Sometimes, when you see as many weddings as I do, you just get a feel to the day and that you sort of wish you were there – as a friend to the couple to have properly soaked it all up. Well Hannah and James’ Spring wedding last year was one of those. It just looks so relaxed, pretty and fun. I adore Hannah’s bridal style, especially her bespoke Jane Bourvis antique lace dress, and I can’t not mention the dashing groom either, James definitely styled it out with his suit and bow tie [as did his boys!]. Such a lovely wedding captured really naturally by the fabulous Joanna Millington who’s style compliments their day just perfectly.
“It was really important to both us that the day felt as relaxed & informal as possible – I think this was at the heart of our ‘vision’ for the day. We didn’t have colour schemes and themes. There was definitely a vintage feel, especially with my dress, James’s and the boy’s bow-ties and the venue but the most important thing to us was to have a day where everyone felt comfortable & had a brilliant time.”
Sometimes ‘the one’ comes by a complete surprise, and I’m not talking about finding your future husband! I’m talking about the wedding dress. I love how Hannah fell head over heels for a dress almost accidentally, and how beautiful is it? Designed by Jane Bourvis the dress is made up of several antique veils using the very delicate lace. Such a lovely idea and how the imperfections and history of the fabric almost make it that little bit more special and unique.
“I found my dress completely by accident; I wasn’t even going to be ‘dress’ shopping that day, was extremely hungover and wearing black Primark pants! I just wanted to pop into Jane’s shop to make an appointment for the future; the next thing I know, I’m trying on a dress & it’s THE ONE! Jane Bourvis is incredible; she has such a beautiful shop, full of amazing vintage pieces. My dress is made up of several antique veils – the lace is so delicate. I loved the colour and that it had imperfections and tiny wee holes here and there. I knew I was in safe hands with Jane and we worked together to tweak the dress to make it even more perfect. Popping in for my dress fittings was such a pleasure – I miss her!”
Hampton Court House is a beautiful venue on the outskirts of London which combines character and glamour but in a rural setting. It also happened to be close to where Hannah grew up, and overlooking the beautiful grounds of Bushy Park where she used to go with her brother and Grandparents it must have provided many happy memories and now new ones to come.
“When we first started thinking about venues someone at work mentioned Hampton Court House to me; it’s really close to where I grew up & looks out onto the grounds of Bushy Park where my grandparents used to take my brother and I when we were little. After checking it out online, I couldn’t wait to visit & penciled it straight-away. It’s gorgeous, has bundles of character. I loved that we could do everything under one, beautiful roof – we didn’t have to ferry people around and if it rained (almost a dead-cert with an April wedding!) that we’d be fine and dandy inside. This actually relived a lot of stress knowing I didn’t have to worry about the weather.
The staff we really amazing & we had loads of flexibility to do extra touches with an incredible back-drop. It was actually snowing the day before we tied the knot & pretty chilly – the staff lit fires in the two beautiful fireplaces, which created a lovely atmosphere.”
For the ceremony, Hannah walked down the aisle to ‘You’ve Got the Love’, the version by Florence & the Machine with a full orchestra Live at the Royal Albert Hall. I love how you can spot the cute flower girls were wearing Converse trainers!
Choosing wonderful suppliers is such a huge part of your wedding planning and it’s so nice to see that Hannah worked with a very talented team, including Fairynuff Flowers to bring her vision together and those sherberty hues in the flowers set the tone so beautifully “I felt so lucky whilst planning the wedding to work with such wonderful suppliers – my florist was no exception. I heard about her through the venue & knew she was the lady for me as soon as I went onto her blog. Steph was amazing – she totally ‘got’ me. I didn’t have the hugest budget for flowers but she still went the extra mile. We used the flower girl’s and bridesmaid’s bouquets on the tables to help things go that little bit further. Steph is a genius, so creative – I thought my bouquet was stunning & love seeing it in the pictures.”
If you are on a budget, it’s important to choose a caterer who can be flexible enough for you to provide your own elements to keep costs down, sourcing their own drink and an amazing bring your own cake table was a great idea for Hannah and James.
“Our food was delicious and it was great working with Junior and his team at JPL catering. He was really helpful and very flexible. We organised our own bar; unfortunately we didn’t have the budget to do a ‘free bar’ all night, but by organising the booze ourselves we were able to keep the costs right down, which lots of our guests commented about favourably.
The cake table was a huge success – some of our lovely friends and family made cakes which were displayed on different cake-stands.”
“For the wedding stationery we worked with a friend who helped create all our invites, table names, table-plan & all the extra bits & pieces, like the guest book & the bar menu; I was really thrilled with the way they all turned out & it was really cost-effective. I took my Instax polaroid camera to create a mini photo-booth – with the photos strung across a vintage frame. We took my beloved type-writer to create a guestbook; reading the letters back after we came back from Honeymoon was hilarious, especially once everyone had had a few shandys!”
“I got in touch with our photographer, Joanna Millington, through my bridesmaid Jen. Again, I checked out her work online and was pretty convinced she was the right lady for us. We met up with her for a few gin & elderflowers [like your style!] and the deal was sealed. It was really important to both James and I that we didn’t have cheesy ‘staged’ pics and Jo totally got that brief. I love our photos SO much. I look at them all the time, she totally captured the day & some really amazing moments; so many guests commented on how lovely she was also.”
I find with a lot of my own couples that I work with, that the Groom likes to be involved with decisions on the food and music, and this couple were no exception! I do love the last song at a wedding, when all the guests huddle and cheer the bride and groom, so it sounds like they ended the night on a high!
“Music was one of James’ remits and he suggested a Beatles tribute band. I wasn’t sure at first – did we want just one band’s music for half the evening? However I’m SO glad that he convinced me. The Counterfeit Beatles were AMAZING. They kicked everything off with our first dance, Here Comes the Sun & then played two sets. EVERYONE was dancing – the Beatles appeal to all ages & created the most amazing party atmosphere. They finished their set with Hey Jude – everyone was in a circle with James and I in the middle.
Maybe it was the wedding vino, but it was pretty over-whelming to see all our guests having such a great time surrounding us! When the band weren’t playing we made a Spotify playlist, which James crafted for about a month. This was great as we got to play all our favourite songs which we knew would appeal to all our favourite people; the dance-floor was packed right up until the bitter end. The black and white disco floor under the glass conservatory at Hampton Court House was perfect for late-night dancing.”“
“The whole day was incredible – I had expected to be really emotional as I am a massive cry baby – but actually, on the day I was so happy and excited; I couldn’t wipe the ridiculous grin of my face all day. This day is about you & your partner. Whilst it’s important to try & accommodate family & friends I really believe you should stick to your guns & have the day that you want. Try not to get over-whelmed. For me (being a producer & all), it was really handy to have a working budget so I could see how far our money was going. The wedding blogs are also amazing sources of inspiration – I regularly checked in on London Bride when I was planning.” Thanks Hannah!
I shall leave you with these wise words from the lovely bride, “I guess the thing to remember is that everyone loves a wedding; your guests will be so excited to be part of your special day – even if there are bumps in the road nobody is there to judge but to have fun and celebrate.” Here here!
I also had to include the cute Save The Date video that Hannah produced herself! Simple but so sweet, what a clever lady! “I love craft & wanted to try & do as many little touches as I could without putting loads of pressure on myself & taking away the enjoyment.”
Thank you to the lovely Hannah and James for sharing their day and to their photographer Joanna who is always so inspiring with her work!
Photographraphy: Joanna Millington / Venue: Hampton Court House / Bride’s Dress: Jane Bourvis / Bridesmaids: Warehouse / Groom’s Suit: Austin Reed / Flowers: Fairynuff Flowers / Catering: JPL Catering / Evening Band: Counterfeit Beatles