If you have not yet witnessed part 1 of Jo and Jon’s stunning soiree then I suggest you go back and have a butchers (and even if you have already seen it make sure you go back and have another look, so much pretty to see……)
And if the ceremony didn’t bring a tear to your eye then the reception certainly will, not to mention give you all a whole heap of inspirational ideas to steal.
Jo and Jon’s big day was all about them, encompassing the story of their relationship and celebrating their marriage with those closest. There is so much laughter, joy and love that I simply couldn’t edit down the images…so I used them all.
Happy HAPPY Thursday you gorgeous lot.
I was doubtful of many decisions throughout the wedding planning process, my dress, my hair, the décor, my jewellery etc…but the one thing I had complete faith in was the photography. We found Penny and Cameron McKinley-Rodgers online whilst I was in Australia, and I just knew from their blog and then subsequent emails that we were going to love them! I was not disappointed, when we met them for the beloved pre wedding shoot we could have happily spent the day with them as friends.
What gorgeous people they are…and the photography was the stuff of my dreams. They knew exactly the vibe we wanted to capture and I cannot recommend them enough to people. They went above and beyond our expectations in their integration with everyone at the wedding and with the quality of the photos. I can be very fussy with images, and rarely like a photo of myself, but they produced images that everybody (especially me and Jon) adored…We are SO very happy with our photos, and happy just to have met Penny and Cameron! Thank you!!!!!
Rock My Wedding Bride
I was remarkably ambitious with this THE Wedding project and approached it as an artistic feat – my main problem was looking at lots of blogs (checking Rock My Wedding most days from Australia) and having too many ideas! There is such an abundance of inspiration on the blogs that I found it hard to narrow down my ideas and keep to a certain theme.
Even now sometimes I think, ‘ooh that would have been a great idea!’ I did settle though for a very loose travel theme, with some old vintage suitcases around and brown luggage labels everywhere! I wanted the wedding to reflect a going away party since we would be leaving. I also wanted everything to be messy, mismatched and painterly to give an atmosphere of a thrown together, quirky garden party. During the ceremony we had cans of drinks and strawberries available, blankets and cushions on the floor for a picnic-like feel. Determined to do everything myself to make it very personal, I made the invites, the order of services, signs, painted tablecloths, etc…
One of my favourite parts was collecting lots of photo frames from car boot sales and charity shops and spray painting them gold. We used them for the place faces on the tables and also used them on the giant guest book painting wall we created. I made some posts with jam jars of flowers attached at the top for the outside ceremony too, at the very last minute! We attached gold frames with extracts from the vows in them to the posts and they added something unique to the gardens.
Other than that we had a multitude of mismatched lanterns, lots of greenery, some bird cages and stamps sprinkled everywhere. So it ended up a real mish-mash of ideas and I have Rock My Wedding and some other blogs to thank for all the inspiration, and also all those amazing people who dare to do something a bit different for their wedding…I bet I will still be checking the blog most days even without a wedding to plan!
The Sweetest Favours
We always wanted to go for something organic, that people could keep and grow for favours. It was my florist, however, who managed to provide them for us. We went for small pots of Sweet pea shoots in the hope that people would plant them and keep the garden theme going even beyond the wedding.
Ooh, cake…Jon had designed the menu for the starter and the main as he is a fantastically yummy cook, so I was given the task of dessert (very happily). I wanted to make ‘cake’ more the theme of the dessert rather than having one particular special wedding cake. There is an amazing little tea room in Portsmouth called The Tenth Hole which sells the most extravagant looking, chocolately, fudgey, yummy cake (with GLITTER on top), so we ordered 12 of these instead of having one wedding cake and we hope they were enjoyed by everyone.
The Ultimate Soundtrack
For the entertainment we decided to ask friends of ours to do a few different gigs. We wanted music to really be playing throughout the day, in the garden whilst people mingled, in the evening whilst people drank…etc like a soundtrack of the day (I am crazy for soundtracks). Our friends, Jon Walbrin and Johnny Dunlop did beautiful acoustic gigs at different times, and then Jon’s Aunty did a short Motown gig to get everyone on the dance floor for the rest of the eve!
The Blowers Daughter
The first dance is quite a story. Years ago when Jon and I met in India, the first thing we bonded over was music. We used to sit on the roof of the orphanage at night playing tunes on our Ipod speakers. Gradually, to the soundtrack of Damien Rice, Iron and Wine and Elliot Smith, Jon realised that maybe I wasn’t a ‘cold’, reserved English girl, and I thought there was something more to this Aussie lad.
One night in Kerala, we were listening to Damien Rice’s The Blowers Daughter and I said that one day I would walk down the aisle to this song. Jon looked up in surprise, smiled and said that he had always imagined it played at his wedding. The moment went by quietly and wasn’t talked about until a year later. We first danced to Damien!
Making It Ours
I hope that people considered the wedding unique, but more importantly that they felt it was ‘us’. I think there is something very special about a wedding which is like an extension of the couple, their ideas and interests.
It’s such a great time to throw yourself into planning a party exactly how you would like it, the way that satisfies the little girl inside the bride (although when I was younger I reportedly wanted a fluorescent, glow in the dark wedding dress!). But above all else I would recommend setting a time to say ‘stop’ before the wedding, to cease all DIY-ing and to just enjoy the lead up to the wedding, whether that be 2 weeks or 2 days before it.
I didn’t do everything I had planned because I ran out of time, but it was much more valuable to have a few days with my parents and groom to take it all in than just have a few extra artistic touches. And on the day…enjoy! Things may go wrong (it was a windy day and my ‘LOVE’ sign fell down free times during the ceremony!), but the day will unfold beautifully and with a life of its own, still wonderful even if some elements are imperfect! Oh…and one final thing brides…being married is BRILLIANT!!!
Photographer - Pen Mckinley-Rodgers
Cake – The Tenth Hole
Venue – The Walled Garden at Cowdray
I can honestly say, I was really really sad when I had finished putting this together.
And for all of the W-days we see day in day out at RMW HQ, I am still bowled over by the amazing and inspirational design ideas you gorgeous lot continue to surprise us with. So thank you, to Jo, Jon and all of you other lovely brides and grooms out there, for helping make Rock My Wedding one of the prettiest places on the web.
Big Living Every Moment Love