WWW readers Laura-Michelle and Jack Alexander tied the knot in April, for them it was important to have a fun day for their guests. They created a party atmosphere at The Clock Barn, Hampshire by providing games on their wedding tables, which looked super cool too.
Laura-Michelle wore an exquisite 1960s vintage wedding dress and flower crown to complete her bohemian look. Jack Alexander and the boys wore skinny fit suits by Next with Vans, while the pretty maids wore floaty peach dresses.
There were smiles all round, moustaches and an incredible dessert table. Gorgeous.
Thanks so much to the fantastic Nabeels Camera for sharing their images with us today.
The Proposal… Jack had made the mistake of asking my parents for permission to marry me a little before our anniversary weekend away in Bournemouth. My mother was so excited, she told everybody! Living in a small village word gets around and with everyone acting strangely around me, being overly interested in our plans and repeatedly asking me if I had any news, I knew something was going on.
I spent the long-weekend in suspense, waiting for the moment, which didn’t come until our last morning, walking along the beach after a hot chocolate on the pier. The ever romantic Jack, turned to me and said ‘well I suppose now is as gooder time as any’ and got down on one knee.
The Vision for the Day… When I met Jack, I always knew I wanted to settle down and be married but realised shortly after getting engaged that I knew nothing about weddings. After lots of inspiration from blogs and wedding magazines, we though a barn wedding would suit us well. We had a pub quiz for our engagement party and really just wanted everyone to have fun, we didn’t want any of the normal standing around making awkward conversation with people you barely know, so we just planned to make the day as fun as we could.
The Planning Process… We initially fell in love with a country house in Winchester with a small wedding barn, we could have stretched our budget to afford it and we did very nearly book it, but when we saw the room and bar prices we knew our friends could not afford to relax & have fun, (£7 a pint!). So we kept looking and when we found The Clock Barn, we enquired for April 2014, a cross in wires meant we were quoted for a date in April 2013, just 5 months from then. We took this as fate and went with it! After that I appointed my beautiful bridesmaids and the planning started. I am quite a perfectionist and I absolutely love to organise things. So very shortly after booking the venue there were lists and lists of lists.. lots of planning!
Budget… All of our families helped us out with money, from the engagement party to the honeymoon they made sure we didn’t want for anything. Especially my mother and father who gave us the best day possible, and we cannot thank them enough.
The Venue… We visited many venues before we chose The Clock Barn in Whitchurch, we didn’t want our families to have to travel too far. We liked the long driveway and the three separate rooms, but we loved the caterer Anna, from Perks, she sealed the deal for us.
The Dress + Accessories… I wore a vintage, 1960’s dress, with topshop pumps. I borrowed a beautiful cameo bracelet which belonged to Jacks late nanny and I was so honoured to wear it. I wore pearls which my nan had given me years before and a faux flower garland in my hair.
Later in the day I wore a cardigan, after buying 4 or 5 I settled on this silver glittery one from Matalan (could you tell?).
Finding the Dress… I went to so many stereotypical bridal shops. They told me as my wedding was so soon (who knew 5 months was soon in the wedding world?) I would have to order a sample dress and have it taken in. So I drowned in these dresses, in front of 360 degree mirrors, having sponges pushed down the sides and pins everywhere to keep it from falling off. It was SO depressing – I looked and felt ridiculous.
Then I saw it on a blog, It hadn’t occurred to this wedding novice that there was more to wedding dresses than overpriced-pick-your-dress-
A google search quickly revealed a store in London specialised in vintage wedding dresses, so off I went with my mother. If you haven’t been to Annies, it is smaller than small vintage clothing store in Islington which has a small rail, about a metre long, half full of vintage wedding dresses from all cultures. I thought if I haven’t found my dress in the twenty something stores I have been in, what are the odds it is on that tiny rail? Well it was. I tried it on and it fit as if it was made for me, there was a zip on the back which was very temperamental and a huge sailor collar. Needless to say it needed a few alterations. But it’s true what they say. When you know, you know and for £100 (Reduced from £120 thanks to the temperamental zip) it was mine.
Groom’s Attire… The first thing Jack decided was that he would wear chequered Vans and that all his groomsmen would follow suit. He chose a black microcheck skinny fit suit from Next, and wanted the (2) best men and (3) groomsmen to wear the same. We searched high and low for a perfect peach tie, eventually finding one on Amazon (!?).
The Readings + Music… We got married in St Boniface church in Chandlers Ford. I walked down the aisle with my father, while Jacks brother, Tom played guitar and sang ‘Grow old with you’ by Adam Sandler. We had four reading, Jacks dad and my younger brother read from the bible, Jacks mother read ‘Oh, the places you’ll go’ by Dr Zeus which was wonderful and my mother wrote a poem for the occasion, (she was determined not to show me and even went as far as to email the poem to the people printing the Order of Service instead of letting me insert it before sending it to be printed) It was of course, brilliant, nostalgic, very emotional and heartfelt and there was not a dry eye in the house.
While we signed the book the church played God only knows, by The Beach Boys and on our exit they played The Beatles, Love Me Do – We were surprised how flexible our church was with alternative music instead of hymms and an organ.
In the evening we had DJ Hammy play, we gave him a list of 6 or 7 songs and the rest he improvised aswell as taking requests and he was perfect. And such a nice guy, from the moment we met him we were happy to have him at our big day and what a good choice it was! Jack & I had our first dance to ‘My girl’ by the Temptations and my dad and I danced to ‘Brown eyed girl’ by Van Morrison.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My beautiful girls! Helen, Kate, Charly & Beth. I have known Helen since school and she has really been through it since then, but to see her on my big day looking beautiful with her gorgeous baby boy Thomas and (almost) equally gorgeous boyfriend Craig was such a proud moment for me.
Kate is like my double, there is no one in the world like my Katie, she is an adventurer and she is now teaching English in Thailand and I miss her like crazy!
Charly, I met in college and we just have lots of fun together, she is such a sweetie & would do anything for anyone, she made me the best mood board when I got engaged!
And of course my sister, Beth, the maid of honour, she planned a brilliant hen party and also did all our hair and make up on the day as well as making herself look wonderful. What a pro! They all wore lovely peach highstreet dresses & shoes which we hunted high & low for.
The Flowers… I just wanted Daisies! And It took me so long to find a florist who would comply, they couldn’t seem to fathom that I didn’t want a rose here and there or some fancy pants flowers on the tables. Once I found Kath she understood that I didn’t want a bouquet any bigger than my head and complied nicely. I did have a daisy chain made to wear on my head, but as we were getting ready it died so quickly we had to have the cheap one I had bought off of Ebay to use as an example to try with my dress!
The Cake… I absolutely adore cake, of any sort. So we decided right from the start that we would have a lot of cakes. After meeting with our caterers, we decided that instead of having a third course, we would have a desert table, filled with all sorts of pic n mix, scones, rice crispie cakes, etc. Melissa from Little Bee Bakery was incredible, her food is delicious and she was a pleasure to work with. She set it all up for us and it looked so amazing, everyone was really impressed and I couldn’t have been more pleased.
Your Photographer… Having Nabeel photograph our wedding was like having an old friend there. He put up with all my scatty emails (even before we paid him) and was such a nice guy to get to know. He came to meet us before hand, we had lunch and talked about everything from Eastenders to New Zealand. I had complete faith in Nabeel, and I was right to, everyone at the wedding thought he was a old friend of mine and complimented us on his skills and how lovely he was.
I would whole heartedly recommend Nabeel to any couple without hesitation.
The Details + Decor… Unfortunately Jacks nan, Marianne passed away very suddenly in the December before our wedding, she was so looking forward to our wedding and we were so sad that she couldn’t be there. We wanted to dedicate as much of our wedding to her so she was included in everything from the bracelet I wore to the basket the confetti was handed out in. All the china on the cake table was hers, we had german beer bottles on every table with candlesticks in (she was from passau in Germany)..
Our table plan was a big hit, we wrote clues about each one of our guests and they had to find which clue was theirs to find the right table. There were some really funny clues!
The Clock barn provided criss-cross bunting which looked beautiful running diagonally across the beams. We kept all indoor colours neutral as our centrepieces were all sorts of colourful games, Jenga, table snooker, kerplunk, jacks.. etc. It looked brilliant. Everyone was given ‘hi my name is…’ stickers as place settings & we gave stick on Moustaches as favours. We had crazy straws and umbrellas in every drink and let all our guests take whichever games they liked home with them.
The Honeymoon… Instead of wedding gifts, we said that guests could donate towards our honeymoon in American if they so wished. Everyone was so generous, although we already had the holiday booked, they paid for the whole thing.. We went to the USA, we spent the first 4 nights in New York and then 11 in Florida. We had a really relaxing time and went on plenty of rollercoasters!!
Memorable Moments… There are so many memorable moments..
Seeing a whole room of 90 people all wearing fake moustaches was brilliant, especially my nan! And amongst the toys and games, we put temporary tattoos around the tables and we later found Jacks 80 year old Grandma with a skull on each hand, she thought it was great!
A small handful of us stayed in the hotel bar until extremely late the next morning. I put a hoody on over my wedding dress and put slipper socks on and sat with a cup of tea in the lobby talking about all the hilarious moments of the night with the best people.
Advice for Other Couples… Although the vows and the ceremony can be serious, make sure you don’t take it too seriously and chose a venue where your guests can have fun and afford to enjoy themselves, especially if you aren’t providing a free bar!
When I was preparing for the wedding I found so many brilliant bathroom baskets and be prepared kits for brides and grooms, but none available in the UK, I made my own for the big day and have since started an online store, shipping all over the UK and doing exactly this!
www.packitingifts.co.uk sells SOS kits for Brides, Bridesmaids & Grooms (who can trust them to be prepared??) Kids activity packs, to keep the littlens occupied.. We also do tailor made wedding favours, bathroom baskets, thank you gifts.. etc.
Take a look!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
So pretty, so fun. What a wedding be be a guest at. Thanks so much to Laura-Michelle and Jack Alexander for sharing their super beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou