Lovely Lavender: An Elegant, Rustic, French Inspired Wedding: Liam & Natalie

Today’s incredibly pretty wedding is a stunning, French Provence-inspired country wedding. Francophiles, Liam & Natalie injected rustic elegance and lavender filled loveliness into their beautiful day.

If you too are a lover of all things French, you will adore this very special wedding

Words by Natalie. Images by Emma Barrow Photography.

As soon as we visited Hamswell House, we knew it was ‘the one’. We were just immediately captured by the beauty of the venue. The view is breathtaking at any time of the year and in any weather, which was fortunate for us as it poured down with rain the whole day!  

I looked around so many different Bridal Shops and just couldn’t find the perfect dress, that was until I walked into ‘Stephanie Allin Couture’ in Marylebone. I fell in love with my dress as soon as I tried it on. The material was so luxurious! I loved the low back and the relaxed elegance of the dress. I also thought it was so unique. I loved swishing it around when I was dancing!

The florist we used was Jill Jefferies. Jill was recommended to us by Hamswell House. We looked at her website and thought her flowers were beautiful. The flowers we chose for our wedding day were even more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

The lavender bridesmaid dresses we picked are from ‘Davids Bridal’ and the shoes accompanying them are from ‘Marks and Spencer’s’.

We love France and especially the rustic, romance of Provence with the beautiful sights and rich smells. In fact the first holiday we ever went on together was to Nice and we then got engaged in Cannes so the ‘French feel’ is really special to us. We also love French wine and lavender so our theme mostly developed around that!

My Father walked me down the aisle to Charpentier ‘Te Deum’.

Walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Liam looking towards me was one of the best moments of my life. I was holding back the tears and was just so perfectly happy – I can’t remember feeling that wonderful about anything else.

Our wedding photographer was Emma Barrow Photography. She was wonderful to have on our special day and took such fantastic photos, making us all feel at complete ease.

Friends and family came together the day before the wedding to make the marquee beautiful and French. Here are some of the things we did:

Placed white and blush roses and gypsophila in jam jars around the venue. We also bought a few large / medium sized olive trees which were wrapped little white fairy lights to make it look magical in the dark.

We used dried lavender and placed three sprigs on each napkin with a bow of twine around them to keep the rustic French Provence country theme.

Hired loads of candelabras as well as using Kilner Jars with large white candles in for outdoor lanterns!

I loved doing the wedding favours! I went picking Sloe berries from hedges in the Cotswolds with my mum a year before the wedding. Liam and I made 10L of Sloe Gin which we placed into small glass bottles as wedding favours. Luckily 5L were spare and we put it a large Kilner Jar and used it to make Sloe Gin and Tonic cocktails for the reception and evening drinks!

We also printed little stickers with our wedding logo on and placed them on each bottle with a homemade ‘sloe gin’ stamped mini luggage labels. They were a massive hit, we are going to make sloe gin every year now!

We hired multiple whisky barrels and used them as drinks stands and the cake stand. We also hired two gorgeous barrel bars to use as tables in place of standard ‘trestle tables’ which we hired from bath vintage hire. We used one to place the cheesecake (which was a wedding present to us from my Brother and chutneys on for the evening buffet, the other one we used to display all the home baked cakes our guests made:

We asked a handful of our guests to bake cakes to complement a French country lavender/chocolate theme. We bought a number of vintage looking cake stands from the internet to display the cakes on and we ran a ‘bake-off’ competition for the rest of our guests to vote on their favourite cake! It was so much fun and all the cakes looked so pretty. Our bakers loved doing it and the guests loved eating them! It also saved us a load of money as we used this in place of pudding!

If we could impart any advice for future couples we would say… Be flexible and adapt your theme as your wedding develops. We did have an idea of the sort of thing we wanted to do but we definitely developed our theme over the 17 months and as the wedding started to take shape.

We would also suggest using personal touches. We had so many of these and they made the whole day so special. Many things we made ourselves like the sloe gin, and many other things were made by friends and family – we look back so fondly at those aspects of the day.

Another thing I would say is to pick out what is important to each of you and make sure that those things are done how you each really want them. Involve each other and plan together, it is fun and it’s a great way to spend time together before the wedding.

We had the absolute best and happiest day of our lives. It was indescribable to spend such a special day with all of our wonderful friends and family. Everything and everyone looked so beautiful and it is certainly a day we will hold special for the rest of our lives. We couldn’t have done it without all of our suppliers who were incredible. We would not hesitate to recommend any of them!

Congratulations Liam & Natalie and thanks so much to Emma Barrow Photography for sharing this super pretty French inspired wedding. Nous Aimons!

wedding credits / photographer: emma barrow / wedding venue: hamswell house / marquee: bath marquees / brides dress: stephanie allin / brides veil:stephanie allin / grooms suit: simon carter, moss bross ted baker collection / brides shoes: lk bennett / bridesmaid dresses: david’s bridal / bridesmaid shoes: m & s / makeup: louisa fleming (louisa.e.fleming@hotmail.com/ hair:  melanie giles hair & beauty / florist: jill jeffries / wedding cake: the bespoke cheese company and rosie joan cakes / catering: dine with style / stationery: bezign creative

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