Keeley + Stuart
AN OUTDOOR CEREMONY WITH A CHARMING COUNTRY BARN RECEPTION
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN SAKAL, D&A PHOTOGRAPHY
Long famed for romance, Italy lived up to its reputation when Stuart chose Sorrento for the setting of his proposal. “We were on a cruise along the Amal coast, overlooking the bay, when Stuart asked me to marry him. Only my two brothers knew it was going to happen because he’d asked their permission first, so it was a complete surprise. Stuart had the ring made by E.K. Jewellers using a diamond from a necklace that my father gave to my mother before he passed away, it meant the world to me.”
It was in the aptly named Amorae Bridal, Ongar, that Keeley found her dream dress. “It was the first dress I tried, a white lace gown by Ronald Joyce with a high neckline, made from satin with a satin belt. On the wedding morning I felt so excited as I put it on, but also a little nervous – I’m not a lover of attention!” Keeley’s brothers kindly purchased her dress as a wedding present. Manolo Blahnik flat white satin shoes with jewels on the front, a gift from the bride’s mother, were the perfect accompaniment.
“I kept my other accessories simple, with small diamond stud earrings, flowers in my hair and a small pendant photograph of my father and I attached to my bouquet.”
The groom wore a navy Hugo Boss two-piece suit teamed with a white Charles Tyrwhitt shirt and brown double monk strap shoes from Poste. “Stuart stood out from the groomsmen thanks to his pale pink polka dot tie and pocket square, both sourced from Reiss, which contrasted the other pale blue ties and white pocket squares,” Keeley tells us.
“I swapped bridesmaids for pageboys and flower girls. The girls wore pink tutus with white leotards, white socks and kicker boots, while the boys looked dashing in Ralph Lauren shirts, navy chinos and white Converse.” The bride’s lifelong hairdresser was trusted with Keeley’s bridal hair and makeup artist Julia Camilleri perfected a natural look using MAC products.
“Stuart and I tied the knot in a ceremony outside in the Saddlery at Blake Hall. My two brothers walked with me down the aisle. It was so wonderful to have the sun shining and the ceremony outside.” During the dessert course of their wedding breakfast, the couple included a foodie nod to their Italian engagement, offering a trio of tiramisu, limoncello cheesecake and strawberry ice cream. The groom and best man gave light-hearted but touching speeches, with the bride’s eldest brother also raising a toast to their late father.
“Our priority with the reception décor was to do Blake Hall justice, keeping everything pared-back and rustic, rather than imposing a set theme,” explains Keeley.
“We chose laser-cut wooden place names from VM Bespoke, wrapped fairy lights around the beams, and hired over-sized illuminated K&S letters from Vowed and Amazed for the dance floor.”
The couple also sourced wooden crates, printing their initials onto the sides and filling them with flowers for centrepieces, adding a vintage ladder tied with string tags for the table plan. “Our flowers were amazing!” enthuses Keeley. “I have used flowers from Michele at Buds Floral Design for years and she did not disappoint for our wedding. Our blooms included a mixture of classic pink peonies and roses, surrounded by lots of greenery, and no one arrangement or bouquet was the same.”
The couple’s stationery reflected their personalities, as they sent out save the date golf balls in homage to their shared love.
The sporting theme continued on the day, with Altitude Events offering crazy golf during the canapés! Keeley’s cousin and owner of Tilly Jane Cards then created their rustic invitations, which featured brown Kraft card and lace sleeves. Their three-tier red velvet, lemon drizzle and Victoria sponge cake was made by Jo at Stylish Cakes. “I loved the flowers and white icing with lines running around it that changed direction every layer!”
Acoustic singer Tom Ryder played during the drinks reception before handing over to Jamie from Disco Kandi, who played every song from the pre-wedding requests list and even the guests’ on the day choices, too.
Keeley and Stuart turned to Atlantis Travel to help organise their American honeymoon. “We ew to Chicago for three nights, visiting the real Firehouse 51 from the musical, and then went on to San Francisco, driving down the west coast to Pebble Beach Golf Course & Spa for a few nights, too.” A week on Hawaii’s Waikiki beach left the couple feeling completely refreshed, ready to end their honeymoon in style, spending their final three nights living it up in Las Vegas!
“We took a very laid-back approach to planning our wedding,” Keeley explains.
“We chose things we liked and felt that our guests would appreciate and, once we’d made our minds up on different elements, we stopped looking so we wouldn’t be tempted by other options!”
It all came together and we had the perfect wedding for us!”
V E N U E Blake Hall, Essex
D R E S S Ronald Joyce at Amorae Bridal, Ongar
G R O O M Hugo Boss, Charles Tyrwhitt and Reiss
A C C E S S O R I E S Manolo Blahnik
S T A T I O N E R Y Tilly Jane Cards
F L O W E R S Michele at Buds Floral Design
C A K E Jo at Stylish Cakes
E N T E R T A I N M E N T Tom Ryder and Disco Kandi
H O N E Y M O O N Atlantis Travel