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Homespun Magic.

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If I had to use one word to describe Will and Nikki then it would be ‘adorable’. I’ve never met them admittedly but the photos from their glorious rustic outdoorsy affair show the sweetest couple who are very much in love.

There are plenty of gorgeous thoughtful details too, from the hand-scrawled signage at both the ceremony and the reception, the wonderful stationery, the guestbook and the table plan.

Oh man…just wait until you see the table plan!

And those portrait shots on the hay bales and Range Rover? Genius.

Oh and there are some pretty fashion savvy gents in tweed too – from one of my favourite boutiques in Edinburgh! I do love me a man in tweed…

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Home Is Where The Heart Is

Nikki The Bride: Will and I got married on my parent’s farm just outside Matlock, Derbyshire on Saturday the 10th of August, 2013. After Will proposed on NYE 2011, our initial plan was to have a small, low key wedding with just a few close family and friends. We did the total opposite! There were several reasons for this but we’re so pleased with the decision we made – our day was incredible.

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Having been to more weddings than we’ve had hot dinners over the last few years, we were able to get a feel for the things we liked and certain aspects of ‘the big day’ that appealed to us. We knew that a stately home or a fancy hotel wasn’t our cup of tea and to get married at home with such wonderful memories of growing up meant something to us.

Being on the edge of the Peak District with its rolling green hills and pretty villages provided a great backdrop and we married at the local parish church, St.Helen’s before making the short trip back to the farm to our reception in a traditional pole marquee provided bySimon Bond. With absolutely no restrictions on the number of guests, what menu to choose from or wine to select, we were able to make our day really personal.

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Elegant Lace

My dress was from a shop called Darcy Weddings in Morpeth just north of Newcastle upon Tyne where we live. Having been a bridesmaid the previous year, I’d met Jennifer and the girls in the shop already and knew how lovely and down to earth they were. When you’re going to part with that much money on a dress I think the service you receive is really important and after several visits I couldn’t have been happier.

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I chose quite a traditional fitted lace dress with sleeves that was designed by Ronald Joyce. I didn’t necessarily have the OMG this is ‘the one’ feeling but I knew out of the dozen or so I’d tried on beforehand that this was one I felt the most comfortable in. I had a brief idea of what I hoped to find and this was pretty much it.

Wreathed In Gypsophila

I wanted my hair to tie in with the rustic country feel of the wedding so I decided on a baby gypsophila head crown. I had a veil from Darcy’s which I think I was supposed to take off after the ceremony but it stayed on for pretty much the whole day! As for jewellery, I borrowed some antique teardrop earrings from my mum and wore a simple Tiffany bracelet that I opened on the morning of the wedding bought by my wonderful husband.

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I managed to find some closed-toe lacey little numbers that went perfectly with my dress. I got them in John Lewis, nothing fancy, very simple and having spent a day in a field and all night on the dance-floor, they’re certainly never going to be worn again!

Simple And Natural

Two very lovely ladies had the challenge of making me look pretty on my wedding day. My hair stylist Sarah Britner was superb and created the look I wanted with such effortlessness. I decided to keep things simple and have my hair down with loose curls wrapped around my floral headpiece. I knew I was in capable hands when I had my trial earlier in the year and she did a fine job with the bridesmaids too.

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Nicola Boden hid all my imperfections and provided a simple, natural look with make-up. I don’t generally wear a lot so I knew I didn’t want anything too heavy. I was conscious of the fact that many brides are totally transformed on their day and can quite often be unrecognisable. I still wanted to look like me and I was thrilled with the final result.

Florals And Tweed

We couldn’t have been happier with our flowers from Kerry at Tineke Floral Designs. Being in a field, we wanted a hand-picked, natural bouquet with no particular colour scheme. Cream bombastic spray roses, daisies, rosemary, lavender, purple phlox, ammi, pink astrantia, gypsophilia, alchemillia and fountain grass were wrapped with ribbon and twine and they smelt amazing! With the boys wearing three piece tweed suits, we wanted quite a masculine buttonhole so decided on crespidia with gypsophilia and daisies finished with twine and rosemary.

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Being a landscape gardener, my mum was keen to create the table centres herself and along with her friend they did a wonderful job with flowers picked out of the garden. The centre pieces were a labour of love as earlier in the year Dad and I spent a day in the shed making all thirteen from logs and twigs collected from the hillside. They certainly added rustic charm to each table and we were really pleased with them.

Pot Luck

One of the first decisions we made was what the boys would wear and they ended up purchasing their own three piece tweed suits from Walker-Slater in Edinburgh (their suits have even made a blog on their website!). Having each picked a different tweed design that complimented one another, the challenge lay in what the girls would wear.

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Initially, ideas centred on traditional floor length strapless dresses in pastel shades but we soon realised that a bold colour would work better with tweed. It was in fact my mum that picked out the dress we chose whilst she waited for me to get changed in the bridal shop! Although I wasn’t sure at first, once my bridesmaid Carrie tried it on, I realised how gorgeous they would look. With all four bridesmaids being young and bubbly, I felt the dress we chose reflected their characters whilst at the same time not being too formal.

They were designed by Wtoo and bought from the same shop I got my wedding dress. The colour was a beautiful bluey green shade called agave and we managed to get similar coloured woollen ties for the ushers. It was pot luck that everything came together on the day!

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The Dashing Groom

The Groom was in a lovely rural green three piece tweed suit which I have to say has been his best purchase EVER judging by the amount of times he’s worn it since! He looked very dapper and I had the biggest smile on my face coming down the aisle.

We weren’t keen on having a strong colour scheme with everything matching so there were no restrictions when it came to what tie or shirt he wore. His tweed suit had a lovely plum lining so he got a woollen tie to match and with it wore a pair of light brown brogues and his late father’s gold pocket watch. It was a traditional but quirky look and one he pulled off very well as did all the other ushers in their tweed suits. It was a bit of a gamble wearing tweed on a summer’s day but thankfully it wasn’t baking hot!

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Rocking Photographers

Choosing McKinley-Rodgers to capture our special day has to be without a doubt, the best decision we made. The photos speak for themselves…those two rock! Not only were we blown away with their images but on the day itself, they were great fun to be around and made it very easy for us to relax and be ourselves in front of the camera.

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Many of our friends and family actually thought they were wedding guests and that was what was so good about them, they didn’t impose themselves like many photographers often do. We really can’t thank them enough. As a result of major unexpected drama (long story!) they went to the effort of recording a vast majority of the day and creating a short video which captures everything so beautifully, we love it!

A Family Of Enthusiastic Bakers

With a family of enthusiastic bakers, the wedding cake was very much a home-made team effort. We came up with plenty of ideas but to fit in with the rustic theme, we decided on a ‘naked’ cake – a traditional shaped wedding cake but made from sponge without the icing.

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Mum made the three tiers of Victoria sponge which was then beautifully decorated by my 16 year old cousin who created a dozen or so intricate edible roses which looked so real! Fresh strawberries were also added and the cake was filled with buttercream made by my aunty. Not only did it look superb, it was absolutely delicious! We placed the cake on top of a log to tie in with the centre pieces.

Fat Chance

The band were the choice of the groom’s Best Man, his brother. They were called Fat Chance and having already heard them at a friend’s wedding the year earlier he knew they would suit the sort of music we wanted. Being fans of all kinds of music, entertainment was hugely important to us but having only heard a couple of clips of the band on-line, we put a lot of trust in the best man.

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He also kindly offered to pay for the band as a wedding gift so we couldn’t really say no! They certainly didn’t disappoint! The dance floor was literally full from the first song until the last – even the band commented that it’s a rare sight at weddings as it normally takes a while for people to warm up. They definitely struck a chord with us and everyone there.

Although we’re both really into music, we don’t share any one specific song that holds a special meaning so we spent quite a bit of time deliberating over what song to dance to. We had all sorts of ideas including a song we could lindy hop to but that was short-lived as neither of us can lindy hop! We considered scrapping the first dance all together but in the end we chose Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together as lyrically it fitted the bill and it wasn’t too slow to dance to. We didn’t want to dance to a recording either so it had to be something the band could play live. We didn’t rehearse it once so it was all on impulse although I think we spent most of the song kissing and hugging so to avoid having to dance!

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Summer Fruits

We didn’t go down a traditional favours route. It is usually quite a large expense and we’ve been to a number of weddings where many of the favours are left behind. So instead we distilled 6 litres of home-made Summer Fruits Gin and left it by the bar with a load of shot glasses for people to toast to whatever they wanted during the evening. It went down an absolute storm, was personal to us and our tastes. Like us, a lot of our friends and family love gin so it was ideal.

It was also a good incentive for people to add their fingerprint to a huge piece of sheet music, ‘Bring me Sunshine’ designed by my friend Alicia. This was our version of a guestbook, and using the fingerprint tree concept, we got guests to put their little fingers in different coloured ink pads and place them on a note assigned to them. It’s definitely my favourite creation from the day and we now have it framed on our wall.

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Free Rein

The beauty of having our wedding on my parent’s farm was that we could do whatever we liked. Our aim was to keep things relaxed, rustic and simple and we did just that with some wonderful help from close friends and family.

The traditional marquee was such a beautiful open space. We decorated it with bunting made by our mums and flowers from the garden that we put in old milk churns. More bunting was hung around the farm along the fences and up the driveway. We had hundreds of metres of the stuff! The table plan was in hindsight a bit of a mistake as I ended up drawing every single guest and sticking them onto parcel tags which we then hung on an old door. It looked great but the number of hours spent drawing could probably have been used more wisely! Being in the middle of a field, there was plenty of space for the kids to run around and play and towards the end of the night, the adults too!

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Hay bales were covered with tartan picnic rugs for guests to sit on and relax during the champagne reception and thankfully the sun came out! The champagne was special as we were kindly taken over to the Champagne region in France by the groom’s mum and step-dad where we got to sample some fizz before buying the one we liked best. We ended up with loads including a magnum for each table for the speeches. It certainly went down a treat.

Red Olive

We couldn’t go without mentioning our fantastic caterers Red Olive who on the run up to the day and the day itself, couldn’t do enough for us. Charlie and his team were so professional and nothing seemed to be an issue. The meal was relaxed and informal with an antipasti starter of continental meats, olives and artisan breads, followed by rotisserie lamb which was reared on the farm by my uncle. It was all delicious and to fuel our late night dancing, they provided some fantastic curries – plenty of people went up for seconds!

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Your Favourite People In One Place

What made our day so special was that it was very personal to us. The tiny details were really appreciated by our guests and it made all those hours of planning and hard work worth it. My husband and I were a pretty good team. Being an events manager by trade, he kept on top of all the suppliers and had lots of lovely colour coordinated spreadsheets whilst I could concentrate on the creative elements.

Pinterest was a big help as was the many beautiful real weddings posted on this blog! Looking back, I definitely took on too much so my advice like many other brides would be to only take on as much as you can. Our wedding was very much a homespun affair, we couldn’t have done it without the fantastic contributions made by our parents and their home-made creations. Involving close friends and family is so important because they get to feel involved and make a special contribution to your day. You don’t need thousands of pounds or a grand location to make your day perfect, all you need is your favourite people in one place. That’s what made our wedding special.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Gown – Ronald Joyce
Boutique – Darcy Weddings
Florist – Tineke Floral Designs
Marquee – Bond Marquees
Evening Entertainment – Fat Chance
Maids – Wtoo
Caterers – The Red Olive
Groomsmen – Walker Slater
Photography – McKinley-Rodgers

View The Slideshow:

I tell you what, those guests at the end are clearly having a whale of a time.

I quite fancy a little dance in a Gypsophila crown myself.

Congratulations you two!

All my love Lolly xxx

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Dance Like No-one’s Watching….Part 1

The W-day of Gordon and Victoria-Rose is the perfect mix of pretty, chic and vintage-inspired. Combining both Gordon’s Canadian roots and Victoria’s British heritage, this couple made sure their big day was full of personal touches and significant details.

There was no formal wedding party dress code for this Edinburgh affair which for me just adds to the unique aesthetic and relaxed atmosphere of the day. And the bride’s original (and beautiful) 1950’s floral print tea dress was fifteen quid off of ebay.

I kid you not.

Coping with last minute nightmares, family illness and keeping to a limited budget Victoria is one hell of an inspiring bride.

All of the amazing images are courtesy of Love Lust List member Craig McBeath.

Retro Styling

A friend found a flier for Miss Dixiebelle’s in Glasgow who also have a shop in Edinburgh. They sell ‘What Katie Did’ lingerie and Besame make up products which I buy quite often and which made me feel they might be good for a trial styling. The trial was really encouraging, I chose a style from the 1940s/1950s and Anke went for a 1960s up-do, both with make-up to match. The other bridesmaids all lived in different places outside of Edinburgh and the UK, but trusted mine and Anke’s opinion. On the day, the two stylists were amazing and they did all 4 bridesmaids, my mum and me.

The makeup artist was not the same person as at the trial, and I did not know she was going to be replaced, which caused a little panic as she was not using the Besame products I had chosen, and the makeup was not the same as I would have liked, but I didn’t really worry about it. The bridal party also had wild-flowers put in the hair, provided by the florist.

From Old To New

The dress was originally £15 from ebay, and was bought 5 years ago (before I met Gordon), as a 1950s vintage dress, which I thought at the time was a bargain. I had never worn it, as she’d never found the right occasion. When we got engaged we didn’t really have a budget for a dress, and I thought I might use something I had already, as I collect a lot of vintage dresses anyway, One of my maids of honour Anke, thought that the dress could be altered to lower the neck-line but we had been looking at other dresses as I had always had a particular 1950’s style dress in mind.

Having gone shopping in Glasgow a couple of times, some of the bridesmaids and I realised it would be hard to find vintage dresses in sizes bigger than size 10. So I went back to thinking about how to find a dress that was affordable. One night I met Anke from work as we were going out for dinner, and we walked a past a vintage shop called ‘Threadbare‘ on Broughton street. and I decided we should go in to look at dresses, we went in the shop and met the shop-owner who was also a dressmaker called Cecile. She had lots of sample dresses of vintage styles that she had made herself, she seemed really nice, and she said that I should bring some dresses in and she would see what she could do with them. So in the end, I took the £15 dress along and Cecile said she could change it to make it more special by making a ‘sweetheart’ neck-line, adding new sleeves and Cecile remembered that she had an amazing vintage floral dress which matched the first dress perfectly, and so the fabrics were merged together…. And so my wedding dress was born.

Cecile could have made any dress but because we only had a 6 month engagement and a limited budget, the best decision seemed to be to have an existing dress altered. She also helped find a dress for the maid of honour. Cecile was very helpful and just like a friend. We were very lucky to find her.

Something Borrowed And Blue

My jewellery came from my mother’s collection and a friend of the family’s antique shop. The earrings and necklace were Mossware china and I wore a short-style 1950s lace veil (with a few moth holes for character – hidden with pins!!).

My shoes were baby blue Kurt Geiger kitten heels (a style called Hepburn) from the Kurt Geiger Shop online, which were bought before the final dress choice was made.

Mis-Matched Vintage

There was no formal dress code for the groom’s party, although there was a general idea that all guests should be dressed in a vintage style (basically like a cast member from Mad Men). Also as a bit of a salute to Doctor Who the groom and the two fathers wore bow-ties.

The bridesmaids clothes were a mixture of the vintage theme and the colour blue. Victoria had given them free reign to choose what they wanted but it was really hard for them to find dresses. They were all so far apart and vintage dresses in good condition can be difficult to find without paying lots of cash.

There were two Maids of Honor; Anke’s dress was a 1950/60’s shift dress from Threadbare and her shoes were Jitterbug from Kurt Geiger, Mary the other Maid of Honour lives in the Shetland Isles so it was really difficult to find her a dress.

We did buy a couple and posted them to her but they were not right. Tragedy struck a month before the wedding, Mary’s back completely went and she was rushed in to hospital. We thought it was touch-and-go that she would be walking, never mind make it to the wedding. Being the amazing friend she is, Mary insisted that she would make it to the wedding even if she had to crawl! With Mary pumped up on some serious pain killers, Mary’s mum drove her from Shetland to Edinburgh, arriving two hours before the wedding. Mary had a dress in her cupboard that she had never worn and it was just perfect. I was so excited and overwhelmed that she would come, I would not have cared what she wore.

Sarah, who was a bridesmaid, wore a 1950’s very beautiful dark blue beaded dress that I had found for her in Armstrongs in Edinburgh. I had gone in the shop and had thought it would fit her perfectly, so hid it at the back of the wardrobe in the shop. Keeping her fingers crossed that it would still be there she took Sarah in and to her joy, it was still there! Sarah tried it on and it just looked amazing, so a bargain for £34! Rachel the other bridesmaid had been in France for the duration of my engagement and upon her return came to my flat and found one of my own dresses she liked.

Garden Blooms

The florist was called Natalya from ‘Narcissus‘ on Broughton street. We found them quite last minute and asked them to use wild-flowers because I had originally wanted to get married in her parents’ garden, which unfortunately wasn’t suitable. I chose flowers that grow in my parents’ garden like cornflowers, lavender, and Peony roses. Natalya was really helpful and knew exactly what I was thinking when I had started talking about my parent’s garden. I also told her that my wedding colours were blues and purples, and that I wanted my bridesmaids to have quite colourful flowers. She emailed us some pictures of different floral options soon after, and we were able to choose from home by email.

Natalya was really relaxed and we couldn’t have got it done at such short notice without her. The flowers on arrival at the wedding were just beautiful and I felt like Natalya had read her mind. The buttonholes were a mixture of lavender and thistles which were for Gordon’s close friends (both girls and guys) so we had corsages as well, with the same flowers.

A Dapper Groom

Gordon got a new shirt and a new suit, in Charcoal grey wool, from Walker Slater on Victoria Street, the shoes were from Vegetarian Shoes in Brighton (by internet mail order) and the Waistcoat, bow-tie and braces were from Armstrong’s near Bristo square. I was very keen for Gordon to wear a waistcoat! Gordon got a real bow-tie so had to teach himself how to tie it from a youtube video. Possibly not completely straight, as it needed to be adjusted periodically throughout the evening to bring it back to the horizontal…

Capturing The Details

Craig McBeath we found randomly on the internet searching for Wedding Photographers in the Edinburgh area. We found his website and were impressed by his online portfolio, his pictures were professional but relaxed and seemed to capture the emotion of the day without being too formal. We met him early on, to arrange a pre-wedding photo shoot and he was very relaxed and reassuring, and we liked the sample albums he had brought with him, so we were happy to go with him. On the Wedding day, Craig was very helpful, and helped with all the little details (sorting out bow ties, and encouraging the Bridesmaids) he was very funny and the parents loved him, during the day my father was not feeling well, and it later turned he had a heart attack and Craig was amazingly supportive to my father and was really helpful behind the scenes, he was incredibly kind and none of us will forget how much he went out of his way to not only take lovely pictures but to be a support on the day.

After the wedding Craig sent us a photo slideshow of some of his best shots, and we and our friends were all in tears. He had captured so many intimate moments and really the essence of the day. We would definitely ask for him to photograph any family events in the future.

Picnics And Pimms

A nice touch weas that we were picked up from the ceremony by a 1960s style Red Routemaster Bus, which took us up to Dunsapie Loch (behind Arthurs’ Seat) for Pimms (provided by my mother as a little English touch) and a picnic, and we got back on the bus to arrive in style at the Royal College of Physicians.

Hair Styling – Miss Dixiebelle’s

Florist – Narcissus

Brides Dress – ebay and alterations at Threadbare

Brides Shoes – Kurt Geiger

Photography – Craig McBeath

Grooms Suit – Walker Slater

Reception Venue – The Royal College Of Physicians

How cute is that frock?

In fact all of the dresses are delicious – as are the blooms.

Happy Monday lovelies.

Big Ebay Bargain Love

Charlotte xxx

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