Neil and Jessica’s wedding was held at Somerford Hall, in Brewood, Staffordshire.
As I looked through the photos for today’s wedding I thought to myself – “That’s nice, they’ve let one of the younger guests have a photo taken behind the record decks…” Then I realised that Neil and Jessica had actually hired a 12 year old DJ. Amazing!! Check him out behind those wheels of steel.
We also have vintage VW verve and cool Converse chic happening in this retro affair – I am more than a little bit in love with this wedding.
All of the fine photography is by Matt Parry.
What I Knew Best
Dress came from the small and independent vintage shop in the village of Gnosall (where we live) After seeing the style I wanted I knew I had to have vintage and not just a copy of a vintage style. After deciding a Jenny Packham was nice but not vintage I went back to what I knew best, local and personal. After visiting the shop and telling the owner what I wanted an original Frank Usher circa 1970 floated down the stairs, I paid and ran out of the shop almost crying with excitement. I had the dress for 25 months before we got married. My mum, an expert seamstress, altered the dress to fit and it was my perfect dress!
I wore a bracelet bought for my 30th by Neil from Swarovski containing amethysts to match my engagement ring. I then had a simple wide crystal hairband from an independent shop in Stafford.
Our wedding rings were provided by Snooty Fox Jewellers in Shrewsbury. Neil opted for a titanium band with rubber inserts, while I had a ring hand made to fit around my marquis cut engagement ring. David at Snooty Fox designed and hand made me a white gold band, with a notch to allow for the amethyst in my engagement ring, the band was also set with amethyst either side of the notch.
Carrie Bradshaw Style
I wore bright blue Carrie Bradshaw style skyscrapers, in velvet!
Hair was done by Kat from Francesco printworks, a pinned up style inspired by 1960s. Sarah Sutton a school friend who is a make up artist did my make up. We chose a look similar to what I would have normally as I didnt want to look any different to who I do normally! Smoky 1960s style eyes with blues to match colour scheme.
Jackie’s Designs from Telford provided seasonal flowers, hyacinths, freesias, daffodils. Daffodils also as I have a family welsh connection. I insisted on seasonal flowers. I also had carnations in memory of my grandmother who loved them!
My mum Annie Mellor made the bridesmaid dress with fabric from Watson and Thornton in Shrewsbury. A 1950s style dress in a cornflower blue with dark blue and grey accessories. The mens cravats and pocket squares were all made in the same fabric as bridesmaid dress.
The mens suits were hired from Misters of Stafford, an independent, proper, old school outfitters. The suits were slate grey, tailcoats with matching trousers and silver waistcoats to offset the cornflower blue cravats. Cravats were overhand tied not ruffled for a simpler more stylish look. The flourish from the groomsmen came in the shape of black, hightop Converse trainers.
Rocking The Converse
The Groom’s suit was hired from Misters of Stafford and again the groom was rocking the black Converse (as Neil wears Converse 24/7 it seemed only fitting to maintain the status quo for the wedding). The suit was topped off with a cane adorned with a silver Tardis (handmade, by the groom and a lot of superglue, hand broken by the Best Man on the morning of the wedding and fixed with an elaborate combination of tape and nail glue), And a ‘Groom’ prefects badge and a new pocket watch from me, that I bought from Fallen Saint in Wolverhampton.
Personal And Relaxed
Matt Parry did our photography because he is awesome. We saw Matt’s work on a friends facebook profile following their wedding 18 months ago and fell in love with his style. We booked Matt within about 30 minutes of finding him and never regretted it. Matt was a consummate professional and really took the time to ‘get’ what the wedding was about and what we wanted from our photos. He created an amazing record of our day while remaining in the background allowing our guests to enjoy their day. Matt was happy to take our ideas on board and his group shot of the boys was better than we had ever imagined. Matt’s service was efficient, personal and relaxed, we really can’t recommend him enough to anyone who is looking for dynamic wedding pics.
A Cake Collection
Cake was made by Jo Fox, the bestmans wife AND owner of the little white cake company. She made us 70 individual cupcakes with designs of sugar cameos on some and quilted style with small icing pearls added on the top. Again we wanted vintage and I adore cameos! They were wedgewood/cornflower blue to match the colour scheme. We also had a 2 tier fruit cake, the bottom tier was dark fruit covered in marzipan and blue icing and cut and served to guests, the top tier was made of the same and is now in our freezer to be kept for the next stage in our life (not too soon though!)
Three Types Of Entertainment
Trying to keep a personal touch to our day we split our entertainment three ways. Firstly during our day we enlisted the help of one of our closest friends and Neil’s partner-in-crime at Juice Comedy Clubs, Rob Halden as our Master of Ceremonies. We dressed Rob in traditional Toast Masters attire and he spent the day not only directing our guests but also, entertaining them with stories and jokes from his repertoire as well as working his compere magic during the speeches.
Into the evening we began with a split set from the band of another of our friends (and Husband of the Maid of Honour) Pete Wearn, .44Pistol are a hard blues band and the threesome started our party with two 45 minutes sets of their foot-stomping, table climbing, harmonica blowing blues tunes. It was important to us to have friends involved and it was great that Pete and his band were able to play for us at the reception.
To link the sets and to keep us dancing into the early hours we employed the services of The Den Disco. The disco is attached to a youth club Jess volunteers with and the DJ for the evening was 12 year old Jack. Jack was ridiculously professional for one so young and he kept the dancefloor bouncing right through to the end of the evening, he was better than many DJs with decades more experience and it was great to be able to give a young person a chance to show off their talent. As we both work with young people this was another important touch for us.
One evening we sat and went through our entire Mp3 music libraries looking for a first dance and couldn’t decide on anything, they were all too fast, too slow or a bit ‘naff’ after much too-ing and fro-ing we played Etta James ‘At Last’ which just suited us perfectly. It was something important that we could dance to and have a smooch and a slow dance too but not too slow so people got bored. Its also quite short so we were able to get on the floor big style after! We followed it up by Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars to ensure the dancefloor filled up fast.
An Easter Treat
We were married on easter Saturday and we decided that a small egg cup containing a small easter egg would be the perfect favour. There were kinder eggs for the kids which caused much excitement with my flower girls dad (I think he was quite jealous he didn’t get one).
There were miles of bunting, all made by Jess’s mum Annie. We had bunting along the stairs that had felt VW beetles added to each triangle in various colours. There was then plain bunting along the edge of the top table that had white rabbits on, for another easter touch. Cake table had cake pattern bunting and the pick and mix table had a chalk board in the middle made by my dad and decorated by Neils dad with a list of all the sweets, this had mini bunting with small sweet pattern along the top and pinned to each side of the table in a ‘fun fair’ style.
Instead of a guest book we had a huge vintage suitcase for people to write/draw guest cards with coloured pens, there was also a knitted red dalek in the suitcase keeping watch (we both love Dr Who) along the top of this suitcase was small map bunting.
Each name tag was a parcel tag in blue card with silver string and each one was hand written and had a hand drawn rabbit on, except Neil’s which had Jessica Rabbit on. All of these were done by an illustrator friend Hazel Monger and they were incredible.
We had vintage cake stands to display cakes, vintage teapot and vases for flowers and candles in large hurricane vases. Helen Reading also designed each menu for the tables and names, all of these had a theatre theme on them, along with the courses for the menu.
Showing Our cheeky Side
The touches we chose made our wedding ours, people made comments on that the menu choice, a BBQ was the best food they ever had at a wedding. There was even a round of applause for the food!
We chose things we wanted, bunting, a vintage VW beetle, a non conventional dress, converse for the boys and more than one theme allowed us to show our creative side and also at times our cheeky side!
Dress – Frank Usher
Photography – Matt Parry
Bracelet – Swarovski
Hair – Francesco Printworks
Hire – Misters of Stafford
Entertainment – .44Pistol
The authentic vintage wedding dress by Frank Usher is a beauty. I must admit that I had not heard of this designer until now (I am still learning people – and every day is a school day). But any dress designer called Frank is ok by me! And Jessica wears it beautifully.
And on the flip side – the boys look pretty dashing in their Converse, prefect badges and stripy sock combo’s too.