Becky The Bride: In my first shopping trip I was told to pick 5 dresses of different silhouettes. I'm 5"1 and most dresses swamped me, fortunately I never had considered a princess dress for fear I'd look like a decorative loo roll holder. Margot was the 3rd one I tried on, it was a wild card choice for the colour and for me wanting a sleeved gown, it looked so beautiful on the hanger I had to try it. I thought I wanted a 1920's heavily beaded dress but they felt too 'flashy' and heavy, I tried on around 7 more dresses of different styles to make sure Margot was for me. Including 2 others of the same colour just to make sure that wasn't the reason I loved it! I adored how soft and comfortable it was, but had beautiful beadwork that caught the light perfectly, it approached the 1920's theme I wanted but in a much softer manner.
My shoes where a peach coloured pair of Mimosa's from Rachel Simpson, I actually found and loved them before I found my dress, I was incredibly excited knowing I had an excuse to buy them. Finding the right hair accessory took longer than finding the dress! I just couldn't decide on anything, there is so much choice out there, I spent hours trawling through Etsy and other various websites, following a lot of the makers on Instagram. It all stopped when Victoria Millésime posted a preview image of her new collection, "coming soon". I fell in love with how delicate it looked with a little sparkle - it's even better in person. My earrings where a last minute purchase from Liberty In Love, I felt they mirrored my headpiece perfectly. My bracelet was my something borrowed off my mum, who also had worn it as her something borrowed on her wedding day. Jonny unbeknown to me had made a few extra secret trips to the jewellery quarter and had designed a necklace to match my engagement ring as a gift for me to open on the morning. I did have a gorgeous soft tulle veil from HM Veils that l wore for the ceremony, a big gust of wind whipped it out of my hair as soon as we stepped outside for drinks - oops! I decided then it wasn't worth battling with the wind on that one.
The Grooms Attire
Jonny chose a navy suit with a dark grey waistcoat from Hugo Boss, we decided it was a perfect excuse to make an investment in a lovely suit for him. We tried a few places, but Boss was the one that made him feel special and most confident. I wasn’t allowed to see what he bought before the day, “I’m not allowed to see your dress so you can’t see my suit!” I sent trusted groomsmen and my parents with him to help choose. His shoes were a lovely leather pair of Ted Baker brogues from Jones the boot maker. As a wedding gift I bought him cufflinks that had the molecular structure of Serotonin engraved from Emily Alice Ball on Etsy - for the science lover in him. As a finishing touch I made him a grape soda badge to fasten his button hole together to crown him an official wilderness explorer, any lover of the film Up will understand.
The venue I think was the hardest things to find, we felt we’d seen every place in and around the area and all of them we felt we had to compromise too much for. We were at the end of our tether and I booked two more ‘wild card’ choices, these were going to be the last ones we saw and after this we had to make a decision. We actually almost cancelled our viewing of Curradine as the second to last venue was amazing. I am so glad we didn’t! We wanted somewhere that we could really feel at home at, nothing ostentatious, nothing grand and somewhere that we could have guests stay overnight. The geographical positioning also meant that my grandmother whom is wheelchair bound these days could make it for the ceremony, it was on my wishlist but knew it would be a huge ask, I was beyond happy that she could make it on the day.
The venue was already a lovely backdrop which didn't need a lot of decoration, however adding personal finishing touches here and there made it ours for the day. I had the brainwave of wanting to make our own flower backdrop with paper flowers both for the ceremony and the breakfast room. In the end quite frankly, lost count at how many I made. It was one of those ideas I had in my head that I HAD to do, but after making 3 I started to question my sanity. To save myself from going completely insane I ordered 30 pom-poms from Amazon for £10 and distributed them throughout the lines I made up. I always thought we'd set up all of the decorations the morning of the wedding, so felt really guilty when Curradine insisted us dropping our decorations off a few days beforehand. They were perfectly happy to lay everything out for us, but to give them a good set of instructions of what to do! Hilariously I have no idea how we got everything into our little Yaris, where there's a will there's a way. At the entrance to the venue we had photos of our parents and grandparents wedding days, sadly not all of them are with us anymore, so it was wonderful to have them on their happiest of days smiling back at us. Sat alongside these was an order of the day and a beautiful little postbox my dad had spent hours labouring over for our guests to put cards in, no one believed he made it, I’m still in awe of it. The centerpieces were made up of log pieces which we hired from the florist and vases that we bought from Ikea - I didn't want our flowers to go to waste so purchasing vases meant we could give them to relatives that were staying the night with us. We had battery powered fairy lights around the vases surrounded by a bit of moss to make it look more magical (it hid the battery packs!). For table numbers I painted wooden bird houses with folk inspired patterns. We gave each our guests a small tea light in a clay pot bought from the charity Dalit Goods Co. It felt good knowing that our money was helping a community, if people left them behind we didn't mind! Who doesn't love a lovely smelling candle?
We were pretty laid back when it came to the floral arrangements, I made a few boards on Pinterest to send to our lovely florist Jane and gave the brief of “seasonal flowers, main colour purple, no large roses or tulips - oh with a pop of yellow!”. Quite frankly I’m amazed she didn’t tell us to go somewhere else, she smiled, nodded and boy did she bring it out the bag. I was pretty excited about what she’d come up with and she did not disappoint! One of the main topics of conversation from our guests among with how amazing the food was how much they loved the flowers.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS, as soon as I saw them I loved how the embellishment on them reflected that of my own. A signature style of mine is to tie a ribbon around my waist (I’m forever wearing dresses!) so this seemed like a natural choice to add to the girls outfits, it helped mimic my gown even more. We hired the groomsmen's suits from Moss Bros and bought them each a set of cufflinks with their initials engraved onto them as a thank you gift.
We wanted to make the ceremony reflect us as much as possible, however there wasn’t a huge amount of flexibility in the legal part of the ceremony itself, so we tried to choose the most modern lines that fitted with our ethos as much as we could. When it came to readings, we chose a reading from Mark Twain’s Letters and Bob Marley’s “He’s not perfect” read wonderfully by my bridesmaid Vicky whom you can hear in our wedding video trailer. I can't say for the rest of the guests, but it was difficult in the front row to keep it together and try not to cry through both of these!
Jonny was always adamant we’d have a band at our wedding long before we’d gotten engaged, whenever we’d go to weddings with a band we’d more likely be dancing all night. We’d attended a wedding reception of friends a few years previously and they had the most amazing band, when discussions came up for planning our own wedding we both had the lightbulb moment of booking them for our date too. Audio Chaff did not disappoint! Not only did they learn our first dance, the lead singer Tom really put on a show for us, walking around the venue gathering people onto the floor, dancing with relatives all while keeping the perfect pitch. We also booked ‘That Photo Booth Company’ chosen for their charming open wooden booth, I did worry that the photo booth thing had ‘been done’ and people wouldn’t use it. But boy was I wrong! Our photographer had quoted a 6 week turnaround time for our official photos, having these to flick through made the wait a lot easier. We were in tears of laughter flicking through the guestbook the morning after.
We decided at the very start that the two most important things for us where food and photography. Luckily, the food aspect was taken care of as soon as we picked Curradine, that did however make choosing what to have from them very difficult! We had a selection of canapé’s with our drinks reception which included crispy risotto balls, thai chicken, somerset brie with a red pepper sauce and mini shepherd's pies. For our wedding breakfast we had a soft poached egg on asparagus spears with Hollandaise sauce, with a main of chicken stuffed with goats cheese and a pudding of cheesecake with raspberry coulis. At the Curradine’s tasting event they showcased off their pizza making skills as an option for their evening food - one bite and we were sold! The lovely dry evening meant that guests could walk outside to the cantina where the pizzas were being made in the wood fired oven. A traditional wedding cake was never going to be on the cards for us, we've shared many a brownie over the years. It's pretty much our 'go to' pudding whenever it's on offer! We ordered 80 slabs of raspberry infused brownie (the portions are massive) from a local bakery we frequently visit for this very reason as it's INCREDIBLE along with a small red velvet 'cutting cake' so we didn't break the tradition entirely. We wanted to make the stack of brownies more interesting than just being on a plate. My dad had the genius idea of making rustic little crates up with our names on along with one for our cutting cake to sit on for some height. Our guests are still talking to us now about how good the food was, followed by when we can bring them some more brownie.
We have quite a few friends whom are photographers, family members were shocked when we chose not to use them. We of course adore their work, but cherish their friendship even more and wanted them to be a guest, have the day off and enjoy our wedding. I did however ask for recommendations, among a few names Chris Barber popped up. We are a bit socially awkward, stick us in front of a camera and well that just gets a bit worse. Chris manages to capture moments and personalities like no other I’ve seen. He made us feel so relaxed on the day, we’ve got some really beautiful photos to show for it - something I didn't think we’d ever achieve considering how incredibly awkward we both normally are. I will also add that I'm pretty sure Chris has had some sort of ninja training, looking back at all the photos some of them we have no idea how he took them without us noticing!
I sat on the fence for a long time about having a videographer, I felt we should have one, couldn’t quite find the right one and the ever amounting cost made me chicken out. We wanted the day captured, but without intruding too much into the day; we had a small wedding and I didn't want a whole paparazzi team following us trying to capture it. I finally came across David Boynton, who not only had won awards two years in a row, we both really enjoyed their films. We’ve got a perfect representation of the day recorded thanks to Ryan, the day goes by so quickly being able to relive it through the footage is wonderful. On the day itself Ryan was superb too, not being intrusive and has got some beautiful family moments that we’d otherwise have missed/ forgotten.
Research! It sounds boring, but taking time, looking at reviews for people really help and trusting your gut instinct. We almost booked a venue that was lovely, but, they were awful at responding to any means of contact - I'm still waiting to hear back now at what food choices they could offer. Instead we chose people who 'got' what we wanted from our day and got excited with and for us. It meant when the day came, we had nothing to worry about apart from fluffing up our ceremony lines.