We always get a little bit excited when we know we’ve got a Jason Mark Harris wedding to share with you, he really does get the loveliest of brides and grooms, and captures every inch of their day with such passion and creativity.
This adorable Summer wedding took place at the couples home in a marquee, all exquisitely decorated in white florals and silver accents with the help of Peri Peri Events. Bride Amelie looks a knockout in a lace Pronovias bridal gown, and the portraits of her and groom Joe under the pergola are just off the chart.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the intricate detail on Naomi’s Alice Temperley gown. It’s breathtaking isn’t it. The adorable cap sleeves and appliqué lace detail look so delicate and ethereal. Then her and groom Dan hit the urban streets with the fabulous Lovestruck Photography and she teams it with a leather jacket. SO fierce.
The rest of their London wedding is just as perfectly executed with timeless vintage elegance and city vibes, including festoon lights in The Pickle Factory courtyard and a taco truck for guests to feast on. It’s definitely a beautiful celebration of love and style you don’t want to miss.
This beautifully executed, elegant pink & white wedding was all down to the planning skills of Lindy Dowling, but with a venue like Notley Abbey, mesmerising flowers by Wild Orchid and an adorable couple such as Laura and Mike it was no wonder Natalie J Weddings was able to capture such magic.
The fashion was also heavenly. Bride Laura wore an exquisite Pronovias gown with full skirt and delicate lace bodice, and groom Mike keeps things traditional in a morning suit from Moss Bros.
Everything looks, relaxed, incredibly beautiful and super fun to boot. Who wouldn’t want a fairytale wedding like this…
I am more than a little in awe of bride Helen this morning. In fact you’d be hard pushed to find a bride as dedicated as this blonde beauty to her wedding day. I don’t think Helen will mind me saying this but her big day was a BIG deal, after all she’d only been planning it for her entire life!
In all seriousness though there are oodles of details for you to pour over this morning, from the chalkboard signs, to the decorated aisle and her ruffled wedding cake even down to her cupcake table plan. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen an edible table plan before!
Helen’s dress is also a stunner with exquisite back detailing and which Helen has accessorised perfectly from her glittering headpiece down to the tips of her heart adorned toes.
We’re as proud as punch to have Gavin and Helen’s big day on the blog especially because RMW was such a big part of their planning journey. We love that we have and continue to inspire all you gorgeous grooms and beautiful brides out there.
Jodie and Donnie’s super luxe black tie affair in Yorkshire is the perfect soiree on which to end my real wedding adventures of 2013; yep folks this will be the last wedding I’ll be blogging this year though you can bet your bottom dollar we’ve got some corkers for you coming up next year.
And it is luxe; filled to the brim with beautiful details and exquisite tailoring which isn’t surprising given that Jodie is the editor of MR PORTER – a men’s style site that oozes sophistication for the savvy men in your life and Donnie is a session guitarist with the twinkliest eyes I ever did see.
They married in Jodie’s childhood back garden near the moors in Northern Yorkshire under a huge oak tree. I know, I almost died from delight when I first saw the photos…but wait it gets better.
Jodie was lucky enough to have a pair of gorgeous dusty pink organza floral sandals by Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti specially made for her when they’d sold out EVERYWHERE. Not only that but she also wore a custom veil to match her golden hued dress; how special is that!
I also adore the escort card Dinky car idea that Jodie created and the fact that they had a passage from Wuthering Heights read out during their ceremony – possibly one of my favourite books ever.
Oh and then there’s the escapade involving Jodie’s dad, a shotgun and a balloon.
Love On The Moors
Jodie The Bride: Like most little girls who have spent an incomprehensible amount of time imagining their wedding day, I had always had a particular setting in mind. For years I had envisaged a candle-lit, crumbling castle in some remote and other-worldly enclave of deepest, darkest Scotland – a Macbeth style setting of bracing winds, roaring fires and kilted hunks. The reality was though that once Donnie had proposed on the Yorkshire moors above my childhood village, only one setting really felt right, both sentimentally and logistically. Home.
Right from the start of us going out, Donnie fell in love with the cottage and it’s sprawling gardens and I obviously had a whole lifetime of memories there, so it just felt right. Mid-way between our home in East London and where we had met in Glasgow, it was also the place my sister had got married almost 18 years earlier. I wanted to make sure we did it a little differently for those that would be there the second time around, so we settled on the reception in a tipi in the main garden (rather ambitious considering Yorkshire weather) and a self-penned ceremony under the big oak tree my brother and I had climbed in and made a swing on as kids.
No Fuss Or Frills
Working in the fashion and beauty industry for almost 12 years, I had very set ideas about what type of wedding hair I liked (and perhaps more pertinently – disliked). I didn’t want anything too tricksy or ‘done’. No fuss or frills. I’m a lucky girl when it comes to the company I keep in the beauty world, so my hair and make-up was kindly done by two really good friends and amazing professionals – make-up artist Niamh Quinn and session stylist Zoe Irwin.
For hair – I referenced a few pictures of Grace Kelly – in particular one I found on the Internet of her with Audrey Hepburn before an awards ceremony. I loved the simplicity of it – in shape and style and the way it presented her neck. I knew that it would give the full-length veil I wanted a really good drape. Overall I hoped to look completely timeless.
Make-up was really focused on the clarity and radiance of the skin, something Niamh is known for and spent the most time on. We had a couple of trials and ended up going for a very simple black eye shadow line on the lid and a deep rose colour on the lip- Laura Mercier Crème Smooth in Pink Dusk. She also introduced me to a very cheap yet brilliant new mascara – Colossal Volum Express by Maybelline – it’s brilliant! We added a little extra volume at the edges with a few Eyelure lash inserts.
It Fitted Like A Glove
Amazingly, I found my dress on the first day of dress hunting – a strangely common story amongst brides I hear. It was the second appointment of the day and I knew as soon as I put it on – mainly because of the look my mum and best friend Nicole had on their faces as I stepped out of the dressing room. Unfortunately I had just bought another dress by Manuel Mota on a whim at a Pronovias sample sale (never go to a sample sale for your first try-on’s is all I can say) so had the slight issue of having to sell that one off as soon as I got home.
My second – and final – ‘one’ was by the Australian designer Justin Alexander – someone I hadn’t heard of, as I had never really investigated any bridal designers before. I chose by how it looked and felt- rather than who it was by. For years I had envisaged wearing something devastating by Oscar de la Renta or Valentino, but the reality was they were either a) too expensive or b) didn’t suit me- or a combination of both. This dress fitted like a glove and really complemented my shape – pinching in and flowing out at all the right moments. I bought it from Angelica Bridal in Islington, London.
The veil- THE VEIL! I really surprised myself by deciding to wear a long veil (or Chapel length I quickly learnt was the proper name). The only issue I had was matching the colour of my dress (which was a quite unusual pale gold) to the tulle of the veil, as all those I tried seemed too white. I also wanted to it to be super soft silk tulle so it draped nicely and wasn’t too crisp. After a very long search I found the lovely Nicola at Halo & Co who blew me away by making the veil for me bespoke – matching the colour and the exact same lace of my dress by acquiring it from the designer.
It was stunning and I adored wearing it- even more so because of the work it took to get it. The shoes were another project. I had seen a picture on Pinterest of these gorgeous dusty pink organza floral sandals by Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti – but discovered that they were no longer in production. A few emails between some fortunately connected fashion friends resulted in the brand making them for me especially, which made wearing them on the day so much sweeter. They now take pride of place on my dressing table. I bought my crystal earrings from Kenneth Jay Zane at Net-a-Porter. At night I wore a feathered cream cape I found at Annie’s in Angel, London.
Shades Of Grey
I had five bridesmaids; my sister, three great friends from university and my oldest friend from the village we married in, Sarah. I never liked the idea of them all wearing the same dress, so I tasked them with finding their own with the brief of ‘long, timeless and in either greys or shades of grey and blue’. The process was actually pretty painless, as they all found their dresses within a few weeks of each other- apart from my sister who bought about six in total and wore two on the day – both by David Meister. Sarah’s was from made to order from Dessy, Nicole’s from BCBG, Baseera’s from Mignon at Bloomingdales (the US sites have so much selection due to their proms) and Mhairi’s from J.Crew.
Donnie’s outfit received a lot of my time and attention. Having worked in menswear for years I wanted to make sure both he and my dad looked like Hollywood icons! Donnie’s midnight blue mohair tuxedo was by Valentino – bought from MR PORTER. His shoes and bow tie were by Lanvin, and his shirt by Spencer Hart. Dad’s tuxedo was by Gucci, his shirt Turnbull & Asser and his shoes Grenson. I think they did me proud. My two gorgeous nephews wore tuxedos from Zara and J.Crew.
We are at the age when friends are marrying- so in the last few years we had spent a lot of time in ‘vintage’ themed surroundings. Whilst I think this is beautiful, by the time we came to planning our wedding I felt I was after something else. Something fresh whilst being appropriate to the countryside. I’ve always loved the way Americans do weddings- all the details and little personal touches, so I was addicted to Martha Stewart’s website and magazine for DIY ideas and inspiration throughout all the planning.
To get little parts of Donnie – a total motorhead- into the décor, I sourced around a hundred 1960s and 70s Dinky cars on Ebay, sprayed them white and tied little escort cards on the wheels. This served as a table plan as such. I focused on a couple of colours and shades as a theme, but tried hard not to make it too matchy and just choose stuff I liked.
Grey seemed classic and pretty against the pale pinks of the flowers, and white always looks beautiful, whether its rain or shine. I used a grey silk chiffon as the table runners- bought on a big roll, cut loosely and draped a little to give some texture.
I sourced square crockery and brought this up from London, via the wonderful Daniela at Classic Crockery who has a lovely selection of XVII style ceramics for hire, as well as a huge archive of lace napkins and cut glassware.
Pinks And Pale Greens
I didn’t really consider the seasonal issues that would arise with flowers by having the wedding in the middle of September so I was pretty disappointed to learn that peonies and ranunculus would be out of season as I had always envisaged them in my bouquet. In the end though it really didn’t matter. I saw a picture of Blake Lively’s bouquet from her wedding to Ryan Reynolds and thought – that’s what I want.
The absolutely stunning floral designs on both the tables and bouquets were created by the gorgeous Wendy and her team at The Hedgerow, Threshfield. My bouquet was full of lovely washed out tones of pinks and pale greens using garden roses, dusty miller, pink jasmine and dusky protea, bound with a piece of pale double-sided velvet from VV Rouleaux in London.
The bridesmaids had mini versions of the same, bound with cream lace from Hobby Lobby. On the tables, our florist used my home props – funny little odds and ends plus a few of her own ornaments to create some beautiful rambling centre pieces using marble busts, books, terrariums, antique mirrors and bell jars.
Short And Sweet
With neither of us being religious, we decided to avoid churches and any religious readings in the ceremony. We had married legally 2 days prior, so that also meant we didn’t need any of the legal vows either. Instead we kept the ceremony short, silly and sweet by getting our Irish friend Eoin to conduct it, who had known us as a couple since we first met. We married under the big tree and a make-shift altar we had made that morning using a long piece of white chiffon which we nailed onto the trunk. It looked really simple and pretty.
Part way through the ceremony my bridesmaid Mhairi read an excerpt from Wuthering Heights- where Cathy is explaining her love for Heathcliff to the housemaid, Nelly. It’s quite a dark little segment but it’s such a special part of their troubled love story and it’s a book that has stayed with me since I studied it for A Level.
Our rings were, um, pretty different from each other! Mine was a classic diamond eternity ring we found at a local antique shop. Donnie’s was made by our friend and jeweller, Will, who works at The Great Frog – a bit of a legendary rock and roll jewellers in London. It was a pig skull design carved in silver (chosen, embarrassingly, as ‘pig’ is our nickname for each other – I have no idea why). Let’s just say Donnie’s not really the classic wedding ring type…
With Donnie being a musician, this was the one area I had to hand over to him to control (although I did try and wrestle it from him from time to time). I did however get to choose some of the piano music our friend and pianist John Tilley played before and during the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First – which was quite serious but to be honest this was the only serious part of the whole day and it’s a piece of music I have always loved since hearing it played by the man himself at Alexander McQueen’s memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral.
We have never really had a ‘song’ as such but we certainly knew the songs we both liked. Our friend Pauline Taylor is a stunning singer- really soulful and soft – so we asked her to perform our first song – Ray Lamontagne’s Jolene. A strange choice one might think in that’s it’s about an alcoholic down-and-out who is saved by his women – but we always liked the sentiment! Having been to lots of band weddings, we were keen to make it a bit different and so decided to do a little rockaoke for the first hour– asking friends to choose a song by filling out a little form over dinner. This meant people got really nervous and excitable – which created this brilliant atmosphere.
Our friend Iain – known for his insanely tune-less singing voice – got up first to break the ice as it were by singing Vanilla Ice’ Ice Ice Baby. It was so funny. A few songs later and Paolo Nutini (who Donnie plays guitar for) got up to sing Prince’s Kiss. He blew us all away and strangely enough nobody was that keen to get up and follow that! At 10pm two DJ’s took over- both good friends who delivered two amazing sets. The dance floor was hoatching all night.
Potent French Martinis
We served a lovely light prosecco with raspberries for welcome drinks in the garden with the option of a nice cold bottle of Brooklyn beer (one of Donnie’s favourites) for the guys. We did the same for toasts and speeches, which we decided to do pre-dinner in order for the speakers (including myself) to relax and enjoy their dinner. For the evening bar we served some rather potent French Martini Cocktails- one of my regular tipples. Oh and Jaeger bombs. Obviously. From elegant and classy to raucous and rip-roaring in one quick shot.
Nicola at Figs Catering provided the prettiest, tastiest canapés (apricots in bacon, brie and strawberries, goats cheese and caramelized onion bruschetta’s) followed by the heartiest dinner of achingly tender steak and Guinness pie with mash potato and gravy. This was then followed by a lovely, light syrup sponge with custard. Proper, Yorkshire grub delivered in a very timely, no-nonsense manner! She and her team were brilliant. At 10.30pm they served fish finger sandwiches on bloomer rolls. Delicious and very welcome after several hours on the dance floor.
Love In Literature
When it came to favours for the women, I roamed what felt like the nation’s entire second-hand bookstores and car boot sales for lovely old copies of books that meant something to me from my time studying English Literature at Glasgow University – where Donnie and I had met. Tomes I looked for in particular were those by the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and F Scott Fitzgerald.
Fifty-two copies were found in total – three of which were unearthed the day before the wedding! Close call. For the men, a friend at a drinks company I had worked with kindly supplied me with 50 very cute half bottles of Donnie’s favourite Scottish whiskey, Talisker. It being a very Scottish-heavy guest list, needless to say many bottles got emptied right there and then on the night.
Stationery and décor was where I really spent a lot of my time and attention in the build up to the wedding, and was where I got most of my enjoyment in the preparations. I’ve always been pretty crafty so I couldn’t wait to get going on the invite and save the date. A very talented designer friend at MR PORTER helped me design the invite – which was based on the a fashion show invitation by Dolce & Gabbana which featured these stunning illustrated floral designs in a little bound booklet.
I wanted all the information to be in one place- so everything from the dress-code (we opted for black tie/eveningwear to make it feel special and eliminate men turning up in their work suits) through to directions and parking were all designed into the pages of the booklet. I found the dove grey, lace-lined envelopes on Etsy – handmade and shipped from the US.
I also made 160 giant tissue and silver mylar tassels by hand for the backs of all the chairs – which was a real mission but we got there in the end and had a few good girly days making them the weeks before the day. I also sourced lots of different centerpieces for each of the tables- both antique and new.
Matalan’s home department was a brilliant tip I was given by another bride and I sourced some great pieces here – from simple glass candlesticks to the silver domed bell jars and the engraved candles. I also spent a lot of time on great ribbon which I stocked up on in one of my all-time favourite craft emporiums – Hobby Lobby. Sadly for us Brits this wonderland is only in the US, so if you are heading there before the big day make sure you plan a visit and take a big empty suitcase with you. It’s genius.
The main thing to remember is to start to let go the night before the big day. By then you can’t really do anything to make a big difference to the day so try to abandon your responsibility and have fun with your guests. I found this really hard to do.
If you are hosting- make sure you plan the clean up properly. Its amazing to get married in your family home but this does mean you have to think about every single element – from toilet roll and electric cables right through to blowing the candles out before you got to bed and closing the tent. Make sure you rope some friends in to help both closing-up and cleaning up the next day. Even better pay someone to come in and do it. I was so fixated on the day itself I completely forgot about the after-math which meant we spent a good 4 hours stacking glasses and clearing tables the next day before going off on honeymoon – all with a hideous hangover. Not very glamorous!
A friend accidentally released one of the giant balloons that were tied to the chairs, which floated up to the top of the tipi, right above the fire. It blocked the smoke flap, which meant smoke began to fill the room. My dad – in typical Yorkshire manner – simply got up, walked into the house and came back with his shotgun. He fired the balloon down, without even so much as a warning to all the guests who were midway munching through their steak pies. It was hilarious. My favourite picture of the whole day is one John took of him after he’d done it. He looks so happy with himself!
John was just the greatest guy to have there on the day. So many guests remarked on how charming and unobtrusive he was. And the pictures speak for themselves. One of the best moments of the day was when we went up to the moors with him in the classic car and took some shots of the scenery – it was just so peaceful and stunning. I’ll always remember it.
Sometimes I think we forget that a wedding is about more than just the Bride and Groom. Weddings are also about two families coming together; the start of a new generation – but also about appreciating the older generation who have loved you and supported you through the good and the bad times.
Carley and Joe’s wedding is a real celebration of that. All of the décor was made by her family and inspired by her mother-in-law’s shop, The Angel Bill Trading Company.
Carley describes planning her wedding as an emotional rollercoaster which I’m sure lots of you can relate to. She also says that not only did she gain a soul mate on her wedding day, but also a renewed strength in her love for the people most important to her.
And I suppose an occasion like that definitely calls for a big party…
A Special Place
Carley The Bride: We married at St Helens Church in Wheathampstead. We chose this church for many reasons, one being that this was where I grew up and my mothers grave is there. It felt really important to be close to my mum on our special day. We then had our reception at Tewin Bury Farm. The barn fitted perfectly with our Country Chic/Fayre theme.
Showing Off The Neck And Shoulders
My step mum is a qualified hairdresser so naturally she took up the task of doing the Brides and Bridesmaids hair. We had a wonderful make-up artist recommended to us by various friends for the day called Jessica Alice Miller.
I wanted a very relaxed boho look and for a long time I was dead set on having my hair down and wavy for the bridal party. But after the final touches were being made to my dress, I decided I wanted to show off the neckline and take my hair off my shoulders.
An Unexpected Decision
I always knew in my heart I wanted a tea length dress, but didn’t dare try one on at the start. I worried I wouldn’t look like a Bride! After trying on several standard wedding gowns, I finally tried on a tea length dress. Apparently my whole posture and body language changed. It felt right.
But I was so fussy and couldn’t find ‘the’ dress so decided to have it made from scratch. With help from the very talented Justine at Angel Face Bridal Shop in Buckfastleigh, I designed my dress exactly how I wanted it! I had my shoes dyed pink (my favourite colour) and in the evening wore special edition crochet ‘Toms’ espadrilles – it was fun to have my new name on my shoes!
Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend
I hadn’t even thought about jewellery, which was odd because I had focused on every tiny detail so hard! At my Hen party, my nan gave me some amazing diamond earrings my granddad gave to her which was very emotional. And on the morning of the wedding, Joe’s sister Alice (also my bridesmaid) gave me a gift on behalf of Joe, which was a stunning diamond necklace. It was perfect!
I also had a gorgeous clutch bag from alphabetbags.com which said ‘Bride’. It was so handy and was obvious whose bag it was! The rings were made by Galio Jewellers in St Albans. Joe also had the engagement ring made and supplied from the same jewellers so it was nice to have all the rings from the same place.
Here Comes The Bride
We had two Bridesmaids (our sisters) and a flower girl (Carley’s step sister). Joe had two best men and one usher. The Bridesmaids both wore Dessy dresses and the Groomsmen wore suits hired through Angel Face. Joe bought a separate suit for himself from Ted Baker.
The flower girls dress was from Monsoon UK. She also carried a wooden sign down the aisle which read ‘Here Comes The Bride’ which was made by Joe’s mum (Kate Toms, owner of The Angel Bill Trading Company).
A Very Creative Bunch
We had a sort of rustic/country chic theme with a bit of country fayre thrown in! Due to Joe coming from an extremely creative family, we had a lot of help with making and designing all the décor ourselves. We even made all the garden games ourselves from scratch; we had a splat the rat, horseshoe hoopla, welly wanging and a giant buzzer game!
We decorated the whole venue ourselves using vintage bottles and books we’d collected. We made all the chair sashes ourselves using lots muslin and blue dye.
Simple Yet Stunning
We had all our flowers put together by Arrangements in Redbourn. I wanted my flower girl to have the exact same bouquet as me, just a bit smaller.
After the ceremony I put her flowers on my Mum’s grave. We wanted the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to have lots of gypsophila and be very simple yet stunning. The flowers in the venue had a country/wild flower theme.
A Real Family Affair
I designed our Order of Service cards and with the help of Joe’s Mum and Sister, painstakingly tied muslin bows onto them, which were handed out before the ceremony. On the reverse we had the order of the day printed so our guests knew exactly what was happening and when.
Joe’s Grandma did a special reading during the ceremony. My Grandad gave me away. We also put together a little treat for the guests as they were leaving the ceremony; brown paper bags with a Tunnocks ‘Caramel’ bar and a map with a poem printed on the front (all made by the Tom’s family!).
The Perfect Accompaniment
During the sit down meal we hired a singer called Huw booked through Warble Entertainment. He was amazing and all our guests said his voice was beautiful and really added something special to the atmosphere.
Rather than having a DJ, we used a company called MiPod Party. We gave them a list of songs we wanted and they put together a playlist for the evening music. They provide all the sound system and lighting equipment, along with an ipod with your chosen music. It was so simple and easy, and tons cheaper than hiring a DJ. We had Jason Mraz – Lucky as our first dance, followed by Paolo Nutini – 10/10.
Delicious Food And Homemade Favours
We had a gorgeous three course meal cooked and served by the staff at Tewin Bury Farm. Chicken liver parfait with red onion marmalade and brioche for starters, loin of pork, thyme, garlic and hazelnut farce, with wholegrain mustard mash, calvados cream sauce and crackling vegetables for main and pavlova with mango coulis, pecan nut praline and cream for dessert.
Joe’s sister Alice (Bridesmaid) made homemade fudge for our favours wrapped up in brown paper and sealed with a sticker I designed. Our cake was made by a good friend, Jenny Whitehead (also mother of the Usher!). We had a five tiered (two of which were polystyrene!) red velvet cake with white chocolate icing. We used part of a tree trunk as our cake stand which Joe’s Dad cut and sanded down for us. I made the mini bunting cake topper.
We designed and made our table plan board ourselves. We had antique keys with luggage tags hanging on a board with each persons name and table number. Joe’s mum and dad made our wooden table numbers. I designed the menus on the table. We made wooden moustaches ourselves too which were put on each table. I also made the bunting across the top table which read Mr & Mrs Toms.
The World Continues To Revolve
Planning a wedding proved to be a very stressful and emotional roller-coaster for us both and it only made us appreciate each other and the people we love around us so much more. You become so absorbed in ‘wedding wedding wedding’ that it’s easy to sometimes forget that the world is continuing to revolve and that not everyone is as obsessed about your day like you are.
The day after our wedding, I suddenly felt this huge love for everyone around me so much stronger than ever. Not only did I marry my soul mate that day, I also realised the most important people in my life and how much I love them.
Above And Beyond
Our photographer was Julia West. I cannot praise her work enough! Julia and her wonderful assistant were just incredible on the day! So attentive and focused, yet so discreet. I didn’t even realise they were there most of the day! They both went above and beyond our expectations and Julia has produced the most stunning photos we will treasure forever.
We have to give a huge thank you to Joe’s Mum, Dad and Sister. They pretty much dedicated their lives for the months leading up to the wedding to helping us design and make everything. A lot of our inspiration came from the wonderful work of Joe’s mum – Kate Toms, owner of The Angel Bill Trading Company.
Party in the city where the heat is on… All night, on the beach till the break of dawn…
You get the idea.
Today folks we are transporting you far, far away on an epic wedding journey of beaches, buff bodies and Bliss. Paula and Grants destination wedding is U.S.A Mazin.
We wanted an intimate ceremony on the beach, so we were very lucky to find such a great spot. We really like The Surf Club on Miami beach with its historical character for the Dinner & Reception. This location made for the perfect sunset wedding.
Dress To Impress
This was a black tie wedding. The Groom and Groomsmen wore black tuxedos by Calvin Klein. The bride wore a dress from Pronovias and her bridesmaids wore dresses by the Dessy group, individually picked by each bridesmaid.
One of the bridesmaids, Amy Banas is a makeup artist and was gracious enough to do all of the bride’s party makeup.
My bridal accessories were gifts from my Mother and also I wore a special bracelet that my late Grandmother left me. This was a special gift that my father gave to me right before I walked down the aisle.
A Global Affair
We had quite the international wedding party, from Colombia to Vietnam, we were very lucky to be surrounded by people who have touched and influenced our lives.
In honor of my late Grandmother we wanted to recreate a vintage theme wedding with soft touches of my Grandmother’s favorite colors; blush pinks with gold accents. We also incorporated vintage keys throughout the wedding, from the escort cards to an ice sculpture that spoke to all the “keys” to love.
We had hydrangeas, peonies, and mini roses through out the venue.
Our favorite part was the beach setting & sunset during the wedding. There was a nice breeze that really made the ceremony special.
Till The Break Of Dawn
We had a full band that played music the whole night, with a DJ that would play during any breaks for the band. There was a mix of popular dancing music & more traditional Colombia and Hispanic music.
There was even an authentic Colombian band that came for a portion of the wedding to play a few favorite songs for dancing.
Our first dance song was ‘At Last’ by Etta James. We had our first dance outside, under 2 palm trees with everyone watching holding sparklers. During the middle of the song, we had set a surprise fireworks show that was on the beach for everyone to see.
We had an amazing chef at the Surf Club who made 3 delicious options – Carne Asada, Chicken & Salmon. We had over 30 different types of desserts at our sweets table that disappeared within minutes.
Here Comes Your Bride
We had a special sign for my little brothers to carry down the aisle before I walked down that said “Grant Here Comes Your Bride”.
Your Special Day
You won’t make everyone happy – but that’s okay because this is your special day and all that matters is your own happiness, besides it’s a day you will forever remember.
If Anyone wants me to, you know – pop over to Miami or anywhere beachy and hot to take some pictures then please do drop me a line… My schedule is surprisingly adaptable for such requests! These images by Claudia Rose Carter and Marshal Gray are amazing though and I can totally understand why you’d consider carting them half way across the globe to shoot your big day when the results are this breath taking.
And to finish with just a few wise words from Mr Will Smith…
Take a walk on the beach, draw a heart in the sand… Gimmie your hand. Damn, you look sexy.
Just rock it – excellent advice from Bride Jess to all our lovely RMW readers this morning. Jess definitely did, she looks gorgeous in her tea-length gown, choosing to leave traditional gowns because they weren’t for her. Everyone at this wedding just looks so happy and relaxed, which I think reflects the fact that Jess didn’t stress over the planning. Although sipping champagne in the spectacular Winter Gardens may also have contributed to the smiles! The Winter Gardens makes for a gorgeous wedding venue, so open, inviting and elegant with light streaming through the windows. You can almost see ghosts of couples past swirling around the Victorian dance floor.
Just a quick warning before we begin – I’m afraid this wedding will definitely make you want to go and get pick and mix.
A Blank Canvas
Jess The Bride: The venue we chose was the Winter Gardens in Ilkley. We decided to get married fairly quickly as neither of us like to hang around talking about things for years! We looked at 3 venues and the second we saw Winter Gardens we knew it was perfect. It’s such a beautiful, stylish place and best of all, it was a blank canvas and you can do with it whatever you please.
Cool And Calm
Our make-up was done by Francesca-Del-Bono who did my sisters wedding make-up 10 years ago! She was so cool and calm that there was never another option for us. I asked Francesca for a natural look and that’s exactly what I got. It stayed on all day and looks fabulous on the photos. I would recommend her without a shadow of a doubt – she’s very talented!
A Tea-Length Dress
I went to one wedding dress shop (Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden) and within half an hour had picked my dress. I tried 2 traditional dresses on and it didn’t feel right. I’d always imagined I’d wear a tea-length dress and when I saw the Ian Stuart Jetset that I ended up buying, I just loved it.
It came with a bolero jacket but I decided to soften the style by wearing a Monsoon angora shrug a la Kate Middleton! I only had my first fitting 3 days before the wedding as we planned it all in 4 months, but luckily, after a few quick adjustments, it was spot on!
Let The Shoes Do The Talking
I decided not to wear any jewelry as my dress had a beautiful corsage that I’d had fitted to the waist so I didn’t want to take away from that. I had a veil that I forgot I had until about 10 minutes before leaving the house so I quickly attached it and dashed. I think it looked quite funky! I also chose the most fabulous Nine West shoes to go with my outfit and they sort of stole the show!
We decided not to have a colour scheme but one ended up emerging as we planned things. My sister and best friends were bridesmaids and as my best friend lived in London we picked the dresses without her and she only had one fitting! The dress (just about) fit on the day! All of the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses (I had two flower girls, my 2 nieces) were Dessy from Emma Hartley Bridal in Barrowford. I bought my bridesmaids a shawl from Monsoon the week before the wedding and I bought the flower girls cardis from Next and cute pink Converse to wear with their outfits.
My husband was left to chose the mens outfits and typically chose the most expensive he could find! He and his brother (who was his best man) plus his four ushers wore suits from Reiss with a pink tie and handkerchief that I dashed to buy the week before as he hadn’t had time to sort it! I bought my husband some beautiful peony cufflinks from Not On The Highstreet as a gift.
There wasn’t a particular theme we went for, the whole day was just about being chilled and having fun (with a little bit of style thrown in!). I wanted guests to feel relaxed so we hired in quite a few sofas that were scattered around. To make guests feel included we made photo bunting including everyone at the wedding and pictures of them on their wedding days. It was a great talking point.
As the Kings Hall next door to the Winter Gardens is a theatre we had some movie posters made by Sara at Assembly Marketing with our faces on which gave people a bit of a giggle! A vintage style theme ended up emerging.
War Of The Roses
Emma from Emma’s in Baildon, who is a very good friend of mine, did our wedding flowers. She has such style and elegance and knew exactly what we wanted. We had hand tied bouquets for our flowers with lots of pink roses; upper secret, la belle, sweet dolmiti, avalanche sorbet and peonies. All of our direct family had buttonholes – Andy’s family with white roses for Yorkshire and mine with red roses for Lancashire!
Each table in the venue (including all the small tables for coffee) had jam jars filled with a selection of lovely quirky vintage style flowers along with lots of tea lights scattered everywhere. Our centre table had a large martini glass arrangement which was fabulous! Emma also styles venues as part of her wedding business and she did an incredible job bringing the whole concept together on the morning of the wedding. The church provided the flowers in the church. We asked for wooden love hearts on the end of the pews and they created 3 arrangements matching the flowers Emma had used throughout the venue.
Calm And Collected
The ceremony was quite traditional as was required by the vicar. We decided not to have a reading but had 3 hymns, my favorite of which being Jerusalem. I was very nervous about the church but it ended up being the part I enjoyed the most. I felt really quite calm during the service and just enjoyed being there and started looking forward to the party! When we were standing at the altar my dad got his phone out to turn it onto silent – only I noticed but it made me laugh!
We drove from my parents house to the church then reception in a Bentley (myself and my dad) and in a VW campervan called Dylan (the bridesmaids and my mum) which were a lovely touch! The drivers were so nice and kept us all very calm.
A Gorgeous Atmosphere
During the reception drinks upon arrival we had a guitarist (Jack) playing. Then during coffee and cake the guitarist was joined by his partner Gemma and they did 2 sets for us. The duo are called Jack and Gills Daughter and they were so lovely and chilled and created a gorgeous atmosphere.
During the evening we had a band called Northern Xposure playing who are fabulous! We’d seen them at a few other events and knew we had to have them. A DJ then followed into the wee hours!
We didn’t want to have a first dance as we knew it would be totally awkward. Instead we just got up to dance for the first song that the band played (Black-eyed-peas – tonight’s gonna be a good night), which turned into our first dance! The best entertainment we had for the evening was the photo booth from Booth Revolution. We had it from 8:30-11:30 and it was hilarious! It also gave people something to take away with them which was great. Well worth every penny!
A Talented Usher
The food was catered for by the venue and it was lovely. We had a roasted veg and mozzarella stack for starters, with feathered blade of beef bourguignon for main and cheese and biscuits for after’s. Cake and coffee was then served upstairs. In the evening we had nice sandwiches and home cut chips. One of our ushers is a pastry chef at a Michelin star restaurant and he made macaroons for all the guests as name places. They were amazing and people are still talking about them now! Lee is hoping to expand into wedding macaroons and can be contacted on 07974364301.
Let Them Eat Cake
Our wedding cake was made by one of my best friends Lynn from The Wee Bakery. Lynn has built TWB up from just making a few cakes for people to now having her own shop and bake-house. She is incredibly talented and just knows the vibe and style you’re after. And, when you have a consultation with her you get to eat cake! We had 4 tiers – fruit, lemon, vanilla and chocolate – and everyone was equally delicious.
Home Made Stationery
All the paper goods were designed and made by myself! Along with the odd helper, I made all the save the dates from a pre-wedding shoot photo we’d had taken with the fabulous Jess Petrie (who was also our wedding photographer – do not use anybody but this lady if you’re getting married! – She’s amazing!). We had simple brown craft card invites with the details printed on as invites. It was simple but stylish.
I bought large wooden photo frames and created a table plan to fit. Other DIY details we had were an introduction of the bridal party which we handed out with the hand made order of service in church. It gave people something to read and was quite funny so people enjoyed it.
We made bags of confetti, which our nephews handed out while we were signing the register. We placed baskets of lovely products in the toilets at the venue so people could freshen up during the day and evening. During the meal we had a paper quiz about me and my husband and gave out champagne to the winner.
Don’t let planning a wedding take over your life. It is just one day, a fabulous day, but just one and it’s over before you know it. So, chill out and enjoy it and make sure you carry on with your normal life in the meantime!
Ignore people who tell you everything changes after you’re married. We’ve been together for 12 years and I didn’t want anything to change, but was repeatedly told it would. Guess what – it hasn’t, and why would it! Try to circulate at the wedding as you do feel like you spoke to nobody when you wake up the morning after! Enjoy being with your family on the morning of your wedding – it was one of the funniest and nicest mornings of my life.
Your Most Expensive Outfit Ever
If, like me, you’re not keen on being the centre of attention, try your best to embrace it. You’re going to be looked at by everyone and actually, you’re probably going to look the best you’ll ever look and be wearing the most expensive outfit you’ve every worn and feel amazing – so just rock it! Don’t forget the reason you’re getting married. It’s all about love so wear your heart on your sleeve and smile! We had so many cards after the wedding saying how happy we looked all day and how happy that made people feel. So, if in doubt, smile, laugh and enjoy!
See what I mean about the Winter Gardens being such a gorgeous venue? So light, airy and elegant – I’d have felt very Strictly Come Dancing if I had been there.
The photo bunting using guests wedding photos is also ingenious and aren’t the floral centre pieces spectacular?
If you’re channelling classic elegance with heaps of pretty then this is the wedding inspiration for you. Emma looked picture perfect and accented her day with a simple colour scheme and gorgeous flowers all, you guessed it – super pretty!
Emma & Jonathan were married on Saturday 11 September 2010 at St Peter & St Paul’s Church in Olney, Bucks, with a reception at Fawsley HallFawsley Hall, Fawsley, Northamptonshire.
We hired Knightley Court which is the old stable block which was refurbished several years ago. It’s gives you a self contained venue of a grand dining room, a private bar, courtyard, 8 bedrooms and a couple of chillout rooms – we used one for a seating area with comfy chairs and sofas and one for the videographer. You just look out onto fields and a tiny church, so it’s very peaceful and in the most picturesque country setting.
My dress designer was Suzanne Neville and the style was called the Aster in ivory, bought from Once In A Lifetime, Stony Stratford (I also got my veil, bridesmaid dresses and bridesmaids’ shoes from there.) And I treated myself to a beautiful pair of platform 3.5inch off white Christian Louboutin’s. They were surprisingly comfortable all day!
I saw some of Suzanne’s designs and thought they were beautiful and simple, with great attention to detail so I made a beeline for her dresses in the shop. It was actually the second dress I tried on and nothing else compared to it. It’s classic, timeless and simple – but beautifully detailed with a waist cinching corset, buttons down the back and with a fuller netted skirt that suited the church and reception venue perfectly. I wanted something I could accessorize and complement with my veil and jewellery, but most importantly that I would look back on and still love in years to come.
I had a cathedral length veil with tiny diamante detail throughout and scalloped edging for a bit of detail as my dress was really simple. My hairdresser gave loose waves to my usually straight hair and pinned it half up/half down with lots of volume and body. For the church my veil was the main feature (I didn’t have a tiara) but when I removed my veil after the church, we added a vintage hairpin to my hair to finish it off and give a bit of detail from behind.
The Classic, Pretty Look
I used Claire Hanson for my hair and make up – recommended by a friend, she’s absolutely fantastic and a wonderful person to have around you on the day. Not only did she do my hair and make up, but did my mum’s hair and make up too and all three bridesmaid’s hair.
From the first time we met and discussed the classic, pretty look and feel of our wedding, she knew exactly what would work and suggested perfect ideas for us all.
Pretty in Pink
Everything was tied into the the theme and colour scheme.
The dads/ushers/grooms’ morning suits were all hired from Allens of Olney. We searched high and low to find the perfect suit! They were very traditional and we tied them into the colour scheme with waistcoats and buttonholes. They all – and particularly the groom (of course!) – looked fantasic!