Laura Mercier

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Love In The School Yard.

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.

All the gorgeous images below come courtesy of our Love Lust List supplier Weddings Vintage.

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!

Naughty Bridesmaids

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.

Floral Jacquard

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.

Gold Foulard

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.

Moodboard Focus

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.

Top Tips

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!

Venue – Charterhouse School

Dress – Jane Bourvis

Shoes – Rainbow

Bridesmaid Dresses – Jigsaw

Bridesmaid Shoes – Dune

Flowergirl Shoes – Monsoon

Hair – Harrington’s

Make up – Laura Mercier

Flowers – Longacres Nursery

Photographer – Weddings Vintage

Cake – Marks and Spencer

Band – Blue Suede Shoes

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?

I’ve got my eye on that jam…

All my love Lolly xxx

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A Winter Warmer.

I do love a winter wedding.

Matt and Laura married on 29th December 2011 at Rudding Park, Harrogate, so we are only a few days after Christmas. Just as Laura specified that her dress should be ‘Christmassy without too much Christmas’ I think the same could be said for their wedding.

It would be tempting to go with a traditional seasonal colour scheme of green and red but here we have vintage pinks and cream and just a touch of purple to remind us that we are in late late December.

And it really works.

Photography today is by the delightfully delicious Anna Hardy.

Christmassy Without Too Much Christmas

I’m not your typical girly girl and, I must admit, the thought of having to find the ‘perfect dress’ was a little bit daunting. I tried on quite a few different dresses, visiting a few different shops with both my Mum and my bridesmaids. I eventually found Louella Bride in Leeds who stock so many gorgeous dresses (I can’t recommend this shop and its staff highly enough – they were fantastic throughout). I was beginning to think I really wasn’t going to find a dress I loved until I tried on ‘Brigham’ from Blue by Enzoani – it was the train of the dress that really sold it to me and the delicate detailing on both the front and back. I think my brief when asked what I was looking for in a dress was ‘Christmassy without too much Christmas’ – If I’m 100% honest, there were dresses that I saw and adored even after picking this one, but there was something about this dress that, when I tried it on, it just felt perfect and, most importantly, I knew Mr B would approve!

Perfect Pearls

I really wanted my wedding jewellery to have sentimental value and so didn’t want to buy anything new. Fortunately, for my 21st birthday, I was given a single pearl necklace by two of my best friends and a pair of pearl and diamond earrings from my parents which were perfect! Mr B’s lovely Nanna also very kindly lent me a pearl bracelet that had previously belonged to her Mum (my something borrowed).

On the morning of the wedding, my Dad also surprised me with the most gorgeous gold diamond bracelet! With regard to hair accessories, I tried on one veil and it just didn’t feel right, so I opted instead to go with some very small and simple pearl clips from Accessorize – I knew if I didn’t feel like me I just wouldn’t be comfortable – it is so easy to get wound up in the world of wedding accessories but sometimes less is definitely more.

Wellies And Flip Flops

First stop in the shoe department for me was wellies! I knew the weather in December wasn’t destined to be cracking and that didn’t bother me, so long as I knew I was prepared. I bought some fancy pants wellies from Ted Baker which I wore whilst we did all of our outside pictures. As for heels, I had my heart set on buying some fancy designer ones, but instead ended up buying some gorgeous simple gold ones with a cute little bow at the front from Coast (and with 20% off, bonus!) and thank goodness they were so cheap and not designer!

After walking down the aisle that was the last I wore those shoes as I had also bought a cute little pair of Kurt Geiger flip flops (the jelly type with the bow on) for dancing in later and had a sudden revelation to scrap the heels and go in early with the flip flops! Best decision ever – comfort is key for me and happy feet was a must!

Natural, Flawless And Radiant

I’m really not big into make-up, I think if anything, it scares me a little as I really don’t know how to put it all on properly! I’m just a bronzer/blusher/mascara girl for daytime/nights out but thought I best get myself a bit more spruced up for the big day. I have a very lovely friend, Regan, who is a fab beauty/make-up artist who happily agreed to help me out and, after a trial at Laura Mercier in Harvey Nichols to test out all of their different products (and my bank account taking a serious hit) I was all set. Regan did an amazing job, it was very natural and I felt like me but much more flawless and radiant!

We had a few wedding hair trials before the big day from Kaylee, a lovely lady found by my bridesmaid, but it was left very much until the morning of the wedding to finally decide how we were all going to have our hair. I was set on a half up style from the beginning as I didn’t want to look too different from my normal self and after a few attempts it looked exactly as I had wanted. She also made my bridesmaids/flower girls look so beautiful!

Vintage Style

Luckily, we had a connection to a very lovely lady named Annie from Rosa Rugosa – she was fantastic right from the start. We knew very little about any type of flowers but knew that we wanted a purple/cream vintage style with not very much ‘greenery’. Annie did an amazing job; my favourite flower (and the only flower name I learned) was the amnesia rose. I was blown away at just how perfect she had gotten it with such a small brief!

Our centre pieces were vintage birdcages filled with similar flowers and fairy lights – the credit here goes to Mr B as he really pushed for these and they looked great on the tables, especially in the evening!

Polka Dots

For our Groomsmen we asked them to buy their own grey suit to wear on the big day, we wanted to them all to look similar, but comfortable, and wearing something they would wear again, but we did supply them with a black & white polka dot tie!

As for bridesmaids, we visited Cottage Bridal in Ossett, who hold a range of Dessy dresses. I was keen on them getting something that they wanted, I didn’t want to influence them too much in what they had to wear as I really wanted it to be a joint decision between us all so I knew my girls were happy. It was when my Bridesmaid Sophie came out of the changing room wearing the floor length Grecian style Palomino dress that I knew we were on to a winner – she looked stunning (!!!). I fell in love and they were ordered. They fitted in with our purple/cream/vintage colour theme perfectly and the flowers added such a gorgeous hint of colour when they were walking down the aisle.


Matt’s a teacher and wears suits every day, so he wanted something a bit different, but he’s really not into top hat and tails. He ended up having a bespoke suit made from A Suit that Fits. It was three piece, and although it had to go back and forth a few too many times, when I saw him as I walked down the aisle he looked brilliant…so handsome! His shoes (brown brogues from Ted Baker) were fab! I thought I was pretty calm and relaxed on the morning of the wedding but as soon as I saw him I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders – I was so incredibly happy that this moment had finally arrived!

Relaxed And Calm

Our photographer was Anna Hardy. This was one of the most important details for us as we LOVE pictures, especially anything that’s a bit quirky. As soon as I saw her pictures on another RMW wedding I just knew that she would be perfect for us. We were looking for a vintage(y)/documentary style of photography and she was exactly that. We arranged to meet in Manchester and knew instantly that she was the one! She was so incredibly fantastic throughout the whole process, she made us feel very relaxed and calm and as if she wasn’t even there. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the photographs are – she catches the most brilliant moments.

Random Cake

We really weren’t too bothered about a cake. I was pretty keen on just buying a shed load of Krispy Kreme donuts and turning them into a wedding cake style masterpiece but Mother wasn’t so in love with that idea. So, after Googling ‘random wedding cakes’ we found an idea that took our fancy… a Smartie/M&M cake! The ordering was then left in the very capable hands of my Mum and Dad – so much so that we didn’t actually see our wedding cake in person until the day of the wedding – it was a-mazing (!!) and very ‘us’. It’s a shame that the Husband and I didn’t manage even a sniff of it… not even a sneaky Smartie, it was the most expensive pudding we have never eaten!

Mad Dogs

I became a bit of a ‘Googler’ of all things wedding almost as soon as we got engaged and it was on one of these occasions that I stumbled across Mad Dog & the Sophisticats. A swing/jazz band filled to the brim with character! They were, without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute highlight of our wedding day (aside from marrying my gorgeous man, of course!).

They absolutely excelled themselves and even got everybody up during our wedding breakfast to sing/dance along to ‘The Music Man’ – seeing everybody up and playing their imaginary trombones in their glad rags will be a memory that I will treasure forever – it was at this point that I think myself and Mr B caught a glance at each other and realised just how lucky we were to have each other, our amazing families and our wonderful friends altogether in one room sharing this day that we had been planning for almost two years.

For our evening reception, we had a friends band ‘Versonic’ who were absolutely fantastic and catered for all eras – from start to finish they had everyone up dancing!

Another huge highlight was Mr B donning his acoustic guitar to serenade us with his classic – ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre, and many others. He’s a true romantic and had also been secretly practising ‘Lady in Red’ with the band, which was amazing – he was in his element (I think he had mistaken the venue for the O2 arena for approx. 3 minutes!) I was love struck all over again!

Use Somebody

Our first dance was sung by our very lovely friend Rebecca Taylor (a member of the amazing band – Slow Club). We had been ‘umming and ahhing’ over what song really represented us, and there were a few, but we opted for a cover of Kings of Leon – Use Somebody. They are my all-time favourite band and we both thought it was the perfect song to dance our way into married life.

Good Clean Fun

After contemplating a few ideas and not wanting to spend a fortune, RMW came to the rescue with a step by step guide of how to make your own soaps. I had a few trial runs – rose scented (not for me!), then cherry (much nicer!) and turned the kitchen into a mini laboratory a few weeks before the wedding. They were so easy and straightforward to make and the whole house smelt amaze for weeks. For men’s favours we decided on miniature hip flasks filled with a little tipple. Both the soaps and the hip flasks also doubled up as place names for the tables as we attached a luggage label and ribbon courtesy of my ever favourite Cath Kidston.

Hanging Hearts

With our wedding being so close after Christmas it meant that we had little to do in terms of decoration as they had a mahoosive Christmas tree in the main reception area and fairy lights around all of the pillars and the stair case – it was magical, especially at night.

My Mum also very kindly made us loads of hanging hearts (about 100!) from lots of different materials and they were hung all around the venue and even acted as a keepsake for some of our guests!

In the Limelight

The photo booth we hired for our evening reception from Limelight was worth every penny. It went down a storm… especially when your guests are a little tiddly and slightly more adventurous!

We decided not to have a receiving line as we wanted the extra time for photos but with us having over 100 guests we wanted to make sure that we got a chance to see everybody. We made a plan to do our very best to see all of our lovely family and friends throughout the meal and it was the best thing we could have done, it meant that they were comfortably in their seats enjoying the vino and we were able to pop from table to table having a giggle and sharing our favourite bits of the day so far.

Being married is, without a doubt, the most amazingly wonderful feeling ever – it was whilst tucking into the starter of our wedding breakfast that I distinctly remember looking around the room feeling an incredible sense of love and happiness… it’s not always about the little bits of pretty (although they do help!) – things went wrong, people dropped out last minute and I felt like I was always conscious of trying to make everybody happy… but when it comes down to it I could have walked down the aisle in my favourite pj’s and still had the time of my life! Enjoy the planning stages, don’t stress too much about the little things, it will all fall into place and if it doesn’t, well, people probably won’t even realise anyway…!!

Photography – Anna Hardy

Dress – Blue by Enzoani

Boutique – Louella Bride

Shoes – Coast

Wellies – Ted Baker

Make-up – Laura Mercier

Entertainment – Mad Dog & the Sophisticats

Photobooth – Limelight

Florist – Rosa Rugosa

A really relaxed and thouroughly warming winter tale.

I love the light pastel bridesmaid dresses, they really do sit well with the floral arrangements. In fact the colour scheme overall is spot on. The vintage touches work brilliantly and the homemade RMW inspired soap favours looked great (although I myself of course would much prefer one of the hip flasks that the guys got).

Thanks to Matt and Laura for sharing your big day with the RMW community


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Putting your Summer Face On.

Given the appalling weather it’s perhaps appropriate that I share my reasoning behind writing this post… I have been inspired lately.

It’s been a few things… firstly the Dolly shoot reminded me how much I love colour on my face after months of dallying with neutral eyes.

Secondly, the changing weather made me realise it was time to put a bit more colour back into my face. Hello sexy shimmer…

Thirdly, my nails have been naked and boring for all of a few weeks now and I’m crying out for a change. A brightly coloured, juicy looking, shiny type of change.

And lastly, I realised how dreadfully neglected my body is looking after unwrapping it from the winter woollies. Shocking is not the word.

So here is what I’ve been doing about it!

Nailing a Trend

Colour blocking is a godsend for me, in fact I’m pretty much loving all the fashion trends right now, but particularly the colour and it spilling over into nail colours for Spring/Summer. Every year we get the official ‘colour of the season’ for nails from the beauty oracle that is Chanel, and this year is no exception. It’s all about Mimosa.

Not only a delicious drink, this is one gorgeous shade of yellow. I had my nails painted yellow on my hen do so I have a particularly soft spot for it and this is no exception. Mimosa launches tomorrow at Chanel counters nationwide. Get yourselves down there immediately for a sniff of the action!

Of course, it’s not all about yellow, tropical nails are all in and if you fancied a budget solution how about hitting Topshop? Their make-up range also includes nail varnishes and this very reasonably priced yellow shade for £5! Even better, purchase a copy of this month Instyle Mag and you get a free shade of Nails Inc varnish specially created for the magazine. I bought the orange one and it’s been brightening up the view of my keyboard all week. I couldn’t resist including this blue shade too, also from TopShop if you wanted to replicate Gemma’s ‘Something Blue’.

Purple Peepers

Make-Up was a big focus of our Dolly shoot and much as I loved them all (erm, who would have chosen yellow for an eye shade before clocking Dolly Daydream?) it reminded me of one of my all time favourite shadows… as demonstrated by Dolly Rock.

I have very pale greeny-blue eyes and MAC’s Parfait Amour makes them intensely green so Dolly Rock had me hot footing it back to MAC to replace mine. I also rooted out my favourite green MAC shadow, Steamy, which looks fab with a tan and some chunky gold jewellery on holiday, and might (*oops*) have also purchased some MAC pigment in Violette. I am so set for summer 🙂

(Please note the colours above are really dull in comparison to the actual shades, do go and check them out if you fancy a splash of colour!)

Switching for Summer

Coming into spring my skin was starting to get a little lack lustre. Although I often see highlighters used in magazines I never seem to get any effect from them under other products, so I decided to switch my usual Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser for her Illuminating tinted moisturiser. You could use it mixed with your usual one but I have been known to use it all over without looking like a pearlescent alien, it really brightens up your face like no other.

I’ve also found a new favouite mascara. In blackest Black, Cliniques new High Impact Mascara legthens, separates and thickens lashes. I’m currently using a sample Charlotte gave me when we were away together but I’ll definately be replacing it when it’s run out. Lastly, I’ve switched back to my favourite peachy-gold toned blusher for a more natural summery glow, Orgasm by Nars. Ooh la la!

The Body Beautiful

Really, my body is far from beautiful right now, but my biggest problem is those much talked about little bumps on the tops of your arms. I was horrified to find them lurking after months of no sun and exfoliating conveniently slipping to the bottom of the to-do list as many a blog post took over.

So now I’m on a mission. I’ve whipped out the usual suspects for buffing that backside (- read my favourites by clicking the link) and am full on preening myself back to smoothed out softness. My Mum has amazing skin and has always religiously exfoliated so I won’t be letting that habit go again in a hurry.

Blog Queen in Need

So now it’s your turn. If I’ve made you consider some of the above purchases do tell, but this blog queen is still in need of some serious beauty overhaul help. And where better to get it that by appealing to the RMW genius beauty community?

I Need to know…

What shade are you rocking on your nails today?

What’s your favourite bronzer?

After suffering an almightly hair fail at the hands of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, (lank and flat locks my punishment for laziness!) I’m thinking it’s time to treat them again… I used to love Kerastase shampoo but I fancy a change. Any smell-great but actually do the job choices from you lovelies?

And lastly. The biggest question. Can anyone help me make my hair beach wavy for summer?!

Yours (Wishing for shorter, cooler, mermaid waves) Truly,