The Title says it all really… Since I first saw Hannah and Toby’s photography work I have been itching to feature a wedding by Red On Blonde on the blog (and yes it is a VERY cool name)!
Preston Court is a very cool venue too & Charlotte and Rory are a very cool couple who had a wedding chock full of personal touches. Basically… this is VERY cool…
It Was Perfect
My Husband Rory and I didn’t want a formal wedding with a 4 course meal and our guests having nothing to do whilst we were having photos and they were waiting to be fed by canapés that make you even hungrier! So when we found Preston Court with its Carousel and feature points such as the art deco and 1950’s vintage organ players along with the freedom to design our own wedding, it made perfect sense! And it WAS perfect!
Friends & Family
My hair was relaxed and styled by my Aunty who’s a hairdresser. It was nice because it kept the morning really personal and she knew I didn’t want to get married to Rory looking like someone he’d never met before! My makeup was done by a close friend and all of my makeup was Benefit cosmetics! They have all the colours and staying power a girl could need on her wedding day!
My dress was designed by Essence. I found it at Marshmallow Bride in St Albans. I popped in on the off chance to see if they had something ‘different’ although I didn’t know what different was… until they pulled out the perfect dress that made me cry instantly! I tried 28 other dresses on beforehand and new from then that I’d found my dress! The best thing is, that the top piece of lace was detachable so I could party in the evening!
I knew early on that a veil was not for me! So I wore a beautiful hair slide handmade by Poppy Rogers of Connie and Dolly designs. I met her at a Vintage Wedding Fair at Chiswick Town Hall. She took one look at my wedding dress and the blush colour of the material and made a one off piece just for me in 2 weeks! My shoes were a bargain at £10 from the vintage emporium in St Albans and my jewellery was accessorize!
My bridesmaids wore a dress I ordered online for £40! They originally had sequins around the waist band, but a close friend of ours took them off and replaced it with lace and vintage brooches that I ordered off ebay. Their shoes were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. My groom had his suit made and the rest of our wedding party suits were from Next. I couldn’t find an alternative buttonhole that wasn’t a flower, so I made them with bits’n’bobs from Hobbycraft!
Vintage Shabby Retro Chic
We started off with a vintage feel, but as any bride will tell you when you’ve got 2 years to plan a wedding… thing’s change! So we had a few vintage/shabby chic details running through with a little retro too! Our invites which we made ourselves and had printed by a friend were a story of how we met to the present day. As our story has all been in London, we made our own table plan out of an old suitcase and used London plaques to tie in that we bought at Portobello road. We added a few pom poms and hanging bits and voila!
Colourful & Fun
I knew I wanted my bouquet to be colourful and fun to represent all of the colours that would feature through the day and the feel of our wedding. So my mum’s friend is a florist who put my chosen flowers together for my bouquet. We then used a florist based in Ashford who ordered Green carnations, Peach Gerbera, Gip, Light pink spray carnations, Peach rose, White carnations at wholesale price and we trimmed and popped them in the jugs, jars and tins the day before!
Floods Of Tears
This was by far the best and most romantic part of the day… as well as EMOTIONAL! The funniest thing is that my mum, step-dad and mother in law got lost on the way to Preston Court so it only added to the build-up. I drove down the drive to the front of the house and everyone was cheering and stood up waiting! It was so exciting! As soon as I heard our song ‘Al Green – Let’s stay together’ I walked towards the bridge to meet Rory on the island. I could see my best friend Lotte and Sister in law Rachel crying… by the time I saw Rory, we were all in floods of tears… including him!
Hey Mr DJ
Music means so much to us so we had a DJ for the evening who played all of the tracks we wanted! We sent him a comprehensive playlist of 5 hours’ worth of music and he played it right to the very end! Rory’s family are from Grenada so we had some soca and calypso, I love hip hop and soul music and Rory loves soulful house… put all of that together and the dance floor was never empty!
We played music right from the beginning of our ceremony, through the wedding breakfast and up to the end courtesy of our friend and DJ Jason Sears who made an uplifting playlist for us to enjoy.
Nacho, Nacho Man…
So, I mentioned before that Canapes aren’t our thing and we hate being hungry, so we supplied our own Nacho Bar! We stocked up on Guacamole, salsa, cheese, nachos, sour cream and olive. Popped out some bowls and a nacho bar sign from ebay and they ate the lot!
We had a Brazilian Churrasco BBQ from Barbeskew Caterers that went down a storm and a man with a bike giving out Ice-Cream for dessert! Finished with a Fish And Chips Kent at 9pm and a sweetie bar meant we had satisfied guests!
A Golden Ticket
We wanted everything to be as personal as possible, so we instead of a guest book, we had a canvas for everyone to sign. Every table name is where we go together as we live in London. We even had Wonka Bars with personalised golden tickets inside for our guests. Every feature had a personalised sign attached to it and we used blackboards as signs for people to know what to do around the venue. We left little boxes on our page boys places with their names on with various ‘things to do’ to keep them occupied. We collected all of the jam jars and brought in the vintage lemonades for our guests.
My sister in law Lotte and I had a DIY day and made loads of things like paper pom poms, cake toppers and flower garlands and it was such a nice day to spend with your best girl!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We decided to have our own top table. This took the pressure out of a huge top table and was actually less formal. It made things easy for us too as our parents are separated and re-married, so we didn’t have to worry about tradition of whom is sat next to whom! Everyone says that you hardly see your husband on the day, but this gave us two hours to sit and chat and enjoy the speeches together. It also gives you that time to sit back and watch what’s around you.
The one thing I would say is you fret about all the small stuff leading up to the wedding and actually, you and your groom are the only ones who really know about them… so don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the best day of your life!
Venue – Preston Court
Catering – Barbeskew Caterers
Wonka Bars – mrskibbles.co.uk
Ice-Cream – benecciicecreambikes/a>
Fish and Chips – Fish And Chips Kent
Boutique – Marshmallow Bride
Hair slide – Connie and Dolly designs
Photographers – Red On Blonde
So… As of about five minutes ago – which of you lovely readers have made the absolutely crucial deal-breaking decision that they must now have a carousel at their wedding?
If you are having one, can you invite me please?