Real-life weddings: Helen and Justin's two-day country party

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A famous church and a pretty English garden were the back-drop for Helen and Justin McGuire's lively and colourful wedding party

“A huge summer party over two days for our favourite people.” That’s how Helen and Justin McGuire, both 34, sum up their wedding, which was held in Justin's hometown in Surrey in August 2013.

You might recognise the church where Helen, a brand consultant, and Justin, who runs a recruitment company, made their vows: it was the setting for the first wedding in Four Weddings And A Funeral AKA St Michael's Church in Betchworth. Justin’s family provided the reception venue – a huge, twinkling marquee in their back garden, a few miles from the church.

When guests arrived at the reception, they were greeted with a bespoke cocktail called the H-Bomb and a washing line to hang up messages. Dinner was king prawn cocktail, stuffed lamb leg with all the trimmings and a heart-shaped chocolate brownie and champagne jelly. “I used to work in the music industry so I asked my friends to DJ,” says Helen. “We had a proper running order for the night, like at a festival or a gig.”

The day after the reception, the wedding party celebrated with a Spanish-themed lunch catered by Justin’s mum, who runs catering company Frantastic Paella. The meal was a nod to the next phase of Helen and Justin’s wedding: five days in Ibiza staying at rustic Cas Gasi. “I've been to Ibiza every year since I was 21 and it's somewhere that sums up what we're about,” says Helen. “It was so idyllic and meant we could drop into the island's beach clubs and restaurants with one wild night for good measure.”

The wedding credits

Venue St Michael's Church in Betchworth, Surrey

Photographer Ross Mathews Photography

Tailoring "Justin’s suit was tailor-made in Dubai and my dress was designed by Justin Alexander at Angelica Bridal in London and tailored by Boutique One in Dubai. My veil was from Lockets and Lace and my shoes were Christian Louboutin."

Flowers "They were from Willows Flowers in Reigate and a present from Justin's Grandma (who sadly passed away just a couple of months before our big day)."

Who did your catering? "An absolutely lovely lady called Gemma Haining who runs GRH Catering. And the following day, Justin's mum did a huge BBQ and paella – she runs her own catering company called Frantastic Paella."

Marquee Paul Simon Marquees in Surrey

Who made your wedding cake? "Krishanthi Armitt at Cakes By Krishanthi. It was a present from my parents but I still haven't eaten any of it as we had to fly off so soon after the wedding."

What was your first dance song? "Boy Meets Girl - Waiting For A Star To Fall. We've always swayed towards dance music and we didn't have 'a song'. But we both loved that one and it summed up the vibe of things pretty nicely!"

Who designed your wedding stationery? "It was a mix of Justin’s aunt, Vanessa, and our friend Dominic Philcox who runs DeltaPapa.”

All photography © Ross Mathews.

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