For me Abby and Olly’s whole wedding is perfect. I couldn’t love their approach to their big day anymore – the couple funded their wedding themselves and found lots of clever ways to make sure that staying in line with their budget, while still putting on a stylish and fun wedding day. And Abby still got to wear two dresses and two pairs of shoes…I think she should start a new career as a bargain hunter for brides 😉
Saving money elsewhere meant that Abby & Olly could have the wonderful Jon at S6 Photography and Laura & Alan This Modern Revelry film their big day. And OMG I’m SO glad they did. The whole party has been captured beautifully and the film just brings the whole day to life. Be prepared to have a little cry and a little boogie all in the space of a few minutes…
Like Editor Fern I think I have fallen for the industrial vibes at The West Mill in Derby. We featured it only last week at Sophie & Sam’s gorgeous day and I am delighted to see it again this afternoon at Clare & Tom’s stylish wedding.
S6 Photography has captured the iconic lighting, gorgeous open space and stripped back interiors perfectly, giving every couples portrait, ceremony picture and more an edgy backdrop to frame the memories.
Bringing a softer, more glamorous side to this contemporary wedding are the ladies elegant outfits. Bride Clare wears the most fabulous Charlie Brear separates which she looks utterly divine in, and if you haven’t already, you must check out her bridal up do, it’s so chic. By her side, looking just as stunning, her best girls wear sequin blush Adrianna Papell gowns which tie in beautifully with the copper decor and foil stationery.
All in all, an incredibly stylish Autumn wedding. Enjoy.
This gorgeous wedding at Saltmarshe Hall in East Yorkshire features blooms from one our favourite florists Swallows and Damsons. All in gorgeous blush and white tones, and all looking utterly spectacular. I made sure I included lots of pictures for you to swoon over and pin to your hearts content. Because believe me you are going to want to make a note of them.
I have a feeling you will also be pinning Claire’s Caroline Castigliano ‘Charm School’ gown within an inch of its life. Such a gorgeous silhouette, and such a stunning bride.
Jon from S6 Photography has captured all the dreaminess perfectly. Those portraits in Saltmarshe Hall’s gardens will literally take your breath away they are so romantic. Plus who doesn’t love a pic of a groom overcome with emotion when he sees his bride.
This morning’s wedding is amazing. There’s Suzanne Neville, wild flowers, fishtail braids and it even made the news! Yep. Katy and Richard’s day will not be easily forgotten.
They married in August at Wentworth Castle Gardens and were to have their reception in Tipi’s, their dream. After saying their vows, the heavens opened. The wedding was flooded. Disaster. But Katy and Richard had the best day ever. They prove that no matter what the wonderful British weather might throw at you, the day is about YOU. It is so perfectly captured by S6 Photography. So with your umbrella’s at the ready, dive into Katy and Richards wonderful day.
If you caught up with the blog this morning or checked into our Facebook page then you’ll be aware that this week is International Week on RMW. Hello and welcome!!
International week you ask? What’s that? Is it where we all dress up as parodies of countrymen from various nations (think berets and necklaces of garlic for the French, lederhosen for the Germans) and eat their national dish by the bucketload? (Did you ever do that at school?!)
No folks. It’s much, MUCH better than that!
International week is all about treating you folk to the most sublime, awe-inspiring and fun weddings from around the world. Yep that’s right, we’ve gone GLOBAL.
And why have we decided to do that then? Well I’m glad you asked…
It’s all because our Love Lust List, our handpicked directory of wedding suppliers, has gone international!
If you haven’t already found our Love Lust List – then where have you been?! It’s THE place to go to source suppliers who have the official Rock My Wedding seal of approval – lovely people who we know will help you create the wedding of your dreams.
And now, we’re proud to announce that regardless of where you might be marrying we can now help you find great suppliers from all over the world!
We thought we’d help kick the week off by sharing the RMW Team’s favourite past destination weddings…the ones that made our hearts flutter and our eyes get a bit wet.
Ever since I sneaked a peek of this amazing wedding on our Facebook page last Saturday I’ve been itching to share this with you lovely lot. And from the super enthusiastic response you gave, it seems you’ve been eagerly awaiting its publication on the blog too!
For a start it took place in a blissfully romantic Château in France; I mean there are parquet floors and chandeliers and grand pianos and everything. There are also ponies which also get a huge thumbs up in my book.
But mainly, Susie and Russell know how to throw a darn good party; any wedding that still has guests dancing at 3am is a testament to that.
I guarantee that you folks will be pinning this big day to your hearts’ content. There are suave menfolk in black tie, beret favours (I know! IMMENSE!) handmade chocolates, a traditional French Croquembouche and hazy sunlight streaming through ancient trees.
I adore it.
Château de Pennautier
Susie The Bride: With me being from Cork and Russell from Leamington Spa we were always going to have to ask the wedding party to travel one way or the other. Both of us pictured our wedding as being warm and sunny with great food and wine. Added to this we run an international events company and are often in spectacular European locations wishing our friends and family were with us – this was our chance to make that happen.
The South of France has been a special place for both of us. Growing up we both spent many family holidays in France and have many fond memories there. When we first met Russell suggested we travel to France together – at the time it was just small talk but a couple of months later, with the tent in the boot of his car we headed off for our first holiday – to France. We therefore had a strong frontrunner.
Having researched which parts of France would be most accessible for our guests by plane, both from UK & Ireland, we narrowed our search to Languedoc Roussillon. We packed up our tent and our tandem (yes – we are that cool) and spent a fortnight in July 2012 cycling from château to château looking for the perfect wedding venue.
Having visited about twenty different venues, we drew up a shortlist of three venues. However our first choice was always Château de Pennautier. As soon as you drive through the gates, there is that wow factor! It is a fairy-tale venue; the beautiful and extensive grounds, the absolutely unique rooms and importantly the wine all draw you in.
When it came to the preparation for my wedding hair and makeup, I can positively say I was a nightmare for my hair and makeup artist – Lauren Irwin. Having scoured wedding websites & fashion websites, I vacillated between different looks and styles, eventually settling on a natural look for both my hair and makeup. My dress was simple and I wanted this to be the case with the rest of the look.
However achieving this, is not always as simple as one would think and up until the morning of the wedding I hadn’t made a final decision on my hairstyle. Up or down, up or down? In the end, I settled for half up, half down with some skinny plaits to add detail. I was absolutely thrilled with the final result and Lauren did a fantastic job in taking my vague instructions and creating the final look. Most of the makeup used was Bobbi Brown, which lasted till 3am – at which point the lights went off in the honeymoon suite!
I am an impatient shopper at the best of times and there was no change when it came to the search for my wedding dress.
I initially visited a couple of vintage boutiques in Warwickshire and London, accompanied by my sister and mother, who were both thankfully brutally honest! While the girl in the changing room opposite was receiving ‘Ooohs’ and ‘Aaahs’ from her five bridesmaids, I had some very firm ‘No’ and ‘I don’t think so!’ responses to my selections!! This may seem harsh but you don’t want to make a mistake on probably the most expensive item of clothing you’ll ever buy and so I appreciated their honesty. I did however find a dress which was perfect in almost every way other than its price tag. So again I took the look and focussed on finding a dress with a similar shape and style. Elegant, sophisticated with a hint of a romantic bygone era.
I visited a few more dress shops alone and found that they all had a very similar selection and weren’t really offering the style of dress I was looking for, so again I took to the internet.
I found that J.Crew had a selection of different dresses, simple, classic and not outrageously priced. Their customer services team were extremely helpful in answering questions on colour, size, delivery and returns. Nervously I placed my order and held my breath! One week later my very special parcel arrived with the most stunning dress, which fit perfectly and was exactly what I had been searching for! Simple, elegant, with some antique style detailing, I had the dress of my dreams.
Once I had my dress I was able to make decisions on completing the look. A wedding is possibly the only opportunity in life to wear a veil and my dress lent itself to a very simple veil. I found exactly what I was looking for on the Not on The High Street website from Faulkner & Carter London – a silk tulle veil which was the length of the train on my dress and complemented the dress perfectly.
Finding the perfect shoe was a little more challenging. As I wanted something I could wear all day, the shoe need to offer a little support, without being too high (I am already 5’11) and also reflect the elegance of the dress. Rachel Simpson, offers a beautiful selection of wedding shoes, which have a vintage flair but are beautifully made.
Luckily living in Leamington Spa, I am not too far from their warehouse shop where I was able to try the different options before settling on the Mimi, which I added some sparkle to with some shoe clips, which matched the detailing on my dress nicely. As I wanted the dress to do the talking, I avoided any bold jewellery and settled on a pair of vintage style pearl earrings to complete my look.
The Bridal Party
I made the decision early in life that if I got married, my sister would be my only bridesmaid. I have one sister and although there are over six years between us, we are very close and so Veronica was my natural choice. Equally Russell’s brother, Ryan is his best friend and was Best Man for the big day.
Veronica and I spent a day shopping for bridesmaid dresses and once I knew which colours worked on her, I set about searching. The dress had to be lightweight but elegant. Again I settled on a J.Crew dress buoyed by my success with my own dress. I was lucky that I only had one bridesmaid to dress, as I was able to focus on what suited her and also I was able to budget a little more with only one to spend on.
The colour scheme was also dictated by the bridesmaid dress, which was a spiced wine. We were not strict in having everything exactly that colour but used a palette of colours based around that tone. I love the antique / vintage look. Given the elegance of the chateau, I erred toward a more elegant antique look rather than the shabby chic (which I also love).
Russell has two nieces, Monica and Elsie, who acted as flower girls on the day. They looked like two princesses in their cream dresses from Debenhams. Again I chose dresses and shoes based on comfort. We knew the weather would be warm and wanted to make sure that they were both able to run about freely in their fairy dresses. Their ballet pumps came from Next.
Russell again had some firm ideas in his head on the look he was going for. Marrying abroad meant that renting suits would be costly and in the anticipation of good weather Russell didn’t want to go for a traditional morning suit. Russell often wears suits for work and for the wedding wanted something which was not just another work suit. Eventually he settled on a French Connection navy tux trimmed with a black satin collar. The Best Man and the fathers wore fitted black tuxedos by Cerruti.
Wild Roses And Peonies
In early February Russell & I paid a second visit to the Chateau to familiarise ourselves with its layout and location, along with meeting our suppliers who include our fantastic florist Sarah Menager, who came highly recommended by Sabine our contact at the Chateau. I had some firm ideas on what I wanted and shared some pictures with Sarah, who executed my ideas perfectly.
My bouquet was a mixture of wild roses, peonies and other seasonal flowers, predominantly cream but with the purple and pink tones from our colour palette. For the church we had some urns filled with hydrangeas and a small garland of mixed flowers on the altar. Sarah used lovely antique style silvery vases for the flowers on the tables for at the reception. The tables were completed with seasonal berries which were delicately strewn down the centre of each table.
We chose a banquet layout, as it worked well in the room which was rectangular in shape. With five years of event organising experience we knew that once noise levels increased the traditional round tables leave you only able to talk to your direct neighbours (one of which is probably your partner). With the banquet layout you have five immediate neighbours which really helped conversations and built a community feel, rather than creating isolated circles.
One of the main challenges about getting married in France is the actual ceremony. Being a Catholic I always wanted to be married in the church. There are very few Catholic priests available in France to do this and so my local parish priest from Cork, Fr. Cormac agreed to join us for our wedding in France.
Fr. Cormac delivered a brilliant sermon, which incorporated personal details about both Russell and me, and was inclusive for the non-Catholics in the congregation. He even managed to crack a joke about Russell’s TVR or ‘the other woman’ as I sometimes refer to her! We chose members of friends and family who have played a special role in our life to read and sing at the ceremony.
The music was provided by a talented local harpist, Dominique Wolf, who went to the trouble of learning some new Irish tunes for the day. Being showered in the petal confetti leaving the church is one of the vivid memories captured in eternity by our brilliant photographer Jon.
Don’t Stop Me Now
We know from running our own events that creating the right atmosphere has a huge impact on the mood of the day and the feeling of the guests. Choosing the music was key to this and we did struggle to find the right band and DJ in the South of France.
This was not the case for the cocktail reception. While on our trip scouting for venues, we perched ourselves outside a little café in Narbonne where the most captivating singer you have ever heard was singing. It wasn’t long after she started to sing that Aline had drawn a big audience. Her voice transports you to a different time, recreating the sounds of the great Edith Piaf. We knew that if we found a venue this was the girl for us. Aline Algudo is the sound of France. Singing in the shadow of Chateau de Pennautier, surrounded by guests sipping on their drinks, it felt like we were in another era, one of glamour and romance.
For the reception we decided to invite a caricaturist to caricaturise some of our guests and provide them with a memory of the day. Simon Roberts divides his time between the south of France and the UK. Mingling quietly among the guests, Simon was a great addition to the day and captured some alternative perspectives on our guests. After the wedding Simon also provided a caricature of Russell and me which we used on our ‘thank you’ cards.
Russell and I have, shall we say, an eclectic taste in music but we were determined that everyone would dance at our wedding! Finding the right band and DJ to deliver on this was a bit of a challenge. After many searches and drawing many blanks Russell managed to connect with Nicky Saunie and her band Les Gazelles. Welsh by birth and living in France by choice, Nicky immediately understood the brief. The dancing continued beyond 3am.
Our first dance was Queen’s – Don’t Stop Me Now. Neither of us are dancers, so we decided that something lively would be the best way to kick off the party and get everyone onto the dance floor. The fact that the open bar had also been set-up to one side of the dance floor also helped keep the atmosphere alive and the dance floor busy for obvious reasons.
Anyone who knows us, knows that food for our wedding was very important to us. We used a local Traiteur – Gauthier Hille. While we both love snails and rabbit, we were considerate of the wedding party and chose a menu of monkfish, veal and a trilogy of deserts – all presented to an excellent standard.
After bringing everyone down to France for the wedding we were determined to present them with a fantastic French meal. We were also conscious that what is easily delivered for two at a tasting can be difficult to replicate for 100 but we needn’t have worried as each and every plate returned to the kitchen clean!
The dinner was finished with plates of local handmade chocolates, from Jeff de Bruges.
The wedding cake was a talking point too, we decided to go with the traditional French Croquembouche. We cut the cake outside, the Chateau as a backdrop. It didn’t explode much to the disappointment of our flowergirls (there were fireworks sticking out the side), but it was delicious and Russell and I were lucky to have tasted a mouthful, before it was devoured!
The wine was from the Lorgeril estate, we chose an unoaked Chardonnay for the white and a delicious red Cabardès, both bottles bearing the name and silhouette of Château de Pennautier (our venue). For the cocktail again we stuck with the regional Cremant de Limoux Rosé, which is produced from local grapes. The cherry and strawberry flavours provided us with the perfect elegant, crisp drink for a summer wedding.
Baubles And Berets
Russell and I worked on the initial design for our wedding invitations. We wanted to keep the invites simple and elegant. We are lucky to work with a talented graphic designer, Adam Moody at Rogue Design who helped us to put the finishing touches to our design. The tree used on our invitations was carried through as a theme for all the printed materials used at the wedding, including the mass booklet and the menus.
The table plan was conceived from a number of ideas. We wanted each guest to feel they were really in France and what is more French than a Beret!! We purchased a beret for each guest and after much experimentation, we wrapped each around a lollypop stick to create a rose, each rose had a guest’s name and the table at which they were sitting attached with a baggage tag. We then arranged these on a large table on the way into the main dining room. Russell and I had two unique Berets and entered the dining room to much applause!
I had purchased name place baubles and hand wrote each place name in calligraphy; this took time but the final effect was really worth it. The Berets were a great hit and we have some fantastic photos of the guests wearing them right up to the end of the night!
Tapas And Wine
The night before the wedding we arranged an informal get together with tapas and wine at La Table du Château. This helped break the ice for everyone and they were more familiar with each other on the day of the wedding. We also had a wind-down day with our guests on the Sunday, resting next to the outdoor pool at Château de Pennautier with a touch of sun bathing and water polo thrown in!
On the Sunday evening, before most guests headed home we also met up in the Medieval Citadel which Carcassonne is famous for which really rounded off the weekend. I really recommend planning in pre and post wedding activities, particularly when people have travelled so far to be there.
Even little touches like providing blister plasters (girls, we’ve all been there with new shoes!), mouthwash, deodorant and sunscreen in the bathroom helped the guests to enjoy the day and not worry about those little things which can grate!
After The Sun Sets
Take some time to yourselves. On your wedding day you may expect that you will be by each other all day but in truth you are really busy chatting to guests and having a great time. However, this is your day and it is really important that you take some time for just the two of you. About an hour into the party, after the sun had set, Russell led me down the garden where we could look back at the Château in peace, just the two of us. We could see people milling around the Château, chatting with drinks in their hands. Standing there together, watching the wedding from a distance really left a strong memory for both of us which we can jump back to at any moment.
Try not to leave anything until the last minute. This sounds obvious but the earlier you prepare the more time you will have as the big day approaches to cover off any unexpected or forgotten details. It is also important to visualise the whole weekend, think about all of the things which will be happening, is there anything you can do, prepare or take with you to make each part more enjoyable? When doing this also try to think about the weekend from the perspective of the guests, your parents, the priest – what will be on their mind, what can you plan to make their weekend more enjoyable?
The Best Photographer
I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right photographer for you. It’s not just the photos that are important, but how the photographer interacts with the group. On your wedding day you are surrounded by people who you love and who you choose to spend your time with. The last thing you want is an aggressive photographer pushing you around and barking orders – which we have all seen in the past. The day is about you – the photographer is there to capture the day, not dictate it.
In this regard Jon (who we found through Rock My Wedding) was absolutely fantastic and he made it clear from the start that we were to just enjoy the weekend and he would try and capture as much as possible. It really is true that in order to get great photos, you need to have happy subjects.
On showing the photos to family after the wedding a number of people said they had not seen the photographer and if they had that they thought he was just one of our friends. This is fantastic endorsement especially when Jon seems to have been all places at all times. The photos he has captured are so natural and unforced. When we look through the photos it is not like looking through a roll-call of who was there, but it is like being back in France, people are smiling, laughing and dancing – the photos are so full of life.
Jon was so easy to get along with that on Sunday, Russell persuaded him to borrow a pair of swimming shorts and join us by the pool for a wind-down, during which he still managed to grab a couple of photos!
Gill and Mark married on 28th July 2011 at Oddfellows, Chester.
Sometimes when you have a venue that stands out due to its quirky decor and its individual styling, not a lot needs to be done in terms of D.I.Y or decoration. With Oddfellows, Gill and Mark found a venue they loved and with just a few well chosen items they made it their own.
Originally when searching for a dress I wanted a 1950’s style number with a nipped in waist and huge circular skirt. I tried the most beautiful dress on, which was just what I had in my head, and I looked a bugger! I just didn’t have the legs for it. So I had to rethink.
As we were getting married in Chester, I chose to look for something classic, simple, beautifully cut with just a touch of sparkle and full length to hide my legs! Also it couldn’t be strapless as Mark hates strapless dresses… My inspiration actually came from reading a blog post by Kelly Hood at Boho Events about her wedding. Her dress was gorgeous. It was by Alfred Sung. I looked at their website then found a local supplier. I bought the first dress I tried on. It was elegant, had enough cleavage to satisfy my husband to be, and I knew I’d be really comfortable – no structured underwear required!!
I ended up with a total mishmash of jewellery!
I’m not a veil or tiara kind of girl. I knew I wanted a side headpiece but took ages finding the one I wanted. I very luckily stumbled across Claudia Pink Jewellery in Liverpool about 3 weeks before the wedding then found the earrings in Monet at John Lewis about a week later.
My bracelet was a brilliant bargain in the sale at Martine Wester (along with cocktail rings for all my bridesmaids!) It’d taken ages to find one that was super sparkly but with settings that wouldn’t catch on my dress. The watch was ‘something borrowed’ from my mum.
Our wedding rings were made by Mark and Abby at The Ring Workshop in Oswestry who were wonderful.
The locket that was wrapped around my bouquet was my ‘something blue’ My mum had it specially made by Melissa at M Stevenson Designs and it contained a photo of my dad, who we lost 5 years ago to cancer. It was my way of having him walk down the aisle with me.
Bright And Fabulous
Pink shoes all the way! I knew I didn’t want traditional wedding shoes, just something bright and fabulous. Vivienne Westwood Anglomania for Melissa did just the trick. I love them. Though they did give me the worst blisters of my life… I have yet to pluck up the courage to wear them again.
My friend Kate from Kate’s Claws did my nails and eyelash extensions. As soon as I found the pink shoes I decided I was having pink nails. Originally coming from Manchester, finding a bright pink Nails Inc colour called ‘Manchester Square’ sealed the deal! Most of the bridesmaids had that pink too. I did my own makeup using bareMinerals.
My usual hairdresser (and mum of one of my bridesmaids) inconveniently flew out to Ibiza the day before we got married! So she did my colour a week before and on the morning of the wedding I went to Jason Lea for a curly blow dry, which was just across the road from Oddfellows.
Exotic And Different
I met with Clare from Cocoa Flower to discuss flowers, something a bit exotic and different, with bright colours to contrast with the teal of the girls’ dresses and the mens’ ties. She was great, really knowledgeable. We settled on cerise phalaenopsis orchids, cerise roses and cerise/ orange tipped gloriosa lilies for my bouquet.
The gents buttonholes were cerise phalaenopsis orchids to match the bouquet, then mums/ sisters/ grandmothers had the same orchid, but in white so it didn’t clash with whatever colour they were wearing.
The centrepieces were curled cerise Singapore orchids with a swirl of fine bear grass. We made the somewhat controversial decision for the bridesmaids not to have flowers.
Old School Glamour
We didn’t have a theme to start off with, we just wanted to reflect us as a couple. The choices were made naturally; we didn’t set out with anything particular in mind. We wanted the girls to look fabulous; old school glamour with a modern edge. Their dresses were from Repooc Couture, an independent boutique run by Neil Cooper. The original dress we saw were deep purple which Mark and I didn’t feel was quite right for a summer affair – so we got them made up in teal instead. Neil was an absolute god send. He altered all the girls’ dresses so they fitted perfectly, including the heavily pregnant one and corrected my dress when it arrived from the bridal shop a month before the wedding 2 sizes too big!
The two little bridesmaids (Mark’s daughter and niece) had dresses, shoes and handbags from Monsoon. The ‘crowns’ as Holly named them, were from Claire’s Accessories.
We bought grey suits for the men from Next; their white shirts and teal ties, to match the girls’ dresses, were from T.M Lewin. Apart from my brother, who stood in to give me away when my step-dad fell ill a few days before the wedding, he wore D&G.
The page boys wore grey linen suits from Obaibi, which ended up being bought by my brother when in Italy as I could not for the life of me find ‘relaxed’ grey linen suits anywhere in the UK. It was important to us that the little ones were comfortable, with no ties and no jackets.
Mark is very particular about suits; a pet-hate of his is ill-fitting suits. So we knew that he would be buying a well cut suit rather than renting a morning suit. The men in our family are far too short to wear tails and a top hat! He went with a grey three-piece suit from Next, stripy shirt from TM Lewin and matching skinny tie. I wanted Mark to look and feel as amazing as I did. I know I’m biased but he did look gorgeous!
The outfit was finished off with a pocket watch engraved with ‘See you at 2 o’clock’ – my present to Mark. Bit of a joke really, as I’m always late.
It is often the bride who gets changed in to a party frock for the evening do. At our wedding it was Mark who decided to swap outfits; putting on a tuxedo for our first dance in honour of the night we got together when he was looking wonderfully dapper in a dinner suit. In fact, my favourite photo of the day is of Mark in his DJ with a bacon butty in one hand and a mojito in the other.
Totally At Ease
We used the brilliant Jon at S6 Photography. I first saw his work when helping my best friend (and chief bridesmaid) find a photographer for her wedding. We had a great laugh on her wedding day. Mark in particular was really impressed with how relaxed and quick the process was. Just a few snaps and it was done – it looked so effortless. So we spoke to Jon before the day was out to see if he’d do a mid-week wedding in Chester the following summer and he agreed, dates permitting. Then Luci’s pics came through and sealed the deal.
It also meant we were totally at ease about being with Jon on our wedding day. He knew most of my bridesmaids already so they happily ignored him whilst he took the ‘getting ready’ shots. Also, he wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised when I found it near on impossible to pose for his ‘serene’ bride shots without laughing my head off!
We couldn’t be happier with our decision.
We had cake pops and a chocolate pizza. Not very traditional (and they confused my Gran!) but we appreciated them. Mark and his daughter Holly love cake and love lollipops so it seemed like a great combination.
The ‘wedding party’ cake pops came from the Pop Bakery, Clare was very accommodating and at a special request, matched up hair colours and even gave my pregnant bridesmaid a little bump!
The other ‘normal’ cake pops came from Stuart Thornley. His cupcakes and cake pops are stocked in the deli near where I work and they’re super tasty. We had a variety of flavours and each one had a different pattern. There was lemon, chocolate, white chocolate and raspberry, red velvet and mars bar. I saw on Stuart’s website that they made chocolate pizzas and this seemed like the perfect solution to the cake cutting tradition. Unfortunately we had left the pizza in the fridge for too long so couldn’t even cut it in the end!
When In Rome…
Mark handled keeping the guests happy, enlisting the help of our friend Aaron from Quizzical Duck who does the pub quiz at our local and did our evening disco (as well as making balloon animals for the kids). He’s also one half of the Wizards of Odd. Aaron worked the room performing table magic whilst we had photos taken. He was such a success that our guests didn’t even realise we’d been missing for 45 minutes… with a Roman!
Mark decided that we should have pictures taken in the Roman Gardens and that he was going to try to hire a Roman Centurion (that usually do the school history tours) to escort us there. Well he managed it.
The Roman Soldier turned up with a conscription notice for Mark and insisted on marching us through the city, shouting at ‘Barbarians’ (also know as unsuspecting passers by), stopping traffic, threatening small dogs with his spear and starting a fight between Mark and his brother in the Roman Amphitheatre.
During the meal Mark became Quizmaster and we had a pub quiz ‘picture round’ as an ice breaker. Each table was a team and we pit them against each other to win a free round of drinks.
In the evening we had a casino in tribute to the Las Vegas themed casino night where we had our first kiss.
Our first dance was to Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day. It was impossible to dance to but it was a song that had come to mean a lot to us whilst travelling New Zealand in 2005 and we love it.
Cool And Quirky
We didn’t need to do much to the venue as Oddfellows is such a cool, quirky place. It already has a distinct style so there wasn’t much for us to do. Oddfellows arranged the table linen and chair covers. We supplied the ‘Family’, ‘Love’ and ‘Friends’ signs for the mantelpiece. It summed up what the day meant to us.
Our ‘Love Roundabout’ table plan came from Lela at Doodlelove as it matched the invites we had sent. She also made our table signs. All of the tables were named after places that are important to us as a couple; with a bit of a description on the back of each one and the number of miles from Chester to that destination.
One Day In Your Life
I laughed from the minute I woke up to the minute we went to sleep; we just had such good fun. I loved that the registrar made us write our own few vows to say at the end of the service. Though we were both reticent at first, he was right, that we should use our own words to sum up what the marriage meant to us, instead of using someone else’s words.
I think you need to be true to yourselves. Decide what is important to you and your hubby-to-be and try not to lose sight of it. For us, it was about making our wedding an enjoyable, fun, entertaining event for us and our guests.
Remember that your friends and family are there to celebrate your special day with you because they love and care about you; they’re not there to judge you or your wedding; and if something doesn’t quite go to plan, they probably won’t even know.
Ultimately, it is only one day in your life; try to keep in mind that it’s your relationship and your marriage that’s the most important thing. Oh, and if your wedding guests are prone to drinking mojitos, as ours were, make sure the bar has enough mint in stock to get you through to last orders!
How cool are those hanging teapots? Very is the answer.
I love some of the light hearted, humerous and even down right crazy details that combined to make Gill and Mark’s big day a triumph… The pub quiz is genius, as are the cake pops that represented actual guests at the wedding – and the Roman Centurian. It certainly is off the wall (like, so far off the wall that it can’t even see the wall!), but I can’t help but love it.
Also, I can’t sign off without mentioning the ‘love round-a-bout’ table plan. Perfect clean design with a witty touch of humour. It sums up this wedding perfectly.
When I read that Adam (Adam is the name of today’s groom as well as today’s writer – hope that doesn’t get too confusing) was a massive Beatles fan I would have put money on “Something” from Abbey Road as first song Choice.
Kate and Adam choose the lesser known but stupidly beautiful “I Will” from The White Album. In her report Kate included a few lyrics but I’ve jumped in and stolen them to put you all in the mood:
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart.
So simple, yet so effective. I don’t think you could sum up that sentiment any more succinctly – and Lenon and McCartney made it rhyme the show-offs!
Anyway – on with the show. Today’s images are all by the simply marvellous S6 Photography.
Rock my Wedding; you gave me much joy searching through your pages while I was getting ideas for my wedding and I may add, I’m still slightly obsessed …
The Right Decision.
We wanted to keep our day really intimate, it was really important to us both to just have the people who mean a lot to us and that did mean not having all the extended family and friends, which was sometimes a difficult decision, but definitely the right one in the end. We also decided that we wanted the ceremony quite late, we got married at 4.30pm, and because of that we skipped the sit-down meal part – which I had worried about a bit, but so many guests told us how much they loved the informal feel to the day and the meal was not missed at all – phew!
We found the perfect location in the Leopold Hotel, which is a beautiful boutique hotel in the centre of Sheffield. It’s an old grammar school which has been restored, so is a lovely mix of vintage and modern – just what we wanted.
Heavy Cream And Lace.
I knew from day one what sort of dress I wanted, I’m quite particular in the style of dress I usually wear and someone gave me some great advice; on your wedding day you should look like ‘you’, but just a more polished, glamorous ‘you’ – this really stuck with me and because I never wear strapless in the ‘real’ world, I didn’t want to do it on a day when everyone would be looking at me and taking photos! So, I knew I wanted something with lace and sleeves (which was also appropriate given the time of year) and something with a bit of a 60’s style as I absolutely love the 60s, especially the clothes!
I found the ‘one’ on Etsy while looking for something else…it’s an original 60s dress made entirely of gorgeous heavy cream lace and was just perfect.
Lace And Pearls.
I have really short hair, so I felt a headband would have looked a bit wrong and any sort of clip would have just fallen out, but I really felt I needed something in my hair to finish the look off, so I didn’t look like just a normal day. My hairdresser, Leigh, from the Cutting Room in Rotherham has cut my hair for years so I know she does a fantastic job, and on the day she not only made me look lovely, but my mum, sister and sister in-law. It was a real pleasure having her there and we had such a laugh getting ready together. Leigh made me the most beautiful headpiece to wear. I gave her some bits of old lace and she lovingly cut out the tiny flowers and pieced them together to make the larger flowers which were joined together by wire and small pearly beads…then the best bit; she ‘stitched’ it into my hair!!
Adam bought me some gorgeous pearl earrings as a surprise, which he gave me a few weeks before (as he was worried I wouldn’t like them – as if!!) so with the lace and pearls in my hair, it really tied the whole look together.
Chunky 60’s Styling.
Because of the style of my dress, I felt the usual dainty, sparkly ‘wedding’ shoe wouldn’t really look right, so I wanted something a bit chunkier in keeping with the 60s style. I also needed something with a bit of height as I’m quite short and wanted to be able to look into Adam’s lovely eyes, not his chest! After searching, I eventually found a cream patent, mary jane style shoe in Topshop… I had wanted to treat myself to some posh shoes, as I do love my shoes, but when I came across these they just seemed so right and I think they looked perfect with the dress.
Ribbons In Her Hair.
I decided to play a bit of dress-up with my sister (my beautiful bridesmaid). My hairdresser did the most amazing beehive style up-do for her, which looked fantastic. I bought some ribbon in similar colours to her dress which Leigh then tied around her hair and clipped a bow which she had made in the same ribbon onto the side.
When it came to make-up, my sister and I decided to do it ourselves, although I don’t usually wear much, I do love make-up and enjoy putting it on. We treated ourselves to some lovely new Benefit stuff and I did the make-up for us both.
Wed In Red.
My favourite colour is red. So it was a bit of a given that we’d have red at the wedding. But, I didn’t want to go down the route of pillar box red and red roses etc, so we decided to have a dark red/burgundy, autumnal colour scheme, which actually fit perfectly with the venue too, as their décor is all dark reds and browns (which may have been why I loved the venue so much….!) I met our florist Sasha from Forget me Not some time ago so she was a perfect choice to do our wedding flowers. For my bouquet I asked Sasha for something naturally tied and not too structured and she made the perfect arrangement for me using some gorgeous red tipped roses, deep red (almost purple in fact!) calla lilies and dark red and green berries and foliage, which were all tied together with a lovely ribbon. My sister had just a smaller version of mine as I liked the idea of having them the same.
A top tip for all you brides to be; Sasha made me a smaller bouquet up as a little extra for me to throw, such a great idea, as the lucky girl who caught it got to keep a little memento from the day (and a reminder to her other half maybe…!!)
For the evening, we had four large tables in the room, but because we didn’t have a meal we didn’t need to have full place settings or anything. I do love flowers though so knew I wanted some flower arrangements for the tables, so my florist made up four terracotta pots of flowers, using slightly different colours to my bouquet; more orangey/reds which looked lovely and made sure everything wasn’t too matchy matchy. I wanted to get the most out of these flowers and use them for the ceremony also; so there was a large fireplace in the room which I placed two of the arrangements on and placed two on the table at the front. Reusing the flowers is a good tip if you want to keep your cost down and get the most out of your flowers.
My Only Bridesmaid.
My sister was my only bridesmaid, it felt right only having one as our wedding was small and we didn’t have a large wedding party as such. She was the best person to have by my side throughout the planning, getting ready (including all the prep of having our nails done and hair practices etc running up to the day…we had such fun!!), and on the day itself. She was a true star and also kept me on the ground a bit when I had a few bridezilla potential moments! She was also the entertainment for the morning when getting ready – having us all in stitches! I really wanted to play on the 60s style with her whole outfit, and I couldn’t find a traditional bridesmaid dress that I liked and wanted her to be comfortable in it too – so I went for a very ‘non-traditional’ short dress from Topshop, which she wore with black tights and skyscraper shoes! It was a lovely silky material which hung beautifully, with long floaty sleeves in a mink colour. The colour really set off the brighter colours of the bouquets, as well as the boys’ suits and together with her beehive I think she looked absolutely fabulous!
Adam had two best men (greedy I know!!) and we wanted to keep their outfits quite simple too and because of the autumnal colour scheme, grey or black would have looked totally wrong and neither of us particular liked morning suit style jackets – we also thought it would be a nice touch to buy them their suits which they could keep afterwards and hopefully get more wear out of them.
A Reason To Go Bespoke.
I’d seen Adam in his suit beforehand as I was quite involved in this part – but when I saw him stood there waiting for me, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life, and even through the tears (I cried pretty much all the way down the aisle) I could see he looked gorgeous!
Adam has always wanted the experience of having a suit made, so obviously our wedding was a perfect opportunity. And looking back, it is definitely worth the extra money to do this as we had such a good time during the fittings etc, which was mostly because of the amazing Fiona Greene at Greene and Clark, she was fantastic right from the start and helped us choose the perfect cloth, colours and even the lovely dotty cravat and hankerchief.
Simple And Beautiful.
After searching through loads of photographers’ websites, I came across S6 Photography. Jon’s images are simply beautiful and I knew straight away I wanted him to shoot our day and Adam agreed instantly. He managed to capture the day as it happened so when we look at them (and I can’t stop looking at them!) they tell the complete story of the day, and have provided us with a lasting memory of some fabulous, and sometimes extremely funny, moments which we can now remember forever.
My amazing Mum (with a little help from me and my sister) made cupcakes for us, I didn’t fancy having a traditional cake and Mum had recently been on a cupcake making course so it was an obvious choice and was a great way for her to be involved in the preparations. The day before the wedding the three of us spent the morning in my kitchen decorating 100 cupcakes with red fondant and chocolate hearts and lots and lots of glitter!
A Good Mix.
The entertainment was something we took a long time thinking about. Adam and quite a few of his friends are what you may call ‘amateur’ DJ’s! And usually at parties and weddings etc they all chip in. But, we thought it would be nice to take all the stress out of this (because it usually ends up with them setting all the equipment up themselves and clearing away at the end of the night) and hire a DJ. We went with the company that the hotel usually uses 1DJ1 and they allowed us to give them a complete play list which was great – when we sent our invitations we invited all our guests to request a song to be played later on so it ensured a good mix of music and would hopefully get everyone up dancing!
Adam absolutely loves The Beatles… I mean really LOVES them! So, they were an obvious choice for our first dance, especially with the 60s inspired outfits. He’s also a sucker for a good love song lyric, I don’t mean soppy love songs but ones which really mean something. We chose ‘I Will’ which is the most beautiful song, the lyrics are lovely, but it is not your usually soppy love song and meant we could have a bit of fun with the dancing – by throwing in a couple of spins! We had chosen the song quite early on, but a couple of days before the wedding we had a bit of a panic that we hadn’t practiced in any way. Adam is not without rhythm, until it comes to slow dancing with me…then he turns into a piece of cardboard and he was sooo nervous about this part of the day. So, we stuck the song on and had a little dance around our room, planning where we could do a few spins – it was lovely to take a bit of time out to have a dance, when do people ever do this normally?!
No Frills Vintage.
I really wanted a slightly vintage feel to the wedding, but without too much of the ‘frills’
The venue was beautiful in its own right and I really felt it didn’t need too much in the way of decoration, as it had all the original features such as oak panelling around the walls and a large fireplace with a clock in the centre. We had a little side room to the main ceremony/reception room where the food and cakes etc were which I decorated with red heart shaped bunting and sprinkled rose petals on the tables.
Something Really Special.
Apologies for a really soppy moment coming up…Adam is the most generous, caring, loving person I have ever met, and I know his close family and friends think this too. He’s had some tough times in his life and when I looked round the room during the speeches there was something really special going on – it’s difficult to explain in words, but the people who know him and have been there for him had a real sense of pride about them, which I’ll never forget. My Dad, who has always got on really well with Adam, had a lot, and I mean a lot, of love for him that day – it was brilliant!!
Ooh, I also want to tell you about my invitations – because (if I do say so myself) they were amazing! After looking at various invitations on websites etc, I felt like I wanted something a bit different and something which people would want to keep (and possibly use…!), so I collected a load of 7” vinyl that people no longer wanted from people at work, and had some stickers printed with the wedding details on for the centre.
We tried to give each guest a record which would mean something to them, either the song or artist, and we had quite a bit of fun going through them all and deciding who to send what. A couple of days after posting these, I was bombarded with texts telling me how much people loved them, so a great success I think!!
I LOVE the stationery – when I first saw it I though, cool – they’ve had stationery printed to look like 7″ singles. When I found out that in fact they had got hold of a load of actual vinyl and sent them out with home made labels on I nearly had an accident.