Your Kent Wedding - March/April 2024 (Issue 113)

grocery item!” Wanting a pared back look, the centrepieces were little glass jars with flowers picked from their garden in Pluckley the day before. “We added, simple white metal and glass lanterns with LED candles to finish the look,” adds Louise. The big-day blooms were a colourful dried bouquet and matching boutonnières of pinks, purples and lilacs from Hops and Flowers by Essentially Hops in Canterbury. “We also dried flowers from our garden and made bags of confetti for our guests. In choosing a dried bouquet, it meant I was able to use it for both weddings and it is still on display in a vase at home − an everyday reminder of our special day.” Michelle, of My Lavender Kitchen, made a vegan, semi-naked, threetiered cake, decorated with pressed, foraged, edible flowers. The layers were, carrot with lime jelly, lemon sponge with blackberry jam, and Victoria sponge with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam. “Michelle also made a couple of individual cakes for two gluten-free guests which they absolutely loved and said were the best GF cakes they’d ever had!” “As we said before, Secret Garden is so beautiful with floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides, letting in lots of light. The tables are set with beautiful crockery and glassware, with touches of plants and greenery dotted around − we didn’t add anything extra in the way of décor! The full wall display of vintage and quirky mirrors attracted lots of attention and played a part in both our photographer’s and guests’ photos.” Louise and Stephen attended a tasting evening with venue’s catering team, and it didn’t disappoint. “The team were wonderful, we opted for a three-course meal, choosing to have the starters served as canapés in the garden to give the day a more relaxed vibe and allow people to take advantage of the amazing weather. For mains, guests were able to choose from almond and parmesan chicken, salmon with basil and parmesan crust, or butternut squash risotto. Desserts were a choice of toffee apple crumble with custard, chocolate brownie, or crème brulé with shortbread. Lastly, we had woodfired pizzas served in the garden to fuel us and our guests for more partying and dancing! Drinks throughout the day included Chapel Down (local beers), Pimm’s and guests had access to the bar.” For the evening entertainment, the couple booked a band called The Redfords, having them both as an acoustic duo during the ceremony under the gazebo and outside drinks reception, followed by a full band for the evening reception. “They were fantastic, and we think they were equally impressed with Louise’s dad, Mark, who stole the show with his ‘moves like Jagger’ throughout the evening,” shares Stephen. LOOKING THE PART “Being a plus size bride, I have to admit I was a bit worried about finding my dream dress,” shares Louise. “I visited three different places, and it was very much third time lucky with Zoe Dowle at Beautiful in Curves. I tried on so many of Zoe’s dresses (20 or so!), I really was spoilt for choice. In the end I fell in love with Isabella by Mille Grace. A silk and lace A-line gown with a fitted bodice, V-neckline, and long puff sleeves. It was beautiful and for me just the right mix of romantic, whimsy, boho and feminine. And I found a super seamstress, who made the sleeves slightly less puffy and made it fit like a dream.” Louise accessorised with a pearl pendant gifted to her from her aunt, “She and my grandmother had both worn it at their respective weddings. It meant so much to me, especially as my aunt couldn’t be with us due to ill health. I added a pair of pearl and diamond earrings to complete the look.” In the evening Louise changed into a blue velvet dress that she had worn for their registry service a few days earlier and teamed it with a pair of white pumps made for dancing! Stephen opted for a bespoke three-piece suit and bespoke shirt, he loved the experience of picking the material, lining, buttons, and other finishes like having his initials embroidered on the shirt. To accessorise Stephen wore a pair of Church’s, plus a vintage Liberty tie and vintage cufflinks. “As a nod to Stephen being Scottish, I bought him a vintage Luckenbooth which he wore on the inside of his suit. The Luckenbooth is a traditional Scottish symbol worn on Celtic jewellery that has been around REAL WEDDINGS 41