Hello all you lovely ‘I really should be working but instead I’m having a quick browse on RMW‘ readers! It feels like my last post was ages ago, so I had better update you all on what has been going on all things wedding-related since then. Clearly I haven’t been keeping myself busy enough because I’ve just signed up to do a half marathon…yep that happened, and it’s in 9 weeks time. I must have been on the prosecco at the time (it was a Tuesday lunchtime while at work, but we’ll go with the prosecco story).
Firstly, SHOCK HORROR, still no spreadsheet. Well, not really anyway. We vaguely tried to cobble one together and have since not looked at it. So far our guest list exists on a piece of scrap paper, hidden under some magazines in the kitchen. Or maybe it’s in The Man Draw..? Either way, it’s not progressed very far! But now we’re starting to look in to some of the key parts of our wedding (aside from the venue with the amazing staircase), I suppose I’m going to have crank out the old Excel.
All of the blooms in today’s wedding were grown by Jo’s Mum. I know. How talented is she??
It’s literally a plethora of floral gorgeousness in rustic terracotta pots. The mini displays on the pew ends are particularly lovely!
Jo’s elegant Pronovias gown fits her like a glove and her simple accessories are really striking.
Images come from Hannah-May, if you get a second, have a little read of her my story section on her website – it made me chuckle.
Rustic Wood And Brickwork
Jo The Bride: We wanted a barn – that was our main wish! We love exposed brickwork and rustic wood (both feature in our house!) and we wanted a venue to reflect our taste…The Ferry House Inn was perfect- a 16th Century Country Pub complete with a beautiful barn and incredible views across the Swale Estuary. It was the one and only venue that we viewed!
To top it off we made it a whole weekend of wedding celebrations with 35 of us staying in the nearby luxury Mocketts Farm Cottages which were absolutely gorgeous!
The beauty was simple really – I just wanted to look like me. No fancy up-do, no extravagant make-up. Just me. Booking my hair and make-up artist was easy- in fact it was one of the first things I did! I had been a bridesmaid for my brother two years previously and Emma Smisson did my hair and make-up then and she was amazing! She uses airbrush foundation and I cannot recommend it enough- my make-up stayed flawless all day!
Damn Those Spaniards
Ah the dress…I’m not ashamed to say that quite some time before we got engaged (I knew he was the one!) I had already fallen in love with Pronovias bridal gowns – damn those Spaniards can design beautiful dresses!
My dress, called ‘Balta’ was purchased from Teokath Bridal Boutique in Canterbury. I knew I wanted a vintage inspired lace dress that was simple in fit and intricate in detail and as soon as I put my dress on I knew she was the one!
This was one of my favourite things to organise! I wanted something elegant and classic for my hairpiece and after spending endless hours doing research I approached the incredible Jo of Jo Barnes Vintage who sourced, designed and made my beautiful bespoke vintage headpiece.
I opted for a vintage cuff which was designed and made by the extremely talented Victoria of Victoria Millésime Design London and it matched the belt on my dress perfectly!
Having a lot of friends I decided that rather than have a huge bridal party, I would have no bridesmaids at all and just two very beautiful flower girls; my niece, Lilly-Mai, and my goddaughter Phoebe. Both were around 15 months old at the time of the wedding, and Phoebe had only just started walking a few weeks before but they both managed to fly down the aisle!
We wanted something cute and modern for their outfits so opted for stripey ‘sundae’ dresses from Monsoon.
As for the boys, we decided to buy their suits from Next rather than hire them, and we went for a classic combination of navy blue and white- adding the polka dots to Ryan’s tie and hankie to set him apart from the others!
A Natural Blend
When it came to picking a colour scheme all we knew is that we didn’t want one! We wanted our day to be a beautiful natural blend of lots of different colours, rather than tying it to a particular theme. We wanted the overall effect to be relaxed, country and vintage and I think this is apparent in our décor which consisted of (a lot of!) home-made bunting, apple crates, bales of hay, vintage jugs and pots and hand crafted wooden signs.
Mum’s Are The Best
I am so proud to say that every single button hole (one for every guest!), pew end, jug, vase, pot and jam jar of flowers were grown from seed, and lovingly designed and arranged by my incredibly talented Mum. Gardening has not only been a career for my Mum but also an absolute passion of hers- when Ryan proposed and she offered to grow and put together the flowers for us we jumped at the chance because we knew that they would be beyond beautiful- and they were- I think the pictures speak for themselves!
We particularly loved the simple pew ends which were rustic jam jars filled with pink gypsophila and sweet peas and the wooden stepladder display showcasing vintage pots filled with flowers such as verbena, heartsease and lobelia.
Short And Sweet
Our ceremony was short and sweet- that was our aim! No readings or songs, just a simple ceremony during which I cried (quite a lot!), and Ryan broke the ice by hilariously being unable to say ‘lawful impediment’- instead- what came out (three times!) was ‘awful impediment’- I do hope he wasn’t trying to tell me something!
Live Acoustic Guitar
During the ceremony and drinks reception we had a live acoustic guitarist and singer- Andy was an absolute hit with everyone and he created the perfect atmosphere for our guests to enjoy their Corona and Pimms!
Our first dance song was to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol, one of our favourite songs which has the most beautiful and fitting words. Following that we had a DJ – a friend who does all our family weddings- and I can honestly say he filled the dance floor all night!
Hearty Pub Food
When we started planning the wedding Ryan had only two requests (the rest was down to me!)- he wanted a hog roast in the evening and he wanted corona for the reception drink! We also opted for yummy canapés during the drinks reception including chicken satay, mini yorkshire puddings with beef and horseradish and homemade chipolata sausages. The menu consisted of hearty pub food including duck salad, lamb shank, mushroom wellington, banoffee pie and chocolate brownie cheesecake, all served with copious amounts of wine! We had so many comments about how incredible the food was!
The cake was one of my favourite parts of the wedding- I am not a big fan of traditional wedding cakes but I loooove victoria sponge with jam, fresh cream and strawberries (who doesn’t!) and so we opted for three tiers of exactly that, made and expertly put together by Raie of Raie’s Cakes.
To compliment this, as favours we made our own jam and decorated the jars with pretty floral fabric and luggage tags.
Hands On With The Stationery
Stationery was hugely important to us- I think the invites set the tone and give the first indication of the style of the wedding and so we wanted to get it right! Buying stationery was never an option for us- we wanted to be quite hands on and so we designed and made everything from the invites and luggage tag place names, to the table names and menus.
We centred all the stationery around a rustic theme using brown card, luggage tags and brightly coloured bunting (and I should add that every single paper flag was cut out by hand by either Ryan or myself which took hours!)
We Did It
If I had any advice to give to future brides and grooms it would be- do it your way- don’t be hung up on tradition-make your wedding reflect your own personality!
Also, make sure you steal a moment or two on the day with just you and your new hubby. We were lucky enough to be staying overnight at the venue so before our evening guests arrived Ryan and I popped upstairs to freshen up- as soon as we were through that door I flung my arms around him, looked into his eyes with a huge smile on my face and simply said ‘we did it’ and then we had a little dance all by ourselves. That for me was one of the most special moments of the day.
Recommended To The World
Hannah-May – our photographer. To say that this young woman is sensational at her profession would be an understatement- she captured our day in the most breath taking and beautiful way and no words of thank you would ever be enough to show our gratitude for the amazing memories she has given us through her photos. We would not hesitate to recommend her to the entire world!
We must also mention Kerrie, the wedding coordinator at our venue, who was absolutely incredible from day one- my emails (and there were a lot of them!) were always answered within a few hours, nothing was ever too much trouble and we generally couldn’t have asked for any more from her- an absolute godsend for us so ladies, if you want to plan your wedding in an organised, efficient and effortless manner- Kerrie and The Ferry House Inn are for you!
So what did you lovely lot get up to this bank holiday? Anything fun? Perhaps you attended a wedding or picked up THE dress? Maybe you took some time out from wedmin to spend some quality time with your beau.
I’d love to hear all about it.
I spent the weekend playing swingball (remember that game?!) and pondering, in great detail with friends and family, a subject that I’d like to discuss with you folks this afternoon. It’s something that we’ve seen a great deal of lately at RMW Towers and you can guarantee that Becky, Charlotte and I will pretty much fall over ourselves to blog a wedding with them in.
Any ideas as to what I’m referring to yet? Of course you do because you’ve already scanned through the images below haven’t you.
Yes RMW-ettes, I’m talking about our four legged furry friends, those with floppy ears and twitchy noses, puppy dog eyes and paint daubed fetlocks.
During my own planning journey I was very taken with the idea of the boy and I galloping away over the fields on a couple of equine friends, much to the boy’s mirth and despite the fact that the last time I’d been horse riding was when I was about 12 years old and one bolted with me on the back of it. I dreamed of ethereal photos with us leaning against a couple of floral bedecked ponies with tendrils of mist rising up around us.
Needless to say it didn’t happen.
But the subject of animals at weddings has reared its fluffy head again recently with the impending marriage of a certain bunny obsessed best friend of mine. Because you see she’s desperate to include her house rabbit Flapjacks in her big day despite our raised eyebrows and our pleas that she rethink her plans for him as ringbearer.
Should our pets be a part of our big day? From a personal perspective I’d have absolutely no problem with a furry friend being present*, after all many of us consider our pets to be an integral part of the family and we wouldn’t dream of leaving great aunt Edna out of the proceedings, would we?
I suppose the question is where exactly do we draw the line?
Is inviting your pet one step too far? Would their attendance on your big day be more hassle than it’s worth? Who for example would be responsible for feeding your dog/cat/budgerigar or picking up their mess? Because in all seriousness you’re not going to want to do this on one of the biggest days of your life are you … and heaven forbid Fido being so thrilled to see you that you’re left with two smeary paw marks down the front of your dress….
Could it even be considered cruel? Some animals can be intimidated by unfamiliar faces, and distressed by loud music, throngs of people and those celebratory fireworks at the end of the night. And while we’re at it, let’s think of those guests that might be fearful of your fluffy friend? Not everyone will share your enthusiasm for involving dear old Rover in your big day and I’d hate to think of poor old Uncle Fred being frightened out of his wits every time he spots him lolling around.
Lastly does the inclusion of your pet in your wedding day open the floodgates for guests to bring their pets along too? At what point does it descend into a menagerie of gruff barks and howling, pitiful meows and the odd squeak here and there…
Despite these concerns there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s something downright adorable about including your pet in your wedding photos. Given the fact that there’s a plethora of gorgeous images of besotted couples accompanied by their canine and feline friends it seems that you lot have had little problem convincing photographers and venues of this too.
I particularly love the outfits that some of these pets have been persuaded to wear. From bow ties to collars decorated with flowers and ribbons and even placards, I can’t help but squeal at how cute these animals look. If ever there was a moment to exploit the pet wedding outfit market, then nowfolks is the time to do it.
So will you be integrating your furry loved ones in your big day? Will they have a special role…say chief cake taster or rabbit ring bearer…or even ‘Pet Of Honour’?
Have you attended a wedding where there’s been the odd dog or too? How did you find it?
Perhaps you’ll be including animal orientated activities at your rustic do…how does duck herding strike you?
Tell me all about it.
All my love Lolly xxx
*so long as I’m not entrusted with their care….trust me it’s for the best…responsibility tends to go out the window once a few gins have been consumed by yours truly.
Check Hannah May Photography out and remember if you are looking for vendors and suppliers with the RMW seal of approval, the Love Lust List is only one click away via the ‘Find A Supplier’ tab in the header section.
I love the reportage aspect of photography, as well as the couple portraits. I want to capture moments, your interaction and affection in a way that looks natural and unforced. I’m driven by the people that I meet and the adventures I have. Getting to meet you, your families, and tell new stories, is an overwhelming, yet inspiring experience.