It’s so lovely to see some bold colour on RMW this morning. Tahryn chose red and aqua because they are her favourite colours. The best reason for making wedding related decisions in my opinion!
Tahryn and Chris held their reception at Canal 125 Kings Cross, which looks like a great space to put your own stamp on. And they definitely did that – Chris and Tahryn’s wedding is a great example of focussing your wedding on things that are important to you. There’s certainly no tradition for traditions sake here!!
And if you’re a Bride looking for an alternative to fresh flowers for you big day, make sure you check out the beautiful paper bouquet, pinwheels and rosettes. They look just as pretty as fresh blooms and mean that you can incorporate prints too!
Tahryn The Bride: I really love rockabilly fashion but don’t have the time to wear such a glamorous look every day. I knew I wanted a 1950s style wedding dress as I just love that era, the music and the fashion are just so exciting. It was very hard to find the kind of dress I wanted with such a short time frame (5 months) so I went online and found Charlotte. Her dresses are amazing. She didn’t have the exact dress that I had in mind so I explained what I wanted and she individualized my dress with a full tulle skirt and tiny buttons down the back.
My veil was always going to be a birdcage but I wanted something special as an accessory so I got in touch with a local woman who sold hair accessories in a shop I love in Greenwich. She was so excited to get involved and loved all the different DIY projects I was crafting. (We loved her so much that when she said she made cakes we asked for samples and booked her in for our cupcakes as well…) She made a beautiful bespoke piece for me from remnants of my dress. All the bridal party had their hair styled by the very talented Norina at Bettie Bangs. They all looked amazing.
Chris didn’t want to wear a suit despite a lot of pressure from his Dad especially. We spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at different groom’s outfits and he decided he wanted bowties. From there the outfits evolved with braces, Vans and grey chinos which fitted in beautifully with our ‘rockabilly’ theme.
We wanted somewhere with outdoor space and ideally close to water. As soon as I saw Canal 125 I knew it was the place for me. It is full of gorgeous ornate gold mirrors and red leather. Beautiful and right on the canal and so photogenic.
My favourite colours are red and aqua and so it made sense to incorporate these into the wedding. We added yellow as it is a summer wedding and grey to balance out all the bright colours! The décor was brought to life with the talented room styling of Laura Reed from Things by Laura.
I am really allergic to cut flowers so I knew my bouquet would not be flowers. I thought a long time about having no flowers but then a friend showed me her friend’s wedding which incorporated paper flowers. From there I was on a mission to make all the flowers for my centerpieces. I achieved this with great help from my Maid of Honour Samantha and my daughter Phoenix.
In terms of decoration we were guided by our rockabilly theme and had records from the 1950s strung with ribbon as a backdrop for the band. We made paper pompoms to decorate the windows near the cake. All in our wedding colours. I made paper mache signs that said love and also 3D letters with our initials all from tutorials I found online. We had trestle tables so we decided to have a colour theme to each table.
Our flower vases were decorated with pinwheels and pin-up girls in colours to match the table colour. Guests were given paper brooches made by me to wear throughout the day. When they got to the reception venue they knew their table by the colour brooch they had on! We incorporated a photo clothes line to add a more personalized feel to our decorations. Most of the props I had already like the card box, little wooden pig, scrabble tiles (my all time favourite game!) and Chris’s golf medals. These little personal items helped tell our story in an authentic way because they are things we really love that we used to decorate our wedding.
The Wedding Party
My girls are so beautiful and unique and I wanted them to look glamorous and feel amazing on my wedding day. At first I had considered having them in similar colours but in dresses that they chose, but there was some disagreement about some wanting long dresses (amongst my bridesmaids not us!) so in the end I chose a dress from PixiePocket and they all had the same cute 1950s wiggle dress in different grey polkadot fabrics. My Maid of Honour had a slight variation with a halter neck.
Nushanti, my flower girl, had a mini version of my aqua petticoat. It was so much fun dancing with her in our matching petticoats. All the lads wore the same trousers but their bowties were made to match their bridesmaid as was the fabric on their buttonholes.
Our readings were so touching. Chris welled-up during the reading of ‘I carry you in my heart’ by EE Cummings. Walking down the aisle with my two beautiful children was a very special moment for me.
Many of our guests were collected from Liverpool Street Station and driven to Islington Town Hall by a Route Master bus that we had hired. After the ceremony there was a 2 hour window until the reception so, after months of wondering what we could do (and hours of trawling through wedding blogs like Rock my Wedding) we decided to play lawn games in a park.
Our guests travelled with us by the same Route Master, which Tahryn had filled with helium balloons during the ceremony as a surprise for Chris and our guests. Throughout the cocktail reception we played all my favourite rock and roll tunes from the 1950s.
Our guests had a photo challenge which they posted on our Instagram page #barrattwedding2014 and they also used a Polaroid camera with props to fill our guest book. I had mini versions of all my favourite games around the room like scrabble and dingbats as well as wordfinds as I just love challenging people with these. The ‘father of the bride’ speech was given by my daughter Phoenix. It was a beautiful poem about accepting Chris into the family which was funny but also very touching. Chris also arranged a video of all my family abroad in New Zealand. This was very emotional and such a thoughtful gesture.
Music-wise Chris really wanted a live band and my sister Jolie suggested we try to book a band her and I had seen a few times while on holiday in Dublin. It was originally meant to be a surprise for me but as I insisted on getting involved in the one job allocated to Chris I found out. They were brilliant and played a lot longer than they were booked for and took the trouble to learn a lot of songs that were special to us. My daughter Phoenix sang our first dance, a soulful version of ‘The Boat Song’ which had many guests in tears. It was truly memorable.
We both wanted the food at our wedding to be delicious but not too formal so we opted for a BBQ. We also surprised our guests with a spit roast suckling pig in the evening. We knew we wanted cupcakes as we had no dessert planned we wanted guests to be able to eat the cake easily. Our cupcakes were made by Yuleima who also made my headpiece. She personalized the top cake with an iced version of my headpiece. Such a thoughtful touch! The most exciting flavor of all our cupcakes was French Toast and Maple Syrup. Yum! Our cake was topped by wooden peg dolls which Laura from ThingsbyLaura had made into mini versions of us. Amazing! They stood on a small vinyl record to match our theme.
We fell in love with Anna’s photographic style from her website. When we met her we knew she was the one for us. She is so enthusiastic about the weddings that she shoots and caught all the fun but was very unobtrusive. She is a very special lady! Her pictures are stylish and beautiful whilst still so natural and full of fun. Anna captured so many beautiful moments from our big day whilst never being obtrusive and our guests thought she was brilliant. Chris and I cannot recommend her enough.
Advice & Special Moments
Our rings were carried up the aisle in a paua shell from New Zealand because that’s where I am from. I made paper brooches for each of our guests. They had colour themes that matched our tables at the reception so people knew where to sit. Our groomsmen handed them out on the Route Master on the way to the ceremony and guests were made to feel part of our day from the start.
I also made all our wedding favours. They were a combination of our favourite sweets so I spent days baking fudge, truffles and brownies to fill fabric bags in different fun fabric prints to match our rockabilly theme. People really appreciated that our wedding was so unique to us. I guess that would be my advice to couples planning their wedding. Forget traditions and plan a day that is meaningful to you, your guests will love it because you love it.