Dec and I have been together for over 14 years, having met in a grungy rock bar in Winchester, Hampshire, during my first year of university. No grand proposal story here – we made the decision together to tie the knot. It just felt right after all these years. My engagement ring holds a special legacy; it’s a beautiful clustered diamond ring that belonged to my Nan. My Grandad gifted it to her on one of their first dates to the coast.
After dreaming of an Italian wedding, we explored various venues in Italy. Surprisingly, we ended up choosing the enchanting South Downs in Hampshire for a marquee celebration. Opting for this location granted us a hands-on approach to the planning process, allowing me to curate a team of suppliers I knew and trusted.
As well as celebrating our day, it was an opportunity for a beautiful collaboration between bride and brand. Cue the presence of The Grande and Mid Olive Trees.
Upon arrival at the reception we were greeted with a long hessian runway, the start of which was framed by incredibly realistic Mid and Potted Olives. The runway itself was intermittently flanked by Mid Olive Trees until the final two from which hung handwritten tags with each guest’s name and table number inscribed. The interactive element of finding one’s table was a huge success amongst guests and added to the special touches that were such a big part of this intimate wedding.
Once within Sail & Peg’s luxury sailcloth tent, The Grande Olive tree took centre stage. Adorned with twinkling fairy lights, the magnificent tree stood exactly where it stands best, slap bang in the middle of the circular bar.
Our wedding day unfolded as a whimsical and romantic affair, intertwined with elements of luxury and drama. The dress, evoking the spirit of Jane Austen and Marie Antoinette, set the tone for the celebration. We adorned the venue with local wildflowers and heritage stems, creating a wildly abundant and rich atmosphere. The touch of luxury and drama was masterfully woven in through oversized Champagne bottles and lavish styling elements, making our day truly unforgettable.
Sassi Holford and Twilight Trees, a collaboration built over several years, saw a delightful twist when I went wedding dress shopping. In a stroke of serendipity, the dress that stole my heart happened to be one of Sassi’s designs. This connection led to another creative collaboration, this time designing the dress of my dreams. The essence of the dress was all about celebrating femininity—embracing the female form in the most flattering way. Cleverly constructed corsetry added a touch of fun through intricate detailing, resulting in a dress that truly embodied elegance and joy.
Originally I wasn’t planning on having an evening dress. However, I happened to be scrolling through Instagram one evening and spotted The Winona Mini paired with The Bowie Bow by Prea James from the Fall Bride and immediately decided that I needed to slip into something a little more fun for the evening.
During the day, I opted for a gorgeous pair of satin mid heels with oversized bows from Mango.
And for the evening, I wanted something a bit more glitzy and fun so chose a real showstopper pair with glitter straps and glitter ball heels from Cult Guia.
Earrings – Completed Works
Bracelet – My Nans ( Something borrowed)
They both wore dresses from Free People.
I didn’t want to have traditional satin style bridesmaid dresses. I wanted something that my two bridesmaids felt comfortable in that were light and they would wear again.
They were from Free People in a gorgeous cactus green which tied in perfectly with the overall wedding theme.
Bride and Groom – Vintage Porsche
Guests – Tractor and trailer
Once we had finished at church, guests walked down the hill to be greeted by a tractor and trailer with a glass of fizz in hand. All of our guests were loaded in and transported a mile down the road to the champagne reception.
Our florals acted to soften the edges and remind guests that we were in fact basking in the sunshine of the great British countryside. A mix of cornflowers, peonies and other british beauties lined the trestle tables placed in vintage brassware, mixed in with LED candles.
I am a big fan of bows and this look was continued from elements of my outfit to the tablescape. Injecting the colour green to the tables.
All guests had personalised embroidered linen napkins for name placements which were also used as wedding favours.
Food & Drink
The food and drink was high on the list of importance for the wedding as myself and Dec are big foodies.
Doggart & Squash: As soon as we secured our date, I knew straight away the caterer that I wanted to work with and thought their signature style tied in perfectly with the day. The food was expectational. We had torched mackerel for starters on a bed of grapefruit and fennel, crispy pork belly for main and an Italian family style sharing pavlova with sparklers for dessert!
If you are looking for cocktails out of this world then Drunken Jockeys are your guys! Having worked with them on several events, and sampling many of their amazing creations we knew that they would be perfect. We had a tasting evening with Zack and decided on a Negroni Sour, Spicy Orange Margarita and a Rhubarb Collins. This was the perfect refreshment for what was a hot day.
After meeting our DJ, Hamish in our local craft and taco bar, we knew he would get everyone up on the dance floor with his eclectic record collection. As guests arrived for the champagne reception from church, he was spinning vinyl outside on Twilight Trees oak panelled wooden circular bar under a giant tree. As the sun started to set and guests sat down for dinner, he moved inside the marquee and set up for the evening. Drunken Jockey’s brand new bespoke bar acted as the DJ deck for the night and a perfect pair of LED Lollipop Cherry Trees flanked the DJ booth. As the light fell, Twilight took over in more ways than one and invited guests to dance the night away.
Our aisle song was an orchestrated version of “Video Games”by Lana Del Ray.
Beauty Regime & Wellness
I generally try to look after my skin but I did introduce Guasha into my daily routine and used my ice roller religiously.
My hero products were Elemis cleansing balm AM & PM and Drunk Elephant facial oil.
Favourite wedding gifts
We used The Wedding Present Company and our favourite gifts were – hand cut star crystal Coupe’s from The Vintage List, A House Party In Tuscany recipe book and Dualit Toaster.
To continue our wedding theme and one of mine and Dec’s favourite places, we decided to do a 2 week long road trip around Tuscany, drinking lots of chianti and eating lots of truffles.
- I’m a huge fan of the tiny little details – We had linen napkins with guest names embroidered on them which worked as seating placement and wedding favours! So many of our guests commented on the details and made lasting impressions. We got married in a tiny church so it was super romantic and intimate so I wanted to make sure the church smelt divine with our favourite scent – BASILICUM from Zara.
- Make sure the day reflects you and your style.
- Enjoy it! It really is the most amazing day.
Location – Winchester, Hampshire – Church then private home.
Trees and decor: @twilighttree
Photography and video: @kenekt_studio
Day dress: @sassiholford
Wedding gifting: @weddingpresentco
Bridal jewellery: Completed Works
Rings: Monica Vinader
Fragrance: Miller Harris
Bridal hair bow: Free People
Bridesmaid dresses: Free People
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