Amy & Edward
White, green and grey blend beautifully at this rustic marquee wedding
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jessica Reeve Photography,
Secret gardens have long been linked with romantic tales and for Amy and Edward things proved no different. “Ed surprised me by taking me out to dinner at Secret Garden, Mersham le Hatch, which is a real hidden gem with a beautiful courtyard garden. Over dinner, he proposed!” Amy smiles.
After initially looking for something more bohemian, the bride fell in love with a Justin Alexander dress at Go Bridal in Tunbridge Wells. “I’d been looking at dresses by Daughters of Simone, but the styles just didn’t suit me when I put them on. I needed more structure.”
“When I put my Justin Alexander dress on, the design instantly showed me off in the best way possible. It felt so right.”
The groom looked dapper in a three-piece, Ted Baker tails suit in grey.
Amy asked her four closest and oldest friends to be her bridesmaids. “They were all blown away by the twobirds Bridesmaid dresses I wanted, which was brilliant. The dresses suit everyone because they can be worn in so many ways. I knew I wanted them to wear grey, which luckily looks good on everyone.”
A friend joined the bridal party to take care of the hair styling, while Make up by Katy Mason created their beauty looks. “I’d had a Bobbi Brown makeup trial and could have done it myself, but having someone there to make you pause, sit down and relax while they applied it was invaluable.”
“We enhanced my everyday makeup look, building up more layers and using a better primer.”
Amy and Edward tied the knot at St Michael the Archangel Church, Smarden. “It’s a bittersweet place for us, because we both have close relatives who are buried there, but it was equally very special to be close to two people who were hugely missed on our big day,” the bride explains.
After being pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds and their guests continued to the couple’s home for the reception, which was held in a marquee in the garden.
“We turned our food into a form of entertainment!”
The couple tucked into a feast of Spanish tapas, including Iberico ham that was carved live in front of guests by Simon W Desmond Catering. The main course, a delicious paella dish, was also cooked live.
“We opted for a rustic, country theme with a focus on elements that could be home-grown and homemade.”
Friends designed the couple’s stationery and the groom, the carpenter behind Wood by Lingfield, built all of the wooden tables from scratch. “We didn’t want to use any white linen on the tables so instead we applied a wash of grey paint to them.” Old wooden ladders and a rustic wooden bar added to the theme, enhanced by plenty of flowers and serviettes tied with twine.
A friend of the bride created the statement lighting of suspended bulbs, while the groom’s mother made cushions to keep guests comfortable on the wooden chairs. “We also had blankets for our older guests, wine buckets and jars of Haribo.”
“Close family friends very thoughtfully gifted me my bouquet, which featured beautiful roses.”
“Our florist, Sweet William Florists, also filled jam jars that we had decorated with flowers in white and green tones. I had no idea what flowers I wanted at all, so our florist was a fantastic help. I met her one evening with a bottle of Champagne to talk through lots of options. The green accents added just the right vibrancy to our white and grey colour scheme.”
The couple’s wedding cake was created by Jayne Timmins and decorated with sugar roses, lace to match the bride’s dress and grey ribbon. “The rose decorations were simply stunning!”
Kicking off the evening party was Tim Hain and Company, playing reggae and blues music as well as DJing. “They got the dancing started and ensured our party continued all night.”
“Instead of a guest book, we had a table with our wedding logo for guests to sign – it’s now our dining table!”
After the wedding, Amy and Edward jetted off to Kaš in Turkey, where a luxurious boutique hotel awaited them. “We had a private deck that stretched straight into the sea from our room! A highlight of the honeymoon was also the boat tour, which we shared with a few other couples. The captain caught fish that morning, which were cooked fresh for lunch, and we anchored in some stunning bays that you can’t reach from land, swimming in the most beautiful of places.
Taking our time to enjoy the planning and design everything ourselves meant that the finer details of our wedding were exactly what we wanted. We wouldn’t have had the same flexibility to do so if we’d chosen a regular venue.
When the big day dawns, slow down and don’t let yourself stress about anything. The ceremony will be over in the blink of an eye. It’s the most special and beautiful experience to actually get married to each other.”
CEREMONY St Michael the Archangel Church, Smarden
RECEPTION VENUE Marquee at the couple’s home
DRESS Justin Alexander at Go Bridal, Tunbridge Wells
BRIDESMAID DRESSES twobirds Bridesmaid
GROOM Ted Baker
MAKEUP Make up by Katy Mason
CATERING Simon W Desmond Catering
FURNITURE Wood by Lingfield
FLOWERS Sweet William Florists
CAKE Jayne Timmins
ENTERTAINMENT Tim Hain and Company