Rachel Simpson Shoes

Katie & Stephen
Katie & Stephen
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
Short off the shoulder lace prom wedding dress with Rachel Simpson Shoes for an intimate ceremony in Northumberland with home grown flowers and groom in French Connection suit.
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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.

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_0001

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.

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_0003

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.

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_0004

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.

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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.

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_0007

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.

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_0008

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.

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_0009

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.

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_0010

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.

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_0011

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.


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Miami Glamour.

Assassynation Photography

Lorna and Paul hold Miami South Beach in Florida very close to their hearts. For one, they love the architecture of the place, the Art Deco vibe and Old Hollywood influences but it’s also where they first holidayed together as a couple.

It’s also where they chose to get married too – at the beautiful Spanish Monastery with the most wonderful gardens. Apparently it was love at first sight.

And that’s not all…they partied on down at The Tides, South Beach – an iconic 1930’s building that screams Hollywood glamour. Beginning with a Cocktail hour complete with signature pink concoctions and a gorgeous meal they then danced the night away on the rooftop of The Tides until the early hours.

I know…immense.

Assassynation Photography Miami

Timeless Couture

Lorna The Bride: I always knew I wanted a shorter styled, vintage dress. After visiting a couple of bridal shops I realised they weren’t quite what I’d had in mind. I thought about having a dress made for me but didn’t know where to start. Then I went to a vintage wedding fayre with a friend and stumbled upon two lovely designers from Timeless Couture. I actually began to feel excited while talking to them about my ideas. Like it was meant to be.

I loved the idea of having a dress that was the 1950’s full skirt that I loved, but with something extra. The idea of being able to have a train which I could then put up later on really appealed to me. We went a tad mad with the details!

I also decided on a lace jacket, which again, would be taken off later on in the day – it all had the feel of old Hollywood Glamour. I took some inspiration for the jacket from Marilyn Monroe’s Wedding dress top. The cut out at the front, down to a really flattering sweet heart neck. I LOVED my wedding dress. We even managed to add in a huge over the top sized bow – which again I fell in love with, for another look later on in the evening.

The plan was, train down, lace jacket on and no jewellery for the service – very demure and glam. Then afterwards once back in the hotel, the jacket would come off making it a strapless gown. The train would also be pinned up so it was bustled at the back and accessorised with the oversized bow and my gorgeous 3 strand pearl necklace, which I’d had my heart set on since Paul asked me to get married.

Timeless Couture Bespoke Wedding Dress

After the design process with the dress, a veil was just too much, and I knew the kind of vintage hair up I wanted, so went for a vintage style hair comb from Glitzy Secrets.

I really wanted a three strand pearl necklace, the style with an off centred old brooch on the side. I looked and looked, but struggled to find one that was just right. Then Rachael and Astra from Timeless Couture offered to make one for me, it was perfect. Once I took the jacket off, with the strapless dress and hair up look, the statement necklace worked brilliantly. As a wedding gift, Paul brought me some beautiful small pearl earrings, which again, just set everything off.

Art Deco

I opted for Rachel Simpson shoes in the ‘Carmen’ style; it was like they had been designed just for ME! Art Deco inspired and shaped at the front, T-bar, peep toe, and to make it all the more perfect, dusky pink colour side panels on the front design!

I knew I wanted to go for a statement up-do, with lots of height, but something a bit different to a classic chignon. The hairdressing salon in Miami I used was Van Michael; this was for me, and the four bridesmaids. The make-up artist who understood completely the style I was striving for was Lee Murray.

Spanish Monastery Miami

The Flower Bazaar

I wanted the flowers to really reflect the theme. All along, I wanted Hydrangeas, massive open tea Roses in colours of dusky pink and antique buff pinks. I did some research and found The Flower Bazaar; Leo helped make the whole process wonderfully creative. It was great to have such freedom to choose, and we went to meet him the day before the wedding and actually picked the blooms ourselves.

I wanted all the women to have wrist corsages, again evoking an vintage glamorous theme. The men wore buttonholes of roses and the bridesmaids had Rose pomanders for that 50’s kind of feel which were beautiful.

A Slim-Suited Groom

Paul looked SO handsome standing waiting for me at the Monastery. He knew he wanted to go for a slim Italian 1960’s style suit and after having looked around, fell for a Ben Sherman vintage cut slim fit suit in grey. He wore the same tie as all the other men and his dad’s pocket watch.

Old Hollywood Glamour Wedding

I also brought him silver mother of pearl cufflinks for the wedding present. He brought shoes from Dune, which had a grey panelling in the front in a Brogue kind of style.

The Perfect Fit

Photographs are SO important to Paul and I; we are ALWAYS snapping away. We knew we wouldn’t be able to have our camera going and taking our own snaps on our wedding day, so we wanted someone who could take the kinds of pictures we’d want to see (if that makes sense).

The Flower Bazaar Florist Bouquet Miami

Sassy of Assassynation – what can I say- if ever there were a photographer that was just the ‘perfect fit’ this would have been it. Her images were brilliant, and she just ‘got it’. We met Sassy a few months before the wedding for a mini photoshoot with Tegan our 2 year daughter and we all clicked. Then when it came to the actual day in Miami, she made us feel so confident, and the whole process was fun. (Even walking onto the beach, in my beautiful, clean dress, which I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do – now I’m so pleased we did!)

The Cheesecake Factory

Paul is a huge chocolate fan… and cake fan! Over in America they have The Cheesecake Factory! Literally Paul’s favourite place, ever! We knew we’d be having a traditional wedding cake here at the UK party. So for the Miami wedding we opted for two cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory. We placed the cakes on a two tiered wedding stand we got from Ebay which we took out there with us. It was huge, and packing it was a mission, but I’m glad we did. The cheesecakes went down really well too!

Miami Beach Wedding Timeless Couture Dress

Get On Your Dancing Shoes

We knew we were having a band at the UK wedding party, but we LOVE to dance; it’s not a party until you have your dancing shoes on. For the Miami rooftop terrace, Paul and I collated all of our favourite songs on his iPod which we played to our guest. It worked brilliantly, and we were still up with a few of our friends dancing until 4am – which is always a good sign of a party!

Rooftop Contemporary Wedding Miami

We booked a Harpist to play at the Monastery, for when the guests arrived, and for the service. We sourced the brillant harpist – Nam Wam from The Master Musicians. We chose ‘Here comes the Sun’ for the walk down the aisle, and this brought tears to my eyes. Our two year old daughter walked me down the aisle and it really felt like Paul was at the bottom of the aisle waiting for his two girls to come to meet him to complete our family and become ‘The Websters’.

American Inspired Favours

We got all of the men the slim ties as favours, but these were to wear on the day. So we also brought them fat cigars, to have on the roof top terrace with after dinner cocktails. The ladies received a really cute mirror from Not On The High Street and a champagne flavoured lip balm tin. The kids all got New Era American Baseball caps – which seemed appropriate given the destination USA wedding. On top of this we also bought Marvel comics for the boys and Disney Princess Wedding colouring books for the girls.

The Tides Miami Wedding Reception

The Final Touch

We had Mason jars with pink Hydrangeas in for the pew ends in the Monastery and the same style for the table top in the restaurant. We also took china tea cups with candles in with us from the UK, and placed them along the table. There were also large glass hurricane lanterns with candles all around the restaurant and up on the roof top terrace. I also hired pink up lighters to be dotted around the roof top, as it was dark when we went up there, I need some atmospheric lighting. The soft hues of the pink worked really well.

The Tides Miami Wedding Reception

Think Pink

Our wedding theme was ‘Old glamour / Old vintage in all shades of pink, blush, dusky rose, deepest dark pink, raspberry. We didn’t have a set decade really as we took inspiration from a few decades including the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s. I really wanted the theme of the wedding to be carried through into the guests, and due to it being such a small group of really close friends and family; it seemed like a great idea to include everyone in the wedding party. I asked, in a nice way, for all the women to wear shades of blush, dusky pink, wine, raspberry, etc – any style they wanted and in any way, but these kinds of tonal colours.

Rooftop Contemporary American Wedding Reception

It was such an intimate wedding, with only twenty-seven guests. I really wanted the bridesmaids to wear the same colour as me leaving the wedding guests to create the ‘colour’ for the day. I wanted the bridesmaids to wear mini versions of my dress really, minus the train, but they didn’t exist. Finally I visited a bridal shop called Wedding House Walsall, looking for the younger girls dresses. Once I’d explained what I was looking for, the assistant disappeared out the back and brought me an original 1950’s dress pattern. She said she had had it for ages, and was planning on making it at some point, but that she had nothing for me to see, just the pattern, which she’d make for my two eleven year old bridesmaids if I wanted her too. We went for it, altering the neck line slightly to be more ‘Audrey Hepburn slash neck’ and adding in some piping under the bust. They worked amazingly well.

We involved all the children in wedding roles, as pageboys, ushers and ring bearers and brought them all grey fitted suit trousers and waistcoats. It was important for there to be a real family feel to the ceremony, so children being able to move and partake was important.

Assassynation Photography

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Ceremony: Spanish Monastery
Reception: The Tides, Miami
Dress: Timeless Couture
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hair: Van Michael
Florist: The Flower Bazaar
Groom: Ben Sherman
Photographer: Assassynation

Isn’t the light in Miami delicious. I just love the idea of dancing the night away on the top of a rooftop looking over a dazzling city.

I think what I love most though is the way that Lorna really involved her nearest and dearest in her big day. From designating each kid their very own special role in the running of the day to creating her colour theme through her guest’s outfits, this is a bride that wants to include everybody.

If that isn’t love then I don’t know what is.

Lorna and Paul, I salute you.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Bowl Me Away.

Lee Robbins Photography

Another week, another EPIC car. Honestly folks I’m incredibly lucky in that I get to share the most amazing weddings with you and Steph and Andy’s gorgeous contemporary city affair is no exception.

Steph and Andy married on a gloriously sunny day at Stoke Newington Town Hall last year before moving onto their drinks reception at Clissold House and finally their reception & party at Shoreditch House.

Chic, unique and utterly stylish, this wedding is my idea of heaven. Not only is Steph’s dress the perfect balance of whimsy and luxe but she also manages to match her exquisite bouquet to the colour of her wedding transport. I know – immense!

And I haven’t even told you about the bowling yet.

You are going to die when you see what’s in store.

Jenny Packham Aspen Wedding Dress


Steph The Bride: I tried on several vintage dresses before trying on the Aspen by Jenny Packham. It has a gorgeous vintage feel with luxurious embellishment across the waist, a lacy back, capped sleaves and a silk train which I loved!

Cad and the Dandy Wedding Suit

I also chose the Jenny Packham ‘Onda’ headpiece as I loved the way it had hanging diamantes and chains that created movement so that it constantly sparkled! I also wore a simple bracelet and earrings for the finishing touch; the dress had so much detail that I didn’t want to overdo it!

Robbins Photographic wedding photography

I also wore a pair of ivory satin Rachel Simpson shoes. They reminded me of the 1920s with their art-deco inspired t-bars and two-toned fan shaped detail in pale rose suede and metallic champagne leather.

Hollywood Glamour

I opted for Hollywood glamour inspired curls by Anita at Pimps and Pinups. I didn’t want my hair up as I would have felt too formal so just simple curls and my headpiece was the perfect compromise.

Jenny Packham Onda Headpiece

The lovely ladies at MAC did my make up for free!

Scarlet And Violet

Flowers were really important to us and Scarlet & Violet did a truly amazing job!

We wanted relaxed, old fashioned English garden flowers including Roses, Peonies, Delphiniums, Sweet Peas, Hydrangeas which are my favorite flowers, herbs, Waxflowers and seasonal foliages.

Vintage Wedding Car

We chose flowers in pale tones through to deep pinks, lilacs and purples. The tables were decorated with a series of pressed glass vases and bottles of different sizes and shapes that were filled with all the English summer garden flowers named above along with Stocks, Larkspur, Alchemilla and herbs.

Jenny Packham Aspen Dress

We also had candles burning in pressed glass tea lights everywhere to complement the beautiful flowers… that was all we needed on the decor front.

No Fixed Schemes

There was no fixed colour scheme, my older bridesmaid wore a vintage dress, the little one wore a Monsoon dress and the gents wore blue suits.

Shoreditch House Wedding Venue

Andy had his suit made by Cad and the Dandy, it was completely hand-stitched and fitted him like a dream

Laughter And Love

We didn’t want the formality of regular wedding photographers with loads of posed photographs as they always look a bit stiff and odd! I wanted someone that caught moments as they happened.

Robbins Photographic

We chose Lee Robbins and he did an amazing job. It sounds cheesy but he really did catch the laughter and love that filled our day!

No Fruit Cake Here

We had three different cakes from Violet which is a local cake shop where we live in Hackney. We had salted caramel chocolate, Victoria Sponge and carrot cake displayed on vintage cake stands; no fruit cake here!

London Shoreditch Wedding

For favours, we made our own boxes which we filled with old fashioned sweeties, bubbles and rock and name tags which we tied around the boxes with coloured twine (which made for handy name tags later in the night!)

Bowling After Dinner

Our evening entertainment consisted of bowling after dinner, then we had the Blue Attic band who played some classic crowd-pleasers followed by our friend Anthony Coleridge who DJ’d us through the rest of the night!

Shoreditch House Wedding Reception

Our first dance was an Al Green classic – Let’s Stay Together – because it’s just a gorgeous song. If I’m being honest, we wanted La Ritornelle by Sebastien Tellier but it’s a little difficult for a band to perform! So Al was our other choice!

A Big Italian Feast

We didn’t do the whole traditional choose your meal six months prior to the wedding thing! Instead we recommend thinking outside of the traditional culinary box.

Cad and the Dandy Blue Suit

We wanted a big Italian feast instead, so Shoreditch House was perfect as they serve all the food to the tables on huge platters leaving guests to choose what they eat; I completely recommend it.

And mainly… have fun!

Shoreditch House Wedding Reception

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Reception Venue: Shoreditch House
Brides Dress: Jenny Packham
Hair: Pimps And Pinups
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Flowers: Scarlet And Violet
Groom: Cad And The Dandy
Photography: Robbins Photographic
Cake: Violet
Band: Blue Attic Band

I know. Amazing, right?

So which of you lovely lot have already pinned Steph’s bouquet? I know I have – it’s already proudly preening itself on my floral fantasies board.

Understandably so because it is so gorgeous.

What I really adore about this wedding however is clearly how utterly smitten Andy is with Steph and how deeply she loves him back. It oozes from every photograph, evident in every embrace and glance that they share with one another.

And that’s what it’s all about right there, LOVE.

And folks, that’s all you really need.

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Glorious Menagerie.

Have you ever attended a wedding where you’re sitting next to a giraffe on one side and a lioness on the other?

Thought not. It sounds a bit like Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium doesn’t it but I promise you it’s real.

Today’s gorgeous wedding comes from the depths of the Oxfordshire countryside and took place earlier this year in a frankly spectacular venue that embodies British eccentricity at its very best.

I won’t reveal too much at this stage; instead I’ll leave it to our bride and groom’s wedding planner Julie Dawson from The Wedding Genie to give you all the juicy details.

The wonderful Jo Hastings was on hand to capture the classic beauty that epitomises this wedding.

The Quirkiest Venue In Town

Shellie and Mik wanted a wedding venue that reflected them totally. When we found Aynhoe Park on the Internet they knew it was the one. It was quirky, stylish, and the décor style was like the inside of Shellie’s own house.

There are stuffed polar bears, kangaroos wearing top hats drinking champagne as well as the biggest stone statue collection in Europe. All the rooms are different and decorated with tremendous flair.

The grounds are to die for to and it also had a helipad, which was fab as Mik surprised Shellie the morning after the wedding by booking one to take them off on honeymoon.

The whole house is available for exclusive use and was hired for the weekend. I have to say a huge thank you to Anna for her help on the day and during the planning. It truly is an amazing house. The orangery that was used for the ceremony is just to die for.

A Decadent Dress Journey

Wow what a journey to find “the dress.” Shellie wanted an Ian Stuart dress and the style she chose was super flamboyant to match her style and love of clothes. We went shopping twice for two full days and tried on nearly all the collection.

We loved one dress but Shellie just couldn’t decide. It was really tricky because she looked fabulous in all of them. To be on the safe side we tried a few more designers and then Shellie saw a stunning dress in a wedding magazine made by the Italian designer Le Spose Di Gio.

There is only one shop in the UK that sells this designer, which is in London in Belgravia. We spent a most splendid day there trying on many dresses. The one Shellie chose was from the new collection that had not been introduced yet. It was a totally different look from the Ian Stuart styles.

The colour was a nude blush pink and as soon as she put it on it looked divine and we knew it was the one. It was so simple but so chic and stylish and a total diversion from the clothes that Shellie normally wears. She instantly felt like a bride.

I have to say that Dina the lady who looked after us was superb. Nothing was too much trouble, in fact on the wedding day she came to the venue to dress Shellie and help make sure the dress looked perfect. In the evening we changed Shellie’s look slightly so that the part of the dress that wrapped around the shoulders for the day became a waist sash.

A veil used for the ceremony was removed after dinner.

Blush Pearls

The accessories were beautiful Shellie wore blush pink pearl oyster earrings specially made for the day that matched her dress perfectly, made by her local jewelers in Leamington Spa.

In fact all the bridesmaids had them made too as presents! I even got a pair as a thank you present to wear on the day as well as the Mothers of the bride and groom.

Not One Pair But Two

Shoes! A task that had Shellie searching for weeks. Shellie has a phenomenal eye for colour and her shoes had to be exactly the same as her dress. They also needed to be comfortable without being too high.

In the end we were delighted to be able to get some from Le Spose Di Gio to match perfectly, but a girl can never have enough shoes so Shellie had a wonderful pair from Rachel Simpson too.

Hair Art

Shellie had her own hairdresser but unfortunately she was going to be away for the wedding. My brief from Shellie was to find her the best there is. Straight away I went to Claire Hanson. I have always wanted to work with Claire, she is well known for working with celebrity wedding planner Sarah Heywood on the Wedding Bible.

Claire is one of the most likeable and professional people I have ever met. We had a fabulous day at her house for the hair and makeup trial. Shellie said she wanted hair art so Claire and Lisa styled her an up-do to die for.

Shellie wanted a look that was classical but emphasized her gorgeous eyes and lips. They spent ages getting it just right. On the day I thought Shellie looked like Grace Kelly.

A Chelsea Flower Show Winner

Shellie commissioned a Chelsea Flower show winner Sarah Horne to produce her wedding flowers. Sarah has a shop just down the road from Shellie’s house which was ideal. She is super talented and used to creating weddings that are out of the ordinary.

When we discussed the theme, Shellie wanted the table décor to reflect her quirky personality and flamboyant style. It was decided to dress each table differently. We had 10 tables and used 5 large candelabras that were dressed entirely differently. I hired these from the superb Bonne Fete.

Sarah wrapped moss around some and entwined crystals on others. They were completely covered in flowers to match the blush pink theme. We had a spare bridesmaids dress which was cut into strips and woven into the décor.

Sarah used some of the dress material from Shellie’s wedding dress too. The results were spectacular. We also had 5 smaller lower centerpieces of various vintage crystal vases on cake stands and trays.

The bridal flowers were roses which are Shellie’s favourite and matched perfectly. The bridesmaids had one huge rose in the same colour that Sarah made. All were wrapped with the dress material to tie everything together.

To really create a wow factor and again reflect Shellie’s hobbies, Sarah dressed two antique mannequins which belong to Shellie in flowers. One wore an actual flower dress with wings made out of wire with flowers that were attached throughout. The second wore a waistcoat of flowers.

I placed them on glass tables (courtesy of my lounge) to make them appear to float. They looked spectacular in the ceremony room, then later we moved them either side the bar area.

Girls In Rose Dresses

When I met Shellie, the first thing she said to me was the style was not to be anything vintage! Much like the wedding dress being a total departure from Shellie’s style so was the theme. She fell in love with some vintage style dresses from Phase Eight which were pink, grey and cream. There were large roses on them which matched Sarah’s roses perfectly.

We used a seamstress to add further petticoats underneath the dresses to make them stand out for maximum impact. She also added a trim of the same material around the lace petticoat on each dress as well as embroidering the labels of each of the men’s jackets with their names.

The sashes for the bridesmaids dresses were made from the same material as Shellie’s dress. The headpieces were also from Le Spose Di Gio to match perfectly and their shoes were a great find in L.K. Bennett.

Henley Regatta

The groomsmen all wore made to measure blazers with matching chino type trousers. The pageboys wore the same trousers with white shirts and gorgeous Hugo Boss cardigans. All the men wore brogues and the boys wore boat shoes.

The whole theme was very Henley Regatta. Every single thing that Shellie chose had to be the exact colour.

Mik wore a navy blue suit by Armani. It was his choice not to wear a tie to add to the overall scheme. He looked just gorgeous and the blue and blush pink together was just heavenly. The buttonholes were plain roses, chosen to match the bridesmaids.

A Romantic Photographer

When it came to choosing the photographer this was tricky. Mik is an excellent amateur photographer but Shellie hates her photo being taken.

Jo Hastings fitted the bill perfectly. Not only is she in love with shooting details at weddings but also she is one of the most gorgeous ladies to be around who makes you feel at ease right away.

She captures romance perfectly and has a laid back but superbly organized attitude. It was my job to ensure I found Mik and Shellie someone who could capture the essence of the day and show all the fabulous details we had spent the last six months putting into the wedding.

I think you can see from the images that we chose wisely.

Love Is A Warm Trombone

Shellie wanted someone to sing at the ceremony so I had no hesitation recommending Vie Watson. Her voice is divine and she looks amazing too. To surprise Mik, after the ceremony his nephew stood up and started to play ‘All you need is love’ on his trombone, just like Love Actually!

Vie sang with him, it was amazing and the guests loved it. The most funny thing was that you have to keep a trombone warm so it had to be wrapped in a water bottle and blankets throughout the ceremony.

We had rehearsals before the wedding with Vie, who incidentally is also a music teacher. During the champagne reception Vie sang Shellie and Mik’s favourite songs.

We had Jim McAllister, a Frank Sinatra style singer to start the evening off and then one of the best bands I know guaranteed to rock the evening – iPop. Suze is the lead singer and not only is she gorgeous but she can sing just about anything and is lovely with it.

A Chocolatey Confection

Shellie wanted a choccywoccydoodah cake. Mik wanted the exact version that was on the website – All you need is love – as this is one of their favourite records and sayings.

We knew the colours did not match our theme but we didn’t care. Mik loves chocolate so the inside was white chocolate truffle and dark chocolate truffle.

After the cake cutting, the cake was cut up and placed into containers that looked like Chinese take away boxes with a little metal handle tied with pink bows. These were finished off with tags from the lovely Elle Is For Love Stationery and given to guests as they were leaving.

In the evening, there was not only a fabulous cheese arrangement made by the caterers – Indulging – but also a hog roast and then ice-cream and old fashioned sweets to finish. These were served from a vintage ice cream van called Daisy. Shellie was thrilled because it was purple, to go with an private joke of hers and Mik – ‘forever in purple’.

Jim sang the first dance number “It had to be you” which was chosen by Mik and Shellie because it so relates to them. They had dance lessons too so the whole thing was gorgeous.

Eclectic Vintage

Apart from the fabulous flowers Shellie had gorgeous little flower arrangements made for all the rooms in the venue. I had labels made with their favourite sayings on them. Aynhoe Park is so full of the most wonderful items that you don’t really need much else. On the tables we hired vintage frames which held the table names.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the tables were called after shoes, another of Shellie’s loves. The stationery was simple letterpress and our table plan was provided by Elle for Love Stationery.

Aynhoe have the most spectacular mirrors so we had our table plan made on a vintage silver mirror to match.

This wedding totally reflected the personalities of the bride and groom. Every detail was well thought out to ensure their guests had the best time – even through dinner.

For the wedding breakfast, each table was served a fillet steak joint. A designated guest from each table was chosen to be the head carver and were given aprons and hats and carving knifes!

They really took part in the event and it was a super surprise for everyone too.

Pearls Of Wisdom

I strongly advise all brides and grooms to be to really enjoy yourself on your big day. Try to delegate and don’t worry about anything that goes wrong.

Don’t be swayed by what others want; it’s important that you choose what you want. Enlist a great team to help you too. The day does go by in a flash so savour every moment.

One last pearl of wisdom is get a great photographer, so when the day has long passed you can relive it again through your photographs.

Venue – Aynhoe Park

Wedding Planner – Julie Dawson – The Wedding Genie

Dress – Le Spose Di Gio

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Shoes – Le Spose Di Gio

Bridesmaid Dresses – Phase Eight

Bridesmaid Shoes – L.K.Bennett

Hair – Claire Hanson

Flowers – Sarah Horne

Photographer – Jo Hastings

Cake – Choccywoccydoodah

Stationery – Elle Is For Love

Candelabra Hire – Bonne Fete

Wedding Ceremony Singer – Vie Watson

Rat Pack Singer – Jim McAllister

Wedding Band – iPop

Frankly there are so many gorgeous details in this wedding I don’t know where to put myself.

Unicorns on pianos, military caps on lions, two pairs of wedding shoes, a twirling bride, the most exquisite bouquet of O’Hara roses, a trombone-playing nephew and shoe inspired tables have got me in a tizz.

I LOVE all of it.

So how many of you agree? What’s your favourite bit?

I’m placing bets that it’s the bouquet…am I right?

All my love Lolly xxx

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You’re All I Need To Get By.

I love this wedding. With a ruddy big capital ‘L’.

For one, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bride with such a cracking set of pins as Sophie has. Trust me if I had legs like hers I so would have worn a knee length frock too.

She also has the sweetest bow hair accessory that I have ever clapped eyes on and her dress had lace sleeves.

Oh to have lace sleeves.

And I haven’t even got started on the pistachio coloured cake complete with vintage cake topper or the homemade bar or the flamingo wallpaper yet.

Sophie and Tom got married in June 2012 at Salem Chapel, an eighteenth-century dissenters’ chapel in East Devon, and their reception was at Sophie’s parents’ house and in the village hall next door.

All this wonderful gorgeousness was captured by the lovely bundle of fun that is Anna Clarke.

A Slightly Reckless Spending Moment

I found my vintage 1960s dress at Fur Coat No Knickers. It was only the third that I tried on but unbelievably it looked such a lot like the dress that I had in my head.

I was set on having something short and quite simple in shape as floor-length and lots of fabric isn’t really my thing. I fell in love with the unusual swing back and the wide neckline.

The brilliant ladies at FCNK had to do some major alterations as the dress was too small, and at the same time they made the V on the back deeper, which I loved too.

In a slightly reckless spending moment I decided to have a change of clothes for the evening and bought a pistachio-green silk dress and some impractically high heels from Reiss. It was fun to change – like having a traditional going away outfit.

Hairbands And Veils

Fur Coat No Knickers also made my short bound veil and the bow hairband that I wore later in the day. The shoulder length of the veil seemed to go so well with the dress, and quite late on, in another spendthrifty impulse, I decided to have a hairband as well.

I’m really pleased that I did as it was so much easier eating and dancing and hugging everyone without a veil on.

I bought and returned two other pairs of shoes before settling on white, mid-height peep-toes by Rachel Simpson.

This was one of those wedding choices that I was stubbornly sure about. I didn’t want white shoes, I wanted them to be old, possibly gold – until I realised how perfectly a well-shaped pair of white shoes went with the dress.

They were incredibly comfortable too.

Smokey Eyes

My best friend Lara did my hair and make up. She always looks immaculately made up and I am a bit clueless about anything beyond eyeliner and mascara so I put myself in her hands.

We went to MAC one day, where I had a makeover, and we had a practice session or two before the wedding to replicate the look, which was fairly straightforward with smoky greys in the creases of my eyelids to make a soft version of the dramatic 60s eyeliner.

I didn’t do anything different with my hair, but it helped to have somebody else to straighten the back neatly for me! I should also thank the number of girlfriends who took it in turns to hold onto my lipstick and comb and regularly remind me to tidy myself up!

My Perfect Man

Tom wore a blue slim-fit Burberry suit, and apart from a sharp white shirt and a Burberry wool tie, he didn’t need any extras: he looked perfect.

A Profusion Of Blooms

The talented and generally delightful Abigail at Albert & Arthur made my beautiful blousy bouquet and the garlands that we had on several of the marquee poles.

In my bouquet there were peonies, British sweet peas (locally grown to Abigail in West Sussex), her own mint and sage, and Viburnum Opulus. In the pole arrangements were bombastic spray roses, hydrangeas, Viburnum Opulus, astilbe, more peonies, Abigail’s home-grown chamomile, and lots of herbs and foliage from our obliging neighbours’ gardens.

My mum and her friend made the table decorations with Sweet Avalanche roses that Abigail recommended and sourced for us (such a good tip of hers – they were like little sugary pink sculptures) and more pilfered foliage and herbs.

They put them in jam jars that I had collected and painted. Buttonholes were one of the wedding traditions that we didn’t feel very strongly about so we didn’t worry about those and splashed out a bit more on the other flowers instead.

Sugary Pinks

I didn’t have any bridesmaids and as we didn’t really want everything to be matching we didn’t ask Tom’s best men to wear any particular suit or colour.

The only part of the wedding that I had specific colours in mind was the village hall, which was such a funny-looking room that the decorations needed to be kind of over the top. I don’t think that elegant and completely tasteful would have worked in there!

I wanted it to look a bit camp and sugary so we had lots of pink, but everyone had a different plate (my mum and I collected them from charity shops and flea markets over a year or so) so there was some mismatching too.

Friendly Enthusiasm

We found Anna Clarke on a long Google search and loved the photos she had on her website. She had photographed a couple of weddings with a tone that made the pictures look a little bit old but without screaming vintage or looking too nostalgic.

I had a chat on the phone with her and was convinced by how friendly and enthusiastic she was, and even more so when she said that she didn’t stick rigidly to a particular style and to a certain extent let the look of the photos come naturally from the wedding itself.

We were also impressed by the fact that Anna’s husband Simon would come along as a second photographer: it really made a difference to how much of the day was recorded.

Grandma’s Fruit Cake

My grandma makes the best fruit cake so we had to have her make one for the wedding. And luckily a great friend of Tom’s sister is an expert homemade cake-maker and she did a wonderful job at icing the three individual cakes in pistachio-green, which I thought would go with all the flowers (and Tom didn’t want any more pink!).

She also got in touch with my florist without me knowing to arrange having the ribbon from my bouquet around the cakes and fresh peonies to decorate them. My mum found an adorable old cake topper too.

Love And Dedication

There were so many songs that we wanted played at the party that we had a DJ rather than a band. My brother’s friend played for the most of the night from a very long list that Tom gave him and a couple of our friends went on for the last couple of hours.

Our first dance was to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’, which has always been a song of ours in a way. The lyrics are about that old thing of ‘all you need is love’ but also like a set of beautifully expressed vows of dedication.

Just to really up the sentiment we asked a friend to make a film of photos of us from the last six years, which he projected on the side of the marquee behind us while we were dancing. He timed it to the music and interspersed the photos with lyrics from the song.

The same friend was filming some of the day on Super 8 so we have all these other great documents of the wedding to go with the photographs.

Quiz Time

We didn’t have any favours as we were never sure of anything that everyone would want to have, but we did have a quiz during dinner and gave away a CD of tracks from the wedding to the winners.

A Homemade Bar

For me, one of the best parts of planning the wedding was thinking about, making and finding the decorations, and then bringing it all together in the week before.

As the wedding was at my parents’ house we were lucky that we could pretty much do anything we liked and we really went to town!

I wouldn’t know where to start with all the things that my mum and I did, but one favourite was the decorations in the village hall, especially the plates we collected, the big paper lanterns I made out of lampshades and pink crepe paper, the flamingo wallpaper from Cole and Son that I put in panels on the wall behind the top table and the banners I made with the help of a kind crafty friend.

The other highlight was turning my parents’ garage into a bar. A good friend of mine made us an actual wooden bar, and we covered the walls in photos of friends and family, and a selection from the stag and hen parties.

Leave Nothing ‘Til The Last Minute

I think our wedding felt special to us, and I hope to our guests too, because so much of it was homemade, involved friends and family, or had some other personal element.

Sometimes it felt harder to organise almost everything ourselves, but as long as you leave enough time and ask favours of people who won’t mind helping, you can do it and it’s really worth it. My main piece of advice about a wedding like that would be to do as much as you can in the months before.

Don’t leave decorating jam jars, printing photos, making place settings and table numbers or other decorations until the final week, as these can all be done in advance and there is so much more to do in the days leading up to the wedding than you think!

Boutique – Fur Coat No Knickers

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Evening Outfit – Reiss

Florist – Albert and Arthur

Groom’s Suit – Burberry

Photographer – Anna Clarke

Did you see the flamingo wallpaper? How amazing is it!

I think I might have to purchase some for the downstairs loo…

On a more serious note, my favourite part of this wedding is observing the love that Sophie and Tom have for each other. It emanates from them, you can see it in their eyes and in the way they draw each other close into their own private world.

Congrats you two!

All my love Lolly xxx