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Everything We Imagined.

Everything we imagined

Sarah is fit. Fact.

This whole wedding is fit. It encapsulates modern elegance with perfection but also has a hint of vintage charm. Yes I know I’ve just totally contradicted myself with the whole modern vintage line but that’s what it is and it’s a wedding so it can contradict itself as much as it wants.

Prepare to swoon over Sarah’s hair. Simple but so so so gorgeous with curls that stayed in right until the very end of the night.

And by the way, the Jimmy Choos are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Prepare to die.

Everything we imagined

Sarah The Bride: We tried to make our wedding as relaxed as possible so it was important to have a venue that reflected this. We absolutely fell in love with Nonsuch Mansion because it’s such a striking venue and the team there are so relaxed and accommodating. We were given so much flexibility to have the day that we wanted and we knew from the moment that we met Lucy, our fabulous Wedding Coordinator at Nonsuch that we couldn’t have been in better hands! Having heard horror stories from friends and family about rigid and inflexible rules in their wedding venues, we will be forever grateful to Nonsuch for being the polar opposite.

Everything we imagined

A Dress With Pockets

My dress was the Sweetpea dress from Ivy & Aster which I bought from the very lovely Helena and Nicole at Frou Frou Bridal in Tumbridge Wells. They were completely fantastic and I can’t even begin to recommend them or their beautiful shop highly enough. They really know how to make the whole experience feel so unique and important and I loved trying on all of their beautiful gowns. I was also so excited that they had such an amazing range of smaller US based dress designers.

I absolutely fell in love with my dress the moment that I tried it on, I loved the swiss dot fabric, the fact that it was so comfortable to wear and also the pockets – I adored the pockets! I had them filled with different lip glosses on the day as well as my something borrowed which was a pendant from my Mum’s favourite necklace. I also had two belts for the dress, a day belt which was a very sheer ribbon and also an evening belt which was covered in tiny crystals and gave the dress some extra sparkle for the dance floor.

Everything we imagined

A Special Feather

I’m not a good jewellery person in that I love looking at jewellery and buying it but I’m terrible at actually wearing it. The only jewellery that I’ve ever stuck with wearing day in day out is a small gold feather Alex Monroe necklace that Sean bought me years ago as a valentine’s gift and it’s so precious to me. For the wedding I really wanted to keep to something that I was comfortable with and so bought the bigger version of the necklace along with the matching earrings. I was initially going to buy them in silver just because I thought it might look more bridal but in the end decided that I wanted the gold whether it was bridal or not!

I have a total obsessive shoe crush on Jimmy Choos. They were at the absolute top of my wedding wish list and my first very exciting wedding related purchase. I love a good peep toe and a sky high heel, although I did end up having to do a quick switch in the evening when I lost all feeling in my feet. I’m all for beautiful shoes but I wasn’t quite ready to sacrifice my toes.

Everything we imagined

Award Winning Make-Up

Out of sheer luck, I had booked my hair and makeup artist, Kaz Fernando, just before she won the National Wedding Hair and Makeup Artist of the Year award and her bookings went through the roof! She was just fantastic from start to finish and made the whole experience really easy for me as I knew that and if you can book her then you really should!!

Everything we imagined

Indecisive Bride

Pippa Craigen at The Claygate Flower House looked after all of our flower displays and did such an amazing job for us even though I know I was a total nightmare client because I couldn’t make up my mind on anything! The brilliant Amelia from Vintage Floral Teas then provided all of the tea cups and roses for the tables and we tied our guests’ place cards to these with vintage luggage tags to bring everything together.

Everything we imagined

Melting away

The bridesmaids dresses came from Two Birds and were such a great find as my sister was six months pregnant and so needed something that she would be comfortable in but that would also look beautiful on my other gorgeous (but not pregnant!) bridesmaid. Both of the girls were really happy in the dresses and being able to change the straps around meant that they could choose the way in which they wanted to wear it. I gave both girls a four leaf clover necklace from Alex Monroe as a thank you gift and was so excited to see them both wearing these weeks later!

The boys looked brilliant in their hired navy suits with ties that loosely matched the girls’ dresses. They were also wearing their thank you gifts which were Paul Smith socks and cufflinks. Sean wore a navy Paul Smith suit and looked incredibly handsome and relaxed even though I was running much later than I should have been – it’s a bride’s prerogative and he’s already used to me being late for everything! I was so nervous walking down the aisle and was just focussed on getting to Sean because I knew that the minute I saw him all my nerves would completely melt away and I wasn’t wrong.

Everything we imagined

Utterly Fabulous

We found Emma Coleman of Blink Photography through a blog site of one of her previous clients and thought that her photographs were just stunningly beautiful. To be honest, we didn’t even look at any other photographers and booked her straight away as we loved her relaxed style of photography that was full of natural light. She was utterly fabulous on the day and just brilliant with all of our guests. I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

Everything we imagined


Our cake was made by Kate Poulter at Patacake Patacake and was inspired by a cake I’d seen in America which was just really fresh, pretty and simple. We had three layers of sponge inside – vanilla sponge and buttercream with morello cherry jam, chocolate sponge with ganache and lemon sponge with lemon curd filling. After the wedding we were incredibly disappointed as we realised that neither of us had actually eaten any of the cake, but our venue swooped in and saved the day by keeping some aside for us. We ended up eating some huge slices of cake a few days afterwards and whilst it certainly wasn’t glamorous, it was delicious!

I’m a bit of a sucker for a cute wedding favour and luckily for me my sister is ridiculously good at baking and she had a plan together from day dot, but we also wanted something for the boys and the less sweet toothed amongst our guests. In the end, we decided to have a choice of either handmade biscuits or bottles of beer from a local brewery and hung thank you luggage tags around each of them with the date of our wedding printed on the reverse.

Everything we imagined

Life And Soul

In the evening we had a live band, the incredible Life & Soul and also the most fantastic photo booth run by The Mighty Booth. It was really important to us that the evening was really relaxed and fun and that everybody was dancing away and our venue really helped us with this by arranging mini fish and chips and bacon rolls to be served to guests as they moved around rather than having the traditional static evening buffet. We also had a choice of cocktails ready which definitely helped to get the evening party started!

Our fist dance was to Charlene Soraia’s gorgeous version of Wherever You Will Go by The Calling. Sean bought me the original version of this song when we were both 17 and so it meant so much to have it played on our wedding day.

Everything we imagined

The Happiest Day Of My Life

It was important for us to include a real personal touch with our décor and to help achieve this we had Adam at RSVP Candy create a poster that detailed our lives together so far. This poster was placed in the entrance hall to allow our guests to read our story before the wedding and we were so pleased with everybody’s reactions that we had Adam create our thank you cards too! We handmade all of our wedding day stationery (printed in typewriter font on recycled paper) and we included a very light-hearted quiz on the back of our menu cards which not only gave everyone something to do, but also helped to embarrass us horribly during Sean’s speech as he read out the answers which ranged from toilet museums to the teenage mutant ninja turtles.

Our wedding was special because we had so many friends and family go above and beyond in order to share our day with us. I think it served as a huge reminder that whilst sometimes wedding planning can feel a little pressured and you worry about keeping everybody happy, ultimately everybody is there because they love you and want you to have the most fantastic day which is exactly what we did!

My advice would be not to panic if you’re not super organised or uber creative. I know there suddenly seems a lot of pressure to be both of the above things but let me assure you that Sean and I are definitely neither and we still managed to do a lot on our own and have a wedding day that was everything we imagined. Yes, I forgot my dressing gown on the day and no, we didn’t take on any small building projects, but it was without doubt the happiest day of my life.

Everything we imagined

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue: Nonsuch Mansion
Boutique: Frou Frou Bridal
Flowers: Claygate Flowers
Hair and Make-Up: Kaz Fernando
Groom: Paul Smith
Maids: Two Birds
Photographer: Blink Photography
Cake: Patacake Patacake
Band: Life and Soul
Photo Booth: The Mighty Booth

Swiss dot fabric?! A dress that looks like its covered in the softest flakes of snow?! Get me some of that fabric right now.

I have spent the entire morning of putting this wedding together confessing my undying adoration for all of the beautiful elements of this day (I think Adam and Charlotte think I have a slight problem). I’m somewhat obsessed with it.

From said amazing dress – which by the way has pockets. I am a massive advocate of dresses with pockets. I will go out of my way to find this dress in a store even if the pocketless dress fits better. I just love a pocket.

The necklace. The story behind the necklace. The fact that Sarah now owns two versions of it. It sets of the dress perfectly. It needs nothing more. My obsession with this wedding has lead to me purchasing my very own version of it! (oops).

I’m also a big fan of the no fuss table decor. Sometimes less is more. The simple table number, the single focal point of one main centerpiece and the pretty cups. I fear sometimes people want to throw a million things at their tables to make them interesting but a beautifully arranged floral piece is sometimes all you need.

I’m off to see if posty has delivered my new necklace yet.


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The Time Is Now.

London baby!

Yes, today we are in the capital city and we are venturing south of the river. Carla and Neil married at the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich.

Loads of really cool D.I.Y for you folks today. Carla made all of the bouquets from vintage brooches and buttons and the place settings that doubled as favours are a music lovers dream. I also love the idea of having video cameras set up on each table to record guest messages as an alternative to a guest book.

Photography today is by Blink Photography.

On And Off

We’d been back together for just 18 months when Neil proposed by whisking me off to Rome for a surprise weekend away (we’ve known each other since we were 11 having gone to school together and had been an ‘on and off’ couple since first getting together aged 19).

Having both lived in London for the last ten years we knew we wanted to get married here. We chose the Trafalgar Tavern as it is a stunning building and it could fit our guest list of 150 people. We chose to get married on a Friday so that we would be able to spend the rest of the weekend with our guests, many of which had travelled a long way to be with us. The following day we invited everyone that could make it to join us again for lunch and drinks at the Bar Du Musee, also in Greenwich.

Fur Coat No Knickers

My dress was original, late 1950s found at the adorable Fur Coat No Knickers. I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted, other than I wanted it to be short. Once I started to think about it and did some research, I had my heart set on an original 50s dress. I tend to go for 50s style anyway and when my bridesmaid suggested we go to FCNK I was worried that I would fall in love with these original dresses and not be able to fit in them. Some of the people I contacted (vintage dealers and online boutiques) had suggested that at a size 12-14 it would be very difficult to find an original 50s dress to fit me. I needn’t have worried though, Emma and Laura at FCNK are like amazing, wedding-frock elves. They immediately told me that what I had been told was nonsense and that they found original dresses for women of all sizes.

I knew the moment I tried it on it that it was “a winner” – a lace, illusion bodice with a silk chiffon skirt, in a champagne colour. Over the course of several champagne-fuelled fittings, Emma completely re-worked the dress by changing the neck and then added a sash, boning and made a petticoat. They featured us on their blog, which was really lovely. FCNK isn’t just for those who love vintage; it’s for anyone who wants a wedding dress that is totally individual. The whole experience was wonderful.

Birdcage And Bow

I knew that I didn’t want a long veil and the FCNK girls suggested a birdcage with a large bow to match the sash on the dress. Jewellery-wise, I wore my grandmothers’ eternity ring and a vintage bracelet and earrings that I picked up from FCNK at one of my last fittings. These were gold toned and pearl to go with my bouquet.

Our wedding rings were bought from the same jeweller that Neil got my engagement ring from, Berganza in Hatton Garden in London. My engagement ring is a 1950s, American Solitaire diamond ring. It was important to us that our wedding rings were of the same era so we went back to the same jeweller and over a period of several months both managed to find 1950s weddings rings.

Shoes To Choose

Erm. I had three pairs of shoes! I just knew if I had a pair of massive heels on all day I would have ended up taking them off! I wore a pair of floral pumps on the way to the venue (we both decided to walk from the apartments we’d rented around the corner) and through dinner. These were by accident though, I just saw them in my bag on the morning of the wedding and thought they were perfect.

For the ceremony and photos I wore a pair of huge Carvella heels that I found in TKMaxx. It was fate. When I took them to my next dress fitting, we couldn’t believe it as they were an exact match. Emma at FCNK removed the bows for me as we thought it might be a bit too ‘bow’ heavy and instead I added a metallic flower (old earrings from Greenwich market) to jazz them up a bit.

I also took along a smaller pair of nude heels from Next so that I could dance around like a loon later on without breaking my neck!

I Know What Suits Me

I was insistent that I was going to do my own hair and make-up for a long time. I saw it as an unnecessary expense and kept banging on about how I would know what suits me blagh blagh, but after I spoke to a friend who had done just that, she advised me to get a professional in!

I didn’t want a ‘vintage’ hairstyle or make-up, just something that looked natural and soft and well, like me! I emailed Kat at Rock and Roll Bride to ask for recommendations and she said that I should contact Elbie van Eeden. I had seen a wedding featured on RNRB that Elbie had done and I loved the look. I went for a trial and she just ‘got it’ straightaway. She just took a look at my dress and veil and then started styling. She created a fake bob with a sweeping fringe – I loved it!

Elbie also did the Mums and all of the bridesmaids’ make-up as well as mine. She was brilliant and I highly recommend her, she’s ACE!

Floral Alternatives

We didn’t have any flowers as we both felt that whilst flowers are lovely, they wouldn’t last and so weren’t for us. Instead we looked into alternatives and what we could use that would be personal to us.
My Bouquet

I made my own bouquet out of a mixture of new and vintage jewellery. I’d seen a tutorial online on how to make a brooch bouquet so I set to work quite early gathering pieces that I wanted to include.

I found items on eBay, at Greenwich market, Haynes Lane junk market (in Crystal Palace) and of course, some bits and bobs from friends and family all went into making it. In one bag of broken jewellery I had bought from eBay, there was a small photo in a frame of what looked like a Victorian child. I really wanted to use it but it felt odd to remove the photo so I added some aged card over the top of the photo and then stamped on our wedding date and our initials.

The Bridesmaids

I started off thinking that I would make a jewellery bouquet for them too but when it came to it, the idea of sourcing more jewellery (it took ages to find things that would ‘go’) and then putting them together was a bit daunting. Instead, we opted for coloured buttons, which were a bit easier to find and assemble. To make them a bit more individual, I added a butterfly to each one. It was only by fluke but when I was sourcing brooches for my own bouquet, amazingly I got three butterflies the same.

I made one in green, one in purple and one in blue. It wasn’t designed to go with any particular colour scheme or theme, more just to inject a bit of colour into their outfits. I had such fantastic feedback about how unique the bouquets were that I’m now making and selling bespoke ones to other brides in my Etsy shop!

Star Wars Buttonholes

Again, we didn’t want flowers for the buttonholes and wanted to come up with something completely unique to us that we could keep, and that was a bit quirky and fun. As it was ‘buttonholes for the boys’, Neil decided to introduce his love of Star Wars into the proceedings.

Over a couple of bottles of wine we figured out how we’d do it and I bought some satin leaves from an online craft store and some small ivory flowers and pearls. We knocked them up in an evening using my trusty glue gun and some satin ribbon. We made one for Neil (Darth Vader) and then one for each of the best men (Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett), ushers (Storm Troopers), and both the dads (Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda).

Blue, Black And Purple

We had two best men, two ushers and three bridesmaids. We decided that we wanted all of the men to be in the same suit and found a great indigo-coloured, three-piece suit in MS. We also bought blue, black and purple floral ties and then asked everyone to wear brown shoes and a white shirt to complete the look.

Bridesmaid dresses were a real quandary for us, as I didn’t want to go down the traditional route. I had visions of putting them in stunning 1940s style matching dresses but when we walked into House of Fraser on our first ‘group’ shopping trip, we found a cream, lace shift dress. It was perfect and something that went with my dress as well as being something that the girls could wear again.

We then bought the same nude, Next shoes that I had found for me, for the girls too. We didn’t think that they needed anything added but the night before the wedding our bridesmaid, Jill, suggested she could make a silk sash for each of them. She had bought some fabric and when we mocked one up it looked brilliant so we were there on the morning of the wedding stood in a line, sewing a sash onto each of the bridesmaid’s dresses!

I also knew that I wanted the bridesmaids to have a headpiece rather than matching hairstyles or fresh flowers. I went to the brilliant Janine Basil with a picture of the dress and she made one of her heart headpieces into bespoke lace pieces.

Neil wore the same indigo, three-piece suit and tie as the other groomsmen and treated himself to a pair of brown, Paul Smith shoes. I also bought him a matching purple, silk pocket square as a wedding day present.

Relaxed Attitude

We came across Blink Photography on Rock and Roll Bride and got in touch with Emma based on those photos. Once we met her we knew her style and relaxed attitude would be perfect for us and she was an absolute star on the day. Everyone has been so impressed with the photos.

Cake Of Cheese

We chose to break from tradition and have a ‘cake of cheese’! We love it and our friends and family love it too so we sourced five different cheeses from an organic farm in Cumbria and served cheese with the evening food.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I asked my childhood friend Emma to play the piano for us at the ceremony. She is a wonderful pianist and it was lovely for her to be able to use the stunning grand piano that was at the venue. For my entrance she played ‘Kissing You’ by Des’ree from Romeo and Juliet, ‘Feeling Good’ (the version by Muse) and ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ by Daft Punk while we were signing the register, and then ‘All I Do’ by Stevie Wonder when we walked out.

We were a bit unsure whether to have a DJ or a live band. The music was so important to us and we knew that if we didn’t get it right it would really upset us both! After attending some amazing weddings that had live music, we decided on a live band and we found Hold Tight. We booked them based on their set list but without even seeing them live which was a bit of a risk but it totally paid off. Charlie (the lead singer) was so easy to deal with in the run up to the wedding and on the night she and the rest of the band were incredible.

We ended up having to adapt the set times as the wedding dinner ran over but they just went with it, no fuss or questions. They did two, one-hour sets and even snuck in a surprise beat boxing performance from the saxophonist. It made the night. It was brilliant. I can’t recommend them enough. Charlie has an incredible voice and she and the lads were the talk of the wedding and made it really memorable.

The First Dance

We really struggled with this. We knew that we wanted to do a first dance but didn’t really want to spend the whole three minutes with everyone staring at us. Somehow, in the lead up to the wedding, we didn’t quite find the time to rehearse our first dance so decided to just ‘wing it’….
We’ve been together on and off for so many years that there were a few songs that people would have been expecting and then a few that were a bit more ‘leftfield’. In the end we decided on Moloko’s ‘The Time Is Now’ as it’s a song we both love and means a lot to us.

Record Breakers

Trafalgar Tavern is a stunning venue and didn’t need lots of decoration so we decided to keep it simple, adding ivy to the magnificent staircase and placing lots of candles in all of the mirrored alcoves to create atmosphere.
Our recurring theme throughout the wedding was a cherry tree motif, which was a reference to where we first got together, Cherry Tree Cottage – a friend’s house. We included the motif on the order of service, menus and thank you cards.

We used 7” records for the place settings and created individual ‘Cherry Tree Records’ labels with each person’s name on it. This was one of my favourite things!

For the table centres we painted paper machè numbers gold and then inserted one of Neil’s old 12” records into it. We had 19 tables and all of the records were songs that we love.

Instead of a traditional table plan we used ‘escort cards’, scanning in the record covers from the table centres and digitally printing them with each person’s name and table on them.

For some subtle decoration, we had some hearts, C’s and N’s cut out of old vinyl records and dotted them around the venue. Using the records was a nod to our love of old vinyl and the importance of certain songs to our relationship.

Instead of a traditional guest book we had a couple of alternatives. We placed a handheld video camera on each table and asked the guests to answer questions like ‘Would you rather have sardines for fingers or cauliflower for hair?’ and ‘If you were stuck on a desert island, which one of us would you rather be with?’ We set up an old typewriter and made up some postcards with prompts like ‘Love Is?’ or ‘What should we do on our first anniversary?’ and asked people to write us a message. It was brilliant reading the messages and watching back the videos after the honeymoon.

Not Too Serious

Many of our guests said that it was the personal details at our wedding that they loved (our vows, a ‘make-up and mishap kit’ in the ladies bathroom, a fancy dress photo booth, vintage style champagne saucers as opposed to flutes). We had so many lovely comments about everything that was hand-made we were really chuffed. For us it was about having a wedding that was totally ‘us’ and not taking it too seriously and having fun.

Our advice to any couples who are currently wedding planning would be:

  • Decide what is important to you both and work backwards from there (in terms of booking, there were keys things that were really important to us such as food, music, photography, personal touches and vows and once we had sorted those out everything else was a breeze!)
  • Go DIY to make it individual – we made all of the table centres/place cards/message cards and décor ourselves and it doesn’t have to be complicated, stressful or expensive.
  • Don’t think that you have to have a theme/colour scheme/traditional wedding. We didn’t have a theme or colour scheme just lots of bits and bobs that we loved. If it’s all personal to you, it will come together on the day and won’t matter that its not all magenta and black or ‘vintage summer garden party style’
  • Make sure you don’t get too caught up in the planning and forget to have fun. I am a detail orientated person and had to remember to take a step back and look at the overall wedding not just worry about the place cards or the order of service.
  • Have fun and laugh!

Venue – Trafalgar Tavern

Photographer – Blink Photography

Dress – Fur Coat No Knickers

Rings – Berganza

Shoes – Carvella

Hair and Make-up – Elbie van Eeden

Cheese – Winter Tarn

Band – Hold Tight

I love this wedding… even though cutting up vinyl in my books is paramount to sacrilege!

…I’ll let Carla and Neil off (just this once) because it’s so creative, and so damn pretty.


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The Greatest Day.

My name is Emily and I am an RMW ADDICT…

That is how Emily should have started her report… but maybe she is as yet still unable to come to terms with her addiction. She does mention that even though now married she still visits the blog every day!

Very. Bad. Sign… 😉

Of course, I’m only joking – we love it when you guys stick around after you tie the knot. Let’s face it – just because you are married now doesn’t mean that you have to deny yourself your daily dose of pretty. And today it is most certainly pretty. Emily and James (Mr H) married last summer in South London under the watchful lens of Emma Coleman from Blink Photography.

Did I mention that they are Rock My Wedding readers?..

Richmond Park.

Our wedding was on 29th July 2011 at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. A beautiful Georgian Mansion in the middle of Richmond Park in London.

Pembroke Lodge was the first venue we visited, hidden away in the trees of Richmond Park, with fab views over London. It was perfect.

We both knew that we wanted a very relaxed day without a specific colour theme and I wanted the day to have a vintagey feel as I was in love with the vintage themed real weddings I’d seen on Rock My Wedding. I am also a sucker for shabby chic and vintage things and often drag Mr H around little pretty shops trying to convince him that we do actually need another heart shaped hangy thing or kitchen utensil to add to our collection! So, vintagey, shabby chic with a hanging heart or two it was!

Grace Kelly.

I was mega giddy and excited to go dress shopping, so it was one of the first things I did after we had found our lovely venue. Originally I thought I wanted a fairly simple, floaty, vintage dress but after trying a few on I just didn’t feel very bridey in them. So, I tried on some more detailed and slightly bigger dresses and I was hooked! If I’m honest, I also really loved trying on lots of gorgeous dresses and spending time with my family and friends whilst doing it!

Even though I was seduced by the big strapless numbers, I knew I didn’t want a strapless frock as I’ve never felt nice in strapless tops/dresses, so I was looking for something with a vintage feel and straps or sleeves. After a few dress trying on sessions I still hadn’t found anything that I really loved. It was actually my oldest friend and bridesmaid Julie who picked out the David Fielden Grace Kelly dress in Teokath in Wimbledon

I got my single tiered, cathedral length veil from Shanna Melville who has a really gorgeous independent dress shop in Wimbledon village. Shanna is so lovely and I would highly recommend her dresses and veils (one of her dresses was in my top three).
For my jewellery I wanted something really simple that would complement but not overpower the lace detail on my dress. I don’t wear very much jewellery normally and Mr H isn’t a fan of big sparkly bling, so I started the search for some simple, vintage inspired, pearl pretty. There are so many fantastic vintage jewellery sites on the internet – most of which I discovered through Rock My Wedding during my daily nosey at the blog!

I eventually found my gorgeous Viola II Vintage Bridal Bracelet on the Chez Bec website – a three tiered pearl bracelet with a diamante encrusted filigree flower– and then opted for the matching danglys that I only wore for the evening party. For the ceremony and wedding breakfast my Granddad’s lovely wife let me borrow her pearl and diamond stud earrings from Tiffany that I helped to choose a few years ago for her 60th Birthday. I was so pleased with my jewellery on the day and Mr H loved it too.

I fell in love with Gillian Million’s bridal head bands at a wedding fair I visited in Teddington, but her stall was too busy with excited brides (like me) to choose anything on the day. So, I arranged an appointment with her and visited her studio. I have never seen a room filled with so many pretty, sparkly, dainty things. I was in heaven and couldn’t wait to start trying on some of her hand made head bands. Gillian asked me to bring a picture of my dress with me to the appointment and also asked me to describe the feel of the wedding to help her pick out some head bands that fitted in with our theme. In the end – after a lot of trying on – I found the perfect one.

Choo Treasure.

My birthday was two weeks before the wedding and Mr H sent me on a present treasure hunt around the flat, which to my delight, lead me to a shoe box with a ribbon wrapped around it and Jimmy Choo on the side – hidden amongst the scarves and hats under the bed. Inside that box was a pair of peep toe Nova champagne Jimmy’s which I took great pleasure in wearing with my pyjamas and parading around the flat in for the duration of my birthday morning!

On the big day they were comfortable for about the first 5 minutes, but I didn’t care! The pain was worth it (I think they are made for nice thin dainty feet, not my wide feet and big sausage toes!).

Turn Up The Volume.

I have been going to the same hairdressers – Garett and Jones – in Surbiton for the last few years and Ali – my hairdresser – has always done such a lovely job with my hair. I knew from the beginning that I wanted most of my hair down for the big day, because I’ve never really liked it up and I wanted something quite simple and relaxed that wasn’t too back combed and massive! Ali suggested that I buy some hair extensions for my big day do, as my hair is quite thin. I must admit I was worried that the hair extensions would look fake and add too much volume to my hair but in the end I’m so glad I got them

I am completely useless with makeup and not very adventurous so I definitely needed someone who really knew their stuff to put my big day face on. I went for a trial at mac first of all and although nice, I felt that I looked a bit too pale, the eye makeup wasn’t quite right and I felt caked in foundation. So, I searched the net and found Sally Moore’s website. I gave Sally a ring and she was so friendly and helpful on the phone. I just had a feeling she would do a great job. It was so nice having Sally around, she is so lovely and bubbly and did a lovely job of our makeup.

Pastel Pinks.

My aunty Jane has a very lovely friend and colleague – David, who offered to do the flowers and centre pieces for us and he was brilliant. He isn’t a florist by trade (although you would never know) but he had done a wedding before for a friend and has an eye for all things pretty and floral.

We wanted lots of pastel pinks and greenery and we wanted the displays and bouquets to be quite wild and unstructured, but that was about all that we knew. I’d cut lots of pictures out of magazines and saved flower pics whilst browsing RMW so I passed these on to David to give him some initial ideas and inspiration.

We collected glass jars of all different shapes and sizes in the months leading up to the wedding so that we could dot them around the venue. David put pink, green or lace ribbon around the tops, which looked so pretty and then filled them with pink roses and greenery. The first thing I remember seeing as I walked up the stairs to the ceremony was a jar full of pretty flowers on the edge of each stair looking lovely, and just as I had imagined. Who would have thought that gherkin, pasta sauce and jam jars could look so good!

In the ceremony room David covered a garden arch in so many pretty roses and greenery that it took my breath away and it created a gorgeous focal point for the room (but not as gorgeous as Mr H of course).

Florally Versatile.

For my gorgeous bridesmaids I wanted to find dresses that were pretty and floral but that would suit them as they are all different shapes and sizes. I also wanted them to feel lovely and comfortable on the day. So, the search began for a pretty floral dress and it proved really difficult to find something that fit the bill. Just as I was about to give up and have another panic I spotted linen cream and pink floral dresses in the Next directory and they turned out to be perfect. They all wore cute pearl studs from accessorise and as a thank you gift I got them lovely vintage pearl charm bracelets from Lisa Angel which looked great with their outfits.

For the Best men, dads and ushers we hired grey lounge suits from Moss Bross. We also found some prefect style badges for the best men which looked fab.

In The Navy.

I do love my man in a suit and awwww, Mr H looked so handsome on the day. I felt it was really important for him to wear something that he loved and felt nice in, so encouraged him to look for a really special suit that he could keep and wear again. He found a perfect navy three-piece suit in the Ted Baker Pashion store and teamed it with brown shoes from H by Hudson and a pink floral tie from Debenhams.

When I saw Mr H looking back at me as I walked up the aisle towards him, I couldn’t take my eyes off him and his big gorgeous smile. A very special moment!

Blinking Brilliant.

Photographs are really important to us and we decided that we wanted a photographer that could capture the real emotions of the day, as well as take some lovely natural shots of our family and friends.

Emma Coleman at Blink Photography was the photographer recommended by the venue so we arranged a meeting with her quite early on in our wedding planning. We knew straight away that she was exactly who we were looking for. Her photographs are simply stunning and really do tell a story.

Special Memories.

We knew we didn’t really want a fancy tiered cake – just something that tasted yummy and had lots of butter cream – so we decided on cupcakes. We spent a day together cupcake tasting in London (any excuse to spend a day eating cake!) and both agreed that the cupcakes at Buttercup cake shop were the tastiest.

I found bride and groom trolls on ebay that sat next to the cake and looked cute with their pink hair next to the pink icing! Trolls are really special to me as my Grandma, who we lost when I was a teenager, used to have them dotted around her house. My sister and I also used to collect them when we were little. Trolls therefore bring back lots of special memories, so it was nice to have them featuring at our wedding.

Mr H and I both have a very sweet tooth (I crave chocolate and cake on about an hourly basis!) and knew we wanted lots of sweet treats for our guests in the evening. So, we decided to have a sweetie table with vintage jars filled with all of our favourite sweets from A Quarter Of. I made labels for the sweet jars using floral card and we bought the stripy sweetie bags from ebay. The fabric LOVE letters on the sweetie table came from BHS.

Dance Off.

For the ceremony music, we had the wonderful Bagatelle Duo, a flutist and harpist. They were absolutely brilliant and I remember thinking how beautiful they sounded when I was walking up the aisle towards my handsome hubby to be.

We put together an iPod playlist for the background music during the wedding breakfast. It was really nice listening to everyone laughing and enjoying themselves with our favourite tunes in the background. We’ve had the playlist on non-stop since the wedding and each song brings back so many lovely memories from the day.

My sister knows the lead singer of Flood the Floor – a 5 piece band – who played during the evening party. They were amazing. They managed to get everyone up on the dance floor and played some fab tunes. At one point they had Mr H and his best men strutting their stuff on the dance floor doing a dance off to different styles of music including salsa (I have never seen Mr H wiggling his bum so much!). The Dressing up Box.

Take This.

Choosing our first dance was a bit tricky as we don’t really have ‘a song’ that is significant to us both. I have always been a big fan of Take That (me and Julie bridesmaid even had a Take That club at school when we were little, although we were the only members!) and I love the words in ‘Greatest Day’.

The band sang it really well and I remember feeling so happy as Mr H was swinging me round in my dress. We asked our guests to join us on the dance floor about half way through and it was great seeing everyone dancing together.

Sweet Favours.

James’ lovely step mum Anna offered to make some edible favours for us and spent hours trying out different sweet treats (which I very much enjoyed sampling!) and perfecting her recipe in the run up to the day. In the end she made very yummy coconut macaroons with chocolate on top.

Mr H and I decided that we would attach the place name cards to the favour bags, so chose a parcel tag design. We found some East of India cream parcel tags in John Lewis and then cut some pretty floral card (from a Tilda paper pad) in to slightly smaller parcel tag shapes and glued them on the top of the larger cream ones. I printed the guest names on to pink card and stuck these on top of the floral card. On the back of each place name card we printed ‘love is sweet…..enjoy!’. I had good fun making all of the place name cards and had lots of help from Mr H and bridesmaid Claire.

A Bit Of D.I.Y.

I really got in to making our own stationary for the day and started with our order of ceremony fans. We printed our order of ceremony and order of the day on to two pieces of ivory card and then a very kind lady at work – with a steady hand – cut round them with a circle cutter. We then glued them together with a lollypop stick as a handle in between and tied little bows with ribbon round the top of each handle. I was really happy with how they turned out in the end and I saw lots of people reading through them at different stages in the day to find out what was happening next.

We made our table plan using a large white shabby chic mirror from TK Maxx and backed the table guest lists on to the same floral Tilda card I had used for the name place tags. Mr H and spent hours measuring precisely where to stick each table list so that they looked even on the mirror!

Take Your Time, And Take Time For You.

Get and let your hubby to be involved with the preparation and decisions for the day. Even though sometimes Mr H needed a little prod – I know that he felt very pleased in the end that he had helped to shape the day (he also had one or two very good ideas himself).

Our wedding was special to us because we both spent time enjoying the day together. We circulated the tables together in between courses, we danced together for most of the evening with lots of guests and we had a bit of time on our own together when we were having our portrait photos.

I think that the main piece of advice I would give to other brides is to plan every little detail of your day before hand so that you have nothing to worry about on the day. Take time in your planning to decide what is important to you both and don’t rush in to any decisions that you may change your mind about later on in the planning process.

Write an itinerary (I know – a bit anal) but it really helped Mr H and I get our heads round the organisation of the day.

Also, who needs wedding magazines when you’ve got Rock My Wedding! I got so many ideas and so much great advice from the fabulous blue polka dot pages. I genuinely looked forward to peeking at the blog when I got home from work every day (I still do now even as a married lady).

Oh and one last thing, brides, do a little speech. Even if you just say thanks to all of your guests. I was so glad that I stood up and said a few words with Mr H by my side (even though I did get a bit emotional).

Venue Pembroke Lodge

Photographer Blink Photography

Boutique Teokath

Dress David Fielden

Headpiece Gillian Million

Make-up Sally Moore

Groom Ted Baker

Cake Buttercup cake shop

ceremony music Bagatelle Duo

Entertainment Flood the Floor

I’m keeping my shoes in the pantry from now on!

The Jars, the wild unstructured florals, the TROLLS!! It’s a very pretty wedding but with a lot of fun and personality thrown in too.

The D.I.Y elements always help to make W day so very personal – Emily and James certainly achieved this. In true Rock My Wedding style…