Peter Gabriel which is a song Matt has loved since we heard it in an episode of ‘Scrubs’! I fell in love with the lyrics as they suited us, and our relationship, perfectly! Matt didn’t know that was going to be my entrance song – I love that it surprised him! Our exit song was Bruno Mars ‘Marry You’ – perfect!
Picked from a Beautiful Country Garden….
The bouquets were made by a family friend, April Smith and I could not have been happier with them! April was fantastic. She popped over to my Mums for a cup of tea and we went through all of her flower magazines and she helped me to pick the blooms which would be perfect for the look I was after and that were within my budget. I knew I wanted a colourful mix, with blooms that looked as though they had just been picked from a beautiful country garden. My girls had the sweetest bouquets of gypsophila, gerbera and daisies and I had the most beautiful bouquet made up of roses, gypsophila, chrysanthemums and wild greenery all tied together with some rustic twine. I had asked for a single red rose to be placed within my bouquet to symbolise my Dad, as he had a tattoo of a red rose on his arm. It was a very special tribute to him and I was just overwhelmed when April delivered the bouquets on the morning of the wedding. They were everything I’d imagined and more! I loved them!
The venue and setting was just so pretty that we didn’t need much more in terms of floral decoration. The flowers planted in the grounds were in full bloom and the rose garden was pruned to perfection. However, I had collected various mismatched vintage jars and vases and scattered them along the buffet tables as multiple centrepieces and filled them with gypsophila, daisies, chrysanthemums and gerbera I picked up from the market the day before the wedding! I loved how random and freshly picked they looked!
I was adamant I wanted sunflowers to be featured somewhere in the wedding as they are my favourite flower! We were donated a multitude of demijohns and on one of my mammoth Pinterest inspiration sessions, I saw someone had used demijohns to line the aisle and placed sunflowers in them so that was that!
DIY Decor, Haybales and Yellow Ribbon….
I knew straight away I wanted to do most of the decor and styling myself as this was the part of the whole planning process which really excited me and I was super-passionate about! I have worked in fashion all my life & so I am quite creative and really wanted to DIY as much of the day as possible! I have also had the pleasure of working with the amazing wedding stylist Jennifer Sue and got a lot of tips from her including the haybales as seating and the ribbon tied around the tree branches which just looked so fab in the pictures! I spent a lot of time browsing wedding blogs and Pinterest and got so much inspiration from the ‘real weddings’ pages. I really noticed how people could describe their theme with the same word or phrase and yet no 2 weddings ever looked or felt the same! I love how every wedding is so unique and I was quite passionate that ours really would be unique to us.
A Local Recycling Centre and an Amazing Mum….
We couldn’t have achieved the finished look I was after without the help of my amazing Mum & her lovely work colleagues. She works at a local recycling centre and provided all of her colleagues with a list of pieces we were looking for. We were incredibly lucky with what people found for us and donated; what we were given was just unbelievable! Vintage china teacups & crockery, old suitcases, blankets, baskets, vintage sweetie jars and vases and even pieces of furniture – more than we ever expected! Practically everything you see in the pictures was donated to us completely for free, we were very lucky indeed! Again, another part of the process I loved sharing with Matt was taking all of these old, forgotten treasures and bringing them back to life with a lick of paint or a good scrub and now I have all of these restored little treasures dotted around our home!
Vintage Props at Bargain Prices….
We were keen to keep costs down so I had lots of fun scouring charity shops and boot fairs and finding so many incredible vintage pieces at bargain prices to use as props! We placed vintage crates around the grounds, made our table plan out of an old wooden pallet and upcycled a rusty old birdcage adding bundles of gypsophila and tealights. I also made a LOVE sign out of canvas and fairylights which hung above the bar. The marquee was decorated with fabric and hessian bunting. We had buffet style tables so everyone could properly mingle rather than be separated by tables and we scattered mismatch jars and vintage vases over the tables and filled them with freshly picked flowers.
We hired Fabricate Décor for the tulle drapes to cover the school walls and they also provided us with uplighters to light up the hall in the evening, they looked great! They also hung fairylights across the ceiling in the hall which twinkled so sweetly during the evening!
A First Class BBQ….
Our caterers were Circa Events who are the exclusive caterers for Northease Manor. We wanted to have the BBQ option as a) it kept costs down and b) who doesn’t love a bloody good BBQ! We knew that the BBQ buffet would be in keeping with our relaxed, country theme and remained true to us, as we LOVE a good BBQ! We had a lovely day in sunny Brighton to sample all of the glorious, locally-sourced fresh food Circa serve up. Everything was so ridiculously yummy it was very hard to decide what to have! We knew the food was going to be first-class from our tasting session but so many of our guests commented on how it was the best wedding food they’d had!
Instead of serve dessert as part of the wedding breakfast, I asked family members if they would bake some delicious cakes, scones, cookies and cupcakes we could serve up as part of a dessert buffet along with jars of sweets and popcorn. This went down an absolute treat and there was nothing at all left by the end of the night!
Beautiful, Relaxed and Natural Photography….
Well, what can I say about Kirsten Mavric Photography apart from the fact that I genuinely feel like we were the luckiest people ever to find her! We had seen lots of photographers whose stuff we liked but we were actually having a really tough time finding a photographer we LOVED (and who was within our budget). One evening, I was browsing Festival Brides and noticed a competition to win Kirsten’s wedding photography for half the price of her usual rate. It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss and entered the competition straight away! I was absolutely overjoyed when Kirsten emailed to say we had won! Not only is she an incredibly sweet lady and a pleasure to deal with, but her photos are just IMMENSE! I knew her beautifully relaxed and natural style would complement our day perfectly and we were not disappointed! On the day Kirsten was unobtrusive, completely professional, friendly and captured the most amazing, candid shots which were moments we would have missed had we not had her there. Obviously, Matt and I are not used to being in front of a camera but Kirsten made both the group shots and our couple shots so much fun and we felt so at ease! When we got back from honeymoon and opened the beautiful package Kirsten had sent through containing our images, we simply could not believe our eyes. Every single image was visually stunning and brought back such a wonderful memory – Kirsten really did capture the whole day perfectly! The emotion and joy we felt on the day comes through in every picture and we couldn’t have asked for more from our wedding photos. I didn’t realise how important the photos would be to me until now, but they are simply perfect and will be treasured forever!
Favourite moment of the day?
Oh, I have so many favourite moments of the day but most definitely my absolute favourite moment was Matt & I saying our vows to eachother! I was so worried I was going to be an emotional wreck (as my maids were which you can see in the pictures!) Throughout the entire engagement process I cried at every love song on the radio, welled up at wedding pictures I saw on Facebook and yet when I got to the end of the alter and saw my future husband standing there waiting for me I just couldn’t stop smiling! There’s one photo Kirsten captured which shows Matt & I in fits of laughter as we had just confessed our faces were aching from smiling so much! My lovely friend Rob summed it up quite touchingly with his message to us which read: “I can’t believe how happy you both looked when standing about to get married! Never seen that before…amazing.”
Other favourite moments include walking down the aisle on my Mum’s arm and listening to her speech. She had been so nervous as she knew she would get emotional doing something which usually would’ve been my Daddy’s job but on the day she disregarded the speech she had prepared and just spoke from the heart – and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! I especially loved our drive into the countryside, just my new husband and I, in our beautiful vintage Morris Minor. A very special moment for me was our first dance; it was wonderful. Lastly, a very happy memory I have was during the final song where everyone ended up in a circle around us, arms wrapped around eachother dancing and singing although I can’t remember now what the song was!
White Ice Sounds….
Matt & I aren’t very band-y people but we do love to go out partying at the weekend so we knew we wanted a good DJ who would play a complete variety of music and have everyone up and dancing all night. We had been to friend’s weddings in the lead up to our engagement and had a great time on the dance floor so we knew that White Ice Sounds would put on a great night. Their customer service and professionalism was second to none and I would highly recommend them!
Enjoy every single minute of the day because the day goes so quickly you wouldn’t believe! I know when you’re planning you will hear it a thousand times but you do not realise how quickly it will all be over! (I still look at my beautiful dress and pine over the fact I won’t wear it again!)
Don’t do anything just because you feel you should or someone told you to because that is the way it’s usually done! If the small details are getting too much, then don’t do them! And really try to stick to your budget. We had originally planned to spend £10,000 but the day ended up totalling around £12,000 but we didn’t mind going over just a little!
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, hire an amazing wedding photographer! This might surprise a lot of future brides but I honestly had no idea how special the wedding photos were going to be to me & I probably didn’t allocate enough budget to the photography. Now, I wish I had hired Kirsten to be around for the entirety of the day and that we had had an engagement shoot! However, if your budget doesn’t allow for that, as ours didn’t, then just make sure that your photographer can work magic in the time you have them, as Kirsten can! Our pictures truly are amazing treasured memories and I am still obsessed with looking at them every day!
The Line UpPhotographer: Kirsten Mavric Venue: Northease Manor Brides Dress: Lorie by Maggie Sottero from Whyte Weddings Bridal Boutique
Brides shoes: Diane Hassall for Rainbow Club Groom: Richard Mark Bridesmaid Dresses: by Love Label at Very.co.uk Make Up: Make Up By Natalie
Flowers: DIY & Family Friend Catering: Circa Events Cake: Carousel Cupcakes DJ: White Ice Sounds Decor & Styling: DIY
Big Shout out to Carly and Matt for sharing your wedding with us today and to Kirsten Mavric for capturing their day so beautifully. We’re so pleased we brought you three together!
Anyone else aching for it to be summer after seeing these pictures!? Rain, rain go away…………..you’re just getting annoying now.
Carly and Matt’s first dance will be on the blog later under Independent Love Song so make sure you check back in!
Big Sunshine Love
Festival Brides xxx