Lavender and sage
How we met
We met when we were at Birmingham Uni in 2005. As contrived as it sounds, I knew pretty much straight away that Ben was “the one” but I really wanted to try to play it cool. I obviously didn’t try that hard, because we started dating a week after we first met and I more or less moved permanently into his Uni house. We then spent the summer together in Birmingham while everyone else had gone home for the holidays. We both worked during the day and spent the evenings drinking wine, eating pizza and watching rubbish telly.
We got engaged in 2008 but it wasn’t one of life’s great romantic stories. We had moved in together in a flat in the city centre. We had some friends over for a few drinks and we were having cigarette out on our balcony. We still can’t remember which one started the conversation, but it went along the lines of:
“We are going to get married one day, aren’t we?”
It seemed so natural to us and to be honest, we weren’t that excited about it because we both knew that it was always on the cards. Our friends were delighted though and went straight to the nearest Tesco to buy two bottles of their finest (cheapest) champagne.
We invited our families to see a line-up of venues with us. It was a pain planning the timings of driving to each venue and we had a spare hour before our first viewing, so we decided to drop in to Walton Hall in Warwickshire to kill some time.
The venue was perfect – it was a great mix of old architecture with new modern interior. The grounds were also fantastic – there was a nice big open grassed area directly off the bar which we planned to use for garden games and decorate with bunting and voile. We cancelled all of the other viewings and signed up to Walton Hall there and then.
We both had a very clear vision of how we wanted the day to look and we were led by our colour scheme of mauve and sage. We were lucky that we found a venue which also incorporated these colours and from thereon in, all of our choices felt easy. We both wanted to wear a three-piece suit (not matching) and I found a great tweed three-piece suit in Herringbone from Bicester Village. I tied this with a green paisley cravat and matching pocket square.
After a few disastrous florist consultations, we finally found a florist who completely understood what we were looking for. We already knew that we wanted amnesia roses and hydrangeas but we were looking for some input for the ‘filler’ flowers. They also suggested we used jam jars wrapped in lace filled with herbs and grasses to introduce a bit of variety into our flower arrangements. We loved our buttonholes and our “groomsmaid’s” bouquet. Karen and Gemma were a dream to work with and we would recommend them to anyone.
We bought a roll of hessian off the internet and used this for half of the chair sashes and to tie our napkins. We tied lavender with sage coloured wool for the other half of the chairs.
Along with the hessian, we used old suitcases which we found on eBay and used one of these as the guestbook station. We also asked people to take a polaroid of themselves to stick in the guestbook along with their message. My mum hand sewed the bunting which added to the rustic feel we wanted.
Finally, to tie in with the rustic look, we used old wooden crates as the plinths for our big floral pieces.
We were keen to inject some of our personality into the day. We handmade some framed signs to dot around the venue and we also made a board of old photos of the two of us. We had a BBQ in the evening because we thought it would be more relaxed after the formal sit-down wedding breakfast earlier in the day. Small touches can have a big impact – all of our best men wore the same socks and the same lavender colour knitted ties.
Our advice to other couples
We were thrilled with how our wedding looked. Our biggest piece of advice to those planning a wedding is to use the internet to help find ideas – blogs like this are so useful. We took a huge amount of inspiration from the weddings on stylemywedding.com. There is no shame in seeing something you like from another wedding and using it as inspiration for your wedding day. Ebay was a god send – we found so many things on there (such as lots of dried lavender stems, rolls of hessian and old suitcases). We also used gumtree to track down some old crates,
We would also say it’s worth investing time and effort into the look of your wedding – and that doesn’t always necessarily mean it will be expensive. If you see something that you think would look amazing at your wedding, then pursue it – you will feel proud of yourself for investing so much effort and having a result you are happy with. There was one point during the day where we looked around and thought that this is exactly how we wanted the day to look. Every couple should have that feeling on their wedding day.