This morning’s wedding comes from longtime RMW favourite, Claire Penn. Claire’s photography speaks for itself – it’s always so natural, beautifully edited with a truly cohesive style (I always know a Claire wedding when I see one) and she captures the details as well as all of the emotion.
Not only that, but Claire always has the loveliest couples, whose weddings just seem so joyful, as well as being fabulously stylish of course. Catherine and Daniel’s big day is no exception, with both looking gorgeous in British designers, as well as lots of lovely details and an abundance of stunning wild flowers, it’s a real feast for the eyes. Enjoy everyone, I think you’re going to love it!
Zoe and Grant’s Preston Court wedding is like a breath of fresh air. The pair pretty much shared all of the wedding planning and today’s write up comes from Grant, which is a rare occurrence on these pages. A wedding day is about two people after all, so try to make it reflect both of you! Share the workload!
A girl after our own hearts, Zoe changed from her heels into a pair of personalised trainers for the reception. Still looking gorgeous though – for a self confessed tomboy she looks pretty incredible in her dress! Images come from Epic Love Story, who you’ll find in our recommended supplier directory – The List.
I’ve been looking forward to blogging Becky & James’ big day for a while for lots of reasons – there are cardboard cat cutouts (!) an animal print wedding cake, it’s at Preston Court (epic wedding venue) AND Becky is wearing a gorgeous polka dot gown by one of our favourite designers, Katya Katya Shehurina. Then there’s the coral Bridesmaids dresses, the colourful lanterns adorning the ceiling of their dining room, the carousel and Groom James’ dapper outfit! Honestly, every image by Miki Studios seems to have captured another fabulous detail.
The whole day is full of fun and frolics and it looks like everyone had a lovely time. The couple held a BBQ the following day too, which is a great way to spend some more time with family and friends in a less formal way. Plus, as every Bride will tell you, the day flies past and you never get to spend as much time with people as you’d like. If only wedding days had extra hours…
Gorgeous Bride Claire literally has a dream job, she’s a shoe buyer for New Look, so as you can imagine, when it came to her own wedding shoes, it was a pretty important decision. In the end (and four pairs of shoes later) she opted for a statement pair of Sophia Webster’s complete with ‘wifey for lifey’ written on the soles. They are EPIC. And Claire clearly knows how to accessorise to perfection – just look at the Jenny Packham headpiece and cuff too!!!
They totally set the tone for the rest of the day – it’s all about fun, quirky details and pretty pastel decor. Think peonies, tassel garlands, neon lighting and flamingoes. Preston Court is one of our absolute favourite venues at RMW towers, mainly because of the carousel in the grounds, which makes for such gorgeous photos. And these ones from Red On Blonde photography are particularly lovely.
I’m not sure we’ve ever featured a wedding inspired by Mary Poppins before…but it’s a genius idea! Especially when your venue of choice has it’s very own carousel!!
For regular readers, or anyone who has been researching venues for a while, you’ll have guessed that this wedding comes from the fabulous Preston Court. Which not only has a carousel, but also fairground organs and beautiful roaming peacocks.
Just like the classic family film Mary Poppins, Gillian and Paul’s wedding is full of fun, smiles, singing and dancing. They even brought along their adorable pet bunny Poppy. Gillian looks as flawless as Mary herself too, and her lace edged veil is so feminine and pretty.
We love featuring weddings from Brides who used RMW to plan their big day, and Gillian and Paul’s wedding is full of wonderful List suppliers…
RMW regular, Harriet from Weddings Vintage, has captured some truly moving images of Gillian with her Dad.
There is something magical about an outdoor ceremony in the english countryside. Throw in some classic VW’s and some top notch pompom action and I am one happy wedding blogger.
The beautiful setting for Danielle and Jamie’s big day is Preston Court, near Canterbury.
Elvis The Horse
Danielle The Bride: The minute I saw the website for Preston Court I fell in love and didn’t want to look at any other venues. Jamie and I went with my Mum and Dad and our children Josh and Poppy to take a look. Jenny showed us everything the venue had to offer, unfortunately for Jamie the carousel was on site, from that point on there was no going back. Josh and Poppy were introduced to Elvis the horse, the resident peacocks, the chickens and the cockerel.
Thankfully Jamie was really taken with the island in the middle of the lake and loved the idea of getting married there; it was very romantic to walk over the lovely iron bridge to meet him.
Jenny and Anna, from Preston Court were great, they allowed us to do our own decorations and when we visited on a cold spring day for our wine tasting Jenny had the fire in the Kentish barn going with hot coffee ready..It was freezing cold outside but the venue was still beautiful!!
Hair The bridesmaids and I all got ready in the bridal suit, Holly and Elena made it a really enjoyable experience for us all. I didn’t want to look like I was wearing too much makeup but equally I didn’t want it to have worn off by the end of the day. They worked great together and made sure everyone was 100% happy, Holly doing the make-up and Elena the bridesmaid’s hair.
Apart from Holly and Elena I was lucky enough to have my heavily pregnant friend Emma murray. do my hair, thankfully baby Ruby waited until after the wedding to make an appearance.
Even the Groom and his Usher Tony (who just happened to be married to the lovely beautician) were treated to a few hours preening before the big day. Jaime Rowbury at Earth Purely then went on to make sure I was feeling relaxed with my own facial, pedicure and manicure along with perfectly painted OPI French gel nails.
I visited a small boutique called The Bridal Way in Warlingham, Surrey on a friend’s recommendation to look for my dress. I had an idea of what I wanted and happily it didn’t take long to find the perfect one. It was Atlanta B San Patrick by Pronovias.
I wanted to keep my jewellery plain, so for something borrowed I wore my Mums silver Tiffany’s heart bracelet, for new, diamond earrings that my Dad surprised me with before he gave me away.
My Grandma pinned a wedding ring into my dress that belonged to my Great Great Auntie Edie; that was my something old.
I wasn’t really shopping for wedding shoes but as luck would have it I came across one pair of satin shoes in my size in the Faith sale, they had perfect sparkly bows and were so comfortable.
I had my Sister, my Auntie, my Sister in Law and two of my best friends as bridesmaids. We couldn’t decide which dresses we liked best so the girls picked their favourites, both Debenhams Debut and we went with both of them.
The pastel pink tied in with the decorations and the blue with the Next suits the Ushers and Josh wore. The Groom, Best Man and both Dads wore suits and ties from TM Lewin. Our daughter Poppy who was our flower girl wore a dress from Monsoon.
I wanted to keep to pastel pinks and creams, I loved the vintage cottage look and we spent lots of time making the decorations ourselves. We ordered flat packed pom poms from decopompoms, which arrived really quickly. The day before the wedding our Parents, my Grandma and Jay and Jodie, two of the bridesmaids spent the whole afternoon opening them up and decorating the barn. For weeks leading up to the wedding we collected material/lace/ribbon and jars to decorate the tables; who would have known empty mayonnaise jars would come in so handy. We ordered the jars on eBay and sweets online from Handy Candy and made our own wedding favours, Jamie spent ages cutting out the circles of material for the tops and stamping the little labels with our wedding date. We ordered hessian in one continuous strip for the table runners and my Grandma cut it to size on our lawn.
All the table names were hand stamped by Jamie and my Mum too.
Soft Shabby Chic
I met Lisa at Heather & Wood at a wedding fair in Kent, her stall was by far the prettiest I had seen and she agreed to come to our home and talk to us about our day. She was great and translated our conversation perfectly into a soft vintage shabby Chic look for the bouquets and table decorations that were exactly what we had hoped for.
All the family stayed at the Bell Hotel in Sandwich and then we travelled to the wedding venue in Delilah… In a fabulous convertible VW Beetle belonging to Kent Beetles and the bridesmaids followed in style in Betty the lovely red retro camper van.
We were married in the folly on Juliana’s medieval island, another lovely part of Preston Court.
Poetry In Motion
Jamie’s Sister Claire, who was one of our bridesmaids, did the first reading followed by Usher Tony who read “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by William Wordsworth. He had known this off by heart since he and Jamie were young and the Registrar was most impressed. Unfortunately the sound of the wind did spoil this for guests on the other side of the Island so Tony was kind enough to do a repeat performance during the speeches, accompanied by mime courtesy of Jamie’s best man Darren much to the audience’s amusement.
We had the most fantastic band, Groove Instinct. We found them online and went to see them perform as a 7 piece band at Dover Street Wine Bar, they didn’t disappoint. Charlie was really helpful answering all our questions in the run up to the wedding and on the night they were great, an amazing atmosphere and they really got the crowd going.
We met our lovely photographer Dasha Caffery over coffee, her style was exactly what we had been looking for. Neither of us like posing for photographs so we were really happy when Dasha took some lovely natural photographs of us with the children for our pre-wedding shoot in Bushy Park.
Dasha was great on the day, she blended in seamlessly with the guests so much so that when the photos arrived we hadn’t remembered seeing her taking them. Now we have some amazing pictures to remind us of what a lovely day we had.
Preston Court provides a list of their preferred caterers to choose from, we chose Scott Anderson after the ceremony they served Pimm’s and canapés on the lawn outside Preston Court then onto the long barn for our wedding breakfast. We gave the guests a choice of two starters and main meal with a delicious Eton Mess for pudding.
In the evening we had a fish and chip van that went down a storm with our guests, the portions were huge and freshly cooked by Susan and Gary in their van. It was getting very chilly by this stage so they were very much appreciated.
Our wedding cake came from a very lovely lady called Laura Milner owner of The Laura May Cake Company; initially I didn’t have any plans for a traditional cake and wanted to go with our own home made offerings. My sister and Mum took me to the wedding fair at Earls Court and it was on the way out that I saw the most beautiful cake. If I hadn’t already been smitten Laura invited Jamie and I along with my Mum and Dad for the cake tasting. We arrived to find two beautifully decorated cakes in each flavour with little sugar flowers. Needless to say they tasted delicious too. Laura made sure our celiac guests were catered for too with their own lovely cupcakes.
The other good thing to come out of the Earls Court wedding was finding Amelia Lane Paper. Again I had planned to go with my own invitations but the samples we ordered were so lovely that it made sense. They provided day and night invitations, an order of service, table numbers, really lovely table plan and menus all to match at a reasonable price. Not only that but Chanel was really patient and accommodating with the printing of our table plan that seemed to take forever.
We made crate paper bunting and little pink hearts for the lawn; all made using a heart cutter from Hobby craft and stuck onto kebab skewers, another family DIY day.
All of the little touches… The test tube florals, the poms, the stationery and the signage (to name just a few) really pull together to create a very polished yet natural theme. Parts of Danielle and Jamie’s wedding almost feel transatlantic while other features are quintessentially english… But everything blends together so perfectly, it’s a real pleasure to sit here looking through all of these beauttiful images.
The Title says it all really… Since I first saw Hannah and Toby’s photography work I have been itching to feature a wedding by Red On Blonde on the blog (and yes it is a VERY cool name)!
Preston Court is a very cool venue too & Charlotte and Rory are a very cool couple who had a wedding chock full of personal touches. Basically… this is VERY cool…
It Was Perfect
My Husband Rory and I didn’t want a formal wedding with a 4 course meal and our guests having nothing to do whilst we were having photos and they were waiting to be fed by canapés that make you even hungrier! So when we found Preston Court with its Carousel and feature points such as the art deco and 1950’s vintage organ players along with the freedom to design our own wedding, it made perfect sense! And it WAS perfect!
Friends & Family
My hair was relaxed and styled by my Aunty who’s a hairdresser. It was nice because it kept the morning really personal and she knew I didn’t want to get married to Rory looking like someone he’d never met before! My makeup was done by a close friend and all of my makeup was Benefit cosmetics! They have all the colours and staying power a girl could need on her wedding day!
My dress was designed by Essence. I found it at Marshmallow Bride in St Albans. I popped in on the off chance to see if they had something ‘different’ although I didn’t know what different was… until they pulled out the perfect dress that made me cry instantly! I tried 28 other dresses on beforehand and new from then that I’d found my dress! The best thing is, that the top piece of lace was detachable so I could party in the evening!
I knew early on that a veil was not for me! So I wore a beautiful hair slide handmade by Poppy Rogers of Connie and Dolly designs. I met her at a Vintage Wedding Fair at Chiswick Town Hall. She took one look at my wedding dress and the blush colour of the material and made a one off piece just for me in 2 weeks! My shoes were a bargain at £10 from the vintage emporium in St Albans and my jewellery was accessorize!
My bridesmaids wore a dress I ordered online for £40! They originally had sequins around the waist band, but a close friend of ours took them off and replaced it with lace and vintage brooches that I ordered off ebay. Their shoes were from Jenny Packham at Debenhams. My groom had his suit made and the rest of our wedding party suits were from Next. I couldn’t find an alternative buttonhole that wasn’t a flower, so I made them with bits’n’bobs from Hobbycraft!
Vintage Shabby Retro Chic
We started off with a vintage feel, but as any bride will tell you when you’ve got 2 years to plan a wedding… thing’s change! So we had a few vintage/shabby chic details running through with a little retro too! Our invites which we made ourselves and had printed by a friend were a story of how we met to the present day. As our story has all been in London, we made our own table plan out of an old suitcase and used London plaques to tie in that we bought at Portobello road. We added a few pom poms and hanging bits and voila!
Colourful & Fun
I knew I wanted my bouquet to be colourful and fun to represent all of the colours that would feature through the day and the feel of our wedding. So my mum’s friend is a florist who put my chosen flowers together for my bouquet. We then used a florist based in Ashford who ordered Green carnations, Peach Gerbera, Gip, Light pink spray carnations, Peach rose, White carnations at wholesale price and we trimmed and popped them in the jugs, jars and tins the day before!
Floods Of Tears
This was by far the best and most romantic part of the day… as well as EMOTIONAL! The funniest thing is that my mum, step-dad and mother in law got lost on the way to Preston Court so it only added to the build-up. I drove down the drive to the front of the house and everyone was cheering and stood up waiting! It was so exciting! As soon as I heard our song ‘Al Green – Let’s stay together’ I walked towards the bridge to meet Rory on the island. I could see my best friend Lotte and Sister in law Rachel crying… by the time I saw Rory, we were all in floods of tears… including him!
Hey Mr DJ
Music means so much to us so we had a DJ for the evening who played all of the tracks we wanted! We sent him a comprehensive playlist of 5 hours’ worth of music and he played it right to the very end! Rory’s family are from Grenada so we had some soca and calypso, I love hip hop and soul music and Rory loves soulful house… put all of that together and the dance floor was never empty!
We played music right from the beginning of our ceremony, through the wedding breakfast and up to the end courtesy of our friend and DJ Jason Sears who made an uplifting playlist for us to enjoy.
Nacho, Nacho Man…
So, I mentioned before that Canapes aren’t our thing and we hate being hungry, so we supplied our own Nacho Bar! We stocked up on Guacamole, salsa, cheese, nachos, sour cream and olive. Popped out some bowls and a nacho bar sign from ebay and they ate the lot!
We wanted everything to be as personal as possible, so we instead of a guest book, we had a canvas for everyone to sign. Every table name is where we go together as we live in London. We even had Wonka Bars with personalised golden tickets inside for our guests. Every feature had a personalised sign attached to it and we used blackboards as signs for people to know what to do around the venue. We left little boxes on our page boys places with their names on with various ‘things to do’ to keep them occupied. We collected all of the jam jars and brought in the vintage lemonades for our guests.
My sister in law Lotte and I had a DIY day and made loads of things like paper pom poms, cake toppers and flower garlands and it was such a nice day to spend with your best girl!
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We decided to have our own top table. This took the pressure out of a huge top table and was actually less formal. It made things easy for us too as our parents are separated and re-married, so we didn’t have to worry about tradition of whom is sat next to whom! Everyone says that you hardly see your husband on the day, but this gave us two hours to sit and chat and enjoy the speeches together. It also gives you that time to sit back and watch what’s around you.
The one thing I would say is you fret about all the small stuff leading up to the wedding and actually, you and your groom are the only ones who really know about them… so don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy the best day of your life!
Happy Monday you lovely lot. This morning I’m bringing you a glorious 30’s inspired day with a hairpiece to die for…and a pair of bright pink lips. Totally lush.
With a whimsical venue in the shape of Preston Court and gorgeous blooms, Sue and Neil managed to pull off a stunning looking day. And Neil is well dapper in his custom-made suit. I LOVE the colour of it and the tie compliments it so perfectly. And he sings ladies. Yep. His band performed at the wedding…
Sue The Bride: My dress was from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company from the Decades Collection. It was 1930s style high waisted v-neck lace dress with satin slip. I really wanted to find a vintage dress, but found it difficult to find one in super good condition and in lace. I really love the romance of the 30’s and this was the look I wanted to go for, so completely fell in love with the dress the first time I saw it. I was checking out vintage stores in Soho and managed to have a quick look in their boutique style showroom, and it immediately stood out to me. From then on, I always had it on my mind even though I tried quite a few vintage dresses. So finally I gave in to my gut instinct and tried it on, and it was perfect. I had my maid of honour Rachel with me during the fits, and the look on her face said it all too! Also the dress was made in the UK and was really pleased that I could help support UK production.
Unique And Special
I wanted to get something that fitted in with the style of the dress and was also different from other headpieces/veils I had seen. I really loved capped veils, but felt it may be a bit overkill with my dress so first stop was Etsy.com to see what they had. They are fantastic to use to find unique and special pieces. I eventually found Agnes Hart and she had the most beautiful headpieces where you can attach veils. The whole service that Agnes Hart provided was fantastic, and found my perfect accessory for my dress – a 1930’s Art Deco headpiece with silk veil. I received it beautifully packaged a few weeks after and was so excited. It looked even more stunning in the flesh!
If The Shoe Fits
As I live in flats and often channel my inner preppy boy look, I opted for a mid heel so that I could feel comfortable on the day but of course did not want to compromise on finding the most wonderful shoes! On my search for my dress I went to ‘Fur Coat, No Knickers’ who were great, and found Rachel Simpson shoes through them. I loved the styling and she had the most gorgeous ballroom inspired T-Bar shoes in a soft metallic gold. And they fitted perfectly! So ordered these off her website.
I used Lipstick and Curls for my wedding hair but did my make up myself. I wanted an old Hollywood glamour look for my hair to tie in with everything, so went for soft waves and curls. Amanda from Lipstick and Curls was great working with my hair.
I created my ideal flowers on a Pintrest board. I really wanted a soft feel of muted cream, whites, pinks, greens and to create a country garden effect. I found Euphoric Flowers florists to create the beautiful centre pieces and gorgeous bouquets and button holes. I did have a preference to hydregeas (as they remind me of New Zealand which is where Neil grew up and have been there countless times to visit) and herbs that were in my bouquet. I could not have asked for more as they constructed apple creates with vines and beautiful vases filled with gorgeous blooms!
For the bridesmaids, we bought their dresses from ASOS.COM and from the ASOS Salon Collection which is vintage inspired. I wanted to have a modern twist to their dresses and each dress was different. The dresses fitted in theme with my dress and my mum’s dress. I wanted muted winter pastels.
The Groomsmen bought their suits from M&S and got their ties, shirts and cufflinks from T.M. Lewin. These matched the Neils attire. Neil had his suit made for him from a tailor called Norton Bespoke. It was made to measure and fitted him like a glove! He had his tie also from the same place as the groomsmen and got his brogues from Loake, which were amazing.
I had known Nabeel for a while through friends and saw he had started photographing weddings and began to follow his work. As soon as we got engaged I knew we wanted him to be our photographer. He really does capture intimate moments well and also has a great narrative to his work, so was so unbelievably happy with how the photos turned out.
I went to the Vintage Wedding Fair in Bethnal Green earlier in the year and this is where I saw French Made. Her cakes were delicious and beautiful. We had a 3 tier cake with a base of carrot and walnut, middle tier victoria sponge and top tier lemon, all covered in buttercream icing. Then the florist decorated the cake in delicate flowers which was stunning. It was simple but beautiful.
We got our favours from Creighton’s Chocolaterie who had chocolates with a twist and again made in Britain. We decided to go for chocolate moustaches in 3 flavours – dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate with hundreds and thousands. Bit of a lighthearted treat and also reminds me of Neil and his beard!!
Neil and his friends are in a band so it would only be fitting if they played at our wedding!! Neil surprised me with the song choices and took centre stage as the lead singer! Some of the songs were ‘Here comes your man’ by The Pixies, ‘All day and all of the night’ by the Kinks and ‘I want to hold your hand’ by The Beatles. It was amazing!!!
Our first dance was to Beach House ‘ I’ll take care of you’ as we really loved the lyrics and the band. Neil bought this on record in the summer and it has been one of our favourite records ever since.
Tea Lights And A Lick Of Paint
With the help of my friend Amy we made over 20 metres of lace bunting. We sourced jars and wrapped them in lace trim, bought gold tealights and also sourced old frames, painted them in blackboard paint and made these our table plans, welcome sign and order of service. Neil was great at painting and setting these up for me to write on.
Luckily Preston Court has the most beautiful backdrop of ornate vintage music hall organs and created a stunning backdrop to our service. With the help of some friends we added lanterns in the main barn and decorated the metal orning outside the reception barn with multi coloured ribbons and also decorated trees near the barn in ribbon, bunting and tealights in jars.
My Soul Mate
Our day was special because we did it all together. It was a great representation of us, and our hard work and it was great to see everything come to life. It was the best day of our lives and more than anything I was so happy to marry my soul mate. My advice is to enjoy all the preparations even though it can get stressful but you will get there in the end and all will be perfect on the day. And keep a tight budget and try and do as much as you can yourselves, which makes it more personal. I would use blogs as inspiration and ask your friends for help as it’s much more fun doing things together!