Morning Lovelies….if you hadn’t noticed already it’s Monday.
Yuck. But here at RM HQ we’re doing our best to make everything distinctly less Monday-ish with the lovely W-day of Mady and Geoff which took place at The Lobster Shack in Whitstable.
Mady’s Joanne Fleming gown is all kinds of gorgeous, the french lace is exquisite and she finishes off her bridal look perfectly with coral pink nails and a pretty bold pout.
Oh and Rick Astley was the lead singer of Mady and Geoff’s chosen band!
I know! How awesome is that?!
My dress designer was the amazing Joanne Fleming. I had never imagined I would end up in a 50s style dress but I always knew I wanted a vintage vibe to both my wedding and the dress. As soon as we walked in to her gorgeous little studio and saw the vintage furniture, the beautiful books and smelt the hyacinths I knew I had found my designer and my dress, even before I had!
Together we looked at all the different pictures I had collated and discussed ideas and inspiration before trying on a sample Joanne had. We used this as a starting point and tweaked and tweaked it, adding the little details I really wanted like a low back and lace sleeves before Joanne went away and drew my bespoke design.
Just the drawing was breathtaking and I knew this was it. I would feel beautiful on my wedding day with her at the helm! Each visit was a joy. Joanne warmly welcomed the various mad, loud, members of my family and extended family – the tears, the screeches, the prosecco in tea cups. And my dress was absolutely perfect.
I always knew I wanted my hair down with some sort of lovely clip/hat and my very talented friend Emma Houlston (https://), said from day 1 she would make me whatever my heart (or hair) desired. As I was wearing a 50s style dress we went for a teardrop shaped piece which she handmade with lace, pearls and a little bling to perfectly compliment my dress.
The veil came later and I was only ever going to wear it for the ceremony but it really added to the ‘bride’ factor. The beautiful clip Emma made me poked out of the veil and was visible during the ceremony but then really came into it’s own later!
Our gorgeous groomsmen, in fact all our male bridal party wore navy suits of their choosing with white shirts and we had beautiful silk ties made by Oliver Hubbard in the same fabric as the band around my dress. This tied into the idea of ‘same but different’ that ran throughout the wedding from the flowers to the vintage napkins and tablecloths.
Our bridesmaids, my two beauteous sisters wore lovely off white dresses by Ted Baker with pale pink silk cardis (also from Ted Baker) and gorgeous belts made by Joanne in that same silk with individually sourced vintage diamonte clasps. They all wore shoes of their choosing. We kept throughout to the colours of off-white, navy and pale champagne pink.
In terms of jewellery the earrings I found on etsy, I loved the touch of vintage bling especially with my short hair. The gold bangle I wore I was given at Christmas by my step-mum, me and my sisters (bridesmaids) all have one – they read ‘hand in hand’ and are Kate Spade .
My something blue was the vintage bracelet I wore. Given to me on my 21st by my grandparents, my grandpa (‘papa’) who we lost a year before the wedding – so it meant a lot to me that I was wearing it on that day.
The Perfect Version
All our hair was done by the amazing Natalie Shirlaw – as with my make up and I’m not someone who ever likes to look ‘done’ to Natalie gave me a bridey look that fitted my vintage vibe without looking/feeling over the top and uncomfortable.
Make-up was done by Frances Prescott a wonderful talent and dear family friend. She didn’t just make us look pretty but looked after us all, all morning, making sure we ate a crumpet and had some tea and kept calm and she was on hand with lots of waterproof mascara. She made me feel like myself, just a more beautiful and perfect version of myself!
Same But Different
All our flowers including the boughs of ivy and blossom in the ceremony room were done by Emma Campbell Florist who is based in Westgate-On-Sea so local to the venue. We wanted to keep the vintage ‘same but different’ vibe throughout so Emma used what she called granny vases, clusters of vintage vases, different heights and sizes which were perfect for the tables.
Our overall colour scheme was champagne (soft off white) and the palest pale pink with splashes of green. My beautiful bouquet was perfect, peonies and roses tied with a vintage lace ribbon my mum gave me.
Smart Not Stiff
Geoff had always been keen on a Paul Smith suit and we both loved the idea of navy. It wasn’t a very formal wedding but Geoff still wanted a smart look so he choose Kurt Geiger soft leather brogues in a washed out black, so his look was smart was not stiff. One of the best men arranged embroidered pocket handkerchiefs for Geoff and all the male bridal party (and I sourced vintage handkerchiefs for all the girls!).
Another lovely little detail that Geoff added was having a pair of silver cufflinks engraved especially for the wedding with ‘love’ and ‘hope’ – two words I love. As I walked down the aisle or teary and clinging on to my dad I saw Geoff waiting for me. All handsome and emotional too but keeping it together and I felt instantly better. We were in it together.
Handmade And Eclectic
We had a table of cakes hand made by lots of lovely talented friends. Placed on different vintage cake stands, it looked gorgeous and kept the vibe of handmade and eclectic style. We did have a main cake made by Sally4cakes in Whitstable which acted as our centre-piece and was the one we cut. It was a two tier pink vanilla sponge with soft white icing and decorated with pale pink lace ribbon and fresh flowers.
Sat on a huge white French porcelain cake stand it looked fantastic, especially when you cut into it and saw the pink sponge!
Pen and Cam of McKinley-Rodgers Photography captured our special day and boy did they do an amazing job. Neither Geoff nor I are particularly happy in-front of the camera but as soon as we met Pen and Cam we knew we would be as relaxed (as possible), we just wanted to be their friends! The beautiful, soft, vintage feel reportage style photography was perfect for us. No posing but just the day being captured as we went. They both fitted in so well, it was just like having 2 more guests.
The whole experience of working with them was amazing and our pictures are incredible. They even put together a little video of some of the pictures to music which is the most beautiful emotional keepsake and I watch it pretty much every day!
My Very Own Trousseau
Décor / aesthetics were a big consideration for us and we took a lot of care into putting it all together. The venue was a big fish restaurant, rustic and on the beach with dark floors and nautical prints etc on the wall so we had to be careful – this wasn’t a big neutral white marquee! So we stuck to clean, simple but soft colours- off white, pale pink, navy and a splash of green. I had always wanted vintage linen and so we collected tons of white tablecloths and napkins over the last 18months (my very own trousseau!) and I was thrilled with the result.
Every table was just a little bit different, the embroidery or cut out details on the cloths and napkins were beautiful. For each place setting I stamped a white luggage tag with navy lettering. The napkins were all folded and tied with lace ribbons. We then tied the luggage label onto this bow.
The tables were very simple. The cloths, the place settings, the cluster of vintage vases. We did put little white disposable cameras on each table and in the evening clusters of nightlight holders (differing heights) and scented candles. In the area where we were dining we hung large pink and white paper fans at varying heights over the long trestle tables.
Geoff and I both love to dance so we knew we needed a lot of music. We asked all our guests to suggest songs they would like to hear at the wedding and built our playlists that way. This covered all the generations and musical tastes perfectly, though we may have vetoed one or two!
During the signing of the registers Geoff’s very good friend and talented musician Alister Atkin played and sang for us which added just another personal touch to the ceremony (we already had 2 gorgeous readings).
My stepdad is in a band called The Luddites whose lead singer (and drummer) is the legend Rick Astley which was a huge joy for lots of the guests! It was so fun having a band we knew and not just a random wedding band. They play amazing rock covers including ‘never gonna give you up’ which were absolutely brilliant to dance to!
The hunt for the shoes was tough, all contemporary shoes were too clumpy and/or fussy for my very delicate but actually quite decorative dress. Rachel Simpson’s ‘Marilyn’s were perfect. The 50s style design, white suede and with a soft relaxed bow. The girls there were also super nice and helpful… Hoping to rejuvenate them with some navy die.
Oh Happy Day
We did have one bit of bunting a lovely string which read ‘oh happy day’ in navy on white flags. This hung above the entrance to the venue and echoed the invitations – we had 3 different ribbons made reading ‘M&G’, ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Love Love’ which were then stitched onto pale pink raw silk along with a vintage image of a rose. We then embellished each card with either a white or navy mini bow, some little pearls and little gems. This kept within the same but different vibe that ran throughout all the wedding. Every single invitation and place setting was just slightly different.
The vibe we wanted to emulate throughout our wedding was intimate, vintage and homemade whilst still being elegant. Though it was on the beach and we loved the oysters and the fish and chips there was no way it was going to be sailor hats and seashell motifs. We didn’t have a big budget, but even if we did, I would have wanted to keep the unique homemade feeling. We enlisted all our talented friends and family and that is truly why it felt so special – it was a wonderful collaborative effort, a homage and celebration not only of mine and Geoff’s relationship and love but all the talents of our friends and family.
The only advice I would give would be – keep lists, keep talking, keep calm and remember it is more than just about this one day. It will be the most amazing day of your life but it’s everything else that will follow that’s the most important.
Venue – Hotel Continental/Lobster Shack
Brides Gown – Joanne Fleming
Brides Hair – Natalie Shirlaw
Brides Shoes – Marilyn by Rachel Simpson
Blooms – Emma Campbell
Groom’s Suit – Paul Smith
Main Cake – Sally4cakes
Entertainment – Alister Atkin and The Luddites.
Photography – McKinley-Rodgers Photography
“I’m Never Gonna Give You Up…”
Yes. I spent the entire post-making process singing away….and wishing for locks as glossy as Mady’s.
Big Happy Love