There are so many awesome styling and guest entertainment ideas in Anna and Clayton’s DIY affair I hope you folks have your pinterest accounts already open and if not you might even need to get all old school with a notepad and pen – seriously it’s THAT good.
Starting with a backdrop as cool as The Lobster Shack in Whitstable the couple created “an overgrown jungle” by potting tall ferns and greenery in old tin cans, pair that with pops of pink, delicate feminine blooms, perfect lighting and you know….a beach (!) and you’ve pretty much got one of the most beautiful settings ever.
I know I say this a lot but I REALLY want to be a guest at this do, you can see just how much fun everyone’s having in every single captured still. Also can we talk about Anna and Clayton’s hair? MEGA.
Anna The Bride: I thought I didn’t want a traditional dress to begin with and to be honest I never had an ideal dress in mind which made it harder to find the perfect dress. I wanted to be able to move, dance and have fun so what I ended up with was ideal. I purchased the full length sweetheart neckline dress from Galina as it was plain and simple so I could alter it. I spoke with a friend’s Mum who designs costume dresses for top West End shows in London about my idea to style my dress with some vintage lace. I had a fitting and off we went to purchase the lace from Soho in an amazing fabric shop called The Berwick Street Cloth Shop. The lace I found was perfect for adding detail to the dress across the chest and sleeves. The dress turned out quite traditional but with a hand tailored vintage edge to it which is just what I wanted.
I had quite a clear vision for what I wanted to wear…maybe too much of a detailed vision at times! My idea was of a traditional 3-piece navy suit with a cool twist for my Best Man, my Brother Jody, and me. Adding details such as a pocket chain and monk-strap shoes for my look added a relaxed feel and vintage white knitted ties to create a crisp, clean look. Tailoring was always going to be the most difficult choice as I like my clothes to fit in a slim 60s style. Elliott at Redwood and Feller in London was amazing and helped create the perfect fit for my Brother’s style and mine.
My Ushers, like me, have a passion for fashion and so I wanted to give them free reign to choose their own suits. They decided to go matching and for a brown tweed which brought together traditional and an element of cool that wouldn’t look out of place in Boardwalk Empire!
This was one of the hardest choices we had to make as we both like the industrial warehouse style but wanted a peaceful outdoor space also. In the end we found the perfect venue and destination in the cool little bohemian coastal town of Whitstable. The Lobster Shack had everything we needed, the relaxed atmosphere we were looking for and an amazing reception space right on the beach. The staff were amazing and allowed us to treat the venue as our own blank canvas which was fun. Whitstable as a location was a great place to have the wedding we wanted, all the suppliers that we found knew of each other it had a great community feel to it.
One thing we didn’t want was to have a traditionally styled wedding with bunting and chair covers. We wanted a graphic style rather than a colour theme. We got engaged in an old-fashioned black and white photo booth in Brooklyn, New York, and took this as our inspiration for our stationery and styling.
We wanted to take advantage of the industrial feel of the venue, while adding bold graphic touches with our big hand painted canvas signs, and marquee lighting, along with the over grown plants and even a gold tinsel wall, which wouldn’t look out of place in an 80’s game show.
We were looking to create an element of dilapidation and abandonment which inspired us to use overgrown plants in disused rusty tins, alongside foliage in random old bottles that we collected. 2 weeks before the wedding we headed over to Columbia Road Flower Market in Bethnal Green and purchased a range of ferns and palm plants that we re-potted into large old tin cans. We styled the stage area of the venue with the plants and some Marquee lights to create an over grown jungle with additional lighting for the evening. For the Bridal party we wanted a pop of colour to tie in the bright Bridesmaids dress, but also styled the fern throughout the décor, within the Brides’ bouquet and also on the guests table.
We wanted our ceremony to be completely relaxed with an element of fun. We designed and created ‘Yay!’ flags and confetti packs which were placed on guest’s chairs. It was a special moment walking down the aisle as a married couple to all of our friends and family waving their flags and confetti failing through the air!
Our main objective of our wedding was for everyone to have fun and for it to be like one big party. One of our favourite elements of the day was a secret surprise course after dessert. As Primal Scream’s Loaded belted out of the speakers the waiters served a party bag, that we had specially designed and created in-keeping with our wedding branding, and a party hat to each guest. It was amazing looking up to see our family and friends rummaging through their surprize party bags like excited children. There were bubbles drifting through the air, party blowers echoing and party poppers firing across the room. It was chaos, but good chaos! We also had evening entertainment with sparklers and a photo booth with hand-made props.
Food is a BIG part of our lives, we both grew up with having home cooked meals presented for everyone to share. This is our favorite style of food where everyone gets to dip in and out and have what they fancy. Again we wanted to stay away from the traditional plated wedding breakfast, but instead have a sharing feast. Our caterers the Peoples Food co, brought our food dreams to life with vintage platters filled with all kinds of tasty treats. We wanted food to be of plenty on the day, and for guests to never be hungry. We started with canapés on the beach, accompanied by sunshine and reggae music. As our venue was an old Oyster factory and Whitstable is famed for its oysters, we also had Oyster shucking on the beach which was a hit with our guests!
Our photographer was the cool kid Igor Demba, he was recommended to us by one of our blogger friends The Lovely Drawer. We loved Igor’s relaxed style of photography and the minute we chatted with him on Skype we knew he was our guy as he instantly got our vision. He was ace on the day and our guests loved him too! He made the day more fun, took us on an adventure and became one of the guests; we couldn’t have found a better photographer. The day we received our wedding slide show, we couldn’t believe how much the photos were just what we wanted.
One tip we would recommend would be to create a ‘crew pack’ for each of the key people for your day. This was a trick I had learned from my time in the events industry. It meant that the caterers, venue, photographer and Ushers had a list of timings and responsibilities which made for a smooth-running stress-free day for us as the Bride and Groom.