Tag Archives: joanna brown

A Relaxed, Boho Wedding: Laura & Graeme

Laura & Graeme were married at Marle Place, Brenchley which perfectly suited their laid-back boho wedding. “It is a peaceful, privately owned Wealden garden, ten acres of formal planting and many more acres of woodland and orchard,” Laura explained. “None of our guests had ever heard of or been to Marle Place, before and neither had we. I didn’t find it on my original wedding venue searches, eventually I found it by searching for something like ‘secret garden’. It has been described as a hidden gem and I totally agree.”

Their photographer Joanna Brown agrees, “As I drove to Laura’s parents house I totally got it that Kent is described as the garden of England… Field upon field of fruit, rolling hills, and acres of sky I decided there and then that I loved Kent and I looked at the blue sky and just knew that this wedding was going to be gorgeous it had all the ingredients for a belter and boy it did not disappoint.”

“A wedding is full of beautiful things, dresses, flowers, tea cups (which this wedding had in bucket loads) but what really makes a wedding is the people and the story of the day unfolding with real emotion and meaning and I saw this every minute of the day.  I loved it when Laura got ready and it was just her and her mum savoring that moment like a rite of passage it felt really symbolic and then to witness her Dad coming in to see her for the first time and his reaction {and Laura’s} was so precious it actually made me cry it was so tender and honest.  I loved also the bridesmaids when they saw Laura for the first time and they could not contain their excitement of seeing her in her dress.  Equally I loved Graeme and the boys eagerly awaiting the wedding party to arrive and the pacing around to calm his nerves at one point he even went to the corner shop.”

The couple hired three Giant Hat Katas instead of a traditional marquee, because they wanted a less formal or traditional wedding. “We wanted a boho, relaxed feel to the day and they were amazing! My brother and his wife  made us various signs for the reception including Parking, Rest Rooms, Graeme hearts Laura 23.07.11 etc. I loved them! I filled a basket up with flip-flops and they made a sign saying ‘Help Yourself’; these were placed in front of the decks for our guests to take if they wanted to take their heels off to dance. They had all gone by half way through the night!”

“We also hired various vintage accessories from Vintage Flair; tea cups and saucers, milk jugs, napkins, candlesticks, bunting, cake knife, cake tablecloth etc. I bought lots of different tea light holders (from Velvet Wedding and Live, Laugh, Love ) to decorate the exterior/gardens and also floor lanterns. I also bought heart table name holders and large manilla luggage labels as table names (to match our manilla invites).”

Laura wore ‘Zachary’ by Delphine Manivet. She wanted something boho in style and this fitted the bill wonderfully. She also wore a vintage headpiece and jewellery from Vintage Bridal Jewellery. Her bridesmaids wore nude coloured dresses of their own choosing (from various high street stores) and nude peep toe shoes from ASOS.

So beautiful! (and ps how cool is that final shot of the boys by the pool!?) Oh Joanna Brown you are so clever!

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An Organic Farm Wedding: Elisha & Russell

When I saw Elisha & Russell’s wedding I knew they’d made the perfect choice in their photographer Joanna Brown. If you follow Joanna on twitter you’ll know that she loves her garden and grows her own veg, so the fact that this wedding was held on Magdalen Farm on the Dorset/Somerset border…well she must have been in her element! “The staff of The Magdalen Project at Magdalen Farm are amazing and even joined us on the dance floor and around the campfire at the end of the evening,” the newlyweds told me. “We loved that our wedding was helping to support the Wessex Foundation who encourage active learning in and about the outdoors.”

“I have a background in informal education with young people,” continued Elisha, “and Russ set up www.rocknrolladventures.com to encourage people to spend time in the outdoors which has evolved to organise activity and educational travel for schools and colleges as well as training camps and other holidays. We hope to provide a quality of service and a similar conviction shown by the staff at Magdalen.  We found they really did walk the talk as they claim to do which meant excellent, tasty fresh local food and a friendly and happy staff team. And a deliciously relaxed weekend wedding for us in a beautiful place!”

The bride wore a two dresses – the first which she bought from ASOS and customised by adding some crochet lace hand-sewn by Great-Grandmother. “My Auntie Margaret is a creative wizard and offered to make a dress to my design as she had done for my cousin and bridesmaid Siobhan,” explained the bride. “Looking around for ideas of shapes and materials I found this dress on ASOS that the catwalk video showed to have a great flowing skirt that I thought would be a lot of fun on the dance floor!  I showed it to my Aunt and described the changes I hoped to make.  She found some lovely cotton, crocheted lace in her textiles cupboard which her grandmother had made and said we could use it.  She used natural tea-dye to bring it to the same colour as the dress which was reshaped.”

Liss & Russ-100a

The bride’s second dress came from Damsel in a Dress. “Closer to the wedding I was worrying that I might prefer to wear something more sophisticated (than my usual style!) for the ceremony and while looking for bridesmaid dresses on John Lewis website found the Damsel in a Dress dress – very different to anything else I’d seen and within budget! So the two dress wedding was decided.  I felt sleek walking up the aisle in the Damsel in a Dress number and had a lot of fun skanking to the ska band and cosying up round the campfire until early hours in my free flowing skirt of my ASOS dress.”

It was the little and fun touches that made this wedding brilliant. For example, after the ceremony they had the Street Heat Samba Band to entertain their guests and playing late into the night were Skar Wars. The couple asked a number of their guests to make a cake instead of having a traditional wedding cake and they were helped by their friends and family with making and displaying the reception decor.

“We didn’t really identify a theme,” concluded Elisha, “other than we knew we wanted to create an informal event with as much time outside as possible. You could say our theme was evolving! I grew up loving the Dorset countryside and felt closest to my family when there, where our time spent together was focused on getting muddy in streams or eating picnics on the beach.  Russ had enjoyed similar times with his family and it was his determination not to feel part of a ‘wedding machine’ of many, more formal venues, but focus on finding somewhere that we wanted to spend time with family and friends to celebrate our happiness and excitement for the future.  We felt very lucky to find that in the venue and staff of Magdalen Farm.”

Liss & Russ-106b

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Marcus & Simone’s Laid Back, Country Vintage Wedding

Marcus & Simone used some of my favourite wedding suppliers for their barn wedding in Gloucestershire, including Joanna Brown for photography, Fur Coat No Knickers for the dress and Severin of The Hepburn Collection for the bride’s hair. I love this! “I got a little frustrated at how little choice there is when it comes to creating an individual wedding, especially as I didn’t have that long to plan it (5 months),” the bride told me. “I found it easier to not refer to magazines and traditional wedding websites and preferred to take inspiration from Etsy.com, blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride and to go with my own ideas. I think it’s easy to get sucked into the wedding machine and things can become too fussy. My ethos was to try and keep it classic, stylish and simple.”

The laid back day started with the ceremony taking place outside in the glade of Cripps Barn. The bride didn’t actually realise the ceremony was taking place outside until she arrived in the morning! They were really lucky that it stopped raining just at the right time.

“We both work in Television and I laughed when Marcus told me that he had hired a Art Director and Lighting Director to help set up on the day as we had a relatively small, uncomplicated wedding. But both of them proved invaluable. We had festoon lights hung in the trees and around the outdoor fire pit. Sally Lock, the Art Director, provided gorgeous finishing touches inside and dressed outside with hurricane lamps and hanging pieces in the trees, taking all the stress off me on the day and giving it an extra special edge.”

“I was also desperate to track down a huge heart lighting piece that I had once seen at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in London. However, during my search for it I stumbled across something even better: Giant (human size) light bulb letters. These were originally designed for a shop window display but are now hired out for events – they provided a great backdrop for pictures….even though our guests tried their best to move them around so they read S&M instead!”

“I always knew I was going to get a vintage dress and my wedding dress was actually the first wedding dress that I had ever tried on: I instantly fell in love with it.  It originally had straps but the ladies at FCNK told me that they could amend it to make a strapless dress and fit boning into the bodice to give it a little more structure. They encouraged me to go and try on a few more dresses so that I could be sure that I wasn’t making a snap decision. I tried on a handful of dresses at a high end designer sample sale but everything felt very generic and nothing came close to being as unique as my vintage dress. We’re not sure of the original date of the dress but think it dates from the 1950’s.”

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