Real Wedding: A Country Garden Wedding Starring a Dress with a Stunning Statement Train
Cara wore an ethereal wedding dress, boasting one of the most stunning trains we've ever had the pleasure of seeing - click through to see it for yourselves!
They also came up with a super clever idea for keeping the cost of the cake down - we can't believe we never thought of it!
Photographer | Emma Russell
How they met and the proposal
Cara and Mark met at a dinner party while they were at university, and afterwards a mutual friend set them up on a date.<br /><br />In 2013, Mark whisked Cara away to Paris for a mini break and proposed on the balcony of their hotel room.<br /><br />"I only clocked on that evening, as Mark isn't very good at hiding his nerves," admits Cara.
The Surrey venue
Mark and Cara held their wedding at <a href="http://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/northbrook-park_3482.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Northbrook Park</a> in Farnham, Surrey. <br /><br />"Mark really wanted a garden or outdoor space for the venue, but I wasn't willing to compromise on the interior, due to the notorious British weather," says Cara.<br /><br />"One of my friends pointed me in the direction of Northbrook Park and it had it all. With the luscious walled gardens and beautiful interior rooms, we both loved the Orangery because the plants covering the walls gave the feeling that you were still in the garden," Cara explains.
The ceremony decorations
Cara and Mark placed trees along the sides of the room, tied gypsophila to the chairs down the aisle, and wild flowers along the top of the fireplace, creating an elegant aesthetic that perfectly catered to Mark's outdoor wedding wish. <br /><br />Other than his desire for an outdoor wedding, there were no special touches that Mark insisted on, with Cara commenting: "Mark was entirely willing to leave the creative touches to me!"
"Our theme was shabby chic crossed with country garden," says Cara,<br /><br />"The reception venue was so amazing with all the plants on the inside that we just wanted to make the most of it and enhance it."<br /><br />"I was obsessed with light and wanted the venue to feel bright and luminescent, which is why we added fairy lights and candles."<br /><br />Colour wise, the couple went for a neutral palette with accents of gold and silver, as Mark isn't a fan of bright colours.
The blue and white wedding flowers
Antonia Ryan created the flowers for Cara and Mark's wedding day, using ammi, garden roses, delphinium, panicum, astrantia, alchemilla mollis, scabiosa and astilbe to create the romantic and relaxed feel. <br /><br />"We wanted lots of white and cream flowers with hints of colour to complement our colour scheme and the dresses of the bridesmaids," explains Cara.
A personal touch
Each table had a little bottle of homemade sloe gin on it, created by the father-of-the-bride.<br /><br />They added art deco style labels to the bottle, which tied in with all of the rest of their stationery. "We chose art deco style stationery because I love the style from that period," says Cara.
The wedding favours
Cara and Mark provided individual succulent plants potted by them as favours, complete with handmade labels.<br /><br />"Our day had the right balance of a sense of occasion, combined with a sense of fun, we don't take ourselves too seriously," says Cara.
The wedding cake
Mark and Cara ordered two differently sized red velvet cakes from Hummingbird Bakery, which the caterer stacked for them.<br /><br />They then decorated the cake with fresh flowers and an initial topper that Cara handmade.<br /><br />"Our cake was our best money-saving idea," Cara comments. "Buying different sizes and stacking them together was considerably cheaper."
The wedding dress
Cara's wedding dress was by Watters, purchased from <a href="http://morgandaviesbridal.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Morgan Davies Bridal</a> in London. <br /><br />"After trying on a fair amount of dresses, the one I eventually chose was a combination of all the elements I was looking for; I love the silhouette and the lace detailing and the fact that it was less structured than other wedding dresses I had tried," explains Cara.<br /><br />"I had additional lace appliqué added to the straps to make them more substantial and to tie in better with the lace bodice."<br /><br />Cara also wore a cathedral length veil, that she made herself.<br /><br />Her bridesmaids wore multiway dresses in light grey, courtesy of <a href="http://www.inoneclothing.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">In One Clothing</a>.<br /><br />"I chose multiway dress as I wanted each bridesmaid to have their own individual style. They also chose their own shoes and hair and make-up."
Advice for brides to be
"If you are planning on making anything yourself, leave plenty of time as it takes longer than you think it will. And buy a few spares in case your crafting goes wrong!" Cara advises