Sarah and James Moemken dreamed of making the Kentish countryside the focus of their big day
Photography by Alex Tenters Photography
We found Nettlestead Place after Sarah was scrolling Instagram for wedding photographers. We had never heard of Nettlestead Place before despite living in Kent for most of our lives! We wanted it to be visually beautiful and not feel like a ‘wedding factory’ - Nettlestead felt so personal; our event manager Sharon made the whole experience feel as though we were the only people to ever get married and I think that personal family feel of Nettlestead really sealed it for us.
We met at school and grew up in Kent - and although we now live in London, we go back often as our families still live there. It was important to us to have a venue that reflected the Garden of England in its best form. A lot of our friends were visiting Kent for the first time for our wedding weekend, and we really wanted them to be wowed by the beautiful scenery and countryside.
I went to a few places to try on wedding dresses as I had no idea what would suit me, or what I wanted so I tried to keep an open mind. I had always loved Suzanne Neville gowns because of their chic and modern style paired with elegant structure and corsetry; they always ended up being the pins I saved on Pinterest.
The team at Suzanne Neville were so knowledgeable and advised it was important to go for something softer than lace for the countryside outdoor setting we had for our venue. I ended up falling in love with the Petunia gown, a one shouldered slim gown with the top half having a delicate almost 3D floral effect that would fit perfectly in a summer garden setting.
We picked a three-course meal which was delicious, but the highlight was our evening food. James and I love Asian cuisine and have travelled a lot together throughout our life, so we really wanted to bring some of the different foods and cultures into our wedding day. Fernando is Sri Lankan and worked with our ideas to create some delicious bowl food for the evening such as Sri Lankan beef curry and traditional Indian Kati Rolls filled with Paneer – they were a hit!
We also put on a ‘cocktail hour’ which was full of espresso martinis and Nettlestead garden gin spritzes which everyone enjoyed on the hill outside the marquee in the summer evening.
This was one of the most important parts for Sarah. As a graphic designer she loves anything creative but creating a wedding aesthetic was a new and stressful challenge! The garden surroundings were so beautiful, and we wanted to enhance that. The marquee décor we kept quite refined; a lot of greenery and large floral hanging displays, simple sporadic vases giving a wildflower vibe on the tables. We used gold frames for our table names (places we’d travelled together) and pictures of us that spanned from the ages of 18 to 32!
Alex Tenters was our photographer who Sarah had followed on Instagram way before we were engaged. We kept coming back to the bright vibrancy of Alex’s photos and just loved the laughter and personality he captured. No wedding photo set up looked the same and we loved that about him. After we spoke to him on the phone, we knew we’d get on and we now want him to photograph every aspect of our life!
There are just so many to choose from. We just loved having all our friends and family in one place, as there’s not many events in life you can get that! So many people came up to us and complimented the venue, the food, the cocktails, and the party and that’s all we wanted; for our friends and family to have as much of a great time as we did.
“Do what feels right for you and not because you’ve seen it done by someone else or because you feel you should. Also, keep in mind the time of year your wedding is and make sure everything you pick compliments that and doesn’t work against it!”