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!
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!).
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!)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.