The dashing duo that is Evy and Steve have long shared a real passion for wine. Where better then to hold their Civil Partnership than at the gorgeous Hotel Du Vin in Poole.
I love so many things about Evy and Steve’s big day that it’s difficult to know where to start. From the exquisite table settings, the sartorial decisions of both grooms (Evy I might have to fight you for your ruby red man bag!), through to the stationery and the Grooms’ Girls, every decision is quite literally the ultimate in sophisticated elegance.
And that’s not even the best bit.
The twosome arranged for all their guests to take part in an actual wine tasting during the Champagne Reception. How immense is that?!
Take it away boys…
Take One Super Stylish Registry Office
We chose the Guildhall in Poole because it is simply the best looking registry office we have ever seen. We didn’t really want a registry office ceremony but when we saw Poole Guildhall we knew it was the right place for us. The building itself is typical Georgian elegance and the beautiful restoration has been done to enhance the original building whilst encompassing its new use. The chandeliers really helped to sell it. The fact that it was also only a short walk from the reception venue also made it a really great choice. We booked a double slot at the Guildhall so that we didn’t have to rush or make way for other parties as we arrived or left the venue which made the whole experience feel much more exclusive and personal.
Our reception was held at the Hotel du Vin in Poole, which is located within a former Georgian mansion house and matched the style of the Guildhall perfectly. We chose Hotel du Vin because it is where we always celebrate special occasions. We had also gotten engaged at our local Hotel du Vin in Winchester so it seemed like an appropriate place to hold the celebration. The Team at Hotel du Vin in Poole made the whole experience completely stress free and the level of quality and service are second to none. The fact that they are an organisation that focuses on one of our main pastimes…enjoying wine, made it all the more appropriate to us as individuals and also helped to define the theme of the day.
Not So Matchy Matchy
Evy’s suit (Navy Blue) was from Jaeger for Men. Steve’s (Charcoal Grey) was from French Connection. We were very clear that we didn’t want to wear matching outfits on the day. We both like to dress well, but have very different styles.
We wanted to look smart and relaxed, so we opted for well tailored lounge suites that were comfortable and complemented each other. We also wanted to tie the colour palette for the day together through the clothes we were wearing, giving the wedding party a sense that we were coordinated without looking too put together.
A Serious Style Statement
Our wedding bands are from Cartier and the design is about committing yourself completely to one another. We also had the dates of our engagement and wedding day engraved on the inside of the bands. As a surprise for Steve I had the message “you are my happy ending” engraved. Although I am aware of the comedic value of this phrase, I chose it because the road to our wedding day hasn’t always been easy. That said, no matter what adversity we have faced we always find happiness with each other.
My (Evy’s) favourite accessory from the day is my ruby red Prada man bag. I always knew I wouldn’t be walking down the aisle with a bouquet so I wanted to make a statement about my style instead. I have a reputation amongst my friends as being somewhat a champion of the man bag, so I knew this would be the perfect accessory to finish off my wedding outfit. When we went shopping to look for a bag, I walked in to the Prada Store on Bond Street. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it so I bought and kept it in the top of the wardrobe for six months.It almost killed me not using it for that long. I have used it on a number of occasions since our wedding and every time I do it reminds me of our fabulous wedding day.
Evy’s shoes were from Gucci, I have been obsessed with Gucci since I was a teenager and there was no way I could get married in any other brand of shoe. They’re a classic black loafer. I know a lot of people who have bought special shoes for their wedding and then don’t wear them again I wanted to have things that I could enjoy for many more years and the classic style means they go with almost anything.
Steve’s shoes came from Hugo Boss and are black slip-ons. I went for something smart and classic so that I can wear them again and make sure we get to enjoy the beautiful craftsmanship of my wedding shoes for more than once. I love shoes and this was a really good excuse to buy some that I really liked.
The wedding party were all coordinated with our colour scheme of navy blue & charcoal grey to complement what we wore.
Our Grooms’ Girls wore charcoal grey dresses from Phase Eight that were heavily beaded on the collar and cap sleeves with Blue-ish beading. Because of the detail on the dresses, we decided to keep the rest of the outfit simple by accessorizing with navy blue bags from Debenhams and shoes from Marks & Spencer.
Our witnesses wore navy blue floor length chiffon dresses from Coast and silver shoes from Next. In order to tie their outfits in with the Grooms’ Girls I found some heavily beaded necklaces from All That Glitters in Winchester and the colors tied in really well.
My youngest sister wore a custom made gown in pale grey chiffon by Hollywood Dreams who are based in London but have stockists nationwide.
All the hair for our wedding party was created by Maddisons Hair Design in Poole. They did a great job of all the hair; however I must give special mention to the side buns worn by the Grooms’ Girls. All they had to work from on the day was a rather poor quality photo of a trial run that I did on two of the girls the month before the big day. I was overjoyed when I saw the final results. Hairpieces were added to give extra volume to the finished bun.
Our flowers were based on an idea we had had that came from our theme. We both love good wine and it is well know amongst our friends that we enjoy a glass or two on a regular basis. We chose the Hotel du Vin, not only because of the wonderful service we always receive, but because of their reputation for holding one of the best selections of wines available.
Because we based our wedding around the theme of wine we decided it would be amusing to have champagne buckets with white flowers frothing over in a dome shape. To achieve the look and shape, our florist used white Hydrangeas and Avalanche Roses interspersed with Chrysanthemums to create the look. Our button-holes were simple Avalanche Roses and were created by New Street Flowers in Poole.
One of the most important elements of the day was our photographer Mister Phill. We found him by mistake after mentioning to our venue events manager (Thomas) that we were struggling to find a photographer that fitted the style of photography that we were looking for. Thomas had seen Mister Phill at the Hotel du Vin a few weeks before and gave us his details. As soon as we saw Phill’s work, we knew it was just what we were looking for, creative, informal, unobtrusive and stylish. The finished result is perfect and has provided with the ultimate reminder of how wonderful all the elements of our wedding day were.
If I were speaking to any prospective bride or groom about what to spend your wedding budget on, I would say that your photographer is the most important investment you will make for your wedding. The day passes by so quickly that you barely have an opportunity to take it all in. By investing in a fabulous photographer, you can capture all the details that took so much planning but that you don’t even notice on the big day.
Having attended several weddings over the last few years where the wedding cake ended up in the bin, we were very clear that we didn’t want to present our guests with a slice of cake that didn’t get eaten. Following our four course wedding breakfast, we invited our guests to choose from a tower of boxed cupcakes that were various flavours so they could eat it with their coffee or take it home for the following day. The idea of the tower was that it should be high so you could see it form all the tables and the cakes should be arranged in a random order to give that exclusive patisserie feel that you see in stores like Fortnum & Mason or Ladurée.
Our cakes were supplied by Waitrose patisserie counter to order and came in five varieties:
Chocolate & Raspberry
Vanilla & Strawberry
Chocolate & Lime
Toffee & Banana
Lemon & Lavender
The boxes were ordered from Amazon and then we personalized them with our wedding stickers and the grey ribbon we used elsewhere in our decoration.
Breaking The Ice
As we had themed our wedding around our joint love of a good glass of vino, we arranged for all our guests to take part in a wine tasting session during the champagne reception. This was a really fun experience and all our guests have said how much they enjoyed it. It also helped to get people to mingle within their tables and helped to break the ice before people were seated for the wedding breakfast.
In the evening, our guests were entertained by a very talented musician called Kieron Cox. We really wanted to have live music that made our guests feel comfortable enough to dance but also comfortable to sit and have a chat. Kieron played a selection on his repertoire that includes modern pop songs and re-worked classics to provide a wide set that had people up on their feet before the desert was even served! We found Kieron playing in our favourite wine bar so it seemed like it had to be him that provided our wedding entertainment.
We decided we didn’t want to have a first dance at the wedding as we didn’t feel comfortable with it. However, our friends felt very differently and arranged for Kieron to play Elton John’s “Your Song” about half way through the evening. It turned out to be a really lovely moment and it’s a song that has so much feeling to it. The friends were forgiven and I’m really glad that we did have our first dance in the end.
As we have already established, the theme of the day was wine and so it only seemed correct that the favours should tie in. We gave each of our guests a miniature bottle of our favorite pink prosecco from M&S tied together with a champagne cork that had been split with a 2012 50p coin to signify good luck. Each then had a hand written label attached to indicate who the favour belonged to. The favours were then arranged in table groups and acted as our table plan. This worked out really well as it got all the guests interacting before they were seated at their tables.
For the children, we provided the soda bottles filled with Jelly Belly jelly beans with the same decoration to tie in to the overall look of the day.
Keeping Things Simple
We chose the Hotel Du Vin on the basis that we love the decor there and there was very little to do. We wanted our wedding day to feel like we had invited our friends and family along to our favorite restaurant for a really nice night out on us. Because of this we asked the hotel to keep the table dressing really minimal. With no table cloths (we hate dirty table cloths) to allow the candles and flowers to really stand out. We both loved the final result as it gave the room a really warm glow that shows through in all the photographs from later in the day.
We also wanted the favours, cake table and sweetie station to really stand out and by keeping it really simple and elegant, the quality of the various decorative elements really came though.
Elegance And Sophistication
The thing that made our wedding unique is that we formulated a very clear theme that tied in to our venue and who we are as individuals but without becoming slaves to the theme. When planning our day, it felt like we could have spent millions on all the little details but like most people we had a limited budget and wanted to make the most of it.
It’s important to keep in mind what people will actually remember and allocate your budget on those items first. For us, those things were good food, free flowing drinks and quality entertainment. Once we had those things agreed, the rest just fell into place.
Since the day lots of the guests have said how elegant and sophisticated they thought it was. Whilst that was the outcome we had hoped for during the planning process, I think it really came from the way that we focused on the things that were important to us and our guests and made use of our own skills to fill in the gaps.
Ceremony Venue: Poole Guildhall
Reception Venue: Poole Hotel Du Vin
Grooms: Jaeger and French Connection
Hair: Maddisons Hair Design
Grooms’ Girls: Phase Eight
Florist: New Street Flowers
Entertainment Kieron Cox
Photographer: Mister Phill
How adorable are these two; I mean Evy and Steve are beaming from ear to ear in every single photo so much so that you can’t help but be caught up in their euphoric excitement.
I would very much liked to have been a guest at this wedding.
Wouldn’t you agree folks?
All my love Lolly xxx