I always love sharing at home weddings, everyone seems that bit more relaxed, especially the bride and groom, making RS Brown Photography‘s job a dream to capture.
Working at sea meant one thing, they just had to have a nautical theme. The refreshing navy and white colour scheme was complimented with blush pink accents and the crowning glory for me was definitely bride India’s cake. Talk about perfection.
Another highlight was India’s bridal separates, the intricacy on her embellished top was just divine and sparkled like a dream at the epic firework display and sparker send off.
India the Bride: Having turned 30 at the start of the summer, I seem to be at that age where everyone I know is tying the knot. This swayed me away from the traditional white wedding dress look and towards a more unique ensemble. I liked the idea of a full skirt and a modest embellished crop top. I went to London to see Suzannah at Suzannah who made my dreams a reality.
I went to Emmy London for my shoes. I chose a pair of simple blush pink suede court shoes, and then I used their bespoke service to embellish them with butterfly wings on the heels.
To make my look slightly more bridal, I found a veil from Windsor and Eton Brides.
Grooms Fashion and Accessories
Olly chose to go to Laurence, an independent menswear boutique in Henley-on-Thames. He chose a lovely blue three-piece suit with white shirt, baby pink tie (to compliment my skirt) and brown leather shoes. The seven groomsmen were kitted out in a more casual blazer and chinos option from Marks and Spencer. Laurence then finished off their outfits with navy braces and pink bowties.
Our venue choice was easy. We had a very intimate, family and wedding party only, ceremony in the town hall in Henley-on-Thames. Followed by a fabulous party on the lawn and in a Marquee at my parents’ house in Marlow. Our event coordinators, 81 Events organized our marquee through Lulu’s Marquees. We chose a larger marquee than was probably needed, however we thought that if the great British summer brought us only rain, we wanted to be able to accommodate all the guests comfortably inside.
The theme for our wedding was ‘Nautical’. Olly and I met, and have worked for the last 8 years together, on a Superyacht travelling the high seas, so we thought that a nautical themed celebration would be the most suitable. Our main colours were Navy blue, white and baby pink. We incorporated nautical elements to our décor, like natural rope, navy and white stripes, a ships wheel and a foghorn. We also had an inflatable dinghy for the kids to play in, as well as box of nautical/pirate fancy dress.
We used Elizabeth Perkins for our flowers, a preferred supplier of 81Events.
My bridal bouquet was a pretty pink mixture of David Austin roses and Sweet Avalanche roses with some Astilbe Erika to add more texture. My bridesmaids had more simple bouquets of pink Avalanche roses and Ollys niece, our flower girl, wore a roses and Chamelaucium flower crown. The groomsmen had rose and Chamelaucium buttonholes tied with a little navy and white striped ribbon to add a nautical touch.
The bridesmaids’ bouquets doubled up as the cocktail table posies. When we arrived at the drinks reception the bridesmaids went and placed them in the vases already set out on each table. I stole this idea from a friend, she made the point that bridesmaids don’t want to be holding their bouquets the whole day and they often end up on a table somewhere getting damaged and being wasted.
In the marquee our table centers consisted of wooden troughs with more pale pink roses and lots of greenery. We had hanging flower chandeliers and two impressive displays on the bar.
Wedding Party Fashion
For my bridesmaids I chose a dress that I had bought from Chi Chi London for the Henley Royal Regatta the summer before my wedding. When I was wearing it I really liked how the structured body and full skirt made it one of those classic styles that suits all figures and would be perfect for a bridesmaid dress, also the navy blue tied in perfectly with my Nautical theme. Fortunately Chi Chi London was still selling them so I managed to get six more. They fitted everyone perfectly and no alterations had to be made.
I asked the Bridesmaids to wear a pair of their own nude colour shoes, so they could choose something comfortable. I also gave them all a pretty silver bracelet that had an Anchor charm and a blue tassel as a Thank You gift.
Harper the flower girl wore a gorgeous white dress with navy stripes. I found this dress on Etsy from a lady called Saskia Dankbaar. I left it quite late to order this dress because Harper, only just turning 2, was growing all the time, but Saskia was so helpful and made the dress for me very quickly. Olly’s sister, Sabrina, completed Harpers outfit with some cute navy shoes and some white anchor print socks.
Hair and Makeup
I contacted Jodie, a lady I’d met through my work on the Yachts. She supplied me with makeup artist Laura Hunt and hair stylist Bethany Alden to do my hair and makeup as well as my six Bridesmaids. Laura and Bethany were both fantastic. They were such a pleasure to have at the hotel on the morning of the wedding. I could not have been happier with the whole process and my Bridesmaids all loved their final looks as well.
During the drinks reception on the lawn we had the Roaming Revels a 4-piece acoustic roaming all female band that were absolutely brilliant.
As we called everyone into lunch we had a small set from Olly’s super talented brother-in-law Paddy Taylor.
After dinner, instead of a traditional first dance, we wanted to have everyone up dancing with us, so we chose to have a Ceilidh. We found ‘Ceilidh Tree’ who played tradition Gaelic folk music and called out the dance moves. It was such a laugh and it broke the ice between any guests who didn’t know each other.
We danced the rest of the evening to our main act ‘Jump’. They were honestly the best band I’ve ever seen at an event. Their popular dance hits, modern rap and powerful female vocals had everyone dancing within seconds and the dance floor was full the whole night. We could not have been more impressed.
Sonning Fireworks finished off the evening for us with the most spectacular pyromusical display to Queen’s – I was born to love you. I could not recommend them more highly. It was so magical.
The wedding cake was actually made by myself (Indy Queen of Cakes. I hand made dozens individually wired intricate sugar flowers and berries a few months before the wedding. In the busy week before the big day I baked and decorated the 3-tier nautical inspired cake. I chose to do the cake myself because I believe the taste the cake is just as important as the decoration and as a lot of my friends and family were already huge fans of my cakes, this seems the best option. I chose classic fruit cake, double chocolate, and blueberry and lemon. They went down so well that by the time I broke away from the dance floor to have a piece, there was only a small section of the largest tier left.
81 Events catered and coordinated everything at the wedding. All the food at the tasting was so delicious it was hard to chose a menu. We ended up giving the guests a couple of options for each course, which they had to choose when they RSVPed. The food on the day was fabulous and 81Events were super accommodating when it came to difficult dietary requirements.
For evening food we had a noodle chef set up in the garden, stir frying our favourites and serving them in paper ‘American style’ takeout boxes with chop sticks. We also had platters of Cornish pasties. Olly was born and raised in Cornwall so Pasties and proper Cornish cider were a must for him.
Husband and wife duo, Rich and Sonia Brown, did our photography. An old school friend recommended them to me, through Facebook. I liked the natural style of their photographs. Rich and Sonia were a pleasure to have with us throughout the day, they were very discrete and I hardly noticed them during the intimate ceremony. I normally hate being in front of the camera and the idea of having couples photos made me cringe but it would have been something we regretted if we didn’t have them taken. Rich and Sonia made us feel so relaxed and we had a lot of fun doing them. I loved looking back at all our photos throughout the day, especially the expressions captured on everyone’s faces during the speeches.