Stephanie & Sebastian
A fairytale fusion of Italian and traditional wedding style inside an english country Barn…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESS WITHEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Even the most perfectly planned proposals don’t always run smoothly. “Sebastian surprised me with a weekend away in Barcelona and on the second day he was keen for us to go up the mountain to see the views. When we reached the top we discovered an abandoned fairground that still had funfair jingles playing. A little freaked out, we headed back down to Gaudi Park instead. Seb got down on one knee with a Spanish guitarist playing behind us, it was perfect.”
One visit to Burr Bridal in Cambridge had Stephanie’s dress sorted. “They had a huge selection and were amazingly helpful. I’d pulled out lots of slim fitting, bohemian styles and, after trying them all, the owner Kim asked if I would try on one further dress for her. The ‘Rosabella’ by Nicki Flynn design felt huge in comparison but it had everyone in tears and I knew it was the one.
Blue suede shoes from Marks and Spencer and a veil trimmed with lace from Burr Bridal completed the bride’s purchases. “I also wore my grandmother’s pearl earrings as my something old. My mother’s Tiffany & Co silver and pearl necklace was perfect for my something borrowed.
Seb really wanted a more casual, summery look for his outfit, wearing formal suits every day to work. We spent months searching for a light blue jacket that would be like the one he already owned. We then we had the eureka moment that he should probably just wear that one!” Stephanie laughs. The jacket is from El Ganso and the groom teamed it with new Baker brogues. “Seb looked amazing, smiley and totally relaxed, putting me completely at ease.”
Stephanie turned to the ASOS bridesmaid range to dress her six best girls for the occasion. “I loved the dresses!” she gushes, “you could choose different styles to suit each maid and I know my bridesmaids felt great in them.” The couple’s four-year-old niece joined the bridal party as flower girl, wearing a light pink fairy style skirt.
The Wedding Day
“We stayed at the Rye Retreat the night before the wedding. It was brilliant – we headed down for a fun breakfast together – exactly what you need to start the day feeling thoroughly pampered – before Lisa from the Rye Retreat got to work on our up-dos. My talented sister did our makeup using MAC products.”
The couple married in the groom’s mother’s local church, a stunning grade-I listed building with 360-degree views of the countryside. “I loved the original stone floor and lovely wooden seats, which we hung buckets of gypsophila from. We placed framed photographs of us as kids at the entrance, my father walked me down the aisle and Seb’s father and my mother gave readings.”
Seeking food that was full of flavour but didn’t cost a fortune, the couple enlisted their fabulous caterer Sara who shared their ethos. “Sara invited us for lunch and to her deli to pick out foods for the cheeses, meats and antipasti, creating dishes made for sharing. I loved looking around and seeing guests carve lamb joints at the table!” The feast was washed down with beer brewed on the very farm that became their reception venue.
“It was actually my dress that inspired our classical, Italian style for the wedding,” the bride reveals, “and I chose natural colours in white, blue, pink and green.” Stephanie and Sebastian decorated their dry hire barn with festoon lighting, illuminated letters, bunting and white balloons. Jubilee Hire supplied the furniture, with tables topped by jars of flowers and lavender.
“Our amazing local florist, Café des Fleurs, guided us through the entire process of choosing specific flowers, inspired by our Italian theme. They created the most beautiful hand-tied, natural bouquet of white O’Hara roses, pale blue echinops, blossom, guelder rose, white gypsophila and herbs.”
An Italian accordion and mandolin-playing duo, Oh La La Music, provided the soundtrack during the ceremony. Four-piece band Gravity from Tailored Entertainment then took over, playing a mixture of old and new music that everyone adored. Sebastian and Stephanie chose a Viennese waltz for their first dance, with the song sung by the bride’s sister!
Three weeks in Borneo beckoned for their honeymoon, booked through Audley Travel. “We opted to enjoy jungle trekking, visits to an orangutan sanctuary, diving and relaxing by the beach. The great thing about Audley Travel is that you create your own website for donations instead of a gift list, so your guests can help make your honeymoon happen.”
CHURCH St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Peasmarsh
RECEPTION VENUE The Great Barn, Rolvenden
DRESS Nicki Flynn at Burr Bridal, Cambridge
BRIDESMAID DRESSES ASOS
GROOM El Ganso and Baker
ACCESSORIES Marks and Spencer, Burr Bridal
HAIR Rye Retreat
DÉCOR Light It Up UK and Jubilee Hire
FLOWERS Café des Fleurs
ENTERTAINMENT Oh La La Music, Tailored Entertainment
HONEYMOON Audley Travel