Polly and Alex wanted to create the perfect ‘vibe’ for their big day – rather than using a colour scheme or a theme, which is an idea I can completely get on board with. There’s no rule book that says you must adhere to a palette of three shades. Atmosphere is just as important, if not more so, than decor. And I must admit that Polly and Alex’s wedding day is most definitely one of the most joyful I’ve seen. In every single image people are laughing, there’s an infectious happiness radiating from all of the guests and it comes from Polly and Alex.
Images are by the wonderful Han and Toby at Red On Blonde, whose work we’re featured for years now (we also featured their own wedding). It’s always a pleasure sharing their natural, thoughtful and fun photographs with you all.
Polly The Bride: As nearly all of the wedding speeches will testify Al and I got together after I had spotted him in a crowded bar in our hometown of Sidmouth and proceeded to Facebook stalk him…to the point that during a white wine fuelled girly evening I messaged him subtly hinting for a date…and hey presto 5 years later, thank goodness he replied!
As a graphic designer within the world of fashion I had a clear idea of how I wanted our wedding to be, I knew I didn’t want a ‘theme’ but I did want a certain ‘vibe’! My family has spent a lot of time in Arabian countries due to my Dad’s varied career and so this was always going to be a big influence, along with our desire to get married in our favourite place in the world – Devon, Al’s proud Scottish heritage and our combined love of 70s glam/funky beats the result was a beautiful mash up that I coined “Margot in Marrakesh” (Margot as in the glamazon neighbour from The Good Life and my style icon!)
I found my dress very swiftly in the first bridal salon I visited Allison Jayne in Bristol. They were so lovely and as soon as I came out of the dressing room in this Pronovias gown my sister and I both knew it was the one. She had tears and I just didn’t want to take it off! It was the perfect combination of modern, traditional and with a gorgeous silhouette. Closer to the wedding my local and loyal dressmaker Lindsay of County Couture designed the beautiful off the shoulder sleeves from the bolero that came with the gown. These removable lace sleeves were the perfect finish for that added sexy, 70s touch – a total triumph.
The veil was my something borrowed from my sister and the double cathedral length made me feel like a queen and her putting it on me will remain one of my most treasured memories. My incredible necklace was a surprise gift from my sister – she designed it with our friend and jewellery designer Gemma from Cabinet. My birthstone amethyst was set in a gold star inspired by Omani (my birthplace) culture and our wedding date was inscribed on the back. As you can imagine – mascara needed to be rapidly reapplied as soon as I saw it.
I did buy some shoes especially for the day however instead I decided to wear my favourite Steve Madden tasselled heels that had served me so well through out my hen do…and I loved the fact that they had danced the night away in Lisbon surrounded by my favourite girls and still had the marks to show for it!
My final look was a Studio 54 inspired gold column dress from ASOS which laced up the sides and the sequins were shaped like oyster shells! Finished off with a white denim jacket I customised in sequin letters on the back which read “Mrs McLachlan”…if Al was a rockstar I felt like the most glamorous loved up groupie!
Al’s look was completely bespoke and he loved designing it with his tailor Saatchi from Suit Supply. Bottle green with a wide 70s inspired lapel, paisley lining and with his family’s motto “Fortus and Fidis” embroidered in the collar. I think he felt like a total rockstar! Churches shoes of course and a double breasted waistcoat to tie in with the groomsmen designed for Al by the amazing team at Andy Tuly.
The Wedding Party
The bridesmaids looked gorgeous in their full length black gowns from Whistles with gold accessories they chose themselves. And the boys looked sharp in pale grey suits from Zara (https://www.zara.com) and black silk woven ties from ASOS.
This part of the day was a total family labour of love. My sister and her husband Jud kindly lent us their big back garden for our reception which is set in the gorgeous countryside village of Sidbury and 500 metres from the church we wanted to get married in St Giles. All our guests walked up the road from the ceremony to the party and some of my favourite pictures are of this moment!
My dad (Michael Crane) is a keen gardener and he grew every single flower at our wedding from the bouquets to the centrepieces each one was coaxed by him which was so special and the bright, reds, pinks and oranges of the blooms created a riot of colour which is exactly what we wanted. Thank you Daddy! My style definitely comes from my mum who got all her girls round, including my grandmother who put together all the floral displays which was amazing, especially my wild and wonderful bouquet which included sprigs of rosemary for remembrance, olive branches for peace and was all tied together wrapped in Omani blue and silver beads.
The marquee by the brilliant Hatch was styled with long tables and chairs, coloured ceiling streamers, huge gold star lanterns and my Uncle’s pride and joy a metre big disco ball, which hung majestically over our black and white dance floor. All the tables, chairs, linen and tableware were supplied by South West Event Hire including the vintage Champagne saucers that I adored.
I have a side business designing wedding stationery and so creating my own was both super exciting but also really difficult! I created a pattern incorporating mine and Al’s initials, our wedding date in roman numerals, and a star motif plus the 3 colours that ran throughout the day: bottle green, Moroccan magenta and a sunset orange. We got so many excited comments after our invitations went out that really set us both on an exciting build up to the day itself.
Dear friends Brenda and Alice Selway of Country Caterers (01404871590) put together a fabulous feast which combined our favourite foods and included, pulled pork, tabbouleh, minted new potatoes, green bean salad, Mum’s famous tzatziki and flat breads. Plus the most exquisite desert of brownie bites, meringue kisses, salted caramel and a yoghurt and cream whip – all of which was presented family style along our homemade beer bottle table raisers. The meal was rounded up with our speeches and asking everyone to join us in a synchronised tequila slammer – which were our wedding favours! Not the most traditional but was also the most fun and very us!
Al is an awesome musician and was in total control of music – This started with a beautiful bag piper Paul who accompanied everyone into the church and finished with the amazing Soul Strutters who were PERFECT and provided the ultimate party playlist – mixing in original breaks from classic hip-hop alongside some of the sweetest soul and 80’s groove tracks, all in their own style.
The best decision we made were our photographers – Hannah and Toby from Red on Blonde – they managed to capture the best day of our lives so perfectly – everyone looked full of love and that they’re having the most fun which is exactly how we remembered it. We thank them for the warmth and soul they put into taking and preserving these memories, we couldn’t have imagined anything better. We really were so lucky to have them there.