Amy & Mark
Country weddings don’t get more personal than this, featuring 120 lucky horseshoes from their own herd!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BALANCE PHOTOGRAPHY,
Sherwood Forest set the charming scene for this couple’s engagement. Mark had whisked Amy and their dog, Sammy, away to a luxurious log cabin complete with a hot tub to celebrate Amy’s birthday. After lighting the log burner, popping open some Champagne and enjoying the hot tub, this bride had the best birthday surprise of all. “I reached into my dressing gown pocket as I got out of the hot tub and found a Tiffany & Co box inside! I burst into tears as Mark then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – it was the perfect moment and the perfect ring,” Amy gushes.
After scouring Wedding Ideas, websites and Pinterest for years before she was even engaged, Amy had a shortlist of three favoured dresses. “By the time I got to my appointment at Brides Visited in Ashtead, stockists of one of the three, I’d already tried on dozens of dresses, but I just loved the David Tutera for Mon Cheri ‘Lourdes’ gown. I didn’t have a tearful, ‘this is the one’ moment though, but after more appointments I found I compared every dress to ‘Lourdes’, so eventually I returned and ordered it!”
The mocha gown was made from satin overlaid with ivory lace.
The chapel-length train, Queen Anne neckline and capped sleeves evoke classical elegance, while the keyhole back introduces a feminine, modern touch.
“My veil and crystal and pearl hair slide both came from Brides Visited too, and I borrowed my grandmother’s pearls which my mother had worn on her wedding day too.” Sparkly Kurt Geiger Carvella stilettos completed Amy’s aisle style.
A grey tweed three-piece hired from Hugh Harris Formalwear had groom Mark looking aisle-ready. “He looked so smart when I saw him standing at the front of the church. It was amazing to see him smiling back at me!” He accessorised with a navy tie and pocket square teamed with smart brown brogues.
Amy’s three best friends made up her bridal team, alongside her cousin’s daughter who adopted the role of flower girl. “They wore mauve floor-length dresses by True Bridesmaid, purchased from Burr Bridal in Cambridge. I spotted them while trying dresses myself, so
I invited the girls back and was over the moon that they all liked them – we ordered them there and then!
It was really important to me to get married at the church I had grown up with and attended as a schoolgirl. We had a simple religious service, which was amazing, and our florist created two huge floral arrangements for the altar as well as tulle and gypsophila pew ends. I walked down the aisle with my father to Train’s ‘Marry Me’ and we walked out as husband and wife to ‘Best Day of my Life’ by American Authors.”
Sussex breweries, local to where Mark grew up, provided a selection of Bellini’s, Pimm’s and beer kegs to go alongside the canapés served before their traditional sit-down wedding breakfast.
A dessert buffet featuring miniature desserts, pick and mix, a popcorn cart and a chocolate fountain rounded off the meal with a sweet flourish!
In the evening, the couple’s caterers, Crossways Farm Caterers, served up a Mexican feast in a nod to the couple’s honeymoon destination.
Having both grown up in the country, it made perfect sense for Amy and Mark to choose a charming country wedding featuring lots of personal details. “We booked a beautiful horse and carriage from The Ostler to carry us from the church to our barn reception venue, and featured embossed horseshoes on our stationery from Paper Tonic, also using the real things for each place name!”
“My mum and mother-in-law collected the shoes from our horses over several years before all 120 were cleaned and painted by my grandfather – it was a real labour of love!”
Haughley Park Barn already featured charming exposed beams and a double height ceiling, so the couple simply introduced a few final touches. Suspending a fairy light chandelier above the dance floor, covering surfaces in candles and dotting about apple crates enhanced their country theme.
“We also hung dozens of paper lanterns in the second barn and filled old Wellington boots with flowers, foliage and crops from the nearby fields. The English Rose Florist supplied our white candelabra and low dome floral displays for the tables, featuring wild-looking foliage, gypsophila, and romantic trailing ferns and ivy.
Our friend runs Sugar Creations and made our wedding cake. From the front it was a five-tier ivory wedding cake decorated with flowers.
As you turned it around, it revealed Mark and I skiing down a run with our beloved dog Sammy waiting for us at the bottom!
Mark spent six months in Whistler on a ski season shortly after we got together, so it was a lovely, personal touch.”
One of the bride’s oldest friends, Josh Hurrell, played their first dance – Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ – before the seven-piece Beat Connection kept the dance floor full all night – when guests could tear themselves away from the Mini Cooper photobooth, that is!
“Don’t stress about the weather,” Amy advises. “I became obsessed with it so much so that I was devastated when it rained on our wedding day, but when I look back it made no difference at all.”
CEREMONY St John’s Church, Elmswell
RECEPTION VENUE Haughley Park Barn
DRESS David Tutera for Mon Cheri at Brides Visited, Ashtead
BRIDESMAID DRESSES True Bridesmaid at Burr Bridal, Cambridge
GROOM Hugh Harris Formalwear
SHOES Kurt Geiger Carvella
TRANSPORT The Ostler
CATERING Crossways Farm Caterers
INVITATIONS Paper Tonic
FLOWERS The English Rose Florist
CAKE Sugar Creations
ENTERTAINMENT Beat Connection
HONEYMOON Virgin Holidays