Regular readers will know that at RMW towers we have a soft spot for an Autumn wedding. And today’s beautiful wedding will show you exactly why that is…the soft light and the arrival of more muted tones provides a gorgeous palette on which to base your decor, and an incredible backdrop for your photos.
Tijen and Ross were lucky – their October wedding was bathed in sunlight and so photographer Katherine Ashdown was able to capture those lovely images of the couple sitting under the changing trees outside Leez Priory. Just beautiful.
You’re going to particularly love the flowers from this wedding too – the bouquets and the flowers worn by Tijen in her hair are just sublime.
Now I have to be honest here and tell you that green is not my favourite colour. It has just never appealed to me in the same way as gorgeous shades of blue and grey. But having seen this shoot – I have to say that I now see green in a whole new light!!
The sheer number of different shades of green on show here is unbelievable…the vibrant and fresh apple green, the muted and slightly grey sage green, the richness of ivy green and the yellowness of the young budding flowers. All created by nature. Amazing.
I mean just look at that table scape below…it’s like a glimpse into a hidden tropical garden of Eden!
I love the idea behind the shoot too – just because you are getting married in a rustic venue, doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the glamour!
This week seems to have flown past and we’ve got ANOTHER bank holiday this weekend! Hooray!! I do hope you are all either getting married, attending a wedding or devoting the time off work to planning! Isn’t May just the best month?
This morning’s wedding is a very pretty, home spun affair. Lauren & (Bradley Cooper’s long lost brother)* Ross were lucky enough to marry at the church Lauren had attended as a child with school.
It literally looks like THE most idyllic English countryside location and the sun shone down on them for the whole day.
Their reception was held at Lauren’s parents beautiful farm house. Again, idyllic English countryside springs to mind.
Yellow is a colour that I absolutely love – the gorgeous pale yellow hue of Lauren’s maids gowns is so pretty and the sunshine yellow daisies and tulips couldn’t be more perfect for a summer wedding.
I love how Lauren’s Blue by Enzoani gown falls too, creating the most beautiful silhouette and the addition of a slightly boho headband keeps her look relaxed enough to match the day. And what a wonderful day it looked…
* I can’t be sure that Ross is ACTUALLY Bradley Coopers brother…but lets just go with it.
Well I think it’s fair to say Summer Scorcher Week has been pretty fabulous. We’ve had some gloriously sun-filled weddings from all over the world – Portugal, Ibiza, Australia…but today we’re back to good old Angleterre. Because it turns out, occasionally, we actually get some decent weather here too!
Zoe and Rich’s wedding is full of colour, smiles and fun. And lots and lots of sunshine. It really is one of the happiest weddings I’ve ever seen.
And the dress – literally made for Zoe. She looks every inch the Old Hollywood Starlet.
Zoe’s write up is fabulous, full of heartfelt emotion and lots of details, so sit back, relax and enjoy this gorgeous wedding.
A Yorkshire Countryside Affair
Zoe the Bride: We wanted our wedding to be a fun and relaxed day, a Yorkshire countryside affair where guests felt at ease and had lots of fun. I am from Leeds and Rich had always said it was traditional to get married in the bride’s hometown, so because of this tradition we never discussed doing it elsewhere. What made choosing our venue so easy was our agreement on not having a hotel. We agreed we didn’t want to buy a ‘package’ and both wanted something unique – a setting we could re-create our own Alice in Wonderland world.
We chose East Keswick Hall because of the amazing views, it sits in a tiny village smack bang in the Yorkshire countryside and if offered us a blank canvas. My Nanny also lived in East Keswick all those years ago so it felt familiar and meant to be.
A Beautiful View
Right from the onset we were keen to keep the budget as low as possible, this quickly eradicated lots of venues. We started looking at places we could make our own so when Rich found East Keswick Hall we knew it was the one almost instantly – it was the first and only venue we looked at. It allowed us to have a marquee without the cost, risk of bad weather and having to set up things like toilets.
The main clincher was the view, it is set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside with cows and sheep in the fields nearby it was perfect and exactly what we wanted. It had a large lawn behind it which we thought would be ideal for everyone to mingle, sip champagne and listen to our favourite music.
Gorgeous Long Hair
I always thought I wanted my hair up, but either way I never wanted it to look polished and hair sprayed so when my friend sent me a picture of Blake Lively at a premiere with Hollywood side swept curls I knew it was what I wanted. I’d also visited a beautiful bridal shop in Angel London and the woman in the shop had said to me, you have great long hair, show it off, show your kids that one day it was long!
Make-up wise, I’m not great at it and I don’t wear much skin make-up so I knew I wanted professional make-up. I visited MAC in Leeds and found Pam, who was very talented and had recently got married. Again, I didn’t know what I wanted as such so she just went to work in the trial and I fell in love. It was worth every penny I was so pleased and only retouched my lipstick in the evening.
Fabulous Fitted Fishtail
My dress was literally my dream dress (but I just didn’t know it), a fishtail style which was very fitted on top with a heavily detailed (beading and crystals) body, sweetheart neckline then masses of material from the thighs down which went into a beautiful long train.
I went to a designer wedding shop and found a completely different dress by the same designer. It was very white and simple (no detail) but I wasn’t 100% sure because it was £3,000. My Mum Helen is so generous and also loves to shop so when I had it on although she knew it was expensive she offered to buy it for me but my gut feeling was to keep looking. I then went to a shop in Leeds which sources one off pieces one year ahead of the current season, it’s called Abbey Wedding Warehouse.
The lady in the shop, Karen, was amazing, and you can only book an appointment once you know the type of dress you want and the designer. Karen told me she had a dress by the same designer but when I described the one I tried on she advised me she had a very detailed piece as 2013 was going to feature a lot of old Hollywood glamour.
I was hesitant but made an appointment anyway because I was intrigued. I went in and looked at loads of dresses pulling a few out to try but none really stood out. Karen then pulled out the Enzoani dress and it was just unbelievably beautiful in everyway. I never thought I would want such heavy detail but it seeing it for the first time made me fall instantly in love.
The intricate detail on the body was striking and it made me feel instantly amazing. I also never wanted a big puffy dress so this dress gave me the best of both as it was figure-hugging but then expanded at the bottom. I had also tried on several very figure hugging simple straight dresses but nothing made me feel special and I wanted to feel beautiful on my wedding day. Karen’s dresses are one-offs which means there was one dress in one size and it fit like nothing I had tried on before; it was like it was made for me. My Mum said it was perfect and it really was.
Old Hollywood Glamour
When I chose the dress the lady in the shop Karen told me 2013 was all about Old Hollywood Glamour so my dress was a year ahead of time. I absolutely fell in love with this theme so opted for old Hollywood curls swept to the side with a vintage headpiece. My dress was very detailed so I chose simple stud earrings. I always thought I wanted a long veil which swept the floor but because my dress was so fitted the shorter veil fell above my bottom and accentuated the dress beautifully.
My shoes were John Lewis – simple and beautiful. I added blue diamante ‘I Do’ labels underneath. Because the dress was so detailed I didn’t want to overdo the jewellery so I kept the look simple.
A Pastel Colour Explosion
The suits were from Burtons in Oxford Street, where store manager Andy sorted us with an excellent deal! The ushers, dads and two best men had a great day all trying the suits on then going out drinking afterwards around the pubs in the area. We opted for a colour explosion rather than tying everything together with one colour – again we both agreed immediately that we wanted a ‘rainbow’ wedding so choosing the wedding party attire was easy.
The groomsmen wore pastel coloured braces and navy bowties. The bridesmaids each wore a different coloured pastel sweetheart knee length dress (blue, green, lilac, lemon and coral), they all had peach heels and a matching multi-coloured bouquet which was a mini version of mine. They wore their hair in low side buns. I didn’t want them to have matching jewellery so they all felt comfortable and weren’t too ‘matchy’ and my new sister-in-law Bells wore her late Grandmother’s necklace which I thought was really special because she was greatly missed on the day.
Love In The Sand Dunes
The theme was love, fun and laughter – a bright happy pastel rainbow wedding. Rich proposed during our eight month round-the-world travelling adventure. We were two thirds of the way through the trip and had found our way to Jericoacora in North East Brazil; a beautiful sandy village on the coast filled with gigantic powder white sand dunes, beautiful fresh water lagoons and no roads.
After Rich proposed on the very top of our favourite sand dune we quickly began filling our days discussing the type of wedding we would like and both agreed we would want a church service with a cool party afterwards – with the focus being relaxing and enjoyable for everyone who came.
An Informal Atmosphere
We wanted there to also be lots of colour so a fun and informal atmosphere was created. We had a marquee lining erected in the hall which was just beautiful. We then had 14 table dressed in cream linen each with the vintage candelabras, wild flowers in old jars and candles. Our table plan was a large antique rose gold mirror which we wrote out the tables in gold pen. Rich’s Dad Chris is a teacher and he brought an old, paint-covered easel which finished it off a treat!
We had a 12 foot cake table which was filled with vintage cake stands (including ones my Dad Keith had made from scratch from plates we and Rich’s Mum Jan had sourced and hunted for over the year). We had a huge champagne-style glass filled with marshmallows, old glass jars filled with sweets and a couple of candelabras with pastel coloured candles. It was truly a colour explosion ready to eat. The top table was a large oval because we wanted to be able to chat to everyone rather than sitting in a big long line.
Flowers Scooped Up From The Garden
I was very calm when it came to the flowers because I don’t know a lot about them, I did know that I wanted a mixture of pastel colours which looked they had been scooped up in a garden – this was the exact brief I gave to our florist. She did an amazing job. I literally couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful bouquet. Every colour was the colour of my bridesmaid dresses! We also paid for the church to pull together beautiful cream pew ends.
The centrepieces – we collected old, vintage style candelabras from various second hand and charity shops and online auctions. We then spray painted them antique gold. Originally we were going to do multi-coloured candles on each table to project the colour theme but the cream candles looked beautiful on the table so we opted for them.
In the centre of each table we had a very large square mirror plate upon which sat the candelabra with something on each point which carried from old jars and vases with single wild flowers or jars with candles inside. Each table was unique and no two tables were the same, whether that was the style of glass jar or the colour of the flower.
Until My Last Breath
We were married in the same church as my Mum and Dad married over thirty years ago, so it was already an incredibly special place in my hometown Leeds. All I remember is getting to the church and being astounded at the number of people crammed in. People were sitting right up to the back and were all staring whilst we organised the running order of the bridesmaids, my little nephew Jack who was the cutest pageboy and my niece Betsy Bo our beautiful flower girl. My best friend Erica who was also my bridesmaid comes from a very musical family and she recommended her sister Stella to sing at the wedding so the ceremony started with a welcome and then Pie Jesu sung by Stella. It is such a beautiful song and makes me feel emotional so I had trouble holding my tears back even right at the very beginning.
When it came to the vows I was completely overwhelmed by what Rich was saying to me and as I looked deeply into his eyes I was overcome with emotion, love and excitement at having met my soulmate, declaring my love and commitment in front of our best friends and family and saying I’d be his wife forever. It sounds so cheesy but it is completely true. It was my favourite moment (albeit trying to stop myself crying) and something I will remember until my last breath.
My other favourite moment was our first dance. It was to our very special travelling song So High by John Legend. It was magical and at that moment we were the happiest most in love people on the planet. Rich introduced me to John Legend on our round the world adventure and I cannot believe I hadn’t listened to him before. We were in Vietnam on our way to tubing and were crammed into this tiny minibus with 4 other peoples. I can literally close my eyes and feel the heat from the sun, the air blowing through the windows whilst watching us wind round mountain tops on some of the scariest roads I have ever seen. But something about that eight hour journey was magical and it was being with Rich on our trip, listening to John Legend’s voice.
Afterwards we both agreed that So High was so perfect because we were high in the sky on those crazy roads, together, having fun, free and in love – so it was really special to have that as our wedding song. For the evening reception we hired a DJ who played all our favourite songs and our best mates Tom Vicary and Tony Bazelle got on the mic (unplanned of course).
Help-Yourself To Cake
I wasn’t initially crazy about having an expensive cake, especially because we opted for dozens of help-yourself cakes for our dessert. But I became addicted to looking at cakes on Pinterest and found a quirky vintage pastel cake which I just fell in love with. Rich’s auntie Sue found a local wedding cake designer who re-created our dream cake – at a colourful, pastel themed wedding a white cake just wouldn’t have worked!
My friend Sheryl from Fairy Caking was amazing at re-creating some of the other cakes I found on Pinterest (the amazing rainbow cake and pink frilly cake) and she also made mouth-watering glittery cupcakes to die for! As guessed arrived they were offered his ‘n’ hers vintage sweetie bags, pimms, champagne or soft drinks. We also had a vintage style popcorn machine and lots of lovely canapés from M&S.
Inspired By Travels
Following on from the travel theme we had a variety of pastel coloured luggage labels tied with ribbon around each wine glass. Some guests later tied them to their wrists as they danced the night away. For table names – as we’d travelled the world for eight months from January 2011 – September and Rich proposed to me at the top of a sand dune in Jericoacora, Brazil in August so we decided to name our tables after our favourite places and naturally the top table was the very place Rich proposed – Jericoacora. We used our own photographs for the pictures. Our invitations were passports with vintage luggage RSVP cards.
Sneaky Cuddles With Your New Husband
Advice – To make a budget and stick to it (it’s only a 12 hour day which goes quickly so ig you are saving for a house deposit or something else the wedding shouldn’t take over that), book your dream honeymoon, relax, enjoy the morning of the wedding with your mum and bridesmaids drinking champagne with your favourite music on and enjoy every single minute of the day itself making extra special time for sneaky cuddles and kisses with your new husband (don’t forget about him! I kept looking at Rich during little moments throughout the day thinking wow, you’re my husband I am so lucky!)
Make sure you give guests little surprises on the day; it is tempting to tell guests what they can expect but everyone loves a good surprise – our day included; vintage buses for the guests, a vintage popcorn machine, staff handing out old-fashioned sweetie bags – blue for boys and pink for girls. When the cows came out to say hello – in the run up to the wedding the cows hasn’t really been around but on the set-up day and the day itself they came out for photographs, a perfect Yorkshire countryside backdrop. They even ate all the bows we tied to the fence which surrounded the lawn!
We had a ‘kissing corner’ – straw bales in a hidden corner for guest wedding smooches, hot Fish and Chips straight out the fryer – we have had so many compliments on the fish and chips and even received a thank you card from guests saying they had never tried curry sauce with fish and chips so it was a new experience and they loved it!
And finally, a mankini – yes that’s right, Rich has a great group of mates who made him wear the Borat mankini on his stag, during Rich’s speech Rich pulled it out and passed it on to Alex Taylor who is getting married next – it has already been worn by their friend Raj and it will be handed down to each stag once the current stag is married.
The multi-coloured pastel theme works beautifully for the Bridesmaids and how amazing that the florist matched the colours without even seeing the gowns! Keeping things as a surprise for guests on the day is also a great idea, who doesn’t want to be greeted with goody bags full of sweets, popcorn and a Vintage Bus?!?
There is definitely more Blake Lively about Zoe than just the hair! What a handsome couple she and Rich make.
And how lovely is the story behind their first song?
Matt and Laura married on 29th December 2011 at Rudding Park, Harrogate, so we are only a few days after Christmas. Just as Laura specified that her dress should be ‘Christmassy without too much Christmas’ I think the same could be said for their wedding.
It would be tempting to go with a traditional seasonal colour scheme of green and red but here we have vintage pinks and cream and just a touch of purple to remind us that we are in late late December.
And it really works.
Photography today is by the delightfully delicious Anna Hardy.
Christmassy Without Too Much Christmas
I’m not your typical girly girl and, I must admit, the thought of having to find the ‘perfect dress’ was a little bit daunting. I tried on quite a few different dresses, visiting a few different shops with both my Mum and my bridesmaids. I eventually found Louella Bride in Leeds who stock so many gorgeous dresses (I can’t recommend this shop and its staff highly enough – they were fantastic throughout). I was beginning to think I really wasn’t going to find a dress I loved until I tried on ‘Brigham’ from Blue by Enzoani – it was the train of the dress that really sold it to me and the delicate detailing on both the front and back. I think my brief when asked what I was looking for in a dress was ‘Christmassy without too much Christmas’ – If I’m 100% honest, there were dresses that I saw and adored even after picking this one, but there was something about this dress that, when I tried it on, it just felt perfect and, most importantly, I knew Mr B would approve!
I really wanted my wedding jewellery to have sentimental value and so didn’t want to buy anything new. Fortunately, for my 21st birthday, I was given a single pearl necklace by two of my best friends and a pair of pearl and diamond earrings from my parents which were perfect! Mr B’s lovely Nanna also very kindly lent me a pearl bracelet that had previously belonged to her Mum (my something borrowed).
On the morning of the wedding, my Dad also surprised me with the most gorgeous gold diamond bracelet! With regard to hair accessories, I tried on one veil and it just didn’t feel right, so I opted instead to go with some very small and simple pearl clips from Accessorize – I knew if I didn’t feel like me I just wouldn’t be comfortable – it is so easy to get wound up in the world of wedding accessories but sometimes less is definitely more.
Wellies And Flip Flops
First stop in the shoe department for me was wellies! I knew the weather in December wasn’t destined to be cracking and that didn’t bother me, so long as I knew I was prepared. I bought some fancy pants wellies from Ted Baker which I wore whilst we did all of our outside pictures. As for heels, I had my heart set on buying some fancy designer ones, but instead ended up buying some gorgeous simple gold ones with a cute little bow at the front from Coast (and with 20% off, bonus!) and thank goodness they were so cheap and not designer!
After walking down the aisle that was the last I wore those shoes as I had also bought a cute little pair of Kurt Geiger flip flops (the jelly type with the bow on) for dancing in later and had a sudden revelation to scrap the heels and go in early with the flip flops! Best decision ever – comfort is key for me and happy feet was a must!
Natural, Flawless And Radiant
I’m really not big into make-up, I think if anything, it scares me a little as I really don’t know how to put it all on properly! I’m just a bronzer/blusher/mascara girl for daytime/nights out but thought I best get myself a bit more spruced up for the big day. I have a very lovely friend, Regan, who is a fab beauty/make-up artist who happily agreed to help me out and, after a trial at Laura Mercier in Harvey Nichols to test out all of their different products (and my bank account taking a serious hit) I was all set. Regan did an amazing job, it was very natural and I felt like me but much more flawless and radiant!
We had a few wedding hair trials before the big day from Kaylee, a lovely lady found by my bridesmaid, but it was left very much until the morning of the wedding to finally decide how we were all going to have our hair. I was set on a half up style from the beginning as I didn’t want to look too different from my normal self and after a few attempts it looked exactly as I had wanted. She also made my bridesmaids/flower girls look so beautiful!
Luckily, we had a connection to a very lovely lady named Annie from Rosa Rugosa – she was fantastic right from the start. We knew very little about any type of flowers but knew that we wanted a purple/cream vintage style with not very much ‘greenery’. Annie did an amazing job; my favourite flower (and the only flower name I learned) was the amnesia rose. I was blown away at just how perfect she had gotten it with such a small brief!
Our centre pieces were vintage birdcages filled with similar flowers and fairy lights – the credit here goes to Mr B as he really pushed for these and they looked great on the tables, especially in the evening!
For our Groomsmen we asked them to buy their own grey suit to wear on the big day, we wanted to them all to look similar, but comfortable, and wearing something they would wear again, but we did supply them with a black & white polka dot tie!
As for bridesmaids, we visited Cottage Bridal in Ossett, who hold a range of Dessy dresses. I was keen on them getting something that they wanted, I didn’t want to influence them too much in what they had to wear as I really wanted it to be a joint decision between us all so I knew my girls were happy. It was when my Bridesmaid Sophie came out of the changing room wearing the floor length Grecian style Palomino dress that I knew we were on to a winner – she looked stunning (!!!). I fell in love and they were ordered. They fitted in with our purple/cream/vintage colour theme perfectly and the flowers added such a gorgeous hint of colour when they were walking down the aisle.
Matt’s a teacher and wears suits every day, so he wanted something a bit different, but he’s really not into top hat and tails. He ended up having a bespoke suit made from A Suit that Fits. It was three piece, and although it had to go back and forth a few too many times, when I saw him as I walked down the aisle he looked brilliant…so handsome! His shoes (brown brogues from Ted Baker) were fab! I thought I was pretty calm and relaxed on the morning of the wedding but as soon as I saw him I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders – I was so incredibly happy that this moment had finally arrived!
Relaxed And Calm
Our photographer was Anna Hardy. This was one of the most important details for us as we LOVE pictures, especially anything that’s a bit quirky. As soon as I saw her pictures on another RMW wedding I just knew that she would be perfect for us. We were looking for a vintage(y)/documentary style of photography and she was exactly that. We arranged to meet in Manchester and knew instantly that she was the one! She was so incredibly fantastic throughout the whole process, she made us feel very relaxed and calm and as if she wasn’t even there. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the photographs are – she catches the most brilliant moments.
We really weren’t too bothered about a cake. I was pretty keen on just buying a shed load of Krispy Kreme donuts and turning them into a wedding cake style masterpiece but Mother wasn’t so in love with that idea. So, after Googling ‘random wedding cakes’ we found an idea that took our fancy… a Smartie/M&M cake! The ordering was then left in the very capable hands of my Mum and Dad – so much so that we didn’t actually see our wedding cake in person until the day of the wedding – it was a-mazing (!!) and very ‘us’. It’s a shame that the Husband and I didn’t manage even a sniff of it… not even a sneaky Smartie, it was the most expensive pudding we have never eaten!
I became a bit of a ‘Googler’ of all things wedding almost as soon as we got engaged and it was on one of these occasions that I stumbled across Mad Dog & the Sophisticats. A swing/jazz band filled to the brim with character! They were, without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute highlight of our wedding day (aside from marrying my gorgeous man, of course!).
They absolutely excelled themselves and even got everybody up during our wedding breakfast to sing/dance along to ‘The Music Man’ – seeing everybody up and playing their imaginary trombones in their glad rags will be a memory that I will treasure forever – it was at this point that I think myself and Mr B caught a glance at each other and realised just how lucky we were to have each other, our amazing families and our wonderful friends altogether in one room sharing this day that we had been planning for almost two years.
For our evening reception, we had a friends band ‘Versonic’ who were absolutely fantastic and catered for all eras – from start to finish they had everyone up dancing!
Another huge highlight was Mr B donning his acoustic guitar to serenade us with his classic – ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre, and many others. He’s a true romantic and had also been secretly practising ‘Lady in Red’ with the band, which was amazing – he was in his element (I think he had mistaken the venue for the O2 arena for approx. 3 minutes!) I was love struck all over again!
Our first dance was sung by our very lovely friend Rebecca Taylor (a member of the amazing band – Slow Club). We had been ‘umming and ahhing’ over what song really represented us, and there were a few, but we opted for a cover of Kings of Leon – Use Somebody. They are my all-time favourite band and we both thought it was the perfect song to dance our way into married life.
Good Clean Fun
After contemplating a few ideas and not wanting to spend a fortune, RMW came to the rescue with a step by step guide of how to make your own soaps. I had a few trial runs – rose scented (not for me!), then cherry (much nicer!) and turned the kitchen into a mini laboratory a few weeks before the wedding. They were so easy and straightforward to make and the whole house smelt amaze for weeks. For men’s favours we decided on miniature hip flasks filled with a little tipple. Both the soaps and the hip flasks also doubled up as place names for the tables as we attached a luggage label and ribbon courtesy of my ever favourite Cath Kidston.
With our wedding being so close after Christmas it meant that we had little to do in terms of decoration as they had a mahoosive Christmas tree in the main reception area and fairy lights around all of the pillars and the stair case – it was magical, especially at night.
My Mum also very kindly made us loads of hanging hearts (about 100!) from lots of different materials and they were hung all around the venue and even acted as a keepsake for some of our guests!
In the Limelight
The photo booth we hired for our evening reception from Limelight was worth every penny. It went down a storm… especially when your guests are a little tiddly and slightly more adventurous!
We decided not to have a receiving line as we wanted the extra time for photos but with us having over 100 guests we wanted to make sure that we got a chance to see everybody. We made a plan to do our very best to see all of our lovely family and friends throughout the meal and it was the best thing we could have done, it meant that they were comfortably in their seats enjoying the vino and we were able to pop from table to table having a giggle and sharing our favourite bits of the day so far.
Being married is, without a doubt, the most amazingly wonderful feeling ever – it was whilst tucking into the starter of our wedding breakfast that I distinctly remember looking around the room feeling an incredible sense of love and happiness… it’s not always about the little bits of pretty (although they do help!) – things went wrong, people dropped out last minute and I felt like I was always conscious of trying to make everybody happy… but when it comes down to it I could have walked down the aisle in my favourite pj’s and still had the time of my life! Enjoy the planning stages, don’t stress too much about the little things, it will all fall into place and if it doesn’t, well, people probably won’t even realise anyway…!!
A really relaxed and thouroughly warming winter tale.
I love the light pastel bridesmaid dresses, they really do sit well with the floral arrangements. In fact the colour scheme overall is spot on. The vintage touches work brilliantly and the homemade RMW inspired soap favours looked great (although I myself of course would much prefer one of the hip flasks that the guys got).
Thanks to Matt and Laura for sharing your big day with the RMW community
You may have seen a sneak peek from RMW reader Claire and Nick’s wedding on Saturday, the beautiful pale-hued peony and rose bouquet. The rest of the days’ details are just as pretty with a hefty dose of feminine glamour thrown in for good measure.
And the images?
The images capture everything and more, from the joy to the excitement to the nervous apprehension of walking down the ailse, all courtesy of Love Lust List member Pen Mckinley-Rogers.
I wasn’t going to have a veil. I also actually said, to the lovely ladies in the same shop where I got my dress, that I’m not really a ‘sparkly’ girl – at which point my mum nearly choked. It turns out I don’t know myself at all!! My veil was full length with diamantes. I loved the glamour it brought to the dress and when we were having our photos outside and the wind caught it in the sunset it looked amazing – the photos were magical and some of my favourites.
My comb was from Katherine Swaine. My sis hunted it out for me two weeks before the wedding – I was so relieved. I had looked and looked but everything was too small or too big or something else. This comb was perfect. Thanks big Sis!
I am lucky enough that my amazing sister is also an amazing make-up artist. She’s done my make up so much whilst growing up that I trusted her totally. Susan did mine, my mums and her own make up in the morning and then ran after me for the rest of the day armed with gloss, bronzer and mascara – she knows me so well.
My hair was in the very capable hands of Rob from Artizan in Bath. I didn’t want anything too ‘done’ – it’s just not me, so I loved the loose curls Rob gave me for the day. The most important thing was that I looked and felt like me and I really did – a much more polished version but me none-the-less.
Shiny Shoe Candy
The shoes!! I L.O.V.E shoes and anyone who knows me knew I would be going for some skyscrapers. They were from Benjamin Roberts and I HAD to have them. I’ve already worn then again on honeymoon and can’t wait to take them out on the town for another outing. For the time being I’ll just continue doing the housework in them though – I wearing them to write this too!
I wasn’t actually looking forward to trying to find ‘the dress’ because I find it hard to get dresses to fit normally as I am quite busty, so the pressure to find ‘the one’ was a little daunting. However, like many brides I did know exactly what I wanted I just needed to track it down. ….. So the criteria went something like this:
1.It should have sleeves (not just little straps but something that formed part of the dress).
2.It should be vintage lace.
3.It should be slim fitting with a small puddle train.
4.Most importantly it should miraculously make me look like I have no bust at all!!
My dress was exactly the opposite. I was happy to try on anything and I’m so pleased I kept an open mind. As soon as I put it on I felt amazing and I knew that Nick would absolutely love it – it made me feel so glamorous too.
The Luckiest Girl
Just before the car turned up to take me to the church all nerves suddenly disappeared. I was so ready to be standing at the altar and couldn’t wait to see Nick. As I walked down the aisle I can’t lie, my legs were shaking, but when I saw Nick standing there waiting for me – he looked so amazing, dapper and calm – I was instantly at ease. His outfit was all him. He chose all of it and although it was hired, he wore it with his dad’s cufflinks and a watch I had bought him as a wedding gift. He looked totally handsome and I felt like the luckiest girl EVER!
Big Blouncy Blooms
Edward Allen was my florist and what a gem! He was recommended to me by my friend and I loved my little meetings with him. I’m not really clued up on flowers but he managed to decipher my ramblings and bring them to life. They were ‘big blouncy blooms’ – Edward’s words. And peonies too – my favourite flower of all. A mixture of vintage country garden and chic city style…. not an easy mixture but I’m really happy with the outcome.
The Voices Of Wales
Throughout the day we had some amazing entertainment. During the ceremony we amazingly had 25 of the Treorchy Welsh Male Voice choir who sang me down the aisle to Calon Lan (I had to listen to that a lot ahead of the day to make sure I didn’t cry). For the evening reception we had a band called Hooper who we heard before at a friend’s wedding.
They did Amanda Holden’s Wedding. (Oh I love Amanda I do, so beautiful).
They were the house florist for Babbington House (my dream wedding venue, too much £££ for me though).
They were my dream florists, I’d seen their displays where I used to work, received bouquets from them – I didn’t care how much they cost, they had to do my basic flowers.
I went along to meet them, Jo (the owner) was just wonderful, she got everything and I trusted them completely. They ended up doing my bouquet, bridesmaids, button holes, ceremony arrangements and table votives.
I gave them a picture I wanted for my bouquet and just trusted them to do the rest.
Just because somebody is amazing or your dream supplier or the all knowing magic 8 ball – they cannot read your mind. Ok maybe the magic 8 ball can.
Because in the end, my bouquet was nowhere near as big as I imagined, nor were the bridesmaids, the button holes were actually dead and the arrangements weren’t how I imagined. And it was my fault. On the day, it didn’t matter – they were still beautiful, (apart from the button holes) just not what I had planned. So this is no slight against Passion whatsoever, but be sure to really make sure your suppliers know EXACTLY what you want.
The candelabras for the table centres were hired from the most lovely lady in the world – Karen from Essential wedding hire, and decorated by florist Emma Petterson who did an amazing job.
I had spent about 2 years looking for a photographer.
Then one day I was reading my favourite ever wedding blog (Rock My Wedding!!) and there was this couple – Laine and Danny (I believe) and their pictures. Oh My Goodness. Which wonderful people took these incredible pictures?
They were Groovy-dancing-bananas-in-pyjamas. They were the warmest, loveliest people ever in the whole wide world. And I Loved having them take my picture, loved every single minute. (Maybe a bit too much actually – It was one of my most favourite parts of the day!)
And the photographs are truly outstanding, too good really, because I do not have 842 frames or enough wall space to display them all. So it is actually causing a very slight dilemma in my life right now!
Just going for the “Romantic” look – We certainly were kept warm!
We also asked for married life / wedding advice for our RSVP’s, I then typed these up and hung them from a frame for all to see.
I meant to do more decorating, but in the end I let the candle light and the love take centre stage.
I hate cake.
(oh my goodness I sound like an old battleaxe).
Ok, that may be a teeny bit dramatic. I proper gurt LURVE sponge, but not frosting or buttercream or marzipan or fondant or .. anything else really. Just plain old sponge for me thanks. So I was not going to spend a fairly large portion of the budget on something I didn’t even like.
But what should we do?
Again, another day having a read of my favourite blog. Doughnuts I see? Hmmm I like doughnuts. “Jason off to Krispy Kreme you go!” For 120 varying varieties of doughnuts … £89. Yes people only double digits.
AND I get to have Kirspy Kreme doughnuts whenever I like because “I’m all sad my wedding day is over and this is helping me to relive the memories.” Hee hee hee.
To be honest, it was getting a bit late in the day I hadn’t even looked at DJ’s and Neil was very much recommended.
He was wonderful, an absolute sweetheart who played all the tunes we wanted / requested. He kept checking we were happy, and though we didn’t have a particularly “dancy” guests, the music was A.mazing.
L is for the way you look at me.
O is for the only one I see.
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can
LOVE was made for me and you.
It’s a classic.
I have loved that song by Nat King Cole since the Parent Trap. (Oh come on, you all know you love that film).
We also had a Father-Daughter dance to I loved her First (Remember Father of the bride?). I am so glad we did it and will never forget those precious minutes I spent dancing with my Dad.
Here is my (perhaps rather controversial view on favours).
“Hello guest, thank you for coming to my wedding and eating free food and drinking free drink and generally having a splendidly wonderful time, please, please have a little present”
Erm, I loved my guests I was SO grateful they came to celebrate with us, but I personally feel favours aren’t necessary. So we paid corkage and had better wine instead.
Because It’s Yours
Our wedding was special because it was our wedding. End of.
You don’t need anything else to make it special, concentrate on the L-O-V-E.
In 20 years from now what do you want to remember? That your colours were that seasons? That your invitations were the latest paper trend?
Make it pretty, yes! Make it personal, yes! Just don’t lose focus, don’t feel pressured to have the coolest / most different / wacky / colourful etc wedding ever. Just have what you want. Go with what feels natural, those ideas that just “come” to you. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but if you need to think too hard about something, then it can’t really be for you.
Erm … May I please mention my stationery? Because I couldn’t find any stationery for like ever, and it wasn’t until the Designer Wedding show last October that I found Borrowed Blue Press. It was the PRETTIEST paper I have ever ever seen.
One of our guests even put the brooch on the dress they wore. (So cool, I would never think of that)…….
I adore Rock My Wedding reader Emily, not only was she the absolute vision of the classic, elegant and beautiful bride but her Big Day planning write up is honest, hilariously funny and full to the brim with unadulterated joy. By the end I was almost as excited as she was and I wasn’t even there…..
Although I feel like I was, every little special moment of the sophisticated soiree was captured to perfection by Jo and Simon at Shoot Lifestyle Photography and the happiness literally bursts through the images like a giant ray of sunshine. Perfection.
Emily and Jason were married at Coombe Lodge in North Somerset, think timeless, think effortless, think super SUPER pretty.
Third Time Lucky
Our wedding took place on Friday 11th February 2011 at Coombe Lodge, Blagdon, North Somerset.
It was our third venue ….. 7th date? Whoops.
We lost a fair chunk of money in deposits, but if you are not 110% happy with your venue then keep looking. I am so happy we chose Coombe Lodge, it was Perfect in every which way. A Beautiful Blank Canvas and the people could not have been nicer. Really, they even tried to fix my eyelashes. (A whole other story there…..).
Luxe For Less
I am really rubbish with accessorising.
Shock Horror with this accessory mad world we live in at the moment.
So I thought for my wedding day I would go OTT (and why not I am “The Bride” after all).
I found my veil first at All About Eve Bridal Wear on a random trip to my Mum’s seamstress in Cheptstow. It was just as I envisaged, cathedral length with sections of lace and little sparkly bits. Wonderful – job done.
I also wanted a headpiece, not a tiara as I kept reminding my mum. A Headpiece. (Foot stamp, pouty face). But I didn’t have the confidence to pull off something “cool”. I love Jenny Packham, and decided Acaccia II was the way to go. Apart from the price tag, eeek. You forget to budget for things like that, but then I found the lovely Suzzanah from Elegant Wedding Creations and hired it for a grand total of …. 45 Great British Pounds!
RMW To The Rescue
I was planning on wearing my mum’s diamond studs, but decided at my fitting (2 weeks before) I needed dangly ones. Oh dear. I looked everywhere – and resulted with a big fat Nothing. I kept remembering a fabulous pair I had seen in Liberty In Love (thank you RMW!) but again hadn’t budgeted for. It got to the point where you just think “who cares?” they were vintage enough, sparkly enough and just plain gorgeous.
One problem, it was Monday and the wedding was Friday. Order time you ask? 6-8 weeks. Eeek! So I called the lovely people at Liberty and it just so happened they had a pair.
I had them on Wednesday.
Thank you Liberty!!
So all the bits were sorted, nice and simple just as I imagined. (or not.) Sometimes, things just come together and work, it was all subtle and pretty and just right on the day.
I was hot – too much on the clamy side for my personal liking, I was getting a teeny tiny bit whiney.
But it didn’t look like it would fit into the “cool” or “vintage lace” categories I had in mind for my dress.
They – my mum and Lexi (the lovely shop assistant, she was an absolute peach) – made me try it on.
It was dress number 5 of the first dress shopping trip extravaganza.
My mum cried.
I faintly recall myself saying something along the lines of “I just look so beautiful”.
And Lexi had a very I-told-you-so smug smile.
We left having set the bench mark, and it only had one contender – an Ian Stuart with flowers and lace and pretty much everything you could think of putting on a wedding dress.
But it wore me.
So Erin it was. With all her lace detailing by the bucket load.
Now, when we went to the fitting after it came in, it was ever so much shorter than previously (I’m only 5ft, wore low heels and didn’t plan on carrying a box around with me wherever I went) and the train ……. kind of filled the room.
So 2 weeks before the wedding we hacked (well the lovely sewing lady nicely removed) pretty much half the train.
It was perfect.
Remember YOU are in control, YOU wear the dress, not the other way round.
One Day Only
I hate bridal shoes. With a passion.
I wanted Funky-Sky-Scraper-Heels. “Shoes I could actually wear again” I would say from my moral high ground.
Couldn’t find any. Didn’t like any.
Ended up with low heeled bridal shoes.
And I loved them!!
They were comfy and pretty and vintage-esque, though they weren’t Funky-Sky-Scraper-Heels and I won’t get a chance to wear them again, I just like looking at them. One Day Only Shoes me thinks.
The Prettiest Maids
The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Monsoon and the very first W-day purchase! I really really recommend monsoon for both older and smaller dresses. Sometime overdone I agree, but that’s only because they are just so lovely!
I had a few trials done for my hair, and they all ended up with me looking like something out of a Coronation Street episode early-mid 90’s.
Nobody quite ‘got’ my loose low bun. (Believe it or not I really don’t like bridal hair ….. no offence but when does one ever walk around with a birds nest stuck on the top of scraped back hair?…. “When you get married” was my mother’s response.) Then my mum found a salon and booked me an appointment. They were fab and ‘got’ it. The front bit ended up looking messy at times, but that’s “romantic side swept fringes” for you.
For my make up, I just wanted to look like a more polished version of my everyday made up self. I went to Bobbi Brown for my base and cheeks and Dior for my eyes.
I spent a fortune and loved every single minute of it.
And I didn’t even feel an ounce guilty. Oh no, not even an ounce.
I fell in love with another man. A man Named Mr. Marc Wallace.
I think that says it all. Jason had the MW floral waistcoat in pewter with the plain tie, and the ushers had the floral ties (no waistcoat).
I’m not the biggest fan of traditional (seeing a pattern here?) mourning suits anyhoo, so got the boys suits from good old Marks and Spencers (Oh I love M & S I do).
But my Dad lived the dream and had a bespoke suit made by Mr Wallace himself (well, probably not himself), it was beautiful and if you have the budget – recommended.
AND … AND they have a new shop in Bath too. Whoop whoops and Hurrahs all round.
I wanted to wear my hair down but had it pulled up at the front with a diamante hair comb from Katherine Swain, I wore it with a lace edged double layer veil.
My makeup was done by a close friend who just happens to be a bridal makeup artist !
An Italian Touch
My dress was from Surrey Brides in Weybridge, designer was Blue by Enzoani. It was beautiful Italian lace with a chiffon bodice and sweetheart neck, very figure hugging.
I think that was the hardest thing was there was so many gorgeous dresses to choose from and only one day to wear it! I had tried on quite a few dresses before this one but when I put it on I felt like it was made for me and fitted the venue and location so well.
Bringing The Colour
Eat Ibiza our caterer who also assists with the planning organised all of the flowers for us. We wanted beautiful dusky shades of pink and lilac to bring lots of gorgeous colour to the day.
A Navy Statement
I originally wanted the bridemaids in pink but soon realised that I may have pink overload with the flowers aswell so I went for a classic navy maxi dress from Coast which contrasted the pinks beautifully. We teamed this with chunky diamante necklaces and cuffs.
My maid of honour had a baby 4 weeks before the wedding ! so she had a slightly different style but still looked fantastic and made it out to ibiza which was the best thing. The flowergirls dresses were from Monsoon were white with silver butterfly detail, so pretty. All credit must be given to them as they chose them all by themselves!
Joe wore a tailored ivory suit and flower pattern shirt from Marc Wallace. He wanted to stand out but also not look too formal for the day. It was quite daunting buying a bright ivory suit in the middle of winter in London but when I saw him when I walked down the aisle I was so pleased he had gone for it as he looked amazing.
We both knew we wanted to be married outside and not spend our day in a dark room or in a marquee on a possibly rainy English summers day. Ibiza is a very special place to us and we both decided very early on that we wanted our day there all outside with a magnificent view. Our venue Can Talaias fitted the bill as it was intimate enough for us to take over for five days. It was the once the house of English actor Terry Thomas which has been turned into an agroturismo hotel by his son Cushan and wife Laeti.
All of the tables were named after games that Joes family company ‘ Jaques’ had invented – croquet, ping pong, snap, tiddledy winks, Staunton chessmen, ludo and the head table was Happy Families! Joe’s family also have a Lewis Caroll connection so we wanted to have small touches of Alice in Wonderland in the day like the pocket watches, eat me drink me tags, teapots and teacups.
Our advice to other couples is to – stick with your dream, there will be sleepless nights and last minute nightmares but it will all be worth it !
Keeping It Natural
Gypsy Westwood who is based in Ibiza took our photographs. She takes beautiful natural images that we really liked, we didn’t want to be too posed or spend our whole day taking photographs so she was the person for us as she is very un- intrusive. Jake Westwood her brother filmed the day for us.
We had personalised fig candles and pink pashminas for our guests to wear and take home. We wanted people to light the candles at home and for the smell to take them back to Ibiza !
We had a Spanish guitarist play as I walked down the aisle and he played at drinks after the ceremony for an hour and a great magician entertained the children and big children around the pool. Later on we had a fire dancer who was spectacular and did a half an hour show for us all.
Joe particularly wanted not one but two DJ’s to play on the day, Jon Sa Trinxa who played through the dinner and then joined by DJ Alfredo to anyone who knows is a legend in the world of dance music. We danced under the stars until 6am!
Vickki from Eat Ibiza is a superb cake maker and we could not resist her three tier white chocolate and vanilla sponge with raspberry filling topped with strawberries!
Vickki at Eat Ibiza (her food is out of this world!) who was our fairy godmother arranged a lot of the venue deco for us. We had lanterns, crystals and flowers in the trees and tea lights everywhere so when it was dark the place turned magical.
We also sourced lots of antique pocket watches and chandelier crystals to hang everywhere. My mum also very kindly made 90 vintage pink taffeta chair sashes for us as we couldn’t find any to hire.