real wedding: classic romance {kate & lee}

Happy Wednesday wedding lovers! I am so thrilled to finally share the work of our lovely b.loved sponsor Marianne Ford Photography today, and such a beautiful wedding!  The bride, Kate describes her day as romantic and traditional, which is right on the button, but it also has some cute contemporary touches too!  I just love the pretty pink bridesmaids dresses, and adorable fluffy astilbe bouquets.  And Kate’s style is oh so classic and simple, with a very clever twist to her dress ensuring her look stayed fresh throughout the day. Enjoy my lovelies!

We met in a night club six years ago. He noticed me and tried to catch my attention saying ‘you again’ every time I walked past him to go to the bathroom. It worked. We got chatting and he asked for my email address and the rest is history!  Lee proposed in a local Italian restaurant just before my 30th birthday. He had arranged with my parents for them to arrive just after he proposed so they could celebrate with us. I am very close to my parents and he knew how much it would mean to me for them to be a part of it. I had no idea about the proposal but it did explain why Lee had been acting strangely all evening! He had told the restaurant what he was going do and asked for a quiet table, but the restaurant manager was so excited he put us in the centre of the room with a spotlight on us which i don’t think helped to calm Lee’s nerves very much! Lee proposed with the ring he had had made for me. It fit perfectly and was so  beautiful.  My parents joined us and we had champagne and dinner and then went dancing until the early hours. It was such a fun night!

My dress was ivory with a satin bodice with button back and a raw silk circular skirt and Oyster Kobe sash. Over the top of the main dress was a satin skirt with a tulle overlay with a three foot train which was removable. This meant that in the evening rather than lugging a heavy bustle around with me all night I could remove the train and hoop and be a bit more self sufficient!! I also had a bateau necked lace jacket with a button back which I wore for the church along with a cathedral length veil. I was really pleased with how the dress turned out. I felt amazing in it and people commented on how clever the recoverable bits were as each one created a different look!

My shoes were Miss KG by Kurt Geiger. I really wanted that brand particularly as my maiden name was Grayling and it was the last day that I would be Miss KG! Other than that I had pearl earrings borrowed from my mum and a pearl and diamond ring that my mums parents had bought for my aunt when she was a child and which my sister had had restored for me for my 30th birthday!  The groomsmen wore tails in the end. We were adamant they were not having tails at the start but when they tried it all on it really suited them all so we want with it, the boys had oyster waistcoats and cravats.

We didn’t have an official theme but I guess romantic and traditional would be the words I would use to describe our wedding. Everything started with the bridesmaids dresses. I saw them in H&M when I was Christmas shopping and fell in love with them. They were so simple and fresh and I thought they would suit each of my bridesmaid and most importantly be comfortable for them to wear. They were originally floor length but I had them altered so they were a little more modern. I hadn’t planned on getting the dresses so cheaply but they looked amazing so it was a bonus! After that we just went for a natural, pale palette using different shades and tones for things like the sash on my dress, the boys waistcoats, shoes and chair sashes!

I had several DIY projects, I just could not find what I wanted for some things so I made them myself!  The first thing I made was our save the date cards. I found a stamp on Not on the Highstreet that you could personalize with your name and date of your wedding etc. we then stamped small cards and threaded them with satin ribbon so they were like little plaques that could be hung on a notice board. I also made sloe gin favors which I bottled myself using sloes I picked from Epping Forest and fermented in gin for 6 months before decanting it into smaller bottles, and labelling them. I designed and printed the labels myself and found these sweet little silver hearts that said ‘hand made with love’ which I put round the neck of each bottle. I chose simple white and grey letter pressed invites and then added a circular pearl buckle and peach ribbon to each one by hand. I also hand beaded the youngest bridesmaid dress with peach beads, and I made her a sash from the left over material from the grown up bridesmaids dresses so they matched perfectly!

It’s too hard to pick a favourite part. Getting ready at my parents house with all my closest friends was fabulous and so much fun. Hanging out with my dad in the car on the way to the ceremony was special. Walking down the aisle was scary and I was glad when that was over, all those eyes on me was quite daunting. Driving back to the reception venue with my new husband on our own was really great. It’s so important to just have that moment to yourselves and remember why you are there. I loved the first dance. Our DJ had everyone join us on the dance floor after the first verse and it was great to have everyone up and dancing at 7pm!!

I made sure I took a moment during the day to go up on the balcony above the reception room and just look at everyone having fun and being there for us.

What was your first dance and how did you choose the song?

Our first dance was Cruisin’ by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis. We didn’t even need to discuss what it was going to be – we both just knew. On our third date we went to Brighton for the day. I drove and on the way there that song came on the radio. It was one of my favorite songs and I started singing it to Lee. He swears that’s when he knew I was the one (cheesey I know!)

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

Enjoy it. Don’t get bogged down in the admin side of wedding planning. Make quick decisions and if you are in doubt move on – when its right you know it is!

Invest in a glue gun – it’s the best purchase I ever made! Do have a toastmaster if you can. Phillip was great at organizing people and making sure the day ran smoothly – it really made a difference to our day having him there. You don’t have to have him in the red suit if that’s not your thing but his experience was invaluable on the day!

If something goes wrong on the day (like your magician being in a car crash and not being able to attend) don’t let it bother you. No one else knows the detailed plans and wont know it’s not all perfect. If you don’t enjoy the day and let things affect you all that planning was for nothing. If you are happy and relaxed your guests will be too!

Try to take some time in your day to take it all in. Make a plan to steal 5 minutes with your new husband away from the reception to say Hi and spend a moment together.!

Do a receiving line so that you have at least said hello and seen everyone at the wedding. That way if you don’t get round everyone properly you have at least welcomed them.



Photography: Marianne Ford Photography // Dress & Veil: The Wedding Shop // Shoes: Miss KG // Bridesmaids dresses: H&M // Invitations: Cirencester Letterpress // Save the dates: Stamp by Not on the Highstreet // Ceremony Venue: St John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill // Reception Venue & Catering: Woolston Manor Golf & Country Club // Toastmaster: Philip Gardiner // Florist: The Bloom Bar // Cake: The London Cake Company // Music: Mitch Matthews


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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