Joanna Brown Wedding Photography

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Cosmic Love.

Before we go any further I probably need to tell you all that I love this wedding. I LOVE IT.

I have struggled to edit the photographs down from the selection Joanna Brown sent in to Rock My Wedding because I simply wanted to use every single one. She has captured the day perfectly.

The preparation, perfect. All the reception details, perfect. Walking to the church, perfect. The couple shots… Well, what do you think?

Agata and Alex got married in Ditchling, East Sussex. The reception took place at the Ditchling Village Hall.

The One

The dress is Justin Alexander style 8530 and it is from Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique in Brighton. It is a lace, satin and silk gown and it was the first dress I tried on. In total I tried on 8 or 9 dresses which I am told isn’t much at all but I kept going back to this one. It was my mum who made me realise this was the one. Each time I put it on she had tears in her eyes.

A Perfect veil

The gown came with a lace veil and as soon as I tried it on I knew I wanted it. It seemed so perfect and completed the look I was going for. In terms of jewellery I was only going to wear my engagement ring and a brooch from my lovely bridesmaid which was attached to the bouquet as my something borrowed. I ended up however wearing a small locket too which was a present from Alex on the morning of our wedding.

I had a silver satin sash added to the dress with crystals sewn onto it in a floral pattern. I knew I wanted to add a little bit of colour to the dress and after a few tries I asked the bridal salon to make the sash and to make it in silver/ light grey shade. The dress took 4 months to make and it was a very exciting 4 months! I couldn’t wait to try it on when it was finally ready and that really was the moment when it all became real to me. I was getting married and this was the dress I was going to wear.

Dazzling White

I wore skyscrapers! 4 inch heel and a small platform Badgley Mischka’s Babette slip ons that I first saw on Pinterest and I knew those were the ones. When they arrived they were perfect, dazzling white with satin and suede and a little bit of sparkle!

Lush Lashes

I found the hair style I wanted on Pinterest. Really I don’t think I could have organised the wedding without Pinterest, it’s full of so much inspiration! Because the wedding was English countryside set in the middle of the Downs I wanted a darling look with plaits and soft waves. The make up was going to be quite simple but with a little bit of glamour and so I asked for false eyelashes and an eyeliner flick on the eye.

It took a few tries to get the look I wanted. The first make up artist and hair stylist made me look completely different to the pictures I showed. I was so disappointed it was really hard to look for someone new and hope that this time they would do what I asked for.

Becky from Beauty Call responded to my email in 3 minutes late one evening. I was so impressed I knew I was onto something good. She was an absolute diamond and I could not believe how beautiful she made me look and that was just the trial. On the day of the wedding she was fantastic again making the bridesmaids look gorgeous and being completely calm. She was great to have around because you really need someone to calm your nerves! Once again she made me feel beautiful and was so much more than I could have ever asked for!

A Rustic Look

Ali Ball from Gobotanica was the wonderful florist behind the brides and bridesmaid’s bouquet’s and groom’s and groomsmen buttonholes. I asked for peonies and ranunculus and she delivered them beautifully.

The church and reception venue were decorated with flowers by the groom’s mum and her friend. They even went to a wedding flower arranging course a few months before the wedding. We went shopping together at flower markets in Brighton 3 days before the wedding aiming for pink and purple blooms.

They did an amazing job! We also spent hours making the flower jars, sticking on lace, hessian and string to make them look rustic.

Grey And Purple

Alex’s brothers were his joint best men. They both wore their own grey suits and purple ties which were part of our pink, purple and grey colour theme.

The bridesmaids chose their own dresses from Karen Millen and Dorothy Perkins following in the theme and matched them with stunning hot pink Carvela open toe stilettos. I wanted them to choose their own dresses to make sure they felt fabulous!

Crisp White Shirt

The groom’s suit was Ted Baker. Alex knew he wanted a grey suit and a crisp white shirt. The shirt was Italian and Alex wore his granddads cufflinks with it. I tried to sneakily get him to buy a silver tie that would match my sash on the dress without reviling the secret of what I was going to wear. The first time Alex saw my dress was when I walked down the aisle to him. We kept it a complete secret wanting to make the moment as magical as possible.

A Valentines Shoot

As soon as we got engaged I was researching a photographer. We knew that it was going to be very important because the day would go by in a flash and we would have the pictures forever to relive the moment. I started following Jo Brown’s blog and a few weeks later I noticed she was doing a Valentines photo shoot for couples. I emailed immediately and we got in (woohoo, spaces were limited!).

Alex was a little nervous about having his pictures taken so this was a perfect opportunity for him to break the ice before the wedding so to speak. Jo turned out to be wonderful the minute we met her! She made us laugh and giggle so much and she even managed to make us do perhaps a little peculiar things like lie down in a corn field in February (haha!) but the pictures turned out great! We knew her style of photography would suit us and our venue completely and she was such a pleasure to be around. We couldn’t imagine asking anyone else.

Gorgeous And Personal

Our gorgeous and talented friend Clare from Little Bear Cakery made the cake as a gift to us! The top tier was a fruit cake which we’ll keep for the christening of our first baby (one day!) and the bottom tier was a vanilla sponge with vanilla icing and jam. We wanted a classic white cake and Clare matched the lace on the cake to the lace on my dress exactly! She is so talented; the cake was gorgeous and personal and tasted delicious!

Jukebox Jury

We looked at band after band on the internet but couldn’t find anything we really liked – lots made us laugh but none were exciting! In the end we stumbled upon a chap called Nick Lipton at a friend’s party, he plays sax and clarinet beautifully. He played whilst we had our meal and afterwards we had a jukebox.

The jukebox was hired from Jukebox On The Night and was a fantastic Wurlitzer! The little children at the wedding loved the bubbles and lights in the side which was an added bonus. We were allowed to add our own CDs and even had the index cards printed up so that our guests could pick some of our favourite tunes in addition to the classics the jukebox already came with.

Falling In Love

Our first dance was to Florence and The Machine – Cosmic Love.

We looked for ages as our “falling in love songs” were all from The XX which is a little too chilled out for a first dance. We chose this song because the lyrics are beautiful and the song is quite dramatic and atmospheric.

Jam Packed

Homemade jams were our favours. We collected jars for months and the groom’s mum and dad made raspberry and plum jams to give to the guests. Happily everyone has told us that they are absolutely delicious.


Pretty much everything was homemade. We ordered pink and purple paper lanterns to decorate the venue and hung them with lots and lots of fairly lights. Twigs were collected and bunting was made. Table runners were sewn and place tags hand stamped and punched with a little heart hole puncher. The entire wedding was a family affair with friends and family chipping in and crafting together. Our friend Kat prepared the lovely Italian feast and she and her husband Nick were making the chunky boards to serve the antipasti on two days before the wedding. Guests who wanted to contribute to the wedding brought desserts. We had the most amazing selection of crème brulee, tiramisu, heart shaped brownies, cheesecake and lots more. They were all delicious and very personal!

We are planning on selling lots of bits and bobs from the wedding and even offering to hand make luggage tag place names for people – our Etsy store is nearly open.

A Final Thought

Follow your heart is the best advice I can give to any bride. Use wedding blogs and sites such as Pinterest for inspiration. There are lots of beautifully talented people out there who will inspire you no end.

Photographer – Joanna Brown

Venue – Ditchling Village Hall

Dress – Justin Alexander

Boutique – Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique

Shoes – Badgley Mischka

Hair and make-up – Beauty Call

Florals – Gobotanica

Cake – Little Bear Cakery

Jukebox – Jukebox On The Night

Entertainment – Nick Lipton

So what did you think?

The hessian table runners, the lace, the Wurlitzer… I could go on but I feel like I need to blow into a paper bag for a bit.

This is a simply beautiful casual D.I.Y affair that has made my day.


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The Sweetest Thing.

After yesterdays contemporary and quirky take on W-day retro this morning we’ve done a complete one-eighty and gone all super feminine on you.

I adore the summer affair of Frank and Amanda (known as Framanda to their friends – I know! love!)… so much it’s been literally hell having to wait until Retro Week to feature it. I think it’ll be worth the wait though folks, so many ideas for you to steal on the fashion and floral front.

One of the reasons this celebration is one of my favourites ever to grace the pages of RMW is it is jam-packed with a whole bunch of my past and current favourite big day bits and pieces. Firstly Amanda is wearing THAT dress, possibly the most immense 50’s inspired gown on the whole of the planet. Secondly they have not one, not two, but ALL of my most lusted-after blooms of the moment, hydrangea, lisianthus and tonnes and tonnes of gypsophila…. a bunch of gyp in a tea-cup stacked on top of some old books has to be one of the simplest yet most effective table centres I have seen in a while. And then there’s the car, an original Fiat 500, the cutest car of the 60’s and early 70’s. (Possibly never mentioned the fact I like old cars – it’s a bit of a step away from make-up and clothes and the like…)

And lastly? lastly all of this pretty happened in a pub. Yep a pub. Just goes to show, you don’t have to have the fanciest country manor venue to shake it up in the style stakes.

Add all of the above to a witty write up and you’ve got yourself a generous slice of blue polka dot perfection.

With huge thanks to photographer Joanna Brown for just being generally awesome.

Easy Breezy Up-Do

My Fabulous hair was done by my hairdresser Mark Westbrook from Westbrooks workshop and wonderful make up was done by Sharon Robinson tel:- 07950885638 they both did the most amazing job, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Simple and Perfect!

I Always Knew

As soon as my other half proposed I searched the inter-web for a 50s style dress.

I knew I didn’t want a long beautiful dress I just don’t think it would have been me…. if you know what I mean. Anyway, sitting in my office and suddenly it appeared on google…….eek!!!!!! I knew I had to find a supplier in the UK who had it.

Once I found it I popped it on and knew instantly it was the one, the designer is Justin Alexander style number 8465.
I’’m also planing to wear the dress every Christmas to pop the tree up in … making me a very large fairy 😉

Aqua And Grey

Our lovely bridesmaid Claudine wore a aqua dress from Monsoon and my little niece wore a sweet pink dress from BHS with my nephew as the dashing pageboy in his cute little grey suit. Knowing that we wanted a suits that would fit perfectly and for everyone to feel comfortable We decided not to hire them and to let everyone rock up in there own. (Plus we didn’t really want everyone matching on the day I think it added to the quirkiness).

Something Borrowed And Something Handmade

For my hair I made three little flowers, they are ivory satin with Swarovski crystal center bits (which I also sell on my little Etsy shop) and quickly whipped up a bird cage veil. I wasn’’t originally going to wear a veil but after much deliberation with Claudine ( my cheif Bridesmaid) and Joanna ( My lovely photographer lady) we thought it would finish the look off well.

My jewellery was from pilgrim and I had a little brooch on my bouquet which was from my Aunty Pauline.

A Gift From The Groom

When I think back on the things that really stood out for me it was the surprise that Frank had arranged before we got to the church.

On his list of thing to do for the wedding transport was one of them, he kept saying that my dad and myself were going to be picked up by the local cab company down the road. I belived him…there was a knock on the door from the taxi man and stepping outside we both looked up and down the road trying to find the him and his car. We spotted him a few doors down but we couldn’’t see the car as my own little car was in the way……..(now I have a fiat 500 the new one and my car is small so I was really confused!) My Dad was the first to spot the car and it was an original fiat 500……..I loved it eek!

A Flash Of Ditsy

My lovely gorgeous hubby Frank wanted a fab suit for the occasion so we trundled off to London town to a tailors called A suit that fits’ . He really loved the thought of a beautiful grey tailored suit with a flashy deep purple lining. His fab little ditsy print tie was from Reiss. The night before the wedding I also gave him a little pocket watch as a pressie he really did look amazing.

A Genius Talent

I love love our photographer Joanna Brown. I literary spent months searching for the perfect one and as soon as we meet her we knew we had to have her do our photos. She’s a very talented lady and made us feel completely at ease. I loved the fact that she did a photo booth as well…. pure genius!

HOT Flowers

Our florist were Roger and Sue from Hot flowers. I know how creative both Roger and Sue are so I knew they would do
a wonderful job. We created a mood board to show them our theme and for us to draw inspiration from too.

We wanted a vintage style bouquet for myself and little white rose button holes for the groom/groomsmen and vintage table centers in teacups and lovely little perfume bottles (which I searched the width and breadth of the country for in brick-a-brac/charity shops)… with the lazer cut butterflies and humming birds perched in the flowers.

Our colour theme was soft pinks, white, creams and some lovely dirty greens. Hot flowers picked a fab array of flowers to match, pink and white roses, green hydrangeas with Lisianthus etc… The teacups were then popped on top of some old books with a lazer cut table number and small jars with candles in.

I spent many a lunch time designing the table numbers, table names, table plan, menus, wedding invites, order of service etc ….. I also made good use of the Lazer machine I have at work whilst consuming a large number of chocolate pots for the candle holders. Dieting before the wedding wasn’’t an option…. Yikes!

A Day Of Entertaining

At the church we decided to hire Cornerstone Gospel Choir to raise the rafters and get everyone dancing down the aisles. I was really conscious of walking down the isle to the wedding march and both myself and Frank feeling very nervous so Cornerstone suggested “going to the chapel of love” by the Dixie cups which was the best. When the music came on everyone was smiling :0)

During the wedding breakfast (which consisted of the best burger in London!) I made the kiddies little goody bags to keep them entertained stuffing them full of toys and colouring in books.

After everyone had finished munching Joanna our photographer set up a Photobooth which was to the joy of our friends and family and not forgetting the wee nippers who loved it too.

For our evening entertainment we hired a lady called Kate Westall who sang our first song beautifully for us and a fabulous array from Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder to Jill Scott. She definitely got the crowd going and even the locals in the pub were up and dancing with us!

A Significant Reminder

Our first dance was Take That, Rule the World. The reasoning behind this was I love the film Stardust and unfortunately had made Frank watch it a billion times when we first started dating. Ever since then when ever we hear Rule The World it reminds us both of each other…. Although I’m still looking for the DVD he hid from me many moons ago!

Mini Bunting

I had already made the cake toppers before we had even decided on what cake to get. My dad got on the blower and asked if he could help us on the list of things to do. It was fabulous as we just wanted an iced white fruit cake so I could pop the cake toppers on top and the little bunting…. Loved it!

Retro Favours

We wanted the favours to be vintage with something from our childhood. Looking into vintage toys we came across Magic fish (!) and we just love mini eggs too…. The combination was a wee bit odd but we loved it and hopefully it took our guest back to the good old days!

The Prettiest Public House

The venue itself needed no real decoration its simple stunning down to its chesterfields, old painting and posters and cosy corners. We reserved the outside bit which was covered (just in case the rain wanted to join in on the party) it has wonderful chandeliers hanging down over the tables so seeing that, we though that little tea cups sitting on stacked old books with some pretty lazer cut butterflies and birds would do the job nicely.

Natalie who runs the Marlborough pub and her team did a awesome job putting our wedding decorations up and co-ordinating our day for us. I seriously don’t know what I would have done with out her.

Advice For Future Brides

We wrote a list of things to do in order of importance then we divided it between myself and the groom and stuck it on the fridge. ( crossing things off the list is very satisfying and stops the panic!)

I did a lot of D.I.Y for the wedding to save money. The invites, order of service table plan…etc…but please ask for help I don’t know what I would have done with out my family and friends.

During all the hustle and bustle of the day take 10 minutes out with your hubby to take your special day in.

If things go wrong it really isn’t the end of the world….Keep calm and carry on!

Lomography Love.

And to finish off, some dreamy lomo shots that Joanna took with her Diana F+. Perfect for Retro Week.

Browns Gown – Justin Alexander

Brides Accessories – Handmade and on Etsy

Maids Dress –Monsoon

Grooms Suit –A Suit That Fits’

Florist – Hot flowers

Gospel Choir –Cornerstone Gospel Choir

Fiat 500 – www.weddingclassiccars.co.uk

Venue – The Marlborough Pub

Photographer –Joanna Brown

You like?

And are you joining my gypsophila and lisianthus fan-club?

Don’t forget folks, cute cameras and brilliant books up for grabs from Lomography on every post this week so get love leaving.

Big THAT dress Love

Charlotte xxx