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 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
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