The Beautiful Truth……part 2

This has turned out to be more than a bit epic. The main reason being that I didn’t know what images not to choose, there are so many pretty details and delicious moments In Sam and Pete’s gorgeous Autumn affair that I was literally spoilt for choice.

And you know how I love a random “couple shot” backdrop right? Well then. How about we throw some trawler fisherman into the mix?

Uh huh my lovelies really.

Oh and the blooms, so many beautiful blooms…..and they all came to the grand total of two hundred and fifty quid.

We freakin’ die.

Add all that to some truly wall-worthy Polaroid’s, one of the most well written reports to date, plenty of do it yourself inspiration and the bride wearing A CARDIGAN ( yes I know! major knitwear worship!)…. and you’ve got Rock My Wedding perfection right here folks.

Everybody Smile

I knew as soon as I saw Mister Phill’s photographs that he was the one for us and luckily Pete agreed! I’m a journalist and had come across Phill’s site while looking for content for one of our websites. Part of what I do is about curating and showing off awesome pictures, so it was always important that we had the right photographer – everyone in Phill’s pictures looked so relaxed and happy and he had some great shots capturing the sort of moments you don’t often see in wedding photos.

I think weddings are about people, not things, and Phill’s pictures prove the point again and again. Every time I look at a new wedding he’s posted there’s at least one picture that could be a story all by itself. I also loved the fact that all the people on his blog looked like real people having the best day of their lives, in their own way, and not models (I hate having my picture taken because I’m not very photogenic. No chin).

One of my favourites from the day is of my mum and dad holding hands during the ceremony but we’ve got so many great shots,I couldn’t be happier.

D.I.Y Decor

(Deep breath……..) the room where the ceremony was is a conservatory full of mirrors and fig trees, with two trees either side of the doorway.I bought loads of fabric and made a template and the mums made 26 metres of bunting for the conservatory where the ceremony was. I made 150 tissue paper flowers to string as garlands in between the bunting (not as time consuming as it sounds, I promise!)

I bought shepherds crooks to hang candle holders from and they went either side of the doorway. We had loads of white fairy lights in all the trees in the room and hung pictures of ourselves around the walls. The birdcages the florist had filled for me hung from the beams either side of the registrar’s table. I had lots of candles in birdcages but they never got used. I also made dozens of paper pinwheels to hang from the trees but they didn’t get used either…

On the tables we had the flowers, plus I’d made leaf shaped table confetti to tie in with the autumn/trees theme. I made blackboards (picture frames and blackboard paint) for the table names, and we put a copy of the book each table was named after on the table. The guestbook table had a blackboard that said Welcome Best Beloveds on it (I love Rudyard Kipling!) and framed photos from other family weddings, plus postcards so people could leave us a message.

I made another blackboard for the menu board. For the table plan I cut down a branch from the garden, glued it inside a vase and made leaf shaped escort cards with names and table numbers on them – you may have seen this in Rebecca’s DIY Friday post a month back – I even emailed her to tell to stop posting my DIY projects in case she spolied the surprise! Name cards were luggage cards tied to wine glasses with a piece of ribbon.

The Obvious Choice

We had cheese instead of cake. Pete and I once drove to London for the afternoon to have a cheeseboard at a cheese shop we’d seen on the TV so it was an obvious choice!

For the food we had roast goose, beef and pork, followed by cherry, apple and gooseberry pies with custard. So cheese, served as the evening buffet seemed like the perfect ending. It came from Cheeseworks in Cheltenham and the girls there were quite happy to give us tasters and let us decide for ourselves exactly which cheese we wanted.

Music Lovers

When I made the invites, I included a space on the RSVP card for everyone to choose a song guaranteed to get them on the dance floor. Then we put those together with some of our favourites, my brother, who’s a musician, arranged them into an all-killer-no-filler playlist and we brought our Bose dock and played it out of an iPod. We toyed with the idea of barn dance or a band or a DJ but a) we didn’t have any money and b) we thought having a playlist everyone had contributed to would mean everyone would get at least one song they loved.

It’s All About YOU

We chose “All About You” by McFly – partly because nobody would have expected us to pick it in a million years but mainly because we’d spent quite a bit of time dancing round our kitchen to it! When we started talking about first dances it was the first song both of us thought of, so it was a done deal. (Pete now listens to it every morning on his way to work!)

For favours we made CDs of our favourite songs people might never had heard of. Geeky as it sounds, we both really like English folk or folk-inspired music (my favourite from the CD is called Song for the Road by David Ford), and we threw in some others of “our songs” too (like the version of Your Song from Moulin Rouge – seriously. it’s awesome).

I made CD liners from paper I had left over from the invites. We didn’t have too many left behind on tables so I think they went down well. I also bought puzzles for the children at the wedding to play with while we were doing the speeches so they wouldn’t get too bored.

Keeping It Real

The overwhelming impression I have of the day is that everything felt really personal, like it was a party at our house, not at a hotel. Not just because of all the things we’d made, but other little things too.

My brother was toastmaster – he introduced us and all the speeches, and told everyone what was happening and I would definitely recommend this if you have a family member brave enough. Being annouced as Mr and Mrs by someone who knew us both felt so much more heartfelt than if a stranger did it.

My mum read the whole of I like you, by Sandol Stoddard Warburg during the ceremony, because even though it’s really long we couldn’t choose a bit we liked more than the others.

I didn’t have a wedding band but used the antique ring we bought together when we got engaged – it’s so beautiful and has so many great memories that I didn’t see the point of buying a standard wedding ring just for the sake of it (plus nothing looked right next to it and I didn’t want to move it to the other hand.) Pete wanted gold and not white gold so we don’t even have matching rings, but no-one seemed to care. We didn’t have or do anything we didn’t want and no-one batted an eyelid.

You’re probably reading this and thinking we’re mental for doing so much stuff ourselves (in fact, the food was the only thing we didn’t do!) We did it that way partly for finance reasons and partly because I really enjoyed it! On the day and the night before, so many people mucked in to help with the setting up and I always wanted to walk into the room knowing that everything in it had been made by people who cared about us.

Practically speaking, I’d say if you like being creative, then give yourself plenty of time, but try your hand at anything you fancy. You’ll soon get the idea of what’s going to work for you and what isn’t.
Designing our invites took me probably six months by the time I’d worked out all the different elements but it gave me chance to think about how we wanted everything to look and what we wanted it to feel like.

Over the year of planning I attempted and abandoned lots of ideas – fabric buttonholes, a crepe paper bouquet – and there were lots of others that in the end just didn’t fit in, timewise or spacewise. But if DIY isn’t for you, don’t do it!

And if I had one piece of advice, this would be it. You won’t listen, I know, but it might help if things get stressful.

Weddings are not about rooms, or dresses, or hairstyles, or favours, or food, or cake. They’re not even about rings (seriously, read the vows. The ring part comes way after you’re man and wife).

Weddings are about you and your husband, standing in a room full of people who love you, promising each other that “I will go on choosing you and you will go on choosing me, even if I live to be a hundred”. They’re about saying the words that generation after generation have said, in whatever form you choose, and knowing that everyone watching is willing you to be happy.

Everything else really is just stuff. Fun stuff, admittedly, and if you want it, then you should have it. But when everything stresses you out or you can’t afford your dream venue, or buying the dress you want means you can’t have the flowers you want, remember, it’s just stuff. When you’re holding hands and saying the magic words you really, honestly, won’t care.

Oh, and being married is AWESOME 🙂

I know.

And the word issue I had? I still have it. I just can’t describe how many things about this wedding I love but take it from me, there are HUNDREDS.

And if you want my advice, go and take a second look, I find something new to admire every time I take a peek.

With huge gigantic massive thanks to Mister Phill and Sam and Pete for sharing all that is wonderful.

Big I’m off to buy a Polaroid camera Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

27 thoughts on “The Beautiful Truth……part 2

  1. now, being serious for one minute (unlike me I know!), its strange but sam’s words of advice this morning have come right on top of exactly the same words from our vicar (who also just happens to be one of my all time best girls), so… they must be right!

    part 2 has cemented this in my all time top 5 weddings, how many wedding pictures have fishermen in oilskin troos for heaven’s sake??!!

    Absolutely love it. x x x x

    and PS Sam, I think you have a very nice (and perfectly photogenic) chin!

  2. ooo and I’m first!!

    Just re-visiting (as per charlotte’s advice!) and I actually think that its the words that make this the best. They go above and beyond what the pictures show rather than just describing what’s in them.

    A +++ x x x

  3. Stunned! I think Sam should take up a career in writing. A picture may paint a thousand words but Sam’s words paint thousands of pictures.

  4. So so beautiful.

    And this: “Weddings are about you and your husband, standing in a room full of people who love you, promising each other that “I will go on choosing you and you will go on choosing me, even if I live to be a hundred”. They’re about saying the words that generation after generation have said, in whatever form you choose, and knowing that everyone watching is willing you to be happy.”

    Spot on.

  5. It’s just all too wonderful, the pictures, Sam’s writing, the LOVE all throughout the day. Magical.

    The picture where Sam is discussing polaroid shots with the beautiful little blonde girl whilst Pete looks at Sam like he’s the most insanely lucky man in the world…made me cry. Actual tears.

    I’m with‘cept this wedding sits in my Top 3. Including mine, so Top 2. Mister Phill is a hero.


  6. Right thats it, I’m off to score some fishermen to be in my wedding photos!
    Man oh man, Sam’s final words of advice have hit a chord. I will readily admit that I get *obsessed* about wedding stuff and do sit there and ponder whether the table name cards should be single or double-sided (yes really). And she is right, its all just stuff. So thank you Sam. You rock! xoxo

    PS. I am totally doing the song request on the RSVPs too! 🙂

  7. Um….wow. And I thought Part 1 was good.

    These notch it up a level. The colour and mono images are stunningly realised.

    Looking at these sets I agree with comments about the honesty of the photographs. There is nothing that detracts from the story – the processing is timelessly on the money. Photographically pure and journalistically intact.

    Phill has raised the bar again. Inspiring wedding. Congrats all round.

  8. I don’t even know what to say…

    There are no words to describe how incredible Sam’s wedding and attitude is!

    Many congratulations. That looks like one hell of a wedding. I am in awe!

    One of the very very best!

  9. On a VERY busy Tuesday afternoon, this has literally brought a tear to my eye. She has summed up exactly what I think about weddings…It’s not about the ring, or the flowers or the room, it’s about you and your husband.
    And she said being married is awesome. I don’t think this is said enough! xx

  10. BEAUTIFUL – My parents live near Lymington and seeing these pictures made me all warm inside. Stunning attention to detail, captured wonderfully by mister phil and a totally swoon worthy dress. love love love x

  11. I want…

    a pair of oilskin trousers,
    a trawler,
    a Polaroid camera,
    a Colston Bassett Stilton

    That’s all I ask!

    Sam, you are amazing. And a CRACKING writer. I wish I was as wise as you!

  12. I don’t know what else to add to the mix, other than the beautiful table plan (with it’s back up for those that might find it a bit confusing) made me smile a big fat warm smile. Escort cards are soo pretty but sometimes you just to need to get yourself a practical back up – love it! xxx

  13. Wow, what a piece. Stunning wedding all round – heartfelt and fun, exactly how I hope my own to be (with beautiful photographs to boot). I’m totally with Sam on the DIY aspect (I have been working on my invitations for about 8 months now!) but I certainly won’t get stressed over details that I don’t get around to finishing when I intend to be enjoying the run up to our big day.
    And what a pleasant surprise on my daily RMW browse to see a familiar name… Sam went to my school in the same year as my brother, I remember her starting her journalistic career on the school paper!

  14. Oh hey Katy, that’s embarrassing! No escaping the ghost of Adlib…

    And thank you everyone for being so lovely, It’s mainly down to Phill’s fantastic pictures mind 🙂 (he was very good at disguising my non-existent chin).

    Also, spare a thought for the pregnant bride (that would be me) who couldn’t actually eat any of the cheese because we went all foodie and bought only unpasteurised … doh!

  15. Wow! Photos and writing both fantastic and really true!

    I love the “welcome best beloveds” blackboard….really lovely little touches that make it so personal!
    Congratualtions and I hope married life stays awesome for you!!! I cant wait!

  16. So, wondering if RMW can help. We have been looking to find a polaroid for our wedding for ages but they’re either expensive themselves or the film is super expensive. Any ideas???

  17. The integral Polaroid film of the type featured in some of the images above is no longer manufactured, so remaining stocks are exorbitantly expensive (The Impossible Project have attempted creating a replacement but currently, results are highly unpredictable). I’d strongly recommend seeking out a Fuji Instax 100 or 200 on eBay, Amazon or elsewhere, and the associated film which is still manufactured. You’ll get pretty much the same result as from a Polaroid, though with a rectangular rather than square image. The Instax camera (the 100 in particular) is great fun to use too, and looks endearingly quirky.

  18. Thank you so much for the fuji tip off! Would love some polaroid shots on wedding day!! Or even pre-wedding to then decorate the venue with!

  19. Wow, this is just amazing. I have just read it for the first time as I was redirected from another post. This is the first time I’ve read anything on a wedding blog that has actually made me well up (and I spend A LOT of time on wedding blogs!) Not sure if it’s all the DIY details, or the words, or the pictures that got me, but whatever it is, I’m so glad I read it. And I’m sure I will read it many more times in the run up to my wedding!

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