I love how Rachelle & Adrian were so focused on their needs for their wedding day – the venue, Braxted Park in Essex, had to accommodate everything in one place and their love for music absolutely needed to take centre stage. What unfolded last May was a beautiful yet truly personal wedding day with lots of gorgeous bespoke details.
Adrian and I are very fortunate to have been invited to many amazing weddings during the 11 years we have been together and so when it came to planning our own, we had a strong idea of how we wanted the day to be. For us, a beautiful venue where everything happens in one place and could accommodate our guest numbers was most important to us.
We were therefore focused on venues with marquees or pavilions and when we saw Braxted Park (only the second venue we had seen), we knew immediately it was the one. The walled gardens are absolutely stunning, the pavilion was the perfect size, there was on-site accommodation for our family and to top it off, All Saints Church is a stone’s throw away so our guests only needed to travel to one location on the day itself. It had everything we were looking for.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, but our focus of the wedding was on music. Both Adrian and I love music, have played a number of instruments since a young age and have attended multiple gigs and festivals with each other throughout our relationship. Each piece of music played throughout the day – from getting ready in the morning (where my bridesmaids had created a playlist of songs that reminded them of me), to the church music, the bagpiper, the music during dinner, our first dance and band/DJ setlist were all carefully considered and meant something to Adrian and I. Our table plan, which we designed ourselves, was our favourite album from each of the years Adrian and I had been together. Our invites and name places also reflected the music theme.
Aside from music, we wanted to incorporate a few subtle Scottish touches into the day, as Adrian and his family are from Scotland, so Adrian wore a tartan waistcoat, we had thistles in the flowers, a bagpiper, a Scottish reading in church and Scottish tablet handmade by Adrian’s mum as favours.
The pavilion at Braxted Park is beautiful, so doesn’t need much decoration but we worked with The Wedding Lounge to add some ceiling chandeliers and Grecian chair backs, which each had a sprig of lavender to match our flowers. They also provided our photo-frame photo booth.
Following the musical influences, we were very lucky to have a light box made personally for us by a family friend, which we designed based on gig venue signage introducing the ‘event of the day’. We also used one of Adrian’s guitar cases for our cards and our confetti holders were made from sheet music.
Lilac-grey and lavender were the main colours of the day as lavender reminds me of my grandparents, it smells great and I had my heart set on the bridesmaid dresses being a lilac-grey colour. Our florist created our beautiful table candelabra centerpieces, as well as the flowers in the church and on the top table. Lavender sprigs were also used in the Grecian chair backs for the reception.
Although I had quite a clear idea of what I did and didn’t want in a wedding dress, it still took me trying about 50 dresses on until I settled on ‘the one’. I finally found the perfect dress at Bodice & Bustle in Bishops Stortford where I was keen to try on a number of Essence of Australia dresses I had seen online. I had visited the shop once before and was returning to retry a dress I had particularly liked the first time I visited when Anna, who runs the store, mentioned she had just had a new collection arrive and there was one dress she really wanted me to try on as she thought it would be perfect. I must admit I was hesitant, as I had already tried on so many, but she convinced me to give the new dress a go and I am so glad she did!
Adrian wore the Vintage Blue Country Tweed three-piece suit with Scottish tweed waistcoat from the Newbury Range, hired from Jack Bunneys in Barking. We had both fallen in love with this suit as soon as we saw it, as it completely matched Adrian’s style and had the Scottish feel we were looking for without Adrian wearing a full kilt.
The three bridesmaids wore matching bridesmaid dresses designed by Kelsey Rose and purchased from Bodice & Bustle. As a thank-you gift, I bought all three of them matching Swarovski necklaces and earrings as accessories.
The drinks reception was held in the Walled Gardens of Braxted Park – we were so lucky with the weather, as the sun shone beautifully during the drinks reception, even though gale-force winds were forecast for the day earlier in the week! We served a variety of drinks – Prosecco, Mojitos and Pimms (all my favourites!) and we had a beer pump serving $umo from Adrian’s local and favourite brewery, Mad Squirrel in Potten End.
The canapés were served by our caterer, Ellis Catering, and we had chosen to serve chicken & feta salad on a watermelon base, Korean chargrilled lamb with sweet chilli jam, vine tomato, baby mozzarella & basil shortbread and a pea & mint risotto in a parmesan cone.
The team at Braxted Park were incredible, absolutely faultless. In the lead up to the wedding, Victoria was our assigned wedding coordinator and she was instrumental in ensuring everything came together as we wanted on the day. She was always available to talk or run through any queries or nerves, helped in speaking with our suppliers and spent a lot of time with us walking through our day in the finest detail. We were then introduced to Jonathan as our front of house manager. From the minute we met him and talked through our schedule with him, I knew we were in very safe hands.
Best part of the day
It is so hard to pick just one moment, but the feeling of walking up the aisle in the Church arm-in-arm with my Dad towards Adrian was incredibly special and I will never forget it.
By far, the stand-out moments for us and our guests were the speeches and the incredible band. All three speeches were excellent and had the guests laughing, crying and waving their napkins in the air!
From one bride to another…
Everything comes together on the day, everyone wants the day to go well for you and it will be the most fun you will ever have – make sure you cherish every second of the day and enjoy seeing all of the most important people you value in your life together in one space.
Venue Braxted Park
Photography Matt Wing
Décor & Photo Booth The Wedding Lounge
Florist Bohemian Wild & Beautiful Blooms
Bridal Boutique Bodice & Bustle
Hair & Makeup Sarah Henning
Groom’s Attire Jack Bunneys
Cake Dolly Dew Drops
Band The Hot Shots
Vintage Coach Dons of Dunmow
Stationery Love Me Do Designs
Bagpiper Ivan Brooks
Caterer Ellis Catering
Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.Visit Venue Finder
Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.View Blog
Visit the Event Diary to find out about upcoming wedding venue open days.View Latest