Today’s wedding has a colour scheme of coral, peach, cream and sage green with splashes of pink and it looks totally GORGEOUS. The perfect combination for mixing modern elegance with vintage touches.
Having basically been planning my wedding since I was born and STILL not being engaged (big shout out to all of you in the same boat) I love it that the inspiration for Gemma’s colour scheme and flowers came from an advert for a watch she had seen years ago…
Personal And Homely
Gemma The Bride: We got married in Pershore Abbey and had the reception at The Nash in Worcestershire. Despite ourselves the wedding ended up becoming pretty traditional and after years of school performances, plays and carol concerts in the Abbey, it was the right place to have the service. We were keen to have the reception somewhere that felt personal and homely and not like the wedding factories we had seen elsewhere. The Nash is a beautiful old building with incredible grounds and the team there is very family orientated – Brenda felt like my second Nan by the time we were done.
I wanted to look like me (but totally amazing!), so kept my face as I would do normally – BB cream, liquid eyeliner with slightly smokey brown eyes helped along by one of my bridesmaids Tess, along with a nude coloured lipstick and some pink blush. My hair was tricky because of my headpiece – I hate having flat hair (I would ideally have been married in an episode of Dynasty) so made sure I had volume on top with something quite natural and wavy below.
My nails were bright pink. My mum talked me down from a bright red – I love having coloured nails and a French manicure doesn’t feel right on me anymore. Perfume was Malabah from Penhaligans. Rob and I both love it because he picked it and bought it me for Valentines day a few years ago and I’ve been wearing it ever since.
Like Elizabeth Taylor
My dress was Caroline Castigliano and I got it from the White Rose Bridal Boutique in Chipping Camden. As soon as I walked in I knew it would be were I bought my dress – Danielle has the best collection of dresses I’ve seen and the shop is exactly how I would style my own if I had one – even down to playing Ella Fitzgerald in the changing room. I had narrowed it down to two within an hour.
It was hard to say no to the dress that made me feel like a Disney princess with a full skirt, but the dress I chose made me feel like Elizabeth Taylor, and it felt more like me – plus I knew Rob would like me in it. Super plain and elegant with no frills – just flattering style (my bum is BIG) in a beautiful fabric.
I was looking for the day to be classic but informal and elegant, with a very slight 20’s/30’s vintage feel. With a dress so simple I could afford to do something more flashy on the accessories front. The Hermione Harbutt headpiece was suggested by Danielle in the White Rose and whilst it made my hair a bit of a challenge, it was such a special addition to the overall outfit – a nod to the 30’s look and feel I was after and something I will hopefully hand down myself one day
I had a matching pearl and crystal bracelet that I wore with a gold bangle with my initial on it (I had bought one of these for each of my bridesmaids also) and a silver bangle my mum bought me for when I was her bridesmaid. I had bought earrings too but on the day I was presented with some sapphire earrings Rob had got me to match my engagement ring (such a gent), so I wore those instead. My veil was very long with a satin pencil trim and my shoes were by Rachel Simpson – they made me think of classic ballroom dancing shoes and I am sure my Nan had a pair just like them when she went dancing with my Grandad.
I had six bridesmaids, all with very different tastes and very different shapes and sizes. I was aiming for a coral colour for them, but the fabric ended up being pretty pink when the dresses eventually came in. The girls were free to choose what they liked from a style perspective, and I encouraged them to accessorise as they wanted and have their hair done differently so they could all be really happy with how they looked.
Rob’s boys were in mixture of morning suits with dark jackets/black pinstripe trousers, and army uniform for the military lot. We went with regular ties in a rough pale green silk and gave them to the chaps as gifts. They were all from Faverbrook of Piccadilly where I also bought Rob his waistcoat as his wedding gift, and my mum got her amazing MOB outfit.
Vintage Feeling But Still Fresh
The overall colour scheme plan came from an advert for a watch I had seen (embarrassingly – years ago and kept for my wedding day) that was just lots of roses packed together in various shades of light pink, peach and deeper russet oranges and browns. The colours were quite ‘tea stained’ and vintage feeling, but as much as I wanted the day to have a vintage feel, I also wanted it to be fresh and light.
My plan was to use splashes of strong corals, with light peaches, creams & white, along with pale sage greens and occasional hints of bright green leaves. Clean and fresh but warm and romantic at the same time.
Loose Natural Flowers
I loved the flowers for the wedding. They were by Beautiful Flowers by Katherine Bujanszki in Worcester and after one swatch of bridesmaid dress fabric and two images of flowers I had to show her she knew what we were after – something in a loose natural style that wasn’t contemporary or formal. She even managed to find my key accent rose with a pink outside to match my (now) pink bridesmaid dresses, that was actually coral in the centre to match my original master plan – we used pale sand coloured Saharas, pale peach Vendellas, and Miss Piggy (!) roses.
We went for a couple of pedestals and teardrop pew ends for the church – poseys for the bridesmaids, corsages for the mums and some gorgeous buttonholes with sage and herb foliage for the gents. We then had vintage cake stands in different sizes for the table flowers at the reception.
Raced Down The Aisle
Our ceremony was supremely traditional but incredibly emotional. I raced down the aisle and essentially beat my dad there. Rob could barely talk and I kept telling him to focus on the end of my nose to calm himself down – which clearly didn’t work at all. The vows, readings and hymns were as you would expect – Corinthians, Jerusalem etc – but as I suspect everyone does, you tend to pay more attention when its all about you
It’s the people doing the readings, that are so happy (and nervous) to be a part of the day that make it unique to you. One thing we did have that I loved was my old music teacher and his brass quartet play whilst we were signing the register. I played with him every year in that spot all the way through school so it was very special to me.
Best Band Ever
We had the best live band EVER. They were recommended to me by a girl at work, who had had them at her wedding after hearing them at someone else’s. They have since been involved in three more weddings as a result of mine so grab them if you can. They’re called The Lionel’s and as well as going down well with the ladies (there was some jostling going on about the drummer in the Bridesmaids corner), they played brilliant classic guitar band music that wasn’t cheesy and everyone loved. Everything from ‘Kings of Leon’ to ‘Huey Lewis and the News’ had me jumping up and down and sweating with my hair all over the place. Which probably wasn’t very elegant.
Wine Made On Site
Our food – from what I can tell – looked great. I don’t recollect having the chance to eat much of it myself it but I do know we had apple crumble and custard for desert which went down a storm and definitely soaked up some of the booze flowing freely from the open bar. We chose an Argentinean Malbec as our red wine but both the white wine and the fizz were made on site at the Nash and were totally delicious.
Our invitations were by Ally Hay Design & Illustration and were really unique – they were probably the most ‘vintagey’ thing about the wedding and we totally loved them. For the table plan we bought a chalk board in a gilded frame and hand wrote names in chalk pen – mainly so we could have the board in the kitchen at home afterwards – and we did mini ones with the table names on each table. A bit DIY but cheap as chips and they looked great in the end.
We also had paper lanterns in peach, green, cream and pink in different sizes hanging from the ceiling that looked beautiful. My absolute favourite things however were the polaroid camera we had my brother go around with on the day to take instant pictures people could sign. They captured the day wonderfully and we’ll be popping them in a collage when I have five minutes.
As well as that were the photos we put on everyones place setting mounted in champagne corks our friend Binka collected for us in her restaurant over many weeks. A picture of guests that sparked a memory of Rob or I and made them smile. The reaction was amazing and it really got people talking.
Proud And Happy
The best moment for me was walking into the reception room when they announced us as Mr & Mrs Walker. I think Rob would say the same thing. The room was buzzing even before we walked in and when we did the noise was unbelievable and totally overwhelmed me. I’ve never been so proud and happy.
The best piece of advice I was given, and the one I give to anyone else that will listen, is to make sure you take a couple of moments during the day to have a proper look around you and watch your friends and family. I have some snap shots of the day in my head that I love (one is of my best friend dancing with a man she had never laid eyes on before and them both singing their hearts out to each other, sweaty and in a total mess – complete with power ballad style reaching and grabbing) and they often spring to mind and make me smile.
It really was the most incredibly happy day of my life. And I got to keep a top bloke afterwards. I am one lucky lady.
Bride’s Gown – Caroline Castigliano at The White Rose Bridal Boutique
Head Piece – Hermione Harbutt
Shoes – Rachel Simpson
Groomsmen’s Ties And Groom’s Waistcoat – Favourbrook
Florist – Beautiful Flowers by Katherine Bujanszki
Invites – Ally Hay Design & Illustration
Band – The Lionels
Venue – The Nash
Photography – Anushe Low
I love the pretty pink maids – so girly and fun.
Isn’t the headpiece stunning??
And how elegantly simple is the cake?
Lots of love,