Natalie and Kevin chose the historic barns and glorious grounds of Caswell House in Oxfordshire for a fun, informal day
Photography: Lucy Davenport
“Kevin and I are both naturally quite calm people, so we wanted everyone to feel relaxed on the day – nothing too formal,” says Natalie, describing the laidback approach to their wedding. “We didn’t have a huge guest list, so we were hoping for an intimate setting, with pretty, open grounds if we were lucky enough to have nice weather. And Caswell House ticked all the boxes.
“We found decorative items such as log slices, lanterns for the centrepieces and sequin table runners on Etsy – we picked things up as and when we saw them over a period of about a year to spread the cost. The team at Caswell House put together our table plan, where guests’ names were written on a vintage-style mirror, which our florist, Joanna, topped with a stunning arrangement of flowers. And the place settings featuring the guest names were made from laser-cut wood. Everyone took them home as favours, which helped keep down costs.”
Dress to impress
When it came to choosing outfits, Natalie found her dream dress by Hayley Paige online and tracked down her nearest stockist, Hannah Elizabeth Bridal in Southampton. “It’s not a particularly traditional dress and I think that added to the relaxed feel to the wedding,” she says. “The ivory lace top is a work of art and the large tulle skirt really made me feel like a princess.” Kevin wore a simple blue suit from Next, as did both fathers and the ushers. And all the groomsmen sported matching gold cufflinks in the shape of a leaf to go with the rustic theme of the wedding.
Food for thought
The one traditional element they did stick with, however, was a seated meal. “It was such a hot day, it was nice to sit down for a few hours and just chat while everyone enjoyed the lovely food,” says Natalie. “Our menu included velouté of summer peas and pulled ham hock, chargrilled breast of chicken with a lemon and tarragon sauce, and strawberry popping candy cheesecake and raspberry milkshake. All of them were delicious!”
LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Bride’s dress hannahelizabethbridal.com
Bridesmaids’ dresses needleandthread.com
Groom’s suit next.co.uk