Bride Holly made full use of all her family and friends, asking them to sew, bake, craft and even create her gorgeous autumnal dahlia and ranunculus bouquet. The talent is overwhelmingly fabulous and adds a wonderful, sentimental and personal touch to this beautiful vintage inspired Buckinghamshire Railway Centre ceremony and village hall reception.
She even knows the wonderful talent that is Matthew Horan Photography, which RMW literally can’t get enough of at the moment. He has such a fantastic eye for capturing all the emotional and candid moments, as well as all the details and inspiration in such an artistic way that it makes you feel you right there with the gorgeous couple celebrating with them. And boy do I wish I was at this DIY wedding.
Holly the Bride: Originally I wanted something vintage that celebrated traditional textile techniques. At first I explored antique lace dresses but when coming across Rue De Seine online I adored their modern vintage designs. I tried on their Violet dress originally just for fun, it come with a rather controversial nude slip so I didn’t think I was a contender but I feel in love with the folky open Battenberg lace in cotton, the scallop cap sleeves and elegant back. I tried it on with a white silk slip and it was perfect.
I bought the dress direct from the designer in Auckland, New Zealand who made my dress to order. I had a Skype call with their New Zealand bridal boutique in which we discussed details and checked my measurements.
I wore my antique pearl drop necklace, a gift from George on our first Christmas together. To match I wore a pair of antique pearl earrings, a gift from George on the morning of our wedding day.
I wanted comfy shoes with block heels for fear of sore feet or catching them in the open lace of my dress. My shoes were from Rainbow Club at John Lewis.
For the evening I wore white Juju jellies with homemade pompom shoe clip. Every summer I live in a pair of these so it seemed only right to buy a white pair for the big day.
I wore my Mum’s veil, which she wore when she married my Dad in 1984. Originally it had little pink bows around the edge. My Mum removed the bows and edged the veil with a neat white cotton binding to bring it up to date and tie in with my dress. I wore a few sprigs of gyp and crespedia in my hair.
My Auntie is a florist based in the Cotswolds, Allium Florist. I was thrilled she could do the flowers for our wedding.
My bouquet included eucalyptus pods and berries, succulents, white rununculas, wax flower, sedum sprigs, garden spray rose (majolica), astrantia, purple sage, crespedia, Juliet roses (soft apricot), grey cinerea. We included a feather as a tribute to my Grandad.
The bridesmaid bouquets were smaller versions of my own.
The flower girls wore pretty wax flower crowns.
For the buttons holes we used apricot rununculas with stachys leafs tied with raffia. George’s button hole had a crespedia to match my flowers in my hair.
For the table decorations my Dad and I went bottle digging for vintage glass bottles, one afternoon we uncovered bottles embossed with teaspoon measures, a Horlick glass bottle and stoneware jars. It was like digging for buried treasure! We topped up with a job lot from ebay. We used seed pods, wax flower, sedum, astrantia, grey cinerea, eucalyptus berries and foliage in the vintage bottles.
We originally wanted an outdoor wedding, we looked into teepees but just the idea of bad weather Buckinghamshire Railway Centre was licensed for weddings. The aisle flanked by two vintage steam trains and the vaulted white ceiling made for a quirky, romantic setting and some great photo opportunities.
We wanted to low key venue so a pretty village hall seemed ideal, after a little research George found Hastoe Village Hall which is so beautifully decorated that it didn’t need much to turn it into the perfect wedding venue.
White bunting fitted the railway museum perfectly. We needed a daunting 100m but this was made manageable by asking 10 friends to sew 10m each. I posted out the materials and some loose instructions to my willing friends and a few weeks later the bunting was returned to us. It worked out wonderfully.
At Hastoe we strung up festoon lights in the rafters. We hired vintage trestle tables and chairs from Classic Crockery Event Hire. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow the festoon lights and some vintage bits and pieces from work such as enamel buckets which we used as ice buckets. We used a old ladder, floorboards, doors and bushel boxes to fashion a bar.
Instead of a guest book or wedding favour we asked guests to draw a self portrait and write us a little note. The intention is to turn these into a commemorative teatowel like the ones we remember doing at primary school, however we still haven’t got around to getting them printed.
We found inspiration on Pinterest, my cousin Meg made us a 2 tier lemon sponge cake with lemon butter icing and lemon curd. We decorated it with a few succulents.
Having enjoyed a delicious brunch at The Grocer in Old Amersham, we were thrilled to learn they cater for weddings. Their food is exactly what we wanted, delicious, rustic and lots of it! To start we chose mixed bruschettas with beautiful Italian ingredients such as buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and roasted artichoke. For the main course roast beef and chicken served with focaccia and huge Ottolenghi style salads, such as sweet potatoes with pecan and maple, mangetout with hazelnuts and orange and roasted peppers with feta and pine nuts. Dessert was a selection of individual tarts, tarte au citron, raspberry and lemon curd cheesecake and tarte au chocolat. Marcello, Kim and the team were brilliant, so professional, brilliant service. Their attention to detail when setting the tables was fantastic, with sprigs of rosemary on each place setting which tied in with the watercolour leaf designs on the table names.
For a late night feast we booked Luca Buca a lovingly restored vintage horse box with a wood fire pizza oven in the back! We loved the retro light bulb sign on the roof. The pizzas where made fresh and served straight out the oven, they were absolutely delicious.
We booked Festival Spirits to run our bar as they were super friendly and offered a choice of local ales and didn’t have a minimum spend. On our request they even created a special spiced rum, apple and ginger ale cocktail which they served in enamel mugs.
We asked some guests to bake a cake or sweet treat for a late night treat- the only brief was autumnal flavors- such as apple, spiced plum, pear and almond.
At the railway museum to tide us over in between venues and during photos we offered pork pies and processo. The pork pies were freshly made by a member of the family, Michael who owes Richmond’s Butchers in Wakefield and were absolutely delicious, he drove them down the morning of the wedding. They were so good they were voted THE ‘best small pork pie in Yorkshire’ that very weekend in The Great Yorkshire Pork Pie, Sausage & Black Pudding Competition.
We didn’t have a colour scheme so there wasn’t a go to colour to pick for a bridemaid dress. Instead I went for white cotton dresses to tie in with my own cotton wedding dress. After a fruitless search on online and on the high street I decided to get the dresses made. I picked a pretty Swiss dot cotton and a Sew Over It dress pattern (Betty) and asked a family friend Claire to make them. With one bridesmaid in Edinburgh and another in London it was impossible to arrange fittings, instead Claire made toiles out of scrap fabric and posted them to my bridesmaids to try on and adjust before posting them back.
It was hard to find flower girls dresses that weren’t glittery or covered in butterflies again I wanted simply cotton dresses, I picked a sweet white broderie anglaise dress from Mady and Luigi who I found on Instragram. I switched the ribbons for pink and added a fun petticoat from Lindy Bop.
George wears a suit everyday at work as a secondary school Design Technology teacher so for the wedding he wanted something extra special. He knew he wanted something high quality and affordable, he picked a grey tweed 3 piece from Walker Slater after coming across their shop in Edinburgh. He bought his suit from their store in Covent Garden, London. They tailored the trousers for him to give them a slimmer leg.
George brought a pair of Church’s Shoes from the factory outlet in Northampton.
The ties were grey linen from Frederic Thomas.
We were happy for all the boys to wear their own suits but gave them all a new crisp white shirt, tie, pocket square and socks.
I made the pocket squares for the boys in grey cotton linen with a Liberty print on reverse.
George made himself and each of the boys wedge wood cufflinks and tiepins. It was nice that the details of the boys outfits gave a nod to Georges love of woodwork and design.
We designed these ourselves, I painted a watercolor leaf design which at first we used on the invitation and then followed through to the order of ceremony, menu, table names etc. We downloaded a font from online which we used throughout. We found loads of inspiration for fonts and layouts on Pinterest.
George cut little blocks of wood to create name place holders.
George’s friend and colleague Ron played Django Reinhardt style gypsy jazz on guitar during dinner. He is such a talent!
George found the Jake Hartz Trio online and we went to see them in a bar one evening to see them for real. We picked them as their repertoire was classic, not cheesy. Jake sung and played guitar and keyboard and was accompanied by drums and big bass. They were very cool and got everyone up dancing. They learnt and played a few specific songs of our choice, Richard Hawley – Serious , Kinks – All day and All of the night and Velvet underground – I’m waiting for my man.
Our first dance was Fools Say by M Ward.
We hired a single decker red bus to take our guests between venues. Vintage London Bus Company. The bus looked at home in the railway museum.
My Dad surprised us with a 1964 Jaguar MK2 from Henley Classic Car Hire, which first took my dad and I to the ceremony and then George and I onto the reception.
Having know Matt since university I couldn’t have wished for anyone else to photograph our wedding, in fact we picked the wedding date around coordinating when the venues and Matt were both available.
For the readings we borrowed from song lyrics, Forever Young – Bob Dylan and The Book of Love – The Magnetic Fields. With no hymns we didn’t want to miss out on singing so we picked Love Me Do by the Beatles – it was easy to sing along and something everyone was familiar with, it was great fun and took some of the guests by surprise. Our friend Emily performed Funny Little Frog by Belle and Sebastian, she adapted the words in the last verse to reflect George and I, it was so special.