Charlie The Bride:
My dress was by Lusan Mandongus from Teokath
in Wimbledon. I tried on quite a few dresses and knew I wanted something lacy with a low back. I loved the dress the first time I tried it on, and my mum loved it too, but then I had a panic and went back to the shop several times and really wasn't too sure about it, but when I tried it on in the right size and the dressfitters
in Wimbledon Village worked their magic to make it the perfect fit I knew I'd made the right decision.
I didn't want to wear a veil, but wanted something to sparkle in my hair. I found DaydreamBridal
on etsy.com, and I borrowed my sister Kate's earrings and bracelet that she'd worn on her wedding day too. My shoes were Carvela
heels in a pastel/gold mix with a mid heel - I'm really not good in high heels so needed something cute but comfy - which these absolutely were, I danced in them all night!
The wonderful Emma Cater
(one of our best mate's sisters) made me and my girls look incredible. I never know what to do with my hair and tried for months to try and grow it as much as I could. I knew I wanted some kind of plait so Em worked in some hair extensions and transformed my locks into a loose low bun with a plait over the top. I wanted a natural look, but something that would last the day, which it absolutely did. We had our nails done at Simply Nails & Beauty
in Warwick the day before - it was a lovely chilled afternoon and the salon made us all feel extra special with bubbles and treats on the house too! And I wore my fave scent Chloe Love Story.
Steve wore a bespoke suit from Marc Wallace
in Parsons Green, and shoes from Barker
in Selfridges. I gave Steve a surprise little gift to open the morning we got married, a Larson & Jennings
watch (so he wouldn't be late!) and Tom Ford Noir Extreme (super yummy and sexy) eau de parfum to wear on our wedding day, the smell still reminds me of it!
We looked at loads of venues around Warwickshire and London online before finally deciding I really wanted to get married where I grew up and started the proper search around Warwickshire. We both fell in love with Wethele Manor
after our first visit there. The setting is beautiful, Simon and all the staff are so welcoming and looked after us from day one. We also had the option to get married outside, which just felt perfect. We were so lucky on the day and had one of the hottest days of the summer, which set the scene off perfectly! Food and wine were also on the top of our list and the catering staff at Wethele are incredible, plus there's no corkage on wine so you can bring your own favourites rather than have to pick from a list. Good old Majestic Wines came in very handy here!
Wethele Manor lends itself to a rustic country theme, and we wanted to tie in blush and sparkle with a Glastonbury theme (where we met in 2005). I had everyone collecting jam jars and made many trips to Hobbycraft
for lace, ribbons and glitter to decorate them for flowers and candles. My Mum, sisters Kate and Hannah and niece and nephew all got involved in the week leading up to the wedding making decorations from jam jars to confetti for the tables from glittery wrapping paper and hundreds of paper pompoms! My dad also helped me with making a wooden sign for the wedding venue which I hand-painted in grey and white. I ordered carnival letter lights from Rocket & Rye
and picked up some old frames to have photos of our parents and grandparents on in memory of their wedding days. We also had a couple of polaroid cameras for our guests to take a selfie with and stick in our guest book – the kids especially loved being photographers for the day!
Our theme was tied into Glastonbury - so our table plans were all different stages from the year we met (2005). Our super talented friend Tom Gaul
hand-drew gorgeous pictures for each stage for our table names and helped to create our wedding stationery for the day (with a hand painted map of the venue by my equally talented friend Helen!).
My dad's cousin Jane
is a florist and helped me to create the perfect look for natural, pretty flowers with a mixture of antique pale pinks, whites, greens and lavender. I didn't know what flowers I liked so just sent loads of ideas from Pinterest to her and she helped me find some extra pots and wooden centre pieces which set everything off perfectly. Daisy-Mai (my niece) also had a special flower wand, which she loved and danced with like a fairy all day!
The Wedding Party
My bridesmaids (my sisters Kate and Hannah and best friends Coops and Holmsey) all wore dresses from Needle & Thread
. We looked at SO MANY dresses (thank god for patient friends and free returns on ASOS!!!) Originally I thought about everyone wearing a different dress as I just wanted my girls to look gorgeous in their dresses, as they each have their own style. I wanted something neutral with a bit of sparkle, but just couldn't find the right dress until we found Needle and Thread. There was only one dress left on the site though so I wrote it off, until I checked back again a month or so before the wedding and they had come back in stock! The girls all looked a million dollars and sparkled beautifully in the sun as they walked down the aisle.
My niece Daisy-Mai (flower girl) and nephew Ronnie (page boy) wore cute little outfits from Monsoon
and loved having their own 'special clothes' for the day! All the groomsmen wore ties from Reiss
and socks from The London Sock Company
. The boys all wore their own suits.
We had three readings during the ceremony from our nearest and dearest. My friend Helen gave a surprise reading, we have known each other since we were 4 and I knew she'd pick something perfect so I let her decide what to read, she picked a beautiful poem about Sri Lanka which is where we spent the first part of our honeymoon, before some RnR in the Maldives (if you haven't been you really must, it's just incredible). Steve's sister Katie read Bob Dylan's 'Wedding Song', and our friend Joblin read John Cooper Clarke's perfectly quirky 'I Wanna Be Yours'. Steve spent hours researching music for our day and getting the playlist 'just right' for the day. I walked down the aisle to Einaudi's 'i Giorni', we went to see him in concert a few years ago at Cadogan Hall and were just in awe of his beautiful melodies. We chose 'Minuet' by Ernest Ranglin for the signing of the register and 'Stand by Me' by John Lennon to walk back down the aisle too...encouraging everyone to sing with us!
For our wedding favours we made each guest a CD with specially chosen tracks from the day, all wrapped up in a personalised CD case using the RMW CD template from a DIY article a few years ago
! The little ones at the wedding all had their own table ('The Kidz Field') and each one had their own party bag with stickers, masks, tricks, playdough and sweeties in to keep them happy. We also hired a babysitter to keep the children entertained during the dinner and speeches - it meant they could run around outside and their parents could relax enjoy the day.
Steve organised a London Bus
to pick our guests up from Warwick and drive them over to Wethele Manor, to bring a bit of our home city to my home town, Steve's ushers did a fab job of serving bubbles to get everyone in the party mood on the way over! My dad loves his classic cars...and trusted Steve with the honour of driving his gorgeous red MGA to Wethele in style.
Our family friend John Black played an acoustic folky gig during the drinks reception on the lawns, he does various spontaneous acoustic sessions in pubs around Warwick and leamington and sang a mixture of Bob Dylan, The Kinks and The Beatles.
In the evening we booked Aldo from The Disco Shed
who got our taste perfectly down to a T. Our first dance was The Ramones 'Baby I Love You', then we just gave Aldo a couple of must play songs and a rough idea of the sort of music we liked and he just filled the gaps - I still totally remember everyone jumping around to Doves 'Pounding', Primal Scream and The Stones.
Wethele Manor provided all of our catering and they did not let us down. We loved lots of things on the sample menus, but wanted to adapt a few things linked from memorable meals we've enjoyed in the past. For our starter we had glazed beetroot with burrata, inspired by a dish from our favourite Italian restuarant in Warwick - Miccato. We chose Warwickshire lamb with dauphinoise potatoes for our main and a trio of desserts (just because choosing one was too hard!) All the dishes were all gluten free too!
Our wedding cake was made by The Cakery Leamington
- a delish naked sponge decorated with flowers that matched my bouquet. We're big cheese lovers too so my Mum organised a surprise 3 tier cheese cake from Cheeses In Warwick
with loads of Stokes chutneys and pork pies from Aubrey Allen
for our evening nibbles.
Alongisde the yummy canapes made by Wethele Manor (I heard that the mini yorkshire puddings were a favourite!) Steve also organised for a vintage ice-cream
truck to serve ice-creams to our guests during the drinks reception. This could not have been more perfect as we had a scorchio day so the ice-cream seemed to help stop everyone from melting in the beautiful sunshine!
WE ARE // THE CLARKES
We booked the AMAZING Anna & Simon Clarke
as our wedding photographers. I cannot speak highly enough of this pair - we just LOVE our wedding photos, they captured everything and the photos just tell the story of our day perfectly. They somehow manage to melt into the day and make you feel as though you've known them forever. I found Anna here on RMW and just fell in love with her style and approach straight away. We wanted relaxed moments that we could look back on and go - ahhh! Which we totally do. A lot.