A rustic romance

Sarah and James' big-day colour palette comprised green and ivory with a hint of blush pink.

Sarah and James met on their first day of training to be Police Officers and it blossomed from there. “Once we finished training James took me on our first official date to Miller & Carter,” recalls Sarah. “We instantly hit it off and that's where it all began.”

An unsuspecting proposal ensued, James proposed on a holiday in Menorca in June 2017. “It was a complete surprise, I had hoped he may propose but when we got to the final day of the holiday I didn't think it would happen,” says Sarah. “We then went up to a beautiful viewing point and James got down on one knee; to this day we still laugh as neither of us can remember exactly what he said... but I said yes to something! What I did not know was my mum had offered James her engagement ring (which she knew I loved), this was a really lovely surprise as I had no idea he had arranged with my mum to have her ring.”

The big date was set, 6th May, 2019, with Birtsmorton Court creating the picture-perfect backdrop. Here, Sarah shares more details about their day...

A rustic romance: Image 1 We booked a viewing on a very hot August bank holiday in 2017 and we knew immediately this is where we wanted to get married. Birtsmorton Court took our breath away and we wanted our guests to experience the same feeling.

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We had wood slices for our centrepieces; this followed through with our rustic theme. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and I loved how natural and rustic it looked.

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My sister-in-law made and bottled her own gin; a sprig of rosemary was added to carry through the rustic theme.

A rustic romance: Image 3 We hung four artificial foliage halos in-between the chandeliers in the marquee which I'm so please we did. They were so striking and everybody commented on them; they were filled with fairylights so come the evening they looked even prettier.

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We got married outside in the White Garden surrounded by beautiful flowers. We asked the florist for foliage-heavy designs with a hint of ivory and blush pink the flowers on the day really stand out for me. I especially loved my oversized bouquet and the top table garland.

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The cake was classic and simple with real flowers to complement our theme. We went for three flavours, lemon and poppy seed, carrot cake and chocolate fudge cake. We had personalised cake boxes where guests were able to take a slice home with them which was lovely.

A rustic romance: Image 5 James arrived in a friend's Ferrari with his best man, he was offered to drive this himself but was worried he would crash it before the wedding this still makes us chuckle.

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I wore a Justin Alexander mikado dress with a structured V-neckline; I had a cathedral-length train which I absolutely adored it was so glamorous. I accessorised with a beautiful beaded bolero which I took off in the evening; our guests were convinced I had a different dress on.

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James wore the Sandford suit as did the groomsmen; they were a mix of green and brown which gave a lovely earthy look.

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Guests had a wooden place name matching our cake topper; they reflected the styling and décor beautifully and we also wanted our guests to be able to take their place names away with them as something to remember.

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Our table numbers were written in chalk on a silver frame which looked really effective.

A rustic romance: Image 8 My mum made 80 personalised jam jars with hessian and paper straws, we had pimms served in these for our guests after the ceremony. In the evening we hired a photo booth which was a massive hit, our guests' photos were printed from the machine and stuck in a guest book, it was a great talking point and the photos are very funny.

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I had two bridesmaids, my sister and my niece. My sister wore a blush pink dress with beaded detailed, my niece wore a lace ivory dress to match the style of my wedding dress. One moment that stands out for me was getting into my dress with my niece, she kept referring to herself as a princess.

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We were both very excited, we'd been planning the day for two years so for it to finally arrive was lovely.

A rustic romance: Image 10 The evening stood out for us, it was the time we managed to relax and talk to our guests.

Sarah and James' contact book