Joelle-Marie & Peter
English garden flowers meet the flower fields of Provence at this lavender wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jo Bradbury,
Spa treatments, a nine-course dinner and a luxurious weekend getaway to the Lake District surely means there’s something special on the horizon. “Little did I know that Peter had planned to propose when we first arrived, but I spontaneously ordered a pot of tea so the Champagne and roses in the room had to wait! Around midnight after dinner, Peter asked me to marry him. We chose the ring together the next day.”
Joelle-Marie happily happened upon her dress, veil and jacket in one visit to Claire Louise Brides in Bolton.
“My ‘Cristiana’ by Watters WTOO dress was so light and floaty in comparison to other dresses I’d tried.”
“It had a sweetheart neckline, A-line shape and was made from wonderfully soft tulle. I paired it with a gorgeous French lace, sleeved jacket by Augusta Jones, customised to include a deep V-back.”
The bride wore a bespoke, full-length veil made by Claire Louise Brides. “I wanted to wear both a veil and a flower crown, because if you can’t do that on your wedding day, when can you? Our very talented florist made the crown, using my mother’s designs.”
Peter picked out a charcoal grey tails suit for himself and the ushers at Slaters. They added ivory waistcoats, with the ushers wearing lilac cravats and the groom wearing ivory.
“Peter looked incredibly handsome and so calm. I couldn’t resist a quick kiss before we’d even said our vows!”
Four bridesmaids attended Joelle-Marie, wearing lavender multi-way dresses with matching bracelets. “I thought they looked incredibly elegant. Our three-year-old niece joined us as our flower girl, while our six-week-old niece had an honorary role. Our nephew was also our pageboy, accessorising his outfit with a lilac bowtie and braces. None of the lilac accessories quite matched, but no one noticed!”
Samantha Mercer at The Dollz took care of the bride’s big day beauty, using airbrush makeup to create a natural and flawless finish.
“We celebrated our ceremony at Ashton Memorial, the very place where we shared our first date!”
The couple tied the knot during a civil ceremony in the beautiful hall at Ashton Memorial. “Pete’s dad read us a bespoke poem alongside the readings from my maid of honour and a friend who had travelled from South Africa to be with us. We chose readings that were about the ongoing, ever changing journey of life and the ever growing love we share, because many of the traditional options didn’t feel like they really captured us.”
After the ceremony, the couple and their guests continued to Garstang Country Hotel for the reception. Guests tucked into afternoon tea and fizz in place of the traditional wedding breakfast. “It’s one of our favourite treats, so we wanted to share that with everyone on the day.” Ellie from Queen of Hearts supplied the vintage cake stands, as well as styling the lemonade stall. “She did a beautiful job and these small details made the day extra special.”
The speeches followed, beginning with the bride’s mother, before moving onto the groom and best man.
“Pete gave a brilliant speech, answering the 13 most-asked questions, like where we would honeymoon.”
“It was a funny way to avoid sharing the same small talk individually with every guest.”
Our theme was lavender and lemons. I adore the smell of lavender, so we used it in all the floral arrangements and the place settings. We also had fresh lemonade and lemon sherbets for the guests. I was born in the south of France, so we took inspiration from both the quintessential English garden and the iconically beautiful Provence countryside for our theme.”
The couple’s venue arranged most of the table décor and they hired chair covers, ribbons and drapes from Events by Design. Typical Type supplied the oversized LOVE letters to add glamour to the evening party.
Flowers formed the focal point. “From our first consultation with Leah at The Flower Shop by Morgan we were brimming with confidence that she really understood what we wanted. Lavender featured heavily, alongside David Austin roses, feverfew and rosemary sprigs.
Mint was added to mask the scent of the feverfew, which looks far prettier than it smells! We had asparagus fern, in a nod to my grandmother, with dark green foliage to contrast the lilac touches.” An eclectic mix of flower-filled lanterns, birdcages, vases and jugs topped the tables, while a dried, heart-shaped wreath prettied up the wall.
“We chose a dessert table rather than a cake. Settling on one flavour was too tricky!”
“We chose lemon, blackcurrant and pistachio macarons from Baked With Love Manchester, as well as a crepe cake, layered with lemon curd, cream, lavender and blueberry jam, made by Peter. A stack of Krispy Kreme doughnuts topped it off!”
With lots of musical friends, Joelle-Marie and Peter hosted an open mic night between the speeches and evening party.
The newlyweds honeymooned in Italy, booking with Mr & Mrs Smith. “We visited Bologna, Florence and Venice, and even spent a few nights in a Tuscan castle.”
CEREMONY Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
RECEPTION VENUE Garstang Country Hotel, Preston
DRESS Watters WTOO at Claire Louise Brides, Bolton
BRIDESMAID DRESSES For similar, try In One Clothing
ACCESSORIES Augusta Jones, Claire Louise Brides
MAKEUP Samantha Mercer, The Dollz
DÉCOR Queen of Hearts, Typical Type, Events by Design
FLOWERS The Flower Shop by Morgan, Garstang
CAKE Baked With Love Manchester
VIDEOGRAPHER Silver Sixpence Films
HONEYMOON Mr & Mrs Smith