I honestly don’t know anybody who doesn’t like balloons – they’re just so happy and never fail to make you smile! And they make such a simple yet striking backdrop to Claudia and Mirko’s outdoor wedding ceremony. Surrounded by lush gardens on a terrace in sunny Barcelona, there wasn’t really any need for more decor – the balloons were just enough.
Claudia’s Bridal look follows the same ethos too – simple but very stylish. It’s a combination of gowns created by her Mum and a seamstress and you can tell it was made for her by how beautiful and comfortable she looks in it. The last minute addition of fresh flowers to her pretty braid is perfect too, a little touch of bohemia.
The whole wedding feels very organic and just like a big party really, which is exactly what it should be! Thanks to Marcos Sanchez for the lovely photography too.
Today’s wedding is absolutely EPIC. We have two ceremonies – a traditional Hindu ceremony followed by a Christian ceremony, then followed by a huge Shoreditch shindig. There is bright, bold vibrant colour AND monochrome chic. There are delicate canapés AND curry and chocolate samosas. There are matrimonial knots AND ‘you may now kiss the brides.’ There are Indian Dhol drummers AND a reggae funk band. Best of both worlds? Most definitely. Any excuse to have two dresses is fine by me. In fact, I’d say it is actively encouraged by RMW.
Any one who is currently planning a mash-up wedding needs to read Jess’s wise words. Her and Jay’s day looks like it went seamlessly, a testament to their planning skills and the fact that they kept everyone well fed, watered and entertained all day long.
There is also some fabulous initial branding for you lovely lot – we know how much you love a strong graphic theme.
Ready for the EPIC-NESS? Here we go…
Our Old Stomping Ground
Jess the Bride: Being in the East of London was important for us – it was our stomping ground in the early days of our relationship and is where we have now chosen to settle down (we heart Hackney) so first of all, finding the right Church was key. Shoreditch Church really embodies the rawness of the East End. Combine this with a fantastic vicar and a vast history (from members of the Shakespearian linked Burbage family being buried in the crypt to shrapnel from the Second World War still lodged in the tower) and the decision was easy.
So then, onto the venue for the other elements of our wedding day – including a Hindu Ceremony as well as the reception. We were spoilt for choice in Shoreditch, with all manner of venues all with very different vibes, but in the end we went with Village Underground.
Village Underground is a venue with mega cool factor, an urban castle in our books! Certainly not your average wedding venue but it captured our imagination with its raw edge. The mix of spaces inside also appealed, from the main hall to the more intimate arches; it provided us with the variety in space to match the variety of our wedding day. It’s also essentially a blank canvas, and allowed us to bring our own style, which we had a lot of fun doing! The team at the venue are really supportive, used to prepping for gigs as opposed to weddings; they bring a fresh take on how the venue can be used.
Vibrant Colour Versus Monochrome Chic
We had two ceremonies, a vibrant Hindu ceremony filled with deep pink, silvers and golds and a crisp monochrome theme for the Church ceremony – so planning a look that could sustain with minimal adaptation for them both was a challenge – particularly with only 30 minutes to change between the two!
After two uninspiring makeup trials I found the Glam Collective and a lovely lady called Alex Chalk (a Mac trained artist) who brought a look based around colour pop lipstick and a dramatic eye, perfect for the Hindu ceremony but easily adaptable with a change to a nude lipstick for the Church. I had an excuse to wear my colour pop lipstick, but for the brave looking to pack a real ‘pow’ I would definitely recommend Nicki Minaj for Mac’s Viva Glam Satin lipstick, which lasted the course despite kisses and tears!
For my hair, I opted for a simple side bun, again a look that would sustain for both ceremonies with no re-work in between! I also always wear my hair down so I wanted to do something that was a bit different. My hair stylist, our mate Fred who works full time at Pimps and Pinups in Spitalfields Market, curled my hair first and pinned the curls to create the bun, giving our guests something pretty to look at during the ceremonies but also giving me the option to take my hair out later in the reception and brush out for a 1930’s inspired wave, although I was having so much fun I didn’t end up doing this!
My nails were my forever nail varnish recommendation, Nails Inc. – I had a nude pink colour on my hands and black on my toenails, again sustainable for both ceremonies without any colour clashes and complimented my wonderful henna!
I made a call that there would be distinct Indian ‘make-up’ elements that would prevail from the Hindu ceremony to the Church ceremony and the rest of the day. The henna on my hands and feet was obviously one of these but I also decided not to remove the red pigment Jay placed in my parting during the Hindu ceremony, which signified I was now a married woman.
Just As I Imagined
I had two gowns, I’m a very lucky lady! My Indian gown was bespoke made for me by Raishma in London, a great boutique on Green Street near Forest Gate in London. My dress was an adaptation of an Indian designer dress I’d found online, which had a Western silhouette, strapless with a full skirt, but was covered with crazy detailed embroidery and stonework.
Raishma worked a variation of this up. Considering my skin tone we opted for a deep pink rather than red and used an embroidery pattern and stonework Raishma had used on another of their bespoke gowns. The dress was beautiful but massively heavy given the full skirt and embroidery and there were a lot of ‘final’ fittings to ensure it held up! The seamstress at Raishma wouldn’t rest until she was sure it was going to!
As my Indian dress was so extravagant, I wanted a complete contrast for my Church wedding dress. I did the usual trawl around bridal boutiques and confirmed the shape of dress I wanted – full skirt and strapless (to hide my hips and to show off the thinner bits of my upper body so I could feel like a true princess!) but all the dresses I found were detailed, embroidered or embellished in some way. I was looking for something plain, the wow-factor driven by its shape not its diamante.
So I spent hours (which must have amounted to days!) online trying to find what was in my head. Eventually I stumbled across a little boutique called Love Yu, based in Singapore, with the perfect dress made from layers of silk organza and a quirky design twist of a shell scalloped bodice. I took a massive gamble ordering a non-refundable dress online, providing my measurements over email. The gamble paid off however, and with a little help from a seamstress I found on Gumtree who made some final tweaks and my contrasting black sash to tie in with our monochrome theme, it all came together just as I had imagined.
Extra Blingy Wow Factor
I got my Indian outfit jewellery bespoke made from Kyles on Green Street near Forest Gate in London. It’s a great process where you try on all manner of head pieces, necklaces, earrings and bracelets to ensure you get the right set. I opted for a fusion design in my headpiece to contrast modern simplistic elements with the traditional for a bit of a twist! My earrings, necklace and bracelets were all relatively traditional and I chose gold metalwork with clear crystals to bring out the embroidery and stonework in my dress for that extra blingy wow- factor – you’re only a bride once after all!
In contrast, the accessories I chose for my Church wedding dress were simple. I bought a Susan Caplan Vintage Dior necklace to wear, however my mum came back from a trip to China with a string of pearls that set off the dress and my neckline beautifully, so these are what I ended up wearing on the day, although there was last minute deliberation amongst the bridesmaids before I left the hotel room!
A Shoe Thing
As all girls do, I have a bit of a ‘shoe thing’ and managed to buy 3 pairs of shoes as ‘potentials’ to wear on my wedding day. First, I considered changing my shoes between outfits, so bought a pair of Sam Edelman’s Alena sandals in black to wear with my Indian dress and a pair of contrasting cerise Miu Miu platform sandals to wear with my Church wedding dress (for a bit of a colour glimpse when I was walking). Then I saw one of the pairs of shoes the bridesmaids were potentially looking at buying – a green, gold and silver sandal from ASOS, which I couldn’t resist, just in case the other 2 pairs didn’t work! In the end I wore the Sam Edelman’s all day – the heel was just the right height and black tied in with both of the outfits, with the gold detailing and heel ensuring they were a little bit different and a little bit special.
I got my veil from Angelica Bridal in Camden Passage in Angel. Despite the fact I didn’t order my dress from them, they were happy to help me with accessories. In line with my simple campaign, I opted for a single tiered satin trimmed veil with no detailing.
Skinny Ties And Green Saris
Our ushers and father of the bride were asked to wear a slick black suit all day to tie in with the monochrome theme. The only other colour splash they had was the green in their button hole flowers – green was the colour accent of the day. Brothers of the bride and groom treated themselves to a 3 piece suit from Reiss bespoke tailoring service and Jay provided a uniform skinny tie to all ushers, best man and the father of the bride to bring their looks together in line with his.
The bridesmaids wore green saris for the Hindu ceremony in line with the green colour note that was prevalent throughout the day and switched into elegant black floor length gowns by Biba for the Church wedding and evening reception. My flower girl similarly wore a bright Indian suit for the Hindu ceremony and then changed into a cute black organza pinafore style dress with a bolshie skirt for the Church ceremony.
Green, Silver And White
Gold, silver and white were the foundation colours of our day with a starring colour focus on green. We carried the green accent through from our wedding invitations, which were made for us by a very talented graphic designer friend, Laura Hussey.
One of our starring decorations were our BonBon Balloons. These are the brainchild of Rebecca Moyster, founder of BonBon Balloons, who I discovered in a Stylist magazine feature. They are clear helium balloons filled with confetti, with a cool craft string attached. Rebecca worked with us to create bespoke designs for the string and confetti around our colour theme, which included picking up design elements we had used in our invitations on the string, such as hearts, stars, hummingbirds and rabbits. These balloons formed the centre piece for each table.
As Village Underground is such a blank canvas, lighting is key. We opted for a festoon style rope above our dining area and in the bar and softer uplighters in the arch where we held the Hindu ceremony and later the dance floor. We decided to make another feature of the lighting and got a bit self-obsessed, choosing to hire a giant ‘J&J’ lighting sign from the cool kids at Vowed and Amazed. It set the venue off a treat when hung in stark contrast to the exposed brick wall and was a great backdrop for us at top table!
The Hindu ceremony was full of flowers, from neck garlands to bouquets for both Jay and I, through to the flowers that adorned the top of the Mandap structure, aptly provided by Jay and I events, under which we married. These were all procured from specialist Indian florists.
For the rest of the day, our flowers were provided by an amazing florist – a friend of a friend who does floristry as a side to her design consultancy business. We kept to white flowers for our monochrome colour scheme, using a mixture of tulips, including parrot tulips for a bigger green accent, roses and foliage. This was the basic design for each of the bridal party bouquets. We used tulips for the groomsmen’s button holes and the pew ends in the church. We also had two large pedestals full of tulips and roses at the front of the Church, which we later transported to Village Underground to bring a bit of life to the bar area.
Alongside the balloon centre pieces for the tables, we had three mini jars for roses and tulips at varying stages of bloom. Some of the tulips were closed to enhance the green colour scheme. I didn’t want an overpowering floral centrepiece so the jars worked to give a crisp yet dainty floral accent to each table.
My most prevailing memories of my wedding day are the bits where I looked into Jay’s eyes and promised to be his forever, cheesy but true. We were pretty traditional in our approach to both the Hindu and Church ceremonies but we did choose one reading on soulmates, which we both thought was very cute and inadvertently emphasised our balloon centre pieces!
“A Soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys that fit our locks. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we are two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes our life come to life.”
Bang The Drum
We started the night off with a bit of an entrance, being led back into the venue by some Indian Dhol Drummers. It was a great way to kick start the party!
We found our band on the website Function Central – The Mustangs. They were a great group who took modern songs and gave them a reggae funk soul makeover. They were more than happy to expand their repertoire for us, and created their own version of our first dance song too. We got moving to an old Fleetwood Mac classic ‘Everywhere’.
We also had our photographer, the fabulous Chris Barber, set up one of his photo booths where guests can choose their costume weapon of choice and make complete fools of themselves in front of the camera. Some of our favourite and most hilarious wedding shots were born through this process!
Feeding The Troops
As our wedding day was so long, kick starting at 9.30am and running through to the next morning at 2am, we needed to keep our guests well fed and watered! When the Hindu wedding ceremony finished at noon, we had one of my friends, the exceptionally talented Milli Taylor, produce a wealth of delicious and delectable classic English canapés, which were served for an hour to top everyone up, alongside a selection of our favourite cocktails and mocktails.
After the Church ceremony, we all ferried back to Village Underground, the guests on an old Route Master bus and Jay and I in a cute Morris Minor, which we hired from Mark at Wedding Classic Cars (they have a great vintage car selection and were really lovely on the day). We sat down to an Indian banquet, provided for us from the guys at Premier Rouge catering. We enjoyed everything from a classic biriyani to the slightly unconventional chocolate samosa! And just in case anyone got peckish in the evening we also put on some Indian finger foods – yum!
Our cake was made by my Dad, who is a fruit cake maker novice turned fancied extraordinaire (having now made 4 wedding cakes). He’s better at the inside than the outside though and we asked a professional cake maker to help with the icing. Together my Dad and I added the finishing touches with a bit of green ribbon and a cascade of mini icing flowers.
We wanted to add a personal touch to our favours as well, so continuing the indulgent J&J theme, we ordered J&J boxes from The Letter Room to house our favours. On a weekend away in Paris earlier in the year, we had seen a cute petit fours idea, taking a square of chocolate, and using a spot of melted chocolate to attach dried fruit, nut or marshmallow to the top of the square. We decided we wanted to use this idea for our favours, adding in a few Indian sweets, wrapping in cellophane with a little green bow to fit inside the boxes. It looked good, but took two days of mummy of the bride, bride and bridesmaid effort!
Gold Frames And Green Ribbon
We built on the invites Laura (my graphic designer chum) had created, with the same graphic themes carried throughout all of our stationery, including the two orders of service, the order of the day and seating plan, our cocktail list at the bar, the toilet signs, the menu and place names and the flags we used for table numbers. We used a mixture of green, white or black font and designs on green or white backgrounds. We tied the metallic colours of the day in by putting our cocktail lists, order of the day and seating plan in gilt gold frames and Laura spent hours tying our place names to green ribbon so they could be tied to the menus! For the table numbers, we bought glass bottles to sit amongst the jars of flowers and balloon centre piece and stuck our flags to wooden dowel, so they would sit in the bottles. Laura arranged all the printing for us, but it doesn’t come cheap, so if you are going to undertake design of your stationery to such a bespoke level beware of the costs!
As Personal As Possible
We had quite a few children at our wedding, so we wanted to ensure they were kept busy. We bought ‘J’ branded cotton bags for each table with children (in keeping again with our self-centred letter theming!) and filled the bags with activity books and crayons – they were a big hit!
Our wedding was a jam packed day from start to end, we managed over 30 suppliers, did a few things DIY and ran to a very tight schedule but given it’s a once in a lifetime day it was well worth all the effort. We’d encourage everyone to get as personal as they can around every choice they make for their wedding and don’t be afraid to truly reflect yourselves in every element of your day!
How much do you wish you could have attended that wedding? Everyone looks like they are having so much fun. I’m so glad Jess went with Indian style make up – she looks gorgeous. And how amazing is the jewellery?
I honestly don’t think Jess and Jay could have done better…the whole day looks like the perfect mix of tradition, fun with family and friends and being true to themselves.
I always find the weddings I love the most are the ones I wish I could have been at. The ones that really make me jealous of all the fun they were having. And the images I really love, are the ones filled with colour.
So you might have guessed… I Really love this wedding!
Folly Farm is such a beautiful place with green fields and amazing natural stonework throughout that I decided I wanted to keep the flowers simple, light, pretty and unobtrusive during the meal so guests were able to enjoy the surroundings.
Central Rose in Bristol took my colour scheme of country blues, pinks and purples and created petite, simple bouquets for the bride, bridesmaids and Mums and buttonholes for the boys using freesias, hyacinths and roses.
In a moment of frugality I went to the local garden centre and bought pots of daisies and colourful plants to use as table decorations – they looked great next to the bunting and cost a fraction of the price of having elaborate arrangements made!
Bright, Colourful Photography
Finding a perfect photographer was a big deal for us, and after a lot of research we found Albert Palmer, whose bright, colourful, fun and beautifully shot photographs really caught my eye.
Our photographs are sensational – Albert managed to capture the narrative of the day perfectly, from the emotion of getting ready and walking down the aisle to the dancing later on.
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful record of the day – our friends and family can’t get over how fab they are and we can’t decide which ones to print!
As our new surname would be Robertson, we thought it would be nice to make our guests our own flavour of Robertson’s Jam! We spent a year collecting jars and John designed his own labels and spent two days in the kitchen making marmalade, propped up on his crutches.
Even though the marmalade was inexpensive to make it was a really personal and thoughtful gesture that our guests loved and will remind them of the day – we’re still getting texts from people saying how nice the marmalade is.
A Rustic Theme
Folly Farm is a naturally stunning place, and the general areas didn’t much decorating but the marquee we hired to have our meal needed some TLC. I hired some beautiful bunting from a friend which looked stunning against the white of the marquee and brought a real brightness and vibrancy to the photographs and atmosphere. In keeping with the rustic theme we had scented candles on the tables and tied our napkins with raffia and used parcel tags for place names which was a a really simple and cost effective solution.
Our tables didn’t look polished and perfect but I didn’t want them to – I wanted my day to be fun and relaxed not stuffy and formal. The only thing that didn’t go to plan was the rain – we weren’t able to open the sides of the marquee to look at the view, but in the end it added to the intimate and friendly feel of the marquee which comes across in the pictures.
We didn’t want a traditional wedding band – working in a music venue means that I have particular taste in music and know exactly what I like and don’t like, and as soon as we saw Fromage en Feu play at our local bar, we knew we had to have them at our wedding. Their lively folk songs and energetic playing had everyone dancing, but we had to adapt the traditional wedding song where the bride and groom are lifted in the air on chairs due John’s broken leg! The final celebratory song Mazel Tov was a rousing and fitting end to the set, and we were thrilled to learn later that their set contained the same songs that they played the week before at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. DJ Moneyshot then continued the party with indie hits and classic party tunes chosen by John and our guests.
We ummed and ahhed about a first dance song for a long time – being music lovers we felt that a lot of the ‘alternative’ first dance songs had been done to death. Then John found a great version of the Sister Sledge song Thinking of You sung by Paul Weller, which mixed our love of dance and indie music perfectly. It was a special moment, even when the PA developed a fault and kept cutting out!
Design and Decor
To be honest, I’m not a real wedding person. I never dreamed about my dress when I was young and my only real wish for my big day was that it fun, relaxed and that my guests got drunk!
Fortunately, apart from being stunningly beautiful and close to Bristol, Folly Farm was a venue that allowed us to plan our day exactly as we wanted – we could bring in caterers, a bar and a marquee as we liked and we had the venue for the whole weekend with rooms for our guests to stay. So, although this took a lot more organization than an ordinary wedding it ended up being much more personal and special and our guests appreciated that.
Working at a music venue was a godsend as I called in favours from a lot of my contacts. I’m a lucky girl because Humberto from H Bar at Colston Hall made me a stunning Mediterranean buffet with a choice of 4 desserts and Claire from Colston Hall managed my bar with the help of Bath Ales which meant we had the real ale and cider we really wanted. So my first tip to getting what you want is to find a flexible venue and call in favours!
I would also have been lost with my wedding planner Hayley Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org) who spent many afternoons before the wedding going through logistics with us and ran our day smoothly and without stress. Hayley and a lot of my friends also came to the venue the day before to help us set up which meant we had the marquee decorated in record time and meant I was much less stressed. So tip number two – enlist help on the day before!
Advice from a Bride
I was worried at the start of planning the wedding about how to make things personal and special, but as we got thinking it came to us surprisingly easy. John is really creative and many of the special touches on the day – our chalkboard table plans and the unique ceremony music were down to him and made me realize how lucky I am to have a husband who is so thoughtful and imaginative. We signed the register to Tender by Blur and walked back down the aisle to my favourite Richard Hawley song, so whenever I listen to these songs in the future I’ll think of my special day.
In general I was thrilled by how everything came together at the last minute and managed to look beautiful, coherent and planned even though we didn’t plan things to a minute degree. Being less Bridezilla and more laid back meant that I could enjoy the day much more and meant less stress for everyone around me. I had an incredible day surrounded by my friends and family having a great time, and I realized that on the whole the little worries pale into significance when you’re marrying the person you love.
The china-Doll-beautiful-dress-wearing bride that is RMW reader Linzi and her husband David had a dreamy W-day full of D.I.Y decor ( and I mean Do it Yourself people, tablecloth made of stitched together curtains bathed in tea bags anyone!?).
I love the slightly off-beat colour scheme and how the reception looked like so much fun…..And the balloons. You gotta love a big white balloon right?
Oh and the first stormy sky shot, if that was me and my best girl it would be up on the wall pronto.
Capturing The Atmosphere
Our photographer Paul is a friend of a friend. When I first started wedding planning I’d not looked into wedding photography much, I just knew I didn’t want the standard posed shots, I wanted photos that showed the atmosphere of the day that were almost like a set of film stills. Paul isn’t a wedding photographer but I could tell from his website that he had a good eye for capturing people and trusted him 100%, this has to be seen as a huge compliment to him as I have an inability to delegate pretty much anything. He took time to understand what we wanted and was really easy to work with.
At Inchcolm we had a few family posed shots and a few of me and David posed, which all in all took maybe 10 minutes, our main focus was to spend the day with guests as so many of them live far away. Paul’s photographs worked exactly how we wanted them-a story of the day.
He stayed the entire day and we couldn’t have asked for a better photographer. When he presented us with the photographs after the wedding,I loved how he had made the getting ready shots in black and white and the rest in colour, it reminds me of my favourite movie, “wizard of oz” where everything turns to colour when Dorothy arrives in Oz and that magical music starts.
A Diet Of Tea And Cake
After seeing photos of American weddings with their cake or dessert buffets I decided we were going to have to have one as I would probably live off a diet of tea and cake if I could. Most of our family and friends live far away so it was up to me to do all the baking,I spent a night on the sofa surrounded by my cook books picking out the sweetest, spongiest recipes that would keep a day or two in advance. Altogether I baked 8 cakes, well, 7 after the blueberry cake sank into itself then gooped over the kitchen floor but hey…. what you gonna do about it at 11pm with no more blueberries and going delirious?!.
I spent 12 hours in the kitchen with Johnny Cash on the radio and a few cups of tea inside me running what felt like a cake production line. The only disaster was the blueberry cake, which smelt amazing but was spreading slowly over the kitchen floor.
In the end we had cheesecakes, honey and chocolate cake, lemon loaf, banana loaf and lots more; and i’m glad to hear that people did take a bit of each. We were still left with a fair bit which we ate on the flights to America for our honeymoon!
Our main wedding cake was a 3 tier fruit cake made by by Mam who volunteered to bake it (thanks mam!) of course, she probably knew my brief would never be easy, but infact , my main concern was that I took a dislike to the standard silver cake stands and so asked mam if she’d keep an eye out for a ceramic cake stand, brown or cream, to fit the largest cake exactly! I don’t know how, but she managed to find one. I wanted the decoration of it to be simple, just ribbons, i found some yellowy mustard coloured ribbon with lace trim which I rescued from a sale box in a cake shop, we teamed it up with some chocolate brown satin ribbon, I really like how it turned out. The cake topper was very last miniature, a ring stand from urban outfitters in the form of two little ceramic bunnies, we put the cheap high street ring that David used to propose to me on one of the the bunny’s ears.
Not A Minimalist
Our guestbook was a typewriter, I’d seen the idea before on wedding blogs but didn’t have a typewriter and to be honest, couldn’t be bothered searching for one. Then a few weeks before the wedding I was in a charity shop when I saw this mint green beauty of a typewriter for a fiver and had to buy it! I’m glad we did it, we got some not so traditional “letters” to us, which made us laugh when we read through them all.
The photo booth/fancy dress thing may have been done 1000 times but we still wanted to do it, we set up a poloroid printer that people could hook their camera phones up to, mostly though people just put on the hats and glasses while ceilidh dancing which made for better photos and was funny to watch!
We wanted personal touches everywhere, me and David are total hoarders and our house is full of weird ornaments and pictures that I have rescued from charity shops and hundreds of David’s old books and prints he has collected, there was no way that we could have a minimalist house, so our wedding décor could never be minimalist either.
The venue at inchcolm was a long, bare room, with an arched ceiling and stone walls, the only piece of furniture was a large wooden table which was the focal point during the ceremony. I made a huge tablecloth from some Ikea lace curtains stitched together, and dyed it by filling the bathtub with water and half a box of cheap tea bags which had been lurking in the cupboard for emergencies, like when we run out of Yorkshire tea.
Quite early on in the venue hunt, I insisted I only wanted to marry under natural light or candle light(not too difficult to find then, eh? bad lighting is a pet hate for me and just means more effort with make up), at Inchcolm we had both as we filled the room with tealights and church lights, I will never forget the warm scent of the candles as I walked up the staircase to the room with my dad, and now, if I fill a room with tealights I’m taken back to that moment in an instant.
Ceilidh and Piping
We decided to have a piper on inchcolm island, it was my dad that suggested it, and I thought that it would be nice for English guests to give them a proper Scottish experience. He piped all the guests up the abbey then came back for me, that walk from the boat to the abbey with my parents and bridesmaid was one of my favourite parts of the day.
In the evening we hired the Reel Time 3 piece ceilidh band complete with piper, David loves ceilidh dancing, I find some ceilidhs a bit “folksy” and tame, so the addition of the piper really spiced things up and got everyone up dancing, we were all totally knackered afterwards! We got lots of comments about how much people enjoyed the dancing, especially the male guests! I think some men feel awkward dancing to wedding discos whereas at a ceilidh, no one really knows the steps, people fall over, everyone’s out of time, so there really is no pressure to look good….!
We really should have went to some dance classes before attempting our first dance which was to johnny cash’s “memories are made of this” (both big fans of his) our practice consisted of clearing a tiny section of the floor in our study, which was overtaken with wedding décor, clothes and honeymoon packing, playing the song and deciding on moves we definitely were not going to be making (long kisses, inappropriate grabbing, any kind of elaborate footwork) and decided that would have to do. On the day, the dance was a bit rubbish really, we spent the whole 3 minutes which felt like 1 hour doing the same spinny thing and constantly saying to each other, “we cant do that one spinny move again, its getting old,” so yeah, not the highlight of the day for us!
Our favours were from “Hotel Chocolat”, we had decided to buy little boxes and bars of chocolate for guests, with everyone getting a different flavour, they weren’t really meant for favours so I made up little tags and ties them round with string, I also designed badges and pinned a couple for each guest onto the string. David and me both grew up in the 80s when the world seemed to be badge obsessed, we still have our collections, from a time when eating a bag of crisps seemed to earn you a badge. We decided to bring a bit of this nostalgia back into our big day, our badges had photos of Lucky- our cat, our silhouettes, silly slogans and little deers that I had designed for the wedding stationery
At the hall in Kirknewton, you are given complete freedom over how to set up the room, and so we booked it out for the day before the wedding to decorate it with help from my parents. We decided on long tables as it seemed to suit the room best and felt more informal as the meal was a BBQ, we didn’t want a top table as I would find it weird not having anyone opposite me, David and I sat amongst our family which meant everyone could have a good chat.
We DIY’d pretty much all of the décor. I made tablecloths from cheap Ikea cotton fabric and runners from hessian, I wanted to use natural materials to compliment the stone walls and timber floor of the hall. All napkins were made from either vintage or Ikea fabrics by myself and Laura. At low level we had the jam jars of flowers and lots of tealights, we then used large white helium balloons, weighted down with tiny plant pots, to draw the eye up towards the beamed ceiling. Our table numbers were made using cheap ikea double sided photo frames, for the numbers I used a peach template downloaded from the internet, and on the other side, was a photograph of one of our family weddings, which matched the photograph on the table plan.
More Than Just A Manicure
If you’re planning on a DIY style wedding, be prepared to spend the day before arranging flowers, filling your car with decorations and surviving on supermarket sandwiches, you might not get the time to have a manicure, family meal, soak in the bath and then sit in a fluffy white robe watching a box set of your favourite TV series. Infact, your manicure might be you, sat alone in a hotel bed at 1am on your wedding morning watching coronation street repeats, hoping your nail varnish isn’t glooping at the corners because you’ve discovered that the lighting really isn’t ideal for this kind of thing, feet stuck out of the bedcovers so as not to smudge your toe nail varnish, waiting for each coat to dry and praying your hard work wont chip off in tomorrow mornings shower, and hoping that your someone will actually notice your efforts.
If you’re planning a DIY wedding, all the preparation and hard work will pay off on the day, and a comment a guest makes on how much they liked the stationary/flowers/the whole thing will give you a nice feeling inside more than a professional manicure ever could.
I just want to say a huge “THANK YOU!!” to Linzi and David for sharing their Big Day with RMW and for being such an inspiration – boats, china doll make-up, blue brogues, jewellery that looks like a giant sweets…. we love.
I don’t even know where to start with the inspiration-fest that this wedding is. It’s just an explosion of pretty, unique, and super chic FUN. Exactly what we love. And these detail shots are amongst the prettiest I’ve ever seen.
If you can, maybe later, after work, click through to the bands link below and play the sample medley they have on their myspace page. I often play these while I’m putting a wedding together and it absolutely sets the scene musically.
I wish I had been a guest at this one!
A Meeting of Minds
Amy Murrell was our photographer – fantastic, captured the feeling of the day and we didn’t even notice she was there!
Amy is super cool and as soon as I saw her previous pics, I knew that we were of a similar mindset in terms of wedding photographs which is so important.
The cake pops were by Pop bakery – we wanted something a bit different and we stock Pop bakery at Harvey Nichols so we went for a load of delicious cake pops with S & Ls on top! Plus a Victoria Sponge on top for us to cut!
Make it Yours Decor
The decor was something that I had lots of ideas about – My inspiration came from the Sofia Coppola film ‘Marie Antoinette’ and the interiors at the private members club, Babington House, Somerset. I love the colours in the movie – dusky pinks, duck egg blues, cream lace, lemon yellows. Then I love the sophistification and eclecticism of Babington house. Boconnoc House as a venue was chosen to compliment the two inspirations – the cool grey slate of the building and the ornate cornicing in the rooms. I then worked with a friend of mine, Fiona Leahy, who worked her magic on bring all these elements to life – she runs a design company and produces lots of the events for Harvey Nichols so I talked her through my ideas and we set in motion putting things into practice.
We had candlelabras with beautiful lilac, celadon and grey candles, Monogrammed lace with ‘S&L’ and a Love seat in the garden with netting pom poms in ballet slipper pink, blue and white.
For food suprises a herb bar served mohitos with freshly picked mint. A little garden shed served Falmouth Oysters and hay bales were covered with cool grey linen.
Huge weather balloons lined the drive in cool grey and peach and rosettes were given as name places at the table settings, which guests wore all evening!
The dancing room was a rich maroon colour so we simply had an S&L neon on the fireplace. Fiona has such a unique creative vision to make everything look beautiful and really understood my ideas and brought them to life.
For Entertainment, we wanted a rock and roll band – choosing the Hot House Playboys who played 60s and 70s Rock and Roll, including my favourite, Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!
Our first dance was to a Nancy Wallace cover of ‘You’re the First, the last, My Everything’. A beautiful cover of a very apt song.
How much fun, style and general ‘out-of-a-fairy-tale-storybook-prettiness’ is splashed all over this page right now? It’s heartstopping, mesmerising and breathtaking all in one.
I am so glad that Amy Murrell found Rock My Wedding and knew this was perfect for us instantly – if you want to make your wedding look this beautiful, definitely go and check out her website. Big thanks to Shona and Luke for allowing us to share this too.
Drum roll please… because we are kicking off fairytale fortnight with a stunner of a wedding. And in true Rock My Wedding style, this fortnight isn’t necessarily going to be about the things you would expect to see in a Fairytale fortnight… the predictable things you might see elsewhere. Repeating our Mantra, this about making it your kind of fairytale.
We occasionally get a little bit of stick for pushing the boundaries, encouraging you guys to be unique, individual, but ultimately do it your way and this wedding is here to show you that you can kick every single bit of wedding tradition to the curb that you don’t like and still have the most ridiculously pretty but rockin’ day.
And that’s what we’re all about folks.
Shona and Luke were married this September at Boconnoc House, Cornwall. All the stunning photography (you might remember that I got a little bit excited about his lady in her introductory post as a sponsor) is by Especially Amy and totally lives up to the hype!
My dress was from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. I knew I wanted something with a 20s dropped waist but loved their decades range which bring an updated look to vintage styles. I also love the creamy lace they used for my dress and the palm tree lace at the bottom had an art deco feel to it which I loved.
I wore an Alyssa Norton piece of jewellery which ran from my finger to wrist and was made from vintage pieces. My necklace was a present from my bridesmaids, an Anina Vogel heart charm.
In my hair I wore a simple cream veil and a vintage diamante hair clip. My shoes were Miu Miu kitten heels with diamante bows. I wanted a little bit of party glamour under the dress!
As I work at Harvey Nichols I was lucky in having my hairdresser, Ryan from Daniel Hersheson and make up artist, Scott from Shu Uemura in Knightsbridge Harvey Nichols.
They understood the look I wanted – really soft, feminine 20s style hair, and for make up I wanted something with a touch of glamour but again with a soft, feminine finish.
My bridesmaids (my little sister and my best friend) have very different styles so I wanted them to wear something they feel comfortable in and I can’t bear matching dresses for bridesmaids so they chose dresses within the colour palette I was working with.
My super talented friend who is an ex florist, Marcus, helped with the flowers. I wanted lots of herbs so we used rosemary, wild mint, yellow and white dill with roses and hydrangeas. They smelt delicious and were the right balance of looking a bit country house and still very chic.
Luke wore a midnite blue Richard James suit with Oliver Sweeney tan shoes and Kilgour silver blue tie.
What a super cool, yet super pretty bridal party… And this bride totally rocked out her kind of fairy tale for the decor…