This morning’s wedding is the wedding of teenage sweethearts Katie & Dan.
The sweet pair have been together since they were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and married in the village where they had their first kiss.
Isn’t that adorable?
They had such a fun wedding too, I love the vibrant blooms and the Bridesmaids look great in their postbox red prom dresses.
The 50s high school dance theme worked perfectly in the village hall and they had total control over the decor…this meant fairy lights, flowers in jam jars and bunting galore.
Having tables named after 50s icons such as Brigitte Bardot and Elvis is such a fun idea too. Are you ready? I think you’re going to like this one…
Katie The Bride:Dan and I have been together since we met at school as teenagers, so we’ve had lots of conversations over the years about what our future wedding might be like. We knew that we wanted a fun, laid‐back wedding that reflected our personalities and chose to have the wedding in the small Essex town where we both grew up. The ceremony was held in the town’s Catholic Church and, after some debate, we settled on a real ‘blank canvas’ venue – a village hall in Henham. Coincidently, this was the village where we had our first kiss 12 years earlier, in a car park – how romantic!
Faced with the task of turning the hall into a wedding venue, we started making, begging and borrowing decorations a few months before. With the wedding held in October, we chose an Autumnal colour scheme – rusty red, burnt oranges and mustard yellows, with a loose 50s theme coming in too. We borrowed reams of vintage‐style bunting from a friend, pegged up old pictures, dotted lots of little tealights all over the tables and covered the ceiling in drapes of fairy lights.
The 50s preppy theme came through with a big wooden letter ‘D’ and ‘K’ which Dan’s dad knocked up, and we created a fabric canopy from lengths of ribbon and material from a saree shop near our flat in Tooting – I was aiming for an effect similar to the decorations at the high school dance in Grease! Our table plan was based around fifties icons – Elvis, Audrey, Marilyn, and The Fonze for the top table, naturally. Favours were penny shop sweets for the men, and little home‐sewn fabric hearts for the ladies – there were over 50 of them and it took my poor Mum months!
The transformation of the hall took place on the day before the wedding and we really couldn’t have done it without lots of help from a committed crew of friends and family. They worked tirelessly all day and helped us realise our vision. It was a very busy day but completely worth it to see the hall transformed and to know we had created everything ourselves. It was so personal and felt like a real labour of love.
Our caterers – Kingfisher Catering – provided yummy canapés plus the first two courses of the wedding breakfast. They were really accommodating and even agreed to mix up some cocktails that we’d concocted ourselves with quite minimal instructions! For dessert, we served up a choice of puddings made by our family, with the crowning glory being the wedding cake made by Dan’s mum. It looked and tasted amazing and she tirelessly handmade little icing flowers to tie in with the colour scheme. My Dad was essentially the bar manager, as we provided all of the drinks ourselves, so he arranged the delivery of everything and oversaw the essential job of making sure the beer was perfectly chilled!
Dan’s sisters company Drinkstuff were great, helping us to source jam jars for the table centrepieces and gorgeous vintage‐style drinks dispensers for our cocktails. A wonderfully creative work colleague, Kerry Wakefield, created a hand written sign for the bar, which added a real personal touch.
Finding Dan’s suit was easy – a trip to Reiss in the January sales was all it took to find the perfect fitted blue suit with waistcoat. The Best Man and ushers wore their own suits and we tied everything together with white TM Lewin shirts and floral Topman ties. My dress was from Allure – fitted, ivory lace with spaghetti straps and a low scoop back. I only wanted a veil for the church to cover my shoulders so picked up one for £20 on Ebay!
I borrowed a white faux fur jacket from a friend and accessorised it with a red flower brooch and my Nanny’s pearls. Finding shoes was a nightmare – I decided I wanted flat‐ish red ones (I’m only an inch shorter than Dan) that still felt glam. A pair with red bows from Nine West eventually did the trick. My three bridesmaids wore red fifties‐style prom dresses with off‐the‐shoulder straps from Phase Eight. The colour and length were perfect for Autumn and the girls looked gorgeous.
I found my hairdresser Tina Crossley and make‐up artist Jorjia Johnson through a wedding fair in Saffron Walden. They did a brilliant job and even had a detailed time plan which really helped me to keep calm on the day. Helen from Amy Louise, a local florist, was also fantastic. The bouquets were quite rustic, with thistles, roses and lilies in our Autumnal colours. One thing I didn’t realise was how many flowers wouldn’t be available in October, but Helen really knew her stuff and somehow interpreted exactly what I was imagining in my head in the final bouquets.
We knew we didn’t want the photos to be too posed, and preferred the natural, reportage style. Once we came across Peach & Jo’s stall at the Battersea Wedding Fair, it was an easy decision from there. They were really reassuring ahead of the day, taking the time to meet us a few months before. On the day itself, they made us feel completely at ease and just slotted in seamlessly. It was wonderful to have them there as a duo so that no moment of the day was missed, and having a little photo shoot in the local Victorian gardens straight after the ceremony was one of our favourite parts of the day.
The entertainment on the evening was provided by The Houndogs, an amazing 50s rock and roll band. They were a definite talking point for the guests and had tireless energy and stage presence, jumping on top of their double bass and setting their cymbals on fire!
Things did go wrong on the day, for example we forgot to film the speeches, but it was ultimately everything we’d hoped it would be – relaxed, a little bit different and definitely very us!