One Fine Summer’s Day.

There are many many things about Sas and Ashley’s laid back and lovely affair at The Old Bell that made me instantly know it was a real Rock My Wedding type of day. The muted colour palette, the beautiful flame-haired firecracker of a bride, the outdoorsy live entertainment, an abundance of laughter and joy….

I could go on.

But I won’t. Instead I’ll just let the perfect moments captured by Pen Mckinley-Rodgers speak for themselves.

Happy Wednesday you gorgeous lot.

Feeling Beautiful

Sarah-Kate Thorne was recommended by the Old Bell who use local businesses wherever possible. We met for a trial session a few weeks before the wedding and she was so funny and talented, I felt really relaxed. On the day she made the whole process of getting ready really fun and I felt so beautiful.

I buy a lot of clothes and jewellery from etsy so that was my starting point. There are hundreds of options at all different prices, from incredibly talented creative people, but you might have to be a bit brave about buying online! I found my dress at Ellana Couture’s etsy store and the old hollywood style just made my belly flip. I emailed Ellana and she was fantastically accommodating and really supportive of the online purchasing process – it was reassuring to know that i was speaking directly to the designer. It took about 10 weeks to make and ship the frock I gave myself an additional month for final adjustments. Busting Diva helped with the final alterations – they were fantastic! Christina even brought treats for our cats Rex & Badger to thank them for ‘helping’!

The Etsy Queen

Once I had decided on the dress, I knew that I wanted a pin for the back of my dress and I found this vintage broach from ZitaJohann on etsy. My earrings from Adesso from one of my best friends who lives in California.My bracelet was by A Wing and a Prayer (couldn’t resist! the name) from Elsie Belle.

I wanted to wear my hair down and i thought a silk flower might work. I found mine at Alaparisienne on etsy. And a little clutch from Black Gypsy Designs.

Relaxed And Informal

I wanted to be comfortable and knew that most of the day would (weather permitting) be spent on grass so I opted for some gold sandals from boden. They were SO comfy and the jewelled straps peeked out from under my long dress. The Boden site seems to have run out of stock but this is the silver pair.

There was no official wedding party, as we wanted to keep the ceremony relaxed and informal. We took only the parts of the ceremony that we liked or were necessary, and discarding anything stuffy. We asked two very close friends to be our witnesses. Ash’s two nieces and two nephews got to choose whatever they wanted to wear – this meant that we had a three year old cowboy policeman on duty throughout the day! My seven best friends wore beautiful outfits of their own choosing. Everyone looked gorgeous!

Antique-Esque Blooms

The Old Bell is a rustic coaching inn with a fantastic summer garden leading to a meadow of wild flowers. We wanted the flowers to reflect that idea and so all of the flowers for the venue were in enamel and pewter jugs – as though they had been picked outside. We had terracotta pots of lavender on the tables outside. I adore roses and so my bouquet was a bunch of antique roses and my two nieces had a little minature bunch of the same. Ash’s buttonhole was of ivory roses with a sprig of eucalyptus. All by Sonning Flowers.

A Triumph In Tweed

Ash was very keen to take advantage of the opportunity to have a suit made! Bookster specialise in tweed fabrics and operate from a converted barn in Ross on Wye. We drove up there for a fitting and Ash decided on a couple of fabrics he liked, settling on a three piece silver fern inspired moss green, with blue check – I eventually had to give him a little hint on the colour of my dress so that he could decide on what to choose.

He wore a silk tie with ivory roses and a blue shirt – finished off with stripy socks and Paul Smith brogues. From the window of my room where I was getting ready i could hear everyone exclaiming over Ash’s suit so I was desparate to sneak a peek but I was banned. I adored his suit and the fox buttons were a smash hit with everyone.

Capturing Us

This was the easiest decision really. Penny & Cam are lovely close friends and we totally trusted them to capture our day. They are just so talented! We both had leaky faces looking at the photo reel – the images are just so perfect. I love the old tones and rich hues – they are like edible paintings. Somehow Pen & Cam managed to capture ‘us’. And I know that when he gets on my last nerve, I will look back on these images and probably forgive him. Because they are just so pretty.

No Need To Compromise

Of our 50 guests around 20 were either vegetarian, vegan or required gluten free – I was a little worried that we would struggle to find a baker that could fit this list of requirements. Charlotte from Restoration Cakes met with us and suggested cupcakes! This was perfect as Ash wanted a strawberries and cream and I was very keen on a chocolate option.

In the end we had both AND a red velvet top tier cake. The strawberries and cream victoria sponge cupcakes with buttercream icing were completely vegan and they were so tasty. Charlotte also provided us with a stunning tiered cake stand and a very flash Vera Wang cake knife, she was so easy and lovely to work with.

A Gorgeous Summers Day

We first heard the Rio Trio (from Party Jazz) play their 30s/40s music about a year ago in Parsons Green. The band played a really cheeky, fun mix of music and their outfits were so daper in boating hats and blazers! Ash approached them while they were on a break and we aksed if they would play at our wedding. They were the perfect accompaniment to a gorgeous summer day, with pimms and canapes – our guests loved them and they are in lots of photos.

An English Country Garden

The Olde Bell has a natural English country garden feel to it that we adored, with a large lawn and flower garden. It provided the perfect setting for the relaxed english garden wedding we wanted.

I hired bunting from bunting queen and we put this up in the garden. The venue had croquet and giant jenga which the kids loved. The day after the wedding most of our family spent the day wandering down to hurley lock for a swim before picnicking on the lawn with us. We were ABSOLUTELY lucky with the weather.

Blog Queen

To brides – do not buy bridal magazines! The internet is your friend. There are some fantastic blogs and websites like Rock My Wedding, rock n roll bride, OMG im getting married – all from real world couples that just want to make a day that was special to them. There is no reason why you have to follow any rules – its what is important to you both that matters.

We wanted everyone to have a lovely relaxed day and a fabulous meal, so we put more of our budget into the food and wine (people are still talking about the lemon posset and shortbread dessert!). We didn’t bother with traditions that didn’t make any sense to us and we tried really hard not to sweat the small stuff.

More links and more information can be found at

Photography – Pen Mckinley-Rodgers

Venue – The Old Bell

Brides Gown – Ellana Couture’s etsy store

Grooms Suit –Bookster

Florist – Sonning Flowers

Cake – Restoration Cakes

And if that hasn’t put a smile on your face then I don’t know what will.

Any red-headed beauties thinking about their florals?… because out of all the W-days I’ve seen you’d be hard pushed to find blooms that better suit a bride and her colouring than these.

And I know it’s October and all but if any of you would like to imagine you are in a summers garden enjoying a glass of pimms then do join me – I’m here dreamin’ the same thing.

Big Summer’s Over But There’s Plenty Of Sunshine On RMW Love

Charlotte xxx

P.S It’s Sas’s birthday today so please leave her your best wishes lovelies 😉