Just a very quick introduction from me to say thank you to Sundari for writing for us – she really is a beautiful soul, both inside and out, and I’ve throughly enjoyed following her wedding planning story. She’s always written completely from the heart, with sensitivity and emotion and I feel like I’ve really got to know her over the course of her writing (I cried several tears of joy and pride while putting this feature together!!!)
I knew Sundari’s wedding would be incredible and oh my goodness you are all in for a treat this afternoon. Please do grab a cup of tea and get comfortable – there’s a whole weekend worth of images for you and the incredible wedding film too. Sundari, it’s been an absolute pleasure and all of the RMW team wish you and Andy every happiness. So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Sundari…
Here we are guys. It’s been a long time coming! On the 28th and 29th May, Andy and I celebrated a wedding weekend of love, joy and so much more. Words cannot describe how blessed we felt to have so many family, friends and loved ones join us for an entire weekend. Planning the wedding was stressful, we encountered many issues that I’m sure many couples face – however on the day, we’ll be cliché and say – they really were the best days of our lives!
Just when you think you’ve seen every possible wedding idea there is – a creative couple goes and throws you a curveball! Jess & Sam made their own version of the Periodic Table of the Elements as a table plan – which is totally genius. They also created their own pub, named after them of course, complete with proper pub sign…and if that wasn’t enough, they invited guests to create home brews which they served as part of their real Ale wedding festival! I know, pretty cool indeed.
There are so many other gorgeous details too – Jess’ dress made by her Mum (seriously talented lady), the cake and cheese cake made by Sam’s Mum (another very talented lady), the rustic door frame to allow Jess to ‘enter’ the outdoor ceremony properly, the incredible barn venue, which is so bohemian it doesn’t even have a website…the whole thing is just beautiful from start to finish.
And I haven’t even mentioned the gorgeous photography from Eve Dunlop yet – I mean just look at that portrait in the poppy field? It’s breathtaking. Oh and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a gorgeous shot of Bambi too – confirming that this venue really is idyllic!
This afternoon we’ve got the lovely Lauren C from our sister blog discussing non-conventional wedding ceremonies…if you’re planning on doing something along these lines, this is a must read.
Lauren: I’m nipping over from Rock My Style to have a good old chat about non-conventional ceremonies and more specifically those that aren’t actually legal in the eyes of the law!
There may be a variety of reasons why you choose to make your wedding vows in this way; you may want nuptials to take place in an unlicensed setting, or perhaps, as in my case you’d like a family member to perform the union. You may be planning a Humanist wedding in an area outside of Scotland or your religious ceremony may not be recognised by British law.
I can only speak from my own experience and I’m by no means an expert but as a team we thought it might be useful to put together this post to help any of you lovely ladies planning something similar.
Louise is such a cutie, all quiffed haired, glossy red nailed, flicky-eyelined piece of her.
And she got to have her very own bespoke gown….and so did her maids.
Aside from the obvious quirky fashionista aspect of this W-day I am very much liking the simplicity of it, the bright red balloons, the nominated chef-at-your-table to serve a very British selection of pies….
Also the traditional Scottish dancing, some of the most enjoyable W-days I have attended have included a wee bit of Ceilidh.
Louise The Bride: My original dream was to buy a Vivienne Westwood dress but not only was the price way out of my budget but the fit just didnt suit my figure as I’m very short waisted. Through family connections we found the most INCREDIBLE dressmaker, Angela Maclean, who is based in Knaresborough. It was a really enjoyable experience to collaborate with Angela. We started by me sharing inspiration pictures and then Angela started to sketch different ideas.
At the second meeting we settled on a design (a nod to Vivienne Westwood and the 50’s dress I fell in love with) and then I hunted out some beautiful lace that had a vintage feel that would work with the design of the dress. We then, over a couple more meetings, adjusted the dress to fit my taste, whether it was just lifting the silk under the lace to make it a little more sassy or having the lace showing slightly from under the neckline.
It was incredible to have a dress that was perfectly made for my figure and was completely made to my tastes and what was even more fabulous was I had so much fun working with Angela, so much that she also made the bridesmaids rock n ‘roll inspired dresses and my Mum’s. To top it all of it cost a third of the price of the 50’s dress I’d fallen for originally.
Jewellery came from my mum and my gran. My mum’s very simplistic diamond studs and from my gran I borrowed her amethyst and pearl necklace that had been her grandmothers, so a real family heirloom! The purple of the amethyst also complimented the thistles in the flowers.
Red Red Red shoes!, it’s my favourite colour and I’ve always had a soft spot for red shoes. I found a £400 pair of Jimmy Choo’s which I was very nearly going to purchase but at the last minute I found some gorgeous £40 Zara shoes that have had plenty of wear since and fitted the bill perfectly. They had the perfect almond toe point and a slight showing of toe cleavage, they were high but I love heels and I felt great in them, although when the dancing started I changed into my converse!
Rock N Roll
The initial inspiration for my hair was from Steve. He has always commented that he thinks I look my best when I wear my hair up in a quiff and I really do love that rock and roll look. When I met with the hairdresser we had a play and came up with something that was fun but sophisticated and gave a more polished finish to what I do to my own hair at home.
I did my own make up, I just couldn’t justify paying out the money for the make up when I feel reasonably confident doing my own. I did however go to MAC with a friend of mine who is a make up artist and we worked through what I was going to do on the day. Which was basically just a pumped up version of what I do on a day to day basis.
Blooms To Keep
I didn’t feel as confident with the flowers as I did with all the other styling decisions but I did know I didn’t want big flower arrangements, simple was more appealing. This didn’t go down too well with my flower arranging mum and gran!
We decided that with me being scottish and Steve being from Lancashire we would use thistles and red roses. Hopefully a nice balance of classic and contemporary. I had a bouquet mixing the two plus some ivy leaves picked from mum and my stepdad’s home, this was made by a friend of my gran’s who also made the button holes for the ushers and bridesmaids; Steve had a buttonhole with a red rose and a thistle. The ushers just had a red rose and the bridesmaids all had thistles (which the majority of them wore in their hair).
On the tables we had herbs in plant pots that had been grown from seed in my mum’s garden that were given as gifts to the guests.
All my bridesmaids are gorgeously curvy girls, however in different ways and the same dress on all of them just wouldn’t work. We tried Vivienne of Holloway and they were a huge inspiration but now knowing the quality of fit and fabric we could get with the dressmaker we went down that route. I hadn’t set out to put them in red but when we looked for fabric all over London we struggled to find anything inspiring. Joel and Sons off the Edgware Road was the answer and the modern twist on the broderie anglaise felt like the right balance between formal enough for the day but wearable enough for after and also an easy fabric to work with to make all styles of dresses.
All the bridesmaids had an idea of what they fancied, whether due to a dress they already owned or dresses we tried on in the process. We were so lucky that Angela really understood all the girls different personalities and each of the dresses matched each of the personalities of the bridesmaids, whether it was a denim jacket like jacket on top of the dress or the touch of a stunning button on the gown.
Al the dresses also had a nod to the 50’s and complimented mine in style, luckily this suited all the girls figures and the feel of the day.
Steve worked the outfit from the shoes up. He bought some beautiful burgundy shoes by British brand Grenson, which were absolutely stunning (shoes a focus for both of us!!), he then found a wonderfully tailored waistcoat and trousers from The Kooples in a soft brown suiting that looked great with the burgundy shoes. He wore a very fitted shirt with no tie and kept the informal feel that we were after.
He looked gorgeous, the suit fitted him to perfection!!
First Things First
Photographer Clair Estelle was one of the first things we booked (apart from the venue) at the beginning of all the organisation. Last minute I went to a vintage fair, that I found out about the day before and on seeing Clair’s photos I knew instantly that she was the person we wanted to hire for the day.
Each of Clair’s photos stands as a work of art on its own, regardless of the event and she has an incredible mix of classic and contemporary photos, she also has a lovely way about her and it was just fantastic to have her with us on the day.
Sweetness And Light
I am lucky to have a very talented bridesmaid who not only is a very accomplished artist but she is also an incredible cook and for our wedding gift she offered to make our cake. We knew nothing about it, except that it would be tailored to us, be extravagent and bold in style and at my request not a fruit cake.
CJ made it the day before and I later found out consisted of 3 tiers of cake which were each made of 3 layers of red velvet sponge. She had to make the cake structurally sound as there was a hige amount of buttercream icing inside. She then decorated it with tartan ribbon, fire engines (steve’s a firefighter) and mini bubble blowing toys! Her boyfriend even made us a neon sign that as we had originally wanted to purchase one but it was out of our budget.
The biggest surprise of all was that we didn’t need to cut the cake we had to light it…a load of big sparklers with a blow torch….so much fun and very memorable moment.
Higher And Higher
We had a large (6ft) frame that we had made by my grans charity that she works for (Horticap; horticultural training for mentally handicapped adults), which was a great way fo making the more formal pictures a little more fun and despite the bad weather showcased the gorgeous countryside behind it.
During our ceremony one of my other bridesmaids, who has a beautiful singing voice sang ‘Higher and Higher’ by Jackie Wilson with her Jazz musician boyfriend and another friend Rob that I went to school with. It was the most incredible performance that got everyone clapping along and really summed up the day and our relationship. We felt so strongly about the song and the meaning that we both got it tattooed on ourselves (me on my ring finger and steve over his heart).
We also hired ‘The Leeds City Stompers‘ an amazing ‘red hot, old time, country blues duo’ from west yorkshire. They fitted our nod to things vintage and we just loved their old school style. They played after our Humanist Ceremony and whilst everyone settled into drinking and getting to know one another.
We then had a Ceilidh, which was so much fun and seemed to suit all the scots that were there and enjoy a good old knees up but also was a great introduction to the English crowd who’d never done it before.
To end the night we had Steve’s awesome playlist that he’d be working on for 10mths. Some incredible tracks that got everyone up and dancing and we finished the evening with Purple Rain, we could have danced all night.
Read Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert, a great history on marriage and some inspiring passages for readings.
It was very important to us that throughout the whole process that we question every single tradition and assumption of what a wedding should be like. There are many traditions that have an important place and we definately maintained some but it is also important that we push things along and continue to progress and we hopefully achieved a little of this. For instance it was mainly women that spoke on the day, I’ve always felt that it’s a male driven environment despite the heavy involvement of women in the organisation process; best man, father of the bride and the groom etc who make the speeches. So with our wedding my sister (Head Bridesmaid) spoke first and then the best man and then myself with Steve also saying a few words, hopefully a little more well rounded than normal.
We also had a humanist wedding, with a fantastic celebrant Kate Gee, who helped us design a ceremony that was very true to us and our love. One of the highlights was that our vows were lyrics made from our our favourite songs, which was really special to us as music is a huge part of our life.
Decisions aren’t that tough to make, you will know in your heart what is the right thing to do and if you keep returning to one idea then that’s probably the route to go down. Try and enjoy the process and do a little every week and hopefully there won’t be to much to do at the end!