The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

Pin Image

Coming Home To Roost.


There’s something utterly chic about a groom in a tux.

It’s not a sight we see much of at the moment with most menfolk either opting for Morning suits or for super swish modern day attire and personally I think it’s a bit of a shame for a man clad in black tie always makes me go a bit weak at the knees.

Adrian almost gives the lovely Amy a run for her money with his Dries Van Noten tux and shiny dress shoes and colour pop pink hydrangea buttonhole. I said almost because Amy is most definitely hot to trot in not one but two completely gorgeous bridal frocks and EPIC accessories. Just wait until you see her shoes.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Amy and Adrian’s wedding though is that every single guest ‘married’ the couple. Yep you heard right, their best man printed the vows the pair had written onto flash cards so that their guests could read them out in unison for the couple to then repeat back to them.


wedding The Roost London alternative wedding photography

Pin Image

By The Riverside.


Where the River Thames meets the Cotswolds. That’s how The Trout Inn describes it’s location. As you can imagine, it’s pretty idyllic. Which is exactly why today’s gorgeous couple chose it as their wedding venue.

They hired an amazing vintage marquee, set it up between the pub and the river and jitterbugged the night away. Throw in family, friends and homemade cake and you’re on to a winner.

The images were captured by the lovely Cotton Candy Photography ladies – make sure you click through to the gallery and have a look at some of their shots using vintage and toy cameras. Very dreamy indeed.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0001

Rustic Countryside Charm

Natasha The Bride: The wedding ceremony and reception were at The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge in Buckland Marsh, Oxfordshire. After getting engaged in May 2012 in London we travelled to Oxfordshire to spend the weekend at a romantic retreat, The Dovecote, in Oxfordshire. We stumbled upon The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge after an epic walk in Oxfordshire countryside and immediately were taken aback by its idyllic location by the Thames and its rustic countryside charm. After having a couple of drinks in the sun, we decided to stay for dinner and ended leaving when it got dark. Little did we know that exactly a year to the date of our first visit (I still have the receipt!) to The Trout Inn we would be getting married there.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0002

We chose this venue because it embodied everything that we were looking for – tranquil location, laidback atmosphere, delicious food and drink. Plus we love to spend an evening in a good pub! We could also decorate the venue as we wanted thus make the occasion more personal.

We hired a vintage military marquee from LPM Bohemia to be used for speeches and dancing. We used the pub’s picnic benches inside the marquee for guests to take a seat during speeches and to rest after a good dance session!

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0003

Reflecting The Location

I did not start with a particular theme or look in mind – rather, everything fell into place once the venue was decided so we got more of an idea of what would be fitting for the location and general ‘feel’ of the place. My hairstyle had to be appropriate for the dress (or two, rather) and was beautifully done by my hair stylist.

Make-up – I did my own make-up as I think you know your own face better than others. I had, however, been for a Bridal Make-up Lesson with MAC. The make-up artist created a look that accentuated my eyes whilst keeping the lip colour nude. I practised recreating this look a couple of times before the wedding day. I am glad I chose MAC as the products were fantastic and lasted well throughout the day.

I made sure I had a Gelish manicure and pedicure in pale pink – it lasts for weeks and we were jetting off on our honeymoon the day after the wedding. You don’t want chipped nail varnish ruining your honeymoon look!

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0004

Simple Yet Elegant

My wedding dress is an original 1970s Vintage dress which I got from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company (now Charlie Brear). I also had a vintage original headpiece bought at the same shop as my dress. When I saw my future dress at a Bridal event I immediately knew that this was The One – it fitted perfectly with our countryside wedding theme, it was simple yet elegant. The Dress Number Two that I wore for our Jitterbug first dance was by Malene Birger from Net-a-Porter.

I had two pairs of shoes: the Rosette-Embellished Satin Sandals for the ceremony and the reception; the Charlotte Olympia Kitty satin flats for dancing. The sandals were from Net-a-Porter by Giuseppe Zanotti. The Kitty flats are also a tribute to our two cats, Lilly and Anya. They obviously could not be taken with us to the wedding (although I would have loved to) but I was reminded of them every time I looked down at my feet!

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0005

Multi Coloured And Floral

I had one Head Bridesmaid and three Bridesmaids; Philip had two Best Men and two Groomsmen. We didn’t want anything ‘bridesmaidy’ so the girls were free to choose what they would be happy wearing as long as there was some unity by colour or style. The Head Bridesmaid wore a dress by Ted Baker but the Bridesmaids had their dresses were from Reiss. All the girls, however, wore the same pair of shoes by LK Bennett as the flower pattern and the multitude of colours suited the countryside theme and were in contrast with the pale mint dresses.

The Groomsmen’s ties were a great find as they complemented the Bridesmaids’ shoes and the Groom’s tie. They were from The Savile Row Company and the Groom’s tie was by Paul Smith.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0006

Countryside Fair

The theme was Countryside Fair which we tried to reflect through decorative items like vintage paper pompoms, hessian table cloths, giant balloons, mason jars and porcelain jugs. The colour scheme came about spontaneously – white/pale mint. Essentially, we just picked out the colours and items we liked, such as the wedding car, bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s ties. To complete the theme we asked one of the venue staff to serve ice cream in a summer straw hat; cloudy lemonade in vintage milk bottles was provided to the guests during the reception as well as giant Jenga and quoits.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0007

The Smell Of Herbs

The flowers were roses, baby breath and some green foliage (to keep with white/green scheme). These were provided Wild About florist. For the table centrepieces I planted rosemary, sage and thyme into wooden planters which were then draped in hessian and lace.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0008

The Most Important Part

We felt that a ceremony should symbolise our wish to be together which is the most important part. The length, however, was less important so we wanted it short to keep the attention of the audience and to fit with the overall concept of the wedding: light-hearted and party oriented. We therefore had simple vows with no readings. We loved the way the rain stopped and sun came out briefly during our vows.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0009

High Energy

The wedding dance was a track from a similar dance: Lucy Does the Jitterbug. We had a couple of lessons with a very patient dance teacher Stuart McGee from the Lyndy Hop and Swing Dance Club. It was fun to dance and our guests enjoyed the high energy and originality. We had a very good DJ who asked us to compile various lists of songs. He blended them into a very good party mix keeping people on the dance floor throughout.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0010

From Russia With Love

The menu was provided by the venue and both chicken and vegetarian options were very tasty according to comments we received from our guests. Both chocolate/cherry and fruit cakes were created by Phil’s mother – Vera. The wedding was due to finish after 1am so we had a hog to provide our guests with much needed energy for the dancing.

As a thank you to our family, we gave picture frames with our names and wedding date engraved. With a nod to our Russian background our best men, ushers and bridesmaids received a glass jug and cup set in the form of a Russian doll while other guests received measuring cups in the form of Russian dolls.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0011

Pale Pink, Green And Hessian

The stationery was very important as it set the tone for the wedding. We printed invitations, order of service and thank you cards in pale pink and green through a boutique San Francisco design studio Hello! Lucky. I bound the order of service sheets with hessian string – again, keeping with the rustic countryside theme.

I made the seating plan myself with handmade cards and rubber alphabet stamps. The table numbers were simply numbered with vintage rubber number stamps.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0012

Go With The Flow

Although the task of organising a wedding may seem daunting, it is also ultimately enjoyable to see all your hard work eventually pay off. Don’t stress too much about everything going perfectly on the day – just go with the flow and enjoy the most memorable day in your life.

A Countryside Fair Themed Wedding at The Trout Inn Oxfordshire, Images by Cotton Candy Photography. Bride in Vintage Gown from Charlie Brear, Groom In Tweed suit and flat cap_0013

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – The Trout Inn
Bride’s Gown – The Vintage Wedding Dress Co. and Malene Birger at Net-A-Porter
Bride’s Shoes – Charlotte Olympia and Giuseppe Zanotti at Net-A-Porter
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Ted Baker and Reiss
Shoes – LK Bennett
Florist – Wild About
Car Hire – Cotswold 500
Stationery – Hello! Lucky
Photography – Cotton Candy Photography

I’m a sucker for herbs as centrepieces – the smell must be delicious.

Natasha’s hair looks gorgeous too. Yet another head piece I need in my life!

Hope you’re all loving the tweed suit and flat cap too! Phil looks like a true gent.

Lots of love,
Fern x

Pin Image

A Vintage Tea Party


Today’s wedding is so pretty and delicate – all fluffy bouquets of gypsophila, china tea cups and pastel tones.

But the vintage tea party theme didn’t mean that they didn’t have a massive knees- up in the evening, the Groom re-formed his band for the occasion, Granny Norm baked a massive naked Victoria sponge and the guests got to munch on Pie and Mash!

Also, in true British style, the lack of sunshine didn’t stop the day from exceeding all of Charlotte’s expectations – just don a pair of wellies, grab a massive brolly and you’re good to go.

The day was captured perfectly by Claire Penn and Shutterbox films.


The First One

Our venue was the first one we looked at! My sister found it online and we went to see it and fell in love with it! We knew we wanted something relaxed and in a nice setting and the Ashes was just everything we wanted! The two beautiful barns provide everything you need and are in such a lovely pretty setting come rain or shine (rain in our case!)


Simple and Sophisticated

As my dress was quite simple I wanted my make up to be simple too. I was extremely lucky as my friend is a trained make-up artist so she worked her magic on the day! It was lovely to have Michelle do it for me, as she knows me already I trusted she would do exactly what I had in mind. We did have a little trial a few weeks before which I would recommend as it just makes the day much easier and run more smoothly.


My old hair dresser from home did my hair which again was so lovely! We did also have a trial which I would definitely do as what you say and think doesn’t always mean the hairdresser fully understands and once your hair is done it’s tricky to take out and do it again. I knew as with my make-up – I just wanted something natural and simple that still looked like me.

When You Know, You Know

Again as with our venue it was the first and only shop I went to! I knew I wanted something a bit different and simple; the one thing I wanted was to feel comfortable and be able to dance easily.


The minute I stepped into the Vintage Wedding Dress company I loved everything about it, the lovely ladies working there, the beautiful shop interior and then I saw the DRESSES! They are all so beautiful I loved that they offered both original vintage and inspired vintage. It turned out every dress I picked to try was original vintage, I loved that they were all so unique. My dress was 70’s and the second I put it on I loved it!

Vintage Accessories

I got most of my accessories from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company as they had such gorgeous things. I love headbands and really wanted something vintage in my hair. I loved the simple delicate flower headband and felt it just finished off my look perfectly.


My veil was also from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company. At first I didn’t think I would have a veil but when the lady in the shop popped one on me I loved it and thought it gave my dress a more bridal look. My shoes were also from there – I loved the simplicity of them and thought they went so well with my dress. Plus I wanted to dance all night and these meant I could do that!


Relaxed Vintage Feel

We didn’t have a strict colour scheme but wanted something relaxed with a vintage feel. The Bridesmaid’s dresses were from Warehouse, I loved the colour and style and they fitted really well next to my dress. I also had a little maid – Rob’s niece, and as she is 11, she wore a slightly different dress from ASOS but we still kept it within our vintage look and feel.

Rob knew he wanted something relaxed and fun so we decided waistcoats and bow ties would be good for the Best Men and Ushers! The waistcoats and bow ties were all from Topman. Rob’s suit was Topman and brogues from Ben Sherman.


Pastel Tones

As we didn’t really have a strict colour scheme as we wanted everything to be relaxed and a bit mix and match. Our invites we’re really simple, we used bunting which we then translated into the venue decor. We spent months collecting jars and pots and bunting to decorate the venue. We tried to use vintage pastel colours throughout the outfits and venue decor.


Thrown Together Flowers

The flowers were really important but I knew I wanted something simple and thrown together. I decided I would have gypsophila for my bouquet and for the 5 bridesmaids. I loved the vintage look of gyp and how pretty and simple it is. The button holes were all gypsophila too.
We were really lucky and had a friend of a friend do our flowers which was amazing as I totally trusted her to do an amazing job which she did! We collected jars and hampers for months to display the ceremony room flowers and table arrangements. I loved them – they were exactly what I’d hoped they would be and more.


Dancing Queen

Our ceremony was very simple, we chose our own vows and my Granny Norm did a reading – ‘Us Two’ from Winnie the Pooh. It was really lovely and exactly what we wanted.

Our biggest wish for the reception was that it was fun fun fun! We just wanted everyone to dance drink and have a good time. We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a band as I just love how a band makes people get up and dance. My sister found our band as she had seen them at a friend’s wedding and they were ace.


Rob also used to be in a band and they reformed for a quick showing which was so much fun – he even got his Dad up on stage! After the band had finished we played a selection of our favourite songs from over the years – both old school and new.

The Perfect Photographer

I searched and searched for a photographer that offered the vintage relaxed style we wanted and when I came across Claire Penn I was so thrilled. She is so amazing and completely captured our day in the most wonderful fun happy way. From the moment we met Claire she was so much fun and totally understood what we wanted. It was an absolute joy to have Claire as part of our day and we are so happy with all the photos!


Capture Every Moment

After seeing Shutterbox on Rock My Wedding I knew we had to have them! We hadn’t thought about having a film but when I saw what they could do we booked them straight away. Lee and Dawn are so lovely and so talented I am so pleased we decided to get a film. It’s amazing to watch it back and remember the day. Together with Claire Penn they have an incredible ability to absolutely capture every little moment of the day without you ever realising that they are there.


Guess Your Pie

Food was a big part of our day as we both love food – especially me! As we got married in March we wanted to have something warm and tasty. We decided to have pie and mash and were thrilled when we found out that Pieminister could provide the delicious pies. As it was National Pie week it also fitted in very well.

We had a selection of 4 pies on the day and you just got what was popped in front of you so it was a surprise. Pieminister provided us with loads of info on the pies which we displayed on the tables so people could guess what pie they had. We also had pie badges and tattoos which were extremely popular.


Vintage Tea Party

I wanted to do favours that tied in with our whole day so decided that I would hunt down vintage tea cups for all the girls and make marmalade for the boys. Along with our lovely family we hunted around charity shops and flea markets for tea cups. I also searched for some fabric for the tops of the marmalade jars that tied in with the Groomsmen’s outfits.

My Granny Norm is a fabulous cake maker – I was so pleased when she said she would make our wedding cake and it was fantastic. As it wasn’t a huge cake Rob’s mum also made some extra cakes to ensure there was enough for everyone and I loved how the cake table looked like a vintage tea party.


Bottle Collecting

We didn’t use a huge amount of stationery but decided we would use a vintage type writer with the table plan on. We searched the internet to find one and were so pleased when we found it! For the table names we just did numbers as we felt there was already enough detail on the tables with all the pie information and tattoos.


We wanted real old school milk bottles with wooden numbered spoons inside and we finally found some from Rob’s lovely Nanna and Grandpa who kept some from their milk delivery.
We wanted to have something more than a guest book that we could keep forever so we decided to have a bike picture which people then put their thumb print on that acted as a balloon tied to the bike! It has made such a great picture and will always remind us of our day!


Everything We Dreamed It Would Be

As all Brides say the best advice I can say is enjoy EVERY second as it goes so quickly! Also make sure you don’t get too tied up with planning and actually try and enjoy the planning stage and getting excited. Don’t be afraid to ask people to help and get involved, it was so special to have home-made cakes and marmalade! The best thing Rob and I did was make sure it was exactly what we wanted and it was, it was our day and everything we had dreamed it would be.

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – The Ashes
Dress and Brides Accessories – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Bridesmaid Dresses – Warehouse, ASOS
Groom and Best Men – Topman, Ben Sherman
Invites – Wedding Chicks
Guestbook – Wedding Chicks
Food – Pie Minister
Videographer – Shutterbox Films
Photographer – Claire Penn

Doesn’t Charlotte look radiant in the wedding video as she and Rob walk through the confetti?!?

Lots of love,

Fern x

Pin Image

Botcha A Me.

Devlin Photos

Tuesday are so boring. Until now! There are so many details in Hannah and Tim’s wedding that I’m not even sure where to start.

With their 1950’s theme perfected they achieved a truly glamorous day. And Hannah has so many fantastic vintage suppliers to share with you.

The images captured by the fabulous Lisa Devlin really tell a story about Hannah and Tim; who they are, what they’re about and the love they share. Enjoy this fabulous story told by bride Hannah and leave her some love for a wedding so true to her individual style and love of all things vintage.


A Suitably Quirky Venue

Chiddingstone is a gorgeous rural National Trust village 15 minutes from our home, which makes me feel like I am on a period film set every time I am there! Tim and I wanted a very traditional church ceremony from day one and St Mary’s is absolutely beautiful. We then wanted a reception venue which had the feeling of “come back to our country mansion for some super food, drink and dancing”. We both knew Chiddingstone Castle was the venue for us as soon as we walked in. It was intimate, Wintery, glamourous and suitably quirky with its crazy encased mummy, random artefacts and chintz floral wallpaper in various rooms. The fact that our guests could go to the old country pub opposite the church before the ceremony and could walk 2 minutes down a pretty path and over a footbridge from the church to the castle rounded off our decision.


Iconic Chanel

My hair and make-up of course had to fit in with our 1950s theme. I started going to The Chapel hairdressers in Tunbridge Wells soon after we were engaged, as I wanted to use them on the day of the wedding and it meant I could get to know the hairdresser and we could discuss the wedding hair well in advance. Sarah totally got it as soon as she saw my moodboard, but when she started playing around in the trial she put it up and down about 3 times until the very last 2 minutes of the appointment she came up with something and my mum and I squealed “that’s it”! The Chapel also did all 3 bridesmaids and my mum’s hair on the day and I think they all looked very glam!

I wanted to look like me on the day so I wanted to do my own make-up. I used some of my basics; Lancome foundation, Mac powder and blusher, YSL faux cils mascara and purchased some additional special items; Hourglass Veil primer which is amazing, Hourglass eyeshadow, Nars eye liner which has fantastic staying power and an iconic Chanel red lip liner and lipstick and matching nail polish. It was my birthday 2 weeks before the wedding and the girls at work bought me Tom Ford White Patchouli after I kept spritzting myself with it on every trip to Selfridges. It is very distinctive and gorgeous for a bride, and now reminds me of the day every time I wear it.


Me Written All Over It

I had designed my dress in my head even before we were engaged! I was pretty certain I would have it made, but my mum and I thought it would be a shame to miss out on a day of trying on dresses in boutiques, so we went to Pronovias, Vivienne Westwood, The Vintage Wedding Dress Company and Sassi Holford finished off with dinner at the Bluebird joined by my Maid of Honour. It was a fun day but I didn’t feel right or look like me in any of them. My friend in the Royal Ballet then recommended a dress maker James Kelly.

When we met up we hit it off straight away. I explained what I wanted and with his expert knowledge on fabrications and 1950s styles he sketched up exactly what was in my head. We bought the silk, lining and netting via James’ connections in the stock room at the Royal Opera House. Mum and I found the lace after me standing half naked in various fabric shops in Soho draping super expensive laces over me. The one we went for was so delicate and vintage looking. We found the Swarovski crystal buttons for the back of the dress in Maculloch and Wallis and after many many fittings…voila! James had managed to translate the exact image I wanted into the most beautifully made unique dress that had ‘me’ written all over it.


Perfecting The Details

Because there was so much going on with the dress I wanted a very simple traditional veil the same length as my dress. My mum sourced the veiling and made it for me. For once in our lives we actually preferred the cheaper option! The silk tulle was so fine, it was a little limp so we went for the one with a bit of body. The right tiara was very hard to find. I wanted a vintage 1950s one but I could only find ones with real diamonds for tens of thousands of £’s and many of the new ones are so flimsy and floral! Eventually I found one which was new but had a real vintage feel and when I showed it to my mum it was the first time she got really emotional as it was so stunning.

My bracelet was vintage Dior costume jewellery from the Vintage Wedding Dress Company and I had very simple diamond stud earrings. My something borrowed was my Nana’s engagement ring who passed away. It was so special to me as my Nana was the ultimate perfectly glam woman and domestic goddess wife and their marriage was really something to aspire to. My gloves were ivory silk made for me by Cornelia James, who were incredibly helpful. They actually made me 3 pairs because the first 2 weren’t perfect in terms of fabric and colour, they simply said “keep sending them back until we get them right”! My fur stole was also very hard to find! After scouring many vintage shops leaving my contact details to all and sundry in case they came across the right one, I then found a particular seller on ebay who had 2 I loved. I was devastated when I lost the bid on a blonde mink cape but it was fate because the same seller then put up the 1950s Norwegian blue fox stole and I sat around a pub table in Pimlico on my bridesmaids birthday while everyone egged me on and I won!

I am a huge Christian Louboutin fan so I headed straight to the store on Mount st and fell in love straight away with the pair I bought. The colour was perfect and the pointed toe and bow were so 1950s! I am quite an impulsive shopper, I know exactly what I want in my head so when I see something that matches I just have to buy it, I don’t really do the whole shop around/have a think about it thing! I bought super cute, lace, retro looking knickers from Agent Provocateur which had suspenders for my Wolford stockings, and my MOH had a tartan and lace garter bespokely made for me with my ‘something blue’ bow.


Tartan Maids

The bridesmaid dresses…well my MOH bought me a Vivienne Westwood tartan notebook to jot down my wedding ‘to do’ lists which I slipped into my Vivienne Westwood tartan handbag and thus the tartan idea was born! I fell in love with a VW Anglomania tartan dress but it was completely sold out so I set about to find my own VW inspired tartan, which I found on Berwick street, Soho. I loved the colours in it, it was rich, wintery and not too Scottish looking! I ordered it in pure silk and it eventually came in after a disastrous flood at the mill in India! James and I followed a similar design process as with my dress. They had to be 1950s and I wanted the silhouette to compliment mine. James came up with the idea of cutting the tartan on the cross with the waistband on the straight which really gave them that couture edge! I made their fascinators on one Sunday sitting in front of the fire and 4 Fred Astaire movies! They each had a different 1950s diamante bow shaped brooch. I bought them silver bow earrings and silver bracelets with a bow charm and their initial from Joy Everley near Carnaby Street. They had quite classic Carvela navy suede shoes and navy long gloves. I wanted them all in a different 1950s fur cape, I already owned 2 so I just had to find 1 more.


Tailor Made

Tim was adamant he was getting a tailor made suit until he tried on a beautifully classic morning suit from Buckleigh’s in Chelsea. It fitted him perfectly so we hired all of the groomsmen’s suits from there. He did however get his shirt tailor made at Emmett. James then made his tie and pocket square out of the bridesmaids tartan silk and the other men had plain deep red silk. I bought Tim a pair of Lanvin silver bow tie cufflinks for Christmas which we chose together on the same evening that we had a really fun time in Selfridge’s men’s shoe department. The winning pair were black patent brogues by ‘Stemar’ which are beautiful.


Grace, Doris And Mary

Our whole lives are very vintage! I think Tim and I were born in the wrong era! It naturally followed suit that our wedding would have very vintage styling. However instead of going for the shabby chic/rustic feel, we decided to go for a more glam look. We picked out the deep red from the tartan as our main colour and the tartan also had navy running through it so that became our secondary colour which worked perfectly for the time of year. We already owned some vintage cut glass vases, decanters, glasses and silver candelabra so we began collecting more of this ilk which included antique silver plated vases, rose bowls, trays, a perpetual calendar showing the wedding date and anything you could put a tealight candle in. It was so much fun, one of my bridesmaids took me to Bermondsey antiques market one early morning before work and another bridesmaid took us to Topsham in Devon which had the most amazing charity shops and antiques centre. My parents loaned us an antique wooden chest for our card box and I made the sign using vintage playing cards. By the card box we had photos of our grandparents on their wedding days alongside an antique silver gong my stepfather used to announce the line-up. My favourite decorative item was my Grandad’s trumpet which he played as Sergeant Major of the Grenadier Guards. The florist dressed it beautifully and it sat on the mantelpiece in the Great Hall. It also did become a source of entertainment when it started to be passed around the tables in an attempt to make any sort of musical note out of it!

I travelled very much in style in a 1957 black and ivory Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, which is the same model as Grace Kelly’s wedding car! Our good friends have a company hiring out vintage VW campervans the Glampervan Hire Company, so they picked up the bridesmaids in ‘Doris’ and my my brother has a nearly identical model called ‘Mary’ who picked up Tim and the boys.


The Blooms

Amanda at Distinctly Floral just got me as soon as I walked into her house. It was like she could read my mind! She created my beautiful 1950s teardrop shape bouquet of spray roses, hypericum berries, ranunculus and eryngium thistle. The bridesmaids had much of the same in smaller hand tied bouquets with the addition of honeymoon tulips which look like they have been edged in a delicate lace! The buttonholes and corsages all tied in, but Tim had chincherinchee in his, just because he loved the name! Tim’s buttonhole stems were wrapped in lace from my dress and the other boys were wrapped in tartan ribbon. The ladies from the church very kindly tied in by using the same flowers and did some beautiful arrangements. The pew ends were gorgeously tied with red bows. We had various arrangements around the castle, flowers were a big thing for us! Our table centres were tall silver candelabra with huge glamourous arrangements covering the candle arms, as we weren’t allowed naked flames. We then had the low level vases and candle holders in clusters around them in the antiquities we had collected! The top table arrangement was a stunning cascade of blooms over the edge of the table with clusters of candle holders at either end. We stuck to mostly ivory and green in the bouquets and church and then introduced colour at the castle.


Strings And DJs

Our church ceremony was everything we wanted it to be; traditional, joyous and full of love. We had 3 hymns which were ‘Give me Oil in my Lamp’ for a jolly sing song, ‘Be Thou My Vision’ for something a bit different, a very old Irish hymn that we love and ‘Jerusalem’ because I am super patriotic and it gives me shivers! We chose Tim’s cousin Lucy to do our biblical reading and my cousin Daniel to do the non biblical reading. We asked them both to chose their own readings to make it more personal and Lucy chose ‘1 Corinthians 13’ and Daniel chose a poem ‘On Your Wedding Day’ which was beautiful and light hearted.

We had a string quartet playing as our guests entered the church and for the traditional Bridal Chorus as I entered and Wedding March as we walked out. They also played during the signing of the register and then quickly tootled up to the castle to play as our guests arrived there. I gave them a playlist of purely classical pre 1920s pieces including some from Ballets as I used to be a Ballet dancer so that was a nice touch. As our guests entered the Great Hall for the Wedding Breakfast the string quartet stopped and we then had a playlist Tim and I put together playing on a Bose docking station of 1930s and 1940s music which created a lovely atmosphere. We then had DJ Phil Webster in the evening who was brilliant. It was Tim’s task to find the DJ and he did a great job. They worked together to come up with the most fantastic playlist which went through the eras starting with our first dance which was from 1952; Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Botch-a-Me’. We first heard it whilst watching Mad Men and it became a firm favourite. It then seemed an obvious choice for our first dance, as we just don’t have the personalities for anything slushy and this was suitably fun and quirky. We finished off the night with our favourite most current track by DJ Fresh ‘Gold Dust’ and the dance floor went through the roof!  


Real Foodies

My family, Tim and I are big foodies so this was a very important aspect of our day. My mum is a caterer, my stepfather had his own pub and my brother has his own very successful free range Butchers and delicatessen. When we fell in love with Chiddingstone Castle we were worried that you had to use the one and only recommended caterer, so before committing to a deposit we went for the tasting at Kalm Kitchen and they were perfect! They are a small young family run business who are super passionate about what they do and were really flexible in working around exactly what we wanted. The fact that we could also buy all of our own drinks with no painful corkage fee made everything fall perfectly into place and my parents could tootle off to France and take the ‘wedding wine tasting trip’ very seriously!

On arrival we had an Apple and Cinnamon Fizz (syrup made by my mum) in 1950s champagne coups which we bought 80 of (!) and beautiful canapes served from the antique silver trays we had collected. We then had a Game Terrine to start, Gressingham Duck Breast (supplied by my brother) and Hot Chocolate Fondants followed by coffee and petit-fours. Oh and Champagne for the toasts in 1950s coupes! My parents bought special 1950s cut glass coupes for everyone on the top table to keep. In the evening we had a huge cheese board with bread, chutneys etc and a magnificent 3 tier pork pie made by my very talented brother. On the top tier was a small silver vase that was on top of my grandparents wedding cake. Next to the cheeseboard we had Port in vintage decanters with our collection of vintage port glasses!

Our beautiful cake was made by my very talented mum and dressed by the florist. At 7pm we had Mojitos in jam jars tied with bows and stripey straws, because a chap called Juanito the Mojto taught us how to make the perfect Mojito on one of our favourite holidays in Cuba. We then had a free evening bar of locally brewed beer, Cuba Libres, Rum Coolers, Wine and Champagne. So many of our guests have commented on how amazing the food and drink was which was one our main aims!


Classic But Glam

I love all of the quirky fun wedding stationery that is on trend now, but it just didn’t go with our theme. We wanted very classic but glam stationery which we got from a very small family run business called Bond Street Print. They use an old fashioned process to do raised lettering onto heavy weight card and we had hand tied tartan bows. Tim and I made our own Guest Information cards which had an old black and white photo on the back of each one; a car park, an old taxi, an old hotel sign and a 1950s wedding present table! Our save the date card was a postcard with a black and white photo from our engagement shoot with Lisa Devlin and simply just said save the date with the date and our thank you cards are postcards with a black and white photo from the wedding.

Bond Street Print also made our Order of Services, Wedding Breakfast menus and Bar menus. For our table plan I made a board covered in navy silk that stood on an easel. Every guest then had a seating card in an envelope pinned to the board with a diamante pin through a tiny hand made bow. Our table names were; Fred and Ginger, Audrey, Grace, Marilyn, Bing, Gene and Cyd after our favourite 1950s movie stars. Each seating card had an old black and white photo of the movie star and on the back it would say ‘please find your seat at Audrey’s table’. The place names were very classic cards with handmade tartan bows which took my mum, sister-in-law and I a very long time to do over Christmas. For our confetti I bought some vintage music sheets from ebay and my mother in law made them into cones with small red bows.


Above And Beyond

Lisa Devlin was the very first thing we booked after the venue. I fell in love with her style instantly and knew we had to have her. She didn’t let us down, the photos are uniquely styled and emanate the atmosphere and feel of the day. And what was even better was that Lisa and Alexa’s personalities just seemed to fit right in. It was like they were a part of our day, they were fun, lovely and really helpful…Lisa actually fastened my suspenders to my stockings for me! Now that is above and beyond!


The Toxic Octopus

On a shallow note to all brides out there, set someone the task of keeping you looking spic and span the whole night long! You will be having so much fun with everyone and potentially be rather inebriated that you won’t care about touching up your make-up, but believe me – people will keep snapping away at you and it is impossible for your make-up to last an entire day especially if you enjoy jumping into the arms of your friends, being lifted by your groom numerous times and having an emotional dance to Bob Marley with your brother! Having said this, my mum did say to me “Hannah would you have rather been in the bathroom doing your hair and make-up or on the dance floor doing the amazing toxic Octopus with your friends (a very unusual dance move created at my hen doo!)?”.


Cherish Everything

On a deeper note, as you can probably tell from the above, it is all in the smallest of details for me and I am pretty anal about everything. I mean, I don’t think a caterer has ever had a bride worry whether the salt and pepper pots fit in with the theme before or a car company ever had a bride change the ivory ribbon on the car to premium Berrisford satin ribbon…but I have to say – above all of this, what will make your day so special is the people and ultimately your relationship. Our day had such an amazing atmosphere, it felt like everyone was having so much fun and was so happy to be there and to celebrate ‘us’. Some of the moments you will remember forever are the impromptu moments that you can’t plan for like the raucous cheering that seemed to last forever when we entered the room and again when Tim stood up for his speech, the random hilarious heckling , and a bridesmaid’s impromptu speech! Even things that went wrong can make you laugh forever, like Tim forgetting the cheque and cash for the church and his Uncle having a cheque book in his pocket (who does that these days!) and like the caterers putting double the amount of rum they were supposed to in the Mojitos and everyone getting extremely merry on Havana Club! Cherish it all!

The most important thing is to have ‘your day’ whether it be castle, a beach or a field, not what anyone else wants. Tim and I had our dream wedding weekend which was uniquely ‘us’ and we wouldn’t change a single thing.


Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue – Chiddingstone Castle
Bride and Maids Dresses – James Kelly
Hair – The Chapel
Groom – Buckleigh of London
Flowers – Distinctly Floral
Photographer – Devlin Photos

Tim’s heel click at the end says it all. How happy are these guys?!

The detail and effort Hannah went to is phenomenal. How about those Louboutin’s? And her dress is so stunning. Pinching in her tiny waist, perfectly fitted around her shoulders and a gorgeous length.

I love all of the cut glass, I love the trumpet, I love the mojitos, the bespoke bridesmaid gowns. What is not to love.

A super gorgeous day that is so true to who Hannah and Tim are. Truly their day their way.


Pin Image

Home Is Wherever I’m With You.

Caught The Light Wedding Photography

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bride with as perfect skin as Lizzie has.

I mean you’ve got to see it to believe it folks…proof that it’s worth investing in the very best of beauty products in the run-up to the big day. Blimey, it’s no wonder that Sam looks as proud as punch to be marrying his girl with a complexion like that.

And no, I can’t stop there.

Just wait until you see the maids. Contemporary and gorgeous, I love how Lizzie wasn’t afraid to dress her best girls in the softest of ivories to make a real style statement.

But it was Lizzie’s heartfelt sobs as she walked down the aisle that gave me a lump in my throat. I so completely get that…all that emotion can be a difficult to contain. Just a little heads up for you there girls.

Oh and I forgot to mention…HOT groom alert. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. So much passion smoulders throughout these photos that I’m afraid that my laptop is about to catch fire.

Best crack on then.

Maunsel House Wedding Venue Somerset

Maunsel House

Lizzie The Bride: After looking for 6 months we found Maunsel House in Somerset. It’s near to Glastonbury, where we got engaged, and we fell in love with it straight away. The house is quirky, lived in, eccentric and has its own pub! There were no ‘rules’ or limitations and this allowed for us to really feel like it was our home for the weekend. The house is exceptional whilst being cosy and relaxed at the same time – a perfect venue for us.

Ivory chic contemporary Bridesmaid Dresses

Elizabeth Street

Make-up wise it was important to me not to look dramatically different on my wedding day. I usually wear natural make up and nothing heavy, so I did my own on the day. However, I prepped! I invested in Kiehls products for months before so my skin looked its best.

My nail varnish was ‘Elizabeth Street’ from Nails Inc. My hair was inspired by my 40s dress and was styled in a vintage ‘up do’ done by the gorgeous Louise Alway.

Inspiration Wedding Flowers Dinah, Classic bouquet, Fur Coat No Knickers vintage hairpiece brooch

Beauty In Simplicity

My dress was from the Decades Collection at The Vintage Wedding Dress Company. For me, it was a risky choice due to its simplicity but it was my goal to be able to pull off a dress like that! I’m a fan of fuss free, classic styling and this dress is remarkable in its simplicity. Sam’s suit was from Sandro and his shirt and tie were from Mr Start Shoreditch.

Rachel Simpson Shoes, Blue Groom Suit Sandro, The Vintage Wedding Dress Company Decades Collection

Something Borrowed

I wore cream & gold Rachel Simpson shoes, matching the satin of my dress and they were the perfect height to be worn all day and night – sooo comfy! I found these at Fur Coat No Knickers where I also got the vintage brooch I used in my hair. As I was not having a veil I wanted a bit of sparkle in my hair as the finishing touch. The pearl bracelet belonged to a close friend who passed away two years ago; it was so special to have this as my ‘something borrowed’.

Vintage Wedding Car, The Vintage Wedding Dress Company Decades Collection

Subtle Romantic Tones

I had four bridesmaids all in white. I prefer subtle, romantic tones and grew to love the idea of us all standing out in white. The house is so ‘busy’ looking I thought it would be a nice balance for us to look natural.

Caught The Light Wedding Photography, Sandro Blue Grooms Suit, 1920s vintage wedding dress

Because we had so many ushers I felt strongly that we didn’t try and fit them all into one style of suit as they are all such different people, I wanted them to be comfortable on the day in their own choice of attire, I don’t like enforced ‘theming’ plus – anything goes at Maunsel!

Coloured Threads

The great thing about Maunsel is that its busy, fascinating backdrop provided the ‘décor’. Our name places where individually framed photos of everyone attending. If there was any ‘theme’ it was the use of coloured threads that we had used creating the text for our wedding website.

Contemporary white ivory bridesmaid dresses, Caught The Light Wedding Photography

Our meeting with the lovely Dinah at Inspiration Wedding Flowers was very quick as, judging by her portfolio, I knew she would nail the brief. I liked the idea of gentle pale tones and it was important to include aromatic herbs and wispy Gypsophilia.

Something Changed

People say the aisle bit goes by in a blur but I have a very clear memory (mainly of me crying my way down!). Pulp’s ‘Something Changed’ was our reading as we felt it relevant for such a life altering moment. I’d always had an image of being surrounded by lots of candles when saying my vows and my wonderful mum had been out to car boot sales for months beforehand picking up little clear tea light holders – we had them lining every surface.

Caught The Light Wedding Photography, Blue Sandro Mens Suit Tailored, The Vintage Wedding Dress Company 20s Style

Crazy In Love

We stumbled upon Billy & Martine in a small pub in Totnes and adored their folk inspired cover versions of classic pop songs. I immediately knew I wanted them at my wedding (this was two years before Sam proposed). The two of them played during canapés and their bigger outfit played later. They made the party!

They played our first dance – The Cure, Close To Me and my highlight was Martine’s Jay Z Rap during their version of Crazy In Love.

Maunsel House Wedding Venue Somerset English Country Manor Eccentric

We had tiers of cheese as our wedding cake which was later brought out with chutneys and crackers during the late night Hog Roast. We got it from the lovely Ticklemore Street Cheese Shop in Totnes, Devon, for local produce. We also had sweets in jars, which we had put in people’s bedrooms too.

Inspired By Us

Sam is a Graphic Designer so all our stationery was designed by us. We made the lettering for our website, which was inspired by the typographer Erik Spiekermann, and used the thread idea on invitations, tying up the order of service and hanging the table plan etc. All stationary was screen printed at BobEightPop.

Maunsel House Wedding Venue Somerset The Vintage Wedding Dress Company Decades Collection

Spoken Promises

When Sam proposed I made a promise to myself to remember what’s at the heart of all this wedding madness and that kept me chilled throughout. It’s all supposed to be fun! I recommend doing as much DIY as possible as that’s what guests commented on – how our personalities were really reflected in little touches here and there.

Exercise! Not only does it help with getting in the dress but it kept me happy and peaceful.

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company Decades Collection

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Dress: The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Venue: Maunsel House
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hairpiece: Vintage at Fur Coat No Knickers
Groom: Sandro
Florals: Inspiration Wedding Flowers
Photography: Caught The Light
Band: Billy Bottle And The Multiple

That last kiss on the dance floor…seriously smoking, right?


Lizzie is also the cause of some serious hair envy on my part. Doesn’t her bonce look absolutely exquisite.

Right I’m off to practice some updos for Sunday.

Until then…

All my love Lolly xxx

Pin Image

The Best Day Of Our Lives.

The best day of our lives

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…

The best day of our lives

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.

The best day of our lives

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!

The best day of our lives

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.

The best day of our lives

Old Hollywood

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.

The best day of our lives

Gorgeous Blooms

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!

The best day of our lives

Winter Pastels

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.

The best day os our lives

Intimate Moments

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.

The best day of our lives

Three Tiers

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!!

The best day of our lives

Centre Stage

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.

The best day of our lives

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.

The best day of our lives

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!

The best day of our lives

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue: Preston Court
Boutique: The Vintage Wedding Dress Company
Hair piece: Agnes Hart
Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Hair: Lipstick and Curls
Flowers: Euphoric Flowers
Maids: Asos Salon Collection
Groom: Norton & Sons
Photography: Nabeels Camera
Cake: French Made

What a muted winter pastel dream. I love that as a colour theme. and how beautiful is Sues shawl? Next to those amazing lips! Serious case of the green eyed monster going on over here.

I am also very much in love with Sue’s shoes. So gorgeous and completely the right colour to set off her beautiful dress.

Really in love with the use of tealights as well. They are so simple but such an effective touch. Are you having lots of candles on your day?

We also need to talk about the cake. The flowers set it off a treat and Sue really managed to achieve that garden look in such a pretty pretty way.

I’m off to find some buttercream to sink my face into!


Pin Image

The Walled Garden.

Julie and James had an epic wedding back in August.

Bikes, humongous florals, massive balloons, erm… A cellist, caricaturist, accordionist – a magician and a Beatles tribute band. And trust me – that is not the full lot, not by a long shot!

This vintage inspired summer garden wedding could so easily have been a wash out. It rained proper soak-you-to-the-skin rain pretty much all day but Julie and James just got on with it.

In fact after a while I think Julie actually began to like the rain. She assures me that the laughter in the water logged portrait shots is pure enjoyment, not the result of being driven mad by the driving rain. 🙂

Photography today is by Lisa Devlin.

Two Weddings

James and I got married… Twice! First at the Old Marylebone Town Hall in London, with only a handful of people (thirteen to be exact, our closest family and friends) – this was our civil ceremony of course. It was a lovely day, the ceremony was sweet and short and we celebrated with a drinks and canapés at the Ritz Hotel.

Then we got married a second time two days later, at The Walled Garden at Cowdray in West Sussex, with over a hundred guests and an absolutely wonderful humanist ceremony – that was our ‘real wedding’ as we call it! The Walled Garden is a beautifully restored Tudor garden with two lovely function rooms, on the Cowdray estate, right next to the Cowdray Castle ruins. We were struggling a little to find a venue that was both beautiful and relaxed and when we visited The Walled Garden, we knew we had found the perfect place for the type of wedding we wanted. Despite the venue’s very strict regulations and the torrential rain, the day was everything we had hoped for.

It was really a weekend-long celebration, with a welcome dinner on the Friday evening (the day before the wedding) at The Duke of Cumberland, the loveliest country pub you have ever seen with a view of the hills, which won the “Pub of the year good food guide award”. On Sunday (the day after the wedding) we had a ‘farewell brunch/afternoon tea’ at the super cool Haymarket Hotel in London to which guests where driven all the way from West Sussex in a big red wedding bus. The Haymarket Hotel is an amazing venue, the food was delicious and the events team super helpful.

It was our plan from day one to make our wedding a weekend-long event because almost all our guests were coming over from all over the place. I am French and German from Paris, James is from Lancashire and we have been living in London for five years – as a result, our friends and family are really from all over the world! The great thing was that we got to have both a romantic countryside wedding in West Sussex followed by an ‘urban cool’ event at the Haymarket in London…

A Wedding Planner And Vintage Stylist

Because our wedding was really going to be three separate events, we made the decision early on to hire a wedding planner. We knew instantly we had found ‘the one’ when we met the very relaxed and super lovely Kate Fletcher, who has a passion for all things vintage! In fact she is a vintage stylist and runs Vintage Style Hire: if you are planning your wedding right now and looking for some vintage items to style your big day, I’m pretty sure Kate has whatever you’re looking for!

Kate was really amazing! Our wedding and all the planning that went into it was virtually stress-free. So much work goes into planning the biggest party of your life and I think we could easily have lost our minds without her help! Hiring a wedding planner is of course a big investment as most charge 10% of your wedding budget, but there is no doubt in our mind that it was worth every penny. Of course you still get to make all the decisions, it is still your day and your vision of it. In fact, saying that I really got into the whole wedding styling and planning would be an understatement and I really enjoyed it all! Knowing that Kate had it all under control, both while planning and on the day was such a relief. On the day, we were able to be guests at our own wedding without needing to worry about a thing, and that was really worth a lot to us. Thank you so much Kate!

DIY Stationery

For our Save The Dates, we did a bit of DIY: I asked my brother to take some pictures of us holding a blank piece of A4 paper and used fotoflexer (a free editing online software) to add the text. We got this printed at thepostcardcompany (who are one of the few companies doing square postcards). We also got a stamp made at englishstamp. On the back of each postcard, we glued a lovely small envelope and slipped a stamped piece of paper in it.

One of the first things James and I did after getting engaged was look for stationery. I have a passion for stationery – beautiful paper and cards make my head spin. It’s a potent genetic condition, which I inherited from my mum and means I MUST buy every lovely card I see (I have themed boxes of cards at home, yes that’s how bad it is). Anyway, all this to say that I take stationery pretty seriously. I was looking for something beautiful and different… That’s when I found Katharine at Papermonkeys through a Google search. Katharine is an illustrator and does the loveliest personalised wedding stationery you have ever seen!

Katharine illustrated every single one of our events – the pub welcome dinner, the wedding, the Beatles band, the Haymarket brunch. Our invitations really told the story of our wedding weekend. On the front of our invite, our beloved French Bulldog ‘Harvey The Frenchie’ is proudly peeking through the door of the Walled Garden, and on another drawing, our cat Oliver is snoozing on a vintage chair from Vintage Style Hire’s collection. My favourite part, however, is the illustration on which I am in a striped top complete with beret and a bike, a baguette under my arm and Bretzels in a basket (like I said, I am French and German!), next to James in wellington boots, with a tweed jacket, a big mug of tea in one hand and an umbrella in the other (obviously thet perfect English gentleman!). Katharine also illustrated a Thank You card on which we are wearing the same outfits we wore the day James proposed.

Every single guest commented on our invitations and I couldn’t keep count of how many said they were the nicest they had ever seen. We are going to have all this lovely artwork printed and framed and it will be such a wonderful keepsake of our wedding. I really can’t recommend Papermoneys enough!

In addition, Berinmade made some GORGEOUS wedding day stationery: calligraphy on mix and match florals for our table numbers, menus but also various signs such as a ‘Here comes the bride’ sign, ‘Smile to the Groom’, ‘Bar now open’, ‘Keep warm’ (we had pashminas available for our guests), ‘Singing in the rain’ (we had also ordered 70 umbrellas from jollybrolly) and more. Her work is stunning.

Katie Sue who is on notonthehighstreet did our table plan and name tags, which all looked gorgeous!

Never Too Soon

I first tried on a wedding dress by ‘accident’, just for fun, as I walked by a bridal store with my best friend shortly after getting engaged. When they asked me when the wedding was, I said I knew it was soooo far away but just thought I’d pop in and I was amazed to hear that 6 months to a year before the wedding day is the right time frame to be looking for a dress if it is made to order! So brides to be, it’s never to soon to start looking!

I knew I definitely didn’t want a big bridal dress. They can look beautiful and stunning but they’re just not ‘me’. I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted: something ‘flowy’, simple but bridal, romantic, a little boho, not too white and most of all, lace. Lace, lace, lace, lace – I love it.

When I tried my 70’s inspired wedding dress at The Vintage Wedding Dress Company (where everyone was super friendly and helpful), I instantly knew I had found the one… It was all the things I described above but, above all, I completely felt like myself in it. When I looked in the mirror, I saw me, not me dressed up as a bride. I loved the thick lace and beautiful pattern and to make things even more perfect, I found out the lace was French. It was meant to be!
I wanted some short sleeves added and The Vintage Wedding Dress Company ordered some extra lace and Bridal Alterations in Clapham made the perfect sleeves. They are very talented and I can definitely recommend them.

I also bought a 1940s piano shawl from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company to go with the dress, as well as the gorgeous 1950s pearl and glass bracelet I wore on the wedding day. I loved the fact that it was unique and had a story.

Pretty Flats

Finding shoes was a challenge though! I am 177 cm tall and as result I unfortunately never wear heels as they make me look freakishly tall and I am hopeless at walking in them anyway… Finding pretty wedding flats was hard, unless I settled for a super simple pair of ballerinas. But I wanted something a little different because I wear simple ballerinas most days! That’s when I found Harriet Wilde’s lace pumps, complete with a heel covered in Swarovski crystals. (I actually met the lovely designer and she told me they are bringing out a black version soon, I’ll definitely get a pair as well!)

I thought about wearing a veil, they are so beautiful, but it just didn’t feel right for some reason. I simply wore a beautiful gypsophilia flower crown which our amazing florist, Sam from Violets and Velvet, created. Here is a tip if you are planning on wearing a flower crown: ask your florist to wire it with small loops so it can be fixed to your hair. Sam did this and my crown didn’t move an inch all day or night! I loved the fact that the crown was so ‘pure’ and simple and I’m really glad I listened to the little voice telling me that the veil wasn’t right for our wedding.

Fresh Face

I found it quite difficult to find someone who could do both makeup and hair. I couldn’t find someone who could do a good blow dry for my hair type and I had two trials with two different people before meeting Antonia from Elle Au Naturel. She was really fantastic. Not only did she actually listen to what I wanted – a natural, ‘fresh faced’ look (I hardly wear any makeup in ‘real life’) for makeup and natural looking wavy hair – but she also knew how to do the perfect blow dry (which I don’t!!). Hair prep is everything, especially if you want to wear your hair down like I did… After the blow dry, she simply rollered it up to create a natural looking wave. With the help of her assistant, they also did our mums’ and bridesmaids’ hair and makeup and everyone looked gorgeous!

On the wedding day, it started POURING DOWN with rain just as we were having our photos taken in the middle of a field without any umbrellas handy! Rain was literally dripping down my hair and, despite this, the waves held! Now if that’s not proof that Antonia is good, I don’t know what is!!!

Flowers Of My Dreams

I have to be honest, I don’t know the first thing about flowers! Roses and peonies are about the only two kinds I can recognise so I was really lucky to meet Violets and Velvet. She created the flowers of my dreams from a few photos I had shown her!

She literally created the most beautiful floral archway anyone had ever seen. I am told it was made of roses, peonies, hydrangeas, stocks, spray roses, amaranthus, dahlias, gypsophilia and garden foliage. All I know is that when I saw it I just couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was. Lucky us, we got to get married right under it!

The beautiful bridal and bridesmaids bouquets were pale pink roses, gypsophilia and lavender. We had mason jars filled with a loose posy of flowers placed on the chairs along the aisle for the ceremony. Sam also created five stunning large stone urns to go on each window sill of the reception room, filled with peonies, hydrangea, buplerum, dahlia, spray roses, blooms, delphiniums, snapdragons stocks and garden foliage.

We had two bikes at the venue used as props and she filled one of the bike’s basket with a stunning arrangement of flowers, similar to the ones used for the archway.
Then there were all the bud vases everywhere at the venue, on various little tables and corners. These were filled with lisianthus, spray roses, roses, hydrangea in pale pinks and chalky whites.

Sam’s flowers were all so beautiful that I am seriously considering learning to spell their names without googling them!

Ethereal and Spiritual

James and I were worried that only having a ceremony at the town hall would feel rushed and lack in spirituality. We are both atheists and thus would not get married at church, but we still wanted our wedding ceremony to be beautiful, romantic, ethereal, spiritual and ritualistic. We feel it is the most important part of the day and really wanted it to be magical so, early on, we looked into humanist ceremonies.

This means having a legally binding ceremony at the town hall and a symbolic ceremony with a humanist celebrant. In France, religious weddings are not legally binding and couples always must have a civil ceremony first, no matter what. So the idea of having two ceremonies seemed very normal to me and, while James thought it was little strange at first, he immediately liked the idea of having a humanist ceremony that would correspond to who we are.

If any of you readers are considering doing this but feel a little worried that it might not feel ‘real’ to get married a ‘second time’, trust me when I tell you that it feels very real, intense and beautiful. It was our favourite part of the whole day. If you are not religious either, what will matter to you is making a public commitment in front of the people you love.

We had originally planned on having the ceremony outside, in the beautiful garden. That was very important to me and so when it became clear that it was impossible because of the weather, I was super disappointed at first. But actually, I think we needed the rain and the ceremony to be taking place inside the Walled Garden’s beautiful courtyard room to create a more intimate atmosphere. Our wedding planner and stylist Kate styled the room in the most beautiful way imaginable (in fact the venue’s owner said it had never looked more beautiful), using a vintage desk from her Vintage Style Hire collection as a backdrop and a lot of beautiful candles. Sam, our florist, arranged some amazingly gorgeous flowers on the desk and her floral archway, which was just above, was simply literally breathtakingly beautiful. The room looked so gorgeous, thank you so much Kate and Sam.

The acoustics in the room were great. In fact, we had two moments during the ceremony where we were just listening to our wonderful cellist Lizzy May play – it was incredibly beautiful. Our ceremony was a truly beautiful moment that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. We both laughed and cried (as did our guests), and we also reflected and took it all in. We are so grateful to our celebrant for having made it happen. It was magical. We will never ever forget it. Thank you Katie.

Every single guest commented on the ceremony throughout the entire evening and the next day, and still to this day, it is the first thing people tell me when talking about the wedding. Several people said they had never seen such a genuine, romantic, beautiful and original ceremony. We owe it all to our beautiful true love and to our wonderful celebrant.

Love And Fertility

For favours, we followed the beautiful tradition of giving each guest some sugar-coated almonds that symbolise eternal love and fertility, from French chocolatier Jeff de Bruges. They have a whole range of containers you can choose from as well as ribbon that is personalised. Of course, what we didn’t realise is that, in England, some say that the number of almonds you give each guest symbolises the number of children you are going to have… Had we known, we might not have included nine almonds in each favour!! But hey, the more the merrier!

Navy Blue

James wore a navy blue, fully hand-stitched made-to-measure suit from Cad & the Dandy on Saville Row. He looked stunning and it was so great that I was not the only one looking forward to wearing something really really special. He had several fitting appointments and the whole team at Cad & the Dandy were really great. His shirt was also made to measure there, and he wore an elegant silver grey tie and simple white rose and lavender buttonhole. He looked amazing!!!

We had best men and bridesmaids, as well as witnesses (a French tradition). The men all wore their own navy blue suit and white shirt and James got them beautiful silver grey ties from Ralph Lauren as a present, as well as socks and vintage cufflinks which we found on markets in Brick Lane and Hampstead.

The bridesmaids wore lovely white dresses from Coast as well as a silk pale pink pashmina. I really love the mismatched bridemaids look but I felt that it works best with more than two bridemaids so we decided to go for a simple all white look. They both wore their hair up and looked gorgeous. I also got them bags from Alphabet Bags, although rather than going for the ones that say ‘Bridemaids’ I couldn’t resist getting the ‘Drama Queen’ and ‘Nerd’ ones as it describes them both perfectly!! (Love you girls 😉 I also got ‘Mother of the Bride’ and ‘of the Groom’ bags and all mums and bridemaids got a silk kimono robe to get ready in on the morning of the wedding day, which I gave to them in the cute bags. I got myself the ‘Just Married’ bag, which, by the way, is the perfect honeymoon beach bag…

Spontaneous And Natural

The amazing Lisa Devlin photographed our wedding. Lisa is the friendliest person ever and, along with her second shooter Kat, they were really amazing to work with! We loved Lisa’s spontaneous, natural style and could not be more pleased with the photos. The day was a bit of a challenge really, as we were SUPER unlucky with the weather. It only rained two hours the whole day, and that was during our ‘garden party’ and photos! Lisa had just told us that ‘touch wood’ she’d never had to shoot in the pouring rain… Well there is always a first and our wedding was it!

It rained SO MUCH it was crazy and we were stuck in the middle of a field. I think everyone was afraid I would burst into tears, but I couldn’t stop laughing, the situation was so unlucky and surreal! There we were with our bikes styled with ‘Just Married’ signs ready to take photos I really wanted, and within 5 minutes we were drenched! The best men ran back to the venue to get the matching umbrellas we had of course forgotten to take with us, everyone was soaking wet, the bridesmaids dresses were starting to get see through, my dress and ballerinas were full of mud… We’ll never forget that shoot! There is that one photo on which I’m laughing, one of my bridesmaids is looking at me hoping it’s a sincere laugh and not that of a mad bride loosing her mind and my other bridesmaid is looking at the camera clearly thinking ‘Oh my God!’ – I laugh every time I look at this photo as it summarises the situation so well! Lisa and Kat were amazing, working under the pouring rain and getting that shoot done no matter what! Just before dinner, the sun came out for a bit, creating a lovely ‘after rain’ evening light and some really beautiful ‘romantic’ photos. And then of course there are the amazing ‘rainbow’ photos! In short Lisa was amazing! We absolutely love our photos and it is wonderful to relive the day every time we look at them. Thank you so much Lisa!

Natasha Stanbridge, our videographer from My Film, was equally amazing. Natasha was so laid back and cool, making us feel super relaxed. She is incredibly friendly and her and her second shooter Alex were fabulous. They also put up with the rain, Natasha had wrapped a pashmina around her camera and was shooting pretending not to be soaking wet! We are so glad we have an amazingly beautiful video of our wedding. I know some people hesitate about getting a videographer, feeling that photos are enough, but a video really brings something different and unique. It brings the memories back to life, literally. Natasha edited the video in ‘super8 style’ and we absolutely love every single minute of it. We chose the song ‘I’m a believer’ to go with the video because it is ‘our song’ (a few months after we started seeing each other, James recorded himself playing the guitar and singing this song ) Thank you so much Natasha!

That’s Entertainment

Enterainment is a big topic because we always said that our top priority was for our guests to have fun after the more ‘serious bit’, the ceremony… We were lucky enough to work with amazing people.

There was Lizzy May, the cellist, who performed during the ceremony and during the garden party. (She was meant to put on her super cool ‘electric cello’ show but unfortunately could not do it because of the terrible rain…)

During the garden party we also had George Williams, a caricaturist and the wonderful Mark Shortland, a magician whom guests could not stop talking about after seeing his amazing tricks!

During dinner, Fifi the French accordionist from Oh La La music played and got all the guests to sing along in French no matter what their nationality. She was really great!

During the party, we had an open bar and hired a mixologist to make cocktails and we had a tribute Beatles band, the Counterfeit Beatles. They were really fantastic! We had a hard time deciding what type of band to get for our party (we’re not into ‘modern music’ preferring vintage tunes) and kept saying ‘If we could have the Beatles…’ and then we realised that there were some really cool Beatles tribute bands out there. We saw the Counterfeit Beatles perform in London and they were amazing so when our wedding day came, we knew the party would be great. They had everyone dancing until the last minute. The French and German guests loved it as it was ‘so British’ and all the Brits were super excited to have ‘the Beatles’ live for the first time. It was brilliant.

A Secret Dance

Our first dance had, of course, to be a Beatles song. We chose ‘Do you want to know a secret’, just because we love it! We took some dancing lessons as we are both terrible and thanks to Doug at the First Dance Company, we had a lot of fun practising and managed not to freeze when all eyes turned to us on the evening of the big day!

Last but not least, the day after the wedding, for our ‘farewell brunch’, vintage vocalist Simon Partridge sang wonderful tunes at the Haymarket Hotel. He was so elegant and just perfect for this urban, stylish venue.

Vintage Style

We love the ‘vintage style’. It isn’t just something we did for our wedding, our flat is decorated this way (especially when it’s tidy!!) and so there was no doubt about the feel we were hoping to achieve on our day. Now of course, one problem is having all the elements necessary to create, for example, an outdoor seating area and all the bits and bobs that bring the whole style together. It would be a ridiculous investment to buy all these things so we were super happy when we found out about Vintage Style Hire who, as the name indicates, hire out vintage styling props – from perfume bottles and crates to sofas and bikes. Their collection is quite extensive and the best part is that Kate, the owner, is just so passionate about what she does that she is bound to inspire you!

Let Go

I think the most important piece of advice would be: be really meticulous and organised when you plan the wedding but a few days before the wedding, just LET GO. Never mind if you dress gets dirty or if it pours down with rain, it won’t matter, you are marrying the love of your life. It is truly the best feeling in the world to know you are married. To be honest, I thought it wouldn’t change much as James and I have been living together for so long, nor had been dreaming of the day I would get married since I was a little girl, but to my amazement, it does make a huge difference! It just feels amazing to look at your partner and see your husband or wife. Knowing that you both have committed to love and support each other for the rest of your lives, with all your heart, in front of all the people you love is the most wonderful feeling in the world. And your wedding day will be the best day of your lives….so far!

As for the ‘wedding blues curse’ – it’s not true what they say! The end of your wedding is the beginning of a new chapter in which you are more together than ever and it is wonderful! So enjoy planning and just remember, if it rains on your wedding day, think of the French who say “Mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux!” (a rainy wedding means a happy marriage!)

Julie X

Dress – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

Shoes – Harriet Wilde

Hair and Makeup – Antonia Krieger

Band – The Counterfeit Beatles

Cellist – Lizzy May

Stationery – Paper Monkeys

Planner – Kate Fletcher

Vintage Hire – Vintage Style Hire

Florals – Violets and Velvet

Photography – Lisa Devlin

Videography – My Film

Celebrant – Katie Deverell

Rain certainly did NOT stop play… And in this country it’s a philosophy that is probably wise to adhere to.


Pin Image

My Love Is Your Love.

Alex and Kevin set out to create a classical and elegant wedding with a modern twist and they chose the perfect venue to echo their vision – the Raquet Club in Liverpool.

Immense veil, immense hair comb and immense back lace… Alex is one seriously classy and fashionable lady.

Photography today is by Especially Amy and I will now hand you over to Alex. She has a tale of love and modern elegance for you all… You may want to grab a cuppa.

A Change Of Heart

My dress was from The White Closet in West Didsbury and was designed by The Vintage Wedding Dress Company.  I had initially bought a Jenny Packham dress but 7 weeks before had a change of heart and frantically began a search for a new dress. I wanted something ‘heavier’ than the JP satin dress, possibly lace with an ‘old’ feel to it. Emma at the White Closet was truly amazing, after showing me their collections I fell in love with an ivory lace dress with cowl neck and low cowl back.

I had a satin sash and a string of pearls across the back to help secure the straps. This can now be used as a necklace. All the dresses could be customised with sleeves, sash colours etc and accessories which made it feel extra personal. The fact they did it all in 7 weeks was just fabulous. The Veil was by Helen Martin of HM Veils and the pearl back-lace was by Rosie Willett.

Pearls And Beads

I borrowed pearl earrings and my sister made a pearl bracelet with a blue bead belonging to my late grandmother. In my hair I had a Charlotte Balbier hair comb. My veil was silk tulle dyed to match with a fine detailing to the edges.

Low Key

I wore nude patent leather heels from Aldo. As I wanted something low key to not distract from the dress and I wanted something that could be worn again.

Peaches And Cream

Nicki from Peaches & Cream did my hair and make up. They were just incredible allowing me to retrial my hair as many times as I wanted after the dress change! (luckily it only took one go!)

Blue And Green

My flowers were by Amanda Bryning. I had a Handheld bouquet of ranunculas, guelder rose and thelepsia. The tables were decorated with antique candelabras with ranunculas, gypsophilia and ivy. I loved the colour combination of the blush pink and vivid green.

An Intimate Ceremony

We didn’t have groomsmen or bridesmaids. We had two witnesses (my sister and Kevin’s brother) as we wanted to keep the ceremony very intimate with just our close family members.

Kevin wore a black Ted Baker suit, with ivory waistcoat and bow tie, our son Nathaniel was almost three and wore the same but with a burgundy polka dot tie handmade especially from his late granddad’s scarf.

Capturing The Vibe

Amy Murrell from Especially Amy did our photography as I loved her style of wedding photographs, I wanted Amy to have total reign to capture the vibe of the day and with minimal formal family shots and she did an amazing job.

Frances Madell of Reel Love Films did the videography as I fell in love with her style of wedding films from her website.

Chic Cigarillos

A friend Nicky Murray made our cake consisting of 4 layers, chocolate, vanilla sponge, rum and apple and lemon. Iced and finished with white chic cigarillos and ivory roses. We wanted to serve the cake at the evening buffet so thought would be best to give guests a choice of flavours to choose from. I wanted love birds as a cake topper and found them to be very expensive so bought some plain ones from a craft shop and made wedding outfits for them myself.

Swing Classics

We both agreed we wanted a band and not just a singer with backing tracks. After some research we came across Paul Pashley, a big band singer who performs with a 4 piece band. Pauls a very talented singer who carried off a brilliant performance of old swing classics with some newer chart hits thrown in. Around 10.30pm we had a disco for the remainder of the night.

Start The Party

First dance was to ‘my love is your love’ Whitney Houston a song we both liked that was meaningful but upbeat enough to start the party off.

Favours For All

For favours I bought ivory lace pouch bags from eBay, and filled them with miniature perfumes/colognes from the Cotswolds Perfumery (my favorite) and rose shaped tea lights for the ladies , Green and White miniature chocolate bars for the gentlemen. The children had a canvas bag made with their names on filled with wedding quizzes, word-searches, fun cameras, and sweets etc.

A Few Personal Touches

We kept things simple as the Racquet Club is classically beautiful. We simply added a few personal touches. The menus, order of service, guest book and table numbers were all custom made in eau de nil and ivory. We had ivory candles for the fireplace, mantelpiece and lit a unity candle during ceremony. We had ivory/eau de nil boxes and picture frames from Laura Ashley for cards and messages and old photos of Kev and I.

Chairs were covered in white with ivory ribbons. We had a wedding tree for guests to fingerprint on and sign their names and as a small gift to our mothers we had antique cups and saucers filled with candle wax and made into vanilla smelling candles. All designed by Francesca Roode.

Words Of Wisdom

take time to discover what taste/ideas you like and and don’t feel you have to have certain things at your wedding. If they’re not important to you then they wont matter on the day. Stick to you’re original plans and try not to be to influenced by other peoples idea of what your perfect day should be.

Venue –Raquet Club

Photographer – Especially Amy

Dress – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

Boutique – The White Closet

Veil – HM Veils

Pearl Back Lace – Rosie Willett

Hair Comb – Charlotte Balbier

Shoes – Aldo

Hair And Make-up – Peaches & Cream

Entertainment – Paul Pashley

Videography –Reel Love Films

Some sound advice there from Alex… and if her words of wisdom mean that you will have a wedding as distinguished and effortlessly stylish as this then they may well be worth adhering to.

You can’t beat some well placed candles and candelabras for a modern elegant feel. I love that shot of Alex fixing her fathers button hole – have you ever seen anyone look so proud?

Thanks to Alex and Kevin for sharing their big day.


Pin Image

It’s A Blue, Bright Blue Saturday.

Usually I start at the beginning but today (just for variety and all) I’ll start at the end.

Leila spent the last moments of W-day in A & E. And no it wasn’t anything too serious.

Leila managed to fall off the stage as she was having such an immensely brilliant time. So I guess if you are going to spend the first eve of wedded bliss exchanging your gorgeous gown for a green paper one…. it might as well be for this very reason (and this reason only)

As well as the falling-off-the-stage hilarity there was also some quite fabulous fashion going on at Tom and Leila’s big day, including my favourite kind of jewellery (Turquoise and Native American influenced in case anyone is remotely interested) a perfect easy-breezy up-do and nude-hued maids.

And quite possibly the best table naming idea I have seen in a long long time.

For those of you who missed Monday’s post on the pressures of having or indeed not having exactly what you want come W-day Leila described her theme as “Spanish, fiesta, colourful, country…vintage theme? – very mis-matched but all the things we loved!”


And it so worked folks.

Oh and for any of those wondering how to make your photobooth that little bit different why not set up a tea for two scenario outside of your venue? Genius. And if I was planning I would definitely be stealing this idea. And no, I wouldn’t give two hoots that it had been “done before”.

All of the colour pop images are courtesy of Andrew Squires.

Polka Dots and Bold Brights

We didn’t really want to have all the wedding party matching, as we quite liked the whole colourful mis-matched theme and bringing people’s own personalities into it. So we told the told the Groomsmen to wear their own suits either blue or grey and then we gave them green polka dot or blue polka dot ties. Tom, the best man Steve, Tom’s Dad and my Dad and step Dad all had brightly coloured flowers as button holes.

We also bought different coloured polka dot hankercheifs for the guys to wear in their top pockets and had their initials sewed into them to make them unique.

A Dapper Gentleman

Tom wore a slim fit, bright blue suit from Reiss – we had looked everywhere for this colour and could not find it anywhere as it is such a rare colour in a suit and especially as Tom is 6ft 4inch it was so hard trying to find him one that fit! We thought we were going to have to get it specially made but then we saw this one in Reiss and it was beyond perfect.

Tom wore his yellow polka dot hanker chief in his top pocket, along with his silver time piece, which I had bought for him as a wedding present and had engraved with his initials and the date of our wedding. He wore brown leather braces, a skinny polka dot tie and bright yellow polka dot socks to finish off the look. – He looked so dapper and old school gentleman – I loved it!

Charming Nudes

The bridesmaid dresses were nude colour with sweet heart top and pleated. I told them to choose their own belts and shoes so that they could bring their personalities into it and add some colour to the day – I liked the idea of nude as it really makes the flowers stand out. I made them each a charm bracelet, with charms I had collected from boots sales. The flower girls wore matching dresses with bright coloured butterflies on them.

My friend Jess Bing made all the usherettes flower corsages each in a different bright colour – they were made from layers of material and tied around the wrist with ribbon.

Old, New And Totally You

My dress was from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company – I had loved their website immediately as I knew I wanted an old dress that told a story. I always wanted a dress that suited my personality and that wasn’t just a ‘wedding dress’. I love old things as it’s so exciting to think of who has worn the dress before me and how their life was back then, I also like the fact that it has that worn look rather than shiny and new. The dress was from the 1950’s but also had a very Camelot-esque feel to it – which really appealed to my boho/gothic side. I had to have the dress customised to make it a bit more modern and sexy, so Lizzie Burns – an amazing Designer and Stylist did this for me – she shortened the length of the dress, cut off the arms and brought the neck right down into a sweet heart shape and lowered the back. With the left over material she made two arm bands that tied onto the dress and which I could remove when I wanted to party!

I had made a belt to go with it out of turquoise and silver beads (from the Bead Shop in Brighton) and Lizzie sewed this onto the dress to help emphasise my waist and bring out the Camelot/boho feel.

I could not believe how much I loved my dress and how perfect it was for me!

Lots Of Lash and Wind Swept Pretty

I wanted my make-up to be natural, with pinky lips and pink cheeks but also have a lot of emphasis on the eyes, to really bring them out. My sister (Zara Sloan) is a trained in doing make-up for weddings – so she was obviously my first choice! I wanted blue eye-liner so Zara used this and then did slightly smoky corners around my eyes to really bring out the blue, then used some lash extensions at the corners of my eyes to help widen them. The loads of Lancome Hypnose mascara – the water proof version!!

I did my own hair, I wanted the messy wind swept look (which turned out to be a given with the weather we had!) I used the ‘hair donut’ to pin curls up and create a high, unruly bun, with bits falling down. Then I fitted the head piece just above my fringe and pushed the grip in underneath, so you could see it from the back.

Hand Tied And Natural

The amazing Jo Osbourne did the flowers for my wedding and at really short notice as well! I must have annoyed her by using the phrase – ‘Can I have non-weddingy style flowers please’ about 200 hundred times! Jo was brilliant she really listened to everything I said and was spot on with the theme of ‘very colourful and natural looking’.

My bouquet cost £40, A very loose, natural looking hand tied bouquet of cerise Germini, orange Dahlia, blue/purple Lisianthus, lime green Bupleurum, pink Veronica and dusting of white Gypsophilia. Foliage was included to protect the flower stems.

A Beautiful Contrast

As my style has always been a mish-mash of things and my jewellery embraced this idea as I went for Native American style pieces with bright turquoise colour. Again I like the history behind the jewellery and the big bold colours. I’m not really a formal girl so I wanted to get my personality into the look. The bracelet was a one off antique piece bought for me by two of my best mates Sophie and Kate from The Two Feathers shop in Brighton who specialise in Native American clothes and jewellery. My sister then bought me a necklace from the same place with the same design and colour of the bracelet. As the chain was too small, I made a longer chain and added a long bit of chain that fell down my back with a turquoise bead on the end to complete it.

I didn’t want a veil as the detail on the dress was so beautiful it would have looked a bit too much, so my friend Beth kindly made me a head piece by weaving string and beads (which she had collected from her travels in India) together. I loved the contrast of the bright blue with the faded, vintage look of the dress.

Capturing Colour

We chose Andrew J R Squires to take our pictures- he was a friend of ours but also we had seen his work and it was exactly the style we were after for our wedding. He has a way of really capturing the mood of the moment and bringing out tiny details that tell a thousand things about the scene, person, event, he is shooting. He did our engagement shoot for us and this really helped to put us at ease in front of the camera. Andy has such a great eye for colour and knows how to get you into the perfect place for a really unique picture. We also felt so comfortable around him and trusted completely that he would do a fantastic job for us.

The Fiesta

We did all the decoration ourselves as we had decided on a Spanish, fiesta, colourful /country, vintage theme – very mis-matched but all the things we loved. We wanted to really put ‘us’ in to the wedding. We trawled around boots sales and markets to collect the lace table cloths and all the different jars, jugs, bottles and rusty tins, for the table decorations. We collected loads of old bottles and used bright coloured candles to finish off the look. We couldn’t find the right coloured napkins and for a cheap price –so I bought a load of second hand ones from Ebay and then died them pink and orange – then I tied a pink ribbon around the orange ones and orange ribbon around the pink ones.

For the name settings I got loads of limes and sliced into them and added the name cards. Tom is a graphic designer so he created all the table signs, seating plan and toilet signs and we went for a rustic wooden signs sticking out of old cider bottles.

We had simple bulb lighting around the dance floor to emulate a night in Granada we once had (our love of Granda and the chilled, fiesta way of life inspired a lot of our design). We had paella from the Brighton based ‘Viva Paella’ company and they cooked this in front of the guest so the smell and colour of it all really added to the theme. We designed the bar around my dad (he is called Julian) – when I was younger I always said that if I had a bar I would call it the Papa Jules Bar and finally we got the opportunity – Tom designed all the signs for this as well and we loved having a drink with my pa there later on in the night!

And The Lord Said…

Neither me or Tom like wedding cake, so we just created a cheese and red wine corner at the wedding and made a sign saying “ And the lord said….Let them eat cheese!” We are massive cheese lovers and we thought what better than to have a whole area dedicated to cheese! Our friend Emily Wareham from ‘Cheesy Pleasey’ made us a massive jar of her home-made pickle!

For our entertainment we hired a traditional flamenco dancer, singer and guitarist. They were amazing and really gave the wedding the spanishy –fiesta vibe we were going for. The dances were very moody and passionate and full of colour and emotion.

Mix Tape

We chose Zero 7 ‘Destiny’ as our first dance as it was on a compilation CD Tom made for me when we first started dating 7 years ago and when you listen to the words it just felt like it was written for us. Our friend the gorgeous Sarah Gardner (lead singer of Derrier) sang the song for us – she did such an amazing job that some people thought it was just the CD of the original playing. That was definitely one of the highlights of the wedding for us.

For favours we got castonets for the boys and sandlewood carved fans for the girls (which I threaded coloured ribbon through the handle and wrote the date of our wedding on).

Make Do And Mend

The cheese and red wine corner we made out of old wooden apple boxes, vintage sacks and old wine racks. Tom’s Mum’s friend Terri brought in wild vines to drape over all of it.

We borrowed the bunting from our friend Jess, whose family made it for her wedding and every flag was a different bit of material. It was really special knowing that she had used it for hers as well.

We had the photo booth area and decided to an old vinateg tea party for this – we found old furniture at Shabitat and did an indoors-outdoor thing which was really fun for pictures.

A Celebrity Special

The wedding was so special because it was created purely from our minds, everything we thought of we created and made ourselves. What made it extra special is that we had so many friends and family help us to make our vision a reality and as the day was as much about them as it was us, that made it all the more special – we owe them the biggest thanks!

Loads of things went wrong on the day itself but it was full of so many great people and so much love that no one even noticed and everyone just kept saying how lovely it was and that they really felt that they were at a wedding made specially for me and Tom.

One amazing thing our friend Ali (who is a booker for festivals) spent the summer getting video messages from the likes of Adele, The Inbetweeners, Blondie, Hughie from the fun loving criminals, Mark Ronson, 2 Many DJs and loads more – all saying Leila and Greeno have a wicked wedding day – it was such a shock and completely blew us away – so funny as they had no idea who we were!!

Try Not To End Up In A & E

One bit of advice, try not to take on too much yourselves – we were a little frazzled after so much organising that we were knackered on the actually day.

Have some good groomsmen and usherettes to rely on, on the day so you can relax and enjoy everything. (Try not to worry).

Just go with the flow when mistakes happen and…

Try not to end up in A&E on your wedding night – true rock on roll bride and I have the blood stains on my gorgeous dress to show for it!!!

(nothing serious just fell off the stage onto a champagne glass and cut my hand open – too much bubbly methinks!)

Brides Gown – The Vintage Wedding Dress Company

Gown Customisation – Lizzie Burns

Photographer – Andrew Squires

Entertainment – Flamenco Dance

Grooms Suit – Reiss

Florist – Jo Osbourne

Did you like what I did with the title there? no? oh. I thought I was being clever.

So Monday was all a bit serious on the W-day front what with Done to Death and then yesterday as well what with Jenny’s reflection on her own big day…. So this afternoon we decided to do a one eighty and post what might possibly be the least serious thing we have ever done.

As reader Carrie put it (*waves*) – Here at RMW HQ we try not to take ourselves too seriously sometimes, we want you all to be inspired admittedly but we also want you to have fun.

Looking forward to seeing you later folks.


Big Laughter Is The Best Medicine Love

Charlotte xxx