Gillian Million

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Wiggle Those Toes.


Wiggle those toes – it’s Bride Siobhan’s top tip for making sure you remember all of the best bits of your wedding.

You know the feeling, those moments when you are so blissfully happy you want them to last forever, so you try to imprint them on your memory? I think toe wiggling would definitely help with that.

And to help bring back all those emotion filled memories, Siobhan and Ross have a gorgeous set of images from Claire Penn that truly capture the spirit of their day.

On a more superficial note – Siobhan is another Bride who did her own make up…she absolutely nails a red lip and nail combo. If any of you lovelies are thinking about DIY Bridal make up, make sure you check out of first beauty vlog here.

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Our Second Home

Siobhan The Bride: We are both born and bred in London, but my Mum & Dad are from Ireland. I have such amazing memories from going to Ireland every year when I was younger to Tipperary to our family home for Easter and Summer holidays with all my cousins and family.

In the 7 and a half years Ross and I have been together we have taken trips over to Ireland, with groups of our friends for long weekends and with my family, it has become a second home to him now too. After we got engaged we talked about what sort of wedding we wanted and we knew we couldn’t just settle for one day, so we knew we had to have somewhere we could have all our loved ones together for a weekend.

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Exclusively Ours

We thought Ireland would be so much fun and a great excuse for a mini trip for everyone. We found Kilshane House in Tipperary near where my Mum’s family are from, and the moment we started driving up the half a mile tree lined winding drive we knew this place was going to be special.

Add to that the fact you can hire the whole place exclusively for the weekend, there are 50+ rooms for most of our guests to stay in, an absolutely STUNNING reception room which used to be a church and we knew it was the one!! It also has the feel of a family home and we felt so relaxed from the moment we entered.

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Hollywood Glam

We are very lucky to have a very dear friend of ours Tom Cumberland who is an amazing hairdresser. He agreed to do mine and the bridesmaids hair for the wedding and was just out of this world. My hair is long, but very fine so doesn’t curl easily, I knew I wanted it different from just straight, and I don’t do up do’s, so Tom and I had MANY practice sessions at my flat until we got the perfect wave with heated rollers.

I did my own make up for the day as I wanted to look like myself, I went for a lesson with a make up artist at Fenwicks called Frey-ja Barker who uses all different brands and she went through what was best for my skin and how to apply.

I then added to that my favourite bits from Mac & Nars, like bright red lips and gold smoky eyes! I knew I wanted a stand out look as I’m not afraid to wear brighter make up, I wanted it to look quite Hollywood glam to go with the dress, I was glad I took the plunge and did it myself, plus now I have all the make up to use after!

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A Love Affair With The Aspen

A few months after getting engaged my best friend had a fun day out to try on a few dresses, I found a couple I loved so thought “this will be easy!”. Over-Confident – wind on 6 months and you have the pressure of actually finding the ONE dress you will wear on your wedding day, the one dress that needs to make you look stylish, beautiful, classy and sexy and that you can wear from midday until 4 in the morning (yes I said 4am!)

I must have tried on over 50 dresses, I was adamant I wanted it to be corseted and very structured, as the un-structured dresses wouldn’t suit me, I just didn’t like any of them on me! I then went to an amazing shop called Miss Bush Bridal in Ripley and among all the corseted big gowns they made me try on a Jenny Packham…SWOON!

Well what a waste of a year trying all the other gowns on, it suddenly all feel into place, then it was just a matter of which one. As soon as I tried on the Aspen, I knew it was the one. They do say that don’t they!? It was the most comfortable dress I have ever worn and I felt amazing in it…I am still having a total love affair with it.

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Very Special Accessories

I knew I wanted my wedding shoes to be really special, my amazing Maid of Honour Indi gave me a very big contribution towards them as a 30th birthday present, so I knew I could afford the Louboutins I really wanted. I wanted to be able to wear them again after so peep toed nude ones were perfect, the red looked amazing under the dress and matched my red nails and lips!

My veil was stumbled upon by accident; we went shopping for bridesmaid dresses and had an appointment at the fabulous Gillian Million’s shop in Teddington. It is like every girls heaven, full of the most beautiful jewellery and accessories you could ever imagine. She makes her veils her self, and it was so soft it was like butter in my hand, I had to have it. She does just the right mix of vintage and glamorous for her jewellery too so I brought myself a beautiful vintage bracelet from there.

My best girls had taken note of a necklace I loved and brought it for me for my birthday (so spoilt), and on the wedding day my mum gave me a beautiful vintage hair clip for after I took my veil off. I was even more surprised when I had a card from Ross on the wedding morning, which made me ball my eyes out (luckily before all make up was done) and with it a little box containing the most beautiful vintage art deco earrings, which I adore!

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Style And Sophistication

My beautiful girls wore a stunning strapless chiffon gown in purple made by Dessy brought at Jane Jordan in Kingston. We matched that with silver shoes from Next, a statement silver / diamante necklace from Accessorize UK and really cool silver nail polish from Nails Inc. They looked totally stunning, I was very proud!

Ross The Groom: ‘I knew from the start I wanted an English gent look for me, my best men & ushers. We settled on fabric from Alfred Brown millers for our fitted three-piece suits. I went for grey ties, white silk pocket squares with a grey trim and cool 1 inch tie bars, brought online from a shop in the USA called The Tie Bar.

My shirt was from a traditional 60s inspired English tailors called Adam Sharner in Notting Hill and my shoes were from Loakes. My Mum had my granddads pocket watch put onto a chain and my Dad gave it to me as a present which I wore on the wedding day.’

Siobhan The Bride: They all looked really dapper and my hubby looked totally gorgeous (if I don’t say so myself!)

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The Right Photographer

We knew from the start having the right photographer was important to us; I really struggled to find any that really excited me in Ireland, or ones who did the reportage relaxed style we wanted. I was then looking on these polka dot pages one day and saw a fabulous engagement shoot from the even more fabulous Claire Penn.

I went onto her amazing blog and fell in love with every couple she photographed and knew I wanted her to photograph our day. Claire travelled down to London to meet us for our engagement shoot in Battersea Park and once again blew us away; we instantly relaxed around her and knew we had made the right choice! We were so happy she agreed to fly over to Ireland from her base in the UK and it was the best investment we made!

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A Relaxed Vibe

Our venue was so beautiful we let it speak for itself a lot of the time, we didn’t have a set theme as we wanted a really relaxed vibe for the whole weekend. But we did have different music for every section of the day, including for the drinks reception a CD with music by Vitamin String Quartet who play contemporary music like The Smiths, U2, Killers, Daft Punk and a particularly cool rendition of MMM Bop all on string instruments, we got loads of great comments on it.

The beauty of Kilshane House is that you can move your guests through the different sections of the venue at different parts of your day, we had our drinks reception on the lawn, we then had cocktails in the stunning glass conservatory before moving to the main reception room with its beautiful fairy lights and high ceilings. The tables had silver candelabras, which we had draped in green ivy, they were placed on mirrors with candles around the bottom. We went for a more rustic/vintage feel, with homemade banners and vintage suitcases to hold the photo guest book.

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Heart Shaped

As I knew the weather could be unpredictable in Ireland I wanted something that took my mind off the rain if it did happen. I found some Heart Shaped Umbrellas on a really cool website called Love Umbrellas. I got them for me and the bridesmaids in Purple and Ivory to match our colours. It only trickled a little bit on the day but the umbrellas really made us smile so it didn’t matter!

We brought a mini Instax Fujifilm camera and loads of props for people to take pictures and stick in our guest book, this was one of the most fun parts of the evening and the guest book is hilarious (you should see the drunken illegible messages and photos from after midnight).

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Purples, Pinks And Blues

I had a very clear idea of what I wanted for my mine and my bridesmaid’s bouquets. I wanted them to look quite dramatic, so I wanted mine to be only bright colours, incorporating the purple of the bridesmaid dresses and other dark pinks and shades of purple / blue. I asked for only large flowers, I wanted the purple orchids which looked amazing and large roses, I also knew I wanted long stems which would come out of the bottom of the silk wrap around.

The girls then each choose a white flower that they loved and had an individual bouquet made, so large Roses for one, Calla Lilies’ for another and Dahlia’s, again with long stems and ivory silk wraps, Michelle at Cashel Flowers did the most amazing job we couldn’t have been happier.

As Ross had pocket squares he wanted very simple boutonnieres, we decided on simple lavender with a silk wrap, they looked really cool and smelt gorgeous. We also had silver buckets with lavender plants dotted around different parts of the wedding, like the photo guest book table, card table and by the entrance.

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A Pre-Ceremony Guinness

We got married at stunning Holy Cross Abbey, it was actually the church in the town my Nana grew up in, so is really dear to my heart, it helps that the setting is also breath taking. There is a traditional Irish pub attached to the Abbey, which all the guests stopped into for a pint of Guinness pre ceremony!

The priest was an old family friend who actually introduced my Mum & Dad, he was winding us up the whole way along, pointing to the wrong words and generally making the whole church laugh, it really made it so much more amazing than we could have expected! Ross’ sister and my three brothers did all the readings, which made it extra special.

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A Beatles Tribute

Ross is a DJ, music is really important to him, so this was his forte! He is a huge Beatles fan and managed to find the most amazing tribute act called The Classic Beatles, they have even performed for the Queen and have worked with Sir George Martin. They are completely authentic right down to the accents and the stage banter.

They were one of the highlights of our night, everyone was up dancing and singing the whole way through. Our brother in-law even got up and played a guitar solo with them. They finished on a collaboration of Daft Punks “Get Lucky” and “Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Bands” it was fantastic! He then found a DJ who really listened to what we wanted and played the best music until 2am, we were up dancing all night!

Our first dance was to Paradise by Coldplay, it brings back fantastic memories of seeing them at Glastonbury shortly after we got engaged. We hadn’t rehearsed the dance, but that made it more fun, they were lots of impromptu spins and even a dip! 

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A Five Course Feast

We wanted to make sure that our guests had lots of eat and drink all day. There were plates filled with canapés during the drinks reception, which guests enjoyed while sipping Prosseco or cocktails including Strawberry Daiquiris and Mojitos (my favourite!)

All the catering is done in house at Kilshane House, it was a 5 course meal, we had a goat cheese tart with beetroot to start, followed by carrot and coriander soup with pesto oil, then fillet steak with three different types of potatoes and vegetables, followed by crème brulee with mini Madeline’s and summer fruit compotes, followed by tea, coffee and petit fours, it was all delicious.

For favours we decided (knowing our friends and family) the best thing would be miniatures bottles of Irish Whiskey, Baileys or Jagermeister, we brought purple striped bags and stickers with our names, wedding date and ‘Thank you’ on them from Amazon, they looked great and went down a treat!!

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All Worth The Effort

As we were getting married in another country we wanted to give our guests as much info as possible so for our save the date we sent out an email that linked into a wedding website we created, it went down really well. We really struggled with our invitations, we couldn’t really justify spending lots of money on them, but also wanted them to reflect us and give our guests a feel of the wedding to come!

We then found this really great website called Paper Dates who did an invite that perfectly reflected the feel of our wedding, they were really affordable too. We even roped in Ross’ dad to help tie them all together with hessian string they looked great!

We created the table plan ourselves (with help from my brilliant Mum & Dad), we printed an individual Polaroid of each of our guests, we then put hessian string onto black card and used a red heart shaped clip to pin them on…It looked great and was a focal point of the wedding, a lot of effort but worth it!

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A Smooch And A Screech

It really was the most amazing day of our lives, we didn’t go OTT with little details but added our own personality to the wedding, the things people remember so much are how much fun it was and how much love there was in the room, not how many flowers or signs we had! I got loads of great advice, I will pass on my two favourite pieces…

Steal away for at least half an hour on your own with your new husband, we snuck up to our room with a glass of champagne for a smooch and a screech, we could also look out our window to see how our favourite people laughing outside, it was magical.

At any moments you really want to remember, wiggle your toes. I did it as I was saying my vows looking into Ross’ eyes, during my Dads speech and while on the dance floor looking around at how much love and happiness there was in the room, we felt so blessed!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Bride’s Gown – Aspen by Jenny Packham at Miss Bush Bridal
Shoes – Christian Louboutin
Veil & Jewellery – Gillian Million
Bridesmaid’s Gowns – Dessy at Jane Jordan
Shoes – Next
Necklaces – Accessorize UK
Nail Polish‎ – Nails Inc.
Groom and Groomsmen’s Suits – Alfred Brown
Ties, Pocket Squares and Tie Bars – The Tie Bar
Shirts – Adam Of London
Groom’s Shoes – Loake
Venue – Kilshane House
Make Up Tutorial – Frey-Ja Barker at Fenwick’s
Invitations – Your Paper Dates
Reception Music – The Vitamin String Quartet
Florist – Cashel Flowers
Band – The Classic Beatles
Photography – Claire Penn Photography
Second shooter – Jane Packard

‎What a stylish affair for a Friday!

Love the idea of stealing away for a ‘smooch and a screech’ with your new husband.

I think I want to move into Kilshane House.

Lots of love,
Fern x

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Understated Elegance.


Hearing a beautiful story of how two people met is one of the many perks of my job… Although how Claire and Tom met is more of a beautiful mess rather than a beautiful Story. Tom Crashed into Claires car.

“WHAT THE?… YOU STUPID IDIO….. Oh, hellllooooo…”

That’s how I imagine it happening anyway 🙂 And in terms of a story with a happy ending, you can’t get much happier than this…

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A Little Bit Different

Tom and I were married at St Andrew’s Church in Mells on 1st June and our reception was held at The Grange in Whatley. We really wanted to find a venue that would be relaxed, with great food and just be ‘a little bit different’ – we both felt The Grange fitted the bill perfectly. Not only does it have a fantastic restaurant, which we had eaten in a few times already and loved on every occasion, The Grange is also home to a wonderful cookery school. Jane and her team are really easy-going too and we knew that they completely ‘got’ our vision.

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We hired a traditional marquee from South West Marquees to go on the front lawn, which Crescent Moon decorated beautifully with plain white linings, fairy lights and chinese lanterns. It was so lovely in the evening that the waitresses told us they wanted to sleep in it!

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Grecian Updo

I knew that I wanted to wear my hair up, and felt that a low Grecian-style updo would suit the style of the dress. As soon as I met Maddy from Melanie Giles at my trial and I knew that I would be in good hands. She created a beautiful hairstyle that was even better than I could hope for. On top of this, Maddy and Scarlett, who did my sister Abigail’s hair, were a real pleasure to be around, especially on the wedding morning.

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I don’t wear much make up so I wanted to find someone who would give me a natural look, but with slightly more coverage than usual. Melanie Giles recommended Charley Brunskill and I’m so happy that they did – she was lovely. Despite having to make up my Mum and Sister too, Charley was really calming and gave me a look that made me feel really confident. She also gave me great advice when I had a break out the week before!

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The Fashion

Even after visiting several boutiques, I struggled to find ‘the dress’. I had quite a strong idea of what I wanted and felt it was silly to spend money on something that wasn’t completely perfect (to be honest I don’t think being a textile designer helped the hunt!). In the end I sourced a cream lace, set out to find a champagne silk, and had the dress made. Unfortunately this wasn’t as straightforward as we expected – the design evolved with every fitting (and there were quite a few!) but my lovely dressmaker June went with it and I was over the moon with the result.

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Tom isn’t a fan of tails so he wore a charcoal grey three-piece from Austin Reed which showed off his cycling figure perfectly. He wore this with a light grey spotty tie from Reiss and black shoes (complete with purple laces) from Jasper Conran. He even bought a beard trimmer just for the occasion. He looked so dapper at the top of the aisle – I couldn’t take my eyes off him!

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Vintage Accessories

I spent hours trawling the internet to find some vintage earrings that wouldn’t cost the earth but didn’t look tacky. Eventually I came across the beautiful designs of Gillian Million in Teddington. After a fun trying on session I settled on some art deco style, crystal drop earrings and a pearl and rhinestone hair piece.

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For ages, I had been umming and ahhing about having a veil, partly because I couldn’t find the right colour. Two weeks before the day I was still looking, but luckily Gillian came up trumps again. She made me a very simple, single tier cream silk tuille veil and it was the perfect finishing touch.

Our wedding rings were made by Annette Gabbedey. Annette is not only a great friend but the most talented Goldsmith we know and as soon as we got engaged, we knew we wanted her to make our rings.

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The Wedding Party

For Abigail (a rock throughout the entire process along with Mum and Dad) we bought a teal chiffon dress from Coast and our flower girls Eloise, Evie and baby Enya wore ivory dresses from Zara. Abigail’s dress was originally floor length but we realised two weeks before the wedding that a shorter length would suit her better, so it became knee length instead!

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We were quite keen for the men not to match so our Dads, Best Man James and Ushers John and Milo wore their own suits. As a result we ended up with a great mix of styles but they were all linked by their cream buttonholes.

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Elegant & Understated

We didn’t have a theme as such but our aim was to create an elegant, understated look with lots of rustic touches. The combination of a traditional marquee with plain white linings, fairy lights and trestle tables and a charcoal carpet gave us exactly the look we were hoping for.

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We followed quite a contemporary colour scheme of dusky pink, deep teal and citrusy yellow for the wedding. Obviously the flowers were a massive part of this – helping to link the marquee and restaurant too – but there were also bits of stationery and a few props dotted around The Grange.

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Milk Bottles & Jam Jars

I always knew that I wanted Grace from Bramble & Wild to do our flowers. I scoured Pinterest for inspiration but then came across Grace’s dusky pink ‘Jam Jar Posy’ and it was perfect. The bouquets were made up of Amnesia Roses, O’Hara Roses, white Waxflower, Peonies, Super Bubbles Spray Roses, Jasmine and Honeysuckle vines and the men wore Vendella Roses with Waxflower as their buttonholes.

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On the tables were clusters of old, embossed milk bottles and jam jars full of flowers, which brought the marquee to life, and in the restaurant were a couple of flower buckets. I completely relaxed knowing that Grace would be one of the last to see the church and marquee, especially as everything she does is so incredible and stylish.

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Low Key & Romantic

We’re both pianists so we were quite taken with the idea of me walking up the aisle to something low key and romantic. In the end we chose Ludovico Einaudi’s ‘I Giorni’ and Tom’s friend Jamie kindly played this for us on the piano.

During the service Tom’s sister Maddy sang ‘Songbird’ by Fleetwod Mac, which proved to be quite a tearjerker. My Godmother Carolynn read 1 Corinthians and Tom’s other sister Sophie read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.

One of the funniest memories that we have of the service is when I tripped on our way to sign the register. It just so happened that Guy Collier was stood directly in front of us at this moment, and took quite possibly the best shot of our entire album.

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Feeling Good

We decided it would be great to have a band at the reception and thanks to the lovely sunny weather they were able to stand outside on the patio. Round Midnight Quartet played during the time between the speeches and first dance, creating an atmosphere which fitted everyone’s mood perfectly. At the same time, my cousin Jeff was assigned with the task of taking Polaroids of everyone for our guestbook – this worked really well and has become a keepsake which we love going through again and again.

For our first dance, Tom chose Michael Buble’s cover of Feeling Good – he’s a huge Muse fan so had to slip this link in somewhere! After this, the DJ indulged us with some cheesy classics to help everyone onto the dance-floor.

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A Summer Selection

Tom is the ‘foodie’ in our relationship so he and Jane at The Grange came up with our menu. We were quite keen to have summery dishes and Jane completely took this on board and came up with the most amazing ideas. We had canapés and Pimms followed by Antipasti platters, Piri Piri Chicken and Summer Fruit Strudel (because it’s my favourite!) as a desert. It all went down a storm.

The cake was made by Tom’s sister Sophie (future Bake-off winner we’re sure). It had 3 tiers – all with different flavours – and textured white icing. Sophie did a fantastic job and the cake was beautifully decorated with flowers and vines from Bramble & Wild. In keeping with the food theme, we made small jars of tomato chutney as our favours. Thanks to help from our friends Tina and James, this became a military operation and with a little more help from friends Pinot and Grigio, we made 130 jars.

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Personal To Us

Being a designer (and complete control freak), I really wanted to design the stationery myself. I gathered various bits of card, text, etc that I loved and took to Photoshop to design the lot.

For our table plan we used vinyl artwork and named tables after the albums. Tom works for a record label so this was his baby, and I think he quite enjoyed it.

For the tables, we designed and printed menus for everyone, which were placed on top of the napkins with luggage labels as the place cards. Admittedly these little details took some time but were well worth the effort and made the whole wedding more personal to us.
As an extra touch we also designed a framed storyboard, which detailed our journey from how we met (Tom crashed into my car by the way) to his proposal. This was really fun to design and now sits proudly on our mantelpiece.

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It’s Never Too Late

My main piece of advice would be that if you’re not happy with something (and you can usually tell if you keep looking at it on the internet!) then do something about it. We actually had another photographer booked before we came across Guy Collier’s website. As soon as we did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it – his work
had such a natural, timeless quality.

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After a lengthy discussion with Tom we bit the bullet and booked him – losing our original deposit but gaining the most talented photographer who also became a friend. My mind was completely at rest as soon as we’d made this decision, so we knew straight away that it was the right call. Guy captured our day in the most amazing way and we are still over the moon with the photos. We can’t thank him enough.

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Venue The Grange
Marquee South West Marquees
Decor Crescent Moon
Hair Melanie Giles
Make-up Charley B
Suit Austin Reed
Tie Reiss
Earrings Gillian Million
Rings Annette Gabbedey
Bridesmaid dress Coast
Flowergirl dresses Zara
Blooms Bramble & Wild
Photography Guy Collier

Click here & view all images from this wedding

What a beaut… And so lovingly and skillfully captured by Guy Collier, just goes to show that last minute wobbles can often lead to changes that are for the best. So, as Claire says, don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t feeling quite right.

So, can anyone beat the story of how claire and Tom met? Leave some love and let us know your story in the comment section below.


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Love on the Thames

Paola and Darrens’ wedding is bursting with colour…and love. It’s literally spilling over.

The flowers are stunning and I’m loving the coordinating blooms, lips and nails. Breathtaking.

What I love most about this day is the joy that went into planning it, the months of collecting pieces and the dedication put into the cakes (wait until you see the cakes!). There is something very personal about it and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Breakfast By The Thames

My wedding was on a sunny Saturday, 11th August 2012. My name is Paola and my husband is called Darren. We live in Walton so married in my local church, St Erconwalds and then we had our wedding breakfast in the amazing Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington by the Thames.

A Happy Ending

I bought my dress from a shop in Weybridge called Surrey Brides (a shop I used to look at every day on my way to school!). The designer was Benjamin Roberts.  I knew I wanted a lace dress and as soon as I put it on I immediately loved it – it felt pretty and dramatic at the same time. I must admit, it was also within budget so with the two put together, it was the dress for me! 

For any brides that have a panic when the dress they order comes in, and think that they don’t suit the dress anymore, ignore the reaction!  When my dress arrived for my first fitting, I still loved it but didn’t like myself in it anymore and was convinced it didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to. 

Apparently this is completely normal. The next time I went I took my cousin, Gabi who was also one of my bridesmaids, and she completely put me at ease!  Take people that can be excited and help you feel positive about your decisions. I still don’t know why I freaked out – I absolutely loved my dress and once Deborah at Surrey Brides had all the fittings made to suit my shape – I was more than happy with the result.

The Perfect Pair

I worked in Teddington at the time and I kept passing this beautiful shop filled with vintage accessories so I made an appointment with Gillian Million and found a stunning head piece that I bought before I found my dress. I then had a pair of earrings, a bracelet and small brooch made to match.  I defy anyone not to find something amazing to wear in Gillian’s shop. 

With all the money I had spent on my dress and accessories, I knew I wanted a simple pair of shoes so Kurt Geiger provided the perfect pair. I then bought a pair of shoe clips off ebay.

Intense And Bright

I wanted a hairstyle that was relaxed and down, so simple curls were what worked best. My hairdresser was recommended to me by my make-up artist. I love make-up and so this was the perfect excuse to have myself done up.

I like intense eyes or bright lipstick. Another of my bridesmaids, Marisa, has a friend who is a make-up artist and Kate came to turn me into something fantastic! It was a lot of fun for myself, my Mum and the bridesmaids to have their make-up done by a professional.

A Single Rose

The wonderful Jo Butler at Jo Butler Flowers in Teddington provided the flowers and they were prefect. Vintage roses with bright cerise roses to off-set the more subtle colours.

I had a bird theme running throughout the day so I bought bird cages for the centre pieces that Jo filled with the same flowers as my bouquet, which were then placed on hardback books. I had 2 large bird cages to decorate the church and venue that Jo decorated too. I decided to have a single rose for each of the bridesmaids and my maid of honour, and I think it looked really pretty.

A Flash of Pink

I didn’t want a colour scheme so I bought the gold bridesmaids’ dresses from Marks and Spencers and the groomsmen were bought blue suits to match Darren’s.  The maids were given brooches to fit on their belts and the men were given Paul Smith ties and pink socks!

Vivienne And Paul

Darren loves all things British so it had to be a Vivienne Westwood suit! He looked so handsome in it and along with the Paul Smith tie, tie pin, pink socks, brown Barker shoes and pocket watch, he looked perfect and I think he was really pleased with the end result.

Exactly What I Was Looking For

When I saw Rebecca’s portfolio I knew she was the photographer I was looking for! And she was absolutely amazing – she really captured the day. We met with her a couple of times before the wedding, and on the day she was so warm and unobtrusive; she even popped over to where Darren was staying to capture some photos of him when he was getting ready and nothing was too much hassle.

She had tons of energy all day…I don’t know how she kept it up!  I couldn’t be happier with the photos and would recommend her to anyone in a heartbeat.

A Piece Of Cake

My aunty made an Italian cake and I decided to make the rest so I had a table of cupcakes, cake pops and normal cakes. It was a bit mad the week before and I was icing cakes the Friday night before the wedding, but it was worth it.

Flash Mob

My brother had a 30 minute DJ set which was really fun and then the brilliant Wedding Smashers took over for the rest of the evening .

When Darren and I first met we discovered we had a mutual love for Ryan Adams – he’s really special to us so we chose ‘I Love you but I don’t Know what to Say’ and our good mate Paul, who I went to school with, choreographed the dance for us and made us look good. He also choreographed a group dance so my mum, dad, friends and family all got on the dance floor after the first dance to join us in a flash mob which went down really well.

Badges and Bulbs

For favours we had terracotta flower pots filled with flower bulbs for the women and for the men, a miniature bottle of whisky or vodka. We weren’t going to have any favours but then these came within budget and I’m really glad we went with them. We also had some really cool badges made for everyone that I bought from etsy.

Incredible Collections

The Landmark is an incredible venue but you do have to hire everything in and I made much of the decorations myself. I decided on the bird theme so for 10 months I just kept collecting things that would be nice to use. Etsy, Cox and Cox, ebay and charity shops were the best places for me.

Go With Your Gut

I think making the day as personal to you as you can, and going with your gut is a good starting point. Make the time to enjoy the planning process so it doesn’t get stressful nearer the day. Ask for help when you need it and enjoy it!

Venue: Landmark Arts Centre

Boutique: Surrey Brides

Dress: Benjamin Roberts

Head Piece: Gillian Million

Shoes: Hurt Geiger

Flowers: Jo Butler Flowers

Bridesmaids: Marks and Spencer

Grooms Suit: Vivienne Westwood

Photography: Rebecca Photography

Entertainment: Wedding Smashers

Bridesmaids: Marks and Spencer

Grooms Suit: Vivienne Westwood

So people…a wedding flash mob! Absolutely essential to make any wedding a success.

Didn’t you love all the little touches? The badges, the socks, the roses? And how ruddy dapper is Darren’s suit!

I would love to hear what you think.


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A Pie And Mash Wedding.

Sarah and Jon met at university in Bath ten years ago and despite living in London together ever since, Somerset was their chosen location for a relaxed summer celebration. Court Farms‘ relaxed ethos gave them the opportunity to make the day exactly how they wanted it.

I was amused to read that Sarah often refers to Jon as “Sweets” as he is made up of 95% Haribo.

I’m not far off that myself – at last count I was 72% fizzy cola bottles.

Photography today is by my unashamed man crush and camera master, Mister Phill.

It Fit Like A Glove

Elizabeth Avey saved the day! Me and my Mum had been to a couple of shops before but I had left them feeling cold and very worried that I would never find something I’d feel comfortable in. I’m not much of a figure hugging/glamorous/sophisticated/‘look at me’ dresser and I just felt silly in all the ones I tried on. There seemed to be rails of stiff white satin and diamante ruffles that whilst being a lot of fun to peruse, just weren’t up my street.

I spent a lot of time drooling over the American websites like Saja and was frustrated that you couldn’t get the more laid back girly (and a lot more affordable) dresses here. I did at first panic buy a similar ethereal Monsoon number but my heart wasn’t in it and I resold it soon after!

Having come across the lovely Elizabeth Avey online, we made an appointment to visit her North London studio. Good job we did. Looking at the rails, my eyes lit up. It was a treasure trove of inspirational vintage lace and it felt a bit like being allowed behind the scenes at the V&A. ‘The’ dress had just been put out that morning and hadn’t even been steamed yet. But it fit like a glove and made my Mum cry. Definitely the one. Sourced from L.A, it was a 1950s beauty that had just the right amount of simplicity and classic old-school glamour I was after. The bow at the back and the unique ribbon detailing was a sweet little twist that made me smile too!

Once In A Lifetime

I knew I wanted to wear a veil as it’s the only time in your life you get to! My Mum has kept hers in the attic for the last 38 years and it just happened that the aged flowers & and colour of the netting matched the dress perfectly. Being so close to my Mum, it felt very special to be wearing it on the day. We did shorten it slightly so that the proportions were right with the dress. At the suggestion of Heidi the hairdresser, my Mum also removed some of the flowers and attached them to a satin covered pipe cleaner that could be intertwined with my plaits (to be revealed later in the day when the veil was removed).

Jewellery wise, I wore my Nain’s (Welsh for Grandmother) engagement ring and a delicate bracelet I bought from Gillian Million in Teddington to add a bit of sparkle. I’m pretty minimal in my jewellery wearing and felt that a necklace would interfere with the scalloped neckline of the dress.

I mustn’t forget to mention the incredible surprise Jonny had planned on our big day. During the morning preparations, there was a knock on the bedroom door.. I opened it to find a giant Sylvanian squirrel looking up at me, clutching a beautiful handbag. As if the giant sylvanian wasn’t enough of a surprise (who knew they existed?!), inside the dreamy tan leather shopper, was a hard backed, dust jacketed book of our travel blog that he’d worked his socks of to produce in the months before. I had wondered why he’d suddenly have to do lots of late nights and early starts at work… He actually took my breath away with it’s lovingly crafted detail and I’m sure you can imagine the amount of squealing six bridesmaids can achieve at such a romantic gesture. If you’re wondering what the deal is with Sylvanian squirrels – I was rather a big fan as a kid and when we were first dating, he’d given me one as a gift for my birthday. Inside the little creature’s satchel was again, the most unexpected surprise of a diamond ring. What can I say, he’s good at suprises!

What led me to that story was that alongside the treasured book, was another squeal inducing Kate Spade giftbox containing a stunning pair of pearl bow studs that couldn’t have complimented my dress more perfectly. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Dandelion Pumps

As I said before, I don’t have the most sophisticated of wardrobes and high high heels aren’t my thing. I needed something to give me a little bit of height and elegance but still wanted to have to reach a little bit to kiss Jon (we’re both pretty short). I ended up going with a pair of suede dandelion coloured pumps that I ordered online from J Crew. I did have shoe wobbles in the final weeks before the big day which led me to late night dazed frenzies in Selfridges after work trying to find another more classicly weddingy pair. I shouldn’t have worried as I wore the yellow ones in the end and received lots of compliments! Doh. I also had a pair of gold glittery flats for a bit later on when I was tired of sinking heals in the grass.

A Right Of Passage

Heidi Vince did my hair, who I found online. She did a great job on the day. I wanted something loose and natural, as I’m not one for wearing my hair up.

We did our own makeup. I was extremely lucky that my bridesmaids had treated me to a suprise girly night in, complete with champagne, cupcakes, sushi and a professional makeup artist a couple of months before the big day. As with my hen do, I was completely blown away by their meticulously thoughtful planning and generosity. I also had a few tutorials at Mac and Bobbi Brown counters, so doing my own makeup was a good excuse to treat myself to some nice new kit and to learn the proper ways of doing things. Hopefully I did ok..

With 6 of us, it was good fun getting ready! I had imagined that I’d be a quivering bundle of nerves, completely unable to wield an eyeliner wand with any degree of accuracy but it turned out to be a magical morning with my bestest friends that I will remember forever. Having grown up with a lot of them, it felt a like a bit of a right of passage having them there and I’m really glad they were all part of it.

Floral Fancies

We used The Walled Garden in Mells for our florals. They were brilliant. We went for a selection of white wild flowers with little accents of mustard/golden yellow. They delivered the buckets the day before and gave us a quick lesson so that we could arrange them in our own Habitat vases. They understood exactly what we were after from the chats we’d had and moodboards we’d provided. We were very happy when the bouquets and button holes arrived on the big day – the sweetpeas and mint smelt incredible and they were put together just as we’d hoped.

So Very Dapper

What a hottie. Jon/Sweets was more handsome than I ever could have dreamed of. He wore a gorgeous suit from Reiss, which was the perfect shade of bluey grey for a summers day. As he never needs to wear a suit for work, it was quite a treat seeing him look so very dapper. All the men in the wedding party wore our invitations, (which were printed on handkerchiefs) in their breast pocket. It was nice little detail to bring them all together, along with their navy ties.

The moment I saw Jon I felt completely at ease after hopping about and taking the obligatory deep breaths outside the ceremony room. When I was little, I hadn’t wanted to get married for fear of having to stand up in front of everybody and I was a little bit terrified in the weeks before! That fear and shyness evaporated as soon as I was standing next to my husband. It felt like just me and him (apart from the bit where I had to fight the giggles because I noticed that my little niece was posting leaves from the bouquet into my Mum’s mouth). It makes my tummy flutter thinking of him standing there holding my hand.

Hello Mister

The incredible (and now infamous amongst our friends) Mister Phill was our one and only choice when it came to capturing our big day and the first decision we made. We’re not the best at making decisions and it turns out there are lots to be made when planning a wedding, but that one was unquestionable. Luckily he was available and willing to help!

Phill had been my brother’s tutor at university and had shot his winter wedding a couple of years ago. We knew then that we’d never want anyone else responsible for documenting every little detail. Being visual people ourselves, the style of photography and the way the day that we’d put so much into, would be captured for eternity was a big deal.

It was such a weight off to have complete faith in somebody to take care of it. He really is a magician and never ceases to amaze in the work that he does in such a sensitive, accommodating, visually awe inspiring and incredibly witty way. Genius.

Sweet Treats

There was certainly no shortage of sweet treats. We had a three tired, triple flavoured wedding cake made by Bath Baby Cakes, decorated with wildflowers picked from the garden that morning and toppers we’d painted from Goose Grease on Etsy (me, Jon and Buddy our cat who featured in quite a lot of the décor, namely Buddy’s Bar).

We also invited guests to take part in a bake off, to which the response was totally magnificent! The creativity and talent displayed amongst our friends was fantastic and very touching indeed. From a green tea flavoured Mount Fuji, a German Friendship Cake, to the winner – a Giant replica Tunnocks Teacake. Mary Berry would have been proud.

Mosh Pit Mayhem

Entertainment was tricky as our budget wasn’t massive but we really wanted a band. We love going to festivals and felt that the barn was begging for it. We came across Rockit online and decided to go with them despite never having heard them live – they had a set list that we knew would get our friends on the dance floor without the cheesy wedding classics we wanted to avoid. The gamble paid off as the guys made our day complete, with a mosh pit and many an encore that led to me and jon being hoisted onto friend’s shoulders to a soundtrack of Sweet Child of Mine – an end to the night we will never forget!

Tickets To What You Need

The band very kindly learnt our first song, which was Badly Drawn Boy ‘Tickets to what you need’. We played it a lot in our first year at Bath University and will always remind us of those early days. It just seemed very apt.

Pin badges

We didn’t have favours as such but did get lots of little pin badges made up, each featuring the illustrations from our invitation. Everybody had one of these stuck to their place cards at the meal and they also filled bowls on the bar. They went down a treat.

Making And Planning

As we’re graphic designers, we felt it was super important to have every little detail reflect us as a couple – from the ceremony to the shape of the confetti. Between us, we had a lot of ideas and had a lot of fun doing all the making and planning together.

There was no end to Helene and James’s (the owners of Court Farm) generosity when it came to transforming their grounds into a wedding venue. We loved the way that it had lots of little areas that we could use for different parts of the day. It felt just right for us and enabled us to put our stamp onto every element – from the highly personal ceremony (we got ‘officially’ married at Chelsea Old Town Hall two days before with just my brothers as witnesses), to the twinkly Dawson’s Creek style lighting.

We had trawled the internet for different locations and as soon as we stood in the blank canvas of the old barn with it’s dramatically framed view of the rolling hills meeting the wide Somerset skies, we knew it was the place for us (they even arranged for a double rainbow to be added to that equation on the day).

The blank canvas also meant that we had LOTS to do. We both turned into recluses in the months before the big day, as we had great visions of what we wanted to achieve to fill the vast spaces. We didn’t buy a lot in terms of décor apart from reams of paper and cloth in varying shades of white. We nailed together wooden signposts, cut up metres of ribbon, folded hundreds of origami cranes, painted giant banners, stitched garlands of circles, printed order of ceremonies with their secret envelopes of bird shaped confetti and all manner of other paper ephemera. My Mum was incredible, wiring up jam jars for tealights and sewing the invitations… not to mention MAKING THE BRIDESMAID DRESSES! We couldn’t have done it without her and also the help of our friends and family with all the putting up and taking down. Hopefully they agree that all the hard work was well worth it.

Informal Speeches

It was small, intimate and lots of fun – just how we wanted it and a true celebration of our marriage with the people we love best. Having it in a venue that our family could stay at made it extra special. We were really pleased that we took the opportunity to serve the pies at dinner, it meant that we had a proper chance to speak to our day time guests without the formality of a receiving line. Also, we wanted to take the pressure off the guys a bit and have quite informal speeches, gathered in the barn before dinner. They were hysterical; Jon, Neil and my Dad did themselves proud and it was definitely one of the highlights.

At the time of the wedding, we would have probably said that we’d taken on too much doing it all ourselves with full time jobs, a never ending Teux Deux list of things to make (that App was indispensible), no event planning experience and nobody helping to coordinate between suppliers (apart from hugely supportive parents), especially on the day itself. It was daunting and quite stressful at times! However, looking back, all that disappears into insignificance. Thanks to the help of Excel and my Dad, it was a hiccup-free and better than all the site plans, spreadsheets and Pinterest boards we could have envisaged. A paper engineered day of love and laughter and truly the happiest time of our lives.

Venue – Court Farms

Dress – Elizabeth Avey

Bracelet – Gillian Million

Shoes – J Crew

Hair – Heidi Vince

Flowers – The Walled Garden

Photographer – Mister Phill

Cake – Bath Baby Cakes

Band – Rockit

Love the fact that the bride and groom served up pie and mash for all their guests – What a great way to ensure that you get to speak with all of your loved ones, whilst making sure they get fed at the same time.

This is yet another amazing wedding shot by Mister Phill, and if you want to see more Rock My Wedding real weddings shot by Mister Phill then click here and prepare to be amazed.


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I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.

Diana and Omar got married in August just around the corner from me at St Mary’s Church in Bearwood in Birmingham. They had a Reception at Moxhull Hall in Wishaw.

It’s always nice to a wedding that took place on your home turf – Diana chose some fabulous local suppliers to help make her wedding run like clockwork, so if you are a midlands bride-to-be in the throws of planning then this feature may be exactly what you are looking for. We can particularly recommend The Bridal Rooms Broadway, Chloe McCall makeup and the legendary Passion for Flowers who are all members of our Love Lust List in the West Midlands area.

Photography today is by Daffodil Waves.

Second Time Lucky

I did eventually find my dress after making a mistake and buying firstly a dress I wasn’t 100% happy with.  I eventually sold that dress and was really happy that I did.
Then I found my Dress which was Demetrios it cost £2000 it was from The Bridal Rooms in Broadway in the Cotswolds. 

I had originally wanted a lace fishtail wedding dress but had not found one that I really liked and then found The Bridal Rooms Broadway online.  They had lots of pretty lace vintage style dresses.  Goiing to the shop was a really special experience, it is in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds and Emma (the owner) shuts the shop and lets you try on as many dresses as you would like.  She was absolutely lovely to me and completely understood that I was worried after already having bought one wrong dress previously.

When I first tried on my dress and came out of the changing rooms we all gasped.  It was a vintage gold colour lace with a layer of sequins underneath which gave it a very shimery subtle sparkle.  It was embrodered with tiny pearls.  My only worry was the neckline was v-shaped and a little bit low but Emma Said I could have a lace panel put in.  I also asked for buttons to be added up the back as I love buttons.
I also had my veil from The Bridal Rooms Broadway – Emma has lots of different veils from English designers and mine was Richard Designs it was a very subtle gold/cream colour hand made with a thin lace edge that alsmost looked liked tiny daisys.  It was very pretty and was cathedral length stopping just before the edge of my train.  I had always wanted a long veil after seeing a picture of my mum in a long veil when she married my dad.

Soft Dusky Pinks

One of the first things I bought for my wedding was my head dress.  I went to Modern Bride show in London and I met Gillian Million of Million Design.

Gillian has a shop in Teddington and makes gorgeous bespoke hand made headresses.  I tried on the vintage Lepley and fell in love with it. It is a stunning headdress that lies flat to the head and replciates gypsopholia in the hair. It is incredibly intricate and made of tiny seed pearls. I told gillian I loved the soft dusky pinks, so for my headress she used cream and pink freshwater pearls laced with lots of tiny swarvoski crystals so that it sparkled. It was £450 but I think it was worth it as it was an original piece and so classic I will keep it forever. Once I had my headress I took it with me when I went to choose my dress to make sure it would match and it really influenced what dress I went for.
I also had a bracelet earrings and necklace from Chez Bec which my mum and husband bought for me as my wedding presents.

Something Different

I love shoes and wanted something different from the classic wedding shoe which I dont really like.  I saw Rachel Simpson shoes at Vintage Chic Wedding show – All of her shoes are quirky with a vintage twist.  They are also beutifully made and comfortable too.  I had Mimi which where in a cream colour satin with a gold T Bar they have a 4 inch heel so not too high.

Light And Natural

I booked Natalie Bartram to do my hair. She has won lots of awards in the Midlands for Bridal hair and she is really friendly and bubbly and amazing at her job.
for my hair I wanted a vintage style up do and found lots of pictures Taylor Swift with the type of style I wanted. I showed the pics to Nat on my trial and she recreated it but with a few changes and it was exactly what I wanted.  She curled all my hair through and then pinned it to the side.  It stayed in place all day.
 I had booked someone originnaly to do my makeup who I did not like – she wasnt very friendly or helpful so I asked Nat and She reccomended Chloe McCall to me. Chloe had won Midlands best Bridal makeup last year, she uses arirbrush to apply your foundation and it gives a lovely effect that is not heavy or sticky and lasts all day. this was good for me as I have quite oily skin and don’t usually wear a lot of foundation.  I wanted my eyes to stand out with a vintage look but nothing too heavy or unnatural looking.  I really loved the end look.  She also did my Mum and my sisters make up and they both looked fab.
Both Chloe and Nat were amazing on the morning of the wedding they kept me calm and just helped things to go smoothly.

Pink and Cream

I absolutely love flowers – to me it’s not a wedding without lots of pretty flowers and the colours I wanted were soft pinks and dusky pinks and creams.
I saw Passion for Flowers also at the Vintage Chic Wedding show and loved their work.  They are so different to other florists I have seen they use lots vintage pieces to display the flowers and no wedding looks the same. They help you not just with your flowers and table centres but the whole venue styling too.
Karen from Passion for Flowers spent lots of time with me discussing what look I wanted.  She used roses and hydrangeas heads and gypsophilia in china teapots, teacups and old fashioned perfume bottles to decorate the room. For the centre pieces we had wide footed vases filled with pearls and roses and hydrangea heads and also tall candelabras decorated with roses and hydrangeas – it looked very glamorous.  I had lace table cloths on each table and a scattering of dusky pink rose petals and pearls. Each table had lots of tiny tea lights too.

I collected some of my own china, some of which my great auntie kindly gave to me from her china cabinet, where they had been gathering dust. It was really nice to have something of my aunties at the wedding as she really wanted to come but she has been quite poorly lately.  Karen from Passion for Flowers used some of them to display flowers in on the top table and the cake table. The teacups and saucers and side plates we used on the top table for the guests to eat and drink from.
I also bought MR and MRS wooden blocks which I had painted in Farrow and Ball blue and dusky pink from an ebay shop called My Scruffy Dog. Karen put these on the top table.
The way the room was decorated was stunning I was so happy that Karen brought all of my ideas together.

For my bouquet I had beautiful avalanche roses and with a deeper dusky pink rose and atsrantia and trailing whites scented flowers.  It was hand tied with lace. I loved my bouquet, after the wedding my mum took it to my granddads grave. The bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets of Hydrangea heads and astrantia and my flower girl had a pommodore of gypsophila.  I didn’t want the flowers to be all exactly the same as I think it looks really pretty to have a contrast.
The groom had a dusky pink rose with a white spray rose and the groomsmen all had a single dusky pink rose.

Evening Tails

Omar wanted to wear black tie as he doesn’t like cravats and I thought that white tie evening tails would fit well with our smart vintage theme.  We hired the suits for the groomsmen and Omar from Moss Bros.  Omar wore a white dickie bow and the others wore black.  The dads  wore their own suits but bought a black dickie bow.  The guys looked really smart in their evening tails.

Straight Out Of Downton

Omar looked lovely in the evening tails and white tie he looked like he had stepped straight out of Downton! I bought him some silver cufflinks and had then initialled with our names and the date.  He bought his shoes from Jeff Banks.

We Had Fun

My photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves.  Nicola is a very talented lady with a very individual style.  We saw her pictures on a blog and both loved them straight away.  When I met her we got on like we had known each other for years.  Omar and I now definitely consider Nicola and her husband our friends.  On the day Nicola made me feel at ease and we had fun.  We were really happy with our pictures and we have had lots of compliments about them.

Cupcake Tower

Our cake was from Cotton and Crumbs. For our cake we went for a cupcake tower with a top two tier.  I wanted the cake to reflect our flowers and I sent Tracey from Cotton and Crumbs a picture of my type of bouquet and the type of colours I was having and it was created to match that.  the cupcakes all either had roses or edible pearls on top of them.  The top tier had cascading roses.  It was gorgeous and matched the room and flowers perfectly.
We kept one tier for ourselves lol!! it was Carrot cake.  The cupcakes were sponge either filled with lemon or raspberry jam… It was yummy!!

Perfect Harmony

For the church we had a 30 piece all male choir – The Kidderminster Male Choir.  I found them online as I really wanted a choir for the church as I think it adds to the atmosphere.  When I saw them they were all wearing red blazers and dickie bows and I knew they would be perfect.  They sounded ammazing too.  they sang before I arrived to entertain the guests and they sang the hymns and while we signed the register.
On the evening we had a great band called The Redfords who also sang our first dance for us.  I love a band as I think it gets everyone up and dancing.

A Fun First Dance

For our first dance we had I Just Can’t Stop Loving You by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. It was a really fun part of the day doing our first dance.  Its just a really nice song that says it all for us – I bought the song in as a framed vinyl for one of Omars wedding presents.

Decor Galore

We had bunting oustside the church.  I had name places made in the shape of luggage tags with a dusky pink rose lace pattern on and tiny pearls.  The table plan and guest book were of the same design and from Lilylou and You.
On the evening our photographer organised a photowall that was really fun and it got everyone chatting and having a laugh together.

A Final Thought

Don’t try to overmatch things. I think it looks so much nicer if there is an ecclectic mix.  Try and keep a little mood board of your ideas, I collected mine on pinterest.  Get good suppliers try and find out about people before booking them
Also, only invite the people you really want there – we felt our day was really fun as everyone who was there we really like and care about and it was mainly a young crowd – so try and keep a hold on your guest list if possible.

Venue – Moxhull Hall, Wishaw

Boutique – The Bridal Rooms Broadway

Dress –Demetrios

Headpiece – Gillian Million

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair – Natalie Bartram

Makeup – Chloe McCall

Flowers – Passion for Flowers

Photographer – Daffodil Waves

Cake – Cotton and Crumbs

Stationery – Lilylou and You

Choir – Kidderminster Male Choir

Band – The Redfords

I bet the 30 strong Kidderminster Male Choir lifted the roof off that church in Bearwood – such a nice idea, music really helps to create an atmoshphere and I bet there were quite a few tingly spines on that summers day in Brum.


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Let Our Love Be An Enigma.

Avid Tennis fans Rebecca And David married in June 2012 – right in the middle of Wimbledon and only four months after they got engaged. They reflected their passion for tennis with an english garden party style affair – think Pimms, croquet on the lawn and afternoon tea.

They married at Narborough Hall Gardens in Norfolk, a beautiful Grade II listed building in the depths of the Norfolk countryside. Rebecca explained that Narborough Hall encapsulated everything they wanted from a venue: Elegance, sophistication, the most gorgeous english country setting and… Tennis courts.

Photography today is by Katherine Ashdown.

Beautiful Lace

The Spanish designer, Pronovias, designed my dress. Pronovias are known for their beautiful lace and the dress that I chose was made from the most gorgeous vintage lace in a fishtail style. Additionally, I had the whole dress beaded with hundreds of iridescent beads, which gave the most gorgeous shimmer! Funnily enough, parts of the dress were very similar to my grandmother’s dress who got married in 1935.

Even before going wedding dress shopping I knew that I wanted a timeless, elegant lace dress. With that in mind my best friend and I went to the Pronovias store on New Bond Street. Each appointment lasts an hour and right at the end of the appointment (and after trying on 5 other dresses!) I saw a dress hanging up on the rail that I hadn’t noticed before. Although we had run out of time, I quickly unchanged, put the dress on and knew it was the one. I didn’t even leave the fitting room!

A Bit Of Bling

I’m not big on ‘bling’ but as it was for a very special occasion I went to see Gillian Million in Teddington. We spent an hour in her showroom going through the most amazing jewellery, talking about my style, what I liked and getting ideas for what I wanted for the big day. In the end we decided on a beautiful pearl headpiece with matching bracelet and earrings, which went perfectly with my dress. For my neck, Gillian designed the most beautiful Art Deco necklace. She also designed hairclips for my bridesmaids, each different but taking in elements from my jewellery. Gillian makes everything bespoke so you know that no one else will have the same, which is a really lovely touch.

My veil was also from Pronovias. At first I was going to go for a shorter veil but in the end I plumped for a full cathedral length veil with beading at the edging for the dramatic effect!

The last accessory I had was a garter from JL Weddings from Etsy. It came over from the US and was made from gorgeous, reclaimed lace.

Take A Walk On the Wilde Side

My shoes were actually the first thing I bought, even before the dress! I met Harriet Wilde at the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea and fell in love with her peep-toe Marcie shoe. They were a fairly low heel (I am 5’9 so would be a giant in anything too high!) with a gorgeous lace trim on the heel and a net corsage on the front. Unbelievably, they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned!

Loose Curls

I’m not a hair-up kind of girl so I knew that for the wedding I wanted to have my hair down! I met up with Louise Walsh in Norwich and together we decided on loose curls for a relaxed but glam look with my Gillian Million headpiece. For my make-up I wanted a sun-kissed, natural look with red lips! I love the 1940’s style and while I didn’t want to go all out, I wanted to nod to that era in a little way!

Stunning Arrangements

I actually had several florists! I love flowers, which was one of the reasons we picked Narborough Hall as it has award-winning gardens with a stunning array of the most beautiful flowers you will ever see. This fitted in perfectly with the look I was going for – an elegant, sophisticated take on the English country garden. For the barn area of the venue we went for a more rustic-chic look to keep in with the surroundings. The flower arrangements around the venue came from the gardens of Narborough Hall whilst the button-holes, corsages and bouquets came from Arcade Florist in Great Yarmouth. The flowers we used were avalanche roses, hydrangeas (which are my absolute favourite flowers), eucalyptus, bouvardia and gypsophila. We chose flowers that had a delicate scent, which left the most gorgeous smell when we walked past! For the table centrepieces we hired beautiful silver candelabras and antique rose bowls from La Belle Amour and Starlings florists provided the hydrangeas and green fashion roses which Joanne, the owner of Narborough Hall, made in to the most stunning arrangements I have ever seen.


To keep in with our elegance theme, we went for black tie for the groomsmen – there’s nothing more stylish than a man in black tie! As the groomsmen were travelling over from New Zealand and Australia we decided to hire their suits from Moss Bros.

The bridesmaid’s dresses were designed and made by my mum in gorgeous champagne silk. We wanted different styles to reflect the different personalities of the girls but kept the colour scheme the same to bring it all together. They were absolutely stunning!

Black Tie

David joined the groomsmen wearing black tie. He looked the most gorgeous I have ever seen him – like a kiwi James Bond!


Our photographer was the ridiculously talented Katherine Ashdown. We didn’t actually meet Katherine until our engagement shoot (we are based in London rather than Norfolk) a few months before the wedding! But from seeing her incredible work online, chatting with her over the phone, I knew she was going to be perfect. Her shooting style is relaxed and fun and our photos have turned out so much better than we could ever had imagined. We even did a retro style tennis shoot in our wedding outfits, which had a hint of a Ralph Lauren vibe to it!


I also decided to hire a videographer. David didn’t know anything about it, it was part of his wedding gift from me! Needless to say he was quite surprised when the videographer turned up to film his cricket match on the morning of the wedding! After trawling through many websites and blogs I found Nick and Maria Bentley of Studio 1208. They are based in the north of England so we chatted via email and on the phone so they could get a sense of what we were like as a couple and what direction they would go with the film. Nick and Maria are two of the most incredible people I have ever met – funny, cool and so talented. The film they created for us is not only so, so beautiful but is produced like a Hollywood movie! It’s amazing to have a keepsake of our wedding day and we get to see all the details we wouldn’t have had the chance to see otherwise. We were completely lost for words.

Ribbon and String

My amazing mum made our wedding cake. We had 3 layers, each different flavours – raspberry sponge, chocolate and fruit cake. She decorated it herself with fresh hydrangeas, lace ribbon and strings of pearls to tie in with my dress. It was delicious!

Feeling Good

Because we had guests travelling over from all over the world we wanted to entertain them with great music and lots of fun things to do. For music we had a string quartet that played before the ceremony and during our afternoon tea sit-down meal, which provided such a lovely atmosphere. I always wanted to walk down the aisle to Des’ree’s ‘Kissing You’ and I got to do it with the very talented Charlie Green signing. Charlie then sang Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! She then sang throughout the afternoon, including a 1940’s set and a group sing-along on the lawn outside the hall with all our guests. It was magical! For the evening we hired a DJ who played some great tunes in the barn.

For our guest book, we had a Polaroid camera and asked people to take a funny picture of themselves, glue it in our book and write us a message. Some of the pictures were so creative and very funny!

And no English summer afternoon would be complete without croquet, so we hired a croquet set from the local Downham Market club, which our guests loved! In the early evening we had a vintage ice cream bicycle serving the most delicious ice cream ever! We also hired a caricaturist but unfortunately his car broke down en route so he never made it!
And of course, our guests could enjoy the breath-taking grounds at Narborough Hall and have a go on the rowing boat on the lake.

Lets Stay Together

Our first dance was Al Green’s ‘Lets Stay Together’. The words of the song felt very fitting for us and we wanted something we could really dance to! We decided to go all out and do a whole routine so David and I spent quite a lot of time on YouTube researching and working out our moves. We ended up only practicing 3 times before the wedding but surprisingly it went really well!

Family Favours

Our favours were a real family affair! Again, I wanted to keep the very English theme so my uncle and aunt made our secret family recipe of ‘Scrumptious Strawberry Jam’ and ‘Whisky Marmalade’. My mum bought the jam jars online and made the covers whilst Sam, my good friend who also happens to be a creative director (lucky me!) designed the labels. They went down a treat and some of our guests have tried to put in orders for more!

Elegant And Sophisticated

The general décor and theme for the day was an elegant, sophisticated English garden party – think Pimms on the lawn, croquet and afternoon tea! We also wanted a tennis theme throughout as both David and I are avid tennis fans so we named our tables after our favourite tennis players and sourced some vintage tennis racquets as decoration. Because the venue was so big, at first it was quite daunting to see how we could pull everything together but I was very lucky to have some amazing help. Being a creative director, Sam, was fantastic at designing all our stationery with a Union Jack and silver fern (for New Zealand) bunting theme. She made everything from our Order of Service to cocktail menus to personalised sweetie bags! My mum designed not only the bridesmaid dresses, but also the most fabulous table plan using lots of different photo frames and fixing them onto a huge framed board. The gorgeous Kelly at La Belle Amour provided us with the most beautiful hand made lace bunting for the marquee, along with the silver candelabras, vintage candle votives and antique rose bowls. We even ordered two heart trees to stand behind the top table!

For the barn area in the evening, we went for a rustic-chic look. We decorated the barn with ivy, willow branches, vintage tennis racquets, pictures of David and I from childhood right through to today, lots of fairy lights and silk lanterns. We used an old fashioned Welsh dresser in the barn as our sweet treats corner! We sourced vintage glass jars and decorated with lace and ribbon and mum even made a “Sweet Treats’ bunting. The sweets included some New Zealand favourites, Pinky and Buzz bars to name just a few!

Then outside the barn we hung fairy lights around the swimming pool and lit the fire pit to create a romantic but fun atmosphere!


Although this sounds a little cliché, what made out wedding unique was marrying David. Seeing him as I walked down the aisle with my dad is something I will never forget. It was, and probably always will be, the most special thing I will ever experience. Our wedding was also very ‘us’. It was both an expression of who we are as a couple but also of the love that we have for each other. The other thing that made our wedding so unique was the people. Having our friends and family all together in one place to celebrate David and I was just the most incredible feeling ever. My sister even wrote us a special poem called ‘Let Our Love be an Enigma’ which made the both of us cry during the ceremony! The main piece of advice I would give brides to be is relax, take it all in and cherish every moment. It is a memory that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Venue – Narborough Hall Gardens

Dress – Pronovias

Shoes – Harriet Wilde

Headpiece – Gillian Million

Flowers – Arcade Florist and Starlings florists

Photographer – Katherine Ashdown

Singer – Charlie Green

String quartet – Malt House String Quartet

Rebecca is from Norfolk originally and David is a Kiwi so they wanted to provide their guests with a quintessential English manor wedding… a la Downton Abbey. Well, I certainly think they succeeded.

The dress is perfect on Rebecca, David is “James Bonding” it up to the max and the maids and groomsmen all look stunningly turned out. I also love the nod to english sporting heritage, right down to the table names.


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The Greatest Day.

My name is Emily and I am an RMW ADDICT…

That is how Emily should have started her report… but maybe she is as yet still unable to come to terms with her addiction. She does mention that even though now married she still visits the blog every day!

Very. Bad. Sign… 😉

Of course, I’m only joking – we love it when you guys stick around after you tie the knot. Let’s face it – just because you are married now doesn’t mean that you have to deny yourself your daily dose of pretty. And today it is most certainly pretty. Emily and James (Mr H) married last summer in South London under the watchful lens of Emma Coleman from Blink Photography.

Did I mention that they are Rock My Wedding readers?..

Richmond Park.

Our wedding was on 29th July 2011 at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. A beautiful Georgian Mansion in the middle of Richmond Park in London.

Pembroke Lodge was the first venue we visited, hidden away in the trees of Richmond Park, with fab views over London. It was perfect.

We both knew that we wanted a very relaxed day without a specific colour theme and I wanted the day to have a vintagey feel as I was in love with the vintage themed real weddings I’d seen on Rock My Wedding. I am also a sucker for shabby chic and vintage things and often drag Mr H around little pretty shops trying to convince him that we do actually need another heart shaped hangy thing or kitchen utensil to add to our collection! So, vintagey, shabby chic with a hanging heart or two it was!

Grace Kelly.

I was mega giddy and excited to go dress shopping, so it was one of the first things I did after we had found our lovely venue. Originally I thought I wanted a fairly simple, floaty, vintage dress but after trying a few on I just didn’t feel very bridey in them. So, I tried on some more detailed and slightly bigger dresses and I was hooked! If I’m honest, I also really loved trying on lots of gorgeous dresses and spending time with my family and friends whilst doing it!

Even though I was seduced by the big strapless numbers, I knew I didn’t want a strapless frock as I’ve never felt nice in strapless tops/dresses, so I was looking for something with a vintage feel and straps or sleeves. After a few dress trying on sessions I still hadn’t found anything that I really loved. It was actually my oldest friend and bridesmaid Julie who picked out the David Fielden Grace Kelly dress in Teokath in Wimbledon

I got my single tiered, cathedral length veil from Shanna Melville who has a really gorgeous independent dress shop in Wimbledon village. Shanna is so lovely and I would highly recommend her dresses and veils (one of her dresses was in my top three).
For my jewellery I wanted something really simple that would complement but not overpower the lace detail on my dress. I don’t wear very much jewellery normally and Mr H isn’t a fan of big sparkly bling, so I started the search for some simple, vintage inspired, pearl pretty. There are so many fantastic vintage jewellery sites on the internet – most of which I discovered through Rock My Wedding during my daily nosey at the blog!

I eventually found my gorgeous Viola II Vintage Bridal Bracelet on the Chez Bec website – a three tiered pearl bracelet with a diamante encrusted filigree flower– and then opted for the matching danglys that I only wore for the evening party. For the ceremony and wedding breakfast my Granddad’s lovely wife let me borrow her pearl and diamond stud earrings from Tiffany that I helped to choose a few years ago for her 60th Birthday. I was so pleased with my jewellery on the day and Mr H loved it too.

I fell in love with Gillian Million’s bridal head bands at a wedding fair I visited in Teddington, but her stall was too busy with excited brides (like me) to choose anything on the day. So, I arranged an appointment with her and visited her studio. I have never seen a room filled with so many pretty, sparkly, dainty things. I was in heaven and couldn’t wait to start trying on some of her hand made head bands. Gillian asked me to bring a picture of my dress with me to the appointment and also asked me to describe the feel of the wedding to help her pick out some head bands that fitted in with our theme. In the end – after a lot of trying on – I found the perfect one.

Choo Treasure.

My birthday was two weeks before the wedding and Mr H sent me on a present treasure hunt around the flat, which to my delight, lead me to a shoe box with a ribbon wrapped around it and Jimmy Choo on the side – hidden amongst the scarves and hats under the bed. Inside that box was a pair of peep toe Nova champagne Jimmy’s which I took great pleasure in wearing with my pyjamas and parading around the flat in for the duration of my birthday morning!

On the big day they were comfortable for about the first 5 minutes, but I didn’t care! The pain was worth it (I think they are made for nice thin dainty feet, not my wide feet and big sausage toes!).

Turn Up The Volume.

I have been going to the same hairdressers – Garett and Jones – in Surbiton for the last few years and Ali – my hairdresser – has always done such a lovely job with my hair. I knew from the beginning that I wanted most of my hair down for the big day, because I’ve never really liked it up and I wanted something quite simple and relaxed that wasn’t too back combed and massive! Ali suggested that I buy some hair extensions for my big day do, as my hair is quite thin. I must admit I was worried that the hair extensions would look fake and add too much volume to my hair but in the end I’m so glad I got them

I am completely useless with makeup and not very adventurous so I definitely needed someone who really knew their stuff to put my big day face on. I went for a trial at mac first of all and although nice, I felt that I looked a bit too pale, the eye makeup wasn’t quite right and I felt caked in foundation. So, I searched the net and found Sally Moore’s website. I gave Sally a ring and she was so friendly and helpful on the phone. I just had a feeling she would do a great job. It was so nice having Sally around, she is so lovely and bubbly and did a lovely job of our makeup.

Pastel Pinks.

My aunty Jane has a very lovely friend and colleague – David, who offered to do the flowers and centre pieces for us and he was brilliant. He isn’t a florist by trade (although you would never know) but he had done a wedding before for a friend and has an eye for all things pretty and floral.

We wanted lots of pastel pinks and greenery and we wanted the displays and bouquets to be quite wild and unstructured, but that was about all that we knew. I’d cut lots of pictures out of magazines and saved flower pics whilst browsing RMW so I passed these on to David to give him some initial ideas and inspiration.

We collected glass jars of all different shapes and sizes in the months leading up to the wedding so that we could dot them around the venue. David put pink, green or lace ribbon around the tops, which looked so pretty and then filled them with pink roses and greenery. The first thing I remember seeing as I walked up the stairs to the ceremony was a jar full of pretty flowers on the edge of each stair looking lovely, and just as I had imagined. Who would have thought that gherkin, pasta sauce and jam jars could look so good!

In the ceremony room David covered a garden arch in so many pretty roses and greenery that it took my breath away and it created a gorgeous focal point for the room (but not as gorgeous as Mr H of course).

Florally Versatile.

For my gorgeous bridesmaids I wanted to find dresses that were pretty and floral but that would suit them as they are all different shapes and sizes. I also wanted them to feel lovely and comfortable on the day. So, the search began for a pretty floral dress and it proved really difficult to find something that fit the bill. Just as I was about to give up and have another panic I spotted linen cream and pink floral dresses in the Next directory and they turned out to be perfect. They all wore cute pearl studs from accessorise and as a thank you gift I got them lovely vintage pearl charm bracelets from Lisa Angel which looked great with their outfits.

For the Best men, dads and ushers we hired grey lounge suits from Moss Bross. We also found some prefect style badges for the best men which looked fab.

In The Navy.

I do love my man in a suit and awwww, Mr H looked so handsome on the day. I felt it was really important for him to wear something that he loved and felt nice in, so encouraged him to look for a really special suit that he could keep and wear again. He found a perfect navy three-piece suit in the Ted Baker Pashion store and teamed it with brown shoes from H by Hudson and a pink floral tie from Debenhams.

When I saw Mr H looking back at me as I walked up the aisle towards him, I couldn’t take my eyes off him and his big gorgeous smile. A very special moment!

Blinking Brilliant.

Photographs are really important to us and we decided that we wanted a photographer that could capture the real emotions of the day, as well as take some lovely natural shots of our family and friends.

Emma Coleman at Blink Photography was the photographer recommended by the venue so we arranged a meeting with her quite early on in our wedding planning. We knew straight away that she was exactly who we were looking for. Her photographs are simply stunning and really do tell a story.

Special Memories.

We knew we didn’t really want a fancy tiered cake – just something that tasted yummy and had lots of butter cream – so we decided on cupcakes. We spent a day together cupcake tasting in London (any excuse to spend a day eating cake!) and both agreed that the cupcakes at Buttercup cake shop were the tastiest.

I found bride and groom trolls on ebay that sat next to the cake and looked cute with their pink hair next to the pink icing! Trolls are really special to me as my Grandma, who we lost when I was a teenager, used to have them dotted around her house. My sister and I also used to collect them when we were little. Trolls therefore bring back lots of special memories, so it was nice to have them featuring at our wedding.

Mr H and I both have a very sweet tooth (I crave chocolate and cake on about an hourly basis!) and knew we wanted lots of sweet treats for our guests in the evening. So, we decided to have a sweetie table with vintage jars filled with all of our favourite sweets from A Quarter Of. I made labels for the sweet jars using floral card and we bought the stripy sweetie bags from ebay. The fabric LOVE letters on the sweetie table came from BHS.

Dance Off.

For the ceremony music, we had the wonderful Bagatelle Duo, a flutist and harpist. They were absolutely brilliant and I remember thinking how beautiful they sounded when I was walking up the aisle towards my handsome hubby to be.

We put together an iPod playlist for the background music during the wedding breakfast. It was really nice listening to everyone laughing and enjoying themselves with our favourite tunes in the background. We’ve had the playlist on non-stop since the wedding and each song brings back so many lovely memories from the day.

My sister knows the lead singer of Flood the Floor – a 5 piece band – who played during the evening party. They were amazing. They managed to get everyone up on the dance floor and played some fab tunes. At one point they had Mr H and his best men strutting their stuff on the dance floor doing a dance off to different styles of music including salsa (I have never seen Mr H wiggling his bum so much!). The Dressing up Box.

Take This.

Choosing our first dance was a bit tricky as we don’t really have ‘a song’ that is significant to us both. I have always been a big fan of Take That (me and Julie bridesmaid even had a Take That club at school when we were little, although we were the only members!) and I love the words in ‘Greatest Day’.

The band sang it really well and I remember feeling so happy as Mr H was swinging me round in my dress. We asked our guests to join us on the dance floor about half way through and it was great seeing everyone dancing together.

Sweet Favours.

James’ lovely step mum Anna offered to make some edible favours for us and spent hours trying out different sweet treats (which I very much enjoyed sampling!) and perfecting her recipe in the run up to the day. In the end she made very yummy coconut macaroons with chocolate on top.

Mr H and I decided that we would attach the place name cards to the favour bags, so chose a parcel tag design. We found some East of India cream parcel tags in John Lewis and then cut some pretty floral card (from a Tilda paper pad) in to slightly smaller parcel tag shapes and glued them on the top of the larger cream ones. I printed the guest names on to pink card and stuck these on top of the floral card. On the back of each place name card we printed ‘love is sweet…..enjoy!’. I had good fun making all of the place name cards and had lots of help from Mr H and bridesmaid Claire.

A Bit Of D.I.Y.

I really got in to making our own stationary for the day and started with our order of ceremony fans. We printed our order of ceremony and order of the day on to two pieces of ivory card and then a very kind lady at work – with a steady hand – cut round them with a circle cutter. We then glued them together with a lollypop stick as a handle in between and tied little bows with ribbon round the top of each handle. I was really happy with how they turned out in the end and I saw lots of people reading through them at different stages in the day to find out what was happening next.

We made our table plan using a large white shabby chic mirror from TK Maxx and backed the table guest lists on to the same floral Tilda card I had used for the name place tags. Mr H and spent hours measuring precisely where to stick each table list so that they looked even on the mirror!

Take Your Time, And Take Time For You.

Get and let your hubby to be involved with the preparation and decisions for the day. Even though sometimes Mr H needed a little prod – I know that he felt very pleased in the end that he had helped to shape the day (he also had one or two very good ideas himself).

Our wedding was special to us because we both spent time enjoying the day together. We circulated the tables together in between courses, we danced together for most of the evening with lots of guests and we had a bit of time on our own together when we were having our portrait photos.

I think that the main piece of advice I would give to other brides is to plan every little detail of your day before hand so that you have nothing to worry about on the day. Take time in your planning to decide what is important to you both and don’t rush in to any decisions that you may change your mind about later on in the planning process.

Write an itinerary (I know – a bit anal) but it really helped Mr H and I get our heads round the organisation of the day.

Also, who needs wedding magazines when you’ve got Rock My Wedding! I got so many ideas and so much great advice from the fabulous blue polka dot pages. I genuinely looked forward to peeking at the blog when I got home from work every day (I still do now even as a married lady).

Oh and one last thing, brides, do a little speech. Even if you just say thanks to all of your guests. I was so glad that I stood up and said a few words with Mr H by my side (even though I did get a bit emotional).

Venue Pembroke Lodge

Photographer Blink Photography

Boutique Teokath

Dress David Fielden

Headpiece Gillian Million

Make-up Sally Moore

Groom Ted Baker

Cake Buttercup cake shop

ceremony music Bagatelle Duo

Entertainment Flood the Floor

I’m keeping my shoes in the pantry from now on!

The Jars, the wild unstructured florals, the TROLLS!! It’s a very pretty wedding but with a lot of fun and personality thrown in too.

The D.I.Y elements always help to make W day so very personal – Emily and James certainly achieved this. In true Rock My Wedding style…


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Back To School… Part 2

A lot of you admired the simplicity and clever touches that Andrea and Simon wove into their day, and the reception continues along the same path of classic elegance. The reception took place at Earsham Hall in Bungay, Suffolk

All photography is by the immensely talented Katherine Ashdown.

A True Pro.

Katherine Ashdown was recommended to us by Simon’s cousin. She had done a lifestyle shoot for their family and the pictures were absolutely amazing. After looking at her website we knew that we had likely found “the one.” Katherine came over to Simon’s parents’ house to show us more photos and have a good chat. She was so professional, lovely, creative and talented it was an obvious decision for us.

Part of the wedding package includes a pre-wedding shoot. Both Simon and I were a bit hesitant as we are both quite camera shy. Katherine really put us at ease and the shoot produced some amazing images. On our wedding day, Katherine printed postcards of our favourite image for our guests to take home. On the back were all her website and the login details for our guests to view our wedding pictures at a later date.

Our photos turned out brilliantly! We were thrilled as Katherine captured how both Simon and I felt on our special day and the truly joyful atmosphere that was provided by our amazing guests, the staff and the beautiful surroundings.

Simply Delicious.

The talented Kelly Allen of Eventiss made our wedding cake.

We chose a 4 tiered wedding cake consisting of 3 different flavours – chocolate, lemon and black forest. The cake design was based on Peggy Porschen’s Tiffany Pearl cake. We served the cake with our evening buffet. The caterers couldn’t get over how much cake was eaten – it was simply delicious!!!

One More.

We always knew that we wanted the atmosphere of a band. We came across The Mesh Band on the internet. They are a four piece band based in Peterborough. After listening to them and going through their playlist, we knew we had found the band for us. The dance floor was full the entire evening and even the band members shouted “one more” at the end of the night. So much FUN!

We Are Stars.

We don’t really have a song that is significant to us. Simon and I both have relatively different taste when it comes to music so we knew this was going to be a tough choice. About a week before the wedding I came across the song We Are Stars by The Pierces in my music collection. The lyrics fitting and we both liked the song – a winner!

Booja Booja.

We knew that we wanted something local and edible to be enjoyed after dinner as our favour. After a bit of searching, I came across Booja Booja Champagne Truffles. Utterly divine! We had them served after coffee/tea service with a personalised thank-you card for each table.

Romantic And Relaxed.

I knew that I wanted a romantic and relaxed vibe for our evening reception. I purchased a variety of luminary bags, glass jars, hurricane lanterns and votive holders which our florist filled with a variety of flowers and candles. They provided the main decoration to our cake/buffet table and were also dispersed throughout the marquee and outside in the garden to create the warm and romantic glow that we desired.

Wise Words.

Having our friends and family from Canada and England meet and celebrate together with us was the best gift. To have most of your loved ones in the same place at the same time just for you is amazing.

Make sure to ENJOY the day! Simon and I made a pact that once the dance started it was our time to relax and truly take in the festivities. For us, that meant an evening on the dance floor. We had the best time!

Make sure you feel confident in and have a good rapport with all your suppliers. It really puts your mind at ease on the day and makes planning a wedding a more enjoyable experience.

Stay true to your vision. All the small, personalised touches really make your day all the more special.

Food For Thought.

I would also like to mention our amazing Rebecca and her catering team, Bespoke Events. They provided the canapés, wedding breakfast and evening buffet of local cheeses and chutneys. We had a tasting at The Crown in Woodbridge, the hotel that Rebecca and her husband own, a couple of months prior to the wedding. All the dishes were so tasty that it was hard to narrow down our selection. We provided a meat, fish and vegetarian option for our guests and were allowed to tailor the menu to our tastes.

Rebecca and her staff provided us with the most delicious food and impeccable service from our first meeting to the end of our wedding day. Our guests are still raving about the food.

venue – Earsham Hall

Photographer – Katherine Ashdown

Dress – Jenny Packham

Accessories – Gillian Million

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair & Make-up – Louise Walsh and Michael Adcock

Blooms – Sarah Broome

Cake – Eventiss

Entertainment – The Mesh Band

Catering – Bespoke Events

Andrea and Simon stayed true to their vision and I think they created a theme and an atmosphere for their big day that truly reflected who they are. I love all the white bags – the sweet table on its own is like a miniature version of the style and design that ran through the whole day, on every level.


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Back To School… Part 1

Andrea and Simon were married in July 2011. I don’t think that there could be a more simple, effortless and elegant affair than this… from the stunning satin bow sandals to the simple monotone gypsophila pew ends, Andrea has the balance of simplicity, style and detail down to an art.

Katherine Ashdown compliments Andrea’s vision perfectly with a set of striking and classic images that exude emotion.

Choosing A Location.

I moved from Canada to London to be with Simon 2 years ago. It was a hard decision as to whether we should have our wedding in England or in Canada. In the end, we decided to have our wedding in Norwich, where Simon grew up, with a promise to return to Canada next summer to celebrate with those who couldn’t attend our special day.

Our Wedding Service took place at Norwich School Chapel in Norwich, Norfolk. Simon attended Norwich School and therefore we were allowed to have our ceremony in the school chapel which is contained within the Cathedral Close. It is a small, intimate chapel and when filled with all our guests there was such a warmth that I actually felt at ease as I walked down the aisle. I walked into Ellie Goulding’s version of Your Song and Reverend Butcher, who was the school chaplain when Simon attended school, married us. It was very special.

After the ceremony, the cathedral cloisters provided the backdrop for some beautiful pictures.

We arranged for a coach to transport all of our guests from the chapel to the reception and back at the end of the night. The reception took place at Earsham Hall in Bungay, Suffolk. We instantly fell in love with Earsham Hall with its charm and stunning grounds. Annabel, the homeowner and events cooridnator, is a gem and we had a great time working with her and her staff. Our cocktail hour was held in the front grounds and on the main floor of the Hall. This allowed people to enjoy both the outdoor views and all the gorgeous rooms inside. Once it was time for the wedding breakfast, the gate leading to the hedged in grounds where our marquee was set up, was unlocked marking the start of the evening festivities. Plenty of tables and chairs lit with candlelight were dotted around the grounds so our guests could enjoy the outdoors throughout the evening.

Pure Silk.

I chose a Jenny Packham “Isadora” dress from Silk in Lichfield It was a 1920s pure silk ivory gown with sheer buttoned up back and crystal butterfly embellishment on the front. The dress truly was a reflection of my personality. I was unable to attend the London Bridal Show so my mother-in-law and sister-in-law said it would be fun to attend the one in Birmingham – a girl’s day. It was the absolute last place I expected to find my wedding dress and to be honest, I really wasn’t looking. But there it was hanging on a rack as if it was waiting for me. I tried it on and knew it was the one. Catherine from Silk, a small boutique of gorgeous gowns in Lichfield, was wonderful and I knew that it would be worth the couple of trips to Lichfield to make this dress the perfect fit. The ladies at Silk are lovely and so very helpful. Helen, their seamstress, is a miracle worker and worked through the night one weekend so I didn’t have to make another trip back to Lichfield. It truly was an enjoyable experience.

The Finishing Touch.

I absolutely love jewellery but I really had to be careful with my choices as to not take away from the gorgeous crystal buttlerfly on my dress.

My main wedding accessory was a bespoke Gillian Million clear crystal beaded headdress. My sister-in-law and I made several trips to Teddington to meet with Gillian and come up with a headdress that suited my dress and personality. I fell in love with a Jenny Packham Acacia Bracelet II with flowers (crystal and ivory) that I spotted online. I knew it would be the perfect addition!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wear a veil but after trying one on with my dress I decided that it did add the finishing touch. I chose a simple narrow fingertip veil worn from Silk which I wore only for the ceremony. To balance off the Jenny Packham bracelet, I borrowed an antique silver watch which was Simon’s grandmother’s who has passed away. I also wore small, silver and crystal barrel-shaped earrings.

CoCo Toes.

I wore Rachel Simpson “Coco” ivory satin slingback sandal with bands of silver that fasten with ivory satin bows. So pretty and extremely comfortable with a 9cm heel – I wore them the entire day!

A Team Effort.

It was hard to find a hair and make-up team in Norwich that was willing to come to the house where I was getting ready. Luckily, I came across husband and wife team, Louise Walsh and Michael Adcock. When I went for my trial, both Louise and Michael were so lovely and vibrant that I instantly knew I was in good hands. For my hair, I wanted a soft, romantic look that complimented my headdress and wasn’t too fussy. For my make-up, I wanted a natural look but with it being my wedding day, a touch of glamour was needed. My bridesmaids looked amazing as well. Louise and Michael really listened to what they individually wanted and captured both their inner and outer beauty. I couldn’t have been happier with the result.

Local Florals.

Sarah Broome, a local and independent florist recommended by Annabel at Earsham Hall made my flower arrangments. I was really excited about the flowers as I feel that they really set the tone of a wedding. We wanted to use seasonal flowers to create a clean, fresh and romantic look. We decided on white and ivory flowers with touches of grey dusty miller and lime green accents. Simon and I both felt that this palette reflected our personalities. The chapel was kept very simple and decorated with urns and pew ends made only from gypsophelia (baby’s breath.)

My bouquet was compact and hand-tied with opaque beads that I had supplied Sarah with. It consisted of seasonal white, ivory and cream flowers including freesia, lisianthus, sweetpeas, English roses and other beautiful blooms. The bridesmaid’s were a smaller version of mine consisting of sweetpeas and English garden roses. Simon chose ivory roses for his bouttionaire and the buttonholes.

For Earsham Hall, we decided to add a bit of colour to set a different mood and note the change in venue. We introduced grey (dusty miller which Sarah grew especially for our wedding) and lime green (molucella, hypericum berry, poppy heads) accents. She made arrangements for large saucer and window urns and the mantelpiece within the Hall. For the marquee, I had purchased glass footed cake stands that were used as the base of our tablecentres and Sarah designed the most beautiful centrepieces using the same colour palette as in Earsham Hall. I had also asked Sarah to fill some luminary bags I had purchased with fresh blooms for our cake/buffet table.

The flowers were breathtaking. Sarah really brought our vision to life – so talented.

Vibrant And Fresh.

Two of my bridesmaids are from Canada and I ended up purchasing the bridesmaid dresses from a small boutique in Canada while visiting family last summer. They were actually our first wedding purchase. I allowed them to choose the style of dress as I wanted to feel comfortable and at their best. Once Simon’s sister, Sarah, gave her approval it was a done deal. I had not chosen a colour at this point and decided on the turquoise for the girls as it looked fabulous on all 3 of them and was vibrant, fresh and screamed summer.

Hitch Free.

Simon wears a suit everyday to work so he wanted to wear something that was more traditional and different than his work attire. We hired the Royal Ascot suit from Moss Bros for himself and the groomsmen. With having groomsmen attending from around the globe we knew that hiring was the way to go and we were really lucky that everyone was suited up without any hitches! Simon was so handsome standing at the altar waiting for me!

venue – Earsham Hall

Photographer – Katherine Ashdown

Dress – Jenny Packham

Accessories – Gillian Million

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair & Make-up – Louise Walsh and Michael Adcock

Blooms – Sarah Broome

Andrea looks so darn elegant, I know for a fact that Charlotte went loopy when she saw those sandals and I can understand why.

I think getting married at Simons old school chapel was a superb idea and must have made the day really emotional for Simon and his family.