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Pretty English country garden wedding

Lucy & Richard Roberts, The Fennes Estate, Bocking

Lucy and Richard – The Proposal

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Photography: Peter Evans at Peter Evans Photography for Barrett and Coe

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Lucy and Richard first met at university in Scarborough. “We met through friends and often used to get rather drunk together on a night out,” says Lucy. “I thought he was cute, but hadn’t given him much thought as a potential boyfriend because he always seemed kind of aloof.

“Then one night, I saw the charming side of him! Neither of us thought it would be anything more than a bit of a fling as there were only a few months left before he graduated and would move back home to Preston. But within months we were talking about marriage and children. We had a long distance relationship for a while until Rich finally took the plunge and moved down to Essex where we got a flat together. We were together almost four years before Rich popped the question,” says Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – The Proposal

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The proposal was just as much of a surprise to Rich as it was to Lucy. “On Valentine’s Day, Rich organised a surprise day out to London. He revealed that he had saved up so that we could go to Tiffany and I could pick out a Valentine’s gift. He did warn me at this stage not to expect a rock! I picked out a beautiful, delicate necklace made up of five little hearts. We had a lovely day together and it was so romantic.

“We walked around Covent Garden hand-in-hand, had a lovely dinner and also went to see a musical. As we climbed into bed that night, I told Rich what a perfect day it had been. Rich then told me had one more present for me. He told me to close my eyes. As I opened my eyes, I saw my beautiful boyfriend grinning at me like an excited child from behind the engagement ring I’d always talked about. As it turned out, when Rich had told me not to expect a rock that day, he actually meant it. He wasn’t planning on proposing to me until our anniversary in March, but he felt the day was so perfect that he decided to ask me then and there,” she added.

Lucy and Richard – The Venue

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“We married at The Fennes Estate in Bocking. This was the first one we went to visit and nothing else quite compared after that,” says Lucy. “We had 100 guests in the day and 50 more in he evening. We were lucky with the weather and had a beautiful ceremony outside like I’ve always dreamed.

“The ceremony welcome drinks and photos were taken outside in the Georgian part of the house. Our theme was English Country Garden. I wanted lots of English flowers and a sort of vintage look with Laura Ashley and Cath Kidston touches. I decided I wanted bunting, but couldn’t find any in the right colour, so I made it,” added Lucy. “We married under a pagoda in the grounds at the Fennes – it was right next to a pond with a beautiful bridge going over it. Rich and I wrote our own vows and I felt so emotional. It felt like we were the only two people in the world while we were standing under a little pagoda of our own.”

Lucy and Richard – The Dress

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Lucy wore a dress by Ian Stuart from the White Boutique in Bishops Stortford. “I absolutely adored it and had kept a picture of it in a box for years to maybe copy the design when I eventually got married,” says Lucy. “I didn’t want a veil or too much in the way of the accessories. I had a pearl cuff bracelet made by Ruby Slipper. It tied in really well with the pearl and bead detailing along the top of my dress. I decided I wanted a hair vine, which I got from Susan York Tiaras.

“My earrings were a nightmare to find, but I eventually found the perfect pair at Camden Market from Clare Mason who makes handmade jewellery. A few days before the wedding, I received a card from Rich’s nana. She had sent a Celtic pot (Rich’s family are Welsh), which had a silver sixpence inside to put in my shoe. I was so thrilled,” added Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – Bride, MoH and Bridesmaids

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“My maid of honour was Hanna and my other adult bridesmaid was my best friend Holly,” says Lucy. “They both wore dresses from Alfred Angelo. They were strapless tea-length dresses in lettuce and ivory coloured silk. They had ivory shoes from Next and matching handbags.

“As thank you gifts, I bought them some pearl earrings and necklaces. They also wore flower hair pins from Ayedo. I had four flower girls who wore dresses from Flower Girl Dress For Less. They were sleeveless, princess dresses with crinolines, which made them puff out beautifully. They came with an ivory and sage sash as well,” added Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – Groom (with best men)

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“Rich wore dark charcoal tails. He had an ivory shirt and an ivory silk waistcoat with gold flecks embroidered in it, and a sage green cravat to match the bridesmaids. His cufflinks had our initials the letters R and L engraved into them,” says Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – Venue, Table Flowers

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“I had a hand-tied bouquet of avalanche roses, freesias, sweet peas, bouvardia, and my favourite – hydrangea,” says Lucy. “All the flowers were in cream and white apart from some green hydrangea, rosemary and eucalyptus. It smelt absolutely divine.

I wanted a lot of flowers at the wedding, but I didn’t want them all to match perfectly, so we had three different types of centrepiece. There were green gingham enamel jugs, cream enamel buckets, and large gold fish bowls.

“All the arrangements had different combinations of the same flowers in my bouquet and the variety looked really beautiful and not too matched up. The adult bridesmaids also wore pearl cuff wrist corsages made up of avalanche roses, small rose buds and freesia,” added Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – The Venue

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Lucy and Rich had a drinks reception after the ceremony, and later everyone moved into the pavilion for the main reception. “We decorated it with colour co-ordinated bunting that I had made with bespoke wooden lettering. Our names were spelt out in sage green,” says Lucy. “We named the tables after my favourite novels from English literature such as Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Romeo and Juliet, and of course the top table was Pride and Prejudice.

“The meal was catered by the venue that served brilliant food. We had buffalo mozzarella and beef tomato salad with balsamic vinegar and rocket to start. For dessert we had a summer fruit pavlova. After dessert we had the speeches, and then the second pavilion and bar were opened for the evening.

” We also had a sweetie bar that matched our colour scheme of green and cream. We bought some jars from Ikea and also some candy-striped bags. The guests all loved this idea,” added Lucy.

Lucy and Richard – First Dance

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“For entertainment we had Hussy Band, which was really important to us,” says Lucy. “We had decided we wanted to book them before we even had a venue, having seen them at another wedding a couple of years ago. They have a good repertoire of old and new rock and indie hits. It was fantastic having live music in the evening,” she added.

Lucy and Richard – Wedding Cakes

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“Our cake was a wedding present from some family friends Claire and Kevin whose mother – Janet – happens to make wedding cakes, says Lucy. “We had three tiers of delicious dense Madeira cake, iced with pale cream icing and really small, dainty flowers. Each tier was wrapped with ribbon to match the bunting I had made and the florist added some flowers as soon as it arrived in the morning.

“My highlights of the day were our first and last dance. Our first dance was to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, and the last dance was to One Day Like This by Elbow. I also loved our first kiss as man and wife because I felt like I had been waiting days for it.

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“The best advice I can give to anyone is to try and put a little of yourselves into the day. It doesn’t take a lot, but the guests really noticed and it made the day really feel our own. I couldn’t imagine having a happier day,” added Lucy.