Caroline & Gareth’s simply stylish DIY wedding

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Happy Wednesday wedding lovers.  I’ve such a treat in store for you today.  Caroline & Gareth celebrated their marriage in gorgeously relaxed style, foregoing flowers for the simple statement of giant balloons, a pretty green colour scheme and lovingly-made DIY details.  Their day was captured Katherine Ashdown. I’m such a big fan of her work, her romantic images and the way in which she treats her couples as friends, not just clients.  Her personal and emotional investment in every wedding she shoots is evident, capturing the moments that are special and poignant to each couple’s story.

I simply adore bride Caroline’s pretty Cymbeline dress, it’s the perfect style for her delicate and dainty features {I think she’s one of b.loved’s prettiest brides!}, oh and the light throughout their day so beautiful & ethereal!

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Here’s their story ~

We met during our 2nd year at Coventry University in 2004 – we lived next-door-but-one to each other and used to go to the local pub quiz every Tuesday and that’s where it all began! We went on a skiing holiday in February 2012 to La Rosiere in the French Alps and Gareth proposed on the slopes on Valentine’s Day.  We were married on 6th April 2013 at St. Mary the Virgin church in Blundeston near Lowestoft, Suffolk. I grew up in Blundeston and my parents still live there. St. Mary the Virgin was the local church. We had our reception at Southwood Hall near Norwich, which was the first reception venue we looked at. It is a beautiful barn conversion and we fell in love with it straight away!

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My dress was called ‘Fatima’ by Cymbeline and I got it from Elm Hill Brides in Norwich. It was the first dress I tried on and the only dress I tried on that made me cry (in a good way!) so I had to have it! I knew I wanted a dress that was a little different. I had decided that I wanted lace and I really liked the layered style of this dress, the cowl neckline and the fact that it was easy to move in!  I didn’t wear a veil because I didn’t want it to distract from how pretty my dress was! I had a hair band with freshwater pearls which was simple but went really well with my other jewellery.

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I made my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ bouquets using felt, buttons and beads, and matching flet flower button holes for Gareth & his groomsmen. I also made a broach for my mum so that she could co-ordinate too!  They took quite a while to do but my sister helped as she is also getting married in August 2013 and is also making her bouquets in the same way! I had seen bouquets of this kind on the internet before and liked the fact that we would all be able to keep them as a little memento of the day. I kept everything quite simple so my dress could do most of the talking! 

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We handmade all the stationery. I drew some designs based on olive trees as olive green was the main colour and we have olive trees in our garden! Gareth  took control of the technical side of this, uploading the pictures onto the computer and sorting out the layouts of the invitations, save the date cards and order of service. Blundeston church provided flowers in ivory and green for the church. We didn’t have flowers at the reception venue, just some giant ivory coloured balloons! The barn itself is very impressive so we didn’t feel the need to have lots of flowers adorning it.  Our cake was made by Vanilla Patisserie in Saxmundham, Suffolk. We had 4 different types of cake, carrot cake, victoria sponge, lemon cake and Cointreau & dark chocolate. It was wrapped in white chocolate and had green swirls running through it. Michelle, who makes the cakes, asked us for sample colours and matched the colours in my bouquets perfectly.

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Choosing our photographer was a tough decision!  We only met with two photographers but we felt that Katherine’s style appealed to us more and knew that she would capture our day exactly the way we would want it.


favourite moment

For Gareth it was arriving at Southwood  Hall and seeing everything set up for the reception!  For me it was walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing all the people who had come to see me and Gareth getting married. This was particularly special as my Dad has Parkinson’s  Disease and I know it meant a lot to him to be able to walk me down the aisle in front of so many people who care about us.

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first dance

‘Never Let Me Go’ by Florence + The Machine.



 A weird tradition that was recommended to me to ensure good weather is for the bride to bury a raw sausage in the garden where she is staying the night before the wedding! I did it, and it certainly worked for us! The weather was brilliant!

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See more of Katherine Ashdown’s work on b.loved here


Photography: Katherine Ashdown // Dress: Cymbeline from Elm Hill Brides // Accessories: Misi  // Jewellery: Nova Silver //  Bridesmaids dresses: Dreams Bridal // Groomswear: Moss Bros // Florist: DIY bouquets with materials from Hobbycraft and Anglian Fashion Fabrics // Cake: Vanilla Cake Design  // Stationery: DIY with materials from Hobbycraft // Hair {bridesmaids}:  Harian Hair Design // Makeup: I did my own make-up and my bridesmaids’ using Clinique & Bourjois // Venue & Catering: Southwood Hall  // Music: My friend Jonny Wyatt, from Headspace // Coordination: Southwood Hall


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.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.