Afternoon my loves. I have such a hear achingly cool wedding to share with you… i have been bursting to share this one.
Matt and Jo wanted a “Americana, Mexicana, American football, vintage, and Hollywood” feel to their wedding using a black, white, silver and gold colour scheme. Jo having a background in theatre design really got creative and made many of the fun elements to their day.
I so love the hanging stars, the button holes, the unusual cake, and the hints to American football on the tables.
Jo looks incredible, i particularly love those skull shoes and that amazing headpiece from Jo Barnes Vintage… doesn’t her vintage inspired up do look fabulous too.
Lets not forget Matt who looks so dapper with his striped bow tie and vans. What a super fun couple.
Thanks so much to the amazing Foden Photography for sharing his brilliant images with us today, here is what he and Brenda had to say about the day;
“Without a doubt Matt and Jo’s Winter wedding was one of our favourites of last year. The fact that Matt and Jo are so lovely, and so obviously in love, made our job much easier! But we also loved all the little details that made their wedding such a true refection of their personalities. It’s a joy shooting weddings like this, and sometimes you have to remind yourself that you have a job to do when you feel yourself drawn into the emotions of the day! The group shots were a real highlight for us as Matt and Jo were totally up for doing something different and creative- we love it when clients put their faith in us so wholeheartedly like this. We wish Matt and Jo all the very best for the future- they’re a cracking couple! We would also encourage other couples to draw inspiration from Matt and Jo’s wedding and make their weddings a true reflection of who they are, both as individuals and as a couple.
Matt and Brenda Foden”
Names…. Joanna and Matthew
Wedding Date…. 10th December 2011, our second anniversary
The Proposal…. Matt proposed during our very first trip to Disneyland Paris in a tipi at midnight. We had been having an amazing time after knowing each other for 3 years at work and being a couple for 7 months when Matt called me into a tipi in hotel Cheyenne asking me to look at something. When I walked in he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. It took me a minute to take it in but there was no doubt I would say YES! Matt was very traditional and had asked my dad for my hand before we went away and the whole of mine and Matt’s family knew he was going to propose, how they all kept it a secret I still have no idea.
The Vision for the day…. We wanted a wedding that really represented our very eclectic tastes and varied interests so we decided on a vintage inspired black and white colour scheme with grey, gold and silver. (This was partly down to the fact that matt is very colour blind!) We wanted a very relaxed day with not too much hanging about so we settled on a 3 o’clock wedding ceremony. The reception was a 5 minute drive away so not much hanging about. We also used Americana, Mexicana, American football, vintage, and Hollywood for our wedding day which somehow all came together perfectly.
The Planning process…. There was never really a big discussion about where we would be married, Matt attended his church regularly and so it was right that we were married there. Matt’s Catholic and my family are not really very religious so we had to ask for permission from the Bishop to be married in the church. This involved me finding out about Catholicism by meeting the pastoral assistant during the year to our marriage. We also met with Father Jean Marie for pre marriage guidance and attended a marriage preparation day with other couples. I think all this really helped us prepare for the life after the wedding day. Every decision, whenever possible, was a joint one and although I physically made most of the bits and pieces Matt was very supportive and always knew what was going on.
Budget…. Everything was done on a very tight budget and we made as much as we could as well as scouring charity shops, vintage fairs and ebay for a year. Our wedding cost around £8000 however we did get a lot of financial support from my dad, mum and Matt’s parents.
The Venue… Church Service: We were married in Matt’s family Church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew in Hitchin by Father Jean Marie. We decorated the church pews with white and black ribbons and had two large white poinsettias in black pots at the alter.
Reception: The reception was held at the Blakemore House, Little Wymondley, Hertfordshire. The main reason we chose this venue was how flexible and accommodating they were. The great thing about the venue was the different rooms we could have, for the drinks reception we had Kate Garner (who we met at a local vintage fair) playing and singing 30’s and 40’s songs on a piano. The second room was black and white vintage glamour/Americana and the third was a Hollywood party room for the disco. We decided on tapas to start, a main course of bangers and mash with alternate puddings of treacle tart and eton mess. As we ate quite late for the evening food we had ‘cocoa before bed’ with hot chocolate, cream, doughnuts, muffins, cookies and of course or wedding cake which everyone appreciated!
The Dress + Accessories… I knew I wanted something with a vintage feel but wasn’t sure about the exact era. I went to a few Vintage Wedding Fairs in London that really inspired me. I met Jo Barnes at one of them and her designs are truly beautiful, I ordered ‘Norma’ from her and the service was exceptional. The photos of ‘Norma’ on the internet decided my hair style also and I found at a local wedding fair a very talented hairdresser who also works at our local college who did mine and my bridesmaids hair on the day. I found some amazing Vivienne Westwood shoes at a local shopping centre; they were black rubber with white skull and crossbones on the toes that at first looked like lace until you looked closer. Everyone commented on them during the day! I also found a white fur wrap at a vintage fair in London to keep out some of the cold December day.
Finding the dress…. My dress was the very first one I saw and from an amazing wedding dress shop in the town where we live. For a while it was in the window so I had to keep steering Matt away from it! I only took my mum with me as I knew she would be brutally honest. As soon as I tried the dress on I knew it was the one I wanted Matt to see me walk down the aisle to him in. It was beautiful and I felt amazing in it.
Groom’s attire… Matt kept this mostly a secret from me. We bought the waistcoats, ties and pocket squares from ebay but Matt had also secretly bought a striped bow ties and pocket square. He also wore the pocket watch I had given him for valentines day. Matt found some brilliant black and white Vans in a ‘spats’ style. Matt’s suit was from Moss Bros.
Matt also bought each usher individual cufflinks to suit each ones personality including Iphone, hamburger, triumph stag, mighty boosh and transformer cufflinks! I made all of the button holes with ribbons, buttons, felt and pipe cleaners and each were individual just like our motley crew of ushers.
The Readings…. Our readings were: The Old Testament Song of Songs 2, 1st Letter from St Paul to the Corinthians and Matthew 19. These were read by my mum, brother in law and the Priest. We also wrote our own bidding prayers that were read by our ushers.
Music… My younger brother played guitar and sang Jason Moraz ‘Im Yours’ as I walked down the isle and the Church music group played guitar, flute and violin for our ceremony. We chose Shine Jesus Shine, Colours of Day, Let there be Love and Lord of the Dance to end where the children could come to the font and use maracas and tambourines from the music box. Our first dance was Rascal Flatts ‘Bless the Broken Road’ which has some beautiful lyrics that sum up where we have come from to be with each other.
Beautiful bridesmaids… The bridesmaids dresses were bought a year early in the January sale from Monsoon, really great quality material and a really amazing price in the sale! I collected vintage clutch bags, pashmina’s from vintage fairs and bought the shoes and hair pins from ebay and high street stores Claries accessories, Accessorize and Miss Selfridge.
The Flowers… We chose 6 different types of white flowers that we knew we could find easily in December and our very talented work colleague ordered them from a wholesaler and put together the bouquets. We also made sure we had some of my favourites: lysianthus, fresias, roses, as well as lilies, chrysanthemums and gypsophila. I had a corsage made at a local florist using my late grandmother’s broach. I decided on a corsage as I didn’t want to have to carry a bouquet for only 5 mins then never use it again. Lots of people commented on this and I loved it. The ushers wore the button holes I made and were each as individual as they were.
The Cake… The cake was really Matt’s baby, we saw a photo of a black and white cake and our talented work colleague also made this for us! It was a 3 tier spectacular with a fruit cake, sponge cake and carrot cake on the top (which we took home and ate the whole lot of). Matt also scoured the internet and found a wedding Mexicana day of the dead couple for the top of the cake.
Your Photographer…. There was not question as to who we wanted to do our wedding photographs. Matt and Brenda are incredibly talented individuals with a real eye for detail. We loved their style of photography and wanted a photographer to ‘capture’ moments of the day and not have any ‘traditional’ photographs. Were not great at having our pictures taken and they made it so easy, we didn’t give them any set photos to take and trusted their creativity. They were not intrusive and fitted in well with our guests. We also didn’t want to be away from our guests for too long so all our photos were taken in a relatively short space of time during our drinks reception. My favourite photos are the ones of us in a group having fun, it totally sums up my memories of the day!
The Details + Decor…. I made a lot of things myself including the invitations, order of service, table plan, menus, decorations, favours and button holes. My degree was in Theatre Design so it was wonderful being able to flex my creativity for once! To be honest I’m now looking fro further projects to get involved with as I loved it so much.
The tables… Matt is a keen American football player so we decided to have the table names of American football teams with a map of America as our table plan. We bought a vintage map of America and I made the rest with the aid of my dad’s computer and a very large old picture frame. We bought some vintage American football pennants on ebay and whilst there also bought some photo holders to hold them with American football and baseballs at the base for the tables. We had fun deciding what tam everyone would be on and juggling round the map so it would represent the room well. As a surprise I collected old photos from Matt’s parents and made some photo boxes of us as young children and from our holidays together. Each table also had a menu in a different photo frame picked up from charity and high street shops. We also picked up odd tea light holders from charity shops for the tables. We decided to allocate table to people but not chairs and let them decide where they wanted to sit, there all adults, well most of them were! For the kids we gave them party bags with colouring books, toy cars, play dough and stickers to keep them entertained. We picked up different serviettes that were gold, silver, white and black so each table was different. For favours we wrapped kinder surprises in black tissue paper with ribbons. I did get some funny looks buying 72 kinder surprises from Asda but everyone loved them, chocolate and a toy what more can you possible ask for!
The dining room… I made black and white bunting from scraps of material, bought black table runners from ebay and hired black chair covers with black sashes to complete the look of the room. I also made a post box by cutting a hole out of a box with passport stamps on and tied with ribbons.
The party room… We bought Hollywood themed decorations for the disco room including Hollywood lanterns, film strips, stars and of course cut outs of Marilyn and Elvis! We also scored charity shops for old school board games to keep people entertained in the evening if they didn’t want to dance. We picked up budget versions of buckaroo (kangarooni), and our favourite childhood games like build a burger, jenga, pick up sticks, flipping penguins and lazer tag! I also have very funny memories now of Matt’s burly friends playing busy buzzy bumblebees with my new 5 year old niece!
Transport… We were very fortunate that my dad had just bought his first Porsche so he drove me to the Church and then Matt and I were again very fortunate to have a friend’s father who had a business hiring Bentleys for events who gave us a cracking deal on a gorgeous burgundy Bentley to take us to the reception venue.
The Honeymoon…. We had an amazing mini moon in London fro a few days at the Hilton on Park Lane which our wonderful sister and brother in law gave us as a wedding present. When we arrived and said it was our honeymoon we were upgraded to a suite with a bottle of champagne fruit basket and macaroons! We could see Big Ben and the London Eye from out window and we felt very spoilt. We spent Christmas and New Year at home with our families and after getting engaged in Disneyland Paris where else would we go for our Mega Moon but Walt Disney World in Florida! This was also our wedding gift from our guests as they contributed to our honeymoon. It was absolutely amazing and really the holiday of a lifetime!
Memorable moments… The bits of the day that I remember most fondly are all the little things that went wrong! Everyone is so obsessed with having the ‘perfect day’ but the little odd things that happen are unique to you as a couple. For example our order or service was in completely the wrong order so we didn’t know where we were during the service, one of the ushers was late to the church and another to the reception, our table name pennant being set alight by one of the tea lights and one of my bridesmaids sons having far too many kinder surprises and throwing up all down her dress!
Advice for other couples… Accept from the beginning that at least one of the decisions you make be it the seating plan, choice of wedding gift list or who you will or will not be inviting will offend at least someone! Once you get over that it’s not so difficult to decide on things.
In any case it’s not about them; the most important thing is that it’s about the two of you! Plus a wedding is only one day in your life together and you have to remember to plan past the wedding day and into your married life together.
Being married is wonderful!
Credit where credit’s due…
Photography: Foden Photography http://www.fodenphotography.com/
Cake and Flowers: Angela Corsbie-Smith email@example.com
Bentley: David Davis
Dress: Morgan Davies, Sun Street Hitchin, Hertfordshire www.morgandavieshitchin.co.uk
Headpiece: Jo Barnes Vintage www.jobarnesvintage.com
Hair: Susan Jameson
Bow tie and pocket square: Malcolm Hall www.malcolmhall.co.uk
Suit: Moss Bros
Blakemore House, Little Wymondley, Hertfordshire www.blakemorehouse.co.uk
Chair covers and ties: Sarah French Bridal, Cheshunt www.sarafrenchbridal.co.uk
Corsage: Stephanie Rose, www.stephanierose.co.uk
Kate Garner: www.kategarner.net
The rest: Ebay, Charity Shops, Vintage Fairs, The Range, Dunelm Mill, Hobby Craft, Garden Centres and me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks so much to Matt and Jo for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today, wow weee XOXO Lou
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