Harriet & Simon
A vintage Cambridgeshire lake wedding perched on the water’s edge
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Dan Sakal,
D&A Photography, da-photo.co.uk
Proposals don’t usually conjure up images of a large, heavy box. That’s why exactly that became the perfect disguise for this groom’s proposal plans. “It was Christmas day and I had one present under the tree. After picking it up, I doubted it would be a ring. Then Simon asked me to stand up before getting down on bended knee and asking me to be his wife,” beams Harriet.
“I felt ladylike and grownup when I first tried on my La Sposa wedding dress.”
“Burr Bridal in Cambridge was the first shop I visited. The lady there asked me whether I needed to see a few more options before making my mind up, but I knew there was no need. It was perfect and just what I had pictured.”
Harriet teamed her floor-length, fishtail lace dress with Swarovski jewellery. A floral headpiece, made by her florist, and a veil and shoes, also from Burr Bridal, completed her look. Amy Claire Makeup complemented her bridal look with MAC lip products, and Stylishly Chic by Bonnie styled her hair beautifully.
“Simon looked extremely handsome when I first saw him, I was so proud of him! He wore a navy blue, three-piece morning suit, which we sourced from Hugh Harris in Woking.”
Harriet had two adult and two younger bridesmaids join her for the day. Her maid of honour Claire and bridesmaid Leonie wore floor-length, mint satin dresses with silver embellishment at the waist from Debenhams. “I’ve known Leonie’s two daughters since birth so I had to include them too. They wore knee-length pink and lace Monsoon dresses with pretty bows at the back as my little bridesmaids. Wedding Ideas gave me inspiration for different bridesmaid dresses and suppliers to try.”
The couple’s venue of choice, Sheene Mill, offers a beautiful pagoda outside by the lake, so it was an easy choice to hold their ceremony there.
“I walked down the aisle with my father to Celine Dion’s ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face’.
My favourite moment has to be when we were pronounced as husband and wife and got to share our first married kiss, though, and then walking back up the aisle, seeing the smiling faces of our family and friends. I was too nervous to look up when I first walked down in case I welled up, but when I look back I wish I had done.”
“Look up as you walk down the aisle and take it all in – your groom, your guests, everything!”
To get their vintage wedding theme off to a vibrant start, Harriet and Simon chose a vintage gardens game company, Tilly’s Garden Party Hire, to set up fair games and The Candy Dream for the sweet carts outside.
“We decorated with tree trunks, hessian and twine. We also designed our own invitations to include a swan – a nod to the feathered resident of Sheene Mill’s lake. Being Mr and Mrs Green, we named each table after a leafy hue, adding white lace and mint organza chair ties to each seat.”
A dome-shaped bouquet formed of roses, carnations, gypsophila, eucalyptus and thlaspi was perfect for Harriet.
Her older attendants carried similar, smaller versions and the girls had posies of gyposphila. “Our florist Catherine, from Elworthy Flowers, also decorated the pagoda with blooms, working with artificial varieties to reduce the cost.”
Biscotti di Debora created the couple’s show-stopping three-tier Eton mess cake, which featured fresh cream and berries encased in a meringue exterior.
Once guests returned indoors from the garden party, the fun showed no signs of stopping thanks to a photobooth and guest book from Gigglebooth and five-piece band, Swagger Funk. “They played our first dance – Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – before moving into ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers, which is the first song we ever danced to together on the first night that we met.”
Immediately after tying the knot, Harriet and Simon minimooned in Devon and Cornwall. “It was really romantic at our Cornish cottage, with a hot tub, open fire and lovely beaches and scenery. Our honeymoon is booked for later this year, with three nights in Dubai followed by 11 in Bali, all booked through Kuoni and contributed to by our kind guests.”
“Our best decision during the planning was to book Dan from D&A Photography!”
“He was incredible, he captured so much emotion and now we have his perfect photographs to remember our day by forever. It’s worth telling your photographer who and what you want photographed before the day. They will likely ask on the day if you haven’t, but you’ll be too preoccupied and excited to think of everything at the time.
“Asking guests for vouchers towards your honeymoon adventures is a much more personal way of asking for monetary gifts.”
“This way it won’t feel impersonal and guests will know that their gifts are meaningful and special. Plus it’ll save you a lot of money on your honeymoon!”
VENUE Sheene Mill, Cambridgeshire
DRESS La Sposa, Burr Bridal, Cambridge
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Debenhams and Monsoon
GROOM Hugh Harris, Woking
ACCESSORIES Swarovski and Burr Bridal, Cambridge
HAIR Stylishly Chic by Bonnie
MAKEUP Amy Claire Makeup
FLOWERS Elworthy Flowers
CAKE Biscotti di Debora
DÉCOR Sweetpea and Me
ENTERTAINMENT Tilly’s Garden Party Hire, The Candy Dream,
Gigglebooth, Swagger Funk