Bath is such a beautiful place I can totally understand why this gorgeous couple would wanted to marry there. Not just in any location, at the fabulous Assembly Rooms and Roman Baths too. Photographer Steph Newton literally must have thought all her Christmas's had come at once, capturing the love amongst such historic and beautiful surroundings, and oh my are the pictures dreamy. A lot of thought and detail went into this contemporary wedding. None more so than the fashion. With the Groomsmen donning sharp navy blue suits and the Bridesmaids in fabulous coral frocks from the high street, But last and no means least Bride Laura who wore a sumptuous Charlie Brear gown adding a touch of glamour to the day. I'd also very much like to steal her earrings and shoes. SO pretty. From the pastel painted walls of the Assembly Rooms to the aged brick of the nearby buildings and the chalky colours of the raw stone around the roman Baths, every photo is engulfed in colour, history & love. What a day!
The DressLaura the Bride: I envisaged a simple and elegant dress – thinking Kim Basinger, LA confidential (!) After a few failed searches simply feeling I was in ‘someone else’s dress’ I visited Perfect Day Brides in beautiful Bradford-on-Avon (where I spent my school-years). They stocked an exquisite range of dresses that oozed 1940’s glamour and ticked every box. My instant choice was the Charlie Brear range and went for the Hamilton dress in slipper satin. I was set on bright, eye-catching shoes - not a typically bridal look! The vivid greens and blues and snakeskin pattern made a perfect statement piece! As I didn’t want a veil or tiara I went for ‘wow’ factor accessories in some vintage and wonderfully decedent engraved metal and glass stone chandelier earrings.
Grooms AttireThe boys opted for sharp, tailored suits and blue seemed the perfect contrast to the corals and pinks of the bridesmaids.
The VenueAfter being together almost a decade we had been to many weddings as a couple. We knew we wanted something totally unique and that reflected us both, without breaking the bank. It was also important to have something local, a place we had shared memories and that meant something to us. We were given a spectacular evening tour of both venues in all their Georgian splendour, the Baths illuminated against the backdrop of the Abbey and knew without hesitation it was for us. Both venues are local authority owned and open to tourists at certain times.
Colour Scheme/DécorAs the venues really spoke for themselves I felt that a complicated flower/colour scheme would be lost amongst the high ceilings, coloured walls, period features and columns. I kept most decorations to clear glassware, patterned with coppers and golds, using a large amount of tea lights and pillar candles.
FlowerAs the venues really spoke for themselves I felt that a complicated flower/colour scheme would be lost amongst the high ceilings, coloured walls and columns. Flowers were kept to all white and fresh greenery to contrast. The loose bridal bouquet consisted of peonies, roses, tiny spray roses and gypsophila tied with hessian twine. The bridal party, button holes and corsages were smaller, simpler versions of this. I chose Gypsophila as a full/bulky low-cost flower (as opposed to the peonies!) with good staying power on a hot summer’s day! Table centre pieces were tall green Acacia palm leaves mounted in groups in tall glass vases, giving that 1940’s jazz bar feel. The greenery stood out fresh and simple against the white tablecloths and glittering candlelight. The stunning centre piece for the ceremony was a decorated fireplace. My florist placed a single peony or sprig in each glass jar or old medicine bottle which provided an amazing backdrop for photos and using recycled glass was cheap to do! More on this in other details!
The Wedding Party FashionFor a summer wedding we wanted to use bright colours. The girls opted for a high street dress option in coral/pink with a pleated midi skirt, coupled with metallic heels (rose gold). Also paired with vintage-style earrings. Flower girl dresses were a similar style in white and had a simple pink waistband and corsage to tie in with the older girls. The skirts on all dresses were floaty and free – very important for busting out those dance moves!
CeremonyReadings were given by some of our closest friends to give the ceremony a personal feel. These were a total surprise to us and hand-picked by those who read them out – we didn’t want anything too cheesy or soppy and think these summed up our feelings perfectly. ‘I will be here’, by Steven Curtis Chapman (read by my two best friends from Uni – I wanted them to do a reading so they felt included in the day in a special way) ‘Sooner or Later’ by Anne Cowden (read by one of the Groom’s friends)
EntertainmentWe asked a familiar busker who has entertained us (and the streets of Bath!) for years to play background music for us whilst guests arrived and enjoyed a Pimms or two around the Great Bath. It provided the perfect atmosphere with the amazing outdoor acoustics. Steve Robinson was also a personal choice of my Dad’s. Steve had played on the same concert stages as his own Dad once did many years ago, back in Blackpool. Steve also kindly played a further set inside the Roman Baths Hall & Terrace later in the evening and lilted out his rendition of Iris by the GooGoo Dolls for our first dance. Live music for us was a must. Evening party tunes were provided by the talented Ross Wilson, club DJ, party planner freelance writer and friend, based in Bath. Ross has entertained both us and close friends for many years when partying through the night in Bath, there was no other person we wanted there to provide the soundtrack to our special day. Small vintage suitcases (from Ebay) filled with stickers, colouring books and pencils kept the children entertained all day! A must!
FoodCatering for both venues was provided by the flawless Searcys at Bath’s Historic Venues. We opted for the seated hot buffet for the wedding breakfast – all locally produced, seasonal ingredients. The mains included beef in a red wine sauce/vegetarian lasagne, green beans with gremolata and pan roasted vegetables with a dessert of cheesecake and fresh strawberries. For the evening, a range of cheese boards, pizzas and hot baps were provided. Our stunning ‘naked’ Victoria sponge wedding cake was made my friends (a graphic designer and baking expert!) covered in berries and a few sprigs of Gyp. I wanted to avoid marzipan and heavy icing. Wedding cakes can come at a crazy price, with the British Bake-Off and the wonderful WI, there are some truly fantastic amateur bakers out there that are well worth considering. For wedding favours I pre-bought Waitrose mini macaroons and some small, clear sweet bags (Ebay) and made up a sweet treat of 2 macaroons per guest. These lasted for a few weeks as sealed well and were easy to make in advance (and much cheaper than many other ready-made favours). These came in a bright array of colours and were finished with a small parcel tag, date stamped with a personalised stamp (Not on the High Street) and also offered an alternative dessert!
PhotographerThe fabulous and hugely talented Steph Newton Photography – who else!! What can I say! Steph knew from the start that both Dan and I didn’t want a hugely formal approach to photography. Steph took the time and patience to visit us both and our venues in advance of the big day to suss out the best photo spots and to get a feel of what would work for us all. On the day itself, Steph was an absolute pleasure to have around, she made us feel so comfortable and was a true professional at work. Her passion for photography and capturing those perfect (and natural) moments just radiates from every picture she took, we look back at those treasured images and feel so lucky she was there to capture those moments forever!
VideographerAgain, we were lucky enough to use the talents of a good friend and the groom’s brother who were both happy to capture footage of our special day. We are looking forward to seeing the final cut and what footage was caught when a camcorder was handed around the dancefloor – old school style!
DecorationsIt was important to put my own stamp on our wedding day. For many months I was raiding glass recycling bins and soaking off jar labels. I love clashing metals - copper, bronzes, and golds, which were the perfect accompaniment to the period venues and white flowers. I bought packs of gold and copper leaf (Ebay) and using PVA glue, gold-leafed glass jam jars, bottles, lanterns, hurricane lamps, old picture frames and old glass cider flagons. I also used bright copper metallic spray paint (Homebase) to create block patterns on the jars that looked great with a lit tealight. Decorative glass-ware adorned the fireplaces, bar areas, dinner tables and shelves. I also carried the gold leaf through to decorating the wedding guest book (large scrapbook, Paperchase) and table name cards (Paperchase), adding little rubber-stamped bumble bees, dragonflies and teacups using gold ink. I lined an old war-time ammunition chest from an antiques fair with decadent, textured paper (The Loft, Bath) to store presents/cards and made photo bunting with old photos, mini pegs and garden twine.
Bridesmaid BagsA trendy Danish furniture chain in Bath let me purchase funky canvas tote bags for 50p each (usually saved for customers who actually purchase something) which provided a great bridesmaid goody-bag, and to store flat evening shoes. The Groom also put his stamp on these goodies by making a ‘Ghetto-Love’ mix tape of songs that we both love for the girls to take home (on our first date he gave me a mix tape!). I also found some prosecco gummy bears online and bulk ordered these, dividing into sweet bags.
Final ThoughtsIt is important to remember that just because you are having a wedding, doesn’t mean you HAVE to sign up to a generic wedding look with expensive, industry expectations. The cost of providing additional flowers/greenery for our evening venue would have exceeded our budget, but weddings guests were happy to walk in crocodile formation waving large palms and swinging lanterns to add to the evening venue on arrival. We made sure all venues were within walking distance from each other, public transport and the bridal party hotel so no need for wedding cars and didn’t mind that parts of our venue were (at times) open to the public with museum signage on show. On the day, these small things really don’t matter.
Dress Designer: Charlier Brear | Bridal Boutique: Perfect Day Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Kurt Geiger, Kollude Carvela’ in Turquoise, | Earrings: Aldo | Makeup: Sarah Healy Makeup design | Hair Stylist: Beau Papillon | Grooms Suit: Burtons | Tie: Debenhams | Grooms Shoes : John White at Moss Bros | Shirt: TM Lewin | Bridesmaid Dresses: Oasis | Flower Girl Dresses: Monsoon | Venue: The Assembly Rooms, Bath | Florist: Garden Room Flowers | Caterer: Searcys | Entertainment: DJ Ross Wilson