Yes! Just yes. This wedding looks so flippin’ good. I want to be able to listen to the speeches, I am going back to re-watch the rap battle (yes, you did read that correctly), I want to definitely try some of that uh-mazing looking cake and I generally want to laugh with everyone.
Fran The Bride: We immediatly fell in love with the Halstead House as it has a gorgeous rustic look and a laid back feel. We loved the renovated barns with their beautiful old beams and bright airy look. There are beautiful gardens and countryside surrounding the venue too which provided a lovely backdrop to the day. The venue was the perfect place for us to get creative with decortaions. I spent many hours in the approach to the day making paper bunting from music sheet paper, painting large typography wooden panels with lyrics from our favourite songs, making centrepieces and favours etc etc. I loved every minute of it!
We chose a rustic colour palette of peachy pinks, manilla and greys to suit the venue and we liked the vintage theme also. I used a lot of lace when making decorations and used vintage lace scraps from my granny. We also used my grandfathers old suitcases as the card box and to decorate the entrance to the barn. Some close family friends, Jo and Paddy Howlett, made a gorgeous oversized polaroid frame for us to use as photograph prop and even decorated it with our names and helped up to string it from the beams. It was these little touches that made the day so personalised and special for us.
When I first started thinking about what I wanted my dress to be like I thought I would go for a floaty, grecian style. I went to try on dresses with my friend Nicky who has also recently got married, I tried on a few dresses and instantly fell in love with my dress. I loved the beading and detailing and although at that time there was a year and a half before our big day, I knew I wouldn’t fall out of love with it. I wore my late mothers veil on the day which was very special for me, as she had worn it when she married my Dad over 30 years ago.
James wore his dream Ted Baker suit on the day and accessorised with a handmade pocket square and button hole. The groomsmen wore matching suits in a similar grey colour to James’s. We decided to go with short sleeved shirts and braces under the suits as we wanted a casual, summer look for after the ceremony… Also we didn’t want James to have to cover up his tattoos!
Carolanne at CK Flowers was so lovely to work with and helped to make the ideas in my head come together. I loved the idea of fresh peachy pinks mixed with grey berries and sagey greens. She did a beautiful job of our bouquets and helped to make my bouquet extra special by wiring in vintage brooches given to me by my maid of honour and attaching a locket with a photo of my late mother in. CK Flowers also did our centrepieces which were simple but I loved the look of the collections of hand decorated bottles and jars. A family friend Jo Howlett picked flowers and herbs from our gardens and the hedgerows around the venue for other arrangements around the venue, she did a beautiful job of creating colourful, rustic arrangements which we loved even more because we knew where the flowers had come from and how much effort she had put in.
We had three readings during the ceremony which were based on the past, present and future of our relationship. The reading about the past was read by James’s sister, the present was read by a close friend of ours and the future was read by our little nine year old niece. I loved walking down the aisle with my dad, it was a real achievement for him as only last January he had a severe stroke and had to relearn how to walk. During his recovery it was his goal to walk me down the aisle and for him to achieve it not only meant so much to the whole family but I was so proud of his progress.
Music is very important to us and we wanted there to be lots going on to entertain the guests. We asked a local musician Steven Faulkner to play two acoustic sets during the day, one straight after the ceremony and one after the wedding breakfast. He has a gorgeous voice and learnt some of our favourite songs! For our first dance we asked a close friend Ryan Albutt to sing our song with acoustic guitar. His voice sounded just gorgeous and James had organised a surprise for me… When the chorus started, all of our guests started singing out loud. James and the groomsmen had given the lyrics to all the guests to learn and I was so taken back, it was a beautiful and very special moment. I booked Marlo and shuffle T, current battle rap doubles champions in the UK and my husbands favourite, to perform a surprise rap to James, James was so surprised it was amazing to watch his face and I was so happy that it all went smoothly and he had no idea it was going to happen. After the performance we got to know Marlo, Shuffle T and Liam (Filming for Dont Flop), we got on with them so well that they ended up staying all evening and even ended up crashing in our cottage that night! Since the day we have had just under 200,000 views of the video on Youtube!
We were so so pleased with Ali’s photographs of the day. She was a pleasure to work with from the moment we got in contact with her. She is incredibly talented and we will treasure our photos always.
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.