Naomi and Francis held their wedding back in the Spring at Old Marylebone Town Hall followed by a pub reception at The Peasant, London. They wanted a colourful day without a theme which was relaxed and fun.
They threw out the rule book, with Naomi walking down the aisle by herself and giving a speech, there was no cake cutting or first dance. I just love that they had the day that worked for them.
Naomi looked incredible in her Phase Eight wedding dress with those amazing multicoloured spring blooms, while Francis donned a sharp suit by Reiss. There was also the sweetest little flower girl who had a beautiful flower crown and multicoloured posy of flowers. Gorgeous.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Babb Photo for sharing her photography with us today.
The Proposal… It was on 4th October 2012 on the last night of our holiday. We were watching the sun set on Zlatni Rat beach, which is on the island of Brac in Croatia. Francis had the ring, and got down on one knee. It was perfect and worth the six and a half year wait ;)
The Vision for the Day… We wanted it to be different to the weddings we’ve been to before, personal to us, lots of colour, no particular theme, good food, flowing drink, very relaxed and fun.
The Planning Process… I did a lot of online research!! Hours and hours going through wedding blogs and looking at other people’s photos, supplier websites and discussion boards. Once I had some ideas, Francis and I talked about what was important to us about the wedding and discussed various venues and ways of doing it, and once generally agreed on what we were going to do, I put together an ever growing spreadsheet of everything I thought we needed with a proposed budget, and then just worked my way through it.
Budget… £18,000 inc. the honeymoon. We put in £5,000 each, and were very lucky to be offered £4,000 by Francis’ dad, and £4,000 by my mum.
The Venue… We got married at the Old Marylebone Town Hall in Westminster, London then were taken on a brief tour of the London landmarks in a 1960s Routemaster bus, before arriving at the reception at The Peasant in Clerkenwell.
The Dress + Accessories… Dress was from Phase Eight, original shoes were from Irregular Choice but the final shoes were from Dune, earrings were from Etsy.
Finding the Dress… I had a nightmare with my dress. I had planned to buy off the peg but got a bit carried away when my mum and I went into bridal boutique to try some dresses on “just to see”. Ended up ordering a Charlotte Balbier dress but as the months passed I became less & less sure about it. On the day of my first fitting, I was convinced I would hate it, but actually loved it…all bar the fact that it was far too big! The dressmaker affiliated with the shop assured me that she could adjust it and I happily paid for it. Unfortunately though, despite a number of fittings, by the weekend before the wedding it still didn’t fit me properly, I wasn’t happy with it, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear it.
Ended up buying a new dress, off the peg, on the Wednesday before the wedding and had to get new shoes as well as it was too long. It’s funny how a deadline really focuses the mind! I wish I’d stuck with my plan in the first place as I loved the dress I wore.
Groom’s Attire… Three piece suit from Reiss – he looked awesome!
The Readings + Music… We met Mark, our registrar at an open evening at the registry office, and we were able to request he conducted our ceremony and then we met him again before the big day – made us both feel much more comfortable with him. He (and Westminster Council) were very accommodating about us writing our own ceremony (obviously including the legal bits) and our four readings. I spent literally hours finding readings which really struck a chord with both of us – we had an extract from a Terry Pratchett Discworld book, a poem, and two pieces of prose. We had friends and family read them and it was a really special part of the ceremony.
I walked down the aisle to “Here comes the sun” by The Beatles and we walked out to “What a wonderful world” by Louis Armstrong. Francis put together playlists for music while people were sitting down at the registry office, while we were signing the register, for when we arrived at the reception and for during dinner. We had an awesome DJ, Sam Sutton, for the evening, who’s in funk/ska band The Fontanas with my cousin Kay who also sang a couple of songs with her guitar. It was lovely to have some live music. We were very specific about what Sam played in the evening – rock n roll, 60s stuff, a bit of 70s but nothing too cheesy, nothing too “wedding-y”.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My 6 year old neice, Sabrina, was my bridesmaid and she was very excited about the grown-up job she had! In the fab dress that she chose (with some help) from Marks & Spencer, and the flowers in her hair she was absolutely adorable, and she did a wonderful job.
The Flowers… Amazing flowers from That Flower Shop. I was over the moon with them and Hattie, my florist, totally understood what I’d wanted and I loved visiting her in her tiny workshop in east London. Vibrant and unusual, the flowers were a massive success and my bouquet was absolutely stunning.
The Cake… Best cake ever! We got cupcakes and a top cake from Katja’s Cupcakes and they were mini works of art, decorated with buttercream flowers. I worked with Katja on the colours and the design of the top cake so I did know what to expect but was still amazed when I saw them – she even drove all the way down from Salford to set them up for us! The cupcakes were a mixture of flavours, and on top was a fruit cake. Delicious and incredibly special.
Your Photographer… The wonderful Laura Babb – right from our first meeting Francis and I knew that she would be the right person. We both loved her style, and think she understood us and what we wanted too and we both felt very comfortable with her. She was amazing during the build up, at our engagement shoot and on the day, and has been equally lovely afterwards, providing a level of service that I might have hoped for from our wedding photographer, but really hadn’t expected to find. Everyone has commented on how impressed they are with the photos and we’re really happy with them.
The Details + Decor… There were already fairy lights in the pub and it looks very cool – walls covered with music posters downstairs and a vintage circus theme upstairs, but I knew I wanted bunting and balloons too as well as some bits and pieces dotted around which were personal to us. We hung a horseshoe above the door that used to be in my grandad’s shed, had a model routemaster bus that was the same as the one we travelled in from the registry office, and various other little touches which I’d spent hours scouring the internet for! We gave scratch cards for favours, and put trivia boxes on the tables to help everyone keep the conversation flowing. We put together activity packs for the 15 children that we had attending which went down really well, and put a lot of money behind the bar for the adults ;)
The Honeymoon… 5 nights, spent on the Amalfi Coast in Italy – it was stunning, and romantic, and we loved it, but unfortunately could only have a very short honeymoon as I had to come back to run the London Marathon.
Memorable Moments… An overwhelming feeling of joy & excitement from start to finish. Walking down the aisle, seeing Francis & him telling me I looked “stunning”. The readings at the ceremony. Turning round after our vows, during which I’d only really been aware of Francis, and realising just how many of the people I love were there for us. Having our couple photos taken on the bus. The very emotional speeches.
Advice for Other Couples… Don’t feel you have to do anything because it’s traditional, or expected – do what you want to do and what feels right. I got fed up of hearing that I needed someone to walk me down the aisle, that I shouldn’t do a speech, that we should have a cutting of the cake, that we simply had to have a first dance. We did what we felt was best for us, and that was definitely the right decision. Do lots of research into your suppliers and if you can, meet them in person. It was really important to me that I liked and trusted all the people who were involved in our wedding, and even those I wasn’t able to meet, I still felt they understood our style and slightly alternative approach to the wedding, and I was glad they were a part of our big day. On the advice of Laura, our photographer, I put together pintrest boards so that the suppliers could see the type of thing I was trying to explain to them, and so that I could show Francis what I meant when I talking to him about ideas. It really made a difference. Oh, and buy a cool umbrella if there’s a possibility of rain.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Stationery – Nikki & Tom at Tickled Pink http://wearetickledpink.co.uk/
Photography – Laura Babb at Babb Photo http://www.babbphoto.com
The Pub – Nick at The Peasant http://www.thepeasant.co.uk/
Transport – Sarah at Ensign Bus Hire http://www.ensignbushire.com/#!doubledeckers/c18ya
Flowers – Hattie at That Flower Shop http://www.thatflowershop.co.uk/
Balloons – Sarah at Balloony Balloons http://www.balloonyballoons.co.uk/
Bunting – Zoe at Beautiful Bunting http://www.beautifulbunting.co.uk/
Hair – Cassandra Rizzuto http://www.loveyourhaircassandra.com/
Make-up – Katy Messer from Make Up by Katy http://www.makeupbykaty.com/
Wedding rings – Bespoke rings made by Ortwin Thyseen from Ortwin Thyseen Jewellery Maker http://www.jewellery-maker.co.uk/
Just amazing! Thanks so much to Naomi and Francis for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou