While all weddings are supremely special, the wedding of 2019 was, for me, our very own autumnal woodland themed wedding. As soon as the question was popped last year, I knew straightaway how I wanted our wedding to look, so the first thing I did (being the consummate wedding cake maker) was to design the cake! Once that was sketched out, I began to build the rest of the wedding around it. It also had to be on a budget, so I put my crafty nature to good use!
We chose the beautiful Singleton Lodge Country House Hotel for our ceremony, with its outstanding food, beautiful rooms and stunning tree-lined grounds complete with alpaca herd, and it just couldn’t have been a more fitting backdrop for our autumn theme.
“There is a serene and settled majesty to woodland scenery that enters into the soul and delights and elevates it, and fills it with noble inclinations.”Washington Irving
With a colour theme of deep rich colours – burgundy, aubergine, navy blue, combined with luxurious metallic coppers and golds, I then set about dressing the wedding with autumnal pine cones (collected from some of our favourite locations in our local park, the Lake District and Northumberland), pheasant feathers, wooden crates and lanterns.
Small glass jars were repurposed as tealight holders, filled with moss, red berries and acorns, and in the ceremony room autumn leaves were chosen to line the aisle runner instead of flowers or petals. Deep red and purple bows finished with diamantes adorned all the dark wooden chairs, all hand tied by me and carefully ironed by my mum!
The biodegradable loose rose and delphinium petal confetti was sourced from the Dollz Confetti website, and it smelled amazing! The whole lot was poured into a small crate and left on the table in the hallway ready to be scooped into pretty paper cones.
The men of the wedding all wore mis-matched suits in shades of blue, with purple/burgundy ties and pocket squares, and finished with exquisite pheasant feather buttonholes from Linden Flowers, with matching but lighter buttonholes with a touch of foliage for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom, all perfectly photographed by our wonderful photographer, Scott, of Somerside Photography Ltd.
The table centrepieces were rounds of cut tree trunk from Jen’s Rustic Wood, dressed with copper lanterns, moss, acorns and pine cones. Place names and order of services were copper metallic printed onto a navy blue background, and small delicate pate sablee biscuit favours were made to match the wedding cake in deep burgundy fondant with copper details. For entertainment we added some fill-in advice cards and personalised keepsake pencils to keep the guests busy!
My bridal bouquet was simply stunning, just exactly what I asked for – I wanted them to look like I’d snaffled the flowers from the hedgerow through the car window on the way to the wedding! Dark colours were the order of the day, and they were finished off with half of the length of hand-dyed silk ribbon I ordered from Little Bee and the Owl. The silk fluttered so prettily against my dress, it was the perfect finishing touch. Just above the ribbon was hidden a blue bracelet from my mum – my something borrowed and my something blue. Flower Scentsations also provided me with a Maid of Honour bouquet and two thank you bouquets for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom.
My beautiful ivory wedding gown was supplied (after a last minute change of heart!) by the lovely Rebecca at A Stitch in Time, and oh my word, I loved it, I felt amazing! The back was a corset design, which we fastened with a dark aubergine coloured ribbon to pick up on the darker colour theme, and the front was a strapless sweetheart neckline, with drifts of tiny sparkles, falling away to a small train at the back of the dress. My make up was done by Faye, who made me look a million dollars and my hair was done by my regular hairdresser Simon and yes – yes, I absolutely felt like a princess right down to my sparkly gold shoes with the hidden Harry Potter quote! (I did jokingly float the idea of an HP themed wedding, but for some reason it got mooted!)
So of course, we come to the most important part of the wedding – the cake! While we had the smallest of weddings, with only 25 including myself and my new husband, I wanted – obviously! – a stand-out cake that would stick in my memory, and for that I needed a bit of height. I also wanted to have a choice of flavours, so for me there was no option but to go for at least three tiers, despite the small guest numbers. Being the cake maker, it had to be a little bit different – no traditional pale colours for me, instead I chose a deep rich burgundy colour, with copper details, finished off with fresh flowers and the last of the hand-dyed silk to match my bouquet, and I just loved how it came out! What do you think?
Overall, it was exactly the day I’d dreamt of, in every way – absolutely perfect! The weather was a bit drizzly, but no-one really cared (what else do you expect for a November wedding in the UK!) and anyway, the autumn colours were still spectacular. Everything went together just right, and I couldn’t have asked for more. And it was all done on a budget – a lot of the items like the chair back satin ribbons, voile, autumn leaves and diamante brooches were purchased from Wish. Small decorations like the fake acorns, fake moss, red berries and pheasant feathers came from eBay, and the printing was all designed at home by myself. The larger items were printed at Jessops, and the smaller bits and pieces like the order of service and the place names were printed at Optimalprint. This left money in the budget to be able to afford the pretty venue which was exclusively ours for the day, Scott our excellent photographer, and the bagpiper booked at the very last minute (the wonderful Malcolm Smith from lastminutemusicians.com, who didn’t even hesitate when I asked him to hide up the driveway in the drizzle and pop out to surprise my new husband – it worked, he was over the moon!). What a day to remember, and we will, it was just super.
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