It’s always a treat to share a wedding from M&J Photography, their style is distinctively beautiful, romantic and timeless. They always have the most stunning couples too, with dreamy destination weddings all over the world. Today’s sun drenched affair comes from the lavender fields of Provence, at the stunning Le Mas de la Rose – which is the epitome of rustic chicness. And yes, that is definitely a thing, and no one can do it quite like the French.
Kirsty and Niall actually spend most of the year sailing in the Caribbean as they work on a yacht as Captain and Chef, which sounds fabulous, but they are away from their families a lot. So their wedding was the perfect occasion to gather everyone together and have a holiday. It looks like lots of fun was had by everyone and all done with style too…come and see…
This morning’s wedding is a wedding of epic proportions and we absolutely love the colourful decor and happy vibes. Finding a venue that was going to satisfy both Lauren & Raj’s heritage was always going to be difficult – but they succeeded with the incredible Sezincote, a 200-year-old Mogul Indian palace set in the heart of the Cotswolds, which is still a family run estate. It’s a truly incredible venue with so many architectural details and gardens you could lose yourself in for days!
Lauren & Raj basically threw a massive party and the reception looks like amazing fun – everybody, from the youngest babies to the older grandparents is on the dance floor and there are huge smiles all round. It’s such a feel good wedding, these images from Laura & Tobiah will definitely make you smile too!
Something that was really important to me, being married away from home, was to make sure that my family, bridesmaids and I had a base that was a ‘home from home’. I was delighted to find Maidensworth Farm. It turned out to me a perfect bride’s HQ. It was also totally luxurious – much more so than my real home! – with a gorgeous farm kitchen, an incredible living room with a huge open fire, and dining room with a 20-seater table, and enough bedrooms (all en suit) and for my parents, sister, bridesmaids and me! The owners were also incredibly nice.
Say Yes To The Dress
My dress was a Stephanie Allin dress called ‘Lizzie’, which I got through the Windsor Bride. Denise, the owner of Windsor Bride is amazing and made the whole experience such a pleasure; she always went above and beyond.
I started my wedding dress search in New York but didn’t have that ‘say yes to the dress’ moment until I got home and found the Lizzie dress. I originally saw it online and when I tried it on I instantly fell in love with it and everyone cried when I put it on (which is of course the ultimate test!). The dress was perfect for a relaxed country wedding but it also had a glamorous, kind of Downton Abbey, feel to it.
Fresh Water Pearls
My sister bought me a beautiful pair of earrings for my 30th birthday with the wedding in mind. They were from a little boutique on the Belleville Road in Wandsworth Common, called Sienna. They were 1930s silver drop earrings with fresh water pearls. They were my something old and new. One of my Bridesmaids lent me an antique pearl bracelet which was my something borrowed.
My hair accessories made by Gillian Million. I was so pleased with them. I didn’t want a veil so I decided some hair jewelry would be a good alternative. Gillian designed two hair slides that were a mix of sparkle and vintage pearls that tied in perfectly with my dress and added some bling! I like the idea that maybe one day these beautiful clips could be ‘something old and borrowed’ for my niece or any future daughters or daughter’s in law I have.
I have big feet. This something that has always upset me! My fun day of shoe shopping in Selfridges started really badly as there were no shoes in a size 8 and the store assistants made me feel like the ultimate big foot. However, one of my bridesmaids suggested we try Browns Bridal. It was fantastic – they had loads of great options and in my size.
I fell in love with a very simple but elegant pair of ivory satin Louboutin pumps. I felt that the trauma I’d suffered earlier in the day justified the expense! They also had blue inner soles that completed the ‘old, new, borrowed, blue’ requirement!
Just the Two Of Us
My sister is very clever and she did my makeup – she was brilliant! It was also really nice to have some time on the wedding day where it was just the two of us.
To help us in our make-up quest we had a really fun afternoon with John Gustafson in Fenwicks on Bond Street. John suggested skincare products and makeup to suit me and helped me create the perfect wedding day look. The look we went for was: ‘me – but a more polished version’! It was so great to get advice from someone who really knows his stuff and who is totally impartial. John also showed us exactly how to apply the products and gave us a beautiful drawing/step-by-step guide showing us how to do it, in case we forgot later. He is also hilarious!
My hair was done by a family friend, Gillian Robson, who is a very talented and lovely hairdresser based outside of York. She also styled the bridesmaids and my Mum and my niece who was a flower girl. My niece, who is only little wasn’t going to have her hair done but she wanted her hair curled like everyone else – it was so cute!
I had an initial trial with Gillian a few months before the wedding. We played with different styles and decided that it looked best up with but with a loose and curled look (so not too formal). We then had a proper run through in the week of the wedding and Gillian styled my hair with the hair slides. This was important (and exciting) because I wanted to see how it would all look on the Big Day. It took a bit of fiddling about to get it right and you wouldn’t want to be doing that on the morning of the wedding. Gillian was amazing – she was with us all morning and even came to the Church with us to make sure we were still looking perfect for our entrance!
Fiona and her colleague, Miranda, are just brilliant. They are based in Dunnington, York and I found them through searching the internet. As soon as we met them we knew they were the girls for the job. We trusted them totally and after talking about what flowers we did (and didn’t) like and the look and feel we were going for we really just left it with them! I did take a scrap book along to our meeting with pictures of things I liked which made this all much easier.
Will had the idea that we could fill the marquee with cherry blossom. However, we decided that this couldn’t be done because it was reliant on blossom being in bloom on the wedding day, which was too risky. As it turned out we were able to use cherry blossom in the church, and I was thrilled. It looked so beautiful – it was simple but striking. The pew ends in the church also looked amazing – they were pompom shaped and a mix of blousy roses and hydrangeas and greenery.
My bouquet was exquisite. I didn’t want anything too big or formal. My bouquet, which was more like a posie, contained blousy roses in a mix of colours in the shades of my bridesmaids’ dresses and lavender for its lovely scent. It also contained lily of the valley, which was special to me as my Grandma, Mum and sister all had this in their wedding bouquets.
The bridesmaids bouquets were small posies of blousy roses, peonies etc. in similar colours to mine and their dresses – dusky pinks, lilacs, rose pinks and whites. My niece had a beautiful little flower pompom on a ribbon to carry.
In the marquee we continued with the colour themes of the bouquets but Fiona also introduced blues into the mix. We had flowers arranged in jugs on the tables and two large, beautiful hanging flower balls from the ceiling of the marquee. The colours of the flowers worked perfectly with the bunting and coloured tables cloths. We had a mix of pink, lilac, pale blue, grey and white table cloths to make the marquee feel less formal and look less stark. The grey cloths (Fiona’s idea) were essential as they stopped the whole think looking too saccharine. The look we wanted was country fete meets family wedding.
All of the boys had a simple white Yorkshire roses for their button holes. This was Will’s idea and it looked great. It was ‘less is more’ and all that.
Stunning And Fabulous
I wanted my bridesmaids to love their dresses and have something that suited each of them. I also wanted them to feel glamorous. We went back to the Windsor Bride and Denise was amazing again! After trying on lots of lovely dresses we fell in love with the Kelsey Rose dresses. It was perfect as there was a range of dresses that were the same fabric and style but each dress had a different neck line/cut. Very quickly the girls decided on which style they liked best. The dresses were stunning and so flattering.
As I had five bridesmaids I thought if the girls were all in the same colour it might be too much so I decided to go for a range of colours in the same pastel colour palette. So there was pale blue, sky blue, dusky pink, rosy pink and pale lavender. I have to admit we did agonise over the colour choices. It was really tricky to choose as we only had small fabric samples to work with. I am ashamed to admit that I even ordered a spare dress in a different pink as a backup… Crazy bride behavior I know! But the worrying was unnecessary as the colours worked perfectly, the girls looked utterly stunning and fabulous and they worked really well with each other and me too! Also, pastels were the hot look for spring 2012 so we were even on trend!
One of my bridesmaids was 8 months’ pregnant at the wedding so we had to consider which style would be best to accommodate the bump but the strapless style worked perfectly. We ordered a really big size that would give enough room for the bump and alterations. As my bridesmaid was too pregnant to be traipsing up and down to Windsor for alterations we needed someone in London to alter the dress. We were lucky to find Sylvia who does dress alterations just off Oxford Street (behind Liberty), her business is called Beau Monde. She was really reasonable and really good and does all sorts of alterations and dressmaking.
For the ushers we decided to keep it traditional. The ushers wore morning suits with pale grey waistcoats and Will bought them all a pale pink tie with pale blue polka dots for them to wear on the day and as a thank you. The suits were hired from a great local hire shop in Chelsea called Buckleigh of London. I’m afraid we wanted to avoid the giant that is Moss Bros. The hire shop was great: the suits were really good quality and we were able to pick them up and take them to Yorkshire on the Tuesday before the wedding which was a big help for us logistically.
Ah the handsome Groom! He bought a morning suit for the wedding. We have a lot more weddings coming up so it will hopefully prove to be a good investment. We went to Ede & Ravenscroft on Savile Row and they were great: good value, excellent quality with really knowledgeable and helpful staff. We had a lovely man assisting us and he had a great eye and suggested Will’s pale yellow waistcoat and turquoise tie which looked fabulous. He looked so very handsome! (The Groom that is, not the assistant!)
The First Decision
Amy Murrell from Especially Amy was brilliant! We love our wedding photos so much. The photographer was the first decision we made when we started planning and Amy was the first and only photographer we met! As soon as we met her we had to have her. Not only is she brilliant behind the lens – which I realised from looking at her website and blog entries on RMW, she is also such a nice and fun person and so relaxed and easy going. Having Amy photograph the wedding felt like having an old friend do the job. She perfectly captured all the happiness and fun of our day.
Aaron from Reel Weddings also videoed the day and he was great and equally charming. The video is so lovely and we are really pleased with it. There was a short highlights clip/trailor released before the main video. I loved it so much I must have watched it a hundred times! None of the guests realised they were being videoed because of the subtle equipment Aaron uses – everyone just thought he was another photographer and were much more relaxed around him and avoiding any awkward ‘on no I’m on candid camera’ moments.
Boozy Fruit cake
I am very lucky to have a super talented Auntie who is the best cake maker. She very kindly made our wedding cake – 4 tiers of delicious and boozy fruit cake. It was delicious! We still have 1 tier left that we are savouring. The cake was iced locally – we wanted something simple but pretty and that is exactly what we got.
We also had a second slightly alterative wedding cake to fit in with the farm/ country fete feel: a 4 tier pork pie cake complete with a farmer and his wife sat on top! It was brilliant! Everyone loved it so much that it ran out very early on in the drinks reception. We served it with a range of pickles and chutneys. This went perfectly with our canapés too: open smoked salmon sandwiches, quails eggs and celery salt and mini red onion and goats cheese tartlets. All of the food was delicious thanks to Cerutti’s of Hull who did the catering – I would highly recommend them. For the wedding breakfast we had a sit down meal of spring asparagus wrapped in Parma ham, Rack of Lamb and a flourless chocolate cake with fresh fruits for desert.
I think the search for a band was the toughest bit of wedding planning. We felt that the band was a key element to a great wedding as the band determines how the party goes. I didn’t feel comfortable picking a band by only looking on the Internet and listening them online – but I still I must have looked at loads! We discovered the most amazing band at my friend’s wedding – her dance floor was pumping all night and they were really nice guys and we booked them straight away. They are normally a 4-piece but we asked if it was possible to add some brass so they added a horn and a sax player. They are called the Funk City Wedding Band and if you are looking for a band look no further – they are AMAZING! They appealed to young and old and everyone danced all night.
When the band was taking a break we played songs from an iPod loaded with a playlist of our ultimate party tunes! I surveyed our best friends for their top 5 party tracks – after which it took a few days of going through iTunes and CDs to pull it all together. I did wonder if we needed a DJ but actually the iPod playlist worked perfectly.
Fun And Upbeat
Our first dance was to Queen’s ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. We wanted something fun and upbeat – a song to start the party! Will bought us dance lessons for Christmas so we went to Pineapple Dance Studios in London about 4 times to learn some moves with Monica. It was really good fun and she was a really good teacher – although I messed the dance up a bit on the night as my shoes kept getting my shoes caught in my dress! Be warned if you learn to dance with Monica she is brutally honest and on our first lesson I was told that I danced like a drunk.
A Crack Team
As the wedding reception was at home on the farm we did everything ourselves but with the help of a crack team!
Classic Marquees of York were amazing. The marquee was beautiful with huge windows which meant everyone could enjoy the views. We also had fairy lights in the ceiling of the main part of the marquee and a black star cloth ceiling over the dance floor which made the marquee look really magical. As the weather was not so kind to us the ‘wet/cold weather contingency plan’ was put into action and we had the drinks reception inside the marquee rather than in the garden. The marquee team put carpet over the dance floor and inserted clear panels into the side of the marquee so people could still admire Will’s mums beautiful garden!
The marquee company provided all of the table and chairs and disco lights and glitter balls. The marquee team even hung the beautiful bunting that my parents very kindly spent hours making!
Cerutti’s ordered all of the coloured table cloths and the girls and I spent Friday afternoon in the marquee deciding which tables should be what colour. We tied ribbon around all of the napkins and tied on the place names -these were luggage tags (ordered from Not On The High Street) that Will and I stamped the guests’ names onto. We also had tea lights on all of the tables and also lots of candles in the church. Candles make everything so pretty!
For the table plan I ordered a huge multi aperture frame from The White Company. In each window listed out each table. Our friend is very good with graphics and she designed the template for us to use. In the spare windows the girls had the genius idea if using the left over bunting fabric. The bridesmaids spent hours putting it together and making sure all the text lined up. I had thought doing it myself would be the hassle free option – particularly as it could be changes in the event of people dropping out – but it ended up being very time consuming. It did look great though and it now hangs in our Kitchen as a reminder of an amazing day!
For the table numbers I had seen some flags in a magazine designed by a company called Romeo + Jules. I tracked them down and ordered the flags in a pale pink. We were really pleased with them they were good quality, pretty and worked perfectly in the jugs with the flowers.
One thing that people really loved was our quirky loos! We used a company called, Classic Chambers. They had a retro cartoon theme (DC Comics for the boys and Roy Lichtenstein for the girls), glow in the dark men’s urinals and the ability to play DVDs. In the men’s loo we had ‘The Hangover’ on loop and in the ladies we played the music video that was made on my hen do! It was a brilliant Hen do with ‘Go Experience’. We all dressed up as pop princesses (I was Madonna in Like a Virgin/Bridal!) and mimed and danced around to Destiny’s Child’s Bootylicious. I think our version is much better than the original!
Exactly What We Wanted
The wedding for us was perfect. It was all exactly what we wanted. It was the happiest day and so much fun as we had all of our friends and family there to share it with us. The church service was beautiful: it was serious but still relaxed and romantic. The wedding reception was so much fun and the party was pretty wild… maybe the 12 bottles of Jaegermeister were a bad idea!
Will and I stayed relaxed and just enjoyed it – throughout the planning to the run up and on the day itself. We tried to avoid agonising over decisions. This was hard as we are both so indecisive! Our approach was that if we met a supplier and liked them we just booked them there and then. When I started thinking too long about things – such as the attributes of brilliant white versus high white for invitations I had a reality check! I generally tried not to get worked up about things – this is achievable if you keep really organised and have good people around you to help you. Although, I am sure I had a ‘Bridezilla’ moment or two – for which I am sorry!
I love the D.I.Y table plan, using a multiple aperature photo frame works really well… It’s an Idea that popped into my head a while back and I’ve been waiting to see if and when someone would go down that route. Top marks to Alex and Will for ingenuity!
Christine and Fadi Live in Beirut, Lebanon but decided to marry at Brighton Town Hall in the UK. After a wedding breakfast at the Grand Hotel they went dancing & drinking at the Three Graces pub in Hove.
Get ready for vintage inspired fashion, a Morris Minor complete with floral bumper detailing (amazing) and some seriously heart warming couples shots. All set against the beautiful architectural backdrop of London-By-The-Sea and documented by the awesome Lisa Devlin.
A Vintage Feel
I wore a Jenny Packham dress, since I live in Beirut, I only managed to travel to the UK for a week in January to plan everything and the only appointment I took for the dress was at the Jenny Packham boutique. If I had not found my dress there I would have been in trouble as I wouldn’t have had the time to look anywhere else with the time I had! But I somehow knew this is where I would find my perfect wedding dress. I wanted something with a vintage feel and not a traditional white wedding gown. Since it was a halterneck and I’m not normally a fan I wasn’t even going to try it on! But it was the first dress I tried on and immediately fell in love with it, it felt like going back in time…. I loved everything about it, the colour, vintage feel, sequin details…
Chilly On The Pier
The headband and feather cover up were also from Jenny Packham and just completed the look perfectly. After making my decision on the dress, the rest just fell into place as they were a natural addition to the look. Although at the time, I didn’t think it was necessary to get the feather jacket, it did come quite handy as it was freezing cold during the photo session at Brighton’s Palac Pier. Not only did it keep me extremely warm but it looked great too!
The shoes! I was actually given the same pair at Jenny Packham to try on with the dresses as I needed to have some sort of heels on while trying the dresses. They were 2 sizes too big and although they were a bright coral colour, they for some reason looked fab with the dress! I fell in love with the not-so-predictable combination and immediately asked where they were from. I rushed to the Louboutin store nearby and to my disappointment, this colour was not available in this style in all of their UK stores.
I still couldn’t get them off my mind and decided to call all Louboutin stores I could find on their website! Luckily it just took me two phonecalls and I had found the last pair in my size in a store outside the UK, which were shipped my way. I never thought I’d go through this much effort to complete my wedding outfit but I’m so glad I did as the shoes looked fab! And more importantly they’re shoes I will be able to wear with any other outfit, it was important for me to also be able to wear the different items of my wedding outfit long after the wedding.
My Hair was by Ollie at Headmasters in Brighton and my makeup was done by Katarina from Shu Uemura. I loved both my hair and makeup, Ollie and Katarina did a fabulous job!
The flowers were by Miss Mole’s Flower Emporium. The owner Barbara, brought our ideas to life. I really wanted coral peonies in my bridal bouquet and table centres it was a very close call as bright-coloured peonies are not always available beginning of April, but to my great surprise, Barbara turned up on the wedding morning with the perfect bouquet, exactly what I was looking for. It was fun colourful and absolutely beautiful.
The flower garland on the car was by Quince Florists in Brighton. They made the Molly Morris look even cooler with all the fushia and yellow blooms, I loved it and I think everyone in Brighton who saw the car loved it too as passers-by couldn’t stop taking pictures of it!
No Specific Theme
Fadi’s best man wore his own suit. There was no specific theme to the wedding but my bridesmaid and I definitely wanted to follow the vintage feel of my dress so she got a beautiful lilac dress from Lipsy which worked perfeclty with mine in terms of colour & look.
A Little Nervous
Fadi looked so handsome in his black suit and tie, when I entered the room with my dad, I looked at Fadi and saw that he almost had tears in his eyes it made me just want to hug him! But I stopped myself noting the seriousness of the room:) We were a little nervous at the beginning of the ceremony but it was such a sweet one, filled with laughter! The registrar made a few jokes that had everyone laugh, it was a fun and happy I Do moment!
Taken From A Movie
Lisa Devlin was our wedding photographer of choice, we’d seen images of previous weddings she’d shot and we fell in love with her style. She beautifully captured the day, every moment and emotion and it was such fun shooting with her! Looking back at the photos, some look like they were taken from a movie in the 20s or 30s and we just loved every single one of them!
For the video, we choose Mark W. Brown who shot in 8mm film, we also fell in love with his style of wedding videos, so creative, full of emotions and with such a vintage feel. We can’t wait to see ours!
Light And Delicious
The cake was from Patisserie Valerie. It was a light vanilla sponge with fresh cream and red berries filling, It was a light and delicious choice as we wanted people to still have some room left for the cake after lunch! And it also looked so nice and colourful.
At the wedding breakfast, we had our polaroid with us so people could take fun pictures of each other and include them on the guestbook next to their wishes. My wonderful bridesmaid also took some amazing photos with it! She went round making sure everyone had their photo taken and passed the custom-made guestbook which she had so lovingly worked-on and we now have the best memories of the day!
We then went out for drinks & dancing later that everning to the Three Graces pub in Hove, we were able to play our own music and played everything from Nigerian beats to oriental songs, Greek Zorba, Tango, Disco and more! Fadi’s best man worked on the music and picked every song that played that night, he truly was amazing and everyone had so much fun as we partied the night away until closing time! My wonderful bridesmaid had decorated the tables with glitters, poppers and fun props which made the night even more special! She even had a Mr & Mrs sign made for the venue!
We both can’t remember our first dance song! It was at the pub and I remember a jazzy tune playing and Fadi taking my hand and twirling me round. It’s when my bridesmaid shouted: “Picture! It’s your first dance!” That it hit me:) It was so spontaneous that neither of us can remember which song it was on!
We really wanted something unique for each guest, something uniquely British. After much thought, we set our heart on vintage teacups, we wanted each person to get their own unique teacup set. Hayley from Up (in Hove) took the monumental task of handpicking vintage sets (a teacup, saucer and cake plate for each guest) since I had to fly back to Beirut and wouldn’t have had the time to do it myself. Each set had its own unique charm, with different patterns, coming from a different decade, it was exactly what we had imagined and everyone loved them!
It was a very small wedding only attended by our immediate family and very few friends who traveled to attend our wedding. For us, the people who were there made it so special, we truly felt the love and had so much fun! We wanted something we could enjoy rather than stress over so it is important to find the right suppliers who understand your style and taste as this will make things so much easier and leave you time to focus on the little details. And most importantly, choose your bridesmaids right!
My bridesmaid who is my cousin and like a sister to me took a lot of the stress herself on the day, she was a phenomenal help, she made sure everything was running smoothly on the day and evening, making sure I didn’t have to worry about anything at all, she was absolutely amazing and I don’t think I would have been able to do it without her!
Right. I want to go to Brighton please… In loads of gear and I want some candy floss on the pier too. Oh, and can I go there is a classic car please with the roof down with flowers flying out all over the place and a crazy videographer hanging out the back?
Christine and Fadi look like they had so much fun. I think the phrase I’m looking for is “well jel”. And what an intricate and unique decision to source individual teacup sets as favours for each of their guests.