Grace & James
A vintage outdoor wedding on one of the hottest days of the year!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Helen Elliott Photography,
Four years after he first swept his bride away there, James proposed to Grace on holiday in Turkey. “We were in our favourite place with my parents, brother and his girlfriend too. One night, James suggested we go out for dinner on our own, where we had a private table cut into the rocks on the water’s edge. Champagne and flowers were waiting for us on the table and James got down on one knee before dinner had even been ordered!”
It was a David Tutera for Mon Cheri dress that stole Grace’s heart for the second time. “The strapless design had a trumpet skirt, super long train and lots of lace. It came with detachable capped sleeves but I decided to keep it strapless, adding a belt for sparkle.”
“I’d only tried on six or seven dresses at Abigail’s Collection, where I found the dress, and it was my first time dress shopping!”
The bride accessorised with a cathedral-length veil, edged with lace, from the same boutique. She wore Badgley Mischka shoes, a surprise from her groom, and a simple silver wishbone bracelet, a gift from her bridesmaid purchased from White Shine Jewelry, Colchester. “James also surprised me on our wedding morning with beautiful diamond earrings from Fraser Hart.”
Abigail’s Collection also supplied the groomswear.
“James and his groomsmen wore blue three-piece suits, with James adding a grey Tweed waistcoat to stand out.”
Sage green ties, to match the bridesmaids, and wooden cufflinks completed their looks. “James was so emotional – he won’t admit it, but there was definitely a tear or two as I walked down the aisle!”
Four bridesmaids attended Grace, wearing full-length, sage chiffon dresses, purchased at The Wedding Shop in Colchester. “I chose them because I loved the colour and all the girls looked gorgeous in them.”
Beauty by Zoe took care of the bridal party’s makeup, with Vanessa’s Hair styling their locks. “Zoe used mainly MAC products and Eldora false eyelashes.”
“Our outdoor wedding was on one of the hottest days of the year and our makeup still lasted all day.”
The couple married in a civil ceremony at Houchins Farm. “We were so lucky to have such beautiful weather and the ceremony was really emotional. Two close friends gave readings for us, with one reading ‘On Your Wedding Day’ and the other writing a poem just for us – there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen!”
“Our mums were our witnesses. We loved that this gave them a special role in the ceremony proceedings too.”
Fox, Wiggle and Sass played ambient music during the Champagne and canapés drinks reception. After a three-course wedding breakfast, which featured chicken stuffed with mushrooms and wrapped in Proscuitto, dauphinoise potatoes and not one but three desserts, the speeches blew the bride away.
“My father’s speech was moving and funny and summed up perfectly how important family is to us. James’s was amazing – he surprised me with his confidence and I think he actually enjoyed it!” And the best men? “Paul and Matt were a brilliant and hilarious double act – they even tricked the room into giving them a standing ovation at one point!”
Grace and James brought their glamorously vintage theme to life with the help of wedding stylist Carol, from Wedding & Events Angel. “Carol provided us with silver candelabra centrepieces, decorated with baby’s breath, vintage frame table numbers, a chest of drawers to be the stage for our four-tier cake, a vintage ladder table plan and even a sweets cart!
Dreamwave Events, who doubled up as our DJs, also supplied large ‘LOVE’ letters for the dance floor, festoon lighting to lead the way to where we had our evening food outdoors and Kilner jars filled with fairy lights to hang from the barn’s ceiling!”
Miss Molly Moo, the vintage ice cream van, also enhanced the couple’s theme while ensuring that sweet-toothed guests were happy.
The vintage theme extended to the flowers, which featured a pink, peach and sage colour palette. “We used roses, hydrangeas and baby’s breath for the bouquets, buttonholes, ceremony and top table displays, all created by Francesca Anne. Wedding & Events Angel also supplied some less formal floral decorations. I had sentimental photographs added to my bouquet, too.”
“We chose ‘Not Even The King’ by Alicia Keys for our first dance.”
“Not many people had heard it before but we liked that. We love the lyrics and sentiment of the song.”
Grace and James jetted off for a twin-centre honeymoon, booked with Kuoni, sightseeing in Dubai for three days before moving on to the Maldives for seven nights of relaxation, snorkelling and sunbathing. “It was like a dream – the perfect way to unwind and start our married life together in paradise.”
VENUE Houchins Farm, Colchester
DRESS David Tutera for Mon Cheri, Abigail’s Collection
BRIDESMAID DRESSES The Wedding Shop, Colchester
GROOM Abigail’s Collection
SHOES Badgley Mischka
HAIR Vanessa’s Hair
MAKEUP Beauty by Zoe
FLOWERS Francesca Anne
ENTERTAINMENT Dreamwave Events, Fox, Wiggle & Sass
STYLING & DÉCOR Wedding & Events Angel