A classic spring wedding at Braxted Park, Essex
31 Jul 2019
Brooke and Bradley Miles chose a pastel colour scheme to complement their springtime wedding at Braxted Park
What did you love the most about your venue and what made you choose it?
We thought the main house and the grounds were beautiful. The long drive up to the house could feature in a fairytale, and the Orangery was gorgeous. It was the most picture perfect venue.
What was the atmosphere you were hoping to create?
We wanted to create and really show off that it was a spring wedding. We chose pastel pink colours, and also incorporated some silver and gold – with lots of cherry blossom trees.
How did you decorate your venue?
Where to start… For the Orangery we covered our chiavari chairs with a Grecian type chiffon sash with diamante brooches. We had an ivory aisle runner with silver hurricane lanterns at the end of the aisles. We also had petals scattered along the aisle runner too. At the front of the Orangery where we made our vows, we had a huge blossom tree canopy in a blush colour which looked stunning since it was a spring wedding.
For the Pavilion, again we had all of the chiavari chairs covered with the Grecian-style sashes and diamante brooches. We organised mini cherry blossom trees in blush as our centrepieces on each table, they each had little baubles hanging from their branches with candles inside and around the base of the trees we had more candles in cylinder vases. We also had glasses charger plates which had gold beads around the outside.
During the speeches/wedding breakfast, I had arranged for four vases to be put on the top table (around our top table flower sheath) for the bridesmaids to put their bouquets in. My bouquet went into a vase next to our wedding cake. We also had top table swagging again with the matching brooches, and the hurricane lanterns were moved in front of the top table.
We also had swagging from the ceilings, which had fairy lights on too, as well as chandeliers that we had hired. During the speeches and dinner we had white lights on and during the evening the lights turned to a subtle pink to match our colour scheme.
We also booked 5ft Mr & Mrs letters for the Pavilion.
Tell us about your flowers
For my bouquet, I wanted it to look natural as though I had just walked into the garden... ‘that just picked look’. I had a combination of blush David Austin roses (which smelt devine), garden roses, bombastic roses, avalanche roses, quicksand roses, white stocks, white astilbe and achelia in bud form in a blush colour. They honestly were the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. In terms of colours I wanted my bouquet to be very pale with very slight hints of nude and pink.
For the bridesmaids' bouquets, I had asked for a smaller version of mine, however without the David Austin roses, garden roses or quicksand roses.
The groom's buttonhole consisted of a quicksand Rose (which was nude in colour), with astilbe and a hint of eucalyptus foliage. The best man, groomsman and father of the bride had a sweet avalanche rose (which was pink in colour) with eucalyptus foliage to match the bridesmaids' dresses.
For our top table, we asked for a long and low arrangement in a natural style with some foliage trails. It included all of the bridal flowers with the exception of the David Austin roses. Instead we went for blush hydrangea, eucalyptus parvi, soft ruscus, Dusty Milller and olive.
Tell us about your dress
It was by Justin Alexander and I loved that it had a gorgeous nude lining under the ivory lace which gave the dress an almost blush colour. The dress was very slim fitting and had the most beautiful train, along with illusion straps. I also asked my seamstress to add some very subtle pearls/sequins to the dress which I think finished it off perfectly.
I did a lot of research online first to find my dress, as I knew that I wanted a slim fit dress. The first dress I came across and loved was the dress I bought. I eventually tracked down the dress, after calling lots of wedding shops to find if anyone had it in stock. I made an appointment at Fleur De Lys Bridal in Saffron Waldon. I tried the dress on first and was then comparing every other dress I tried on to the first one. I knew then that it was the dress. I bought it there and then, and that was the first and only wedding dress shop I went into.
What accessories did you wear?
I bought my veil through Fleur De Lys as well. I was quite specific in what I was looking for, I wanted chapel length, completely plain and in a very soft tulle. They had exactly what I was looking for. My shoes were Jenny Packham from L.K.Bennett.
I bought my earrings from Lace & Favour - pearl and crystal drops, and my parents bought me a beautiful tennis bracelet to wear on the day from a local jeweller. I also wore a beautiful French lace garter which was finished with pearls to match my dress - from Megan Therese.
Tell us about the groom, what did he wear, and who was it by?
The groom wore a black tie and his suit was from M&S. I bought some cuff links for Bradley, which he wore on the day; they were sterling silver, and engraved with our initials (since ours are the same) with our special year. Bradley also had personalised socks, which said ‘Groom’ on with our wedding date.
And what about the bridesmaids?
The bridesmaids' dresses were from Jarlo London. I had them all taken in and adjusted by a seamstress. The girls had little clutch bags from Pretty Little Thing. Shoes were from Deichmann and were an absolute steal. I also bought jewellery sets (earrings and necklace) for them to wear on the day from Debenhams. All of the girls had their hair in French plaits.
Where did you get ready before tying the knot?
I got ready with my bridesmaids and mum at the Bridal Changing Room at Braxted. Bradley got ready with his best man, groomsman and both dads in the Garden Cottage.
Tell us about the ceremony
The ceremony was held in the Orangery and I asked my nan to do a reading for us which we chose in advance - this was very special to Bradley and I.
What did you do after the ceremony?
We had a drinks reception following the ceremony where we served bellinis, prosecco and beer alongside mini fish and chips, mini beef burgers, manchego and parma ham croquettes, and vegetable spring rolls with a chilli dip
What entertainment did you choose?
We had a live band during our evening reception, they were incredible. They got everyone up and dancing, and the main vocalist was extremely talented. We have had so many people ask us about the band since.
What was your first dance song?
Suddenly by Billy Ocean
What was on your wedding menu?
Bradley and I chose our wedding breakfast menu based around a dinner we had at a restaurant in Marbella Old Town where Bradley proposed.
- Starter: Goats cheese on a bed of salad, dressed with honey and wallnuts
- Main: Rack of lamb with a herb crust, dauphinoise potato stack with vegetables
- Dessert: Classic sticky toffee pudding, caramel cheesecake and Bramley apple crumble - served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
For the evening food, we had a burger and hog roast station with all of the trimmings.
How did the venue team help you in the lead up to and on the day of your wedding?
I cannot fault the events team. They helped with any questions I had when we were planning. On the day we had a front of house manager who was a huge help; she made us feel completely at ease, sitting down with us in the lead up, going through our suppliers we had booked and making sure we were on time during our big day.
What was your highlight of the day?
It's hard to choose. It was lovely walking down the aisle and catching Brad’s face as I walked towards him. Bradley’s speech was unforgettable, and of course the first dance.
What advice/tips would you give to other couples still planning their big day?
Try not to get stressed, take it all in your stride. I absolutely loved the planning side of things and really felt a bit lost after the wedding. Make the most of it, you only get to do it once. And, make sure you get to spend 10 minutes alone with your husband/wife. After the speeches we went back to our room and sat, had a chat, topped up on perfume etc. It’s nice to have a bit of time together without being whisked around everywhere, the day just goes so quick otherwise.
Steal their style:
Venue: Braxted Park
Photography: The Photographic Lounge
Videography: Simply Wedding Movies
Florist: Stock Florist
Dress: Fleur De Lys Bridal
Hair: Lucie Reynolds
Make-up: Nicolette Bella
Bridesmaids' dresses: 'Blaze' by Jarlo London
Groomswear: Marks and Spencer
Cake: Kim Bobeldijk of Cakes at Kims
Band: Soul that Swings, booked via Bands For Hire
Photo booth and light-up letters: Actz Entertainment Agency
Venue dressing: Big Event Drapery (drapes in the Pavilion and chandeliers); Lacey’s Event Services (ivory aisle runner and petals to go along the aisle); Olivia’s Roses Florist (blossom canopy tree in the Orangery and blossom tree centrepieces); Elf Occassions (chair sashes and brooches, top table swagging, post box, and frames for table numbers and messages in the toilets); Elegant Events (gold beaded glass charger plates)
Toastmaster: Peter Minney
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