Gorgeous Bride Claire literally has a dream job, she's a shoe buyer for New Look, so as you can imagine, when it came to her own wedding shoes, it was a pretty important decision. In the end (and four pairs of shoes later) she opted for a statement pair of Sophia Webster's complete with 'wifey for lifey' written on the soles. They are EPIC. And Claire clearly knows how to accessorise to perfection - just look at the Jenny Packham headpiece and cuff too!!! They totally set the tone for the rest of the day - it's all about fun, quirky details and pretty pastel decor. Think peonies, tassel garlands, neon lighting and flamingoes. Preston Court is one of our absolute favourite venues at RMW towers, mainly because of the carousel in the grounds, which makes for such gorgeous photos. And these ones from Red On Blonde photography are particularly lovely.
The BrideClaire The Bride: I had my heart set on a deco/vintage feel to the dress, I wanted lots of detail and I wanted it to feel and look really unique. When I saw the dress on Pinterest I knew it was the one without even trying it! The compliments on the day about the dress were so overwhelming I didn’t want to ever take it off! ☺ The shoes were a tough decision as I am shoe buyer for New Look, so I wanted them to be a feature - they had to stand out. 4 pairs later we had a winner, they matched back perfectly to the bridesmaid dresses and they had ‘Wifey for Lifey’ in blue printed on the soles. Even before I got engaged I loved the Jenny Packham accessories collection and as I didn’t want to have a veil I knew her statement headdresses would be perfect, it fitted in perfectly with the vintage feel of the dress!! The matching bracelet from my fabulous hens was the icing on the cake and the necklace added a little bit of detail without being a distraction. My something blue was my bag from Designer Rebecca Minkoff, I loved that it was a bit of fun rather than a classic bridal bag with the words ‘Bridal necessities’ printed on the front with just enough space for the essentials!
The GroomAs it was a summer wedding (despite the rain!) we wanted the suits to be a pop of colour so that they felt summery & relaxed, we did not want a typical formal wedding! The blue sat so well with the pale pink, we thought it would look really pretty in the photos and really suited all of the boys. For the dads we picked a shade darker so it was a little more classic. We opted for Tan shoes and pale pink ties which matched the bridesmaid dresses perfectly. We were lucky enough to find the page boy a blue suit too from Next as he wanted to be one of the big boys and ordered a fun sign for him to carry down the aisle reading ‘here comes the bride’ and flipped it for the way up to say ‘Now let’s get this party started’!
The VenueWe knew we wanted something relaxed with lots of character, the second I saw Preston Court I fell in love, the carousel was the major selling point along with the beautiful vintage organs inside which sat with our colour palette so well, I knew that all of the guest would be wowed and have the best time! Originally we had discussed getting married outside but the second I saw St Mildred’s church on site we completely changed our minds, it was so cute and intimate and for us getting married in a Church felt more like a wedding.
The DecorThe venue was so beautiful but I really wanted to make sure that we still put our stamp on the day, I wanted to make sure no detail was missed and that the guests felt like every inch was personal. The venue is super pretty so it seemed fitting that we used pink/ivory as the main palette, on the day when I saw the venue all decorated we couldn’t believe it, it looked better than we had ever dreamed. Our stationery had a deco theme, again in soft pinks which set the mood for the day, I hand wrapped all of the invited with burlap, lace and a little gold key and added a small card in the shape of a cassette so that guests could request songs so they felt involved, it went down so well! The church was fully decorated with flowers, we hung jars off each pew filled with pink and ivory flowers and placed jars filled with coconut scented candles on the floor and all around the alter. We also had 6 giant balloons with tassels placed along the edges of the isle which looked amazing on the day! We decorated the barn with bunting made of tassels (handmade by us and our friends and family), fairy lights, pom poms and dangling shell and mirror garlands from the hippy market in Ibiza, the highlight had to be the handmade dream catchers from America, they were beautiful and now have pride of place in our living room. We had a T&C light up letters in front of the top table too. The table plan reflected our love of Ibiza, there place where myself and Tom made it official. The tables were named after clubs and the amazing Wedfest designed a table plan that incorporated my love of flamingos...wearing shoes of course, Tom’s family Tyre business and a beach to represent the place we got engaged in Koh Lanta Thailand. It was perfect and so much fun! From the barn we hung ivory bird cages, filled with pink flower fairy lights and soft pink candles. We bought a cardboard post box from Hobby Craft and hand painted in pillar box read and added embellishment and a classic post box sign for the guest to post our cards and gift (I don’t think we have an official photograph but I have one the guests took). Our guest book was one of my favourite parts, we wanted it to be something everyone would want to do so a family friend who is an amazing quilter agreed to ‘the please sign our quilt’ idea. She cut lots of squares in pink and ivory fabric, laid them out on a table with a vintage Singer sewing machine and people could take a square and leave a message. She is currently sewing them all together and then will quilt the whole thing, we are so excited to see it!!! In the bathrooms we hung signs on the back of the doors telling the guests 'You look oh so pretty/handsome, now get out and dance!!’ along with the classic basket of essentials! We also had a box of pink flip flops for the ladies when the dancing got a bit much for the feet. Outside in the courtyard we added fringe curtains to the doorway of the barn, a disco ball to catch the non-existent sunlight and pretty pink and blue Indian umbrellas imported from India along with even more fairy lights!
The FlowersAs pink was our theme it had to be peonies, they are so pretty so I knew I wanted my bouquet to be just them at varying stages. The bridesmaids had a mix of peony’s, hydrangeas and roses all in pinks and ivory and the button holes were pink roses. We had collected jars for a year and I hand decorated every single one with lace, ribbon, burlap ties and charms (my friend ate more gherkins than I ever thought possible!) these were placed in the church filled with flowers and all along the path we would take to the drinks and canapés hanging from crooks in the grass. From the church door we hung a large heart shaped reef. Instead of confetti we made wedding wands, a wooden wand with tassel ribbon in pink velvet and ivory lace with a bell, to be jingled as we walked out of the church, they looked really sweet in the photos. On the tables we had a mix of large vases filled with pink hydrangeas and silver lanterns surrounded by roses and other pretty small flowers. We also had a dinner plate dahlia on each table. On the top table we made it look different with cups from Anthropologie spelling out L O V E each filled with roses. On the tables we opted for a bit of fun, the menu tied back to the deco theme, the place names were polaroid photos of the guest, the napkins were wrapped with a disco ball charm and we brought back the cootie, a childhood memory for most with a bit of trivia about the bride and groom. To get the guests mingling each table had a selfie stick, the photos we got were absolutely brilliant! For the favours we had a table (the venue forgot to put it out but the thought was there...I was gutted) with a sign saying Favours for the Ravers...including party essentials for all of the guests, we had flower head garlands, glow sticks, bindhi’s, photo props and pots of glitter!
The BridesmaidsThe bridesmaids all had pale pink maxi dresses from Mango with a criss cross back detail, I did not want them to look classic, I wanted them to have a dress they would wear again. They had shoes from New Look in a champagne metallic glitter and pearl encrusted bags, they all looked so pretty. For the hair they all opted for boho looking plaits, which added to the relaxed feel to the day. I bought them simple star necklaces to wear on the day.
The CeremonyThe song we chose for me to walk down the aisle had to have meaning, selfishly I didn’t want a tear jerker (the mascara couldn’t handle it haha!) so we decided on ‘Only Love; from Ben Howard. The song makes me smile every time I hear it as Tom took me to see him for our second date and it was the moment I realised that this guy was kind of amazing and it did the same on the day! We had 2 readings read by close friends, the first was ‘I was meant for you’ The words were so perfect for our love and it told a story of finding that one person you are meant to be with. The second reading was ‘On Love’ our friend is an actor, he read it with such passion it was just beautiful. I asked one of my best friends to look after my engagement ring during the service in the hope it would spur her boyfriend of 17 year to propose and only 2 weeks ago he did it!! I am taking the credit haha! At the rehearsal Tom muddled his words and said ‘With this WING I thee wed’ this made us all laugh hysterically so when we got to this part on the day we have a great photo of the best man with his head in his hands hoping he didn’t do it again and we are all laughing! The feeling you have walking down the aisle seeing everyone you love so much and the man you are going to marry is the most special moment I could ever imagine and then seeing Tom well up absolutely melted my heart! Having my sister as a witness was very special too, without her we couldn’t get married so for me she played one of the most important roles!
The EntertainmentFor the day we wanted our guests to enjoy the venue, we were adamant we wanted drinks and canapés outside and the dreadful rain held off for every second of those 2 hours, we were so happy! The venue has a little island which we also wanted people to see so we lured them over with the ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ idea. Guest could walk over to the island, take a Prosecco, add flavour to it and add some flamingo stirrers & even a straw for the daring! The guests loved it. We had a singer on the grass, she had an incredible voice and we wanted her to sing some modern songs with a chilled out feel, she had all of the guests dancing and had so many compliments! For the evening we had Disco Shed, the music was brilliant, the guest did not stop dancing, the noise curfew in the barn did not cope very well haha! Our first dance was Jessie Ware Champagne Kisses and the last was Never Forget from Take That. We got a little surprise last song from the DJ which was ‘it must be love.’ We had planned to have a silent disco in the courtyard but due the weather we had to opt out.
The FoodFitting back in with the relaxed theme we wanted to have a BBQ, who doesn’t love a BBQ!! We liked the idea of everyone sharing the salads and sides on the table and picking there meat, we were sold when the caterer said there is always enough for seconds. The cake again was something we felt everyone would love, a naked Vitoria sponge, with glitter and a bride and groom flamingo, the inside of the cake was pink ombre, there was not a scrap left! For the evening we chose paella, again relating back to Spain with lovely crusty bread, it was delicious! We had to have a cake of cheeses, with all of the relish and chutneys to boot. The east Enders in the family also had a supply of jellied eels!
The PhotographyWe had the wonderful Red on Blonde. We met with Toby and Hannah and instantly love the fact they were a couple, we felt that they would understand and capture all of the details of a couple and would obviously work incredibly well together on the day. They were super personable and their portfolio won us over in a flash! We love the photos so much, the slideshow made me cry all night long and we are eternally grateful for how they captured the day even though they were absolutely drenched trying to do so! We had the photo booth in the barn which also had a video function, the photos are absolutely hilarious, and we will treasure them forever! My sister is also a photographer and she did the most fabulous job of our save the dates.
The VideographyAgain we had an absolute star. Leanne from Blooming Lovely Films. This was something we researched SO much! We have watched hundreds of couple’s trailers, more than once! The photos and the video are the one thing you have as an actual memory to keep going back to time and time again, it was so important to us that whoever we chose would notice all the detail and make it fun like we feel we are. Leanne did not disappoint her style of editing and the things that she captured are things we didn’t even see on the day! Every time we watch it it’s like reliving every single detail, it made us laugh and cry until our faces hurt! It was bloody brilliant!
Bride: Lazaro | Boutique: Elysian Bridal | Feather Necklace: Alex Munroe | Headdress & Cuff: Jenny Packham | Earrings & Rings: Robert Islay Jewellery | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Shoes: Sophia Webster | Bridal Make Up: I Love It Laura | Bridesmaids Make Up: Lauren Higgin | Hair: Eleanor Robyn | Florist: Petals Flower Shop | Venue: Preston Court | Light Up Letters: Doris Loves | Photobooth: Just Pose | Guest Book: English Quilter | Cake: Mama Feel Goods | Flamingo Cake Topper: Etsy | Cheese Cake: The Cheesebox | Bridesmaids: Mango | Groom & Groomsmen: M&S | Stationery: Carina Elizabeth | Singer: Victoria Ashley | Silent Disco: The Silent Disco Co. | DJ: Disco Wed | Transport: Forever Wedding Cars | Videography: Blooming Lovely Films | Table Plan & Name Cards: Wedfest