A laid back summer affair where everyone likes to Party! I literally wish I’d been there as everybody looked like they were having a super time! They had friends singing and DJ-ing and there was even a dressing up wardrobe with plenty of props. Horses head anyone!
LOVE that Groom Nick drove his new Bride Abi to their marquee reception in his Grandad’s retro 80’s sports car! All their guests where there ready waiting to cheer the arrival of the new Mr & Mrs! Also loving Abi’s charity shop addiction and her fab use of vintage fringed lampshades as decor, such a fun & unique idea.
But how can I not mention Abi, her dress, her veil, her flower crown well it’s all just perfection, she looks stunning. The embellishment on the dress & that veil floating in the wind; it’s all too dreamy for words, so you’ll just have to see for yourself…
Abi The Bride: The plan was simple, every one had to have a good time.
It all started with our venue search. Being festival goers and enjoying a party outside, we knew the setting had to be outdoors, however, we wanted a fully inclusive wedding with all family members catered for (including Grandparents) so we had to consider some practicalities. We viewed several venues however, with the Walled Garden we knew almost instantly that this would be a perfect venue providing beautiful gardens for a party yet offering us the practicalities of the indoor marquee, and allowing us to put our own style to the day. The food and drink were also taken care of, we opted for canapés followed by a relaxed BBQ in the late afternoon. In the evening we had a cake made out of cheese and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies (Melton Mowbray is Nick’s home town).
We were very fortunate to get married in the Cathedral of Nottingham. My Uncle, Father Jim Allen married us there, having him conduct the service made it very personal to us. We invited all our guests to the whole day, as the vows and ceremony were the most important part and we didn’t want anyone to miss it. My Dad and I spent a great deal of time looking for hymns and readings that were relevant and my cousin Bernard Allen sang hymns on the acoustic guitar giving a unique sound to them, it was very special.
So when the venues was booked we knew we needed to book the music. We found an amazing band on the internet called Gypsies of Bohemia, we went to see them play live in a Manchester jazz club and knew that they would have everyone on their feet playing everything from the Backstreet boys to the Prodigy in their unique style. To give more of a festival vibe to the day we enlisted the help of our talented friends Gareth Jones, Kate McKusker and Jack Holland to perform individual sets giving variety to the music. They played on the outdoor stage during the afternoon and had people on their feet from the moment they arrived at the party venue. Another talented friend Dan Jones (aka DJ Tight Socks) DJ’d in between the Gypsies of Bohemia, Dan played a variety of music from jazz to drum and bass. The dance floor was consistently full and I remember standing back at a distance and seeing the whole floor moving up and down, it was quite something.
A hobby of mine is charity shopping, I mainly do this for clothes but turned my attention to decoration for the wedding. I became quite obsessed with 1920’s fringed lampshades and freestanding lamps. We hung the lampshades to trees, bushes and anything that would hold them really. Inside the tables were decorated with lots paintings, some of the images were well known others were not. There were also old teapots, antique books and ornaments foraged from car boot sales and charity shops. The idea was to give the feel of an old ladies living room. I had an old vintage wardrobe that I no longer used so we took the back off it and filled it full of our fancy dress items from years gone by and used the wardrobe as a photo booth. It was really funny to see people walking around in all of our memories.
Our florist Clare Jones owner of the award winning bridal florist the Bee Orchid (also a Bridesmaid) did an outstanding job on the flowers, the tables were full of flowers in all sorts of jam jars. With the flowers we went for a just picked from a meadow look, that was the only description I gave to Claire and she arrived at our house with a van load of flowers and gave us the amazing opportunity of just picking what we wanted. I got to choose my own flowers to make up the bouquet and headdress.
For a personal touch I made the wedding favours, this was a festival guide that each person was presented with when they arrived at the venue. The guides provided guests with a keep sake of the day including who was playing and when food was being served etc.
As something a little different to writing in a book about the day I set up an art table with art pads and invited people to get creative when leaving us messages.
One of my favourite parts of the day was getting ready with the girls (my Mum and Bridesmaids) in the morning, we had such a laugh and the prosecco was flowing whilst we had our hair and make up done. I had five of my close friends by my side throughout the day and they brought joy to many of our guests with their dancing and general liveliness. For their dresses I wanted them to wear something that I would wear, something a bit different and came across the perfect folky dress on ASOS. To complete the look, I wanted their personality and individuality to shine through so asked them to pick out a pair of green shoes in the style they would choose. They also were in charge of how they wanted their hair and make up. This is so important I think, there is nothing worse than feeling self conscious in makeup you wouldn’t normally wear, I wanted them to feel relaxed and glamorous.
Nick wanted a three piece suit that was retro had character and was sophisticated, after several unsuccessful shops he found his suit in Ted Baker. His shoes really set the whole thing off, although he had to wear them round the house for a few weeks to wear them in. For the Groomsmen we wanted a three piece suit to match Nicks and went for one at Next.
Brides Fashion & Accessories
From a young age the only thing I could ever picture about my wedding look was that I would have flowers in my hair. Before the search for a dress started I felt a lot of pressure to choose a dress that suited my style, I however, when we started to look the whole process happened quite organically. I wanted to have my dress made so that it would be individual and quirky. Before this I went to try on different styles of dress as I had no idea what would suit my figure. My sister Sophie Allen (Made of Honour) picked out a dress I would have totally disregarded, when I tried it on both my Mum and Sister started crying and we all knew I didn’t need to have my dress made. The Eternity Bridal Wear shop we got the dress from gave me the best piece of advice about veils. “Don’t get one that covers your face because when you no longer need it after the ceremony, it hangs by your shoulders and the eye is drawn to that place so in photos etc. you never really take in the dress as a whole”. With this information I had a full length Jenny Packham silk tulle veil made.
One thing we were certain of was our fabulous photographer Rebecca Goddard, her work is just stunning, having seen her in action at events of our friends, we admired her seamless presence, capturing the special moments unnoticed which preserves the best memories.
Our creative friend Dan Jones (DJ Tight Socks) enlisted the help of our friends to secretly film snippets of the day and then made two outstanding Vimeo’s for us which we, as well as our guests have enjoyed again and again. https://vimeo.com/104458659
All in all our day felt truly special, I think it worked so well because there was a real sense of community, we aimed to make our friends and family feel inclusive of the day. It felt like everyone really set out to enjoy them selves and that’s what they did.