WWW readers Tom and Vix tied the knot back in June at The East Quay AKA The Lobster Shack in Whitstable. They decided to have a colourful day which represented them as a couple.
They had many DIY touches and thoughtful elements to keep their guests happy throughout the day. I just adore the colourful ribbon adorned bouquet and driftwood place settings.
Thanks so much to Paul Fuller for sharing his photographs with us today.
The Proposal… We’d taken a bit of time off work to go travelling. Towards the end of the trip we had a few luxury nights booked near the Great Barrier Reef. As we were relaxing one afternoon, Tom completely surprised me by asking if I wanted to marry him, my first reaction was to ask if he was serious! He then produced about thirty different cheap funny rings in a sparkly pink box; he’d carried them round three different countries without me noticing! It was a fabulous surprise.
The Vision for the Day… We knew we didn’t want a “wedding” wedding , we didn’t want a day where it was all chair sashes, worrying about colour schemes, a master of ceremonies and formality. We wanted our guests to feel that they were definitely at our wedding and to have fun. It was really important that it would be the kind of day we would enjoy going to.
The Planning Process… I’m not sure there was a plan…although we were quite organised with multiple spreadsheets! Looking back at it now it all just kind of happened. I guess the plan was about creating a day which was about us but also about thanking all our friends and families for their support.
Budget… We didn’t want to spend too much. We had help from our families which was so appreciated. We didn’t keep a budget, instead we decided on what we wanted and then decided how much we were prepared to pay for each item.
The Venue… The East Quay, Whitstable. We knew what we didn’t want, a hotel or typical wedding venue. On a whim we thought we’d look in Whitstable; it’s where we spent our first weekend away and we love the town. Luckily we found the “East Quay Venue”. For us it was perfect: it was right on the beach, quirky and relaxed, meaning we could run the day just as we wanted. We liked the fact we could spend the whole day there. The wedding ceremony was held on the mezzanine level in front of the windows overlooking the sea. After the ceremony our guests spilled out on to the beach and even paddled in the sea.
The Dress + Accessories… I’m not a skinny girl and I knew what I didn’t want in a dress- nothing long and strapless. I wanted a dress where I could feel like me. It was important that it wasn’t too formal and that I could feel relaxed yet special. I spent a long time searching for pictures and put together a pinterest board of things I liked. I soon realised that I was looking for a 1950s style dress, with a dropped waist and a flash of red.
The shoes were just as important – they had to be something great given they’d be on show. After more than a few pairs being delivered to work, I fell in love with a pair from irregular choice. Being a mix of reds with gold heels and blue comic soles, they ticked all the boxes. I had a funky pair of flats from Melissa for on the beach which smelt like bubble gum.
I wanted something different for my hair, I’m definitely not someone to wear a veil. I found this wonderful lady who runs Kitty Kanzashi. She makes kanzashi which are based on traditional Japanese hairpieces. It seemed right as one of the places we travelled last year was Japan. She made one in red and white to match my dress. She also made a couple of matching flowers which I incorporated into my garter.
Finding the Dress… Finding the dress was probably the most nerve wracking part for me. I found somewhere close by which had a few ready made, but nothing felt or looked right. And then after a bit of googling I found The House of Mooshki.
They were amazing. I visited Olivia, their London based designer, at her home in Essex and she understood what I was after straightaway. From the design process to the final fitting I felt so looked after. I was so scared when I went for my first proper fitting, I was so worried I wouldn’t feel special. Poor Olivia had me bursting into tears before I’d even seen the dress! But I had nothing to be concerned about, the end result was perfect.
For my something blue, I cut out a blue heart from one of my dad’s shirts and sewed it into the petticoat of my dress.
Groom’s Attire… He looked fabulous. Tom’s suit was from “A suit that fits”. He was really impressed with the service.
The Readings + Music… This was important to us as we wanted them to mean something and to be about us. The music we chose for my entrance was a piano version of Zelda’s lullaby from the video game series Zelda. We’d enjoyed playing the game and it’s a pretty piece to listen to. We walked out to “Wouldn’t it be nice” to the Beach Boys as we thought it set the tone for the rest of the day.
After some debate we chose two readings: “For Now“ by Tracey Emin was read by our friend Helen, Tracey Emin is local to the area and the words explained how we felt about each other without being too mushy. Our second reading “The day the saucers came“ by Neil Gaiman was great fun. It was read by two friends, Orla and Kate and we loved watching the guests reaction with its references to zombies and surprisingly sweet ending.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… We had two bridesmaids, my sister Kerry and my good friend Gaelle. We had a challenge finding dresses as Gaelle lives in Australia and wouldn’t be in the country until 2 days before the wedding. I didn’t want dresses that were too “bridesmaid”. It was important to find something which they would wear again and that they were happy with. We chose to use “Get Cutie” in Brighton who make retro cut handmade dresses in amazing fabrics. We picked the fabric and then my bridesmaids picked their styles. They looked amazing on the day and their look completely suited the relaxed feel.
The Flowers… Our brief to our florist, Jane at Graham Greener, was a bit abstract – bright colours, not styled, rustic, almost like they’ve just been picked that morning. There were two flowers I really wanted – Irises as they make me think of my late Nan and peonies as my sister loves them. Oh and instead of vases we wanted to use the over 50 different glug-glug fish jugs I’ve been collecting the past year! Jane understood exactly what we wanted – when I popped in the evening before the wedding and saw all the vases filled with our flowers I burst into tears as they were perfect. Everyone who helped out with the wedding got to take a jug filled with flowers home with them as a little thank you.
The Cake… We always said we wanted red velvet rather than a traditional wedding cake, so much tastier! We’d has some fabulous cup cakes from “What’s up cupcake” – a cute little shop close to our venue. I made some bunting for the top cake and we found a couple of little lego zombie bride and groom figures too. The cakes looked gorgeous and tasted so good at least one of our guests had 3 and some popped to the shop the next door to pick up more!
We also had a cheese cake from The Cheese Box in Whitstable. Our guests definitely enjoyed the combination of cheese and port instead of a dessert.
Your Photographer… The fabulous Paul Fuller of “Paul Fuller Kent Photography”. My sister and her husband know Paul from work and suggested that we looked at his blog. His photographic style was perfect, we didn’t want a series of formal posed photos with different guests but something more natural. He completely put us at our ease on the day and we felt so comfortable, definitely not something either of us was expecting! Our photographs show how happy we were and it’s great to see how much our friends were enjoying the day too. He clearly cares about the photographs he takes and it shows in the end results. We love them.
The Details + Decor… As two of our most important requirements was that the it had to be “our” wedding and that we wanted our guests to have fun a lot of thought went into the décor and details. Our stationery was handmade, we’re particularly proud of our pop up bunting invites! They were good way of letting our guests know not to expect a typical white wedding.
A lot of bunting was made and two friends donated even more from their weddings. .We wanted to bring lots of colour into the venue so we used pinwheels as decorations, large paper balls in the reception room and coloured ribbons to gather the table runners. The ceremony room was decorated in white. We tried to think of things which would make people smile – a flip flop box so that the ladies could go on the beach, our own designed badges, disposable cameras with eye spy list for the children, using pictures of us as children as toilet signs and little finger tattoos for later in the night. Our table plan was a large room divider with photos of family weddings in it. The labour of love was burning our guests’ names on to individual pieces of driftwood to use as place names. We had to decorate the place ourselves and will be forever grateful to the family and friends who pitched in!
The Honeymoon… We had a lazy week in a boutique hotel in the little town of Kas in Turkey. We then had a week at home being tourists in London. We were very lucky as the weather at home was nearly as amazing as the weather in Turkey!
Memorable Moments… Too many to choose from – the journey to the venue being driven by our lovely friend Debs, seeing each other for the first time on the day was amazing, how beautiful the ceremony room looked, having friends join us from abroad, people’s excitement when our ice cream man arrived, seeing everyone enjoying themselves on the beach, the time we had just the two of us during the photos, the smile on the face of my friend’s daughter when she saw her goody bag, the yummy lobster, the amazing speeches, giving my Nan my bouquet, the fun people had with the tattoos, dancing the night away, seeing everyone at breakfast the next day. We wouldn’t have changed anything, we just couldn’t stop smiling.
Advice for Other Couples… Don’t let planning the wedding take over your life or your conversation – we had a rule in that we could only talked about the wedding on Mondays. Think what you want and stick with it. Never forget what’s important and why you’re doing it, the two of you.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Dress: House of Mooshki www.houseofmooshki.com/
Photographer: Paul Fuller www.paulfullerkentphotography.com/
Flowers: Jane at Graham Greener www.grahamgreener.com/
Cupcakes: What’s up Cupcake www.whatsupcupcake.com/
Cheese: The Cheese Box www.thecheesebox.co.uk/
Ice cream: Lickett and Smyle http://fone-a-cone.blogspot.co.uk/
Hair accessory: Kitty Kanzashi www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kittykanzashi
Hair and makeup: Bridal Beauty www.bridalbeautykent.co.uk/
Venue: East Quay Venue, Whitstable
Ahh such a fun, colourful and happy day. Thanks so much to Tom and Vix for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou