We have got a rustic riot of a wedding for you today… We have some really delicious D.I.Y stationery, D.I.Y maids and colour-pop groomsmen. And to top it off we have a huge old London bus, some fantastic fashion and rustic mis-match blooms.
Talking of fashion, if you decide that you love Laura’s simple and elegant Stephanie Allin dress a little bit too much then never fear – it could actually be yours as it is currently for sale on Undress.
Something to think about while all that gorgeous imagery soaks in, which has been provided today by Source Images. They are a creative force to be reckoned with.
10 Years To The Day.
Gavin and I got married in August, on our 10th year ‘anniversary’. The wedding was held in a sweet little cliff top church (with two resident sheep who roam the graveyard). Our vicar did a wonderful job and it was a really lovely, personal service. After the ceremony our guests drank some champagne and ate some strawberries, while Gavin and I nipped down to the beach for some photographs. We then all headed off to our venue, Hales Hall in London – a la Will and Kate in Mum’s little car.
13 Dress Shops.
My dress was Marnie, by Stephanie Allin and took me ages to find. Mum and I went to London (thrice!) Birmingham, Liverpool, Norwich and I ended up getting it at in the thirteenth shop I went to – Ellie Sanderson in Oxford. Initially I was ready to buy a different Allin gown, Lilly, which was a lace version of the one I ended up with, but the girls in the shop made me put Marnie on just to be sure. I came out smiling and when I saw Mum she burst into tears. It was the first dress she’d cried for so I bought it there and then!
Although I struggled to find my dress I knew I wanted a veil. Every time I put one on I did the aaaah face and I really loved the romance of them. I was definitely a veil girl. So I can’t believe I forgot to wear it! My brothers, who gave me away, pointed it out just before we walked into the church. My first words to Gavin, into the microphone clipped on his collar were “I don’t have my veil!” He laughed, I relaxed and our wedding began.
I wore the Jenny Packham Acacia II band instead of a tiara and a gorgeous necklace from Stephanie Browne. I decided my relatively plain dress gave me some leeway to have a bit of extra sparkle. Although I know both were a bit of an overkill I absolutely adored them and couldn’t choose between them. So had both.
An Excuse To Shop.
I saw the wedding as the chance to buy my first pair of really amazing shoes, but I soon learnt that my fat feet do not squeeze into anything Net a Porter were able to offer me. I ended up with a blueish pair from LK Bennett, which I ruined seconds before I walked up the aisle by getting the heel stuck in the church drain!
Melissa Abel was my make up artist and she was absolutely wonderful. She was so sweet with my emotional Mum and joined in with the girl talk all morning long while my bridesmaids grilled her for make up tips. She even helped me assemble the origami-folding-card-type-thing Gavin made for me for the morning of the wedding and then quickly put it aside before any tears could ruin my make up! I felt a much prettier version of my normal self, but still like me which was exactly what I wanted and the make up didn’t budge a bit all day!
James Webber, my hairdresser was equally amazing. Not only did he supply much entertainment in the morning (keeping us all in fits of giggles) he managed to transform my 5 bridesmaids, my Mum and me in the space of a couple of hours with time for making cups of tea too! I absolutely loved his creation for my wedding day hair.
No Rhyme Or Reason.
I was adamant from the beginning that I wanted to do our flowers. We spent many months collecting jam jars (the amount of Nutella shaped jars became a running joke throughout the day – what wedding day diet?!) to which we tied different bits of pretty white lace around. Claire, our lovely florist, sourced the flowers for me and gave me tips on how to ‘assemble’ them.
As with everything else with the wedding, there was no rhyme or reason, colour or theme to guide our choice of flowers. It was just a case of saying what we liked and hoping it would all come together.
I designed the bridesmaid dresses for my wonderful Mum to make. She did all of them, including my niece’s stunning mass of tulle. Very proud of Mum and her many skills! For the page boys we opted for very casual blue linen shirts and grey linen chinos which we managed to pick up in H&M. Bargain!
Gavin took complete control over the groomsmen’s outfits. Neither of us are big fans of Morning Suits or overly formal wedding attire so Gavin bought his groomsmen grey trousers with matching waistcoats and got each of them a different brightly coloured tie with a matching pair of socks to wear. I wasn’t sure it would work, but knew I didn’t really care if it didn’t and since Gavin wanted it so much it was nice not to have a part in that bit of the planning.
Gavin went to Mark Marengo on Saville Row for his three piece suit. They really impressed us with their wonderful service and Gavin enjoyed the whole experience; he had more fittings than I did! It was when we were alone together in the car on our way to the venue that I first properly looked at him and took in the fact he was my husband. He looked so happy, so proud and so incredibly handsome.
We chose Source Images as our photographers because we really loved their style. Having had an engagement shoot with them already, we knew we would love the pictures and we do! We are really looking forward to visiting their studio and selecting pictures for the album, but have no idea how we will choose which ones to include amongst all our favourite images.
Our videographer, Rupert Ward Lewis, was lovely. I’d only spoken to him on the phone until the day of the wedding, but felt completely at ease with him from the word go. We are so happy with the footage he captured of the day and are amazed at his skill in editing sections of the day into the film highlight that he makes.
As part of the afternoon tea we served, my auntie made 14 cakes the day before the wedding. Lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge, chocolate floral cakes, the list went on and they were absolutely delicious. I will never know how she found the time to do it!
We didn’t really need a wedding cake as well, especially as Gavin insisted we had a cake of cheese, but I still wanted one for the tradition. So we had a simple three tier cake of chocolate, sponge and fruitcake from M&S. It took me about 4 hours to make the wedding topper, using the same Laura Ashley wallpaper we used for all of the stationery.
School Prom Memories.
We booked the Lee Vasey Band for our evening entertainment and they were incredible. So so talented and they kept the dancefloor packed all night.
We really agonised over our first dance. Having been together for so long, we had so many songs we could have chosen and we were both conscious that ‘our’ song was a complete cheese fest. It appears near the top of every wedding song list and I can’t watch the video to it without squirming. But it was our song and it had been for 10 years, ever since we danced together to it at our school prom when we were 16. With hindsight I’m sure Gavin would like to go back to his 16 year old self and choose a slightly cooler song to request the DJ to play, but trying to re-write our history to make us seem that bit edgier to the people who love us the most would have been completely ridiculous.
So we proudly danced to Lonestar’s Amazed and it was one of my favourite bits of the day. Listening to Gavin whispering the words in my ear and looking up and seeing all of our friends smiling at us really got to me and I spent half the dance trying to hide in Gavin’s armpit so people didn’t realise I was crying! The cheese element was completely removed as it was played live by the band and they did an incredible job.
Anything But You.
The favours were another one of Gavin’s wedding ideas. One of my first birthday presents from him was a homemade mixtape of songs and he wanted to recreate that idea for the favours. So we had 15 songs on a CD, titled “Love is a Mix Tape” which spanned the significant songs of our relationship.
He cheekily added a ‘hidden track’ to the CD, a silly song we’d recorded on his iPhone (our own lyrics to the ‘Anything But You’ song by Juno). I can’t believe he put it on there, but it went down well with our guests, to my embarrassment!
Vintage Crockery And Laura Ashley.
Hales Hall is so beautiful it needs very little in terms of decoration. The mass of different colours from all of the vintage crockery I’d collected and the pretty flowers on the tables were more than enough to make it look beautiful. The stationery took more time than anything else as I did it all myself. I found it so hard to find invitations I liked and couldn’t find anyone to make them for me because I couldn’t really articulate what I wanted. It involved about 20 rolls of wallpaper from Laura Ashley, lots of scalpel cuts and a lot of love, but I think it was all worth it in the end.
Make Some Time.
In terms of advice I would say try to factor in to your day some time where you and your husband are able to spend some time alone – to take it all in and to say the things you want to say to each other without anyone else being around.
Oh and don’t forget your veil, don’t break your shoes, try on your garter before the day (mine fell down mid ceremony, leaving it for Gavin to wave around to everyone!) and remember your carefully packed, specially bought, overnight bag so your Mum doesn’t have to drive back to the venue in the middle of night after realising you’ve forgotten it. How incompetent do I sound?
In all seriousness, remember that NONE of the little tiny details you spend so long agonising over actually matter. Our wedding was the day I MARRIED my best friend, the man I adored, the best bit of me, in front of all the people I loved and THAT was all that could ever be important.
Venue Hales Hall
Dress Stephanie Allin
Boutique Ellie Sanderson
Make-up Melissa Abel
Hair James Webber
Tailor Mark Marengo
Photography Source Images
Band Lee Vasey Band
So, what do you think? I love the shots of Laura in the cardi – very casual chic (is that a thing?) And Gavin scrubs up pretty well too in his grey Mark Marengo number.