The light in this Summery wedding will have you longing for Afternoon Tea, Pimms on the lawn and big blousey blush roses, so apologies in advance that it’s actually December and it’s freezing. The lovely Sarah Jane Ethan always gets sends us the prettiest weddings and this one is no exception.
Rachel & Mark tied the knot at the stunning Crook Hall, a new venue to me and I simply love it. Anywhere with mature gardens and abundance of blooms makes my heart skip a beat and according to Rachel, Crook Hall’s owners are as lovely as the place itself. Right, let’s take a look shall we?
Lily and Arthur’s rustic fusion wedding day at The Manor Barn in Harlton is beautiful with a capital B. In fact every time I look at the photographs from the wedding I fall more and more in love with the sublime imagery captured perfectly by John Hope Photography.
There is love, there is laughter, there are a whole heap of guests having ping pong fun and much more besides. I adore Lily’s dress – the Ulises design by Rosa Clará and I’m in lust with her exquisite peony and dahlia bouquet. And I haven’t even got started on the pinky orange table florals or THOSE cakes yet. This wedding is a dream!
“After dinner Ann our photographer bundled us into her car and off we went to climb a mountain. The brief minutes my husband and I had atop the Cairn O’Mount I will always treasure as a time to soak it all in, reflect on what we had committed to each other and what a wonderful day we’d had. If time allows then go on and sneak away for a few precious moments“
I couldn’t have said it better myself – Victoria and Mark have the most beautiful misty mountain portraits, not to mention the most amazing blooms known to man, a stunning castle setting and more love and laughter than you can shake a kilt at. This is a proper Scottish wedding with an abundance of style and sass – also, the bride had not one but TWO stunning gowns!
Anna and Nick married in a little church in Madrid in April 2012. The reception was at the Club Financiero Génova which is in the heart of the city.
Photography for this Delicious Destination city shindig was undertaken by the hugely talented by Pen and Cam at McKinley-Rodgers Photography.
Prepare to get super stylish in the city peeps…
I Was Made To Feel Like a Bride
My dress was from Rosa Clara and even though it is a Spanish designer I actually purchased my dress in the beautiful bridal boutique Mamfii Bridal here in the UK. I had planned to buy the dress in Madrid however once I stepped into Mamfii Bridal I just fell in love with the place and I was made to feel like a bride. In Spain I felt like cattle in a meat market when I stepped into the bridal shop. It made things simpler when it came to dress fittings having the dress in the UK. Also the staff at Mamfii seem to be trained in the art of wedding dress origami, they expertly gave me the dress in a hand luggage box!
The dress chose me. It’s incredible how different your shape can look in each dress. All I knew was that I wanted a matted material in a natural white. As soon as I tried this dress on it just felt…right.
Lace And Bling
I wore a lace bolero for the ceremony and a long cathedral veil with lace trim, both from Rosa Clara. I am glad I made the choice to have a bolero, I did feel quite exposed without it and for the church it just seemed a little bit more respectful. It also offered a different ‘look’ in the evening once I took it off.
I searched for weeks, much to my colleagues amusement, for the ‘perfect’ hair comb. I wanted something quite blingy (in contrast with my plain dress). I eventually found the comb from Donna Crain. It was blingy without being garish, well…I think so 🙂
Dance The Night Away
Nick and I are the same height so I chose some kitten heels from Dune. This also meant I could dance the night away. I think I would have been worried if I had worn higher shoes.
I am half Spanish and I inherited the crazy curls from my Spanish side. I chose to have my hair up in case of rain (thank goodness I did). I just knew that no amount of hairspray would control the frizz if it was humid. I chose two French braids on the side and an elaborate bun. Once it was in place I could forget about it and it was comfortable. The veil was also quite heavy and it needed the bun so it had something to support it.
I chose pink Peonies for the bouquets which were pretty voluptuous flowers however they do bruise very easily. I chose pastel hydrangeas for the church and brighter hydrangeas for the centerpiece. The venue was quite modern so we needed brighter stronger colours.
Let Go And Relax
We had a very loose colour scheme. I always felt that when everything matches exactly it does not feel organic. We tried keeping everything towards blues and pinks. This also made things easier because I could not be in Madrid for most of the planning and trying to describe the perfect colour blue down the phone or through email was not easy. Learning to let go and relax about specific concepts was the hardest part about planning a wedding abroad.
The Groom wore a traditional morning suit along with the wedding party with a blue tie to pull the colour scheme a little bit.
We met Pen and Cam from McKinley-Rodgers Photography a year before our wedding at one of our best friends weddings. Not only were they genuinely lovely people who clearly love each other and believed in love but their work is just stunning. They capture the story and emotion in a beautifully composed space. We felt relaxed with them and trusted them to do a great job. We also needed photographers that could handle our intense Spanish and English combination.
Lost The Plot
The cake is a funny story… after getting quite frustrated with Spanish cake makers (over charging) I decided to purchase an M&S fruit cake and drive it to Spain. Nicks first reaction was to think that I had finally lost the plot. But the more I thought about it the more I realised the sanity in my magnificent plan.
So a week before the wedding I picked up our M&S fruit cake, 4 tiers in separate boxes. We loaded it into my car in a large plastic container, along with Bridesmaid dresses, wedding dress and luggage and embarked on a 2 day journey. The cake survived just fine and I put it together in Madrid adding two little birds and ribbon and it tasted great!
No Waiting Around
For our entertianment he hired a DJ. Everyone danced for hours. The wedding was quite short 6pm – 2:30am so no one really waited around at any point and the evening flowed really well. I cannot imagine now having an all-day wedding. I loved being able to have a slow start to the day.
A Bit Of Barry
We didn’t plan to have a first dance but we ended up on the dance floor in the middle of everyone dancing to Barry White (You’re the First, the Last, My Everything).
We thought long and hard about wedding favours and in the end after calling quite a few places we decided to make a donation to Doctors without borders. An organisation that offers medical help to those in need. We also bought boxes of mints where the proceeds go to Doctors without borders and placed them on the tables. There are so many Charities that will give you a little something for your guests.
On the actual day we had a few little things that went wrong. My sister was sewn into her dress before we left to go to the church because her zip broke. The car broke down on the way to pick us up from the church (Rolce-Royce Phantom), luckily we had a backup car just in case.
But on the actual day all that mattered was that we were getting married with all our family and friends there to support us. Honestly this is what I really take away: How lucky we are to be so much in love and to have found each other. How blessed we are to have such a passionate and incredible family. Our friends are just outstanding people, many traveling from all over the world to be with us.
City slick, with Spanish flair and some fantastic touches of tradition thrown in too.
I love those roof top shots. I know we often say that such-and-such an image should be blown up super-massive and put on a wall… but if those ones with the words CENTRO and COLON don’t end up printed on an oversize canvas then a major W-day mis-justice has occurred!
Enjoy part 2 of Justine and Toms’ elegant W-day lovelies whilst I figure out an excuse to get me one of THOSE.
Unless the only reason I need is that I really REALLY want one?
Amy Murrell was recommended to us by Henry, the groom’s brother. She was utterly fantastic from start to finish. I’m not great at having my photo taken and am pretty awkward, but she was brilliantly discreet and most of the time I was completely unaware that she was even taking pictures! She was great company during the getting ready process beforehand and worked as some kind of zen team with Alexis the hair and make-up artist! It was a real pleasure to have her there on the day – she felt more like a guest with an expensive camera than the official photographer which was exactly what we wanted.
We are thrilled with our pictures, which really capture the atmosphere of the day – and this from the one of those people who usually can’t bear to look at pictures of themselves!
A Job Lot
For decor we had lots of vintage glass jugs instead of vases and vintage glass candlesticks which I spent the previous 6 months buying up on e-bay. If anyone is getting married and wants a job lot of glassware – give me a call!
We had “Rocky Road” chocolate by Hotel Chocolat for favours……. Just a bit of a joke really!
At the reception we had The Emperors, booked though Alive Network. We wanted a band that would really get people up dancing so opted for a soul band with a brass section and they fulfilled the brief to a tee.
We had fruit and madeira cake 4 tiered with ivory icing – cribbed from a picture on the internet and made by a very clever lady called Shirley in Tom’s mum’s village!
The loveliest lyrics
For the first dance we chose “This Guy’s in Love with You” by Burt Bacarach, the Noel Gallagher version. Just a lovely, lovely song and reflecting the groom’s juvenile obsession with Oasis!
I would advise any future bride to just try to relax and enjoy it – probably not very helpful advice I realise, but I seem to remember dashing around trying to see and thank everyone for coming, worrying that I would seem ungrateful if I didn’t, when really I should’ve done what I wanted to do and just sat down with my girlfriends and had a very large glass of wine!
A very large glass of wine indeed – make sure you do take that time out to relax on W-day you gorgeous lot, take a look around and soak up what you have achieved with all the hard work you both put in.
With huge thanks to Amy Murrell, Justine and Tom for sharing the seasonal chic.
Big I want A Swishy Frock AND some Rocky Road from Hotel Chocolat Love
I don’t know about you gorgeous lot but when I think of a December wedding I immediately envisage a traditional Christmas colour scheme, rich reds, greens, golds…… a flash of silver perhaps?
Justine and Tom incorporated a pinch of festive cheer into their North Yorkshire Big Day but in general kept to a crisp white and ivory palette that was sophisticated, chic and timeless. And Justine is one stylish bride, with an ability to accessorize her stunning Rosa Clara gown to absolute perfection.
So a little thought for a Monday, don’t feel the need to go full on with “seasonal” shades just because the day your W-day is on falls into a particular month, just chose whatever colours/decor/pretty you darn well please.
For shoes there was only one choice, ivory satin skyscrapers by Jimmy Choo!
My Headband was from Louis Mariette, I didn’t want a veil and as the dress had quite a 1920’s feel to it I thought a headband would be more in-keeping and I found this art-deco style one on-line.
A Glamorous Gown
It’s a cliché but I did know immediately when I tried my dress on that it was the one for me. I’d tried lots of more traditional dresses that just looked awful and that I didn’t recognise myself in. The Rosa Clara dress I loved the second I saw it – it was more like an evening/cocktail gown than a wedding dress and I just felt relaxed and comfortable in it – not the most obvious reasons for choosing a dress I suppose but important when I knew I would be feeling very self conscious anyway and the last thing I needed was to worry about the dress.
Alexis Daly was recommended by our photographer Amy and was brilliant. I didn’t want to look too “done”, more like the best possible version of myself, which Alexis did brilliantly. She was also a great person to have around on the morning – calm, supportive and encouraging. And great with the mums!
All Groomsmen stuff was hired from Moss Bros – the only brief was that it had to be warm so we went for frockcoats (which sound awful and very Dickensian, but were actually really smart and suited everyone!)
Tom also wore a frock coat suit from Moss Bros, he didn’t want the traditional patterned waistcoat so the only nod to wedding attire was an ivory tie and pocket square. Usually a particularly scruffy individual, it was very nice to see him looking smart with polished shoes for a change!
Pale And Interesting
I chose calla lilies for the buttonholes, calla lilies and vendella roses for the bouquet, and vendella roses, sweet avalanche roses and eucalyptus for the table centres, all from www.thetopiarytree.com
Julie is a gorgeous, curvy, tiny dot of a thing with size two feet (!!) and aims for her Big Day to be all about timeless elegance and sophisticated chic.
For the shoot we decided her two looks would be completely different from each other on the frock front but similar on the hair and make-up. Julie had requested in particular a 60’s siren style for eyes and lips after seeing our recent post on Ban.do where the model is rocking some rather fabulous flutter appeal and a natural glossy pout…..
And as you would have read from Julie’s hair description, we had a real challenge to find something that would look classically pretty but remain looking so for the ENTIRE DAY.
No mean feat folks.
So as per our shoot style sheet we figured the side (slightly tousled) bun would be the perfect choice. And my it so was lovelies, finished off with the beautiful Charleston Hair Grips by Stephanie Brown, Julie looked the very picture of Bridal gorgeousness.
Catherine Hughes at Ivy Clara: Julie’s skin was best suited to a light coverage, but as we were going for the sixties look, I still wanted to create a semi-matte, flawless finish. For this I used Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation all over the face, including the eye area followed withYSL Touche Eclat around the eye, nose and mouth area to lighten up any dark areas. This was then set with a light dusting of Mac Mineralise Skinfinish onto the t-zone to minimise shine. I then applied ‘Perfect 10’ powder by Benefit onto the cheek bones, nose and chin to create a gorgeous glow.
For Julie I used the New ‘Pretty Powerful’ Spring 2011 palette by Bobbi Brown. We wanted to create a soft pink sixties inspired look, so this was perfect. First, I began by applying Mac Paint Pot in Painterly, all over the lid up to the brow bone to act as a base. I then used the colour ‘Pink Flannel’ from the Bobbi Brown Palette all over the lid just above the crease line. I used a patting motion to increase the coverage and longevity. I then applied ‘Pink Chiffon’ using a damp brush all along the crease line and outer corner of the eye.
To increase the depth of colour, I also blended in some ‘Da Bling’ by Mac into the outer corners of the eye socket. False Lash Mascara by MAC was then applied to top and bottom lashes and some sixties inspired lashed added- Eyelure Naturalites style 090. A thick, sixties style top line using ‘Penultimate Eyeliner’ by MAC completed the look.
Mac Mineralize Blusher in Dainty was applied to the apples of the cheeks to create for the sixties inspired cheek.
To finish Lancome’s Colour Fever Gloss in Rose ballerina was applied to the lips to create a nude, shiny finish that complemented the soft pink focus of her look.
Look 1 – Fishtail Fancy
I don’t think Julie will mind me saying that she wasn’t 100% on the whole fishtail shape idea, and it is certainly very different to the gown she has actually chosen for W-day. However, she was willing to give it a go and lordy, the Rosa Clara stunner fitted her LIKE. A. GLOVE. Delicious, especially around the bust area where dresses can sometimes create that dreaded “gape”.
To really appreciate the entire sexy hourglass perfection Julie was taken outside in the grounds of Hampton Manor and made to brave the cold, her purple coat provided protection from the chill however and some natural caught-in-the-moment images.
Proving that no matter what height or size you are you can still wear the dress you love Julie donned the same Essence floral applique gown as Naomi, looking equally as lovely.
To enhance the eyes for ultimate evening glamour and drama Julie’s peepers were further defined with a deep minxy fushia shadow in the socket area. We. Love.
The Brides Story
Julie: I was feeling very nervous as I arrived at the venue, as I realised I had been looking forward to the day so much, I hadn’t even thought about what was going to happen and what I would need to do. My fears escalated as I opened the door to the suite where all the action was going to take place as there was soooo many people there, and there were still more to come! I started to panic ever so slightly.
Within ten minutes I began to relax as although I’d never met any of these people before in my life, everyone was talking to each other like they had known one another for years! The relaxed but excited atmosphere made me feel really comfortable and I began to settle in to the hoopla that was going on around me.
I‘d had one make up trial before the shoot, which didn’t go well so I didn’t really have much to go on when it came to wedding make up. However when I was in the chair and Catherine was applying my make up I could tell straight away she was a pro. She was telling me with such enthusiasm about all the products she was using and what they did and why she was using them. She also spent a very, very long time perfecting the look she was creating, stepping back to look at my face from all angles, which made me realise she was a bit of a perfectionist, and wasn’t about to send me out there looking like David Bowie! This experience was an amazing help to me as I can now see the difference between someone putting make up on my face and a professional make up artist.
My hair has always been my crowning glory and I do very little to it, mostly just straighten it and have a simple hair cut with no layers or texture. As a result I really struggled to see what could be done with it. I have always really wanted a ‘Hollywood Glamour’ look for my wedding day rather than your traditional wedding updo, yet whenever I use these words I seem to be faced with rather blank faces. So when I met Sev and the first words to come out of his mouth were ‘red carpet’ I knew we were on the same page. I knew now I did not need to worry so I left him to it and was entertained by the hilarious banter between Sev and his wife and partner Roz. At this point a glass of champagne somehow appeared in my hand and I was able to enjoy it while the chaos went on around me.
Throughout the preparations I was aware that Aaron was going to be filming parts of the day, however the best thing about Aaron is that at no point during the day did I have any inkling of when he was filming, this was really interesting as I have never been filmed in my life before so I wasn’t sure how it would work. It was nothing like I imagined. I thought it would be like being followed by the paps or something, but I totally didn’t even notice what was going on.
I’ve also never had any non school professional photographs taken before, and I always feel that I look really wooden when posing for pictures and as a result have opted for a more reportage style of photography for the wedding. There was no way that I couldn’t pose on this occasion as the shoot was about styling and the dresses. I got a bit of stage fright when I was standing on some steps with a wedding dress on, but while Chris was snapping away Danni and Rebecca were jumping around in the background doing the poses for me to copy, so they really put me at ease and were both like the entertainment! Danni’s tactic is to distract you by talking to and telling you stories while Chris gets the shots. A great tag team!
The day was a blast and I was so impressed by all the professionals and how they all pulled together and helped each other in order to achieve the best possible outcome. But I suppose the thing I realised the most is that in all that sort of excitement and commotion, the day really flew by. This scared me a little as it really put into perspective how short the actual wedding day will be, so I’m determined now not to waste any time on insignificant things on the day, and dedicate my time to being happy, feeling fantastic and most of all being in love!
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this but most of the O’Shea Big Day inspiration came from believe it or not a “destination” wedding in Ibiza I saw in Cosmoplitan Bride magazine.
It was nothing like what I was having in terms of venue ( or country!) but I guess that’s the point….. style, pretty details and general “feel” can be easily transported into your own W-day no matter how different it may appear written down on paper.
The wedding in Nafplion, Greece of Lottie and George reminds me of how completely in awe I was way back when in the heady days of planning, their wedding is just super super pretty, laid back and full of sunshine and joy.
And I swear I have NEVER seen a bride laugh so much on her special day or look so completely relaxed and in love.
Oh and the bouquet? The loveliest selection of blooms I have ever set eyes on…..so expect many gratuitous images of that.
There may be snow on the ground but it’s nothing but bright and warm here on Rock My Wedding 😉
We were married In Nafplion Greece, at Evangelistria church with the reception at Blue Sky, Karathona beach, about two hours drive from Athens.
A Shoe Story
I actually found my shoes before I found the dress, a pair of 4.5″ Louboutin Ivory sandals which I saw in Browns Brides. Everyone told me I couldn’t buy them until I found the dress and when I did I went back to browns and they had sold out ( 09 season goods!). I went to the Louboutin store and didn’t see them out so I began trying others on but couldn’t find any sandals I liked (a must for the hot weather), I was chatting to the sales assistant (who was lovely!) and mentioned how devastated I was that they weren’t this season and she said ‘well let me just check out back just in case’ she came back holding two pairs, one half a size too big and one half a size too small! (I went for the too big, worked well with the hot weather!).
I also had a pair of silk ivory ballet shoes (one of my bridesmaids is a dancer and bought me real ballet shoes for £6) which I used to negotiate the hundreds of steps on the way to the church. (I did also change into them at around 3 am!)
Waiting A While
My dress was from Rosa Clara at Liberty, it was actually from the 09 season. It was very simple, light and flowing although I had the under-slip taken in slightly at the waist to create a slight silhouette. I had though I would have a more ‘fun’ dress, ie with flowers etc, when I put this dress on I kept saying to the assistant ‘no this isn’t what I want’ but I also really didn’t want to take it off. I did all my initial dress shopping alone so that I wasn’t taking any one else’s opinions into account and there were only two dresses that I was left thinking about when I went to sleep. this was one of them and also a flowery one from Jenny Packham.
I left it a month, took my bridesmaids to see the final two and knew as soon as I put ‘the dress’ on that it was the right one. I’m really glad I left some time to ‘forget’ the dresses as it really made it obvious which one was ‘it’!
Rose Bud Accessories
I have short curly hair which can sometimes overshadow hair accessories and I really wanted to look like ‘me’ on the day so I kept my hair accessories to three tiny roses which matched the bouquet.
My mum wanted to buy me a gift for the day so we spent a day together in Hatton Garden and bought a necklace with a diamond and pearl pendant, which I thought added a little quirky detail to the ensemble.
Again I wanted to make sure I looked like me, and I didn’t really trust the idea of going to a Greek make-up artist! Instead I went to Space NK where another of my bridesmaids works and bought about £150 worth of natural holiday make up, mainly By Terry and Laura Mercier.
The Make up artist did a trial run, going through all the techniques with my bridesmaid Moya (who already knows alot about make-up) and then on the day Moya repeated the look!
Boys In Beachwear
We wanted the whole wedding party to look in unison and to encapsulate the mood of a beach wedding. We had all the boys in beige Linen Suits (most of them already owned one of these and we only bought a couple from M&S).
George wore a Beige Suit from Richard James and the watch that I bought him as his gift for the day. His shoes were brown suede brogues from Russell and Bromley.
I looked around for Ivory bridesmaids dresses but couldn’t really find anything that appealed to me so I told the girls to choose a wedding dress from the range at Monsoon and then we had them shortened. Our flower girl wore a dress from John Lewis.