This morning’s real wedding is a particularly special one to us here at RMW HQ. The beautiful bride Gemma and her gorgeous mum Karen are the creative forces behind The Wedding Of My Dreams and Passion For Flowers, two wedding brands we’ve worked with many, many times over the years. Gemma and Karen are so wonderful in fact, that we chose to work with them on the RMW book, Your Day Your Way. And not only are Gemma and Karen super talented but they are also LOVELY and an absolute dream to work with, so blogging Gemma’s wedding is just an absolute treat for us today.
Gemma and Rich chose Tuscany as their wedding destination and found three incredible venues to use for various parts of the big day. If you’re also planning an Italian wedding then do check them out.
The images and film come from Anna and Simon at WE ARE /// THE CLARKES – two more absolute gems we’d recommend in a heart beat. This wedding is an utterly gorgeous one, from start to finish and it’s just even more special that we know the wonderful family involved. Massive congratulations Gemma and Rich, your wedding is every bit as gorgeous as expected!
Jacqui and Ross’ big day is a corker! An absolute belter of a beautiful wedding day. The pair have magically managed to fuse rustically romantic elements with a sophisticated and contemporary wedding theme to produce something that is just exquisite to behold.
The pair married against the beautiful backdrop of Shustoke Farm Barns complete with girls in probably my favourite maids’ frock of the year so far and supersized bouquets of frothy white hydrangea. I’m also very much admiring Jacqui’s simple but elegant David Fielden gown as well as the table centrepieces complete with antlers and spiky thistles.
Whenever we share romantic, feminine weddings with you lovely lot, they always receive lots and lots of positive comments here on the blog and via social media – so I just knew I had to share this achingly pretty shoot brought to life by a whole host of our Love Lust List recommended suppliers with you this afternoon.
What I love the most about this shoot is that all of the decor and styling ideas are totally achievable and covetable for your actual wedding day – yes sometimes we like to share inspiration shoots that are totally dreamy, much more editorial and *probably* unrealistic for the big day – but sometimes we like to show you what can be achieved on your big day, if you put your trust and vision in the capable hands of some of the country’s best wedding suppliers…
There’s a definitely chill in the air and we’re creeping ever closer to Christmas…So we’re launching right into the festive spirit with a luxury Winter table centrepiece tutorial for you this afternoon lovelies. Perfect for a Winter wedding, a stylish seasonal dinner party or for making your Christmas table super stylish.
And this DIY floral tutorial embraces the very best the season has to offer; soft candlelight, mirrored glass and the muted greeny blue tones of Eucalyptus against the soft whites of thick heads of Hydrangea. It’s almost like branches of fir trees against freshly fallen snow!
The lovely Karen from Passion For Flowers will be talking us through the steps to create this masterpiece for yourselves…
Well this is fun isn’t it? A giant yellow striped deck chair is definitely a good indicator of a wonderful wedding…
Briony and Ben themed their wedding around Ben’s job as a professional magician (I know, how awesome is that?!) So old-school magic posters and vintage carnival games were their first port of call. And I know you’ll agree that they did a great job, the whole day looks like an absolute riot!
It’s also rather lovely to look at too – Briony looks achingly elegant in ‘Lady’ by RMW Fashion Pack member Suzanne Neville, accessorised with pearls, her maids look divine in their milky latte coloured gowns and just wait until you see the bright red vintage jag that Ben whisked his Bride away in!!
And as if that wasn’t enough, the gorgeous bouquets brimming with roses, peonies and achillea were created by the lovely Karen at Passion For Flowers – who most definitely comes with a RMW seal of approval!
Right, that’s enough talking, let’s get on with it shall we?
It’s here. It’s finally arrived. Yes lovelies, I can AT LAST share the ridiculously pretty spring-filled, heart-shaped extravaganza that is ‘Enamoured’ – Rock My Wedding’s first editorial shoot of 2014.
If you stopped by the blog yesterday then you’ll have read my post on the inspiration for this love inspired shoot. You’ll know then that we wanted a girly feast of heart-shaped balloons, champagne and more shoes than you could ever imagine.
And so we set about sourcing the very best petals and marshmallows and candy floss and glitter and love hearts and mini eggs and heart-shaped glasses and ribbons and shoes that the world had to offer.
Your six year old self would be proud.
Every single shoot from 2013 took place outdoors, in sun-drenched meadows, under fecund branches of wisteria, in forests and dappled glades. Hell we even went to the beach! For 2014, we decided to move our creative vision indoors against a back-drop of off-white floorboards and ummm bathtubs…
More on the bathtubs later…
And who were we going to use to capture our romantic capers? Well that would be the lovely Julia from Julia & You Photography. Her talent for capturing beautiful detailing and romantic outlook suited our vision perfectly and we are bowled over by the results.
Lauren and Stuart are just the cutest couple. Their couple shots are so full of warmth and affection, I’ve snuck a fair few into this post.
I’ve also included lots shots of Lauren’s bouquet – which is bursting with gorgeous coral peonies. The perfect antidote to the winter blues.
Lauren looks beautiful in her Jenny Packham gown and headpiece, and her veil, made by her Mum and Sister, is truly stunning. Are you ready for the pretty? Here it comes…
A Surprise Engagement
Lauren The Bride: In Dec 2010, Stuart dropped a dollar note in my hand and told me I would be able to spend it where we were going the following day. I looked him and screamed “are we going to New York?!”
An incredible surprise holiday and engagement ring later, we began planning our wedding.
We quickly chose the date of 2nd June 2012, as this was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so already a celebratory weekend, which our guests would have the bank holiday to recover from!
Home Sweet Home
Knowing that my parents had hoped one of their four children would get married at home, and our desire for a less formal, more intimate venue, we quickly decided to have our reception in their garden. We liked the fact there were no rules or boundaries and we could select everything that we wanted, plus we would have a venue unique to us.
On our search for a marquee, we were looking for something a bit different and then found Tipis4Hire. We liked the way they created their own environment inside and loved the idea of having an open fire.
We chose Lambourne Church to get married in. A historical and beautiully intimate church just five minutes from my parents house, down a long winding country lane. Which was perfect for our bus ride to the church.
Inspiration From The 20s
I was inspired by the twenties period for the wedding and this influenced much of the style of the day. Not one for heavy make up, I decided to go for a more natural look. There was only one person I trusted with this task and that was my sister Grace, who spent many months leading up to the wedding, researching the most long wearing and photogenic make up. She was also on hand throughout the day for touch ups!
My hair was inspired by Clemence Poesy’s hair in birdsong, effortless and not fussy and was completed with the Acacia II headband from Jenny Packham.
Sparkling In The Sunshine
When selecting the dress, I teased myself with Vera Wang and Monique L’huiller but the dresses were far too formal / grand for our informal do. Also the thought of dragging a multi layered gown through a field did not really appeal. I then found Jenny! So booked an appointment on my birthday at their London boutique.
My mum and I quickly narrowed the selection down to two. One a slim tulle gown and the other, the beautifully embellished Eden…The sales assistant suggested I go outside to see them in natural light. Behind the shop was a secret garden with a mirror, a twirl in Eden and I was in love – the dress dazzled in the sun.
A Veil To Treasure Forever
I tried on my headpiece at the same time as the dress and it fit the twenties look just perfectly. My veil sat under my hair, made by my Mum and Sister, with silk tulle and 100’s of Swarovski crystals. It was so beautiful as it subtly shimmered when each crystal was touched by the light. It is a beautiful keepsake of the day and hopefully something I can pass down to future family brides.
My shoes were from Jimmy Choo, the wedge was great for walking around the field and kept me dancing until 2am!
Girls In Grey
I was very lucky that I had so many female relatives to ask to be my bridesmaids. My sister Grace was my Maid of Honour and I am not sure if I would have been able to have do it all without her.
For bridesmaids, I had my cousin Holly (who along with Grace, organised the most amazing hen do) my cousins, Tilly and Hannah (keeping a family tradition going, as I was their Mum’s bridesmaid, their Mum was my Mum’s bridesmaid and so on) Stuart’s cousins Luisa and Morgan (who had requested to be my bridesmaids when they first met me 8 years ago) and last but not least Molly, who is one of my closest friends Louise’s daughter.
The girls wore grey dresses from Ghost, which complemented my dress and the 20’s inspiration. The younger girls wore ivory tulle dresses from Monsoon UK.
Smart In Navy
Stuart was unable to choose between his friends from uni, so had both Geoff and Andy as Best Men and the Groomsmen were my brothers Daniel and James, Leigh (Stuart’s friend from home), Justin (who is my honoury brother) and our nephew Joshua was our page boy.
The theme was always going to be a touch of coral, I love coral peonies and nail polish so they kind of inspired the day. The grey came from the Ghost dresses, as we all liked them in this colour rather than nude pink I had origianally planned.
From the start, I had wanted the wedding to be as personal as possible, I enjoy being creative and so do my mum and sister, so I wanted to utilise our expertise. We made metres and metres of bunting and I made pom poms that my new in-laws hung from the tipi beams.
Tea lights were made from Joshua’s baby food jars, with wire handles. For crockery we scoured charity shops looking for vintage china and received many donations from family members. I enjoyed making the pom poms and collecting the crockery so much that I hope to sell/ rent them in a future venture!
I was so lucky my family were on hand and willing to muck in, we spruced up my parents garden and even created a mojito bar in their breeze hut, overlooking the lake.
Handpicked And Natural
I wanted the flowers to look hand picked and natural- our local florist Ildika from Passion For Flowers, perfectly understood what I was looking for. My bouquet was stunning and the coral peonies were beautiful. We had collected jam jars and vintage vases which she filled with handpicked looking arrangements.
The ceremony started with a rendition of God save the Queen, to commemorate the Jubilee weekend. Stuart’s sister gave a very sweet reading and my brother Daniel read ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton about two dinosaurs in love.
It was very amusing and apt for him, as he loves his dinos! Although there were 130 people sat around us and above in the gallery, when we read our vows it felt like there was just us, it was a by special moment for both of us and truly unforgettable.
Filled With Music
The Tipis came alive when our band, The Hype began playing. They kept the dance floor full until 2am, finishing with their own rendition of Calvin Harris’ Feel So Close- they were incredible!
Food For Foodies
Stuart and I are really into our food and love trying out places, our table names were even named after restaurants we had visited.
Our caterers, That Catering Company (Jon 07917801517) compiled a simple menu with suprises and twists, including pheasant burger canapés and peanut butter crème brûlée. They also made a selection of biscuits and sweets for our favours. As my parents have a small holding, we were able to use their meat for a posh hog roast and sausages for a BBQ in the evening.
Our cake was made by my Mum, we didn’t really fancy a traditional cake, so she decided to capture the wedding party and venue on it, even including some chickens! The cake was perfect, there are really no ends to my Mum’s talents!
A Great Keepsake
I love to draw, so I designed my save the dates and hand wrote our guest’s names onto vintage placemats. We handed over the responsibility of the invites to The Wedding Tea Towels, as we thought it would be a great keepsake for our guests.
Like Meeting An Old Friend
Our day was captured exquisitely by Sarah Gawler, it was a pleasure to have her involved in our day and from our first meeting it felt like she was an old friend.
I am not one for attention, so her reportage style was just perfect and great to have so many natural shots. The photography was so important to us and I am so happy that we found Sarah!
It Brought Us All Together
For us the wedding was about sharing the experience with the people we most cared about. We loved planning ours and hope our family enjoyed being part of the preparations and the day too, we couldn’t have done it without them and have great memories of us all bringing it together.
As soon as Lee turned around (and burst into tears), I threw myself into his arms and planted a big kiss on his lips. After being told off by the Registrar ‘you haven’t got to that bit yet!’ we held eachothers hands and it was just me and him. This was our moment.
We chose three readings to add to the ceremony and three gorgeous girls to read them. Lee’s cousin Tara stole the show as the three of us hugged our way through her tearful reading from Les Miserables, followed by her sister Daisy & our mate Jess who both did us equally proud reading lyrics from What Is Life by George Harrison & an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
As soon as it was over I wanted to rewind and live it all again. It was like I was floating in a bubble and couldn’t quite snap out of it to take everything in. For someone who initially questioned getting a wedding video, I am now eternally grateful to Papertwin for being there and capturing every moment of that ceremony (even the bit where I almost fell flat on my face as Lee and I dashed excitedly up the aisle). Those memories are priceless and we’ll get to live them over and over again. They also created a short trailer for us which has me in tears every time I see it, it’s such a beautiful account of our day.
Thank You For Being A Friend
Still in our bubble, we snatched some time away from the party for our couple shots with Claire Penn, she surprised us with 12” George Harrison and Lady Gaga records and we dropped into Probe Records next door to the venue for some photos. It was a lot of fun entertaining the bewildered customers as we made out behind the vinyl.
What more can I say about Claire that I haven’t already – the sunshine and love just beam out of our faces in her photographs, and as we knew she would from the moment we met her, she has told mine and Lee’s love story better than anyone else we could imagine. I am so glad we met her, and so proud to now call her a friend. We returned to the party to find the dancing had already started as our buskers Rag Tag Misfits were bringing the house down.
Usually found playing to shoppers in Liverpool One, Helly and Andy rocked up and surprised our guests. We’d provided a load of percussion instruments in their guitar case so our friends and family could join the fun, they went down a storm.
Our table decorations ended up being a perfect jumble of old books, and flowers in crystal and pewter vases that I’ve collected from charity shops and car boots over the last 18-months, along with a mini-library table plan with it’s very own set of vintage golf clubs, book-page hearts and paper flowers scattered around the room. Everything that we loved, all thrown together in a perfect mess of us!
For favours, we had badges made with favourite movie quotes, song lyrics or little phrases that mean something to us. I have to confess, after spending many wrist-breaking hours with a Badge-It machine, I decided enough was enough and bought them from Awesome Merchandise with a little help again from Claire.
Sometimes there’s such a thing as too much DIY. Our mini-vinyl CD’s (a joint DIY effort between Thom who designed my stationery, me and Ian from Strange Case Collective) also sat at each place setting and provided the best soundtrack for dinner – putting the theme from The Golden Girls up against The Doobie Brothers was a musical masterstroke! Speeches were entertaining and emotional, as Lee, his best man Paul and my bezzies Liz and Phil all said a few words – with Margaret Cho, Kelly Rowland and HM The Queen all playing their part!
For place cards, I took inspiration from Rock My Wedding’s ‘Jar of Hearts’. Having already dished out the badges, we didnt include that part, but asked each guest to write their words of wisdom to be displayed on a big canvas and kept forever… there were some very touching and funny messages.
The cake was entrusted to my good friend and RMW regular, Sarah otherwise known as One Jolly Girl. Her ‘Nudist’ cake was absolutely delicious and looked amazing – a tower of decadent spongey, creamy, fruity joy just waiting to be in and around my mouth, topped off by little wooden versions of me and Lee, from Goose Grease, painted by Sophie at Strange Case Collective.
As we got up to cut the cake, my mate grabbed me and showed me her phone. Remember Claire I told you about? She had JUST given birth to the most beautiful baby girl. The whole wedding raised a glass to little Megan, it was a special moment.
A massive party with beautiful people
A couple of months before the big day, you might remember that Lee and I had a bit of a reality check about the limited guest list. There are so many people that we love, and those people love to party – so we changed the evening venue. It was a GREAT decision.
We called another favour in and a friend turned up with a vintage double decker to transport our guests up the road. We arrived at Parr Street Studios and once again, the girls from Strange Case Collective took my breath away – 250 metres of paper hearts were strung from the ceiling, turning the former recording studio into a cathedral of pretty!
The Rag Tag Misfits were playing Ho Hey, the girls thrust a pramaretto (yep – still drinking them!) into my hand, ‘Pumping Iron’ was playing on the big screen (we couldn’t resist… and it was followed through the evening by ‘Withnail & I’ and ‘In Bed WIth Madonna’) and I had another one of those ‘pinch yourself’ moments. This is EXACTLY what we had in mind!
For our first dance, we’d tried to decide on various love songs or slowies from the huge list of music we’d already chosen, but nothing seemed right. Our second song was decided before we even got engaged, ‘Yes’ by McAlmont & Butler – but whatever way you look at it, it is not an appropriate first dance.
It was about a week before the wedding when we were in the car and one of our favourite songs came on, ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s. We both looked at eachother and knew that was it. It was great to have an upbeat record to get the party started, the dancing didn’t stop until the early hours. I’ve never known a wedding DJ as brilliant as Paul from Wedding Jam, we knew he’d be great but he was the unexpected hit of the whole day.
Quality music from start to finish, guests didn’t stop telling us how brilliant the music was all night and they’re still talking about it now. He was a bit of a heart-throb too. As the night ended and we should have been drifting off to our hotel suite up the road, Lee and I ended up doing what we always do – carried on drinking!
It was very late but a few bars were still open and we ended up in a bar called La’Go. Just us, finally being able to sit together, relax and laugh about what a crazy day we’d had… although of course we drew a little bit of attention.
Let Your Hair Down
Many couples talk about finding time to spend together on your own, and its true – it was good to be alone finally, it feels like Lee and I barely saw eachother all night. But more than that, if I could give any advice, I would urge every Bride and Groom to let go of the stress, chill out and make their wedding day a real celebration of their love and happiness.
Lots of us obsess when we’re planning a wedding about the details and ensuring that we look perfect, and that’s fine. I loved every minute of that, but the most important thing I can share, is that once the day comes, put all of that to one side and enjoy yourself. Spend a little bit of money on having someone you can trust to decorate the venue and to be there on the day running the show like clockwork, so you can let go and just enjoy whatever happens.
I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without Colette from All Wrapped Up Events – what a woman! It left us to focus on with the people we love most in the world around us, and the rest just came naturally. Our friends and family are all such fun, wonderful people it was the best day ever to just see them all having a great time and making new friends.
It was the happiest, wildest, most emotional day of our lives and we shared it with the best people imaginable. Boss. Nothing else mattered.
Peace & Love
And here is that film lovingly created by Papertwin.
It’s really hard to even describe what happened next without going back to the start. When we met Danny & Sophie (aka Papertwin & Strange Case), it was clear that we were going to become great friends and we did, very quickly. What we didn’t know was that even back then, Danny was hatching a plan. As the first wedding Papertwin had filmed, he wanted to do something special, and he managed to keep that plan a secret from Lee and I for the entire time.
Danny, along with Sophie and Claire contacted my Male of Honour Phil and organised the most beautiful and amazing surprise that has ever been staged. By anyone. Ever.
Earlier this month, we’d arranged to meet the couple for Sunday breakfast and the handover of our wedding video. We went along to our favourite little cafe to find them waiting outside, they hailed a cab – apparently breakfast wasn’t happening. A few minutes later, after noticing a suspicious looking camera we came to a stop outside Woolton Picture House, a beautiful old cinema in the Liverpool suburbs, on the steps outside were our families who had all come to join us for the ‘secret premiere’. We were gobsmacked.
Strange Case Collective had revived our beautiful paper flowers and heart garlands from the wedding day, along with some AMAZING movie posters. We stepped through the doors taking our retro yellow tickets (yep, tickets!) to find bucks fizz and sweets for everyone along with a stunning three tier cake from the legendary Laura’s Little Bakery.
It didn’t stop there, two seats were set up at the front for Lee and I with huge peace & love signs, popcorn and prosecco. The guests filed in a few rows behind, ready for the show to start – and the show, boy do these guys know how to make a wedding film. It blew us away. The whole experience was like re-living our wedding again, every emotion and feeling came rushing back as we watched it on the big screen with our families with us enjoying every moment. It was truly magical. It is impossible to express what this day means to us, and just how overwhelmed we are by the time, love and effort put in by our beautiful friends to do something so special. We can never thank them enough.
Of course no day with Papertwin & Claire Penn would be complete without capturing it on camera. They made most incredible heart warming, emotional film (only mildly spoilt by my sobbing minceface) documenting what happened. This is that day, in their words…
Well, I hope you all enjoyed that peeps, what a beautiful account filled with little tear jerky moments (yes even for a boy!)
And what an ending… No words for that.
It makes me a proud wedding blogger to see our little Karen & Lee all grown up and married and making their own way in the world… With one hell of a lot of love and support from their family and friends to help them on their way.
Adam here… Introducing the very first wedding from our last bunch of lovely real bride ladies, and first up is Karen who married her man Lee on June 1st.
If you are new RMW reader unfamiliar with Karens story then read no further!!! Firstly read Karens whole planning story right here. It’s a corker and a story this good should not be started at the final chapter! Talking of which… I will now pass the blog over to Karen for the very last time…
Karen: Hello, it’s been a while! When I last left you all, I was days away from the most surreal and wonderful day of my life. The day before however, was a complete mess of activity, emotion and co-ordinating as I suddenly realised that the to-do list was more than I could handle. The table plan, flowers, tan, nails and box packing all had to be done – so the arrival of my friends Liz and Neenah was an absolute godsend.
Those girls calmed me down and ran the wedding sweatshop with military precision before the arrival of the wonderful Colette from allwrappedupevents and Sophie from strangecasecollective who whisked it all away and worked their magic on the venues. The morning of the wedding started at 5am in maybe the most unexpected way… A text from one of my best friends – she was in labour!
Thoughts of the wedding melted away briefly and my thoughts were with Claire & her husband, bringing a new little life into the world, they had a huge day ahead and I was so excited for them both. (my second thought of course was to text Colette to rearrange the table plan). The sun was shining, I was surprisingly calm and we had a wedding AND a baby on the way. Best day ever already!
Still in our PJ’s, we descended on my parent’s house. My Dad took one look at us bouncing in and retreated to Morrisons for more champagne, it was all systems go.
In Good Hands
There’s only one woman on earth I trust to take a pair of scissors to my fringe – my hairdresser of over ten years, Clare. So it was only natural that she did my hair for the big day. I didn’t want it too formal or structured, more ‘Bardot does Bridal’. I really don’t suit my hair up, so a more tarted up version of my usual party hair suited me down to the ground.
In the early days of searching for a veil, I fell in love with Sara Gabriel from across the pond – designer of a stunning range of couture veils. She couldn’t have been more helpful and was more than happy to ship the super-cute Emma half circle veil over to the UK. I paired it up with a very simple pearl and crystal headband from Glitzy Secrets
Warning: massive list of amazing make up products… I’m incredibly lucky that my wonderful friend Neenah is an Account Manager for Estee Lauder, and offered to do my make up for the wedding. I knew I could relax and let her work her magic, to have me looking my best. A common debate between my online Bride friends (hi girls!) is what foundation to use, as a lot of light reflecting foundations look great in the day, but then awful when every drunken pal is pointing their iPhone at you on the dancefloor. The answer is HD! Neenah created a blend for me of Smashbox HD and Make Up Forever HD Foundations which meant it stayed put and looked perfect on camera. The ever faithful MAC Studio Fix (concealer and powder) finished off my base along with another magical combo of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in bronze, Estee Lauder Soft Shimmer bronzer and MAC Mineralize blush in Love Joy. For my eyes she gave me a solid and lasting liner with Estee Lauder Doublewear liquid liner in black and Doublewear pencil liner in Onyx, MAC Opulash Optimum Black mascara with my favourite Chanel eyeshadow-duo in Taupe – Delicat. The whole look was topped off with Estee’s pure colour Crystal Baby lipstick.
My unfailing cosmetic brand loyalty didn’t stop there as I piled on my favourite scent Estee Lauder Sensuous and Chanel nail colour in May.
My dress must have been one of the biggest dramas of the entire planning process. The minute I wore my dress, based on a forgotten Christian Dior design from the 1950’s, I fell in love.
Then I wobbled. badly. You might remember that one. Thank God I got over it because I felt so special in my dress on the big day – As soon as I put it on I felt like a princess and loved spending the next 12 hours swishing about with my petticoats. It was perfect for me, pulling me in to show off my waist then flowing out to hide my little beer belly under all the skirts, while having some lovely detail on the top to give the illusion of me having boobs! It even had pockets to hide my hankie and lippy in. Amazing.
I knew I wanted killer shoes, so I went for a gorgeous pair of sky high strappy Miu Miu heels. My jewellery was all a lovely surprise from Lee on the morning of the wedding – some beautiful, understated sparkle! Knickers from Agent Provocateur naturally, and I managed to end up with two garters from the Mums. I have to say, Lee’s Mum’s 40 year old garter – complete with giant plastic cupid is one of the most fantastic things I’ve ever seen.
The Handsome Groom
Lee has always been a bit of a sharp dresser, so I had no doubt he’d be looking amazing on the day. I was right, he looked dead handsome! I think he put as much effort into his outfit as I did with mine. It was a total secret until we saw eachother at the ceremony. First stop was Savile Row. He had a bespoke, three-piece tweed suit made by Gieves & Hawkes with a very pale yellow dress shirt and yellow patterned tie, also from Gieves & Hawkes. He paired the suit perfectly with a pair of beautiful two-tone brown leather shoes from Loake Shoemakers. His yellow socks and cufflinks, were also Gieves & Hawkes.
Maids & Males
I knew I didn’t want typical bridesmaid dresses for the girls but it was tough finding the right look as I wanted them all to look stunning. I wanted a dress they’d all love and wear again. We had a few failed attempts at online decision-making before hitting the high street for a day of shopping. We found the perfect dress in Warehouse. Cute and flattering with a real 60’s vibe – exactly what we’d been looking for. The dresses were ivory, so for a little pop of colour, their feet became my ‘something blue’. I wanted sexy bridesmaids and thats what I got… legs legs legs! My male of honour Phil wore a sharp three-piece navy Daniel Hechter suit & Doc Marten shoes while my 20-month old nephew Oliver matched Lee in a gorgeous tweed set with chinos and baby brogues. Both boys wore matching bow ties from Mrs Bow Tie.
One of the most magical moments of the day for me was the arrival of the flowers. After spending months planning every detail of the day, the flowers were out of my hands and the final look was a total surprise. I’d worked with Dale and trusted him completely to create something special and unique – I loved the anticipation of not seeing his creation until the big day.
My flower choices were very personal to me and I wasn’t sure how they would look together. Of course, they were sublime. Built around a base of a huge white hydrangea, there were peonies, roses, ranunculus, daisies, lisianthus, astilbe and of course a little peep of willow. They were stunning and smelled like heaven.
Before I knew it we were all suited, booted and the beautiful cars chosen by Lee (a 1920s Bramwith and Daimler Landaulette) courtesy of classicweddingcars.org were waiting outside.
We were ready to go.
I loved driving through town with my Dad, waving and smiling at everyone the whole way, I’m never one to shy away from attention and I felt like royalty. We arrived at The Athenaeum expecting to be greeted by the bridal party who’d left 15 minutes before we did… The first comedy moment of the day. They weren’t there! After taking a wrong turn and getting stuck in the one-way system, they came reversing up the road – cheering and waving – making a spectacular entrance about ten minutes later. It was hilarious and left enough time for me and my Dad to enjoy one last glass of champagne before we headed inside.
Peace & Love
Our loose ‘books and music’ theme came naturally with the venues we’d chosen, but more than anything, we wanted our day to have a laid back, fun, retro vibe. We’re both strongly influenced by our parents in life, so we drew from their wedding days – working little details into our own day such as the colour scheme and flowers – while also reflecting our own personalities. The girls from Strange Case Collective had really gone to town creating our Chanel-inspired staircase and it looked fantastic, better than I could have ever imagined. I’d worked hard to plan the decorative touches, but I could never have achieved what they did. It was the cherry on the cake and the amount of work and love they’d put into our wedding day blew my mind.
We’d also left out a few little gestures for our guests, like a little chest filled with vintage hankies at the entrance to the library, to mop up any emotional tears (there were many) and also a little beauty box in the ladies toilets for touch ups and repairs – this is one gesture that doesn’t cost the earth but will mean the world to your girls when they need an emergency safety pin or spritz of hairspray. I totally recommend it.
Finally, I could hear the opening notes of Something by George Harrison. I gave my Dad’s arm a squeeze and walked into a dream…