Our English Country Wedding
Because we're about to go on our honeymoon and the fact that it's Valentine's Day, got me thinking about the best day of my life...
Yes, love is on the brain today and I've owed you all a post about our beautiful wedding since last summer. So here it is. The full run down. You see, Kalo and I's English countryside wedding was two years in the making starting with a civil ceremony the year prior. From there, we underwent an extensive visa application process, months of planning and then finally the big day had arrived. It was a dream, full of personal touches, special moments and tears of absolute happiness.
Our family and friends travelled from all over the US and Europe to join us in London. It was so important to me that everyone get to experience my new home and plan their own epic adventures while abroad. We spent the week before the wedding not only drinking in the sites but downing pints at some of the oldest pubs in the city. Give me a shout if you'd like the historic pub crawl route I put together. Also, as a group, we took boat rides on the Thames, toured Windsor castle, road tripped to the Cotswolds and retreated to the most picturesque place in England. Lower Slaughter.
Looking back, I can't shake how amazing it is that Kalo and I's special day included so many of the people we love. Our guests were not just bystanders, they were involved in all aspects of the wedding.
Once at the Slaughters Manor House, and after a quick rehearsal, we gathered for a barbecue across the street at the Country Inn. It was all beers, wines and good times. Just the way Kalo and I like it. The next afternoon, with the sun shining, we had the most intimate, romantic and uplifting wedding ever but of course I'm biased. Kalo's childhood friend performed the ceremony and he 100% knocked it out of the park. (We can't thank you enough Ivan!) Every word was customised and tailored to us. How incredible is that? There were tender stories, plenty of jokes but most memorable is the fact that our little ceremony was entirely genuine.
We also wrote our own vows which added to the waterworks amongst our guests. I'll never forget the moment of Kalo and I standing there saying our promises to each other out loud for the world to hear. It was powerful and I swear I had never felt so much love in the atmosphere. Oh and the amazing part was I had ZERO nerves. Anyone who knows me knows I'm the biggest nervous nelly of all time but I was simply full of confidence that day. I'm a true believer that the right person really does make you stronger.
And from the ceremony onwards the personalisations continued. Another of Kalo's best buddies played guitar for our first dance as a couple. He learned "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison specifically for us and performed it beautifully. (Badjev you're my hero!) Later on, during the speeches, there was not a dry eye in the manor. Kalo's parents, my Dad, Carlie my Matron of Honour and Filip the Best Man, all spoke from the heart and nailed their toasts. It's such a wonderful feeling having the people you look up to most give you their unwavering blessings.
Looking back, I can't shake how amazing it is that Kalo and I's special day included so many of the people we love. Our guests were not just bystanders, they were involved in all aspects of the wedding. But I haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to the details. You'll have to tune into more posts about all the precious bits, Bulgarian traditions, unexpected hiccups and symbolic pieces to the puzzle that was our wedding.
Now, this might not make sense to anyone else but my theme for the decor was garden eclectic meets elegant simplicity. Whites. Golds. Greenery. The result was airy, breezy and effortless. It's rare when everything in your head comes to fruition but that day it did. Also because we were at such a stunning location there was no need to spend an arm and a leg on florals. Really I wanted to let the venue speak for itself. Promise me, if you ever have an opportunity to visit Lower Slaughter, run don't walk to the Slaughters Manor House, even if it's only for a drink at the bar or meal in their restaurant.
Did someone just say restaurant? True to my HUNGRY FOR LIFE roots, I have to quickly chat about our wedding breakfast (aka dinner). On the menu, was carrot soup, whipped goat cheese, confit chicken, rhubarb panna cotta and salted chocolate mousse. It was five courses of springtime heaven and if that wasn't enough food, a full buffet of snacks were brought out later in the evening. A good idea to soak up all the alcohol that was consumed. Seriously though, I don't know if people still say this but hats off to the chef. We'll be back for anniversaries to come.
For the rest of the night I didn't leave the dance floor once. It's where we cut our delicious lemon and salted caramel cake, where I slow danced with my Dad, where we taught everyone how to do Bulgarian dances and where I got to belt out my favourite songs with my best girlfriends. It was a night I'll never forget and I know Kalo feels the same. We're only bummed that we had to turn the music off at midnight.
At the heart of it all, this post serves three purposes. One, a thank you to those who celebrated with us. Two, an opportunity for Kalo and I to remember the love and happiness of that day. And three, it can be inspiration or a resource for future brides and grooms out there. My best advice ... make your wedding truly, authentically yours with traditions, decor, get family members involved, etc.
So, for those who may be new to London and find themselves responsible for planning a wedding, not knowing anyone, not knowing what to google first ... look no further. I've got your back. Here is a list of the suppliers we worked with. And, if you have any questions or need other recommendations I'm your girl.
Venue - Slaughters Manor House
Flowers - Daisy Ellen
Cake - Vanilla Pod Bakery
DJ - Luke Nukem
Photographer - Lucie Hamilton Photography
Hair & Makeup - HC Brides
Wedding Dress - Lotus Threads
Veil - Britten Weddings (Etsy)
Bridesmaid Dresses - Likely NYC
Groomsmen Suits - Moss Brothers
Invitations - Danielle Bleuse Letterpress