We’re finishing the week off on a colourful note with this bright and beautiful London wedding. The venue, The Swan at The Globe, is intimate and intoxicating, with stunning views of the River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral. The fact it is also the setting for some of the most romantic plays ever written makes it even more special still. Our lovely bride, Melissa, shows off her eye for detail to great effect, taking inspiration from Fortnum & Mason’s chocolate boxes to create the gorgeous duck egg blue and pink scheme, which flows through every aspect of the day, from the stationery and the flowers to the cake, meringue kisses and colourful table décor. It is a day which draws to mind – and brings to life – my favourite Shakespeare quote: “I would not wish any companion in the world but you” (The Tempest – Act 3, Scene 1). We have no doubt that the bard himself would approve.
Jes & Tommy’s big day is filled with colour and joy and it made me very happy putting it together for you all, the colourful lanterns, bunting and bright yellow sunflowers are just so pretty. Jes is a primary school teacher and her year one class sang during the ceremony which must have been really special and made for some totally adorable photographs (speaking of which, they come from fabulous photographer Jessica Reeve, whose natural, light filled style we adore).
The couple decided to have a music festival feel for their wedding day, with lots of cool places to chill out outside, different styles of music playing and of course, delicious food and cocktails to keep everyone happy.
And just wait until you see the back of Jes’ Ronald Joyce dress – the detail is beautiful!
We have a huge explosion of colour and fun for you lovelies this morning. From the turquoise blue Bridesmaids gowns, to the knitted flower corsage favours…
From the marguerite daisy trees lining the aisle of the church tied with bright pink ribbon, to the vibrant paisley bunting adorning the marquee…gosh even Groom Jamie’s socks are snazzy!
The table plan too is a colourful delight and also really original – junior school style name tags pinned next to swatches of material to represent each table. Simple but very effective.
And if any of you fancy bringing a pop of colour to your wedding, the décor is available to hire from Bride Rachel.
This One Was Just Right
Rachel The Bride: We’d looked at other barns to hold the reception but this was by far the most beautiful. Nicknamed ‘Rickety Barn’ it certainly lived up to that! It was just the right size for the amount of guests, and had a huge marquee attached to it, perfect for the long rows of tables we knew we wanted. There was also a stunning garden in front of the incredible family home, which (weather permitting) was just right for welcome drinks.
Like Old Friends
I found my make-up artist and hair stylist online and was so happy with my choice. Lucy was a local girl and made me feel totally comfortable. In fact on the day it felt like her and her assistant were old friends! She gave me the most amazing eyelash extensions that lasted well into my honeymoon and everyone’s hair looked incredible as well, dotted with tiny pink flowers.
A Lacy Creation
My dress was by Benjamin Roberts and was from Annie Laurie Bridal. After I explained I didn’t want a strapless dress they suggested creating a bolero top to wear over the top. I went for several fittings and they were so patient and kind, even offering me dinner at one point!
In the end we used the same lace from the dress to make a boat neck top with beading around the neckline and buttons down the back to echo the fastenings on the dress. The final touch was a hot pink sash, also made by Annie Laurie’s very talented seamstress.
My earrings were a wedding present from my fiancé who had found them in an antique shop and had them altered so they were the perfect drop length. As they were a surprise, my Mum had struggled to find a bracelet to match but at the last minute, a very good friend of the family kindly donated a stunning bracelet that she had been given for her 21st birthday.
My three bridesmaids were my best friends from university, otherwise known as ‘The Triangles.’ I decided on a turquoise blue dress for them from Coast and I’m glad I did, they looked all looked beautiful.
We had four ushers and Jamie’s brother Robbie was best man, all in blue suits with pink shirts. The amazing bow ties and pocket squares were all designed and made by the Groom’s Mother and added a totally unique touch to their outfits. My Groom Jamie went for a pink polka dot bow-tie and looked very handsome in his bespoke suit from Cad & the Dandy, embroidered inside with our wedding date.
Like Sitting In A Field
I knew I wanted the tables at my reception to seem like we were sitting in a field, as this is what I would have had, if the weather could have been guaranteed! I used astroturf as runners and collected hundreds of jam jars to fill with random assortments of my favourite flowers.
We also ran fairy lights along all the tables that when lit up created such a magical room. We were lucky that the best man’s girlfriend Jess is a fantastic stylist and had a lot of amazing props we could borrow, including a giant heart and loads of paper lanterns.
My flowers were out of this world, even if I do say so myself! I’m a florist by trade so I knew exactly what I wanted. I called in help from an old colleague, Rebecca at Evitavonni, and she created the most beautiful bouquets and corsages I have ever seen. We used roses, dahlias, cornflowers, delphiniums, asparagus fern, the list goes on…
The aisle at the church was lined with marguerite daisy trees with ribbons tied round the stems and the ladies at the church agreed they hadn’t ever seen it look so pretty!
An Idyllic Church
The ceremony was held at St Hugh’s Catholic Church at Buckden, which is the village where Jamie and I met, and his family church. It is set in the most beautiful grounds including an ancient knot garden, orchard and its own lake. We had beautiful readings from family members, including Jamie’s sister Rosie. Straight after the ceremony we all headed into the knot garden for champagne and photographs.
A retro double decker bus took everyone to the reception, which was great fun with everyone having a sing-song. In fact the playlist Jamie and I had created was not heard at all, that’s how loud our guests were!
Welcome drinks were ready for us in the garden when we arrived but sadly the weather turned and we moved inside the barn where we put some music on and everyone mingled and posed with 1920’s style photobooth props, kindly sourced by the Grooms family. One of the highlights of the evening was our band – The Afterparty – such a great mix of old and new songs, which kept us dancing all night.
Cocktail Hour And A Moroccan Feast
The food had a Moroccan feel: spit roast lamb with spices, served with loads of colourful salads and roast vegetables, flat breads and dips. We served wine on the tables complete with our own wine labels and Jamie also created delicious cocktails that were served during ‘cocktail hour.’
We decided to have cheese instead of a traditional cake, kindly supplied by a family friend. The decoration on the ‘cake’ featured real flowers that my Mother-in-Law had spent hours along with friends covering in sugar so they would keep their colour. The topper was made entirely out of felt by my very talented friend Kate. The cake really was a work of art and received many compliments, not least while it was being wolfed down later that evening!
Bright And Colourful
Our fabulous invitations were designed by the Groom’s brother Richard. He loved doing them and has even started to take on commissions from other couples now!
I handmade meters of bunting and sourced loads of old doilies from various locations and dyed them all bright colours (all now available for hire). I used these as placemats and on top we placed the favours, which were tiny bottles of Jamie’s favourite cocktail, a Negroni, for the men and crocheted or knitted flower corsages for the women. Our table plan was made using scraps of fabric from the metres and metres of bunting I had made, and I was thrilled with the overall look.
Get Everyone Involved
My advice to other brides would be to get everyone you love involved in your wedding. We were short on time so it helped us to delegate jobs but it also brought everyone much closer and to be honest the few days leading up to the wedding, when we had access to the venues to set up were some of the happiest of my life. It meant our relatives and friends spent a lot of time together getting to know each other and I’m very lucky now to be part of two awesome families!
Bride’s Gown – Benjamin Roberts at Annie Laurie Bridal
Make up – Lucy Ridley
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Coast
Stationery – Richard Watters
Decorations – Bunting, jam jars and vintage placemats can be hired from Rachel The Bride
Caterers – Big Day Catering
Venue – Bass Mead Manor Barns
Cheese Cake – Price’s Cheese Shops 07508806816
Groom’s Suit – Cad And The Dandy
Band – The Afterparty
Flowers – Rachel The Bride and Evitavonni
Wine – Smiling Grape
Videography – John Young (Bride’s Brother)
Photography – Richard Skins
How much fun does the reception look?
All weddings should end with sweaty guests on the dance floor.
I’m off to paint my nails pink.
Lots of love,