Emily & Aaron
A rustic white wedding packed full of homemade details
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Katherine Ashdown, Katherine Ashdown Photography, katherineashdown.co.uk
Cloud nine. It’s how you feel when you first get engaged and it’s also where Emily and Aaron happened to be when the all-important question was asked!
“We were admiring the view from The Shard when it happened,” Emily explains. “I turned around to get a selfie but couldn’t get the right view of Big Ben. Aaron suggested I ‘try down here’. Turning back, I saw Aaron on one knee and he asked me to marry him – it was the easiest ‘yes’ I have ever said!”
In time-old fashion, while Emily set out with a strapless fishtail dress in mind, it was an A-line design with straps that stole her heart.
“My dress was the first I tried on at Brides Visited, Ashtead, with a train that had perfect pearl detailing and an embellished belt that showed off my waist beautifully. I knew before the assistant had even finished doing the dress up that it was the one.”
The bride accessorised with her mother’s pearl earrings, ivory kitten heels from Rainbow Club and a hair comb and veil from Brides Visited. The team at Dolly Goes Dancing took care of the bride’s hair and makeup.
Aaron looked dapper in a grey 1851 lounge suit, sourced from Moss Bros, teamed with a classic ivory waistcoat and cravat and tan shoes.
“Seeing him look so handsome gave me the very same butterflies as the ones I had the day we got engaged. He scrubs up well!”
The groom’s sisters joined Emily as bridesmaids, alongside her maid of honour, Riva, and flower girl, Karis. “I have always wanted my best girls to wear ivory, like me, and I was set on a less traditional design, given my background working in fashion. We opted for a full-length dress with high-low hem detail – an Alfred Sung design – also purchased from Brides Visited.”
A long-standing connection to the bride’s childhood church meant they could marry there, despite no longer living in the parish. “It was really important to me to have our traditional church wedding there, so we were very lucky!” The bride’s brother read Chapter two, verses 10 to 13 and Chapter eight, verses six and seven from the Song of Solomon during the ceremony.
Afterwards, the couple invited their guests to dine on smooth chicken liver parfait with red onion chutney and rye bread to start, followed by a Champagne sorbet palate cleanser, before the slow roasted blade of beef main course arrived. Dessert offered guests the chance to indulge in a vanilla cheesecake with a tropical twist, being served with mango and papaya salsa.
The wedding represented more than a few hours of crafting from the bride, who made everything from her invitations to the chalkboard signs herself.
“I designed and made personalised advice cards to slip into the guestbook, painted wooden letters and made the seating plan myself.” Even the log slice centrepieces came from a fallen tree in the bride’s parent’s garden. The couple’s florist, Jeanette Scott of Love & Light, supplied the hessian table runners, tea lights and vintage vases to complete the rustic look.
“I knew I wanted pretty flowers in a palette of ivory tones, complemented by green foliage and fastened with twine or ribbon. We chose white peonies, ivory roses, sweetpeas, freesias, lisianthus and white lilacs, finished with foliage.”
“I also attached tiny framed photos of my grandparents to my bouquet who couldn’t be with us.”
Having met at school, it only made sense that a school friend should make their wedding cake. “Michelle from Shell’s Cake Creations baked our three-tier naked cake, featuring chocolate, lemon and Victoria sponge layers. Our florist then decorated the cake on the day with flowers and we added a personalised wooden cake topper.” Miniature versions of the cake, presented in jars, served as homemade wedding favours.
Magician Robert Fox had guests marvelling as they arrived at the reception, and his magic tricks remained the hot topic for weeks afterwards, too. DJ Steve Boys and a photobooth from Elite Booths then kept everyone entertained long into the night. “Aaron’s cousin has an amazing voice, so we were over the moon when he said he would sing our first dance for us. He performed an acoustic version of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are’. It was such a privilege to have him do it.”
“Our honeymoon wedding gifts helped us to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences!”
Newly married, Emily and Aaron headed to Mexico for 10 days on honeymoon. “We visited Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, snorkelled in a barrier reef, swam with whale sharks and explored another Mayan civilisation archaeological site – Xcaret.
Holding hands with my father from the moment we got in the car to when we reached the church was a really special time for us. When I saw Aaron at the altar, it was as if we were the only two people in the room.”
CHURCH St Mary’s the Virgin, Cuddington
RECEPTION VENUE Gorse Hill, Woking
DRESS Brides Visited, Ashtead
BRIDESMAID DRESSES Alfred Sung at Brides Visited
GROOM Moss Bros
ACCESSORIES Rainbow Club and Brides Visited
HAIR AND MAKEUP Dolly Goes Dancing
FLOWERS Jeanette Scott, Love & Light
CAKE Shell’s Cake Creations
ENTERTAINMENT Robert Fox, Steve Boys, Elite Booth
HONEYMOON Rui Palace Mexico, booked with Thomson