Lyndsey’s country garden wedding

1. Wedding date?
22nd July 2021
2. Wedding venue?
Wedding Venue – Parley Manor, West Parley, Christchurch (insta handle Parley Manor Weddings)
We were originally due to be married 29th July 2020 after 19 long years together. We finally decided to get married due to my grandmothers ill health. We fell in love with the first venue we viewed with its stunning country gardens and full exclusive use of the grounds. Our wedding date had to be postponed and changed 5 times due to Covid and my Nan suffered a stroke and a heart attack in between but thankfully was healthy enough to attend and sign our certificate as a witness. We had issues with the venue finding us a like for like date (we had paid for a date in the summer holidays for guaranteed good weather) but eventually we were offered a cancellation. We lost 3 photographers and deposits due to date changes and were blessed when a lady reached out via social media to say she had read about our situation with having nothing left in our budget and wanted to gift us her services for the whole day.
 We were both unable to attend our hen and stag holidays due to restrictions and only received partial refunds. I had also fell out of love with our original colour scheme of pastels and decided to change to ivory and champagne with lots of green foliage in our flowers. As a result I had to make a lot of our room decor including the seating plan, place names, flower girl garlands and Mr and Mrs sign. I recycled wood and pallets with some artificial flowers from the range and I even personalised poems for our place names and used gold foil and a laminator to makes the names pop.
2a. Did your wedding plans change due to covid? If so what changed?
3. Wedding photographer & How did you choose your photographer?
Wedding Photographer – Lizzy Morris photography. As mentioned above we had previously gone with one of the venues partners but she was unable to do any date changes and we booked a further 2 photographers who couldn’t then do the new date resulting in losing two lots of deposit amounting to our whole budget being blown. Liz reached out to me after a friend had shared our story on Facebook and offered to come and shoot the whole day as a gift and to gain more experience for her portfolio. I instantly loved Liz eye for the natural. Dean and I had already agreed we didn’t really want any staged posed photos as we wanted to enjoy our day without interruption. We wanted to see photos of the kids playing and dad stuffing his face or Nan getting drunk at the cocktail bike and Liz delivered that perfectly. We also went off with our bridal and grooms party and had some stunning photos taken at “golden hour” as the sun was going down. Liz is amazing and added to the magic of the day.
4. Wedding Flowers & did you choose your dress before your flowers?
Wedding Flowers – we went with a venue partner Simply Flower, I went along to our first meeting with my swatches and samples and my Pinterest board and Maria and I instantly got along. She loved that I had a clear vision of what I wanted and she executed it amazingly. This included a 15 foot swing adorned in our colour flowers, my bouquet my 7 bridesmaids hand tied gypsophilia bouquets, the arrangement on our top table and a specially made arch for the ceremony which was made of untouched wooden beams and decorated with lace panels and our themed flowers. I chose my dress before and the theme came after.
5. Did you have a colour scheme or theme for your day?
Colour scheme/theme – we both wanted our day to visually look fresh and in keeping with the country garden theme. We used lots of wood for our signs, we had a wooden step ladder set up with photos and fairy lights in the main marquee. My bridal gown had an almond petticoat so we picked this out for our teen bridesmaids who wore an almond satin and our older bridesmaids wore champagne dresses with an ivory lace overlay. I hand made buttonholes for our mums and nans using ivory roses, sprigs and gypsophilia.
 The groomsmen wore stunning Marc Darcy tweed suite in Navy and tan and instead of buttonholes they had skeletal pocket watches as they fancied themselves something from Peeky Blinders. Everything throughout the day looked clean and crisp and very complimentary 👌🏼
The Dress
6. Dress Designer?
Mark Lesley – Style 7304
7. Before visiting Creatiques did you have an idea of what style of gown you’d like? If so were you surprised by the gown you did choose?
The funny thing is I always imagined I’d wear quite a fitted dress probably full lace with a sleeve but on arrival at Creatiques my bridal party decided that it would be fun to each chose me a dress they thought would suit me, this particular dress was the only one I didn’t want to try on because it was far from anything I imagined but once I saw myself in it I got that feeling that brides always say you get, I didn’t want to take it off. Ive since come to learn that every bridal gown I had saved or looked at beforehand were all Mark Lesley so if that’s not fate I don’t know what is. I was meant to wear this designer it was just perfect.
8. Overall how was your Creatiques experience?
I probably visited creatiques a fair few more times than normal due to Covid but I can’t express how much it’s added to my wedding planning experience. From being greeted at the door each time by Rob, to being pinned and complimented numerous times by the lovely Claire and even having Andrew nip out from the salon to check in on me the whole Creatiques experience has been magical.
9. Highlight of your wedding day?
Having my nanny there with me and also our children
10. Did you have any special touches?
Our incredible videographer Shot by Cannon did us an emotional same day edit (highlight video) that was played at our evening reception. All of our guests were in floods and the venue were so impressed. It really added some sparkle and uniqueness to our day and we were then able to share that with those who couldn’t be there due to Covid.
11. Do you have any advice for bride’s planning their big day?
My advice would be. Do what you want, we didn’t keep too many traditions but instead added things to our day that made it ours. We had a grooms March before the bridal March introducing our sons and the best men to Billy idols white wedding, we did exactly what we wanted with the help of our venue co-ordinator. Play music you want to dance too, have food you want to eat and just breathe in every minute. Also top piece of advice is only invite people you want there. Dont be forced or feel obliged to invite that second cousins aunties neighbour. It makes all the difference when everyone at your wedding actually loves you and wants to be there.
12. In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t do a thing differently. If something ain’t broke don’t fix it