Black Tie

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Mirror Table Plan, Garden Games and Floral Arch for Black Tie Marquee Wedding

Classic style never goes out of fashion, and this wedding is proof that timeless will always be on trend. The bridal party look picture perfect in their black tie and blush bridesmaids dresses, whilst the bride is a knockout in her off-the-shoulder St Patrick dress. Ooh, that lace! Hampshire Collegiate School – the former home of Florence Nightengale, no less – provides a stunning backdrop to the celebrations, whilst clever calligraphy signs – including a mirror table plan, kraft label place settings and wooden sign – look great and get guests into place. Multitasking at its prettiest! This is the sort of day that will never date. Pinning fingers at the ready…

Nautical Wedding on SS Nomadic Boat in Belfast with Black Tie Dress Code and Bride in Jesus Peiro, shot by Sarah Gray Photography Pin Image

Nautical Wedding on SS Nomadic Boat in Belfast with Black Tie Dress Code

Join us on board the SS Nomadic for a multi-venue nautical wedding that takes us on a wonderful tour of Belfast, before transporting us to sea aboard the boat that tendered the Titanic. Ruth & Alan’s day starts with an intimate church wedding, followed by lunch in the trendy back streets of the city before a big party on the last remaining White Star Line vessel. A vintage Routemaster bus, black tie dress code and retro close harmony trio add to the glamour of this gorgeous day, which includes a bride in pretty Jesus Peiro and bridesmaids in mint green Maids to Measure.

Spring Equinox at Thorpe Manor Wedding Venue by Revival Rooms | Daughters of Simone Bridal Gown from Coco & Kate Boutique | Anneli Marinovich Photography Pin Image

Spring Equinox at Thorpe Manor by Revival Rooms

Valentines Day has just passed but we’re still feeling the love and absolutely smitten with this incredible Spring Equinox inspiration at Thorpe Manor by Sian from Revival Rooms. The floral arrangements have completely taken our breath away, and as for the mosaic bath and edible flower wedding cake, that’s every girl’s dream ‘me time’ right there isn’t it… apart from perusing Rock My Wedding of course!

Best Bridesmaid Dresses for a Black Tie Wedding Pin Image

The Six Best Bridesmaid Dresses for a Black Tie Wedding

Could there be anything more glamorous than a black tie wedding? The cocktail dresses! The sequins! The romance! The fizz, pop and sparkle! If you’ve opted for a black tie wedding then congratulations: your nuptials are bound to be stylish and timeless. And if you’re on the hunt for the perfect frock for your best girls then you’re in luck, because I’ve rounded up the six best bridesmaid dresses for a glamorous and glitzy affair.

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Charlotte & Paddy

Elegant black tie weddings are fast becoming one of our favourite looks on RMW at the moment. First adopted by our American friends and finding their way over the Atlantic ocean to grace our beautiful wedding features too.

The groomsmen opt for dapper tuxedos and the bridal party gowns are always absolutely jaw dropping. This is certainly true of bride Charlotte in her lace Badgley Mischka wedding dress with detachable train. Seriously, wow!

Charlotte and Paddy compliment their attire with a timeless grey, white, greenery and gold colour scheme, and together with Mood Events and Floralearth they style the marquee at Tullyveery House in N. Ireland with epic results. Think greenery table runners, hanging installations and romantic taper candles.

Now get those pinning fingers ready because The Lou’s have captured it all to perfection.

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Lina & Manuel

Even in sunny spain you can’t guarantee the weather, and although Lina & Manuel had rainfall during their ceremony, it didn’t matter one bit as they were protected by the gorgeous glasshouse at Cortal Gran. All you focus on are the gorgeous decor and florals planned and styled by La Puta Suegra including the epic chandelier altar, and immense confetti table as you approach the aisle. Not to mention those blush blooms.

The next thing that’ll take your breath away is the fashion. Lets just say Lina’s Rosa Clara dress is undoubtably a thing of beauty with its full tulle skirt and lace bodice, and as for her bridesmaids gowns, well, let me tell you, even though they are all in different styles I have never seen a more pulled together bridal party. Of course it helps they are all in our favourite hue too.

Sara Lobla is a genius behind the lens, and has worked her magic again with this super luxe, romantic wedding. Get ready to fall in love.

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Turkish Delight… Part 1

I’m a little bit in love with this wedding, classic and contemporary all at the same time with a gorgeous bride wearing a stunning gown… not to mention that veil, in the most stylish of city venues. A wedding after my own heart 🙂

Mehmet and Clare were married in London in August, at Andaz Liverpool Street, in a city chic reception with Turkish touches to mark family ties. The absolutely stunning photography is by David Jenkins and some of the photo-journalistic shots literally took my breath away. Sigh.

The London Look

I wanted the loose chignon look – classy, stylish but not ‘over done’ My friend and stylist, Kevin Fortune did my, and my mum’s, hair and make-up on the day. He wanted people to say to me ‘you look well’ rather than ‘your make-up looks great’.

He certainly succeeded. In the trial he suggested a very light fake tan, Jinny lashes (so I don’t have to worry about crying) and a small clip-on weave to bulk up the chignon. Edward, at Gina Conway Wimbledon, got my hair ‘wedding ready’ in the months running up to the wedding and kindly dyed the weave to match my hair colour.

The dress was by Lusan Mandongus, from Teokath Wimbledon. It was the third dress I put on and it went ‘clunk’. I thought ‘that can’t be it, that was far too easy’.

I tried on a few more but kept thinking about it so tried it back on and decided that was the one.

I didn’t wear any jewellery apart from a beautiful veil from Teokath and my Grans’ wedding bands. Being a half Turkish wedding I was given lots of beautiful gold jewellery later in the evening. I put as much on as much as possible for the party! Mehmet wanted me to wear my glasses for the wedding as he loves me in them. I put them on for him after the ceremony at dinner – and actually they looked quite cool.

Scarlet Fever

I chose Christian Louboutins glitter heels for the day (but changed to silver/grey havaianas for dancing!)

Beautiful Bouquets

We really put ourselves in the capable hands of RebelRebel.

For the Bouquets we had pale pink O’Hara roses, creamy vitality roses and white alabaster roses
and for the button holes, Vitality garden roses. The tables had a collection of cut glass vases with O’hara roses, alabaster roses, yellow dill, alchemilla mollis

Cocktail fabulous

Each bridesmaids was asked to find a black cocktail dress that they felt fabulous to a budget of £100 – when they found the dress that’s what I bought them. It was more important to me that they felt great than matched.

I bought the flower girls fun yet funky/stylish dresses from Debenhams. I didn’t really have a colour scheme as such. I just thought white, black, pink (flowers) and sliver would all work together but not in an ‘over done’ way.

Just gorgeous yes?

Wait until you see the way Part 2 has been captured… w-o-w.

Yours Truly,


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Vintage by the Lake… Part 1

We don’t feature many overseas weddings on Rock My Wedding as we are always concious that we want you to be getting the very best UK inspiration. However occasionally one of our favourite photographers will submit one and we just have to share – this stunning affair by a lake in Canada was no exception – all the images are by Brett and Kristy Harkness and blew me away.

Please take note also (just for me!) of the amazing Monique L’huillier gown… hot on the heels of the Vera Wang we showed a while back, I’m more than a little excited to see Monique on a real bride on the blog too! 😀

Kerri Hetherington & Andy got married July 17, 2010 at her parent’s home at Buffalo Pound Lake, 30 minutes outside of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. They had the ceremony outside by the water and the reception and dance under a tent.

Magnificent Monique

I bought my dress at Dina Alonzi Bridal in Toronto, the designer is Monique L’huillier. It is all lace which I knew I wanted and I also knew I wanted a sash.

I wanted something with a vintage look. When I tried it on with the sash, my best friend, sister-in-law, and I all knew it was definitely what I was looking for. I had the dresses narrowed down to about 4 for when my mom came to Toronto. It was the last one I tried on for her and we both looked at each other and knew it was the one.

I had a sash and a hairpiece both by the same designer, Maria Elena from Miami, Florida. I bought them both at the Dina Alonzi store. I loved them both! They both went with the vintage look I was going for.

Vintage Waves

For my hair I wanted something simple but classic such as a low bun with a fingerwave to keep it vintage. I also wanted to show off my hairpiece which a little difficult to work with for my hair dresser as itwas so heavy and stiff. My hairdresser, Erinn Babich, was my very good friend from grade school who is also a stylist.

She also did my make-up and did the perfect job for someone who doesn’t like to wear make-up. She came out to the lakehouse and did our hair and make-up there.

Va Va Voom Accessories

My shoes were a low heel, 2.5 inches I think, ivory satin open toe with a jewel on the toe. Exactly what I was looking for. I bought them at Celebration Shoes in Toronto.

I bought the bridesmaids necklaces from a jeweler I found on Etsy.com – the vintage brooches were bought seperately and she made them into necklaces along with their pearl drop earrings.

Lilac Lovely

The bridesmaids wore the Island Sheath dress by Siri in Violet Shantung with custom extra large sashes. My colour scheme was lavender, plum, and cream, and we wanted things to tie into the vintage theme.

Men In Black

The Groomsmen wore black suits of their choice with Calvin Klein skinny black ties. The 2 ring bearers also wore black suits with black ties from Sears.

Andy wore a black suit from D&G with a skinny black tie. He had full rein on his outfit – it was totally his style and taste and was exactly what I would have pictured him in.

How much do the colours zing in these shots?! – I love colour and I think Brett and Kristy capture it amazingly – wait until you see the full on lilac explosion, amazing couple shots and just beautifully pretty decor tomorrow. And if you’re sitting here wishing you could have this Monique gown but it’s completely out of your budget, why not look at a similar lace style and add your own sash with brooch – completely do-able.

Yours Truly,


Brett Harkness Photography is a Rock My Wedding Sponsor, however all real wedding submissions are chosen on individual merit and no part of this wedding has been sponsored.

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Love and Literature… Part 1

This is a perfectly fitting wedding to be celebrating our birthday week with… Charlotte and I have a couple of cheesy phrases we like to come back to in times of need, and erm, well, really when we don’t need them at all but it’s just funny and I think they are particularly true today. ‘Innovate, don’t imitate’ (as we like to say) and your wedding will be what you truly want and completely reflective of you as a couple.

This wedding has it all for me, DIY a plenty, a nothing short of brilliant groom totally rocking a bow tie, (who has also been good enough to include his thoughts on their wedding planning) and one of the most obviously ‘all-about-them’ themes running through this wedding that I have ever clapped eyes on.

It’s a treat. Big thanks go to Lily and Frank Photography for allowing us to share the images.

About Us

Dunstan and I (Kelli) got married 24 July 2010 in Cambridge, England. The wedding ceremony was held at Emmanuel United Reformed Church, which we attended while studying there. We held the reception and dinner at King’s College Cambridge, where I was a student (Dunstan was at St. John’s and we got some lovely pre-wedding photos in the grounds of his college).

DIY Diva

I did my own makeup, most of which came from MAC. I went in for a consultation and bought some new stuff, so it wasn’t cheap, but it does last and it’s a great feeling to put on my ‘wedding’ makeup just to go to work. Also, there’s a level of sanity that comes when you do your own makeup – you know what you want to look like and you have control on the day. There are great tutorials for bridal makeup on YouTube. Go have a look, see what you like, then buy some cheap makeup and play around. If you find something you really like, go buy the nice stuff.

My hair – I found a picture of a vintage hairstyle that I took into the salon with me on the day. I didn’t have the time or the patience for a pre-wedding hair appointment. I was the first bridal hair up Zoe Psyllou (at Inspirations by Dipa, Mill Road, Cambridge) had done and she was fantastic, very flexible and happy to try something new. It was so nice to work with someone who was flexible (and also who didn’t cost a fortune!). I paid for my bridesmaids hair appointments so we were all there together on the morning. It was really fun.

Dunstan: Hair up is more practical for dancing. A lot of pins had to come out afterwards!

I made my headband myself out of a belt buckle and pearl beads sewn onto satin ribbon. It was inspired by the very fine work of Jennifer Behr. I love her pieces, but couldn’t afford it on our budget. I got my bandeau birdcage veil from the excellent Pishposhes, an etsy-seller (Maura) based in Chicago.

One Dress and One Father of the Bride

My dad watched Father of the Bride shortly after we got engaged and called me at the end saying he wanted me to be happy and so he bought my dress for me. It was from Pronovias and the bolero jacket was made by a seamstress in Michigan, where we were living for the year before our wedding.

I didn’t want a strapless dress because they pull so tight under the arms that by the end of the night, women tend to look like they’re being squeezed out of them. After trying a few of my ‘favourite’ dresses (that weren’t terribly flattering as it turned out) the woman at Pronovias in London suggested I try something completely different from what I said I wanted. I had an open mind and the moment I saw myself in the mirror I knew it was the right dress even though it didn’t have any of the features I thought I wanted –it was strapless, and had no lace, but it looked great on me and still had the vintage/architectural feel I liked.

It also was cut in such a way that I never had that squeezing problem and I’m not a small girl. Basically, it was a matter of trusting my own instincts and those of the people who make this their business. I also didn’t agree to take the dress that day; it was and is important that I have time to consider the options.

Dunstan: I had no part in the buying of the dress – I knew Kelli would have her own ideas. I didn’t see it until she came down the aisle and it was lovely! It was not the only vintage-inspired element of the wedding; I even proposed to her in an art-deco restaurant in Glasgow.

Beg, Borrowed or Vintage

My engagement ring was all my husband’s doing – he picked it out without any help from me (although he did consult with my mum and she tried to get me to help her, to no avail). It’s perfect. Our wedding bands were from Juhas & Sullivan, a local jeweller in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

My other jewelry/accessories were all inherited or handmade…

I borrowed earrings from my mum. My necklace was a graduation gift from my ‘adopted’ mother – the woman who welcomed me into her family as a first year student at Uni, living 2000 miles away from home. My purse belonged to my grandmother and she gave it to me years ago to keep for my wedding.

Teal Treats

Shoes were the hardest thing to find because I had a specific colour in mind and they also had to be comfortable – there was no way I was going to spend my wedding day walking around barefoot because my feet hurt (I did finally take them off during the last 15 minutes of dancing because it was easier to move and jump around without them on – I also ended up tying layers of my dress around my waist so I could keep dancing!) I ended up with this beautiful pair from Frye that were the right colour, comfortable and again had a vintage feel to them. I tried to make sure I bought things that weren’t so ‘weddingy’ that I couldn’t repurpose them. I now wear these all the time.

Dunstan: The shoes were the colour Americans call ‘teal’, i.e. dark blue-green. This matched the cloth flowers worn by the groomsmen, as well as one of the colours on the save-the-date cards, invitations, wedding ceremony programmes and dinner seating chart. The other colours were cream and dark red, plus some yellow here and there.

Chic and Simple

I’ve been a bridesmaid enough times to not wish even the slightest discomfort on my closest friends so I asked them all to choose a black, knee-length dress of their choice for the wedding. We also wanted the groomsmen to be comfortable so we also told them to wear a black suit and a white shirt. Partly this was also to keep costs down because people were travelling from the US or just finishing uni.

As a gift to my bridesmaids, I gave them all matching fascinators and clutch bags (we were all travelling abroad after the wedding and wouldn’t get to enjoy bouquets so I didn’t want them to go to waste). The guys all got REAL silk bowties (and an impromptu lesson in tying them!).

Dunstan: Impromptu is right. We had to teach ourselves from an online guide. The photographer got a great series of pictures of this!

Rat Pack Charm

My husband is tall and very slim so it’s always difficult to find a suit that fits him correctly, especially in the rental and off-the-rack market. It was important to me that he felt good, so after some research (recommended by the blog East Side Bride) we ordered a custom-made suit for him from a wonderful company called Indochino. They have fantastic videos to show you exactly how to measure for your suit and then you send in the details online and get the suit about 5 weeks later. They offer a great guarantee – including reimbursement if you have to get it tailored, or an easy return policy. We didn’t need any of that, though, because the suit (and custom shirt) fit beautifully. It was slightly more costly than a rental but about the price of a normal suit and now he can wear it a lot! He also got to customize it with a racy red lining!

Dunstan: The suit fit perfectly and was very comfortable. I also liked being able to leave the bow tie undone after dinner for dancing – it’s the sleazy Rat Pack look!

Loving the male input here – thanks Dunstan!

Just wait for part 2, so much personality and history packed in.

Yours Truly,