Emma the Bride:
I designed my outfit which kind of looked like a dress. It consisted of a skirt and separate bodice with a lace jacket over the top. The outfit was made by Noble and Wright Atelier
in Leicester. It was never the plan to create something bespoke. I visited this wedding shop as they stocked Temperley gowns but they all looked awful on me. I did fall in love with a skirt in the shop and it all went from there! My shoes – I had two pairs, Manolo Blahnik Hangisi
Jewelled Blue Satin Pumps. These came with me to every dress fitting and I purchased Alice Bow
innersoles which made them even more comfortable. The bridal innersoles arrive with a lucky sixpence for your shoe on the day! I had a pair of Bionda Castana
silver flats for the evening which felt just as special and allowed me to party the night away! I borrowed antique stud earrings from my Aunty Gilly and wore fresh flowers in my hair.
Hair and Make Up
Hair was by Jenna Holmes-Warren at Hair and Glow
. (She was fantastic and I would recommend that all brides check out Nano-Keratin hair treatments before their big day!)
Make-Up was by Lucy Whitfield
. She was super lovely and knew exactly the right thing to do on the day. I still see her now for special night out!
Chris received a beautiful pair of leather shoes as a wedding gift from our usher, Graham Gordan of “Block and Last”. His suit was from Folk
and his shirt was Moschino
. It had a little heart embroidered which was hidden under the suit jacket but a really gorgeous detail for the wedding and actually meant that they were a brilliant bargain. The ties were from Cos
Chris and I designed all of the graphics – invitations, menu cards, seating plan etc. Chris arranged printing through various contacts. It was very useful having a graphic designer for a Husband To Be!
We borrowed a relatives speakers and created a playlist for the wedding that included a request from every guest. We just made sure that the right tunes were in the right place and it worked really well!
I arranged a secret surprise for guests and Chris at the end of the ceremony. A sixth form student from the school I teach at is the most incredible singer so she sat hidden amongst guests as we took our vows. Once we were finished she stood up and sang a solo of Al Green’s Lets Stay Together – I guess it was inspired by that bit in the movie Love Actually!
There was an impromptu performance during the cellar party by Chris’s cousin Nial Burrows who is a budding Beatbox artist… it was super cool and certainly got the whole everyone up and on the dance floor.
My sister in law Anna was a fantastic support with dressing the cellar bar for the party. We used pontoon lights, flower garlands, candles and lots of gold fabric to set the scene. My father in law made us a giant light up E & C using cardboard and LED light strips. We found that the logistics of hiring props and lights was just too complicated or expensive so we made our own! We even had a life size card board post box for wedding cards!
I think all of the little touches made if feel very personal.
We had our favourite Diptyque Candles burning during the ceremony and the wedding breakfast.
I made activity packs for the kids and my friend Sally who it a professional illustrator created funny ‘colouring in’ sheets of Chris, Miller and I.
As a little joke I free machine embroidered hankies with ‘No Ugly Crying’ on them for guests in the ceremony room. I also made outfit bags for each member of the wedding party with our wedding hashtag (#starmerwedding2016) stencilled on them and the persons initial.
We thought carefully about thank you gifts and presented many gifts during Chris’s speech. I think this was a nice surprise for people who had helped us along the way.
I’m glad that every single person that attended our wedding was a close relative or friend. It was an eclectic crowd of lovely people that just meshed together really well on the day. It was the best celebration and party that we could ever have dreamt of!
The whole day was perfection. From the early morning walk with my bridesmaid’s at 5am because we were so excited to the sneaky Jägerbombs before we walked down the aisle. Seeing Chris for the first time and him loving the dress to his speech which was absolutely beautiful – not a dry eye in the room. It was an amazing experience to have literally everyone you love in one room at the same time. It blew our minds!
How full on wedding planning is! We actually booked the wedding in January and got married in May. We did everything in about 4 months but if my good friend Heather had not sat me down and made me ‘post it’ note all of the things that I needed to do then it never would of happened. We had that board of ‘post it’s’ in the kitchen and took them off one by one as we completed a task. It was still there on the day of the wedding – we just about managed to do them all.
Do what you want to do. Don’t conform to the expectations of others and stand your ground on your guest list. It is your day.
Take a moment on the day – just the two of you to take it all in.
Also be prepared for the next day. For some reason I was a total emotional wreck – as was our best man and maid of honour. We all left the hotel as blubbering wrecks – just really happy and a little hungover. (Our wedding was meant to finish at 11pm but actually continued in the great hall until 4am!)
Chris and I were ecstatic but exhausted so we had a duvet day before going on mini-moon the following day. I’m really pleased we had that day at home to just reflect on the whole experience and speak to people before we went away. It turns out that it is in fact quite common for brides to be rather emotional the next day. A very good friend of my disclosed to me recently that she cried the whole way to New York!
We wanted a simple ceremony. It was also important that our vows made reference to my stepson Miller.
We had photos on the table of absent loved ones and I carried a photo of my Granny in my bouquet.
There were a few surprises during our ceremony that Chris and I knew nothing about. Anna had created a beautiful circle of dried rose petals to stand in and did the most beautiful reading.
Initially Chris and I had not really intended to have a professional wedding photographer. Neither of us really like photos of ourselves and are not keen on the traditional formal wedding pictures that you see but then I came across another Rushton Hall
wedding on Pinterest that had been photographed by Marshal Gray
. I loved his candid style of photography and I had to have him! Best decision and investment that I think we made. The wedding day goes by so quickly but the excitement continues as you wait for your professional photographs. The collection of images that we received are so beautiful!
Money Saving Tips
I am a shop-a-holic so sourced pageboy and flower girl outfits in the sales… I made the flower girl headbands and just collected little useful bits and pieces along the way. We brought lots of thank you gifts from Links of London at Bicester Village. We also had our wedding rings made in Birmingham’s Jewllery Quarter which seemed to save us a fortune. (I really wanted black diamonds in my wedding band…)