You know when someone has really put their blood sweat and tears (of joy obvs) into their big day because it shows. It shows in the small details, it shows in the smiles of pride on their faces and it shows in their guests faces. It also shines through in the photography.
Mary went to town on getting everything perfect for her wedding day, which included visiting one of my very own favourite fabric shops here in Birmingham. She has some seriously good ideas for you all to see and steal and I’m really happy to see a tea cup…it’s been a while.
Simon and Mary married on 14th September 2012 at Tythe barn, Bicester. A beautiful venue perfect for their vintage inspired day.
Mary The Bride: I bought the base of my dress from Honeypie Boutique. I then bought the polka dot overlay from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham which my amazing dressmaker Beverley Mann used to create an overlay, sleeves, collar and my cute little bow belt on the front. The dress itself was taken from a pattern but also a certain degree of flair from my dressmaker and ideas in my head! I didn’t go dress shopping as I knew I wanted something completely individual and unique to me and it had to be 1950’s prom style because I love the glamour and the femininity of this period.
Meant To Be
I bought an original 1950’s birdcage pink veil from etsy, I knew as soon as I bought it that it was exactly right, the veil even had pink polka dots on it so it was meant to be! I wore freshwater pearl earrings which I also bought from etsy. My shoes were from shoe designer Harriet Wilde, they were simple and elegant Mary Jane ivory satin sling backs, they had high skinny heels and a hidden platform so they were comfy too. As my dress was quite detailed I wanted the shoes to be simple but classic, they fitted perfectly with everything.
I had my hair done by Gavin of Hensmans Northampton. They have been doing my hair for years and I have a great relationship with Gavin; there was definitely nobody else I felt more comfortable with doing my hair for the big day. I had a hair piece made for me which sat in a chignon which was very vintage 50’s/60’s style and it looked great with the veil too. My good friend Emma Shipley did mine, the bridesmaids and my mum’s makeup. I went for retro flicks and smoky eyes for both me and my girls, we also felt very glam with our lash extensions too! I kept my lips quite neutral and opted for a nude pink gloss.
Especially For Me
I am fortunate that I know so many talented people and my friend Caroline is also a qualified florist. She did an amazing job with my flowers. I had David Austin peach cabbage roses, blue thistle, pale blue hydrangea and peach spray roses with eucalyptus round the bottom for my bouquet. It was truly beautiful. The girls had similar bouquets but without the thistle and David Austin roses as these were especially for my bouquet. They were hand tied loosely with ivory tulle and pale blue tulle for the girls flowers. I had my table flowers displayed in vintage tea pots and the tutor holes were blue thistle and peach spray roses with a pink ribbon for the girls and pale blue for the boys. Caroline and myself found a brilliant idea online too for a gypsophila garland with paper birds hanging from it on ribbons, I loved this idea and knew it would be fabulous hanging from the barn doors as we were getting married outside I really fell in love with this idea and it really looked great the day. Finally my old wooden birdcage was my table planner which was transformed with birds, flowers, foliage and moss to look like a magical forest scene, absolutely brilliant!
The bridesmaid dresses were made from scratch by Beverley Mann from an original 1950’s dress pattern. I bought the material from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham, again to tie in the polka dots they also wore dots but with a pale blue polka dot tulle overlay along with a pale blue bow belt on the front to mimic the one on my dress. They also had a 4 layered pale blue petticoat which again Beverley made from scratch. I made each of my girls a vintage wrist corsage from silk flowers, old beads, tulle and ribbon, each one was individual (I really wanted to restate the whole 1950s prom girl scene!). Their earrings were bought from etsy along with the pale blue bow comb that they wore in their hair. The boys suits came from a local company in Northampton called Suitors. Simon bought his pale grey lace up shoes from Dychurch Shoes in Northampton, they looked great with the suit and we knew as soon as we saw the shoes that they were the shoes he would wear with his wedding suit. I bought Simon an original 1950’s pocket watch from eBay a few months before the wedding which he wore on the day. I had it engraved on the back with a lyric from a very special song between us, I wanted him to have a keepsake for the day to remind him of me when he woke up that morning.
Too Cool For School
Our photographer was the very talented and too cool for school Matt Parry! We knew as soon as we saw Matt’s work online that he was exactly what we wanted to capture on our day; effortlessly cool, understated and most importantly no horrible posed photos of people looking uncomfortable. I think we achieved exactly what we wanted and we couldn’t be any happier with what Matt did for us. He made everyone feel at ease and made our day fun. Simon’s uncle kindly loaned us his vintage Aston for the afternoon where we had alot of fun driving around and generally larking around whilst Matt captured the moment, as a result we had some great photos, although on the way back the Aston broke down, still at least we got our pics!
A Special Mum
I always knew I wanted someone special to make our cake and we did just that by asking my mum to make them! Me and mum went on a vintage cupcake decorating course called My Pretty Cakes and learnt how to make roses, buttons, pearls and ribbons etc. We bought all the equipment and icing and my mum made sponge cupcakes with buttercream and fondant icing on top, decorated with an assortment of sugar paste hearts, buttons, roses and flowers. We felt very special that my mum had made such an amazing effort and the cakes looked fantastic!
A Love Letter
We knew straight away we wanted live music and we wanted the sort of music where everyone would want to get up and dance. We booked Accrington Stanley who are predominantly a Beatles band but they also played other 60’s songs. They went down a storm and everyone was up and dancing. Our first dance was an Oasis cover ‘wonderwall’ covered by Ryan Adams, we chose this version as Ryan has a great tone to his voice and he softens the song making it sound just lovely. There is a story behind our song; when me and Simon had not long known each other and were good friends, Simon expressed his feelings for me in a letter which he gave to me and in it, yes you guessed it he put ‘and after all…you’re my wonderwall’ as they say the rest is history.
Bird Theme and a lot of DIY
My name tags were tied onto vintage teacups which I had been collecting for over a year; inside the cups were our favours. I had our favour bags made by hand by a lovely lady called LesleyP on Folksy who knitted each one and tied with ribbon, they were just so cute! Inside he bags were chocolate mini eggs, I had a bird theme going on so thought, eggs, very appropriate! Plus they fitted perfectly in the bags inside the teacups.
I had paper Pom poms hanging in the trees outside, my garland hanging on the barn doors, paperbag lanterns lining the oath outside at night (which looked amazing all lit up!) and bunting by Bunting Queen inside the barn. I made photo props and had little frogs with tags round their neck reading ‘kiss me and wish’ on the tables. My friend made me some teacup candles which we all had on the tables. I made jamjar lanterns which were put outside at night. I made my bride and groom birdy cake toppers by purchasing a pattern online from etsy. I got a friend to print a wedding day planner and then I made a mount from vintage material and painted and distressed an old picture frame, this was so cheap but so effective, I also bought another old frame from a junk shop and transformed it by painting and distressing it with sand paper, then by tying on picture wire I could clip old black and white photos to this. I used this to attach old photos of our relatives who are no longer with us but we wanted them to feel part of our day.
My wedding was special because to me it was so personal. I put my blood, sweat and tears into the whole day, I spent months sourcing china, sewing, sticking and cutting, making so much of the personal details for the wedding myself made it feel so much more special and I felt a real sense of pride and achievement when I saw it all coming together. For anyone who has a creative touch or has creative friends, get them involved as it’s amazing how cheaply you can achieve such great ideas. Go online and source ideas then get down your charity shops and recycling warehouses as you will be amazed what you can find!
What a talented and very clever bride! I adore Mary’s patience and ability to shop around for the perfect fabrics and the extra touches to bring her day together. And how cool is that birdcage!
Also…I’d love someone to write me a love letter like the on one Simon wrote for Mary. Cuteness.
So, who is now feeling inspired to go hunting for fantastic finds this weekend? I’m off to the nearest car boot…