The Redfords

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I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.

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

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

Photography today is by Daffodil Waves.

Second Time Lucky

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

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

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

Soft Dusky Pinks

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

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

Something Different

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

Light And Natural

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

Pink and Cream

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

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

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

Evening Tails

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

Straight Out Of Downton

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

We Had Fun

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

Cupcake Tower

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

Perfect Harmony

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

A Fun First Dance

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

Decor Galore

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

A Final Thought

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

Venue – Moxhull Hall, Wishaw

Boutique – The Bridal Rooms Broadway

Dress –Demetrios

Headpiece – Gillian Million

Shoes – Rachel Simpson

Hair – Natalie Bartram

Makeup – Chloe McCall

Flowers – Passion for Flowers

Photographer – Daffodil Waves

Cake – Cotton and Crumbs

Stationery – Lilylou and You

Choir – Kidderminster Male Choir

Band – The Redfords

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


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At The Waters Edge.

Dom and Elizabeth married in June with a ceremony at Normanton Church Museum, Rutland Water and a reception held at Elizabeth’s parents home in Broughton Cambridgeshire.

Pictures today are taken by the supremely talented Dottie Photography.

So many things I love about this wedding… But let’s start with an outrageously gratuitous picture of the shoes… by who else other than McQueen. 😉

Loving The Low Back

The dress is Darling by Jenny Packham from The Taylors Cat, Cambridge. I actually set out looking for a lace fishtail dress, and thought I knew exactly what I wanted, but after trying on loads it just wasn’t me. I’ve always loved Jenny Packhams designs but didn’t think they would suit me… but in the shop I couldn’t help but try on at least half of the Jenny packhams they stocked… I loved the low back of the dress and the timeless shape, I just didn’t want to take it off.

I also brought the Valencia Stole from Hope and Grace its vintage glamour went perfectly with both the dress and the theme of the day. It also came in very handy as it was freezing on the shore of Rutland Water.

Vintage Rolex

I’m not big into sparkle so as the dress had a detailed waistband I wanted to keep the rest to a minimum. I wore simple pearl drop earrings and a vintage 1920’s Rolex that has been passed down to me (my something old)

Sage And Gold

I love my shoes!! Alexander McQueen 14cm heels in Sage Green with gold skulls… I’m not a fan of “normal” wedding shoes that won’t get worn again, plus I’m short so the height came in handy for photos. The reception was in a field so it did dawn on me when I was buying them that they possibly weren’t the most practical but they turned out to be very comfortable and kept them on until the dancing (and drinking) made it a little unsafe!

Nothing Too Formal

I did my make-up myself; I didn’t practice before hand although I had planned to (!) but just went with it on the day.

My hair was done by Becky from David William Hair, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, I didn’t want anything too formal or what I feel is typical wedding hair.

Simple ELegance

I like the simple elegance that comes from using one flower on mass so for everything other than my bouquet we used gypsophilia, I love the cloud-like nature of the large bunches. My bouquet was made of entirely white peonies, as they have been my favorite flower for as long as I can remember.

We did all the flowers ourselves from bouquets to buttonholes and centerpieces. All the flowers were brought from an online wholesaler called Nursery Fresh Wholesale FLowers and on Friday afternoon my bridesmaids and I got arranging with the 40 or so bunches that had been delivered. On the Sunday we sent lots of guests home with bunches of gypsophilia and the rest is still alive and decorating my mums porch.

I wanted complete control of styling the day and didn’t feel that what I envisioned was hard enough to require a florist, and after all they wouldn’t have been able to raid the barns for the last minute addition of old milk churns like I did!

Neutral Colours

I wanted to keep the colour scheme as white and neutral as possible.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were all from Mango and brought for £28 on sale. After we found them I found the cardigans by accident when walking past New Look and they added the perfect pop of colour against the neutral backdrop.

All the suits including the grooms were hired from Cadge Menswear St Ives Cambridgeshire. We had a very fun afternoon playing dress up Dom where I made him try on every possible suit and tie there was and then settled on these suits as they where the right shade of unshiny grey! I had never wanted the boys to be too formal I wanted them to be comfortable… and as you can see by some photos a couple fell asleep in them on the bus! Mission accomplished!

First Suit

Working as a chef I rarely see Dom in anything other than whites and I had never seen him in a suit until our wedding, which made it all the more memorable. His suit was the same as all the others but we brought him shoes from Ted Baker, and he wore his great grandfathers pocket watch, which went perfectly with the day.

Custard Creams

We wanted the photographs to capture the fun of the day, keeping formal shots to an absolute minimum. After meeting Mandy from Dottie Photography (and ken the pug), eating custard creams and talking about vintage dresses I knew she would suit us perfectly. The pre-wedding shoot was great as it allowed us to get to know her and get past any awkwardness; we left feeling 100% confident about using her and couldn’t wait for the results. I would recommend everyone tries to do a pre-wedding shoot as it really puts your mind at ease. On the day Mandy and Julie fitted in perfectly as if they were our friends and have captured the smallest details perfectly.

Cheese Station

I knew I wanted a dessert table from day one but it was what was going on it that I couldn’t decide on! Looking through all the examples on American blogs just kept making my list bigger! I love the buzz they create, especially as they aren’t very common over here yet and there is literally something for everyone. We also added a cheese station onto one end of ours, which proved very popular.

We had four cakes baked by a local coffee shop (Johnsons Butchers Old Hurst Cambridgeshire), as I am obsessed with their carrot cake. Carrot, Cappuccino, Lemon Drizzle and Victoria Sponge. We also had macaroons, fondant fancies, vanilla cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes from Waitrose entertain… at one stage we were going to make all the cupcakes but about 2 weeks before we realized we didn’t have any time to and although Dom’s a chef and I bake a lot the pressure was too much and we gave in and brought them… I’m so glad we did this as we were so busy the two days before I have no idea how we would have done it all to a standard we were happy with.

Acoustic Duo

We hired The Redfords to perform with an acoustic duo during the drinks reception and then full band after the meal; we booked them after watching two YouTube videos of them and never looked back. They were so good and kept us dancing barefoot long into the night.

Not necessarily entertainment, but good fun was the 1960s double decker bus we hired from London Heritage to transport all the guests to and from the ceremony.

Jumping Up And Down

We had planned to have our first dance to Paperweight by Joshua Radin but on the day decided against doing it, as being the center of such silent, camera flashing attention is not us…we have a lovely routine we can always do at home on our anniversary!

Instead the band got everyone on the dance floor surrounding us and our first dance was everyone jumping up and down dancing, it was perfectly in keeping with the aim that it was about family and friends coming together as one, and most importantly much more us.

Mint Honey

We went back and forth on favours mainly because I wanted them to be personal and homemade, in the end I found a picture of test tube favors and fell in love with their simplicity. We weren’t sure what to put in them but I wanted something a bit unusual and came across a method for making mint honey. They where so simple and cheap to make and the honey tastes really good. I also wrote a favorite recipe on the back of the tag that the honey could be included in.

A Blank Canvas

I didn’t want the reception in a pre-made venue; I wanted a completely blank canvas. Our marquee was the starting point and who knew there were so many options out there! Luckily I came across Nick from Fairytale Marquees who was really helpful and even came back on the Friday night to make sure all the ropes were tight enough as the wind was especially strong.

Rooms Inside Rooms

I had so many ideas for creating outdoor living spaces (read taking all furniture from my mums house, our house, and anyone else I could think of) but the wettest June in 100 years had other ideas! So I took some of the furniture and created areas in the marquee. I attached ends of fabric behind the furniture to make them feel more like separate rooms.

We also created a photo-booth guestbook in a corner of the marquee using a digital camera, a mini photo printer, a stack of props and a sketchbook. It was so simple to create and cost effective compared to hiring one, another bonus was that it was there all night so there is evidence of the last men standing at 3am and everyone at the picnic we held the following day.

We filled 200 jam jars with candles to line the pathway, folded 2000 paper doilies to make the garlands for the chair backs and I spent many many hours shouting at my printer when making the invitations that were designed by a graphic designer friend of mine Hanna Benjamin. Using the same type and graphics I also designed an I spy game on the back of all the menus to be played with disposable table cameras, these have provided some of the most unexpected and funniest photos as well as acting as an ice breaker along the tables.

We hired all the miniature rose bowls, julep cups, tea light holders and two large candelabras from the lovely ladies at Wedding Day Hire. I spent ages wondering around their Aladdin’s cave of a showroom and they were both incredibly helpful.

Event styling and management is actually what I’m passionate about and I have been following various wedding and event blogs including RMW long before we got engaged, I’m now certain this is what I want to do, even if it’s just part time to start with…watch this space!

A Family Dinner

We wanted to create the atmosphere of a large family dinner which was the reason for 3 long tables, no top table, planned speeches, cake cutting and in the end first dance as we didn’t want to break up the natural momentum of the evening… which ended for us at 1:30 and for the last few standing gin in hand at 3.

We also had a picnic brunch on the Sunday, this meant we could see everyone again, thank people for coming and continue the celebrations. I loved this almost as much as the day before and would suggest that if you can do something the next day it’s well worth it, and takes the pressure off making sure you’ve spoken to everyone enough the night before.

We chose to spend money on food, band and photographer. The food was obvious as Dom’s a chef so we couldn’t not have amazing food! Sam from Cambridge Dining Company did an amazing job looking after us all on the day while Chris and Alex prepared and served the exceptional food from a small catering tent on a hill. People are still commenting on the quality of the food served.

What made our day truly special was that we only invited 70 close family and friends, and by the end of the bus ride and cocktails everyone new everyone else. I was also incredibly touched that 12 members of my family made the journey from Canada.

Our wedding was 100% us and during the planning process we did get a fair few worried looks, confused and unsure faces but on the day everyone loved it and understood why we didn’t want a lot of the traditional ‘wedding’ elements. Doing so much ourselves was time consuming, especially the week of the wedding, but I loved being able to put so much of us into the day and make it as unique as possible.

Photography – Dottie Photography

Dress – Jenny Packham

Stole – Hope and Grace

Shoes – Alexander McQueen

Flowers – Nursery Fresh Wholesale Flowers

Suit Hire – Cadge Menswear

Maids – Mango

Entertainment – The Redfords

Bus – London Heritage

Marquee – Fairytale Marquees

Invitations – Hanna Benjamin

Hire – Wedding Day Hire

Who would like to go first with everything they love about this wedding?

Maybe the maids dresses with the super cool colour pop cardis?

Maybe the ceremony venue surrounded by water?

Maybe the vintage Rolls Royce?

Or maybe the bus, the snazzy stationery, the test-tube cool favours, the serious dose of gyp or perhaps all those lovely vintage items… the list on this one is pretty much endless.