Freddie and The Freeloaders Wedding Jazz Band

Pin Image

We Couldn’t Stop Smiling.


Decadent, luxurious and hopelessly romantic, Chloe and Steven’s wedding held at Syon Park last September makes my heart reverberate loudly against my ribcage.

We’re talking bass thumping, heart-pounding thuds.

Honestly folks I LOVE this wedding. Chloe is the most beautiful bride and Steven is one heck of a dashing groom.

Just wait until you see Chloe’s dress too. It is…To. Die. For.

Chloe and Steven said their vows at Syon House and followed them up with a glorious reception hosted in The Great Conservatory.

Interestingly Chloe discovered her venue by looking through some photos of a old schoolfriend’s wedding before she and Steven were even engaged. She found herself blown away by the Great Conservatory; an amazing glass Victorian construction which inspired Joseph Paxton’s designs for the Crystal Palace.

And folks, impressive doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Shall we take a look…


Chloe The Bride: I love shopping but I found the experience of shopping for my wedding dress disappointing. I should have felt like I was the most beautiful girl in the world when I was in my dress but that feeling never came and neither did my excitement.

As the wedding was planned in such a short amount of time it was important to make a decision quickly about whether I wanted a traditional dress or not. In the end I decided to hunt for a dress which wasn’t actually a wedding dress but more of a gown. We ventured up to Bicester Village to investigate what they had to offer.

I’ve adored Alice Temperley dresses for as long as I can remember so it was the first shop that we headed to. A wonderful sales assistant listened to me as I described what I was looking for before returning with about ten gorgeous dresses to try on. As soon as I saw my dress on the hanger I got that feeling, that excitement, that ‘this is it’ moment.

A beautiful, bead, sequin and diamanté-embellished pale-pink sheer tulle and silk gown, with off-white embroidery, scoop neck, cap sleeves, front slit, longer at back, fully lined in silk. It was exquisite and had the very un-bridal name Poison which made me smile.

My inner fashionista squealed with joy.

Let Me Feel Like A Bride

I chose to wear a simple waltz length veil which i brought at Anya Bridal, Droxford. As my dress wasn’t a traditional wedding gown I wanted to wear a veil to make sure I felt like a bride and was so happy I did.

I work for Swarovski so of course there was no question where I would buy my wedding jewellery from. As my dress was so heavily embellished, I kept my accessories to a minimum.

I chose the simple New York bangle in Rose Gold and then the statement Sissy earrings which have a vintage feel and complimented the detailing on my dress perfectly. The night before the wedding my Nan presented me with a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring which belonged to my great-grandmother Nelly to wear for the day. This became my something borrowed and my something blue.

I always thought that for my wedding day I would treat myself to a beautiful pair of Louboutins but on a random shopping trip with Steve I found some stunning suede peep top platforms in Zara. They could have been made for my dress – all mink suede with jewelled detailing around the peep toe.

They were so comfortable.

Vintage Up-Dos and No Clowns Please

My lovely friend Lacey Hawkins works for Percy & Reed and I was thrilled when she agreed to do my hair for my big day. I did originally think that I would just wear my hair down as it was more me but I soon got swept up in vintage up dos and boho plaits on Pinterest.

After spending an evening in the salon trialling various styles we both agreed that they just weren’t right. So I went back to wearing my hair down and I was so glad that I did. Lacey worked her magic and gave me this amazing voluminous hair with a slight curl. I felt completely like me.

I had always planned to apply my own make up as previous experiences with make-up artists have always left me feeling bit clownish. So I splurged on some fab beauty buys and didn’t give it a second thought.

Then I met Alice Oliver through a vintage hair and makeup session that my sisters organised on my hen do. She listened to what everyone wanted and then added in her own touches making everyone look beautiful. I just wanted to look like me at my best so we went for soft bronze colours on the eyes and made it all about the lashes. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.

Golden Girls

My sisters Alice and Maisie were always going to be my bridesmaids. I was happy to let the girls take the lead on the dress front as I wanted them both to feel comfortable. We decided that gold or bronze would be the perfect colour for them.

We finally found a beautiful antique gold cocktail dress from Coast and paired it with sparkly shoes from Ted Baker and some earrings from Swarovski and the same rose gold bangle that I wore, tying us all together.

Our daughter Iris was our flower girl. She wore a floral printed silk dress from Monsoon with a little fur bolero to keep her warm. She looked so pretty walking down the aisle with my sister Maisie.

Heady Hydrangeas

I was disheartened after meeting with several florists based in the city. None of them really took on board my ideas and the quotes made my eyes water. I decided to look closer to home with the idea that Steve and his groomsmen could pick the flowers up en route to the venue the morning of the wedding. Craziness some would say!

I finally found Jenny at Arcade Flowers in Ringwood. As soon as I met her I knew I had found my florist. She was enthusiastic about my seasonal choice of blooms – hydrangeas – and listened to all my ideas. My bouquet was hand tied white hydrangea heads whilst the bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquet of white gypsophila and Iris clutched a single ivory hydrangea head.

As Syon House is so beautiful it didn’t need any decoration (a plus for our budget!). Jenny made striking arrangements with white hydrangeas and gladioli that were situated on either side of the aisle which we used later in the Grand Conservatory.

I created the table centrepieces myself. We cemented branches in pots and strung Swarovski Crystal rain from them as well as small heart decorations and hydrangea heads. They doubled up as wishing trees too as we asked guests to write us messages of advice on luggage tags and hang them on the trees.

Other tables had tall glass vases with a simple hydrangea stem in them. I asked Jenny to make me balls of fresh ivory carnations to dot around the tables as an extra touch.

Jenny did an amazing job and I am so glad that we didn’t go with one of the London florists out of convenience.

Suited and Chelsea Booted

Steve loves his clothes and is quite particular about them so finding the perfect wedding suit was not going to be an easy task.

He brought a burgundy two-piece suit from Reiss but really had his heart set on a three-piece. When he tried it on at home, I mentioned that it was actually pretty much the same as a three piece sample suit he had brought home from his work – Selected Homme – a few months before. He’d never worn the sample suit as it was too big for him but Steve took it to a tailor in London who altered it to fit him perfectly.

He teamed this with a white shirt from Ted Baker with a black, narrow tie and burgundy Chelsea boots from Office.

Steve’s best man and groomsmen all wore suits from Selected Homme courtesy of Steve’s work. They wore a classic slim cut black suit with a white shirt. We brought them all a burgundy tie from Paul Smith which had tiny white polka dot hearts on it to finish the look.

Both my Dad and Steve’s Step-dad wore the same tie too. The best man had a black version of the tie to match Steve’s.

Above And Beyond

We were recommended our amazing photographer Hayley Savage by two of our friends who couldn’t praise her enough. After looking at her website and speaking to her via email we knew she was the lady for the job.

Her photos are so natural and capture the story of the day which is exactly what we wanted. She went above and beyond on the day and didn’t stop snapping away even after the 1st dance had ended which was her cue to go home. She even came early and took some pre shots of us before the ceremony. She was just fantastic and our photos are everything we imagined and more.

I would highly recommend her to any bride.

Unlock Your Heart

From our scratch-card save the dates to the invites and order of service, I designed and made all our stationery myself. I’m a creative type so it was important to me to do it myself and it helped with our budget too.

We wanted our seating plan to be a little bit different. We collected lots of antique keys that were then hung in box frames with a number hanging from them on black ribbon. Guests’ names were printed above each key and they found their table by looking for their key. It was like a old fashioned hotel reception.

This also turned into another favour for the guests as they could keep the keys; by the end of the night our guests had already used them as key-rings, bag charms, pendants or hanging ornaments.

We hadn’t planned to provide favours. Then on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride we saw favours based on flower seeds which gave us the idea of creating favours that were personal to us and incorporated our daughter Iris.

We brought some small papier-mâché boxes and I designed labels saying ‘Let Love Grow’. We then placed an Iris bulb in each one on some shredded paper. We loved the idea that our guests could take them home and plant them and have a piece of our wedding grow in their garden.

A Cakey Triumph

Originally Steve and I weren’t going to bother with a cake, neither of us was that fussed about having one and we already had some fantastic puddings. However my Mum convinced us to have one in the end and so we asked my brother-in-law’s sister Rozzy to make the cake for us.

We chose a three tier oversized cake design with each layer decorated differently but all in cream. The bottom tier was a chocolate sponge with a white chocolate and raspberry buttercream filling and the top two tiers were lemon sponge with an Italian meringue buttercream filling.

Oh my gosh they were divine and the cake looked amazing.

Let’s Dance Until The Very End

Music was really important to us from the outset and we decided from day one that we wanted live music. For the ceremony we chose sisters Catherine and Alex Kolubayev. They sang to our guests alongside an acoustic guitar as they arrived and also whilst we signed the register.

They also accompanied my sister Maisie when she sang Songbird by Ava Cassidy during part of the ceremony. It was so beautiful. The girls also sang me down the aisle too; as a tribute to our little girl I walked down the aisle to Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.

For the evening we had the absolutely amazing Freddie and the Freeloaders play. The band plays vintage soul, jazz and modern classics. We loved that they have brass players and every one of our guests danced from the moment they started until the moment the last song was sung.

Words Of Wisdom

What I loved about our day was that it really reflected who we are. We did nothing just for the sake of doing it or because it was expected and made sure everything was personal to us as a couple but also as a family. That is exactly what the day was.

My advice to other brides is to make the day how you want it to be and not what you think it should be. At the end of the day all that matters is that you are marrying the person you love, surrounded by the people you love and that you don’t stop smiling the whole day.

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Syon Park, Brentford

Photographer – Hayley Savage

Bride’s Dress – Alice Temperley – Poison

Boutique – Anya Bridal

Accessories – Swarovski

Shoes – Zara

Hair – Percy And Reed

Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Coast

Bridesmaids’ Shoes – Ted Baker

Florist – Arcade Flowers

Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire – Selected Homme

Entertainment – Freddie and the Freeloaders

So…did you love it?

Of course you did. Tell me, which was your favourite part?

I always love to read our brides’ words of wisdom. In fact I often find myself nodding along in agreement like one of those dogs you find on the back shelf of a car staring at you as you wait in traffic.

Anyway I digress…the point I’m trying to make is that Chloe’s sage advice is something to bear in mind. Your day should be about you as a couple; if you hold firm to that mantra then you won’t stop smiling all day long.

I promise.

All my love Lolly xxx

Pin Image

The Vintage Beach…..Part 2

It’s not often I tell someone that I have found their W-day venue but after David Long submitted this Camber Sands affair I immediately advised my sister Melissa that this is where she is getting wed. No, she is not engaged yet but that is just a minor detail….

Seriously though, the Gallivant is to die for. A crisp white-washed backdrop for any colour scheme or theme that takes your fancy. And in the case of Kelly and Ross, a timeless and classy display of blue hues and rustic touches.

Oh and you’ve got to love portraits by the sea.

Easy Choices

Our photographer was a really easy choice, We had the very lovely David Long and I can’t recommend him highly enough. We found him when he photographed a friends wedding about a year beforehand where he had managed to capture some amazing moments and took some wonderfully creative photos.

David came down about a week before the wedding to meet us and take some engagement photos down on Shoreham beach. On the day he was completely unobtrusive, humorous and genuinely great to have around. He wasn’t remotely fazed by the wind (which was quite strong!) We felt he really understood what we want to create on our day and we couldn’t be happier with the photos which we really, really enjoyed!!

The Perfect Location

The Gallivant did the most amazing job, they’ve got a stunning location, the food was absolutely fantastic and they were incredibly supportive. The Gallivant was a random find but as soon as we met with Tudor on a snowy winters day in December we knew immediately that it was absolutely the right place for us.

Seashell Sweet

My mum and very lovely and hugely talented friend Amanda were the genius’ behind our cakes.

We knew we wanted to have cupcakes and a relatively small main wedding cake. I came up with the seashell design after trawling the internet for many hours. My mum made us a small 3-tier cake, which Amanda iced for us. Amanda also created the cupcakes for me. Both cakes were decorated with seashells and I found all the supplies including moulds on www.cakescookiesandcraftsshop.co.uk & www.cakecraftshop.co.uk

All of the cakes, including the main cake were presented on a collection of mismatched china cake stands which I found predominantly on e-bay and in the local flea market.

Vintage Jazz

There were a few things that we thought were essential to a good wedding and one of those was good music for the party. We went for a funky vintage jazz band called Freddie and the Freeloaders who came highly recommended by a friend who had used them several times.

They were absolutely brilliant, really flexible beforehand and on the night everyone was up dancing which was exactly what we wanted!

A Swing Secret

Our first dance was to Walking on a Dream by Empire of the Sun. Finding a first dance song was actually one of the harder things we did because in reality there’s loads of songs that mean something to us as a couple. We first heard it at a friends house and it just kind of stuck in our minds. We wanted something that was good for us to dance to and a bit different but which also held some personal meaning so this fitted the bill perfectly.

We did have a tiny surprise for our friends because we went and had a dance lesson at Hove Dance School so we did a swing routine which worked really well and managed to avoid the stereotypical shuffling! Learning it was definitely one of the highlights, we really enjoyed it!

Beachy Decor

We decorated the marquee with nautical bunting which we hired from the Big Beautiful Bunting Company in Cornwall.

I hand-made a series of driftwood signs on old bits of wood which we hung about the marquee and for the outside areas we put more jam jars filled with tea-lights.

The table runners were provided by The Gallivant and we took a big bag of beach equipment for the children over to the beach for during the reception drinks which included buckets and spades, kites etc which were brilliant fun.

My maid of honour created us a bespoke Ross and Kelly peep-thru board which guests used to have their photos taken for our guest book. We created a seaside scene in the adjacent garden with the peep board, a wind break, some buckets and spades and a big inflatable beach ball.

Our guest book was actually a guest tree. I designed some nautical tags which we hung from blue pampas in a vase. Each tag had a verse from a seaside poem on it and guests were able to write their messages on the tags.

Ross and I created all of the name places ourselves by writing peoples first names in stones on the sand on Shoreham beach and photographing them. We didn’t do favours but all of our guests took their name tags home with them!

At 11pm, we took everyone back outside and set off 40 (eco-friendly) sky lanterns which were beautiful.

Making It Ours

We live on the coast and Ross and I are both avid sailors, so the sea is a huge part of our lives. For us, our wedding day and the celebration of our marriage needed to reflect who we are and consequently the one thing we knew from the beginning was that it would need to be as close to getting married on the beach as we could manage and also (very importantly) to be relaxed!

Everything that we did from the nautical bunting to the beach flowers, the driftwood signs, our hand-made peep-thru board and the beach reception was designed to meet those objectives and we couldn’t have been happier! Neither of us stopped smiling from start to finish!

Keeping things relaxed was also a big driver for us and The Gallivant helped us in ‘informalising’ the wedding breakfast by serving all the food on sharing plates and we sat everyone on long tables and benches which all helped to create an familiar, ‘beach fete’ style atmosphere.

Planning a wedding is stressful, whatever anyone says so I think the biggest piece of advice that we would offer to anyone is to be true to yourselves and allow your own personalities to provide the ultimate inspiration for what is your day. That way, all the people who love you will have a great time and you can’t go wrong!

Venue – The Gallivant

Jazz band – Freddie and the Freeloaders

Nautical Bunting – Big Beautiful Bunting Company

Photographer – David Long

Told you. It’s a pretty special place no?

I just looked to see if they had any bank holiday weekend availability but no. Boo.

Anyone else having a blue and white beachy theme for W-day?

Big White-Washed Love

Charlotte xxx