A Wedding Full of Meaning and Love by Pippa Mackenzie

We work with fantastic photographers at The Wedding Vine and they don't come much better than this bridal photographer herself, Pippa Mackenzie. Here Pippa shares with us the beautiful images she captured of Andi and Stuarts wedding at the amazing Cowdray Ruins.

On a sunny day in October, myself and Stuart were taking a walk in Richmond Park which is really special for us both. He had been looking for an opportunity but were never alone he waited until the last minute as we left the park, as the sun set he suggested we sit on a bench.  While the sun was setting, it was a beautifully romantic setting for what was to come next. Stuart got onto one knee and proposed! I was totally surprised. We went for dinner afterwards to celebrate and spent most of the evening spreading the fantastic news to friends and family.

Bespoke design from the famous Stewart Parvin.
This is going to sound so spoilt but I had two dresses! I fell in love with a short dress from Stewart Parvin but wanted to walk down the aisle in a romantic gown. I didn’t want anything too fussy but something a little bit different - Stewart did some sketches and designed a dress just for me – a one off!  The dress I walked down in the aisle in was just perfect for the occasion and my short dress was brilliant as the party got in full swing it meant I could dance and show off my gold sparkly Jimmy Choos!

How to make a promise special with personalized vows.
Our venue, Cowdray Ruins didn’t have a license so we actually had the legal ceremony the day before –On the day the brilliant Lesley Edwards from Choice Ceremonies performed our service The nice thing about picking a celebrant means you can say exactly what you want, you can customize your vows which makes it really personal and special. You know no one else will have the same service as you.

Love at first sight.
We saw our venue in a wedding magazine when we had just got engaged and we were flying on holiday to Brazil. I did visit other venues but to be honest, it was love at first sight, originally I saw ours in the rain and wind – despite this I knew it’s where I wanted to get married. Luckily Stuart agreed! I really wanted somewhere I could put my own stamp on, somewhere that was a total blank canvas. Cowdray Ruins are just that – and the teams there were so enthusiastic and helpful, no matter what was asked of them. There were times when I worried I’d done the wrong thing as by choosing such a blank canvas, but having the courage of our convictions meant we had the wedding of our dreams.

Traditional styling meets contemporary.

We wanted to mix the traditional with some contemporary touches so that became the theme for the day. I love French inspired tones so muted pastels was the natural colour scheme a lot of the colours depicted our journey. Because we had a marquee I felt we needed some quite grand decoration to fit the backdrop so my florist and I chose candelabras, rose bowls brimming with flowers and garlands, huge displays on pedestals, huge bowls or marshmellows and pom poms hanging from the ceiling

A room with a view.
The clear marquee showed the ruins in all their glory as they were lit up as darkness fell and the circular bar glowed to draw people away from the dinner through to the dance floor as the party got started. When planning it – I wanted the day to have perfect attention to detail – but for the evening I wanted to throw the party of our lives!  I wanted everyone to have a good time so ordered flip flops for the girls – ‘for their dancing feet’ and made sure the bar was close by so anyone who didn’t fancy dancing was part of the action.

For the big send-off everyone created a tunnel of giant sparklers that we walked through to say goodbye.

Become a blissful bride.
My words of wisdom would be to just enjoy it! There is nothing worse than seeing a stressed bride. Remember if anything goes wrong you’re probably the only one who will notice. If you know you want things to run like clockwork it might be worth hiring a wedding planner for the day. It’s a cliché but take some moments out. Look around and appreciate each moment, it goes quickly but if you remember to savour each moment you’ll remember it forever.

The Dream Team

Wedding Photographer – Pippa Mackenzie

Wedding Dress – Stewart Parvin


Shoes - Jimmy Choo

Earrings - Tiffany

Bridesmaid dress -Maids to Measure

Hair - DwightIsaacs

Make up - Gia Mills

Wedding Venue – Ruins at Cowdray Park, West Sussex

Cake – Marks and Spencer!

Flowers – Kat from Roseberg Flowers

On the day wedding planner – Lisa at Just Bespoke

Live Music - Urban Soul Orchestra

Video - Dan - From The Hip

Catering - Caper & Berry

Ceremony from celebrant Lesley Edwards

Personalized flip flops and general inspiration from Wedding Concepts

Mini ketchups from My Heinz

Invitations from Cutture

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