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Rocking The Midlands. D.I.Y Style.

You may well have read my post last week on music for your wedding. Amongst other things I mentioned that if you have the required skillset you could always perform a bit of music yourself on your big day. And why not! At RMW we have seen everything from brides on cello’s to brides on drums. We have even seen grooms strum guitars before, but never quite like this…

Ellie and Dave got married on 2nd September 2011, at Wethele Manor, Warwickshire and they finished their super pretty wedding and reception with a performance that is likely to live on in the minds of their guests for some time to come.

The ‘funky as’ photography today is by The Barbers.

Relaxed And Welcome

The dress was by Allure Bridals, and I bought it from True Romantica Bridal in Kenilworth. Everyone at True Romantica was absolutely lovely, they made me feel relaxed and welcome from the start – just how every bride should be made to feel when dress shopping.

I am dreadful at making decisions, so I thought dress shopping was going to be a long process, and decided to get started in plenty of time, 15 months before the wedding. I took my Mum on my first trip, and True Romantica was the second shop we visited, so I wasn’t expecting to make any decisions.

I was a bit flummoxed when the fourth dress I tried on was absolutely perfect. I didn’t want to make any decisions after trying on so few dresses but this one was a sample that was being sold because the dress wasn’t being made any more. I had to decide pretty quickly because if it was sold I probably wouldn’t be able to get it anywhere else. I thought about it for two days, and then bought it.

Even though I’m sure it’s highly unadvisable to buy a dress having looked at so few options, I never had any regrets whatsoever – even with all of the beautiful dresses I saw on RMW over the next year, I never liked any of them more than my own.

Something Borrowed

I borrowed a gorgeous headpiece from my lovely friend and hockey team mate, Lynsey, which went with my dress perfectly. The necklace, earrings and bracelet were kindly bought for me by my Mum on trip to Debenhams when we were looking for gifts for the bridesmaids and my veil came fromTrue Romantica Bridal. I tried it on when I was having my first dress fitting, it was the first one I tried on, and I loved wearing it. It was fairly plain with just a few sparkles and a pencil edge.

Gold Paisley

My shoes were by Irregular Choice. I was certainly not the first bride to have worn this style, but I absolutely totally loved them. They were white and gold paisley print, with fabric flowers on the toe, and a super funky instep and sole. They were also the highest heels I have ever bought – perhaps a risky thing to do when you’ve got to walk down an aisle in front of a roomful of people – but they were surprisingly comfy and I kept them on all day – apart from during the ceilidh!

Top Quality

My hair and make-up (and the four bridesmaids’ hair and my Mum’s make-up) were done by Claire Reeve who was recommended to me by one of Dave’s colleagues. On the wedding day she entertained us with stories of wedding disasters and spent a marathon five hours getting us ready. She did a great job of creating exactly the hairstyle I was looking for, and interpreting my vague-to-non-existent idea of what make up I wanted into the perfect look.

She uses top quality make up (lots of Mac – Charlotte would be proud!) but is very reasonably priced, and I would recommend her to any Midlands brides out there.

Friendly Flowers

We are very lucky that the immensely talented florist Tracy Tomlinson is a good friend of Dave’s family, so there was no question about who we were going to for the flowers!

Tracy was brilliant, she totally understood the look we wanted and the flowers on the day were gorgeous. We had so many compliments from the guests and loads of people ended up taking home armfuls of jam jars and jugs of flowers the next day.

Suits And Dresses

We didn’t want the men to match exactly, or wear anything very formal, so the two best men wore their own suits, and we just provided ties from Debenhams to tie in with Dave’s.

My very talented Mum made the bridesmaid’s dresses. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted, and couldn’t find anything that was both the right style and fabric, so she stepped in, and did a fabulous job.

The Best Fit

Dave wore a grey three piece suit from good old M&S. We went to quite a few shops, and he tried on a lot of suits in a lot of shops, but a lot of them didn’t fit him properly, and the M&S suit turned out to be by far the best fit. It must be the only time in our lives where my outfit took a lot less searching for than his! The tie and shoes were both from Debenhams.

Fancy Expensive Cameras

Our photographers were The Barbers. They were the only photographers we really considered – Dave knew of them anyway, as he’s also a wedding photographer – and as soon as we looked at their website we knew we had to have them at our wedding. Having Chris and Dani at the wedding wasn’t like having ‘official photographers’ there, but more like having two great friends, who just happened to have big fancy expensive cameras.

They were brilliant fun, and some of my favourite moments of the day were the ones where we got to make pictures with them. They’ve now got separate businesses, but are both excellent photographers in their own right.

Cake Skills

Dave’s Mum made our cake – she made her own 30 years ago, and after a bit of persuasion she agreed to do ours! We had three tiers – traditional fruit cake, a Madeira sponge and a lemon sponge. She taught herself sugarcraft, completely from scratch, in the run up to the wedding, and she made all of the gorgeous sugar flowers on the cake.

Three Musical Treats

We had three types of entertainment. First up was a friend’s ceilidh band, Five Minutes to Midnight. Having a ceilidh was amazing fun and a great way for guests of all ages to get up and dance and mingle with each other. It also really suited us, an neither of us wanted a DJ or to have a ‘first dance’.

Rock My Wedding

After the ceilidh we had a disco which was just an iPod playing songs that we’d asked our guests to request on their RSVPs. Meanwhile, Dave, his best men and another good friend slipped off to get changed for the night’s finale, which only a very small handful of the guests knew about.

They dressed up in 80’s rock star costumes and performed a mini-gig to our unsuspecting guests, which went down a storm. I guess you could say they really did ‘Rock My Wedding’! And I think Mum has just about recovered from seeing my new husband walking around at our wedding in skin-tight zebra print leggings!

D.I.Y Touches

We designed and made all of the decorations and stationery ourselves, and really enjoyed it. I sewed a lavender-filled heart to hang on every chair, and lots of the guests took these home with them as souvenirs.

We collected about 80 teacups from charity shops, and I turned some into candles and we served tea and coffee after the wedding breakfast in the rest.

The biggest undertaking was the bunting for the marquee – about 100 metres sewn by my Mum, sister and me over the course of a few days. It took ages but it was so worth the effort. We also borrowed some matching bunting from our friends, which looked great outside.

Dave made the invites, posters, menu cards and ‘in case you were wondering’ cards, which we put on all the tables to tell our guests about all of the things that our friends and family had made for us.

I made the table plan, and at the last minute, I also decided to make paper pom poms, using a tutorial from the website of Emily Carlill whose beautiful wedding was featured on RMW.

In Safe Hands

My key piece of advice would be make sure you get good suppliers, and get them by recommendation if you can. Pretty much everything at our wedding was made/supplied/ performed by people we either knew, or people who’d been recommended to us. It meant we were able to relax because we knew we were in safe hands, and I think the good choice of suppliers is a big reason why everything went so perfectly on the day.

Venue Wethele Manor

Dress Allure Bridals

Boutique True Romantica Bridal

Suit M&S

Shoes Irregular Choice

Flowers The Tomlinson Flower Company

Hair and Make-up Claire Reeve

Photography The Barbers

Ceilidh Band Five Minutes to Midnight

Aside from the Groomtallica performance, so much about this wedding rocks. The purples, pinks and blues of the florals are echoed perfectly by the maids dresses (Well done Daves’s Mum!) and those laces – nice touch!

I love the tiny bunting on the stationery and the sewed lavender hearts provide a lovely element of country kitsch.

Well done Ellie and Dave you multi-talented pair, and what a great idea to include in your stationery a run down of who made what. It’s a great way to recognise and thank all of your family and friends who kindly helped out.

Adam.

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