This English country garden wedding was full of personal details, from the DIY stationery to the homemade veggie sausages!
How they met
Natasha and Jack were introduced by mutual friends, and met a few times before they started dating. “I thought Jack was arrogant, and he thought I was moody,” laughs Natasha. “It turned out that we were both shy, and once we’d got over that, we got along really well, although I’ve never forgiven him for taking me to see a really rubbish film on our first date!”
Jack’s holiday proposal took Natasha’s breath away. “He managed to get the ring through customs without being intercepted, and then carried it around in his pocket while we did all the theme parks in Florida, without me suspecting a thing,” Natasha recalls. “He proposed just as we were leaving Miami on a cruise ship for the second part of our holiday. I was so surprised I forgot to say yes until a few hours later!”
The bride’s outfit
Natasha looked radiant in a strapless, trumpet-style gown in champagne with a beaded ivory lace overlay from Sincerity Bridal. “Even though I loved the dress, I found it really hard to commit, and had to try it on several times before I actually bought it,” Natasha explains. “I still had some dress wobbles further down the line, but I felt amazing in it on the day and knew I’d made the right choice.”
Natasha finished her look with a pearl headband from Accessorize and pearl earrings borrowed from her maid of honour. “My mum surprised me at my final dress fitting with a pair of amazing sparkly wedges from Karen Millen that I’d had my eye on for ages,” adds Natasha.
The groom’s outfit
Jack and his groomsmen wore classic suits from Next, with Jack adding a waistcoat and pocket watch for extra impact. “He had a particular look in mind right from the start, and spent a lot of time searching for ties that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses,” says Natasha. “I loved that he took control of sorting out the boys’ outfits and really cared about how he looked for our big day.”
Natasha’s three best friends looked beautiful in their pale green strapless gowns from Debenhams, teamed with nude peep-toe shoes and pearl bracelets. “The dresses set the colour theme for the rest of the wedding,” Natasha explains. “They really suited the girls, and the overall feel that we wanted.”
The sun shone for Natasha and Jack’s civil ceremony, which was held in the grounds of Maidens Barn in Essex. “We found many of the traditional wedding readings a bit cringey, so we weren’t going to have any, but then I came across a really simple and lovely reading called A Favourite Blessing, which my stepdad read,” says Natasha.
The beautiful green and white bouquets were created by florist Out of the Earth. “I wanted a rustic look to fit in with the venue’s countryside location,” Natasha explains. “Apart from asking for freesias and roses in my bouquet, I left the florist to decide what to use because I knew she understood my vision. She did an amazing job.”
The party continued after the ceremony in the stylish 19th-century barn. “Our theme evolved during the planning process, but ended up being a shabby chic rustic garden party,” says Natasha. “I’m vegetarian, so it was important to me that the veggie menu was just as good as the meat version. We had chicken salad or goats cheese tart to start, followed by sausages – cheese and leek ones for the veggies – and mash, and chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was delicious!”
Natasha and Jack decorated the barn with tissue paper pom poms, bunting and hanging hearts. “I’ve always loved looking at weddings with lots of detail, so I spent ages making lavender place settings for everyone, and decorating jam jars with lace to use as candle holders and vases,” Natasha explains. “We had birdcages dressed with pearls, candles and ivy on some tables, and milk jugs filled with flowers on others, with lavender plants in terracotta pots lining the aisle. We also had pastel-coloured paper straws for the drinks reception and a vintage leather suitcase for our cards.”
Natasha, her mum and the bridesmaids travelled to the venue in retro style in a vintage Volkswagen camper van – brilliant!
Creative bride Natasha created her own wedding stationery, while taking lots of inspiration from a number of different designs. She created the couple’s save the date cards, invitations and table plan, with a pretty birdcage motif. “It took lots of patience but was very satisfying,” laughs Natasha.
Natasha’s mum broke with convention and made a speech in honour of her daughter’s big day, while the groom and best man also entertained the guests with their speeches.
The three-tier cake featured layers of Victoria sponge, carrot cake and chocolate cake with chocolate chip buttercream, and was the creation of Finesse Cakes. “We incorporated wedding details such as the pearl detail and bow which matched my dress, but in the same colour as the bridesmaids’ dresses,” says Natasha. A super-cute peg doll cake topper and tiny Mr & Mrs bunting were the finishing touches.
“We had a DJ for our evening entertainment, and asked everyone to let us know the song that would get them dancing, so there was something for everyone on the playlist,” Natasha says. “Jack booked a photo booth as a surprise. I had no idea until after it was all set up, but our guests loved it and we got some hilarious photos!”
The couple jetted off for nine nights in Dubai.