Kim and Chris were married at The Rectory Hotel at Crudwell in the Cotswolds and they married upon the exact 7 year anniversary of the very day that they got together.
After a pre-wedding party on 9 September 2011 at The Potting Shed, a pub down the lane from the venue, the big day arrived. One party down, one to go…
Joanna Brown of Browns Photography was there to capture those moments forever.
Hand Dyed Silk.
My dress was designed and made to measure by Dana Bolton of Once upon a time. I couldn’t find anything I liked in the shops, particularly as I knew I wanted long sleeves and 30/40s feel to the dress, something vintage, with lace, and unique. Dana helped sketch out my ideas and bring it together and when she showed me the hand-dyed silk and chiffon she had in a pale blush I was sold! When I tried on the finished article I just knew I had the right dress for me – magical!
My earrings were from a shop in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham (where I am from). but the name of the shop escapes me – sorry! I had bought them ages ago and never intended them for the wedding but as the dress and look came together – they felt right! My hair comb was made by Jurgita at Lavender by Jurgita who I found through etsy!
After having my hair trial I thought that I should have comb that echoed the vintage look and the pearls would tie in with my pearls on the dress – and could sit in the rolls of hair at the back. I use etsy a lot so when i searched for vintage hair combs, and saw the style of Jurgita’s I thought they would be beautiful and set my hair off!
My shoes were actually my something borrowed – from my good friend Manana who got married in 2009. She and then our good friend Beth (we all went to uni together) wore them for her wedding in May this year – so I decided to carry on the tradition. They are originally hand made by Emmy.
Flawless Attention To Detail.
My make-up and hair were done by Katherine Jennings who was local to Cotswolds and recommended by the venue. She was brilliant and we had a three-hour hair and make-up trial before the wedding. She took really detailed notes and photographs to be able to re-create it on the day, and understood exactly what I wanted from the pictures and descriptions I showed her. I knew I wanted really simple make-up (just to look as flawless as possible and a bit dewy were my only requests) and I think she did a really good job. My hair went down a treat with the guests on the day and was in theme with the vintage and 30s/40s look of the dress.
Heather And Herbs
We had a pseudo theme of heather and herbs for the wedding that was reflected in the stationery. All staionery, table plans, save the dates and invites were made by my extremely talented sister Kate Blake.
So we asked the florist to include heather in all buttonholes and my bouquet as well as any nice smelling herbs. The heather was to symbolise Haworth moors, where we have been going walking together since we first met and where Chris proposed in July last year. The herbs – our love of cooking! Other than that we described colours and flowers we loved, that we wanted texture and size and smell. She interpreted the brief so well and provided all the jugs for table centres, jam jars, wicker hearts, hanging jars of flowers etc – the cream candula roses in the buttonholes and bouquets were a perfect match for my dress colour and she pulled out the vintage lace details for the hand-tied posies and my bouquet! Sara Tuckey of Aqua florist was also local and recommended by a friend who used her for her wedding in August this year! She was really professional and reliable and extremely enthusiastic about our wedding!
Pretty In Pink.
Chris had two best men who wore their own suits with ties and shirts from Thomas Pink. The ties were pink and matched the design of the groom’s and father of the groom’s ties (all in different colours).
The bridesmaids wore dresses hand-made to a 1940s original voque pattern I found on the internet. I sent the pattern and measurements to Cynthia at heart my Closet – again found on etsy – and the dresses returned in a month. Both bridesmaids had slight adjustments made locally and bought their own shoes and belts to suit their personalities. I must admit, colours and matching were not something we focused on but rather would the colour (teal!) suit the people involved and above all would people be comfortable?! The flowers for the bridesmaids hair were provided by Sara, My sister’s grey and white shoes were hand made by Roni Kantor at Roni Kantor vintage and Laura’s were from a charity shop in Birmingham.
Finishing Touchces And Flowergirls.
I bought my bridesmaids bracelets which they wore on the day from Joy Everley in London. Flowergirls Poppy and Molly (Chris’ nieces) wore dresses from Monsoon and their cream chiffon and crochet tops matched my dress to a tee! Flower wands and head dresses again provided by Sara.
Made To Measure.
Chris wore a made-to-measure three-piece suit in petrol blue from Gieves and Hawkes, including made-to-measure shirt and handkerchief. His shoes were made by Jeoffrey West and bought in Manchester. Tie from Thomas Pink.
Capturing The Moment
Our photographer was the truly wonderful Joanna Brown of Browns Photography. My sister found Joanna on the internet and after having looked at her work online we were hooked – by the mood, atmosphere, use of colours, and love that went into her photos. She really seemed to be able to capture the moment, in a natural and emotional way which was what we really wanted – nothing staged or impersonal or indeed too literal. We looked at lots of great quality photos but them seemed to be missing that heart we saw in Joanna’s. Her vintage and unique style really fit in with the rest of the wedding too.
We met her at her home, shared tea and cake and our vision for the wedding. We had a ball on our pre-engagement shoot in Bournville and by the time the wedding came we considered her a friend! So we felt relaxed to be ourselves and share the raw emotions.
Our cake was made by my sister and was a surprise! We had a cake table and asked people to bring home-made or bought cakes for everyone to share. My sister made a vanilla sponge cake with a lemon curd centre and vanilla buttercream topping. The cat couple had sat on the shelf in our nan’s house all those years we were growing up and meant she was also present even though she has now passed.
We had The Old Time String Band play live before and after our wedding ceremony to ensure the day got off to a jolly start. We knew we wanted live music and a folk vibe that we love and also suited the theme and overall tone of the day. As we were getting married late we knew a dj and band were not an option for later so started the entertainment early. As we wanted the reception outside we thought it would offer a festival vibe – which contiuned into the silent disco.
Our dj was dave from diskojuice. He specialises in ‘unqiue or alternative’ wedding music. Like the band I found him on the internet but met him in the summer to discuss our tastes and thoughts for the wedding. He wanted to get a sense of us as much as we did of him. Like many of the people who contributed to our wedding, we considered him a friend by the time the day arrived – having sat in our living room the weekend before (me dying of flu) going through song choices!
As well as kicking off and maintaining a really fantastic party he organised, at our initiation, a silent disco because our venue had to stop live music by 11.00pm. It was inspired and the guests had so much fun its gone down in friend history!
Will You Still Love Me…
Our good friend Colette has been learning the ukuele and playing in a band so we asked her to play our first dance. The song came about by accident. Three weeks before we attended her brothers wedding and the next day we had a good old fashioned irish sing along and she played, Will you still love me tomorrow. We asked if she would play that as it was a little tongue in cheek – which we wanted in order to deflect attention – and we had everyone singing along with us! it was the moment and friendship that was more significant than anything else. we also used up all our personal songs during the ceremony!
For Favours we had blackcurrant jam made by me my Mum and my sister and various herb packets put together by my mum and sister and matched to the various herb named tables on which each person sat!
We let the venue speak for itself – with all its vintage accessories and knick knacks decorations weren’t necessary beyond what my mum, sister and Sara provided, including candles in jam jars and hanging flowers etc. The marquee was lovely and the chairs and lighting were all provided, at the venue’s recommendation by Ken at Elegant Marquees.
A Team Effort.
Our wedding was so special because we love each other and our friends and family and they all played a part – not just family members. Everyone contributed by making things, bringing cakes, playing music, singing along, delivering speeches, by making recommendations, coming to dress fittings with me, lending me their shoes. The wedding was the culmination of months of hen and stag do’s, celebration dinners and planning sessions that meant everyone knew each other and already felt comfortable to share in the joy of the day – even the two best man speeches turned into a team effort including wives of the guys!
My advice to brides is make sure you make decisions together and enjoy the process – the creative bits, meeting new people, and learning what is important to each of you. Be yourself and make decisions that make you happy. Concentrate on the overall vibe of the day not so much the minute details – how do you want yourself and people to feel as they come away? Well fed, well-entertained, well-watered? Invest in those things….. and not everything has to match!
Kim and Chris
Venue The Rectory Hotel
Dress Dana Bolton
Hair and Make-up Katherine Jennings
Photography Browns Photography
Entertainment The Old Time String Band
Marquee Elegant Marquees
It sounds like Kim and chris’s big day not only bought them together, but it bought a whole community of friends and family together too. And that surely is what it’s all about. A big day. Everyone you love in one room. A big bloody party. Together.
If you are organised enough a pre-wedding party can be an absolute hoot. I’ve been to one such shindig that involved kayaking in Wales for 4 hours (elderly relatives and packed lunch included). It was brilliant fun and successful bonding exercise. But no matter what you do – it’s a great way to get your guests mingling and socially warmed up before the big day its self.