Welcome to Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, and a fresh new week, with a jammed packed schedule to boot :-)
I have been chomping at the bit to share this utterly amazing wedding with you guys. Amy and Alex were married back in October of last year, in the gorgeous seaside town of Whistable, in the beautiful Artists’ Beach House, followed by a reception at The Lobster Shack. A truly unique set of wedding venues here, with the most beautiful seaside setting.
Amy and Alex wanted a day with an explosion of colour, so they choose red, yellow and blue theme, with spots and stripes thrown in for good measure. They had so many amazing elements to their wedding, from Amy’s beautiful dress with a red sash, to her unstructured bouquet. I so love the mug table, the jelly wedding cake, the strong graphics on their stationery, and of course those pom poms!
What a totally fun couple, and i must say this is just the kind of wedding i love to feature on these pages.
Thanks so much to the totally amazing Devon based wedding photographer, Jamie Bott Wedding Photography for sharing his amazing images with us today, here is what he had to say about the day;
“Amy and Alex were married on the steps of the Artist’s Beach House in Whitstable in Kent witnessed by a small group of friend and family. After a mini reception at the house we walked down the promenade to the Lobster Shack to meet the rest of the Wedding Guests at the Lobster Shack for Food, Speeches and Dancing! In between I got the chance to spend a bit more time than usual with Amy and Alex on the beach. Amy and Alex were such a lovely couple to work with and after the got over the initial embarrassment of being in front of the camera we shot some really fun portraits.”
Names…. Amy and Alex
Wedding Date…. 29th October 2011
The Proposal…. It was our five year anniversary and we had gone away to Aldeburgh in Suffolk for a long weekend. In the morning when we woke up we had a cup of tea in bed together and gave each other cards and presents. Alex’s present was wrapped up with white ribbon in a square white box, inside the box was another box surrounded by white tissue paper and inside that was the ring. Alex asked me to marry him and I said yes! It was right at the start of the weekend so we still had another three days in Aldeburgh and went on long walks up the beach and through the countryside, drank pints of local ales and ciders in the pubs and ate fish and chips on the beach – we didn’t tell anyone that we’d got engaged until we were back home and it was so lovely having those three days where we were the only ones who knew!
The Vision for the day…. We met at the scuba diving club at university and have always spent lots of time by the seaside and outside on walks in all weathers so we knew that we wanted an outdoors wedding. I wanted an explosion of colour and when we found the seaside location it seemed to make sense to go for full seaside colours with red, yellow and blue and lots of stripes and spots. The most important thing for us was to make sure the day was as informal and fun as possible.
The Planning process…. We booked a few things early on in the process (venues, photographer and I found the dress) and then we didn’t really do anything until about 5 months before the wedding. Throughout those five months there was a lot of planning that went on though, and in the last week it was a military operation as we made all of the canapés at the Artists Beach House ourselves – we definitely couldn’t have done it without the huge amounts of help from family and friends in the final stages!
The Venue… When we saw the Artist’s Beach House online we absolutely fell in love with it. It’s a gorgeous New England style wooden house on the beach just in front of “The Street” in Whitstable. We’d been on holiday and day trips down to Whitstable before so knew the area already and it just seemed perfect. We are always off to the beach whatever the weather so getting married by the sea at the end of October was completely us. As the Artist’s Beach House can only hold 33 guests we then needed to find somewhere nearby for the big party afterwards and a 10 minute walk up the beach found The Lobster Shack who were incredibly accommodating to all of our suggestions and decoration ideas. For the catering we had decided that we would like a barbecue and were able to sit down with the chef at The Lobster Shack and work out exactly what food we wanted which was great.
The Dress + Accessories….. I knew that I wanted a short dress so having visited one dress shop where they only had a single short dress we decided that The National Wedding Show might be a better bet and that’s where we met Amanda of Butterfly Vintage Brides. The dress was actually one of the ones on the catwalk and I fell in love with it when we saw it so then went to hunt down Amanda’s stall. The best thing about it was because Amanda made it from scratch for me I was able to alter bits and pieces so I removed the lace arms, made the petticoat completely red rather than just a red trim and had buttons put down the back. Amanda also made the red wrap that I had to keep me warm and I bought some Rainbow Club shoes which we were able to have colour matched to the red of the sash.
Vanessa who did our hair and make up on the day was fantastic, calming us down in the midst of the last minute panic to get everything ready in time and all of our hair and make up lasted well into the early hours.
Groom’s attire… Alex already had a suit that he decided would be fine to wear but then jazzed it up with a tailored shirt from A Suit that Fits, new shoes by Barker , a classic understated Boccia watch and an ivory waistcoat from Moss Bros.
The Readings + Music…. For the readings we decided to each pick one independently and we happened to end up with two readings from books that we had when we were little. So we had an extract from The Velveteen Rabbit and one from A House at Pooh Corner. We were able to find and dust down the books that we had when we were children so the readings could be read directly from them.
At the ceremony I walked in to All I Want is You by the Vitamin String Quartet. Alex’s Dad plays the violin and viola so whilst we were signing the register he played some fiddle tunes (Haste to the Wedding and Toss the Feathers) to keep everyone entertained. For the evening music rather than hire a DJ we decided to do it ourselves and on the invitations asked everyone to send us the name of a song that they’d like to dance to and from those we created a playlist which we just played from a computer. Our first dance was KT Tunstall Universe and U which was sung by my second cousin, Holly.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. The bridesmaids were my best friend from school and my best friend from uni. Once we’d decided on the red, yellow and blue colours I was quite keen to have mismatched bridesmaids with one in yellow and one in blue. We had a disastrous trip to a wedding dress shop where none of the bridesmaids’ dresses fitted well at all and they were all really expensive. So, disheartened we ended up in Westfield and then amazingly went into Oasis and found the perfect dresses with one in yellow and one in blue which even had matching handbags. My Mum removed the different coloured belts that the dresses came with and replaced them with the ribbons around the waist. The stripy shoes we found in Zara a while later.
The Flowers… Kirsty at Contemporary Flowers couldn’t have been more spot on with matching our requirements. We wanted to go for really informal flowers in the bright reds, yellows and blues with some daisies thrown in for good measure. I’d also seen photos in blogs online of flowers in collections of tins and bottles so for months before the wedding we were drinking and eating things that came in nice tins (trying to get through huge tins of harissa paste was a particular highlight!) to build up our collection. The bouquets were handtied – mine was all red with some matricaria and the bridesmaids were smaller multi-coloured versions of mine. We all had flowers in our hair and the men all had different red, yellow and blue buttonholes.
The Cake… I always think that it seems such a waste to see these amazing wedding cakes go uneaten at weddings so we decided early on that we wanted to ensure that the cake was also dessert. To ensure there was something that everyone would like, we asked close friends and family to make cakes and ended up with a fabulous selection – cupcakes, brownies, banoffee pie, Victoria sponge and a huge chocolate cake were just a few. Originally we were going to cut the banoffee pie (Alex loves my Mum’s banoffee pie so she always makes it for him whenever we go round for dinner!) but then a few months before the wedding Alex had the idea to make a jelly in a sandcastle bucket that we could cut instead. After a couple of disastrous attempts (we tried to be a bit too clever and go for a stripy jelly which didn’t work at all) we hit upon making it double concentrated following a tip from a friend who works for the BBC who was making jelly for a TV programme and it worked perfectly!
Your Photographer…. I had actually found Jamie’s website before we had got engaged when I had linked through to it from a website design company’s website and kept it bookmarked. We both love photography ourselves and Jamie’s style with informal pictures capturing the day and bright, bold colours was exactly what we wanted so as soon as we had confirmed the date with the venues we booked him straight away. On the day itself Jamie was fantastic and we barely noticed that he was there.
A couple of months before the wedding we also changed our minds about having a videographer after seeing a friend’s wedding highlights video and booked FX Films. The video is still being edited but we’re looking forward to seeing the results!
The Details + Decor…. I got a little carried away with the decor as I kept on seeing ideas on wedding blogs and adding them into the mix. The most striking decorations were the quarter of a kilometre of bunting which Alex’s Mum made that we had at the Artist’s Beach House and the red, yellow and blue tissue paper pom poms that we had hanging above the tables at the Lobster Shack. Then there were lots of other details – the 3ft red spherical balloons, the pinwheels going up the steps at the Artist’s Beach House, spotty table runners, sandcastle buckets to put the cutlery in, Scrabble tiles as people’s place names, jam jars filled with tea lights and large swirly lollipops and kilner jars of gobstoppers on the tables. The favours were sticks of personalised rock.
My parents are graphic designers and so designed all the wedding stationery for us including all of the signs that went in the food and cakes, the Table Plan and menus. For the Save the Dates we had sent out a postcard that looked like we had bought it in a shop from Whitstable but when you looked closer you realised that it was our photos and pictures of us. We carried this through into the table names which were all postcards that Mum and Dad made from places around the British Isles that we had been – this then became our guestbook too as each table had a pile of postcards to write us messages on which we have now bound together into a book.
The Honeymoon…. We were lucky enough to get 4 weeks off work so had a week in New York and then three weeks in Costa Rica. The combination of big city, beaches, rainforest and volcanoes was amazing (and we got some diving in too).
Memorable moments… One of the balloons flying away in the middle of the ceremony, the table of mugs (we had put in the invitation that everyone should bring their favourite mug for tea drinking with them) for tea in the evening (there are stories of them being used for extra large G&Ts too!), Alex spending all night dancing around in an Indian headdress (we also asked everyone to bring hats with them for our hat box), the sparkler send off at the end of the night!
Advice for other couples… If you’re doing a lot of decoration like we were, make sure that if possible you have the venue the day before to get it ready. We didn’t and ended up dashing around like mad on the morning of the wedding!
Credit where credit’s due…
Artist’s Beach House – http://www.uniquehomestays.com/unique/details.asp?id=534&country=6&start=1
The Lobster Shack – http://www.thelobstershack.co.uk/
Butterfly Vintage Brides – http://www.butterflyvintagebrides.co.uk/
Contemporary Flowers – http://www.contemporaryflowers.co.uk/
Photographer – http://www.jamiebottweddingphotography.com/
Videographer – http://www.fxfilms.co.uk/
Hair and make-up – http://www.vanessahawkshairandbeauty.co.uk/
The rings – Channings Jewellers, Hatton Garden
A Suit that Fits – http://www.asuitthatfits.com/shop/index.php
Personalised Rock – http://www.therockpeople.co.uk/
Kent Balloons – http://www.kentballoons.com/
Extra long sparklers from Epic Fireworks – http://epicfireworks.com/
First dance sung by Holly Brewer – http://www.hollybrewer.co.uk/
Thanks so much to Amy and Alex for sharing their amazing wedding with us today!! Please do leave them some comment love below :-) xoxo Lou
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