A Pink and White Rustic Wedding in the English Countryside
Hayley and Andrew
When college rugby player Andrew Muthukumar’s teammates introduced him to netball player Hayley Philbin at a local pub in 2004, it was game on. The two Brits, then students at University College London, hit it off immediately, and after eight years of dating, they made it official in the picturesque English countryside. Now investment-banking analysts in New York City (they moved just two days after their wedding!), the couple looks back on their big day as “the most magical and fun-filled of our lives.”
On July 20, 2013 -- a perfectly sunny summer afternoon -- the pair and their 215 guests traded the hustle and bustle of London for the quiet beauty of Egham, in Surrey, England. With 50 acres of expansive lawns, shimmering lakes, and charming forests, their venue, the Great Fosters hotel, was “like a fairy tale,” says Hayley.
The Stationery Set
Stationer and calligrapher Paul Antonio Scribe created the save-the-dates and invitations, and drew a map of the wedding location and surrounding area.
The Bridal Party
Hayley’s bouquet, by Flowers by Passion, showcased two varieties of roses (sweet avalanche and quicksand), hydrangeas, peonies, and for a pop of blue, nigellas.
After walking down a rose-petal-strewn aisle, the couple exchanged vows in a traditional Catholic ceremony. Afterward, the newlyweds exited to one of their favorite Beatles’ songs, “All You Need Is Love,” as played by a string quartet.
Ceremony programs, created by Paper + Cup Design, aligned with the celebration’s rustic theme with woodprint stationery, twine binding, and vintage calligraphy.
To incorporate Andrew’s Sri Lankan heritage, a Thali (a traditional Tamil necklace) tied together the rings as they were carried down the aisle.
Flower-Petal Confetti Toss
Guests tossed rose petals to greet the newlyweds upon their arrival at The Great Fosters for the reception.
The reception was held at the Tithe Barn at The Great Fosters, a rustic space with wooden beams, Tudor windows, and a thatched roof. (Built in the 14th century, the barn is thought to have been the hunting lodge of King Henry VIII.) The reception, which was designed by wedding planner Mary Lee Herrington of Mary Lee Herrington Celebration, boasted garlands of trailing ivy and ruscus plant decorating the beams, and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Tables, swathed in striped linens, were set with pink chargers, clusters of tea lights, and a mix of high and low centerpieces.
A bright-green double-decker bus transported revelers from the church to the reception.
A floral heart-shaped wreath, made of hydrangeas, roses, and peonies, hung on a door at the reception.
“It was magical,” says Hayley of posing for portraits taken by photographer Catherine Mead around the 50-acre estate.
Parchment scrolls stood in for traditional escort cards.
New York, New York
Hayley and Andrew named their signature cocktail, a twist on a Cosmopolitan, “New York, New York” to celebrate their impending move to the Big Apple.
Instead of numbers, Hayley and Andrew designated tables with names of places that have special significance in their love story. The Roxy, for example, is the pub where they first met.
On the tables, tea lights surrounded clear glass vessels that held centerpieces of roses, hydrangeas, and peonies.
For the Kids
Coloring books kept children entertained during the reception dinner. Afterward, the youngest attendees gave their drawings to the newlyweds, which were then displayed on the head table.
Mother Knows Best
Andrew’s mother baked the three-tiered frosted fruitcake, the traditional wedding dessert in England, and decorated it with fondant doilies and flowers.
The dessert table displayed a range of treats baked and brought by the couple’s family and friends. Goodies included “Krysia’s Millionaire Shortbread,” “Aunty Tina’s Lemon Drizzle,” “Annabel’s Mars Crispy Cakes,” and many more.
The Newlyweds' Favorite Sweet
Hayley and Andrew included their favorite gummy candies as well: Percy Pigs and Haribos.
The First Dance
Hayley and Andrew shared their first dance to their favorite song: the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey!” The reception’s two-piece band, Morrissey & Marshall, played the tune while the couple swayed under a disco ball.
Photographer: Catherine Mead
Venue: The Great Fosters
Wedding Design and Planning: Mary Lee Herrington Celebrations
Catering: The Great Fosters
Flowers: Flowers by Passion
Invitations and Calligraphy: Paul Antionio Scribe
Day of Paperie: Paper + Cup Designs
Music: [DJ] Distorted Sound; [Band] Morrissey & Marshall
Makeup: Sarah Jagger