This is one of those weddings where every last detail has been thought through and the result is just gorgeous. There are pink roses everywhere, all over the tables, and even climbing the marquee poles, the fashion is simply swoon worthy - sequinned bridesmaids dresses anyone?! And then there's the olive oil favours which look incredible and are also a sweet nod to Eleni's Granddad who couldn't travel over to the UK for the wedding. Rugby School at the height of Autumn is so striking - that wall of leaves in shocking reds and oranges is a fabulous backdrop to the couple shots and echoes the red brick buildings perfectly. All of the details and special moments have been captured by the wonderful Rebecca from A Thing Like That. Enjoy lovely ones, I think the detail might just blow you away...

Our Wedding

From The Couple: When deciding on a theme for our wedding there were several elements that we knew we wanted to include. The first was a combination of Cypriot and English cultures – Eleni is from a Greek Cypriot family and Jonathan’s family are English (think My Big Fat Greek wedding!) We wanted to bring in both of these heritages to ensure that everyone on the day felt included and had something that they could relate to. The second element was a combination of traditional with vintage – we both really like traditional weddings but Eleni also a big fan of charity shops and all things vintage. Thirdly, we decided to go for an October wedding and wanted to make the most of the shorter daylight by having more of an ‘evening’ theme to the wedding. Finally, it was also important for us to use support local business where possible and to use suppliers that were ethical and sustainable.

Getting Ready

On the morning of their wedding, Eleni and Jonathan had very different experiences... Jonathan had a chilled morning with his family and groomsmen involving a leisurely breakfast, getting ready with his groomsmen before heading over to the venue for some photos. Eleni, however, had a significantly busier morning! As is normal, there was an early start followed by the hectic activities of hair and makeup for Eleni and her bridesmaids. By 11am, when everyone was ready and half of the Midlands Cypriot community had congregated in the hallway, the Stolisma began...this is a traditional Greek Cypriot blessing, steeped in tradition, and an important time for the Bride and her family. It was a very emotional part of the day but also a moment of calm before heading off to the chapel for the ceremony.

The Venue

One of the easiest decisions we had was the venue. Eleni, having been to school at Rugby, had always loved the chapel and knew that this was where she had wanted to get married. It is a beautiful building with a stunning courtyard (the Quad) which looks amazing in the Autumn as the leaves turn golden. We also thought that by having a marquee on the Close next to the chapel we would be able to minimise travelling/logistics and ensure a stress free day for all our guests.

The Ceremony

Our initial aim was to include both Anglican and Greek Orthodox elements to the ceremony. This was not quite logistically possible so we opted for a traditional Anglican ceremony. In June we are planning to have a small blessing in the village church in Cyprus. This will be especially significant for Eleni’s grandparents who were unable to travel across for the actual wedding. A close friend had written a poem for us when we got engaged. We included it on the invites and we asked the author, Henry to read it during the ceremony.

The Decor

Eleni was always a fan of traditional soft, gentle pastels at weddings and these perfectly complimented the olive theme that we wove in to the wedding, bringing in the Cypriot element. There were olive trees lining the entrance to the marquee as well as providing a divide between the reception area of the marquee and the dining area. There were also olive and eucalyptus branches placed on each table setting as well as being included in the flowers. Eleni went charity shop hunting for pressed glass vases and candle sticks for the centrepieces, we ended up with over ninety large vases and rose bowls and many more smaller vases and other glassware which we put to good use. To match the pressed glass vases we picked some beautiful vintage crockery from Pretty Vintage, this meant that each place setting was unique which the guests absolutely loved.

The Flowers

We matched the silvery tones of the olive branches with eucalyptus, pink avalanche roses, avalanche roses, white Lisianthus, Astilbe and Hydrangeas. White’s Florist guided us through the process and suggested half of those beautiful flowers that worked perfectly. Flowers were an important part of the décor for Eleni and one of the reason we chose to have a pole marquee was so that we could wind garlands of flowers up the poles – really contributing to the stunning look of the marquee.

The Favours

Unfortunately Eleni’s grandparents were too elderly to travel over from Cyprus for our wedding but we knew we wanted to include them somehow. Her granddad has grown olives for the last 25 years and so we arranged for some of his olive oil to be shipped over from Cyprus, then set up a production line to pour the olive oil into kilner style jars and then be labelled with a ‘Pappou’s Olive Oil’ sticker. (Pappou means granddad in Greek). We then tied nametags to each bottle so they also acted as place names for the guests. The wedding favours went down brilliantly and ever since our wedding we have had so many photos of our wedding guests putting Pappou’s olive oil to good use.

The Food

Not only did we want our wedding food to be delicious, it was also important that that food was sustainably sourced, organic and served for sharing. Ticking all of the boxes, we found Tom’s Feast. Their passion for food was evident right from the start and they were brilliant at helping us build a menu that was not only Autumnal but also had a Mediterranean feel. They served up sharing platters of different salads, slow roasted lamb for the main which went down like an absolute storm, it was the tastiest wedding food we (and many of the guests) have ever eaten! Opting for a simple cake, we wanted to have a classic look but with a slightly rustic side to it. A family friend made the cake for us. Not wanting any of our guests to go home hungry, we arranged for a hog roast to provided sustenance to our guests in the evening along with a wonderful selection of cheeses.

The Fashion

Eleni initially had an idea of a Kate Middleton style wedding dress but after going to Browns Bride found the dress of her dreams and a designer that she loved! Eleni decided on a classic but modern dress by Mira Zwillinger and head piece by Jennifer Behr. Highlighting the traditional English elements of the wedding, we decided on a traditional outfit for Jonathan and his groomsmen – white tie. It suited the occasion and setting perfectly. As our wedding was in the autumn we wanted the bridesmaids to be dressed for the evening and glamorous. During Eleni’s wedding dress hunting she came across dressmaker Suzanne Harrington and spotted a beautiful sequin bridesmaids dress – it was a flattering shape, comfortable and matched the flowers beautifully. Having the dresses individually made for each bridesmaid was also a great aspect.

The Entertainment

During our canapé reception our band, Chartz, played an acoustic set - they then kept all the guests dancing after dinner until midnight – the dance floor was full and Chartz were fantastic. We were initially torn between Chartz and a more ‘classic’ wedding band but Chartz had a young, fresh feel that we were particularly drawn to. Jonathan also sneakily organised for The Three Waiters to perform during the evening as a surprise. They were brilliant and had everyone on their feet, waving their napkins and there were even tears! (See video from Zeus Films!)

The Photography

One of the first decisions we made was on our photographer. Eleni had seen Rebecca Rees featured at a wedding fare and we loved her natural documentary style of taking photos. After an engagement shoot with her we were convinced that she was the right person for us. On the day she, along with a second photographer, Heather, were brilliant at blending in and taking beautiful photos that we are so, so happy with.

The Videography

Our day was captured by our videographer, who has been a friend of the family for many years (and even filmed Eleni’s parents wedding). He, along with his son, form a great team and we can’t wait for the final video. Similar to the photography, we wanted a natural feel to the video, documenting all of the details of the day as well as the events. Andrew was great to work with and really understood what we were looking for.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Videography: Zeus Films | Bride: Mira Zwillinger | Boutique: Browns Bride | Headpiece: Jennifer Behr | Florist: Whites Florist | Venue: Rugby School | Crockery Hire: Pretty Vintage | Catering: Tom's Feast | Bridesmaids: Vintage Trousseau | Planning : The Bride | Entertainment: Chartz Band | Three Waiters | Hair: Toni & Guy | Make Up: Ioannis Tsangaris
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