We have a HUGE treat on the blog today – not only was Susannah and Simon’s absolutely gorgeous backyard wedding shot by one of our phenomenal Recommended Vendors, the inimitable John Nassari, but beautiful bride, Susannah, is one of our founder, Karen’s, oldest childhood friends — they first met at school back in 1987 (yes we know that’s a VERY long time ago!). So, it’s safe to say, we have a lot of personal investment in this gorgeous big day, and for good reason – read on!
Susannah’s parents hosted the celebration, which took place in a field of golden buttercups, under a simple, portable chuppah, covered in twigs and wildflowers. The atmosphere was so fantastic and festive, that even the sheep were having a great time!
A hybrid of classic country garden chic and boho beautiful blooms, the big day was the absolute envy of all summer weddings.
And, speaking of envy, can we just talk about what an absolute vision Susannah looked in her breathtaking strapless gown? It could not have flattered her more, what a perfect choice for an already stunning woman.
We adore the heart and soul of the family’s involvement, the joy that is conveyed so clearly and perfectly through the photos – oh, and we’d quite like a slice of that divine buttercream cake if there’s any going!
We’ll let Susannah take over now for the full story – we hope you love it as much as we did!
How we met
Susannah, the bride: We met in a yoga class (I run a yoga studio)! Simon turned up one day and then kept coming back!
Home is where the heart is
We got married in my parents garden in Northamptonshire, so there was a lot of significance to the space! It’s a beautiful place to spend time, and we’ve always loved being there.
A mountaintop flowers color scheme
We planned everything ourselves, with the help of our parents. We didn’t have a theme or a particular style other than ‘stuff we liked’.
The color scheme was based on flowers we saw on the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, where Simon’s family live. We went for pinks, purples and soft greens. Very relaxed, pretty country flowers.
An invitation designed by mum
We went for something classic and quite old school, which my mum designed.
Love at first sight
The dress was literally the first one I saw! It was from a place in Stamford Hill, Brides by Losners. My best friend took me there just to see what was around as a starting point, but then having gone quite a few gorgeous boutiques around central London, the first one was the best.
I never intended to spend ages on this, and it didn’t take long to choose at all, but I think that was mainly luck as I was totally in love with my dress. I fell in love with it straight away, and so did she. When I went back with a ridiculously big group of girls, there was unanimous agreement that it was the best by far. I never thought I’d go for a big dress, but it was hands down the one.
A simple veil and fresh flowers
I had a simple veil from the same shop. The dress was quite detailed, with lots of lace and a huge skirt, so I wanted something very plain for the veil. I didn’t have anything else, except a few fresh flowers in my hair.
Country wedding shoes
I had a beautiful pair of Pedro Garcia white heels which I planned to wear, until I realised I’d be walking through a field. So I put on a pair of white wedges from Primark just for the meadow bit, and then never took them off! They were very comfy and suited the venue perfectly. It was a real country wedding, so lots of the guests were wearing boots and trainers at our suggestion.
The handsome groom
Simon wore a bespoke suit, which looked completely gorgeous, beautiful shoes, and a simple shirt and tie. He had a pretty corsage, arranged by our flower man, and he even shaved for the big day (he doesn’t like to!).
But mainly, he just looked really happy and excited, which made the whole thing magical.
Eclectic bridesmaids’ dresses
My best friend and my sister were bridesmaids.
I didn’t want them to try to match each other, or me (and they didn’t!). One wore a knee-length, electric-blue dress, and the other wore a floral floor-length dress. They both looked gorgeous.
A simple chuppah decorated with wildflowers
We went for a very simple portable chuppah. My uncle picked some wildflowers and broke some little branches off the bushes to decorate it.
Fields of gold
Our ceremony had lots of small touches. The whole thing was a joint effort by us, along with our families. Everyone was moving piles of wood around in the garden and banging in fence posts in the days leading up to our wedding to get it all ready.
We did a little procession from the house to the chuppah, which was set up in a field nearby, full of gorgeous buttercups, so it was literally a field of yellow. Simon led all the guests on the little walk alongside some of our musicians. I missed that part, of course, as I was waiting for all the guests to get there and be seated, but he and everyone said it was wonderful.
Then I followed with the bridesmaids, flower girls and my dad on fairly long walk through the meadow, and the sun came out just as I did. Our favourite part was just standing together under the chuppah with all our friends and family around us, in the meadow, in the sunshine, about to be married. It was amazing.
A carnival atmosphere
We had musicians who were brilliant as well as a DJ. For the processional music, my cousin and uncle sang, unaccompanied, which was stunning.
For the recessional, we had the live musicians. I can’t even remember what it was, but it was a bit of a carnival atmosphere by then, walking back to the marquee through the buttercup meadow in the sunshine!
Soft, pretty flowers
Robert Budwig, who is a dear friend and very talented garden designer, offered to do all our flowers for us.
We had pale lisianthus, pink and white roses, peonies and some yellow and pale green little flowers I can’t actually identify! It was all very soft and pretty
Our fabulous photographer
John Nassari was our photographer. We met quite a few and really, really liked him and wanted to work with him. We met him a couple of times beforehand to discuss what we wanted and to do a trial shoot so we would be comfortable on the day.
He was fantastic – very professional, very discreet and brilliant at capturing the moment. We were delighted with how he was on the day, and with the results.
A first and second dance
A pale pink sponge cake and a vegetarian menu
Our cake was sponge with pale pink icing and white lisianthus scattered over it. It was perfect.
Our catering was provided by Sarah and Stuart from Bubble and Squeak – they are caterers who we’ve known for years, although they no longer live locally.
They grow lots of their own ingredients in their own garden, and are wonderfully creative. We discussed our menu at length with them, as we are vegetarian and they were brilliant to work with, really wanting to create a menu that we were happy with and that our guests would love too!
A surprise speech
Simon has two daughters from a previous marriage who are eight and 10, and they both made a surprise speech, which was incredibly touching.
My sister, brothers and two cousins and I did a song with the band which was a surprise, but it wasn’t particularly good! It was really fun, though.
I don’t think we did anything crazy, or massively original, but it was all very personal, especially the ceremony itself, and felt very true to us. Our family and friends were fully involved, and gave us loads of help and ideas throughout.
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
The only piece of advice I’d give is the advice I received myself, which was to really make sure we enjoyed the day – to stop and step back every so often to soak it all up.
I’d also say that even though we thought everything through ourselves, we made an effort not to get overwhelmed by the details, and not to get obsessed by any of it. I’d say that is a tip worth passing on.
Susannah & Simon’s little white book