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Sweet peas & peonies

Pink blooms and a cool country pub set the mood for Sophie and Henry's garden party wedding

Sophie and Henry – In the beginning

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It took six years for sparks to fly between Sophie and Henry, who met when they worked together at a local pub. At the time they were both in relationships, but when their paths crossed again, on a night out in 2006, the chemistry was undeniable. “Although Henry isn’t the shy type, it took him a few beers to pluck up the courage to ask for my number – and another five dates to kiss me!” says Sophie. Nearly three years later, Henry’s plans to propose in Venice were scuppered when he lost his passport. “But I was over the moon when we arrived at our hotel during an impromptu visit to London, and he got down on one knee and popped the question.”

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Photography: Marianne Taylor

Sophie and henry – Laced with love

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Sophie chose a simple and elegant strapless silk Pronovias gown with a lace overlay and a cathedral-length train. “I fell in love with the vintage look of the lace and the embroidered beads and crystals,” she says. Henry looked dapper in a modern lounge suit from H&M.

sophie and henry – well heeled

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Sky-high pink heels from ASOS added a modern twist to the vintage look.

sophie and henry – best girls

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To match the feminine theme, Sophie’s bridesmaids wore petal-pink strapless dresses from Dessy.

sophie and henry – the ceremony

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The pair said ‘I do’ on a sunny July day at St Mary the Virgin Church in Lapworth, surrounded by 94 of their friends and family. “Saying our vows was such a happy and overwhelming moment,” says Sophie.

Sophie and henry – The local

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To follow their church ceremony, Sophie and Henry decided The Punchbowl – a cool modern pub with traditional touches in the Warwickshire countryside – would be ideal for a relaxed, garden-style celebration. “To bring the country theme to life, we hired jugs, bunting and a cake stand from Vintage Teas & RSVPs.”

sophie and henry – style details

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“My friend Becky made the table plan in the style of a memo board,” says Sophie.

sophie and henry – sweet success

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Sophie says, “Instead of favours, we had a sweetie bar, with classics like bonbons and flying saucers in vintage glass jars, and stripy pick-and-mix bags so guests could help themselves.”

Sophie and henry – flower power

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“From the moment we were engaged, I knew I wanted peonies to feature in the flowers,” says Sophie, who tucked a fresh pink peony behind her ear and carried a bouquet of the pink blooms (the bridesmaids’ bouquets were a mix of pink and white) from florist Fleur de Lis.

sophie and henry – gifts from the garden

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Sophie arranged the rest of the flowers herself. “The day before the wedding, I went to Birmingham Wholesale Market and bought loads of peonies, delphiniums and lisianthus for the centrepieces,” she says. “My mum, my friends and I spent the afternoon arranging them in cream jugs.” Jam jars of sweet peas, home-grown by Sophie’s dad, also decorated the tables.

sophie and henry – country cool

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Sophie and a designer friend created all the stationery. “I spent hours sticking everything together. I wanted the stationery to look romantic and reflect the style of the day,” says Sophie.

sophie and henry – the cake

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The couple chose a simple and elegant white cake from M&S

sophie and henry – the cupcakes

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… teamed with M&S pretty sparkly pink cupcakes!

sophie and henry – favourite moments

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Later that evening, 125 extra revellers joined in for a party that raved on ’til 2am. “Henry works in radio, so he asked a couple of friends to DJ for us,” explains Sophie. The couple stole a private moment while their favourite song from the early days of their relationship played. “We didn’t fancy the traditional first dance, so we snuck onto the dancefloor in among everyone else during Mardy Bum by the Arctic Monkeys and secretly had our first dance without anyone realising.”