Love In The School Yard.

There’s not many of us that can say that they’ve got married and have held their wedding reception in a headmaster’s garden at a real life school. But Alice and George did just that in July earlier this year.

Their beautiful ceremony took place in the Charterhouse School’s chapel – an exquisite building that is most definitely a far cry from the scrappy hall that I used to have assembly in when I was a young lass.

The newlyweds then headed over to the house of George’s father who happens to be the Headmaster of Charterhouse School to continue the celebrations.

All the gorgeous images below come courtesy of our Love Lust List supplier Weddings Vintage.

And just wait until you see Alice’s dress, folks…it is breathtakingly beautiful.

Headmaster, Vicar and Toastmaster Too

My now father-in-law is the Headmaster of Charterhouse School, but also happens to be a vicar, so he married us in the chapel and acted as the toast master for the day.

The wedding was on the first day of the Olympics, so the night before with my bridesmaids (and one usher) we watched the opening ceremony in the hotel bar as we ate some food. 

Original French Lace

The wonderfully fabulous Jane Bourvis made my dress (there is no other way to describe her!)

I work in Portobello where her shop is and I was passing one day and popped in not knowing it sold wedding dresses, and before George had even asked me!. When I was in there I saw this amazing dress and thought it I ever get married that would be my perfect dress.

George proposed three weeks later the day after my 30th birthday, on the long walk to Windsor. One lunchtime I thought ‘Oh wow that dress!’, so I went back, tried it on, and that was the dress I purchased.

It was half made and so Jane and I worked together to create my perfect dress. I have a degree in fashion design and so it was a brilliant collaboration of ideas, and lovely to be able to have some input. So many dresses are off the shelf, so it was extra special to see it evolve. The original piece of lace was over 125 years old and came from a French auction house, and was a stunning champagne colour.

Jane did a fantastic job and I still pop in to see her and have a good chat.

A 1920’s Original

I was very lucky girl in that Jane Bourvis lent me this exquisite original 1920 head piece. I had been looking for one for ages and stumbled across hers deep in the piles of beautiful things in her store.

It happened to be one of the few things that were not for sale so she kindly let me wear it; I will be forever grateful!

I had my hair put up by Harrington’s in Guildford. I think I might be rather fussy about my hair as the trial was supposed to take half and hour and I was in there three.. oops, but they were very patient.

Shoes Can Be A Logistical Nightmare

For my shoes I used a company called Rainbow shoes, who dye to match.

Trying to get six bridesmaids into the same pair of shoes is a logistical nightmare!

We got there in the end with some Dune wedges with gold straps. I went with wedges as they are easy to walk on in the grass that had a more country feel.

I realised I had lost a pair of the bridesmaids shoes the night before the wedding. Luckily, one of my bridesmaid’s boyfriends came to the rescue and tracked a pair down on the morning of the day and completed an hour round trip to go and get them. The missing pair haven’t shown up!

Naughty Bridesmaids

I had both my own and the bridesmaids’ hair done by the lovely Louise from Laura Mercier in Guildford. She did a fantastic job and didn’t even mind when she left the room for 5 mins and came back to find my naughty bridesmaids with their fingers in the make-up bag and in the eye shadows!

A Very Talented Mother-In-Law

I am very lucky that my now mother-in-law is a very talented florist so she helped me with everything. I wanted a very loose and country wild feel. We went to Longacres Nursery in Bagshot, which is amazing, huge and full of every flower imaginable whilst being very reasonably priced.

We visited Longacres on the Wednesday and put the arrangements together on the Friday. I collected lots of jam jars and raided my grandpa’s shed for old oil cans which I put flowers in.

Floral Jacquard

As my bridesmaids dresses were a multicoloured floral jacquard design I wanted to keep the flower girl dresses and George/groomsmen’s outfits as plain as possible. The dresses were from Jigsaw, I used to work there as the print designer, so it was a dress I had worked on which made it very special.

I actually got the flower girl dresses made in China using this website. The website is amazing, and the service was so quick. It was a bit of a risk as I didn’t know what champagne colour would look like but as a complete fluke it was exactly the same colour as the slip of my dress! They were a bargain at £30.

The flower girl shoes were little sparkly pumps from Monsoon.

Gold Foulard

George went to Savile Row and the Hackett store to get his waistcoat and tie with his brother (best man) and Father. He got a gold foulard design tie and a plain sand coloured waistcoat.

A Natural Style

I was really struggling to find an affordable photographer who was very natural in their style. I wanted somebody who could take shots as natural as possible so they did not look too contrived. I was recommended Harriet Gill of Weddings Vintage by a friend; she was fantastic and exactly what I was looking for.

She was brilliant on the day and was the perfect choice. She arrived the day before in the middle of my meltdown (every bride has one once!) and was just so lovely!

A DIY Cake

I really do not think you need to spend too much money on the cake as you can buy brilliant plain ones and be creative. I bought 4 plain tiers from Marks and Spencer and some ribbons and my mother put it together the night before, and finished it of with some wild flowers.

Blue Suede Shoes

We hired a jazz band, the Blue Suede Shoes, from Function Central who played a great 2 hour set of funk and swing set to get everybody dancing! Afterwards a friend, who is a very talent DJ, played for us!

As George’s father is a vicar our first dance was to ‘Son of a Preacher man’; the lyrics in it are very apt!

A Dab Hand In The Kitchen

George made Nigella Lawson’s chilli jam for all of our favours and I made the labels and stuck them on with string tied around a fabric top. We had an old school luggage tag that had everybody’s names on it as their place names on the table.

Alice In Wonderland

The marquee was in my parent’s in-law’s garden which is an old Gertrud Jekyll design, it is already naturally very beautiful, and so I wanted to bring the outside in. We pulled all of the sides of the Marquee up so it was more like a giant gazebo. We bought some giant white balloons and some helium and put them on the tables and on the entrance to the tent.

There is a separate summer house in the garden which we used as the children’s table for when the speeches were taking place, and put up some pink bunting for them.

As my name is Alice, I wanted a slight theme to the day (Alice in Wonderland) and thought it would also compliment the walled garden. I had small touches around like little signs, saying; rabbit hole’ and this way to the party etc.

We didn’t really have a strong colour theme as I think sometimes it can look a bit much with everything all in the same shade, we wanted something that felt a bit looser, which meant I could play with lots of different wild flowers in multicoloured shades.

I made quite a lot of things for the wedding. I designed and made the invitations with George which was a real labour of love…not so much after 100!

I couldn’t find any black and white checked bunting and so I decided to make it myself…150 metres later! I also realised on the day I only needed about 20, hahaha, so if anybody wants some bunting, get in touch!

For the table plan we used an old amazing frame we found on the street and painted it white with a hessian background, then typed out the plan on brown paper. I bought some cardboard numbers and the pinned them on to the board.

Moodboard Focus

My best friend helped me create a mood board at the beginning which was a massive help as it meant I could visualise exactly what I wanted. I had had all these ideas flying around and millions of blog images and felt a bit overwhelmed with everything I could do.

Creating it helped me focus on exactly what I wanted the day to look like, and what I needed to buy, where we could save money with things to make and how to show other people what I wanted, eg with the flowers etc.

It also helped me show George, and he said yes and no to things he definitely didn’t want.

Top Tips

My top tip is…give men specific tasks!
I would get a bit stressed and say why aren’t you helping I have so much to do, and he would say well “how do I know what needs doing when it’s all in your head! I am not a mind reader”. They don’t really care about the visual things to much, just present them with a choice like “blue or green” and they can say yes or no, not “what colour do you think”?

We started with lots of ideas and worked back to what was realistic. It’s impossible to do everything; you need to know when to stop, when to delegate and when to let go. Remember it’s really all about the love not about the napkin shades!

Get the major things sorted first, your venue, dress, food, theme and cars; the rest will follow! 

When I was worrying about family politics and what people would think of various elements of the wedding, somebody said to me if anybody is there that is not wishing you all the best and wanting you to have the perfect day then that’s their problem not yours!

Venue – Charterhouse School

Dress – Jane Bourvis

Shoes – Rainbow

Bridesmaid Dresses – Jigsaw

Bridesmaid Shoes – Dune

Flowergirl Shoes – Monsoon

Hair – Harrington’s

Make up – Laura Mercier

Flowers – Longacres Nursery

Photographer – Weddings Vintage

Cake – Marks and Spencer

Band – Blue Suede Shoes

Right about now I’ve developed a sudden urge to go out purchase some antique lace. Alice’s dress is simply dreamy.

She also has some sound advice too. If any of you are experiencing anxieties about family politics or even worrying about people’s perception of the wedding, then you’re not alone. I certainly had my own fair share of drama.

I absolutely 110% agree with Alice’s philosophy that it’s their problem not yours. If you’re able to, try to let it float over your head – it simply won’t matter on the day anyway because it’s about you two as a couple and the love you have for one another.

She’s a wise girl is Alice.

So come on folks, what do you think? Which part of George and Alice’s day do you love the most?

I’ve got my eye on that jam…

All my love Lolly xxx

22 thoughts on “Love In The School Yard.

  1. Morning! Oh wow alice that dress is SOOOOO gorgeously amazing! The bridesmaid dresses are stunning to and I love flower girls in white dresses and floral crown. Please can we have a pic of the table plan? It sounds v similar to what I’m going to try and do! Congratulations. xx

  2. That dress is soooooo romantic! What I adore about this wedding is that it looks so effortless which I think it a true testiment to good planning and great design!

  3. The Dress…..oh my word the dress….words cannot describe how beautiful that lace is!!!
    And that headpiece is just a little bit gorgeous isn’t it!?! :-)

    Gorgesou wedding and beautiful pictures it’s hard not to love all of this wedding!
    Oh and the dog ornament in the mud is immense!! heehee

    Oh & I do LOVE the big helium balloons, I definitely need to get me some of them!

    xxx

  4. @Rebecca – in the office I am renowned for having a bit of a thing about sweet dogs so when I spied this little scrappy dog I knew he just had to make an appearance.

    @Mimi it does look effortless doesn’t it!

    @Daphne I’ll see what we can do about the table plan…

  5. The dress is stunning!! Love the train! And I’d love to see the table plan too please, we’re using lots of hessian & brown kraft paper too. Congratulations on a lovely wedding! X

  6. That dress is simply stunning, Alice you look so beautiful and elegant :-)

    Love the trestle tables and hessian runners and the walled garden, it all works so well together and looks like a beautiful fun filled day!

    I would like to know what size the big round balloons are, I keep finding ones that are 36″ which sounds ginormous!!

  7. Wow, gorgeous dress and beautiful setting. The photographer, Harriet, shot our big day too and she is just amazing. As these lovely, natural photos show… x

  8. OK, things I love about this wedding…the fact that the bride’s name is Alice (I know that is a childish reason but I don’t really care) I love Alice’s dress, she looks absolutely stunning, and I love that she made 130 metres extra of bunting! Alice sounds like my kinda girl :) Congratulations!! x

  9. oooh I think this is probably one of my fave RL dresses of the year, LOVE it. And that back view of the dress is an amazing photo – it looks like a photo shoot!
    IKWYM about invitations, I made mine too, (singlehanded) and tried not to think about how long it had taken to do the first 30 -argh!
    How many metres of bunting?! You HAVE to sell it or at the very least hire it out! I would have used it no matter how little it was needed for all that sewing…

  10. Congratulations! Beautiful wedding.

    Alice – where did you get the hessian table runners from? I’ve been searching all over!

  11. Hello all,
    Thank you so much for the kind words! It was a wonderful day!
    In answer to some questions, Heather we purchased the hessian from kbt fabric which sells it buy the metre and as it was quite wide I cut it down the middle and it made double the amount! We have a whole roll of uncut 50 metres if you live anywhere near godalming we could sell you for a good price? (again slight over estimate on the amount needed, maths was never my strong point haha!) you can emayou’re if you are interested. Miss vix the size of the balloons is indeed 36″, they are pretty enormous, make sure you get a jumbo helium barrel as it uses up a lot of gas, ours cost about £100. Also its worth paying slightly more for better quality ones as some cheep ones from amazon had holes in . As far as the little doggy goes he has allways lived in my parents in law’s garden so I can’t help with that one iam afraid. Feel free to ask any more questions :) xxx

  12. I never tire of looking at the photos. All the wonderful memories come flooding back. What mother-of-the-bride could not be proud of such a beautiful, talented, hard-working, amazing daughter. Now I also have a lovely son-in-law. No mum could ask for more. XX

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