Kate and Kim, by their own admission spent much of the the time planning their country house inspired wedding in the pub. Frankly, if this beautiful big day is anything to go by then I heartily recommend that more couples spend any wedmin related time in the pub. Any excuse for gin eh? 😉
On a serious note, I take my hat off to any bride that encourages her maids to be A) mismatched and B) clad in a jumpsuit. I haven’t forgotten the boys either who look pretty snazzy in their contrasting tweeds.
Photographer on the day Matt Ethan has taken probably some of my favourite ever shots of the wedding toasts and first dance. You can feel the love and excitement and laughter in the room almost as if you were there with Kate and Kim and celebrating with them. Beautiful!
Traditionally, as the rhyme goes, a bride should include ‘something blue’ as part of her wedding attire. Not so for Zoe who married her beau Mike at the Andaz Hotel in London last year. Instead the colour red holds special significance for the pair – a nod to their early dating days – and it was this hue that they included in select areas of their wedding decor including Zoe’s exquisite pair of Louboutins.
I know! I’m positively green with envy right now.
I’m also seriously lusting after Zoe and Mike’s cake extravaganza which they lovingly scattered along the centrepiece in the 1901 restaurant for their guests to dine upon. Check out the chocolate cake….!
Lastly serious legend points go to Zoe’s dad for styling Zoe’s hair on her big day. I love the fact that the pair of them spent some treasured moments together on the morning of the big day. Don’t you think Zoe’s hair looks absolutely blinking sublime…
Joanna and Dave we married over the Easter weekend earlier this year. Dave is from Southend on Sea and Joanna is from New Zealand and they both now live in London. Their ceremony was at the beautiful 1920s building that is Islington Town Hall. The guests were then whisked away to a reception at The Londesborough in Stoke Newington in a classic Routemaster bus.
Aparently there was a substantial amount of New Zealand bubbly on board to get everyone in the party spirit.
My dress came from the lovely ladies at Morgan Davies in Islington. It was important to me to have a dress by a British designer and I was delighted when I found ‘Heaven’ by Blue Bridal. When I tried it on, the pure silk fabric felt so luxurious and it fitted perfectly. I’d wanted a 1950s style dress from the start and was pretty sure that I wanted a ‘tea length’ dress. Being on the shorter side I thought it might be an idea to show off a bit of ankle! It’s such a buzz to twirl a full skirt with petticoats!
One of the most special pieces of jewellery was a silver filigree bracelet belonging to my late mum. My dad brought it over from New Zealand for me and it was a great feeling knowing I had a part of her with me. I’d been on the lookout for earrings for months, so I was delighted when I saw a beautiful pair that matched my engagement ring in a shop in Courmeyer, Italy. A very surprising find while on a ski holiday!
Shoes in Twos
Accessories are my weakness… I couldn’t have just one pair of shoes! For the ceremony I wore a pair of ivory silk Filippa Scott peeptoes, which went perfectly with the dress. I love to dance, so later in the evening the party girl was unleashed and I slipped into a pair of gold glitter Kurt Geiger peeptoes. I can’t wait to wear them again at another party, they are made for disco!
Half Up Do
Jaydean Allen was super at suggesting styles and advising on what would work with my hair and for the bridesmaids. To show off the dress I wanted a half-up do and went for a bit of lift at the front, then loose wavy curls at the back. I often wear hair combs, it is almost my signature look, so I really wanted to add a comb to my do. After trawling lots of vintage shops, I found the perfect one with a vintage vibe at Glitzy Secrets. Our make-up was created by Jane Weston, who did a fantastic job making me look like I’d had a full eight hours sleep! Jane had great ideas about lipstick and colours and even met me at Bobbi Brown to help choose a lipstick colour. When I saw my bridesmaids all dressed and done up, it almost made me cry – not good for my own mascara!
The Flower Appreciation Society
Our flowers were a real mix, roses, rununcullas, tulips, clover and so many varieties I can’t name! I saw the work of The Flower Appreciation Society and loved their style from the start. Ellie and Anna add lots of foliage and have wonderful country garden look. I went a bit mad and even sent them a ‘mood board’ of ideas and colours, but I left the selection of the flowers to Ellie and she captured the look perfectly.
After a few false starts on the colour theme, I decided on a coral colour for the Bridesmaids. I didn’t want an identical look, so left the dress selection to the ladies. Our one stipulation was no strapless prom dresses! The search produced dresses from Oasis and Warehouse and the girls looked stunning. Their bouquets contained bright coral anemones which brought the colour to life.
If only shopping for a wedding dress was as easy! Dave and his best man Rob went out one Saturday and came back with suits from Ben Sherman. Dave thought since he wasn’t able to see my dress, that he would leave his suit as a surprise too. I couldn’t bear this and asked one of my Bridesmaids, Bryony to ‘inspect’ it. Luckily it passed the test and I am pleased to say Dave looked amazing and without any of my style input! Honestly, my heart skipped a beat when I saw him turn around as I walked into the ceremony.
The Story Of A Wedding
Our photographer was one of the first things we decided on. I’d seen Joanna Millington’s work and loved the way she captured details and people. Jo really tells the story of a wedding and when I look at my photos now I get transported right back. On the day, Jo just fitted in like one of my friends, lots of laughs and a real calming influence in some of the more anxious moments! Jo does more than just ‘shoot’ the day, she really concentrates on spotting little details that make up a bigger picture.
Our cake was truly jet set! My stepmother, Jillian made the amazing fruitcake bottom layer in New Zealand and brought it over the week before the wedding. Jillian even contacted Defra (the UK food agency) to get a permit to bring the cake into the UK in her hand luggage! That’s dedication we are so grateful for! The top layer was an amazing chocolate mud cake. Jillian iced it all here and we decorated it with fresh flowers to match the bouquets and two little porcelain birds that I made myself at my pottery studio.
Swedish Death Metal
DJ Neville the Devil was our DJ of choice. On our RSVPs we asked everyone to fill in: “the song that gets me on the dance floor is…..”. We compiled all the answers (minus some Swedish death metal requested as a joke) and gave them to Neville. This meant that everyone, including the older generation had funk, soul and 80s tunes to dance to. Luckily most of our guests had good taste! Neville is an interactive DJ and got involved on the dance floor. Everyone loved it and I didn’t stop dancing all evening!
We also had a photo-booth section with all the crazy costumes we had collected over the years – the results were hilarious!
Baby Let Me Take You
Dave is the music brains in our partnership. He told me many year ago that ‘Baby let me take you’ by the Detroit Emeralds would be his first dance song. When we were planning the wedding I reminded him of that and nothing else came close!
I’d always wanted a few handmade touches at my wedding, so I made lots of vases in my pottery studio that we used to decorate some of the side tables. At the end of the night I told all the ladies to take one home with the flowers inside.
The fantastic team at The Londesborough did the hard part of putting up the 25 white pom poms, 8 pink honeycomb ball and 20 meters of handmade doilies bunting. It looked amazing and really transformed the venue into a celebration.
One part of the day I will always treasure is the special moments I shared with my Dad on the way to the ceremony. In the lead up to the wedding lots of people said “remember it is your day”, but it wasn’t until that moment in the car with my Dad that I really embraced that feeling.
We put lots of effort into heartfelt handmade touches, from the invitations, to the decoration, but it wouldn’t have been half as successful without the help of friends and family. I will be eternally grateful to my brother who repeatedly burnt his fingers while ironing doilies bunting!
Dave’s impromptu serenade to the Kool & the Gang song “Joanna” has to be up there with priceless memories!
A Final Thought
It’s an empowering feeling expressing your love in front of family and friends, so make it as personal as possible.
Don’t buy into other people’s expectations, stay true to your vision.
I love the fact that Stepmum Jill phoned up DEFRA to make sure she could get a wedding cake through customs… That has to be one of the most random stories to ever grace these polka dotted pages!
I really do dig the chilled and relaxed feel to this cool big city celebration… but I also love those little bits of fun and excitement. The celebratory spin in the hallway of Islington Town Hall is priceless and the couple shoots on the adventure playground can not fail to bring a smile to your face.
Thanks to Joanna and Dave for sharing their big day with us.
Italian bride and groom Dan and Elisa’s London big day fills me with joy. And it’s not just because they are clearly completely in love ( check out the adoring “looking into each others eyes” image. Perfection)…. it’s because you can tell that everything they have incorporated into their wedding really represents them as a couple.
Oh and the Groucho Club in Soho where they held their reception?
Sexy, sexy, SEXY people.
We chose seasonal blooms for our autumn wedding. Amelia and circus roses, gerberas, dianthus, mango calla lilies, Chinese lanterns and celosias.
I wanted my flowers to be lively and vibrant and I have to thank Sandra at Angel Flowers for bringing my vision to life. We decided to use a whirly lollipops and colourful ribbons to tie the theme together.
Telling The Story
Our photographer was Samantha Capitano. We had seen some of her work on her website and loved her style, plus the fact that she works both in Italy and here in UK suited us perfectly.
When we eventually met in person and saw her full portfolio we were blown away by the quality of the images and the albums she produces. One thing we especially love about the photos that Samantha took is the way she sets up shots of the dress or the cake or all the other many things that are around on the day and which you are so happy to see again later in a photo – it’s like she has captured all the beautiful parts of the surroundings and put them down as a story-book memory for us to share.
On a personal level we had always felt very comfortable with Samantha, and likewise our guests found it easy to relax and engage with her.
Having already been part of plenty of weddings she knew how to help us keep a good flow to the day, and that was where her experience and professionalism were really invaluable, to be able to rely on someone to subtly coordinate the movement of the day took away some of the Wedding-day stress for us (and every little bit helped a lot!)
The Coolest Cake Topper EVER
We went for a tower of cupcakes from Crumbs & Doilies. On the top tier cake we put a custom made cake topper I ordered from Etsy.
We had a gospel singer for the ceremony and a swing-jazz quartet for the reception. As we got married at 11am and the reception took place over lunchtime, we wanted our entertainment to reflect the relaxed, laid back atmosphere of a weekend afternoon.
We had perfumed candles and sugar almonds bags as favours. We placed them on the tables as place holders. The added a beautiful and colourful touch to our table decorations!
I made most of the table decorations myself. Our 9 tables were named after colours so each table had a different appeal matching the colour that gave its name to it.
I also bought table crystals from eBay to add some sparkles.
Loving Every Moment
Our wedding day was so special because it really reflected our style. We loved every single moment of it. We had a lot of fun and it was amazing to see all our friends and families gathered together to celebrate!!
I am actually pining for the Big Smoke, must make a trip in the New Year 🙂
That’s what I said to myself when Dan and Elisa’s uber cool London wedding dropped into my inbox, so impressed was I by the vibrant colour palette, fabulous fashion and unique styling. And you’ve got to hand it to a bride that can quickly transform her gown from day to night by the simple addition of pretty pearl belt detail and a second pair of amazing shoes.
Elbie Van Eeden did my hair and make up. I wanted to wear my hair up in a simple but stylish up-do. At the end we went for a bow at the back on my head made with my own hair! It looked fantastic.
I am a shoe maniac so I wanted to wear at least 2 different pair of shoes – one for the ceremony and the other for the reception.
The first pair was a simple ivory one I bought from All Saints, which I personalized with some shoe clips I had made done especially for me on Etsy. The lollipop shoe clips matched my groom’s and the groom men’s buttonholes and fit perfectly with the whole lollipop theme.
The Finishing Touches
I wore a multi layered tulle veil during the church ceremony and some pearl and diamonds earrings I got from my mother-in-law to complete my look.
My dress was from Morgan Davies London, from their own collection. It was a 50s style tea length ivory dress that we combined with a lace bolero and a bow belt from Novia D’Art.
I tried only a few dresses before finding ‘the one’. After the first fitting I immediately realized that big dresses with trails were not my thing. I wanted something I could move comfortably in, dance and party all day and night.
I love the feminine, elegant look of my full skirt dress. And the vintage touch matched perfectly with the theme I was about to create.
The shoes I wore for the reception were from Kurt Geiger. A beautiful pair of black and white striped heels completed by a big satin black bow on the top. To complement the shoes I also changed belt for the reception going for a black flowers and pearls little piece I got from Blue Sugar Bridal on Etsy.
Last Minute Maids
I didn’t have bridesmaids but my friends turned up all dressed in 50’s style to match my dress. Seeing them all dressed up in their petticoats was one of the best part of the day!!
A Taste Of Italy
Dan wore a royal blue suit from Richard James at Savile Row. He coupled that with a white Dolce & Gabbana fitted shirt, a bleu skinny tie and shoes from Canali, in perfect Italian tradition!
Oh My Goodness. I am in love with that hair do…..
And just wait ’till you see the reception details, one of the sexiest venue’s we’ve seen on Rock My Wedding folks.