The beginning of our Hampshire wedding? We actually met on Bumble! Simon was the first and last person I messaged and went on a date with from the app, so a pretty good success rate! 4 and a half years later, he proposed in Corfu, where my family and I go every summer – it’s my favourite place in the world. He drove us down to the beach and proposed with the ring of my dreams by Emma Clarkson Webb. We then drove back up to the villa to surprise my family, popped some champagne, and then all went for dinner at our favourite restaurant, Taverna Agni.
I always knew I wanted to get married in the Hampshire countryside, which is where I grew up. After a few weeks of looking for our Hampshire wedding venue, I stumbled upon Houghton Lodge and instantly fell in love. It’s a beautiful family home with a sensational walled garden overflowing with flowers and apple and pear trees, and a long sweeping lawn down to the River Test. Our Hampshire wedding took place in the tiny, fairytale-like village church, and then had drinks and canapés in the walled garden, followed by dinner and dancing in a marquee down by the river. The night before we had drinks on the terrace at The Grosvenor in Stockbridge with our bridal party, and Simon had his usher’s lunch at The Boot in Houghton. I got ready with my mum and bridesmaids at the lovely Apple Rooms which are at Houghton Lodge.
My dress was by Justin Alexander, which I found at a sweet little shop in Bayswater called Wedding Atelier. I’d always heard people say you end up choosing a dress that’s nothing like what you’d imagined wearing, but I found the opposite! Mine was exactly what I’ve always wanted – romantic and ethereal with lots of tulle, rather than a traditional satin style. I changed the original sleeves and had some beautiful, tulle puff sleeves made, which I think totally transformed the whole look. I loved it so much and felt like a princess!
Jewellery & Accessories
I wanted my bridesmaids to really love and feel great in what they wore on the day, so I gave them a colour palette to stick to based on the wedding flowers, and they chose their own dresses, which all looked perfect together. I gave them all little gold disc bracelets that had their birth flowers and the birth flower for June (the month we got married in) engraved on them. The ushers wore their own morning suits and looked very smart!
Formal dining isn’t our thing, so I chose long rustic tables and sage green linen runners to go down the middle. I wanted the marquee to have the feel of being in a country meadow, so 3 of 4 of the marquee sides were open to reveal the woodland, lawns and river outside, and our amazing florists, Hortus Poeticus, brought in trees and decorated the tables with hundreds of mismatched bud vases filled with wild meadow flowers, including sweet peas and Cosmos grown by my mum. So dreamy. My sister hand-wrote everyone’s place cards, I designed the table name cards and menus, and we placed a sprig of rosemary on each place setting, also grown by my Mum.
Food & Drink
We had the best caterers called Bubble & Squeak. The tasting we had at their cottage in January was amazing fun, and we instantly clicked with them on both a personal and foody level! Their canapes were to die for – the Mushroom Tumbleweed was a firm favourite – and we then had sharing starters of locally cured charcuterie, sourdough, and burrata with broad beans, mint, basil and truffled croutons. For the main course we had Rump of Lamb with Salsa Verde, or a Tomato & Sweet Red Onion Tart Tatin for veggies. We had a cheese cake by West Country Cheese Co, and brought out bacon sarnies towards the end of the night. We began with Champagne and cold beers, followed by rosé and red over dinner. Afterwards, we had a Limoncello, Gin & Thyme Fizz, and a delicious Spicy Cucumber Margarita whose recipe we got from our favourite Mexican restaurant, 1910.
We had the most beautiful wedding car, which was a cream Classic Daimler 250 V8 Convertible, which took my dad and I to the church, and Simon and I back to Houghton Lodge after the service – very slowly to save my hair!
I walked into the church to A Gaelic Blessing by John Rutter, which is just the most heavenly song, and also a nod to my late grandmother who was Irish. Whilst we signed the register, the orchestral version of Moon River by Henry Mancini and then George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord played. We had two brilliant guitar players from the band playing in the walled garden during drinks, and we walked into the marquee to Bourgie Bourgie by Gladys Knight & the Pips – it was one of the best moments of the day! Our first dance was Can’t Take My Eyes of You by Frankie Valli, and then we had an incredible band called Sebb Masters play for the rest of the night, who my younger brother actually sings for. I’m their number one fan so it was so special to have them there. My brother got up and sang a few songs with them too, which was a huge crowd-pleaser!
Beauty & Wellness
My hair was done by Laurie Neville and my make up was done by Jules Haskett, who’s an amazing Charlotte Tilbury make-up artist. They were both perfection! I didn’t have any treatments but was religious about my skincare in the months running up to the Hampshire wedding.
Favourite Wedding Gifts
We had a gift list with the Wedding Shop, and are so excited about receiving so many gorgeous things, so generously given.
We went to Crete for a week after the wedding and stayed at Numo Lepetra, which was bliss and perfect for some much-needed R&R. We’re hoping to go on a bigger honeymoon in the winter, we’ve talked about South Africa or the Caribbean but haven’t settled on it yet!
Bride / Groom: Emily Bryant @emilykbryant & Simon Cook
Venue: Houghton Lodge Gardens @houghton_lodge_gardens
Caterer: Bubble & Squeak @bubbleandsqueakfoodwiltshire
Florist: Hortus Poeticus @hortuspoeticus
Stationery: Kilkie Sands @kilkiesands
Wedding rings: Emma Clarkson Webb @emmaclarksonwebb
Makeup: Jules Haskett @make.up.by.jules
Hair: Laurie Neville @laurienevillehair
Gift list: The Wedding Shop @theweddingshopuk
Wedding Coordinator: Rachael Evans @rachaelevans – the best decision I made was having Rachael there the afternoon before and on the day of the Hampshire wedding to coordinate everything, I genuinely don’t know what I’d have done without her!
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