Are you ready for part 2 of real bride Laura F’s wedding? Ekkk i so am.
Following the ceremony Laura and Rich headed out for their beautiful portraits in the December sunshine. They homemade so much of their amazing glitter filled wedding decor. With sparkling love letters, mini bottles of homemade raspberry and blackberry gin, a sweetie bar, cakes and Laura even made the amazing ombre wedding cake and cute toppers herself.
The ended the evening with toasting marshmallows and lighting sparklers, which make for some brilliant photographs. There are so so many amazing and thoughtful touches throughout their day. Incredible.
Thanks so much again to the wonderful Amy Lewin Photography for sharing her photographs with us today.
Your Photographer…. I still can’t believe we won Amy’s services for free – especially now we’ve seen how amazing the photos are. Beginning to put them together into an album is so much fun and I know we will treasure the prints for a lifetime. We really were so so lucky, and getting to know her and having her there on the day was a total privilege. She was fab – so helpful, so friendly, and everyone commented on how well she fitted in to the wedding. She understood exactly what we wanted from the photos, and has given us an album that we are so totally proud of. I can’t recommend her enough and follow everything she does with pleasure. She was brilliant. We also want to give a special mention to the very lovely Kayti for our video which is really very special. I have to be honest and admit that a video wasn’t on the top of our list – I have a hard enough time looking at photos of myself so having a video of the wedding was not a priority – but I’m so glad she captured the day for us on film. It shows every essence of the day perfectly and we love it and will watch it and enjoy it (and probably shed a tear or two) for a long long time to come.
The Flowers… Originally we were going to DIY our wedding flowers but with only a few months to go our chosen supplier had to close down her business and so we decided to find some money in the budget to have all the bouquets and buttonholes done for us. Luckily the very lovely Verity at Blush Floral Art in Cardiff was able to help, even though she had another wedding to deliver to on the same day. She completely understood everything I wanted – sticking perfectly to our berry and jewel tone colour scheme, natural arrangements, and used the most amazingly beautiful rich-purple anemones (which everyone else kept telling me wouldn’t work in our arrangements – ha!). She worked exactly to our budget, and when the flowers finally arrived on the morning of the wedding (after Rich had to get up and go and collect them AND my poor broken down bridesmaid) I was over the moon. She made up some amazing jam jar arrangements for us, while we filled the rest ourselves the night before the wedding with flowers we’d gone round and bought from all the local supermarkets, which we used to line the aisle and to fill every single alcove and table top. It looked exactly as I’d hoped it would and I sing her praises to everyone I meet :)
The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was a custom made 50’s-style dress from Oh My Honey – layers and layers of tulle skirt with a beaded sweetheart neckline. I wore some amazing glittery heels from Dune which lasted the whole of the ceremony (but not much longer), before I changed into some gold rabbit flats from ASOS. They were awesome. I wore some small gold earrings from Accessorize and asked the florist to wire some flowers for my hair, and found a really beautiful beaded belt in Zara (without even knowing I’d been looking for one…). I had my heart set on finding a sequinned jacket, and lusted after a pricey French Connection one for months before ordering it and hating it. I then went on to try at least 15 different kinds of sequinned jackets before settling on one from F&F at Tesco of all places. I love it, and will re-wear it again and again with a very happy face. I did my own hair and make-up, but I did splash out a little and have some hair extensions fitted a few weeks before the wedding.
Finding the dress…. Dress shopping was really difficult, and right from the start I was adamant that I was not really a wedding-dress-shop kind of bride. I’m not sure I’m allowed to admit this, but the dress really wasn’t that huge of a deal for me – I wanted something quite simple and easy to wear, without too much corseting or boning (I like to breathe thank you), and that I’d be able to wear with a jacket once it got cold. After hearing, ‘Oh, but you’ll never know until you try lots of dresses on’ for the millionth time, I made a couple of appointments and went along with my sister. It wasn’t awful – the women I spoke to really tried to be helpful, but I never quite felt they understood the kind of wedding we were having and the kind of thing I was looking for. I have to admit that trying on huge pouffy dresses was amusing, if nothing else, but I felt ridiculous the entire day – almost like I was playing dress up, and I didn’t see anything even remotely resembling ‘the one’ so I decided to stick with my instincts and take a different approach. I’d already been eyeing up the wedding dress collection from Oh My Honey, absolutely loving the feminine cuts and flattering shapes of her dresses – my only reservation being that I wouldn’t be able to see it and try it on before I ordered it. Even so, my massively underwhelming dress shopping experience buoyed me on to bite the bullet and order a custom made dress from Louise. It arrived, and I loved it – it was exactly as I’d imagined and after some alterations to the fit it was perfect. Perfect. Taking it off was the only sad moment of the entire wedding, but now I’m looking forward to passing it on to my own daughters.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. Alongside the girls, my sister was my only bridesmaid. We argued a million times about gold vs. silver sequins, I dubbed her ‘the best crappy bridesmaid ever’ after she refused to come to visit and help me put together the invitations (hint – don’t choose bridesmaids who live 90 miles away if you actually need help with stuff…) , and she managed to pop THREE tyres on 2 different cars the week of the wedding (including 6am on the morning of the wedding as she went to pick up the flowers….) but really, she was lovely. She wore an amazing cream sequinned dress from Warehouse, which looked beautiful but scratched her underarms to shreds so by the end of the night she was walking round like a scarecrow holding her arms out from her sides, but she still looked amazing. I was super proud. She didn’t stop crying the whole day (and the next day, and the day after that when she had to crash on our sofa, car-less) but I will love her forever for being so amazing.
My beautiful daughters wore long-sleeved flower-print shift dresses from Zara, and looked stunning as always. They were stars the entire day; keeping all the smaller children entertained through dinner, taking photos of everyone with instax cameras for the guestbook, and dancing until the small hours, putting most of the adults to shame.
Groom’s attire…Anyone who has ever met Rich will find the idea of him in a standard hired morning suit very amusing. He doesn’t really do ‘plain’, and his only specification was “I want something a little bit ‘me'”. Pretty soon it became clear that tweed was an ideal option. He actually ended up finding his suit on a complete whim – after months of not finding anything he liked in the shops and a couple of ‘fingers-crossed’ vintage buys on eBay, he went to pass the time in the men’s section of Next while I was on a bit of a children’s clothes shopping mission one afternoon. Just as we were about to leave he mentioned this nice suit he’d seen upstairs. It was absolute perfection and fitted him like a glove. I cried in the changing rooms.
Rich also wore the most amazing pair of pink suede shoes that we picked up in the Topman sale, and all the groomsmen had pink cord bow ties which we found on etsy.
The Details + Decor…. We were lucky to have a beautiful venue that didn’t require much decorating, especially once we’d filled it with sparkly jars of flowers, a log fire, candles and fairy lights. I really wanted to make something beautiful to display though, and so we painted up some huge wooden LOVE letters which we nailed golden penny sequins onto. It was a real labour of love, and it took a bit of convincing on Rich’s part (he looked at me like I was crazy the first time I suggested we hammer 800 sequins onto wooden letters) but it was definitely worth every hammered finger, blister, and the money we wasted on sequins that weren’t quite the right shade of gold. Now the wedding’s over we’re going to hang the letters in our newly-decorated dining room – they are awesome :)
We also made miniature bottles of homemade raspberry and blackberry gin as favours (we’re still drinking these and they are delicious), made our own sweet bar, welsh cakes and mince pies for the guests to help themselves to, and had an instax-photo-guest-book which is full of amazing pictures and lovely messages. After dinner we had toasting marshmallows and sparklers which was a really really lovely way to keep the children entertained and to get some beautiful photos. We did more stamping/cutting/sticking than I will ever care to do again, and inhaled more glitter than can possibly be healthy – but it came together beautifully :)
We also have to give special mention to Laura and Cat; friends of ours who spent the night before the wedding threading tiny stems of gypsophilia into garden wire to make initials that we hung outside the barn :)
The Cake… I love cake-baking, and so we pretty much decided from the start that I would make the cake as it seemed a good way to save some money (although when I spent 12 hours in the kitchen 2 days prior to the wedding I’d have happily paid someone good money to have done it for me!). My dad is notorious for making a million and one fruit cakes every winter, so it seemed only fitting that we ask him to make one we could serve as wedding cake, and so he took care of the HUGE bottom tier for us and delivered it a few days before the wedding. In the end, although not without a few hairy moments in between, we had a huge three-tier ombre wedding cake, with my dad’s fruit cake on the bottom, lemon sponge in the middle, and carrot cake on the top – all baked and iced by me, and topped off with some little wooden family cake toppers I painted myself too. Mega proud, and totally worth the stress in the end. Just.
The Honeymoon…. We managed to escape for three child-free days in Berlin the weekend after the wedding. It was snowy and beautiful and we walked between about 10 different Christmas markets, drinking beer and gluhwein, and eating crepes and bratwurst. Bliss.
Memorable moments… I remember so much of the day so fondly it’s really hard to pick out just one bit. Rich and I had a first look, but without the look – where we each stood each side of a door, held hands and exchanged cards, gifts and pep talks about half an hour before the ceremony began. It was really special, and really really emotional.
I remember my dad chasing the kids waving sparklers around his head like a loon, and I remember Ella and Molly dancing Gangnam style with our friends like pros. I remember Noah’s amazing reaction to his Lego advent calendar thank you present, I remember finishing our first dance to see my sister sobbing her heart out (again) and I remember being really proud of Rich as he fought back the tears so he could talk fondly about his beloved Great Aunt Nancy in his speech. I remember jaegerbombs, fizz, and telling my friend who’s getting married in a few months how much fun getting married is.
And I remember just really really fancying my husband. He’s really lovely.
Advice for other couples… Have the wedding you really really want. You only get to do it once – so enjoy it, all of it. Even those people who turned their noses up at the Dolmio sauce jars when I was covering them with glue and glitter on my kitchen table wanted to take one home with them after the wedding. Also, if you put too much milk into buttercream icing too quickly, it curdles. Just FYI… ;)
Credit where credit is due…
Groom’s Attire: Next, Shoes from Topman. Bow ties from Moaning Minnie on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/moaningminnie
Bridesmaid Dresses: Warehouse and Zara
Music: Ceremony – http://www.blankfrancis.com/
Reception music – http://www.functioncentral.co.uk/acts/andy_guitarvocals/
Such a brilliant day. Thank you so much to Laura for blogging her wedding planning journey with us over the past few months. It’s been amazing following your journey Laura.
Thanks so much to Laura and Rich for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today. Stay tuned for their wedding film soon too :-) XOXO Lou