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A rustic autumnal wedding at The Plough in Bedford

A rustic autumnal wedding at The Plough in Bedford


Written by Katie Byrne


Gemma and Tom added a luxe twist to their candlelit wedding celebration

Gemma Pope, an office manager, and Thomas Francis, a business owner and CEO, both 35, became husband and wife in a civil ceremony and blessing at The Plough, Bedford.

Budget: £20,000-£30,000

Flower budget: £2,500

Photography: Hannah Duffy Photography

Tom and I met when I had moved back to my home town after working in London for a couple of years; Tom had moved to the town during my absence. We met in one of the local bars over the Christmas period in December 2012.

We got engaged in October 2014 (our wedding day was exactly two years to the day from when we got engaged) at the Blue Lagoons, Malta, in a little rowing boat out at sea.

The theme of our day was rustic autumnal luxe. We wanted something relaxed and intimate but with a hint of luxury that also complemented and enhanced the existing décor and backdrop of The Plough which is our favourite local pub.

It felt homely and relaxed but at same time it also looked luxurious and romantic, especially with the abundance of candlelight.

Our cake was a cheese tower from Neal’s Yard Dairy. We wanted our cake to form part of the evening Farmers Market Buffet and the style of the cake complemented our styling beautifully.

For our favours we had “Be Lucky” scratch cards in a kraft card envelope.

We incorporated lots of personal finishing touches into the day, such as a homemade wooden table plan using wood and tools from my late granddad's workshop.

To enhance the overall décor, we hired candlesticks and vases from Hélène Millot, purchased candles from Nordic House and bought various items from our home including blankets to keep our guests warm and vintage crates, jars and books for our evening buffet display.

Our florist, Juliet from Willow and Wolf, used a mixture of seasonal flowers including dahlias, scabious, roses, chocolate cosmos and berries. Eucalyptus provided the foliage structure and ferns helped to soften the overall look. We also added berries and fruits to enhance the plum autumnal tones, especially on the tables.

The overall inspiration and vibe for our wedding stemmed from the interiors of The Plough, especially the floral wallpaper. It was important to us that we worked with the backdrop and enhanced the existing rustic luxe vibe.

My dress was called Marina by Maggie Sottero. I loved it as soon as I put it on. It was light, floaty and comfortable.

My tip for brides-to-be: My first piece of advice would be to enjoy planning your wedding, I have watched a lot of friends get stressed out and resentful towards the planning and decision process. We made sure we thoroughly enjoyed every step and made time to enjoy it. We look back on those moments positively and fondly.

My second piece of advice is something that I was told over and over again. Try and take moments throughout the day to take it all in as it will flash by so fast. I am so pleased that we both made a conscious effort to take time alone with each other and also moments to sit back and watch our loved ones enjoying the day.

Steal their style!

FLORIST: Willow and Wolf VENUE: The Plough, Bolnhurst PLANNER: Katrina Otter Weddings DRESS: Maggie Sottero TIPI: Events Under Canvas CELEBRANT: Samantha Kelsie STATIONERY: Pear Paper Co. DÉCOR: Hélène Millot CAKE: Neal's Yard Dairy 


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