Zena & Mike’s English Country Wedding

An English Country Garden Wedding Theme

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Welcome to our latest Aye Do weddings blog post & what a gorgeous real life wedding story we have for you… Please step forward the glamorous Zena & her debonair husband Mike who became man & wife just over 2 months ago. Zena has chatted to our roaming Blog Post Reporter Gnome & has also allowed us to use her stunning wedding photos taken by Invogue Photography which we have collated together in a dreamy romantic montage.

We just loved Zena & Mike’s English Country Garden wedding day theme, and we know you are going to as well so without further ado – let the blog post commence!

Tiffany Blue & Dusky Pink meets the English Country Garden

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Zena & Mikes wedding story….

How you met your husband & what is his name? Michael Alistair Graham. I was on a man free girlie night out with my MOH and Mike came up to me at the bar with the worst chat up line you’ve ever heard!. Later that night as I left the nightclub he jumped into the other side of my taxi and said he was coming home with me. He did, and we’ve been together ever since!

What date did you get married? 6th September. We spent ages trying to find a date in a month that none of our friends and family got married. Then on our wedding day Mike’s sisters asked had we picked their wedding anniversary on purpose…we picked the exact same day!!!!. Mike thought theirs was August LOL!

Where did you get married?Mangapp Manor, Burnham on Crouch. We got married on the gazebo on the lake and had our reception in the beautiful marquee in the gardens

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What was your wedding style and theme colour?

We went for an elegant English Country Garden theme to celebrate our Essex countryside roots. We wanted everything to be very English and had all locally sourced suppliers and local themed food and drink, we even had an ice-cream cart servicing the most famous ice-cream in Essex which reminded us of our childhood down by the sea!!

Our colours were Tiffany Blue and Dusky Pink with pearl and diamante brooch details scattered throughout. My husband picked the Tiffany Blue as its was one of the only colours that would suit all our colourings and something that was very ‘us’. I thought having just Tiffany Blue would be too much so I paired it with Dusky Pink to go with the English Country Garden theme. The two colours went beautifully together, and they looked amazing in the gardens and setting of the venue. I even managed to get a pair of gorgeous Tiffany Blue coloured Aruna Seth designer shoes to go with the theme…. They were the first thing I bought when we got engaged!

I had the best florist in the world. She is called Clare Luke from the Traditional Vintage Flower company and had been nominated for the best florist award for Wedding Industry Awards 2013. I gave her my vision of elegant country garden and my colour scheme. I told her my favourite flowers were hydrangeas and that I wanted those as a base with roses, other than that she had free reign. I was so shocked on the day, the flower arrangements and colours were beyond my expectations and were so beautiful my guest thought they were fake.!

My flowers are one of the things I didn’t scrimp on and I’m so glad – they were worth every penny!Wedding4 202.640 wide  Wedding4 218.640 wide Wedding4 351.640 wideWedding4 214.640 wideWedding4 201.640 wideWedding4 221.640 wideHow did you style your bridesmaids & how many did you have?

I had three bridesmaids and two flower girls. I picked each bridesmaid from a different group of friends (school, work, theatre group) so they didn’t know one another, but got on fabulously! They all have a similar look – dark, pretty and petite – so I wanted something that would suit them and make them feel comfortable and glamorous. I also wanted something in keeping with the theme and still traditionally bridesmaid, so I picked a stylish high neck, low back with full skirt dress by Dessy with rose detail on the waist band. I then had the flower girl dresses made by Kim Cannon Studios, a local designer, to match in ivory but incorporated some of the lace from my dress to make them a bit different and more suitable for the younger girls.

The hairpieces were designed by me: I wanted to incorporate the brooches and lace from my dress, so I had 3 gorgeous hair combs made out of the brooches from our stationery and lace by Tina at The Haberdashery Bride.


Best buy

My veil !!!! I wanted a Kate Middleton style silk veil, cathedral length with a blusher and edged. I found a designer who designed my perfect veil for me for £500. Then one Saturday I drove past a new Bridal outlet near where I live and they had a sale on so I popped in for a mooch. They had the exact same veil, in silk, perfect length, beautiful edging and had a little bit of bling. Was £495 reduced down to £65… I really could not believe my luck and it was my favourite item of clothing on the day.

It got very damaged on the day as it was so delicate and sheer, but I’m going to have it shortened and put it away as something I can pass down.

I also bought personalised pashminas for all the ladies as their favours which turned out to be a great buy as the weather wasn’t very good to us and everyone used them to keep dry and warm!

Special touches

I wanted to put a lot of personal touches into our day.My Brother in Law is a professional musician, so we booked him to come from America and play while our guests arrived and during the ceremony. Hearing my him sing the song I walked down the aisle to was very emotional.

We also booked a family friend who came all the way from Devon to play the harp during our wedding breakfast.

Mike’s dad sadly passed away just before we met so we wanted to make sure that he was part of the day somehow, so a lot of the music that we chose were his Dad’s favourites. We signed the register to ‘What a Wonderful World’ from Good Morning Vietnam as it was his Dad’s favourite film.

We also wanted to acknowledge others that could not be there on our special day like our Grandparents and Mike’s stepdad, so we had a ‘Wish you were here’ board which had a heartfelt message and photos of our missing loved ones. It brought a tear to many eyes on the day!!!

Things I wish I’d known…

Not to let the weather bother me. I spent the month before the wedding stuck to the weather forecast and getting myself wound up about it. It was beautiful sunshine all morning until the guests started to arrive – then the heavens opened!

It rained all during our ceremony and photos and therefore lots of people were missing from our shots. Standing out in the rain feeling soggy and trying to get everyone together for photos really frustrated me. Looking back all the photos, especially in the rain look amazing!. The ones with the umbrellas look really cute and those taken during the ceremony with the rain reflecting us and bouncing off the lake look stunning!!!

I thought the rain would spoil the photos but in fact it was the opposite.IFIF

Top tip for B2B’s

Easier said than done but don’t let anything or anyone spoil your day. I was told at the start of the evening reception that the band wasn’t going to turn up as they got stuck in a terrorist attack on the bridge between Kent and Essex. I was devastated thinking that no one would have a nice time or that we couldn’t do our first dance or dance with my Dad. My family and friends were amazing, they all rallied round thinking of all different solutions from getting people to sing to plugging in ipods and all sorts. In the end my Brother in Law set up his kit again and played the whole night away. Everyone loved it and the dance floor was packed all night. I even got my first dance. Dance with my Dad and our chosen last song of the night….so can’t be that bad after all !!!

If I have any suggestions to other brides I would say think of a contingency in case your suppliers don’t turn up ! I didn’t know there was an emergency number and I could have got a replacement band sent from the agency.

Couple of other things you might find interesting!!

Mike and I had secret ballroom and Latin classes for 8 months before the wedding. As a dancer I wanted to do an elegant classy Fred and Ginger style routine, but Mike has two left feet so no one was expecting us to do anything other than sway. Everyone had a real shock when we went into a full Tango and then a Waltz with extracts out of old Fred and Ginger movies thrown in. Mike’s friends and family couldn’t believe it !!!!

We also hired a company called Perfect Video Day in Norfolk to do a Marryoke video for us. I wanted something to keep our guests amused and as 50% of them are performers we thought something like this would go down a storm. We didn’t realise just how big a storm it would be and most of our family and guests ended up having a go. We chose ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen as wanted something everyone would know, something lively and a good excuse for blow up guitars !!! I would really recommend Richard from Perfect Video Day for their Videography and Marryoke, they worked all day and night and everyone commented on how hard they worked to make our day perfect!

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THANK YOU to Zena & Mike

We so appreciate our Aye Do brides sharing their special day with us & we know how much all of younenjoy reading about their ideas & take inspiration from the design ideas.

Let’s finish on a high – would you like to see Zena & Mikes Marryoke? we are sure you do so following this link & Don’t stop me now ……photo7.640 wide

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