A Rustic, Californian Style Wedding in the English Countryside With Bridesmaids in Velvet Dresses

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How does a wedding inspired by the Californian homeland of our bride, filled with rustically elegant touches and a lovely, softly sun-bleached colour palette sound to you?

If yes, then I have just the celebration for you today; a classic English country church ceremony, followed by a marquee reception and an epic after-dark party. This is the wedding of Mrs Kimberlee Beach-Duffy, a Special Needs Teacher, and Mr Benjamin Duffy, an Artist Manager.  The happy couple were married on the 13 July 2019 at the Church of All Saints in Brandeston, Suffolk, and celebrated in style at a private residence in Woodbridge, Suffolk, inside a beautiful marquee.

Film by Fineshade Films

Kimberlee’s bridesmaids looked wonderful in velvet dresses in a shade called ‘English Rose’, and a chiffon dress in a pale, blush pink colour, by Jenny Yoo at BHLDN. They also wore rose gold teardrop stud earrings from John Lewis, and chose their own footwear.

“We both wanted a casual, low-key, rustic vibe to our wedding. Because Kimberlee is from California but we were getting married in the UK, we wanted to somehow incorporate a Californian feel with our colour palette and floral choices.”

Images by Georgia Rachael Photography

It’s fair to say that Kimberlee and Benjamin were thrilled with the collection of images created by their photographer, the talented Georgia Rachael Photography, whose work I’m very happy to share for the first time on our pages today.

“Georgia is amazing! We honestly cannot say enough good things about her. We wanted a particular look to our photos, and she completely smashed it! She is so sweet and really makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera. We highly recommend her to anyone for their wedding photos.”

Kimberlee’s softly textured chignon was styled for her by Laura, from Emilie Riley Hair, and adorned with fresh flowers, whilst her laid back yet glamorous make-up look was created by make-up artist Aleksandra Zych.

From David’s Bridal in the USA, Kimberlee discovered her exquisite, long-sleeved gown of delicate lace by designer Vera Wang, and doesn’t she look incredible?

“Before going dress shopping, I had an idea of what I wanted. I wanted lace with sleeves, and nothing too puffy, just something simple and elegant. I didn’t pick this dress initially because I missed it in the showroom. I tried a few dresses but knew none of them were ‘the’ dress.”

“I was almost finished, and was getting ready to leave when the girl helping me saw this dress, and said it matched the description of what I wanted, and asked if I wanted to try it on. I agreed, and once I saw it, I fell in love. I knew it was the dress I was looking for.”

Kimberlee wore block heeled sandals by Sam Edelman, and rose gold and diamond earrings with a matching necklace, which she borrowed from her mother.

“They were a gift to her from my dad, who has passed away. It was my ‘something borrowed’. It felt special to wear something my dad had selected himself and given to my mother.”

As a finishing touch, Kimberlee added some of her favourite perfume – Viva La Juicy, by Juicy Couture, as well as carrying an incredible bouquet of Californian inspired blooms – a huge protea flower surrounded by blush pink garden roses and lovely peonies, made for her by her friend, who was also her Maid of Honour.

“We purchased our flowers from a wholesale flower supplier, and we were lucky when it came to a florist. My best friend and Maid of Honour is a florist and event designer in Los Angeles, and she offered to do our floral arrangements for us. Again, we wanted a Californian vibe to our flowers, with lots of greenery, and dusty pinks and oranges in our arrangements.”

Guests began to congregate at the beautiful village church of All Saints, where Benjamin waited for his bride, in a navy blue suit by T.M. Lewin, worn with a white shirt, bow tie, and brogues from Topman.

“We met in March of 2014 in London. Kimberlee was studying abroad, and we met during a night out. We casually dated while she was in London, but we both knew she would be going back to Los Angeles in just a few months.”

“Once she left, we stayed in contact, and a few months later my work took me to Los Angeles. Once I was in L.A. we both realised where I was staying was a few blocks away from where Kimberlee lived. We met up with each other, and this is when we made things official.”

“Fast forward to 4 years later; we were living in Los Angeles together and planning a holiday to Spain for a few weeks that summer. I was very persistent about going back to Malaga, which is where we went on our first holiday as a couple.”

“Once we were back in Malaga, we went back to the Castillo Gibralfaro to watch the sunset. I got down on one knee and popped the question in the exact spot we were in 3 years prior. We were engaged for 11 months before we got married.”

The couple’s smart pageboy (in a suit from Macy’s) and flowergirl (in a white dress by Marks & Spencer) walked down the aisle first, and Kimberlee was accompanied by her older brother, Rick, to a Portuguese love song.

The All Saints Church vicar conducted the couple’s ceremony, and they said traditional church vows to one another, which they exchanged alongside rings from Point No Point Studio.

“Ben chose to purchase my engagement ring, and we chose our wedding rings from there, because they create unique rings using conflict-free diamonds.”

“I’m very minimalist when it comes to jewellery, and Ben knew I wanted a rose gold ring with a black or chocolate diamond. Point No Point have beautiful rings ready to purchase, or you can speak to the designer and come up with a bespoke, one-of-a-kind ring.”

Loved ones waited outside the church post-ceremony, to shower Kimberlee and Benjamin with sweetly scented flower petal confetti, and the newly married couple were whisked away to their reception venue in a stylish, 1940s Bentley, which was a surprise for them courtesy of Benjamin’s parents.

There was lots of dancing outside in the sunshine post-ceremony, with live music from Benjamin’s dad (who plays the banjo) and his band, the Down County Boys.

The couple secured the services of Caroline Gould and Victoria Ewing at The Wedding Planners, to ensure every element of their day was just as they wanted it.  Inside the reception marquee, magnificent garlands of lush greenery hung from its softly draped canopy ceiling, and below, tables were laid for a feast, with runners of flowers and foliage interspersed with custom-made wooden planks by Benjamin’s dad, to serve their food family style.

“We rented candelabras, vases, and a kids tipi (including pillows, blankets, books, crayons) from Anthology Vintage Hire. We purchased old wooden ladders and lanterns to use as hanging decorations over our tables.”

“Menus and day booklets we did ourselves. We purchased a template from Etsy that matched our invites, edited them ourselves and printed them at a nearby print shop. Super easy and affordable. Place cards we purchased from Amazon. We found some that matched our menus, and wrote names on ourselves using a gold paint pen.”

When it came to the feast, this was created by Prestige Bars & Catering, who served a delicious array of salads alongside chicken and chorizo and vegetable paellas, cooked in large, authentic paella pans. Desserts were raspberry cheesecake, chocolate tart, lemon and ginger cheesecake and chocolate mousse, as well as delicious wedding cake.

“We wanted something simple and rustic for our cake. We opted to have a naked cake (neither of us our huge fans of frosting). We spoke to a few cake suppliers and found that Regency Cakes in Newmarket were the best for us. The cake was delicious and everything we wanted. We highly recommend.”

Kimberlee and Ben enjoyed a sweet sunset walk after dinner, ahead of their first dance together, and an evening of lively music from DJ friends.

“We have always loved the song First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes. It was been one of our songs during our entire relationship. We knew that it would be our first dance song from the very beginning. It’s a sweet song about meeting the person who almost makes you feel brand new; that your life with them is the first day of your life.”

“Everything was perfect, and we could not have asked for a better day. Our favourite part of the day would just be having all of our friends and family in one place. Since we are from two different sides of the world, a lot of our closest friends and family had never met. To see all the ones we love the most in one place, having a good time would be our favourite part of the day.”

Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Our advice would be not to stress about the small stuff. When planning a wedding, of course you want everything to be perfect, and it is easy to get distracted from what the day is about, but the day is about two people coming together. You won’t be able to make everyone happy, so do what makes the two of you happy.”

“At the end of the day, it will all come together. If you miss small details your guests will be none the wiser. Just relax and enjoy the special time. Also, don’t leave your table plan to do at the last minute!”

Kimberlee and Benjamin, thanks a million to you both for your words, and for giving us this glimpse into your brilliantly fun wedding day. Many thanks to Fineshade Films and Georgia Rachael Photography for capturing everything with such energy and beauty, too.

With love,

Laura



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