Emillie The Bride:
Neither of us really wear dresses that much (well, Ruth has never worn a dress the whole time I’ve known her!), so it was really important that we both felt comfortable in what we were going to be wearing on the day. My sister had an idea of what would look good on me (as I have absolutely no idea about styles of dresses), but when we got to the bridal shop what she had in mind looked absolutely awful! I tried on about 7 dresses, all totally different shapes and fabrics, and then the last one just felt right so I bought it there and then (plus unbeknownst to me at the time it was in the sale so an absolute steal!) Ruth was worried about her dress right up until the day, but she needn’t have as she looked absolutely amazing walking down the aisle.
We both love London so having a venue anywhere else was never going to be an option. It’s where our home is and we wanted it to be easy for the majority of our guests to get to without having to fork out a lot for accommodation. When Ruth and I first started dating we’d spend a lot of time on the Southbank overlooking the Thames (I actually proposed at the Blue Fin building which overlooks the Thames near to Tate Modern) , so when we started looking we kept this at the forefront of our minds. However, getting a venue on the banks of the Thames in central London is pretty pricy (especially if you want an outside area like we did!), so when we came across the Greenwich Yacht Club
it was just perfect. Even more perfect was the fact that it was two venues in one! Neither of us have ever been fans of weddings where the ceremony takes place miles away from the reception and the newlyweds disappear for hours to have photos taken in lands unknown…so having the ceremony and reception all in one place meant we could get the formalities done and crack straight on with the celebrations!
I’m not really sure where our grey, yellow and blue colour scheme came from! I knew I wanted to make bunting and must’ve just ended up ordering the fabric having seen something I liked on the internet and that’s how it came to be!
We really wanted to make the day about us and about the things we love so we took a no holds barred approach to the look and feel of our venue on the day. This however meant a lot of DIY, ebay bidding and time consuming ‘hobbying’. We did everything from wood work, graphic design, baking, sewing and origami (to make the 3000 strung origami boats!). We booked our venue about a year and a half before we were due to get married so we started early to spread the work load, but it was still manic right up until the second to last night where we were up until 11pm making gingerbread!
We also hired a ping pong table and had custom bats and balls made which were great fun!
We weren’t sure we even wanted flowers at first as they’ve never really featured in our relationship and we never have them in the house. But once we worked through the rest of the decoration we decided we could do something more us and less traditional which would make the venue look cheery and fit in with our colour scheme. We looked at a few florists but they all had an extortionate minimum spend and all we wanted were the bridal bouquets, 2 button holes, some jam jars and 1 centre piece. We came across Blooming Haus
and they were so lovely and helpful and honest with their pricing that we booked them without hesitation. In the end we managed to keep costs down even more by supplying our own jam jars and centre piece box as the other florists all charged for these items.
The Wedding Party Fashion
Again, we didn’t really have a wedding party but rather opted to have 4 ‘bridesmaids’ playing more of an usher’s role. I had my sister and best friend, whilst Ruth had her two sisters. We didn’t ask them to wear bridesmaid dresses but rather sent them some dulux paint swatches of the shades of blue we liked. Because of the type of wedding we had we didn’t want a uniformed look and we also wanted them to feel comfortable – they all looked amazing!
We had 2 readings; one by my sister and the other from Ruth’s mum. We spent ages trying to find something that suited us and it was probably one of the most difficult things as we didn’t want anything too cheesy or traditional. Eventually we went for the Captain Corelli’s Mandolin reading and another called I’ll be there (slightly edited as it’s a long one!)
We didn’t have one central aisle as there were two of us (!) so instead we made two aisles down either side of the ceremony room as well as a central aisle for us to exit down together once we were married. We spent the evening before apart so the first time we saw each other was when we entered for the ceremony and we were both trying to look through our guests to the other side of the room as we were walking in to get a peek. When we got to the top of the room and turned in towards one another, it was amazing! Ruth had her dad to walk her down the aisle and I had my brother.
When we left, rather than confetti we gave each guest a party popper to pop as we walked out! It was brilliant!
We had our guitarist Kris
for the ceremony who played acoustic before, during and as we left the ceremony room (we left to Van Halen Jump!) He was really mellow and set the atmosphere for our ceremony in our prettily decorated venue.
In contrast, straight after the ceremony we had a Mariarchi band playing – no one expected it and their faces were brilliant. Our first official date was at a Mexican restaurant and when I proposed to Ruth we went back to the same restaurant in the evening…so it had to be a Mariachi band
! They were great and we had a few Mexican bits and pieces scattered around for our drinks reception to tie it all in.
did our catering and Kate, our coordinator, was brilliant. They were really flexible with us changing our minds and also gave us some great advice over what would and wouldn’t work. We were really clear that we wanted food that we both loved and none of this fancy jus or flavoured foams. So we opted for a good old fashioned English Ploughman’s starter, cottage or fish pie for mains and a trio of our favourite desserts for pudding. We got loads of compliments and no-one went hungry as the portions were epic!
By far one of our best choices for our wedding was our photographer. We found Anna
on Rock My Wedding through an advert which had an awesomely fun photo she’d taken from a previous wedding. We shortlisted her along with a couple of other photographers and asked if we could Skype her to chat. Once we’d told her more about us and she’d told us about her we knew she was the right photographer for our big day.
Your wedding photographer is really important – they are with you from the moment you start to get ready to the time you’re a little bit tipsy on the dance floor. It was really important to us that we got on with our photographer and Anna was so amazing that she actually became part of our day. All our guests loved her and to top it all off, her photos are amazing!
Above everything we really wanted to make our wedding day our own. It being a same-sex marriage meant we could throw the ‘rule book’ out the window and focus on the bits of weddings we loved and get rid of the bits we didn’t care for so much. For example, we didn’t have a first dance or cut a wedding cake…instead we cut some shapes on the dance floor with our friends and family in tow and gave everyone gingerbread and mini battenburgs in the evening. We had one speech by Ruth’s dad during the wedding breakfast and then my brother did a speech once the evening guests had arrived – that way we felt everyone would feel more involved. Having a wedding that reflects you as a couple and having fun are the most important things – you should feel free to do what you want and not what you think you should do!