The Perfect Venue
As with many couples, Alice and Joshua had a list of requirements when it came to choosing the venue for their wedding. They wanted to find somewhere within easy reach of family and friends in London and were also looking for a venue with accommodation and a certain style. ‘We loved the beautiful drive up through parkland and the sensational accommodation at Wasing Park,’ says Alice. ‘We both wanted our wedding to feel like a chilled summer party at a private house rather than a formal event, encouraging everyone to relax and have lots of fun!’
Themes, Colour and Décor
While Alice didn’t want to theme the day, she did want to impart a style to this special occasion. ‘I’m in love with the glitz and glamour of the 1920s,’ she smiles, ‘so I knew I wanted to feature that look somehow.’ Gold was the key colour for their 1920s garden party with traditional garden games on the lawn, a string quartet, Champagne and Pimms.
Alice and Joshua did all the flowers themselves, using seasonal blooms where possible. In the Garden Room, gorgeous white tulips were tied to the ceremony chairs with gold ribbon and two large arrangements of white lilies and roses sat at the front.
As for the barn, large jars were filled with flowers grown in Alice’s parents garden and tea lights sat in the barn walls. ‘The seating plan was a vintage style map with luggage tags for the different tables,’ explains the bride. ‘Each table was named after a place with significance to us.’
‘We wanted the day to reflect who we are as people and what we love the most – spending time with our favourite people, great food and wine… and an epic party!’
And the Bride wore…
Alice chose ‘Josefina’ by Phase Eight. ‘As soon as I put it on, I just felt so bridal,’ she smiles. ‘It’s hard to explain. The applique was gorgeous and I loved the back. The style was so flattering and at £500 it was an absolute bargain. Nothing else I tried on made me feel quite so special.’ Gold Kurt Geiger shoes were a fabulous choice and Alice also accessorised with her mother’s veil, pearl earrings and a diamond necklace.
Each of the five bridesmaids chose their own dresses as Alice wanted them to feel their absolute best and be comfortable. Dresses came from Monsoon, Coast, Biba and Adriana Papell.
When it came to floral accessories, Alice’s bouquet was made by a family friend. ‘It was incredible and included flowers from her own garden,’ explains Alice. ‘These sat around a Protea which was added as a tribute to Joshua’s South African heritage.’
The Wedding Breakfast
Following a beautiful drinks reception on the lawn, guests moved back in to The Garden Room for delicious canapés. To dine, guests were served smoked trout mousse to start followed by lamb with dauphinoise potatoes. For pudding, chocolate brownies with salted caramel ice cream was the perfect finale. ‘We love food and it was all amazing,’ says Alice. ‘The starter was my favourite. That said, the pudding was to die for!’
Let Them Eat Cake
A three-tier cake was adorned in white and gold with white flowers. On the top were figures of Alice and Joshua with Joshua proposing. ‘The topper was a surprise from my mother-in-law and absolutely incredible,’ says Alice. ‘That caused a few tears when we first saw it!’
A DJ entertained guests at the evening party, playing a list of favourite songs so the dancefloor filled throughout the night. For their first dance, Alice and Joshua danced to a Beyonce cover of ‘At Last’ by Etta James. ‘It certainly wasn’t choreographed, but we did manage a couple of spins!’ smiles the bride.
Alice’s Top Tips
‘Don’t sweat the details. It will be the most wonderful day of your life – it really doesn’t matter what colour the napkins are!’
‘Accept the things you can’t change, like the weather. We were set up for a sunny day and ended up with intermittent rain. While I was initially disappointed that we had to get married inside, it all worked out well in the end.’
Images © Neale James Photography