Today I am thrilled to share this incredible Woodland inspired Wedding with a Steampunk and Alice in Wonderland Twist.
Images of the day were capture by Fitzgerald Photographic.
Clare Fitzgerald is a Wedding Photographer who lives in East Sussex, near Eastbourne & Brighton; but covers across Sussex, Surrey, Kent & London.
She says of her work and the couple…
“If you’re looking for a relaxed, creative & discreet wedding photographer; well here I am!”
“I love detail, colour and capturing a story of the day in my own way.”
“I met Gemma at a wedding fair, and initially when I found out that there was a steampunk inspired theme to the day, I have to admit I had no idea what steampunk was all about!”
“After a bit of research I was the very excited about the prospect of being part of and having the opportunity to photograph this wedding that was clearly going to be a touch different to most.”
“I loved how much Gemma & Dan day was full of wonderful unique handmade personal inspiration & character; it was such a relaxed and fun occasion to have been involved in.”
“They chose Michelham Priory as they wanted to keep the day local to where they live, in nearby Hailsham, East Sussex.”
“Being very hands on Gemma admitted that it was very hard to step back once they booked suppliers but did leave them to let them do what they are very good at rather than giving lots and lots of instructions.”
“Resulting in a them having beautiful day and not wanting to change a thing.”
“Gemma was keen to create her wedding rather than just buy things for it, so the list of makes included…..”
“Save the date cards, invitations and information booklets, order of service booklets – all with their tree, pocket watches and clockwork designs on.”
“Cutting out over 150 trees using a die cutter, embossed over 200 sheets, hand coloured all of those and attached over 500 clockwork parts, threaded 100 charms and 300 clamp rings and sewed all the booklets together! Phew!”
“Together they made the hand fasting/binding cord used to hold the rings, over 50 metres of leather, cord, lace and ribbon went into it along with silver charms and glass beads.”
“The grounds of Michelham Priory are beautiful and made for a perfect backdrop to the occasion and theme of the day.”
“Gemma wore a unique dress designed by herself and had made by Michelle from Victorian Gothic.”
“The bouquet was done by Arabella Flowers matching Gemmas dress beautifully.”
“The rings were designed and made by Chris Parry. Dan looked very smart in his military attire.”
“Hand made painted boards were placed around the reception, made using old pallets that were stained,with blackboards that Gemma made and had personal quotes written on them from things she sent to Dan while he was in Afghanistan last summer.”
“The table centrepieces had a woodland vibe with Reindeer moss, three stumps with inset candles, copper wired fairy lights, apples, pocket watches and butterflies!”
“They made all the wine glass rings using gemstone beads and charms we chose individually for their guests.”
“Name plates were made using branches from a tree in Dan’s parent’s garden that had to come down.”
“Names were pyrographed on and with skeleton leaves added and keys bundles that Gemma made.”
“The favours were sloe vodka made with sloes from the nearby local Cuckoo Trail – and I’m told taste tested many, many times!”
“Dan’s Dad made the wonderfully weird croquet set using more branches from the tree and Gemma’s daughter drew hedgehogs onto the balls!”
“The amazing cake was made by Gemma’s Mum, images on the bottom based around Jan Pienkowski illustrations, the middle chest matches a chest that Dan gave her on their first Christmas together and the top hat is wearing a corset to match her dress.”
I hand over to the lovely Bride Gemma…
How did you meet?
“We met at work 13 or so years ago and instantly hit it off.”
“We both moved on to other jobs but stayed in touch and in October 2012 we went on our first date after realising that we definitely liked each other more than just as friends.”
When did you get engaged?
“In May 2013 we went away for a long weekend in the New Forest, it was our last time alone together before Dan was posted to Afghanistan for 6 months.”
“On our final evening we walked out to Hurst Castle and Dan surprised me by dropping to one knee and proposing just as the sun was setting – and gave me my beautiful ring!”
Tell us about your wedding planning journey
“Dan flew out to Afghanistan on May 16th 2013, so the first 6 months of Wedding planning were done over the internet.”
“We used the blog I had for him to show photos of venues and ideas for decorations, we used messenger, e-mails and skype to keep in touch and share ideas. It made the time he was away a lot easier as we had something to focus on.”
“We would have loved to have got married in the woods, but since it really wasn’t at all practical we decided to keep the woodland idea and add a Steampunk twist to everything.”
“Making everything ourselves made it much easier to have exactly what we wanted, and when we realised that a lot of our ideas had an Alice in Wonderland feel to them – we just incorporated it and added a last minute weird and wonderful croquet set , complete with hedgehog balls.”
“While Dan was away I kept a blog for him to read so he could keep up with what was happening at home, things we’d been doing, photos of family events he’d missed – like my sister’s Wedding – and at the end of each entry I left him a love quote.”
“We picked our favourites and I painted them onto slates, chalkboards and painted them onto signs that we dotted around the barn.”
“We had some things that were important to us that wanted to include in our day but in a more subtle way.”
“We made a handfasting cord together that we used to hold our rings and we used charms on our order of service books and on the wine glasses.”
“We used a tree as a central theme and added different backgrounds and embellishments to it to change the appearance.”
“From January it looked like a Wedding bomb had exploded in the house – we had creations and projects going on everywhere.”
“Even our families had their houses taken over with storage of things and their own projects to make or grow for us.”
“Michelham Priory was the perfect venue.”
“We were free to hire the suppliers we wanted to use, to set up exactly how we wanted to and we had time on the day before to properly set up and also the day after to dismantle everything.”
When did you get married?
“We married on May 16th 2014 – a year after Dan left for Afghanistan”
What was the best bit of your day?
“The whole day was wonderful. Hearing the registrar announce us as husband and wife was fantastic and the rest of the day followed in the same way.”
“There wasn’t a single thing we would have changed and we’re still smiling now.”
What advice would you give to other couples getting married?
“Have fun with the planning – dream, experiment and laugh – and always save your browser history!”
“We had a great time making all our plans and spending a lot of time planning made it much easier when it came to finalising our list of things to make, book and do.”
“Brides – have several people with lip balm for you – you’ll smile so much and kiss so many times that lip balm will be essential!”
“The day will fly by – enjoy every minute of it and forget the little details – they really won’t matter on the day. (the day before – they’ll seem like the end of the world – but on the day you’ll be too excited to care!)”
Thank you so much to Clare for sharing this incredible woodland inspired wedding.
The bride and her family have worked so hard to create an outstanding day with such creative elements.
There are just no words that can express the utter dress envy I have for Gemma’s stunning gown, such a beautiful blue.
The Brides mum has done an amazing job on the fantastic cake too and the woodland/tree theme just flows elegantly throughout their celebration.
Love, love, love, love, LOVE!
Venue – Michelham Priory
Photographer – Clare from FitzGerald Photographic
Florist – Megan – Arabella Flowers
Catering – Kendale Catering
Dress – Michelle at Victorian Gothic
Rings – Chris Parry
Decorations and quote boards – Gemma – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cake – Wendy Everest – email@example.com
Bespoke tree guest book – Lilycaboo – 07449 977972
Entertainment – The Bespoke Victorians via the Alive Network
Printed images for bottles and playing cards – Vectoria Designs
To Contact Fitzgerald Photographic