Written by Lucy Leaper Last updated: September 14, 2015
Claire and Mark both have businesses within the wedding industry as a florist and caterer, so it was no surprise that their wedding was nothing but effortlessly beautiful. With no particular theme for the day, their laid back approach to decor and styling (she just picked what was beautiful at the flower market on the Thursday with no set colour scheme) came together to create a relaxed country wedding, just as the couple had hoped.We absolutely love the natural style of the day which was styled with hessian, bark, soft dusky pinks, creams, greens and of course lots of gorgeous flowers.
Mark took me on a surprise night away on my 27th birthday to a beautiful hotel and restaurant called the Vineyard based near Newbury. The engagement was a complete surprise to me although my family knew before hand as he asked permission of my dad prior. We had a lovely 7 course meal and Mark proposed in the suite before dinner.
The Ceremony & Reception
We got married in the village I grew up in, St Anne’s Epwell. The church is a beautiful quaint country church seating up to 100 people and the service was taken by our vicar Reverent Ronald Hawkes who was amazing and made us all feel so relaxed. The music I walked into was ‘I gorni’ by Eanudi. I saw him live years ago and is a favourite piece of music. Mark’s dad did a reading in church which was lovely and my friend’s mum who is a vicar who has known me all my life, did a religious reading. Our reception was at Sulgrave Manor, the home of George Washington’s ancestors!
Jodie Cooling was my photographer. I first met her 3 years ago at a wedding we were both involved in (I have my own floral business) and she provided me with some floral images for my website. As we knew each other through a working relationship, our day was extremely relaxed and that is what Jodie captured.
My dress was by Benjamin Roberts with lace panels and tulle overlay, in ivory. It was quite substantial with a long train and full skirt! I had a mid length veil, wore my grandmas pearl necklace and hair flowers in my hair.
The Personal Touches
Everything was very personal. I am a wedding florist and my husband has pubs and does wedding catering. We very much brought these two very important elements into the wedding and did them all ourselves. The food was cooked and prepared by our amazing chefs at out new pub, The Castle at Edgehill. It was lovely to have the staff part of our day and the food was so good. Friends and family still talk about the food now!
We had our own beer brewed especially for the wedding by Hook Norton Brewery called ‘Hoppily Ever After’ which we named. We also ran a Facebook poll to name a cocktail which was available on the day (the winner was ‘M C Hammered’). Our bar was free all day and requested a donation and raised over £1200 to two charities very close to our heart, Altzimers and a mental health charity.
I run my own wedding flower business Hibiscus Floral Design, so I was always going to create my own flowers! The bridal bouquet I created at midnight the night before my wedding and buttonholes and hair flowers made on the morning of my wedding all of them different – nothing matched! I used soft natural foliages, David Austin roses, hydrangea, old dutch roses, astrantia and brunia. Lots of textures and very relaxed.
The Wedding Cake was made by Cakes For All UK, a good friend and collegue. It was simple with 3 tiers, a mass of flowers around the base, sitting on an old vintage beer barrel, with lace and hessian detail.
Don’t get too stressed and enjoy the day, it goes so quickly! My husband and I do not regret taking on all of the major elements and it was a truly unique and personal day and all the personal touches were noticed by everyone.
Bridal Dress: Benjamin Roberts | Wedding Shoes: Debenhams | Makeup: Candice Fuller | Hair: Jacqui at timeless Hair | Groom’s Attire: Bespoke Menswear Shop, Leamington Spa | Bridesmaid’s Attire: Dessy and Beste Bragg | Flowers and Bouquets: Hibiscus Floral Design | Photographer: Jodie Cooling Photography | Wedding Cake: Cakes for All UK | Catering: The Castle at Edgehill | Reception Venue: Sulgrave Manor | Ceremony Venue: St Anne’s Church, Eowell
Lucy Leaper is our inspiration and bridalwear specialist! She has a degree in fashion design and 12 years experience in the fashion industry, including 3 and a half years as the manager of a bridal boutique. Lucy loves to hear every little detail about a bride's wedding plans and it is no surprise that the first thing she wants to know is what they're wearing!