Abbie & Daniel
Take inspiration from this colourful country garden wedding, filled with whimsical wildflowers
PHOTOGRAPHY BY James Grist, jamesgristphotography.co.uk
Picture the excitement of waking up on Christmas morning to find one extra sparkling addition decorating the Christmas tree… Four years after Abbie and Daniel first started dating, this groom chose the 25th December to propose. “The ring was resting on a bauble and I just burst into tears! It was such a lovely way to ask,” Abbie gushes.
The bride visited Maidstone boutique, Perfection Bridal, with her mother the day she discovered her perfect wedding dress. The Lillian West design that stole Abbie’s heart offered a slender fit and flare silhouette with beading that added a distinctly bridal touch.
“I loved it as soon as I put it on. I knew it was the one.”
A floral headpiece and Charlotte Mills shoes completed her aisle look.
Groom Daniel also embraced the floral theme in his choice of tie. He looked handsome in a grey three-piece Herringbone suit and brown brogues from Hudson. “It was amazing to see it all together,” Abbie smiles, “he looked really smart and the suit was perfect.”
Abbie’s four future sisters-in-law and her best friend joined her as bridesmaids. “My girls wore multiway dresses from Debenhams – they were brilliant, fitting so many different shapes and sizes.” The bride’s friend Georgia took care of their big day beauty, using MAC and Bobbi Brown products. Friend Becki then took the helm for the bridal party’s hair styling. “I had a loose bohemian up-do while my bridesmaids had waves and relaxed plaits.”
“We aren’t fans of the limelight, so we chose a short and sweet ceremony to suit us.”
The couple married outdoors at Solton Manor. A string quartet played softly as the bride and her father walked down the aisle. “The setting was lovely and the ceremony relaxed, exactly as we’d hoped. My best memory was seeing Dan cry, he was so emotional.”
Daniel, Abbie and their guests then tucked into mozzarella bruschetta to start and a duo of chicken for their main course, with a ‘Solton’ mess for dessert. Honouring time-old tradition, the bride’s father and the groom both gave speeches, before the three best men also said a few words.
“We wanted our wedding to have a pastel colour theme but with a country garden wedding twist.”
“It was lovely to see our ideas, planning and imagination all come together on the day.” To create the look, the couple purchased lanterns and pom poms to suspend from the ceiling from The Hanging Lantern Company, scattered artificial daisies across table tops and hired A&D illuminated letters from Light Of My Life. “We also handmade a ladder table plan and created two wooden greeting signs to display outside. Our florist supplied wildflowers in bark effect vases for the table centres, too.”
Extending their country garden wedding pastel theme, Contemporary Flowers in Canterbury designed a bridal bouquet of wildflowers for Abbie, wrapping the stems with hessian twine. The bridesmaids carried posies of gypsophila and daisies and the buttonholes featured the same flowers with hessian.
Turning away from tradition, Abbie and Daniel chose a cupcake tower with a single tier on top in place of the traditional three-tier wedding cake. They also forewent the fruitcake in favour of zesty lemon and vanilla flavours, which were created by Fairy Dust Bakery. Coupled with the hessian pouches overflowing with sweets for wedding favours, guests were in for a real treat!
As the evening party kicked off, Choice DJ supplied the soundtrack that had all the guests up and dancing.
“The music was a combination of hits from the eighties, reggae and pop. We had quite a few age ranges to consider when compiling song ideas!”
“Seeing the dance floor packed and all of our friends having such a good time was a highlight of the night for us.” For their first dance, on the other hand, the only people to please were themselves: “We’ve always loved Eric Clapton’s song, ‘Wonderful Tonight’, so making a decision was easy.”
After the wedding, a multi-centre honeymoon beckoned for the newlyweds. “We spent two weeks travelling around Thailand, booked with Travel Counsellors. Bangkok, Koh Yoa Yai and Phuket were all on the list, so we soaked up a lot of sights and just enjoyed each other’s company.”
Reflecting on their perfect day, Abbie and Daniel have some advice for other couples:
“Brides, don’t choose your wedding dress too early or you risk seeing something else and changing your mind. You don’t want to have any second thoughts about your choice!”
“Less can also be more when it comes to the décor, so don’t over think your plans and trust that it will all come together on the day. And when your wedding day arrives, spend as much time together as a couple as you can because it really will fly by… and make sure you hire a videographer to record it all for you!”
VENUE Solton Manor, Deal
DRESS Lillian West at Perfection Bridal, Maidstone
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Debenhams
GROOM Next, Hudson
SHOES Charlotte Mills
DÉCOR The Hanging Lantern Company, Light Of My Life
FLOWERS Contemporary Flowers, Canterbury
CAKE Fairy Dust Bakery
ENTERTAINMENT Choice DJ
HONEYMOON Travel Counsellors