Let me start by telling you that RMW reader and bride Lauren has some quite spectacular cuff action going on – with a bird motif. And in keeping with the bird theme she also has a really rather beautiful feather headpiece (and you know how we love a feather…). But really it’s the dress I want to talk about. Because two days before W-day (yes two days) Lauren’s gown turned up only to be in a bit of a um…unwearable state.
I mean seriously – can you imagine the stress?!
Unpeturbed Lauren Made her way to Harvey Nichols armed with future husbands James’s credit card and a mission to find something fabulous. Which she did – a fashion forward ruffled number from BCBG Maxazria.
And as well as all of this catwalk-worthy greatness there is also a whole bunch of joy and general merriment to behold – Lauren and James’s guests clearly had an absolute riot…all captured perfectly by Claudine Hartzel.
Beauty Not Beast
I did my own make up with advice previously sought from RMW.
I knew what products I needed to created the look I wanted (the blushing, natural bride). One of my best and longest known friends is a professional hairdresser. Lucy Alexander kindly did several trials one night over dinner and we decided on a easy, loose bun tied to the side (I wanted to create a look inspired by Audrey Tautou in the Channel adverts).
Understated and Unique
I am not a fan of diamantes and knew I did not want a tiera or veil, however I did want something a bit different for my hair. I had popped into Liberty’s and seen a goreous hair piece by Zoe Sherwood called “Green Fly Bird Mallard Head” which was a hair piece made of feathers. What I loved about this piece was that it was not a traditional wedding hair piece, it was understated but beautiful.
Luckily for me it also went into the sale a week after I saw it! I had also seen a Wendy Mink ionised gold bird cuff in Libertys which I loved loved loved and knew I had to have for my wedding! (Wendy Mink is a New York jewellery designer who is inspired by Victorian and Indian designs).
Fortunately for me, my aunt is a big fan of jewellery. Before our wedding she kindly offered to lend me her black diamond earrings and necklace which sat perfectly which the gold cuff with ionised bird on it.
Aubergine And Cream
We did not have a colour theme as such. We opted for an aubergine colour for the bridesmaid dresses because this colour sat nicely against the cream bridal dress and the navy of the grooms suit.
Perfect Peep Toes
I wore skyscrapers!!!!!! I hardly ever wear heels but I was definitely going to wear them on my wedding day!!! I knew I wanted a subtle champange gold colour shoe to tie in with my accessories and found a perfect pair of peep toes in LK Bennett. Those shoes went on my feet at mid-day and did not come off until after 11pm. They served me well!!!
Last Minute Purchase
I never wanted a wedding dress. I had always planned to wear an amazing dress, but I had never invisaged wearing a bridal gown because I had never seen one that had the “wow” facor whereas I had seen plenty of evening gowns/vintage dresses in magazines that I have fallen in love with.
Under duress, from friends and family, I did shop for a wedding dress and I did find a elegant, strapless gown made of floating chiffon with a lace bodice. However, this dress did not work out as planned: two weeks before “D day” I went to collect the dress after the alterations had been made only to find it had 2 holes in it, the lace bodiace had not been sticthed down on one side, there was needle damage – It looked terrible!
Needless to say, I was not prepared to wear it. Armed with my future husbands credit card, my sister and Mum I went to Harvey Nicols on a very rainy Saturday afternoon and found a very helpful sales assistant who worked tirelessly to help me find an off the peg evening grown from BCBG Maxazria. It fitted like a glove- no alterations needed. It was perfect and despite going out and buying a wedding dress, I ended up wearing an evening gown which is what I originally thought I would do.
The Gorgeous Groom
James is very much a jeans and trainers man. Working in the world of graphic design he is rarely seen in a suit, unless attending other peoples weddings. James did not want a traditional top hat and tails as we wanted a more informal feel to our wedding. Instead he opted for a slim cut navy suit from Reiss with a light blue shirt and paisley printed Lanvin tie, finished off with brown Paul Smith shoes. He looked gorgeous!!!!
Lily And Ivy
It has to be said, that finding the flowers was probably one of the hardest parts of organising our wedding. I had orignally wanted to carry a bouqet of blue Hydrangeas but sadly our florist was unable to secure this bloom at the time of year we were getting married. Fortunately she was able to direct us to more realistic but just as attractive options.
I loved ivy and knew I wanted hessian ties for the bridal party bouquets. My maid of honour was wearing an aubergine gown so cream roses offset this perfectly. My flower girl was wearing a cream gown so purple anemones off-set this perfectly – the flower girl and maid of honour had a bouqet of flower to contrast their dresses simultaneous to tying in with each other dresses.
My bouquet was made with a mixture of both flowers, with a touch of Lily of the Valley and the ivy I had wanted. All bouquets were tied with hessian. We wanted an informal feel to the wedding so we did not opt for button holes. Table centres were several simple vases of wide flowers, surrounded by tea lights, which were bursting with colour to contrast the white walls of the pub. We also had small vases of flowers scattered around the pub alongside scented candles.
We wanted to create a informal feeling so we did not want elaborate centre pieces however, we did want a real prescence of flowers and floral notes to float through the venue. We used a local florist in Wanstead called Blush Temples.
Claudine Hartzel was recommeded to us by a photographer who owns a gallery near to where we live. As soon as we saw her portfolio we feel in love with her reportage style and her ability to perfectly capture the small moments which make up the big day. Everyone was so impressed with the work she did, the brides sister has since hired Claudine for her wedding.
A Relaxed Reception
We opted not to have a cake, just lots of great food with great drinks! While we had a traditional Chruch wedding we wanted an informal reception where we could both relax, not worry about the traditional formailties and a timetable.
We wanted a really fun afternoon in a nearby pub where everyone could enjoy themselves, eat really good food and drink good wine.
The double decker bus journey with plenty of bubbly was a great way to start the celebrations after the ceremony. At the reception we had a ipod playlist of some of our favourite songs playing throughout the day and in the evening a friend recommended a DJ who got everyone on the dancefloor until the lights came up and it was time to go home.
Time To Enjoy It
Although we wanted everyone to have a lovely time, the day was for us so we only included the bits we really wanted and anything we either did not feel comfortable with or was not bothered about we excluded from the day. This gave us the time to really enjoy our day as much as possible. Also finding the right venue was key. The House had a great location but so did several others that we visited. What made The House special was the great manager who went above and beyond to make sure we had exacty what we wanted. The food and service was excellent and at no point leading up to, or on the day of the wedding, were we in any doubt that the staff were commitmed to ensuring it was going to be a great day.
Brides Gown - BCBG Maxazria at Harvey Nichols
Brides Shoes - LK Bennett
Brides Cuff – Wendy Mink at Liberty
Grooms Suit – Reiss
Blooms – Blush Temples
Venue – The House Islington
Photography – Claudine Hartzel
That last black and white image? that’s what a W-day is all about, little random pieces of happiness.
And I would very much enjoy Mr O’Shea lending me his plastic to go and bash at Harvey Nics……
Big Feather Love