Real Wedding: A Classic English Celebration
They decked the marquee out with stunning floral arrangements and pretty personal touches, ranging from table names based on family surnames and a family tree display so heartfelt it brings a tear to the eye.
Sarah wore a beautiful dress from La Sposa, while the groom went for a striking blue suit, perfectly at odds with the gold and mint green colour scheme that ran throughout the day.
The wedding even featured a surprise pop-up pub - much to the delight of the groom!
Photographer | Emma Sekhon
Sarah and Nathan first met at Nottingham University, in their halls of accommodation.<br /><br />The university sweethearts stayed together long after the days of revision were over, with Nathan planning an unexpected proposal on a trip to Montreuil in France.<br /><br />"It was a complete surprise!" says Sarah. "We were staying in a beautiful chateau and one evening we went for a walk in the grounds. Nathan led me to a little cove that he had covered with candles, then he presented me with a scrap book of our relationship before getting down on one knee."
Nathan and Sarah tied the knot at <a href="http://stclere.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">St. Clere Estate</a> in Kent, a sprawling estate boasting gorgeous gardens and a lake too.<br /><br />"The venue only started doing weddings the previous year, so it still had a fairly private and exclusive feel," shares Sarah. "The ground and views were absolutely stunning and the team were so welcoming."<br /><br />The couple held their reception at Sarah's family home, with <a href="http://www.theweddingdolls.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The Wedding Dolls</a> taking the reins so Sarah's parents didn't have to play host.
The wedding dress
Sarah wore a full length, strapless <a href="http://www.lasposa.info" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">La Sposa</a> dress named Mimosa, purchased from <a href="http://www.isabellagracebridal.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Isabella Grace</a> in Tunbridge Wells.<br /><br /> The dress had a lace finish and looked beautifully elegant with Sarah's ombre hair and subtle make-up.
Sarah accessorised her flowing dress with a delicate veil, also lined with lace. <br /><br />The intricate embroidery perfectly complemented the embellishment on Sarah's gown.
Florist <a href="http://www.joannetruby.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Joanne Truby</a> created the flowers for Sarah and Nathan's wedding, crafting a beautiful floral look for their big day.<br /><br />"I wanted a different looking flower to be the focal point of the bouquet and Jo perfectly chose the protea which is the national flower of South Africa, which was our honeymoon destination," explains Sarah. <br /><br /><br /><br />
The bridesmaids' dresses
The bridesmaids wore light oyster grey dresses, in a full-length style, courtesy of <a href="http://www.lestroissoeurs.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Les Trois Souers</a>.<br /><br />Sarah's two sisters wore plunging front dresses, while the other bridesmaids had asymmetric designs.
The groom and groomsmen's outfits
Eschewing darker suits, the groom and groomsmen opted to wear bold blue suits, paired with cream cravats.<br /><br />They accessorised their ensembles with coordinating pocket squares and boutonnières.
<a href="http://www.emmasekhon.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Emma Sekhon</a> photographed Sarah and Nathan's wedding, with the couple selecting her for her relaxed yet professional approach.<br /><br />"We felt it was really important to feel comfortable with the photographer and Emma was very good at putting us at ease," explains Sarah.
Sarah and Nathan erected an arch at the entrance to their reception entirely made of hops.<br /><br />Sarah's parents' house is an oast, traditionally used for drying hops, so it was an extra special touch to their big day and made for a spectacular welcome.
The colour scheme
Nathan and Sarah selected mint green and gold for their colour scheme, with touches of the shades appearing throughout the wedding.<br /><br />A circle of flowers, matching Sarah's bouquet, hung from the centre of the marquee, creating a gorgeous, eye-catching centrepiece. <br /><br />"Our wedding day had a classic English feel, with some individual bursts of creativity," says Sarah.<br /><br />"The whole day was very personal," she continues. "Our family and friends mean the wold to us and we wanted them to know how special it was for us to share our day with each individual guest."<br /><br /><br />
To make sure the day was truly personal, each seat at the reception had a luggage tag placed on it with a memory individual to that person written inside.<br /><br />The wedding favours were chilli seeds, allowing guests to grow their own chilli plant. "We were desperate for an outdoor wedding and my mum heard an old wives tale that if you plant a chilli plant it brings sunshine on your wedding day," explains Sarah.<br /><br />"My mum planted one, and we had the most glorious weather!"
The table plan
"Our table plan was a family tree," shares Sarah. "Each of the tables were named after surnames from throughout our family histories."<br /><br />"We had a huge bonsai tree at the marquee entrance which had 11 individual sections that each represented a table," she explains.
The table centre pieces
The table centre pieces were constructed of all different heights of tree trunks, covered in a light coloured moss, accompanied by gold candles, succulents and flowers.<br /><br />"The name places were little mint green and gold paper birds which were designed to look like they were flying off the wine glasses," says Sarah.
The wedding cake
The wedding cake sat atop a vintage dressing table, with flowers bursting from the drawers and cascading down. Photos of their grandparents' and parents' wedding were also placed on the dresser. <br /><br />The cake was created by <a href="http://www.purpleflour.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Purple Flour</a>, and was a three-tiered bake with buttercream icing, decorated with flecks of gold on each layer and 3D flowers.<br /><br />Nathan and Sarah couldn't choose between lemon and vanilla, so had both flavours within the cake.
A surprise pub
As a special wedding surprise, Sarah's dad installed a surprise pub within the marquee, which he revealed during the speeches.<br /><br />"Nathan and my dad both love Harvey's Beer, and were even drinking it when Nathan asked my dad his permission to propose, so it made sense to have it at the wedding," explains Sarah.<br /><br />"In his speech, my dad said he couldn't take Nathan to the pub on his wedding day, so he brought the pub to him."
"My most memorable moment was seeing Nathan for the first time," reminisces Sarah.<br /><br />"The day goes by in a flash, so make the run up to the day as happy and as fun as it can be; enjoy every moment of the planning stage!" she advises.