Happy Monday to you :-) I hope you are ready for another week of back to back wedding pretty. Today i have the utter pleasure of sharing Tori and Joss’ wedding with you.
Tori and Joss wanted a colourful vintage feel to their day, with a focus on music and entertainment. They chose Broyle Place, East Sussex to host their day, where they had an outdoor ceremony complete with owl ring bearer!
Tori wore an elegant David Fielden number teamed with some Jimmy Choo shoes. While Joss had his dashing blue suit custom made which he teamed with vibrant red suede shoes.
I so love the magnifying glass table plan, the cake table and smiles throughout.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Viva Wedding Photography for sharing their photographs with us today.
The Proposal… We were staying at the Sanderson Hotel in London for my birthday and after a relaxing time in the spa we returned back to the room to find Champagne & Chocolate covered Strawberries waiting. Joss told me to pour the champagne whilst he went to the bathroom and when he returned we toasted the Champagne “to us”. Then he reached into his pocket & pulled out a small box & to my disbelief he opened it and proposed. I was shocked! But extremely happy and of course accepted. It was so intimate and such a special moment, a moment I will remember forever.
The Vision for the Day… I imagined an outside summer wedding with a colourful vintage theme & hint’s of “Rock & Roll” to suit Joss’ tastes. I wanted lots of music & entertainment in an exclusive historic setting. Broyle Place was a perfect fit.
The Planning Process… I wanted to move quickly on booking the big things for the day to take out the stress so after the venue was booked we met with 2 caterers and picked one quickly along with the registrar. After this I spent a few months getting ideas from online wedding blogs. I cannot recommend reading wedding blogs enough (you’re doing a great thing!). It gave me so many ideas and also reinforced some ideas I already had which I wasn’t sure would work. I also set myself time lines and deadlines to get things booked or at least put down deposits (finer details can be arranged later). The stress of a wedding is letting things build up but even if you take small baby steps over a long period eventually everything will fall in to place.
The Venue… I found our venue online whilst researching a list of licensed wedding venues in Sussex. I didn’t leave the choice to Google, otherwise you bring up very generic options. Broyle Place seemed to be my favourite from the description so I booked a visit and drove out there a couple of days later. I knew it was the one when we drove through the gates onto the sweeping driveway. The beautiful manor house sat Majestic in the backdrop and the grounds felt secluded & peaceful. Ducks walked lazily over the lawn towards the moat whilst birdsong echoed through the gardens. The house itself is stunning, very elegant & dripping in history. The venue offer an outside wedding option under an oak structure or for a smaller gathering you can get married in the walk in fireplace in the main hall (we took the outside option). There is a marquee for the wedding breakfast & reception which offers guests a comfortable space to dine and dance the night away. The grounds are intimate and don’t consume your wedding party so even though you can spread out, it doesn’t leave large gaps to fill. The bonus was on site guest accommodation which offers a Glamping option. We actually stayed in the Yurt Village instead of in the Bridal suite in the main house to continue our day with some close friends after the 12PM curfew.
The Dress + Accessories… My dress was from Leonie Claire in Brighton. I cannot commend this boutique enough. They have an exceptional range of designer dresses (mine was David Fielden) and the staff could not be more attentive or lovely if they tried! I also bought an 100% feather bolero by Leonie Claire and to complete the vintage look I added a bespoke headpiece by Natasha Jane made of Vintage Lace and detailed with vintage beading complete with a beige Peacock feather. I wore Jimmy Choo Isabel shoes as the small heel size was important for me to feel comfortable & my Jewellery (which was a gift from my mum) consisted of white gold Pearl & Diamond stud earrings with a matching delicate necklace. A small vintage style charm bracelet sat on my wrist, which was gift from a close friend. I just want to add that I can recommend MAC make up as it is easy to apply and stays on all day even through the tears!
Finding the Dress… The first place I tried was Leonie Claire due to glowing reviews from many friends and any other brides I had spoken to. I was served by Lowena & she left me to peruse the rails and see what dresses caught my eye. I picked out 3 dresses, all of which were silk but didn’t quite have the wow factor I was looking for. In my mind I envisaged a simple long flowing silk dress with one part so detailed that it made up for the simplicity of the design. I hadn’t notice the beautiful David Fielden number hanging on the mannequin but Lowena whipped it off and told me I must try it as she knew it would suit me. Well that was the first dress I tried on & she was the one. I tried on the other 3 dresses and they didn’t compare. I also went to 2 other boutiques just to make sure she was the one and I couldn’t even bring myself to try on anything else. I was in love.
Groom’s Attire… Joss had a great time designing his suit. This was actually his only task in the wedding so he was pleased to be left to his own devices. He worked with Hugo Morris a bespoke tailor in Brighton and together they picked out the fabric, the lining patterns, the buttons & even the shape of the collar & pockets for his jacket, trousers and shirt. Joss went for a vibrant blue suit and to complete the look he bought some red suede shoes from Paul Smith which were a big hit & one of the talking points of our day. The tie & cufflinks were picked up on the highstreet.
The Readings + Music… This was a very important part for us as we love music and so do our friends. We hired DJ78 for the day, who is absolutely amazing! Such a genuine, lovely man who was pleasure to deal with. Our guests loved him & his pair of Gramophones along with his impressive selection of 78rpm records, he really made our day truly memorable. On arrival of our guests, DJ78 serenaded them with lovesongs from the 1920’s & I walked down the aisle to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole. My friend Penny sang (accompanied by her guitar) “To make you feel my love” in the style of Garth Brooks and my bridesmaid read an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres. After the ceremony DJ78 cranked up the tempo and played 50’s rock n roll & big band until the end of the wedding breakfast. A close friend performed “Firecracker” by Ryan Adams which we did our first dance to. It meant so much to us and he sang it beautifully accompanied by his guitar & harmonica. Our evening band was a Brighton based motown covers band named “The Devotions”. They are a very talented group who cover the classics to perfection and add their own style. They consist of superb lead female vocalists, an eclectic brass section, groovy strings & banging beats. After the Devotions finished, some friends of ours who are in also in a band played a selection of original songs until close.
Beautiful bridesmaids… I only had one bridesmaid who was my cousin, my sister & my best friend all rolled into one. She executed the role perfectly, getting everyone in check for the photo’s and making sure my planned itinerary didn’t go out the window. She wore a beautiful pink coral dress from Coast. I wanted her to look summery & feel comfortable so the bright chiffon fabric was perfect for that.
The Flowers… Well what can I say. The flowers were stunning! I wanted wild seasonal flowers to reflect the time of year & the countryside setting. I didn’t have set colours in mind so I asked for all variations of pastel colours which were so pretty & really complimented my vintage theme. I used Brighton based Tony Dunn Flowers who is an exceptional florist and a fantastic event stylist. Tony wrapped ivy (which we took from a friends garden) around the wooden structure where we held our ceremony to give it a rustic feel & created a giant floral display for the centre of the structure under where we stood. Birdcages filled with flowers hung from the rafters & one sat on the registrars table, bay trees entwined with flowers sat at the start of the aisle and simple posies tied to chairs framed the rest of the walkway. For the table flowers I bought large jam jars off of Ebay and got Tony to fill them with flowers following the same theme along with other smaller vases holding posies. I didn’t want the table floral displays too large as I find they get in the way of the wine bottles and guests are loathed to take them home if they are too big. I was adamant no flowers were to be wasted so I gave everything away at the end of the night. I have since heard the flowers lasted as long as 2 weeks and were of excellent quality. I asked Tony to create something unique as a surprise for our top table which was a round table in the centre of our guests. I wasn’t disappointed as in the middle sat a tiered cake holder with cake cases filled with flowers all around the table (one of which was dried and is in my living room right now!). Signs saying MR & MRS sat before Joss & me & two flower filled tea cups with April (Joss’s birth month) & May (my birth month) were also positioned before us. Tony was professional, easy to deal with and understood all of my ideas and executed them to perfection on the day. My bouquet was pretty but elegant. Again I wanted seasonal wild flowers following a pastel colour pallet & nothing too large. The flowers in my bouquet were all different which made the design very intricate and Tony wrapped a swatch of the fabric from my dress around the stem and decorated the join with simple beading.
The Cake… We didn’t have pudding with the wedding breakfast as I had planned to have afternoon tea instead. After a lot of research I realised I really didn’t want an official wedding cake. Most wedding cakes are fruit cake as they are firm & anything else runs the risk of sinking. I know people can be in two minds about fruit cake so I wanted to offer a choice. I asked my most skilled baking friends & relatives if they would make a cake for the wedding and they were delighted! We ended up with a Nutty Chocolate Mousse cake, a Coffee &Walnut cake, a Tiered sponge cake with cream, my nan’s fruit cake just to keep in with tradition & my mum made a Lemon & Drizzle which had a bride a groom on top with a miniature version of my bouquet which we cut. My auntie even through in some home made rocky road & we bought boxes of Thornton’s chocolates to finish off as well. I decorated the cake table with some bunting from Velvet & mum & me collected vintage teacups over the many months leading up to the wedding which we laid out for tea & coffee. As if all this cake wasn’t enough my mum bought 4 rolls of different size & different variety cheese online from www.nibblescheese.co.uk which she constructed to look like a tiered cake. This was then draped with grapes and an assortment of crackers & chutneys were laid out to accompany it. I have to add that every crumb of cake, cheese & chocolate was eaten :)
Your Photographer… Our photographer was Adam Bronkhorst from Viva Wedding Photography. I discovered Adam through a recommendation on a Vintage afternoon tea catering website when I was surfing the net. I was very impressed with the photo’s on his website and we met up for a chat. My partner & I were blown away with his ideas on wedding photography. We wanted to capture the day in the most natural way and add in a contemporary feel with a few quirky planned shots as well. Adam offered the complete package including a pre wedding shoot to get us used to the camera (we did this in Stanmer park Brighton & it really helped relax us for the day) & a photo booth option to add an element of fun into the reception. For the photo booth Adam set up a stage and we had to come up with a idea for the backdrop & theme. We decided on a balloon backdrop which injected the shots with colour and we got friends to pull together their fancy dress boxes so we ended up with really fun pictures. We could not be happier with our wedding photographs, Adam captured the day perfectly and every photo tells a story. Adam is a genius behind the camera & is well qualified and experienced which reflects in his work. We also hired a videographer through Anneka Irelands company. I would recommend a Videographer to anyone as your wedding goes by so quickly & it can be hard to remember the finer details like the beautiful words said by your registrar or the well rehearsed jokes in the best man’s speech
The Details + Decor… Our invitations were designed by our friend and were laid out like a festival flyer displaying the names of all the musicians who were playing at the wedding. Our guests arrived on an old vintage routemaster bus hired from Brighton & Hove Coach company. This was a great way to set the tone of our wedding which continued when they arrived to the sounds of DJ78. We made a sign saying “Pick a seat, not a side” to make sure our families mingled with one another and friends didn’t feel compelled to choose. We hired white chiavali chairs & a white aisle runner from Bows Hire. I wanted the ceremony area to have a clean look to compliment the surrounding green foliage and colourful flowers. The summer before I had bought two hanging wind chimes from Covent garden market made from old vintage knife, forks and spoons. They were so creative and fitted right in with our theme. These were hung off the oak structure and the soft breeze I ordered showed up and they chimed softly in the background throughout the ceremony.
For the giving of the rings we hired Chris from Sussex Owls who came along with his spectacular birds. One of his sweet little Owl’s delivered our wedding rings to the best man by swooping down the aisle & landing on his glove. Chris stayed on afterwords and bought out his Falcon along with other Owls for the guests to enjoy. Our wedding rings were made by Goldfinger & were excellent quality at an affordable price.
A friend designed a beautiful picture for us of butterfly lace, soft pink roses with water beading for the backdrop of our table plan. It was to beautiful & I couldn’t bare to cover it up so I made the table plan extremely small so the only way you could see it was through a magnifying glass. I stuck the tiny plan in the centre of the picture and the magnifying glass used belonged to my step dad’s late mother & was extremely old so it fit right in. In the marquee we hired a starlit backdrop from Bows hire which run the full length of the back curtain, it really set off the marquee and looked pretty in the evening. Also from Bows we hired pink coral paper lanterns to compliment my Bridesmaids dress which hung from the ceiling and gave the room more colour. Along with the flowers in Jam jars on the table, I had bought a series of props which reflected our interests & our theme. They consisted of old books I used to read as a child like anything by Enid Blyton, “The Secret Garden” & Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”. We also bought an old vintage style camera to reflect Joss’ love of photography and a very old compass from 1888 to symbolise our love of travelling. Tony Dunn constructed the table centre pieces based on my design and added round mirrors as a base to reflect the props. We had small lanterns housing tea lights and the table numbers were stuck to a 7inch record sat on a small easel. Each record was by a 70’s band which Joss loves so they included the likes of Pink Floyd, The Faces, The Rolling Stones & my favourite Fleetwood Mac .
On one table we even had an original style Fairy Liquid bottle with flowers in from the Queen’s jubilee. Outside the Marquee Tony placed fishbowls with floating flowers on the tables and lanterns with large candles. Fairy lights were hung around trees and were turned on at night fall. We didn’t do favours but I hand made the place cards by using a alphabet stamp on white luggage tags & decorated each one with a stem of lavender which my mum had grown in her garden. On our gift table we had a white post box bought from Amazon to keep the cards safe & we decorated the table with a LOVE sign & a rattan heart which can be picked up from a shabby chic stores such as Velvet in Brighton. Our guest book was bought from notonthehighstreet,com.
The Food… The food was of exceptionally high quality. All my guests have commented on how delicious it was! We used Circa Events who are professional & easy to deal with. Marc is a very talented chef and his team are friendly & add an element of fun into the service. The canapes & starter were presented beautifully and the main was piping hot & cooked to perfection. Nothing was to much trouble for Circa events!
The Honeymoon… For our Honeymoon we went to Madagascar as we are born adventure travellers! We chose Madagascar as Africa is one of the only continents we haven’t travelled together. We are lovers of wildlife and enjoyed days trekking in the rainforest with Lemurs & cruising the shores watching the majestic Humpback Whales migrating to breed.
Memorable Moments… The nerves waiting in the doorway for my queue to walk down the aisle, seeing all the faces of our guests for the first time, the owl gliding down the aisle with our rings & everyone enjoying it so much, my husbands beautiful vows that he said to me when giving me my ring, the cheering & stamping which I never through would end when we entered the room for the wedding breakfast, all the speeches but especially the surprise speech my mum made which was a total shock & so special to me, seeing my husband & two other male friends naked whilst having a picture taken in the photo booth, a teary conversation with my bridesmaid about how proud she felt & finally our first dance which we did on the oak structure where we got married & our wedding song was just perfect sang by our close friend.
Advice for Other Couples… Have your wedding & not someone else’s, don’t be afraid of asking friends & family to muck in as chances are they’ll be honoured, space the planning out evenly over the period of time you’re engaged and just enjoy yourself! Make sure you grab little moments throughout the day with each other and take mental pictures of each moment so you don’t forget. The day really will go so fast so don’t drink to much! :)
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Viva Wedding Photography – www.vivaweddingphotography.com/
Broyle Place – Wedding venue – www.broyleplace.com/
Circa events – Catering – www.circacirca.com/
Tony Dunn Flowers – Flowers & Event stylist – www.tonydunnflowers.co.uk/
Bow’s Hire – Event stylist – www.bowshire.co.uk/
Leonie Claire – Bridal Boutique – www.leonieclaire.com/
Hugo Morris – Men’s Tailor – www.hugo-morris.com/
DJ78 – Gramaphone DJ – www.dj78.co.uk/
The Devotions – Motown Band – www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrdp9_8_Eec
Nibbles Cheese – www.nibblescheese.co.uk
Anneka Ireland Videography – www.annekairelandvideography.co.uk
Brighton & Hove Coach Company – www.buses.co.uk/trips/wedding_hire.aspx
Sussex Owls – Owl ring bearer – www.sussexowls.co.uk/
Goldfinger – Wedding rings – www.goldfinger-rings.com
Such a fantastic day! Thanks so very much to Tori and Joss for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today. I just love how their loved ones contributed to their wedding XOXO Lou