Rachel Simpson Shoes

Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Table Plan
Table Plan
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Mr & Mrs
Mr & Mrs
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
Image by Rebecca Douglas Photography - Jenny Packham Parma Opal Wedding Gown for a marquee reception at home with rustic DIY decor and cakes, homegrown flowers and high street Bridesmaid Dresses.
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Vic & Alex

I am so in awe of all the love & dedication that has gone into this DIY rustic wedding at home. The fact that Vic loving grew her wedding flowers in her garden and then hand picked and arranged them the night before literally just blows my mind and they are utterly gorgeous too.

In fact all of the DIY decor is utterly gorgeous… the potted plants, the wooden crate table plan, the hay bale seating area, the pom poms, the bunting and how can I forget the creative guest book alternative. Plus I’m sure you’ll notice so much more, it’s one of those weddings I think you’ll need to view multiple of times to take it all in; and Pin!

I literally wish I had been there to marvel in all the beauty and soak up the relaxed homely atmosphere, plus their fireworks display and party into the early hours sounds epic!

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Marisa & Edward

Marisa’s family live in Zambia and Edward’s family live in the Caribbean and Germany, so a stunning rustic barn reception at Gate Street Barn in Surrey was the perfect central place for their wedding blessing.

They incorporated both their cultures and traditions using a mesmerising bright blue & teal African print to make the flower girl dresses and a Zambian ‘Chitenge’ fabric to make the bunting adorning the barn. The homage to the cultures continued in Marisa’s bouquet with native proteas and succulents, which I have to say is simply stunning!

The images captured by Anushé Low of Marisa & Edward’s first dance are fabulous. I love how Marisa’s Claire Pettibone dress moves as she and Edward do their Salsa first dance, very fitting as they met doing Salsa dance lessons and what a way to get the party started!

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Natalie & Dan

Oh how I absolutely adore Natalie’s bridal look. The warm vintage lace of the Charlotte Balbier Tabitha gown, the decadent Jenny Packham Acacia II Golden Opal Headdress and of course the adorable vintage brooch to customise the dress *swoon*. Dan looks pretty dapper too in his bright blue high street suit complete with unique wheat stem and beer cap buttonhole.

But the absolute wow factor for me has to be all those cleverly crafted pin wheels adorned to make THE most fabulous backdrop! So bright, so fun and SO affective. Natalie obviously having a keen eye for pretty details being a graphic designer and crafter by trade chose their gorgeous wedding venue Barn at Brynich as it fitted with the relaxed vision of their day.

This wedding is literally the perfect eclectic mix of vintage elegance and rustic charm and we think you’re going to love it. I certainly did!

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Cat & Rich

Cat and Rich had a truly Cornish wedding at the Mount Pleasant Eco Park in Porthtowan, North Cornwall. Their ceremony took place in an amazing outdoor amphitheatre, built into the hillside. It looked like a relaxed and very sweet ceremony with Cat holding their baby daughter Willow at the altar whilst they said their vows. In fact it was quite the family affair, as their dog Fred was the ring bearer and made his fabulous entrance right on cue!

After the ceremony, champagne and scones were served with Rodda’s clotted cream and homemade jam under a canopy on the hill, with breathtaking views right down to the sea. The marquee had a delightful rustic decor with DIY bunting and leafy branches and on each place setting they laid a sprig of willow in honour of their daughter – so cute!

Cat wore an elegant strapless beaded dress, and her half up half down braided hair do was gorgeous. Rich also looked fabulous despite the fact he ‘forgot’ to bring his shoes, socks and pants and decided to walk around barefoot! But this error proved to come in handy for the energetic first dance!

Stephen & Katie - Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography Pin Image

Katie & Stephen

Two celebrations calls for two dresses right…or maybe three in Bride Katie’s case and they’re all stunning dresses too! I absolutely LOVE the cute off the shoulder prom dress Katie wore for her intimate ceremony and then there’s the preloved ‘party dress’ which she had altered so she could dance the night away! She looks stunning in all of them and I get the impression she can rock any look.

Both celebrations are a true reflection of the special day Katie & Stephen where hoping for and this was captured beautifully by Sarah-Jane Ethan Photography. An intimate celebration with family one day and then an informal party with friends the next, both with lots of personal touches, love, laughter and a happily ever after.

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One Lucky Lady And Her Top Bloke.


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…

Her Hermione Harbutt headpiece is divine and an amazing heirloom to pass on to the girls in her family. The beautiful photography comes from the ever fabulous Anushe Low.

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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.

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Big Hair

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.

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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.

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Dancing Shoes

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.

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Individual Style

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.

Elegant Wedding In Worcestershire With Vintage Touches Bride In Caroline Castigliano Gown with Rachel Simpson Shoes and a Hermione Harbutt Headpiece, Images by Anushe Low_0006

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.

Elegant Wedding In Worcestershire With Vintage Touches Bride In Caroline Castigliano Gown with Rachel Simpson Shoes and a Hermione Harbutt Headpiece, Images by Anushe Low_006a

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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DIY Perfection

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.

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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.

Elegant Wedding In Worcestershire With Vintage Touches Bride In Caroline Castigliano Gown with Rachel Simpson Shoes and a Hermione Harbutt Headpiece, Images by Anushe Low_0012

Click here & view all images from this wedding

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,
Fern x

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Cat Hepple Photography

We see it everywhere. We see it in many different forms from Dresden to Chantilly. Yes, I’m talking about lace. We love a lace gown here at RMW and as fashions change and grow and develop so does and will this magical world of lace. And we’re very excited about it.

Someone else equally as excited about this is Chloe from The White Room and she’s here to tell you lovely lot more about new trends and how to work this beautiful material to your advantage.

Chloe teamed up with photographer Cat Hepple to bring this gorgeous shoot to our pages.


Creativity And Styling

Chloe from The White Room: The concept of the shoot was to embrace the huge trend for lace within the industry but try to bring it to a modern and fashionable edge, allowing elements of lace to be present without necessarily being the whole gown, adding hints of colour or quirky touches to make it more than just ‘another lace dress’. We wanted to really bring to the forefront the femininity and softness of the gowns and show that less, can be more and a little creativity and styling.

What I love about the designers stocked at The White Room is just that, their ability to design a gown with the overall end look in mind, selecting the fabric which makes the gown so special, rather than sticking bits of lace on a gown and expecting brides to buy into the ‘vintage lace’ dress. They have thought with detail about what lace suits each cut of gown and what is needed to make a bride fall in love with quality, style and design.

Honour Stephanie Allin


Honour is a very strong gown for The White Room for 2013 by Stephanie Allin. One that can be worn so many ways and allows the romance in the full tulle skirt to peek through the powerful lace panels and look timeless and memorable. Many brides come to us and say they want ‘vintage’ – my interpretation of this is now to mean ‘timeless’ and Honour resonates with that. Brides love the higher neck line and the variation of adding belts, sashes and veils. We paired it with a soft birdcage by HM Veils and a blush sash to emulate the look of the shoot, feminine and pretty.

Galilee by Cymbeline

Polka Dots

Galilee by Cymbeline is a wonderful gown, quirky as she is feminine, the lace is so soft and delicate, but the polka dot makes it fun and kooky. We paired her with a few styles of the 1920’s inspired Juliette cap veil, one with the full flower and the other with tumbling layer of contrasting lace for the more full on lace look. The movement in the gown is there to see and is perfect for the bride whose priority is comfort and wear ability with a hint of sensuality – the open back is to die for!

Sunset by Stephanie Allin

Fashion Forward

Sunset by Stephanie Allin is one of my favourite gowns for 2013 – the oyster pink chiffon is just amazing and the cut of the gown is so fashion forward with the drop waist corset and strong line on the bust, she is a fashionista’s dream! We paired with the bespoke ‘Sunset’ veil (at The White Room). This gown pairs brilliantly with gold, bronze and blush accessories, perfect with Rachel Simpson ‘Esme’ and ‘Ginger’ shoes which White Room brides love.

Dominique by Sassi Holford

Embrace Your Curves

Ah Dominique – who CAN’T love Dominique by Sassi Holford? As a new label to The White Room, we have fallen in love with Sassi’s designs and Dominique is one of our favourites, a super strong fishtail with some power in the lace (LOVE the polka dot skirt!). We paired simply with Debbie Carlisle ‘Lily’ and let our model do the work. Brilliant for the bride embracing curves, sensuality and style. Not for the faint hearted, but then again ladies, a White Room bride likes both to be seen and heard!

Hayworth by Stephanie Allin

Hollywood Glam

Which is why we LOVE Hayworth by Stephanie Allin – a stunning golden hue of sequin and tulle, she lives up to the Hollywood name and emulates sensuality with a hint of glamour and sex appeal. We paired with the birdcage, and like Sunset, carries gold and blush accessories amazingly well. Dare to be different and add a blush veil and allow the colours to shine or wear her with the very glam turban!

Eden by Jenny Packham

Beaded Beauty

Lastly and be NO means least… Eden! The stunning beaded beauty that is Eden. We’ve shot the platinum version before (see the Stripped to Core shoot on RWM in November 2012) but this shoot called for something softer and the ivory gown did that for us. We paired with DC Bouquets ‘Greta’ for the epitome in the 1920’s styling. What was amazing about Eden was as much as the light fell, the beading just shone.

We hope you love the shoot and the gorgeous gowns we hold at The White Room and how we see bridal as a genre of fashion, as a play thing of style, as an adventure in to self expression and as a work of art. I believe the images and video tell that tale and that brides will take risks and add their stamp on a classic – embracing romance, femininity and fun along the way!


Whisperings Photo Shoot from Story of Your Day on Vimeo.

The Team

Boutique – The White Room
Venue Styling – Pamella Dunn Events
Hair and Make-Up – Erika Swinn
Venue – The Old Priory
Photography – Cat Hepple Photography
Lily and Greta Hair accessories – DC Bouquets
Veils – HM Veils at The White Room
Shoes – Rachel Simpson
Videography – Story Of Your Day

How gorgeous is it to see lace used more subtly through these designs? Cat tells us that her inspiration for the shoot was based on this quote, “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” And I think it’s just perfect. It mirrors the delicate designs and screams for a bride who wants to be traditional but also have a little bit of a quirky edge.

Make sure you watch the video too to see the dresses in action.

Do you have a favourite? I’m very attracted to Sunset and that amazing veil.

Lots of lacy love


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A Pocketful Of Rye.

Jake Morley Photography

Oh I LOVE this wedding.

For so many reasons that it’s near on impossible to count them all on one hand…but I’m going to at least attempt to do so.

Firstly preppy, beachside soirees are to die for and Annabel and Darren completely and wholeheartedly embraced this theme with bells on. And it looks EPIC… just wait until you see the table settings and the cake.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen bridesmaids quite as happy as these blue and floral clad ladies, but then, when you look as good as they do you can totally understand why they’re beaming from ear to ear. Which brings me onto the colour scheme – blues and pinks and whites – just perfect for what Annabel describes as ‘a beach picnic with champagne’.

I know! Immense, right?

And then I can’t quite help feeling more than a little bit proud that this beautiful twosome used recommended suppliers from RMW’s very own directory – The Love Lust List. From their wonderful venue – The Gallivant, to their florist – Café des Fleurs and even front page sponsor photographer Jake Morley, it’s like RMW were actually there on the day.

Come on let’s take a look.

Timeless Couture East Midlands 50s Style Wedding Dress Bride

Coastal Vibes

Annabel The Bride:We got married at The Town Hall in Rye, East Sussex. We had spent a very special weekend in Rye a few years previously and not only did we fall in love with Rye, we fell in love with each other! Rye is a historic town set on a hill and it’s so pretty and unspoilt; as such we felt it was the perfect romantic venue for our wedding service. Plus my husband was born in East Sussex – down the road in Brighton so it made sense to us to get married in East Sussex where we spent so much our time courting!

Cafe Des Fleurs Wedding Florist Nautical Wedding Bouquet Blue Bridesmaid Dresses

After the ceremony, we made our way back to The Gallivant in Camber Sands, a ten minute drive away in a Morris Minor called ‘Molly’ from Premier Wedding Cars. The Gallivant is a boutique hotel which lies at the base of the sand dunes in Camber. We loved its chic coastal inspired interior and the fact it had a really laid back beach vibe; we didn’t want anything too formal. Plus we only threw a small wedding so the size was perfect.

But the primary reason for us choosing the venue was the fact that you could have the reception on the beach which we thought was really unique thing for a wedding in the UK! They have recently won ‘Best Wedding Venue – London and the South East’ which was no surprise to us as the team there are brilliant; lovely efficient staff, amazing food; great décor.

Monsoon Blue Bridesmaid Dresses Reiss Groom Suit

Just Like Marilyn

My inspiration was Marilyn Monroe who I’ve always loved as she has a curvy figure like me! I wanted to feel glamorous and pretty and I felt Marilyn summed that up. My hair was styled by my hairdresser Ian that had done my hair in London for about five years. I didn’t trust anyone else on my big day!

Timeless Couture Bridal Boutique East Midlands 1950s Wedding Dress

I trained as a make up artist so I did my own make up. Like most brides I wanted to be natural plus it was the summer so I wanted it to be very light. I use MAC make up primarily as it’s got great staying power. On the day I used Lancome Teint Miracle which is really light but gives great coverage. I also use Clarins Beauty Flash (amazing base and gives great glow!) and Yves Saint-Laurent Touche Eclat for under the eyes and spots etc. Things were fairly stressful in the run up to the big day (especially thinking about the weather!) and so these were greatly needed!

Rye Town Hall Weddings Timeless Couture Bridal Gown Vintage Wedding Car

I used Essie nail polish which has got so many great colours; I stuck with a natural colour on my nails as I didn’t want anything too distracting and a pink on my toes to match my flowers. I actually took my own nail varnish when I went for a manicure which I think is a good tip as they don’t always have the colour you want and the polish is fresher too.

Timeless Couture

I chose Timeless Couture, designer and makers of vintage inspired wedding dresses. They are based in Derbyshire where I’m from originally and it was really nice to wear a bit of ‘home’ on my wedding day! I looked everywhere for a dress including boutiques in London. I could not find anything I really loved plus I was looking for a short dress and at that time there were not many about (although this year I think it would be a lot easier as they seem to be more popular now).

Coastal Beach Wedding Inspiration The Gallivant East Sussex

I wanted a short 50’s style dress as firstly it tied in my Marilyn inspired look but also because I didn’t want to worry about it on the beach. I also wanted to have a good dance and I didn’t want to be bogged down in a long dress! I had a strong idea on what I wanted and Timeless Couture did an amazing job of turning my ideas into a reality. So much so that I nominated them for ‘Best Regional Wedding Dress Designer – East Midlands’ and they won! I was delighted as they are lovely talented ladies who made the whole process so wonderful.

Mixing It Up

I pretty much got everything from Timeless Couture; I had a bespoke corset made which made me feel amazing. I am a 32F so getting a strapless bra that was supportive enough was impossible. Also it sucked me in and took inches off my waist so that was a major plus point too!

I also bought Rachel Simpson shoes from Timeless Couture. They were very plain and to fit in with my beach theme I commissioned a shoe clip made up of shells brought back by my Mum from holiday. Again the shoe clip was made by the ladies at Timeless Couture.

Jake Morley Wedding Photography

I also bought a short veil from them, again in a 50’s style to match the dress. I didn’t think I would have a veil but I felt it gave the civil ceremony more of a sense of occasion and I thought I’ll only wear a veil once so why not just go for it!

Finally for the evening, I changed out of my detachable lace top and into a cream cardigan from L.K. Bennett and added a diamond/sapphire necklace borrowed from my Mum. I wanted to change into something a little sexier for the evening and I felt this was a bit different.

Blue Toile

The bridesmaids wore dresses by Monsoon. I really liked the blue and white ‘bone china’ print which I felt fitted into our beach theme but also had an ‘Englishness’ about which seemed to marry with the whole location of the day. Plus the cut was quite 50’s too and again that connected to the style of my dress. The white pointed shoes (very in for summer 2012!) were from Next and my Mum made the belts.

The Gallivant Wedding Venue Beach Coastal East Sussex

My husband wore a gorgeous blue suit from Reiss which had a lovely summery vibe about it and made him look very handsome! In fact everything was from Reiss except the Ray Ban sunglasses and nautical themed cufflinks I bought him for him as a wedding present.

Keeping Things Local

We chose a local florist in Rye called Café des Fleurs. We wanted an informal look to the flowers to fit in with the laid back vibe of the wedding and we wanted seasonal flowers which you could find on the coast at that time of year to create a really natural look. We chose blue, whites and pinks to fit in with the theme and we also added a splash of yellow as to bring a little bit of sunshine into things! We knew nothing about flowers so they suggested all the flowers and we were thrilled with the end result.

Cafe Des Fleurs Wedding Florist Rye The Gallivant Wedding Venue Beach

We did not have any flowers at The Town Hall as that was very historic building; it was beautiful in its own way and we felt it did not need any additional decorating (lots of portraits and guilt everywhere!).

At The Gallivant, we had lovely jars of flowers on the table and big jugs of flowers on the bar etc. My Mum brought down lots of plants so we had Yukkas outside the marquee (they looked like mini palm trees) and some lovely personalised planter boxes outside the hotel entrance which looked great. These were from Bow in Matlock, Derbyshire.

Dance Me To The End Of Love

The best parts of the ceremony were obviously the vows but also the two readings as they really personalised the civil ceremony. We chose ‘Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton; a love story about two dinosaurs which had a lots of parallels to us and got some giggles. We also chose ‘Dance me to the end of Love’ by Leonard Cohen. We chose this as not only were the words very apt and beautiful but also because we used to play the version sung by Madeline Peroux a lot when we first got together. It was very emotional! We had so compliments about the readings.

Among other songs, for the signing of the register we had ‘Beautiful Day’ by Elbow which we felt was quite grand and gave the event a sense of occasion and we walked out to ‘Home’ by Edward and the Magnetic Zeros which again we chose both because of the lyrics and the fact it was a really celebratory upbeat song to finish the ceremony on.

For the beach reception we booked ‘New Orleans Dixie Jazz Band’ from Warble Entertainment. As it was a small wedding (40 or so people) we wanted to add atmosphere and having the band on the beach (and later over our main course) was really wonderful!

Blue Floral Toile Bridesmaid Dress Monsoon

For the band later we chose a band from Ear Candy which we highly recommend called ‘The Somebodys’. They totally rocked! We were dancing all night; I don’t think I got off the dance floor! For our first dance we chose ‘Let’s Stay Together’ because we loved the sentiment (‘through the good, the bad, the happy and sad’) and also because Pulp Fiction is one of our favourite films. We were going to do ‘Teenage Wedding’ by Chuck Berry and do the dance that Uma Thurman and John Travolta did but we thought that would be taking things a bit far!!

A Decadent Beach Picnic

The Gallivant does amazing food which is all locally sourced. That was one of the reasons we chose the venue. For the reception (really it was more of a beach picnic all be it with lots of champagne and beach cocktails!) we had delicious ‘canapes’ consisting of lots of yummy things including wild boar sausage rolls (went down well with the men especially!).

For the wedding breakfast, we had a mixture of fish and lamb for the starters and main (from the adjacent Romney Marshes) and for the pudding crème brulee. The food was incredible and many of our guests said it was the best food that’d had a wedding so that was great.

Timeless Couture 50s Wedding Dress Reiss Groom Suit Blue

The cake was from M&S so very good value and my Mum and I customised it the day before with blue ribbons and shells. At about 11pm, we had BBQ sausages/hot dogs; that was really fun and also quite vital at that stage to soak up some of the alcohol!

A Dream Theme

The whole theme was kicked off by our save the date card, invite and wedding website all of which was created by Webdesignology which set the tone and colour theme for the whole day.

Since The Gallivant is a coastal venue, it already possessed so many decorative touches that were in keeping with our theme but we did add a lot of our own personal touches such as bunting (made by Mum!), plants and signage. I really wanted to add pink to the blues and white tones as I felt this was a romantic colour and softened the whole look.

In terms of ‘favours’, we had a traditional sweet display (we spent about six months collecting all the jars from various junk shops and bought all our favourite sweets from when we were kids) as we felt that added to the English seaside vibe. Everyone helped themselves the next day and took some away in cute little stripy paper bags.

Jake Morley Wedding Photography Wales

The table plan was created out of a map of Rye set onto a cork notice board and then we designed postcards and set them out for each table. The numbers on the board were reflected by the numbers we applied to some mini beach houses which we’d bought on a visit to Hastings. We also bought more candles, bunting and plants.

Just The Two Of Us

My most special moment was after the ceremony. We had about half an hour of photography together. It was just the two of us and it felt so special to enjoy that moment together away from everyone and digest what had just taken place! Also the beach reception was probably be my favourite bit as our nearest and dearest were there and it turned about to be a lovely sunny day so that was a fantastic feeling!

I would say don’t feel you have to do everything by the book. For example we had two speeches; my maid of honour gave a speech and also the best man (it helped that they were married to each other!); why does the best man just have to do a speech?! It was so special and meaningful to have them both do a speech.

Also try not to stress about things on the day. At that stage everything is organised to a T and your venue will take care of everything so just try and enjoy it as much as possible because it goes so quickly. I know that this is easy advice to give not but not so easy to do though!

Ear Candy Live Wedding Band

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – The Gallivant
Make-up – Wild Cherry Hair
Boutique – Timeless Couture
Groom – Reiss
Flowers – Café des Fleurs
Cake – Marks And Spencer
Jazz Band – The Somebody’s via Ear Candy
Band – New Orleans Dixie Jazz Band via Warble Entertainment
Transport – Premier Wedding Cars
Photographer – Jake Morley Photography

If it’s even possible to choose, the image of Annabel and Darren cuddling on the beach is my favourite.

It’s raw, it’s intense, it’s up close and personal.

In that moment, it’s all about those two and nobody else. Swear to me folks that you’ll take time to have a private minute or two with your beau – it’s the best feeling in the whole darn world.


All my love Lolly xxx

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A Moment To Be Alone.

John Day Photography

This really is one of the loveliest wedding reports I’ve read so if you can get 5 minutes with a cuppa to sit and read Leonie’s words as well as look at the stunning photography from Love Lust List member John Day I promise you will fall in love with her wedding story.

With a professional florist as a Mum the flowers really are beautiful. And you get a real sense of the entire day, from Leonie setting up the wedding breakfast in her dressing gown to dancing the night away to a band she’d known for over 10 years.

There are perfectly mis-matched bridesmaids and beautiful flower girls. The cake is also pretty flippin’ cool.

Dan and Leonie got married at The Rectory Hotel in Malmsbury in April last year.

Here is their story.

A moment to be alone

Leonie The Bride: I found my dress in the very first shop I went into, Caroline Castigliano. My mum, sister and I were welcomed with a glass of champagne and regardless of the fact it was an 11am appointment we were happy to toast such an exciting day. The manager was wonderful; the shop was ours for as long as we needed and I tried on around 12 dresses, starting with huge ‘princess’ dresses, slowly working my way down in scale. When I tired on ‘the one’ I’m afraid I lived the cliché; we all cried and I knew instantly that it was meant to be (and typically cliché it was way over budget.) The multitude of delicate ivory lace gave it a feminine vintage feel, whilst the cluster of diamantes below the bust line added some glamour.

Diamantes couldn’t be any less ‘me’, but with a cathedral length veil the dress was toned down and I felt every bit of the bride I wanted to be. We visited another couple of shops that day, but I couldn’t shake ‘the one.’ Wary that it was over budget I promised myself (and my generous mother) that I would sell the dress as soon as we were married, but she knew then as well as I do now that I will never be able to part with it.

A moment to be alone

Something Borrowed

I fell in love with my veil (almost as much as my dress!) I felt particularly special shrouded in such delicate silk. I thought I’d be able to save money on the veil and so I investigated buying a second hand one; buying directly from a lady who makes them in Ireland; but none seemed to match the quality of the fine silk from Caroline Castiglinano so I ended up splurging there too. Unfortunately you get what you pay for in the veil department!

I bought my diamante hair-clip from Ardinglay antiques market – and bought 5 more for each of my bridesmaids! My tiara was my ‘something borrowed’ from my sister and was originally from Liberty. It felt very special to have something of hers with me all day.

A moment to be alone

The Perfect Balance

I was struggling to find suitable shoes. Thankfully I saw some adorable ivory heals on Rock My Wedding. Rachel Simpson shoes are the perfect balance of vintage glam, and the heals aren’t too high for dancing the night away (although admittedly mine were kicked off immediately after the first dance.) I bought mine from a gorgeous boutique in Soho called Fur Coat No Knickers.

A moment to be alone

Incredibly Thankful

I feel most comfortable with my hair up (because I have no patients and scruffy-up is my fallback position.) I had planned to go ‘curls loosely pinned up as if just been frolicking in field’ look, until I tried on the veil and for some reason the combination of a cathederal length veil and an ‘up do’ left me looking bald – which wasn’t the look I was particularly aiming for. So I had no idea what I was going to do until the day, when my wonderful makeup artist popped some curlers in my hair (as simple as that!) As soon as we had finished the wedding breakfast, I was whipped upstairs to take the veil off and pin my hair up; this took all of 30 seconds and I was thrilled. I was lucky enough to have my makeup done by one of my best friends who is a professional makeup artist for film and television. I had a trial the week before and I couldn’t believe the magic she can conjure! I was frightened of looking too ‘done up’ but she gave me a very natural look, and added a little more eye shadow in the evening – I was incredibly thankful to have my makeup artist on hand all day, and one of my best friends with me as I got ready in the morning. If anyone wants to save money by doing their own makeup, I’d avoid doing this as professional makeup artists have an incredible ability to ensure the makeup stays put all day, and it’s a very long day!

A moment to be alone

A Bunch For Everyone

In the floral department I am very lucky as my mum Lizzie is an incredible professional wedding florist (she even did the televised ‘BT wedding’ commercial where Chris Marshall finally gets hitched to the girl he met in a lift… remember that one?!) For someone who can make huge, elaborate, painstakingly well crafted centre pieces, I was relieved that she was happy to go with my request for ‘flowers that look like they’ve been picked from a field and thrown together in mismatched vases.’ Mum had a collection of vases for me to go through, as well as some original 1950s milk bottles, some jars, zinc troughs and wooden boxes and we selected them based on a loose colour theme of dirty pink, sage green and duck egg blue. I wanted nothing too manicured or pruned, just natural and so so beautiful; I wanted flowers-flowers everywhere; I wanted the rooms in the Rectory to smell of rose beds; I wanted it to look like a field in the sunshine, and it really did. There was 6 vases on each table; troughs of bedded flowers in the conservatory; flowers hanging from green vines on the ceiling; rose petals on the floor and dripping from the cheese cake; my beautiful niece and flower girl had a head band of fresh flowers. And at the end of the day there wasn’t a flower left in the building as mum wrapped a bunch for each and every person. Lucky us.

A moment to be alone

My Beautiful Girls

I went a bit leftfield with my bridesmaid dresses. Although matching dresses can look divine, I felt like it would give the impression of formality and tradition, which is what I was desperately trying to avoid. I’m lucky enough to have friends with very different personal styles and I wanted everyone to feel comfortable on the day, and themselves. I wanted to see each of my beautiful girls just as they are, not stuffed into a uniform that would disguise them. So, I asked that each of them find a dress in a ‘dirty pink, cream or brown’ in exactly the style that they like the most and I think it worked out perfectly.

My husband wore a very dashing, made to measure three piece suit from Reiss. His two brothers also wore suits from Reiss, as well as matching ties. Dan has a collection of around 50 pocket squares, so as a homage to Dan, they all wore Reiss pocket squares and looked very dapper indeed. I can’t begin to describe the moment I first saw Dan as he waited for me at the end of the aisle… breathless. We held it together for about 2 minutes but after that we pretty much sobbed throughout the ceremony. It was a very wet day! It didn’t stop pouring outside and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A moment to be alone


Our photographer was fantastic – another Rock My Wedding find! As soon as I went onto John Day’s website I knew he was just who we were looking for. It was so important to us to find the right person, who could capture the day in such a way that means that for the rest of our lives, when we look at the pictures, we can be transported back there, time and again. His reportage style captured treasured moments, without us ever having to pose, or force a smile, or be taken away from our guests for hours on end. He snapped away whilst I was getting ready with the girls, with Dan and his friends in the pub, whilst my sister and I had a pre-wedding tearful hug, when Dan and I held each other for the first time alone as man and wife – John was there, but we barely even noticed. To me, his work is natural, emotive, honest, artistic, unique and he is as charming as his work.

A moment to be alone


Dan and I both love cheese; selfishly we decided that we would prefer to eat cheese than cake so it was an easy decision to make – a cake of cheese! We went to our lovely local cheese monger Hamish Johnston and enjoyed a delicious tasting session. The cheese proved incredibly popular whilst the band was taking a break and everyone needed re-fuelling.

I knew which band I wanted ten years before I’d met Dan! When I was at Uni my friends and I loved dancing to Mowgli, who were all Music students at the time. And years later they are incredibly successful and have been invited to play at weddings around the world – including at sisters wedding where I didn’t stop dancing ALL night. They lived up to my expectations and more and even though it was a small wedding, the dance floor was heaving!

A moment to be alone

Impromptu Moments

We struggled to find a first dance as our favorite songs all seems to be a bit inappropriate for the occasion. So instead of going for something with a ‘cool factor’ we went for a song that we found ourselves singing along to together years before – ‘Everlasting Love’. Our wonderful band learned it especially for us, and as the chorus kicked in, everyone around us began to dance. Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ is a favorite song of ours (New York being one of our all time favorite places) and when the band played it during their second set we had an impromptu ‘first dance’ moment. Everyone gathered round us in a circle and sang their hearts out to us as we spun round in the middle. That will remain one of my most treasured memories of our day – a moment that was entirely unplanned but meant so very much.

A moment to be alone

The Hangover

My Mum and all her wonderful friends collected antique cup and saucer trios for months before the wedding so that we could give each girl at the wedding a lovely memento of the day. It took quite some time (and a lot of ‘antiquing’) to find enough, as complete trios are hard to come by. Aware that the boys would be a lot less sentimental, we made them ‘Hangover Kits’ containing essentials such as Paracetamol, cans of coke and chocolate. The night before the wedding my bridesmaids and I spent hours packaging them up, which was a hangover in itself!

A moment to be alone

Pretty Perfect

Being incredibly lucky to have a wedding florist for a mum, she was able to bring a lot of magical touches to the décor, including home made bunting, wooden hearts, lace ribbon, candles and an incredibly array of containers. There was a bird theme running through the wedding. Dan and I fell in love with and bought a beautiful original bird print and I got this design made into a rubber stamp. So, anything that couldn’t move – was stamped, from the stationery to the table plans; even the hangover kits were branded.

We wanted the beautiful venue to feel like home so we filled it with as many personal touches as we could, including framed pictures of our friends and family. We fell in love with our venue, the Rectory Hotel, because of its unique, bold and creative décor, so our canvas was pretty perfect to begin with.

A moment to be alone

Stick To Each Other Like Glue

The Rectory Hotel and all their staff were simply incredible. Their attention to detail was thorough and the wedding planner was dedicated to responding and meeting our every need in a laid back and sincere approach. No task was too great for them, even when my friends were ordering unusual cocktails at 3am! My advice to brides to be is to find a venue that you love and the rest will follow.

We spent a full weekend at The Rectory before we made our decision – we ate the delicious food which is all sourced from local suppliers; took a look in every single bedroom; sampled the wine; spent a good few hours in the local pub – and never wanted to leave. And now we have an excuse to return there every year for our anniversary!

Everyone will tell you how fast the day will fly by, and it really does – find a moment to take a breath, look around the room at all your amazing friends and family who have made your day, and pinch yourself that it has all come together perfectly. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Who cares if your napkins don’t match the particular hue of green you spent hours perfecting on your invites – none of that really matters – what matters is that you are marrying the man you love, so whatever you do, please stick to each other like glue throughout the day, and find a moment to be alone, to thank each other for the best day of your lives.

A moment to be alone

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – The Rectory Hotel
Boutique – Caroline Castigliano
Shoes – Rachel Simpson
Flowers – Lizzie Moreton
Grooms Suit – Reiss
Photographer – John Day Photography
Cake – Hamish Johnston

How simply lovely is that! And if you take anything away from it I think it should be ‘what matters is that you are marrying the man you love’.

Nothing else in the world really matters.

Happy happy Monday to you all.