A Bright and Beautiful Wedding by The Bridal Photographer

We work with some fantastic photographers at The Wedding Vine and they don't come much better than The Bridal Photographer himself, David Bostock. Here, David shares with us the stunning images he captured of Lisa and Rich's wedding at Phyllis Court, in Henley-on-Thames. With a bright and beautiful colour scheme and fabulous attention to detail, the day was planned to perfection! Here, bride Lisa tells us all about her special day...

We were holidaying in Barbados when Rich proposed. He asked me if I wanted to go for a romantic walk on the beach, which of course I did! We sauntered along the beautiful white sands of St James as the sun went down among the silhouetted fishing boats in a haze of pink and lilac. An unexpectedly big wave crashed on the sand completely soaking Rich’s trainers (cue silly man sounds and comedy hopping), so we decided to stop on a little outcrop of rocks next to the picturesque ruins of what I thought was some kind of old fish fry restaurant – it said ‘Cod Can’ on the side. Rich took his wet trainers off and then we realized we were completely alone on this gorgeous beach. He went very quiet, and then after a few minutes, he turned to me, knelt, and asked if I would do him the “very great honour” of becoming his wife. I can’t remember what I said or did next because it just passed in a blur of tears, laughing and excitement, but I know I accepted with all my heart. Incidentally, the fish restaurant turned out to be an old church with ‘God Can’ on the side. I guess some things are just meant to be!

I I found my perfect dress advertised on the inside cover of the first bridal magazine I ever bought after we got engaged. My sister recommended the Ellie Sanderson boutique in Oxford as the perfect bridal shopping experience and by sheer freaky chance in a week’s time from that day, the designer of my perfect dress, Alan Hannah, was visiting the shop for a designer’s day. I made an appointment straight away. It was such a pleasure to meet Marguerite [Hannah – the designer] and as soon as I tried on Anais I knew it was the dress for me. It was the first dress I’d tried, and although Ellie and the girls recommended that I try on a couple more, I knew I’d be getting married in Anais. It didn’t have the beautiful romantic laced back that I’d always wanted, so Marguerite sketched out a stunning alternative, with fabric flowers and diamante detailing cascading down the back. I was definitely an Alan Hannah girl: all my jewellery, my wedding day present from Rich, was their design, and they were even kind enough to make me a customized headpiece to match. Because I went to Ellie’s on designer’s day I also got a sketch of my customized dress to keep. I felt like the luckiest bride on the planet! I also wore a beautiful woolen cardi-shrug, the Edgeway from Makepiece. I was very definite about not wanting any sort of fluffy shrug, and the lace ones really didn’t suit me. The Edgeway was the perfect solution and it was so carefully and lovingly made.

I had major jaw surgery in January, just three months before my wedding, and in those swollen, painful post-op days I despaired of ever feeling pretty on my wedding day. But gradually the swelling went away, my jaw healed and when I put on all my beautiful new wedding things on the big day I was absolutely astonished: I felt genuinely beautiful. That is a feeling I will always remember.

We married in a small, cosy little church in Ruscombe, Berkshire, surrounded by 75 of our closest friends and family. We had big colourful flowers: gerberas, lilies and roses in vibrant cerise pink and orange. Music was a real feature of our ceremony. My father, who passed away in 2004, used to play classical guitar; I was adamant about having a guitarist so that in some way it would feel as though he were there. Remember that beautiful John Rutter choral piece ‘This is the day’ from the royal wedding? I thought that was so beautiful that we asked Rich’s cousin, Emma, to arrange a version for solo vocal. Our church was no Westminster Abbey(!) but it was stunning, incredibly moving, and expressed the perfect sentiments for our big day. Also, Rich’s uncle played organ for us. I made all the wedding stationery, with a huge amount of help from my mum; it was such a pleasure to sneak glances at people reading hymn words from Orders of Service I had SLAVED over. Our vicar was fabulous and really involved the congregation; it all added up to make a very cosy, intimate and personal service: just what Rich and I had wanted.

Coming out of the church to a flurry of bubbles, set up by the chauffeurs, was a lovely surprise! In fact, the chauffeurs were such characters, they really made our short journeys into big experiences! We hugely enjoyed riding through Henley in the wedding cars and waving back to people who smiled and pointed us out to their small children, while our driver chatted away and parped the horn.

Our reception was at Phyllis Court in Henley on Thames. We had the beautiful modern glass pavilion, the Grandstand, which looks right out over the river. We enjoyed a drinks reception with canapés in the clubhouse, a full wedding breakfast in the Grandstand and then an evening disco.

In terms of styling, everything was cerise pink and orange, or white. My mum and I made individual lined silk pouches to contain the stationery which I designed. I got a stamp made up with our monogram and we tissue wrapped them and stamped the boxes. It took an age to do but it was so worth it, to know that I had invested so much time and care into inviting people to the most special day of our lives.   

We had the most GORGEOUS chair covers and sashes from Ambience Venue Styling, in golden orange taffeta and cerise organza. Our bridesmaids wore long chiffony gowns in ‘Lipstick’ by Alfred Angelo and carried orange freesia rich bouquets. My bouquet was entirely roses, and they smelled wonderful all day long. Table flowers were in large overflowing cocktail-glass-style vases with cut oranges as a base. As we had an Easter wedding and because we own a pair of giant, fluffy, caramel coloured Lionhead bunnies, we gave everybody Lindt bunny favours in cerise organza pouches. I arranged for the venue to be swathed in cerise and orange organza and ordered in an uplighting package in orange and pink from a local sound and lighting shop to add some atmospheric lighting and give a splash of colour for the evening. The ceiling was decorated with fairy lights which sparkled and twinkled all night, and on the tables we sprinkled large rose petals in cerise and orange and placed cerise jam-jar-style tealight holders in groups. My sister and bridesmaid, Julie, MADE us three sweet trees, from flying saucers, dolly mixture and wine gums. They looked incredible. I’m still not sure how she did it!

Rich and I managed to keep our wedding cake a complete secret from everyone until the day. I love the Beatles (even went to a Bootleg Beatles concert for my hen night) and I had seen a cake before that featured the ‘All You Need is Love’ lyric. Catherine Scott, our amazing wedding cake designer, took this as a starting point and then she helped us bring in all our ideas to have little personalized symbols and tokens dotted around the rest of the cake: theatre masks for our love of our local drama group, our little bunny rabbits, a turtle to remind us of Barbados, the logo from the computer game Rich has been helping to develop for the last 4 years.  It was a real feature of the evening party. It was such a popular design that Catherine now advertises our cake idea to other couples and there’s a picture of it on her website!

We didn’t have the perfect sunshiny day, it was a kind of snowy, white cloud, and it wasn’t all that warm for April, but even a torrential downpour wouldn’t have mattered; once you get to the day, all the Bridezilla worries and planning just melts away to leave an utterly perfect day. Throughout, we made sure that we stopped every now and then to look around and notice things. I remember the sun coming out as we were eating, for the first time that day, and it flung dazzling golden rays wide across the whole room. Everyone smiled and started taking pictures.

The day flew by so quickly it was important for us both to pause and remember that it was actually all about the two of us and our new life together, and to realize how staggeringly lucky we were to be surrounded by all our loved ones, being treated like celebrities and wearing all our finery. It is a truly unique experience, so take the time to notice it and engrave it on your memory. Rich, who is a children’s playworker, performed an impromptu puppet show in the speeches, and we all shed a tear at a very moving speech given by his brother and best man (one of three), Luke.

It’s really important to have a photographer who is discreet and non-intrusive, but who also misses nothing! Our photographer, David Bostock, was just like that and I’m so grateful we chose him because we now have the most beautiful lasting memories of our day to flick through and reminisce about whenever we want to. His photography is stunning, it’s worth spending that bit more for a photographer I think, if your budget allows.  

On a practical note to fellow brides – don’t neglect to pack your overnight / travel bag. In all the fuss I completely forgot about it and ended up forgetting pants, bra, toothbrush, basically anything vaguely useful for the morning after the wedding. Luckily we weren’t too far from home so my mum was able to hotfoot it back to pick things up, but it could have got a little difficult otherwise! It’s also nice, if you can, to have a few days after the wedding to rest and breathe before you go on Honeymoon. We waited 3 weeks to go on ours in Mauritius, we saved a large amount by doing so, and it gave us chance to chat to see everyone to hear their experiences of the day before we jetted off to relaxation heaven. (Oh, and don’t say this too loudly, but it strung out the whole wedding experience that bit longer. Result!)

The Dream Team

Wedding Photographer – The Bridal Photographer - David Bostock

Wedding Dress – Anais - Alan Hannah

Wedding Dress Shop – Ellie Sanderson, Oxford

Accessories – Alan Hannah jewellery and headpiece, Edgeway cardi-shrug by Makepiece

Reception Venue – Phyllis Court, Henley on Thames

Cake – Celebration Cakes by Catherine Scott

Flowers – Sonning Flowers, Mandy Alberry (Winner of Wedding Industry Award 2012)

Chair Covers and Sashes - Ambience Venue Styling

Wedding Post Box - Bunny Delicious

Guitarist - Andy Scott

Wedding Cars - Roses Wedding Cars,

Hair and Make Up - Claire Nicole

  • 2 comments "A Bright and Beautiful Wedding by The Bridal Photographer"

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  • Glenys Mclaren says

    22nd August 2012 at 9:58 am

    This is a lovely idea for presenting all the details of your special day.I thought it was better than an old-fashioned wedding album and will reach far more people.Very informative as well.

  • Laura says

    27th August 2012 at 11:22 am

    What lovely photos! The bride and groom look so happy.

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