Ahh, aren’t Rachel & Tom the sweetest couple. I love their take on a rustic country wedding. Loads of wild flowers, wood slides and DIY, and taking pride of place in The Great Barn Rolvenden in Kent the giant LOVE letters, making all the wedding speech portraits captured by Joanna Brown Photography extra special.
Of course a boho wedding wouldn’t be complete without a bridal flower crown and a spot of lace, which bride Rachel decided to incorporate into her bespoke bridal separates. Such a great way to ensure you include all the things you like about each outfit you try into one, plus it’s totally unique to you.
So, are you ready to feel all fuzzy inside, then we’ll being…
If you are signed up to the Rock My Wedding newsletter (if you’re not you can sign up here) you will have already seen a sneak peek of this wedding. It’s a serious hug-fest and I love it. And you will too. I promise.
Chloe and Alex married on a glorious July day in 2012 and held their reception at Gate Street Barn after a ceremony at Holy Trinity Church.
Gate Street Barn was the only venue Chloe and Alex visited and they fell in love with it instantly. It’s not hard to see why. There is hop blossom hanging from the ceiling and fields full of French horn cows…all of whom are named after previous couples who have married at the barn. I know, very cool.
There’s just so much love going around at this wedding. Enjoy.
Chloe The Bride: Being only 5″2 I didn’t want anything too meringuesque and wanted something with a vintage style. I managed to secure an appointment at Jenny Packham. The 2012 collection had just arrived, it was there that I tried on the ‘Foxglove’ dress, that was when I knew I had found ‘the one’! With a 1920s style gown with sheer sleeves and sparkling embroidery, it was everything I had envisaged. By coincidence Jenny Packham was paying a store visit that day, and I was lucky enough to have a conversation with her about the dress and my wedding… I may have come across as slightly excitable!
Shoes, make-up, hair
Being a believer that less is more, I didn’t want to go too OTT whilst accessorising. I decided against a veil and settled for a vintage hair grip from a boutique in Farnham and some Jenny Packham earrings, matching the dress perfectly. It took a long time to find the perfect shoes, I wanted some height but didn’t want to be a hobbling bride, I also wanted shoes that looked vintage and matched the dress. Harriet Wilde’s shoes are gorgeous and I chose a 20’s style lace pair. I managed to last well into the night before kicking them off and dancing Joss Stone stylie.
After doing make-up for a few of my friends weddings I was confident enough to do my own, and felt that I didn’t want to look too different on the big day, however panic started to creep in and I decided to get a trial done at the MAC counter in House of Fraser. I wanted a fairly dewey natural look and was really pleased with the outcome. I revisited the counter on my wedding morning to have my make-over done. Being completely indecisive about my hair and having a couple of trials I decided to go with a messy side bun, this was done by Emma from Locks of Love who was brilliant and also did my mum’s hair on the day.
Girl After My Own Heart
Shortly after getting engaged I visited a wedding fair where I came across the lovely Bex, from Blush Florals. Her stall immediately caught my eye with it’s beautiful floral displays and vintage decorations. My mum and I visited Bex shortly after for a consultation and had great fun discussing all the bouquets and decoration. Besides the flowers Bex also provided rustic style bird cages, china wear, glassware for the sweet stall and wicker hearts for the church, this is a girl after my own heart! The flowers we had decided on consisted of peonies, cabbage roses, antique roses, lavender and some greenery. The morning of the wedding, Bex came to drop all the bouquets and button holes round to my parents house and my mother who had kept it together all morning couldn’t help but shed a tear at how gorgeous they were!
What A Hottie
Alex is the middle brother of three so it was only fair that he had two Best Men, he also had four ushers! Not to outdo him I had decided upon six bridesmaid and my three adorable (at times) nieces as the flowergirls. As brilliant as it was to have such a big wedding party it was a slight challenge when in came to dressing everyone! Luckily my sister was on hand and managed to source all three flowergirl dresses from Monsoon, matched with nude ballet shoes and flowers in their hair. The bridesmaid dresses were all from Coast. I had three bridesmaids in a pale sage colour and three in a champagne. We hadn’t been too keen to have a colour scheme and decided to use a lot of pastel colours that would tie in with the rustic, vintagey theme of the day and all the flowers. The bridesmaids teamed their dresses with nude heels and wore their hair down in loose curls with vintage roses in.
The Best Men and Ushers they hired suits from Moss Bross and we bought pastel coloured ties. Alex’s suit was made to measure from A Suit That Fits. He got to custom choose the fabric, linings, button holes etc. His tie was from Reiss and for his wedding gift I got him made some vintage map cufflinks, one with the location we had got engaged and the other of where we were getting married. He looked so handsome on the day, and I still can’t believe I’m married to such a hottie!
Shot By Diana
For our Photographer we chose the fabulous Joanna Brown. After researching many photographers online I couldn’t find one that stuck out to me, we didn’t want the photos to appear too modern or posed and as soon as I came across Jo’s website I instantly knew that we had to have her. Her style is so unique, capturing beautiful angles and details that hold a memory. She also owns a ‘Diana’ vintage camera which take the most beautiful soft focused stills. We booked her up as soon as we had the venue as I knew we wouldn’t find any one as perfect as Jo.
Being a massive cake lover, the cake was something I was happy to take full control of. Not being a fruit cake or marzipan fan, I decided on having the top tier as carrot, the middle as victoria sponge and the bottom as chocolate. I choose my friend Ellie who runs a cake business to make the cake, and she did the most beautiful cake ever, I couldn’t have been happier! So many guests after commented on how delicious it was too! The cake had pearls as decoration and fresh flowers on the top and first tier.
Baby I Love You
Alex is very into music and wanted a band from the start. We asked our friends band Rich Austin and the Maestros, who had also played a couple of our friends weddings. They were great and definitely got everyone on the dancefloor. Our first dance was ‘Baby I love you’, the Ramones version.
Packing A Punch
As a designer I took the decoration part of the wedding to heart. The pheasantry which sat next to the barn was filled with old fashioned glass bottles and jars with flowers. I also rented vintage teacups and scattered (not literally) these around containing marshmallows for the guests. Another feature of the pheasantry was the sweet stall. I bought sweet shop stripy paper bags and all guests could help themselves throughout the day to all our favourite old school sweets and chocolates, which were contained in beautiful old fashioned sweet jars and containers. I managed to find retro style popcorn boxes, which we filled up with popcorn in the evening for all the guests.
The evening also brought with it ‘Palmers Punch’ a lethal cocktail we enjoyed testing throughout the year! After searching for a vintage style glass drink dispenser I finally found one in John Lewis, along with red and white striped paper straws. We also had Jo Malone candles placed around the venue, which made everything smell amazing in the evening.
I spent many hours making up little cream card boxes with tissue paper containing heart chocolates for the girls and football chocolates for the boys, before passing over the task to my parents who made the remainder of them. I bought lots of ribbons for the boxes to be tied and luggage tags which had each guests name on. These doubled up as favours and names places. For the table plan, I found a large circular frame in a charity shop, I took out the centre, sanded, painted and replaced the backing with wallpaper, I found some small heart pegs and pegged a large luggage tag on the plan for each table. For the table names we choose to have each destination we were planning to visit on our American road trip honeymoon. I bought old 6″ vinyl records from ebay and made circular artwork for the centres using old vintage postcards from each destination. The records were displayed in small logs we had cut down and cut slits down the centres. I’m lucky enough to have a very talented graphic designer as one of my best friends…and bridesmaids. Polly created all the artwork for the menu’s, signage and the invites for me and they fitted in with the rustic, quirky vibe that we wanted for the day.
Your Day Your Way
If I could give any advice for future brides, it would be to not stress out about small details of the big day, but try to enjoy everything. Use your family and bridal party to help you out with bits and don’t do everything yourself. Try to make the day special and unique to you and your fiance and don’t get too stuck trying to please everyone else!
Welcome to Retro Week on Rock My Wedding. It’s time to spill a few of the beans that we’ve prepared for you lovely lot, so let’s start by defining what retro actually means…
Honestly, that’s what it actually says in the dictionary.
We have worked with some pretty cool people this week, some of the best in the industry. We have even teamed up with massive retro photography giants lomography.com.
As well as having a huge online community with over 3 million members they also make and sell analogue cameras – they are new cameras, that shoot film, based on iconic designs from the 50s and 60s. RETRO-TASTIC. Lomography have kindly given us a whole hoard of their books and camera’s to give away to you lucky bunch EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. THIS. WEEK.
All you have to do is leave a comment on one of our posts this week (including this one) to stand a chance of winning either a Lomography film camera or Lomography London notebook. A winner will be picked from every post, so make sure you get commenting folks.
Rock My Love.
Rock My Wedding is also spreading a little love over at lomography.com. Three lucky couples will win a photoshoot styled by RMW and shot by some of our favourite photographers, who will all be using lomography cameras and equipment. All you have to do to enter is submit your best Lomographic shots that reflect the phrase ‘Rock My Love’ so if you are already down with the super cool lomography movement then head over to the Rock My Wedding Lomography Rumble after 1pm today (the link won’t work before then) for more details on how to enter.
The wonderfully colourful and dream-like iconic square shots that you produce with a Lomography camera are becoming so popular and desirable now that some wedding photographers have started carrying them around in their standard kit bags. I’ve not yet seen a wedding entirely shot on these retro creations yet, but it is becoming increasingly popular to have a few lomographic shots thrown into the mix.
Below is a selection of images from Joanna Brown. She shoots on digital and takes a selection of images with her Diana F+. First of all then 4 images from 4 weddings, shot digitally.
And now, the same 4 weddings, but this time the 4 images are shot on a Diana F+ Lomography film camera.
Now you can’t get much more retro than that! I love the soft focus, the red light bleed and colour cast. With Lomography you never quite know what you are going to get until you get that film developed. I love the element of surprise. I think the balloons image is my personal favourite – the effect of the film, colour and focus combined with the balloons themselves give the image a perfect 70’s retro feel.
And there we have it, an introduction to Retro Week on Rock My Weddingand a good dose of wedding pretty thrown in for good measure!
If you are feeling the lomography wedding love you can view a few more wedding related images over on lomography.com by clicking here. These were competition winners of a previous Lomography Rumble… so you can check out the standards before entering the Rock My Wedding Lomography Rumble too!
Pop back for another retro dose of W-day candy this afternoon.
You know how I mentioned the guest images yesterday? Well. There are some really special ones in part 2.
I am also more than a little bit in love with the favour and name place ideas. Oh and that whole late afternoon/early evening sunshine that makes everything look so dreamy….
I got my flowers from Gill Pike. She is a superb florist and I felt that she really understood what I wanted even though I was quite vague as I don’t know much about flowers! I wanted the bouquets and the table arrangements to look more handpicked and slightly messy rather than a neat round posey and Gill had the interesting idea of lining glass vases with limes and then putting the flowers in the middle. I loved this idea as it was different to anything else I had seen and they looked stunning. As you can’t really get teal coloured flowers I decided to go for purple as there is much more variety to choose from and it went well with the teal.
The flowers we had were avalanche roses, purple anemone, veronica and eucalyptus. My bouquet was wrapped up in the spare material from my dress as I had to have it taken up.
Our photographer was the amazing Joanna Brown who I cannot praise enough! Looking through the photos on her website was enough for us to know that she is a fantastic photographer and exactly the person we wanted. We loved her unique style, she captures brilliant natural shots as well as many quirky others (like peoples feet!) and the different shades of lighting she uses are just stunning! Not only that but she is a fab person and so easy to be around.
In the evening we all had so much fun in her photo booth dressing up in silly outfits and the pictures were hilarious!
As our wedding was a couple of weeks before Easter we had Cadburys crème eggs as our favours-everyone loves a crème egg!! And I found some cute little nests to put them in.
We Heart This Cake Topper
Our favourite flavoured cake is lemon sponge so there was no other choice for us on our wedding day. We decided to go for something a bit different with a topsy turvy style cake that was made by a friends mum, and it tasted delicious!
Our place names were scrabble letters as we love a good game of scrabble on our iPods and we thought it would be something a bit different, our guests had a lot of fun re-arranging the letters to make various different words!
We made our own stationary from the invitations to the order of service on the computer; this meant that we could put our own wording on them and make them more personal.
We are big fans of music and love going to watch bands live so instead of having a DJ we hired a fantastic band called the Hype. They played a range of music and the dance floor was never empty with everyone commenting on how good they were.
Our first dance was ‘For Lovers’ by Wolfman featuring Pete Doherty. It is a beautiful song and one that we have always listened to together since the beginning of our relationship so it meant a lot to us both.
The Perfect Day
Everything about my wedding day felt perfect to me, the day went smoothly and the weather was gorgeous and sunny, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I would advise any bride to always be open to change. There may be things that you always thought you wouldn’t want at your wedding but when you begin planning it and exploring different ideas you may find that your views will change about a lot of things.
But most of all enjoy yourself, it only happens once and it goes by so quickly you have to try and savour every second.
There is something decidedly unique about Joanna Brown’s photography style, she somehow manages to capture so many emotions and moments in just one frame. To the point where I look back time and time again and realise I have missed something. And for a girl who seeks out the images that feature the beautiful bride or the delicious details I can’t help but be drawn to Joanna’s shots of the guests and general frivolity.
Jenny and Justin were married At St Mary’s church in Worplesdon with a reception at Clandon Park in Guilford, I am yet again uber impressed with the shoe candy this week – this pair are seriously cool.
Paul Smith Peep Toes
I decided to treat myself to a gorgeous pair of Paul by Paul Smith shoes that were almond, gold and black sling backs with red trimmed insoles. I love my shoes and wanted to go for a pair that I would definitely wear again.
Extending The Flutter Appeal
Before the wedding I had a makeover at Mac to get some ideas but on the day I applied my own make up. A couple of days before the wedding I had some lash extensions put in, that way I didn’t need to worry about my mascara running if I cried and they made my eyes look much fuller. The extensions lasted all through my honeymoon too which was an extra bonus!
I’m very lucky to have a sister that is a hairdresser so she made mine and my bridesmaid’s hair look fabulous. I didn’t want to have my hair up as I think it suits me better down so I decided to have two plaits down the sides and then have the rest of my hair wavy and the bridesmaids had their hair in a side bun.
Our wedding car was a 1950’s Austin Healy. It was a 2 seater convertible so my dad drove us to the church and then Justin drove to the reception, we thought rather than pay someone to drive us around, why not hire an amazing car and drive it ourselves! We hired the car from Vanilla classics based in Barnham.
My auntie made us some beautiful willow hearts with our initials on which we put on the tables and had them hanging from the pew ends in the church; this helped to give a personal touch to the wedding.
A Sweeping Statement
I brought my dress from the bridal centre in Farnborough, the designer was Maggie Sottero. It was the exact style I was looking for with the material coming round to the side and then sweeping down to the floor.
I didn’t get that ‘wow this is the one’ feeling that I thought I would get when I put it on but I had looked around so many shops that I knew I wanted it because it was the only dress that I had really liked!
On the day though I was so glad I chose it because I did love it!
A Real Bride
When I first started wedding dress shopping I was adamant that I didn’t want to wear a veil until one of the assistants in the shop suggested I just tried a veil to see what it looked like. When I put it on it just completed the look and made me feel like a real bride!! I kept my hair simple with just a small clip from Westwood rocks to give it that little something as I didn’t want to wear a tiara.
I kept my jewellery to a minimum wearing only my engagement and wedding ring.
Teal And Grey
The bridesmaids were wearing gorgeous one shoulder teal dresses from Monsoon. The groomsmen were in dark grey suits with a light grey waistcoat hired from Moss Bros, we decided not go for tails as we wanted a more relaxed day and Justin felt more comfortable in a normal suit. We searched for such a long time for teal ties but it was so difficult to find any that we decided to get purple ties to match the flowers that were purchased from M&S.