It doesn’t get much better than a thoughtful, happy and homemade wedding. And that’s exactly what i have to share with you all this morning.
Rob and Sam married in March, with a church service followed by a village hall reception in Norfolk. Rob and Sam live and breathe a make do and mend attitude and so that had to become a part of their wedding ethos. They wanted a vintage rustic feel to their day, with Sam choosing a tea length preloved dress and veil and her bridesmaid in the most gorgeous emerald green 1950s style dress. Rob chose a navy suit and tan shoes, i just love his rustic button hole too.
The lovely daffodil bouquets were made from silk flowers, there was a cake of cheese and the sweetest ladder adorned with sweets. Glorious.
Thanks so much to the amazing Amy Lewin for sharing her photographs with us today.
The Proposal… I was away for one month visiting friends in Australia…my stop on the way home was in San Francisco and Rob had arranged for me to spend a couple of days with his friends who live out there. Rather jet lagged after a long journey I thought I was dreaming when I walked through arrivals to find Rob waiting for me! We spent a lovely few days there together, including Valentines day, and Rob proposed in our Hotel (we don’t like a scene!) before a fantastic night of celebrating with friends.
The Vision for the Day… We both like all things vintage- living in an old cottage and having an allotment means a lot of make do and mending goes on. We also both love visiting France and the rustic style of the cottages we have stayed in so thought it would be nice to incorporate all of these things into our day.
The Planning Process… I run a PA business so planning is my thing! I have assisted with planning several weddings so had a good idea of where to start. I got plenty of countdown lists online and made my own calendar putting in each job I (and Rob!) needed to do.
Budget… We didn’t want to spend a fortune on the day so planned to make and borrow as much as possible. We set a tight budget but a good contingency for any last minute extras or problems. We could see the main costs would be for food so keeping with our rustic and traditional theme had afternoon tea during the day and a fish and chip supper in the evening served from a van outside. Very cost effective and everyone loved it.
The Venue… We both really wanted a church wedding and decided on Rob’s family church in Beeston Regis. We chose the village hall in our village as it fitted in with our theme and that way Rob wouldn’t have far to carry me home after the party!!!
The Dress + Accessories… Aware of our small budget I planned to buy second hand but ended up incorporating old with new. I kept my style simple with a beautiful pearl bracelet I already owned, some earrings I borrowed and a brilliant find at BHS for my lace with ribbon tie shoes. For our photos I wore my wellies to help keep me warm. For the evening I had some white converse so my feet didn’t hurt!
Finding the dress… I had a lovely time trying on several dresses but it confirmed my original resolve of buying vintage. Completely out of the blue though I was emailed a link to a sale at BHS (again!) and found a lovely simple dress for a very reasonable price. The shape and fit was perfect and flattering but the design wasn’t my style. We found a beautiful vintage lace dress in the local Sue Ryder (along with a stunning veil for £4!) and I had a friend help me incorporate the two together.
Groom’s attire… Rob found a lovely navy suit and white shirt and himself and the best man wore matching green ties. Feeling a bit left out on the vintage front he decided to purchase some tan brogues as well to fit in with the theme!
The Readings + Music… We didn’t want to put anyone on the spot with a reading so asked the vicar to read a section of 1st Corinthians. We originally chose I vow to thee my country (mainly because I can actually play this on the recorder!) and Love Divine as it is a beautiful hymn and was played at Rob’s parents wedding. Right at the last minute though we were worried people wouldn’t know Love Divine and changed it to All Things Bright and Beautiful. I also hoped it might encourage the sunshine- the funny thing was as it was a last minute thing my usual research wasn’t done and we didn’t remove any verses so Rob and I got the giggles on the eighth chorus!! It didn’t encourage the sunshine but did discourage the rain.
Beautiful bridesmaids… I had one bridesmaid- my beautiful cousin Holly. We are like sisters so it was a given really. Also with a vintage style I wanted to find her something really personal, especially as I didn’t have to try and cater to more than one person’s needs. I found Holly’s dress on Ebay. A green fifty’s style dress. We had a net skirt sewn in to make it float and turned the bow on the front into a flower and used some of the lace leftover from my dress to make it a bit more ‘weddingy’. Holly chose her own shoes and accessories which were perfect.
The Flowers… Being a spring wedding and daffodils happening to be one of my favourite flowers it was a given really. We brought great trays full for the reception and scattered them in jam jars, vases, jugs and whatever we could get our hands on. Being a planning extradinaire I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to wait until the morning of our wedding to receive our flowers. Therefore, we decided to have silk so we could make the bouquets and buttonholes beforehand. The buttonholes had a single daffodil wrapped in hessian with a button sewn at the top and tied with brown string. The bouquets had daffodils, buttercups (cheating a bit I know but they looked cute) gypsophelia and greenery. They were also wrapped in hessian and then tied with lace. We also used pearls to help hold them all together and give it some sparkle.
The Cake… Not being fans of traditional fruit cake and getting really carried away with the rustic theme we decided on a cheese cake. We approached a local deli to help us but they were proving rather unreliable. I do prefer to go local but on this occasion swayed from our usual path and went with Waitrose who delivered our cheese celebration cake to our door a few days before the wedding. We promptly removed it and stored at a friends before our trusty Labrador ate it! We hear it was very nice, well it must have been as Rob and I didn’t actually get to try any!!!
Your Photographer… What can we say about Amy? The photo’s were just incredible. Rob being a keen photographer gave Amy the third degree in a pub halfway between the both of us when we first made our enquiries. I had no idea what they were on about but on the way home Rob seemed happy so I figured she passed the test! We had a great pre wedding photo shoot with Boris, our lab at Holkham. We were worried about how we would feel but it was so natural and just enjoyed having a laugh with Amy. On the day she just became a part of the family and fitted in so well. We were gutted when she went home!
The Details + Decor… We wanted the rustic theme to continue but without it looking too much and costing too much! I gave my friends and family a good idea of our theme and what would look nice in the village hall. We all got together the morning before the wedding to dress the village hall and everyone brought their pretties from lovely vases to rustic wicker hearts- everything fitted in so well. I had been collecting jam jars and candles and other accessories and I raided my vintage book collection to add different heights to the displays to finish them off. Another friend kindly sanded and waxed some wood we could use as cake stands which were incredibly effective. We also had a table of photo’s with all family weddings gone by which everyone enjoyed looking at on the day. We kept it simple at the church with several baskets filled with silk flowers hanging on the pews and placed at the front of the church.
One of my last minute extravagances was chocolate! It was something I’d seen at a wedding fair and decided to go for it- hand decorated chocolate hearts with bride, groom, bridesmaid etc were made along with several with the wedding date on too. I also had a sweetie ladder with lots of little jars of sweets on a rustic wooden ladder so it was a must to also get some chocolate moustaches too- they went down a treat!
For our favours we made caramelised onion chutney and bramble jam. We saved lots of jars over the year and grew the onions and stored in the shed. We also picked apples from our apple trees, raspberries and the blackberries we got from local hedgerows. Thefruit was all frozen so they lasted until we were ready to make it all. We put the wedding date onto each one (along with what it was) and tied it up with string. We also used these as the place settings and tied a luggage label around the jar with each guests name on.
The Honeymoon… Our first trip abroad together was to France. I’d been itching to get to Paris for some time so we incorporated this into our very first holiday. I can’t remember why now, perhaps one of us couldn’t get the time off work or something, but we only had 24hrs there which just went too quick. We kept threatening to return but just didn’t get round to it. As soon as the honeymoon subject was broached it seemed an obvious choice to both of us. Paris in the spring after all, what could be more perfect?
Memorable moments… Having Rob’s two year old nephew carry the rings on a beautiful hand embroidered ring cushion my nan made for us and giving Rob a high five after delivering them has to be the highlight of the ceremony!
Spending time with all our family and best friends packed into the village hall having a great time was really all Rob and I had hoped for.
Advice for other couples… Your memories of the day are what you will keep forever. Choosing a fantastic photographer is so important- the table decorations or small details will be forgotten but your photo’s will remind who was there and how lovely the day was.
If you rope your friends and family in and start planning early you can easily make and borrow many things for the day and save plenty of money!
Credit where credit is due…
Wedding planning- Girl Friday PA services: [email protected]
Photography: Amy Lewin www.amylewinphotograpghy.com
Chocolate: The chocolate deli: www.thechocolatedeli.co.uk
Catering: The Old Rock Shop Bistro www.theoldrockshopbistro.co.uk
Oh so lovely. Thanks so much to Rob and Sam for sharing their amazing wedding with us today XOXO Lou