Back in 2014, Adam left Emma upstairs and went off to make their breakfast. A short while later, he called up for help. Emma leaped up and headed downstairs to find the love of her life down on one knee. It was an absolute surprise!
The engagement ring was the most beautiful ring she'd ever seen and immediately after the words, "will you marry me" and an elated "yes", there were tears of joy!
Emma is a natural organiser and she immediately set out on her quest to plan their perfect day. Adam chipped in too and designed the table plan. Emma's advice to you (and I concur) is lists, lists, lists! With a budget to stick to, Emma and Adam were balancing elegance, quality, and good value.
They planned a small intimate wedding of 50 day guests and an additional 20 evening guests. There were no formal bridesmaid roles because the group were already an intimate one, full of their nearest and dearest. Emma attributes the emotion and intimacy of the day to this decision; everyone was as equally important and the love and happiness shone through!
adam & his groomsmen
I'm starting with Adam and his groomsmen for one simple reason; it's his wedding too! So many blogs and wedding websites treat the groom (in heterosexual weddings at least) as an after thought. Not here! Oh no!
Adam has a lot to offer those grooms following suit. And while we're on the subject of suits, Adam chose to hire his from A Formal Affair and went for the first suit he tried on. How very decisive! He opted for charcoal grey, slim fit, white shirt, and a cream waistcoat. He finished it all off with a taupe cravat, which matched the pattern on his waistcoat.
Seeing Adam emerge from the changing rooms was a very special moment for Emma. She found herself close to tears (of joy) at the sight of the handsome, wonderful man she was about to marry.
The Sibson Inn Hotel in Stibbington was recommended to Adam, by a friend, at exactly the right time. Venue searching had been somewhat disappointing. Much to their relief, they fell in love with this venue as soon as they saw it.
It matched perfectly with their wedding goals; a rustic hay bale wedding with the added bonus of a marquee! It is privately owned which means flexibility and they fulfilled their promise of good old fashioned British hospitality.
The venue hosted the whole shebang; the ceremony, drinks reception, marquee wedding meal (that Adam didn't imagine was within their budget) and an outdoor area full of hay bales and garden games.
The styling was courtesy of Pretty Quirky Hire who brought Emma and Adam's vision alive. Having also had a disappointing start on the decor front, Jack at Pretty Quirky Hire saved the day! Nothing was too much trouble and she had a knack of making them feel at ease. She was full of money saving tips and tricks e.g. moving the ceremony flowers to the top table instead of paying twice!
Emma was given the gift of a pack of Milestone Wedding Cards (huge fan!) to make her planning a little more fun. She used them to document her progress to family and friends over social media. Emma especially loved sharing the card that read "today I said yes to the dress".
Emma's dress was a present from her wonderful (and generous!) mum. After trying on a number of dresses, Emma fell in love with her Kenneth Winston - Private Label by G Design House dress. The dress was bought through Vow Bridal and I can see why Emma fell in love with it! The detail is exquisite.
all that detail
There is so much detail in this day that I found it incredibly hard to narrow down the photography. I want you to see it all!
Katy at Creationery is the designer behind the pretty place names. She also provided the whole stationery suite on the day and worked very closely with Emma and Adam to ensure that their floral theme was front and centre.
Flowered Up expertly honoured the same mandate by providing the floristry you see throughout. Emma and Adam guided Sam at Flowered Up with their colour scheme rather than by requesting specific flowers. Sam used her experience to make sure that the colour scheme was honoured but also that there was a delicate balance of smell, especially with the summer sun! None of us like warm smelly flowers and this is often something that is overlooked. Kudos Sam.
DIY bride Emma, with the help of Hobbycraft, is the artist behind the floral letters you see above.
What made me choose to write about this wedding was the people at its heart. The photos (and I've seen the whole wedding album!) are all free of awkwardness and simply radiate happiness. One might assume that's down to brilliant photography but you cannot capture something that isn't there. It's very rare to bring two families together without any hiccups but this day seemed blissful and warm.
The only hiccup I heard about on the day has since turned into a running family joke. The bride to be and those around her had more than a moment of panic when the mother of the groom was reportedly running late and risked missing the ceremony. Disaster was luckily averted but the joke was that the mother of the groom lived closer than all the other guests!
With people, comes tradition. Emma's something old was her earrings, her something new was her wedding dress, and her something borrowed and blue was Adam's mum's divine ring, worn by both Adam's mum and grandmothers on their respective wedding days.
How romantic!! What more do you want me to say about the love. It's all in the photographs!
The photography by Peter Oliver Photography speaks for itself. In true documentary style, which is all the rage these days, he has managed to capture every detail of their day, and so much laughter. Narrowing the laughter down to six photographs was VERY hard!
The couple waited over a month for their photographs which was quite a challenge. It's always worth checking turn around times folks, because there's nothing worse than waiting on tenterhooks! Judging from the photography though, I am inclined to say it was well worth the wait.
I don't know the baby in the hay bale but the baby in the hay bale MELTS my heart!
You've got people, love, and laughter, so naturally, there will be fun!
I'd like to thank Emma for being an absolute joy to work with on this Real Wedding. Her (and Adam's) enthusiasm and willingness to share their sensational day will no doubt inspire many brides and grooms to come.
I will leave you with a tip from Emma (which I champion, because I am one!)...