KEW GARDENS WEDDING
Sometimes, choosing your wedding gown is not the easiest decision that you make regarding your wedding. Jessica had second thoughts about the gown she initially chose to go with and after some discussion we decided to make her a bespoke gown that would be exactly like she had imagined her gown to be. I love making bespoke gowns and working with Jessica was a lot of fun, not least because she is a fashion professional herself. See Jessica's gorgeous wedding pictures and her impeccable wedding look below.
Congratulations Jessica and Richard!
- Miina -
How did you two meet and get engaged?
Richard and I went to school together in the North East of England, but went on to attend different universities. It took a chance meeting at Christmas Eve drinks seven years ago for us to become reacquainted. The rest, as they say, is history!
Richard proposed to me in the grounds of a private castle, near to where we both grew up. The location was perfect as he had located the exact spot where I had first told him I loved him!
The dress and the look
I had always imagined myself wearing a delicate, floaty, ethereal style dress. Also, having recently started my own sustainable fashion website Sustainable Fashion Journal, I knew I wanted my dress to be ethically made out of sustainable fabrics. However, having initially visited numerous popular bridal stores I began to get disheartened as the dress in my head just didn’t appear to exist. I repeatedly tried on heavy, restrictive dresses that used environmentally harmful and cheap materials in contrast to their expensive price tags.
Consequently, as soon as I walked into Indiebride London showroom I knew it was the place for me. All the dresses I tried on were made from beautiful fabrics that felt completely weightless. I initially chose the Naomi dress as I fell for its backless, lacey style. Having gone away and reflected on my decision though, I felt it wasn’t quite the right shape for me. After some panicked emails to Miina, she couldn’t have been more helpful and we came to the decision of designing a custom-made dress together. I then returned to the showroom to choose the fabrics and decide upon the shape. Miina’s amazing talent was obvious - nothing was out of the question to make my vision a reality.
After skilfully shaping the dress to exactly fit my body shape, the second fitting was an incredible experience as the result was exactly what I had always dreamed of. The lace sleeves, glamorous scooped back and effortless floaty skirt with silk lining truly felt like an extension of myself and my personality. I could not have been happier!
Hair, makeup and accessories
To complete my desired ethereal style, I hired the amazing hair and makeup artist Jo Elizabeth to create her signature boho-style hair for myself and my bridesmaids. Using some clip in hair extensions from Milk and Blush she was able to create incredible volume and natural waves in my normally short, fine hair. For my make up she kept it simple and elegant with complimentary natural tones. To finish the look, I had an all-important delicate flower crown created by my wonderful florist Mark Tilley from Palette.
The groom's outfit
Richard, his groomsman and my father wore woollen blend, three-piece suits from Master Debonair, a great little independent started in the North East with a second store now in London.
The venue was a fairly easy decision, ever since we moved to London we have regularly visited Kew Gardens for a peaceful escape from the fast-paced city lifestyle. Having purchased our first home together last year in west London we also knew we wanted to take advantage of living in the area.
Having decided upon having around 70 day guests and a further 20+ for the evening we chose to hire Cambridge Cottage, a former royal residence within Kew Garden’s for its intimate, boutique style and feel.
Due to the venue’s obvious botanical theme we kept the décor in this style. For the flowers I wanted lots of foliage, containing various forms of eucalyptus due to its grey and blue hues to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. All bouquets were hand tied and centre pieces loosely arranged for a natural look. Leading up to the wedding we collected empty gin bottles from friends and family and these were used to create a rustic table plan and as original vases around the venue. For place names I practised my calligraphy skills by hand painting names onto silk leaves and guests received small bottles of Kew Organic Gin as favours. To continue this hand-made, rustic style I also painted botanical leaves onto a welcome sign for the traditional pillared entrance.
Food and cake
Our catering and floristry was provided by one of Kew Garden’s recommended suppliers Pallet and we could not have been more impressed with their seamless, personable service. In advance of the wedding we attended a taste testing evening where two incredible chefs created us a tailor-made menu. A particular favourite dish amongst guests was the luxurious vegan mango brûlée!
For our wedding cake we decided upon individual cupcakes so that guests could easily help themselves throughout the evening and even take one home a midnight snack. These were created by a fantastic small, local company Curly Cakes, iced in the shape of mini cacti and roses to be in keeping with the botanical theme.
For the ceremony and drinks reception we were lucky enough to have one of the country’s leading harpists Jane Lister who created a beautifully romantic and dreamlike feel to the grand, traditional rooms of Cambridge Cottage.
For the evenings entertainment we then switched to summer party mode with a DJ and live saxophonist double act from Prelude Entertainment that certainly kept guests on the dance floor all evening!
As I work in the fashion industry I am much more comfortable working behind the camera than in front of it! Consequently, I decided to controversially hire the fashion photographer Matthew Willcocks who I have worked with before, therefore knew I would feel relaxed around. Together with his assistant Pier Hammond they captured mainly candid stills on digital and film throughout the day so that we could spend as much time as possible with our guests. I also asked them to film the ceremony and speeches so that we could laugh and cry again at our special day.
Was there anything that went wrong and how did you deal with it?
The weather! Despite having purposefully booked a summer wedding, the wonderfully unpredictable British weather wasn’t kind to us and it rained the entire day! However, thankfully we had over ordered on the prosecco which seemed to make up for the lack of sun during the drinks reception and the stunning venue allowed for diversity in indoor photographs.
What advice would you give to brides that are still planning their wedding?
Throughout the planning of our wedding my husband and I tried to focus our efforts on three things: food, drink and entertainment. As every bride knows, it’s easy to start to obsess over the small details, which collectively begin to get really expensive. However, after speaking to friends and family about previous weddings these three things seemed to be what people repeatedly remembered and enjoyed. I can honestly say, despite having fallen into the trap of discussing table cloths and cutlery choices at length, I didn’t notice them on the day nor have any guests mentioned them!
- Jessica -