Unforgettable Magic.

Seb-and-Sam

It’s been a while since we’ve seen some sexy back action on Rock My Wedding and I’ve missed it. Sam certainly makes up for it though with her contemporary yet chic frockage, complimented perfectly by her impeccably dresses best girls.

The floral crowns are delicious, I want one.

Being in the depths of winter and all it’s nice to throw a sprinkle of bohemian sunshine into the mix, and I’m sure many of you are busy planning your spring and summer weddings in the midst of enjoying all of the December festivities.

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A Romantic Backdrop

Sam The Bride: We loved the idea of a rustic venue, something home-spun, close to nature, and quite personal to us. So we thought – what could be a better location than in the garden of the sleepy Hertfordshire village I grew up in. It naturally provided a romantic backdrop that was relaxed, warm and full of lush greenery, very close to winding lanes and romantic woodlands. The garden had previously been a farm so we were officially the first couple to use it as a wedding space, which added another personal exclusive touch. It felt easy to envisage our own ‘midsummer night’s dream’ there where there could be no time restrictions and everyone could party until dawn.

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Feeling Lush

I took initial inspiration from The Lane where I came across a wide collection of bridal makeup ideas. I wanted to look natural but alluring and fresh faced. At the same time I wanted to tie in Gatsby-esque elements to match my 1920s style dress. My bridesmaid’s sister and a close family friend Vernetta is an awesome makeup artist and specializes in bridal makeup – so it felt like the perfect choice and an honor to have my makeup done by Vernetta.

Vern was brilliant – she helped me create a desired look based on the feel and mood I was trying to capture during the makeup test. I was very happy and felt at complete ease on the day of the wedding knowing Vernetta knew exactly what she was doing. Vernetta did an excellent job – I felt lush and my makeup stayed all day. 

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My hair was arranged by Francesca our family hairdresser who listened to what I wanted and designed something that suited and enhanced the view of my dress. We decided to offset the hair piece to the left to balance out the lace embellishment of the dress on the right. As my dress had a high neckline and low back, we created an updo with a cascade of soft spiraling curls at the back, garnished with plaits and twists around the back of the updo. It was soft and feminine whilst being sophisticated. 

Perfume is very important to me so I carefully selected a fragrance that would have impact and remind me of many happy moments in the future. I wanted my ‘signature scent’ to be clean, feminine, floral and timeless. I eventually chose Roses de Chloe which had notes of rose, bergamot and magnolia, and layered with other rose scents on the day.

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Shape Suiting

The dress was a David Fielden design from his Sposa 2012 collection. I fell in love with a couple of Fielden dresses at The National Wedding Show where I tried them on at Noble & Wright Atelier boutique stall. That dress was eventually a winner as it did the most for my figure in comparison to the all other dresses I tried on – and I knew it was the sort of thing my future hubby would like most. 

Noble & Wright supplied the dress and adjusted it to my measurements. I loved the fittings. These all took place in Hannah Noble’s beautiful studio in Leicestershire (a way to travel but totally worth it). Hannah listened to my ideas and ensured the dress was completely fitted to my shape. When the dress was handed over I was delighted with how perfect it was and I felt secure in the knowledge that nothing else needed to be done to it.

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Something Old

My mum and I stumbled across Mignonette, where the store owner gave a spectacular helping hand in choosing my veil and headpiece. I was lucky enough to have my wedding dress in the car and so we matched the veil and headpiece to my dress there and then. The headpiece was a dramatic white 1920s side design framed with pearl, crystal and soft feathers. The veil was chapel length with a scatter of a few crystals and a narrow satin edge. My earrings were my ‘something old’ and a prior gift from Seb a few years ago. They were fairly delicate Swarovski pearl drop earrings that were understated but sparkled when my hair was up.

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High Street Sweethearts

We had one Maid of Honour, five bridesmaids, one flower girl, one Best Man and three ushers.The girls and I loved using Pinterest to share ideas about colours, styles and moods. We had some lovely bridesmaid gatherings, trawling through magazines and looking online. I was keen for the girls to choose dresses that they liked and could wear again. They chose a lace bodice bandeau dress with a sweetheart neckline from Oasis. Our flower girl Zahra wore a delightful dress from Monsoon that matched the bridesmaids and my own dress. All the girls’ hairpieces were beautiful silk floral crowns that matched our colour scheme, their dresses and their bouquets.

After visiting various boutiques Seb eventually chose the most beautiful grey three piece suit with double-breasted waistcoat from Tux & Tails. The ushers matched Seb in the the same suits but wore with jackets with silver waistcoats and ivory cravats. Seb’s cravat was a dark grape colour to match the purple in our colour scheme. The girls all looked completely stunning and the men looked dapper in their suits.

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Peach And Blush

Our colour scheme evolved after we found the bridesmaid dresses. We decided on a soft pastel multi-colour scheme with pale peach, blush pink, cream, mint and lilac.

As we wanted our reception to have a relaxed yet vibrant feel with lots of warmth we chose the Stunning Tents company for our tipis on the lawn. We were excited by the rustic and sturdy structure of the tipis and the fact that they could let in lots of light, whilst keeping people snug and protected from the outside elements!

With the help of our wonderful wedding party, we hung gorgeous paper lanterns inside the tipis to soften the feel and add more colour.

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Flower Crowns & Posies

Mum and I bounced off ideas with Julie Cambridge who produced a beautiful array of flowers within the dream budget. My bouquet was hand-tied with trailing foliage, a mix of soft peach blush garden style roses, white stocks, hydrangea and lavender and grey succulent plants. The bridesmaids had matching posy style bouquets with the same colour flowers plus a few deeper shades to match Seb’s cravat. The bridesmaids’ floral crowns had the same colours with lacy ribbons and our flower girl carried a small teddy with a flower attached.

The buttonholes were a delicate selection of light pink eustoma and gyp foliage with Seb having more lavender in his. Julie’s floral design added a lot of magic and transformed the tipis into something that felt like our own.

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Lavender Hills

A beautiful vintage cream Beauford car (courtesy of my amazing sister) whisked Dad and I to the local parish church. The ceremony itself was beautiful and quite emotional. It was wonderful to walk down the isle past our favourite people who have been part of our lives from early on to today. The church had a wonderful atmosphere inside. Seb and I arranged for the organist to play Lavender Hills by Brian Crain for the bridal procession music.

We used a few wedding themed hymns with well known melodies (for instance the melody of I Vow to Thee My Country for all the lads). A bible reading was beautifully read by a very good friend of mine Lucy Charles, and Seb’s sister Frankie and brother Zach gave a gorgeous rendition of an extract from The Velveteen Rabbit.

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Charisma & Charm

The speeches were all fantastic and brought many laughs and a few tears to our eyes. I could see my dad was confidently calm with perhaps a few nerves brimming beneath the surface. He did a splendid job of encouraging us and of course included some very funny anecdotes. The best man gave a brilliant entertaining and meaningful speech. Seb couldn’t have done a better job. Seb’s speech was heartfelt and perfect and left me feeling incredibly honoured to be marrying him. A big thanks goes out to my brothers who were Masters of the Ceremony. They introduced all the speeches smoothly with plenty of charisma and charm. Other stand out moments from the evening include my Aunt Viv’s speech and reading of the poem – Unending Love By Rabindranath Tagore and my bridesmaid Stephanie’s performance of ‘At Last’. Steph your song was stunning, thank you so much.

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My brother Chris is also one of Cambridge’s finest DJs so it was lovely that he introduced us to the dance floor before playing his set. Our first dance was to an Al Green and Leela James mix of ‘Simply Beautiful’ This was a personal choice as one of our earliest dates was a Leela James gig at the Jazz Cafe. Chris then played an epic selection of tunes until an unexpected band arrived (a susprise gift from my Dad). Little had we known, but the band had been in hiding in the house the whole day – a very well kept secret! That band was none other than the 80s soul group Loose Ends who provided a brilliant selection of soul tunes. People from all generations were on the dance floor having a fabulous time! After their gig DJC (another excellent DJ from Cambridge and friend of Chris’) did a fantastic job of keeping everyone on the dance floor till the early hours of the next morning. This was a treat from my brothers Chris & Aaron who wanted to organise the music for our reception. Seb and I had list of songs we wanted played on the night and DJ Curtis played them all.

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On The Lawn

Mum did an amazing job of organising the food and the wedding cake as a gift to us. Our caterer Claire put together a beautiful menu starting with canapés on the lawn, a coq au vin supreme for the main meal and a trio of yummy deserts for later. Cynthia at Pretty Gorgeous Cakes made a lovely cupcake tower with a pretty top tier cake that matched our colour scheme.

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With A Little Help

A friend of Seb’s has her own beautiful stationery company based in America. When we were there last year, we visited Katharine’s studio and saw her unique letter press cards with Indian influences. We thought it would be more personal to order our invitations from Katharine. The remaining stationery was a DIY job. Seb and I designed the Order of Service and Menu and had a good printing job done by our local Kall Kwik. Cute name place cards came from Hobby Craft and the girls and I wrote these up the night before.

Finally with the help of our wonderful bridesmaids and ushers we had some beautiful hand-designed table cards each named after our favourite iconic love films with a quote (from Breakfast At Tiffany’s to The Notebook). Our seating plan had a non-traditional twist – we placed small cards inside an authentic birdcage that belonged to my mum. Meredith and Diahann were true creative goddesses and transformed the birdcage into a piece of art with silk flowers, vines, pegs and ribbons. I don’t know what I’d have done without you both! Thank you so much!

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Capturing The Spirit

Our advice would be to cherish the day and the moments leading up to you wedding. It really will be one of the most beautiful, unforgettable and magical days of your life. A special tip we were given was to go off for a few moments (just you and your hubby) and stand somewhere where you can view everything and take it all in.

Do as much as you can as early as you can! There is a lot to do during the week of the wedding. A lot of people will want to help so get them on board – it makes it all the more worthwhile and meaningful creating something so special with your nearest and dearest.

Also, our photographer came via a personal recommendation from a friend who had done a shoot with the photographer Hannah May. When Seb & I saw Hannah May’s portfolio we knew she was the right photographer for us. We didn’t want a traditional corporate album – we wanted something relaxed and artistic that captured the spirit of the day. We’re so happy with Hannah’s work – we love the story it tells and the stunning moments she caught, it’s all there for us to cherish it forever.

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Click here & view all images from this wedding

Venue: Tipis supplied by Stunning Tents
Dress: A David Fielden dress from Noble & Wright Atelier
Bridesmaids: Oasis Occasion
Flower Girl: Monsoon
Groom Suit: Tux n Tails, St’ Albans
Bride’s Headpiece: Richard Designs
Veil: Mignonette
Stationery: Katharine Watson
Photography: Hannah May
Make Up: Vernilla Sweet
Cake Decoration: Pretty Gorgeous Cake Company
Blooms: Julie Cambridge Floral Design
Daytime Music: Stephanie Oyerinde
Evening Band: Loose Ends
DJs: DJ Push

Are you now tempted by the back flash?

I am tempted to wear an Xmas version of a floral crown, I’m thinking sequins and mistletoe.

Big Magical Love

Charlotte xxx

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