Film By Simon Clarke Films - Images by Anna Clarke Photography - Naomi Neoh Blush Pink Fleur for a classic wedding at Ragley Hall with Pink JLM Couture Bridesmaid Dresses, Pastel Flowers and Navy Blue Groomsmen Suits.
So here’s a funny story for you, I actually ran into bride Naomi’s beautiful Mum in a nail salon earlier this year (!). We got chatting as we were sat side by side at separate tables having a manicure and she was talking about her daughters upcoming wedding, my technician Amelia said to her “Oh you’ll be interested in Charlotte then! she owns a wedding blog!”….
To which Naomi’s Mum replied “Oh how lovely! Which one is that?” And I replied “Rock My Wedding…” To which she replied “What?! THE wedding blog?!! Oh My goodness I must tell Naomi! She will be so thrilled!” or words to that effect. Yes it’s official – we are THE wedding blog. But you knew that already right?!
As you will see Naomi and Mark’s wedding at Ragley Hall is a truly elegant and sophisticated affair full to bursting with a whole host of talented suppliers from our curated directory The Love Lust List. The bride was a vision in her blush pink Naomi Neoh gown and the flowers were stunning – but then we wouldn’t expect anything less from Hannah at Bloom Fleuriste. All of the fabulous fashion and dreamy details were captured on camera by Anna Clarke and on film by Simon Clarke.
Although our beautiful couple married in Autumn there is a magical Christmas feel to their wedding. It could be Bride Charmaine’s glamorous Justin Alexander wedding dress, fur stole and red lip combo or maybe her Bridesmaids fancy black lace No.1 by Jenny Packham frocks. But I also think the super luxe mercury glass votives with overflowing white blooms, succulents and simple yet stunning gypsophila that looks like snow drops add to the pure magic and sparkle too.
Charmaine & Ed were so super savvy when it came to creating their overall look on a budget. They’ve got a wealth of handy DIY tips, crafts and places to shop so you too can achieve your dream day whilst holding on to more of your hard earned pennies.
Eleanor and Ben’s big day is so full with amazing DIY projects that I really don’t know where to begin! Aside from building their own venues…I’m not sure they could have created anything else themselves for their wedding.
The table plan is my personal favourite project – it’s such a simple idea to thread strings from a hole next to a name, into a hole next to a table number – but it looks so cool and contemporary and I bet they’ll be lots of Brides thinking ‘I wish I’d thought of that!’
Not only was all of the decor made by this creative pair, but Eleanor’s dress and veil were made for her by a friend too. This resulted in a beautifully fitting dress, made from a heavy pure silk in a golden mushroom colour, with lace over the top and crystal band. And it’s absolutely perfect for her! I love the addition of the red Swarovski crystal button on the back too.
Enjoy all of the detail, this really is a wedding full of colour and fun…and some seriously amazing images of the wedding party dancing flash mob style…
Excuse me if you think I’m a tad rude. I haven’t made an appearance on Rock My Wedding for a while and then all of a sudden I’m asking you to flash your legs… and in this weather too!
As much as I’d like to chat with you about 90 denier tights, I’m popping by today to launch RMW’s first ever Pinterest competition.
Not only is it starting to look a lot like Christmas, it’s also starting to feel a lot like winter and so we’re looking to the chilliest season of the year to provide the theme for our contest.
It’s very easy to enter; all that we ask you to do is to follow RMW on Pinterest and then create your own board called ‘Rock My Winter Wedding‘.
Then it’s time to cram your board to the brim with fabulous winter wedding inspiration. You can pin from absolutely anywhere that takes your fancy but we do request that you pin at least one image from the Rock My Wedding archives. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #rockmywinterwedding and mention @rockmywedding in your pins.
The prize on offer is to join Team RMW as a guest pinner where you’ll get the opportunity to pin to your heart’s content on a subject of your choosing (within reason, of course. This is a family website after all…)
Anyone can enter the competition so don’t worry if you’re getting married in the warmer months. This is a chance for you to let your imagination run wild and embrace all that the season has to offer; sumptuous faux furs, glimmering candle light, roaring fires, bouquets of berries and showers of snow. You don’t just have to limit your images to w-days; we’d love for you to share images that others can use as inspiration for Christmas day such as table settings or perhaps a decadent new year party!
For those of you who haven’t yet joined the pinboard style photo sharing site, you really must. Pinterest is ideal for brides-to-be to collate all your ideas in one place together. It also makes you feel like you’re super creative, even if in reality you’re sat in front of the television watching EastEnders.
It’s easy peasy to pin to Pinterest from Rock My Wedding. If you hover over any of the images in our posts, you’ll see a ‘pin it’ option appear. If you’re in the gallery then there’s a snazzy ‘p’ icon that you can click on too.
There’s a little bit of boring legal stuff to take a look over if you fancy it. Please read the T’s & C’s here, and if you need a little help you can take a look at our own winter wedding board.
You have until December 15th to create your board. Make sure you pop back and post a link to your board in the comments section below.
So all that leaves me to ask is what are your favourite winter weddings from the RMW archives?
What elements would you include if you were getting married in the next few months?
You are more than welcome to comment below but it would be even better if you could share your ideas through a fancy pinboard.
The ceremony went like a dream, we had readings from two of our oldest friends …who both know each other from primary school too! Andy read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Rach lightened the mood with a humorous poem by Bee Rawlinson.
We said our vows…I cried again!
We sat and signed the register… girls if I have one piece of advice… look at yourself in a mirror when you sit down in your dress, I tested sitting down to see if I could, but didn’t see myself… I know I wanted cleavage… but not so much it was indecent! Those pics, unfortunately won’t be making the album!
I felt like I was in a film walking out through the guard of honour, mum being mum had made and handed out dozens of confetti bags full to the brim! It was a moment to remember when everyone cheered and gathered round to wish us well. We couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and with the Pimms flowing the day was off to the most perfect start.
Keep The Weather At Bay
Anna our photographer, and now friend, did an amazing job of capturing all the moments. I had asked for as few group, posed pics as possible so we spent about half an hour having group shots and then managed to get some time as a couple having some fab pics with Anna. Gav one of our friends did a wonderful job of keeping the weather at bay with golfing umbrellas… which made for some equally brilliant pics!
We had the most scrumptious wedding breakfast ever! I know I would say that, but it really was gorgeous and we’ve had so many compliments about the food… we took the risky approach of having salmon, but people loved that it was something different, Jenkinsons the caterers did an amazing job! In fact I was so determined I was going to eat my chocolate trio of desserts, I trooped off to the ladies with mum to loosen my dress so that I could fit it all in!
Plane To See
I decided to design all of the stationery for the day and wanted to make everything personal to us… So each persons menu could be folded into a paper plane (with instructions on the reverse)…this resulted in all sorts of competitions during dinner! The paper plane theme continued, with miniature planes for the guests to sign… I have assembled the planes into a picture for us to have in our new house in Anglesey. After having such great feedback on the stationery from the wedding I decided to take the plunge and set up love-doodle which I am hopeful will ‘take off’ (terrible pun I know!) and sustain me whilst I follow Jon around the country!
After dinner the speeches commenced, all of the boys did an incredible job and had people in hysterics especially when Jons dad mentioned how Jon and I make such a great threesome with his brother, completely unaware of what he was implying, the room erupted with laughter!
I had planned the wedding to within an inch of its life … my sister knew this, so she decided to surprise me by doing the most perfect speech, it was beautiful and a memory I’ll treasure forever.
After the speeches the evening guests began to fill the barn and we gathered round to cut Jons mum’s enormous cake she had made! I was gutted I didn’t get to have any on the day…though we have two tiers left, wrapped ready for another special occasion.
It took us ages to decide on a first dance song… we like lots of different music but none of it really suited the occasion of our wedding. Then one day when we were in the car, Maroon 5, Sunday Morning came on…it was perfect! They were the first band we’d seen together and the lyrics were perfect as we’d spent so many Sundays leaving each other (because of Jon being in the RAF) ‘Driving slow on Sunday morning, I never want to leave’ was a lyric that really meant everything to us… we were kicking ourselves that we hadn’t thought of the song sooner! Ashmore acoustics; a fab band we’d seen at a friends wedding rehearsed the song and played it for us.. they had everyone welling up, it was really the most amazing moment. The Ashmore guys were so energetic and engaging, it wasn’t long before everyone was cutting some shapes on the dance floor.
Man & Wife
We danced the night away, enjoying ourselves with all our amazing friends and family. I really didn’t want it to end, but soon enough we found ourselves heading back the Granary. We stayed up until 5am! No, not doing what you’re thinking! We were re-living every moment, chatting into the small hours with salt & vinegar Pringles, a cup of tea and snuggled up together, best friends and now man & wife. The perfect end to the most perfect day and the start of something very special.
Yay! Congratulations Hannah and Jon! I am so pleased for you both that now you are married you’ll be living together and there won’t be quite so many of those “Sunday mornings”… A beautifully executed shindig Hannah, all of your meticulous planning has totally been worth it.
It’s been a pleasure having you write for RMW and I hope your stationery business Love Doodle really does fly. All of your wedding stationery looks fab, I particularly love the elegant and clean design of the table plan.
Once again congratulations, and all the best for your future together with Jon.
Adam here… Introducing the next w-day from our last bunch of lovely real bride ladies, today is the turn of Hannah who married Jon on April 13th.
If you are new RMW reader unfamiliar with Hannah’s journey so far then read no further!!! Firstly read Hannahs whole planning story right here. Go. Now. Read…. and then come back for this, the penultimate post from Hannah…
Hannah: Hello again.. It’s been a while! I can’t believe that I’m now writing this post as a married lady. It’s been a wonderful year or so and great fun having you all along for the ride. Not only have we had a wonderful wedding, but we’ve made so many friends because of this blog and there are lots more exciting things to come, with Jon & I moving to RAF Valley soon and we’re getting a puppy called Bear! …
I’m one contented wifey!
But before I go into any detail, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us during the run up and on the big day itself. Family and friends were just amazing, as were all the suppliers who have now become friends. It’s been a really great time, and I’m pleased to report that I managed to take a step back and enjoy it all.
The Night Before
So the big day actually started the night before, Jon and I had agreed that from midday on the Friday we wouldn’t speak to, or see each other until the ceremony the next day. He had all his friends over to our house and I left him under instruction not to trash the place, and to only have a beer or two. I know what the boys are like.
I was joined that evening by all my family from all over the country, as well as most of Jon’s. It was lovely to get everyone together and to let relations have a good old chin wag. We rented out the Granary a beautiful boutique barn style hotel. They were very accommodating and laid on a wonderful spread.
A Teary Start
In the run up to the wedding I worried over sleep… Or the lack of it and read up on all sorts of ‘just incase’ remedies but in the end I decided that sleep was just not going to happen….I had resigned myself to that fact, but to my surprise & delight I woke up at 3.30am having slept from 11! So I got up, had a cup of tea and read the lovely note Jon had left me… needless to say the day started with tears!
I adorned my new hush pyjamas, ate a full English, gathered the bridesmaids and headed off to Dodford Manor, not before being jumped up at by an over excited springer puppy…so much for new white pj’s!
All Hands On Dec
We got to Dodford Manor and it was all hands on deck to get the lovely barn dressed. We made 8ft blossom trees that were wheeled in, huge vases of lovely wild flowers from Juliet at Thoughtful Flowers, as well as hanging the 200m of bunting! At Dodford theres a lovely dressing room to get ready in, and it has a one way glass window into the ceremony barn. It was so humbling to see everyone dashing around putting the finishing touches on everything. Over in the main dinning room, there was a small army of people all working so hard to make sure the room was ready, we really do owe them all.
A while ago I wrote about how nice it was to see all the family making so much of an effort making all manor of homemade goodies. Well I can honestly say that when I walked into the room, it took my breath away. All the beautiful bunting my mum had made had been diligently hung up, the tables looked perfect with the wild flowers on. Jon’s mum had got the cake in place, (no small feat I can assure you!) His dad, who had hand built the sweet trolley was carefully filling glass jars with pink and white sweets. What a cool set of in-laws. I felt this huge sense of satisfaction that we really had put our own stamp on the day.
Meanwhile, Jon was at our house with his brother, the best man and all his close friends, no doubt not even awake yet. Unbeknown to my soon-to-be hubby I had been squirrelling away a bit of cash at the end of every month for the past year or so in order to buy him a pressie. I felt a little bad as we had agreed no gifts, only a letter on the day. Being a pilot I knew he’d always wanted a particular type of watch. There’s a whole other story to how I found out the right one and eventually how I got my hands on it, but suffice to say I was relived he hadn’t discovered it hidden away at home.
Play It Cool
With such a nice pressie in store, I couldn’t resist a little wind up, cruel I know, but it’s normally him dishing out all the banter. My mum called Jon to tell him that it was all panic stations at the venue and that he urgently needed to get something out of the cupboard upstairs. He was on speaker phone, I could tell it had got to him, but he was trying to play it cool especially in front of his friends! After a bit more fun and games, we led him to the parcel, which he duly unwrapped and I duly cried..again.
The next time I checked my watch I couldn’t believe it was mid day, I hurried back to the bridal room and put the peep hole to good use. It was so nice seeing everyone arrive, they all looked lovely and in good spirits.
Here Come The Boys
Then the RAF boys turned out, all looking very dashing in their uniform to be followed by my very soon to be husband. He looked very handsome and suddenly it all started to feel very real.
Jodie did a brilliant job of making me, the mums and all the bridesmaids look gorgeous and Nikki’s calm attitude to making hair she’d never seen before into fabulous creations really did amaze me…I still don’t know how they managed to get 4 bridesmaids me, my Mum and my Auntie Sarah all ready in less than 4 hours… we were even half an hour early!
Georgie, the youngest bridesmaid led the others down the isle, she looked absolutely adorable. Followed by Jade and my cousin, Sarah and then my sister and oldest friend, Rach. Kissing you from Romeo & Juliet was being played beautifully on the piano, echoing around the barn… I took a breath, linked arms with my dad and stepped out into the smiling faces of all my friends and family…I cried..again.
Amy and Ben, vey much like ‘Old Blues Eyes’ Sinatra, did it their way. The most suprising choice could well be their decision to not actually have a reception. They celebrated tying the knot with a massive afternoon teaparty instead.
To be honest that sounds pretty good to me and totally reflects Amy and Bens laid back and chilled out personalities. If it feels good then do it… And this vintage inspired snowy Spring wedding certainly feels good…
More Tea Vicar?
Amy The Bride:a Ben and I had been to a few Venues before we found ‘The One’! We knew we wanted a church ceremony and we knew it didn’t need to be Westminster Abbey as we wanted a small wedding! We finally chose my families local church, just down the road in Hampton in Arden. It sat right on the corner of the town and had the most amazing Vicar, Duncan Ballard. We sat down for a cup of tea and a chat with him and we were completely sold! We also then discovered that when you follow a small walkway at the back of the church, you reach Hampton Manor. The place was stunning and surrounded by a beautiful garden and as we were hoping for a spring wedding, it was perfect!
We had decided on quite a vintage, shabby chic style for the wedding, mainly because I wanted a vintage twist on my ‘effortless, yet really lots of effort’ style that I attempt to rock every day. My hair I wanted to leave loose with lots of volume and bounce (thanks to the effort it took to grow, I felt I wanted to show off the length!) To keep the vintage style I then put a small french curl on the side to keep it out my face. My makeup was done by a lovely woman called Nicole Gallon that my Mom found online. I wanted subtle makeup and as natural as possible but with a vintage flick on the eye. Understated but striking. Nude tones for my nails and you can’t go wrong with Dior for the perfume.
Ben and I were quite clueless on wedding photography and film, so we started with Hampton Manor recommendations. We googled everyone on the list. We were beginning to worry until we got to Anna Clarke Photography and Simon Clarke Films. Anna’s photos on her website made me want to book her right away! I wanted to look as good as all the beautiful brides and I couldn’t get over how natural and real the whole wedding looked! I was sold!
Then through Anna’s website we realised Simon her husband did wedding film. I hadn’t considered a wedding film so being nosey I clicked on one of the videos… Well… I didn’t even know the people I was watching but I cried throughout! It was beautiful! We planned a meeting with both Anna and Simon. They made us feel so calm, relaxed and excited about our wedding and we couldn’t not book them! They were completely professional yet wonderfully warm and reassuring. On the day they were both amazing, the morning of a wedding can be a stressful occasion! But thanks to Anna and Simon I felt relaxed and calm. Through the entire day I felt like we were spending our special day with friends.
I had been anxious that we might have to be rushed and pulled away from our guests a lot to get the beautiful shots we had seen in their other samples and that the film might seem like acting, a bit robotic, but they were amazing, warm, caring, professional, friendly, fun and just mingled with our family and friends while capturing the most amazing images and footage I could have ever wished for. To know that I have these images and film for the rest of my life is just worth every penny. Every wedding is expensive and this has given us the most enduring value of all, because everything was captured and brought beautifully back to remembrance. There are so many things we would have missed without it.
I wore the most amazing Justin Alexander dress in antique gold. It was strapless and fitted all the way down to under the bum and then flared out with a subtle train at the back. The fabric was like nothing else and shimmered a beautiful silvery gold colour. I was covered in lace and embellishments. I have never felt so special and the dress really was my dream dress. My lovely hubby wore his own vintage store bought blue crushed velvet jacket and looked incredible on the day! Due to swirling snow on the day I also wore a full length cardigan my late grandma knitted for my mother. I so wished she could have been there but it helped me feel like she was.
I bought my wedding shoes 2 days before the wedding day (not the most organised of brides!) from a gorgeous small franchise called Aspire Style. They specialise in very retro and vintage styles and the second I saw them. . . they were coming home with me! All my jewellery was bought from a small jewellers in knowle at the end of the High Street called Glasstower Jewellery, lovely people and very lovely jewellery!
I didn’t have bridesmaids but I did have 2 of the cutest flower girls! They wore Monsoon dresses and shoes in Ivory with Ivory tights and a small cardie. As the men were in ivory waistcoats and I was (secretly) not wearing ivory or white, the flower girls tied in well with that!
As we had decide on a vintage, shabby chic style, I wasn’t too concerned with colour matching but more the style of everything! We had a lot of our own items that we decorated in the months leading up to the wedding. I love and own quite a few birdcages and my lovely mother, being the creative type, worked to decorate with jewels and fake flowers in pastel and antique tones. We used personal items more than anything to keep it special. We had jewellery and items such as hatpins and broaches from my grandma and nan and my Great Grandma who I remember well. It all added to making it such a personal and joyous day.
We had chosen to have an Afternoon Tea Party instead of a formal sit down wedding breakfast. We hired the most fabulous crockery from TheVintageHire.com through a wonderful lady called Lesley. We were in communication all the way up to the wedding day and she spent time to find out styles, colours and other props I was using. She brought with her a vintage typewriter for guests to leave messages and more birdcages. She also for the smallest price, came to my wedding venue to set up all her amazing crockery! Id requested them all to be mixed up with as many styles and colours as possible. My Mom then topped off the teapot centre pieces with a ball of the family jewels and broaches. This created such an amazing look but kept the intimate and relaxed family feel we wanted.
Big & Sparkly
As there was no set colours and not being a very flowery person, we decided to go big and sparkly!!! I found a producer online that would create me a broach vintage bouquet to go with all my grandma’s jewellery. It worked perfectly.
Perfect For Us
The ceremony for me was complete the second I saw my soon to be husband with tears in his eyes. We had only 45 people there, close family and friends but it was just perfect for us. It was intimate and relaxed and because of that, both my husband and I got to live the whole thing ‘in the moment’ instead of feeling overwhelmed like a whirlwind of activity and missing half of it. We chose hymns that both our parents had at their wedding and the ‘Lord of the Dance’ at the end for a bit of a bop to!
We didn’t have one! I know! Its absolutely unheard of! I think we were completely into our vintage ‘old school’ theme and decided that after our beautiful ceremony all we wanted was a relaxed afternoon tea with our loved ones and our hand picked music playing. We wanted the wedding to be about us and so within a few hours of being married my husband took my hand and we went off together to start our honeymoon! It was perfect for us and very romantic!
Hampton Manor provide afternoon tea’s although not for weddings! So we chose the menu from the tea party selection and added a few family favourites! A lovely hot and cold savoury selection followed by lots and lots and lots of cake! Our main wedding cake was created by my Mom’s good friend Maggie Beal. She is a whizz in the kitchen and made the most amazing gradient cake. I wanted the cake just right so its the one thing I was specific about.
I chose to do all the invites, table plans, order of services and paperwork myself. I did a lot of layouts and image manipulation at Uni and thought it would keep our personal touches… Well… Very personal. You can’t get more personal that do it yourself.
Plan & Communicate
I think the most important advice I could give to a future bride would be to plan and communicate. Keep control of things, plan, organise, make lists and plan some more… right through the planning stage but… when the wedding day comes, let it all go!
Don’t panic when the bridesmaid puts a pull in her dress or the grooms men are wearing the wrong size trousers. Don’t bat an eyelid at the inappropriate friend that turned up the the ceremony wearing cream when everyone can see the theme is ivory. Let it go if your future hubby hasn’t done his hair quite how you thought he would or if you both stumble through the vows. Your wedding day will never be exactly what you planned in your head. It will be filled with precious, imperfect yet wonderful moments. So relax, enjoy and take in every moment, you will see that every single person there is well wishing, wanted to make it the most special day for you. And regardless of if you catch your heel on the carpet and fall flat on your face… At the end of the day you will be married, and you’ll always have a good story to tell! Just enjoy it and it will be the perfect day, whether you planned it that way or not.
Whatever you are doing today and however you are feeling, I promise that this wedding will make you smile.
There are sunflowers for a start – possibly the happiest flowers of all time. And the biggest, most fluffiest rabbit that I have EVER seen. And lots of lovely yellow things – yellow socks, yellow ties, yellow wellington boots and a yellow VW Camper van.
Ali and Ian held their joy-filled ceremony and reception at Ian’s parents’ house. The effort that they all put in is phenomenal. Ali created her own jewellery bouquet from vintage brooches collected by her and her family. They also made the bunting, the too-cute yellow gingham stationery and the rustic signage.
The Father of the Groom spent months preparing the lawn (This must be a Dad thing – I know mine would be envious of those perfect green stripes) and Ian the Groom rigged up generators, power cables, microphones and speakers.
But the hard work was definitely worth it – this wedding looks like it was an absolute blast.
Personal & Warm
Ali the Bride: We got married in September 2012, in Ian’s parents’ garden in Nottinghamshire. We had a humanist wedding, as we wanted the freedom to have the ceremony where we wanted, with words that meant something to us. This was a great decision, as Ingrid, our celebrant, did a fantastic job, creating a service that was so personal and warm. It also meant we got to have two weddings, as we did the ‘legal bit’ a few weeks before at the local registry office, which was a great excuse for a slap-up meal, plus a second wedding dress!
Polka Dot Tulle
I always knew I wanted a shorter-length dress, so that narrowed my search quite quickly as they are relatively thin on the ground. I did try on a whole range with my mum and aunt, just to be sure, but they agreed with me that the 1950s-style dresses worked the best.
The assistants kept trying to put me in lace, and, much as I like it on other brides, it’s not me at all – I wanted clean, simple lines. I never thought I’d find a dress that met my ever-growing criteria (not strapless, no lace, with polka dot tulle…), and was about to settle on a perfectly nice dress, when one day I was working over near Manchester and finished early.
A few weeks earlier I’d found a place near Liverpool, that was the only UK stockist of Fancy New York dresses, but it’s so far from my house, I couldn’t justify a special trip. But when I found myself nearby, with a spare couple of hours, I thought it was worth a try. I rang Emma at Look Darling and she agreed to see me straight away. I dashed over, tried on the Madeleine dress – and that was it. It was just what I wanted. Emma was so helpful, and arranged for me to get polka dot tulle, that featured on another dress, added to the Madeleine. To top it off, it was less expensive than others I’d been looking at. So well worth the drive!
I got my petticoat made by David at Petticoat Perfection, who was absolutely lovely, and spent a great deal of time on the phone to me working out what I needed. I never realised there was such a science to petticoats – layers, tiers, weight of fabric, binding…but it arrived a week later and suited the dress perfectly.
The dress alterations were done by my friend Zoey at the brilliant Iris Bartholomew Couture. She is very used to dealing with stressed out brides, and did a fantastic job of calming me down at my final fitting two days before the wedding, as well as making my dress fit perfectly.
She also made my veil, from an extra piece of polka dot tulle I’d bought with the dress. Originally I’d wanted a proper birdcage, but they are normally made from very loose weave net – with my fabric, I wouldn’t have been able to see a thing. So she created something close to that, which allowed me to not trip over! She also made me an ivory 1960s-style shift dress for our civil wedding a few weeks before.
Although normally I’m a fan of big dangly earrings, I decided with the veil there was enough going on, and went for simple pearl earrings, my ‘something borrowed’ from my mum.
As soon as I saw a brooch bouquet, I knew that was what I wanted. I know 99% of brides won’t agree with me, but I’m really not that fussed about flowers, whereas I LOVE jewellery, so holding a bouquet of sparkly jewels really appealed to me! I started collecting brooches from charity shops, with a vague idea I’d make the bouquet up nearer the time.
Once friends and family found out I was collecting, they gave me pieces too, which was lovely. Even my dad got into it, and found me some costume jewellery that had belonged to his aunt, so it felt like every piece had a real story. In the end my mum and I made the bouquet 3 days before the wedding. She came to the rescue with a flower holder and lots of wire, and we spent the evening weaving it all together. I actually had tiny scratches all over my hands on the wedding day!
Whilst browsing for brooches, I came across a lovely 1950s set of white jewellery – a big brooch and matching clip-on earrings. I wore the brooch on my dress, and the earrings as shoe clips.
Shoes For Something Blue
I really struggled to find the right shoes. I wasn’t sure on the style, but definitely wanted them to be blue. I always thought I’d treat myself to some Manolos or Louboutins for my wedding, but as we were having it on a field, I knew I’d ruin them within 10 minutes, and really couldn’t justify it. In the end, I found two pairs and couldn’t choose between them, so I wore them both!
For the ceremony I wore pale blue suede shoes from Faith, with the earrings as shoe clips. In the evening I changed into some bright blue shoes from Rachel Simpson. They were in the sale for £25, which for her beautiful shoes is an absolute bargain.
A Neater Version
I went to Mac with my sister for a make-up lesson and treated myself to a load of new products, so on the day I did it myself, with Kate reminding me what we’d been taught.
I wanted my hair like a neater version of its usual wavy self, probably a nightmare brief for a hairdresser. But Tim from Catherine Carter did a great job. He had me in rollers overnight, which caused much amusement when we all went to my local pub the night before the wedding. It worked though, and on the day itself, the big 50s waves stayed in all evening.
My bridesmaid Andrea lent me her lovely sparkly pearl hairband she’d worn at her wedding, which I wore after I’d taken the veil off.
As I said, I’m not that into flowers generally, but I do love sunflowers for their yellow, cheery disposition. Luckily they were just about still in season. So we ordered 40 sunflowers from a local florist, and dished them out. My bridesmaids held three each simply tied together with ribbon, and the rest of the wedding party had a sunflower each as an oversized buttonhole. We put the last sunflowers in the wedding cars (our campervan, and Ian’s sister Helen’s campervan) and around the venue.
I liked the idea of having plants rather than cut flowers on the tables, so in theory they would last (not sure why I thought that, as pot plants only last about a week longer than cut ones in my house, but I live in hope!). Chilli plants are my favourite, so we potted them in Heinz tomato soup tins – I’m a big fan (my perfect hangover cure!) so had plenty of the tins around.
Bright Blue Skies & Sunshine Yellow
Of my four bridesmaids, two live outside the UK, so a joint shopping trip was never going to work. Plus they are all very different, and all have good taste, so I simply asked them to pick a bright blue dress of their choice. There were a couple of changes in the lead-up (one due to pregnancy, one due to an incident with hair dye!) and on the day, they all looked brilliant and complimented each other perfectly.
I got them all the Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes in different colours, which are so cute anyway, and having plastic shoes on a field seemed a sensible idea. George even wore hers again a few months later at her own wedding.
Ian asked the groomsmen to wear a suit of their own, and he gave them a yellow tie each and a pair of yellow socks. He didn’t want a formal look for them, so they all looked individual and themselves which was great. We also gave our dads the yellow accessories.
Ian always, always wanted a brown 3-piece checked suit with a blue thread. After searching the high street, he realised he was not going to find it, and went to a local tailor to enquire about getting one made. He was happy to make it, but only had Harris-type tweed which is far too heavy for the style Ian wanted. But, after a trip to a mill shop in Bradford, we finally had the fabric and a tailor. Ian’s best man Ali decided to go for it as well, so the tailor made up the two suits. After a bit of debate around the cut (they wanted slim-fit, not standard ‘farmer’ tweed fit!), they turned out spot on.
Ian also upped the ante and got a matching cap made out of the fabric, so he ended up with a 4-piece!
A Video Surprise
Anna Clarke was the first thing we booked. She has a way of using light and colour that is really distinctive. We met Anna and her husband Simon at our engagement shoot, and we all got on really well. They got photos of Ian smiling, which no-one before has ever managed to do, so I knew they had special talents! On the day itself they fitted in seamlessly, and we are so thrilled with the final pictures.
Simon is a videographer and he did us a ‘mini’ wedding film, which was a complete surprise and cheered us up immensely when we returned from our honeymoon feeling rather flat. I never thought I wanted a video, but I’m so glad we have it now.
We went for a cake-of-cheese, which was really an excuse to visit The Cheese Society in Lincoln several times for tasting sessions. We chose delicious local cheeses and it didn’t all get eaten on the day, meaning we had a ready supply in the freezer for several months.
Ian’s mum also made us 2 cakes as a surprise, one with tractor cake toppers as a nod to the farm setting, and one with bunny cake toppers, to represent our two pet rabbits who I reluctantly admitted couldn’t be there on the day. So in the end we had a cake table with 3 cakes!
Our catering was by Black Peppermint, and we can’t praise them enough. Food and booze are very high on my list of things that make life worth living, so we wanted a proper feast, and that’s exactly what we got.
Adam came up with the idea of a mini picnic as a starter, which perfectly suited the picnic-benches-in-a-tent feel of the day. We wanted everyone to dig in and share. We also ended up with a fourth course, a ‘pre-desert’ of lemon brulee, because we couldn’t chose between that and chocolate tart for pudding – so we opted for both!
The Perfect Soundtrack
Everything else about the day was relaxed, but we wanted something to be formal to signify the importance of the day. So we chose The Heyes Ensemble to play during the ceremony and drinks. Ian knows them through work, and it was lovely to have a classical touch to the day. Our friend Nick is a great musician, and he played and sang ‘Your Song’ for us during the ceremony, which was beautiful.
In the evening, we had a band called the Hijackers who we found through an agency. They were fab, and played just the right mix of songs. After they finished, DJ Ian took to his decks and it turned into a bit of a 90s club for an hour or so! Our friends loved it, our parents less so!
Ian installed the sound system in the tent. There is nothing worse than not being able to hear the speeches, so we wanted a system that could be used by everyone from my dad to the band. It worked a treat for us as we had all the different performers use the one system, including everyone doing their bit on iTunes into the small hours.
We chose ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ by Randy Newman, from Toy Story, because the lyrics are adorable, and it’s short, and because we like Buzz Lightyear!
As our venue was Ian’s parents’ garden, they did tons of work to make it look special in the months leading up to the wedding. The flowers in the garden were lovely, and Ian’s dad mowed the lawn twice a week all summer so it was perfectly striped on the day.
Our venue was two giant teepees from PapaKata, who were so professional and helpful. The teepees are beautiful structures, which look great in the day, and get even cosier at night if they are lit properly.
The music and lighting were really important to us. Ian has now set up a company doing music and lighting for weddings, because we realised it’s so hard to get what you want.
For the ceremony we had bright lighting so everyone could see, and then as dusk fell, put on the fairy lights we’d strung up everywhere. We installed pin spots in the roof structure to light up the tables – we wanted a cosy ambience for the meal, but you still need to see your food.
For the evening, we lit up a mirrorball which filled the tent with twinkles, and changed the atmosphere using colour washes of blue and purple. To give it a real edge, we hung scanner lights to get the party going.
Outside, Ian installed festoon lighting, which made the site feel like a proper festival. Helen and our friend Kati made what seemed like miles and miles of bunting, which we used inside and out. It really gave the whole venue a ‘decorated’ feel and we are eternally grateful to them for doing such a mind-numbing job, which neither of us would have got around to.
Helen also made us yellow gingham napkins for all the guests, and a table cloth for the cake table, which added to the picnic theme. What a star.
We made the wedding stationary ourselves, based around the yellow gingham. Ian drew a cute annotated map for the invitations, and I did matching menu cards and orders of service. They were printed up by Lefaprint, who turned them around in 48 hours which was excellent, and very necessary as like a lot of things, we left it to the last minute!
There Is No ‘Should’
During the planning, we got sick of people saying ‘should’ – you should have this, you shouldn’t do that – so the only advice we can offer: there is no ‘should’. Do what you want, because no-one else will notice at the end of the day apart from you two. They will all have a good time regardless.
As we had the wedding at home, we had to deal with all the boring stuff that a venue would normally takes care of – loos, generators, power lines – but it was worth it to get the sort of day we wanted. We were also lucky that all our wedding party and partners turned up the day before to help out with all the last minute stuff, which was so kind, and we couldn’t have done it without them.
When we decided to create an on-line boutique we really didn’t know what to expect. As with anything you’ve never done before, it’s a steep learning curve complete with daily challenges and constant surprises.
We wouldn’t have it any other way though, there is never a dull (or even vaguely quiet) day at RMW HQ. “Boredom” doesn’t feature in our vocabulary.
Launching Rock My Boutique was a huge project for us, we hosted our biggest industry event to date and spent a significant amount of time scheming, dreaming and designing our first campaign “Big City Love“.
Those of you that have already seen AW12 will know it was very urban, quite…… edgy.
And so for Spring/Summer (let’s face it – we’ve kind of um…by-passed Spring already (!)) we decided to do something very different. Actually, we decided to create what might be considered the polar opposite of our disused-nightclub based Autumn/Winter shoot complete with a zillion spray-painted tins and break dancers….
Our new campaign is called “Coco” after one of Lolly and I’s favourite icons of all time…..Coco Chanel.
Think super super polished. Think sophisticated and clean and timeless. Think mercuried glass, sequins, feathers and an abundance of beautiful blooms. Think Provence in July with a generous dose of Parisian chic thrown in for good measure.
Think pretty. Really REALLY pretty.
We love the outcome of our latest adventure. And we’ve got everything crossed that you gorgeous lot will feel the same way.
The full shoot will be appearing first thing in the morning along with details of our new product range and the official collection shop launch.
For now we’ll leave you with our campaign film by the very talented Simon Clarke – he did such an awesome job of the last one how could we ask anyone else?
Plus frankly, he might be the only person on earth who could put up with my Miss bossy-boots director ways and verging-on-the- ridiculous requests.
With special thanks to a whole host of unbelievably creative Love Lust List suppliers who made this whole thing possible, you can find links to their websites in the credits below.