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A Rock My Wedding Special – Will & Lisa Part 1

Lisa-and-Will-Cripps-Barn-wedding

Obviously every wedding we feature is a “Rock My Wedding” type of wedding, hence why we share such beautiful celebrations with our gorgeous community on a daily basis.

Will and Lisa’s big day however actually had more than half the team actually there, plus various recommended suppliers, decor ideas taken from these very pages and more laughter,love and memorable moments than I could possibly recall.

Will has been a friend of my husband and I’s for years and when he met the lovely Lisa we were over the moon, she was (and is) the perfect fit. Lauren C (she of RMW Facebook management and stylish interiors fame) has coincidently been a friend of Lisa’s since school so we spent muchos time on the dance floor/drinking champagne/generally having the best time ever.

RMW Sponsors Anna Clarke and Simon Clarke captured the day on camera and film and guess who the second shooter was? our very own Adam Crohill.

Adam was solely responsible for ensuring Will and his best man Tom got ready on time (!) and that much like the brides “getting ready” images, the groomsmen were recorded in all of their glory too.

Tom decided he would turn up to Will’s room in just his neon underpants and matching trainers. This was hilarious. Even more hilarious that little did he realise he would appear in aformentioned underpants and trainers in front of the Nation. Yep. I’ve included those images folks.

How could I not?

Will and Lisa’s wedding will be in two parts, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit and hear about all of the planning in real detail, Lisa has written a thorough, witty and heart-warming account of everything from the initial design ideas to the the entertainment and everything in between.

Enjoy you gorgeous lot you.

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Lisa The Bride: I couldn’t quite believe it when the 11th May 2013 finally arrived. After planning for 19 months, it was finally here…

The Perfect Place

Most brides I have spoken to say, “Well if I was to do it all over again I would do this… or I wish I’d done this…..”. I can quite happily say that there would not be one thing I would have changed 😉 I was very lucky.

I’m a Yorkshire lass at heart having been brought up in the hills of Sheffield but I knew very early on that Sheffield wasn’t the place for me really. All my friends and family had moved on and sadly my dad passed away pretty much 3 years to the day, so I wanted to do something completely different. One of the things, (other than my other half) that brought me to the West Midlands was the sheer beauty of the Cotswolds. I am so lucky to have such beautiful surroundings on my doorstep and I instantly fell in love. So when Will popped the question, (you can hear all about this here) it was only a matter of days before I knew I had to take advantage of this. Will was a big fan of this too.

We had quite a big party to attend to so this was the tricky part. There were so many beautiful places here but only certain ones would accommodate our 150 guests. Then we found it, it was an instant love for this place, Cripps Barn, in Bibury just by Cirencester. This was where we were going to say our vows and party with all our close friends and family, all under one roof. It was perfect.

Phew… I thought, venue booked, I can now chill for a bit before the craziness begins. I was actually quite adamant that I didn’t get too stressed about planning our wedding. I wanted to enjoy every minute so I actually ignored all the timing plans that you get sent and created my own. I knew there were things I could get sorted pretty early on so less panic nearer the time. Some good advice brides to be! Do what you can early.

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The Dress Of Dreams

So next was the dress, to be honest the dress wasn’t the most important thing for me, it was the photographer and the music, however as time went on I got more involved than I ever thought and found the dress for me. I went to places that just threw dresses on me without a care but I wanted it to be special. I was only going to be a bride once and wanted this to be an experience that both mums and I would never forget.

I only went to a handful of shops in the end and invited both my mum and mum-in-law to be (who has 3 sons) and it was a fabulous day. I think we were quite tipsy by the end of it too. The dress of my dreams was a Pronovias dress from Grafton Manor, Bromsgrove. I wanted something that made me feel like a little princess and this was it. And yes I did the whole ‘tears in my eyes’ when I found it. Grafton Manor made the whole process a pleasure and delight. I would completely recommend. I found a head piece there too which matched perfectly with the detail on the dress by Ivory and Co and although I didn’t think I even would want a veil I ended up getting the longest one I could find.

You’re only a bride once right?! My little princess dream was complete.

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Bonny And Clyde

So now I had the venue and the dress, I needed to tell everyone about it. This got me a bit as I didn’t really want to buy anything off the shelf. I’m a marketeer myself so this was very important to me. This was not going to be a formal wedding and I wanted the invites to say everything about our big day. I didn’t have to look around for long when Lauren, yes RMW Facebook Goddess and owner of Fairly Light introduced me to her sister and husbands wedding stationary business, Bonny and Clyde (Hannah & Toby). I’ve actually known Lauren for 21 years now as we shared our secondary school life together! Oh and Uni… oh and life in the West Midlands… I don’t actually know what I would do without her! And as you all didn’t know already she is amazingly talented and more importantly a very good friend.

Bonny and Clyde were exactly what I was looking for. Firstly they asked me to do a Pinterest board to share with them as there was only so much describing you can do over the phone so they could get a feel for what I liked and then it was a seamless process from there. Before I knew it I had the invites I’d been imagining in my head but Toby simply brought them to life with his eye for detail. The comments we got from them were incredible and the words ‘fun’, ‘classic’, ‘party’, ‘pretty’ were constantly mentioned and that’s exactly how I wanted people to think before the big day. Thank you Bonny & Clyde. Obviously the invite was only the beginning…

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The Love Lust List

Next on my list was the Photographer. Well when you have a very good friend happy to help if needed – who owns the biggest wedding blog in the UK, Mrs O’Shea! I had to look on the wondrous ‘Love Lust List’ and took my time to go through many recommendations. I didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else, as I knew the RMW team would have done all the hard work for me and selected the best ones. Then that was it, I found her, the exceptionally talented Anna Clarke, I had to have her at our wedding, so as soon as we got the date I was straight on the phone and thankfully she was free that weekend (I would have moved it if she hadn’t been!) but basically every other weekend she was busy. It must have been a sign.

Will and I both loved her work from what I’d seen on posts we knew instantly that her work would work perfectly with the venue and both mine and Will’s personality. We met Anna only a few weeks later and in the meantime also discovered Simon Clarke, the wonderful hubby of Anna’s who does unique videography. At first I was a bit worried a video would be a little cheesy but the wedding video world has totally moved on and the video style was unbelievably stylish and contemporary.

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Pink And More Pink

Every person I know that hasn’t had their day filmed massively regrets it, so my advice if you can, do, as you will have it forever. Will and I instantly warmed to Anna and Simon; they were both extremely calm people. The last thing you want on your wedding day is a photographer bossing you about, let’s face it, and I could just see Anna and Simon putting us at ease and really making the day.

My mum-in-law to be recommended a hair dresser in Chipping Camden, Martin Sheen at Mode Hairdresser’s. I went a couple of times to get my hair cut before I had a trial as I just knew I would change my mind a number of times so I decided to wait until nearer the time. I already knew I wanted him anyway so that wasn’t an issue. Luckily a lady called Alice also did make up trials in the salon. I had a go and loved it. My make up was sorted.

I actually discovered the most amazing foundation ‘By Terry’ – it glided on, wasn’t too much and lasted all day long. And of course I had to have my Chanel Imitable Intense Mascara (nothing ever compares!!), Laura Mercier’s Pink lipstick (Charlotte’s recommendation) and blusher. I’d had a French manicure a couple of months before to see what I thought but I just didn’t like it, it wasn’t me so I went for a colour instead. I’m so glad I did and it went perfectly with my colour theme pink, pink and um… more pink.

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Skyscraping

The shoes took me a while to find as I didn’t want to spend a fortune especially as the dress was slightly more than I wanted to pay so I ended up getting them from Jenny Packham at Debenhams of all places but the lace matched my dress flawlessly. The only downside was they were really high so I actually bought a second pair I could wear for the dance floor that I could even wear again. One can never have too many shoes!

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Maids Forever

Rochelle and Emma were my first choices for bridesmaids. I had been Rochelle’s bridesmaid the previous year but more importantly she introduced me to my future husband. It’s quite funny as well because Will introduce her to her lovely husband too when they were only 15. I have to thank Rochelle a lot for the introduction, although it took over 10 years for us to finally get together, plus we have had a blast together since we have known each other. Uni life wouldn’t have been the same without her and there is never a dull moment with Rochelle in your life.

Emma and I met when I lived in Manchester for 8 years before moving down here. She has been through probably the hardest of times with me and will remain a true friend forever. Emma is a great support, I can always count on her and so much fun too. When we met I was like.. ‘where have you been all my life!’ So this was an easy decision. I found their dresses from Kelsey Rose as I fell in love with the colour, and knew it would suit them both as Rochelle was dark and Emma was blonde and the top style worked really well with my dress too. When I suggested them they loved them and so they were ordered. Another big tick.

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Best Friends

The flower girls were both my beautiful nieces who I adore to bits and they wore a lovely coral dress from Monsoon. Our page boy Benjamin had a linen grey waistcoat and chinos to match with a slick white shirt without a collar – he looked gorgeous.

Since my dad passed away it was not hard for me to choose who I wanted to walk me down the aisle. My brothers have been my best friends my whole life (well most of it even when I was an annoying little sister) and they were to walk me down the aisle. Who else would have this – I am extremely lucky to have two amazing brothers I’m really close to.

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A Rainbow

The morning of our big day arrived so quickly. My family chose to stay in a lovely cottage attached to the Fossebridge Inn which had a beautiful surrounding with a lake in the garden. It was perfect for my family and was ideal for the Children. Will’s family stayed in Cirencester at the Fleece Inn, the rooms were divine and only about 20 minutes away. I guess there’s a bit more organising when you are not getting married in your local area, so we booked these really early. This was one of the first things I sorted out.

It was a little drizzly but the sun kept creeping out every now and then. We had planned an outside ceremony but to be honest as Cripps Barn was so beautiful inside and out I really didn’t mind what happened – I would just find out when I got there. My mum had been praying for a rainbow (but without the rain!!) for months as a sign from my Dad so my mum was thinking now with a bit of rain there could be a chance.

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Simply Perfect

The morning was so lovely having all my family in one place and I loved having the kids around. This is where Anna and Simon came in. They literally just fitted into the day seamlessly. Anna even stopped me from getting a little emotional after I’d just had my makeup done and whilst everything else was going on they were going around getting the perfect footage and photo’s for us to remember every aspect of our day. Martin the hairdresser and Alice the Make Up artist arrived and also fitted in with the day.

It was simply perfect and I was actually really calm at this point.

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Although I wasn’t actually due at the venue until 2.15pm, I wanted everyone ready about an hour before so we could enjoy our last time together as a family and the bridesmaids before I became Mrs Jordan. You have probably established I am a real planner by now. I think we actually managed it by 1.30pm. In this time I was able to give any gifts out to the bridesmaids and page boys.

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Giftage

I got the girls a ‘Little Bean’ silver pendant from Molly Brown. My nickname is Little Bean so it seemed appropriate and very like the Tiffany bean which I love. I thought it was very apt for the day and I got Benjamin the pageboy a lovely pen to keep from the day with his name engraved in it. The kids also had some little bits to entertain them on the table when they arrived at the service.

Zoe, my sister in-law presented me with a garter as a something borrowed and blue which was perfect. So everyone was ready to go and my mum looked stunning. Just to put my mind at ease I got a little text from Charlotte to say the room was stunning, and I had nothing to worry about, just as I’d planned it. Thank you Charlotte.

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The Man At RMW

Over at the Fleece, Will was getting ready with all his family and best man Tom. Our second shooter was Adam, yes Adam from Rock My Wedding!! Just in case you were wondering who else from Rock My Wedding could be involved! This was great as it meant we could capture what was happening over there too. I’m so glad he did as he got some really funny shots……sorry Adam to put you through this but it looked like a lot of fun 😉 Simon also got over there to get some great footage too. That’s another reason to get a videographer as there is so much the bride actually misses on the day. I got to see it all.

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Bunny Loves Jack!

Bunny loves Jack’ also made an appearance. I had organised for Will to open a series of presents throughout the morning and this wowed him massively, just a little reminder of who he was about to spend the rest of his life with! Looking at his face I think he liked it, thanks to Charlotte and Anna’s amazing talent.

Adam took some great natural shots of the Ushers lunch too, with Will and what seemed to be an entourage, having nine ushers. Will has some amazing friends and we really wanted to have all of them to be apart of our big day. Tom his best man came all the way from Australia, which meant the Stag do was only a week before the wedding, eeek! But all was ok. Thanks for lucking after him boys if you are reading. You may see a familiar face, Mr O’Shea… yes this really is a Rock My Wedding Wedding!! Will and James have been friends for years.

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Mr Blue Sky

It was all going amazingly well when the rain just came from know where it was literally bouncing off the ground. So we left it as long as we could before getting into the cars and heading down. My brother now has my Dad’s toy car so it was important to both me and my brother Nick that we went down together in it. A zillion umbrellas later I was in the car ready to get to the venue. ‘Mr Blue Sky’ my Dad’s favourite song was playing really loud and I was just so excited about seeing Will, however a little rescue remedy calmed the nerves a little – a great little tip. I was just thinking how proud my dad would be of all of us right now and I know somehow he would be with me on the day… I could feel him 😉

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Venue: Cripps Barn, Bibury Near Cirencester
Dress: Siliba by Pronovias from Grafton Manor, Bromsgrove
Shoes: Jenny Packham at Debenhams
Bridesmaids: Kelsey Rose
Flower Girls: Monsoon
Groom Suit: Steel & Jelly, Henley-in-Arden
Accessories: Headpiece by Ivory and Co
Stationery: Bonny & Clyde
Photographer: Anna Clarke with Adam Crohill (Second shooter)
Videographer: Simon Clarke
Hair and Make-up: Martin Sheen, Mode Hairdressers and Alice
Cake Decoration: Charlotte Gabb
Blooms: Charlotte Gabb at Super Flowers
Day time music: Saxophonist Matt Stacey
Evening Band: Flood the Floor
Big Letters: Vowed & Amazed

Are you enjoying it so far?

Just to add to the um…complete Rock My Wedding-ness of this whole she-bang as you are reading this we will be at Lisa’s house as we are using grounds near by for our latest self styled shoot location!

Do leave a comment and let us know if there are any ideas you would like to steal.

Big Lisa And Will Love

Charlotte xxx

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Love Is In The Air.

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I feel so incredibly privileged to be sharing this morning’s wedding with you lovely lot. For today’s bride has been a prominent and much loved member of the RMW community for some time now, offering up her creative thoughts and sharing her golden nuggets of advice in the comments section with both the RMW team and you gorgeous folks too.

So when we heard that Sama, of Utterly Wow fame, wanted to share her big day on our still-kind-of-polka-dotted pages we all squealed a collective ‘ahhhhhhh’ (yes even Adam!) and fought over who would blog it.

This wedding has style in abundance; from the festoon lighting, the rustic venue to the colourful and fun stationery and the mismatched maids to.. wait for it folks…’The Great Wedding Bake-off’; I defy you not to relish in every detail. I particularly love Sama’s off-white peeptoes and her beautiful Claire Pettibone dress which has a story that proves to me at least that if something is meant to be then it will happen.

And there’s sentimentality by the bucketload too; I’ll let Sama tell you about her beautiful floral crown herself. I promise that you’ll love it.

Without further ado then lovelies, I give you Sama….

Chantilly Wedding Dress Claire Pettibone

Chantilly

Sama The Bride:Ahhh, the dress.

My beaded beauty was Chantilly by Claire Pettibone. The dress hunt was never going to be entirely conventional for me as I work at Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath, London, meaning I didn’t have to ‘do the rounds’, so to speak. I’d always thought Chantilly was beautiful but we sold our sample shortly before I got engaged, so it wasn’t even an option when the dress search began. Instead I’d fallen in love with Luna by Jenny Packham, a blush pink sparkly number that I still like to stroke regularly in the shop. However my Mum wasn’t convinced, hoping, as most Mums do, that I’d choose something a bit more bridal, so despite my best intentions to ignore her I held off from ordering.

Crown And Glory Bespoke Headpiece Weddings

When we got Chantilly back in at the boutique, I tried it on more on a whim than anything else; it was considerably out of my price range and I’d been ruling out bias-cut dresses on the grounds that my stomach wasn’t flat enough. However, it felt amazing on and I pretty much knew instantly that it was the dress I wanted to wear the day I married Paul. Those beads can hide a multitude of sins!

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery Astilbe Wedding Pew End Chairback Rustic Haybale Wedding

Crowning Glory

Being a self-proclaimed ‘boho bride’, I knew I was going to wear a flower garland from day one. I’d originally envisioned fresh flowers, but when my Mum produced the wax flower garland she wore on her wedding day, the sentiment of wearing ‘something old’ was too hard to resist. In its original state it was a very thin, delicate crown of ivory flowers, so I enlisted the super-talented and super-lovely Sophie of Crown & Glory to give it a new lease of life. The end result was the most beautiful thing I could have ever imagined, and something I may even be able to pass on myself one day.

Mismatched Coral Maids Bridesmaid Dresses

Other than that, the only jewellery I wore were rings left to me by my grandmothers, and a pale pink diamantine bracelet by Les Nereides which was a pre-wedding gift to myself.

Sexy Peeptoes

My shoes were the Emilia peep-toe sandals by Juicy Couture, believe it or not, who I’ve only ever associated with velour tracksuits but who I now know make beautiful footwear! They were a bit of a last-minute purchase after the first pair (£15 nude t-bars from eBay that I painstakingly glittered up the heels of) crippled me at my first dress fitting. I love the Juicy Coutures now though; comfortable and versatile and just a little bit sexy.

And who doesn’t love a sexy shoe?

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography Kent

Va Va Voom

I’ve always loved doing make-up so decided to do it myself on the day. Being able to spend a ridiculous amount of money at the Bobbi Brown counter was a particular highlight of the wedding planning. I also decided to get eyelash extensions a couple of days before which wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, but do look fab in the pictures.

The Great Barn Wedding Venue Kent Dry Hire Festoon Lighting

My hair, on the other hand, is the bane of my life. It’s a decent length but it’s very thin, meaning the luscious, boho locks I envisaged were an impossible dream. Step in the magnificent Cassandra Rizzuto who told me to stop being a negative Norman and used a mixture of clip-in and glued-in hair pieces for Cheryl Cole-style volume. I literally wish I could have hair like that every day. Sigh.

Cass also styled my bridesmaids to perfection with a mixture of tousled, braided up-dos and was a general dream to have with us in the morning. Calm, fun and ridiculously talented; hire her and your hair dreams will come true. Fact.

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography Kent Sama Utterly Wow

Green Fingered Goddesses

Gayle of Bloomin’gayles made the bouquets and buttonholes, whilst we DIY-ed the table flowers (ordered on the internet by me and beautifully arranged the day before by my Aunt Leslie).

The Great Barn Wedding Venue Kent Countryside Dry Hire Blank Canvas

Our wedding was a very joyful affair… as you can see by my gurning face in most of the pictures. Paul and I grinned at each other all through the ceremony, and although I wobbled during my speech when talking about my Gran, the only tears that fell were in the morning when my Mum presented me with my bouquet. I wanted lavish, vibrant, blousy blooms and it was exactly that- but so much better. Gayle is a green-fingered goddess and a delight to work with too. Thoroughly recommended!!

Vintage Wedding Theme Rustic Mismatched Bridesmaids Coral Bloomin’gayles Wedding Florist Chantilly Claire Pettibone Wedding Dress

A Little Bit Sharp, A Little Bit Sexy

I’m not a massive fan of the matchy matchy look, so wanted my bridesmaids (my oldest, oldest friends from school) in different dresses but the same colour palette. Oh, and I wanted them to look FIT which I think they totally achieved 🙂 The dresses were a range of purchases from French Connection, Oasis and ASOS, and they managed to bring coordinating pashminas on the day too- which was a blessing as despite the glorious sunshine it was a little nippy. Paul’s best man, Alex, wore a grey three-piece suit to match his, and along with Paul’s two brothers, they all wore burgundy ties from Moss.

Claire Pettibone Wedding Dress Bridal Gown Chantilly Bloomin’gayles Florist

Paul is a teacher so I’m used to seeing him in a suit. Having said that, it wasn’t a tails kind of day so we were after something a little bit sharp, a little bit sexy, and in my head, a little bit Tom Ford. In the end it was a charcoal grey Cerruti three-piece from Moss that had me swooning- which he accessorised with a Ted Baker pocket square and colourful buttonhole courtesy of Bloomin’gayles.

DIY Wedding Dessert Table Cake Competition Bakeoff

He looked stonkingly handsome.

Worth Every Penny

I began stalking Dominique Bader having seen her work on these very pages actually! Well, they were blue and polka dot back then, but you know what I mean. Dominique is a phenomenal photographer; her work is natural, timeless, real, crystal-clear and ridiculously romantic. We are so utterly thrilled with our photos, and as Paul said emphatically after we’d watched our slideshow for the first time- WORTH EVERY PENNY. And coming from the man who had initially become hysterical at the cost of wedding photography, this is high praise indeed.

Bloomin’gayles Wedding Florist Peony Peach Coral Roses Ranunculus Wedding Bouquet

The Great Wedding Bake Off

The Great Wedding Bake Off came about largely in a bid to reduce costs! My Mum was originally going to make a cake which we’d serve as dessert with cream and berries, but she had so many other jobs to do in the lead up we decided to open it up to our guests instead. Despite protests from Paul that “no-one would bother”, our cake table was heaving and the efforts people went to were just brilliant! It’s one of my few regrets that I didn’t get to fully appreciate the vast array of offerings at the time…

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery Rustic Menu Placename Rustic Centrepiece Log Coral Pink Peach

Meant To Be

I first discovered Kate Ruth Romey when I saw some amazing rustic invitations on another blog that were on pieces of hand-carved wood. When I went on her website I realised she was based in Blackheath where I work, so I felt it was ‘meant to be’.

Kate Ruth Romey Wedding Stationery

I had a clear idea of what I wanted to say, but Kate designed me a really fun, modern, colourful invitation suite which really caught people’s attention. And I’d definitely recommend making your RSVP as interactive as possible. Bar one person I had all my RSVPs back by the deadline. Kate is super-talented and very patient; I’m very glad I found her!

Floor Flooders

I’m lucky to know lots of talented, musical types so we took full advantage of this during the day. A few years ago I’d sung at my friends’, Alice and Jeff’s, wedding, so they repayed the favour at mine, singing ‘You and I’ by Ingrid Michaelson during the signing of the register. Then my very cool Canadian cousin, River, entertained the crowds afterwards out in the orchard.

In the evening we had a freakin’ amazing band called Flood The Floor, who I’d booked purely because a) they were fit and b) they did a very funky version of Boom! Shake The Room. We started dancing during their sound check and literally didn’t stop all night.

Rustic Paper Lantern Festoon Lighting Barn Wedding DIY Tableplan

We didn’t have a first dance at Paul’s request but I didn’t mind at all. I knew we’d have a drunken ‘last dance’ instead and asked the band to learn ‘Love Is In The Air’ which is the
end song from the greatest film of all time, Strictly Ballroom. As I’d hoped, Paul and I ended up in the middle of the dancefloor surrounded by everyone and it was perfect. And being lifted up by friends to the sound of ‘Sama’s in the air’ was a pretty epic way to end the evening, I must say.

Dominique Bader Reportage Wedding Photography

The Great Barn

The venue hunt was probably the hardest part of all as I had such specific criteria. I wanted a dry hire venue in Kent that was rustic, had character and didn’t charge corkage. The Great Barn was the perfect blank canvas venue- they literally give you the keys for up to a week and you can do what you like as long as you leave it how you found it!

London Wedding Photographer Reportage Dominique Bader

Paul had very little input in the styling or planning other than to say he wanted a relaxed, fun day. As I was in the process of setting up as a wedding planner when we got engaged, I was already a blog addict and had fantasies of creating a colourful, eclectic, bohemian-inspired day with just a touch of sparkle.

Festoon lighting was an absolute priority, as were the paper lanterns which we arranged in a cluster over the dance floor. I love the natural linen tablecloths as seen on the American blogs, but they are SO expensive to hire so my clever Mum decided to make them herself- as she did the table runners which were a mixture of gold sequins, black and white stripes and burnt orange shot silk.

Flowers were arranged in a variety of pimped-up jam jars, and these very cool brown beer bottles which we collected from a local restaurant in Blackheath. I think they did pretty well out of us over the last year…

Chantilly Wedding Dress Claire Pettibone Moss Groom's Suit Peony Rose Large Wedding Bouquet Pink Coral Blush Peach

Bring Me S’More

We didn’t do favours- we had a free bar instead which, in my mind, is way more preferable!

We borrowed a dodgy khaki-green bar which was a prop from the local Am Dram society, and my clever, artistic Aunt Leslie (she of flower arranging fame) turned it in to a wood-effect, steel-topped beast which blended in with the barn seamlessly. And we hand-painted all the signs, drinks menus and table numbers which were littered about the place. Out in the orchard we had ribbons hanging from the trees, and in the evening a firepit was lit and s’mores were toasted (a North American tradition brought over by my Canadian relatives).

Van Dough Wedding Catering Pizza Van

And I can’t not mention Van Dough, the wood-fired pizza van that turned up in the evening to provide the evening food. Absolutely delicious pizza and genuinely lovely owners.

Trust Your Gut

Our wedding was quite simply the best day we have ever had and people didn’t stop laughing or smiling all day. Weather-wise, May was appalling- it rained solidly the two days before the wedding and was so cold we had to order a last-minute heater. Yet on the day itself I woke up to sunshine and it was just glorious- a wedding gift from my Grandmothers, I like to think.

We were both so relaxed on the day and this was down to two things: 1- My amazing friends and family who got stuck in and helped set up (and take down), and 2- my friend Laura who I met on the UKAWP wedding planning course a couple of years ago, and who coordinated for me on the day. In the run-up to the wedding everyone was worried that I wouldn’t be able to relinquish control but I knew I was in safe hands with Laura running the show!

Mismatched Bridesmaids Coral Peach Pink Blush

I can’t stress enough how important it is to hire an on-the-day coordinator if you are using a blank canvas, dry hire venue. The barn got turned from ceremony space to reception space seamlessly, the candles were constantly lit, the wine was constantly topped up, and any problems or questions people went to her, not me. Not to mention the million other things she was doing throughout the day.

But other than that, trust your instincts, choose good suppliers, kiss your husband LOTS, hug LOTS, laugh LOTS, and don’t spill pizza down your dress. Just sayin’.

Dominique Bader Wedding Photography

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Great Barn Weddings
Dress – Chantilly by Claire Pettibone
Boutique – Blackburn Bridal
Hair – Love Your Hair
Flower Garland – Crown And Glory
Groom – Moss
Florist Bloomin’gayles
Band – Flood The Floor
Catering – Tatlers Catering
Photography – Dominique Bader Photography
Pizza Van – Van Dough
Stationery – Kate Ruth Romey
Planning/Design – Utterly Wow
On The Day Co-ordination – Your Wedding Your Way
Furniture Hire – Academy Furniture Hire

Oh boy! Immense, right? Shall I leave you for a wee moment to pick your jaws up off the floor?

And can we just take a moment to talk about the florals. Talk about breathtakingly, blowsy, beautiful blooms, it’s no wonder that Sama shed a happy tear or two when she saw them. I for one will be pinning these bouquets to within an inch of their lives!

When I sneaked a peek of Sama at the weekend in all her glory on the RMW Facebook page, one of her friends responded with a comment that’s stayed with me ever since. She said, ‘It was the BEST wedding. Style AND substance’, and you just know that this statement encapsulates Sama and Paul’s wedding perfectly.

This wedding oozes style, creativity and charm but you can see from the beaming smiles on the faces of this gorgeous pair and all their friends and family it was so much more than that. There’s enough love in these photos to last a lifetime or two and this makes me very happy indeed.

Congratulations you two.

All my love Lolly xxx

P.S. If you want to see more and hear more from Sama herself why not check out her blog – Utterly Wow – here.

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