Nick, who's in the Royal Navy, popped the question to Helen while he was home from a deployment in the Falklands. "He asked me to marry him during a walk in the Hampshire countryside with our dog Enzo, which is one of our favourite things to do together. I had no idea and was moaning at him for being weird!" she explains.
Planning began in earnest and the pair fell for two picture-perfect rural settings - Lanteglos Church and Trenderway Farm - which inspired the details of the day. "We wanted it to be very English country with quite a neutral colour scheme and some plummy tones added for a bit of colour," comments Helen.
The vintage, rustic theme was echoed through the flower arrangements, which featured lots of foliage and cream and white blooms mixed with hints of pink and plum. They perfectly picked up on the plum tones of the bridesmaids' dresses, which Helen made two days before the wedding!
Helen wore a customised, long-sleeved lace gown paired with a pair of Jimmy Choos and a snug wrap to stave off the winter chill, while the tweed suits of the groom's party added to the quintessentially English country vibe.
After the church ceremony, the couple's friend Gus - donning a pair of tartan trousers to reflect his Scottish roots - chauffered the newly-weds to Trenderway Farm in his decorated VW transporter van.
Settling into their rural reception setting, guests tucked into an ice-breaking wedding breakfast bursting with flavour and laughter. Sharing platters brimming with breads and dips, salmon, mackerel, baked Camembert and meats were followed by a main course of lamb and slow-roasted pork served with all the trimmings. "We allocated one person from each table to carve the meat, and hid a rude apron and a chef's hat under their chair for them to wear," says Helen. "This was the highlight of the night - everyone was roaring with laughter and it really got everyone on the tables interacting." A trio of desserts comprising apple crumble, chocolate brownie and sticky toffee pudding completed the hearty feast. Live band Jazz Not Jazz then provided top tunes into the night.
Looking back on her country celebration, Helen can easily pinpoint her standout moment. "My favourite part was being in the church, taking our vows and making it official," she says.
"Enjoy the day!" is her simple but wise reminder to brides and grooms-to-be. "It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the preparation, the sparkles and little details and lose sight of what the day is really all about. We got as many of our good friends involved as we could which made it extra special for us."
Photography Picshore Photography www.picshore.co.uk
Venue Lanteglos Church followed by Trenderway Farm www.trenderwayfarm.co.uk
Catering Couch's Catering www.couchscatering.com
Dress Annasul Y www.annasuly.co.uk
Groom's outfit Room Ten www.roomten.co.uk
Flowers The Garden Gate Flower Company www.thegardengateflowercompany.co.uk
Copyright Wed magazine 2015