So we grew together,
like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem. Shakespeare
Such a romantic wedding, inspired by the wordsmith and King of classical romance and frivolity, Shakespeare.
When I received this wedding from wonderful photographer Benjamin Wetherall and he mentioned that it was inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays’ A Midsummer’s Night Dream, I knew I had to share it with you.. The day was meticulously put together by this gorgeous couple who also happen to be an actress and director.
One of the most beautiful things that you can do to create a wedding that is true to you, is to take inspiration from outside of the wedding industry. Anything from film, theatre, hobbies, music, poetry, art, you name it.
It it such a pleasure to share weddings where the couples individuality and creatively (hey, they are lucky and hugely advantaged if they already possess the creative gene, it helps!) comes through in the execution of their wedding day from the styling to the finer details, such as the woodland finishing touches.
Already setting himself up as a true romantic, following a Romeo and Juliet inspired proposal,TV and film director, Luke and classical actress Joey (Joanne) married at the incredible 900 year old Boxgrove Priory in may 2015. The wanted the focus to be on lots of merriment with friends and family at the newly refurbished Upwaltham Barns, surrounded by the beautiful Sussex countryside, with breathtaking views as their backdrop.
Joey and Luke knew they wanted A Midsummer’s Night Dream inspired wedding day as soon as they were engaged and were spoilt for choice with cherry picking lots of delicious inspiration online
Over to the talented and very gorgeous Joey and Luke…
We had taken two days out of our schedules to have a mid-week mini-break after Luke suggested it several months earlier. I tend to be the organiser out of the two of us, but he was keen to take ownership over planning this time (which was fine by me!)
In the run up to our break away, Luke had very casually mentioned that a friend of his had a book he was hoping to lend him. On route to the hotel in a cab, he announced we quickly needed to drop into St Augustin’s church in South Kensington, since he’d arranged a hand-over of the book in question.
Wheeling our luggage into the back of the church, his friend had not yet arrived. The church looked beautiful, it was completely empty and there were lit candles all the way down the aisle – it was very Baz Lurhman’s Romeo & Juliet.
Feeling excited to have stumbled across such a sight on a Tuesday morning, we wandered to the front towards the altar. Seconds later, Luke was down on one knee asking for my hand in marriage… There was no book collection – the church and candles had been prepared especially for us! (Nu Bride: Just beautiful!)
Although we’ve both lived in London for a long time, neither of us were raised in a city.
For us, a country, homely, earthly feel was really important.
Joanne comes from a classical acting background and we’re both creative, so having A Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired theme was very ‘us’.
I chose a dress from David’s bridal and can you believe it my shoes were from Ebay! – I really didn’t see the point in spending a fortune on shoes that weren’t going to be seen! (Nu Bride: You’re giving me heart palpitations Joey lol!)
Realising that all the hard work we put into making the experience the best it could be for our guests really paid off!
All of our favours were loving made by Joey and our friends
Seeing Joey’s face as a band (separate from the official wedding band) arrived and sang her a song I had them write for her, all about her and our relationship.
For our first dance we chose a remixed version of Happy (Maroon 5 cover + Pharell Williams)
Challenges and Triumphs
Everything was a challenge but fortunately everything was a triumph on the day!
One Tip to Other Couples
Set aside a wedding planning day. Six months ahead of the day itself, we committed to keeping our Sundays free for planning and time together. It made all the difference. Planning a wedding is a full-on experience but having one day a week assigned to making progress really helped us and prevented too much overwhelm.
A great big thank you Joey and Luke for sharing your creativity and special day with us. Biggest of congratulations.
Photography: Benjamin Wetherall Photography
Grooms & Groomsmen Fashion