Stilettos, wedges, block heels. Metallic, velvety, bejewelled. Frilly, fluffy, feathered. The possibilities when it comes to what to wear on your feet for that all-important walk down the aisle (and almost-as-important sashay onto the dancefloor!) are endless. I’ve rounded up some of the loveliest footwear we’ve ever featured on the blog, and some of the most stunning wedding shoes available on the high street now. Prepare to be inspired.
Today’s wedding is so pretty and delicate – all fluffy bouquets of gypsophila, china tea cups and pastel tones.
But the vintage tea party theme didn’t mean that they didn’t have a massive knees- up in the evening, the Groom re-formed his band for the occasion, Granny Norm baked a massive naked Victoria sponge and the guests got to munch on Pie and Mash!
Also, in true British style, the lack of sunshine didn’t stop the day from exceeding all of Charlotte’s expectations – just don a pair of wellies, grab a massive brolly and you’re good to go.
The First One
Our venue was the first one we looked at! My sister found it online and we went to see it and fell in love with it! We knew we wanted something relaxed and in a nice setting and the Ashes was just everything we wanted! The two beautiful barns provide everything you need and are in such a lovely pretty setting come rain or shine (rain in our case!)
Simple and Sophisticated
As my dress was quite simple I wanted my make up to be simple too. I was extremely lucky as my friend is a trained make-up artist so she worked her magic on the day! It was lovely to have Michelle do it for me, as she knows me already I trusted she would do exactly what I had in mind. We did have a little trial a few weeks before which I would recommend as it just makes the day much easier and run more smoothly.
My old hair dresser from home did my hair which again was so lovely! We did also have a trial which I would definitely do as what you say and think doesn’t always mean the hairdresser fully understands and once your hair is done it’s tricky to take out and do it again. I knew as with my make-up – I just wanted something natural and simple that still looked like me.
When You Know, You Know
Again as with our venue it was the first and only shop I went to! I knew I wanted something a bit different and simple; the one thing I wanted was to feel comfortable and be able to dance easily.
The minute I stepped into the Vintage Wedding Dress company I loved everything about it, the lovely ladies working there, the beautiful shop interior and then I saw the DRESSES! They are all so beautiful I loved that they offered both original vintage and inspired vintage. It turned out every dress I picked to try was original vintage, I loved that they were all so unique. My dress was 70’s and the second I put it on I loved it!
I got most of my accessories from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company as they had such gorgeous things. I love headbands and really wanted something vintage in my hair. I loved the simple delicate flower headband and felt it just finished off my look perfectly.
My veil was also from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. At first I didn’t think I would have a veil but when the lady in the shop popped one on me I loved it and thought it gave my dress a more bridal look. My shoes were also from there – I loved the simplicity of them and thought they went so well with my dress. Plus I wanted to dance all night and these meant I could do that!
Relaxed Vintage Feel
We didn’t have a strict colour scheme but wanted something relaxed with a vintage feel. The Bridesmaid’s dresses were from Warehouse, I loved the colour and style and they fitted really well next to my dress. I also had a little maid – Rob’s niece, and as she is 11, she wore a slightly different dress from ASOS but we still kept it within our vintage look and feel.
Rob knew he wanted something relaxed and fun so we decided waistcoats and bow ties would be good for the Best Men and Ushers! The waistcoats and bow ties were all from Topman. Rob’s suit was Topman and brogues from Ben Sherman.
As we didn’t really have a strict colour scheme as we wanted everything to be relaxed and a bit mix and match. Our invites we’re really simple, we used bunting which we then translated into the venue decor. We spent months collecting jars and pots and bunting to decorate the venue. We tried to use vintage pastel colours throughout the outfits and venue decor.
Thrown Together Flowers
The flowers were really important but I knew I wanted something simple and thrown together. I decided I would have gypsophila for my bouquet and for the 5 bridesmaids. I loved the vintage look of gyp and how pretty and simple it is. The button holes were all gypsophila too.
We were really lucky and had a friend of a friend do our flowers which was amazing as I totally trusted her to do an amazing job which she did! We collected jars and hampers for months to display the ceremony room flowers and table arrangements. I loved them – they were exactly what I’d hoped they would be and more.
Our ceremony was very simple, we chose our own vows and my Granny Norm did a reading – ‘Us Two’ from Winnie the Pooh. It was really lovely and exactly what we wanted.
Our biggest wish for the reception was that it was fun fun fun! We just wanted everyone to dance drink and have a good time. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a band as I just love how a band makes people get up and dance. My sister found our band as she had seen them at a friend’s wedding and they were ace.
Rob also used to be in a band and they reformed for a quick showing which was so much fun – he even got his Dad up on stage! After the band had finished we played a selection of our favourite songs from over the years – both old school and new.
The Perfect Photographer
I searched and searched for a photographer that offered the vintage relaxed style we wanted and when I came across Claire Penn I was so thrilled. She is so amazing and completely captured our day in the most wonderful fun happy way. From the moment we met Claire she was so much fun and totally understood what we wanted. It was an absolute joy to have Claire as part of our day and we are so happy with all the photos!
Capture Every Moment
After seeing Shutterbox on Rock My Wedding I knew we had to have them! We hadn’t thought about having a film but when I saw what they could do we booked them straight away. Lee and Dawn are so lovely and so talented I am so pleased we decided to get a film. It’s amazing to watch it back and remember the day. Together with Claire Penn they have an incredible ability to absolutely capture every little moment of the day without you ever realising that they are there.
Guess Your Pie
Food was a big part of our day as we both love food – especially me! As we got married in March we wanted to have something warm and tasty. We decided to have pie and mash and were thrilled when we found out that Pieminister could provide the delicious pies. As it was National Pie week it also fitted in very well.
We had a selection of 4 pies on the day and you just got what was popped in front of you so it was a surprise. Pieminister provided us with loads of info on the pies which we displayed on the tables so people could guess what pie they had. We also had pie badges and tattoos which were extremely popular.
Vintage Tea Party
I wanted to do favours that tied in with our whole day so decided that I would hunt down vintage tea cups for all the girls and make marmalade for the boys. Along with our lovely family we hunted around charity shops and flea markets for tea cups. I also searched for some fabric for the tops of the marmalade jars that tied in with the Groomsmen’s outfits.
My Granny Norm is a fabulous cake maker – I was so pleased when she said she would make our wedding cake and it was fantastic. As it wasn’t a huge cake Rob’s mum also made some extra cakes to ensure there was enough for everyone and I loved how the cake table looked like a vintage tea party.
We didn’t use a huge amount of stationery but decided we would use a vintage type writer with the table plan on. We searched the internet to find one and were so pleased when we found it! For the table names we just did numbers as we felt there was already enough detail on the tables with all the pie information and tattoos.
We wanted real old school milk bottles with wooden numbered spoons inside and we finally found some from Rob’s lovely Nanna and Grandpa who kept some from their milk delivery.
We wanted to have something more than a guest book that we could keep forever so we decided to have a bike picture which people then put their thumb print on that acted as a balloon tied to the bike! It has made such a great picture and will always remind us of our day!
Everything We Dreamed It Would Be
As all Brides say the best advice I can say is enjoy EVERY second as it goes so quickly! Also make sure you don’t get too tied up with planning and actually try and enjoy the planning stage and getting excited. Don’t be afraid to ask people to help and get involved, it was so special to have home-made cakes and marmalade! The best thing Rob and I did was make sure it was exactly what we wanted and it was, it was our day and everything we had dreamed it would be.
Venue – The Ashes
Dress and Brides Accessories – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Bridesmaid Dresses – Warehouse, ASOS
Groom and Best Men – Topman, Ben Sherman
Invites – Wedding Chicks
Guestbook – Wedding Chicks
Food – Pie Minister
Videographer – Shutterbox Films
Photographer – Claire Penn
Doesn’t Charlotte look radiant in the wedding video as she and Rob walk through the confetti?!?
Lots of love,
Todays Rock My Wedding Bride looks just lovely in lace – I’m such a sucker for it and boy does she have the figure to totally rock the frock. Tim and Laura had a beautifully relaxed day with lots of family help to make it all run smoothly – the absolute best kind I think!
And check out the blinging accessories ladies, including (and I never thought I’d say this…) some to-die-for flats!
Originally I had envisaged getting married near my parents’ house in Surrey, but there wasn’t really a venue that I felt a particularly special connection to. Exeter University – where Tim and I had met seven years ago — came up in discussion as a possible setting. After we returned to view the breathtakingly simple chapel and the gothic looking grounds of Reed Hall, we knew immediately that it was the perfect place. The location instantly brought a sense of “us” to the wedding… and guests could even stay in the very reasonably priced halls of residence because we were booking out of term time! On the Friday night before the wedding, the arriving guests all gathered in the hall bar for beer and pizzas… a real student-style pre-wedding party!
My dress, a Constantina creation by Benjamin Roberts, was the first dress I tried on. I’m so fickle and never really believed that I could fall in love with just one dress, but the second I squeezed into it, I felt so glamorous. It was a fitted drop-waist gown with a fairly long train; tulle with a lace overlay. I tried on a few others just for fun, but I only felt treacherous. Mum wanted me to go for a slightly more traditional princess gown, but I wasn’t swayed… and I’m glad I stuck to my guns. There’s so much pressure on a bride to wait for the one that makes your mum cry… but it’s not her that has to wear it!
I certainly recommend shopping around once you’ve found your dress, because prices can really vary from shop to shop. When I originally found the design I wanted, it was in central London and miles out of my price range, but I did my research and found that Surrey Brides in Weybridge stocked the same gown for a whopping £750 cheaper! I couldn’t believe the inconsistency in price.
A friend recommended Glitzy Secrets, a fabulous online emporium selling vintage-looking jewellery without the extortionate price-tag, and I found a beautiful tiara in a dull silver colour. They also made smaller versions so I bought those for my bridesmaids to wear. In need of a bit more bling to jazz up my sparkle-free dress, I went for a chunky cuff bracelet from Mikey at Topshop.
I loved the idea of a lace veil, but with my dress I knew I could be heading for overkill. In the end I opted for an almost cathedral-length number from Surrey Brides, with small sections of lace embellishment and beading. I had always imagined I’d go for a short veil, but I loved the extra drama that was added by the longer version.
I’m 6ft tall and wasn’t keen on towering over everyone on my wedding day, so assuming there wouldn’t be many options available (there never are for me!) I had resigned myself to looking for cream or pink ballet pumps. After a quick window browse in French Sole one lunchtime though, I fell head over flats for a pair of super sparkly ballet pumps, and knew that I’d found a shoe that would do my dress justice.
They have a great range called Pirouette, suitable for tall brides with large feet – they actually go up to a size 44 – so I wasn’t destined for clumpy classics! The bridesmaids wore super skyscraper heels from Faith – so they were almost the same height as me on the day!
I am very fortunate in that my sister Julie (also a bridesmaid) is a professional hair and make-up artist, and I completely trusted her to do a fantastic job on the day. She knows my style and I was able to do a couple of trials with her beforehand. I wanted my hair to look very natural and a little unkempt, so she created loose waves and twisted a few strands around my tiara. We also had a very fun girly shopping trip to Mac where we spent far too much money selecting the perfect products!
It was also very entertaining to conduct some “pretend” hair trials while Tim was in the house, when I’d come out of the room with bird’s nest hair and ask him for his opinion in front of my sister. Genius!
I had seen very few bridesmaid dresses that I actually liked, and I knew I wanted something a bit different and not overly “weddingy” for my very stylish ladies. I found these dusky pink dresses in Karen Millen and thought they had the wow-factor. They had the beautiful, faded colour that was continued throughout the stationary, but they were still very cool and contemporary.
We hired the suits from Moss Bross, and since our colour theme was so varied, we kept the mens’ suits simple with ivory waistcoats and ties. My 3-year-old nephew Aidan was my page boy, and he walked ahead of me down the aisle looking very grown-up in his Moss Bross suit and cute converse trainers!
Tim has always insisted that you can get a perfectly good haircut from the six-pound a go barbers, but for our wedding he was finally persuaded to visit a decent hairdresser! We both love the fashions of the 30s and 40s, and he asked the stylist to cut his hair “a bit like a bad solider cut in WW2”. Amazingly the hairdresser understood just what he meant, and he looked completely gorgeous with his slightly graduated cut and quiff!
And the skateboard?
We were a bit nervous when the reverend at the university chapel told us that he was leaving shortly before our wedding, and drafted in a replacement for us — a retired vicar who hadn’t conducted a wedding in ten years!
But we needn’t have worried; Reverend Francis Coles was an enormously fun old chap who was very keen to bring a bit of humour to the wedding. He rang us the week before to ask if any of our friends would be prepared to skateboard into the chapel. He had a bit in his sermon which went along the lines of “marriage is like a skateboard… it can be a bit tricky when you first start”… so one of our ushers kindly agreed to demonstrate for him! The congregation was split into bewilderment and hysterics!
Chapel – Exeter University
Photography – Andrew Hawker
Accessories – Glitzy Secrets
Cuff bracelet – Mikey at Topshop
Shoes – French Sole
Suits from Moss Bross
Are you not jealous of those curves? Lots more homespun pretty coming right up in Part 2 soon lovelies.