Tim and Kate married in a humanist ceremony at Beau Castle, near Bewdley in the spring. They had a super small civil ceremony in Pershore the day before to make it legal.
A really strong colour scheme and some choice flamboyant touches (check out those stilts) really makes this wedding stand out there on its own. Their day, their way.
Take it away Kate…
I ended up with two dresses instead of one – oops! The first was bought months before the wedding but as the date approached I was starting to have doubts that it was really the one (who knew my only wedding jitters would be about the dress!). Just 2 weeks before the wedding, I was looking for accessories at The Wedding Boutique in Worcester and spotted this gorgeous and really different looking champagne gown. I tried it on, secretly hoping not to like it as much as the first dress but it was perfect, and after a couple of days to make sure, I just knew I’d have to have it.
The dress originally had different flowers at the side which I changed and, to pick out the colours of the wedding, I embroidered some purple beads into the centre of the new flower. On the big day my maid of honour pinned a tiny dragonfly brooch that had been her gran’s onto the flower, my ‘something borrowed’.
I knew right from the off that I didn’t want a veil so I had some pearl hair pins made instead. A few days before the wedding I found the lace shrug at the Bridal Train in Bewdley near to our venue. It needed a bit of work to get the sleeve length right so my Mum worked through the night to get in done. Thanks Mum!
An Irregular Choice
Our best man joked in his speech about the gargantuan hunt for my wedding shoes but he was not wrong! I’d had my heart set on a specific pair by Irregular Choice that had been discontinued and this led to months and months spent hunting for the perfect alternative. Eventually Tim took me to London for the weekend to try and find some (my hero!) and there I finally found my purple and gold beauties, with big purple ribbon laces called ‘Toodle Loo’, also by Irregular Choice. Whilst in London I got to visit the Irregular Choice shop in Carnaby Street – shoe heaven!!
A Bit Of A Pickle
I did my own makeup and used the savings to buy one or two really nice items that I’ll get to use again. One of my best friends Pickles is a hair stylist and offered to do my hair as a wedding present. She did such an amazing job and it was fantastic to have all close friends around while I was getting ready.
Purple And Green
Samantha from Floral Creations in Diptford, Devon did my flowers – quite a journey but Sam’s a family friend and my Aunt had offered to drive them up. I needn’t have worried about the transport, they were absolutely stunning. Tim and I knew we wanted purples and greens and I love more bright and quirky shapes so Sam and I met up a couple of months before the wedding and she suggested a mixture of Alliums, Ivory Hydrangea, Spider Chrysanthemums, Hypericum Berries and Purple Veronica.
I made fabric flowers with button centres to go in all of the table arrangements and spent a long night with the help of Tim, my Dad and Step-Mum cutting out and ironing fabric circles for these. On the day of the royal wedding I spent the morning sewing the fabric flowers whilst watching another Kate walk up the aisle and hoping I’d look half as good in my dress as she did in hers!
A Little Out Of The Ordinary
The bridesmaid/ maid of honour dresses and flower girls dress were all from Debenhams. Luckily there was a lot of purple in the shops around Christmas and they were just as nice, if not nicer than anything we’d seen in bridal shops.
The best man wore the same as the groom and the ushers all chose something themselves. We were pretty late in organising ushers but randomly, they all arrived on the day wearing something a little out of the ordinary – totally unplanned but very appropriate – it fit the day perfectly!
Tim was keen not to go for anything too formal and we started to keep an eye out for a purple suit to fit in the other colours without making Tim look like The Joker!
Before finding the suit we spied the funkiest trainer/brogue mix shoes with purple accents by ‘Nanny State’ and ended up buying those before anything else. As luck would have it, we then found the perfect purple suit from Duchamp in the sale at House of Fraser, and a fab patterned shirt by Ted Baker that tied it all together. The boys outfits were great fun, really ‘them’ and made for one very proud bride indeed!
I can’t say enough good things about our photographer Kelly from Lola Rose Photography. I first spotted her pics on Rock My Wedding (cheers guys!!!) and after a quick phone consultation I knew instantly that we were on the same page.
Tim and I spent some time in the months before the wedding saving photos from weddings we’d seen and liked on various websites which we then shared with Kelly so she’d know what we were after. We especially liked the more off-the-wall and informal shots we’d seen in quirkier American weddings and LOVED the idea of having a photo booth area with props for our guests to dress up in. Kelly was totally up for all of this and had loads of ideas to help bring our suggestions to life. When we sent out our invites we asked all of our guests to bring along a prop for the booth with hilarious results. Dad – where did that giant banana come from?!
Kelly was a dream from the moment we booked her, always keeping in touch via phone, email or skype and even made us funny signs to use in some of the group shots when we ran out time to make them. For years I’ve hated having my photo taken and when I’ve heard other brides say of their photograhers ‘I really didn’t notice the camera was there’ I have to admit I thought ‘yeah right’. But it’s all true, Kelly was a total professional and even with all the amazing photos we’ve ended up with I honestly didn’t even notice she was taking half of them. What a superstar!
A Family Affair
My Mum makes cakes for a living at her little shop County Cuisine in Worcester so thankfully the ‘who’s going to make the cake’ decision was a no brainer for us!
As a bit of a bunting fanatic, I adored another cake I’d seen online that was wrapped in tiny bunting make from icing. I showed my Mum and she said that would be no problem at all.
Rather than go for the traditional fruit cake, Tim, Mum and I (after a few yummy tasting sessions) settled on three flavours, a carrot cake for the bottom tier, almond cake for the middle and lemon and lime for the top. My uncle made the bottom tier as carrot cake’s his specialty and my sister helped Mum with the icing – a real family affair.
As another last minute decision we booked an acoustic stilt-walking band called Top Bananas just a week for the wedding. They were fantastic! It took us so long to decide what to do about a band as Tim and I are mostly into dance music and all of the bands we found seemed either too cheesy or formal for us. The Top Bananas were just the right mix of lively and fun plus talent and even took requests! It was a bit of a risk as bad weather might have spoiled the act but the gamble definitely paid off.
To keep the guests entertained during the photos we hired in some giant garden games and the evening entertainment saw two of our closest friends (who happen to be DJs) on the decks and delivering the best tunes to keep the dance floor packed all night. Watching our friends and family shaking it to hard dance tracks for the last half an hour will be one of our best memories for some time to come!
There were a few technical hiccups during the first dance but I think they actually saved our bacon! We’d chosen ‘Do Your Thing’ by Basement Jaxx but with no time to practice any kind of routine we were both pretty petrified about how it was going to turn out. As it happened, we managed to bop about for just the first few seconds of the song before the sound equipment had issues and had to be stopped for some frantic maintenance before we could carry on. By the time it was fixed we’d drifted away from the floor so it was with some relief that we each heard the first few bars of a 90s dance track from different parts of the venue to then both run back to the dance floor to bounce around once more before calling everyone up to help us ‘make shapes’. The DJs were mortified but secretly we couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out!
Quirky Favours, Retro Flavours And Scrap Store Décor
We’d originally planned to grow oak seedlings from some acorns we’d collected at Beau Castle during our second visit last Autumn but none of them grew! With that plan abandoned we decided instead to make up some quirky favour bags full of retro sweets, glow stick bracelets and other silly things to keep our guests amused. Who doesn’t love a bit of popping candy or a comedy fake tache?!
Our Maid of Honour was an absolute legend in helping source recycled materials for various décor details from the scrap-store she works at in Worcester and then spending days making bunting and helping us paint, sew, stick and colour in dozens of items including a wrapping paper covered floor plan and personalised ‘peg doll’ name card holders for each guest. Tim and I had a serious job on our hands to get a photo of every guest for their peg doll but thanks to Facebook and email we pulled it off.
We were also totally overwhelmed by some surprise details organised by family members including a gallery of past and present photos of Tim and I and a gorgeous patchwork quilt together with fabric hearts for our guests to write messages on. The aunt who made the quilt is now sewing it all together as a really special keepsake wedding present to remind us of the day.
Less About Rules And Traditions
As much as all the little details, the one thing that really stood out for us was the ability to create our own humanist wedding ceremony. By choosing this type of wedding we were able to be married outdoors, in front of our friends and family and make the promises to each other that we wanted to make. If felt so special and personal to us. For any other non-religious couples who want a wedding that says more about them and less about rules or traditions, we would totally recommend looking into Humanism and, if you’re in the Midlands, giving our celebrant Sylvie Summer a call, she was brilliant.
Apart from that our biggest advice would be make sure you have the wedding that you want and, under no circumstances try to plan everything around making everyone else happy – you’ll never achieve it! Despite any raised eyebrows or misgivings that anyone might have had about our offbeat wedding plans, we hope that in the end everyone had a real laugh, a fantastic time, and if nothing else, they’d definitely say that our wedding was totally ‘us’.
Venue – Beau Castle
Photography – Lola Rose Photography
Shoes – Irregular Choice
Boutique – The Wedding Boutique
Suit – Duchamp
Blooms – Floral Creations
Cake -County Cuisine
Entertainment -Top Bananas
Much kudos for the deadly serious couple shot with lips and ‘tache accessories! Tim’s suit from Duchamp is Jonathan-Ross-Tastic too.
Big bravo’s for purple clothes, great big bows, Lola Rose, cool stilettos and old skool brogues…