I am having serious hair envy all over the blog this week. Honestly.
This wedding is a dream. If I was to say to you coral, peach, turquoise and purple, what would you say? “Woah! That’s a lot of colours?!’ Well… I’d say ‘in your face!’. This wedding has them all and it has them in the most perfect way possible.
Sam very helpfully tells you all the names of her flowers. There were serving platters and her choice of wine is one of my go-to’s. I would very much have enjoyed being a guest at this wedding. Sam and Rob really had it their own way and I love what they did for readings. Just lush.
Sam The Bride: One of the most important things to me, was to feel relaxed and comfortable on my wedding day. Therefore, I wanted a dress which would allow me to feel this way, as well as feeling incredibly beautiful of course! I knew that a traditional white dress would not be for me. I loved the idea of wearing a dress that was unique, one which nobody else in this world would own. In York, nestled in amongst the city, I found a little gem. Glory Days Vintage, which is owned by Haley Neil, is a vintage bridal shop. She specialises in vintage and custom made wedding dresses. Excited, I tried on a real range of wedding dresses, some mostly for fun, but then something caught my eye. I picked out a stunning original 1960’s gown with blush skirt and corded lace bodice, which was then customised by shortening the sleeves into capped sleeves, bringing the back neckline down and adding scalloped edges. Hayley was able to capture the ideas and vision of my wedding dress and turn into my perfect dress.
I chose Rachel Simpson shoes, on the advice of Hayley and they complimented my dress beautifully. I wore the ‘Mimi Ivory Satin’ shoe.
I wanted to keep jewellery to a minimum so that my dress could take centre stage, plus I don’t usually wear much jewellery anyway. I wore a fine gold chain with a tiny golden nugget, a pair of drop earrings (borrowed from a friends mum) and a fine gold bracelet with a wishbone, which my husband gave me on the morning of our wedding.
Rob too was keen to wear something which he felt comfortable in, and something which he could possibly wear again. After persuading Rob not to wear his tweed jacket, which he bought form the Charity shop for £10 11 years ago, he opted to buy a new jacket. Rob wore a Harris Tweed jacket with matching waistcoat. He teemed this with Burgundy chinos from Reiss, white shirt and burgundy woven ties from Marks and Spencer’s. The great thing is, that Rob now has key pieces which he can wear again and again. As a wedding present to my husband, I bought him a vintage pocket watch from Langton’s Antiques and Collectables, Sheffield.
Rob and I were legally married a few days before at Scarborough Registry Office, North Yorkshire. This was an intimate ceremony, with just our closest family and friends present. We both felt that, this took the pressure off our ‘Wedding Day’ (the big day on the Saturday) and we were able to create our ceremony to suit us. I knew that I wanted a ceremony which would enable us to celebrate the people that we are. We wanted it to be fun and full of smiles. We asked my Uncle Richard if he would perform the ceremony for us.
Having my uncle perform the ceremony was really special. It meant that he could tell stories and anecdotes to entertain our friends and family, and we felt privileged that he was able to perform the ceremony. Together, we decided on our vows, readings and music. Having had solid marriages, I asked my mum and my Grandma if they would write some words of advice for a long and happy marriage. My sister and Rosamund then read these out, which was heart-warming to listen to. Also, we asked Rob’s sister Cath, to share a reading. We asked that she keep it a secret until the ceremony, and I am glad we did. We listened intently to every word of her reading, it was so fitting. It was a reading from A Gift from the Sea by Anne Lindbergh. The poem is so incredibly personal to us and truly beautiful. Deciding on the music was difficult! I spent more time researching this than anything else.
Finding the right venue was absolutely the most important thing for both of us. We liked the idea of holding our wedding in a barn or somewhere that had outdoor space. Rob’s love of surfing took our search over to the East coast of England, near Scarborough and Filey. Rob’s best man suggested going to look at Wold Top Brewery, near Filey, a previously unknown wedding venue as they had only just began holding weddings at the Brewery. The drive up to Wold Top pretty much had us sold, but when we met the owners and saw the venue, it soon became clear that it was the perfect place for us. Wold Top has the best of both worlds, beautiful gardens and orchards, outside courtyard surrounded by delightful flowers and a great brewing barn which housed a marquee. And of course, the main draw card for Rob, was the fine ales which we could serve our guests. Knowing that Wold Top Brewery is a family run business, was important to us. After meeting the owners and Anne, the wedding co-coordinator, we knew that they were going to do everything possible to make our wedding day perfect. Anne is so ridiculously calm and organised it’s untrue! Everybody needs an Anne involved in their wedding planning!
I wanted to try and stay away from a specific colour, I like different shades and tones. My favourite colour is coral/peach so I knew that this colour would features somewhere. Along with turquoise and purple, these naturally became colours I used.
As soon as we got engaged Pinterest became my best friend. I loved trawling the website for ideas and inspiration for the décor. I am a creative person and enjoy crafty things, so making and decorating my wedding venue has been something I have looked forward to since, well as long as I can remember. Fortunately, I come from a family that is creative too! It became very much a family affair. My sister, who is a prop and set designer, helped me massively. She designed and made all of the stationary, which I LOVED! My dad made signs to direct guest along the country lanes. I made pompoms, a backdrop of paper fans which suspended behind the top table, decorated jam jars with twine, made confetti and bells (It had to be done, after all we are The Bell’s). I strung photos of Rob and I from various adventures around the courtyard, which people loved looking at. Also, I managed to get copies of both parents and all of our grandparent’s on their wedding days. These were placed in frames form a charity shop and hung at the along one wall in the marquee. Now, they line my staircase, every time I go up or down the stairs, they make me smile. Finally, the thing I loved the most, was the arch that Rob and I stood in front of for the ceremony. It was covered with cream and peach flowers. Each one, loving cut out and glued together, with the help of my wonderful friends and family. It is amazing what they are willing to do for a drink or two!
We were so lucky to have a family friend who made all of the bouquets and centre pieces for our wedding. Once I had chosen my wedding dress, I began looking for flowers which would be available within season and which would complement my dress. I wanted flowers which were quite simple and I wanted them loosely arranged. My bouquet flowers included: cream lissianthus, limonium, spray roses, blush roses, gypsophila and alcomilamolis. The stems were covered in lace and fixed with pearl headed pins and a light blush georgette ribbon to finish.
As our wedding was more informal, a veil did not seem appropriate, so I opted to wear a crown of flowers. We used the same flowers as in my bouquet. The crown was the icing on the cake. It was beautiful. It made me feel like a princess for the day. I think it had to be prized off my head in the early hours of the morning! My bridesmaids had a posy of gypsophila, tied with twine, which looked so simple and pretty.
The flowers used for the centre pieces were similar to that in my bouquet. Additionally, Anne and her husband Steve collect some wild flowers from their garden to add the arrangements. They had a real ‘just picked’ feel which I loved.
The Wedding Party
Something which I felt quite strongly about was my bridesmaids feeling comfortable in the dress that they wore. Each of my bridesmaids are truly unique and I did not want to ask them to wear the same dress, which they felt awkward in. So, I gave them free reign! My sister, and Maid of Honour Rosamund went shopping for vintage dresses in London. At a vintage fair in Clerkenwell, we struck lucky. Sarah P (big sis) found a stunning 1930’s silk dress, in a gorgeous peach colour. It was a winner! Rosamund ended up wearing a second hand dress which she already owned. Being a light peach colour also, it worked beautifully with Sarah’s dress. My third bridesmaid Sarah A (yes, a bit confusing I know), wore a dress from ASOS. We ended up having it altered so that it fell longer at the back. We added a little detail around the waist by getting some bits from the haberdashery and making a little belt. Together the mix of styles really worked and the girls looked a million dollars at a fraction of the price! Again, we wanted the boys to feel relaxed and keep the tweed theme running through. Al (the Best Man) wore a tweed waistcoat, which he wore on his wedding the day the previous year, and the others bought a tweed waistcoat to their liking. They all wore burgundy chinos to match Rob’s, however they all varied in colour slightly as the boys wore clothing they already had. They each wore the same tie as Rob, which brought them all together.
Fortunately for us, Rob’s best man Al is a very talented musician. Therefore we were lucky enough to have him play our first dance at the wedding. We chose to dance to Bob Marley, ‘Three Little Birds’. I loved listening to everyone singing and then joining us on the dance floor. It was a pretty special moment. Rob and I wanted something to keep our guests entertained during the evening, and as we both love to dance we decided to opt for having a Chelidh dance. Rob had been to many during his time whilst at university, and we had seen at a friend’s wedding how fun it could be, so we decided this would be a perfect option. We hired Applejack Ceilidh band and they played the night away, and our guest had a ball.
Having delicious food, but without spending a fortune was quite challenging. We knew we wanted something a bit different. Rob and I love Mediterranean/sharing platters and we wanted to use a local company, who used fresh produce. We were lucky to find Nabs Nosh in Scarborough. Sarah worked with us to create a menu. The guests enjoyed canapés including a variety of bruschetta: pea and feta, goats cheese and caramelised onion, and black olive tapenade. Bowls of yummy olives were served too-our favourites! We didn’t have starters, to try keep costs down a bit. For main we tucked into Stiffado, a Greek beef stew with wild rice, green beans and fresh bread rolls. This was followed up with a fabulous dessert table, made by friends and family. We were lucky enough to have my mum make our wedding cake-she is one very talented lady! It was made up of 3 layers: rich chocolate, zingy lemon and fruit cake. The cake was adorned with fresh flowers, which followed the theme of the bouquets. I found these super cute peg bride and groom made to go on top. As we got married in a brewery, our guest enjoyed a range of Wold Top brewery’s fine ales. This was a real hit with the guests. Each guest was also given a Wedding Ale, with our own label. Rob and I lived in New Zealand for 16 months, therefore there was only one choice of white wine for us and that was Oyster Bay, Sauvignon Blanc.
As with the food, we wanted to find a local photographer, someone who knew the east coast. Luckily, we found Neil Jackson. Neil’s portfolio is pretty impressive. What attracted us to his photographs was his informal style and lovely soft warm photographs. After meeting Neil, we quickly realised that he is a really down to earth guy. On the day, he was fantastic! He was able to get some beautiful photos of our nearest and dearest, without being intrusive. Thanks to him, we have a selection of the most beautiful photos to cherish forever!