Well this is fun isn’t it? A giant yellow striped deck chair is definitely a good indicator of a wonderful wedding…
Briony and Ben themed their wedding around Ben’s job as a professional magician (I know, how awesome is that?!) So old-school magic posters and vintage carnival games were their first port of call. And I know you’ll agree that they did a great job, the whole day looks like an absolute riot!
It’s also rather lovely to look at too – Briony looks achingly elegant in ‘Lady’ by RMW Fashion Pack member Suzanne Neville, accessorised with pearls, her maids look divine in their milky latte coloured gowns and just wait until you see the bright red vintage jag that Ben whisked his Bride away in!!
And as if that wasn’t enough, the gorgeous bouquets brimming with roses, peonies and achillea were created by the lovely Karen at Passion For Flowers – who most definitely comes with a RMW seal of approval!
Right, that’s enough talking, let’s get on with it shall we?
Briony the Bride:Given that Ben is a magician, it was really important for us to have something a bit quirky and fun for our wedding. I am also obsessed with all things vintage, so running with both ideas and inspired by all of the old-school magic posters in our house we decided to go for a vintage circus/carnival theme for our wedding.
Having originally wanted a strapless, lace dress, I actually went for something completely different. As soon as I tried on Suzanne Neville’s Lady dress, I loved it (although I still dragged my family and my maid of honour, Lucy, around every bridal shop going!) It was very “Audrey Hepburn” and 1950s, but full length as opposed to tea-length.
Ivory Tower in Knowle, Solihull, supplied both my dress and veil along with the Bridesmaid’s dresses. Their customer service was great. I went for a satin ribbon “waterfall” veil, which complemented the style and material of the dress.
For accessories I wanted to keep things simple and classic so went for pearls. Summer & Silver supplied a really delicate pearl bracelet and I wore drop pearl earrings from the Pearl Factory in the Jewellery Quarter. My double-pearl headband was from Rosie Willett and I just really loved the classic design.
Keeping with the vintage theme, I bought my shoes online from Rachel Simpson. They were perfect height and really comfy to wear for the whole day.
Ben wanted a 3 piece blue suit and something a bit different so he had it made by Adrian Burrows. The colour really popped in our photographs and looked great with his brown monkstrap shoes. To bring in the yellow, Ben and all of our ushers had the same pale yellow knitted silk ties from Reiss.
We had both always wanted to have our reception at Ben’s parents’ house in Ealrlswood, Solihull. The fields behind their garden have beautiful views overlooking Earlswood lakes and allowed us to use the outdoor space to create a carnival-games area. We hired our marquee from Ridgeway Marquees, who were very accommodating and professional. We went for a traditional pole marquee to give it a circus feel.
Tanworth-in-Arden is just down the road and provided a perfect setting for the ceremony and after-ceremony drinks. A bellini on The Green after the ceremony was the perfect start to our reception and it was lovely for our guests to see us off to the venue in the red E-type jaguar we hired.
Our colour scheme was ivory, gold and yellow. Typically, circus colours are red and white, but I love yellow and we felt this suited our day better; it wasn’t too loud. We hung outdoor lights and yellow linings (which Ben’s mum hemmed for us) from the poles of the marquee to create a circus feel and I bought some gold circus animals from Etsy, which we used to decorate the tables along with other trinkets, old books, ticket rolls, candelabras and tea lights in jam jars that I decorated with lace and ribbon.
Everyone was very hands on in the days leading up to the wedding, with family and friends tying ribbon to the fences, hanging lights from the trees and sourcing hay bales and rugs to create an outdoor seating area.
Our wedding would by no means have been as good had Very Vintage Hire not supplied us with such amazing props. The games they supplied were so much fun and they delivered everything to us (in the pouring rain!) and even made the bar for us from scratch. The Kissing Booth that we hired was a great touch and provided a fun photo opportunity for our guests.
Passion For Flowers supplied all of the flowers for the reception and the church, along with the bouquets and buttonholes. Karen created beautiful bouquets using billy balls, roses, peonies and achillea to match the colour theme and the rustic “outdoorsy” feel our day. Karen also sourced some really quirky crates, vases and old drinks bottles to display the flowers at our venue. I provided some extra vintage tins and vases for the table flowers that I found at car boot sales (and an old gingerbread tin that I found in my office at work). These added some extra colour to the tables.
Ivory Tower also supplied the bridesmaids dresses, which were designed by JLM Occasions. I found two different style dresses by the same designer, which had really pretty lace detailing. As there were six bridesmaids in total it was nice to have people in different styles. All of the bridesmaid’s jewellery was from Etsy.
We wanted a pale grey suit for the ushers, which would match the yellow tie and look good next to Ben’s blue suit. We actually found these in Next, and bought some striped Paul Smith socks for all of the ushers to jazz things up.
Our wedding ceremony was at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Tanworth-in-Arden, which is one of our local churches and is in a beautiful setting. It was also directly opposite The Bell Inn, where the bridal party stayed the night before the wedding. It was great being able to see everyone arrive through the shutters before the ceremony stared.
Ben had some good contacts who entertained the guests with close up magic at the drinks reception and of course a lot of people made use of the vintage games dotted around, including a strong man, darts, a coconut shy, giant deck chair and mini golf.
The Wedding Crashers did 3 amazing sets for us, one acoustic set in the day and then in the evening 2 medleys of rock & roll songs to get everyone on the dance floor.
We wanted to keep the food fairly low key but delicious. Sticking to the carnival/circus theme, our canapés comprised of popcorn, mini burgers and savoury ice cream cones along with little mugs of tomato soup. For the wedding breakfast we had a fancy barbeque and lots of side dishes followed by chocolate brownie (which was a must as far as Ben was concerned).
We toyed with the idea of getting our own drinks, but using a supplier just removed all of the hassle. They were really professional, serving pimms in jam jars on arrival at the drinks reception along with cloudy lemonade and beers. They kept our glasses topped up all night.
My Mum actually made the cake and spent numerous hours perfecting it! Her efforts were not in vain, however. It looked fantastic on the day; a whole 3 layers of (more) chocolate and it was extra special knowing that she had made it.
I did a lot of research on photographers and loved the photographs on Jo Hastings’ website. We wanted our photographs to capture the fun side of our day and didn’t really want anything too formal. Jo’s photographs did exactly that and she caught so many brilliant moments. I love the photo of the wedding party on the hay bales.
I had already seen Joseph’s videos as Ben had featured in one as a magician at another wedding. My friends and I had already watched a number of his videos with weepy eyes. His eye for detail is just fantastic and I love that with his video we get to keep a live memory of our day.