Pinar and Rich’s reason for choosing their reception venue is hopelessly romantic. They told me that they chose Falconhurst because it has the most amazing garden of flowers and fields that go on for miles and look as if they connect with the sky.
How beautiful is that.
As Pinar is strongly connected to her Turkish Cypriot roots, both she and Rich wanted to create a wedding that reflected both of their cultures. The result is a glorious fusion of Turkish decadence and English charm.
Tulle And Trains
Pinar The Bride: Despite visiting lots of fairs, second-hand shops and online stores, I still hadn’t found anything until six months before the big day when I came across an amazing bridal store called Blackburn Bridal in Blackheath.
Mandi and Sama from the store were so honest with their opinions which made the process so much easier! As I didn’t know what style suited me or what I really wanted I’d tried on a lot of dresses but it was only when I got to Blackburn Bridal that the dresses seemed to begin to make sense.
I finally chose a Watters dress called ‘Irina’ with a long veil. It was the small details of the flowers that were made up of intricate beading, as well as the layers and layers of the dotted tulle making up the dress and its amazing whimsical long train that I loved.
I found most shoes on the high street were out of my budget. After a lot of searching online however, I finally found some amazing ivory satin platform peep toe shoes by Menbur that I bought from Amazon for not much more than £30 in the sale.
They had these amazing crystal covered bows on each side of the front of the shoe that I absolutely loved.
I really was in two minds whether to be brave and do my own make-up or to have someone do it for me on the big day. I really just wanted to keep the amount of makeup to a minimum but still look special for the day. I asked Ruth Burnell to come along and apply my make-up on the day after a fantastic trial with her.
My hair was tweaked into place by Terry at Beauty Hut – she was fantastic! My hair was styled to one side with curls, a bit of a puff of volume on top and more curls in the back. I accessorised my hair with fresh summer pink roses; both Terry and Ruth did a really great job.
We decided to get our bridesmaids flowy dresses to resemble the layers on my dress. We chose them in a light vintage pink with a cream ribbon waist and flowers on one shoulder. The dresses were designed in the one shoulder style with a beautiful heart shaped neckline that matched my dress. We got the dresses from Fever that just opened up not too long before we started looking for dresses.
Boys In Bow-Ties
Rich wore a light grey three-piece suit from Reiss with a handmade bow tie from New York bought from Etsy. He wore shoes from Paul Smith which were grey with purple laces. They showed his fun side, he has a funny sense of humour and he looked swooningly dreamy.
Due to logistical reasons we knew it would be a nightmare to try to have all the groomsmen wearing the same suit. We asked them to wear their own suits with a white shirt and a bow-tie to bring it all together. The bow ties were bought from Etsy and we gave them as gifts to the groomsmen from us. We also bought our dads bow-ties to tie in with Rich and his bow tie.
They all looked amazing!
It Was Meant To Be
Looking through his work it seemed to match our style and theme perfectly. We didn’t want too many formal shots so a more documentary style was perfect capturing our friends and families emotions and feelings of the day.
He really did the most wonderful job and we couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome.
Floristry Magic And Helping Hands
Lisa at Morganics who are local to us in Clapham Junction worked their magic with the bouquets and buttonholes. Filled with peonies, roses and antirrhinums, they smelt and looked amazing.
We sourced all other flowers for the marquee from a wholesaler and had them delivered to the venue a couple of days before. A few helping hands in the form of Rich’s family a few days before the wedding helped to create the table layouts, runners and table arrangements that I had designed. For the centrepieces we used over two hundred miniature bottles that we found on eBay for £20!
Cake By Sugar
We first saw Andrea from Cake by Sugar at a wedding fair in London. There were a few cake stands and we ate a mini cake from each of them but it was Andrea’s cake that really stood out as “amazingly yummy”. After several discussions and a tasting session, I sketched the design of the cake how I envisaged it including flowers, dusting and flavour labels.
Andrea worked her magic, and produced a combination of sponges including banana sponge with a raspberry filling, chocolate sponge with chocolate filling and vanilla sponge with raspberry and vanilla. They tasted amazing! We opted for a lot of cake so that it could also double up as the dessert.
As for the rest of the food, we enlisted the help of Sarah from Elm Green to devise a menu that was the perfect fusion between English and Turkish food. We also wanted the food to be served in a way where everyone could help themselves on their tables and she met the brief perfectly.
For entertainment we really wanted to have a mix of English and Turkish music. We opted for a Turkish band who played both English and Turkish and everyone really loved it. We were initially really nervous about it but we needn’t have worried.
We also had a few traditions which incorporated a davul-zurna (drum and Flute player) called LPM Bohemia to play us into the marquee and another tradition of the ‘testi’ which is where all the unmarried ladies dance with a vase filled of sweets and money and then the bride smashes the vase. The pieces of vase are considered good luck for their marriages to come.
We love music and it was such a hard choice to come up with one song for our first dance. In the end we chose Greg Laswell as his song reminded us of so many of our significant memories and it just seemed right.
A Whimsical Woodland Affair
Our decor style became this whimsical woodland English / Turkish Wedding. We both grew up loving the outdoors and the summer sun so we decided to go with a outdoor woodland wedding and have a marquee, festoon lights, candles and handmade elements to bring the style together.
I designed our wedding invitations, RSVP’s, menus, place names and all the other bits of stationery which were all hand drawn. We screen printed the wedding invites to make them extra personal. I loved doing this so much that I now design hand drawn wedding invitations and sell them through my Etsy shop.
Together with our families we decorated the inside of the marquee; it was really hard work hanging these festoon lights but when they were up and we added our pom poms to them it looked amazing!
Our bunting was made by Rich’s mum and sister – it was so special to us because most the material that was used was from Rich’s grandparents so it felt like we had them there with us on our special day.
For our favours we gave guests ‘Başti’ a Turkish traditional sweet and sugar almonds wrapped in little packages organised by my aunty.
Keeping It Personal
Our wedding was more amazing and special to us then we could have ever imagined.
We decided on a set budget very early on and then concentrated on what was really important. For us it was our family and friends, the quality of the food and entertainment.
Definitely go to markets, search eBay and second hand stores where you can really find great bargains. You don’t have to spend a lot to make your day amazing; it’s the people you have there that really make it special.
Our advice to anyone planning a wedding is to keep it personal and only do what you want and feel comfortable with. Remember it’s only one day of your life and getting there should be fun too, and after the big day there are plenty of opportunities to create more memories from your next adventures!
Boutique: Blackburn Bridal
Make-up: Ruth Burnell
Hair: Beauty Hut
Stationery: Designed by Pinar
Photography: Albert Palmer
Venue: Falconhurst Estate
Cake: Cake By Sugar
Any bride that can tuck her bouquet under her arm and make it look like a serious style statement gets serious brownie points in my book – doesn’t Pinar look absolutely exquisite !
And that cake… I love a cake that really does look as good as it tastes – well it had me reaching for a recipe book to mix up a decadent Victoria sponge complete with strawberries and lots of clotted cream anyway.
Lastly Pinar’s remark that ‘getting there should be fun too’ is inspired. Whilst planning a wedding can be an exciting affair, it can come with its share of stress and anxiety too and it really shouldn’t be that way.
Take time out from time to time on your planning journey, give your lover a kiss and remember what it’s really all about.
All my love Lolly xxx