You just have to see our Brides gorgeous Tilly Jenny Packham gown with delicate beaded cap sleeves; and the simply divine Juliet cap veil made by the Mother of the Bride compliments it perfectly. I seriously can’t stop swooning over this stunning bridal look as well as the gorgeous array of high street neutral Bridesmaid fashion on display.
Another thing I simply adore is the utterly fabulous Devonshire Terrace in London. Decorated in collected DIY jam jars wrapped in twine and filled with daisies, thistles and gypsophila stems, converting a contemporary venue into a dreamy vintage haven.
There’s lots of pin-spiration folks, so get ready and enjoy.
Emma The Bride: In the year before the wedding I had visited a few boutiques and tried on many dresses but never felt that ‘wow’. I then heard that the ‘oh so beautiful’ Blackburn Bridal were having a sample sale and decided to book myself in. Tilly, by Jenny Packham was the first one I tried, and although it was two sizes too big for me, I just knew that it was ‘the one’. I had the alterations done at a local workshop called The Sewing Rooms and they were fantastic! On one of my last fittings (just two weeks before the wedding) I suddenly decided that I needed a veil. My Mum was great and agreed to make one for me. We went for a modern Juliet cap with lace trim and it suited the dress perfectly. Now I can’t imagine why I didn’t think I needed a veil sooner. On the day I didn’t wear much jewellery, just my favourite earrings that I bought from a vintage market. My shoes were from New Look and were my ‘something blue’. I tried so many pairs but in the end decided to opt for the most comfortable. I got many compliments on them and no one quite believed that they were from a high street store.
The Grooms Fashion
Jack has probably only worn a suit twice in his whole life so he knew that he wasn’t going to opt for anything too formal and was mainly concerned with how comfortable he would feel. Marks and Spencer were a great option as they had an array of suits in many colours and fits. After trying on several, both he and the Best Man went for a bright blue two-piece. They styled them with white shirts and pocket squares from TM Lewin, a black and white polka dot tie (also from Marks and Spencer) and black suede shoes from Reiss.
Well, what can I say? Devonshire Terrace was just spectacular! Jack and I were both born in London and have always lived and worked in London too so we knew that it was where we wanted to get married. Devonshire Terrace is in the heart of the city but it is also quietly tucked away in a beautiful courtyard. The fact that we could get married outside was a huge plus and the glass roof meant that we didn’t have to worry about the weather ruining our day. The co-ordinator, Nina, was just fantastic. She basically gave us free reign of how we wanted our day to pan out. Nothing was too much trouble for her and the team, and it made us feel that we were going to have a wedding that was unique and exactly what we wanted.
I decided quite early on that I didn’t want a particular colour scheme so I opted for a neutral summer palate. We bought 50 metres of white bunting from Ebay and this was hung around the courtyard where the ceremony and wedding breakfast took place. Because the venue already has such great architecture, I didn’t want to over-decorate, as I thought this might distract from its charm. The rest of the decor was handmade by me and my two Maids of Honour. I particularly enjoyed making the seating plan, which was made from the mirror hanging in my lounge. I painted the frame white and then used a chalk pen (and my best handwriting) to carefully draw my plan on top. It actually looked quite effective!
We travelled California for our honeymoon, so included a vintage postcard of the places we would visit in our invitations. We asked our guests to write some well wishes, marriage advice, honeymoon suggestions etc on the postcard and bring it along with them on the day. These were then hung on some trellis and acted as our guest book.
We asked a friend of Jack’s Sister, Dan from Rene’s Florist, to supply the flowers and bouquets. Because we were not getting married at a typical wedding venue I knew that I didn’t want any formal arrangements. I told Dan what flowers I liked (daisy, thistle, gypsophila) and he gave me some more suggestions and arranged my bouquet. I collected vintage vases, jars and bottles over a whole year for individual stems to be placed in, instead of centre pieces. I also included one of my Grandma’s china tea sets to place flowers in as I thought it was important to include as many personal touches as possible.
I made cones from kraft paper and filled them with confetti made from fresh and dried petals, tissue paper and hearts cut from Monopoly money (a little strange, but I liked the subtle nod to the London ‘theme’ and it added lots of colour). The cones were handed out whilst we signed the register so it meant that everyone threw the confetti in true celebratory style when we walked back down the aisle together as husband and wife. It felt completely un-staged and like you see in the movies.
The Wedding Party Fashion
The Groomsmen, (my Dad, Jack’s Dad and my Brother) all wore a navy striped suit from Marks and Spencer. My Dad said it is the most comfortable thing he has ever worn. They each chose their own pocket square and tie.
When finding dresses for the younger Bridesmaids, we were faced with a bit of a challenge. Both girls were of that ‘tween’ age which meant that all of the dresses that they tried were either too young or too old for them. After some unsuccessful shopping trips, my Mum decided to make them. Her Mum (my Grandmother) was a men’s tailor in the war so she was trained by the best. She used an old sewing pattern and we chose the fabric together. She also added a sash to the flower girl’s dress so that they all tied in together nicely. The day before the wedding she made the floral crowns from Gypsophila. I don’t know what I would have done without her in all honesty!
I knew from the get go that my adult Bridesmaids (all my closest friends) would look best in their own choice of dress. Not only are they all different body shapes, heights, skin tones but their personalities are also completely different and having them all in the same dress just didn’t seem right. Most people thought I was raving mad when I told them that my Bridesmaids were all wearing different styles and colours. But we chose a neutral palette and each of them looked beautiful. Lots of people said how much they loved that they all looked individual but still like Bridesmaids.
Our good friend Reiss drove me to the venue and it was a very special moment (apart from taking a diversion and almost being late!), I already felt a little bit nervous, but seeing someone that I knew and trusted really put me at ease. I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy the ceremony very much as I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel the centre of attention. It turned out that I loved walking down the aisle, seeing everyone there for us and as soon as I saw Jack the nerves turned to excitement. In fact, it turned out to be the best part of the day for me. Ed from Speare Acoustic played ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles as the Bridesmaids and I walked in. His voice is gorgeous and having a live singer really created a lot of atmosphere.
We had a civil ceremony but we chose to say our own personal vows. At first Jack was a little nervous about this, but it turned out to be a good decision as he spoke really well and it added a personal touch to the ceremony. My friend Claire read the poem ‘On Your Wedding Day’ (author unknown) which made us both feel a little choked. She had it framed and gave it to us as a wedding gift. It now takes pride of place on our mantle piece and is a reminder of the day.
Ed from Speare Acoustic played guitar and sang during the ceremony and drinks reception. He has an excellent voice and is an all round nice guy. During the ceremony, whilst we were signing the register, he played ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed and changed the lyrics to “I’m glad I got married to you” which got a roar of cheers and applause from everyone. That is a part of the day that really sticks out in my mind whenever I think back through the day.
We always knew that we wanted a live band so chose ‘Cheesecake’ who are a six-piece party band with an Irish fiddle. They played some traditional Irish songs, as well as many rock n’ roll and modern tunes as well. They were great and even got Jack up on the Microphone to sing (something I never imagined would happen!). We had a DJ play a set of our favourite songs until 2am.
Food was a massive deal for us. I am a previous MasterChef contestant and a self-confessed foodie so I think our guests expected the food to be good – no pressure!! Because our venue operates as a restaurant Monday – Friday we knew we were in good hands. Our guests had a choice of three starters and Mains and we served our cake (made from cheese) as desert with fruit, crackers and chutney. Jack and I knew that not everyone would like this dessert option so we also had lollies and boozy poptails available as something sweet for after dinner. We had been for a tasting session months before the wedding, but could honestly say that the food tasted even better on the day! One of my friends said that her starter of scallops were the best she’s ever eaten!
We searched for many months to find a photographer whose style was relaxed and unobtrusive, but fun at the same time. Matt Ethan was exactly that! He was able to capture the little moments that are so important when remembering your wedding. So many times when looking through the photos, Jack and I have said “how did he spot that?” or “I didn’t know that happened!” He was very conscious of the fact that we didn’t want to spend too long away from our friends and family and was able to get the most amazing shots of just the two of us in a short space of time. We would recommend him to anyone and have done!
After seeing s few of my friends’ wedding videos I knew that I wanted to have my own. The fact that my friends watch theirs each anniversary with their children is such a lovely thought. Lovestorage seemed like a good option for us as they offer a variety of videos and we were able to choose our own music. James was excellent on the day and I barely even notice that he was there. We can’t wait to see the video now!
One piece of advice I have for other Brides is for them to accept that things can, and probably will go wrong…
My Husband tried his trousers on a few days before the wedding to discover that they were one size too small and resembled leggings. Luckily my Mum was on hand with the sewing kit and performed magical ‘surgery’ on them to let them out.
After spending a year collecting jars and vases for the flowers, our Best Man accidentally dropped and smashed a whole case of them when bringing them to the venue. I had to rush out and find as many new vessels as I could. There weren’t as many as there should have been but no one knew!
Oh, and we both completely forgot to bring the cake toppers. So we went for the ‘naked’ look.
Try not to stress over the small things (no matter how big they feel at the time) and remember that only you, and possibly a few others, will know exactly what didn’t quite go to plan on the day. In our case, some of the faux pas made great additions to the speeches.
Photography by Matt Ethan Photography
- Dress Designer Jenny Packham – Tilly
- Bridal Boutique Blackburn Bridal
- Alterations The Sewing Rooms
- Bridal Shoes New Look
- Veil Veils bu Alison
- Suits & Ties Marks & Spencer
- Grooms Shoes Reiss
- Shirts TM Lewin
- Flower Lapel Pin ASOS
- Venue Devonshire Terrace
- Flowers Rene’s Florist
- Entertainment Ed Shakespeare
- Cheesecake Irish Band
- Cheese Cake Fine Cheese
- After Dinner Ice Lollies Lick-a-lix
- Flower Girl Dresses BHS
- Chi Chi London
- Videographer Love Storage