A Flight Of Fishtail Fancy.

There is something particularly heart-warming about receiving a wedding submission from a couple who were childhood sweethearts, I’m not sure whether it’s the old romantic in me or just the fact that nothing makes me believe in fate or indeed ever lasting love more.

Rock My Wedding reader Sarah and her husband Ben were just sixteen when they met and some thirteen years later married in a small church in Heron’s Gyhll followed by a reception at Buxted Park Hotel on a sunny spring day this year.

I am completely in awe of their beautiful DIY stationery, the unique rusty gold and bright orange colour palette and Sarah’s fishtail frock…..

I do so love a fishtail 😉

Vintage Glam

I wanted my accessories to have a slightly vintage glam feel so trawled many a website looking for the perfect earrings and hair piece. I opted for a stunning vintage pair of earrings from Etsy which worked perfectly. I also had a small birdcage veil, also from Etsy, to fit in with the theme.

I had a beautiful orange feather fascinator custom made by Nancy Figuero at Etsy to give my outfit a touch of orange – I loved it and felt it finished off the look well. Nancy was really great and sent me photos of the piece at each stage so I could comment and tweak it to fit in with what I had envisaged.

Tie The Knot

I wanted to make my own stationery and found a great lace stamp on Ebay which fit well with the vintage feel. I used gold ink to stamp the lace pattern and then scanned it to the computer. With the help of my friend Sian I used Photoshop to cut round part of the lace to make an edging to use on all the stationery. I then choose an old typewriter font to continue with the vintage feel.

I liked the phrase ‘tie the knot’ and so incorporated this into the invite design too. I had the invites professionally printed to achieve a letterpress effect and used www.letterpress.co.uk as they were happy to print my own design and we then tied on orange ribbons. To create some continuity I then used the lace design, old type writer font and tie the knot phrase to make the table plan, order of service, place names, menus and table names and printed these at home. I was pretty pleased with the end result and it saved us a bit of money!

I Always Knew

I have always wanted a fishtail style wedding dress, so I was determined to find the perfect one. I envisaged something quite plain without lots of sparkle or lace as I didn’t want it to detract from the shape. As soon as I tried on the Caroline Castigliano Bardo dress I knew it was the one and whilst it was more expensive than I had planned, all other dresses afterwards paled in comparison.

Customised Maids

I bought the bridesmaids dresses from Monsoon and thought the folds in the fabric worked well with the folds at the top of my dress. I wanted to customised the dresses and thought that a different strap on each dress would look great. I cut layers off the bottoms of the dresses to make the straps and my sister-in-law Jane, who is a fantastic fabric designer, sewed them for me. I then bought some fabric that matched the dresses to make flowers to attach to the straps.

After a few failed attempts at making the flowers myself (I’m not very good at sewing!) I actually found Hannah Preece on Etsy who made them for me and I loved them. I managed to get the perfect peeptoe shoes with folded fabric fronts in the exact same colour as the dresses from none other than New Look, so they were a real bargain to boot. To continue with the vintage glam theme I bought matching mini black chandelier style earrings from Accessorize for the bridesmaids.

En Masse

I love flowers so wanted lots of flowers in the church and the reception venue. I decided on masses of in season orange ranunculus for the bridesmaids and a bridal bouquet of white orchids. For the tables I wanted something quite striking to complementing the grandeur of the room and opted for a mix of tiger lilies, calla lilies, ranunculus and shamrock blooms.

My florist Lisa Hepburn did an amazing job of interpreting my vision and creating fantastic arrangements. I also had masses of orange tulips on the fireplaces and as pew ends in the church as well as orange calla lilies as chair backs at the toptable and buttonholes.

Suited And Booted

I’m a big fan of a well cut suit and so decided to go for grey suits rather than traditional tails. My husband Ben wore a three piece suit, while the Bestmen wore matching grey two piece suits. We had silk orange Next ties for the Bestmen and a patterned orange tie from Pink for Ben. They all wore orange socks as well for an extra bit of colour. Ben my husband is a plumber so he normally wears dirty overalls, seeing him look so smart and gorgeous was extra special.

The Importance Of Music

I love music and was keen to have a variety of music throughout the day. We had a choir during the ceremony and a soloist sang Ave Maria during the signing of the register which was stunning. We then had a string quartet for the reception drinks, who were great.

After the meal we had a DJ Neil from Odyssey. Our friends and family are all keen dancers so I knew the dance floor would be packed all night, and I wasn’t wrong! Neil did a great job of mixing up the tunes to suit all the different generations and taste.

D.I.Y Decor

I really enjoy art and was excited about personalising the wedding. I spent many an evening before the wedding stamping and spraying things gold – and enjoyed it all!

I made little menus for each guest and put them inside the napkins, tied with an orange ribbon and a buff coloured luggage tag. I hand stamped each luggage tag with Ben & Sarah tie the knot. I also hand stamped each tag with a lace pattern stamps using a gold ink.

I had large letters ‘Mr & Mrs Rasmussen’ made (from Ebay) to fit the fireplace in time new roman font and spray painted them gold. I then put candles and flowers in between them to finish off the effect.

For the table plan I bought an old frame from a charity shop, spray painted it gold, filled it with fabric and used it to hold the table plan. We are big 80’s film fans so this was reflected in our table names.

Sweet Treats

Our photographer was Helen England, she did a great job of capturing the day, lots of beautiful natural shots.

Our very good friend Darius, spent the day before the wedding making 175 cupcakes in 5 amazing flavours (carrot and walnut, lemon, chocolate, red velvet and vanilla). He is a Management Consultant who just happens to be a dab hand in the kitchen and this was the first time he had baked on such a large scale, he did a fantastic job!

Stand By Me

Ben and I met when we were 16 and one of the first films we watched together on a date was Stand by Me, ever since then our song has been Stand by Me by Ben King. I’m not much of a dancer while Ben can cut some shapes on the dancefloor so he did most of the moves!

Soft And Natural

As I usually wear my hair down I didn’t want anything too severe and decided on a soft side bun as I felt that worked well with the dress. My hairdresser Christina Jessel did an amazing job and it stayed in place all night while looking soft and natural.

Reception Venue – Buxted Park Hotel

Bridal Gown – Caroline Castigliano

Photographer – Helen England

Hairdresser – Christine Jessel

Bridesmaids Dresses – Monsoon

String Quartet – Florentine

Florist – Lisa Hepburn

Accessories – Etsy

Home Spun at it’s best.

And my do I love those orange ranunculus. What is it with the out of this world florals this week on the blog? dreamy……

With thanks to Sarah and Ben for sharing their special day with Rock My Wedding

Big Fishtail Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

29 thoughts on “A Flight Of Fishtail Fancy.

  1. Gorgeous. My type of day! Luxurious touches with a spot of DIY. We’re doing the same. I hope my invitations are as nice as yours!!

    We’ve also been together since we met when we were 19. I’m glad we waited. It’ll be 10 years when we get married. You both look so comfortable with each other which sounds silly because you get married but more comfortable.

    Thanks for the link for the invitations!!

    Congrats and gorgeous dress

    x x x

  2. This week has been the longest week ever… so a lovely way to start a Friday.
    Absolutely loving the birdcage, stationery and the shot of the tulips….
    Wishing you all a Fabulous Fishtail Friday….

  3. Oh my…. I am in love with everything about this wedding!!! Those flowers!! I need a great big huge bunch of them RIGHT NOW! Beautiful dress, so classic and elegant, and i love the bridesmaids dress, and the socks, and the stationery, and the veil…….

    Le sigh.

    Congratulations Sarah and Ben! x

  4. Rach love it. Every Friday should be fabulous fishtail Friday with marvellous modern a lines on Monday. Traditional princess Tuesdays and short and sexy Saturdays!!

  5. I absolutely L.ove your stationary, the font is very similar to the one we’ve chosen, lovely and vintage-y feeling!


    r.now x x

  6. wow i love a fishtail gorgeous dress! really like the flower shoulder details on the bridesmaid dresses. Nice to see a bright orange colour theme and the stationery is so pretty.

  7. Simply stunning. That first picture of the dress – wow!
    One of the loveliest sets of stationery I’ve seen to date and the personal touches really stand out.

    On paper, the colours and fishtail dress wouldn’t be something of my personal choice but I’ve been blown away at how beautiful everything is.

    Congratulations xx

  8. OMG that’s my dress!!!! Obviously I am biased but it’s a stunner of a dress and I loved wearing it. This bride looks gorgeous and has made it her own by adding the straps. Yey for Caroline Castigliano!

  9. Had commute from hell and was in such a foul mood and then I took one look at that dress, THAT dress, and it all melted away.

    Today I am loving….
    – a burnt orange headpiece…we should all wear feathers in our hair
    – customised bridesmaid straps…pro
    – typewriter font…will spend all of today typing in that
    – seriously flash sock action
    – orange tulips on the fireplace, make a venue a home
    – those centrepieces. Are visionary.
    – the dress. If I were Sarah I would wear nothing else for the REST OF MY LIFE.

    Congratulations both of you!

  10. Wow this wedding is gorgeous, I must admit I don’t normally veer towards orange (more of a pink/blue kind of gal) but this whole theme looks A.Mazing!! Loving the bright orange ranunculus, I had them at our wedding and they are so beautiful, like mini peonies. The DIY stationary is inspired, I really wish I had the creative gene!! So very pretty! Loving the CC dress, congratulations 🙂 x

  11. This is so gorgeous – does anyone else just feel instantly cheered up by all the orange?! I totally LOVE the bouquets, the seriously classy stationery and of COURSE the dress, which is just beyond elegant.

  12. WOW! We are getting married at St John the Evangelist in Herron’s Ghyll, followed by a reception at Buxted Park in March! This is fabulous, and some lovely ideas for Spring Flowers (which we too are having).
    What a lovely finish to my RMW browsing for three weeks before we jet off to Australia for Christmas.
    BEAUTIFUL DRESS! That venue certainly calls for fabulous frocks like that

  13. I absolutely LOVE this wedding!! Your DIY skills are amazing! You and the whole day look beautiful!!
    Can I ask…where did you get those luggage tags? And where did you get the stamp made in that font? I have just had a major wobble over my invitation and this has given me fresh inspiration….so thank you!!

  14. Late to the party I know, but.. Fishtail Friday Fishtail Friday!

    Except…then it wouldn’t be fishtail day any other day and that would be SAD.

    Loving it all – but particularly all of the outfits – bride, bridesmaids, and groom – some of the best we’ve seen me thinks.

  15. Utterly gorgeous wedding, love that dress too!!
    I wanted a fishtail dress but couldn’t find the perfect one at the time, oh well vow renewal on our tenth anniversary in 3 years, that dress would be perfect 🙂

  16. i love love love every detail in this wedding and sarah you look picture perfect and so very happy. bet you had an amazing day. you’re an inspiration to us all!
    ps. meow

  17. Beautiful beautiful dress!!! love everything about this wedding guys. I’ve been looking around for invites like yours. Gorge xxx

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