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by Emma Hla

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Image by Simon Brettell Photography.

Loz & Dani had a beautiful autumnal wedding at Blackwell Grange, a lovingly restored barn with contemporary touches in the Cotswolds. With a fairytale theme, a love for vodka, a princess dress and the best advice (Dani says “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”) we think this is a pretty gorgeous way to kick start a brand new week… and month!

Enjoy folks…

Notes from the Bride

Dani says…

We wanted a venue that was very unique, which had style and character. We looked at 7 or 8 venues all with very quirky characteristics and ended up coming back to Blackwell Grange as we loved the juxtaposition of the traditional ceremony room and the modern, stylish reception room.

We went for a fairytale theme with lots of flowers and fairy lights; we chose this theme as we felt it represents our story. We been through a lot over the years together and everyone really does deserve a happy ending, or beginning, depending on which way round you see it!

We had lots of flowers, garlands and fairy lights supplied by our wonderful florist. Our table decorations were glass domes filled with fairy lights atop of moss covered books with the odd flower placed carefully around them. We had a personalised card box made for us from Etsy and made a sweet corner using various items bought off eBay.

We also bought some copper letters spelling out D & L and decorated them along with a wedding sign (reading; Hakuna mavodka – It means no memories for the rest of your night) to sit nicely along the bar. Loz and I are infamous for our shared love of vodka.

I handmade every name card, save the date, invitation and the table plan, along with gifts for all my bridesmaids and my groom. I painstakingly tied over 300 tiny twine bows!

We went with cool, autumn/winter colours – subtle pinks and greys with a highlight of a deep Burgundy and purple throughout the flowers and wedding attire.

We loved our flowers! We had flowers placed across the fireplace in the ceremony room, myself and the bridesmaids had bouquets along with button-holes for the groom and ushers. We had flowers on alternating ceremony rows and around the table plan. Also odd flowers dotted around the table decorations in the reception room and a garland across the top table. We also had a beautiful flower arrangement in a cycle shape hung on a board with fairy lights behind the top table.

We aimed to have a fun, friendly, relaxed atmosphere, with a hint of our relationship coming through. We like a good party and are sociable people, so it was important to have a party where we all could enjoy ourselves without it being overly formal.

The dress stunned everyone and I’m so glad I picked it. I knew I wanted something different and not your stereotypical wedding dress. After trying on what felt like hundreds of dresses with nothing even coming close to what I wanted, I was losing hope. I’d been looking at different designers and particularly had a love for Hayley Paige gowns. I sourced a small boutique not too far from home and went and said yes to my dress. A blush pink dress with an illusion neckline (something I thought I would hate!) with embellished body and low back. It was a princess dress, again not something I thought I would end up with, with lots of long flowing layers. I love everything about the dress, it’s stunning in everyway and suited my vision of a unique dress which happened to fit perfectly into our fairytale theme.

I wore minimal jewellery; my engagement ring is pretty spectacular and really important to me as Loz had designed it himself (something he is very smug about). It’s rose gold, with a Padparadscha sapphire set in a teardrop shape, almost vintage in style. I found some similar earrings from Etsy and that was enough. I chose not to have a veil, I knew it wasn’t my style so went for a rose gold hair vine with beading which again matched my engagement ring nicely.

I wore Charlotte Mills shoes which I adore, they’re called April in a powder blue colour. I also added the Charlotte Mills shoe clips to them which are heart shapes that read happily ever after. I loved that the Charlotte Mills shoes had the something blue poem printed within the leather on the soul of the shoe and the sixpence that is in the inside soul of the shoe.

I had a secret pocket sewn into my dress of where I placed a charm my mum had given me, it is a pendant that had passed down through generations.

The groom and the ushers wore matching three piece suits from Slaters in Birmingham, a great place for suits for couples on a tight budget which includes free alterations. They are navy blue tweed-like material worn with classic white shirts and white pocket squares. We chose the burgundy accent colour for all the ties which were slim, knitted ties. Loz had a bowtie in the same colour and texture.

My bridesmaids wore multiway maxi dresses in a dove grey from Marks & Spencer. On the day they all wore them in varying ways and we had some little fake flowers from hobby craft which we put through their hair. I was laid back in terms of jewellery and how they wore their dresses, it was more important to me that they looked the the people I knew them as and that they were comfortable.

We included two readings we chose to go with our theme and our personalities. Each read by my two brothers.

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love…” Dr Seuss

During the day we had an amazing acoustic Duo called Rock My Reception. They played an acoustic set we chose through the ceremony and then continued to play a set though the wedding breakfast followed by a ukulele set out on the patio area after dinner – it was one of my favourite things everyone requesting songs and singing with blankets and drinks!

We also had a 5 piece band on the evening called The Chip Shop Boys, they were great too and got everyone up and partying just as we had hoped.

Our wedding cake was absolutely incredible and a true piece of artwork. It was a beautiful chopped up birch tree with carved details and flowers – at one point a friend had to stop one of my guests because she was poking the cake thinking it was actually a tree! Each layer was varying flavours.

The events team at Blackwell Grange were a dream Verity and Alex did so much for us and were fantastic throughout the planning stages and on the day. On that note the owners are also amazing and another reason we chose the venue. The are a lovely couple clearly with so much passion for the venue and were so accommodating to us.

Best part of the day

Without doubt I loved listening to the ukulele as the sun set, watching all our friends and family sing along was so perfect!

I was so excited about seeing Loz that morning, I didn’t feel nervous at all I just remember thinking I wanted to squeeze him! So walking down the aisle and seeing my husbands face was priceless.

From one bride to another…

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF  – all the stuff your worrying about now, you wont give two hoots about on the day and no one will even notice them! All you will care about is marrying your guy or gal.

Remember your perfume! For some reason when me and Loz were at the aisle all I could thing was I’ve forgotten to put perfume on! So unimportant but it really played on my mind!

If you have a big dress – take a friend or two to the loo. Approach the toilet front ways so your facing the wall. Sounds so silly but it’s the best way!

Credits

Venue Blackwell Grange

Photography Simon Brettell Photography and Darren Gair

Florist Passion for Flowers

Bridal Boutique Coco & Kate

Groom’s Attire Slaters

Cake Daisy Blue Bakehouse

Make Up Artists The Glam Room and Christine Cara Make Up

Hair Amy Newton and Alice Trout

Bands Rock My Reception and The Chip Shop Boys

Blackwell Grange

Cotswolds, Warwickshire, West Midlands

 

Capturing your heart from the moment you arrive, Blackwell Grange has been a family home for generations, loved by its owners and steeped in history.

The Need to Know

Website: www.blackwellgrange.co.uk

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Emma Hla

Meet the author

 

Emma Hla

Emma is the founder & curator of these award-winning pages. Passionate about venues, interiors and a good Whiskey Sour. You'll also find Emma working as a Creative Director consulting for wedding venues around the UK.

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