I love it when a groom is so overcome with emotion when he sees his bride that he can't hold back the tears. It seemed that once Andy had opened the flood gates he couldn't stop too, making for some truly heart wrenching portraits captured by Jackson & Co Photography. As well as being full of emotion, this Art Deco inspired wedding at The Bell in Ticehurst is one gorgeous vintage affair. Full of pretty cut glass decanters, ornate mirrors and Bride Liz in her timeless Eliza Jane Howell 'Rose' gown. Keeping to the 1920s era with a red lip and finger wave hairstyle, and topped beautifully with a glitzy headpiece & accessories from Liberty in Love. Plus the loose flowers by Florist In The Forest are beaut.

The Dress

Liz the Bride: We started the whole process with a very loose idea we wanted a relaxed style, with an art deco influence.  We both love the style from that era and I wanted very much to style my dress and accessories with a 20s/30s feel (I kept joking I was trying to channel Downton Abbey).  The dress was very easy to find, Isabella Grace were unbelievable in their service and it was actually the first dress I tried on (knowing I wanted beaded with sleeves) it left me with a few options, but I knew it was the one immediately.  I had seen Eliza Jane Howell on pinterest and absolutely loved her elegant designs, and loved the idea of a more "evening dress" look than the typical wedding dress.  Accessories followed the dress, and the shoes I fell in love with at a wedding fair and again, first and only pair I tried - they were my "something blue" and fitted the theme perfectly.  My headpiece probably took the longest to find, as I wanted something a bit more dramatic and very art deco as I did not plan on having a veil, that all changed at my final dress fitting where Martine at Miss Kay Seamstress showed me some of her handmade veils and I fell in love! So I went all out and had the headpiece and veil!

Grooms Attire

Andy was very easy to dress! He had previously bought a suit in Ted Baker a few weeks before we started looking, and we realised it was perfect, we were so keen to have tweed, as it fitted our theme and venue - which had a country vintage feel, and because it is ultimately a pub, anything else would have looked out of place.  We managed to find the same suit for the best man and decided on a mustard tie and pocket square (as it went so well with our theme of navy and gold and the fact we were getting married in the autumn) and found these in John Lewis.  The ushers were dressed in relaxed chinos and navy jackets from Peter Werth, and we managed to sneak in our love of dogs with cute pocket squares with dogs on from River Island, and plain navy knitted ties.  All the boys wore tan brogues, and my dad fitted in nicely in his gorgeous custom made suit from Walker Slater in Covent Garden (in fact he gave the groom a run for his money in the style stakes!) He also was the hardest customer, with at least 3 shopping trips under our belt until we found the perfect father of the bride outfit!

The Venue

We fell in love with The Bell the minute we visited, in a time honoured fashion, it was one of the first places we visited and we just knew (the whole wedding luckily took very little decision making and because of this was quite stress free!).  The whole place has such a quirky, and alternative wedding feel we knew it was perfect.  We wanted the alternative options of different rooms so the guests would not feel bored all stood in one place, and there is lots to look at and little nooks to visit in The Bell.  Not only that the food is fab and the staff some of the best we have met.  On meeting Zoe the events manager our mind was made up, and a lot of our wedding style centred around The Bell in helping us with decor/colour schemes etc.  There are so many quirky pieces of art, stuffed animals, furniture it left our job of "decorating" as an easy one which we both were glad of!

Colour Scheme & Decor

Our colour scheme was navy and gold, and following the art deco theme we tried to keep things simple as the venue was already decorated so beautifully.  I had signage made by a company on etsy who laser cut the letters for Mr & Mrs for top table, guest book, etc...we then sprayed them matte gold ourselves.  My brother is a very talented graphic designer and were lucky enough to have him design our invites, and he even made us a little logo!  We used this on our name settings, which doubled up as favours I made by hand, we made sloe gin in the months before the wedding.  Then decanted into mini medicine bottles and printed names on to brown luggage tags, we also gave everyone a sparkler (it was Halloween afterall) which we encased in a hand printed "let love sparkle" packet, which again my brother designed.  I hand wrote our day plan on a big black chalk board in gold art deco script, and also handmade our seating plan in the same format, but with individual polaroids for each person showing them where to sit.  Our guest book also used polaroids, by setting up a camera for people to take a "selfie" and to stick the print in our book alongside their message.


Katherine from "The Florist in the Forest" was fab, before meeting her she had asked us to bring a collection of ideas and as flowers were something I have never had to even consider before, I was quite happy to be led by her.  I knew we wanted a blue theme with a lot of white and green, I didnt want anything too perfect, and liked the idea of loose messy flowers, she did this perfectly.   Because we got married on halloween we also used mini pumpkins in different colours to put on the tables and around the venue, which looked fab.  Our venue was decorated with lots of vintage glass decanters I had collected in the months leading up (various bootfairs and charity shops), along with jam jars family collected for me, and vintage bottles I bought from a collector on ebay.  I liked the rustic look with the flowers, and did not want anything too contrived.  The boy's buttonholes were an autumnal collection of thistles and greenery which a feather which matched the tweed perfectly.


I adored the bridesmaids dresses, they were found by my bridesmaid Elspeth after what felt like 20 dresses of varying styles (all we knew was we wanted long and navy!) and they were in French Connection and matched everything perfectly, with a 20s dropped waist style, with gold beading.  Easily accessorised with gold sandals from Next, beaded clutch bags from New Look and tiny gold leaf hair clips in the shape of a feather from Etsy.  Their make up was dramatic with an autumnal plum feel which suited them all perfectly.


The best part of my day! I went from being utterly petrified in the days leading up to arriving at the aisle as calm as a cucumber, not sure where we switched but Andy was the nervous one.  I managed a comedy moment of getting my veil stuck on the stairs on the walk up and nearly wrenching it off my head, but it seemed to break the mood and I loved every second from then on, especially walking with my dad.  Our friends joke it was the most emotional wedding they have ever been to, and Andy really did get in some tears during the ceremony! It made it all the more memorable for me, and amongst the tears there was a lot of laughter and the pictures show this beautifully.  We wanted a relaxed, chatty, funny ceremony without any pomp and our registrar managed this perfectly - in fact she stole the show!  My cousin Charlotte did a beautiful reading "Love is a Temporary Madness" from Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Andy cried throughout that too!).  


Our band in the evening were utterly amazing - we had looked high and low for a Motown Band and after being let down by our first booking 6 weeks before we managed to secure Detroit Soul after watching a video on youtube, and hoping for the best.  We were NOT disappointed, Trevor and the band had everyone up and dancing all evening, and dance floor was packed, the best part for me was an impromptu MCing session at the end of the evening, which I loved after a mispent youth of listening to garage music.  Andy was not so keen....!   Music was an important part of us, and one of the best parts of the day  was our arrival to dinner to the Star Wars theme music - Andy works in cinema advertising and is a big Star Wars fan so I had to let him have that one! It went down very well....


We wanted a relaxed menu of winter warmers as we got married in Autumn.  We had lots of hot canapes (proper pub grub!) followed by the sit down meal of braised beef stew and mash, with crumble and custard.  In the evening we had a buffet, alongside our cheese which doubled as a wedding cake, my dad was also baking in the days leading up to the wedding so we had lots of cake!


Michael and Hannah had been recommended to us by friends at work who were also using them for their wedding in August, and we had heard only amazing things.  We met with them in the lead up to the wedding and just knew they were perfect for us, they were both fun, relaxed and we all got on like a house on fire, Andy and Michael bonded over their love of films so we were sold! They did not disappoint on the day, both of them were such calming influences on the morning of the wedding and I enjoyed having them get ready with us, everything was casual, relaxed and with lots of laughter which is all we wanted.  We wanted a lot of action shots and less organised group shots and they delivered this perfectly, staying with us right through until the evening.  The photos are better than I could have hoped for, and the shots of Andy and I crying/laughing at the alter are just amazing.


We used Rapid Image, again a last minute booking as we decided against having a video, but my Aunt insisted and bought us this as a gift, and thank goodness she did! We have loved watching it over and over and would tell anyone getting married you must have one....
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Eliza Jane Howell - Rose | Bridal Boutique: Isabella Grace Bridal | Jewellery: Chez Bec Earrings & Bracelet from Liberty in Love | Bridal Shoes: Rachel Simpson - Mimosa Powder Blue | Headpiece: Liberty in Love | Veil: Miss Kay Seamstress | Bridesmaid Dresses: French Connection | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Groomsmen Chinos: Peter Werth | Tie & Pocket Squares: John Lewis | River Island | Father of the Bride Suit: Walker Slater | Venue: The Bell in Ticehurst | Flowers: Florist in the Forest | The Entertainment: Detroit Soul | Videographer: Rapid Image | Hair: Powder and Pin | Makeup: Harriet Rainbow

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