Tessa and Kian were married in September at The Tin Tabernacle, East Sussex. They wanted to keep their wedding simple, opting out of many traditions and doing what they felt was right for them.
Tessa looked out of this world in Temperley with a beautiful starry headpiece she made herself. In fact there seems to be a starry feel to this beautiful day. Kian went for a Hugo Buss suit with pale blue shirt and tie to match the blue colour scheme of the day.
The decorated their venue so beautifully, with wild looking blooms in jars, reams of starry bunting made by Tessa, the Kraft paper stationery designed by a friend and a photo wall. They kept the meal relaxed, with their caterers providing platters on the tables to keep the atmosphere laid back. Oh what a fabulous day.
Thanks so much to the amazing Tino & Pip Photography for sharing their images with us today.
Names…. Tessa and Kian
Wedding Date…. 1st September 2012
The Proposal…. In a really cool bar in Santiago de Chile right at the end of a two week holiday, Cuba Libre in hand, he started talking about the opportunities he’d missed to propose earlier on the trip. It took me ages to realise he was actually proposing to me right then and there and I had to ask him three times if he really was! When I finally understood, I cried and then he cried and it took me another ten minutes to remember I was supposed to answer!
The Vision for the day…. Our mantra was “Keep. It. Super. Simple” – we didn’t want a big, formal wedding. We basically wanted a quick ceremony and then a big party afterwards, without making it too weddingy. We didn’t bother with a lot of the traditional wedding things – we had no cake, no bridesmaids, no wedding car, no first dance and wanted no speeches, but Kian’s brother insisted! I didn’t even have a proper engagement or wedding ring on the day!
The Planning process…. Planning was the hardest part, as we live in Zurich, but I was certain that I wanted to get married in my hometown, Brighton. Kian also went away on business for 6 weeks just a month after we got engaged, meaning that I had to make pretty much all the key early decisions by myself on a few frantic weekend trips to Brighton. He didn’t even see the venue until about 6 weeks before the wedding! Thankfully, my parents helped a lot with admin and planning and even got to do the catering tasting for us!
The Venue… We felt incredibly lucky to stumble on the Tin Tabernacle, which was recommended by a family friend, but was initially rejected because it looked too small. We must have looked at hundreds of other venues online and were pretty much starting to tear our hair out, since both suitability and availability were issues (we only got engaged 5 ½ months before the wedding day). We went to see the Tabernacle on a sunny day and light was flooding into this beautiful, bright, white space. We knew that it would give us a flexibility that not many wedding venues offer and was simply oozing with personality and character. I didn’t want to have an over-styled wedding, but the Tabernacle really called out for some simple, vintage decor and I knew it would suit the laid back feel we wanted to have for the day.
The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was ’Muse’ by Temperley and I made the hair accessory myself, based on something I’d seen online from Rodarte (see refinery29.com or glitterweddings.com). It was a right faff to make the hairpiece and I almost gave up on the whole thing, but I couldn’t find any other hair accessories I even vaguely liked, so I went with it in the end, as it was the piece which most accurately reflected my own personal style, as well as matching the style of the dress. The shoes I’d had for ages – I’m usually totally ruthless at giving away shoes I don’t wear anymore, but for some reason had hung onto these ones, thinking to myself “You never know, they might come in useful one day”. They perfectly matched the neckline of the dress.
Finding the dress…. Finding the dress was also a major mission, since I knew early on that I wouldn’t find what I was looking for in Zurich and also didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount. This also meant dress shopping was restricted to yet more frantic weekend trips to London and Brighton and hours spent online searching, searching, searching. I just didn’t feel like myself in most other dresses that I tried on and had begun to believe that there was no such thing as The One. Then I found it. Maybe I just got tired of looking and I did almost buy another dress at one point, but on the day I was totally in love with the dress – comfortable, elegant, I felt sexy but not OTT and Kian loved it, especially that it was backless. My only issue is that it was a nightmare to buy underwear for!
Groom’s attire… I hated his Hugo Buss suit at first – I mean it was a great suit, he looked amazing in it and it would have been perfect for the office, but I didn’t think it was really suitable for a wedding. Thankfully, he completely ignored me as he looked so fine in it on the day – the cut was beautiful and it really suited him. He wasn’t going to even wear a tie but then plumped for a pale blue to match his shirt at the last minute. Somehow his buttonhole flowers got lost, so he didn’t end up wearing them, but he still looked fabulous.
The Readings + Music…. Walked down the aisle to Etta James “At Last”. During the signing of the registrar, we played Ray LaMontagne “You Are The Best Thing”. As we left, we played Creedence Clearwater Revival “Looking Out My Back Door” which is on The Big Lebowski soundtrack. No readings in the end.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. Decided not to go for any bridesmaids, but we wanted to get Kian’s two adorable little nieces involved somehow, so we asked them to be our flower girls. At two and five years old, excitement wasn’t really the word to describe their reaction to the thought of wearing princess dresses and tiaras for a day! We managed to “work around” (read “ignore”!) their desire to wear lots of spangly, sparkly things and they wore beautiful ballerina dresses with full tulle skirts, wide cornflower blue sashes and floral crowns, which were beautifully handmade by our talented florist. We gave them a small basket with rose petals to scatter in front of me, as we walked down the aisle. The youngest one hadn’t quite grasped her petal-scattering role on the day, got three steps down the aisle and then simply didn’t feel like going any further! This made everyone smile and laugh right from the start and thus set a great tone for the whole ceremony. They simply looked gorgeous.
The Flowers… Because of being in Zurich, I didn’t really meet our florist before the big day, but she understood our brief perfectly. We had two large arrangements with hydrangeas and gladioli either side of the main doors of the Tabernacle in galvanised steel buckets and I thought they were simply stunning. The rest of the flowers were scattered around in jam jars, medicine bottles and water bottles in both blue and white. She used wild flowers and really avoided over-arranging. The result was just spectacular – a relaxed, natural feel which really suited the venue. The flowers were one of the things I was most happy with on the day.
Your Photographer…. We used the lovely Penny and Martin from Tino & Pip Photography. As soon as we met them, they were just really calm and relaxed, so we knew we wouldn’t feel self-conscious around them. It helped too that they’d also got married recently, so we really had the feeling that they knew what we were going through! It was a huge bonus to have two photographers as they really captured all angles of the day – I really can’t imagine how it would work with only one person.
The Details + Decor…. The lovely cornflower blue of the Tabernacle itself really dictated the look and feel of the whole thing and we chose a palette of different blues for various aspects of the day. Our talented friend Neil designed our invites and we customised them with a bunting shaped rubber stamp which I made. We used the same design on the menus and thank you cards. We printed all the stationery on Kraft paper and had brown luggage labels as name tags.
I know the bunting and jam jar look’s been done a zillion times before but it just seemed to suit the Tabernacle so well. And yes, I made the thousands of metres of bunting myself. Kian teased me about being Bridezilla every time I was working on it (it took hours) but it was so worth it in the end.
The venue also dictated the type of food we had – the kitchen couldn’t cope with a formal three course meal, so we opted to have sharing platters served from huge rustic slates or paella dishes. Not only did it reflect the laid-back atmosphere we wanted to create, but it got everyone interacting and talking together right from the start, as they passed around the dishes to share. I was so happy with our amazing caterers, who did an unbelievably great job. To match the relaxed style of food, I ordered tea towels instead of starched napkins and paired them with a hessian runner.
The Honeymoon…. We wanted to do something memorable but was also a physical achievement. We thought about Kilimanjaro but decided it was too long/high, so we went to Peru to do the Salkantay Trek before ending up at Macchu Picchu. The trek was amazing – we saw hardly any other people and the scenery was stunning. After three nights of camping, we treated ourselves to a luxury hotel and had a proper “honeymoon” in an amazing villa.
Memorable moments… We’ll never forget Sophie the flower girl just deciding she didn’t feel like going any further down the aisle and also Julie (the other flower girl) gave the loudest giggle/snort at the sight of us two holding hands and looking so serious in front of the registrar. I’ll also never forget my first glimpse of the venue after it had been absolutely transformed by the florist and the caterers, I was literally gobsmacked (and there’s a picture of my reaction somewhere too) by how beautiful it all looked.
Advice for other couples… Most suppliers laughed at us when we said in April that we wanted to get married in September OF THE SAME YEAR, but it really is possible to organise it all in such a “short” time and I’m almost glad that I didn’t have more time, as otherwise I think I would have got really carried away with all the small details and probably ended up going slightly insane.
The most important thing is to work out what you want and stick to it – it really is true that your friends and family will all want to have an input but your day needs to reflect your personalities and your style. I was shocked at the strength of the criticism coming from some friends about some of our decisions, but we are proud to look back at our day and say that we had the day we wanted. We did it our way!
Credit where credit is due…
Make up – Maria Johnson @ MAC 07711 503 075
Hair – Harriet at Hair Emporium Brighton www.hairemporiumltd.co.uk
What a wonderful idea for a honeymoon, setting yourself a challenge.
Thanks so much to Tessa and Kian for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou
Tags: Beach Wedding, Blue Wedding Ideas, DIY Wedding, East Sussex Wedding, Hugo Boss Groom, Real Weddings, Seaside Wedding, Temperley Wedding Dress, The Tin Tabernacle, Tino & Pip Photography, Wildflowers
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