This afternoons wedding is a special one as the photographer is a Bride whose wedding we featured at the beginning of last year. Carrie caught the wedding bug and decided to combine her love of photography and her love of weddings and just went for it! And we’re SO pleased she did, as you can tell from these gorgeous images of Harriet and Phil that she’s going to be very much in demand soon. Get in there quickly people…
Harriet and Phil’s wedding is a great example of an at-home wedding, held at Harriet’s Aunties working farm, it’s full of heart and rustic details. We love the yellow and grey colour scheme too, it’s always a winner as far as we’re concerned. Carrie has captured some beautiful moments, tears of joy and lots of laughs. It looks like a lot of fun was had. And look out for the bonus celebrity guest too!
The woodland botanical theme on todays wedding at The Lawn in Essex is nothing short of spectacular. There’s cute little ceramic animals surrounded by moss, herbs and succulents and the tallest wild flower arrangements amongst tin cans filled with even more beautiful florals and flag table names.
Bride Fliss also wears an absolutely stunning delicate hair vine to continue with the whimsical theme, but opted for a pair of statement ‘Dorothy’ esq. red glitter Vivienne Westwood shoes to go under her gorgeous Alan Hannah dress.
And if all the talk of fabulous fashion & flowers wasn’t enough to entice you, then I should definitely mention the gorgeous beach portraits captured by RMW fave Babb Photo. Quaint beach huts, rustic boats and love, ahhh swoon……
I absolutely adore this pastel palette of loveliness. The muted mint green, soft peach and lavender hues are just heavenly together and have made for the prettiest florals and decor at the already stunning Priston Mill barn in Bath.
Our gorgeous Bride & Groom met at a gig so it was only right that their wedding incorporate their love of music. Their fabulous table plan and names where crafted out of vinyls with favourite bands and lyrics displayed on them. The couple even compiled a wedding mix CD for all their guests. I would love to know what was on it….?
Our Groom used to be a rock star back in the day (which I would never have guessed in a million years) and reunited with his bandmates just to serenade his new lovely wife and of course there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, ahhhh.
With so many more lovely tales of love and support for this wonderful couple and how can I forget the most beautiful Charlie Brear gown and Rachel Simpson shoes to swoon over….
170 cupcakes, 292 shots of Jagermeister, 68 bottles of Prosecco, 112 bottles of wine, 180 light bulbs, 95 metres of bunting, 1 vintage campervan, 143 wonderful guests & 1 immense wedding. They’re pretty cool statistics aren’t they?
But I have to start this post by telling you that you are about to be sick. Sick with envy at Charlie’s hair. My goodness. It is the stuff of dreams. She might actually be a mermaid.
Aside from her epic mane, the wedding is also, dare I use the word again, immense. I feel a certain closeness to this wedding. There are a few things about it that remind me of my own; sharing platters for food, the handmade elements, the bare do-whatever-you-want-to-it venue. It’s such a wonderful wedding and the photography by On Love And Photography is epic. Such a clever idea using their guests as their something old, new, borrowed and blue. Look out for those photos. Sit back and enjoy your invitation to Charlie & Tom’s wonderful day. Charlie also has some very sound advice for all you brides to be.
There is something magical about an outdoor ceremony in the english countryside. Throw in some classic VW’s and some top notch pompom action and I am one happy wedding blogger.
The beautiful setting for Danielle and Jamie’s big day is Preston Court, near Canterbury.
Elvis The Horse
Danielle The Bride: The minute I saw the website for Preston Court I fell in love and didn’t want to look at any other venues. Jamie and I went with my Mum and Dad and our children Josh and Poppy to take a look. Jenny showed us everything the venue had to offer, unfortunately for Jamie the carousel was on site, from that point on there was no going back. Josh and Poppy were introduced to Elvis the horse, the resident peacocks, the chickens and the cockerel.
Thankfully Jamie was really taken with the island in the middle of the lake and loved the idea of getting married there; it was very romantic to walk over the lovely iron bridge to meet him.
Jenny and Anna, from Preston Court were great, they allowed us to do our own decorations and when we visited on a cold spring day for our wine tasting Jenny had the fire in the Kentish barn going with hot coffee ready..It was freezing cold outside but the venue was still beautiful!!
Hair The bridesmaids and I all got ready in the bridal suit, Holly and Elena made it a really enjoyable experience for us all. I didn’t want to look like I was wearing too much makeup but equally I didn’t want it to have worn off by the end of the day. They worked great together and made sure everyone was 100% happy, Holly doing the make-up and Elena the bridesmaid’s hair.
Apart from Holly and Elena I was lucky enough to have my heavily pregnant friend Emma murray. do my hair, thankfully baby Ruby waited until after the wedding to make an appearance.
Even the Groom and his Usher Tony (who just happened to be married to the lovely beautician) were treated to a few hours preening before the big day. Jaime Rowbury at Earth Purely then went on to make sure I was feeling relaxed with my own facial, pedicure and manicure along with perfectly painted OPI French gel nails.
I visited a small boutique called The Bridal Way in Warlingham, Surrey on a friend’s recommendation to look for my dress. I had an idea of what I wanted and happily it didn’t take long to find the perfect one. It was Atlanta B San Patrick by Pronovias.
I wanted to keep my jewellery plain, so for something borrowed I wore my Mums silver Tiffany’s heart bracelet, for new, diamond earrings that my Dad surprised me with before he gave me away.
My Grandma pinned a wedding ring into my dress that belonged to my Great Great Auntie Edie; that was my something old.
I wasn’t really shopping for wedding shoes but as luck would have it I came across one pair of satin shoes in my size in the Faith sale, they had perfect sparkly bows and were so comfortable.
I had my Sister, my Auntie, my Sister in Law and two of my best friends as bridesmaids. We couldn’t decide which dresses we liked best so the girls picked their favourites, both Debenhams Debut and we went with both of them.
The pastel pink tied in with the decorations and the blue with the Next suits the Ushers and Josh wore. The Groom, Best Man and both Dads wore suits and ties from TM Lewin. Our daughter Poppy who was our flower girl wore a dress from Monsoon.
I wanted to keep to pastel pinks and creams, I loved the vintage cottage look and we spent lots of time making the decorations ourselves. We ordered flat packed pom poms from decopompoms, which arrived really quickly. The day before the wedding our Parents, my Grandma and Jay and Jodie, two of the bridesmaids spent the whole afternoon opening them up and decorating the barn. For weeks leading up to the wedding we collected material/lace/ribbon and jars to decorate the tables; who would have known empty mayonnaise jars would come in so handy. We ordered the jars on eBay and sweets online from Handy Candy and made our own wedding favours, Jamie spent ages cutting out the circles of material for the tops and stamping the little labels with our wedding date. We ordered hessian in one continuous strip for the table runners and my Grandma cut it to size on our lawn.
All the table names were hand stamped by Jamie and my Mum too.
Soft Shabby Chic
I met Lisa at Heather & Wood at a wedding fair in Kent, her stall was by far the prettiest I had seen and she agreed to come to our home and talk to us about our day. She was great and translated our conversation perfectly into a soft vintage shabby Chic look for the bouquets and table decorations that were exactly what we had hoped for.
All the family stayed at the Bell Hotel in Sandwich and then we travelled to the wedding venue in Delilah… In a fabulous convertible VW Beetle belonging to Kent Beetles and the bridesmaids followed in style in Betty the lovely red retro camper van.
We were married in the folly on Juliana’s medieval island, another lovely part of Preston Court.
Poetry In Motion
Jamie’s Sister Claire, who was one of our bridesmaids, did the first reading followed by Usher Tony who read “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth. He had known this off by heart since he and Jamie were young and the Registrar was most impressed. Unfortunately the sound of the wind did spoil this for guests on the other side of the Island so Tony was kind enough to do a repeat performance during the speeches, accompanied by mime courtesy of Jamie’s best man Darren much to the audience’s amusement.
We had the most fantastic band, Groove Instinct. We found them online and went to see them perform as a 7 piece band at Dover Street Wine Bar, they didn’t disappoint. Charlie was really helpful answering all our questions in the run up to the wedding and on the night they were great, an amazing atmosphere and they really got the crowd going.
We met our lovely photographer Dasha Caffery over coffee, her style was exactly what we had been looking for. Neither of us like posing for photographs so we were really happy when Dasha took some lovely natural photographs of us with the children for our pre-wedding shoot in Bushy Park.
Dasha was great on the day, she blended in seamlessly with the guests so much so that when the photos arrived we hadn’t remembered seeing her taking them. Now we have some amazing pictures to remind us of what a lovely day we had.
Preston Court provides a list of their preferred caterers to choose from, we chose Scott Anderson after the ceremony they served Pimm’s and canapés on the lawn outside Preston Court then onto the long barn for our wedding breakfast. We gave the guests a choice of two starters and main meal with a delicious Eton Mess for pudding.
In the evening we had a fish and chip van that went down a storm with our guests, the portions were huge and freshly cooked by Susan and Gary in their van. It was getting very chilly by this stage so they were very much appreciated.
Our wedding cake came from a very lovely lady called Laura Milner owner of The Laura May Cake Company; initially I didn’t have any plans for a traditional cake and wanted to go with our own home made offerings. My sister and Mum took me to the wedding fair at Earls Court and it was on the way out that I saw the most beautiful cake. If I hadn’t already been smitten Laura invited Jamie and I along with my Mum and Dad for the cake tasting. We arrived to find two beautifully decorated cakes in each flavour with little sugar flowers. Needless to say they tasted delicious too. Laura made sure our celiac guests were catered for too with their own lovely cupcakes.
The other good thing to come out of the Earls Court wedding was finding Amelia Lane Paper. Again I had planned to go with my own invitations but the samples we ordered were so lovely that it made sense. They provided day and night invitations, an order of service, table numbers, really lovely table plan and menus all to match at a reasonable price. Not only that but Chanel was really patient and accommodating with the printing of our table plan that seemed to take forever.
We made crate paper bunting and little pink hearts for the lawn; all made using a heart cutter from Hobby craft and stuck onto kebab skewers, another family DIY day.
All of the little touches… The test tube florals, the poms, the stationery and the signage (to name just a few) really pull together to create a very polished yet natural theme. Parts of Danielle and Jamie’s wedding almost feel transatlantic while other features are quintessentially english… But everything blends together so perfectly, it’s a real pleasure to sit here looking through all of these beauttiful images.
My dress was a vintage 1950’s gown I got from Dragonfly Dress Designs, a dress studio based in the west end of Glasgow. Lisa, the owner of the studio, adjusted the dress for me creating a new neckline, a v-shaped back and she shortened the dress to tea length. I loved the dress – it was exactly how I had envisioned my wedding dress.
Something Old, Something New…
I had originally bought a BHDLN fascinator to wear but felt that it was too fussy for my halo braid hair style. I was in Glasgow the day before the wedding and spotted my headband in Ollie and Nic and decided to go with it! (The dress was my something old!)
My Mum lent a pair of pearl and diamond earrings (they were my something borrowed). I fell in love with a black Lanvin belt on Net a Porter. I then found my belt in Topshop which I actually preferred and it went perfectly with my dress. Lisa took it in for me (my something new).
The First Purchase
My shoes were the first thing I bought immediately after John proposed – a pair of sequined Mark Jacobs pumps from The Outnet (they were my something blue). I based my look – slightly 1950’s around them.
A New Shade
I did my own makeup. I did the make up for 2 of my friends who got married recently and decided to do my own as I find it quite relaxing. I booked a wedding make up consultation with Bobbi Brown in Frasers. I was lucky enough that my appointment was with the make up artist responsible for Scotland. She suggested that I use a shade of lipstick that I would have never normally considered and it was perfect.
Debbie McLoughlin, a friend who is a hairdresser did our hair. She did a trial about a month before the wedding – I had been collecting examples of various braided hairstyles on pinterst so we looked at those and came up with a version for me. My sister had an updo and Dawn had her hair straightened.
Seasonal Nude Tone Florals
Our fantastic florist Lotte of Lotte & Bloom did all of our flowers. Lotte was great to work with. We met to have an initial discussion – I liked her ideas so much that we didn’t look anywhere else for our flowers. We met up a couple of times before the wedding, and on the day of the wedding Lotte organised the flowers in both of our venues using her black cab for transportation! Lotte was kind enough to lend me a vintage jam pan to use for making our wedding favors. I absolutely love the blush and nude tones of the seasonal flowers Lotte used.
To The Highstreet
I got the bridesmaid dresses from ASOS, the belts and tights from topshop and the shoes from Office. I ordered the Deepa Gurani headbands from The Outnet. None of us were very enthused by the prospect of getting traditional bridesmaid dresses, and we are based in 3 different areas of the UK so online shopping (using high street stores) was the best option for us. The grooms men wore suits they already ownded with navy and fuscia stripped ties that we gave them.
John choose a TM Lewin dark blue three piece suit. I loved his suit – he looked so handsome in it!
We didn’t really start out with a theme but we wanted to make sure sure that everything reflected us and our tastes. Our venues – a Victorian library for the ceremony and a Victorian ballroom for the reception influenced the development of a vintage feel. We moved in to our house 2 years ago and we’ve been decorating it ever since. I love Scandinavian interior design so I think that influenced the monochrome look.
A Perfect Memento
We choose Emma Case as our wedding photographer. Emma was the best!!! We love Emma’s photography style – she was amazing to work with. We are absolutely in love with the amazing job she did with our wedding photos. A perfect memento of our day.
A Selection Of Treats
We had a ‘cake table’ set up at our reception. My Mum baked 2 traditional fruit wedding cakes for us that were very simply iced. We decorated one using a cake banner from ReadyGo via Etsy, and one using ‘cake’ bunting that I made. My friend Kirstin baked us a gluten free lemon polenta cake and my friend Paula made the cupcakes. In the run up to the wedding I collected cut clad cake stands from eBay and charity shops to display them on.
Bespoke Play Lists
We Decided to have a DJ and we went with one we had enjoyed at our friends wedding a year before. She asked us for the types of music we enjoyed and for any particular songs we wanted. From that she provided us with a number of play lists, that she would use throughout the night, for us to approve. This way we had music that was special to us while ensuring there was something for everyone. The music proved a hit with all our guests.
The Ramones Meet Motown
Our first dance was to Baby I love You by The Ramones. The groom loves The Ramones and the bride loves Motown so it was a perfect “marriage”.
We have a plum tree in our back garden and that provided the inspiration for our favors. I used the plums to create various chutneys, jams and pickles. With the help of my sister we decorated each jar using black and white striped fabric from ikea, baker’s twine, and hand stamped labels.
Exactly As We Envisioned It
our wedding venue didn’t need many decorations – the wedding ceremony took place in an amazingly ornate room lined with books. We kept it simple with a table at the front – on that Lotte arranged vintage cut glass vases, ceramic birds, a vintage lace table cloth that I got from a charity shop and a garland from BHDLN. We used tissue poms poms sourced from Etsy and various bunting collected by myself and friends in our reception venue. Nicola, the events manger at Sloans, decorated the venue for us and she was absolutely lovely to work with. I sent her mock ups of how I wanted the table settings etc to look using my iPhone – everything was exactly as we had envisioned it on the day of the wedding.
I started collecting vintage crystal and cut glass vases about 6 months before the wedding – I think I cleaned out most of the charity shops in the West of Scotland! The vases were really cheap and easy to get hold of as they are not very fashionable at the moment. My sister is getting married at the end of October this year so they will be used again for her wedding. Our florist Lotte used the vases to decorate the wedding venue and the tables of the reception venue.
We ordered ceramic birds and tealight holders to decorate the dining tables from Rocket St George. We got the 3D cardboard table numbers from RE. I painted them using Farrow and Ball ‘pitch black’ paint that was leftover from a decorating project.
A Last Minute Table Plan
I made the jars of ‘celebratory bubbles’ that were on the dining tables on a whim using packets of the bubbles and the glass jars I got from a pound store that is near to my office. I’m so glad we used them as they were a great conversation starter.
Each table setting had a black and white paper straw – I ordered them from Etsy and stuck a paper flag to each using a free flag template form the Love V Design website.
The table plan vintage mirrors were a last minute addition – we left printing off the table plans to the last minute and our local printer didn’t have the size of card that we wanted to use. Thinking on the spot I used 2 vintage mirrors that we had and decorated them using ribbon and our dynamo label maker.
We decided to have a humanist ceremony, performed by a Humanist Society of Scotland celebrant. Linda created a very personal, moving yet lighthearted ceremony that perfectly captured both our personalities. We wrote our own vows with tips and guidance from Linda, who was a great help from beginning to end.
We decided that we didn’t want any “traditional” music for the ceremony as we wanted everything to have our stamp on it. I walked down the aisle to a piece of music from a Wes Anderson film. As we signed the register “The Onion Song” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell was played, another favorite, and finally as we walked down the aisle we were accompanied by Morecambe and Wise’s “Bring Me Sunshine”… on the insistence of the groom.
We had 2 readings. ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by John Cooper Clarke and the lyrics to ‘Absolute Beginners’ by David Bowie. Both read by close friends who did a fantastic job. We chose these pieces as they summed up how we felt… and the groom is a huge fan of both Bowie and John Cooper Clarke!
I love the use of the dynamo label maker. It works really well on the luggage labels and to use it on a vintage mirror to create the table plan is a last minute stroke of genius! It is the perfect tool for this retro affair and ties in with the monochrome colour scheme too.
I love that flash of pink ribbon on Romana’s bouquet that is then echoed in John’s tie and handkerchief too, a little colour pop against the monochrome really make those couple shots jump off the screen, and what a venue!
Thanks to Romana and John for sharing their day – you looked fabulous guys.
So here we have the final part of the final chapter of Laura’s journey to become The Bedford Wife.
So far we have all ooh’d at Mrs Doubtfires dress and those legs… we have aah’d at the bouquet and the confetti… and we’ve chuckled at Laura’s unique grasp of language.
You will be glad to hear that we have more of all of these things in part 2, but throw a few Woohoo’s into the mix as the party moves towards the dance floor.
The Meet And Greet.
We did a receiving line outside the church – something that always happens at the Irish weddings I’ve been to. It gets the ‘hellos’ and ‘how are ye?’ out of the way early doors and you’re sure to catch everyone.
Meet Me By The Bridge.
And so we headed off to the venue – St Mary’s College at Durham University. On the way, however, we went down to Prebends Bridge and wandered around by the river so that our photographer, the talented Phil Smith, could take some pictures of us benig a bit, well, natural. Cue a load of Japanese toursits turning up and taking pictures of us. Surreal, but hilarious.
Oh, I should probably say what Adam was wearing, no? He went for a mid-grey suit from TM Lewin, a shirt the colour of an overcast sky and a tie from Victoria Richards (where Jon Snow buys items to decorate his neck). Walker wore the same. We were adamant we wanted lounge suits and we didn’t anyone to be too fancy-fancy/feel like they were auditioning to be an extra in a period drama.
Strike A Pose.
Our photographer, Phil was ace – he supplied a pop-up photobooth studio where our friends and family posed for hours with a mini blackboard writing us messages (hilarious/sweet/genuine/witty/rude) and posing in ridiculous positions – err, like the human pyramid some of my schoolfriends attempted. Thanks, guys. A couple of friends, who’ll remain nameless (NICKY AND EUSEBIO) seemed to turn the studio into, well, their own personal photoshoot space – I particularly enjoyed the shots of them straddling a chair backwards and ‘Vogue-style’ hands. We laughed our backs off the next day looking at them all.
We spilled out into Mary’s stunning gardens where Event Durham (the University events team-people – and I must say, they were an ABSOLUTE PLEASURE to deal with from start to finish – utterly sliky and professional and organised – the real stars of the day – AND OUR MASTER OF CEREMONIES WAS CALLED MUSTAFA GUNN! Say it out loud. What a finishing touch. What a guy.) had set up tables. Garden-party gloriousness ensued. We drank Pimms with stripey straws. It was unreal.
The Gifts And The Gab.
We had speeches. They were t’riffic. We gave out presents – silver bracelets from Stella and Stokes for the girls, a tie pin for my brother, whiskey for our usher Matt and a framed ordnance survey map for Walker (there was a story behind it. It was perfect for him).
Stop. Refuel. Go!
We ate. We had bread and olives and fancy oil followed by a fancy fishcake with mustard-seed creme fraiche and buttered spinach, Northumberland lamb shank in a spicy Morrocan tagine-y type sauce and cous cous and lemon tart with vanilla icecream. After many food-related agonies, we went for what we wanted. No regrets. Everyone loved it – or said they did, anyway – and who’s going to say otherwise? It was bloody delicious.
And then the events people turned the room around for a party. We danced our first dance to Sam Cook’s Wonderful World (it was that or Winehouse’s Cupid…but it was a bit raunchy…and then she died) and then the band – the wholly brilliant Troubleshooters got underway. We first saw them in a working men’s club in Fenham and, despite the less than salubrious venue, they were unreal (I’m running out of positive adjectives here – apologies). They did two forty-five minute sets and were impossibly brilliant. Our DJ, Marky J, kept everyone going in between with a mix of anything and everything – Northern Soul, Motown, 80s classics (I remember running across the dancefloor towards Bedford at one point squealing ‘PAUL SIIIIIIMON!’), err, Lady Gaga…Later, we had sausage sarnies and wedges, as well as our cake (made by Mrs Addy, a customer of Adam’s from the milk round he used to do as a young ‘un).
The verdict? Um, well, the whole day surpassed every expectation we’d had. Not because of the dress or the shoes or ‘feeling like a princess’ or any of that crap which ultimately – let’s face it – boils down to nothing. We had a super day because we (well, I like to think) were true to ourselves – we had a relaxed ceremony in a beautiful church and venue that meant something to us with everyone we wanted there.
The Right People.
So my advice to y’all is this – and it’s not original but it’s TRUE and that’s exactly why so many people say it. Enjoy your day. Do it the way you want to (within reason – there’s no point in doing it ‘your way’ if it’s going to confuse someone you care about or make them feel pushed out). Make time to have a deep breath and take it all in. Because, all in all, it’s only 18 hours at the very most of what will (hopefully) be a very long life together. And while all the frivolous stuff is fun, it’s really not very important. Be true to yourself, surround yourself with the right people and you’ll have a belter of a day. You can’t fail to.
Thanks for all the comments and support. It’s been a blast.
And so I’m signing off – for the last time – as Mrs Bedford xx
Mrs Bedford certainly has the knack of telling a good story.
I don’t think there is much left to say apart from a big old thank you to Laura and Adam for sharing their journey with the Rock My Wedding community. It has, as Laura proclaimed at the end of her report, been an absolute blast.