I am over the moon to be sharing our lovely Sam’s wedding today! EEkkkkk.
Sam and Gary tied the knot in May at Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire.
Sam told me; “From day one WWW has been my favourite blog. I love the vintage, soft, dreamy styling and all the weddings blogged are my cup of tea. I was a serial blog reader and read them religiously everyday, banking ideas and being inspired. My fave part was the write up, I would always skip down to the part about the wedding dress search. It was great to hear other brides were in the same boat as me. My wedding would not of been what it was if it hadn’t of been for WWW opening my eyes to a whole new style of wedding I had never seen before. When I had the chance to be a real bride blogger for Lou I was made up. I hope I have inspired bride-to-be’s with my thoughts and ideas too.” Aww thanks Sam :-)
They wanted their wedding to be fun and relaxed with a Disney meets Alice in Wonderland feel. Sam looked beautiful in her tutu wedding dress and elegant up do, while Gary looked dapper in grey. I adore the pretty retro feel bridesmaids dresses and the cute flower girls in their tutus. I am so happy for these two :-)
Thanks so much to the wonderful Andrea Ellison for sharing her photographs with us today.
Hair & Makeup… My hair was done by my usual hairdresser Sue from ‘Hair by Design’ in Runcorn. We spent months before the wedding planning what we were going to do, we had lots of trials to check timings and details. On the day she was a star, we didn’t have long to get ready (being a 12.00 wedding). She got all 6 of us done and looking fabulous with time to spare. Super woman!
I also want to say a massive thank you to Victoria from ‘The Art of Make-up’ for doing my makeup. I absolutely loved it. Being slightly unsure about whether to have my makeup done or whether to do it myself… she made me feel completely at ease and I was really happy with the results. I went for quite natural shades on the day and treated myself to a peachy Dior lipstick. I was so grateful to have her there to work her magic on the day. Highly recommend her if your in the Cheshire area.
The Proposal…. Gary proposed over breakfast in bed, very cozy and romantic. He brought me a side of ‘diamond ring’ with my egg on toast, got down on one knee… and the rest is history!
The Vision for the Day… The most important thing to us was making our big day fun and relaxed. Me and Gary are two big kids at heart. We wanted to be surrounded by our family and friends and lot’s of laughter. I had always dreamt of an Alice in Wonderland wedding, being a bit of a dreamer myself and a massive Disney fan. We wanted the venue to be decorated with lot’s of wedding ‘pretty’ and bits and bobs so we started collecting from charity shops and crafting things quite early on.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My lovely bridesmaids were Kate and Laura (my best friends from School), Paula (Gary’s sister), Linda (best friend from uni) and Kayleigh (Gary’s cousin). They wore 1950′s vintage style dresses from ‘Call Me Betty’. I must say a huge thank you to Leigh from ‘Call Me Betty’ who come to the rescue and sent me some extra fabric when my BM Laura fell pregnant and needed some extra panels adding into her dress…. you really saved the day! Their shoes were from Debenhams and their hair bows were from Honey-pie Boutique. They looked beautiful, like little Alice in Wonderlands.
My beautiful little flower girls were Brooke and Edie (Laura’s children) and Katie (Gary’s cousin). I had them dressed up as flower fairies. They had tutu’s hand made by me, little white t-shirts and white tights. I made them a flower wand each to carry/hit things with. They looked adorable running around on the day and did everyone proud.
Groom’s Attire… Gary and his groomsmen all wore suits from Matalan. We knew we wanted grey three piece suits with baby blue polka dot accessories to match the bridesmaids dresses. After a few shopping trips out with the boys (which mainly ended up in the pub), we came to the conclusion that hiring was far too pricey. Buying from the high end suit shops was also way out of our budget. We were buying 6 suits, so it soon added up. The suits we found in Matalan were really nicely made, perfect colour and style and a much more affordable price. The guys all looked splendid.
We were really lucky in finding the blue polka dot matching accessories. The silk polka dot ties and hankies were sourced on Ebay (after months of trawling, trials and errors). The socks were a bit more difficult to find, but we were determined! We eventually found matching baby blue polka dot socks by Paul Smith. Gary bought them for the groomsmen as part of their thank you presents, along with a personalised hip flask.
The Planning Process… A full 18 months! I started planning as soon as we got engaged. I became engrossed with wedding blogs and all things creative. As a designer by trade I just loved all the attention to detail. We made sure we booked all the big important things quite quickly in order to get the date we wanted. That just left the small stuff (that turned into big stuff) left to do. I found that, much to my friends shock, the couple of weeks before the wedding I was super calm. I hadn’t left anything big to do, just little bits. Gary was amazing on the week before the wedding, I had sort of given up at one stage and he pressed on like a trooper! I’m not great at delegating, I like to do everything myself so I know it’s right. So leaving things to the suppliers on the day was really scary, but they all did a great job! The planning process had it’s ups and downs and wasn’t all plain sailing, but it was all worth it in the end. There were lot’s of stresses over seemingly minor things and at one point it seemed wedding planning had taken over our lives! I’m so lucky to have Gary to keep me sane and smiling. I have to say I quite enjoyed the planning though and miss it now it’s all over.
The Readings + Music… The bridal entrance was to ‘Flying into Tokyo’ – By Magnetic man. We exited to ‘I will’ – By The Beatles & ‘Mr Blue Sky’ – By ELO
The first reading was by Gary’s sister Paula, she read ‘Lovely Love Story’ – By Edward Monkton.
The second reading was written for us by two of our best friends Helen and Gadge. It was a lovely poem about ‘having’ and ‘holding’. So touching and personal. They did an amazing job. Watching it on the video always brings a tear to me eye.
The Venue… We got married at the fabulous Arley Hall & Gardens in Northwich. I had always wanted to get married in a stately home or country house, something with loads of character and vintage feel. We aren’t really religious so a church wasn’t really on the cards. We ventured out into the Cheshire countryside to scout out potential wedding venues on sunny Sunday afternoons, my fave part of planning! The shortlist was whittled down fast. Nowhere seemed to feel right. On the day we pulled up at Arley Hall it was closed for a wedding. The super helpful event supervisor gave us a sneaky peak of the evening venue whilst it was empty. We knew as soon as we stepped in that it was the place we wanted to get married. It was perfect. Really nice, loads of character, relaxed and a great party space. Not too big, not too small. We made an appointment to go back and see the whole venue and were blown away! The whole place was like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. On the day we were blessed with glorious sunshine all day too, which made it even better.
Budget… Oh dear… let’s just say we went way over budget. We had a figure in our heads but it ended up nowhere near. I think it’s really hard to stick to a budget when planning a wedding because things are so expensive! You can literally keep on spending and spending… where do you draw the line? Most of our budget went on the venue and food, so we had to try and keep guest numbers sensible in the day time. We had to save really hard and were very lucky that our parents and grandparents helped us out lot’s. We did lot’s of DIY’ing too.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photography – www.andreaellisonphotography.com
Videography – http://www.silkweddingfilms.co.uk
Makeup – http://www.themakeupcheshire.com
Bridesmaids dresses – http://www.callmebetty.co.uk/index.php/shop
Flowers – http://www.about-flowers.co.uk
Squeallll. So excited for part 2 this afternoon already :-) XOXO Lou
Tags: Alice in Wonderland Wedding, Andrea Ellison Photography, Arley Hall & Gardens, Cheshire Wedding, DIY Wedding, Flowergirls, Honeypie Boutique, Matalan Groom, Multicolour Wedding Ideas, Pastel Wedding Ideas, Polka Dot Bridesmaid Dresses, Real Weddings, The Bride Diaries
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