Lifestyle Magazine

Emma and Hieu’s English Country Garden Wedding

By Claire

With lovely images from Eliza Claire Pho­tog­ra­phy, and Emma’s own report of the wed­ding day, I’ll leave this fea­ture to Emma and Eliza to share with you. You’ll love it!

Per­fect in Purples

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I chose a wed­ding dress by designer Myring Kester­ton (MMK), a pure silk tra­di­tional lace up corseted gown with lay­ered skirt adorned with pick ups and ivory flow­ers. The back of the dress had a large bus­tle that was fin­ished off with the same flow­ers on the front of the dress. The dress style was ‘Mimi’, bought from Mar­i­anne Jes­sica in Brom­ley, Kent.

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My shoes, jew­ellery and veil were all bought from La Bridal Bou­tique in Beck­en­ham, Kent. Owner, Julia Leake was great in help­ing me make my choices!  My silk shoes, ‘Sweet Briar’ were made to order by Diane Has­sall and had the date of the wed­ding stamped into the leather sole.

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Wed­ding day advice from Emma: Def­i­nitely use a pro­fes­sional makeup artist and hair styl­ist! They made me and my brides­maid look out­stand­ing. So much less stress­ful hav­ing some­one to take care of that for you and hav­ing stun­ning makeup for the pho­tos looks amazing.

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My Tiara/headband was bespoke by Har­riet Rouse who makes beau­ti­ful hand­made pieces for the bou­tique. My veil was gor­geous curly edged tulle, with scat­tered sparkle. I wore a sim­ple dia­mante bracelet to keep the look simple.

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Hieu and the grooms­men wore gray morn­ing suits hired at Moss and ivory waist­coats. Their cra­vats and han­kie acces­sories I had espe­cially made to match the Dessy ‘Sugar Plum’ brides­maid dresses exactly. The grooms­men wore per­son­alised cuf­flinks for the day engraved with their initials.

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Our wed­ding venue Combe Bank has its own gor­geous quaint lit­tle chapel which allows you to have a reli­gious ser­vice, whilst keep­ing the whole day under one roof. We were very for­tu­nate to find the venue which met all out needs and housed all of our guests – with 140 to seat for the wed­ding break­fast; our choice was lim­ited with the Kent region!

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Our day was sim­ply bril­liant! With 140 of our near­est and dear­est we had our per­fect wed­ding. We planned the wed­ding on an Eng­lish Coun­try Gar­den theme with the empha­sis on colour­ful scented flow­ers in mauves, pinks and neu­trals. The bou­quets were infor­mal hand tied arrange­ments and the table cen­tre vases (18 tables!!) were full of sum­mer blooms with hand tied rib­bon sashes.

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My most mem­o­rable moment was arriv­ing at the chapel and walk­ing down the aisle with my Dad, to see Hieu wait­ing at the altar. I wasn’t ner­vous at all – just so excited to be there after all the months and months of plan­ning and imag­in­ing what it was going to be like.

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Above every­thing, Hieu and I wanted our day to be fun and relaxed and we hope we achieved this and a whole lot more. We’ve had so much pos­i­tive feed­back since the big day – we just wish we could do it all over again!!

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Emma’s tip for Eng­lish Wed­ding read­ers: Relax and enjoy the day – and soak it all up! We spent so long on every lit­tle detail for the day but you are so focused on your guests and faces on the day that it all passes your by and you don’t see the ben­e­fit of all your hard work! Hieu and I didn’t get a chance to have any Pimms, Canapés or even any of our cup­cakes!! Despite all the pan­ick­ing every­thing always goes to plan – so don’t worry!

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Jointly our most mem­o­rable moment was def­i­nitely doing our first dance. We had a spe­cially chore­o­graphed rou­tine to the amaze­ment of all our friends and fam­ily and we felt so spe­cial being sur­rounded by every­one whilst we swooshed around the dance floor to Celine Dion’s ‘Because you loved me’! It met with much laugh­ter and applause!

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Emma and Hieu: rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers

We’d rec­om­mend them all, they were all great!! But in particular:

‘Mar­i­anne Jes­sica’ — who sup­plied my dress. ( their ser­vice was spot on! Michele who owns the shop couldn’t have done enough for me and even opened in the evening for my dress fit­tings. She was always hon­est with her opin­ion and enabled me to find and be totally sat­is­fied with my per­fect dress.

‘Inspired Wed­ding Venues’ ( – Were totally bril­liant in co-ordinating my day and Teresa Howl­lett was sec­ond to none. Noth­ing was ever enough for her and she was even there at Combe Bank on the morn­ing of the wed­ding, set­ting out all of our venue décor – can­dles, storm lanterns, pew dress­ings, wish­ing tree…you name it, Teresa lov­ingly put every­thing out just were I had asked her to. From view­ing the venue to book­ing the venue to arrang­ing the cater­ing to answer­ing my hun­dreds of ques­tions, Inspired Wed­ding Venues were fan­tas­tic and I wouldn’t hes­i­tate in rec­om­mend­ing one of their 4 venues, espe­cially Combe Bank of course!

Eliza Claire – our wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher ( Eliza was bril­liant and has sup­plied us with an out­stand­ing account of our day with her fan­tas­tic style of pho­tog­ra­phy. We asked for plenty of can­did shots so we could really get a feel for our day, the venue and our guests, and she pro­vided exactly what we asked for. With a mix­ture of group/formal shots and reportage style pho­tog­ra­phy, we have mod­ern, stun­ning, colour­ful pic­tures which we will trea­sure for ever. Eliza’s sec­ond pho­tog­ra­pher Marie also did a ster­ling job and we appre­ci­ated hav­ing 2 peo­ple ‘on the job’!

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