How they met
“It was a very modern romance,” says Elizabeth. “We met online three-and-a-half years ago. When I first saw him I thought he looked even better than in his photos.”
“I thought we were heading off to spend the weekend with my family, but when we went to catch the train, Andy took me to the Eurostar check-in instead. He had arranged for us to go on a surprise weekend to Bruges staying at a beautiful five-star hotel. We spent a really relaxing Saturday walking around the city. Just before we went to dinner that evening he presented me with a gorgeous diamond ring. Naturally I cried,” smiles Elizabeth
The bride’s outfit
“I hired a brilliant personal stylist (Beth Dadswell from My Personal Stylist) who helped me to find my dream dress,” explains Elizabeth. “She took me to the Vintage Wedding Dress Company, who sell original vintage dresses as well as replica designs of their own. My gown was from their Decades collection and was a sample variation of their 1940s-style dress that never made it into full production. This made it extra special because I knew that it was a true one-off. I felt amazing in my wedding dress – happier with how I looked than ever before in my life – there was nothing I would have changed,” she adds. Elizabeth’s bridal style was completed with a pair of heavenly Rachel Simpson kitten heels and some antique family jewellery
The groom’s outfit
Andrew chose his own suit from Austin Reed, because he had a clear idea in his mind of how he wanted to look. Why not make it a surprise and let your groom keep his outfit a secret until the big day?
Elizabeth’s three gorgeous girls wore navy dresses from twobirds Bridesmaid. Due to their unique design, each girl could wear the dress differently to suit their shape and style. If you’re thinking of buying a twobirds dress for your girls, watch our handy step-by-step videos on how to tie them first!
“We opted for a civil ceremony led by my bridesmaid Meg’s mum, who is a registrar. It felt even more special to know the person who was marrying us,” remembers Elizabeth. Their entrance music was I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi, and the two readings were Invisible Kisses by Lemm Sissay (read by Andrew’s sister Fiona) and Of Love by Alan Riach, read by Katherine, one of the bridesmaids
“A local florist, Alex Ball, who has her own cutting garden created our blooms,” says Elizabeth. “It was great to have her knowledge of traditional English flowers. She had some fantastic ideas, too, like having displays in milk churns.”
“When the guests arrived back from the ceremony, we served afternoon tea while the two of us took time to escape and have some photos taken,” explains Elizabeth. “There were mini pots of strawberries and cream, chocolate crispy cakes and coffee and walnut butterfly cakes. We cut and served the wedding cake at this time, too, instead of in the evening when everyone’s too full after dinner. For the wedding breakfast meal we had a hog roast with a selection of creative and unusual salads, served in a buffet style. Our caterer, Emma Ainslie is local and sourced as many of the ingredients close to home as she could.”
“I hired metres and metres of bunting from Beautiful Bunting – this decoration brought our English fete theme to life all by itself. We scattered straw bales and tartan rugs around the garden for people to sit on. This gave the space a really informal feel and encouraged the guests to kick off their shoes and relax in the beautiful sunshine. We also had a selection of garden games for everyone to enjoy – we have a lot of funny photos of the guests competing in space hopper races after a few drinks!” laughs Elizabeth
“My sister-in-law, Bridget, who is an amazing cook, made our cake,” recalls the bride. “It was a traditional tiered fruit cake with white icing, and she decorated it in blue and red to match our theme and stationery.”
“We made our guests work for their favours – the winners of the coconut shy won them!” We love this idea for including your guests – you could also have a Great British Bake off or a game of Wedding Bingo!
Elizabeth and Andrew took a romantic trip around Northern France – a great choice if you’re looking for a short haul destination.
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