Real Wedding: A Relaxed Day in Derbyshire with a Jenny Packham Wedding Dress
They went low-key with the decorations, allowing the venue to do the talking, but chose pretty pastel floral decorations for a cottage flower feel.
The two brides wore Jenny Packham and Eliza Jane Howell respectively, both choosing vintage inspired wedding dresses for the big day.
Photographer | Christian Olliver
Sarah (left) and Beth met through mutual friends, with Beth proposing in Sydney. <br /><br />"Sarah said she hoped I would propose, but it was still a surprise when it happened," explains Beth.<br /><br />"I made a photo album of all of our memories with funny anecdotes by the side of each picture. The final page said "will you marry me?" with a blank space for the photo."<br />
The Derbyshire wedding venue
Sarah and Beth held their ceremony and reception at <a href="https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-west-mill_6263.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The West Mill</a> in Derbyshire. <br /><br />"We found the venue online, and at the time it was still being renovated," shares Beth. "However, we saw the owner's vision and took the risk and we were extremely glad we did. We couldn't have picked a better venue."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/venues/best-unusual-wedding-venues/21289.html" target="_self">READ MORE: The best unusual wedding venues</a>
The wedding decorations
Sarah and Beth opted against having a set colour scheme, as they didn't know what each other were wearing, so picked neutral colours that blended well.<br /><br />"We didn't have many elaborate decorations as the venue spoke for itself," explains Beth.<br /><br />"The interesting features would have been lost if we'd added a lot of decorations."<br /><br />Florists <a href="https://nadiaditullio.com/wedding-flowers/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Florrie and Eve</a> created the hanging display behind the ceremony table.
The floral displays
The rest of the flowers on the day were created by Linda at <a href="https://www.selenasflowers.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Selena's Contemporary Flowers</a>.<br /><br />"We wanted the flowers to be a mixture of whites, purple, pink and blue pastel shades, with an informal cottage garden feel," Beth explains.
Walking down the aisle
Sarah and Beth walked down the aisle to a live instrumental version of Can't Help Falling in Love with You by Elvis Presley, played by friends and family. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/entertainment/30-processional-aisle-songs-that-will-have-the-groom-in-tears/21207.html" target="_self">READ MORE: 30 processional aisle songs to walk down the aisle to</a>
The civil ceremony
As civil ceremonies can end up being a little short, Sarah and Beth decided to make theirs longer with a sing song.<br /><br />"We thought a fun way to pad out the ceremony would be to get everyone to sing a familiar song," shares Beth.<br /><br />"It took a lot of thought, with some interesting suggestions, but we eventually decided on When I'm 64 by The Beatles. It went down very well with everyone joining in."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/the-civil-wedding-ceremony---everything-you-need-to-know/52.html" target="_self">READ MORE: The civil wedding ceremony - everything you need to know</a>
The order of the day
"We thought it would be a good idea that when the guests arrived, they all received an order of the day, so they knew when we had things happening throughout the day and where," explains Beth. <br /><br />If you'd like to do something similar for your wedding, check out our guide to <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/timings-for-your-wedding-day-how-long-does-everything-take/20521.html" target="_self">the timings for your wedding day</a> to work out how long everything takes.
The wedding dresses
Sarah, on the left, wore the Violet dress by <a href="http://www.elizajanehowell.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Eliza Jane Howell</a>, purchased from <a href="http://georginascottbridal.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Georgina Scott Bridal</a> in Stourbridge, while Beth wore <a href="http://www.jennypackham.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Jenny Packham</a>'s Celia dress, purchased from <a href="http://www.thebridalcollectionharrogate.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Bridal Collection, Harrogate</a>. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/wedding-dresses/23-incredible-gay-and-lesbian-wedding-outfits/21287.html" target="_self">READ MORE: 23 Incredible Gay and Lesbian Wedding Outfits</a>
The dress decision
"There wasn't really a thought process behind our dress choices, and we didn't have a specific look in mind," reveals Beth.<br /><br />"Neither of us are particularly traditional, so a typical white dress didn't appeal to either of us. We just went for dresses that we liked. Neither of us knew what the other had picked so it was a great coincidence that they both turned out to be vintage style, complementing each other perfectly."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/wedding-dresses/25-alternative-wedding-dresses-with-the-wow-factor/22171.html" target="_self">READ MORE: 25 Alternative Wedding Dresses With The Wow Factor</a>
The unusual table plan
"Our seating plan was the biggest DIY job," shares Beth. <br /><br />"Sarah owns her own garden shop and wanted to incorporate plants into the day, so she filled small pots with various colourful plants and placed a list of names for each table into each pot to act as a seating plan for the guests to find their place."<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/how-to-create-a-wedding-table-plan-the-ultimate-guide/19358.html" target="_self">READ MORE: How to Create a wedding table plan: The ultimate guide</a><br /><br />
The table decorations
Sarah and Beth kept their tables simple, with wooden blocks for numbers and small milk bottles wrapped with twine with a few flowers inside. <br /><br />"We also provided activity books for the children to keep them entertained," shares Beth.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/entertainment/fun-and-exciting-ways-to-entertain-children-at-weddings/22493.html" target="_self">READ MORE: Fun and exciting ways to entertain children at weddings</a>
The wedding postbox
"Sarah's brother Sam decorated a postbox for guests to put cards in, which was personalised with our names and wedding date on it," says Beth.
Advice for other couples
"The one thing you must not forget to do is register the marriage well in advance," Beth advises.<br /><br />"We managed to forget and nearly just had a big party!"