WWW readers Claire and Richard chose to marry in June with a church service followed by a marquee reception in Claire’s parents garden.
They wanted a Midsummer Nights Dream feel to their day, which had a glamorous whimsical feel. Claire wore a striking blue dress, while the bridesmaids wore white. I so love the blue hydrangea bouquets that add a pop of colour too. Not forgetting Richard who found his sharp suit in Jack Bunneys.
I adore the hanging flower arrangement in the marquee, the festoon lights and peony decorated cake.
Thanks so much to Jasmine Jade for sharing her photography with us today.
The Proposal… Rich took me to our favourite restaurant called J Sheekeys in Covent Garden, where we sat at my favourite part of the restaurant at the Bar, we drank champagne and ate oysters (also my fav) it was weird as I thought he might propose as he was acting a little shifty but infact the proposal happened in the Beaufort Bar in The Savoy, where Rich bought us another bottle of bubbles and while we listened to the Jazz (cry me a river followed by LOVE) he popped the question with my Nan’s ring (the cupcake ring)! I balled my eyes out.
The Vision for the Day… As a family we all loved Father of the Bride and it had always been a dream to get married at home for me! But I wanted to highten the beauty of Mum and Dad’s garden by bringing the outside into the Marquee and take the guests on a journey. Originally the theme had been Secret Garden (as mum and dad have one) but after deciding on my wedding dress and our marquee shape ‘A Mid Summer Nights Dream’ felt a better fit. It also allowed us to combine the things we love best… Glamour for me, Garden for Rich!
I was very keen for the marquee and decoration to be not just on one level and that is why we created hanging features in each space!
The Planning Process… We had the vision but the planning expertise came from Bernadette at Dream Occasions! As a stylist I am about visions, ideas and the creative so spread sheet are not my forte!! Rich and Bernadette had a mutual hate for my colour coded excel sheets, so luckily Bernadette guided us through timings and what to be concentrating our efforts on!
The Venue… Ludham Hall, Black Notley. My parents house, they have been there since 1997 and it is truly beautiful
The Dress + Accessories… The dress is by Angelina Colarusso, The head piece is by Dolecka, The earring were bespoke from Bolder & Bolder Richmond and a gift on the day from my Dad. The bracelet is from Tiffany’s & Co a gift on the day from my sister. The shoes are Rainbow Club.
Finding the Dress… I tried HUNDREDS of dresses….
As a stylist there was a lot of pressure on the dress and I loved the process… like most things with the wedding I had a vision of what I wanted, so it was a matter of finding the right designer and I found her ‘Angelina Collarusso’ I fell in love with the neckline of one of her dresses and she was happy to work together using elements of her other designs to create the VISION!!!
It was BLUE and everything I dreamed of!
Groom’s Attire… Rich wore a modern Navy morning suit from Jack Bunney’s. The tie and waistcoat were also from Jack Bunnies.
The Readings + Music… We had 3 readings: Religious – 1 John Chapter 4, versus 7-12. Then Bride and grooms views on love: (2 poems we found). The One & The Beauty of Love.
I walked into: The Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke. Walked out to : A Mid Summer Nights Dream by Mendeeshon.
Hymns: Lord of all hopefulness. Lord of the Dance. My cousin Dale sang: Panis Angelicus whilst we signed the register.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My gorgeous grown-up Bridesmaids wore Jim Helm dresses in Ivory, the belts I embellished myself so that each girl had her own look. The shoes were from Karen Millen and matched my dress perfectly so I had to get them! They also wore earrings from Oliver Bonas (each girl had a different pair).
The little girls wore dresses from BHS that I adapted by adding and sewing blue petals into.
The Flowers… Jade’s Flower Design did all of our flowers and they were truly spectacular. My bouquet was amazing and I did not put it down all day! Everything was a mix of Peonies, Roses, Hydrangers and sweetpeas.
The central hanging flowers were silk and was a massive team effort! My sister and I made the petal strings with crystals on and then Beverley’s team put the creation together.
Beverley was amazing and completely understood my vision, I still keep looking back lovingly over the pictures of that central flower display!
The Cake… My Mum and her friend Jill made our wedding cake and all of those beautiful sugar peonies and sugar lace that decorated it! They have made a few cakes before but I set them a bit of a challenge with the peonies and the lace… there were several incidents along the way, including a trip to A&E… DON’T ASK!!!! BUT the cake was amazing and it tastes just as good as it looks!
Your Photographer… Jasmine and I had met before through a friend, who had used Jasmine for her wedding and her Rock the dress shoot and I knew that I would use her as she already knew me!
I was so pleased with the way Jasmine interpreted the formal shots that I wanted ( I had a double page spread theme… think Dolce & Gabanna) I think she nailed it!
We were also keen not to spend too much time having formal photos done as we wanted to enjoy the day with our friends rather than spend it In front of the camera. I love the pics and cant wait for my album to arrive!
The Details + Decor… I am obsessive about aesthetic, IT IS MY JOB!!
I wanted the colour theme and the visuals to be constant so the invites and order of service and any signage all had our over grown garden of hanging leaves on them. This then carried through every element of the reception. (hanging lights and escort cards, followed by hanging garden, followed by hanging crystal chandelier)
The Order of Service was divided into act’s and scene’s with a cast list to reference the theme of A Mid summer Nights Dream and we took this through into the marquee with reveal curtains for the different stages of the day and the table names where character names!
I was also really keen that the marquee and garden looked just as good by day as it did by night, which the hanging garden and chandelier really helped to achieve.
One of the details people loved were the sign posts dotted around the garden directing people where to go, which we made from left over bits of wood that Dad had around the garden..
THE entire wedding was a family affair!!! We all had a job!
The Honeymoon… This was Rich’s bit and he organised a trip of a lifetime… It started with a 1st class flight to Nairobi (OMG IT WAS AMAZING) champers on arrival, then 5* service thousands of miles in the air. We then flew from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara where we were picked up and driven to the Karen Blixen camp for 4 days of amazing safari’s and delicious food. Our accommodation was in permanent raised tents that were the height of luxury and looked out over the Maasai river and hippos bathing! After some near misses with some Lions and a hippo we left the peace and tranquillity of the Maasai Mara and flew on to Zanzibar in Tanzania.
We stayed at the Barazaar resort in Zanzibar and it was HEAVEN from start to finish.. our beach villa had more square footage than our house in London and in the centre of it was a giant four poster bed, surrounded by curtains and decorated in sumptuous and exotic gold tones. The décor of this hotel was out of this world and most of my holiday shots are pictures of the amazing décor or views out to Sea! We ate and drank like kings and had the most amazingly romantic time… I will definitely be making Rich take me back!
We then finished the holiday in my favourite way, with a shopping trip and BA 1st class travel home!
Memorable Moments… Standing at the alter holding Rich’s hand and be pronounced MARRIED.. we got to look back at the congregation! It took our breath away looking back and seeing all our friends and family GRINNING back at us.. it was also the most colourful beautiful sight I have ever seen!
Watching the surprise video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGcDUzvAcyI my sister and our close friend Liz had made for us… it was of our closest friends and family singing the song Rich proposed to me to. It was hilarious and soooo emotional! I keep going onto you tube to watch it! It is THE BEST GIFT either of us will EVER RECEIVE!
Advice for Other Couples… Be true to yourselves as a couple.. we sat down together before really starting anything, to decide what we wanted from the day.. that way we were both on the same page and new what we wanted from the day! FUN!
Also stay relaxed, we decided that nothing was worth fighting over or getting upset about.. there are some things you just cant control.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Florist – Jades Flowers – http://www.jadesflowers.co.uk
Stationer – A Bespoke Design – http://www.abespokedesign.co.uk
Photobooth – Megabooth – http://megabooth.com
Photographer – Jasmine Jade http://www.jasminephotography.co.uk
Planner – Dream Occasions – http://www.dream-occasions.co.uk
Marquee – American Marquees – http://www.americanmarqueehire.co.uk
Lighting – Wedding Creative – http://www.wedding-creative.co.uk
Band – River City Music – http://www.rivercitybandlondon.com
Videographer – White Dress Films – http://www.whitedressfilms.co.uk
Caterers – Milsom Catering- http://www.milsomhotels.com/talboothcatering/
Marquee – American Marquees – http://www.americanmarqueehire.co.uk
Car Hire – Aristocars – http://www.aristocars.co.uk
How wonderful. Thanks so much to Claire and Richard for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou