A Long Distance Love Story…..part 2

See, we’re not making you wait long for part 2 this week are we lovelies?

And it’s a good job too because Diana and Harry’s Mad Men inspired W-day is too gorgeous to be kept a whole 24 hours away frankly.

Make sure you check out the clever use of knitwear by the bride, keeping you cosy AND looking mighty fabulous.

Our Favourite Part

The ceremony was our favourite part of the day; we loved planning this more than any other part of the whole wedding. We involved everyone important to us and made it FUN. We had the bridal party walk down to the theme tune of the American TV Series ‘The Office’ played by my cousin on piano. The best part of this is that now when we watch the TV programme we always smile and think back at the wedding. I then walked down the aisle with both of my parents to Cat Steven’s ‘Don’t be shy’. This song was important to me especially because I knew I would be nervous and it helped to relax me.

For our readings, one of my closest friends who flew to London from South Korea gave a reading from when the state of Massachusetts legalised gay marriage. It’s an important issue for us and meant a lot to have it incorporated in the ceremony. We asked Harry’s dad to play guitar and a friend of ours, Orakle, gave an incredible rendition of Paul McCartney’s Calico Skies. A lovely couple that we adore did our final reading. We sent them a number of our emails spanning 5 years. As Harry and I spent a lot of time apart the long distance love letters were a special reading. The specific emails they chose to read were left a surprise and it was truly special! When it was time to sign the marriage certificate, Harry and I asked our Grandmas to be our witnesses. This was one of the best decisions we made.

Finally we walked down the aisle to the music from Up on piano, played by my cousin.

Bespoke Treats

We knew we wanted cupcakes and were originally set on making our own. We realised though that with the stress of the wedding and the small space of our kitchen icing the cakes in the run up to the big day would not be very practical. Instead, we found Cat and the Cream cupcakes. Cat met us a few times in our local pub to get an idea of what we wanted. We told her about things we liked, including the film Up and that we loved the style of Mad Men.

The end result was an Up styled house surrounded by balloons as a top tier and delicious cupcakes. Cat was flexible with dietary needs, baking gluten free cakes for some of our guests. We indulged in Red Velvet, Pumpkin, Cinnamon and Ginger, White Chocolate and Cranberry and Dark Chocolate and Cherry. Cat specialises is unique flavours, amazing designs and utilises local and organic ingredients.

Capturing The Day

Our photographer is a PhD student at the university that I work at. I’d seen his photos for our student handbook and found out that he’d also done a few weddings. We met a few times to discuss what we wanted and agreed a very reasonable rate. I’d heard horror stories of brides hiring ‘student photographers’ but having looked through his portfolio I felt more relaxed. And, he did not disappoint. He was amazing on the day, capturing the atmosphere perfectly and blending well with our guests. In the end we were completely satisfied and would happily recommend Dan Werdlow.

Up Up And Away

We went back and forth between hiring a photobooth and not spending a large sum of money on something some guests might not take to… so after finding some examples online we decided to go with a polaroid styled guestbook. We bought a Fuji Instax camera, which is basically a polariod with slightly different dimensions. The camera and the film were much cheaper, however! We bought some props for our guests, themed around Mad Men (a trilby, thick rimmed glasses, gloves, etc) but we all got too caught up in the day that we forgot to bring them out from under the table!

Still, our guests loved taking photos and signing the book. I knew also that we didn’t just want our guests’ signatures so we prompted some of the pages with questions ‘What is your favourite memory of the couple’ and ‘Love means…’ We got lots of thoughtful and fun responses from our guests and included photo mounts so they could put the polaroid straight into the book.

The guestbook itself was purchased off of Etsy and is a take on Ellie’s Adventure book from Up. Since coming back from our honeymoon we have been adding photos to it and do plan on using it as our ‘adventure book’ for the rest of our lives. We also wanted something fun as a cardbox and in keeping with the Up theme asked a friend to bring over a US mailbox. He managed to fit into his luggage luckily and we had fun painting our names and handprints.

Dulwich College

We found the venue was actually so beautiful that Harry and I felt like we didn’t need to dress it up much… in fact, we did what we could do make it feel less ornate and more homely. We recruited my best friend and her mum to make some bunting, which hung in the ceremony room and along the head table. We also recruited some friends to help with decorating some tea lights. We bought plain tea light holders and glued tissue paper over them. The result was subtle but the glow was soft and beautiful.

We also ordered tea-stained American flag bunting which hung around a framed Union Jack that the venue had on their wall.

Long Distance Love

Our first date was at a gig and Harry and I both love music. As a result, we have a number of special songs but none seemed suitable for a first dance. It was actually when Harry was playing Bioshock on Xbox that he suggested ‘Somewhere Beyond the Sea’ by Bobby Darin. The game actually does have a great soundtrack. The song also seemed to represent our long distance love story and is beautiful as well.

Autumnal Treats

We loved having the wedding in the Autumn, which for me meant a dream drinks reception. My favourite winter drink is mulled wine and my favourite summer drink is Pimms… so we decided to do both, justified entirely on the fact that Autumn lies between Winter and Summer. The venue didn’t question us and the guests loved both drinks, especially the American guests who hadn’t had Pimms before. And yes, I had both!

Getting Involved

Don’t be afraid to put your trust in people. It was sometimes hard to let go of control! Also, have fun planning and make sure both of you are equally involved. Harry started out a bit disengaged from the process but got excited about his suit, choosing the music and by the end was fully involved with all details, including bunting and especially cake!!

It just goes to show ANYTHING goes when it comes to including in your wedding day whatever it is you love the most, be it a certain colour, a particular bloom or your favourite TV show.

With HUGE Thanks to Diana and Harry for sharing the thought provoking words and general loveliness.

Big Long Distance Love

Charlotte xxx

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

16 thoughts on “A Long Distance Love Story…..part 2

  1. SO lovely to get a report about the ceremony – far more important than any detaily detail of a day in my eyes and Diana and Harry’s account of it was just magical. Beautiful song choices and the most personal readings you could ever do! Love.
    Yet another way cool wedding. Red Lips and awash with Hollywood-esque style. Wish there was a close up of those cupcakes as they look to die for!

  2. I agree with Diana’s sentiments about the ceremony too and when I think back to ours, I think it is the most alive I have ever felt. What a gorgeous venue, love the over view of the reception and the balloons on the cake?! Yum scrum! xxx

  3. I love this wedding too! The best looking groom I’ve seen and the best wedding make up too! I’m intending to avoid the peach and beige traditional makeup and go for kick ass red lippy too!

    PS How you manage the wedding kissing without smearing red all over your new husband??

  4. My heart melted at the various personal touches incorporated in this day!

    Up is one of the loveliest films I’ve seen in the last couple of years!

    The Up/Mad Men mix worked brilliantly together (although in theory, I never would have put the 2 together).

    The couple are clearly a real life Ellie & Carl and I wish them both a very happy adventure of a life together!

    PS – the guestbook and top cake are soooooo cool, I want! xx

  5. The cake is amazing….I would love to know who made it. In fact, it’s not difficult to spot all the personal touches in this wedding – it all sounds very unique.

  6. Hi guys, thanks for the lovely comments and well wishes. It was so fun to send in the photos and retell some stories, it made us both relive the moment one more time.
    Anyway, just to answer a few questions:

    -you can’t avoid the lipstick smear! The woman who did my make up Kristina Gasperas (https://www.kristinagasperas.com) was fab and did a few layers of lipstick and just suggested I try not to kiss too…err…passionately. Impossible but it was easy to wipe off my husband!

    -the cake and cupcakes were made by Cat from Cat and the Cream. She does things totally bespoke, works with budgets and is overall amazing, see close ups of her cupcakes here: https://catandthecream.com/

    good luck with all of your planning

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