I think this is quite possibly the first wedding I’ve blogged that has had both a tea parlour and a tequila tent. Yep now you’re intrigued aren’t you but I’ll let this morning’s bride tell you more about that. And the libations are not the only wonderful thing about this wedding.
Tabitha and Spencer enlisted the help of Pocketful of Dreams to plan their big day which included two bridal gowns, pink wedding shoes, a colour scheme that included colour-pop fuschia, navy and all out glitter, a bit of Savile Row tailoring, a father of the bride who was also the drummer in the evening entertainment, a hand-tying ceremony, a hand-built wedding arbour, a gigantic bouquet and a real feast of a wedding breakfast.
Phew! What a wonderful glorious mix! Come and take a look…
The Brides Fashion And Accessories
Tabitha The Bride: Ah, the dress! I was so excited about finding one that I’d booked appointments at bridal boutiques across London within 24 hours of getting engaged. Five months and countless dresses later, I visited Angelina Colarusso’s shop in Richmond with my mum, granny and aunty in tow. While we sat there, cups of tea in hand, Angelina asked me about our wedding, what things I had liked or disliked in other dresses I’d already tried on, and how I hoped my guests would describe my dress. Using my answers as inspiration, she spent the next hour pinning and arranging swathes of material onto me until I was left standing in my perfect dress. It was pretty clear to us all that the search was over. The dress was romantic, glamorous, fun, and made just for me – what more could I ask for? Angelina is a force of nature and I cannot recommend her highly enough!
My jewellery on the day belonged to my great-grandmother and grandmother and worked perfectly with the vintage feel of the dress. My shoes were bright pink suede court shoes with a comfortable block heel from Coast and they saw me through a night of very riotous dancing.
I also got a gorgeous white satin circle dress from Vivien of Holloway for the evening party which let me kick up my heels with abandon.
My hair and make-up were done by the legendary Elbie van Eeden. She is a life-changer. I went to see Elbie for a cut and colour twice in the lead up to the wedding and she managed to give me exactly what I dreamed of. She is a colour genius as well as a fantastic stylist and make-up artist. She was also the most calming and charming person to have around on the wedding morning. I adore her.
The Grooms Fashion And Accessories
After doing a lot of research about suits and tailoring, Spencer went to Steven Hitchcock to have a bespoke suit made. Steven is as good a tailor as there is in London. In particular, if you make an appointment there, he is the person who measures you and cuts your jacket. Make no mistake, this is surprisingly rare, but it was important to Spencer; he knew enough at that stage to realise that it doesn’t matter whose name is above the door; what really matters is the connect between the customer and the cutter. What’s more, he and his partner Celia gave great style advice and thoughts on putting together the whole outfit. Spencer wore two ties, both from E. Marinella, an Italian tiemaker with a shop in London and brown monk strap shoes from Crockett and Jones, his grandfather’s gold cufflinks and one pocket square from E. Marinella and another custom made by Celia.
We were lucky enough to get married in my grandparents’ garden. It has been the venue for countless family parties over the years, including my parents’ wedding and my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and I couldn’t have imagined getting married anywhere else. The garden was very much a blank space though which meant we had to hire everything in: generators, kitchens, marquees, loos, furniture, the whole shebang! This daunting prospect, and the fact that we were planning a move to America at the same time as Spencer finished his PhD alongside organising our wedding, encouraged us to hire a wedding planner, and it was truly the best decision we made. Pocketful of Dreams were completely invaluable at every stage: from sourcing suppliers to decorating the tents and making sure that everything went like clockwork on the day. We could not have done it without them!
Our colour scheme was a range of soft pinks and blues with splashes of gold for the daytime, turning into a more vibrant mix of colour-pop fuschia, navy and all out glitter in the evening. Having the whole wedding in such a special place was wonderful but we wanted to make sure that the feel and atmosphere of the day moved smoothly from the heartfelt ceremony to the wild party in the evening.
To this end, we hired two traditional canvas marquees from LP Bohemia, each decorated in a very different style. We were lucky enough with the weather to have our ceremony and drinks reception outside, before moving into the first tent for the meal and speeches. Inside, one of LP Bohemia’s stunning botanical tent linings helped bring the outside in, and the natural decoration was continued with floral details climbing the tent poles and the lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The tables were scattered with old books and glistening gold votives amongst Euphoric’s gorgeous unstructured floral arrangements.
For the evening, we moved our guests into the second tent, complete with an amazing ceiling feature planned and installed by the POD team, shimmering gold curtains lining the walls. We love tequila so they created a tequila parlour for us complete with cut-glass decanters, seating areas were also created using Vintage Style Hire’s eclectic furniture to rest those weary dancing feet.
Throughout the day, we tried to find ways to represent both our vocations – mathematics for Spencer and theatre for me – it proved harder than we thought but we were particularly proud of the geometric lanterns which only came together the day before the wedding! We also made heart-shaped confetti punched out of Shakespearean plays, held in paper cones fashioned from mathematics textbooks. We wanted to create lots of the small details ourselves so we hand-stamped our monogram (also designed by the brilliant POD) onto all the place cards, made drink stirrers out of gold glitter washi tape and tinsel and created tissue paper tassel garlands. It was hard work but it was such a wonderful feeling to see it all on the day. And, don’t tell anyone but, if it gets too much you can always supplement it with some shop bought items in the week before the wedding.
Euphoric Flowers are miracle workers. Introduced to us by the POD team, we had a great chat with Simon and Victoria and I felt confident that they were the perfect choice. They all worked together to turn my endless pinterest posts and emails into a breath-taking display of wild, natural beauty. When I saw their stunning work on the morning of the wedding, I was completely overwhelmed – they had totally nailed the brief! And honestly, just look at my bouquet – ASTOUNDING!
The Wedding Party Fashion
We wanted the bridesmaids to look individual but complementary. The two adorable flower girls wore dresses from Gilly Gray with gold glitter ballet shoes. The dresses were white with a pale pink sash to match the vintage lace prom dress from Alfie’s Antique market that my youngest sister wore. The three grown up bridesmaids chose their own dresses in shades of soft blue from John Lewis and Ghost; Euphoric also made them an array of gorgeous floral headdresses, again all different but worked together perfectly.
We asked the groomsmen to wear dark blue/navy suits. Their ties were made by CatkinJane who we found through Etsy. She makes custom ties from Liberty prints and with her advice we chose six different bright, floral prints.
We were legally married 6 months before the big wedding at a small service and we are not religious at all, so there were no formal requirements to meet on the day. We just always knew that we wanted another more personal ceremony in the presence of our friends and extended families and that it ought to be fun and inclusive. We spent a lot of time designing the whole thing. The decision that we were most agreed on was to ask our friend Grace to officiate. In the week before the wedding, she spent a great many hours carefully constructing the main body of the ceremony. Spencer’s dad built the arbour, we had seven friends involved in making music live at the ceremony, four friends performing readings and parents, grandparents, Spencer’s brother and some aunties and uncles taking part in a hand-fasting ceremony. Each person who tied a ribbon around our joined hands gave us a short private message of love and support. We later removed our hands without untying any of the ribbons and we have them all in a glass box at home – a wonderful keepsake.
Our readings included the following:
Notes on a Marriage by Charles Darwin
Extract from The West Wing
May God Bless You by Robert Fulghum (although we changed it to May Love Bless You in our version)
My Dad Richard is the drummer in a band that he and his friends formed when they were all at university. We are their biggest fans and probably before we were even engaged, we knew that they would play at our wedding. We also wanted to find another band for the evening with a different sound and that spot was as good as filled when I came across The White Keys at a friend’s wedding. They were motown, funk, soul specialists (some of the music we really, really love) and they were absolutely perfect: the dancefloor was full all night. Of course once they were done we closed things out with a bit of old-school UK garage and a few cheesy classics.
In the afternoon, during the champagne and canapés reception we had a sort-of “open mic” situation (it was all planned and rehearsed of course!) featuring a series of short acoustic performances from friends. This took place in between sets from The Gentlemen of St. John’s which are a male close harmony group formed from choral scholars of St. John’s College, Cambridge, the college where Spencer studied for nine years, and where we had spent many happy times.
Our caterers were the brilliant Social Pantry. We always knew we wanted to have family-style dining on long refectory style tables with sharing platters of delicious seasonal food and Alex and her team more than delivered! After our ceremony, the guests were treated to a yummy array of canapés which looked as good as they tasted. Dinner was Slow-Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Red Wine Jus; Roasted Rosemary New Potatoes; Roasted Butternut Squash, Tender Stem Broccoli, Pumpkin Seed, Purple Rocket and Edible Flower Salad, followed by Pistachio, Nougat and Chocolate Semifreddo Ice-cream served with British Raspberries. For our late-night snacks, Social Pantry made the most incredible Pulled Pork in Brioche Buns and Halloumi Burgers for the veggies. It was all sensational!
Our attitude to drinks was quality AND quantity, but we had to make sure that our two beverages of choice were well represented. During the day, we had a wonderful Tea Parlour which served fantastic teas from Chash Teas, including a custom blend made just for us. We also gave our guests some of this tea to take away as a favour, along with the most mind-blowing Lemon and Rosemary Shortbread biscuits that our talented friend Leonie (from The Gossip Bowl) made in the shape of teabags. In the evening the tea parlour was replaced by our other great love – the Tequila Parlour! We sourced tequilas from all over the world and even infused our own in the run up to the day, creating a spicy chilli and a summer berry blend. At 11pm, we had a wedding-wide tequila time as trays filled with tequila shots, lime slices and salt were carried around the dance tent. It was amazing and there are some classic photos!
On the good advice of many trusted sources, including RMW, our photographer, Chris Barber, was the first booking we made after deciding the date. This was one of the easiest choices we made: We knew quite quickly that we didn’t want anything arty or important and Chris’s work stood out as bold, unpretentious, lively and, most importantly, fun. He was a joy to have around on the day and we are so happy with the results. WE LOVED BEING BARBERISED!
The first test for a videographer seems to be how regularly one is brought to tears by watching sample videos on their website. I challenge anyone to watch the stunning films on the Reel Weddings site and not weep like a baby! From our first contact with them, Aaron was great and we knew we were in good hands. The finished product is everything we hoped for and such a beautiful lasting memento of a glorious day.
Photography by Chris Barber Photography
- Bride’s Gown (Day) and Veil Angelina Colarusso
- Bride’s Gown Night Vivien of Holloway
- Bride’s Shoes Coast
- Evening Headpiece Aurelia headpiece from What Katie Did Next
- Florist Euphoric Flowers
- Decor Design & Styling Pocketful of Dreams
- Hire Furniture Vintage Style Hire
- Light Up Letters Vowed & Amazed
- Sequin Tablecloths Gilded Linens
- Vintage Crockery Classic Crockery
- Biscuits The Gossip Bowl
- Caterer Social Pantry
- Gourmet Tea Provider Chash Tea
- Flower Girls Gilly Gray
- Groom’s Suit Stephen Hitchcock
- Groom’s Tie & Pocket Square E. Marinella
- Groomsmen Ties CatKin Jane
- Wedding Planner Pocketful of Dreams
- Entertainment Gents of St John’s
- Evening Entertainment The White Keys
- Videographer Reel Weddings
- Marquee LPM Bohemia
- Makeup Artist Elbie van Eeden
- Bridesmaid Dresses John Lewis