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Not The Royal Wedding…

So, we are loving the Royal Wedding. Thats a given. But although a match made in heaven (Royal Wedding meets Wedding Blog) it’s also somewhat of an ironic relationship… after all Kate is hardly going to be doing it her way, is she?

Not so todays bride! The antithesis of the Royal wedding, totally irreverant, relaxed, casual and her-day-her-way, Polly (and Josh!) are just as much of an inspiration. And a welcome break from the Regal anticipation, ready for some full on flag waving tomorrow. Bring it on.

But first, meet Polly, and her seriously laugh-a-minute, crazy write up!

A Magical Garden Party

We were married on Saturday July 25th 2009 in Granny Pixie’s garden….The ceremony was held on the drive outside Cedar Court, our family home where my mom & her 3 brothers grew up and I spent all of my childhood playing amazing games of hide & seek, building dens and 20 for sunday lunch was all part of ‘the norm’!! It was a scruffy old house, all dusty with a funny smell…. the most magical home in the world!!

As soon as I phoned Pixie to tell her Josh (who I call ‘tree boy’ because he is a tree surgeon and climbs tress all day!) and me (Polly) .. (Josh’s mum and dad call us ‘Posh and Jolly’ its a good spoonerisum, full of irony!) Anyway… what was I saying.?! oh yeah, telling granny we were getting hitched…. she said “well of course you are, and it will be here” Infact when I first took Josh to walk around the fields of this precious loving land, in our early ‘dating days’ he said, quite out of the blue “you’ll get married here.” In my fariy tale la la world I thought then. “we’ll get married here”!!

The Deed itself

Well we actually did the official marriage bit on the Wednesday 22nd in Lichfield registery office. I wore a ‘hand me down’ Aunty Pauline’s vintage sequined pearl white ‘dream girls’ dress. So that cost only £50.00 to be re lined and have the back cut out and a massive slit put in!! (she was slimmer than me when she was 21! (40 years ago) so the alterations were to allow me to breath…

The magical garden party dress I found in Kendals, Manchester. It was on the Sale Rail in ‘ANOUSHKA G’ and cost £80.00. I wasn’t sure what I wanted really but it needed to be fairy tale like and I love flowers and butterflies and sparkle… My best friend Flippy saw it and called me over, I knew it was the dress I was going to buy!
Prior to this, me and my sister-in-law has tried a few on, I LOVED Jenny Packham designs and had wedding dress envy when my friend floated down the isle in ‘PAPILLION’. I booked an appointment at the Jenny Packham boutique and me and fabuolus Andrew Stephen Lavin went to try some on….. A perfik full grey sequence dress I fell in love with… just too too too too too too expensive! This was a wedding built on fresh air and love, not ridiculous spending and so I let the idea of ‘designer’ go… the ‘trying on’ experience was all I really needed!

Vintage Fever

When we went engagement ring shopping in York we found this amazing Jewellers called ‘Cavendish Jewelers’ They specialise in vintage and 2nd hand pieces. I noticed a pair of Art Deco diamond and rose quartz earings in the window… sooooooo pretty! anyway I was quickly told thats not what we’d come for and so I turned my attention to the rings… I had the moment when I put on an Emerald and Diamond Art Deco ring and my eyes filled with tears… I left the shop and Josh appeared 10 minutes later in a full sweat having buckled under the presure of the purchase and inserted his pin number incorrectly 3 times!! After frantic phone calls and a beer or 2, I had my fairy tale ring. On our wedding night of the 22nd, Josh produced the earings I’d seen in the window… so spoilt, so happy fresh air and love and a lot of tears… needless to say, I wore then to our garden party wedding on Saturday along with my great grandma ‘Lady T’s’ emerald and diamond necklace! I had worn it to my mom’s wedding in 1981. The morning of my fairy tale day, I woke up to find it next to me, on the pillow with a letter from mom…. it was an effortless choice of accessories, Love mostly! With a load of fresh flowers to twine it all together in my curly hair!

I brought my shoes before the dress… full multi coloured glitter sparkle from Nine West. They weren’t expensive – about £50.00. I loved them, but was never intending to skip around the fields in heels! So after walking up the drive to meet my man, strutting in the sunshine all sparkles and smiles, to Areatha Franklin. I then changed into a pair of gold HAVIANA flip flops and danced and skipped till I dropped!

Hair Heaven

On Wednesday Flippy did my hair and make up. She is like this sunshine of creative magic and she heated up the rollers, painted my face and I felt like a Hollywood screen goddess!! Glam but not over made up. On the Saturday for the garden party Shabaz ‘Shabba’ Hussain ‘The Fabulous’, the best creative hair magician this side of the Mississippi!! One of my bestest friends and dream weaver….curled and pinned my locks with fresh flowers and dazzle. Flippy and my very glamorous cousins painted my face…. I was a fairy princess, Titania from Midsummer nights dream. The look was soft, easy, pretty but not try hard or heavy. I didn’t want to look ‘different’ and so ‘coiffered’ I would be uncomfortable and Josh would be like ‘what have you done with Polly?!’ Infact he made me promise I wouldn’t do that!! I trusted my friends!! (I’d had the hen doo, they’d done their worst, so no more pay back was in the wings waiting!!)

Wild Flowers

Wild flowers, meadow flowers, any flowers that were at the flower market at 5am on the Friday! Me, Lala, Flippy and Chalky went on a mission and spent £70.00. this made my bouquet, 3 bridesmaids bouquets, loads of button holes and fillied tea pots and coffee pots to the brim with flowers….

Chalky made the bouquets and button holes! She is clever! And Pops and Joe filled the tea pots and coffee pots for the tables and made the most beautiful centre piece at the head of the top table! Pop’s and Joe are just so special. It was the two of them that ‘saw’ my fairy tale and from the very beginning built it with us!

We had a planting day in May, all the family gathered at Granny Pixies and planted sweet peas, those that couldn’t make it planted pots at home and brought them to the garden on the Friday!! It was brilliant fun. Everyone loved being involved. Pixie called it the ‘Armarda’! I was also given a load of silk flowers that my girlies twisted and weaved around a chandelier fitting and hung on of the trees!

The bridesmaids brought their dresses themselves!! I said a purple, lilac, mauve-ish pallet… but be comfortable and make sure it’s something you’ll wear again! I don’t think you can dress people in something totally out of character and expect them to feel relaxed and happy… especially when they have such individual style… it worked, they are all stunning so I knew it would!!!

We Heart pictures

There is only one! HECTOR MORA!!! Hector and Charlie together (We Heart Pictures) are just mind blowingly brilliant at capturing love, at seeing magic… We had no idea what we ‘wanted’ other than nothing formal!! I honestly cannot tell you how utterly brilliant they are. I have never seen wedding photo’s like it. You see for yourself! My friend had them do her wedding after seeing our album!

Queen of Cupcakes

My friend Babbit, queen of cup cakes made us a 2 giant cup cakes for tree boy & polly pocket and a hundred or more little ones!! They all got eaten, the kids were all sugar loved up! But the fairy tale castle cake was a total and complete surprise! I had no idea until I saw it on the wedding day! Momma Brown had kept the whole idea a secret. It was a triple layer fruit cake that she decorated with turrets!

This was a wedding built on love and friendship… my friends from uni are very talented and Tim played the guita and bobin the double bass and my cousin with a voice like velvet sang Sister Sledge ‘I’m thinkin of you’ as part of the ceremony! I cried… it was goose bumply beautiful!!

Blooming Bunting!

Bunting…. over a thousand metres of it! Made lovingly by me and Flip in the kitchen!! My Mom and Momma Brown posted us triangles and between us we pinking sheered and stitched what felt like miles and miles of it!! It went all around the top terrace, the marquee and the fields… it looked ace!

Because we we’re in Pixie’s garden and the Marquee went up on the Thursday we had access when we wanted and no short time scale to get it all done! Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard grafting sweat shop but we did it and enjoyed it!
I guess because I had a ‘vision’ of how I wanted the day to feel… the process of building it was dreamy… It wasn’t stressful (although to be fair my mom is pretty organised and dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s with stuff I might have forgotten about!) like table clothes and helpers!!

The marquee company gave us 240 old seat pads…. and I hoarded any fabric I could… borrowed a few staple guns, set up a sweat shop in my lounge and covered every single one in colourful, crazy fabric!! they looked like tubes of refressers when we were getting them to the tent! Everyone helped.. even at school ( I teach Art & Photography) the lovely ladies on reception were bringing my in bags of material! I have to say the seats looks stunning! The idea was that after tea and scones, you could take your seat pad into the field to sit on while you ate your picnic!

The ‘High Tea’ was set out in the marquee and was the only ‘formal’ bit of the day. All the tables 4 rows of tressels we’re laid up with mish mash china that my mom, dad & joe and I had been buying up from charity shops and car boot sales for the 6 months prior to the wedding! The Norm and Hat had car booted coffee pots and tea pots and the babbit lent us her hord of cake stands too!!

A Booming Dance Floor

For the evening we had a band… about a 9 piece band we’d seen at a friends wedding and had danced all night on a booming dance floor. They travelled up from Bristol ……. They were awesome… really fun. We wanted live music for the main part. After they had finished around midnight we had a mate DJ Mike spin his 7” records… when he had beer breaks someone else produced bag of records and so it was open decks really!

Another of my best friends Jo ‘The Norm’ and Jon ‘The Hat’ who own a pub in Salford ‘The Kings Arms’ (which is THE most ecclectic fusion of proper beer, busking, knitting, art and theatre you could ever put in one building) built a bar, but up lights and video projects all over the garden and in the trees and marquee… it was a visual sensation… Ken even played the video of the ceremony onto the ceiling of the tent!! Bloody brilliant!

Family Favours and DIY

On the Friday we asked family and close friend to come and help build up the wedding! They did!! we had people laying tables, putting up dressing tents, and ting up bunting. Josh spent the day hanging in the trees hanging lanterns I got my students to help me make at the end of term!! All in all the wedding was a festival…. soooo much fun! Built on love and friendship.

As a result we have now set up a shabby chic wedding hire kit.. we have 300 tea cups, saucers and side plates… 100 tea pots cake stands and miles of bunting….. if any one wants to share the love email me at pollyflower10@hotmail.com!!

Top tip…. have a picnic – saves £1000.00’s of pounds, mingling aound a field was so much fun, people playing badminton and football and frisbee… and enjoy the adventure. It’s the best party you’ll ever go to!

Photographers – We Heart Pictures

Dress – Anoushka G

Shoes – Nine West

Earrings – Cavendish Jewellers, York

Shabby Chic Wedding Hire – (The bride) pollyflower10@hotmail.com

Breath of Fresh air anyone? This is like a tropical breeze…

And a totally inspired reminder that if Royal simply isn’t you… then there’s still a perfect wedding to be crafted.

After all, Regal and Royal or Magical Garden Fairytale, they’re all about the L.O.V.E.

Yours Truly,

Rebecca
xoxo

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The Perfect Design…..part 2

Well then.

Where do I begin?

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many times I pour over a W-day submission there are always lovely new things amongst the images I have missed and Katie and Harley’s Big Day may just be the greatest example yet. Even after completing the templates, editing, editing some more……there were still so many gorgeous decor surprises that I couldn’t stop looking.

A bicycle decorated with bunting, a retro radio, old cinema tickets, the prettiest ( and most unique) table plan, a chintzy lampshade, a step ladder laden with blooms…….the list is endless.

The Bride and Groom, wedding planner Lauren at Florence Blue and photographer Lee Robbins created what is a definitely a W-day with the Wow factor.

Enjoy Lovelies.

Journey’s And Jazz

We had a big red london bus to take guests from the museum which started the entertainment off. We had a fabulous silhouette artist who walked round and created the most amazing silhouettes of the guests to take away. My friend Mary Morris marymorrismusic@gmail.com and Dom Stichbury domstichbury@gmail.com were a jazz duo and sang and played piano to entertain guests in the afternoon tea section of the day. Lovely jazzy numbers.

We also had Metropolis which is one of Harley’s favorite films playing in the background.

Afternoon Treats

We had afternoon tea with delicious cakes made by Jo Nelson Angel Cakes angel_cakes@blueyonder.co.uk and biscuits from Bettys (which Harleys family often go to in Yorkshire) so we didn’t want to have another cake for after the meal as it might have been a bit cake overload. So being total cheese lovers we went for a ‘cheese’ tower cake from Country Cheeses in Devon (down the road from where my family are from)

The design museum laid out lots of apples and crackers so it was an amazing cheese tower with all the trimmings. Our cake topper was a little wire bike, we both are keen cyclists so this fitted in perfectly!

The Perfect Design

Lauren at Florenceblue managed the decoration of the Design Museum along with, Rebecca Nee who is the Events Executive at the museum. They were both amazing and worked so hard to make it all run smoothly.. By the time I met with Lauren a few months before the wedding, pretty much most of the details had been decided but Lauren was key in the afternoon part at the Design Museum and brought it all together on the day and made it all work brilliantly.

We wanted something whimsical, vintage, meets London chic and as the room at the design museum was a modern blank canvas there was lots to do. We decided on a vintage afternoon high tea with a cozy, living room feel where guests could be entertained, soak up the atmosphere and get some refreshments. Lauren found a great vintage shop in Wimbledon which provided us with old vintage tins, blankets, old bike, cups and saucers, chairs, dressers, stools, bookshelf, cake stands, coffee table, old suitcases, ladder and much more. We used furniture and more props from Drink Shop & Do in Kings Cross.

There was a soft seating area for guests to hang out, then a massive table of cakes and biscuits. We didn’t serve champagne till later in the afternoon so we provided warming whisky macs that were set up in the room for people to help themselves. There was a vintage Bureau where we put our guest book with old polaroid cameras for guests to add their photos and comments of the day. I made hot water bottle covers that were in keeping with the room style so that guests could sit outside with them as the weather was cold and take in the amazing views at the Design Museum.

I also made some little bespoke Harley and Katie tickets which guests were given, as guests were able to go round the museums exhibitions for free. Lauren made little bike themed paper cake flags and paper chains for decoration.

The room was lit beautifully with fairy lights and uplighters and festoon lights by Colin Head at Ash Event Productions Ltd

D.I.Y Decor

The restaurant was not changed too much as the view in the room is fantastic and does all the work. It was drenched in candle light which set the mood beautifully. I bought a load of little glass bottles which Lauren from Florenceblue used to put simple flowers on the tables. The table names were our favorite ales that they had tried or that just had a great name! I designed an ale label for each table which I stuck to painted white sticks which had the table names on.

I also designed the menus and wrote peoples names on little luggage labels which Lauren then tied up all together so everyone had a little package of napkin, menu and name tag as they sat at the table.

Food For Thought

The food was absolutely amazing and we went for big plates of salads for everyone to share on the tables and then big sharing beef pies and mash so everyone to get stuck into it. To accompany the pie we used a local ale company which brew there own beers, The Kernal Brewery

They were delicious and really great using another small company just starting out. Melissa Sargin and staff plus head chef Jeremy Lee worked so hard and fantastically to make the day be totally brilliant.

Stylish Blooms

The reception flowers were done by the wonderful talents of Jessica Phillips vidafloraweddings@yahoo.com. They were also in keeping with the season and fitted in with the style at the Museum.

The wedding felt extremely special to us as so much of it was so much about the two of us. As I am a designer I designed the invites and stationery which immediately set the tone of the wedding. We both wanted it to be a lot of fun and whilst still staying within the traditional wedding boundaries we also wanted to put a little twist on it and give all the guests a day to remember.

We also wanted it to have that home spun feeling as much as possible even in quite a modern setting at the Design Museum. St Paul’s was incredible and we felt extremely privileged to be able to get married there. We wanted something very London which the Design Museum gave us as the Thames view was perfect with Tower Bridge, The Gherkin and the City. We were keen to use small independent businesses in our wedding and some that were just starting out, it felt good helping those businesses grow and felt more unique.

We also were aware that if there was a friend with a skill that could help out it also made the day much more personal and unique to us. However much hard work it is I think the more you can do yourself and as a couple the greater satisfaction you get from the day and it feels like you are giving your guests a little part of you and what you represent as a newly married couple.

The Greatest Advice

The biggest advice we can give is soak it all up, enjoy it and have fun. We laughed all day and stayed in the moment rather than stressing about the next step, as by that point the best thing you can do is take a deep breathe, soak it all up and enjoy.

Silhouette Artist – Alison Russell

Biscuits –Bettys

Cheese Tower – Country Cheeses

Wedding Planner – Lauren at Florence Blue

Reception Venue – The Design Museum

Vintage Finds – Nicholas And Steele

Lighting – Ash Event Productions Ltd

Photographer – Lee Robbins

I know. So much pretty to take in.

I suggest you come back and have a second look, and maybe even a third…….

Big Vintage Inspired At Its Best Here On RMW Love

Charlotte xxx

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