How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

I’m a little bit annoyed with Kevin and Victoria if I’m honest… because they had some immense stationery based ideas that I wish I had thought of…

Just wait till you see the table plan – they had cute little photo’s of every single guest printed and fixed to an envelope. The guests had to spot themselves and then open their envelope to find out where they were seated… What a great way to get everyone mingling, and what a great conversation starter. Also – I LOVE the table names. Pure genius, check them out.

I’m going to go off for a little sulk, but I will leave you in the capable hands of Victoria, who will reveal the story of her big day. A story perfectly illustrated with images from Andy Squires.


We got married on the 1st October 2011 at the gorgeous Hill Place in Swanmore, Hampshire. Our wonderful and generous friends Will and Rebecca, who were able to be guests as well as hosts at the wedding, own this gorgeous venue. For our colour scheme we wanted to incorporate bright and bold pinks, purples and greys. We were lucky as the house is so gorgeous it needed minimal decoration. Overall we wanted it to be a fun and relaxed day. Getting married in October we had planned for rain so we couldn’t have been more delighted by the tropical weather that meant we were able to enjoy drinks and games on the lawn of the house – the perfect topping to the day!

Bow And Brooch

My dress was from Swoon in West Byfleet and was called Staycie by Maggie Sottero. We got married just three months after we got engaged (the venue had a free date so we thought we’d go for it!) and a lot of the wedding dress shops I contacted just couldn’t accommodate that turn around. After trawling Google I found Swoon who specialise in sample and once worn dresses – I also couldn’t help but notice that they were a fraction of the price of most other places too, which was good for the budget! I made an appointment and headed there with a close friend and my Mum – I must have tried on 15 dresses and we quickly narrowed it down to 2. After another try on of each it was obvious which one to go for – I loved the bow, the brooch, the contrast hem and its simple elegance, plus the length and size were basically perfect – it was if it was meant to be!

Contemporary And Angled

I loved loved loved my tiara the moment I saw it on the internet – it was from Blossom Wedding Day Jewellery specialists. I knew I wanted my hair in a simple style and I always part it to the side so having something that sat off-centre seemed perfect. There were so many to choose from but it had to be slightly contemporary and angled to match the brooch on my dress rather than flowery. As soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect and it didn’t disappoint when it arrived – I loved it so much I used to come home from work and try it on almost daily! My other jewellery included pieces that Kevin had given to me as presents (one of which was my something blue) and a gorgeous bracelet that he asked a friend to give me on the day (very romantic and something new!). My veil was (my something!) borrowed from Rebecca and worked perfectly as it wasn’t too long and had just a smattering of sparkles to pick up the light.

Pink Points

My shoes were bright pink pointed courts from Office (my little sister also kindly bought them for my birthday). I love points and being bright pink they perfectly matched they day, I also loved the idea of wearing them again (which I have twice and each time brings back such lovely memories) so they are perfect in every way. Inside my shoe was a sixpence that my friend Michelle lent me… that was my something old.

Nothing Too Fussy

I had a simple bun style hair do, done at my local hairdressers Madeline House Hair. They did an amazing job and it barely moved out of place all day – the most important thing was that I still looked like me, hence not wanting anything too fussy and this also translated into the make up which I did myself. To be honest I hadn’t decided what makeup I would wear until I started doing it but I was pretty happy with the result of smokey eyes but generally pretty understated.

A Family Floral Affair

We bought the flowers from an excellent local wholesaler Nursery Fresh and then my big sister, my Mum and Kevin’s Mum all worked to make some amazing arrangements, buttonholes and bouquets. I love Gerbera’s (don’t they just look happy?!) so we combined them with bright pink (“purple power”) and light pink (“heaven”) Roses, purple Veronica and purple Lisianthus all with grey/green foliage. For vases I headed to Ikea and got everything for under £50 – they looked great and I now have enough vases for many years to come! The buttonholes were very simple bright pink Roses, our flower girl carried Roses and Gerberas and my bouquet was a loose assortment of Roses, Lisianthus and Veronica and I was so pleased with how it all looked.

An Issue Of Continuity

For my best woman Zoe we found the perfect dress in Karen Millen that was a mix of greys and she was able to find some fabulous accessories. My very pretty niece was my flower girl and she wore a party dress from Monsoon – for both the girls I wanted to get something they could wear again rather than just gather dust in the wardrobe. Kevin’s best man Colin was able to find a suit that matched perfectly, we also kitted out both our Dad’s in purple ties and the boys had bright pink ties – we were after continuity rather than everything matching!

Gieves and Hawkes

Kevin looked amazing in a tailored Gieves and Hawkes three-piece suit; the grey made his blue eyes sparkle and looked great with the pink tie. It was the only suit he tried on but as soon as he was wearing it we knew it was perfect – I hadn’t seen the complete outfit till the day so I got to have a (lovely!) surprise too!

Truly Individual

Our amazing photographer was the wonderful Andy Squires. Our first attempt to find a photographer had been a disaster with a capital D, meeting with an old school, staid and very traditional wedding photographer. As soon as we got back from that meeting I hit the internet searching for someone friendly and relaxed who also took excellent photographs – it was quickly clear that Andy ticked all the boxes, his photos are truly individual, capturing wonderful details of the day. After being a bit sceptical and with a bit of gentle encouragement from Andy, I’m delighted that we had an engagement shoot – it was a great chance to meet Andy and talk through thoughts and ideas and made me feel much more relaxed in front of the camera on the day.

When the wedding photos arrived we couldn’t have been more pleased – they are an amazing way to remember the big moments and the small details. He caught so many things that could be easily missed. On the day itself he must have been running round all over the place but he made it seem effortless. We also loved that we were able to go off for a wander and have some pictures of the two of us on our own – one of our favourite parts of the day.

Fruit And Nut Case

Our cake was amazing! We are both chocolate fiends and love Montezuma’s chocolate company. We originally looked on their website for wedding favours – but as soon as Kevin saw the cake he was sold and I didn’t need any persuading! It was an amazing combination of chocolate, fruit and nut cake with a Belgian chocolate sponge cake, all covered in gorgeous ganache and swirls of white, milk and plain truffles – the tasting session was heaven! We were also able to use it for our pudding and still have a stack left in the freezer!!

Grand Entertainment

During the drinks reception we hired the lovely Ingrid Dixon to play the amazing grand piano that they have at Hill Place. Our evening entertainment was the fabulous Alan Cross. Alan is an amazing swing singer and had us all up on our feet dancing the night away – at one point there were people dancing in the driveway, the hall and out on the back lawn so he was certainly doing something right! We were able to keep him a surprise from nearly all our guests until he ran up the stairs to sing our first dance – although the second song was possibly more impressive as it was a swing version of the Spiderman theme and very good too!

Swing When Your Winning

Our first dance was dictated by the style that Alan sings, as we don’t really have ‘a song’. But with his help we decided on ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’ and it was perfect.

For favours we gave little packets of seeds from Cox & Cox that I hope everyone remembers to plant! We thought it was a nice way to get people to remember the day especially as we love growing our own fruit and veg.

Find Your Face

Our table plan was a huge effort but well worth it! Instead of the traditional we printed a picture of each guest, on Moo MiniCards, that we stuck onto an envelope. Then inside there was a card telling them which table they were sitting on and a personal message from us to them. This was then hung by ribbon from a frame that my Dad very cleverly made for us. The guests then had to identify their envelop amongst the others… they had to “find their face, to find their place”!

We also included a postcard that we asked them to write a message on instead of having a guestbook. This was one of my favourite things we did – each message is so individual (I always find that guest book messages can be quite ‘samey’) and some people decided to post them to us after the day which meant we had some lovely surprises to read when we got back from honeymoon!

My brother is an amazing artist and he also drew a picture where people could write a message – it is just fantastic and so personal, its currently being framed and I cant wait to get it back and put it on the wall. For name places we set up scrabble tiles, took a photo and had them printed on MiniCards by the wonderful people at Moo. They looked brilliant and were a nice keepsake for people – they also matched the scrabble cufflinks that the boys wore! Our table name places were postcards depicting covers of our favourite books that we read as children.

In the evening we used the hallway as the main dance area – it was totally transformed with fairy lights running up the stairs and a glitter ball – I think every wedding should have one! To remember the people that couldn’t be with us we lit a candle and wrote a message – it was an understated but effective way of keeping them in our thoughts.

Without A Hitch

Our wedding was special because of the people. Fabulous friends and family, who helped everything go without a hitch, surrounded us. Will and Rebecca have an amazing team at Hill Place which meant that nothing was stressful – a special mention must go to the amazing Ann who noticed with seconds to spare that my bouquet was still in water in the cellar. As the entrance music had already started she ran down and up 4 flights of stairs to get it to me on time and then was even able to make sure my dress was looking its best for the big entrance, amazing!

We also had the use of a great wedding planner, Marie at Isabella Weddings. I think some people worry about the expense or image of having a wedding planner but she was worth her weight in gold for us. Planning a wedding in 3 months wasn’t always easy but she was always at the end of the phone or email with support, advice, ideas or potential suppliers and on the day she was there to make sure everything was seamless and that I never had to do or worry about anything – nothing was too much trouble. For us it also meant that Will and Rebecca could relax and enjoy the day without having to play host so it worked perfectly and I would highly recommend her to other brides!

As far as advice for other brides go don’t be afraid to rip up the rulebook if you want to! Your wedding should be about you and what you want – we had what could be considered a fairly traditional day but had lots of touches that made it unique to us. Above all enjoy it and remember that you’re with friends and family and everyone is set to have a wonderful day. I loved every moment but the ceremony was so special- we chose really individual readings that mean a lot to us. The love and sentiment during that time is what really underpinned the day, there was barely a dry eye in the house!

Venue Hill Place

Dress Maggie Sottero

Boutique Swoon

Shoes Office

Blooms Nursery Fresh

Photography Andy Squires

Planner Isabella Weddings

Pianist Choir Ingrid Dixon

Singer Alan Cross

Ok, I’m finished with sulking. Actually who am I kidding? How can you be mad at Kevin and Victoria, one of the smiliest couples of the century. Looks like they had a perfect day their way. And in just three months. Wow.

If you are on a timeframe like Kevin and Victoria, then you can never underestimate the powers of a decent wedding planner. It will certainly relieve a lot of the pressure both in the run up and on the day its self.

A lot of people see a planner as an extravagance, but it might just be a good way of holding on to your sanity!


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

26 thoughts on “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

  1. Love the colour scheme and that dress is just amazing 🙂 Looks like such a fun day, everyone looks so happy to be there!
    The weddings this week have had some seriously cool stationary ideas – my DIY list is growing ever long (loving the inspiration though, thanks guys!)


  2. I love the wedding of Victoria and Kevin so much – it just looks like such a fun day and I adore the bright colours.

    The photo table idea is ace and Victoria? loving the slinky frock and bouquet with pointy bits (loves me a pointy bit in a bouquet!)

    Oh and the tree swing AND those cufflinks and your bright pink poster…

    Charlotte xxx

  3. Eeeek always a bit gutting when an idea you’ve had appears to have been done! but I am LOVING their use of moo mini cards I use them for my business and for change if address when we moved – everyone loves them.

    Gorgeous bright wedding, glad to see another bride (well her friends) doing the flowers we are planning the same.

  4. I arrived in the office this morning pretty p*ssed off – the lovely suede bow has just fallen off one of the shoes (why just one, why not both and then at least I match!?) that make up my favourite pair of work stack platforms…(cue face of absolute doom)…

    I’m thinking that everytime I look down at my feet today I’m going to feel pretty darn peeved with the world…

    So, when I do, I’m going to look at Victoria and Kevin’s big pink sign, because really, what is there to be cross about when there is a big pink sign in the house…

    In the words of the boy “Pam, don’t have a stroke…it’s a shoes…there are nice things to think about other than shoes believe it or not.”

    Yes, yes, there are. Victoria and Kevin’s wedding.

    Think the candle is a lovely idea as well. It’s really hard finding a way to remember those who aren’t with you but without it becoming a too sad…The Big C’s dad is not with us so, as we’re getting married in an art deco theatre and cinema, we’re making a donation to the restoration fund and naming a seat after him. We’re sorting a little plaque out so he’ll have the best view of the whole wedding…


  5. I’m a relative newbie to rmw, but already look forward to my daily dose of gorgeousness to brighten up my morning commute! This is no exception! Love the seating plan and the colours and the location is stunning! Can’t believe she managed this in 3 months!! Lovely xxx

  6. Charl, I’m joining you in the slight jealousy here. We were originally going to do this with the photos but just gave in and went traditional as it got too much to organise too close to the wedding… or so I thought- three months to do all that is incredible! I love the venue too- the open pastures and open skies of the downs are gorgeous. And the doggie- I would have given anything to have our pup with us on the day now looking back, as he was taken from us so shortly afterwards- who cares what people would have said. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I thought you’d have a job to top the amazingness of yesterday’s honesty, but you’ve equalled it (again) xxxx

  7. I loved that they used the Moo minicards too – I’m thinking of doing our invitations and stationery myself and get it all printed through Moo too… it just allows for so much!

    I also love the table names – from where we are at the moment it looks like books are going to be a huge part of our day, which will come as absolutely no surprise to our nearest and dearest.

    @Pamela – I love the way you put things! That’s at least the third time you’ve made me laugh this week 🙂
    I also think that the seat for Big C’s father sounds a lovely idea.

  8. Does anyone know where those book cover postcards could be gotten? I have seen the penguin classic covers before but I love the Secret Garden and James and the Giant Peach ones that Victoria and Kevin had! Any answers gratefully received!!! xxx

  9. @Jenny – scan book covers and print them onto card? Then you could have whatever books you wanted.

    I love the idea of making up each persons name in scrabble tiles and then getting it printed on a moo card – I always wonder how people who use actual tiles manage to find enough letters … do they buy about 20 boxes of scrabble and throw away the boards?! We used moo cards for our ‘have a drink on us’ cards – a nice way of making sure we buy a drink for everyone without having the expensive of a free bar!

  10. Absolutely lovely, beautiful venue and fab bright colours. I love the picture of of the lit candle for those that could not be with them. Can’t believe it only took 3 months to do…makes me wonder what i’ve filled my time with planning for a whole year!!

  11. @Ruby – ha, thank you. Pity the Big C though…you lot just get the odd post on here that you can choose to read or not read…the Big C has to cope with my ramblings every single day…my old boss used to say I had verbal diorrhea…sorry, Kevin and Victoria, I have just written the word diorrhea on your lovely wedding page.

  12. @Jenny Wrenny I’m presuming that they used the postcards from the Puffin postcards set, which is available in a great many good book shops both on and off line – Puffin celebrated 70 years of publishing good children’s books in 2010 and I think the set was released then. (Children’s book nerd, sorry 🙂 ) I also fully support Shirley’s idea of scanning the covers in – it just gives you so much freedom, especially if you already have, or can find, really nice editions of books that mean something to you! Personally I’m tempted to just go the whole hog and have the book itself on display…

    @Pamela – grin!

  13. oh the cake! Can I pop over for a slice!?! They both look so incredibly happy (I know most brides and grooms do, but this is super uber smiley!) Cheered me right up today 😀

  14. Hello! Thanks for all the lovely comments, it is wonderful to be featured on RMW, we had such a fabulous day and it’s great to share it on a blog that I looked at a lot in the run up to the big day! Great to see that some of our ideas have inspired, if I can help with any other details just shout! (The postcards were indeed from a set that we bought by Puffin, I also now have enough left over to use for other projects!) Thanks again, Vx

  15. Thanks for the tip off on the Puffin postcards – they look lovely! I have the Penguin postcards but a good few of the titles may be a bit obscure! The Puffin ones are perfect for table names. My other thought was to scan Roald Dahl children’s book covers and have little quotes from the books on the back for all the “human beans”!

    @Ruby – love the idea of using the books themselves! We got Penguin book cover inspired invites, so I am continuing with the book theme!

  16. Aaaahhhh we got married on the same day!!!!
    Totally gorgeous weather for October. It really shows in the photo’s too.
    The venue looks stunning and I love all the little touches, love the table plan idea.
    I’m on a real wedding downer, I want to do it all again 🙂

  17. We got our save the dates from Moo – they were great really good service look out for discount codes 🙂

    The lighting looks AMAZING in these pictures!

    Beautiful wedding thank you for sharing x

  18. Love the venue, think it was featured in ‘Country House Rescue’.

    Also have had the pleasure of meeting Marie at Isabella Weddings. On-the-day-co-ordination. Done.

  19. What a beautiful Wedding and so lovely to be able to share it from here In Sydney – I don’t think those smiles could get much bigger! Sending much love from Keith, Kaye and Clementine

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