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Natalie Bartram

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I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.

Diana and Omar got married in August just around the corner from me at St Mary’s Church in Bearwood in Birmingham. They had a Reception at Moxhull Hall in Wishaw.

It’s always nice to a wedding that took place on your home turf – Diana chose some fabulous local suppliers to help make her wedding run like clockwork, so if you are a midlands bride-to-be in the throws of planning then this feature may be exactly what you are looking for. We can particularly recommend The Bridal Rooms Broadway, Chloe McCall makeup and the legendary Passion for Flowers who are all members of our Love Lust List in the West Midlands area.

Photography today is by Daffodil Waves.

Second Time Lucky

I did eventually find my dress after making a mistake and buying firstly a dress I wasn’t 100% happy with.  I eventually sold that dress and was really happy that I did.
 
Then I found my Dress which was Demetrios it cost £2000 it was from The Bridal Rooms in Broadway in the Cotswolds. 

 
I had originally wanted a lace fishtail wedding dress but had not found one that I really liked and then found The Bridal Rooms Broadway online.  They had lots of pretty lace vintage style dresses.  Goiing to the shop was a really special experience, it is in a beautiful village in the Cotswolds and Emma (the owner) shuts the shop and lets you try on as many dresses as you would like.  She was absolutely lovely to me and completely understood that I was worried after already having bought one wrong dress previously.


 
When I first tried on my dress and came out of the changing rooms we all gasped.  It was a vintage gold colour lace with a layer of sequins underneath which gave it a very shimery subtle sparkle.  It was embrodered with tiny pearls.  My only worry was the neckline was v-shaped and a little bit low but Emma Said I could have a lace panel put in.  I also asked for buttons to be added up the back as I love buttons.
 
I also had my veil from The Bridal Rooms Broadway – Emma has lots of different veils from English designers and mine was Richard Designs it was a very subtle gold/cream colour hand made with a thin lace edge that alsmost looked liked tiny daisys.  It was very pretty and was cathedral length stopping just before the edge of my train.  I had always wanted a long veil after seeing a picture of my mum in a long veil when she married my dad.

Soft Dusky Pinks

One of the first things I bought for my wedding was my head dress.  I went to Modern Bride show in London and I met Gillian Million of Million Design.

Gillian has a shop in Teddington and makes gorgeous bespoke hand made headresses.  I tried on the vintage Lepley and fell in love with it. It is a stunning headdress that lies flat to the head and replciates gypsopholia in the hair. It is incredibly intricate and made of tiny seed pearls. I told gillian I loved the soft dusky pinks, so for my headress she used cream and pink freshwater pearls laced with lots of tiny swarvoski crystals so that it sparkled. It was £450 but I think it was worth it as it was an original piece and so classic I will keep it forever. Once I had my headress I took it with me when I went to choose my dress to make sure it would match and it really influenced what dress I went for.
 
I also had a bracelet earrings and necklace from Chez Bec which my mum and husband bought for me as my wedding presents.

Something Different

I love shoes and wanted something different from the classic wedding shoe which I dont really like.  I saw Rachel Simpson shoes at Vintage Chic Wedding show – All of her shoes are quirky with a vintage twist.  They are also beutifully made and comfortable too.  I had Mimi which where in a cream colour satin with a gold T Bar they have a 4 inch heel so not too high.

Light And Natural

I booked Natalie Bartram to do my hair. She has won lots of awards in the Midlands for Bridal hair and she is really friendly and bubbly and amazing at her job.
 
for my hair I wanted a vintage style up do and found lots of pictures Taylor Swift with the type of style I wanted. I showed the pics to Nat on my trial and she recreated it but with a few changes and it was exactly what I wanted.  She curled all my hair through and then pinned it to the side.  It stayed in place all day.
 
 I had booked someone originnaly to do my makeup who I did not like – she wasnt very friendly or helpful so I asked Nat and She reccomended Chloe McCall to me. Chloe had won Midlands best Bridal makeup last year, she uses arirbrush to apply your foundation and it gives a lovely effect that is not heavy or sticky and lasts all day. this was good for me as I have quite oily skin and don’t usually wear a lot of foundation.  I wanted my eyes to stand out with a vintage look but nothing too heavy or unnatural looking.  I really loved the end look.  She also did my Mum and my sisters make up and they both looked fab.
 
Both Chloe and Nat were amazing on the morning of the wedding they kept me calm and just helped things to go smoothly.

Pink and Cream

I absolutely love flowers – to me it’s not a wedding without lots of pretty flowers and the colours I wanted were soft pinks and dusky pinks and creams.
 
I saw Passion for Flowers also at the Vintage Chic Wedding show and loved their work.  They are so different to other florists I have seen they use lots vintage pieces to display the flowers and no wedding looks the same. They help you not just with your flowers and table centres but the whole venue styling too.
 
Karen from Passion for Flowers spent lots of time with me discussing what look I wanted.  She used roses and hydrangeas heads and gypsophilia in china teapots, teacups and old fashioned perfume bottles to decorate the room. For the centre pieces we had wide footed vases filled with pearls and roses and hydrangea heads and also tall candelabras decorated with roses and hydrangeas – it looked very glamorous.  I had lace table cloths on each table and a scattering of dusky pink rose petals and pearls. Each table had lots of tiny tea lights too.

 
 
I collected some of my own china, some of which my great auntie kindly gave to me from her china cabinet, where they had been gathering dust. It was really nice to have something of my aunties at the wedding as she really wanted to come but she has been quite poorly lately.  Karen from Passion for Flowers used some of them to display flowers in on the top table and the cake table. The teacups and saucers and side plates we used on the top table for the guests to eat and drink from.
 
I also bought MR and MRS wooden blocks which I had painted in Farrow and Ball blue and dusky pink from an ebay shop called My Scruffy Dog. Karen put these on the top table.
 
The way the room was decorated was stunning I was so happy that Karen brought all of my ideas together.


 
For my bouquet I had beautiful avalanche roses and with a deeper dusky pink rose and atsrantia and trailing whites scented flowers.  It was hand tied with lace. I loved my bouquet, after the wedding my mum took it to my granddads grave. The bridesmaids had hand tied bouquets of Hydrangea heads and astrantia and my flower girl had a pommodore of gypsophila.  I didn’t want the flowers to be all exactly the same as I think it looks really pretty to have a contrast.
 
The groom had a dusky pink rose with a white spray rose and the groomsmen all had a single dusky pink rose.

Evening Tails

Omar wanted to wear black tie as he doesn’t like cravats and I thought that white tie evening tails would fit well with our smart vintage theme.  We hired the suits for the groomsmen and Omar from Moss Bros.  Omar wore a white dickie bow and the others wore black.  The dads  wore their own suits but bought a black dickie bow.  The guys looked really smart in their evening tails.

Straight Out Of Downton

Omar looked lovely in the evening tails and white tie he looked like he had stepped straight out of Downton! I bought him some silver cufflinks and had then initialled with our names and the date.  He bought his shoes from Jeff Banks.

We Had Fun

My photographer was Nicola from Daffodil Waves.  Nicola is a very talented lady with a very individual style.  We saw her pictures on a blog and both loved them straight away.  When I met her we got on like we had known each other for years.  Omar and I now definitely consider Nicola and her husband our friends.  On the day Nicola made me feel at ease and we had fun.  We were really happy with our pictures and we have had lots of compliments about them.

Cupcake Tower

Our cake was from Cotton and Crumbs. For our cake we went for a cupcake tower with a top two tier.  I wanted the cake to reflect our flowers and I sent Tracey from Cotton and Crumbs a picture of my type of bouquet and the type of colours I was having and it was created to match that.  the cupcakes all either had roses or edible pearls on top of them.  The top tier had cascading roses.  It was gorgeous and matched the room and flowers perfectly.
 
We kept one tier for ourselves lol!! it was Carrot cake.  The cupcakes were sponge either filled with lemon or raspberry jam… It was yummy!!

Perfect Harmony

For the church we had a 30 piece all male choir – The Kidderminster Male Choir.  I found them online as I really wanted a choir for the church as I think it adds to the atmosphere.  When I saw them they were all wearing red blazers and dickie bows and I knew they would be perfect.  They sounded ammazing too.  they sang before I arrived to entertain the guests and they sang the hymns and while we signed the register.
 
On the evening we had a great band called The Redfords who also sang our first dance for us.  I love a band as I think it gets everyone up and dancing.

A Fun First Dance

For our first dance we had I Just Can’t Stop Loving You by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. It was a really fun part of the day doing our first dance.  Its just a really nice song that says it all for us – I bought the song in as a framed vinyl for one of Omars wedding presents.

Decor Galore

We had bunting oustside the church.  I had name places made in the shape of luggage tags with a dusky pink rose lace pattern on and tiny pearls.  The table plan and guest book were of the same design and from Lilylou and You.
 
On the evening our photographer organised a photowall that was really fun and it got everyone chatting and having a laugh together.

A Final Thought

Don’t try to overmatch things. I think it looks so much nicer if there is an ecclectic mix.  Try and keep a little mood board of your ideas, I collected mine on pinterest.  Get good suppliers try and find out about people before booking them
 
Also, only invite the people you really want there – we felt our day was really fun as everyone who was there we really like and care about and it was mainly a young crowd – so try and keep a hold on your guest list if possible.

Venue – Moxhull Hall, Wishaw

Boutique – The Bridal Rooms Broadway

Dress –Demetrios

Headpiece – Gillian Million

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair – Natalie Bartram

Makeup – Chloe McCall

Flowers – Passion for Flowers

Photographer – Daffodil Waves

Cake – Cotton and Crumbs

Stationery – Lilylou and You

Choir – Kidderminster Male Choir

Band – The Redfords

I bet the 30 strong Kidderminster Male Choir lifted the roof off that church in Bearwood – such a nice idea, music really helps to create an atmoshphere and I bet there were quite a few tingly spines on that summers day in Brum.

Adam.

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A Candy Coloured Celebration.

Rebecca and Craig married in July 2012 at Alrewas Hayes, Staffordshire.

If anyone out there is planning a marquee wedding then there are some great styling tips and tricks in today’s post. Also, if you love mis-matched maids, BIG hair accessories and Jimmy Choo’s then read on…

Photography today is by Jo Hastings.

A Blank Canvas

I had a clear idea of what I wanted in my head, or should I say what I didn’t want! No patterned carpets and clashing curtains!!! I became obsessed! Equally I didn’t want a conference style room, the place where we held our ceremony needed to have plenty of character… Alrewas Hayes by far exceeded my expectations; it is a fabulous venue. The approach to the house is stunning, the grounds are gorgeous, the ceremony room is light and airy and very in keeping with the style of the venue, whilst the marquee provides a blank canvas to really make your mark on the place. I loved it!

One Hundred Dresses

My dress was by Madeline Gardner New York (MGNY 37001 Florentina). I tried on over a hundred dresses and literally travelled up and down the country (sensing a theme that I’m quite fussy!). I had actually ordered another dress but, although lovely, it was never really the one, then just after I paid the deposit saw a photo of my eventual dress on the front of a magazine in store. The hunt was then on to find the dress in a shop to try on! Despite all of the miles I clocked up I actually ended up tracking it down in a shop local to me. I loved it as it was so different from all of the other dresses I’d seen, a real statement dress!

Ivory Flower

The only hair accessory I wore was a large ivory flower on the side of my head to pick up the flower detail on my dress. I love veils but they did not really suit the neckline of my dress. Given the ruffles and flowers on the dress I didn’t feel it needed much in terms of accessories, so I just wore a pair of diamond studs (pressie from my lovely husband on the day!), a delicate bracelet, and a gorgeous diamond ring in the outline of a flower (wedding day pressie from my fab mom and dad!).

Sparkly PeepToe

I wore Jimmy Choos!!!! A gorgeous pair of silver sparkly peep toe sling backs! I actually bought them before I got my dress, but I knew they would be perfect with whatever I chose! And they were actually comfortable! I lasted the whole day in my heels, but Craig had to change into his Converse after the photos!

I didn’t want to be too matchy matchy, so didn’t go for the coordinating Jimmy Choo bag. Instead I treated myself to a baby pink Lulu Guinness lips clutch, which went perfectly with the pastel theme (that was my excuse anyway!)

Pampered

My makeup was done by the lovely Jodie Hazelwood. At my trial Jodie picked up on the look I wanted straight away – her slogan is ‘you at your most beautiful’ – the makeup was exactly that and lasted all day!

It is my life’s ambition to have thick, wavy hair (mine is very fine and straight) and Natalie Bartram gave me just that! I didn’t want anything too ‘done’, but again it needed to be something that lasted. I was so pleased with the style!

Jodie and Natalie were both a pleasure to have around on the morning of the wedding and it was lovely being pampered!

Something Old

Our flowers were by WM Wheat and Son. I had a clear idea of what I wanted for mine and the bridesmaids’ bouquets, with roses in soft pastel colours in a ball shape. The idea was that the roses again picked up the flower detail in my dress. To bring in the aqua shades for the bridesmaids we wrapped aqua ribbon around the stems, whilst mine were wrapped in ivory and my grandma’s pearls as my ‘something old’. The table centerpieces were made up of roses and dahlias in pastel shades and, again, I wanted to go for a ball shape. There was a modern twist with the narrow, clear vases filled with dahlias in each of the colours. The marquee at Alrewas is amazing, a real blank canvas, so I wanted flowers which filled the space and made a real impact as soon as people walked in.

Candy Colours

I wanted to do something different in terms of colours, so rather than pick just one for the bridesmaids I decided to go for a mix of candy colours. I loved the one shoulder dresses by Veromia because they were very glam and not typically bridesmaid. The girls looked stunning and no one argued about which colour to be! I found the perfect dress for my beautiful flower girl in BHS, which with the addition of some lemon ribbon, linked all of the colours together.

The groomsmen wore light grey suits from River Island and were left to fight it out as to who got the pink tie! In the end, including the dads, we had 2 in each colour!

Rose Patterned Shirt

My husband(!) looked very hunky in his Ted Baker suit and rose patterned shirt! Craig wore a lemon tie (he refused pink), but I snuck in a bit of pink on the corsage. He wanted to coordinate with his groomsmen, but went for a suit in a slightly different shade of grey to stand out. Unlike me, this was the first suit Craig tried on and it was perfect!

Natural And Unobtrusive

Our photographer, Jo Hastings, was fab! I had originally seen Jo at the wedding fayre at the NEC in Birmingham and her stand really stood out. Jo’s work is fantastic, very natural and unobtrusive, but really capturing the feel of the day. Jo was actually the first and only photographer we met with; we knew right away we wanted her to do our wedding photos! The engagement shoot was great fun and really put us at ease and Jo was brilliant on the big day! When Jo sent me the link to our wedding photos I cried; the pictures were fantastic, capturing all of the details and really reliving the day!

Cake Buffet

Our cake (or should I say cake buffet!) was by Cotton and Crumbs. Again, we met Tracy at the wedding fayre and her display was fantastic. The colours and attention to detail are second to none and the cakes taste delicious too. Having a cake buffet allowed us to include lots of different flavours- sponge, fruit, white chocolate, carrot – so there was really something for everyone and the display looked amazing and was a real feature at the wedding!

A Perfect Day

We had a string quartet, Nero, for the ceremony and drinks reception, who were brilliant with a real extensive and varied repertoire. For the evening we had a dj (Stu Rhodes at www.thebestfun.co.uk) and I’m very pleased to report that the dance floor was never empty!

As a surprise for our guests we’d arranged a fireworks display and it was fantastic, a perfect finish to a perfect day!

Heaven

The night before the big day we emailed the dj a list of possible first dances! It was the one thing we just couldn’t agree on! In the end we opted for Craigs choice (no one can say I’m a bridezilla now!), which was Bryan Adam’s acoustic version of Heaven, followed by a last minute request from me for James Morrisson You Give Me Something.

Close To my Heart

We made donations to Cancer Research, a cause very close to my heart, instead of traditional favours. Each guest got a little card and tie pin to explain a donation had been made in celebration of our special day.

Beautiful And Classic

We didn’t really need any decoration in the room where we held the civil ceremony at Alrewas Hayes as it was so beautiful and classic. The marquee at Alrewas Hayes was transformed by the amazing Marianne of M-Style Creations. As I said before it was very much a blank canvas and also a huge space, so I wanted something to make a real impact. We explained the colour scheme to Marianne and she came up with fabulous draping and paper lantern installation, which tied in perfectly the shape of the flower arrangements. She also arranged coordinating drapes on the top table. It all complimented the stationery, cake table and colour coordinated sweetie table perfectly! It looked amazing!

A Fantastic Year

Savour every minute of the big day and celebrate every moment leading up to it! I had a fantastic year leading up to the wedding and had so many special occasions – every purchase and decision made was an excuse for a celebration! It is such a lovely thing to plan and something to share with your family (my mom should, without doubt, become a wedding planne r- she was brilliant!) and friends. Planning all the lovely details allows you to really put your stamp on things and make the day your own. All of the things I had stressed about were forgotten as soon as I got to the venue, I was just beaming as I walked down the aisle.

Venue – Alrewas Hayes

Dress – Madeline Gardner New York

Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Hair – Natalie Bartram

Makeup – Jodie Hazelwood

Flowers – WM Wheat and Son

Maids – Veromia

Photographer – Jo Hastings

Cake – Cotton and Crumbs

String quartet – Nero

I am glad to see that this wedding had (as all weddings should) a boisterous element of rough and tumble… I love that shot wear you can just see a pair of legs flailing around in the July sun. No doubt later on there was some swinging-around-by-the-ankles action on the dance floor too… Classic wedding capers 😉

I love the styling – the candy fashion is good enough to eat and above all Rebecca and Craig’s wedding looked like a whole lot of fun.

Adam.

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