I’m so pleased to be bringing you WWW readers Nicole and Gary’s magical woodland nuptials today, I think you’re going to love this natural, wildflower and Edwardian inspired wedding, which is frankly magical. All of the beauty took place on the 16th June 2018 at The Keeper and the Dell in Norfolk, a wonderfully rustic venue that was just perfect for their vision of an intimate and outdoor day.
There’s definitely an ethereal feel to this wedding, expertly captured by Daniel Ackerley Photography. Thank you so much for providing these wonderful images Daniel. What beautiful couple’s portraits.
Isn’t Nicole’s vintage Edwardian wedding dress just breathtaking? I really think it sets the tone for the rest of the day, which looks like it was simply a joy. From the wildflowers which look like they’re straight from the meadow, to the hanging baskets in the marquee and the rustic wooden setting of the venue, enjoy the whole celebration folks!
Gary proposed on my 30th Birthday at the peak of Sugar Loaf mountain in the Brecon Beacons. I was also expecting our second child. This was long overdue and I felt that returning to a location for one our first holidays together would be fitting. This was very much something that we shared together and set the tone for the wedding and a celebration of the outdoors that we both adore so much.
Ultimately we dreamed of a wedding that was individual to our style and personality but held true to some key traditions. We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding in a woodland type setting. Something very natural and that captured the essence of English countryside. We also felt that certain venues felt very packaged particularly in terms of location, country manor and estates as an example. Not that there is anything wrong with these but we wanted a little more control over our day.
The Planning Process
Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! We found endless inspiration on here that we used as a basis to form our overall vision. I found it great that I could create private pages for bridal related boards that I could then share with the chosen ones. Along with a private wedding board that only Gary and I could see.
One thing we were sure of is that we knew we would like an intimate wedding and a venue that had an array of spaces combined with beautiful natural surroundings.
We had a fear of losing guests in the great outdoors or amongst the different spaces you tend to find in larger venues and we didn’t want to lose any atmosphere, especially as we weren’t planning on having any evening guests.
We knew it had to be Norfolk due to our love for the county and the time we have spent there whilst on day trips during the early days in our relationship, rollicking round the coast and now spending time there on breaks with our young family.
We didn’t really have one (we thought we did, however early on we discovered our budget and vision didn’t match)
The Keeper and The Dell.
We viewed two venues in Norfolk and it was difficult to make a decision between Hush wedding venue and The Keeper and The Dell – our chosen venue. Both are stunning. We loved the idea of a secluded retreat where children could play and adults relax.
We also loved the idea of being able to camp at the venue that we had selected. We liked the idea of being in one location for the whole day and not fall fowl of moving from locations to celebrate. The venue although relatively small in size enabled us to have a variety of different feels without having to split and isolate the whole party. Original and historic marquee decorated in our style, a court yard with hale bails and tables and chairs to relax and enjoy the surroundings, the dell a perfect setting for guest to assemble and surround us for the moment we became husband and wife and even space to have a beautiful bell tent erected in the Birch Garden, so again we could stay and enjoy the whole day without feeling restraints related to time. Then there was the barn, a welcome relief from the summer heat and comfortable chairs for those who wanted to enjoy familiar home comforts.
This was a very hard decision to make especially with shows like GBBO, the ideas and possibilities are endless! With this in mind, we thought we would do the opposite and keep it simple.
We opted for semi-iced, jam sponges with an array of edible daisies and gypsophila. This was in keeping with the venue and our look, something I think in both paramount in our visions, understated but with a deliberate touch of class.
I sourced an amazing, personal (and very reasonable) cake topper from a wonderful independent shop on Etsy.
The Details & Décor
We hired in some artificial flowers from a great little supplier in Norfolk.
After discussions, Amanda created our hanging conical decorations for the marquee, filled with wildflowers which just looked stunning and tied in with our vision and theme perfectly. We also hired several garlands for the Head Table, ivy for the marquee poles and two antique milk churns which we used for the ceremony and then to decorate the entrance to the marquee after.
We made our table plan, which we hand wrote and hung with wooden pegs on natural twine, draped across a freestanding mirror we purchased.
My cousin handcrafted and designed a personalised wooden guest board for guests to sign which we displayed on an easel with a floral garland.
Chairs covers were made myself from net/lace curtains I purchased off Shpock (for a bargain price of £10), which were cut to size and then tied with hessian bows I put together.
We sourced the table decorations and favours from an array of lovely independent suppliers on Etsy and eBay.
Adult favours: a mix of wildflowers and seeds for bees ‘Let love grow’.
Children: personalised wedding activity books and sweetie tube.
Shelley at The Flower House Norwich instantly understood the kind of bridal flowers I was after – just picked wildflowers, in an array of natural colours. These were mimicked for the bridesmaids and a wand for the flower girl.
The Readings & Music
Entrance/Aisle – Acoustic version of “More than Words” by Extreme played by usher Charlie Knowler (bride’s brother) a song that at times has been very symbolic of our relationship.
Reading: “Love is giving not taking” – Anon
Exit: Dire Straits “Romeo & Juliet”
Outdoor first dance: “The sun is shining down” – JJ grey and Mofro
Your Outfits & Accessories
Bride: Edwardian Lace Sprig Dress from Abigail’s Vintage Bridal. This is the first dress I tried on in the only shop I visited. Abigails selection of vintage wedding gowns had me in awe from the moment I walked in and wondered how I would ever make a decision. I tried on around 10 dresses and this dress was it. Original, unspoilt and almost antique. The delicate, romantic lace along with the natural cut and style was everything I imagined.
Edwardian silk flower grip from Abigails Vintage Bridal. It matched the dress perfectly and tied in with the hair style planned.
Semi DIY Shoes from Ruby Shoo. Although I loved these shoes, the bow that was originally on the shoe just looked horrific when I went for my dress fitting. Abigail being a creative pragmatist, suggested a minor alteration – remove the bow and sow some Edwardian inspired buckles on. Wow! Shoes transformed and one happy bride.
A 1920s vintage style Peaky Blinders wedding? Oh yes indeed! We are here with Ash and Sarah who were married on the 16th January 2019 at Dewsall Court in Herefordshire. I just love everything about their atmospheric and magical winter wedding celebrations and have a sneaky suspicion you will too.
They encapsulated the Peaky Blinders style perfectly in the groom and groomsmen looks. With navy suits, waistcoats, bow ties and baker boy hats all round. They all look so dapper too! Sarah also had a nod to the 1920s era with her bridal style, donning a lace gown, fur stole and beautiful vintage style accessories. She really did look stunning.
Onto the decorations, because well, they really are enchanting. The barn was lit in festoon lights and candles, with flowers on the tables and personal touches scattered throughout. The cake was also a real statement with our couple’s initials as the centrepiece. To end the festivities? A beautiful sparkler send off, just perfect for a winter’s evening.
Ash got down on one knee on 2nd January 2017 on Holkham Beach, Norfolk. I was a very roly-poly nine months pregnant. It was magical…that beach is very special to us.
We both love the 1920s, and are obsessed with Peaky Blinders, so it was a no brainer for us to theme our wedding on this era. We watched Thomas Shelby’s wedding episode too many times!
The Planning Process
We spent just over a year planning our big day. Ash proposed just a few weeks before I gave birth to our daughter, Emelia, and we spent the first year of her life (attempting!) to learn how to raise a little person! Once she turned one, we then felt we had a little bit more time to put to organising our special day. We got married one week before Emelia turned 2 years old. We felt a year was a nice amount of time to plan everything, but not get too stressed out!
The Readings & Music
I walked down the aisle to Andante by Roy Todd. It brought shivers to my spine!
Our first reading was given by one of Ash’s best men and was titled Once Upon a Time…and the second reading was given by one of my bridesmaids and was titled Carrie’s Poem.
We signed the register to Never Enough by Loren Allred, and exited to A Million Dreams by The Piano Guys.
Dewsall Court, Herefordshire.
We knew as soon as we pulled up at Dewsall Court that we’d found our venue. The house, Wainhouse barn and surrounding grounds look spectacular in all weathers, so we knew that it would still be magical on a gloomy and cold January day. The staff were also very helpful and made us feel very special.
My hair and makeup was done by the exceptionally talented Sarah Russell. She specialises in vintage, and it was such an easy choice to go with her. She just instinctively knew what I wanted, and when I saw my look for the first time on the day I can honestly say it all came together better than I could have ever imagined. My Mother, Mother-in-Law and bridesmaids had their hair done by Sarah also, and then their makeup by Katy Bird.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was designed by Essense of Australia. The second I put it on, I fell in love. I knew I wanted lace and a long train, and the pinkish undertone made me look less pale. It wasn’t the most ‘vintage’ design I tried on, but I felt with the vintage accessories I was planning on buying, I felt (and hoped!) it would still fit our theme. My headdress was from Ivory & Co. and I chose to wear it as a forehead band, as a nod to the 1920s. My fur was purchased from Sissily Designs from Etsy, and I absolutely loved it. The quality was exceptional and it kept me nice and toasty on the day.
The suits were all hired from Dapper Dan Formal Suit hire. The suits really were fantastic quality, and the guys at the shop were all very helpful. Ash purchased the navy baker boy hats off eBay…and they really did finish off the look.
The bridesmaid dresses were by Lipsy and purchased through Next. They were very good value for the quality, and matched my dress perfectly. Their furs were purchased off Amazon for less than £10 each! The flower girls had cute little John Rocha dresses from Debenhams, with pink shoes from Monsoon.
Our flowers were by Love Lily, Abergavenny. We wanted a colour palette of dark reds through to soft pinks, interlaced with dark greens. I wanted them to look fairly unstructured, as if I’d collected them from our family allotment.
We spent a long time looking at many many wedding photographers. We couldn’t really put into words what we were exactly looking for…I guess it was a moody, somewhat raw, vintage style. We wanted that ‘feeling’… and honestly it hit us both like lighting when we came across Sheryl and Oobaloos Wedding Photography. Everything that Sheryl represents and captures in her truly outstanding work, was simply, just it. The excitement that we felt when Sheryl agreed to shoot our special day was unreal!
The Details & Décor
All of the decorations we sourced ourselves from eBay. I collected a large number of mismatched vintage brass candlesticks, glass tealight holders, a variety of glass bottles, and many old books. In between the decorations we placed old, black and white family photographs, as our families, young and old mean so much to us.
On our gift table we placed a huge gold mirror (which again we purchased off eBay), which we used as a table plan with gold lettering, an imitation gramophone and a vintage suitcase filled with old family photographs to collect our wedding cards.
A three tier cake from McGowan Wedding cakes, Herefordshire. The bottom layer was carrot cake, the middle layer salted caramel and the top chocolate and nutella! We had edible gold leaf on the top layer and our initials on a little plaque.
We’re hoping to go to DisneyLand Paris by the end of the year!
Our day really was perfection in our eyes! For me having the exceptionally talented ladies, Sheryl from Oobaloos Wedding Photography and Sarah from Sarah Russell Hair & Makeup to look after me the way they did, allowed me to enjoy my wedding morning, and all the fun preparations we’d organised over the last 12 months. It was just wonderful seeing everything come together…the dress, the suits, the flat caps, the flowers, the floral decorations, the wedding decorations we’d accumulated over the year, the food, the venue…but for a few moments that all faded into the background when I walked down the aisle with my first love, my Dad, and married the true love of life, my husband, Ash. It was..
Goodness me are we in for a treat today! Here we have Sophie and Oliver’s beautiful winter wedding, which was held on the 24th November 2017 at Gate Street Barn in Surrey. Their day was just so glorious, from the rich red and burgundy colour scheme to the divine outfits. Let me fill you in.
First up, we just have to talk about Sophie’s dress. She chose a intricate beaded top and flowing skirt, which she then teamed with a long veil. She looked utterly gorgeous! Oliver meanwhile rocked a very dapper tartan suit with a red tie and tan brogues. So cool! I also have to rave about the bridesmaids’ dresses, they wore mix and match frocks in coral and dusky pinks which really did work perfectly.
Then there were the florals, I mean wow! Greenery was used throughout interspersed with roses and anemones. The barn really did look spectacular as did the wild style bouquets wrapped up in lace and ribbons.
Finally, I think one of my favourite elements to their day has to be their readings. I loved the The Amber Spyglass series and that reading really is just everything.
I cannot thank The Springles enough for sharing with us these incredible captures of this perfect love filled wedding celebration.
Oliver – I proposed after a 4 hour hike up Mount Huashan while we were in Xi’an, China. I found a small chess pavilion which you had to clamber down to with a harness which meant not many people were around, although Sophie took some encouragement. As Sophie stopped to take in the 360 degree view I asked her if she’d like to adventure with me always. She said yes, so I got down on one knee.
Sophie – this changed so much (despite only having 7 months to plan it). Eventually it became a 1920s winter wedding with a modern, geometric twist.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Sophie – out of the two of us Oli is the organised one and a whiz with a spread sheet. We had a wedding planner (book, not person!) which was like our wedding bible throughout the whole process.
Oliver – I think I was looking at Excel every day through Dropbox on my phone. I would definitely advocate keeping on top of your spending as it’s so easy to lose track of what you’re spending.
Oliver – as the plans for the day evolved, the budget kept being revised upwards. Once we settled on a final budget we actually came in slightly under, however the final budget was 50% more than the original budget!
Gate Street Barn, Bramley
3 piece skinny, tartan suit, Heart and Dagger, ASOS.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Sottero and Midgley bodysuit and Kallin skirt. Silver and pearl hair band and matching brooch both from John Lewis. Single layered veil. Jenny Packham for Debenhams shoes.
Sophie – I spent just one day, with my mum, sister and niece, searching for a dress. As we had a short deadline for finding a dress and having all the fittings I set myself a rule of choosing a sample dress. I didn’t want to fall in love with a dress and then find it had a 6 month delivery! We found ‘the one’ at Miss Bush in Ripley. I tried on a complete variety of sample dresses as I had no real idea which style or colour I wanted. They had a great selection but I knew when I tried mine on that it was the one. I loved the idea that it was two pieces so there was the possibility of wearing part of it again. The great thing about the body suit was that if it was a dress it would have been very heavy to wear all day but as a body suit this wasn’t an issue at all.
Oliver- Carrie Macey (The Topiary Tree) did an amazing job bringing our vision to fruition. Sophie met with her a couple of times and then we all met just before the wedding. On the day, when I walked in to set everything up, Carrie had already done the flowers and the transformation of the space was incredible. Suddenly it wasn’t just a barn, it was a wedding. Typically flowers are a huge wedding expense and that’s tough to accept when they only last a few days. We explained to Carrie that we didn’t want to go overboard and she was very accommodating, giving us exactly what we wanted.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Oliver – we went through all the standard wedding readings and were relatively nonplussed by them. After searching more extensively we came across two extracts which really felt personal to us.
The first was a passage from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, read by my father, Alan:
“Oh” she said, “What can we do? Whatever can we do? I want to live with you forever. I want to kiss you and lie down with you and wake up with you every day of my life till I die, years and years and years away. I don’t want a memory, just a memory…”
“No,” he said. “Memory’s a poor thing to have. It’s your own real hair and mouth and arms and eyes and hands I want. I didn’t know I could ever love anything so much. Oh, I wish this night would never end! If only we could stay here like this, and the world could stop turning, and everyone else could fall into a sleep…”
“Everyone except us! And you and I could live here forever and just love each other.”
“I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again…”
“I’ll be looking for you every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you…We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams…And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…”
They lay side by side, hand in hand, looking at the sky.
The second was an excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach, read by my friend Anders:
A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.
Sophie walked down the aisle to a live recording of Tom Odell – Grow Old With Me, a song we love.
Oliver – The Springles. Ash and Kat were fantastic. At photography, at editing, at delivering our photos insanely quickly in beautiful packaging, but most importantly at making us feel completely at ease.
Sophie and I don’t classify ourselves as photogenic and neither of us feel particularly comfortable in front of a camera however Ash and Kat have this way about them of making you relaxed, making you laugh loads and of keeping your thoughts only on how happy you are with your wedding day. That translated to some stunning shots which we will treasure and we are forever grateful to them. In addition, we were slightly concerned about whether our guests would feel comfortable around strangers who were taking their photos. The reality was the complete opposite, with Ash and Kat laughing and chatting with everyone! Having two great photographers meant one could cover the groom’s morning and the other the bride’s. Having memories of both is wonderful and then having double the perspectives and shots from the ceremony onwards just added an extra layer of awesomeness.
Sophie – we knew straight away we didn’t want to spend a fortune on a cake no one would eat! We had been to so many weddings where we had either opted out of cake as it was fruit cake or had some how missed out on it completely. We both love carrot cake and enjoyed trying all our local options and eventually choose a 60 person, 4 layered carrot cake with a smooth butter icing finish from Digbys at Vauxhall Station. Not your obvious choice but it was amazing and a clear winner from all the cakes we tried. It went down a storm on the day and we made sure we got some too!
WWW readers Angie and Adam tied the knot on the 10th September 2016 at the King’s Pavilion in Christchurch, Dorset followed by a good old fashioned knees up at West Parley Memorial Hall. Our pair didn’t want to hang around and gave themselves just nine months to plan – no mean feat when you’re planning lots of DIY!
These two really wanted a vintage fete aesthetic and I think you’ll agree everything ties in just brilliantly, I love the subtle bunting at the pavilion, and isn’t the foliage and floral ceremony arch just adorable? The old time theme continued to the reception with a gorgeous stepladder table plan and lovely watering can floral arrangements. Think stripy straws in milk bottles and vintage china.
Angie looks just fab in her tea length Venus Bridal dress and Adam plumped for a tweed three piece, the vintage theme continued with Lindy Bop dresses for the bridesmaids. What a fine looking group they are!
We have Naomi Jane Photography to thank for the brilliant images today, thank you so much for sharing with us Naomi.
THE PROPOSAL | Adam asked me to marry him at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, November 2015. They turn the gardens into a winter wonderland for the run up to Christmas each year, so the trees were full of twinkly lights and it was all very hygge!
THE VISION | We didn’t have a particular theme in mind for the wedding but agreed that we didn’t want anything too large or extravagant. Something relaxed and fairly informal was more our style, although we did want to incorporate any traditions that felt important to us. We decided that something along the lines of an old-fashioned village fete fitted the sort of atmosphere we were going for, so the colours, venue and decorations stemmed from that.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had been together for seven years before getting engaged so decided we didn’t want a long engagement, settling on a date for the following September, meaning that we only had around nine months to plan. We thought that seemed like loads of time but it turns out we were slightly naïve as to how far in advance suppliers get booked up for weddings! I did a lot of the research into suppliers and Adam looked after the more creative aspects and we managed to do a pretty good job of finding what we wanted in the end.
BUDGET | We didn’t have a set budget but knew we had to keep the cost as low as possible! The main expenditure was on the ceremony, venue and catering, everything else was more or less DIY.
THE VENUE | The ceremony was at the King’s Pavilion in Christchurch, Dorset. It’s an old cricket pavilion on a green opposite the Kings Arms Hotel, so fit with our vintage fete aesthetic. We held the reception at West Parley Memorial Hall which we decorated ourselves the day before.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress – Venus Bridal, from their Informal range. Shoes – Cupcake, Pink by Paradox. Hairpiece – Bridal De Vine, Etsy
FINDING THE DRESS | I must confess, I wasn’t particularly excited about finding a wedding dress as I hate clothes shopping and was afraid I’d look terrible in anything I tried! I knew that I wanted something with a vintage feel and probably tea length. I was relieved to find this dress in the first shop I went to as it was simple, pretty, and was the perfect length for me. I found it in the hilariously named Sassy Brides in Poole and had to resist doing a RuPaul style ‘sashay away’ up and down the shop.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Adam was determined to avoid the shiny suits of the high street but that seemed to be all we could find within our budget, so he decided to hire suits for himself and his best man, Tom. He really wanted a traditional tweed suit and found a supplier in London that posts out tweed hire suits around the country. His bow tie was from Mrs Bow Tie in a dark green to match his Clarks shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | My sister, Leanne, read ‘Love’ by Ray Croft and Adam’s mum, Bronwen, read an extract from a Rainer Maria Rilke poem. Adam and I chose one each to be read during the ceremony.
I walked down the aisle to Iron & Wine ‘Flightless Bird, American Mouth’ and we exited to ‘Wouldn’t it be Nice’ by the Beach Boys. Our first dance was to ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by The Maccabees.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I originally planned not to have any bridesmaids as we wanted to keep everything low key, but with further thought I decided that I wanted my sister with me as my maid of honour as she’s been such an amazing support to me over the years. I also asked Adam’s sister, Emily, to be my bridesmaid as she’s a great sister in law and I thought the three of us would have fun together. I bought them each a mint green brocade dress from Lindy Bop, with petticoats to give them a 1950s shape.
THE FLOWERS | Traditional British wildflowers were a feature of our invitations, which Adam designed, and we wanted to continue this throughout the wedding. I discovered the Real Cut Flower Garden online and went for their semi-DIY option where they make the bridal bouquets and send a box of cut flowers for you to arrange as decorations. We arranged the wildflowers in little bunches in jars and watering cans around the reception venue. What’s great about the Real Cut Flower Garden is that they are local and never source flowers that aren’t naturally in season in the UK. It means there’s an element of surprise in what you get but their owner, Charlie, was great at finding out what style and colours I wanted or if there were any flowers I really didn’t want in there!
THE CAKE | Emily made our cake, as well as being our bridesmaid, so she was a hero twice over! I’m vegan, so she had a bit of a challenge but made an amazing lemon sponge with vegan icing and sprinkles. We requested the design as we thought it was fun and laid back, plus the icing balloon on top is a reference to the balloon Ferris wheel in Tivoli Gardens, which we went on after getting engaged in Copenhagen.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our friend Naomi of Naomi Jane Photography was an absolute miracle! We’ve been friends for a long time and she’s actually the reason Adam and I met, so it was lovely to have her take our photos and we felt completely at ease with her. Everyone who’s seen the photos loved them and she captured some really fun and heart-warming moments that I’m so pleased to have a lasting memento of.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Adam is a really talented illustrator and he loved designing all our stationery, with a theme of traditional British flowers and wildlife. We sourced lots of decorative extras like watering cans, a vintage ladder for the seating plan, hops from Adam’s parents garden to decorate the beer kegs, and vintage china for afternoon tea. We hung paper lanterns and twinkly lights to jazz up the plain hall and made cocktails for everyone to drink from very cute little milk bottles.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent a week in Madeira immediately after the wedding. It’s got a bit of a reputation as a retiree’s holiday destination but its image is changing a bit now and I have to say, it’s an absolutely stunning island. We love hiking and the outdoors and it’s perfect for that, as well as relaxing by the pool!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Trying to keep my emotions in check but bursting into happy tears about half way down the aisle! The way Adam was looking at me was so adorable and I couldn’t believe we were finally tying the knot. Other fun moments which I’ll remember fondly are the extremely competitive games of giant Jenga, Adam’s grandad having a bit too much of the rum cocktail, and of course the little private moments that I shared with my new husband when we talked after the ceremony.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It’s not about how much money you spend or whether the decorations look Intagram worthy, just have fun and remember to be mindful and take a moment to appreciate all the love that comes your way. There’s no right or wrong, keep the traditions you like and make new ones that feel more ‘you’. And if you’re anything like me then make sure your make up is waterproof.
WWW readers Holly and Darren’s wedding was a colourful and individual affair with so many wonderful details that Holly created herself. The pair wed on 2nd September 2017 and followed their church ceremony with a reception at the completely unique Fawley Hill, surrounded by vintage signs, railway paraphernalia and of course a whole lot of love and laughter.
Doesn’t Holly look gorgeous in her Maggie Sottero gown? It was actually the first one she tried (though she did look elsewhere before going back to it!). Her talented bridesmaid customised the dress to give the illusion of sleeves and it works just perfectly. Dapper groom Darren wore a three piece suit from Gibson London and the beautiful bridesmaids wore wonderfully colourful bespoke 50s dresses.
The railway museum at their venue provided a brilliant backdrop for their eclectic décor, with nods to Darren’s South African heritage including plenty of wildlife. Speaking of animals, you simply must see the fantastic cake! Holly also has some sage advice for all of you out there planning your own weddings, do take note!
The fabulous images we have for you today come courtesy of the brilliant Joe Mallen Photography, hasn’t he captured the vibrancy of the day just perfectly?
THE PROPOSAL | Darren proposed to me on traditional bended knee in May 2016, in front of about 120 friends and family in the garden when we were hosting my festival themed 30th birthday party ‘Hollyfest’! I thought he had been acting strangely in the lead up to the party but I had no idea what he was planning, my parents knew and a couple of close friends, but not the when and how! Darren is not used to speaking in front of a lot of people and he said ‘his body took over’ when it came to the proposal. It was amazing that so many of our friends and family could witness such a special moment, rising cheers and tears certainly made it a very unforgettable occasion for both of us.
THE VISION | Colourful, summery, English country village, vintage wedding with elements of South Africa too. Bright colours were always going to feature as I love colour especially pink from my textile student days and Darren’s favourite is day glo green, which did not make an appearance in the end, sadly despite the intention of the groom for day glo green socks!
We were keen to tie our UK and South African heritage together and we did this through our choice of flowers, wedding stationary and reception décor.
We chose to have our ceremony in the local C of E church I was christened in. We know many people in the local community so the wedding was to be a real village affair.
We wanted a reception venue that was original and unique and early reception venue choices were discounted on size when the guest list grew, so we looked for somewhere no one had been to before, but local with an outdoors element that also had facilities to cope with inclement weather, and we wanted complete freedom to have our day how we wanted it, as we shied away from a ‘package’ wedding or hotel venue.
From the moment we were introduced to Lord and Lady McAlpine at Fawley Hill and they showed us around their amazing place it just felt right and we knew what we needed to plan for. My Dad then admitted to thinking of the venue right at the beginning but kept the idea to himself because he thought we would not like it….
THE PLANNING PROCESS | 18 months. Pinterest, Etsy, eBay, Charity shops and lots of family meetings with my parents, Darren and the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen.
We are very lucky to have a number of very creative and talented friends, parents and other family members who helped with the wedding, so we called on them to gift us with their talents! My Mum runs a creative embroidery business and my Dad is a letter carver in wood , two of the Bridesmaids and my Aunt are trained costume makers, a number of friends in our local theatre group, The Lane End Players helped with lighting , sewing, decorations, flowers and make up.
I had a very strong vision of what I wanted and Darren had certain ideas of his own. Whenever I got stuck, I would go to him with the issues and we would chat through the options until we reached a solution we both wanted. Nearer the time I often sat with my bridesmaids for hours talking over the tiniest of details of how the day would run (how is this person getting there, who will deliver that bag, is this song appropriate for the playlist etc), their ongoing support made the process very smooth and enjoyable and fun.
We also enlisted the help of my friend and wedding planner Amy Ward who provided us with valuable contributions for on the day wedding co-ordination and great planning tools for ‘wedmin’ (spreadsheets, planning sheets, running orders etc). Her wedding planning spreadsheet was my life for 18 months!
With a practical team behind to help, bringing their ideas to the table with creative and value for money solutions, certainly shaped the final outcome for the big day with a need to adapt because of some unexpected surprises that arose.
I enjoyed the planning process very much, especially collecting items for the wedding, but I have now realised how utterly consuming it was, now it is over!
BUDGET | Not ridiculous, but more than originally planned!
THE VENUE | Ceremony, Holy Trinity Church, Lane End, Bucks. A lovely traditional brick and flint church set on the common, complete with choir, bellringing and all the works. Despite being currently without a resident vicar, we sought out the Rev Peter Wainwright to officiate our wedding.
Reception, Fawley Hill, near Henley on Thames, Bucks. Fawley Hill is a very unique venue that has been described as being twinned with Narnia and Middle Earth! We chose to use the station for the reception and hold the wedding breakfast and evening party in the station museum, but there are options for a woodland wedding or festival wedding there also.
After the church ceremony, guests were invited to relax in the station courtyard and explore on the luxurious Great Eastern No. 1 carriage that had been drawn into the station for our event. Guests also got to ride on the colourful carousel, spot the various species of animal that live and roam at Fawley Hill as well as admire the wonderful collection of artefacts and retro advertising in every corner of the venue.
We had two days’ full access to the venue before the wedding which was much appreciated (and needed). They provided all our tables and chairs which was a plus, but everything else was hired in.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was ‘Poppy’ by Maggie Sottero which is an ivory and blush/shell pink full skirted dress with a lace bodice and sweetheart neckline. The dress was originally strapless but my talented cousin (and bridesmaid) Caroline made a sleeved lace illusion top with fabrics we sourced together on a trip to Shepherd’s Bush market and made adjustments to the fit that was required.
My Veil was a real bargain find in BHS (just before it closed for good). Somehow it got lost at the venue on the big day never to be seen again. I am still wondering where it could be now!
Shoes were Rachel Simpson ‘Hermione’. Very comfortable, but I still ended up barefoot by about 9pm! My sparkly wedding trainers my Mum bought for me to dance in, got mislaid somewhere on the way to the reception!
My jewellery was pearl and rose gold earrings and matching bracelet from Sophiabeau from Etsy.com
My garter was blue and ivory flowers with pearls from Etsy which I adapted to suit my style by using a second plain lace garter. My Dad put a silver sixpence in my shoe for luck and I carried my Grandma’s wedding ring as my something old. My good friend Pip (who also did mine and my Mum’s wedding make up) lent me her own wedding tiara as my ‘something borrowed’. Caroline also secretly..
Oh boy are we in for a real treat today lovely readers. Let me introduce you to WWW readers Louise and Ed who were wed on the 14th April 2018 at the stunning Highcliffe Castle followed by a reception at Brockenhurst Village Hall in Dorset. Their day screams style, sophistication and creativity.
They chose their venues as a real contrast to one another, the castle was light, airy and filled with history. With the village hall ripe for transformation into a cosy and romantic space to celebrate. I love the fusion of modern and vintage styles in their wedding too, which also had an international, travel flair to represent their jet setting careers. Louise’s gown was a show stopper, an original vintage 1940s couture gown from Paris no less, and covered with delicate silver sequins, it looked incredible on her. To tie in with the timeless feel, Ed and his groomsmen wore classic tuxedos and black bow ties. Very dapper!
There are so many touches and elements that make their day so personal. The sign a tablecloth guest book made by Louise’s great grandmother, which her Mum then embroidered, is one of the loveliest guest book ideas I have heard for a long time. Then there was the bring a Christmas Tree decoration gift idea for guests, so sentimental! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better they hired sumo suits as Ed is the sumo-suit 100m world record holder and they had laser quest to entertain all in the evening. Brilliant.
These seriously beautiful captures come from Bowtie and Belle Photography, you are going to love the first look, sunset portraits and sparkler kiss shots. We are so thankful to be sharing these images with you.
We are childhood sweethearts and have been together for thirteen years so we both knew marriage was on the cards. It was a joint decision that we both wanted to take the next step…. so we bought a ring together from an antique jeweller in our hometown that we’ve known for years. Then a few months later when we were living in Thailand we spent the day on a beautiful private beach and Ed got down on one knee at sunset to propose. It was totally private, magical, and perfect!
Our number one goal was to not do anything other people had done! We wanted things to be totally unique and our guests to be constantly entertained with activities and personal touches. The plan was to have a very light, airy, and bright ceremony (big windows, minimal decoration), and then a cosy, candlelit and flower rich reception.
The Planning Process
We travel full time so were abroad for most of our 16 month engagement. On the few occasions we were in the UK we made sure to pack in appointments with tailors, venues, suppliers, etc. It’s amazing how much you can organise online though, and Amazon delivery played a big part in everything!
Our ceremony was at the Grade I listed Highcliffe Castle. We immediately fell in love with the floor to ceiling windows and the simple elegance. It’s rare to find something with so much history that isn’t heavily guided with wood panelling or oil paintings. It was stunning!
Then we had the reception at Brockenhurst Village Hall. We wanted a totally blank space that would let us get creative so doing a village hall “transformation” project was perfect. They were really wonderful hosts and totally accommodating of all our wild ideas. It also meant we had several rooms to play with so could have a separate space for the bar, welcome reception, and a whole room for laser quest (yes!).
Your Outfits & Accessories
I am well known for loving second hand shopping and my entire wardrobe is thrifted. Of course my wedding day was going to be no different! So my dress is a vintage one of a kind couture from Paris. It’s dated at around the 1940s and I got it in a beautiful little vintage shop in Bath called Vintage to Vogue. I had some restorations done by ChantelleSophia who also made me a custom cathedral length veil absolutely covered in glitter! Totally what magpie princess dreams are made of.
My shoes were some little silver beauties from New Look, and my friend is an accessories designer so made me some clip on blue pompoms to make them totally unique.
Finally, my earrings were from a vintage shop in Brisbane from when we were living there, and my Godmother loaned me her diamond bracelet for the day. I also wore a simple diamond necklace from my Grandma (a Christmas gift which I wear everyday), and a christening bracelet my Granddad made for me with my name engraved on it (he was a jeweller).
The Readings & Music
We chose one of our closest joint childhood friends to do the reading at our wedding. She chose the piece so it was a surprise for us and was beautiful. It was The Promise of Marriage by by Bettie Meeks.
Our entry aisle music was a friend playing Still Into You (by Paramore) on the piano and singing, and our exit was to First Date (by Blink 182). We met at fifteen so these songs take us right back to those amazing years. We signed the register to You Got The Love (by Florence and the Machine) – who we’ve seen several times in concert together.
We wanted the clothes to be totally timeless, and fit with the vintage feel of the dress. So we got the Groomsmens’ suits made when we were in Bali which meant everyone had matching custom tuxedos. They looked so smart in their black bowties – all the James Bond vibes.
All my bridesmaids are beautiful and unique and so I wanted them to feel like themselves on the day. So… I let them choose their own dresses! I set a colour palette of rich royal colours (navy, burgundy, emerald green, red, deep purple, etc) and they choose a colour each. The only criteria was to have the dress full length so they stood out from the guests. I think they all looked amazing and it perfectly matched the colour palette of the flowers. The dresses are from ASOS, House of Fraser, Vera Wang White, and Monsoon.
The photographer was definitely the supplier we searched the longest for – we wanted a very light and airy style which is quite rare at the moment. As soon as we laid eyes on Bowtie and Belle it was love! Their style was exactly what we wanted… plus they are also childhood sweethearts so it felt like it was meant to be. On the day we did a “First Look” shoot before the ceremony which was so wonderful as it gave us a chance to have a private moment and calm our nerves just the two of us. Then we did some very quick photos at the Castle, and a longer shoot at sunset. Of course there was also a sparkler tunnel later in the evening too!
I’ve known Fiona (of FLC Hair and Makeup) for years so I always knew she’d be the one to do my wedding make up. We worked together on coming up with a simple and classic hair style that would be both modern and timeless. A twisted ponytail was the perfect solution because it stayed all day but showed off my signature blonde hair more than an up-do. She kept my make up glamorous but understated with the main focus on the eyes. She’s such a dream to work with and always keeps everyone calm and chatting on the day!
Clair Lythgoe did an amazing job with our flowers. We wanted to have mostly greenery, but then drop in deep rich colours to match the bridesmaids. She made a stunning bridal bouquet full of colour, and green ones for the bridesmaids to tie together their mismatched dresses. Then the tables had greenery runners with coloured flowers dotted along in brass geometric terrariums, lanterns and candlesticks. We also made some DIY geometric candelabras to hang from the ceiling and Clair draped them with greenery for a forest canopy effect.
In Lucy and Sam’s words, we have peace, love and party for you today! This gorgeous wedding with a 1970s hippie vibe took place on the 27th May 2018. The ceremony was at Lucy and Sam’s local church, and following a ride on the most beautiful green vintage bus, they partied the night away at Westerham Golf Club in Kent. Situated in a lovely woodland setting, the décor inside is wonderfully rustic and perfectly fitting for the ethereal feel the couple wanted.
Now let’s talk about Lucy’s outfit shall we? Not being able to find the perfect dress led her to design her own gown and have it made. Isn’t the result just magnificent? Think 1970s yet mediaeval and totally stunning, complimented by a meadowy wildflower bouquet and a wonderful flower crown.
The 70s details continue with the super cute VW Beetles and the folk pop album covers plus the reception took place under a stunning fairy light ceiling. Amazing!
WWW fave Sarah Fleet has provided the brilliant images today. Thank you so much for sharing the love with us Sarah!
A quiet Kentish countryside meadow walk, and a complete and utter surprise.
A personalised and relaxed 1970’s bohemian wedding, based on the hippie styles and alternative music that we love, to share with the family and friends we love.
The Planning Process
We booked St Mary’s Church on Westerham Village green and secured the date at the woodland golf club first. The church is so beautiful so we were very happy that our ceremony was going to take place there, and at Westerham Golf Club we loved the woodland path that leads up to the entrance…it was very magical.
St Mary the Virgin- Westerham Village Green
Westerham Golf Club
Nina- Lavender dress from Asos
Rachel- Lavender dress from Asos
Gen – Lavender dress from Asos
Sophie- (9 Years old) Monsoon white and gold lace dress
Bride did her own hair and make-up.
Make up trial/ lessons – Jane Sinclair
Your Outfits & Accessories
I’m not used to suit shopping as I’m not really a suit wearing kind of guy so I was definitely out of my comfort zone going to the high street suit shops. I wanted to find something fairly relaxed, but still smart with a bit of a difference. I tried on a few tweed suits but found them too heavy and uncomfortable. After stumbling upon Slaters suit shop in Kent, I found many styles that I actually really liked. The shop assistants were really relaxed and helpful, there was no pressure. I eventually found a light weight brown suit with a fitted waistcoat and slight tartan/ chequered pattern with a paisley lining. It fitted me perfectly, and was a great price!
After trying on many high street dresses, I couldn’t find one that fitted me very well. As I am petite, they were either too long or didn’t hang right. I knew that if I bought something that didn’t fit, I would end up spending double on alterations so I made the decision to design my own dress and have it made to measure. I was recommended a lady called Teresa at Polka fashions in Aveley, Essex. She has a service from her home, and after describing to her what I wanted, she made the dress within 2 months exactly as I had asked. I wanted a bohemian style white lace dress, almost a bit Pre- Raphaelite/ medieval in design. It was so elegant and demure, with a slight boat neckline, chapel train, and long sleeves with buttons and all over white lace. I was so happy with Polka Bridal, Teresa is absolutely wonderful.
The Details & Décor
Posy and Wild florists did a beautiful job decorating the church with some simple, country flowers to hang off of the pews. The fresh bunches included eucalyptus and herbs to make the church smell wonderful and rustic. Our reception venue- ‘Westerham Golf Club’ has spectacular views from the main hall balcony, and this was a big feature that really gave the ‘wow’ factor. We knew that overdoing the decoration was not necessary due to the natural beauty of the venue- therefore we went for some simplistic and personalised decoration details that were planned ahead, with lots of inspiration from Pinterest.
As we are both guitarists, we loved the idea of having an open guitar case to hold our cards and gifts. The table plan was made up of our top 8 favourite albums, printed on high quality card and mounted onto a wooden board. Bows hire came to fit the fairy lights in the Golf club and they gave the venue a magic sparkle on the ceiling. We had a wooden palate decorated with clip lights full of our favourite family photos.
Abigail Elmer (Bride and Groom’s friend)
The Readings & Music
Bride walked down the Aisle to her father playing ‘Girl from the North Country’ on acoustic guitar.
‘Morning has Broken’
‘How Great Thou Art’
‘A Red, Red Rose’- By Robert Burns
A Reading from the Song of Solomon 2.10-13; 8.6,7
Other Music played in the church:
Nick Drake- ‘Time has Told Me’
Sandy Denny- ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’
The Lemonheads- ‘Into Your Arms’
Geoff- Best Man’s Own
Ben- Usher- Suit from Next
Richard- Usher- Suit Groomsman’s own
John- Father of the Bride- Suit Groomsman’s own
Bill- Father of the Groom- Suit Debenhams
Posy and Wild- Westerham
We wanted a city break as we only had 5 days so we spent the week In Glasgow. We had a great time looking around record shops, and having lovely meals. We took day trips out to Stirling and Edinburgh by train, and the weather was lovely!
WWW was one of the first wedding websites I started to follow when I began planning my wedding, I loved browsing the real life weddings and I was inspired by so many creative brides. What I love about WWW is the diverse style of weddings, it showed me that not every wedding has to be traditional; they can be fun, colourful and reflect the couples personality.
Well isn’t that just the loveliest thing for me to read when compiling today’s real wedding feature, thank you so much James and Lauren!
It’s always special when you have a wedding which really shows off a couple’s personality and WWW readers James and Lauren really blew me away with personal touches galore! Their day was a real DIY affair with a super cool Disney Pixar Up film theme. Having got engaged at Disney, the pair wanted a touch of Disney in their day too, plus they went back for a dream honeymoon with their two boys. Oh my is this a Disney style wedding with a LOT of style. Think soft pretty pastel pink colour scheme, a tea length dress for twirling and a vintage ice cream van to name a few.
James and Lauren chose Sunday 8th April 2018 to tie the knot, at The Folly at The Farmhouse at Mackworth in Derbyshire. I have to say they decorated it so beautifully, with cool signs, sequins, giant balloons and gorgeous blooms. Just wait until you read the full low-down of their DIY efforts, you will be in awe.
James and I had met on our first day at university, we lived 2 doors down in our halls from one another, and he proposed 4 years later during our first family holiday with our son Noah at Disneyland Paris. I have always loved Disney and when he suddenly got down on one knee whilst we were watching the illuminations by the castle with our son and asked me to marry him it was a really special moment and of course I said yes! When planning our wedding, we wanted to incorporate our love of Disney and our special memories we have with the place we got engaged.
I have always loved the romance and charm of the 1950s and I have always dreamt of wearing a tea length gown and having a relaxed wedding with a soft vintage feel and contemporary touches that reflected our personalities. We have two boys, Noah and Joseph, so they were very much a part of our planning; it was always going to be a fun family affair.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
We started planning our wedding in September 2016 after a long search for the perfect venue, we finally decided on The Farmhouse at Mackworth, set our date and the planning commenced! The venue’s beautiful grounds and unique décor, including a library room with books hanging from the ceiling, was the inspiration we needed to start planning our wedding. We started our planning by making a list of what we wanted our day to look like and what we both felt was the most important aspects of a wedding to us, such as having an amazing photographer to capture our day, once we had discussed this it was easier to prioritise and begin planning the finer details and book suppliers. I really enjoyed planning our wedding and being able to create a day that was personal to us and reflected our personalities.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
My dress designer was Marc Le Carr by Berketex. I had always dreamed of wearing a tea length gown , I could not of imagined myself wearing anything else! My ivory fingertip lace appliqué and beaded veil was also purchased at the same boutique. My shoes were Charlotte Mills ‘Andrea’ the perfect pair of ivory peep toe heels, with amazing gold heart detailing and a gold glitter heel! The length of the dress was perfect for showing them off and adding a little personality.
I found my gown at the Berketex Bridal Boutique in Nottingham, I worked in the city at the time and would walk past to and from work and would admire it in the window, until one day I finally tried it on. I knew straight away it was ‘The One’ and bought it on the spot! The dress was a beautiful vintage style, tea length, lace detailing and lots of tulle layers which were perfect for twirling and dancing!
Our ceremony and reception were held at The Folly which is a stunning venue with a real vintage feel located at The Farmhouse at Mackworth. We chose this venue because of its unique features and its relaxed and intimate feel. The venue were amazing and the staff and wedding co-ordinator were fantastic throughout our planning. On the morning of our wedding bridal preparations were held at the equally wonderful, The Coach House B&B, both venues are in Derby.
All of my flowers were fresh and a mix of spring flowers in pastel hues. My bouquet included flowers such as memory lane roses, delphinium, gypsophila and lisianthus. All of our flowers were created by a local florist from whom James has always bought me flowers from, so it seemed fitting to use Floral Boutique to create flowers for our special day. The florist created all of the bouquets, button holes, floral combs and crowns, wands and supplied the flowers for our centrepieces; they were so delicate and pretty.
THE READINGS & MUSIC
Our niece Jasmine read a lovely reading during our ceremony called ‘What is love?’ (Author unknown) although was short it was perfect for us and spoke about how love is the most important thing in our lives and is a radiance that never fades. It was chosen because of how it made us feel and reminded us of our love for one another and our children. We chose songs that were special to us, I walked down the aisle to Cat Powers version of ‘Sea of love’, the moment I heard it I knew it would be perfect. For signing the register we had The Maccabees ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ and Arctic Monkeys version of ‘Baby I’m yours’ and for exiting we had Noah and the Whale’s ‘5 years time’ as we love it and its fun and upbeat. For the evening reception we had a DJ.
James wore a navy three piece suit from Suits Direct with a white shirt from Next, brown ASOS brogues and a soft pink tie and pocket square. The best men wore matching suits, ties and pocket squares and Noah and Joseph had a mini version of James’s suit but with white converse!
For my bridesmaids I had my sister Rosie, my sister in law Rebecca, our niece Jasmine and for my flower girl we had our youngest niece Miley. All the bridesmaid dresses were purchased at Coast and we chose soft pink dresses with a beautiful bow back detailing in two different styles, Rosie and Jasmine had a fit and flare and Rebecca had a lovely fitted number all worse fresh flower combs in their hair. Miley had a very pretty pink scallop hemmed dress from Monsoon to match the bridesmaids, accessorised with sparkly ballet pumps, ivory cardigan and fresh floral crown.
The cake was a wonderful 4 tier semi-naked cake decorated with fresh pastel flowers, created by Red Robin Cakery. The cake looked and tasted delicious, Sophie worked very hard to create our vision of a soft vintage style wedding cake and even added the finishing touches on the day, a little replica house from the Disney movie ‘Up!’ which I had purchased months earlier and a gold glitter cake topper which read ‘You are my greatest adventure’ and the cake stood proudly on a personalised wooden cake stand that was made especially for our special day. It looked and tasted delicious!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
I had always dreamed of a soft, vintage and personal wedding, I love all things vintage and had always pictured a tea length gown, afternoon tea and the..
Oh boy do we have a real wedding today to make you swoon. Think prohibition 1920s vintage Gatstby vibes, all held at the stunning industrial venue; The West Mill in Derbyshire. WWW readers Renna and Ben chose the 3rd February 2018 to hold their celebrations, which gave them two years to plan the wintry day of their dreams. I have to say it all looked so perfect and the incredible images by HBA Photography really gave me goosebumps, they are just so atmospheric (thanks for sharing guys!).
Glamour all the way with bridesmaids donning silver sequin frocks, the gents in formal tuxedos and bride Renna rocking not one but two beautiful gowns. I think they all looked utterly gorgeous! I really love the paired back but abundant greenery and foliage used throughout, it made the perfect trendy contrast to their glam décor. Live music was key for these two, so I was super chuffed to see WWW faves Warble Entertainment providing the evening band. It sounds as though guests were dancing even before the dinner was served. Brilliant.
Such a fun, meaningful and remarkable wedding day.
Ben actually had a bespoke ring made for me but got his timings mixed up and ended up proposing with a haribo ring in the living room with my family surrounding us on Christmas day. In the panic of the moment I ended up eating the ring before I said yes.
A glamorous winter affair with a 1920’s twist.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
Most people told me that two years was such a long time to plan a wedding and they were right, however I was not warned how much the last 6 months it would take over my life, from late night confetti packing and hours spent spraying bottles and painting wood. I was quite lucky because my mum has retired so she basically became my wedding planner I would tell her my vision and send her some ideas and she would spend hours knocking together wood, bidding on websites and buying things in shops while I sat at my desk at work!
My dream job has always been to be a wedding planner so my wedding was basically my first chance to show people what I could do! I had endless lists and spread sheets. It was actually quite easy to spend hours of the day doing wedmin and forget about the real world.
Enjoy the planning process, you probably won’t ever experience again and it is truly amazing to see it all come together at the end.
I think I would rather forget this part but well well well over what we planned.
The West Mill – probably the most amazing venue I’ve ever been to, from the second I walked in I shed a tear because I knew INSTANTLY this was the place I was going to marry Ben.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES
Dress from Ivory & Pearl Belfast – Flora Bridal and evening dress WED2B West Brom.
My belt was also WED2B, my colbalt shoes were Manolo Blahnik, my bespoke head piece was made by Bebop Boutique, my veil was by TDR Bridal in Birmingham and my earrings were diamonds hand cut and placed by Marcello Monsellato in Hatton Garden. Marcello also hand made our wedding rings, Ben’s wedding ring has his nan’s wedding ring melted inside.
FINDING THE DRESS
STRESSFUL yet funny story. I originally bought a dress from Ivory & Pearl in Belfast by a designer called Flora. I used it as my goal to lose weight, however 18months later when I had lost the weight and I put the dress on it no longer looked the same. I then had 3 and a half weeks to find a new dress! I popped into WED2B in West Bromwich and managed to pick up a stunning appliqué crepe and lace dress that didn’t break the bank, as I had already spent so much on my original dress. I spent a few days gutted about the fact that I couldn’t wear my original dress. Luckily Ben’s Auntie Pam who is a seamstress came up with idea to combine BOTH!!! She created my old dress into a glamorous detachable skirt with a huge train and a tulle belt, and walah! I had my day dress with my huge train and my evening dress to cut some shapes in!
Ben wore a DKNY suit from Moss Bro and a waist coat hand made by Auntie Pam, all the groomsmen were in Moss Bro 1851, dicky bows and pocket squares were all Moss Bro, my nephew was my page boy and he wore a tuxedo baby grow from baby Gap!
THE READINGS & MUSIC
I walked down the aisle to Tale As Old As Time played by Cam Gow Pianist. My bridesmaid Charlotte read a Disney related poem called Tale As Old As Time, my mother read a poem called What Is Love. Music is a massive part of my life with Ben, we actually spend hours at home with our vinyl player on drinking wine and its one of the biggest ways in which we bonded, so obviously it was such a huge part of our day and I tried to make sure there was live music at all points of the day. We had Cam the pianist welcome the guests into the ceremony room with lots of modern classics and then continue with us down to the drinks reception to play some uplifting classics, which actually had some of our guests dancing even before dinner. At dinner we had Mango Acoustic Duo who were fantastic, I actually danced for about 10 minutes next to them before our desserts came out as did many other guests. In the evening we used Warble Entertainment to hire The Jumping 5 who were a 5 piece swing band, and we finished the evening off with Digi Sounds DJ Scott Hicklin from Chesterfield and Luke Sax! (On the Sax!) We were a bit untraditional and my two best friends and maid of honours Alex and Mary both did a speech, it was commented on many times how the women really out did the men at the wedding! Go on girls!
All nine dresses were hand made to fit by Pam Ben’s auntie, shoes were from ASOS and hair was by The Look Salon in Chesterfield. Make up was Leena Leigh Makeup Artistry. The flower girls dress and shoes were Monsoon.
Maria’s Flowers Derby. My original florist went AWOL four weeks before the wedding and Maria literally came and saved the day and helped mop up my tears, her work was incredible.
My flowers were mainly green and ivory, the bridesmaid’s bouquets were simple and elegant whereas mine hung down and was loosely hand tied. We had a floral arrangement across the top table and the register signing table, which floated on to the floor surrounded by candles.
Debbie’s Cakes Mansfield
The photography gods that are, HBA Photography and lets not forget Nick Armstrong Videographer – our film.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR
Chair backs and sequin table cloths were from Helen at Pudding Bridge. Vase centrepieces and the wooden shutters were Save The Date Event Stylist. All calligraphy including the one of a kind scroll, table plan and welcome sign were from Allie at Polly & Me. Sprayed bottles by mother! Hanging faux floral backdrop with hanging lightbulbs was hand made by my..