Oh my this wedding party are one seriously stylish bunch.
Bride Emma wears a fabulous backless gown designed by her friend of Bon Bride, and her best girls look beautiful in pleated navy skirts and white top separates. Plus you have to check out their shoes! And the perfect place for all this style was at home for a super fun back garden marquee reception filled with gorgeous botanics.
The skies may be grey but the spirit, love and personality of this gorgeous couple shine through, beautifully lighting up the page and images captured by Craig Williams Photography.
It’s always really nice when the wedding of an RMW reader lands on your desk, especially when you can see little RMW snippets of evidence here and there within the images. In this case it is the actual image makers – Ruth Found Craig Williams Photography through these very pages, and you can see them on The Love Lust List.
We admired, amongst other things, the colours, the dress, the flowers and the bungalow (!) in part 1 of Ruth & Danny’s big day… And now we have details, family, cake! Dancing and décor. (Check out those chandeliers!)
No Corners Cut.
We decided that we didn’t want to do a cake cutting so a cupcake tower was an ideal choice. I had already bought cakes from Cupcake Occasions and as I knew their cakes taste delicious and they are fantastic at recreating anything that you could possibly want, they were an obvious choice. Through discussing our overall wedding plans and making us some yummy sample cakes together we agreed on a final design made in 4 flavours, Lemon, Carrot, vanilla and Chocolate.
One Day Like This.
During the ceremony we had a string quartet called La Scala. For walking down the aisle we chose Pachabel Cannon in D which is a beautiful piece of music. Whilst we were signing the register they played Snow Patrol Chasing Cars and for our exit Elbow One Day Like This, both which are lovely songs anyway, but sound even better on strings. They then moved outside and played a selection of modern songs which was great to entertain the guests whilst we enjoyed drinks and canapés on the lawn.
In the evening we had The Monday Music Club who consist of a DJ with a live band on percussion, bass guitar and saxophone and they play a mix of soulful house music. They often play in my favourite night spot and we have had many enjoyable nights out dancing the night away. It was a bit of a risk going for something different from the typical crowd pleasing wedding music but we really didn’t want to have all that as it’s just not us! I’m pleased that I stuck to my guns as I think that their vibe suited our wedding really well.
The Style Council.
We had difficulty choosing a first dance song as there wasn’t anything that stood out as being our song. So I tuned to my friend Google to help come up with some ideas. When we came across The Style Council ‘You’re the best thing’ we both really liked it as it is an oldie but a goodie! It’s a bit more happy and upbeat than other typical first dance songs whilst the lyrics are romantic and meaningful.
Favours were another thing that I agonised over for a long time. I think it’s nice to give guests a memento but I just couldn’t find anything we liked. Then we came across the photobooth idea which meant that we had some fun entertainment for our guests and it also allowed them to print as many copies of their photos to take home for themselves and another copy was stuck in a guest book for them to write a message next to. I wrote a poem and had it printed on the back of the menus to ask people to make sure that they used the pohotobooth as a favour for us and a favour for them. It was a massive hit and there was a steady queue all night and we have a fabulous guest book as a result as well as over 300 pictures on a CD to keep.
We replaced the existing chairs and dance floor with some hired whitewash chiavari chairs and a black and white dance floor which all added to the beauty of the marquee. The florist Calla’s Floral Designs arranged candles in hurricane vases which lined the stairs to the ceremony room and were later moved to line the path to the marquee which looked wonderful. I also spent months making and collecting various accessories which were used around the venue including a pamper basket for the lady’s toilets which was very popular with the girls!
The table plan I made using a birdcage frame which tied in with our invitations and name tags on the chair and we used a vintage suitcase for the cards. The table names were all arenas and events at Latitude festival which Danny and I go to every year and also went to this year after our honeymoon… or for honeymoon number 2 as I liked to call it. With names like ‘In the woods’ and ‘Guilty pleasures’ though they certainly kept our guests guessing!
The I Do List.
I feel our wedding was unique as we made an effort to do things the way that we wanted, breaking out of the typical wedding mould whilst maintaining the class and romance of a traditional wedding.
What about that for a cracking bit of D.I.Y for the table plan… a true RMW girl is our Ruth!
I think the photobooth concept is a really neat answer to the wedding favours quandry… it engages your guests in a fun activity, it gives them a keepsake and it adds to the memories of the day for you as well… It’s got more strings to its bow than a kinder suprise. Now, if only someone out there were to somehow combine a photobooth with chocolate…
And so this morning, from “the other side” of the Rock My Wedding fence, Ruth recalls the day she said I do…
We really cannot recommend Yaxley Hall enough. Everything from first booking through to organisation on the day was fantastic. It is a privately owned house which we had exclusive use of for the day which made it really personal and intimate as well as romantic and classy. The house and the grounds are beautiful, the food is delicious and the wedding butler Richard Orton is just fabulous and was such a great help throughout. The ceremony was in the upstairs music room but to cater for the number of guests that we invited we also had some guests in the downstairs drawing room where they watched the ceremony on a large screen with a video link to the music room. This was a big hit and guests said it was great being able to watch the service from the front where they could see our faces, plus they were able to drink champagne whilst they watched too!
I didn’t want to over theme or colour scheme the day, but our choice of venue plus the initial ideas that I had in mind led way to the general theme for the wedding which became vintage inspired with a twist of modern funkiness with a few birdcages thrown in too!
Experiencing “The One.”
When I set out to look for a dress I had a definite idea in mind but didn’t have much luck finding it. So after a few unsuccessful trips I came across a dress which at the time I thought was the one, so my Mum kindly bought it for me. When I collected the dress however after 7 months waiting for it, doubts had set in but I tried to put them to the back of my mind. Then one day I was out with my bridesmaid as she needed to visit a hairdressers which took us to an end of town that I wouldn’t have normally have been passing.
Whilst waiting for her I found myself outside a bridal shop when I spotted a dress in the window …WOW… it was just what I had been looking for originally. I tried the dress on and loved it, at last I knew what people meant by ‘The one!’ The beauty of a dress is by Justin Alexander and is number 8530. I loved the lace detail at the neck and the back, the subtle mermaid style… in fact I loved everything about it, it was just perfect for me! By this time though it was only 2 months until the wedding and time was tight, but thankfully it arrived just in time to be altered. Phew! I’m not a big believer of fate, but I really think that it played a part in me finding my perfect dress.
Simple And Delicate.
I can’t remember the first time that I first set eyes on the gorgeous Jenny Packham Arcacia ii but as soon as I did I just knew I had to have it! I made a trip to London to the Jenny Packham boutique in Slone Square to try it on and I loved it even more when I saw the real thing. With this and the dress I didn’t feel that I needed to make a statement with my other jewellery so wanted to keep it simple and delicate. Danny surprised me with some beautiful white gold and diamond hoops that we had spotted together previously and I was also lucky to receive a really pretty bangle also in white gold and diamond as a present from my Step Mum.
I was always certain I didn’t want to wear a veil and when I had already fallen in love with dress number two, I was told that it comes with a detachable train which is completely gorgeous and like nothing I had ever seen before. Yet again it was meant to be and I loved it so much and it was a great alternative to a veil.
I had always wanted to have statement shoes, I have quite a reputation as being a shoe lover and as the proud owner of a well stocked walk in shoe cupboard I wanted to get something fab for my wedding day! I had initially thought that it was a good excuse to treat myself to a pair of Christian Louboutins, but after getting two dresses I decided it was a bit extravagant. So I came across the bright pink Ted Baker shoes and thought they were fab. I loved the flash of pink under the classic lace dress, ‘subtly rebellious’ as someone described it! I also had my finger nails painted bright pink to match.
From Zurich To Yaxley.
I decided to have my hair and make-up done professionally not only to look my best but also to take the pressure off me having to do it myself in the morning. My hairdresser Hannah was recommended by a friend and arrived bright and early at 7:30am at my Mum’s house and did a great job despite being shattered after delayed flights arriving from Zurich the day before. We then travelled to Yaxley and were made up to perfection by the very lovely Sophia who worked her magic with a very large selection of Mac make up.
During my thorough internet research I came across the Amnesia Rose. It is a dusky pink colour with a really vintage look about it which was just perfect. So we met with Kevin the florist at Calla’s Floral Designs who was able to create the beautiful displays using all ivory flowers and green foliage making the Amnesia Rose the focus. The men also all had an amnesia rose as their button hole.
Nice Day For A White Waistcoat.
We decided to go for a grey suit for Danny, the two best men, the ushers and for our Dads. We wanted to keep them relaxed and not overly ‘weddingy’. Danny’s suit is by Without Prejudice which he bought so he could have it adjusted to be a perfect fit whilst the best men and ushers hired their suits from Coes. After much deliberation and changes of mind, we settled on the white waistcoats and light grey/silver ties and Danny wore a pink patterned tie just to stand out and be a bit different!
Walking down the aisle was far more emotional and nerve wracking than I had expected especially when I saw Danny turning to look at me with tears in his eyes!
We also chose to have a grey/silver bridesmaid dress to coordinate with the men’s suits. The dress we chose was from Debenhams and was a bit of a lucky find. After making a day trip to Bluewater but not finding anything, I stumbled across this dress during my lunch hour from work and both my bridesmaid and I were very happy with it.
The right photographer was very important to us as we both love photographs. We had been researching photographers for quite a while and had met with a couple who just didn’t feel right. Then, as if by magic during my daily Rock My Wedding visit, I saw some fantastic pictures which to my amazement (as nothing is normally local to me) were from a wedding at a venue nearby. I contacted Craig & Kate Williams who are completely lovely and as soon as we met with them we knew they were right for us. We loved their relaxed reportage style mixed with modern style photos and they certainly did not disappoint. We hardly noticed them on the day and were really astounded when we saw how many photographs they had taken, they captured the day perfectly.
I don’t remember foliage ever looking so luxurious, so velvety, so…. green! The deep rich heritage colours of Yaxley Hall and its surroundings really give Ruth and Danny’s wedding a sense of occasion and a certain gravitas. A stunning set of images from a stunning day.
P.S the “hanging dress” shot can so often be a tricky one for photographers to get just right… Craig and Kate’s answer – just whack a portrait of an Ex Prime Minister into the mix…. Et Voilà.
A wee while ago the very fancy and luxurious bridal boutique Adamo ran a competition to offer two lucky customers the opportunity to enter their prize draw.
And no it wasn’t to win a bridal gown but to wear one, or two…or um three (!), then be photographed in full styled glory by the lovely Craig and Kate from Craig Williams Photography.
I know. Lucky so and so’s right?
The shoot took place at Cliff Barns where there are two “venues” to choose from, Dynasty and Dallas, both full of quirky touches and eclectic southern charm. It was Dallas that was the location of choice and provided the perfect backdrop for real bride winners Joss and Abbie to showcase a wide variety of accessories, frocks and general fabulousness.
And as well as unique W-day inspiration there is a whole heap of rock-the-dress idea gems and hair-do could -do should-do greatness on these pages today folks.
Oh and must mention the cake.
I am completely and utterly obsessed With. The. CAKE.
So without further ado…… let’s do Dallas lovelies.
A Raw Country Influence
Lauren at Adamo Bridal:Our brief was Rustic, Country, Raw, Cool. Not the instant association you would make with a typical wedding dress, which may usually conjure up words such as ‘pretty’ and ‘princess’…and that’s exactly why I loved this shoot!! Our brides at Adamo tend to love the quirky and we really got to use some of our quirkiest dresses to stand out against the rustic grandeur of the venue Cliff Barns.
Alan Hannah’s full-skirted gowns with an edge (amazing appliqué silk flowers and specially commissioned checked fabric); Cymbeline’s layered lace and bustled-up skirts; MiaMia’s all-over ruffles and Ugo Zaldi’s flowing silks….each one utterly unique and just that little bit (dare I say it) ‘different’!!
The moral of the story is – your wedding dress shouldn’t be wearing you, you should be wearing the dress! If something isn’t ‘you’, then don’t feel you have to wear it just because it seems to have the tear factor with your Nan. Our models showed off exactly how to bring the cool to your wedding day style!
Craig Williams Photography: We did the shoot as this amazing venue called Cliff Barns, they have two venues based on Dallas and Dynasty and we were at Dallas! This shoot is full of Stag Heads and cowboy saddles galore and with two stunning brides in the pictures we think the results were incredible.
Love Your Hair
Cassandra Rizzuto: Lauren Williamson asked me to be involved in this shoot i was given the guidelines of 1950’s but I did not want the hair to look like we just played dress up with the Models, so I just went with what came to me on the day. Although I had in my head Quiffs and Rolls. Our first look was some elegant loose curls to compliment the gorgeous dresses and brilliant make up by Lucy.
Then it was time to Rock it!!! With Abbie I went with a really high quiff but kept it textured but kept the back very sleek to make sure the quiff stood out. I styled the Quiff free handed with my fingers and my favourite hairspray Big Sexy Hair “Spray and Play Harder”, the name says it all.
Our second model Joss I went with a side roll, again with a lot of texture because her hair had previously been curled to spice things up a bit and give her a more of a New England charm (As seen in May’s Vogue Magazine).
Lucy Baker:My initial inspiration for the shoot was make-up a bit like Dita Von Teese wears but in a modern fresh way, i.e not quite so traditional. The models both had very different colourings though so I worked that look for Abbie, who had black hair, as she could take a lot of colour, the red 50’s hollywood glamour lips and matt skin worked so well on her!
The second model, Joss, was much fairer so I really wanted soft pastel colours to accentuate her lovely big eyes and great smile. I was aiming for a more wearable, slightly vintage bridal look with peachy undertones to suit paler women, which is why I used the soft dusty colours and powdered the skin quite heavily so it didn’t look modern and sheen-y.
To start your weekend the RMW team thought they’d give you even MORE real wedding pretty…..yay!
And just to keep it y’know different from the Silver Sensation, Classic English Rose soiree and Western Wonder we’ve posted earlier in the week we’re going all out on the bold colour scheme front with this South African influenced beauty of a Big Day.
Monochrome it seems is forever popular and I love the way Simon and Clarissa have added huge amounts of striking yellow to their Prested Hall affair. Not to mention all of the little personal touches and general merriment.
Oh and what just might be THE cutest flower girl outfit EVER.
Simon and Clarissa met on a blind date and as Simon said in his speech he knew she was the one he was going to marry from the first moment he saw her….
The proposal didn’t go quite as planned as Clarissa dropped the ring and they spent most of the dark night trying to find it!!
With my shoes I went for comfort over anything, I never wear heels and I can’t walk in them so I thought it would be best to get something I could actually walk in!
The make was Rainbow and they were great, I kept them on all night!
My Mum really wanted me to wear one of her necklaces but unfortunately it would have been too much with my dress so in the end I just wore some pearl bracelets which I already had.
An Unlikely Choice
My Dress was from Berketex in Oxford Street by the dresser Rosetta Nicolini. I tried six on in this one shop and I ended up going for the second dress, I didnt go for it first off because it’s really not what I wanted!!!
I would never wear lace and I can’t believe I choose it. One of my bridesmaids came with me and she said “that’s the one” and I knew when i tried it on again it WAS the one!
I felt amazing, the lace was beautiful and it had a fitted corseted bodice which gave me a great shape. I like the idea of wearing something that i wouldn’t normally wear – it made the day feel even more special.
World Wide Maids
We got the bridesmaids dresses from Debenhams and they were perfect, they really matched the black and white theme I had going on. I brought a little bit of zebra print in where I could and although my bridesmaids didn’t look like zebras (!!) the white strip down the middle was perfect.
I had to send one to one of my bridesmaids in Canada and one to South Africa as I wanted them to try them on and see how they felt.
Simon’s Suit were hired from our local Debenhams. Simon knew what he wanted before he went so it was really easy for him to choose.
I had my hair done by someone from a salon called Take-Two in Kelvedon, I had it the style I did because I always wear it up and I was going to have it up for my wedding day…. but the lady at the salon said she would try something different! She thought it best if I at least try something I never normally have and after she did a test run I absolutely loved it!
My make up was done at the salon at Prested Hall. I wanted something really natural, the service was great and I had exactly what I wanted.
Floral Wow Factor
My flowers were done by Michelle’s Floral Design in Witham. I took her a picture of how I wanted my bouquet and she make them exactly like the picture – they were amazing. My auntie Kath did my bridesmaids flowers and table decorations which were all sunflowers, I loved the yellow contrast with the Black.
South African Influences
As I am from South Africa i wanted my favours to have a touch of it, i got black bags from organza bags and some zebra printed napkins which i lined them with and I got Mr and Mrs sweets on line from ” The wedding Shop” . I put a Zulu love letter from south Africa in the ladies favours which is a love message woven in beads by Zulu Maidens to be given to their lovers as symbols of love and affection. Each colour bead has a different meaning, like Green ” I have become thin like the sweet cane in a damp field and green as the first shoots of trees because of my love for you.”
The men had a small bottle of Amarula Cream made from the fruit of the Marula, or “Elephant” tree. When I took a trip back home I also got some really cool name place holders in the shapes of all different animals they looked really affective and I thought they fitted in with the whole theme really well.
We chose our photographers Craig and Kate because we loved the website and when we met with them we got on really well, they just seemed really approachable. The Pre-Wed shoot was a great idea and no one else seemed to do it and it’s something we really wanted as I was REALLY nervous about getting my picture taken! It really made me ready for my wedding day.
Their style was exactly what I wanted so we were really pleased we found someone.
My big cake was made by my 86 year old grandma which I loved as she really wanted to contribute to the day and we were really happy for her to do that. It was iced by a company called ” Sugar Box” in Cirencester and they also made our lovely little cupcakes, we got them to follow the Sunflower theme they were all fruit cake….. mmmmmmm lovely!
We had the people made for us which we put on top of the cake they were meant to be of Simon and I, I sent a picture and they made them to look like us. Check out Simon as a cool fireman!
Our first dance was by Eva Cassidy ” Songbird” we both really liked it anyway but we didn’t find out until we heard it on the telly and both said how much we loved it!
Advice For Brides
If I was going to give some advice for future brides out there it would be not to stress, I did and it wasnt nice, there is a lot to do especially if you both have full time jobs. The internet is a great source of information and ideas if you have the kind of job where you can get away with looking on line (!) Shop around and you might find different prices else where, but never scrimp on the things that are most important to you. Things can get really overwhelming but try not to let them and keep calm. Always look at more than one wedding venue – that’s the biggest chunk of your money so make sure its right for you and ask them loads of questions!
Oh and Simon has said to all future brides out there always marry a Fireman!!! 🙂
How lovely on a cold November day, a whole page of sunshine, love and together foreverness…..