Straight Talking Love……part 1

If you read our Saturday Sneak Peek you would have seen the incredibly pretty centre piece from Alena and Nick’s summer wedding. You would also know that Alena put it together herself… as well as the buttonholes and the bouquet, which is quite frankly, one of the loveliest I’ve seen. And it cost £12. Yes that’s right folks, TWELVE ENGLISH POUNDS.

In fact Alena may not just be the Queen of the D.I.Y Bloom but also one of the most practical and straight-talking brides with regards the dreaded B-word (shhh budget!)… we have ever featured, her honest account of the trials and tribulations of W-day planning is well worth a butchers.

All of the gorgeous images are courtesy of Dominic Whiten.

Romantic Chic

I had to finish my own make up as we were running out of time but had a girl from Hair on the Move to do my hair. I had a trial with her before the wedding to determine the style I needed to go with my romantic retro chic look. She was great.

Made For Me

I tried many dresses and quite a few of them were nice enough but I didn’t feel special about them, until I was brought a completely random dress from Ian Stuart (well above my ideal budget) and I nearly didn’t try it as it had a very different look to what I had in mind. But the moment I put it on and saw myself in the mirror it brought tears into my eyes; strange, as I was already fed up with getting dressed and undressed all the time.) It was made for me and I knew I didn’t need to try anything else; the dress was me.

Historical Influences

My accessories all came from the same shop. In fact, I believe the choice of accessories determined a little the choice of my dress. Nothing else could better replicate the look I had in mind; that retro look that just went so well with the history of our house and the tea parties our predecessors used to hold in the 1910’s, in the very same garden where our wedding reception would take place.

Nude Shoes

The most important thing for me was a pair of shoes I could handle the whole night and shoes I could dance in for hours-which I did. They had high heels but were very comfortable, made of nude/pinkish suede. So not typical wedding shoes but rather something I can wear again. Anyway, who will see them under the long dress?

The Most Important Things

My colour theme was vaguely silver with dusty pink, but our wedding was really relaxed. We didn’t ask anybody to wear anything particular as I find there are so many other things more important about a wedding; we just wanted everybody to feel relaxed and comfortable; we aimed for a stress free day.

The Smartest Groom

My husband looked stunning. He was the smartest groom on the planet. We chose his suit fabrics together and he had his morning suit made by the tailor who he has been using for years.

D.I.Y Blooms

I did my own bouquet, the button holes and also all the table decorations, as I thought the quotes some wedding suppliers were giving me were ridiculous and I didn’t think the outcome really justifies the price. I used the flowers and greenery we had in the garden, mainly hydrangeas and I also bought some bouquets of roses and other flowers in our local garden centre. The cost of my bouquet was about £12 altogether and it looked beautiful!

I bought a lot of different things for my table decorations on ebay, including silver plated ice buckets, and candle holders. I paid a lot less than if I rented even the simplest things from the florists, and we all thought the results were amazing . What’s more, I now own all those things and can either reuse them for a different party next summer ( Perhaps a christening, as I got pregnant on our wedding night!!) or re-sell it.

Hair – Hair on The Move

Gown – Ian Stuart

Groom’s Suit – Tom James

Bouquet – D.I.Y

Photography – Dominic Whiten

And if that’s not the best wedding present ever then I don’t know what is 😉

Anyone else making their own bouquet? Thinking of having a go?!

Come back tomorrow for plenty more bargainous blooms lovelies!

Big Straight Talking Love

Charlotte xxx

Dominic Whiten is a Rock My Wedding sponsor, however all Real Weddings are chosen on individual merit and no part of this wedding has been sponsored.

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

25 thoughts on “Straight Talking Love……part 1

  1. Pregnant on the wedding night. Wow!! I love it.

    I’m doing buttonholes for all the guests, pew ends, chair backs, napkin rings, bar and decorations in each room for the guests and then wreaths. I’m not doing my bouquet or the table centres.

    I love this bride’s attitude. And dress. And the veil. And the make up.

    Congrats on the wedding AND the baby!!

  2. Wauw what a bouquet! Love the dog in church, don’t think a Danish priest would allow that.
    Congrats on the baby, must really be the best present 🙂

  3. Wow would never guess that the bouquet was DIY it looks so beautiful!
    I am toying with the idea of doing the flowers for the reception and flowergirls but dont know if I date attempt a bouquet or buttonholes! May have to have a practice though because at 12 pounds its worth trying I reckon!!
    Congrats on the baby present and the gorgeous wedding! Love the dress!

  4. I am SO impressed by that bouquet. SO SO impressed. Mine is costing over quadruple that, and I hope the results are as pretty.

    This totally shows you can have pretty pretty pretty on a tighter budget! YAY!

    What a stunning dress as well. The bride looks boooootiful.

    Pregnant on the wedding night hey?! Exciting stuff.

    Double congratulations!

    Roll on P2! xxxx

  5. As always, I am in serious awe of any bride that DIY’s. I think I have the DDIY gene – dont do it yourself – as whenever I try, I always get into a pickle!
    Mahoosive kudos to the bride for her floristry skills and also big wedding baby congrats. xoxo

  6. wow, take my hat off to you, those flowers are as good ,if not better, than any professional boquet i have seen!
    We all know my thoughts on DIY florestry so well done girl! I totally agree that the prices for flowers are totally unrealistic.

    Loving the head piece/hat xxxx

  7. I would actually really love to know where those shoes are from! I found the dress this weekend and they’re along the lines of what I think I might need for it.

    What a perfect story – a wedding baby. Congratulations!

  8. Just do your own flowers girlies! It’s easy for me to say cos I used to be a florist but the flowers I love the best are always the ones my friends just put together-a pro can’t always capture that wild and casual look. Obviously if you want something structured then ur gonna need a florist but vintage looks best handmade. For my retro elopement I got around 50 pink carnations and just layered them into a big ball shape with white wintry twigs sticking out randomly.
    This bride looked amazing-I am in love with her haughty/Romantic/period drama style. mmmm! x

  9. This wedding looks lovely! Fabulous dress and matching accessories, such perfect make up, and what fantasically dressed groomsmen!

    But that bouquet takes the biscuit! Can’t believe that was DIY, totally stunning! Pretty sure its the best use of £12 I’ve ever seen! In complete awe of this bride. This shows that DIY flowers is possible, can’t wait for more inspiration in part II!

    And congrats on the wedding night baby, wowsa!


  10. This looks so gorgeous – congrats on a fab decor job, and on the baby news!

    I may be a little obsessed at present, but it’s so nice seeing the guys in double breasted waistcoats! My fiance has his heart set on wearing one, but no one seems to hire them out at all. It looks so good having the groom wear his very own morning suit – guess that is the only way to get the double breasted look.

  11. I am so impressed by people who can DIY, so far all my attempts have been pathetic (fun, but pathetic!)
    I think I am definitely a ‘pay other people to do it and be a lot more chilled’ bride.

  12. I feel like I should step in here and defend some florists. I don’t think its fair to say that the prices for flowers are “completely unrealistic” (I’m not having a go, I’m just responding using a quote from above).

    I should also probably mention I’m not a florist – so you know I’m not biased!

    Firstly. florists have overheads. Shops, staffing, usual utilities, insurance – business liability AND cover for weddings, supplies – wire, vases. All this needs to be taken into account.

    Secondly they have to pay their staff well – florist markets open at 3am. Personally I would want to be paid pretty well if I had to work so early (and they don’t finish earlier either remember) plus weekends and bank holidays like Christmas, New Year and Easter.

    Thirdly, they have to pay themselves. I work in a job where my services are charged by the hour. A handtied bouquet may only take five minutes but a candleabra would take much longer so the florist evens out the time spent on each and usually charges “per wedding” taking into account the time it takes to create the flowers for the whole wedding.

    Fourthly, most florists will also order in extra. Imagine only wanted amnesia roses for your wedding and the whole theme is built around amnesia roses in your and your husband to be’s bouquet and buttonholes. But when the amnesia roses arrive from Holland they are damaged. Equals no amnesia roses and no time to fetch new ones. Equals a livid bride and groom and a dampener on the day. So most florists will order in a couple of extra to cover damage and any gaps they find after the items has been in transit.

    Fifthly, there is the cost of the time it takes to arrange a wedding – a good florist will help you with your colour scheme and style ideas. Service comes at a cost and consultation times and costs all impact on the cost.

  13. P.S. I’m in no way taking anything away from the bride in this piece – her flowers are gorgeous. I just don’t think its fair to cut florists out of the loop when most are incredibly talented.

  14. Love love the bouquet, I could never in a million years make that myself, I’m far too messy.

    The dress is beautiful, looks so different on the bride than on the hanger. Gorgeous accessories too.

  15. I booked Dominic Whiten to be our photographer after seeing that stunning bouquet pic on his website – can’t believe it was a DIY effort! Gorgeous!

  16. What a beautiful shot of the doggy in church- he so cute! Rebecca, I think to be honest that whatever supplier you have, florist, cake-maker or whatever they seem like the word “wedding” is a license to print money! Case in point- phone a venue and tell them you want to hire it for a birthday then phone up the next day and ask for reception hire. Hmmmmm! But hey, we all gotta earn a crust so I’m a bit 50/50 on that one.
    Anyway, back to the bride- that dress was so made for her! She is gorge!

  17. Beautiful bouquet – the bride is a talented lady!

    I’m also really liking her fascinator and necklace – beautiful and really brings the whole look together!
    Rachie xo

    Ps: Love the doggy!

  18. I love that they were allowed to bring a dog to the ceremony! Alena and Nick look oh so stylish and gorgeous together, it really has made me long for summer, looking at these beautiful photographs!

    I drew the line at doing my own flowers for our wedding as we had so much other diy to do throwing an at home reception but good on Alena for going for it, fabulous job! x

  19. I love Alena’s gown, hairpiece, and earrings – especially her earrings! Does anyone know who made the earrings? I’m dying to find something like that for my wedding. Thanks for any help!

  20. Mary, the earrings are rather special, I agree. It was my “borrowed” item; my friend lent them to me. She received them as a gift from her grandmother, who used to wear them when she was young. It is a very beautiful and very, very old piece of jewellery, made of diamonds and pearls.
    It was an honour to wear them on the day…(and I wish they were mine 🙂 )

    Thank you girls for all your kind comments.


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