Peachy corals and baby blue colour combinations are one of our favourite colour schemes here at RMW HQ so I was especially thrilled to see that Anna and Simon utilising these hues in their big day at The Pines Calyx. This day is classic elegance at its very best. I love all the sentimental and heartfelt touches too; from the pair's decision to marry at Anna's grandparents church and Anna's grandpa ringing the church bells for the newlyweds as they exited the church. Anna's mum also made an utterly dreamy floral arch on the church gate and I'm told that most of the local village turned out to see Anna walk to the church and wish the happy couple well. Just wonderful!
The Bride's FashionI'd pictured wearing some type of vintage style dress with straps, maybe with a slight low back, but most of all… nothing too big! I'd heard people say, keep an open mind and try on as many different styles as possible as brides often ended up with something completely different to what they imagined… well, that's exactly what happened! I finally found a beautiful Pronovias A-line, sweetheart strapless dress, and fell in love….and it was big! I had a wonderful seamstress Kay who tailored it to fit me perfectly. All of my worries about a strapless dress falling down and constantly having to rearrange yourself on your big day were shattered. To please my earlier notion of 'the perfect dress' Kay was fantastic and sourced matching lace to design detachable straps which I wore for the church service. (I'm kind of a traditional girl and had wanted something on the shoulders.) She also added a simple belt with a bow and tiny covered buttons at the back. I absolutely loved wearing it, and Kay really made it my dream dress. My mum sewed a heart with our wedding date and initials into the hem in blue thread, as my something blue. I didn't see it until the morning of the wedding and I loved that hidden little detail no-one knew about. My chapel length veil was my something borrowed from my bridesmaid and my Tiffany necklace was a gift from years ago. I couldn't find any earrings for a long time but made a last minute purchase from Glitzy Secrets, panic picking between two pairs on the wedding morning- nothing like the last minute! I wanted to stay fairly understated. I wore some peep toe Rainbow Club shoes which were so comfortable, although I was seen sporting some fashionable green flip flops in the evening!
The Groom's FashionSimon didn't fancy the traditional tails as he felt it would swamp him, instead he wanted a tailored slim-fitting suit. Having visited several hire shops, we found that Dapper in Dorking had the best selection. He chose a blue suit and accompanied it with a textured ivory waistcoat and peach cravat. The best men, Dads and ushers had the same blue suits but we mixed and matched blue or ivory waistcoats and peach cravats or ties depending on their role. I was initially a bit worried about blue and peach but think it worked brilliantly in the end and they really did look dapper!
The VenueOur reception was held at The Pines Calyx in St Margaret’s bay, which is an incredible, unique venue. The eco friendly building really appealed to us as it was beautiful, simple and so different to other weddings we'd been to. I used to run around the Pines gardens as a kid with my family, long before the venue was built, so I had a real personal connection and history with the setting. It made it very special on the day and my Dad even mentioned it in his speech so our guests knew why they'd travelled to Kent. Jane at Pines was an alsolute star as our co-ordinator, she was so well organised and made the whole experience as stress free as possible. We really appreciated and needed that as we were manically planning the whole day in 5 months!
Colour SchemeI wanted something a little different to pinks but still keeping fairly traditional and soft, I just didn't know where to start. My maid of honour helped me come up with peaches and cream, (she always wears fantastic coral lipsticks!) and as Simon's favourite colour is green, we added that into the mix too. The venue was so pretty and natural it didn't really need much decoration. We kept things simple, but with a lot of DIY touches - luckily we had a great team of helpers! My mother in-law is really creative with sewing and made some bunting and amazing napkin rings to match. All our guests were wearing them as arm-bands and bracelets half-way through the wedding breakfast, waving them around on the dance floor and ended up taking them home. It was so nice to see her hard work so appreciated. We borrowed an original old green post box from a family friend, draped white voile fabric around the windows to soften and frame the view, and had wooden disks with a mixture of tall vases and fish bowls for centre pieces. We added a lace trim around the middle of the glass to match our stationery and cake, and had different picture frames displaying the table names. I loved our rustic table plan which was displayed in old apple crates with string and pegs too. We really enjoyed being so hands on, it was so rewarding looking around on the day but exhausting having done it all the night before!
FlowersMy Mum was unbelievable and did a huge amount of our flowers herself. She created my favourite piece of floristry which was the arch of flowers under the lych gate, it was just perfect. She worked so hard practicing what she wanted to achieve, (hanging flowers upside down is no easy challenge!) and I loved knowing she was behind so much of it. She also did our centre pieces at the venue using peach avalanche roses, cream roses, veronica, and gypsophila with grass loops. My Auntie Alison, Great Aunt Joan and a professional florist friend of hers, Cicely Finnis, all worked wonders at decorating the church. We managed to transport a few arrangements to the venue to double up on displays. It was just brilliant to have the family and so many others involved. Cicely did the guys' buttonholes and our bouquets too. The main focus was the peach avalanche roses again, with some freesias and gypsophila, but as the bridesmaid dresses were so bright we kept their bouquets to just cream roses and greenery. Everything on the day looked stunning and was a real team effort.
The Wedding Party FashionFinding the bridesmaid dresses was an absolute nightmare, who would’ve thought peach was such a difficult colour?! We visited so many shops, high street chains, bridal boutiques and trawled the internet. Some stockists would do a certain dress style in 86 colours….but not one was peach! Everything was either orange, pink or red. I would finally find a dress in the right colour, to then be told it wouldn’t arrive in time. I'd become so disheartened and even considered changing the entire wedding colour scheme. Time was running out. Eventually a friend recommended a place called Sexy Her, and despite the name they turned up trumps. They had long chiffon dresses in peach and could get them in six weeks time, not six months - what a relief. They even arrived two weeks earlier than scheduled, phew! The page boy and young bridesmaid wore outfits from Monsoon. My mother-in-law added a peach sash and our page boy's mum kindly made a peach bow tie and pocketchief to tie us all in. They both looked so cute and did a great job.
CeremonyWe were married in my Grandparent's village church in Ringwould, by Rev Cathy Sigrist. Cathy was fantastic from start to finish and so open to our ideas of creating a fairly relaxed and upbeat service. We had secular readings instead of bible readings to help with this which my brother, and Simon's sister read beautifully. One was 'Chapter One of One Thousand' which I especially loved as we were by the sea and we hadn't heard it at a wedding before. We'd had to apply for a special licence to get married there but it was so worth it. I had such fond memories of the church, my Grandpa was a bell ringer and used to take my brother and I up the rickety ladders to the top of the clock tower when we were little. Simon liked the intimate small setting too. Lots of the village came out of their houses to see me walk to the church and wish us well, what an atmosphere, and they even flew the flag from the bell tower for us. Two of the best things though, and the most important to me, was that it meant my Grandma at 93 years old and my Grandpa could both be there. My Grandpa even rang the church bells on the big day!
EntertainmentOne of the first things I booked after the venue were Chelsey and Dion, the acoustic duo - I’d never been more decisive! I’d heard them play in London and knew they’d be perfect during our arrival drinks. Our guests loved them and they really set the tone for the day and added something extra to the atmosphere. Our band in the evening were The Vibes who totally exceeded expectations. Their lead singer Kerry’s voice is just out of this world.
FoodOur caterer was Andrew from Herb Garden Catering. The food was delicious and so beautifully presented too. We basically chose our starter entirely based on looks. (Of course it tasted fab too!) The chicken parfait was displayed in cute terracotta pots and made to look like mini allotment, they even had 'edible soil' - it went really well with the natural, outdoorsy loose theme we had. For our main we had duo of duck which was a little different to some wedding menus but gorgeous, and a very summery charred strawberry and merrenge dessert with Kent strawberries. We then had hog roast in the evening which proved very popular, so much so some people had had thirds before others had got a look in! Including myself! Herb Garden did especially well as Simon is gluten intolerant and often has to compromise on choice or taste. Being his wedding day, for once we definitely didn’t want that and Andrew made sure we didn’t have to compromise on anything. Our beautiful cake was made by a friend. We went for Red Velvet with white chocolate ganache, full chocolate and a gluten free top tier of lemon cake. She decorated it with edible lace icing to match our invitations and vase decorations too. We had bride and groom cake pops as our wedding favours to go with tea and coffee as we decided to cut the cake later on. Daisy Pops Cake Pops did a great rush order for us and came to the rescue when our original supplier pulled out days before the wedding due to illness. She even made a few gluten free cake pops so my husband was a very happy man. I loved this idea as it's so sad to see favours left behind at the end of a wedding, but being edible, we didn't have that problem. Any that were left over after dinner, the evening guests quickly snapped up!
PhotographerWe knew we wanted to book Kelly from Lola Rose Photography as soon as we started planning our wedding. We’d been guests at a friend's wedding the year before and noticed how lovely her manner had been with everyone, how professional she was and we'd then seen her stunning images after their big day. They were some of the best we’d ever come across. We loved the mixture of shots she seemed to capture, guests interacting naturally, the more stylised and posed ‘formal’ pictures that never felt formal, and then the private and intimate moments she caught too. We were so over the moon that she was part of our day, and we absolutely love the results. She made everyone feel so comfortable that she actually felt like part of the family during the day.
DIYI'm a little bit obsessed with stationery, I admit it, I even take forever to buying someone a birthday card so I was really looking forward to doing our invitations and making them special. We had my extremely talented friend at Henny Louise Designs create a bespoke design for us which she then continued through to our order of service, table plan and table names. Henny has a great eye for detail, and was very patient with me; I was getting so carried away and excited, I wanted a bit of everything and loved so many conflicting styles. She really did work wonders bringing all my ideas together, adding in her own and actually making sure it all went together! The embellishments on the invites, the lace, brown string and cream paper flowers then featured elsewhere on the big day, including them on our name places, on the cake and vases. We didn't have any wedding cars arranged, we didn't feel it was a priority to us and wanted to spend the money elsewhere, so we were thinking of borrowing my Dad's car and happy with that. With just a few weeks to go, our friends then surprised us by offering their gorgeous pale blue Morris Minor for the day as their wedding gift to us. It was so kind of them and it made some fantastic photos too. We also loved knowing that Jason the owner, who's a mechanic, lovingly restored the Morris Minor for his own wedding day as a present for his bride Jenny - my bridesmaid.
Brides Gown: Pronovias | Jewellery: Glitzy Secrets | Shoes : Rainbow Club | Hair & Makeup: Story Hair & Makeup | Venue: Pines Calyx | | Cake: Handcrafted By Hannah | Wedding Favour Cake Pops: Daisy Pops Cake Pops | Catering: Herb Garden Catering | Bridesmaid Dresses: Sexy Her | Groom: Dapper | Stationery : Henny Louise Designs | Day Entertainment: Chelsey Dion Duo