REAL WEDDING - The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day Photography

3rd January 2020


The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyOur first real wedding of the year is a fantastic example of how you can add sustainable touches to any wedding day without compromising on style. Jo and Toby wanted a classy, timeless, intimate wedding, taking into account their values and finances, and unwittingly created a wedding day that was sustainable in so many ways, including vegetarian food (with 85% of the meal grown on-site), a small guest list, a dress locally hand-made using sustainable silks, 100% English flowers, and more. Read on, and Jo will explain all...

The Venue

We wanted to throw a party that our friends and family would be able to enjoy. Much of the format of the day was decided on the basis of the people we wanted to invite. My family lives in Germany and hadn't met many of the other guests. We deliberately kept numbers low in order to make sure they wouldn't be overwhelmed by Toby's (much larger) English speaking family. 

To give people time to get to know each other gradually, our celebration essentially started the night before and ended lunchtime the day after the wedding. And it worked; by lunchtime on the day of the wedding, everybody was happily chatting to everyone else. Another consideration was Toby's elderly grandparents and my father who has been in poor health for the last few years. We were looking for the exclusive use of a venue with bedrooms attached (so the oldies and little ones could have a lie-down as necessary) and with plenty of space for everybody to be as wild or as relaxed as they wished. 

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyOxon Hoath was the obvious venue for us. I had stayed there before on a yoga retreat and loved its faded glamour and laid-back charm. The house and grounds provided an incredible backdrop and set the scene/theme for everything else. We wanted to let the incredible architecture speak for itself and only decorated it with heaps of beautiful English blooms and candles. The house has an incredible walled garden dating back to Georgian times, which inspired the botanical theme on Toby's waistcoat, my dress, and our invitations.

Bridal Preparations

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyMy dress made fully bespoke by local dressmaker Judy Mott, following a design I helped to develop. It's such a privilege to wear a dress that we made by just two people, within 20 minutes drive of where we got married. I had tried lots of dresses at different bridal designers and loved the bespoke embroidery of Hermione de Paula dresses but felt many of her designs were more revealing than I was comfortable wearing.

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyJudy helped me to design a dress that was fashion-forward but that I would also feel comfortable in. The design journey was incredible: we had two design meetings, three fittings of the toile and three fittings of the real thing. By the time I got to wear it on the day, the dress already felt like a part of me and it was a delight to wear. 

The Ceremony

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe church service was held at All Saints, Brenchley.

The Reception

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyWe have both been vegan/vegetarian for the best part of 10 years and, getting married in Kent, the Garden of England, it would have felt odd not to make use of the amazing produce grown in the walled garden at Oxon Hoath. From my first stay there I remembered their delicious vegetarian food and it was a no brainer we would have a vegetarian wedding. 

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyTina at Oxon Hoath, cooked a generous feast of hot and cold mezze, following a menu curated by me (made up of veggie recipes by Ottolenghi and Anna Jones) and using ingredients 80% of which were grown on the grounds of the Oxon Hoath. 

The Flowers

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe florals were created by Flowers by Eve.

The Stationery

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe letterpress printed designs were by Suzanne at The Whistle Press, and the hand-lettering by myself.

The Cake

The Stylishly Sustainable Wedding Of Jo And Toby At Oxon Hoath, Kent, Captured By Divine Day PhotographyThe cake was created by the combined talents of the Mother and the Sister of the Groom.

Tell Us More

What was the most favourite part of your day?

So many wonderful moments! But I think there was a moment, in the evening, when most of our guests had gathered in the library and were enjoying some wine and cheese. The whole room was buzzing with people's conversations. Everyone was relaxing and many were deep in conversation with someone they hadn't met before the wedding. It was incredible to see my university friends had instantly hit it off with my husband's and how our families had just blended into one. 

What advice would you give another bride planning her big day?

You do you! Be honest with yourself and go with your gut. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the narrative of the industry and suddenly start thinking that you need lots of things when really you don't. 

Why did you go down the sustainable route and how do you think this affected your wedding planning?

We never set out to do a 'sustainable' wedding. I don't think any of our suppliers have ever styled themselves as 'sustainable'. But we wanted a wedding that is in line with our values and doesn't vastly exceed our own funds. Retrospectively, I realised that what we did could be considered a sustainable wedding: our wedding was completely free of single-use plastic, all our flowers were seasonal and locally grown, we had organised carpools for people to get to/from the church.

With all of our suppliers I tried to choose small artisan suppliers, many of them 1-woman-enterprises who were keen to develop a personal connection, as well as a professional one. Designing our invitations together with Suzanne from The Whistle Press, choosing silk ribbons from Corette at CFleurs Design to go on each invitation, developing a flower scheme with Nicola from Flowers by Eve, and our discussing our plans for wedding photos with Sandra from Divine Day was like planning a wedding with four (incredibly talented and creative) friends. 

KEEP SCROLLING TO VIEW THE FULL GALLERY!

Credits

Photography: Divine Day Photography

Reception Venue and Catering: Oxon Hoath 

Dress: Judy Mott

Suits: Favourbrook

Bridesmaid's Dress: La Coqueta

Hair & make-up: Agata from Kristina Gasperas' Team

Flowers: Flowers by Eve

Ribbons: Cfleursdesign

Stationery: The Whistle Press

Candles: Cire Trudon

Reception Entertainment: Los Twangueros


Previous Blog Post

 

Blog Tags

AccessoriesAdviceBeautyBride and Bridesmaid Dresses

Wedding Directory

AccessoriesBride and Bridesmaid DressesCakes and CateringCelebrants

Wedding Advice

1. Getting Started - Wedding Budget - Wedding Planning Tips - Your Timeline
';