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Wedding Ideas

Sophie & Beth

After two proposals, one abroad and one closer to home, Sophie and Beth began planning their intimate, autumn wedding and it featured a LOT of flowers!

The Wedding & Reception Venue

One of Sophie and Beth’s wedding must-haves was to find a venue that represented them as a couple and would allow them to celebrate with their closest friends and family. Sophie explains.

“The first thing we booked was the venue. We hadn’t looked at any others but when we arrived at Gaynes Park, we knew instantly that this is where we would get married.”

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The Orangery at Gaynes Park wedding venue in Essex looks stunning in the autumn sun
© Steve Dunton Photography

“As I’ve lived in Hertfordshire my whole life, I’ve always heard of Gaynes Park through word of mouth and friends had been telling me how beautiful it was. We looked at the venue online, arranged a visit and booked on the day.”

The beauty of Gaynes Park definitely played a big part in Beth and Sophie’s decision and they were smitten from the moment they arrived.

“We absolutely loved the fact that the aisle was outside and led into the gorgeous Orangery for the ceremony. The garden that surrounded the venue also took our breath away and we knew that they would make for beautiful pictures.”

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© Steve Dunton Photography
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The Gather Barn at Gaynes Park is an ideal covered outdoor space for an autumn wedding
© Steve Dunton Photography

“Gaynes Park gave us everything we wanted – it was big enough to accommodate everyone yet the space allowed for an intimate day, which was exactly what we wanted.”

Wedding Planning

Sophie and Beth chose a gold and blush pink theme for their day and they worked with stylists, Mediterranean Occasions to bring their look to life.

“We chose to have a disco ball with white drapes in the Mill Barn for our reception and wedding breakfast. Mediterranean Occasions also provided the dance floor and up-lighting for the evening and we had a projection of ‘Mrs & Mrs Paterson on the wall.”

Beth and Sophie wrote their own table plan, on a fabulous mirror and organised all the details themselves. Beth’s step-sister made the cake and Beth’s aunt and uncle made the couple’s favours – little pots of apricot jam with personalised labels that matched their theme.

However, true to their wish for a fabulously floral wedding day, Beth and Sophie worked with Fairynuff Flowers who created the most amazing decorations.

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© Steve Dunton Photography
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© Steve Dunton Photography
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© Steve Dunton Photography

Bridesmaids

Sophie and Beth were surrounded by their friends on their wedding day with four adult attendants and one junior bridesmaid. They found the gowns they wanted on Pinterest and then set out to track them down.

“The dresses were gold sequin with a tiny train and cowl backs. We found a stockist eventually and all took a trip to Kelly’s Bridal Couture in Lee-on-Solent. The girls tried the dresses on and we bought them then and there.”

The couple also had two flower girls, their adorable nieces, and their dresses came from Crystal Designs in Hertfordshire, along with their fur shrugs.

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© Steve Dunton Photography
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© Steve Dunton Photography
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© Steve Dunton Photography

“Our adult bridesmaids were our best friends and a cousin. They organised our hen dos and supported us through the lead-up to the wedding and on the day itself. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Brides’ Dresses & Accessories

Beth knew that she didn’t want a gown that was too big or too fussy and she found her perfect dress at Creatiques in Portsmouth.

“I always wanted a dress with lace detail which is what I went for in the end although the shape was different to what I imagined myself wearing.”

Beth also wore a long veil and had her Nanna’s Welsh love spoon sewn into her garter. Sophie also wore a veil and borrowed her Great-great Nan’s wedding ring which was also sewn into her garter. She found her dress at Fleur de Lys in Saffron Walden.

“I always wanted a fitted dress with a low back but initially bought something different then changed my mind! When I went back in, I fell in love with another dress straight away. I wanted something non-fussy but elegant and I felt so special wearing my dress on the day.”

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© Steve Dunton Photography
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A bride wears a two tiered bridal veil for her wedding day at Gaynes Park wedding venue in Essex
© Steve Dunton Photography
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One of the brides wore a stunning white bridal gown with delicate lace detail for her wedding at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The Apple Loft Cottage at Gaynes Park is the perfect place for bridal preparations
© Steve Dunton Photography
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A bridal gown with delicate beaded details hangs in the Apple Loft Cottage at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The back of the bridal gown worn by one of the brides at Gaynes Park had stunning button details
© Steve Dunton Photography

The Decorative Touches

On the day of the wedding, Gaynes Park looked stunning. There were lanterns lining the aisle, flowers on plinths by the ceremony table and at the entrance to the Orangery and the registrar’s table was decorated with a gorgeous heart-shaped wreath.

Sophie and Beth also made all of the wedding day stationery themselves. They crafted table names, place cards, a box for wedding cards, an Instagram sign, a welcome sign and the table plan too!

“Our cake was made by Beth’s step-sister at Ruthie’s Cupcakes and it was a three-layer design with a gold base and each layer was a different flavour. It tasted as good as it looked!”

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The couple chose to use places they had travelled to as table names for their reception at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The registrars table for the wedding ceremony is decorated with pink and white wedding flowers
© Steve Dunton Photography
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For their wedding at Gaynes Park in Essex the couple chose classic pink and white roses for their wedding flowers
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The wedding aisle in the gardens at Gaynes Park was lined with lanterns
© Steve Dunton Photography

The Wedding Day

Sophie and Beth held their civil ceremony in the Orangery and Sophie’s Dad escorted both brides down the aisle to music from Chiswell Strings. The ceremony was made all the more personal thanks to a very special reading.

“Our friends, who had travelled from Australia to be with us, had written a reading for us which they read during the ceremony. This is one of our best memories of the day as it was so personal.”

The couple served Pimm’s, Sangria Flora and bottles of Peroni during their drinks reception and there were plenty of canapes for lucky guests to enjoy as well. Crispy risotto balls, vegetable tempura and mini shepherd’s pies were all very popular and perfect for the autumn day!

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A bench at Gaynes Park wedding venue in Essex is ideal to include in your wedding photographs
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The mother of the bride admires her daughter before the wedding ceremony at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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A pink and white bridal bouquet is held by one of the brides before her wedding ceremony at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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A sneak peak of the bride through a window before her wedding ceremony at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The brides walk with one of their fathers down the wedding aisle towards the Orangery at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The father of the bride gives her an emotional kiss before the wedding ceremony
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The brides exchange rings and say I do during their wedding ceremony in the Orangery at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography

The wedding breakfast was also a delicious feast and Sophie and Beth had chosen a fantastic menu – smoked bacon Scotch egg to start followed by fillet of beef and a glazed lemon tart for dessert. After dinner, everyone moved to the Orangery for drinks while the Mill Barn was prepared for the evening party and this was also a great place for the couple to meet their additional evening guests. Back at the Mill Barn, it was soon time for the first dance.

“Beth’s sister sang our first dance which was Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’. It’s a song we’ve always both loved. We didn’t choreograph our dance but did almost trip on each other’s dresses and veils several times so perhaps we should have!”

From the moment that they had started planning their wedding, a great band had been high on Sophie and Beth’s list of priorities and they found the perfect one – Uncle Funk and the Boogie Wonderland!

The dance floor was full all evening long and guests also enjoyed an evening barbecue before it was time for the last dance of the night. Luckily for Beth, Sophie and their close friends and family, the day wasn’t quite over as they spent the night in the beautiful Coach House before breakfasting together the next morning. The perfect end to a perfect wedding.

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The brides take a stroll down the Long Walk at Gaynes Park wedding venue in Essex
© Steve Dunton Photography
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The Mill Barn at Gaynes Park in Essex is set up for an elegant wedding reception
© Steve Dunton Photography
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Wedding guests enjoy the wedding reception in the Mill Barn at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography
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Brides cut the cake during their evening wedding reception in the Mill Barn at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography

“The best part of the day was seeing each other for the first time, just before walking down the aisle. If we could do it again, we’d not be so nervous and would take in every moment.”
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The brides share a first look moment before their wedding ceremony in the Orangery at Gaynes Park
© Steve Dunton Photography

Wedding Planning Tips

“Our top tips would be to not get hung up on any small details because people just don’t notice! The most important thing is to just enjoy yourself because you won’t ever be able to do this again.”

“In terms of keeping to a budget, try and make a list of what’s most important to you and distribute the money accordingly.”

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The brides share a moment under the Pavillion at Gaynes Park during their evening reception
© Steve Dunton Photography

For more autumn wedding inspiration, take a look at Mark and Lee’s Spectacular Autumn Wedding, which certainly had plenty of wow factor to give you great ideas!

Suppliers

Photography :  Steve Dunton Photography
Flowers :  Fairynuff Flowers
Venue Stylist :  Mediterranean Occasions
Wedding Dress :  Fleur de Lys
Wedding Dress :  Creatiques
Bridesmaids Dresses :  Sorella Vita at Kelly’s Bridal Couture
Bridesmaids Dresses :  Crystal Designs
Band :  Uncle Funk and the Boogie Wonderland
Ceremony Musicians :  Chiswell Strings
Cake :  Ruthie’s Cupcakes
Invitations :  Amanda Michelle
Rings :  Raphael, Hatton Garden
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Sophie and Beth's real life wedding at Gaynes Park
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