Karen & Lee… Peace & Love (Part 2)


Peace & Love (Continued)

As soon as Lee turned around (and burst into tears), I threw myself into his arms and planted a big kiss on his lips. After being told off by the Registrar ‘you haven’t got to that bit yet!’ we held eachothers hands and it was just me and him. This was our moment.


We chose three readings to add to the ceremony and three gorgeous girls to read them. Lee’s cousin Tara stole the show as the three of us hugged our way through her tearful reading from Les Miserables, followed by her sister Daisy & our mate Jess who both did us equally proud reading lyrics from What Is Life by George Harrison & an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.


As soon as it was over I wanted to rewind and live it all again. It was like I was floating in a bubble and couldn’t quite snap out of it to take everything in. For someone who initially questioned getting a wedding video, I am now eternally grateful to Papertwin for being there and capturing every moment of that ceremony (even the bit where I almost fell flat on my face as Lee and I dashed excitedly up the aisle). Those memories are priceless and we’ll get to live them over and over again. They also created a short trailer for us which has me in tears every time I see it, it’s such a beautiful account of our day.


Thank You For Being A Friend

Still in our bubble, we snatched some time away from the party for our couple shots with Claire Penn, she surprised us with 12” George Harrison and Lady Gaga records and we dropped into Probe Records next door to the venue for some photos. It was a lot of fun entertaining the bewildered customers as we made out behind the vinyl.


What more can I say about Claire that I haven’t already – the sunshine and love just beam out of our faces in her photographs, and as we knew she would from the moment we met her, she has told mine and Lee’s love story better than anyone else we could imagine. I am so glad we met her, and so proud to now call her a friend. 

We returned to the party to find the dancing had already started as our buskers Rag Tag Misfits were bringing the house down.


Usually found playing to shoppers in Liverpool One, Helly and Andy rocked up and surprised our guests. We’d provided a load of percussion instruments in their guitar case so our friends and family could join the fun, they went down a storm.


Our table decorations ended up being a perfect jumble of old books, and flowers in crystal and pewter vases that I’ve collected from charity shops and car boots over the last 18-months, along with a mini-library table plan with it’s very own set of vintage golf clubs, book-page hearts and paper flowers scattered around the room. Everything that we loved, all thrown together in a perfect mess of us!


For favours, we had badges made with favourite movie quotes, song lyrics or little phrases that mean something to us. I have to confess, after spending many wrist-breaking hours with a Badge-It machine, I decided enough was enough and bought them from Awesome Merchandise with a little help again from Claire.


Sometimes there’s such a thing as too much DIY. Our mini-vinyl CD’s (a joint DIY effort between Thom who designed my stationery, me and Ian from Strange Case Collective) also sat at each place setting and provided the best soundtrack for dinner – putting the theme from The Golden Girls up against The Doobie Brothers was a musical masterstroke! Speeches were entertaining and emotional, as Lee, his best man Paul and my bezzies Liz and Phil all said a few words – with Margaret Cho, Kelly Rowland and HM The Queen all playing their part!


For place cards, I took inspiration from Rock My Wedding’s ‘Jar of Hearts’. Having already dished out the badges, we didnt include that part, but asked each guest to write their words of wisdom to be displayed on a big canvas and kept forever… there were some very touching and funny messages.


The cake was entrusted to my good friend and RMW regular, Sarah otherwise known as One Jolly Girl. Her ‘Nudist’ cake was absolutely delicious and looked amazing – a tower of decadent spongey, creamy, fruity joy just waiting to be in and around my mouth, topped off by little wooden versions of me and Lee, from Goose Grease, painted by Sophie at Strange Case Collective.


As we got up to cut the cake, my mate grabbed me and showed me her phone. Remember Claire I told you about? She had JUST given birth to the most beautiful baby girl. The whole wedding raised a glass to little Megan, it was a special moment. 


A massive party with beautiful people

A couple of months before the big day, you might remember that Lee and I had a bit of a reality check about the limited guest list. There are so many people that we love, and those people love to party – so we changed the evening venue. It was a GREAT decision.


We called another favour in and a friend turned up with a vintage double decker to transport our guests up the road. 

We arrived at Parr Street Studios and once again, the girls from Strange Case Collective took my breath away – 250 metres of paper hearts were strung from the ceiling, turning the former recording studio into a cathedral of pretty!


The Rag Tag Misfits were playing Ho Hey, the girls thrust a pramaretto (yep – still drinking them!) into my hand, ‘Pumping Iron’ was playing on the big screen (we couldn’t resist… and it was followed through the evening by ‘Withnail & I’ and ‘In Bed WIth Madonna’) and I had another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments. This is EXACTLY what we had in mind! 


For our first dance, we’d tried to decide on various love songs or slowies from the huge list of music we’d already chosen, but nothing seemed right. Our second song was decided before we even got engaged, ‘Yes’ by McAlmont & Butler – but whatever way you look at it, it is not an appropriate first dance.


It was about a week before the wedding when we were in the car and one of our favourite songs came on, ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s. We both looked at eachother and knew that was it. It was great to have an upbeat record to get the party started, the dancing didn’t stop until the early hours. 

I’ve never known a wedding DJ as brilliant as Paul from Wedding Jam, we knew he’d be great but he was the unexpected hit of the whole day.


Quality music from start to finish, guests didn’t stop telling us how brilliant the music was all night and they’re still talking about it now. He was a bit of a heart-throb too. 

As the night ended and we should have been drifting off to our hotel suite up the road, Lee and I ended up doing what we always do – carried on drinking!


It was very late but a few bars were still open and we ended up in a bar called La’Go. Just us, finally being able to sit together, relax and laugh about what a crazy day we’d had… although of course we drew a little bit of attention.


Let Your Hair Down

Many couples talk about finding time to spend together on your own, and its true – it was good to be alone finally, it feels like Lee and I barely saw eachother all night. But more than that, if I could give any advice, I would urge every Bride and Groom to let go of the stress, chill out and make their wedding day a real celebration of their love and happiness.


Lots of us obsess when we’re planning a wedding about the details and ensuring that we look perfect, and that’s fine. I loved every minute of that, but the most important thing I can share, is that once the day comes, put all of that to one side and enjoy yourself. 

Spend a little bit of money on having someone you can trust to decorate the venue and to be there on the day running the show like clockwork, so you can let go and just enjoy whatever happens.


I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without Colette from All Wrapped Up Events – what a woman! It left us to focus on with the people we love most in the world around us, and the rest just came naturally. Our friends and family are all such fun, wonderful people it was the best day ever to just see them all having a great time and making new friends.


It was the happiest, wildest, most emotional day of our lives and we shared it with the best people imaginable. Boss. 

Nothing else mattered.

Peace & Love

Karen xxx


And here is that film lovingly created by Papertwin.

THE END….. Well. Not Quite…

a postscript…

Well, as far as Lee and I knew that would be it. Our friends from Papertwin, Strange Case Collective and Claire Penn on the other hand, had other ideas.

It’s really hard to even describe what happened next without going back to the start. When we met Danny & Sophie (aka Papertwin & Strange Case), it was clear that we were going to become great friends and we did, very quickly. What we didn’t know was that even back then, Danny was hatching a plan. As the first wedding Papertwin had filmed, he wanted to do something special, and he managed to keep that plan a secret from Lee and I for the entire time.

Danny, along with Sophie and Claire contacted my Male of Honour Phil and organised the most beautiful and amazing surprise that has ever been staged. By anyone. Ever.

Earlier this month, we’d arranged to meet the couple for Sunday breakfast and the handover of our wedding video. We went along to our favourite little cafe to find them waiting outside, they hailed a cab – apparently breakfast wasn’t happening. A few minutes later, after noticing a suspicious looking camera we came to a stop outside Woolton Picture House, a beautiful old cinema in the Liverpool suburbs, on the steps outside were our families who had all come to join us for the ‘secret premiere’. We were gobsmacked.


Strange Case Collective had revived our beautiful paper flowers and heart garlands from the wedding day, along with some AMAZING movie posters. We stepped through the doors taking our retro yellow tickets (yep, tickets!) to find bucks fizz and sweets for everyone along with a stunning three tier cake from the legendary Laura’s Little Bakery.

It didn’t stop there, two seats were set up at the front for Lee and I with huge peace & love signs, popcorn and prosecco. The guests filed in a few rows behind, ready for the show to start – and the show, boy do these guys know how to make a wedding film. It blew us away. The whole experience was like re-living our wedding again, every emotion and feeling came rushing back as we watched it on the big screen with our families with us enjoying every moment. It was truly magical. It is impossible to express what this day means to us, and just how overwhelmed we are by the time, love and effort put in by our beautiful friends to do something so special. We can never thank them enough.

Of course no day with Papertwin & Claire Penn would be complete without capturing it on camera. They made most incredible heart warming, emotional film (only mildly spoilt by my sobbing minceface) documenting what happened. This is that day, in their words…

You can see images from the day on Claire’s blog here.


Venues – The Athenaeum & Studio 2 at Parr Street Studios
Brides Dress – Eternity Bridal
Brides Veil – Sara Gabriel
Brides Headband – Glitzy Secrets

Shoes – Miu Miu

Groom’s outfit – Gieves & Hawkes
Maids Dresses – Warehouse 

Bow Ties – Mrs Bow Tie (quote ROCKMYWEDDING for 10% off!)
Photography – Claire Penn Photography with 2nd Shooter Cassandra Lane

Video – Papertwin
Decor – Strange Case Collective
Planning & Co-ordination – All Wrapped Up
Cake – One Jolly Girl

Stationery – Thom Morgan
Cars – Classic Wedding Cars
Band – Rag Tag Misfits

DJ – Wedding Jam
Catering – Pickled Walnut
Flowers – Passion For Flowers

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Well, I hope you all enjoyed that peeps, what a beautiful account filled with little tear jerky moments (yes even for a boy!)

And what an ending… No words for that.

It makes me a proud wedding blogger to see our little Karen & Lee all grown up and married and making their own way in the world… With one hell of a lot of love and support from their family and friends to help them on their way.

We’ll miss you guys – don’t be strangers

Adam x

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

45 thoughts on “Karen & Lee… Peace & Love (Part 2)

  1. Karen once again you have me in tears. You were the most beautiful bride and I’m so proud to have you as my friend because you are also a beautiful person. You and Lee clearly had the best day ever, and thanks to the amazing Claire and Papertwin we all get to feel like we were part of it too.

    I have to sort my face out and go back to work now! Congratulations again to you and Lee, and huge amounts of love xxx

  2. Karen + wedding frock + pink wall = Girl, you be killin ’em!

    I still LOVE that picture as you get to the top of the aisle, and the face you are pulling at Lee is exactly how your dad is looking at you! Such a special moment captured.


  3. Oh my the wedding video premiere just bought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful day, big congratulations Karen and Lee xxx

  4. oh my word! What an amazing summary for an amazing wedding! Just LOVE all the detail and the work of the fab Claire Penn who you can see captured everything beautifully. So pleased you both got your ‘fairy tale’ day, it all looks and sounds fantastic. Keep feeling the love! xx

  5. This wedding is amazing, there’s nothing about it that I don’t like! The badge wedding favours especially, what a lovely and unique personal touch to give to your guests – something to always remember the day by. So much inspiration here and it looks like such an amazing, emotional day

  6. Oh Karen, there are no words!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Your wedding looked and sounded pretty darn awesome!
    Claire has done AMAZING work as the pictures are just stunning!
    Just sooooooo much love and happiness oozing out of them all.

    And well done to all the fabulous people who helped you along the way (that paper heart bunting……and those paper flowers……just WOW!)

    You did it girl! 😀 xxx

    Ps. thanks for being a fabulous fellow Real Bride, I think all of us would agree you have been amazingly supportive, and have always been there to give us a kick up the bum and remind us all regularly what really matters….the love. xxx

  7. It feels like just yesterday, but at the same time, forever ago. Karen the fact that all of these individuals invested such an unreal level of time and emotion into your day is testament to what an amazing person you are. I’m not generally one for platitudes but you have been a great inspiration. You’ve got the best attitude, your priorities are damn straight and you’ree beautiful inside and out and all of that comes pouring out in this wedding. What a great start to a lifetime of love for you and Lee.

    P.S. The DJ wasn’t THAT hot….

  8. Its SUCH a lovely, kind, heartwarming end to your wedding story! testament surely to how fabulous you guys are and what an amazing day was had by all.

    Loving seeing more of the pictures this afternoon, seriously cool, seriously hot, seriously fun.

    on it like a car bonnet.

    shut the front door.


  9. Hot.Like.Fire and then some, it’s lovely to think we first met at NWS and here you are…an A* graduate of weddingville!

    It’s been a pleasure having you on board the RMW train Madame Karen, you and Lee are going to have the most fun future together.

    All my biggest love

    Charlotte xxx

  10. Oh lord. Tears at work! The love just radiates off the page!!! The wedding preview video is beautiful. As Philippa said, to have all your wonderful friends and family go to that much effort just shows how special and what beautiful people you and Lee are.


  11. O.M.G! Talk about holding back the tears sitting at your desk… so difficult but this is so emotional!

    Congrats Karen and Lee, this looks like the most amazing wedding from start to finish, the touches, thoughts and love that has gone into making your day is unreal. You both looked stunning, Karen i so love your hair and dress, you look drop dead gorgeous. i’m already taking notes in the Orla Kiely on the make up and Lee’s suit, i may have also pinned your flowers. There is just so much to look at over and over.

    I cannot get over the vimeo’s, we have thought so much about having a video and couldn’t make up our mind but his has just sold it to me, there is no way we are not having one now, such a beautiful way to keep the memories alive.

    Myself and the Real Brides from 2013/14 have so much to learn from you guys, i cannot wait to see the others girls weddings now from your year (feel like you have graduated and we are only just getting going ahhhhh), its so exciting! Congrats again lovely lady Xx

  12. Oh my gosh, I am totally gushing over the surprise cinema. I LOVE IT!!!!! Will defo be mentioning this to EVERYONE involved in my wedding and hope someone picks up on my hints!

    And that dress is AMAZING! I have just bought my dress and as lovely as it is this one is giving me total wobbles.

    *Dies*, Clare XX

  13. Oh my here I am sitting at work and crying away… Congratulations Karen & Lee and may all the happiness in the world come your way!
    Karen, your account of the wedding day, just like your planning on RMW, is amazing, warm and just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this important time in your lives with us. You are such a lovely couple and your love for each other shines through all the pictures and the video of course! Gee, those videos had me in tears. LOVE IT!

  14. Oh God, it’s all too much. Thank you all lovelies for your comments, you are all so right about the video – it’s absolutely unbelievable and we’re so lucky to have such lovely people as friends AND to have them so immersed in our wedding. It’s been a proper little gang.

    All of your lovely comments have made me cry! We’re all a blubbering mess!

    @Charlie @Philippa – Oh God, I love that I have you girls to share our madness with. Chaz I wished you could have been there, and Pip it was amazing that you and Sazz joined us. Love you girls, sincerely!
    p.s LIES Pip, you totally loved him.

    @Pamela – Haha me and my Dad pull the same face all the time. This was a particularly good one though!

    @Becca @Vix – ditto my lovely fellow RB’s, it’s been so much fun getting to know you all. It’s aaaaaaaaaaall about the love (and the shoes)

    @Katie – love you girl, wipe those eyes tiny tears! You and Charlie next eh? (not to eachother of course!) Cant wait

    @Jackie – So jealous that you have all of this to come, enjoy every minute and just write from the heart. We’re only a message away if you girls need any words from us tired old birds! If there’s one thing you MUST do – YES, have a video. In fact… have Papertwin!

    @Charlotte – What can I say. Our Queen!! It seems AGES ago that me and my Mum came to see you all, totally clueless about the world of wedding and how to make it all look pretty. This has been one hell of a ride and I’ve loved it – MASSIVE love to you, Adam, Lolly and Becky for being a constant source of inspiration, laughs & support. I’m going to miss popping up on your pages and saying my bit! Hopefully see you all soon for whatever schemes you are hatching in that perfectly dishevelled blonde brain of yours!

  15. @Clare – I’m sure yours is beautiful! Thank you though, I so loved my dress it felt amazing. Hopefully I’m proof to some brides that you dont have to spend the earth to have the dress of your dreams!

    @Anja – Such lovely words, thank you! It’s been a total pleasure, and its so good to hear that people have enjoyed it. It means a lot!


  16. You are ace. I want your dress, the grooms outfit, the little boy’s suit, the flowers, the venue, the record shop, the videographers, the photographer, oh my god your dress had pockets! I love dresses with pockets, the band, the family, the cake, onejollygirl is ace, and and and….I want all of it.

    The video of your film premiere, well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

    You have been one of the best real brides on here. Ever. Fact.

    Teresa xx

    P.S Naomi Liddell I still love your book and jumping on the bed in your leather jacket wedding day too.

  17. @Adam im not having it that you shed a tear!

    @Teresa high praise indeed! Means a lot coming from such a fabulous blogger as yourself! We’ll always have twitter!! x

  18. Sweet Jeezus, this is EPIC! I’ve had a crazy busy day and just sat down to properly devour both posts, pictures, video and surprise video… truly awesome documentation all round of what was clearly a jubilant, beautiful, stonkingly fun day for two people who are so obviously adored by everyone. Congratulations Karen and Lee- you clearly have an amazing life together ahead of you! xxx

  19. In tears. Again. At least the only good thing about this journey ending is that maybe, just maybe, I’ll stop crying now.

    Karen and Lee you are the most amazing couple I have ever met and you really deserve it all. It has been amazing to become friends with you both and I feel so proud that our work will play a part in this gorgeous day.

    Papertwin and Claire, you are both incredible and the work you produce has me in a constant teary eyed state.

    Here’s to the next #pennpapercase project.

    Peace and Love.

    Karen and Lee, you are both boss.

  20. Forgot to mention:

    The Scarface pic of you smoking the cigar is brilliant. And I want your veil too.

    Yes, I have just looked at your pics again.

    Teresa xx

  21. The shot of you two hugging after exchanging rings is what it is all about! That pic goes straight to my heart!! Claire has done such a great job capturing all those little moment, like you pulling the same face as your dad. You wedding just looks amazing and so much fun, everyone just seems to full of love, fun and life. I really can’t put anything else in to words. Its just Epic
    x x x

  22. Such an amazing day had the best fun setting up and mother is still in love with all the crystal vases and books, was a true pleasure! The day went so fast and every challenge was made easier by being surrounded by such wonderful people, everyone made us feel like a true partof the day and I’ll never forget it thank you xxxx

  23. Hats off @Sama I have a HUGE crush on your wedding as you know. thank you!

    @Stef I LOVE that pic too, it’s one of the mini ‘faux-laroids’ that Claire made for us

    @Colette – thank you to you and mama for being a true part of it! xxxxx

  24. This is just amazing! I’ve followed your wedding through Claire as she’s our photographer too and just seeing these gets me so excited! I’ve had a bit of a wobble over my dress too but tried it on friday and it’s totally gone – thank goodness yours did because wow you looked amazing!! And that video – I can’t actually tell you how many times I’ve made excuses to watch it again…and cried every time! Gorgeous wedding, absalutely beautiful – congratulations!xx

  25. This is one of the most stunning weddings I have had the pleasure of reading and viewing on RMW. I love it all. Your dress is amazing and every picture spectacular, Claire really captured the essence of your day. LOVE the piccy of you against the red/pinky wall and form from a sceptic about wedding videos… this has started to turn me! Congratulations Karen! x

  26. Hands down THE BEST WEDDING featured on Rock My Wedding EVER!! Seriously, not kissing bum or anything, this really is my favourite.

    Jack keeps saying to me that he doesn’t want our wedding to “look like a wedding blog wedding” – basically he doesn’t want pretty for pretty sake at the cost of doing the things that are intrinsically us. I, of course, always agree. Yours and Lee’s wedding day just goes to show and prove to every bride in the dizzy heights of wedding planning that by keeping things real and keeping things personal – the real result is an epic day filled with love, pride, laughter and STILL a freaking load of real pretty. I loved what you said about things “all thrown together in a perfect mess of us!” – Amazing. Your little touches throughout the day were so lush and actually didn’t come across a mess at all!!!

    We’ve decided against a videographer – but man, it is a tough decision… congrats on popping your wedding cherry @Papertwin!

    I am really thrilled for you guys. Thrilled for your families and friends – old and new – how fantastic that you’ve made such great new friends as well as marrying your bestie.

    Nicola xxx

    PS Congrats to your girly Claire on the birth of Megan too – what a w-day top off!

    PPS My comments are always so long – soz – i’m a blabbermouth!!!!!!

  27. It’s all too much. What an absolute dream of a day and you recount it in the most wonderful Swaley fashion!

    Most epic of loves to you an Lee and may your future together continue to be so immensely bright and shiny.

    Mwah xxx

  28. Absolutely AMAZING!!!!!! Huge congratulations to Karen and Lee. I’ve loved reading your wedding plans and so happy to see that it turned out so perfectly. You’ll be missed on these pages. Wishing you both every happiness. You are clearly absolutely perfect for each other. xxx

  29. Totally blown away by the gorgeous comments and well wishes for the future. Thank you all! Youre all beautiful x

    @samantha – shes wonderful isnt she? You made THE BEST choice!

    @Nicola – wow thank you! Im blushing. So kind of you to mention the days little arrival too… she is an absolute treasure x

  30. No way!! Am in tears watching all parts plus the finishing touches of Karen and Lee…peace and love. I was an old primary and secondary school friend of Karen’s and it was funny because I’m shouting at my fiancé ‘there’s her sister and that’s her mum!!’
    I’m now a big fan of RMW as I’m trying to plan a wedding on a verrry tight budget so thanks for all the ideas and inspiration. You looked fantastic! in fact everything looked fantastic!

    Congrats xx

    1. Rachel Francis!!!!!! Good God it’s been a while, I hope you pop back at some point and see this, get in touch it’d be amazing to catch up. If you can’t find me on Facebook drop an email to Strange Case! Hope your wedding plans are going well xxxxxx

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