Paola and Darrens’ wedding is bursting with colour…and love. It’s literally spilling over.
The flowers are stunning and I’m loving the coordinating blooms, lips and nails. Breathtaking.
What I love most about this day is the joy that went into planning it, the months of collecting pieces and the dedication put into the cakes (wait until you see the cakes!). There is something very personal about it and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Breakfast By The Thames
My wedding was on a sunny Saturday, 11th August 2012. My name is Paola and my husband is called Darren. We live in Walton so married in my local church, St Erconwalds and then we had our wedding breakfast in the amazing Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington by the Thames.
A Happy Ending
I bought my dress from a shop in Weybridge called Surrey Brides (a shop I used to look at every day on my way to school!). The designer was Benjamin Roberts. I knew I wanted a lace dress and as soon as I put it on I immediately loved it – it felt pretty and dramatic at the same time. I must admit, it was also within budget so with the two put together, it was the dress for me!
For any brides that have a panic when the dress they order comes in, and think that they don’t suit the dress anymore, ignore the reaction! When my dress arrived for my first fitting, I still loved it but didn’t like myself in it anymore and was convinced it didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to.
Apparently this is completely normal. The next time I went I took my cousin, Gabi who was also one of my bridesmaids, and she completely put me at ease! Take people that can be excited and help you feel positive about your decisions. I still don’t know why I freaked out – I absolutely loved my dress and once Deborah at Surrey Brides had all the fittings made to suit my shape – I was more than happy with the result.
The Perfect Pair
I worked in Teddington at the time and I kept passing this beautiful shop filled with vintage accessories so I made an appointment with Gillian Million and found a stunning head piece that I bought before I found my dress. I then had a pair of earrings, a bracelet and small brooch made to match. I defy anyone not to find something amazing to wear in Gillian’s shop.
With all the money I had spent on my dress and accessories, I knew I wanted a simple pair of shoes so Kurt Geiger provided the perfect pair. I then bought a pair of shoe clips off ebay.
Intense And Bright
I wanted a hairstyle that was relaxed and down, so simple curls were what worked best. My hairdresser was recommended to me by my make-up artist. I love make-up and so this was the perfect excuse to have myself done up.
I like intense eyes or bright lipstick. Another of my bridesmaids, Marisa, has a friend who is a make-up artist and Kate came to turn me into something fantastic! It was a lot of fun for myself, my Mum and the bridesmaids to have their make-up done by a professional.
A Single Rose
The wonderful Jo Butler at Jo Butler Flowers in Teddington provided the flowers and they were prefect. Vintage roses with bright cerise roses to off-set the more subtle colours.
I had a bird theme running throughout the day so I bought bird cages for the centre pieces that Jo filled with the same flowers as my bouquet, which were then placed on hardback books. I had 2 large bird cages to decorate the church and venue that Jo decorated too. I decided to have a single rose for each of the bridesmaids and my maid of honour, and I think it looked really pretty.
A Flash of Pink
I didn’t want a colour scheme so I bought the gold bridesmaids’ dresses from Marks and Spencers and the groomsmen were bought blue suits to match Darren’s. The maids were given brooches to fit on their belts and the men were given Paul Smith ties and pink socks!
Vivienne And Paul
Darren loves all things British so it had to be a Vivienne Westwood suit! He looked so handsome in it and along with the Paul Smith tie, tie pin, pink socks, brown Barker shoes and pocket watch, he looked perfect and I think he was really pleased with the end result.
Exactly What I Was Looking For
When I saw Rebecca’s portfolio I knew she was the photographer I was looking for! And she was absolutely amazing – she really captured the day. We met with her a couple of times before the wedding, and on the day she was so warm and unobtrusive; she even popped over to where Darren was staying to capture some photos of him when he was getting ready and nothing was too much hassle.
A Piece Of Cake
My aunty made an Italian cake and I decided to make the rest so I had a table of cupcakes, cake pops and normal cakes. It was a bit mad the week before and I was icing cakes the Friday night before the wedding, but it was worth it.
My brother had a 30 minute DJ set which was really fun and then the brilliant Wedding Smashers took over for the rest of the evening .
When Darren and I first met we discovered we had a mutual love for Ryan Adams – he’s really special to us so we chose ‘I Love you but I don’t Know what to Say’ and our good mate Paul, who I went to school with, choreographed the dance for us and made us look good. He also choreographed a group dance so my mum, dad, friends and family all got on the dance floor after the first dance to join us in a flash mob which went down really well.
Badges and Bulbs
For favours we had terracotta flower pots filled with flower bulbs for the women and for the men, a miniature bottle of whisky or vodka. We weren’t going to have any favours but then these came within budget and I’m really glad we went with them. We also had some really cool badges made for everyone that I bought from etsy.
The Landmark is an incredible venue but you do have to hire everything in and I made much of the decorations myself. I decided on the bird theme so for 10 months I just kept collecting things that would be nice to use. Etsy, Cox and Cox, ebay and charity shops were the best places for me.
Go With Your Gut
I think making the day as personal to you as you can, and going with your gut is a good starting point. Make the time to enjoy the planning process so it doesn’t get stressful nearer the day. Ask for help when you need it and enjoy it!
Venue: Landmark Arts Centre
Boutique: Surrey Brides
Dress: Benjamin Roberts
Head Piece: Gillian Million
Shoes: Hurt Geiger
Flowers: Jo Butler Flowers
Bridesmaids: Marks and Spencer
Grooms Suit: Vivienne Westwood
Photography: Rebecca Photography
Entertainment: Wedding Smashers
Bridesmaids: Marks and Spencer
Grooms Suit: Vivienne Westwood
So people…a wedding flash mob! Absolutely essential to make any wedding a success.
Didn’t you love all the little touches? The badges, the socks, the roses? And how ruddy dapper is Darren’s suit!
I would love to hear what you think.