Hilary Morgan

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B is for Brighton, Bandstand and Balloon!

Right, let’s talk polka dots…

Polka dots are one of those designs that seems to have always just always been there – I’m not sure anyone has ever claimed to have invented the polka dot, which incidentally is good for Rock My Wedding, as they would very likely be be suing us right now 😉

One thing is for sure though, the polka dot is synonymous with fashion and fun. Polka dots are as striking and stylish as they are care-free and casual. And I think that sums up Nicky and Andy’s wedding perfectly. Oh by the way, 10 points for guessing what their theme was based around…

The Ozone.

Our wedding was on 23rd June 2011 at the Brighton bandstand. My wedding dress was from a independent shop called The Ozone in brighton and it was made by Hilary Morgan.
I liked the length and shape of my dress (sort of 1950’s style) It’s Ivory as I didn’t want pure white. It was the first dress I tried on and I just knew it was the one.

Accessorise with Silver.

My veil came from the same shop as my dress. I liked my tiara because it was simple and understated. I wore some extra silver earrings and bracelets from Claire’s accessories

I was also given various things to wear. My sister gave me a necklace to wear which she wore on her wedding day. Andy’s Mum gave me a white handkerchief, which had been given to her on her wedding day by her Mum. I was also leant a garter (white with a blue bow) by my Maid of honour Lucy.

Once Worn.

My shoes were second hand Marks and Spencer kitten heels from a shop called Red Mutha in the Brighton lanes.

I did my own make up on the day after having my hair done at my usual hairdressers RJ’s on the morning of the wedding. I had my hair down, pinned at the back with the veil, and lightly curled.

Polka Dot Theme.

We wanted to have flowers and buttonholes which fitted with our black and white polkadot theme, after a bit of research we found out about button-bouquets, and had some made by Tanya at BlueButtonBride. We found a polkadot dress made by ‘Hell Bunny’ for Lucy (our maid of honor) at Grenwich Village in Brighton. Where we also found ruffled petticoats for the bride and bridesmaids. We got the bridesmaids dresses form BHS, we chose them as they looked like miniature versions of my wedding dress.
Knowing how difficult it can be to find a suit that fits well, we decided not to hire them, and to let everyone to be comfortable in their own suits. For the groomsmen we picked up some polkadot ties to fit in with the theme from Woods of Shropshire.

Suited And Booted.

Andy’s suit was tailored by Gresham Blake, with a polkadot lining and small red touches. The polkadot shirt was from modasoda and the polkadot tie. The spotty shoes were from irregular choice.

Tino And Pip.

We found Tino and Pip at a wedding fair. We chose them because we liked the informal style of the pictures they had on their website. When we met them we were pleased to discover that we really liked them personally too, and they had a real enthusiasm for all things wedding. Our friend Leila made our cake, it was three layers, a big fruit cake at the bottom, chocolate in the middle and a small battenberg on top. All were covered in black and white icing with black and white chocolate buttons to make polkadots.

Top Bananas.

For the bandstand we got The Top Bananas to play before and after, the ceremony to entertain our guests. It was very windy and everyone was impressed at how they stayed on their stilts. They even did the wedding march for us. In the evening we had DJ Alan Meadows.

Seeing Spots.

At the Bandstand we had Polkadot bunting and balloons, organised by the Bandstand cafe. At the Terraces we had more polkadot balloons from Balloonatics.

We designed name cards with a similar design to our invitations and had them printed on moo.com business cards. And pegged them to the glasses with wooden pegs we had painted red. For our table plan, we wanted to keep away from using table numbers, so we went with colour coded circles on a pin board. And matched them up with table decorations made from cheep ‘tat’ ornaments from charity shops, spray painted the same colours.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled.

We tried to keep our wedding relaxed and fun, and it was our lovely friends and family who braved the wind and rain in good spirits that made our day special. Start planning early, and keep your eyes peeled for extra little touches that could fit with your theme. We got the big things done quite quickly and early, the rest we spread over the best part of a year.

Do or make some of the stuff yourself, little hand made touches really make you feel like the day is more yours. Don’t be afraid to change your plans if necessary. when it started raining, and it became clear we would have to move our ceremony to the downstairs cafe, we had to throw away most of our plan and quickly decide an alternative running order.

Boutique The Ozone

Dress Hilary Morgan

Shoes Marks and Spencer

Hair RJ’s

Tailor Gresham Blake

Photographers Tino and Pip

B is also for budget – with second hand shoes, family and friends lending a hand, budget business cards for name cards (great idea by the way!) and lot’s of D.I.Y – Nicky and Andy have created a very personal and distinctive feel to their wedding that didn’t have to break the bank.

The key to success, as Nicky suggested, was that they took their time and looked out for items that would fit their theme over the course of a year. You will always uncover bargains if you give your self the appropriate time to find them.


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I was Made For Lovin’ You Baby… Part 1

There is so much that I like about George and Harriets wedding, but I’m going to take this rare opportunity to talk about a car. You can keep you Rolls Royce, your Bentley and your E-type, for me the Citroen DS is one of the most beautifully stunning cars ever made. It’s a genius piece of iconic design and I think it was one of the first cars to have headlights that ‘saw around corners’ (they swiveled as you turned the wheel).

Anyway, this isn’t Top Gear, it’s wedding gear… and what an eclectic mix we have for you today. Vintage inspired hand crafted corsetry mixes with Converse Allstars, and it really works.

It was retro alternative day at Holy Trinity Church in Warwickshire on the 11th of June 2011, and Jo from Raw Photographers was there to capture it in it’s full colour pop glory.

Traditional White Dress.

My dress was from Pollyanna’s Bridal, Smith Street, Warwick.The designer was Hilary Morgan. Originally I hadn’t been sure if I even wanted ‘the traditional white dress’ and had aspirations of making my own crazy colourful patchwork number. My mum said I should just try a few on so that I could get an idea of what shapes suited me and straight away I realised there was no way I could create a dress myself that matched the quality. It still took umpteen shops and and even more hoisting’s into different dresses to find the one. It totally suited my curvy shape and satisfied my lust for everything vintage. The owner of the shop, Tess did all the alterations herself and added a corset back which worked really well.

The Dressing Up Box.

I had a lace hair accessory and veil that I bought from ebay for what i think was around £10 for the both. Total bargain!I believe that they both originate from around the 1920’s. I only bought them for the hairband part and had no intentions of wearing the veil. But when i started experimenting in the mirror with it I really liked the soft, slightly continental vintage feel it created. However, posing in the mirror with it was very reminiscent of being at infants school again, fighting over a bit of net curtain in the dressing up box.

Shoes To Dye For.

The shoes were also from Pollyanna’s Bridal. Tess at the bridal shop sent them away to be dyed so they would match my dress. However after the first dance I switched them for a pair of white pearlescent wellies with ribbon laces from Weddington Boots. As our wedding was in a marquee in a field they were far more appropriate for stomping around in later.

Smokey Eyes.

I wanted my hair down as I know this is how George likes it. I have naturally curly hair but my friend and hairdresser James came to my house on the day and created the sleeker glossier version of how it would normally would look. I still wanted to look like me after all. My make up artist Maria from Pink Pamper went for a very natural look but with a little smokiness around the eyes.I also opted for individual false eyelashes that really did add a bit of oomph.

Garden Picked Blooms.

I wanted my flowers to look like someone had just walked round a cottage garden and picked what was to hand. Between my mum’s allotment, mine and friends gardens and a trip to the wholesale flower market in Birmingham we had the perfect collection. Then my step-sister Kate created the most wonderful arrangements. She made the bouquets and button holes using red and white gingham ribbon to add that country feel. For the table centrepieces she used vintage teacups instead of vases. George’s mum and auntie did the flower arrangements for the church following a similar theme and using reds, purples and blues.

Tied In With Blue

We weren’t really into the hire-suite look and wanted George and the groomsmen to have a bit more of a quirkier feel. We wanted them to not only feel comfortable in their outfits but also be wearing something that reflected their personalities. So we left it down to each of them to organise their own suits. Many of which, including George’s came from various charity shops. We brought them all together with a matching blue tie and handkerchief. Plus they all wore a hat and trainers of their choice for maximum comfort and non-conformity. The bridesmaids” dresses were all matching and from Coast. They all had matching accessories but all went for totally different hair do’s with a vintage theme that complimented their different looks.

Raw Talent.

We found our photographer Jo Lewis at Raw Photographers through Doherty Photography. My brother had used the same company for his wedding and the results had been fantastic. We were equally thrilled with our photos. Jo had a wonderful manner with people and was totally unintrusive. After knowing quite a few people that have been disappointed with their own wedding photos its nerve wracking leaving that responsibility with someone but Jo did an amazing job. The photography was one of the most important aspects for us as it, along with our memories, is what we have to look back on.

Boutique – Pollyanna’s Bridal

Dress – Hilary Morgan

Suits – Various Charity shops

Bridesmaids – Coast

Photographer – Jo Lewis at Raw Photographers

I have a feeling that those bridesmaids dresses are going to be a real hit… Just wait till you see them matched up with a pair of Weddington Boots.

Just wait.