A Destination Wedding Weekend in the English Countryside

With three days of parties planned by Pocketful of Dreams.

Updated 10/23/18

Photo by Emilie White

Schuyler Claiden is a born-and-bred New Yorker, but her heart has always been in England. “I’m definitely an Anglophile,” she says, laughing. And she comes by it honestly: Her dad is a Brit, so she has dual citizenship—as well as a taste for PG Tips, the royal family, and Colin Firth. Her husband, Tyler Parsons, remembers how, when they were deciding where to marry, she casually floated the idea of a U.K. wedding day. “It was an easy decision,” Tyler says. “I knew it was her dream.” London, surprisingly, didn’t factor in: “We wanted to give our friends the classic English countryside experience,” the bride says.

To that end, they booked Wilderness Reserve, a historic manor house in Suffolk complete with cozy cottages, grassy fields, and roaming sheep.

From there, the couple—who met through mutual friends in 2015, and had their first date at Tiny's in Tribeca, where Tyler also proposed in 2017—set about planning a long weekend of events with the help of Pocketful of Dreams. On the itinerary? A welcome BBQ, Beverly Hills–themed pool party, archery and clay shooting, and more. So keep reading to see all the fun (and beautiful!) details from their destination wedding, as photographed by Emilie White.

Wedding invitations

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First up: The couple sent out stunning botanical invites by Stephanie Fishwick that set the tone for their English countryside celebration. As a surprise to the Schuyler, the bride's mother and wedding planner also worked with Stephanie to repurpose their custom crest on the rehearsal dinner menus.

Pool with balloons

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Mimosa bar

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Following a welcome cookout of lamb burgers on Thursday night, guests hit the property's pool on Friday for a Beverly Hills Hotel–themed pool party. "We envisioned this as our most outlandish, modern event, with big balloons in the pool, spicy margaritas, a make-your-own-mimosa station," says the bride.

Bride in wedding gown

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Bride solo shot

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That night, everyone split up for one of two rehearsal dinners: a casual gathering (with mac-and-cheese and pizza food trucks!) for most, and a seated, candlelit meal in the manor house for the 30-person wedding party. “It was our Downton Abbey moment,” Schuyler admits. Schuyler wore a gown by Oscar de la Renta to start the night, and later changed into a second look by Valentino.

Bride and groom smiling

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Bride and groom shot from behind

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But before dinner began, Schuyler and Tyler took time to pose for portraits around the stunning, ivy-covered property. As a funny note, the bride adds that when she and Tyler first started dating, she joked with her friends that she wasn't sure she could date him because their names rhymed. "But, clearly, I got over that quite quickly," she says with a laugh.

Wedding tablescape

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Menu and place setting

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For the formal rehearsal dinner, the couple added their own modern touches to the room’s classic decor: Matte gold plates played off gilt frames, while acrylic Chiavari chairs and candelabras echoed the crystal glassware.

Bride solo shot

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Bride holding bouquet

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Bride and groom in embrace

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The morning of the wedding, wet weather squelched plans for boat races and wellie tossing (the Brits have made a legit sport of hurling rubber boots), but the couple was unfazed. “What could be more English than rain?” the bride jokes.

And, of course, with a weekend full of beautiful bridal looks, Schuyler pulled out all the stops on her big day. For that, she selected an Oscar de la Renta gown and capelet, which she paired with a sweet bundle of lily of the valley. "I wanted something small, simple and elegant," she says of her tightly packed bouquet.

Bride walking down steps

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Bride and bridal party

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Schuyler's six bridesmaids wore mismatched gowns in different shades of blue. "Each girl wore something different that I felt suited her figure and personal style," she says. "I wanted some sense of cohesiveness so we looked for dresses in a similar icy blue color, with the exception of my sister and maid of honor, who wore white."

Bride in car with bouquet

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The bride rode to the nearby church in a 1971 Rolls Royce (something borrowed from Wilderness Reserve!).

Bride walking down aisle

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Church venue

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After months of struggling to find a ceremony site, the bride and her father happened upon St. Edmund King & Martyr Church after a trip to a nearby brewery. The bride was “blown away” by its beauty, so she emailed the reverend—and, luckily, the site was available on their date!

Bride and groom during ceremony

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Bride and groom kissing

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Bride and groom walking down aisle

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There, the ceremony went off with just one hitch: “At one point, the reverend took a long pause and looked at us expectantly,” she recalls. “We looked at him, like, Um, what now? We didn’t realize it was our cue to kiss!”

Bride and groom after ceremony

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Bride and groom kissing in cab

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Bride and groom walking to reception

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With that minor detail taken care of, everyone was free to enjoy cocktails back on the lawn at the manor house while the couple explored the property for more stunning photos. At this point, Tyler slipped into a white dinner jacket for—you guessed it—dinner!

Food table

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Food table apple display

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Dinner took place in the manor’s orangery. “We wanted the reception to feel like a very chic home with flowers and chinoiserie everywhere,” Schuyler explains. In lieu of a seated dinner, the meal was served at stations so guests could party nonstop. “We didn’t want anyone to have to wait for a drink or food,” Schuyler says.

Also, in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the couple opted to do a Champagne pour. She adds, "Neither Tyler nor I are huge fans of sweets, and I knew I would be too excited to eat the cake so we opted for something almost everyone likes—Champagne!"

Outside reception decor

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Lights on tree

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Dinner and dessert took place in two different buildings on the property, so the trees between were decorated with fairy lights and lanterns to guide guests along the way.

Bride and groom walking into reception

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Bride and groom at reception

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Back in the orangery, though, the couple was surrounded by their loved ones, who gave memorable toasts and speeches. The outdoor space was decorated with trees and more blue flowers to tie with the inside reception decor.

Bride and groom dancing

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Bride and groom dancing

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The couple chose "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith for their first dance. "We had fun with the song! It originated as a joke but turned out to be perfect," Schuyler says.

Bride dress change

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Bride and groom with sparklers

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After dancing, the bride changed into yet another Oscar de la Renta gown—for the rest of the night and the sparkler exit. But the night (and dress changes!) didn't end there!

Bride and groom in getaway car

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Instead, everyone partied upstairs until 11 p.m., when a noise ordinance (to not disturb the sheep!) forced the group, including the bride now in Zuhair Murad, to the basement for more dancing, drinks, and bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches.

Reception Venue: Wilderness Reserve || Wedding Planner: Pocketful of Dreams || Bride's Dresses: Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Zuhair Murad || Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren Purple Label || Stationery Designer: Stephanie Fishwick || Floral Designer: Figa and Co || Rentals: Great Hire, Helen Millot, Wisteria, Dreamwave || Caterer: Stock & Bailey || Ceremony Music: Leos Strings || Reception Music: The White Keys, Wedding Smashers || Photographer: Emilie White || Videography: Juno Wedding Films

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