Images by Christopher Bell Photography.
This summer garden wedding is sure to add a little sunshine to this rather miserable grey December day! Nick & Laura instantly fell in love with Secret Garden Kent, a romantic outdoor wedding venue with a beautiful blank-canvas orangery.
Notes from the Bride
Nick and I spent a year trying to find the perfect venue for our wedding, from various locations in Spain to all across the UK. We wanted to find somewhere that would feel relaxed and low key without compromising on a beautiful setting and that wedding magic. After much searching we finally came across the Secret Garden Kent. I remember after we visited for the first time, we left the venue and immediately looked at each other saying “That’s the one!” The huge garden was absolutely stunning, wild flowers, unkempt flower beds and gnarled apple trees. It was shabby chic and unpolished yet quintessentially and beautifully British. The added bonus was that it included a wonderful gazebo area for our outdoor ceremony. We knew that it was the venue for us and that it would be the perfect place for our family and friends to have a ball!
We wanted to keep bridesmaid dresses to soft muted colours so we opted for soft pink and pale blue/grey. My six bridesmaids put together their own make up, whilst local hairdresser Jeanette Felstead, kept our hair styles loose, soft and elegant. I found my beautiful lace and sequin wedding dress at Wed2B – it was one of very few that I tried on and instantly knew I needed to look no further. It felt vintage and classy, with a slim fit and long train. The dress spoke for itself so I kept make up, jewellery and shoes simple and pared back. Nick created his very own look by putting together a navy three-piece suit compiled from three separate designers. This was all tied together with vintage gold accessories, a matt black lapel and bright silk linings.
The room for dining and dancing was a blank canvas and we wanted to add colour and light so we went to town with creating our own decorations. We wanted a rustic feel with a pop of personality so we had lots of fun with colourful pom poms and paper lanterns, stringing them around the garden and room alongside an explosion of fairy lights. Table names, plan and signage were all created from scratch and we kept things personal to us by including photo memories of adventures we have had together. An oak tree in the centre of the garden was wrapped with fairy lights and draped with candles inside glowing jars. The overall effect was bright and full of character and at night the garden sparkled.
The flowers were provided by the wonderful florist on site at the venue, Anemone Blue. I can’t explain how handy and convenient it was to have the florist so nearby and be able to help with every detail on the day. We opted for soft peach and pink flowers, combined with dusky green foliage to compliment the dresses and the wild garden surroundings. Aside from the bridesmaid bouquets which I created myself, Anemone Blue provided everything from the table flowers and huge garland to my beautiful bouquet and hair flowers.
Our wedding cake was made by my wonderful sister Amy. Her cakes have long been, in my mind, the best cakes I’ve ever tasted so it was perfect to have her bake the cake for our wedding! After many trials and attempts she found the perfect recipe and, once baked, she finished the three tiers with naked frosting and beautiful flowers. The wedding breakfast was provided by the venue and we chose to have an outdoor BBQ which was perfect for our hot summer wedding day. The food was absolutely delicious, and all washed down with tasty hand-made fudge favours by The Fudge Patch.
Our wedding photographer, Christopher Bell, was absolutely brilliant. When we first met him, we took part in a trial shoot so that we could see his style and get to know him better. We instantly knew he was right for us. He was hilarious and talented, and immediately put us at ease when we were a little nervous. The photos from the day captured the essence of it so well and really showed off the relaxed, summer vibe of all our family and friends having fun in the beautiful gardens. He was barely noticeable when taking natural shots but was great at commanding our large group of guests when it came to group shots. He was adventurous, open to new ideas and a pleasure to have at our wedding.
Best part of the day
It so hard to pick out a single moment as the best part of our day as it was honestly incredible from start to finish! But one stand out moment for us was when we surprised our guests with our first dance which we put together after having some choreography lessons in the run up to the wedding. We were so conscious of making sure it didn’t come across as cheesy and too staged, but by rehearsing our half-waltz, half-salsa routine to the enth degree it meant that we could just totally go for it on the day and have fun with massive smiles on our faces!
From one bride to another…
My advice to any future couple getting married is to have fun! We enjoyed every minute of planning our wedding and getting creative. We spent a long time planning everything down to the finest detail but, by the time it got around to the big day, we just sat back and thought we’ve done all we can so lets just enjoy this day like its our last! And we really did.
Venue Secret Garden Kent
Photography Christopher Bell Photography
Bridal Boutique Wed2B
Florist Anemone Blue
Favours The Fudge Patch