Love On A Cliff Top.

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!

Girl Talk.

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.

D.I.Y Dresses.

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.

Saville Row.

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.

Sourcing Talent.

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.

Amazing Highlights.

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.

14 Cakes.

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.

Lots a pieces of inspiration folks, some of which you could even own – remember the Stephanie Allin dress from today’s wedding could be yours, take a peek over on Undress for more details.


45 thoughts on “Love On A Cliff Top.

  1. Gorgeous wedding love the bride in her cardi I think I am definitely going to have to get one now! There is some talent in that family those bridesmaids dresses are so cute! xx

  2. I love the colour scheme, the bride looks amazing, love her pale blue cardi! The bridesmaids dresses are amazing, her mum is so talented! looks like a lovely day. x

  3. Well I hope I’m not the only one who welled up at the bit about the first dance!

    Beautiful wedding. You’ve stationary is just amazing x

  4. Awww how sweet, I nearly welled up when you said ‘Our wedding was the day I MARRIED my best friend’, that really puts things into context for me as a stressed out bride to be. I think it’s easy to loose sight of what’s important. Beautiful wedding. Congratulations guys! xx

  5. What a beautiful, inspirational day. I’m seeing wallpaper in a whole new light and may have to get myself down to Laura Ashley! Also loving the sheep in the church yard, where can I get some of those?! 🙂

  6. Aww thanks all for all the lovely comments. 🙂 Especially the ones about my lovely Mum’s clever sewing skills! Sitting here with a swollen face and feeling completely horrible after having a wisdom tooth taken out this week – this is definitely cheering me up.

    @ Rachel – Get on eBay for wallpaper, especially if you don’t mind half rolls. I have some close up pics of the stationery and the invites (wallpaper and fabric combined!) if you want me to email some to you. Can’t help with the sheep though 🙂

    @Sam – I can remember feeling so daunted by all the jobs in the run up to the day that at times I just wanted it to be over. Don’t be stressed – just remember it’s all about you and Mr Sam in the end.

    @Charlotte – my poor husband/bridesmaids/Mum/ groaned every time I asked them to look at the blog so I could explain a new idea! I even tried to get my brother to make me a sweetie table like one of your brides on here but he just laughed at me. This is such a lovely place on the internet so big big thank you!


  7. Love love love it! All of it! Especially that cardi! Slightly regretting getting mine in ivory now and not getting some fab vibrant colour!

    Laura if you see this could you let me know what colour you’ve used on your nails? It’s gorgeous! And Im on the hunt for similar for W Day. Thank you x

  8. Love this wedding!! Given me some great ideas for my wedding stationary.

    Laura, where did you get your bridesmaid’s shoes from? I love the vintage look to them!

    Thank you for all the tips!

  9. Hi Lucia, I love a good cardi! The nails were my first go with posh gel nails, but I’m not sure which colour it was or what brand – sorry! I do know I had them done here though It was quite orangey in the bottle but it came out a lovely pink colour and lasted all honeymoon!


  10. Yay it’s us!! (I’m one of the bridesmaids!)

    Gosh that stationary… I particularly remember seeing Laura Christmas 2010 and her trying to describe to me her invitation idea, the conversation went something like this:

    Laura: OK so I am thinking about having separate bits of card for each bit of the invite, so about 5 cards in total, all wrapped in bits of material (cue Laura pouring out a huge bag of scraps of pretty material) and then the printed bit of the card stuck on top, all then placed into little pouches of embroiderie anglaise…Do you think they will look a bit school project?

    Me: Erm.. wow that sounds like a huge amount of work, also those invites are going to be very thick when in the pouch with all that material and I know your going for the DIY thing but yes, maybe might look like that Home Ec project we did in year 6?

    Laura: Oh, well I could do it with wallpaper instead (cue Laura tumbling out rolls of Laura Ashley paper)

    Me: It still looks like an awful lot of work, are you sure with work and studying you will have time?

    Laura: Oh yes, I need a project!

    Fast forward 7 months and during an evening (1/100) of wallpaper sticking Laura says:

    “Gosh, I don’t think I ever want to see a piece of Laura Ashley wallpaper ever again… I’ve been through hundreds of prit sticks, my hands are covered in cuts and I’m considering giving my kids the invites to do as a school project” (;aura is a teacher)

    Lesson to learn – make sure you leave HUGE amounts of time if you are doing your own invites! (Very much taken this on board for my forthcoming nuptials!)


  11. Good job my boss is off today as I am sitting at my desk all teary-eyed after looking at this wedding! Just beautiful! *sniffle*


  12. Hi Laura,

    What a beautiful wedding. You’ve made me cry here at work, especially with the last paragraph. I am getting married in June and like yourself want to do my own flowers. In fact the vibe I’m going for is pretty similar to yours. Any advice or top tips for someone who can barely arrange a vase let alone a bouquet? I’m doing jam jars too!! Not sure what I’ll do with them all after 😉

    Thanks and Congratulations to you

    P.S) Where’s the gorgeous cardie from?

  13. These pictures are amazing, but they are still unable to capture how unreal Laura looked on the day. Unfortunately, you dont get to see how her mom’s talent stretched to her own dress because she was the second best dressed woman on the day (behind Mrs Butler obviously.)
    Looking at these pictures makes me want to cry (again!)

  14. Hi Charlotte – the shoes were from Next. Beccie (see above) found them with my stylist/sister in law who were having none of my own ideas for boring nude pumps! xx

  15. Victoria – my cardi was from Hobbs and it’s now in the sale: CORNFLOWER-14&refpage=outlet/knitwear/cardigans

    Obviously I am not grown up enough to shop in there normally, but found it when we were looking for Mum’s outfit before she decided to um, just make that as well!

    In terms of flowers, it was literally cut ’em all up and bung ’em into jam jars. We ordered 150 ‘stems’ of the different flowers from my bouquet and the florist prepared them all for us by taking out the thorns etc. Mum arranged them – she got all the jars out ready and then went through the different stems, cutting them to size and sharing them out until they were all used up. One of my other lovely bridesmaids was on tying-ribbon-round-jam-jar-duty the night before. Big team effort, but it didn’t take as long as I thought it might – maybe an hour and a half while the rest of us were setting up the tables? If you want the names of the flowers I’ll look in my scrap book for you – the florist wrote everything down on the order form for me. xx

    @ Beccie – haha thanks for that. Or my lesson to learn would be just don’t move hundreds of miles away from your bridesmaids!

    @Sarah McNicholas (the BEAUTY with the HOTTIE in the last set of images) – that comment, from you, will make Mum smile lots


  16. Thanks so much Laura, it doesn’t sound as scary as I’ve built it up to be in my head. Fortunately I’ve taken three days off before the wedding but that falls in the same week as the diamond jubilee (how apt!) so I’ve actually ended up with the whole week off. Hopefully plenty of time to do all my finishing touches!

    I know what you mean about Hobbs, I try to be grown up but most of the time it doesn’t work. Will definitely be having a look at that website though 🙂

    Thanks again

  17. Oh my – Laura, you have the back necklace AND the videographer of my dreams 😉
    Add to that your amzing hair/dress/shoes, your stunning BM dresses (well done Mum!) and Gavin’s suit, and you have one helluva classy wedding 🙂
    I saw your dress on Undressed t’other day (having dress wobbles, hunting out an alternative!) and thought it looked amazing there – great to see the whole wedding! Mine came from ES too – love them!

  18. Beautiful! Laura how did you design the bridesmaid dresses, they are perfect but havent a clue where to start with anything like that!
    Such beautiful photos of an amazing day x

  19. Ahhh I love this wedding. Everyone looks so gorgeous and happy. Bride is absolutely stunning and they are obviously so in love.

    Flower girl looks SO adorable. Have been looking for a floaty dress like this for my little bridesmaids. Looks like loads of layers of lace. Where did you find it please? Have not seen such a beautiful flower girl dress. Or was that home made too?

    The other BM dresses are really nice, very different and I love the colour scheme. What pretty girls all of them!!

    Where did you get the vintage china from? Think it looks beautiful.

    I am getting more excited about my own wedding after seeing this.


  20. 00Ah Victoria, it will all be fine. Good luck! I have a friend getting married on the Diamond Jubilee day, it will be here soon!

    Thanks so much MrsAtobe. See if you can go and try on your dress at ES? Sure that’ll reassure you – they are lovely there aren’t they?!

    @ Kelly – it was based on a Simplicity (4070) pattern we adapted and a picture I found on the internet of another bridesmaid dress and we put the two together. If you can find a pattern you like and a dressmaker I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with a design. We got the material in a fabric warehouse in Brum and they were brilliant – think they ship online too.

    @ Rory – yep the flower girl dress was made by Mum as well! It was made from silk veil material and had a little slip underneath but then just layers and layers of the thin material on top. Copied from a Phillipa Lepley picture I liked, but less ‘strappy’ because my little niece is only 3. She is so cute isn’t she 🙂

    The china was from car boots/charity shops nationwide, most kindly supplied by my Auntie who was an absolute star at getting up early on a Sunday morning for us. I’m thinking of hiring it all out as another project when I get some time to set up a website – we have enough for about 250 people because no one could stop themselves getting it even after I said stop!

    Thanks again for all the lovely comments everyone!
    It has been so nice to relive the day today xx

  21. Laura, I’ve woken up thinking about this wedding so have had my second peep today. Not only my fav wedding on here yet but you seem like the NICEST person! No wonder your husband looks so happy! 🙂 xxx

  22. Hi Kelly, it was from this place I live in Birmingham so we went there but they do send samples out and do an online service too. The material I chose was raw silk. Good luck with getting yours sorted!

    @ Becky – the necklace was from Liberty In Love and is by an Australian company called Stephanie Browne. The ladies at Liberty in Love were brilliant because there was a problem with my first order and they managed to rush another one over from Australia for me in time!


  23. God what a beautiful wedding and a gorgeous bride – thought there was a striking resemblance to Blake Lively!! I love the idea of the wallpaper stationary – could you send me some photos / let me know how you went about it?

    Wising you lots of happiness xoxo

  24. Hahaha,

    Loving the pirate speak!!

    Just to let you know they had the cardie in my size, and you’re right it was in the sale. Bargainous!! It should be arriving today so very excited. The mad thing is that I checked the Hobbs website again later that day and my size had SOLD OUT.

    I guess I got there just in time so thanks for the speedy response!


  25. Hi Shauna – I’ve just come back from a ski hol so sorry for not replying sooner. What’s your email address? I have some pics that I’ll happily send your way as I don’t think I’ll be able to explain it very well, but I’ll do my best. Just googled Blake Lively (so out of touch!!) and wow, I wish, but thanks!! xx

    Yay for the cardi Victoria. It’s known as the wedding cardi when I wear it to work on the days I need brightening up! Really pleased you got it in time. xx

    Thanks Kelly Reds. Weddings are fun 🙂 xx

  26. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for getting back to me! My email is – don’t laugh, it’s left over from uni days! Thanks in advance for sending me some pics through – would love to do something similiar for my own wedding!

  27. Hi Laura,
    Congratulations on your Wedding, you look gorgeous!! I was just wondering which bus company you used? I’m getting married later this year and my fiance and I really like the idea of having a London bus! I’ve had a look on google and found a few companies but I’d feel more comfortable going with a recommendation! Thanks and best wishes, TJ

  28. Hey sorry, just seen the email telling me there were new replies to this thread 🙂

    Shauna, I’ve just emailed you! Sorry for the delay and I hope it’s not too late. Love the email address! 🙂

    TJ it was and they were absolutely lovely. Such a sweet bus driver too who was so worried about me getting my dress wet because it had been raining in the morning. Would definitely recommend!


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