We're starting the week off with a beautifully romantic wedding day, captured by some of our favourite photographers.
What a treat! (Seriously, we catch ourselves beaming every time we clap eyes on this one!)
Katie and Billy are a gorgeous, stylish and loved-up pair who created their best day ever with DIY details, personal touches and chic ideas.
We didn’t want or have a theme for our wedding, we just wanted our day to reflect us and to be a huge celebration of our love shared with all of our favourite people.
From the outset, we created and styled every detail together incorporating colours, fabrics, accessories and elements of fashion and interior design that we love to make it truly personal.
The end result was all that we dreamed of and much, MUCH more, it was a magical day!
The ceremony was the most important part of the day to us; we wanted it to make it very personal and we spent a lot of time choosing music and readings that meant something to us.
Billy and I also wrote some personal promises to each other for our vows.
The whole ceremony was so emotional and completely heart-felt; I can honestly say it was the best moment of my life when we were announced as husband and wife!
Pen and Cam’s beautiful photography stole my heart when googling something wedding related one day.
I knew I had to show Billy and we had to meet them when I became overwhelmed with emotion and full of tears scrolling through the images of two perfect strangers that I knew nothing about; the style in which they captured every detail and the emotion of the newlyweds and their guests was mesmerising.
Our decision was instantly confirmed when we first met them over coffee as Pen and Cam are the warmest, charming and most delightful pair and we knew we would love spending time with them.
We are so thrilled and utterly grateful for the stunning memories of our day that they have created for us; their attention to detail and use of light is heavenly!
We absolutely knew they would be amazing but our images are above and beyond anything we ever imagined and completely bring the day back to life, along with every detail and emotion; we will treasure them FOREVER.
We have received so many compliments from our families and friends; it truly was a pleasure to share our day with them.
Ultimately I wanted to feel like me on my wedding day and I knew that the structured, formal and polished bridal look wasn’t me from the beginning.
I adore lace and absolutely knew that I would wear lace on my wedding day. I also adore tulle; it so delicate and wispy and I LOVE the way it falls, it is just so pretty!
From the first time we arrived at Hampton Court House, I had visions of myself swishing through the rooms and its beautiful grounds in a soft ethereal-style gown complete with floral crown and as soon as I stepped into my dress, I just knew I had found the one I wanted to get married in!
It was soft and romantic and had the most beautiful and delicate embroidery across the neckline and waist to compliment the lace and tulle – a lovely lady described it as straight from the pages of a Midsummer Night’s Dream; it’s like it was made for me!
It was completely overwhelming as I could suddenly picture the whole day coming to life around me and most importantly to me, I knew Billy would love it too.
The very talented seamstress at Surrey Brides made me a beautiful sheer capped sleeve cover up to wear during the ceremony using the same tulle and lace as in the dress, it was based on a design I found and adapted from Pinterest.
For the evening, I removed the cover up and wore a stunning triple pearl drop necklace by Kate Spade NY that my lovely new husband tracked down from New York and gave to me before the wedding.
Billy is known amongst our families and friends as being super stylish and quite particular when it comes to fashion. He was never going to be a top hat and tails kind of boy and knew he wanted something slim fit, made to measure and something that felt like him.
Billy was adamant that if he couldn’t see my dress before the day, then I couldn’t see his outfit either; to some of my friend’s dismay, I was quite excited by this and knew that I would love whatever he chose.
On the day, (as I fully expected and knew he would), Billy looked so handsome and his usual stylish self; he wore made to measure Tiger of Sweden with a tweed-style navy Tiger of Sweden jacket teamed with tan brogues by Bertie and knitted bow tie by Ben Sherman.
He received SO many compliments and has continued to receive them since as our photos have made their way around our friends and families!
We wanted a preppy style for our groomsmen; as if they had just stepped off the pages of a Ralph Lauren editorial, to tie in with the country house feel of HCH and our overall style for the day.
We knew we wanted them to wear navy slim fit suits and the burgundy/navy mini check shirt we found in TM Lewin, teamed with the knitted navy bow ties finished off the look perfectly; they looked extremely dapper.
Billy’s nephew and mini-usher, Mitchell looked incredibly smart in his mini version (he was adamant he wanted to match!).
My lovely Maid of Honour, Debbie wore a nude pink pleated midi dress by Oasis; we both agreed on searching for a dress that wasn’t typically bridesmaid-like as I wanted Debbie to feel comfortable and to have a dress she could wear again. She looked just lovely!
The Decor & Details
From the moment Billy proposed, we knew we would get married in Surrey, where I grew up and where we love to spend so much of our time together.
Hampton Court House is a stunning 18th Century building on the edge of Bushy Park and just down the road from my parents’ house; we fell in love with it as soon as we walked down the gravel driveway and arrived at the front gates.
We didn’t want to add any décor, just flowers (and lots of them!) as the house and its grounds have so much to take in and enjoy. Each room of the house is so ornate and still looks and feels exactly how you would have imagined it did when it was built all those years ago; although very grand, each room is very inviting and cosy with a shabby chic finish where it has aged over time, it suits our tastes perfectly.
So much beautiful sunlight pours in through the windows at HCH and with stunning views of Bushy Park; we really wanted everything that we added inside to compliment the surroundings. With that in mind, Billy sourced chunky tree slices to use as centrepieces on each table and for our cake stand; Steph at Fairy Nuff Flowers displayed the beautiful flowers in her amazing collection of vintage jars and bottles.
Billy and Steph also worked together using crates, hessian and a stunning floral display to create a focal point in the conservatory where our guests found their place before dinner and collected their favours, it completely took my breath away!
Billy and I wanted to design and create as much of the detail as possible ourselves to truly reflect us and our style. We designed and printed all of our wedding stationary.
We created our table plan using a distressed shutter mirror from our home; we made luggage tags from recycled Kraft paper and jute twine to display our guests’ names and Steph added some beautiful peach mini spray roses and ivy to the shutters to add to the whimsical feel.
We used photo frames from our home and sourced iron/brass door numbers and ditsy floral paper to create our table numbers. We sourced a photograph of each of our guests and had them printed onto a Polaroid for their place setting (these were a huge hit and started up some very interesting conversations!).
We sourced a selection of mismatched fabrics and I cut and handmade napkins for each guest to add some colour to the tables and Billy designed and framed a canvas incorporating a silhouette of the house which was displayed to welcome our guests on arrival, which he also had printed onto tea towels that our guests could take away as favours.
A special mention also has to go to my very talented Dad who spent hours cleaning and re-distressing some wood from my parent’s garden to make us the most beautiful wedding sign.
The beautiful floral décor bought the venue to life on our wedding day; it completely took our breath away!
We really wanted an unstructured, whimsical look and feel featuring romantic tones of peach and blush (David Austen roses and hydrangea were a must!) and lots of foliage to compliment the ornate décor at the venue.
Steph at Fairy Nuff Flowers was recommended to us by Dee, the House Manager at HCH and she completely surpassed all of our expectations and blew us away with her stunning creations. Each table, fireplace, staircase, and corridor in the house was full of the most delicate blooms and my floral crown and bouquet were better than I ever imagined.
My bouquet featured David Austen roses, peonies, bombastic spray roses and lots and lots of jasmine, it smelt divine! Steph also added trailing lace ribbon and sequins to add to the bohemian look.
We worked with the lovely Emma at Acclaim Catering to create afternoon tea style canapés of finger sandwiches, smoked salmon blinis and scones with clotted cream and jam; the canapés were served during the drinks reception along with Prosecco, bottles of beer and jars of Pimms & lemonade.
For our wedding breakfast, we had a pea and mint soup with lemon gnocchi to start, gastro-style steak and ale pie with mashed potatoes and Spring vegetables for the main course (Billy’s favourite!) and a trio of mini desserts.
For our cake, we had one layer of Victoria sponge and one layer of carrot cake (also Billy’s favourite!) it was delicious!
Music is a huge part of our lives, we LOVE it and knew it would play a big part in our wedding day.
There is a beautiful baby grand piano in the ceremony room at HCH and we knew straight away that we wanted to utilise it during our ceremony.
My bridal party and I walked down the aisle to Kissing You by Des’ree, it was so emotional. The pianist also played John Legend as we signed the register and Kings of Leon as we departed as husband and wife.
We booked our amazing band, Freddie and the Freeloaders before we had even set the date or booked the venue. We stumbled across them on a night out in Shoreditch and knew instantly they were for us as we didn’t sit down once all night.
They play a mixture of vintage soul, jazz and some modern classics in their own style and they have brass instruments (which we just love!), they are SO talented and we can’t recommend them highly enough!
Advice For Other Couples
Our advice follows that which was passed onto us so many times in the planning stages; it is true what they say!
Take time to take everything in and appreciate what is going on around you and spend as much time as possible together, you will be so pleased you did when you look back and it is YOUR day after all.
It is impossible to choose one favourite moment, the whole day was magical and THE best day of our lives. We smiled, grinned, laughed and cried with utter joy throughout the day and made sure we spent as much time as possible together, taking it all in and thoroughly enjoying the elation and emotion of our families and friends, it was completely overwhelming.
To top it all off, we were blessed with the most beautiful sunset during which we escaped into Bushy Park for some final portraits with Pen and Cam.
We danced amongst the ferns as we could hear the sounds of our band echoing from the conservatory playing one of our favourite John legend tracks, there wasn’t another soul in sight and it was almost as if we had the whole of Bushy Park to ourselves.
It is impossible to describe how happy and present I felt in that moment, I will carry that moment with me forever.
Isn't it heavenly? What a perfect day for such a pretty pair!
Now for even more gorgeousness from this pair, watch this sweet wedding film by Story Catchers…
Thanks so much to McKinley Rodgers Photography and of course, the lovely Katie and Billy, for sharing their romantic country house wedding with us.
Head to our Real Wedding homepage for more gorgeous real life big day inspiration.