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Emma Jackson Photography Cheltenham

Our Cotswold Wedding | Meadow Aisle, Alpacas & That Blue Dress

I’ve been asked by a few people to share a little bit about our wedding last summer. We honestly had the most incredible day. So I’ve gathered a few of my favourite photos and memories to share with you.

If you asked our friends and families, they would probably tell you that we both like to do things our own way! We never really felt that we fitted into the cookie-cutter wedding mould, and I certainly never felt like a true bridey-bride. So we poured our hearts and souls into designing a day that really reflected us!

We both have ties with France, and had originally been planning an intimate outdoor garden wedding in the South of France – barefoot in the grass, dancing under the stars! Our plans fell through but we decided to see if we could still achieve our dream garden wedding in the Cotswolds.

We came across Lapstone Barn and instantly fell in love with its pared back, modern-rustic elegance. We had been looking for a Cotswolds venue that could offer an outdoors ceremony, and Lapstone ticked that box. What we hadn’t anticipated was that we would later actually choose to marry indoors, in its stunning barn, with its honey coloured exposed stone walls and fairy lights in the rafters. The barn was just too beautiful not to use for our ceremony!

We wanted to have a few surprises along the way for our guests. We filled the ceremony barn with flowers, to bring the garden inside, so I chose a meadow of English garden flowers to line the aisle. Our little boy, who was two and a half at the time, was our best man. He was amazing and even managed to deliver the rings to us at the right time, stealing the show!

After the ceremony we made our entrance into the garden as the new Mr & Mrs with two alpacas, who were a complete surprise for our guests. But my favourite surprise was the dress I chose – a hand painted blue gown. The skirt on the dress was painted in different shades of blue, and the top half was a silk camisole, with an off-white lace topper.

We wanted to personalise as much of the day as was possible, so we asked family and friends for help where we could. Both of our dads got involved in making things for the day, family members made cakes for the desert table, friends provided DJ sets in the evening, and we designed and made our own wedding rings, under the watchful eye of our silversmith friend Helen London Silversmith and Classes!

The dress

From the start, I knew the style of dress I wanted. I didn’t particularly want an ivory gown. I wanted something a little bit different that would feel more like me. I guess it was a reasonably tall order: I wanted a little bit of drama and a lot of romance; feminine but not too revealing; a full skirt, but not in a ball gown style way; I wanted fluid movement in tulle and lace rather than structured, heavy silk; boho over tradition; a statement back without being too low cut on the front; and if possible I wanted colour!

One day, after weeks and weeks of searching and purely by chance, I came across a dress on Instagram which was the dream. With a bit of detective work I found the designer, Chantel Lauren. This was the one!

The Bridesmaids

Because my dress had colour, I wanted to keep the colour scheme for my Maid of Honour and my two flower girls very simple. We went for an ivory jumpsuit for my Maid of Honour, and pretty ivory dresses with a blush pink flower garland around the waist for the girls. My Maid of Honour had a smaller version of my bouquet, and the flower girls had the most beautiful flower crowns in their hair.

The Groom

My groom and his ushers wore a dark blue three piece suit. My husband had no idea that my dress had any colour in it, so I had to work quite hard to steer him away from the idea of having a coloured tie or waistcoat! I knew that the simplicity of just one neutral colour would work beautifully and wanted to keep things simple.

The photographer

Being a photographer myself, choosing the person to capture our day was as important as finding the dress! However I’d known for a while that I wanted Nastja Kovacec. Her fine art, editorial style was exactly how I wanted to remember our day. The soft, pastel tones in her photography are incredible, so we didn’t really think twice about flying her and her sister Nives over from Slovenia to photograph our day.

The flowers

I had a pretty clear vision for the whole day, and flowers would make up a big part of that. I wanted big, blousy, feminine blooms. A soft, neutral colour palette, with a natural garden feel. Jennie from Liberty Lane Flowers was recommended to me, and I’m so grateful for that because on the day Jenny’s work literally took my breath away! I loved her natural and feminine style. She was the perfect fit and I trusted her implicitly.

I knew I wanted a meadow lining the aisle, and Jenny produced the most awe-inspiring sight of towering delphiniums, foxgloves, soft sweet peas, roses and lots of greenery. My bouquet was free flowing and loosely arranged with garden roses, jasmine tendrils, sweet peas and grasses. She made the sweetest flower crowns for my two flower girls.

Decorations

I’m lucky that both my dad and my father in law are quite creative and practical. My father in law made a wooden ‘arch’ for us to marry in front of, which our florist decorated with flowers and foliage. It looked incredible. My dad created two copper frames for a welcome sign and for the table plan, which we decorated with greenery.

The cake

Our wedding cake was made by Cherish Cakes by Katherine Edwards. We chose a very simple single tier semi-naked cake, made up of 3 or 4 layers of sponge. Family members also baked cakes for us, creating a cake table for dessert. The big chocolate Guinness cake, which my sister in law Liv made, was a huge hit!

From the very beginning I had a fairly clear vision of the look and feel I wanted for our wedding: neutral, blush tones with a relaxed, romantic, feminine, flower-filled feel. I wanted timeless elegance, with modern romance! And I couldn’t have been happier with the way it turned out!

The one piece of advice I’d give, if asked, would be to do it your way! Make it personal to the two of you. You’re (hopefully!) only going to do this once so have alpacas instead of a jazz band if you want to, arrive in a hot air ballon or dine on toad in the hole! Enjoy the process and make your day reflect who you are!

All photos by Nastja Kovacec.

I don’t photograph weddings, but I do photograph personal branding for small businesses and creatives! Get in touch in you’d like to chat about how I could help you reach your dream clients!

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