Beth and Graham brought the outdoors in with their summer wedding, full of fabulous DIY details including paper flowers, pinwheels and hessian lace jam jars…
Beth and Graham had their first date back in 2009 when Beth was studying at university. “I dragged Graham to London for the day, trying to visit as many galleries as possible for one of my projects,” Beth laughs. “There wasn’t a trace of awkwardness – it was like we’d known each other for years.”
Graham proposed when the couple were in St Lucia on holiday. “We were having a private dinner outside surrounded by palm trees,” says Beth. “Graham had a speech prepared but I saw the ring box in his pocket before he could get the speech out!”
The bride’s outfit
Beth found her perfect dress in Proposals in Chichester. “I always knew I wanted a chiffon gown,” says Beth. She customised her dress by adding lace straps and buttons, and changed the neckline to a sweetheart. “As I have a textiles degree I knew I’d be pushed to find my perfect dress,” says Beth. “Knowing that my dress was 100% unique made it really special to me.” Beth accessorised with sparkly hair clips and sandals from Accessorize and reworked a pretty necklace that her mum had given her for her 16th birthday into a bracelet.
The groom’s outfit
Graham chose a bespoke grey three-piece suit from his brother-in-law’s suit making company, Victor Valentine. “We were given an amazing deal on suits for the whole party, which meant that we could choose details like Graham having different colour buttons and shoes to make him stand out,” says Beth. “He looked gorgeous and I felt very lucky in that moment.”
Beth’s three bridesmaids wore green, tea-length, made to measure dresses. “I asked them to accessorise in any way they wanted to they could express their personalities,” says Beth.
The couple’s civil ceremony at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond included readings by both Beth’s sister and Graham’s sister. “I walked down the aisle with my dad and it was so moving to see Graham tear up and smile,” remembers Beth.
This creative bride made her own flowers with her sister before the wedding. “I ordered white hydrangeas from Wildabout for our centrepieces and bought all the white and green flowers from Waitrose and M&S, so we had a lot of variety,” says Beth.
With a venue in the middle of Richmond Park, this couple decided to bring the outdoors in. “We wanted the room to feel very fresh and summery,” says Beth. “We kept the colours simple – mainly white and green with undertones of silver, brown and cream.” Guests were treated to red onion and pepper goat’s cheese tart with salad and toasted pine nuts, bangers and mash with summer veg, followed by chocolate mousse in edible chocolate cases with toasted almonds and fresh fruit.
“We had bacon and sausage sandwiches in the evening with our cake – just what you need after a few drinks and dancing!” laughs Beth. “We also had a sweet buffet with cupcakes made by Graham’s mum, a gluten-free cake made by my dad and a huge range of sweets and biscuits.” The couple had popcorn buckets for people to grab from and served Pimm’s and chocolate strawberries for cocktail hour.
The couple spent 18 months making their decorations, which included paper flowers made from vintage sheet music, pinwheels for the chair backs, jam jars decorated with lace, ribbons and hessian, and a range of candlesticks, vintage books, teapots and vases. “Everything was a bit different but somehow it all linked together really well through the common themes and colours we used,” says Beth. Guests were entertained by a barn dance and mingled over garden games. “We also gave the kids activity packs and presents to stop them getting bored!” laughs Beth.
Beth and Graham spent ten days relaxing in Mauritius where they enjoyed snorkelling along the different reefs.