I do love a wedding where music plays a big part in the day. Ruth and Matt had lots of music inspired details, as well as lots of actual music, which made their day really special and personal to them. It makes total sense when you realise that Groom Matt is a musician himself. As far as I'm concerned, music is the BEST way to set the mood. Everyone looks like they are having a marvellous time, just enjoying the party atmosphere. In fact, things got so wild that the double bass player ended up at the top of one of the marquee poles - I'd love to know how/why that came about?! Ruth looks gorgeous in one of my favourite designers, Laure De Sagazan and it's so lovely to see Bridesmaids rocking green floral numbers - I love the subtle vintage vibes, it works perfectly with music theme - even though both came about by accident. I'll let Ruth tell you all about it...
The BrideRuth The Bride: My dress was by the Parisian designer Laure De Sagazan. I came across her designs in a magazine and fell in love with them, so found the nearest stockist, The Mews Bridal in Notting Hill and found the one. I loved the lace detail and wanted to make an impact with the back. Accessories were kept really simple – I borrowed my sister’s pearl bracelet which my Mum had given to her on her wedding day. My wedding ring was my Granny’s.
The GroomMatt’s suit was from Ben Sherman. He accessorized with a tiepin and my Mum made the groomsmen matching pocket squares from the bridesmaids’ dresses. His shoes were brown brogues from Berties.
The VenueWe decided to use the same venue as my sister and her husband had done the previous year. We got married in the village church opposite my parents’ house, which meant that we walked across to the church in the morning. We then had the drinks reception in barn in the village. We decorated the inside full of bits and pieces we could collect from friends and family to create a vintage/rural/modern feel to it. We then had a vintage style marquee in the neighbouring field. We created various lawn games, borrowed some from the village hall and had a fire pit for marshmallows. The venue also had a converted barn which we stayed in for our wedding night. We wanted the whole day to be a big celebration/party and as a home-girl it meant everything for me to have it local.
The DecorThere wasn’t really a colour scheme. I just went with what I liked. The barn was decorated more rustic/vintage with a collection of random things we could find. We didn't buy anything in, except for the ‘LOVE’ balloons. We wanted it to be relaxed and not pretentious, so had lots of things for people to help themselves too. We also got lots of flowers from the florists which we put in collected empty beer bottles as well – I wanted loads of flowers. The décor of the marquee was more retro and bright. I found a collection of retro materials online which my mum turned into table squares. Again I wanted flowers to be the main centre pieces so went big! I loved them! There were big balloons on every table which also looked great and filled the space of the massive marquee. I then got busy with final touches – record covers for the table names, vintage postcards for menus, Tunnocks teacakes for name places. I decided to have no theme – just do what I liked! We had a polaroid camera for people to take photos and used one of Matt’s old guitars for people to sign as a guest book.
The StationeryMatt’s sister-in-law is a graphic designer who owns her own company Pretty In Print. Although we had our invitations printed by The Small Print Company, Pippa did all the wedding stationery for the day. She did an awesome ‘Thank You’ note from me (I didn't want to give a speech) which we put on the tables – it also had the story of me and Matt on it as well. The table plan was also designed by Pippa using selected LP covers which we chose to match the table names. My friend Katy, an art teacher, did the design of the church for the orders of service which I then made and got printed.
The FlowersOur florist was amazing. I wanted loads of flowers in the church, barn and marquee and it didn't disappoint. The colour theme of the bouquets was yellow and this went through to the groomsmen as well. I went for simple statement bouquets rather than lots of different flowers. They were unusual in the types of flowers and got lots of comments!
The Wedding PartyBridesmaid wore a paisley print wiggle dress which we found on ASOS and then they wore their own black shoes. I wanted a dress which everyone liked and could wear again to a party! The groomsmen just wore their own suits – we didn't want people to feel over dressed or uncomfortable!
The CeremonyWe wanted the ceremony to reflect us and the things we love. Whilst the congregation was waiting, we had a playlist of blues and country songs playing which got everyone in the mood. I kept some traditional elements by walking in and out to organ music, such as the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and our hymns were traditional but ones we thought people would know from school, as we wanted everyone to sing! As we signed the register the church choir sang ‘Here, there and everywhere’ by the Beatles. We had two readings read by Matt’s brother and a friend: Song of Solomon Union by Robert Fulghum We spent ages finding the second reading as we wanted something special to us and not the usual non-religious readings.
The EntertainmentEntertainment was a big part of our day as we wanted it to have a party atmosphere throughout. We put on a range of garden games in the afternoon which broke up the meal and speeches and got everyone mingling. We also had two bands. The first, Louis Louis Louis, played during the reception and went down a storm. The evening band, the Camden Cat, we knew of from seeing him play in the Blues Bar in Camden. We contacted him by Facebook to see if he was up for a wedding and he agreed. He played our first song, Johnny Cash’s ‘I love You Because’ to open up the set and then played a range of rock ‘n’ roll classics. Towards the end of the evening, we switched to playlists on iTunes to keep the party going. Luckily, Matt plays in a wedding band himself – A Band and a DJ – so we had all the equipment etc. to make it fairly flexible. It also meant that his band also played as well.
The FoodWe love food so it was a massive part of the day. At the drinks reception we had tea, coffee & homemade cakes; selections of pork pies; and a range of ‘Pub snacks’, e.g. KP peanuts, crisps etc. that I bought off the internet in bulk. We also had help-yourself drinks – Prosecco, G&T, sherry bar and selection of beers which we bought from various places. We also had a large barrel and also bottles from a local brewery – the Idle Valley brewery – which went down a storm. It was a free bar the whole day so we sourced everything ourselves. Matt’s parents also provided a whiskey bar for the evening! For the wedding breakfast we wanted to create a homely, sharing feel. For starters there was smoked mackerel, ham hock and roasted vegetable pate which came out on sharing platters. We also made homemade chutneys, piccalilli and horseradish to go with these. Mains were sausage and mash to keep it simple and then pudding was laid out on each table for people to help themselves. We did large bowls of sherry trifle, fresh strawberries, mini meringues, homemade shortbread and creams. The catering was exceptional! The wedding cake I made with my mum. We did a collection of fruit cakes which we iced – we did more and kept them back so that none was wasted. I also made a rocky road tower as well from milk, white and dark chocolate. For the evening buffet we had a cheese cake from the Lincolnshire Poacher and also a selection of cold meats, pork pies etc. which the caterer provided.
The PhotographyI found Neil through a wedding blog. I hate having my photo taken and didn't want the traditional ‘staged’ wedding pics. Instead we wanted someone to document the day and Neil did this brilliantly. I never felt under pressure and instead of spending hours away from everyone we were able to enjoy ourselves with everyone else. We love that our album shows the entire day from start to finish. Also Neil is so good at capturing moments – I love the fact that everyone is laughing and smiling and enjoying themselves. Our photos definitely have got so many compliments since!
AdviceOur advice for anyone planning a wedding would be to do what you want. Forgot the pressures of ‘traditions’ and do things that you enjoy and like. You don’t have to have a ‘theme’ or a ‘colour scheme’ or do things in a particular order. Do it as you want and use all the talented people around you. Our day was us – it was unique and it was special because it was everything we wanted. The biggest comment we had on the day was how it was ‘so us’ – enjoy it and relax!
Bride: Laure de Sagazan | Boutique: The Mews | Shoes: Mimosa by Rachel Simpson | Florist: Jill's Fabulous Flowers | Marquee Hire: Will's Marquees | Balloons: Absolutely Fabulous Balloons | Catering: Wrights Caterers | Bridesmaids: ASOS | Groom: Ben Sherman | Stationery Design: Pretty In Print | Printing: The Smallprint Company | Entertainment: Louis Louis Louis | The Camden Cats | Transport: Unity Coaches | Make Up Artist: Stacey McDonald