I have a major soft spot for weddings by the sea so this afternoon’s flower filled affair from the Isle of Wight has me weak at the knees. Jason Mark Harris has just captured endless images of Camilla & Ben in that magical sunset light you only get by the sea and it’s simply beautiful.
Camilla is quite possibly one of our most gorgeous Brides of the year in a deep-v backed Jane Bourvis dress with the most stunning lace overlay and the prettiest pinned up braided hair, she literally radiates elegance through the images. If you love Camilla’s style then you can follow her on Instagram where she shares Bridal looks she loves and as a hair and make up artist herself, you know there’s going to be some seriously good inspiration there…
It’s such a pleasure to share this gorgeously stylish winter wedding with you all, as not only is it full of quirky design inspiration, but the reception looks like an absolute riot too. There was even a designated ‘rave room’ complete with neon glow sticks! Pub weddings always look fun to me, I mean is there anywhere better for a celebration?! And I think they work even better during the colder months when you can gather around the fireplace and underneath twinkling fairy lights while indulging in some good food and drink.
Zeba and Nick’s big day was styled by Knot & Pop, who are members of our handpicked directory of wedding suppliers, The Love Lust List, so we’ve included extra images of the details for you to enjoy and trust me, you’ll want to see more!
Oh my! I have a sneaking suspicion that you are going to fall in love with this afternoon’s wedding – that of Jacqueline and Joe who married on Lusty Beg Island amidst the backdrop of New Year’s revelries.
For a start Jacqueline is BEAUTIFUL with delicious bridal accessories to match – I mean you just can’t help but gawp at her super sparkly Gucci shoes in awe. But that’s not all!
I adore pretty much EVERYTHING in this wonderful ‘I do’ from the illustrated stationery to the super chic bridesmaid dresses from BHLDN all the way through to the epic portrait shots by the Guinness sign and the dapper men in tweed. And you need to check out the ceiling accessories adorning the pair’s wedding reception – now that’s how to drape paper chains in style.
The glamour of a private dining room is indisputable and Sarah and Lee picked a really, really good one for their small but perfectly formed wedding.
Kettner’s in Soho is all prim-and-proper-Jane-Austin-style dining meets moonshine-swigging-speakeasy-flip-flappery. If you’re thinking ‘ummmm whaaaat?’ right now, go with it.
Yes, it does sounds like a bizarre combination. But, read on, have a look at the lovely images and it will all make sense.
A Big Party
Sarah The Bride: We wanted to get married in London – our home – and we wanted both a small intimate ceremony, but with a large party to celebrate with friends and family in the evening. Our venues – Burgh House in Hampstead and Kettner’s in Soho – completely fitted the bill and we fell head-over-heels for their individual charm. Burgh House provided us with the intimate setting we wanted for our ceremony and Kettner’s, with it’s 1920s former members’ club wood-panelled room, was the glamorous location for our wedding breakfast and party.
Glamorous Up Do
My hair was by the amazing Sarah-Louise at Daniel Hersheson. She flew through the night from a photo shoot in the Bahamas to get back in time to style my hair! I always wear my hair down, but knew I wanted my hair up for the wedding as the back of my dress was so beautifully intricate. It did mean I was a little nervous about how to have it, but once I had found the style and I’d had my hair trial, I couldn’t wait to have it done again for the wedding!
My gorgeous sister Becky also happens to be a beauty therapist so I asked her to do my make-up. She knew exactly what I wanted – a natural look, with soft red lips – and she delivered perfectly, plus it stayed in place all day.
Delicate And Original
My dress was by Jane Bourvis. I found it on my first day of dress shopping! It was antique lace over two delicate slips with a belt and I felt exquisite in it all day. It was the perfect dress for me and even fitted in perfectly with our 1920s styled wedding. I highly recommend Jane’s dresses if you want something less traditional and structured and want something more soft and original.
Lee wore an Edwardian inspired Harris Tweed jacket and waistcoat and a white penny collared shirt from Mr Start. He looked totally handsome and very ‘him’ on the day!
Less Is More
I decided not to have a veil, as I didn’t want to hide my hair or dress, but I did wear a small hair accessory by Cherished Vintage, which was created from an antique brooch. They do some really gorgeous hair accessories.
I also decided to go simple with jewellery (again to show off the dress) and just wore my sapphire engagement ring (my something blue), with small antique drop earrings. The less is more approach!
My shoes were Flo by Rachel Simpson. They were the first thing I bought for the wedding (even before the dress) as I loved them so much! And the bonus, they were so comfortable that I didn’t take them off all day and evening!
Informal Wedding Party
I decided early on that I would have my niece as a flower girl, but that I wouldn’t have bridesmaids. Although a controversial decision (!), we felt that this fitted in with the informal feeling we wanted at the wedding. Instead all those that were dear to our hearts were invited to the intimate ceremony to share our special day.
Lee asked Sam to be his best man and we had just the one usher, James. And to fit in with the relaxed style of the day, we asked all our wedding party to wear what they wanted, rather than have formal matching outfits.
Lee and I love the 1920s era and as our reception was at Kettner’s it seemed right to stick with it for the decoration. We chose a colour scheme of gold and soft antique pinks, which worked perfectly with the 1920s antique styling.
We made the majority of our decorations, which were inspired by the old typewriter we used as a guest book sign. All our lettering was done in a typewriter style and the table confetti was heart shapes made from old Mills & Boon books (we spent many evening in front of the TV creating this!).
Our one big decorative extravagance was the giant L & S letters by Vowed & Amazed. They looked great during the day and lit-up the dance floor in the evening! Love!!
Trust In A Florist
We spent months before the wedding collecting old medicine bottles and used these to decorate the venue and table, with flowers provided by Ricky Paul. We weren’t going to use a florist to start with and were planning on doing everything ourselves, but after meeting the lovely Ricky at a wedding fair, we decided to go for it and I am so glad we did.
Ricky also made the button-holes, the flower girls head garland and my beautiful bouquet, which was made using sweet avalanche and memory lane roses.
Our favourite part of the day was our ceremony, which we laughed our way through! I can get very emotional, so I was worried that I would cry throughout, but the atmosphere in the room was so relaxed and special that once I’d made it down the aisle, I felt totally at ease (Lee did too!).
Keeping our guest numbers low meant that we really felt that our family and friends were also part of the ceremony and we’ve had such lovely meaningful comments from them since the day to say that they felt part of it too.
As we’d invited most of our guests to celebrate with us in the evening, we really went to town on the party side of our wedding. We had an amazing band called the Charleston Charlies to entertain us with tunes from the 1920s and 30s, plus a photo booth where everyone got a bit snap happy!
For food we served plenty of canapés and substantial canapés (think fish and chip cones, mini burgers and arancini), had a sweet table with loads of sweeties and cakes made by friends and family, plus our gorgeous wedding cake and cheese cake supplied by the Cheese Society in Lincoln. We provided prosecco, beer and wine all night to our guests and started the evening off by me giving a speech to welcome everyone!
Lee and I love good food and wine, so it was important that we had this at our wedding. We arranged it so our guests could choose their own food from a menu, which we had selected at a tasting.
Particular highlights from the menu were the Rack of Lamb, Grilled Vegetables, Anna Potatoes and Thyme Jus, with dessert of Blueberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake with Champagne Sorbet. We really couldn’t have faulted the food; it was absolutely exceptional.
Flip-Flops For Favours
Our wedding invites were by Hello Lucky, but everything else we made. We took the feather design from our wedding invite and created a stamp, plus another with our names and wedding date, and got stamp happy making signs, place names and menu cards!
We gave everyone homemade salted caramel (made by my sister Becky) and homemade Limoncello (by us!) as favours, plus made-up larger favour bags for the children with loads of colouring books, books and stickers to entertain them.
My favourite idea for the wedding was our little brown paper bags with flip-flops in as evening wedding favours for the ladies. I stamped lettering on them, such as ‘Dancing Shoes’ and ‘Happy Feet!’ and they went down a storm in the evening – not a single pair was left at the end of the night, but there were lots of ladies with big smiles wearing flip-flops and carrying their high-heels in the paper bag!
Look Like Yourself
My top piece of advice would be to not overdo your ‘look’ on the day and to make sure you still feel comfortable and look like you. I decided against fake tan, fake eyelashes, etc, as these all felt a bit too much for my dress and not true to me.
Our wedding had a different format to most, but it felt so special to us and as we were doing what we wanted, it meant we felt totally comfortable and relaxed, both in the lead-up to the day and throughout the celebration!
There’s not many of us that can say that they’ve got married and have held their wedding reception in a headmaster’s garden at a real life school. But Alice and George did just that in July earlier this year.
Their beautiful ceremony took place in the Charterhouse School’s chapel – an exquisite building that is most definitely a far cry from the scrappy hall that I used to have assembly in when I was a young lass.
The newlyweds then headed over to the house of George’s father who happens to be the Headmaster of Charterhouse School to continue the celebrations.
And just wait until you see Alice’s dress, folks…it is breathtakingly beautiful.
Headmaster, Vicar and Toastmaster Too
My now father-in-law is the Headmaster of Charterhouse School, but also happens to be a vicar, so he married us in the chapel and acted as the toast master for the day.
The wedding was on the first day of the Olympics, so the night before with my bridesmaids (and one usher) we watched the opening ceremony in the hotel bar as we ate some food.
Original French Lace
The wonderfully fabulous Jane Bourvis made my dress (there is no other way to describe her!)
I work in Portobello where her shop is and I was passing one day and popped in not knowing it sold wedding dresses, and before George had even asked me!. When I was in there I saw this amazing dress and thought it I ever get married that would be my perfect dress.
George proposed three weeks later the day after my 30th birthday, on the long walk to Windsor. One lunchtime I thought ‘Oh wow that dress!’, so I went back, tried it on, and that was the dress I purchased.
It was half made and so Jane and I worked together to create my perfect dress. I have a degree in fashion design and so it was a brilliant collaboration of ideas, and lovely to be able to have some input. So many dresses are off the shelf, so it was extra special to see it evolve. The original piece of lace was over 125 years old and came from a French auction house, and was a stunning champagne colour.
Jane did a fantastic job and I still pop in to see her and have a good chat.
A 1920’s Original
I was very lucky girl in that Jane Bourvis lent me this exquisite original 1920 head piece. I had been looking for one for ages and stumbled across hers deep in the piles of beautiful things in her store.
It happened to be one of the few things that were not for sale so she kindly let me wear it; I will be forever grateful!
I had my hair put up by Harrington’s in Guildford. I think I might be rather fussy about my hair as the trial was supposed to take half and hour and I was in there three.. oops, but they were very patient.
Shoes Can Be A Logistical Nightmare
For my shoes I used a company called Rainbow shoes, who dye to match.
Trying to get six bridesmaids into the same pair of shoes is a logistical nightmare!
We got there in the end with some Dune wedges with gold straps. I went with wedges as they are easy to walk on in the grass that had a more country feel.
I realised I had lost a pair of the bridesmaids shoes the night before the wedding. Luckily, one of my bridesmaid’s boyfriends came to the rescue and tracked a pair down on the morning of the day and completed an hour round trip to go and get them. The missing pair haven’t shown up!
I had both my own and the bridesmaids’ hair done by the lovely Louise from Laura Mercier in Guildford. She did a fantastic job and didn’t even mind when she left the room for 5 mins and came back to find my naughty bridesmaids with their fingers in the make-up bag and in the eye shadows!
A Very Talented Mother-In-Law
I am very lucky that my now mother-in-law is a very talented florist so she helped me with everything. I wanted a very loose and country wild feel. We went to Longacres Nursery in Bagshot, which is amazing, huge and full of every flower imaginable whilst being very reasonably priced.
We visited Longacres on the Wednesday and put the arrangements together on the Friday. I collected lots of jam jars and raided my grandpa’s shed for old oil cans which I put flowers in.
As my bridesmaids dresses were a multicoloured floral jacquard design I wanted to keep the flower girl dresses and George/groomsmen’s outfits as plain as possible. The dresses were from Jigsaw, I used to work there as the print designer, so it was a dress I had worked on which made it very special.
I actually got the flower girl dresses made in China using this website. The website is amazing, and the service was so quick. It was a bit of a risk as I didn’t know what champagne colour would look like but as a complete fluke it was exactly the same colour as the slip of my dress! They were a bargain at £30.
The flower girl shoes were little sparkly pumps from Monsoon.
George went to Savile Row and the Hackett store to get his waistcoat and tie with his brother (best man) and Father. He got a gold foulard design tie and a plain sand coloured waistcoat.
A Natural Style
I was really struggling to find an affordable photographer who was very natural in their style. I wanted somebody who could take shots as natural as possible so they did not look too contrived. I was recommended Harriet Gill of Weddings Vintage by a friend; she was fantastic and exactly what I was looking for.
She was brilliant on the day and was the perfect choice. She arrived the day before in the middle of my meltdown (every bride has one once!) and was just so lovely!
A DIY Cake
I really do not think you need to spend too much money on the cake as you can buy brilliant plain ones and be creative. I bought 4 plain tiers from Marks and Spencer and some ribbons and my mother put it together the night before, and finished it of with some wild flowers.
Blue Suede Shoes
We hired a jazz band, the Blue Suede Shoes, from Function Central who played a great 2 hour set of funk and swing set to get everybody dancing! Afterwards a friend, who is a very talent DJ, played for us!
As George’s father is a vicar our first dance was to ‘Son of a Preacher man’; the lyrics in it are very apt!
A Dab Hand In The Kitchen
George made Nigella Lawson’s chilli jam for all of our favours and I made the labels and stuck them on with string tied around a fabric top. We had an old school luggage tag that had everybody’s names on it as their place names on the table.
Alice In Wonderland
The marquee was in my parent’s in-law’s garden which is an old Gertrud Jekyll design, it is already naturally very beautiful, and so I wanted to bring the outside in. We pulled all of the sides of the Marquee up so it was more like a giant gazebo. We bought some giant white balloons and some helium and put them on the tables and on the entrance to the tent.
There is a separate summer house in the garden which we used as the children’s table for when the speeches were taking place, and put up some pink bunting for them.
As my name is Alice, I wanted a slight theme to the day (Alice in Wonderland) and thought it would also compliment the walled garden. I had small touches around like little signs, saying; rabbit hole’ and this way to the party etc.
We didn’t really have a strong colour theme as I think sometimes it can look a bit much with everything all in the same shade, we wanted something that felt a bit looser, which meant I could play with lots of different wild flowers in multicoloured shades.
I made quite a lot of things for the wedding. I designed and made the invitations with George which was a real labour of love…not so much after 100!
I couldn’t find any black and white checked bunting and so I decided to make it myself…150 metres later! I also realised on the day I only needed about 20, hahaha, so if anybody wants some bunting, get in touch!
For the table plan we used an old amazing frame we found on the street and painted it white with a hessian background, then typed out the plan on brown paper. I bought some cardboard numbers and the pinned them on to the board.
My best friend helped me create a mood board at the beginning which was a massive help as it meant I could visualise exactly what I wanted. I had had all these ideas flying around and millions of blog images and felt a bit overwhelmed with everything I could do.
Creating it helped me focus on exactly what I wanted the day to look like, and what I needed to buy, where we could save money with things to make and how to show other people what I wanted, eg with the flowers etc.
It also helped me show George, and he said yes and no to things he definitely didn’t want.
My top tip is…give men specific tasks! I would get a bit stressed and say why aren’t you helping I have so much to do, and he would say well “how do I know what needs doing when it’s all in your head! I am not a mind reader”. They don’t really care about the visual things to much, just present them with a choice like “blue or green” and they can say yes or no, not “what colour do you think”?
We started with lots of ideas and worked back to what was realistic. It’s impossible to do everything; you need to know when to stop, when to delegate and when to let go. Remember it’s really all about the love not about the napkin shades!
Get the major things sorted first, your venue, dress, food, theme and cars; the rest will follow!
When I was worrying about family politics and what people would think of various elements of the wedding, somebody said to me if anybody is there that is not wishing you all the best and wanting you to have the perfect day then that’s their problem not yours!
Right about now I’ve developed a sudden urge to go out purchase some antique lace. Alice’s dress is simply dreamy.
She also has some sound advice too. If any of you are experiencing anxieties about family politics or even worrying about people’s perception of the wedding, then you’re not alone. I certainly had my own fair share of drama.
I absolutely 110% agree with Alice’s philosophy that it’s their problem not yours. If you’re able to, try to let it float over your head – it simply won’t matter on the day anyway because it’s about you two as a couple and the love you have for one another.
She’s a wise girl is Alice.
So come on folks, what do you think? Which part of George and Alice’s day do you love the most?