A shabby chic wedding with a touch of romance
Beautiful day, fab weather and the best party with our amazing friends and family we could have asked for! Shabby chic with a touch of vintage was the order of the big day, nothing too prim and proper – that’s just not us. We got married in our village church, it was a personal and intimate ceremony including a fantastic reading by my brother and my godmother singing a cappella during the signing of the registers.
Our VW beetle took us over to Halstead House which was the perfect venue for us we pretty much had a blank canvass to put our stamp on. We were hidden away in the middle of the stunning Leicestershire countryside and our guests had free reign of the grounds (it made for some amazing pictures to be taken). Simple, relaxed and fuss-free. We ate, drank and danced the night away.
IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO KEEP SOME TRADITION
“Not being from Leicestershire originally and therefore marrying away from ‘home’, it was important for me to keep some tradition for my family so a church wedding it was! Which was absolutely fine with me. It was something Dan was really keen on as well (it’s always nice to agree on these things). It’s great to have the reminder every time we drive past it on the way to work!
Halstead House was the one from the moment we saw it. Aside from the fact it suited our budget, it was simple and had its own character and fit in with our theme. We could do what we wanted with the venue and they had many areas for guests to mingle in and out of so they wouldn’t be obliged to stay in one place. Luckily the weather was kind to us on the day so we could roam around the gardens. We were lucky to be some of the last couples to enjoy the venue as they have now shut down.
Our wedding theme was very much shabby chic with hints of vintage dotted around. I initially couldn’t decide on a colour scheme so I decided to go for colours that were in my bouquet. This then inspired the bridesmaids dresses and so on. Coloured paper pom-poms decorated the wedding breakfast room to add a pop of colour. The tables were alternated so some had candelabras with gypsophila and roses on them and the others had a candle arrangement on mirrors. Hessian decorated the chairs. Dan and I met 9 years ago travelling in New Zealand and we’ve been to some amazing place since so each table was themed around the places we’d been (also, Dan is a Geography teacher). My brother did stunning sketches and drawings for each table, they’re now up on our wall at home.
The colours and materials followed outside to bunting and lanterns. We bought straw bales from a local farmer, painted a pallet from a tile delivery to make and running order of the day sign. We had a globe and a suitcase for the cards and gifts.”
WHEN I TIRED MY DRESS ON I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE IT OFF
“My dress was made by Maggie Sottero, not what I thought I’d wear at all! Originally I wanted a big skirted lacy number…but they all looked awful on me. I never really got into the whole dress trying on, I wanted to sort out everyone else first. When I tried this one on I felt a bit smug and didn’t want to take it off – that’s when I knew it was probably the one. I always wanted a low back, but the beading and the glitz were a nice surprise.
The men wore suits from Next and Dan wore a slightly different colour blue suit from Moss Bros so he would stand out more. I bought them champagne coloured bow ties and pocket squares. Dan wasn’t a fan initially but little did he know it was to match my dress!
My girls wore high street dresses as I didn’t want them to look ‘bridesmaidy’ which might sound ridiculous. I also wanted them to look individual and have colours and styles that suited them. 2 were from phase eight the others from House of Fraser and Debenhams.”
WE HAD THE MOST DELICIOUS PUDDINGS EVER!
“We had canapés on arrival with a glass of pink fizz that Dan’s uncle had brought over from France for us (we had about 50 bottles to get through). We enjoyed bruchetta to start, chicken for main and a choice of THE MOST delicious puddings ever; brownie, cheesecake or lemon tart.
As guests arrived we had the lead singer of the band playing acoustic guitar to serenade. A polaroid camera was our version of a photo booth and we got people to take a pic and peg it on a line. Live band and DJ in between sets to get the party started. All the music was chosen by the guests in their RSVP responses.
As hard as it is, don’t let family politics get in your way! Family is a funny thing and there will be drama along the way no matter what. You invite who you want! Don’t sweat the small stuff. I forgot a couple of place names and we had a few no shows on the day… just roll with it. Try and make you (the newlyweds) stop throughout the day and just take it all in. Its YOUR day, no one else’s. You want to remember this day for the rest of your life for the right reasons.”