Keith & Michelle
This couple said “I do” to leafy, country garden style at their greenery barn wedding
Photography by Adam Cash, adamcash.co.uk
After discovering a mutual passion for food on their first date, Michelle and Keith knew they were onto something good. “Two years later, Keith took me for a picnic and proposed. We were enjoying the food and sunshine, and I remarked that it was like a scene in Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts’ character reads to Richard Gere. I asked Keith to tell me a story too… he went straight into the story of our relationship and finished by asking me to marry him. I was gobsmacked!”
“I spotted my Enzoani wedding dress in Wedding Ideas!”
Michelle fell for her strapless, lace mermaid gown by Enzoani at Bellissima Weddings. “I felt incredible as soon as I’d put it on. I’d seen the dress in Wedding Ideas and at a wedding fair, but I never thought the style would suit me. I finally plucked up the courage to try it on and burst into tears with my mum. I knew it was the one.”
The bride accessorised with a lace-edged, cathedral-length veil from the same boutique, as well as Love Art Wear Art shoes. “Keith gifted me my gorgeous earrings, they matched my engagement ring and were made by the same company – Galaxy Diamonds in Hatton Garden.”
“My dress was quite dramatic, so I didn’t wear any other jewellery.”
Keith and his ushers opted for stylish, three-piece suits sourced from Debenhams, teamed with brown belts and shoes from Next. The groom also commissioned a tweed waistcoat from Stuart Austwick at Essex Waistcoats to ensure he stood out. “He looked nervous on the day, which surprised me because he’s usually quietly confident, but also very, very handsome,” Michelle gushes.
One adult attendant and three younger bridesmaids formed the bridal party. “We found Leanne’s dress at Bellissima Weddings too – it’s a Kelsey Rose design in taupe. We knew we wanted something soft and romantic and I loved the tulle skirt. Most importantly, Leanne was comfortable in it and this was the dress she wanted.” The three younger bridesmaids wore beautifully coordinated dresses created by the bride’s talented mother in law.
Three pageboys also joined the couple, with one also embracing the role of ring bearer. They each dressed in a smart suit and shoes from Roco Clothing.
“I asked makeup artist Charlemagne Smithies to join us on our wedding morning. She was amazing – the fire alarm went off while we were getting ready and she was still totally on time! My good friend and hairdresser Tracy Griffiths styled our locks – she’s a gem.”
Michelle and Keith married in a civil ceremony at Alpheton Hall Barns.
“The ceremony was my favourite part of the day.”
“I loved walking down the aisle towards Keith, holding onto my father’s arm and seeing the happy faces of our family and friends. We had ‘I’ll Be There’ for our reading and I walked down the aisle to ‘A Thousand Years’, sung by Sarah O’Shea.”
Ellis Catering cooked up a storm for the couple’s reception meal at Alpheton Hall Barns, serving up a barbecue of locally sourced chicken, halloumi and lamb kebabs alongside burgers, sausages, salads, pasta dishes and more! Lemon tart offered a delicious dessert.
“My dad gave a very beautiful and emotional speech that made my cry,” Michelle gushes. “Keith and the best man Nick’s speeches were both suitably witty – they were funny yet endearing.”
The couple opted to decorate their greenery barn wedding with a country garden theme. “Keith designed and printed our stationery on Kraft card with a vintage type setting, then I decorated it with lace and twine.”
“The décor was really important to me – I had a vision in my mind for our greenery barn wedding that I wanted to create.”
Michelle scoured markets and auction sites to source decorations for the day. “I found a vintage ladder and crystal vases and purchased baskets and apple crates at a market in France. My amazingly talented mother-in-law made our table runners, hessian and lace chair ties and bunting herself.
We dressed the venue the day before the big one – it was so much fun seeing my vision unfold! The flowers arriving brought everything together – our florist’s work was breathtaking.”
Briefed to create arrangements in green and ivory with a country garden wedding style, Samantha French from Wild Poppies got to work. “Samantha is incredibly talented and the flowers were one of my favourite parts of the day.” Arrangements included Nora Jean roses, astrantia, astilbe, nigella, alchemilla, foxgloves, agapanthus, mint and rosemary.
“We enlisted the help of Amazing Cakes By Jean for our four-tier cake. We had a fruit base layer topped with vanilla, lemon and chocolate sponges. The design was finished in ivory with hessian and lace trim.”
“I handmade wildflower seed pack favours for guests to take home from our country garden wedding.”
The owner of the venue suspended two large frames from the barn’s beams, so the couple simply added props to bring the DIY photobooth to life. “We also hired Tony Winyard for our DJ. He was so much more than a DJ – a DJ, toastmaster, entertainer and organiser too! He provided the music for our entire day, provided personalised introductions for the wedding party and hosted a Mr & Mrs game – he was amazing!”
“My friend Annina Cremona, who is also a photographer, surprised us with some lovely photos from the day too.”
The newlyweds shared their first dance to Take That’s ‘Rule The World’. “I wasn’t overly keen on the song, but Keith really wanted it so I caved,” the bride laughs.
Booking with Jasmine Holidays, Michelle and Keith jetted off to Hong Kong for two nights, staying at The Park Lane in Causeway Bay, before moving on to Bali for two more stops, one at The Four Seasons Hotel in Ubud and the other at The Oberori Hotel in Seminyak. “We went sightseeing in Hong Kong, trekking in Ubud and sunbathed in Seminyak.”
VENUE Alpheton Hall Barns, Sudbury
DRESS Enzoani at Bellissima Weddings
BRIDESMAID DRESS Kelsey Rose
GROOM Debenhams, Next, Essex Waistcoats
SHOES Love Art Wear Art
HAIR Tracy Griffiths
MAKEUP Charlemagne Smithies
CATERING Ellis Catering
FLOWERS Wild Poppies
CAKE Amazing Cakes By Jean
ENTERTAINMENT Tony Winyard, Awe DJ
HONEYMOON Jasmine Holidays
VIDEOGRAPHER Adam Heath, Inverve