As soon as Alex and Lloyd sat down at their reception, they knew all the hard work had been worth it. “Looking around the room, seeing everyone laughing and enjoying the day, was fantastic,” she says. Creating their look – a blend of rustic chic and vintage glamour – in just seven months certainly took incredible attention to detail.
This detail-oriented approach began with the search for the wedding dress, with Alex trying on over 20 dresses before she found ‘the one’. “It was called Venus by Ellis Bridal and I bought it from Serenity Bridal, in Colchester,” says Alex. “The moment I put this one on I knew it was for me! I had it tailored within an inch of its life, as good tailoring is so important to the finished look.”
Alex chose a romantic bouquet of white hydrangeas dotted with smaller spray roses and larger David Austin memory lane roses to finish the look.
The couple chose Dove Barn as the backdrop to their personality-filled big day. “Once we had agreed we would get married in the UK we opted for Essex/Suffolk border as Lloyd is from Suffolk and I am from Essex,” says Alex. “We wanted our day to be completely unique and once we visited Dove Barn we knew it was just perfect for that.”
Supported by planner Jayson at The Wedding Workshop, Alex sourced stunning props, such as flowing white draping for the beams of their barn venue and a bespoke aisle runner embroidered with the couple’s initials.
“We wanted to include our grandparents in our wedding day so we displayed two lovely photographs of them so they were there with us every step of the way.”
When it came to the flowers Alex put the effort in to make sure her vision came to life. “I did lots of research and Clare at The Traditional Vintage Flower Company and I had many consultations to get it right! I found choosing flowers the hardest part of planning as there was so much choice, but the final result was worth all the effort.”
Alex chose her two sisters as her bridesmaids and dressed them in pretty pink fitted dresses to complement both her dress and the colour palette of the day.
“Lloyd loves his clothes and decided he would like a three-piece suit made,” says Alex. “Once he had decided on the style and colour of the suit, the tailor then selected options for the best man and father of the bride. They opted for a dark brown shoe and rose pink tie and pocket square, which looked lovely against the bridesmaids’ dresses.”
When it came to playful, personal touches, the couple’s creativity knew no bounds. Alex used dainty personalised stickers to decorate everything from candles to confetti cones, as well as designing a photo tree to celebrate their love story.
The tables were styled to suit the cream tea served for the wedding breakfast, with floral china, delicate lace tablecloths and artfully arranged vintage books tied with ribbon. Alex deliberately chose flowers that were vibrant in hue but subtle in size: “We wanted to create a feeling of intimacy, so we avoided displays that would stop people being able to chat to one another across the tables,” she says. As a nod to the bride’s fondness for clever quotes, the favours were custom-made fortune cookies.
The wedding cake was a real labour of love, “It was a four stone, three foot masterpiece made by Cakes by Bettina. We had five tiers in the colour scheme of the day and it was decorated with two doves as a nod to the name of the barn and personalised with our initials,” says Alex.
“The table plan was inspired by our florist, who had a fantastic shabby chic step ladder. We dotted this with candles, flowers, little jars, photo frames and quotes and used ribbon to secure the table numbers and guests’ names.”
The couple created a striking photo tree for the evening reception.
In the evening, guests received fancy dress masks of the newlyweds’ faces – just the thing to get the party mood going. And in keeping with their fun-loving personalities, Alex and Lloyd swapped the traditional evening buffet for a pizza delivery. “One of the biggest compliments we had was that the wedding was so reflective of us,” says Alex. “People felt very much part of our relationship and our special day.”
“We put little quiz boxes on each table,” says Alex. “They went down really well and we heard our guests playing along, keeping score. Instead of a guest book we placed postcards at each setting and asked guests for words of wisdom for married life. We had an eclectic mix of feedback and loved reading these before we went on honeymoon!”
Once the sun had set the couple and their guests danced the night away to a four-piece band. For their first dance Alex and Lloyd chose Wonder of You by Elvis. “We love the song, it means a lot to us,” says Alex. “Our first dance was very emotional and stands out in our memory of the day. It was so special.”
The Dream Team
Photography: Rebecca Wedding Photography
Styling/Props Hire: The Wedding Workshop
Flowers: The Traditional Vintage Flower Company
Venue: Dove Barn
Catering: Sweet Success Catering
Band: JukeBox Fury
Wedding dress: Serenity Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: The wedding shop
Suits: The Groom’s Room @ Abigail’s Collection
Aisle runner: Confetti