A perfect vintage-inspired wedding day – effortlessly blending shabby and elegant

Let me preface this post by saying I’m beyond enthusiastic about this wedding. In fact, it’s one of my favourite submissions ever. There’s nothing about this I don’t like, even the chair covers are gorgeous (and that’s saying something coming from me)! I’m in love with the styling by the absolutely phenomenal Kirsten of The Little Wedding Helper, the beautiful photography by Jo Hansford Photography… even the food looks so good I want to jump into the picture and eat it! Anyway, the bride and her fabulous team have plenty to say, so without further ado, here’s Helen to tell you all about her and Ralf’s big day! 

“Ralf and I got married on May 12th 2012. We planned a lot of our elegant vintage-themed wedding ourselves but had help and ideas from Kirsten Butler at The Little Wedding Helper in terms of styling. Barbara at Abbey House Gardens was also wonderful and very accommodating of our ideas

All of our suppliers were indispensable, our wedding wouldn’t have been everything we wanted without every one of them. Barbara & Ian and their beautiful home will always have a special place in our hearts.

My favourite wedding details were the china tea cups on the cake table which were my Great Grandmother’s. It was lovely to have some family china which fitted perfectly with the style and colours of our wedding.

We had an almost-disaster as I arrived in Malmesbury on Thursday evening (the wedding was the following Saturday) only to find that the hotel had remembered to reserve a room for the entire wedding party apart from the bride and groom. Barbara very kindly took me under her wing and I stayed at Abbey House Gardens for the whole time. The groom had a room for the Friday night only because some guests couldn’t come at the last minute and as newlyweds, we stayed at Abbey House Gardens on their wedding night. Barbara served a beautiful breakfast in the gardens on the Sunday morning – stunning!”

Styling inspiration from The Little Wedding Helper

Kirsten Butler of The Little Wedding Helper gives away her styling secrets for Helen and Ralf’s big day…

‘The whole feeling of this wedding was natural, pretty and delicate with a vintage twist and I had great fun meeting up with Helen to start designing this wedding as she had lots of ideas but was unsure of where to start and who was going to decorate everything on the day. We had several meetings and road trips to the venue which really is stunning. It was my first wedding at Abbey House Gardens in the beautiful village of Malmesbury and the house is steeped in history and detail.

It was important to make their ceremony & reception as personal as possible and so Helen had several bespoke signs made  that I hung up out in the gardens and the tables were all named after flowers which the wonderful Vicky Trainor from the Vintage drawer made embroidered hoops and individual favour pockets. Tea cups filled with candles, antique glass decanters, floral cushions. petals and beautiful blooms filled the Belvedere room which just look beautiful. Helen couldn’t resist a peek at the room before all the guests sat down & it was wonderful to see her reaction to the turnaround from ceremony to wedding breakfast!! I loved every minute of this wedding and thank you to Jo Hansford for recommending my services to Helen & Ralf! ‘

Images © 2012 Jo Hansford Photography











Location of wedding: Civil Ceremony & Reception at Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury
Photographer: Jo & Nic, Jo Hansford Photography
Bride’s dress, accessories and shoes:  Gown by Christine Kendall, Accessories sourced by Christine Kendall, shoes by Freya Rose
Bridesmaids’ dresses & accessories: Maids to Measure
Groom’s outfit: Austin Reed
Groomsmens’ / ushers’ outfits: Austin Reed
Styling / décor: Kirsten Butler at Little Wedding Helper styled the day with help from: Helen (the bride); Vicky Trainor (girls’favours and table names), Miniature Glass Bottles (boys’ favours – bottle plus labels; spirits added by bride and groom), Dreams to Reality (stationery), decanters and other decoration sourced through various including Etsy and An Angel At My Table, Maggi Evans (wooden signs), Antique Tea Cup candles (tea cup candles and tablecloths including English broderie under-cloths and embroidered runners), Bunting Boutique (bunting), china on cake table (bride’s great grandmother’s), Vintage Vibe (silver punch bowl and wine coolers)
Hair: Julie Johnston
Make-up: Sara Dagervik
Cake: Cathy Barrell
Catering: Dine with Style (champagne and wine bought by the couple from France, Germany respectively, beer from Stroud Brewery)
Band / DJ: David Martin – Baby Mirror Ball
Flowers: Beth, Gather Me Flowers, Stroud
Extras: Crepes and espresso tricycles, Ideas Box, Piano hire – Mickleburgh Pianos, Bath, Pianist (groom + Sophie Eden), Bristol Vintage (vintage side plates), Reel Emotion (Ioannis Crouch – videographer)

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