This weekend has been a busy one for the Not Your Average I Do styling and events team; with weddings spread across East and West Sussex, Surrey and Oxfordshire! We also have a Wedding Showcase at Wakehurst this Sunday (23rd June), so come along and join us if you’re looking to marry in Sussex amongst stunning Wild Botanic Gardens.
This Wednesday (19th June) was International Martini Day, and although understood to be an American ‘invention’, it was one of the finest British Men of all time that really put Martinis in the spotlight. A Mr James Bond. Now shaken and no longer stirred, the ‘Martini’ has become a quintessentially English addition to any event. So grab a glass, fill it with gin, dry vermouth and some ice while you read over our catering suggestions for nailing the English Country Garden Theme.
While I’m blabbing on about Martinis, I may as well continue… At one of the weddings we coordinated in May, the bride and groom had the fab idea of giving their guests the option of either traditional after-dinner tea or coffee, or for something a little more exciting… an Espresso Martini. The Ushers headed the cocktail shaking at the Espresso Martini bar and it was great fun for all the guests involved.
Couple enjoy espresso martinis on the lawn at High Billinghurst Farm. Photo via Devine Bride
Nothing says English Garden Party like a good olde glass of Pimms. Either serve your Pimms in special ‘Pimms’ jugs (which can be purchased directly from their website) or kilner jars for a real country garden feel.
Now anyone that knows me, knows that I am a bit of a recipe worshipper. Veering off script like Jamie Oliver scares me and this applies to my cocktail making too. So, when it comes to Pimms, I like to stick to the original recipe to ensure it’s just right. You’ll find the original recipe below:
PIMMS ORIGINAL RECIPE (1.3 units)
- 50ml PIMM’s No. 1
- 150ml of Lemonade
- Mint, orange, strawberries
- Cucumber to garnish
English Sparkling Wine
There are now over 200 vineyards across the UK. Enjoying a cold glass of bubbly English Sparkling Wine during your reception drinks would certainly be very special for any guests who haven’t had the pleasure of tasting some wines that have rivalled and even beaten traditional champagnes in International competitions. Our favourite local vineyards include the Three Choirs Vineyard (Hampshire) and Denbies Wine Estate (Surrey) both of which we are styling for weddings this year!
Couple enjoying a quiet moment together at Denbies Wine Estate. Photo via Albert Palmer Photography
I’m starting with pudding because quite frankly I think all meals should start this way! Humble Crumble are an exciting and original pop-up dessert catering team. The Crumble, which originated in Ireland during WW1 as an economic alternative to pies, quickly became one of Britain’s best loved dishes. And Humble Crumble have given it an adult twist. Their boozy crumbles are sure to be a winner for your adult guests!
Prosecco, strawberry and raspberry crumble by Humble Crumble
Strawberries and Cream
Swap traditional canapes for a bowl of English strawberries and cream. Conjuring memories of Wimbledon in the sunshine, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for your guests too.
Strawberries and cream / Photo via Ultimate Report
If you’re going to head down the afternoon tea route, then you need to make sure you start with the basics. Pretty tiered cake stands paired with vintage cutlery and tea sets will give the right look. Either collect from charity shops and vintage markets or hire items from companies such as Harriet’s Table.
This week also saw the celebration of ‘International Picnic Day’. Either choose to go DIY or opt to hire in a specialist team so you don’t have to worry on the day. The Little Picnic Company are based in Surrey and the flexibility in your choices mean you can ensure a unique and personal touch to your wedding food.
Photo via the Little Picnic Company
Or for a unique twist on the traditional ‘picnic’, ask the girls at Boxed Weddings to create something exceptional to reflect you both as a couple. The boxes act as both your food sharing boxes as well as showstopping centre pieces.
If a traditional sit-down meal is more your thing then why not opt for a ‘Sunday’ roast! Lamb, beef, chicken or pork and all the trimmings. It’s becoming every increasingly popular to leave a joint in the middle of the table and allocate one person per table to be the ‘carver’. Pop an apron at their place setting or a chef’s hat under their chair to give them all a laugh and something to talk about.
Not all traditional English weddings have to be about summer, so opt for a roast if you’re taking your vows in winter.
Photo via Hall and Co
A little help on the side
There are so many ways you can bring your English country garden wedding to life; through the styling, flowers, entertainment, food and drink. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Here at NYAID we offer an on the day coordination package where we can help bring all of the elements to life and ensure your special day runs smoothly for you. We can help display and prepare a serve yourself PIMMS station, afternoon teas or Host-the-Roast. We will be there to make sure everything runs without a hitch.
Get in touch if you’d like us to help you design your dream English Country Garden wedding.
Have a lovely weekend all.
Head Stylist at Not Your Average I Do