The first thing that struck me when RMW reader Ruth submitted her W-day was the too-cool-for-school colour pop. I LOVE it. And her gorgeous glossy locks (think L’Oreal advertisement). Oh and just generally all of the unique decor details, contemporary styling and the fact that everyone seemed to have a thoroughly good time…
I swear to you folks, there are so many steal-for-yourself ideas here that I wish I had my own big day to plan.
And a vat full of whatever shampoo Ruth uses. Obviously.
Happy Monday lovelies.
A Polished Edge
After booking a hair and make up artist in plenty of time before the big day I was faced with a bit of a nightmare when he cancelled on me a few months before. After ringing about 20 others who were all booked up, our wonderful photographers came to the rescue and recommended the amazingly talented Tally Bookbinder. She’s done make up for everyone from Take That to Elle magazine and she was brilliant at keeping me nice and calm on the morning of the wedding.
I really wanted to still look like me (just on a very good day!) so I went for a relaxed look of loose waves and a glowing mix of browns and a flick of eyeliner to give it a polished edge.
Inspired By Audrey
Shoes were so tricky, I’d definitely recommend brides to set off on this task as soon as possible as it’s so important to get the colour right, leave time to try them on with your dress and get a comfortable flattering heel height. After trying out a gorgeous pair of midnight blue Sergio Rossi beauties I decided that the style of my dress needed a classic ivory court and found my perfect pair from Kurt Geiger.
The fact that they were named after the super-chic Audrey Hepburn made me love them even more! I finished them off with some lovely I Do blue rhinestone stickers for the soles.
After jaunts across Cheshire with my mum, Rob’s mum and my lovely bridesmaids I finally found the one at Lulu Belle’s Bridal in Ormskirk, Lancashire. After trying on lots of lovely lace fitted styles, which is what I’ve always dreamt of, I finally found a Lyn Ashworth one that was really simple and elegant. I knew I didn’t want to have a sparkly dress so when I tried this one and saw the beauty of the lace I knew it was the one. I also adored the low back and the beautiful satin buttons which ran down the back of the dress. As we were having a city wedding the length was perfect too and it was so easy to move around in and hit the dancefloor in the evening.
Rob and his groomsmen headed to Rob’s favourite store Reiss for their tailored navy slim-fitting suits. As the suits were such a classic style, all of the groomsmen were happy to put a little bit of money towards buying their suit and it wasn’t difficult to persuade them when it came to the gorgeous tan brogues either from Ask The Missus at Office.
Rob decided to ditch the ties and went for Paul Smith pocket squares from Mr Porter and sunshine yellow socks instead.
My adult bridesmaids were a little more tricky and we spent hours trawling the high street for a navy blue maxi dress that could be worn again after the wedding and would suit both their body shapes. French Connection won out with their amazing Pippa Middleton style Bella dress. They both loved the simple shape and we found some gorgeous Kurt Geiger heels to finish it off. They both chose their jewellery to put their own stamp on the look.
The younger bridesmaids all wore gorgeous pink floral dresses from Monsoon with amazing pink pumps which they were all very pleased with!
Ditching The Veil
I did buy a simple full length tulle veil to go with my dress but there was something in me that felt like it was taking something away from my dress so a few weeks before the big day after my final try on I decided to ditch it and chose some beautiful vintage style drop pearl earrings instead from Monsoon. I had lots of people comment on how lovely they looked so I definitely think I made the right decision! I also wore a simple vintage crystal and silver bracelet and a silver ring that Rob bought for my first birthday that we celebrated together, I’ve worn it everyday for the past 8 years.
Colour Pop Blooms
We decided to use the hotel’s regular florist as they knew the space so well already and could suggest positions and arrangements that would work really well in the different spaces. Looking for flowers was one of our favourite bits of the planning and our lovely florist Lauren at Penny Lane Flowers got the wild, natural look that we wanted to achieve from the start. Pink peonies were an absolute must and they were mixed up with an array of other florals and herbs including cestrums, lavender and roses.
We continued our navy blue, deep pink and sunshine yellow colour scheme throughout all of the flowers and I have dried some of my bouquet flowers as a keepsake.
Complimenting The Colour Scheme
Rob’s suit was a gorgeous slim-fitted navy blue style from his favourite shop Reiss. He found a really well-cut shirt to complement the navy suit and I bought him a yellow-striped Paul Smith pocket square as a little extra surprise. He went for tan brogues and bright yellow socks to complement our colour scheme as well.
Rob’s hair and gorgeous button hole are what really made me smile when I saw him at the end of the aisle, his lovely curly hair is one of my favourite things about him, I never want him to cut it!
As Rob and I both work in design and advertising we’ve had the pleasure of working with a few different photographers in the past. As soon as we got engaged on Christmas Day 2009 we got in touch with the wonderful Shaw and Shaw to see if they fancied doing our photography.
They don’t do many weddings but they really embraced the big day and were excellent in the run up to the day as we created mood boards and gathered inspiration shots to give them a flavour of the look we wanted.
Their colourful, interesting work and ability to really capture people’s personalities through their images is what made us choose them from very early on.
Everyone’s A Pin Up
To be honest, I was a bit of a bad bride when it came to favours, and we only sorted them out a week before the big day! Our friend and colleague Toby designed us some amazing pin badges in all our wedding colours which were then scattered around the tables for people to put on ready for the evening’s festivities. They went down so well and we had a range of phrases on them which put a smile on all our guests’ faces.
The R and R Brand
Our wedding felt like a true celebration of our style and all of our favourite things. We’re both big foodies so the Hope Street Hotel’s acclaimed restaurant The London Carriage Works was perfect as we designed our own bespoke wedding menu and canapés.
We designed our own wedding website as well to give guests all the additional information they needed and it also acted as a handy RSVP tool to save people time. Rob and I work together at Rob’s design studio so we also created what you could call a wedding brand (!) for ourselves which went through everything from our save the dates and invites to our custom made A-Boards
Unique Ceremony Decor
We scoured the internet for ideas to make our day that little bit different. We decided to use lots of 3 foot yellow balloons which decorated our ceremony and reception venues and we also used them for our photos around the beautiful streets surrounding the two venues.
We also made 3 A-Boards which we placed around the venues with our wedding R&R logo on, all in our 3 wedding colours, pink, yellow and blue.
The Perfect Tea Party
Opposite our venue is the cute and quirky Quarter deli and restaurant who have their very own amazing pastry chef. She created a range of goodies to complete our Mad Hatter’s Tea Party style cake table with slices of Rocky Road, warm cherry pie and my favourite, a good old Victoria Sponge.
Live And Loud
Getting married in the Philharmonic Hall wouldn’t be quite right without some live music. Matthew Roberts played the venue’s resident grand piano for us which sounded fantastic! I walked in to Badly Drawn Boy’s Magic in the Air and we left to The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun. As an extra surprise, we asked all of our guests to sing along with us to The Beatles’ Get By With a Little Help From My Friends.
Evening entertainment can really eat a big slice of your budget and as Rob’s Auntie Donna used to sing professionally (she’s got a great big soulful voice) we decided to ask her to sing for us during the evening. She sang for our first dance which was really special and then she kicked off the action on the dancefloor with everything from The Beatles to Michael Jackson. We compiled our own playlist on our iPad and spent a couple of pounds on a mixing app so there weren’t any awkward gaps between tracks.
Enjoy Every Moment
Our first dance was Sade’s By Your Side. It means a lot to Rob and I as about 12 months after we met my dad was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away. We’d listen to this song together and knowing that Rob was by my side helped me through those difficult times and made me realise how important it is to enjoy every moment you can with the people you really love. We both felt like our wedding was a real reflection of that.
Entertaining All Ages
After seeing some amazing fancy dress ideas right here on Rock My Wedding we filled one of our vintage chests from home with wigs, moustaches, John Lennon glasses and some really great masks that I found from Cox & Cox. Our guests, both young and old, loved them all and everything was nabbed within the first 15 minutes!
We also scoured eBay for vintage postcards of Liverpool and The Beatles to act as our guestbook. We got some really funny late night messages which we’re looking forward to putting together in a collage and getting framed!
You’re Worth It
I’d be lying if I said that all of the planning and preparations were easy but it was all the sometimes time-consuming little extras that took the day from good to great and I’d say to any brides who are currently suffering from planning fatigue that when it all comes together and see you it all on the day every minute of making and planning will be worth it!
One of the best planning tools that I’d recommend to brides is the amazing website Pinterest. It allows you to create virtual pinboards for your wedding (or anything else that takes your fancy). You can upload pics from other sites, photos from your computer and you can look at other members’ boards for inspiration. It was great to share with all of our suppliers to help them get a feel for our day and it was very fun to put together.
Here’s a link to my Up The Aisle board
Make-up –Tally Bookbinder
Brides Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Brides Gown – Lyn Ashworth at Lulu Belle’s Bridal
Grooms Suit – Reiss
Photography – Shaw and Shaw
Pianist – Matthew Roberts
Cakes – Quarter Deli And Restaurant
Stationery And Decor – Ruth and Rob
Ceremony Venue – Philharmonic Hall
Reception Venue – Hope Street Hotel
So tell me, how many of you are now considering huge helium balloons to decorate your ceremony venue?
And I don’t think I can be the only one to suggest Ruth and Rob consider a sideline career in W-day stationery and decor. The paper goods were just so stylish.
I’m also kinda hoping that some of you colour-loving brides will now have the confidence to really make your W-day pop with brights, Ruth and Rob’s pink, blue and sunshine yellow scheme was both contemporary and pretty.
Big C Is For Colour Pop Love