Woodstock Meets The Great Gatsby.


This morning we’ve got something a little different. Occasionally we might share what we call an “extended wedding”, this is essentially where we feature twice as many images and double the detail of the planning aspect as we perhaps normally would.

This laid-back luxe affair simply had too many unique and inspirational ideas not to include, plus Ellie’s write up is hilarious, the truth is I found it too difficult to edit.

I love a tassel, from a fashion perspective this is usually restricted to a suede bag or cowboy boot. However, Ellie’s bridal gown which is pretty much covered in the swishy is spectacular, the movement demonstrated in the photographs is unreal.

You may not be able to find time whilst at work to read the whole post but I suggest you come back later this evening with a cup of tea (or glass of wine) and take a second look. I promise it will be worth it.

A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0032 A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0033A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0034A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0035A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0036A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0037A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0038

Ellie The Bride: We got married on the 25th August 2013 at Stanford Hall, a huge grandiose but totally unpretentious house set in acres of beautiful land in Lutterworth. Our celebrations were spread out over a long bank holiday weekend.

We got very la de dah and used the Hall as a ‘casual’ backdrop but most of the celebrations, including the ceremony, took place in a traditional 1930’s Speigeltent.

The tent came all the way from Belgium and was constructed up by 8 burly brothers (they have had the tent as their family business for years) and who set it up in the huge sweeping grounds by the lake.

We wanted a laidback-luxe, Woodstock meets The Great Gatsby vibe and for everyone just to have a stupid amount of fun.

Oh man, the dress! Despite my best efforts to remain super chilled about being a bride, there is a moment when you have to stop fooling yourself and accept that you have fallen deeply into certain, inescapable cliches. For me, it was my new found addiction to wedding blogs, Pinterest and Don’t Tell The Bride. Extensive research into these subjects (Nights in. Lap top. With wine.) led me to certain discoveries…

Firstly, I am never going to be able to afford an Elie Saab Gown. End of. Look elsewhere, forthwith. Also, if like me, you are someone who never imagined themselves as a bride, you may not know what you do want, but you definitely know what you DON’T want.

There is an overwhelming amount of choice out there but fashion is fickle and moves fast. Remember how Shoreditch used to be the epicentre of cool but now it seems just over crowded with men dressed like Where’s Wally, drinking out of mason jars on street corners? Occasionally disturbing the odd passerby by threatening to play their banjo? Well, I think that’s sort of what’s happened to the ‘cool, alternative’ wedding idea too. Words such as hip, vintage and boho are so commonplace now that the mere mention of them induce endless eye rolls.

So, how DO you find something genuinely unique?

With this in mind I took myself off to Blackburn Bridal Couture in Blackheath, and I discovered a treasure trove for brides looking for something that leans far away from that boring, traditional urgh.

Mandi and the team there were simply amazing. She showed me a long drapey cream dress, covered head to toe in tassels, and encouraged me to try it on telling me “It’s unusual, but I just have a feeling you might like it”.
On first glance it was quite simple and demure with a 30s art deco twist but then when you moved in it, it suddenly came to life turning in to a perfect festival-love-rave-dancefloor dress!

I loved so many of Clinton’s designs but he said no one had ever ordered the Ava before as it’s a bit out there. He made sure it was exactly how I wanted it. We tweaked and tinkered with it by lowering the back and extending the train and adding even more tassels.
Elie Saab was a distant memory. This dress was immense.

I wanted to offset the dress by pimping it up with an elaborate head piece, but it seemed everything I found in London looked very ‘ weird beauty pageants and tiaras’ –  urgh.

Luckily I was working in New York at the time and I stumbled upon Stone Fox Bride who answered all of my prayers. A lush hippy-luxe, no bullshit bridal hub smack bang in the middle of Manhattan.

There I met the gorgeous owner and founder of SFB Molly Guy who asked me what I really wanted, and what the vibe of my wedding would be. I explained to Molly: think Stevie Nicks and a Summer of Love Tour. She totally got it. She then assigned me to a designer, the astonishingly brilliant Rawan Rahini and together we set about creating my head piece from scratch: a silk chiffon veil with five foot train and silk flowers and feathers complete with draping tassels to tie in with the dress. Lush.

I wore a bunch of rings in all different sizes in rose-gold and silver as well as my vintage engagement ring, which is quite frankly so bloody beautiful I had to name it – Elizabeth Taylor to be exact, or ‘Liz’ for short.

To complete the look I found a beautiful Cream fringed shawl as a wrap for the evening from the gorgeous Frederica Bruno, a London based designer who collects vintage pieces.

A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0039A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0040A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0041A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0042A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0043A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0044A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0045A Great Gatsby Woodstock themed wedding at Stanford Hall with a bridal gown from Blackburn Bridal Couture_0046

Ellie The Bride Continued: I remember finding myself in Selfridges shoe department almost catatonic with excitement at the prospect of throwing money in the face of Jimmy Choo and crying “It’s my right to be extravagant on my wedding day! Give me your finest pair!”

But, as I tried on a fancy pair of nude skyscraper heels, three simple truths hit home:

1. I’m pretty tall lady already. I wanted to lower my chances of towering over my new husband or indeed, whacking my head on top of the tent as I walked in. I was planning on wearing my hair ‘big’ after all. 

2. Tall girls plus tall shoes plus big hair and what do you get? Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Fierce, sure. But the wrong source of inspiration on this PARTICULAR occasion.

3. The size of the platform on the shoes made me look like a lap dancer. There, I said it.

I mean I knew there would be dancing until dawn (quite possibly on the tables but not, you know, TABLE dancing) so whatever I chose had to have endurance as well as glamour.

In the end the good old High street saved the day. I found a perfect pair of vintage-esque T-bars in a faded sparkle from Roland Cartier for Dune. They totally did the trick.

A handy friend, the uber-talented Paul Furness from Paul and Olive arranged all the flowers, buttoner’s and posies for day. It was simple, chic and understated in a wild green colour, creams and white. As well as adorning the entire bridal party, the flowers also laced the tent for the ceremony and the tables for dinner. Beautiful!

On my side I had two Men Of Honour, four bridesmaids and three flower girls. Finding their outfits was the most stress free part of the organising. By some strange stroke of luck we stumbled upon 4 black 70’s style fringed smock dresses in Topshop in an identical material to my wedding dress. The girls loved them, it was meant to be! We completed their look with a grey and black rose flower headband which we flipped back to front to give more of a hippy-punky garland look.

They looked hot and all got a snog that night. Just for the record.

My Best Men (or Men of Honour as we called them) pulled in some favours and were in matching Burberry with heart embossed ties and the flowers girls kitted out in good old Monsoon and were too adorable for words.

Trevor looked amazing! He wore a bespoke Spencer Hart suit in an airforce blue colour and deep caramel tan brogues from Brenson.

Pen and Cam Mckinley-Rodgers our photographers are quite simply AWESOME and total, total dudes. Having seen the calibre and quality of their work on their website I was confident their photographs would be amazing, but their presence and spirit on the actual day took it to the next level.

Our mates really rallied around to make our wedding day happen in the most spectacular way. A lot of our mates are the most incredible musicians and singers who very generously ROCKED a set until the early hours of the morning.

Dan Gillespie-Sells and the boys from The Feeling, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Sinead and The Dawnbreakers took to the stage and floored us with wave after wave of hit’s, covers, medleys, mash ups, pop, rock, classic and new.

Creating the wedding we wanted meant doing everything ourselves and calling upon our friends and family to chip in, in their own unique and wonderful ways.

Three days before the wedding day, a gang of us went to the venue to set up. We sat in the Speigel tent surviving on little sleep, a lot of laughter, red wine and great tunes booming out from our ipods. We holed ourselves up inside working furiously away under the guide of our utterly wonderful, stupendously talented designer, and dear friend Ryan Frost who style the entire event. 

Paper Pom-poms and fairy lights hung from branches that were suspended all around the tent, entwined with small origami cranes and maple leafs (representing our heritage – my father is Japanese, and Trevor’s mother is Canadian).

We painstakingly spent hours threading each item by hand, cutting ribbons, gluing feathers, spraying glitter…it looked amazing.
Ryan had spent months and months trawling around London’s flea markets, vintage shops and Ebay and had collaborated an incredible collection of dazzling decorations, furniture pieces, candlabras, ribbons, balloons and every other beautiful trinket you could imagine which, when combined together, created an explosion of gloriousness, a complete wonderland.

Any person getting married should have a Ryan Frost.

Mckinley-Rodgers Venue Stanford Hall | Brides Gown Blackburn Bridal Couture | Veil Stone Fox Bride | Shawl Frederica Bruno | Bridesmaids Topshop | Groom Spencer Hart | Catering Jackie Filmer | Flowers Paul and Olive

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

58 thoughts on “Woodstock Meets The Great Gatsby.

  1. Uh…. WOW WOW WOW! Best photos of the year so far RMW! There is not one image here I do not love, AMAZING work by Pen and Cam. Ellie is a super model in her photos, cute nails too! This wedding makes me excited for my own! So much love and fun with uniqueness ta boot! Congratulations Ellie and Trevor X

  2. Ummmmmm

    Where on earth is one supposed to start???

    I want to dance like that. And run high five like that. And look like that.

    Ellie you are, quite simply, immense.


  3. WOW…I am actually lost for words right now! Seriously! Hopefully I’ll have found the words to sum up how EPIC Ellie &Trevor’s wedding is in time for the second installment! x

  4. What a beautiful couple – I have tears in my eyes after watching your wedding video!
    This is exactly the vibe I would like at my own wedding. Congratulations! Xx

  5. OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is on an epic scale. Ellie looks like a movie star and the outdoor décor is immense. *thinking about moving sofas and lampshades outside under a tree as soon as the rain stops* xx

    1. Agree Natalie, the decor, venue & fashion are obviously fabulous…but it’s the warmth and fun that really shines through from this wedding!! x

  6. I have been waiting to see this wedding in full for about 500 years! Undoubtedly my most favourite EVER. Ellie and Trevor are just as warm and beautiful and in love in real life as they appear in the pictures, and every glorious moment and stylish trinket has been captured PERFECTLY by Pen and Cam. Don’t even get me started on those nails…. Pinterest is gonna get a hounding today I reckon. xxx

  7. Oh. My. Word. This wedding could not be more perfect. I am unable to continue with my work now as I am far too busy swooning and day dreaming about how I can have this exact same day. Just amazing. Dreamy.

  8. STUNNING!!!
    Stunning bride, stunning venue, stunning decor…..and I just adore those pictures where the groom looks emotional.

    As I was reading this with a cup of coffee (no wine..its only 12.15!) I was thinking that this must have been one hell of a wedding….then I read who the entertainment was and thought this must been one hell of a party too!!!!

    This girl is not only beautiful but her writing style is very witty!

    Love it!

  9. My favourite real wedding that I’ve read in a long time. The styling is absolutely spectacular, especially those suspended branches decorated with pom poms and fairy lights! I love Ellie’s humorous write up too, reading about the build up to the wedding was just as entertaining and heart warming as what we can see of the big day. Thank you for sharing xx

  10. LOVE this wedding, especially the tent and dress!
    Also, on a separate note… how well does this bride write! love it!!! probably my favourite account of a wedding from a bride, had me in giggles from the start and couldn’t agree more with the shoe saga!
    Congrats to you both on an amazing day! Boooooooooooooootiful!

  11. Well I saw that second photograph and I was hooked! How unbelievably unbelievable is this wedding?! Stunning bride, a huge amount of fun and so so unique. Wow wee. And I managed to fit it all into my lunch break…phew!
    I want every part of that day – and not just for my wedding day but every day of my life! Thank you for brightening up my day RMW <3 xx

  12. Well we all know what I’m going to say about this wedding….

    What an awesome theme (yes, I may be slightly bias but :-p ) & so beautifully executed
    But I now want, no NEED to have a party in a 1930′s Speigeltent! Incredible!

    Huge congrats guys, looks like it was a blast! xx

  13. I adore this dress! More brides should wear tassles. And as Ellie says, it really comes to life when she moves and that’s beautifully captured in the photos.
    And I’m a real sucker for a tearful groom (in a good way), my own hubby cried his eyes out all through the ceremony (again in a good way I promise!) – love a man who does emotion…

  14. Erm, feeling the pressure for my wedding now!!!! What a stunning day, totally laid back but not in that ‘I’m so cool and edgy’ kind of way. Just, as the bride says, Lush.

  15. I LOVED Ellie’s write up, and wish we could do this wedding all over again – we truly loved EVERY SINGLE minute of it. Thanks for sharing it RMW x

  16. Wow! This is awesome! This wedding is such a delight with all those awesome features. Everything looks bright and happy. I guess everybody had a blast at this wedding and the bride is so talented. her dress is so unique & she is simple too gorgeous in it!

  17. Epic. Could say so much but that one word sums it up entirely.

    Can imagine it was one hell of a party following that ceremony!

    What is the song in the video? I have not ever heard that and want it in my life!

    Alice x

  18. Epic. Wow. Love the tassels!! Love the outdoor 3 piece suite. I would love that! You definitely succeeded in introducing Woodstock and Gatsby. What an epic day!

  19. LOVE this wedding… Read it about 3 times now. What a glamorous bride. Can someone please tell me where she got her veil and flower headband from? its divine- been looking for something like it and cant find it xxx

    1. Hi Lauren, I think Ellie found the head piece from Stone Fox Bride. The link is above in the first block of her write up. Hope you find something equally awesome!

  20. I’m absolutely stunned. It is so incredibly beautiful. Everything about it is! There are no words to describe that awesome wedding. And darn what a stunning bride!
    P.s. I love the Elizabeth Taylor passage! Genius!

  21. Hi Ellie – could you post the link for the Belgian Tent people please? I have a friend who is totally ‘gatsby meets woodstock’- she would love this tent at her wedding!! Thanks!

  22. Oh wow! Well it seems I momentarily regressed and became some sort of cave person who can’t navigate their way around the internet because I only just saw all of these AMAZING and LOVELY comments! How did I miss this? Thanks so much for all your generous words.
    I think I name checked everyone in my post who was part of the wedding but of course I am happy to pass on any more info to people should they need it. xxx

    1. I am with YOu!

      HOW have i missed this?!

      Have I been under the same rock as you?! Obviously I have – this is absolutely IMMENSE.

      I bloody love it all and echo all of the praise that has been given by the other lush commentators. I particuklarly love your Sense of Humour too Ellie- this is soo funny and you’ve had be giggling a go go. I am so epicly (not sure thats a real word) envious of your style and ability to pull off such a swaggerous (also not a word) event – ok, it’s not too late, please come and plan our wedding?!

      Top MARKS! Not that you were looking for marks, but you know what i mean… snaps on snaps
      PS – this is my fav!

      Nicola xxx

      1. One more question… what do two music loving creatures like you two choose for your first dance? There was aggressive and brilliant jumping – can you spill your disco beans? xx

  23. What an absolutely stunning wedding, bride and photography. This has to be one of my fave weddings to date. I think the staging is amazing, love it all..congratulations guys.

  24. WOWSIE.This has to be one of my favourite weddings of all time. It’s funny, sometimes you look at the real weddings and often think of the odd bit you’d do different or alter slightly if you’d done it, but I can honestly say, I don’t think I would change a thing. Absolutely perfect. I love the attention to detail in every single aspect of Ellie and Trevor’s day. The photos sum it up ever so beauitfully, congrats to Pen and Cam. Just love the Gatsby inspired theme. We performed at a Gatsby do only last night, it’s so fabulously sophisticated, and can be pulled off relatively inexpensivley if budget’s an issue, and plus, it’s just awesome fun! I’m waffling now, should just be quiet and enjoy the prettiness! Huge congrats to the lovely couple xx

  25. I WAS THERE!

    Ellie – Vicky is looking to plan ours and I said to her ‘I’d kind of like to pull off something like Trellie’s’ Then Vicky finds THIS article about 10 minutes later – how weird. We just said we hope to fully avoid the word ‘Boho’ and also Vicky follows Stone Fox Bride – Both of which are referenced in your write up!

    Very nice to read this and all the comments – was a great day – love you guys! x

  26. Hi Ellie,

    I have been researching Spiegeltents and came across your amazing post! I hope I don’t come across as rude, but was it very expensive to hire? I am looking for a 1920s/1930s style wedding and have fallen in love with Spiegeltents! X

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.