They say you should never have any regrets…and I very rarely do, especially when it comes to W-day. I see so many beautiful things on literally an hourly basis that it would be fairly easy to “wish I’d thought of that” or planned certain aspects differently “had I only known this” etc etc
The thing is, in reality, I wouldn’t change a thing….because then it wouldn’t have been my day, and if that was the case then Rock My Wedding possibly wouldn’t be here at all.
Can you imagine?!
However, there is one thing I would change. And that would have been the fact I would’ve worn blue. I was always going too – my Mum wore blue for her big day, it’s my favourite colour, it’s the colour that suits me the most…so why wear ivory?
I guess just like a million other brides out there, sometimes you just conform, regardless of that slightly disconcerting niggling feeling that you are making the wrong decision.
Today’s bride Liz wore what I consider the perfect shade – a super flattering blue/silver with an equally stunning feather-inspired statement headpiece. I love this gown. I also love the scaffolding, the Hong Kong influences and the immense dancing imagery.
Liz The Bride: Our big day was on Friday 1st June 2012. We are called Liz & Ozzy. The spectacular ceremony venue was Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire and the reception was in tipi’s in the garden at my Mum’s house in Barnt Green, Worcestershire.
My dress was by Alice Temperley. I originally fell in love with it well before I officially started looking for “the dress” but I didn’t feel comfortable spending so much money. I am a thrift-obsessed shopper preferring charity shops, vintage clothes markets and jumble sales so it felt strange to be lusting after a designer frock but it haunted me and I kept seeing it at wedding fairs, in bridal mags, in shops and finally at Bicester village when I finally decided it was fate! White didn’t feel right so I went for a soft silvery-blue. Ozzy was with me when I bought It so he saw me in it before the big day but it didn’t matter. We aren’t rigidly traditional so I didn’t mind!
Make A Statement
My dress had a lot of diamante and beading detail so my accessories had to work with that which made a veil out of the question. I umm’ed and ahhh’d for ages looking for the right head piece and I finally found a second-hand Victoria Mary Vintage piece at a bridal exchange event. My dress was art-deco in style and this piece worked perfectly. My other jewellery was a vintage diamante and pearl bracelet bought for me by my little sister for my 30th birthday which I saved for the big day, a simple silver bangle on the other wrist which my Dad gave to my Mum on her 21st birthday and a pair of plain stud earrings. Nothing too fancy as the dress did the talking!
Dance Until Dawn
I don’t do high heels normally as I am 5’9” and being disorganised I literally left buying shoes to the last minute (not advisable) but it worked out pretty well! I found a pair of t-bar silver dancing shoes from a shop on eBay. They were seriously comfortable, worked with my dress and it meant I could dance until dawn… (which I did!)
I love experimenting with make-up normally but I wanted a simple and natural look on the day so I did my own make-up as did the bridesmaids. I work with models and make-up artists for a living so I got plenty of advice from the experts on what is important. My make-up was Laura Mercier which was an investment (I don’t splash out on expensive brands normally) with an old eye shadow my bridesmaid had in her bag… as you can tell, I am not good at planning!
My hair was done by the fabulous team at Michelle Griffin in Barnt Green who did a phenomenal job – particularly on my sister Alice who went for a full on 60’s style bee-hive!
I was really keen to do our own flowers in the tipi’s. I love wild flowers so with the help of my maid of honour Susie, my Mum and a lovely neighbour, Pauline, we set to creating an English Summers garden look. On the morning of the wedding we picked lots of wild flowers like cow parsley and fox gloves. I then bought a selection of English garden flowers from an online wholesaler (Triangle Nursery) including masses of stocks, hydrangeas, love-in-the-mist and delphiniums which we then mixed with the wild flowers. They looked stunning!
My aunt, Felicity Hall (from Exeter) is an incredibly talented florist and she very generously did the bridal party flowers for us as a wedding present. My bouquet was a mixture of calla lily, thistle and hydrangea. The button holes were thistles, harking back to my Scottish roots. She also did a heart shaped wreath for our front door – bless!
The ushers wore electric blue suits that we bought for them as a gift with a tie, scarf or cravat of their choice. My parents lived in Hong Kong while we were planning the big day so we got waist-coats for the ushers and close male family members like my Grandpa and uncles made in Hong Kong by a tailor we have been to for over 30 years in thai silk in the same colours as the bridesmaids dresses.
My bridesmaids were my two sisters, Lucy & Alice and my best friend, Susie. They wore dresses which I designed inspired by a dress I had seen in magazine years ago which I cut out and kept in scrap book. They were made in Hong Kong by the same tailor. We bought the material from the lanes in Hong Kong too – haggling as much as we could!
Ozzy wore a slick grey suit from Gieves & Hawkes with a simple white shirt and a funky tie picked up from a charity shop. He completed the look with a bright blue waist-coat. He looked gorgeous, even if he was wearing odd socks!!!
As soon as we landed on Chris Barber’s website, we knew he was the one. When he said he was available I actually screamed! He is funny, irreverent, relaxed but totally professional, very stylish and knows how to capture the moment perfectly. He did an ace job!
Ozzy is a massive cheese cake fan so nothing else would have felt right. We got a free sample at The English Cheese Cake company, tested it on some unsuspecting dinner party guests (who gave it the thumbs up without knowing why they were trying it) and ordered two party sized cakes – one summer-berry fruits and the other full-on toffee and chocolate profiterole.
Blasting The Tunes
Both of us love a good dance so asked a friend, Simon Grigg and his wife to DJ. Simon blasted the tunes out until dawn – I can’t believe there were so many of us still on the dance floor at 4am!
A friend recommended the students at the Birmingham Conservatoire who played while the guests drank champagne and ate divine canapés made by our caterers, Aubrey Allen.
Loving Every Second
I loved every second of planning our wedding!
We wanted a fairly relaxed, chilled vibe. being big festival goers we had seen a tipi tent at Shambala Festival a few years before. We vowed that was what we wanted when we got married. The Stunning Tent Company were perfect.
I am a vintage and thrift blogger in my part time (www.charitychic.wordpress.com) so it was really important for me to weave this style into the overall look and feel. We begged, borrowed and steeled where we could asking family and friends to lend us vases for the flowers, contribute to to the meters and meters of home-made bunting and lend us napkins. We also asked people to concoct home-made liqueurs to make champagne cocktails which we served from vintage cordial bottles I found in a charity shop.
I grew up in Hong Kong and wanted this big influence to feature so we hung a Chinese bird cage over each table which displayed the table names which we called after our favourite places in Hong Kong.
My Mum and I made a selection of favours; guests had the option of home-made honey and vanilla lip balm or tiny Chinese bamboo steamer which contained a fresh-water pearl bracelet which we bought at a market while on holiday in China.
Brides Gown – Temperley
Hair Styling – Michelle Griffin
Grooms Suit – Gieves and Hawkes
Ceremony Venue – Hanbury Hall
Cake – The English Cheesecake Company
Catering – Aubrey Allen
Photography – Chris Barber
May have told a small fib.
I also regret not having a giant toffee and chocolate profiterole cheesecake…..that is possibly the best wedding dessert I have ever seen. EVER.
Big Blue Love