Once Upon A Time In The Midlands


We are on RMW home turf this morning with a beautiful contemporary wedding in the midlands… Centre of the UK, centre of the universe and (for this morning at least) centre of the party. Kate and Dev married at 11am which, subsequently culminated in a bit of an ‘all dayer’ for their guests! Kate and Dev’s choice of entertainment combined with regular breaks for fine food kept the party raging into the early hours… Well done guys!


Kate The Bride: I wouldn’t consider myself the most conventional bride when it came to finding a wedding dress! I didn’t really enjoy the process and I’m not sure the ladies in all them lovely boutiques appreciated me talking about the likelihood of the dress getting ruined by me falling over or slathering it in red wine. I had no idea where to start! I only ever shop at Topshop and didn’t really know what I liked or what would suit me, I was also a bit heavier when I first started looking and I felt really uncomfortable trying on sample dresses that were often too small for me and everyone saying ‘you look beautiful’ with a gaping hole where the zip was supposed to fasten up.
I started looking for empire line (tent) dresses that would hide my figure a little and I loved any dresses with capped sleeves, so that was the only criteria. Immediately, all those amazing Jenny Packham dresses kept catching my eye, but a lot of them were out of my price range. Then I saw the ‘Syrie’ and it was exactly what I’d had in mind. It was a very simple, 1930’s style with vintage capped beaded sleeves except it was from an older collection and was almost extinct so I had to hunt it down. I contacted all the Jenny Packham stockists I could find and eventually discovered that The Wedding Club, in Birmingham could get a sample in for me. So, I went to try it on and it was spot on. Did the job perfectly and the simplicity of it meant I could go a mental with the accessories! The girls at The Wedding Club were so lovely and made me feel really comfortable and didn’t seem to mind my ridiculous resistance to the prospect of being a bride.
My engagement ring is from 1915, it’s an art deco filigree design and somebody told me it may be a good idea to try and find accessories to match, so I went with that genius idea! I dragged my friend to the Jenny Packham accessories boudoir and decided on the Wonderland III. The shop lady advised that the ‘ethereal floral design’ matched the pattern on my ring and suited the hair style I had in mind, slightly messy and undone. For the shoes I chose the Ivory ‘Mimosa’s with deco t-bar from Rachel Simpson. The girls there were so helpful. I used local makeup artist Rochelle O’Brien for my make up after a brilliant trial and she recommended Amie Kent, our hairdresser for the day. They were both very down to earth and relaxed and created the exact look I wanted, nothing too ‘bridal’. The Groom’s navy suit was from Zara Man and shoes were for Topman. His buttonhole was made from peach avalanche rose, dressed with greenery and herbs.
For the ceremony we chose The Guildhall in Leicester, my cousin had got married here a few years ago and we both thought it was an amazing, impressive building which was steeped in history. We hired a bus to transport most of the guest to the reception which was held in a marquee at Ulverscroft Manor. One of the main reasons for choosing a marquee was to give us a blank canvas, enabling us choose all of the details ourselves, without any formalities or restrictions that you might have in a hotel or stately home. We really wanted a free bar too, as so many people had travelled from London for us and we didn’t think they should have to pay for the party.
We didn’t really have a ‘theme’ as such, we just wanted an all dayer, in a tent, with good music and free booze! So we just stuck with the colours that we’d chosen for our invites, designed by my friend Stuart which were orange, peach, olive green and white. I guess the closest to a theme we got was a Bruce Springsteen theme. We are both very big fans of Springsteen, I walked down the aisle to Thunder Road and it was also our first dance and for our table scheme, we had prints of Bruce’s album covers made and displayed on each table using crocodile clip stands. It was good to see his reliable face all over the marquee.
The florists were brilliant. We simply showed The Flower Company a picture of bouquet I liked and they recreated it.
To match the colour scheme, I started looking for a light green colour for the bridesmaids and ended up going for old faithful, Coast. I was a bit shrewd in an ongoing attempt to save money with 6 bridesmaids(!) and bought 3 of the dresses direct from Coast and managed to find the other 2 on eBay and my sister-in-law wore an amazing sari. We hired the groomsmen’s suits from Formally Yours. This was a great service as we live in London and most of the groomsmen are based in the midlands and Formally Yours delivered the suits and picked them up after. LESS WORK FOR US. AMAZING!
We wanted a totally relaxed wedding, where our guests could do as they please with not much structure as it was a long day (11am start, see, all dayer!). It was good that our family and friends could pretty much do as they please for the most part of the day, but to keep them entertained and stop them passing out after dinner, we decided to have the band (Off the Record) play in the afternoon, rather than at night and it became a bit of a daytime festival. The party continued into the early hours with our fantastic DJ, Harry from Disco Wed.
The Dimblebee Catering Company provided the food and service and they were absolutely fantastic. The main menu was traditional English, rustic food and then for the evening buffet we had traditional Indian Curry on plastic plates, which seems to have been the highlight of the day for most people. All of the food was delicious and so many people complimented it, I can’t recommend The Dimblebee Catering Co. enough!
The cake was designed and baked by our good friends Fiona and Steve as a wedding gift. Fiona is a scenic artist so she used her skills to sculpt and airbrush the beautiful edible roses and Steve baked the incredible madeira cake accompanied by cupcakes! I did only manage to try it the next day due to high levels intoxication BUT it still tasted amazing. We chose Belle and Beau for our photographer after spotting her work on RMW and were so glad we booked Holly and her husband Phil, they were so lovely and sweet and did so well putting up with us not really taking the posing very seriously and taking the mick out of each other all day . The photos turned out so well and everyone compliments us on how beautiful they are (Holly is definitely responsible for making us pair look half decent!) and they’re enjoyed very much by our family (perhaps a little too much by my mum who insists showing them to strangers, at any opportunity!)

Belle and Beau Photography
Gown Jenny Packham | Boutique The Wedding Club | Jewellery Lu Lu Frost | Accessories Jenny Packham | veil The Wedding Club | Florist The Flower Company | Make-up Rochelle O’Brien | Hair Mon-Amie | Cake Fiona Stewart (Scenic artist) | Catering The Dimblebee Catering Co | Maids Coast | Stationery Stuart Wilson | Entertianment Disco Wed & Off The Record | Transport D & M Classics Ltd

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

26 thoughts on “Once Upon A Time In The Midlands

  1. Beautiful blooms!! They are just gorgeous. I have been finding inspiration for blooms really difficult but these are gorgeous!

    We are also having an early start with a 12 noon service, but we also have to include and hour commute from church to reception venue. I like that you had a band during the afternoon, I have been wondering at what we could do. All I can say is a we better get the same be cautious sunshine! 🙂

    Oh and Kate, you look absolutely stunning in your Jenny Peckham so you had no reason worry about dress shopping! 🙂

    1. Hi Stef! Thank you so much! The early start worried me leading up to the wedding but it was probably the best decision we made, our guests were a rowdy bunch and the free bar helped! Good luck with everything x

  2. WOAH! I love this wedding! Free bar and Springsteen?! Amazing! The flowers and bridesmaid dresses compliment each other perfectly and the Jenny Packham dress is a classic, lovely x

  3. Such a beautiful, happy and romantic wedding! Holly is such a wonderful photographer and has captured the love and laughter perfectly! I love Kate’s Jenny Packham dress – those capped sleeves are to die for!

  4. Soooooo pretty! Everything about this is right up my street, styled beautifully (love the accessories, especially the earrings) and full of happiness! Especially love the close up of the groom kissing the bride, that is a stunning photo! 🙂

    1. Hi Sammi, thank you! The reception was held in the grounds of Ulverscroft Manor in Leicestershire and the marquee company was Bradgate Party Tents x

  5. What a beautiful joyful wedding! It looks like one big happy day! And Kate: not only does your dress look gorgeous so do you. I love your loose waves, the accessories are stunning and you are just one happy beautiful bride!

  6. LOVE the complementary colours of the flowers & the bridesmaid’s dresses, Dev’s suit and the wedding car! Beautiful photos – great job Holly! Looks like such an amazing day. Great idea having the cake as a wedding gift! Congrats Kate & Dev on your beautiful wedding.

    PS Bruce Springsteen rules!

  7. Arrrrgh! Love this… it all looks so natural and down to earth but still really stunning!
    Kate, your hair and dress are beautiful.
    I agree with the others about the lovely colours too, they work so well and you both look ridiculously happy. The close up pic of you two is my fave too, pretty special!

    1. Hi Jemma, thank you so much! The postbox was borrowed from a local post office. My bridesmaid had it at her wedding and got it for ours too, definitely worth asking around x

  8. I like it. Flowers – good, dress – good, cake – GOOD. That bird looks well happy wi’ her hands up. Whose that Kirt Russell bloke? Does he do requests?

  9. Love this dress on you Kate, it should be Jenny Packham always now instead of Topshop, suits you so well! Also love that you’ve combined some multiculturalism into the event, it really reflects a modern, contemporary British Wedding.

  10. Really loved your dress and hairstyle. I believe the slightly undone hair gave you a modern look in comparison will all these rigid typical wedding hairstyles that lack imagination and creativity. Cake looks fantastic as well; really elegant and classy, you go girl you’ve smashed it 🙂

  11. Sorry, a bit late to the party! I really love this wedding. The bridesmaids and bride look so pretty and natural. Great style Kate. My new bride inspiration 🙂

  12. Hi guys! Lovely wedding and styling 🙂 My Fiancé and I are thinking of getting married at the same venue with the same marquee. Did you have the matting or a hard floor (I can’t quite tell from the pics)? I’m a little concerned the matting might not be safe enough! Would really appreciate your thoughts 🙂

    1. Hi Alex! Thank you! It was a great venue and marquee. I have to be honest, I did find the marquee company lacked attentiveness once the booking had been made, and were nowhere to be seen on the day before and on the wedding day. However, I highly recommend our caterers, Dimblebee catering co. as they went above and beyond just catering! Anyway, to answer you question, we couldn’t afford the hard wood flooring but didn’t find the soft a problem! We had a large hard wood dance floor though, which I think was needed. Nobody fell over! Hope that helps and let me know if you wanna talk some more x

      1. Hi Kate! Thanks so much for getting back in touch. The price for the hard floor is a bit too much for our budget as well, so thank you for confirming the matting was all ok. I had been reassured that it would be but its always good to speak to someone who actually used it! Thanks also for the feedback regarding the marquee company. To be fair, they’ve been great at answering all my questions so far (and there have been a lot!), but good to know that they might take a step back later on. I guess it makes sense for us to be speaking directly to the bar manager and Dimblebee regarding the details as they will be the people onsite during the day. I made sure that we also have the wooden dance floor area (after one too many I think a hard floor is a must! :D) x

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