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Papa Kata Teepees

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Forever Starts Here.

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s wedding combines many, many things that I love…the beautiful East Yorkshire countryside, an outdoor ceremony, Temperley, floral crowns, oversized candles, silver votives…seriously it’s stunning.

The grey ‘altar’ you see in images was a project undertaken by the couples family and it looks truly awesome. It’s amazing what you can create with some Pinterest inspiration, a piece of wood and a paint brush!

Also, if you’re worrying about occupying lots of little ones at your wedding, have a look at Emma and Andrew’s ideas – they filled one of the teepees with fancy dress costumes, games and DVDs and gave each child a picnic style hamper filled with treats. It’s a long day for grown ups sometimes, let alone the kids and you can see from the images how much fun they had!

I love that Emma choose to have two hairstyles as well. Any excuse to increase the amount of accessories is fine by me.

Emma totally rocks a floral crown and veil with her hair long and wavy…then pins it up for the evening and adds a very pretty headpiece.

Elegant Papakata Teepee Wedding In Yorkshire 8

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The Heart Asks Pleasure First.

A Black Tie Luxury Wedding In Yorkshire With A Justin Alexander Dress A Bespoke Halo & Co Pale Gold Veil And A Rose And Pink Jasmine Bouquet Photographed By John Day.

Jodie and Donnie’s super luxe black tie affair in Yorkshire is the perfect soiree on which to end my real wedding adventures of 2013; yep folks this will be the last wedding I’ll be blogging this year though you can bet your bottom dollar we’ve got some corkers for you coming up next year.

And it is luxe; filled to the brim with beautiful details and exquisite tailoring which isn’t surprising given that Jodie is the editor of MR PORTER – a men’s style site that oozes sophistication for the savvy men in your life and Donnie is a session guitarist with the twinkliest eyes I ever did see.

They married in Jodie’s childhood back garden near the moors in Northern Yorkshire under a huge oak tree. I know, I almost died from delight when I first saw the photos…but wait it gets better.

Jodie was lucky enough to have a pair of gorgeous dusty pink organza floral sandals by Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti specially made for her when they’d sold out EVERYWHERE. Not only that but she also wore a custom veil to match her golden hued dress; how special is that!

I also adore the escort card Dinky car idea that Jodie created and the fact that they had a passage from Wuthering Heights read out during their ceremony – possibly one of my favourite books ever.

Oh and then there’s the escapade involving Jodie’s dad, a shotgun and a balloon.

Total legend.

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Love On The Moors

Jodie The Bride: Like most little girls who have spent an incomprehensible amount of time imagining their wedding day, I had always had a particular setting in mind. For years I had envisaged a candle-lit, crumbling castle in some remote and other-worldly enclave of deepest, darkest Scotland – a Macbeth style setting of bracing winds, roaring fires and kilted hunks. The reality was though that once Donnie had proposed on the Yorkshire moors above my childhood village, only one setting really felt right, both sentimentally and logistically. Home.

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Right from the start of us going out, Donnie fell in love with the cottage and it’s sprawling gardens and I obviously had a whole lifetime of memories there, so it just felt right. Mid-way between our home in East London and where we had met in Glasgow, it was also the place my sister had got married almost 18 years earlier. I wanted to make sure we did it a little differently for those that would be there the second time around, so we settled on the reception in a tipi in the main garden (rather ambitious considering Yorkshire weather) and a self-penned ceremony under the big oak tree my brother and I had climbed in and made a swing on as kids.

No Fuss Or Frills

Working in the fashion and beauty industry for almost 12 years, I had very set ideas about what type of wedding hair I liked (and perhaps more pertinently – disliked). I didn’t want anything too tricksy or ‘done’. No fuss or frills. I’m a lucky girl when it comes to the company I keep in the beauty world, so my hair and make-up was kindly done by two really good friends and amazing professionals – make-up artist Niamh Quinn and session stylist Zoe Irwin.

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For hair – I referenced a few pictures of Grace Kelly – in particular one I found on the Internet of her with Audrey Hepburn before an awards ceremony. I loved the simplicity of it – in shape and style and the way it presented her neck. I knew that it would give the full-length veil I wanted a really good drape. Overall I hoped to look completely timeless.

Make-up was really focused on the clarity and radiance of the skin, something Niamh is known for and spent the most time on. We had a couple of trials and ended up going for a very simple black eye shadow line on the lid and a deep rose colour on the lip- Laura Mercier Crème Smooth in Pink Dusk. She also introduced me to a very cheap yet brilliant new mascara – Colossal Volum Express by Maybelline – it’s brilliant! We added a little extra volume at the edges with a few Eyelure lash inserts.

It Fitted Like A Glove

Amazingly, I found my dress on the first day of dress hunting – a strangely common story amongst brides I hear. It was the second appointment of the day and I knew as soon as I put it on – mainly because of the look my mum and best friend Nicole had on their faces as I stepped out of the dressing room. Unfortunately I had just bought another dress by Manuel Mota on a whim at a Pronovias sample sale (never go to a sample sale for your first try-on’s is all I can say) so had the slight issue of having to sell that one off as soon as I got home.

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My second – and final – ‘one’ was by the Australian designer Justin Alexander – someone I hadn’t heard of, as I had never really investigated any bridal designers before. I chose by how it looked and felt- rather than who it was by. For years I had envisaged wearing something devastating by Oscar de la Renta or Valentino, but the reality was they were either a) too expensive or b) didn’t suit me- or a combination of both. This dress fitted like a glove and really complemented my shape – pinching in and flowing out at all the right moments. I bought it from Angelica Bridal in Islington, London.

Custom Made

The veil- THE VEIL! I really surprised myself by deciding to wear a long veil (or Chapel length I quickly learnt was the proper name). The only issue I had was matching the colour of my dress (which was a quite unusual pale gold) to the tulle of the veil, as all those I tried seemed too white. I also wanted to it to be super soft silk tulle so it draped nicely and wasn’t too crisp. After a very long search I found the lovely Nicola at Halo & Co who blew me away by making the veil for me bespoke – matching the colour and the exact same lace of my dress by acquiring it from the designer.

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It was stunning and I adored wearing it- even more so because of the work it took to get it. The shoes were another project. I had seen a picture on Pinterest of these gorgeous dusty pink organza floral sandals by Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti – but discovered that they were no longer in production. A few emails between some fortunately connected fashion friends resulted in the brand making them for me especially, which made wearing them on the day so much sweeter. They now take pride of place on my dressing table. I bought my crystal earrings from Kenneth Jay Zane at Net-a-Porter. At night I wore a feathered cream cape I found at Annie’s in Angel, London.

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Shades Of Grey

I had five bridesmaids; my sister, three great friends from university and my oldest friend from the village we married in, Sarah. I never liked the idea of them all wearing the same dress, so I tasked them with finding their own with the brief of ‘long, timeless and in either greys or shades of grey and blue’. The process was actually pretty painless, as they all found their dresses within a few weeks of each other- apart from my sister who bought about six in total and wore two on the day – both by David Meister. Sarah’s was from made to order from Dessy, Nicole’s from BCBG, Baseera’s from Mignon at Bloomingdales (the US sites have so much selection due to their proms) and Mhairi’s from J.Crew.

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Donnie’s outfit received a lot of my time and attention. Having worked in menswear for years I wanted to make sure both he and my dad looked like Hollywood icons! Donnie’s midnight blue mohair tuxedo was by Valentino – bought from MR PORTER. His shoes and bow tie were by Lanvin, and his shirt by Spencer Hart. Dad’s tuxedo was by Gucci, his shirt Turnbull & Asser and his shoes Grenson. I think they did me proud. My two gorgeous nephews wore tuxedos from Zara and J.Crew.

Something Different

We are at the age when friends are marrying- so in the last few years we had spent a lot of time in ‘vintage’ themed surroundings. Whilst I think this is beautiful, by the time we came to planning our wedding I felt I was after something else. Something fresh whilst being appropriate to the countryside. I’ve always loved the way Americans do weddings- all the details and little personal touches, so I was addicted to Martha Stewart’s website and magazine for DIY ideas and inspiration throughout all the planning.

To get little parts of Donnie – a total motorhead- into the décor, I sourced around a hundred 1960s and 70s Dinky cars on Ebay, sprayed them white and tied little escort cards on the wheels. This served as a table plan as such. I focused on a couple of colours and shades as a theme, but tried hard not to make it too matchy and just choose stuff I liked.

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Grey seemed classic and pretty against the pale pinks of the flowers, and white always looks beautiful, whether its rain or shine. I used a grey silk chiffon as the table runners- bought on a big roll, cut loosely and draped a little to give some texture.

I sourced square crockery and brought this up from London, via the wonderful Daniela at Classic Crockery who has a lovely selection of XVII style ceramics for hire, as well as a huge archive of lace napkins and cut glassware.

Pinks And Pale Greens

I didn’t really consider the seasonal issues that would arise with flowers by having the wedding in the middle of September so I was pretty disappointed to learn that peonies and ranunculus would be out of season as I had always envisaged them in my bouquet. In the end though it really didn’t matter. I saw a picture of Blake Lively’s bouquet from her wedding to Ryan Reynolds and thought – that’s what I want.

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The absolutely stunning floral designs on both the tables and bouquets were created by the gorgeous Wendy and her team at The Hedgerow, Threshfield. My bouquet was full of lovely washed out tones of pinks and pale greens using garden roses, dusty miller, pink jasmine and dusky protea, bound with a piece of pale double-sided velvet from VV Rouleaux in London.

The bridesmaids had mini versions of the same, bound with cream lace from Hobby Lobby. On the tables, our florist used my home props – funny little odds and ends plus a few of her own ornaments to create some beautiful rambling centre pieces using marble busts, books, terrariums, antique mirrors and bell jars.

Short And Sweet

With neither of us being religious, we decided to avoid churches and any religious readings in the ceremony. We had married legally 2 days prior, so that also meant we didn’t need any of the legal vows either. Instead we kept the ceremony short, silly and sweet by getting our Irish friend Eoin to conduct it, who had known us as a couple since we first met. We married under the big tree and a make-shift altar we had made that morning using a long piece of white chiffon which we nailed onto the trunk. It looked really simple and pretty.

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Part way through the ceremony my bridesmaid Mhairi read an excerpt from Wuthering Heights- where Cathy is explaining her love for Heathcliff to the housemaid, Nelly. It’s quite a dark little segment but it’s such a special part of their troubled love story and it’s a book that has stayed with me since I studied it for A Level.

Our rings were, um, pretty different from each other! Mine was a classic diamond eternity ring we found at a local antique shop. Donnie’s was made by our friend and jeweller, Will, who works at The Great Frog – a bit of a legendary rock and roll jewellers in London. It was a pig skull design carved in silver (chosen, embarrassingly, as ‘pig’ is our nickname for each other – I have no idea why). Let’s just say Donnie’s not really the classic wedding ring type…

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Jolene

With Donnie being a musician, this was the one area I had to hand over to him to control (although I did try and wrestle it from him from time to time). I did however get to choose some of the piano music our friend and pianist John Tilley played before and during the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Michael Nyman’s The Heart Asks Pleasure First – which was quite serious but to be honest this was the only serious part of the whole day and it’s a piece of music I have always loved since hearing it played by the man himself at Alexander McQueen’s memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral.

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We have never really had a ‘song’ as such but we certainly knew the songs we both liked. Our friend Pauline Taylor is a stunning singer- really soulful and soft – so we asked her to perform our first song – Ray Lamontagne’s Jolene. A strange choice one might think in that’s it’s about an alcoholic down-and-out who is saved by his women – but we always liked the sentiment! Having been to lots of band weddings, we were keen to make it a bit different and so decided to do a little rockaoke for the first hour– asking friends to choose a song by filling out a little form over dinner. This meant people got really nervous and excitable – which created this brilliant atmosphere.

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Our friend Iain – known for his insanely tune-less singing voice – got up first to break the ice as it were by singing Vanilla Ice’ Ice Ice Baby. It was so funny. A few songs later and Paolo Nutini (who Donnie plays guitar for) got up to sing Prince’s Kiss. He blew us all away and strangely enough nobody was that keen to get up and follow that! At 10pm two DJ’s took over- both good friends who delivered two amazing sets. The dance floor was hoatching all night.

Potent French Martinis

We served a lovely light prosecco with raspberries for welcome drinks in the garden with the option of a nice cold bottle of Brooklyn beer (one of Donnie’s favourites) for the guys. We did the same for toasts and speeches, which we decided to do pre-dinner in order for the speakers (including myself) to relax and enjoy their dinner. For the evening bar we served some rather potent French Martini Cocktails- one of my regular tipples. Oh and Jaeger bombs. Obviously. From elegant and classy to raucous and rip-roaring in one quick shot.

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Nicola at Figs Catering provided the prettiest, tastiest canapés (apricots in bacon, brie and strawberries, goats cheese and caramelized onion bruschetta’s) followed by the heartiest dinner of achingly tender steak and Guinness pie with mash potato and gravy. This was then followed by a lovely, light syrup sponge with custard. Proper, Yorkshire grub delivered in a very timely, no-nonsense manner! She and her team were brilliant. At 10.30pm they served fish finger sandwiches on bloomer rolls. Delicious and very welcome after several hours on the dance floor.

Love In Literature

When it came to favours for the women, I roamed what felt like the nation’s entire second-hand bookstores and car boot sales for lovely old copies of books that meant something to me from my time studying English Literature at Glasgow University – where Donnie and I had met. Tomes I looked for in particular were those by the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and F Scott Fitzgerald.

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Fifty-two copies were found in total – three of which were unearthed the day before the wedding! Close call. For the men, a friend at a drinks company I had worked with kindly supplied me with 50 very cute half bottles of Donnie’s favourite Scottish whiskey, Talisker. It being a very Scottish-heavy guest list, needless to say many bottles got emptied right there and then on the night.

Feeling Crafty

Stationery and décor was where I really spent a lot of my time and attention in the build up to the wedding, and was where I got most of my enjoyment in the preparations. I’ve always been pretty crafty so I couldn’t wait to get going on the invite and save the date. A very talented designer friend at MR PORTER helped me design the invite – which was based on the a fashion show invitation by Dolce & Gabbana which featured these stunning illustrated floral designs in a little bound booklet.

I wanted all the information to be in one place- so everything from the dress-code (we opted for black tie/eveningwear to make it feel special and eliminate men turning up in their work suits) through to directions and parking were all designed into the pages of the booklet. I found the dove grey, lace-lined envelopes on Etsy – handmade and shipped from the US.

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I also made 160 giant tissue and silver mylar tassels by hand for the backs of all the chairs – which was a real mission but we got there in the end and had a few good girly days making them the weeks before the day. I also sourced lots of different centerpieces for each of the tables- both antique and new.

Matalan’s home department was a brilliant tip I was given by another bride and I sourced some great pieces here – from simple glass candlesticks to the silver domed bell jars and the engraved candles. I also spent a lot of time on great ribbon which I stocked up on in one of my all-time favourite craft emporiums – Hobby Lobby. Sadly for us Brits this wonderland is only in the US, so if you are heading there before the big day make sure you plan a visit and take a big empty suitcase with you. It’s genius.

Let Go

The main thing to remember is to start to let go the night before the big day. By then you can’t really do anything to make a big difference to the day so try to abandon your responsibility and have fun with your guests. I found this really hard to do.

If you are hosting- make sure you plan the clean up properly. Its amazing to get married in your family home but this does mean you have to think about every single element – from toilet roll and electric cables right through to blowing the candles out before you got to bed and closing the tent. Make sure you rope some friends in to help both closing-up and cleaning up the next day. Even better pay someone to come in and do it. I was so fixated on the day itself I completely forgot about the after-math which meant we spent a good 4 hours stacking glasses and clearing tables the next day before going off on honeymoon – all with a hideous hangover. Not very glamorous!

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A friend accidentally released one of the giant balloons that were tied to the chairs, which floated up to the top of the tipi, right above the fire. It blocked the smoke flap, which meant smoke began to fill the room. My dad – in typical Yorkshire manner – simply got up, walked into the house and came back with his shotgun. He fired the balloon down, without even so much as a warning to all the guests who were midway munching through their steak pies. It was hilarious. My favourite picture of the whole day is one John took of him after he’d done it. He looks so happy with himself!

John was just the greatest guy to have there on the day. So many guests remarked on how charming and unobtrusive he was. And the pictures speak for themselves. One of the best moments of the day was when we went up to the moors with him in the classic car and took some shots of the scenery – it was just so peaceful and stunning. I’ll always remember it.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Gown – Justin Alexander
Boutique – Angelica Bridal
Make-up – Niamh Quinn
Hair – Zoe Irwin
Tents – Papa Kata
Florist – The Hedgerow, Threshfield
Groom – MR PORTER
Caterers – Figs Catering
Neon ‘Love And Laughter’ Sign – God’s Own Junkyard
Bus – The Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company
Mercedes SL Pagoda – Classic Car Club
Furniture Hire – Blacks Event Hire
Photography – John Day Photography

Those photos with the vintage Mercedes on the moor…I actually swooned, particularly in the one where Donnie is kissing Jodie’s shoulder. So romantic.

And frankly everyone should have Karaoke with Paolo Nutini stepping up to do a turn on their big day.

FACT.

All my love Lolly xxx

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Silver Words.

An Ethereal Bohemian Inspired Wedding At Standlow Farm With Tipis From Papakata, A David Fielden Dress And Juliet Cap Veil With A Sweet Avalanche Rose Bouquet.

If you’ve signed up for the awesome publication that is the Rock My Wedding newsletter* then you’ll already have seen a sneaky peek of the epicness of this morning’s wedding. We couldn’t hold back any longer, after all we’re practically half way through this month (I know! Already!) so this morning we decided to share this fairytale of a wedding with you.

Trust me ladies, if you’re of the bohemian, ethereal, hippy fairytale persuasion then this one is for you. There’s also a splash of Moroccan adventure and festival fever in the mix as well. Anyone that reads the blog regularly will know that I’m a sucker for exquisite florals and this beauty of a wedding is no exception; I adore Sarah’s bouquet and the table centrepieces slot perfectly into the overall vibe of the laid-back decor.

But it’s Sarah’s sartorial choices that have blown my mind. Her dress, veil and headpiece are quite possibly my favourite to ever appear on the blog and given the plethora of pretty that appears on these pages daily that really is a bold statement to make.

Honestly go see for yourselves…

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Standlow Farm

Sarah The Bride:From the very beginning of our planning we knew we wanted a venue we could hire for a long weekend that could accommodate all our immediate family and close friends so the fun could last as long as possible. We also wanted it to be in the Peak District, even though we both live in Manchester we spend a lot of time in the peaks and it’s somewhere that’s close to our hearts. This resulted in what felt like the longest venue hunt in the history of wedding planning.

Just as we felt like giving up we found Standlow Farm near Ashbourne. It couldn’t have been more perfect, 5 beautiful cottages, a farm house, a games room and a huge paddock to put up venue hunt number two – the amazing Tepees!! It also meant we could invite all our guests back the next day for a BBQ.

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The Tepees were supplied by the even more amazing Papakata. As soon as we saw them on one of their open days we knew that nothing else could even come close. The Papakata team have got to be the best company I have ever had the pleasure to work with. They are so passionate about what they do and just want to share the love, they made everything really easy and there was always an excited and enthusiastic helper at the end of the phone whenever we needed it.

Au Natural

I did my hair myself on the day, I have quite long hair and I knew that wanted to wear it down as it really suited the feel of the wedding so I really didn’t need anything doing to it. I had my make-up applied by Kevin’s sister Grainne; she is a qualified make-up artist which was very handy.

It was really important to me on the day that I looked like me; I don’t wear lots of makeup normally and I had a few trials that didn’t go well but Grainne understood exactly what I wanted (without a trial) and I felt amazing. I had my nails done at Selfridges a few days before, French manicure isn’t very me so I just went for very pale pink gel nails to avoid the chipping that normally happens within minutes of nail varnish coming anywhere near me!

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Grainne also did all the bridesmaids’ hair, I wanted them to have something quite unstructured and she came up with idea of using plaits which looked brilliant and really suited the look I was trying to create. This was probably the easiest part of the planning, I trusted in her skills and just let her do what she thought would look good and the results were stunning.

Simple Silk Chiffon

I work as a personal shopper and love fashion so the dress was always going to be a really important part of the whole experience for me. However once I started the big dress hunt I realised that I don’t really like wedding dresses. I know to a lot of brides this sounds completely crazy but every dress I put on I felt silly in, I felt like I was playing dress up and nothing seemed to work.

Then I found a beautiful vintage dress purely by chance which I snapped up but it needed a lot of work to make it fit and look the way I wanted it to, sadly in the end it wasn’t meant to be. This as all you brides can imagine was pretty heart breaking, 5 months before the wedding I had to start my dress hunt all over again eeeek!!

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I remembered being recommended Silk Brides in Lichfield by someone early on in the dress hunt process and went on their website, I couldn’t believe it but they had a sample sale on the next day and as fate would have it they had one slot left. My sister came with me; I went through all the rails and pulled only one dress out. A simple silk chiffon gown by David Fielden, I came out of the fitting room and my sister burst in to tears and said that I had to have it, I took one look in the mirror and I knew she was right.

The Statement Headpiece

My dress was really simple so I knew it could take a really statement headpiece. I wanted something that wrapped round my forehead that would work well with my hair down. I found exactly what I was looking for by Doloris Petunia on Etsy. Courtney Prince is the designer of the brand and she hand makes every piece of jewellery in Los Angeles then ships them to customers. When it arrived I actually squealed with excitement, it was more beautiful than the pictures and I think I loved it more than my dress.

I also had a veil made by Margret from Dream Veils in Manchester. I wanted a Juliet cap veil that my headpiece could sit over. Margret was amazing, she designed and made a veil to fit perfectly and I think she was more excited than me about the finished result.

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My shoes were a limited edition pair by Ted Baker. I didn’t want traditional bridal shoes and had an idea of a gold sandal. I found a pair in Jimmy Choo that I loved but two wedding dresses later I think Kevin would have lost the plot if I came home with them. When I saw the snakeskin heel on mine I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the shop without them.

Champagne And Navy

We didn’t start with a colour theme for the wedding we just said that we wanted everything to be quite neutral. So when I took the bridesmaids dress shopping I didn’t have a clear idea of what colour the dresses should be. I also wanted the girls to choose their own dress, it was really important to me that the felt good in what they wore, as they are all very different if I put them all in matching dresses it would never work.

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We ended up in Coast and after trying on a few dresses I could tell straight away which ones they loved and they were all a beautiful champagne colour which I was more than happy with. We bought them there and then and went for cocktails to celebrate.

A Wonderful Garden Party

We wanted a really relaxed feel to the day so Kevin told all the groomsmen to wear a suit they felt good in and not to worry about colour as we didn’t have a set theme. As it turned out they all turned up in navy suits purely by chance that matched Kevin’s perfectly it was as if we planned it.

Although we wanted all the formalities of a wedding such as speeches, first dance etc. it was really important to us that our wedding had a really relaxed feel. The farm and the teepees helped to achieve this and the fact that we didn’t have a rigid colour theme we just kept everything really simple and neutral. Our family and friends helped with the décor, my mum made 100 meters of bunting; yes you read correctly 100 meters! My bridesmaid Rachel made paper doily pom poms and covered the hay bales in fabric for people to sit on outside.

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We also filled the tepees with large paper lanterns and giant round balloons filled with helium. There was lots of outside seating as well as the hay bales which meant that people could relax outside in the sun, some even put blankets down on the grass which made it feel like a wonderful garden party.

Thistles And Hydrangeas

All I knew about flowers was that I wanted lots of them and wanted it to look really natural in white, cream and pale pink. Jemma from Flowers by Jemma Holmes was fantastic. I took a few pictures with me of what I liked and she pulled out flowers that she thought I would love. She also at the last minute suggested some white hydrangeas for the tables and I’m so glad she did as they were my favourite.

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My bouquet consisted of sweet avalanche roses, astilbe, stocks and spray rose and the bridesmaid’s had balls of gypsophila. Kevin’s buttonhole was a thistle as my mums side of the family are Scottish and the groomsmen each had a little bit of gyp tied with twine. Jemma made all of these and I ordered all of the table flowers from her but I did the arrangements myself with a little help from my amazing friends the day before the wedding. This turned out to be a mammoth task but I was so pleased with the end result and felt quite proud of myself.

The Favourite Part Of The Day

The ceremony had to be by far my favourite part of the day. I was grinning ear to ear all the way down the aisle and as I got about half way I saw Kevin waiting for me with his bottom lip quivering, desperately trying not to cry and my smile got even bigger. We married in St Johns RC church in Alton which is right next to Alton castle and a truly beautiful setting.

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Kevin’s uncle is a Priest so he performed the ceremony and the first thing he did was get all the men to stand up and say hello to all the women, everyone got to have a hug and a little chat and made everyone feel really welcome and relaxed. It was a lovely way to start the ceremony and set the tone for the rest of the day.

Mrs G’s Dancey Dance

Kevin is very into his music so he was a bit wary of hiring a DJ. He used to be a bit of a local pub DJ in his younger days and still has all the equipment so he did a playlist for the night (he called it Mrs G’s dancey dance) and everyone commented the next day on how amazing the music was.

What was great was that they were tunes that we both loved or meant a lot to us so it made it really personal. The only downside was that I don’t think I finished a single conversation as half way through I ran away from everyone towards the dance floor screaming the words “I love this song!”

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Our first dance was “Silver words” by Sixto Rodriguez, it’s a song that Kevin has always loved and the first time he played it to me I fell in love with the lyrics so it felt like the perfect choice.

Red Velvet

Neither of us are big fans of canapés however, we are both very big fans of cake! So we decided to have red velvet cupcakes with prosecco and elderflower cordial for all our guests when they arrived. My very talented sister and her friend offered to make them for us and my equally talented auntie made our three-tiered Victoria sponge wedding cake which basically equalled a seriously sweet cake-tastic delight!!

We wanted a formal sit down wedding breakfast but still wanted it to feel relaxed. Papakata introduced us to Lesley from Saunts, each course was a big dish that was put in the middle of each table with someone nominated to play mum and dish up. It made it really sociable and got everyone talking. So many guests commented on how amazing the food was, it was proper home cooked dishes that really suited the day.

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My parents live in France and offered to bring all the wine for the tables back with them, we bought carafes for each table and the Saunts team just kept on filling them up throughout the meal. It felt like we had an endless supply of wine that just kept coming, there was so much we were even able to keep it coming the next day at the BBQ.

Take One Handmade Wedding Ring

One of the most important aspects of the wedding for us both was that we wanted it to be really personal and reflect us as a couple. This meant that we did a lot of stuff ourselves. We made all the invites and orders of service as well as any other stationery. To tie it all together, we used the same typography throughout; such as the vinyl we had made for the light box.

We also designed badges as favours for our guests. We attached these to luggage tags with guests’ names on which we pinned to a board then used this as the seating plan. We also designed stickers which the kids loved and stuck on just about everyone and everything.

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The most time consuming yet, rewarding DIY thing I did was to make Kevin’s wedding ring. I made it from a silver American half dollar from the year his Dad was born. It took me what felt like a lifetime but now he gets to wear something that I’ve made for the rest of his lifetime, it sounds cheesy but I love it.
There was a lot of hard work involved and we had to prioritise what was most important but it was worth it when it all came together and it felt so personal to us.

The best advice I can give is to make your day as much about the two of you as possible. Try and plan it together, Kevin was much more involved in the whole process than most grooms probably are and it was much more rewarding knowing that the whole day really did reflect us both.

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Many of our guests commented on how personal the service was this was because Kevin’s uncle was our priest and it meant a lot to us both that he could marry us, it also meant that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house especially Kevin’s!! (He cried a lot). The ceremony was by far my favourite part of the day, it’s the moment all the hard work and planning has been building up to and it’s an amazing feeling showing how much you love this one individual in front of everyone you care about. It’s so easy to get bogged down with the organisation of the reception but my advice is to put as much time and effort in to the ceremony, at the end of the day it’s the most important bit.

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A Big Decision And The Best Decision

One of the biggest decisions to make is choosing your photographer. We had a clear idea of the style of photography we wanted and as soon as we saw Harriet from Weddings Vintage previous work it was as if what we had in our heads was staring us in the face. Our main priority was that we wanted images that captured moments and reflected the feel of the day rather than endless posed photographs that steal you away from your guests for hours on end. This is Harriet’s speciality and not only that she makes them beautifully original by editing them in a way that gives them a very timeless, vintage feel. She also had the ability to put two people who hate having their picture taken completely at ease.

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The best decision I made throughout the whole planning process was to hire Laura Tickle. Laura is a wedding planner and also an angel sent from wedding heaven to sort out all your wedding problems. We hired her for on the day co-ordination, she took over a couple of weeks before the wedding and confirmed everything with all our suppliers. She also organised the timing of the day and was on hand from the getting ready stage to the first dance to make sure everything ran smoothly. This meant that Kevin and I could completely relax and enjoy the day without the stress of worrying about the details. She truly was an angel and every wedding should have a Laura Tickle!

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Standlow Farm
Tents – Papa Kata
Boutique – Silk Brides
Dress – David Fielden
Headpiece – Doloris Petunia
Veil – Dream Veils
Make-up and Hair – www.grainnearif.com
Florist – Flowers By Jemma Holmes
Caterers Saunts
Photography – Weddings Vintage
Wedding Planner – Laura Tickle

So did you adore this sunsoaked adventure as much as I did. Thought you might….

And aren’t Sarah and Kevin’s portrait shots the absolute sweetest…I love the one where Kevin is tilting Sarah’s chin; it’s intimate and loving all at the same time.

Who else is thinking of having a totally epic headband like Sarah’s too? Next time I am!

All my love Lolly xxx

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