WWW readers Cherry and Anthony married in September, holding their day at Fontwell House, West Sussex. They wanted a day which was relaxed, personal and fun.
I love the cute 1950s feel fashion, from Cherry’s sweet tea length dress and bow veil to the home made polka dot bridesmaid dresses. There were the prettiest white blooms, crochet heart place settings and a quirky blackboard table plan. LOVE.
Thanks so much to Pete Cranston for sharing his amazing imagery with us today.
The Proposal… Longleat Safari! We had been wanting to go for ages so we went and took a picnic with us. Anthony proposed whilst we were having the picnic. It was such a surprise, when he said he had something for me I thought he had got me something from the gift shop!
The Vision for the Day… We wanted something relaxed, personal and good fun. We didn’t want a wedding that didn’t suit our personalities or was stuffy in any way.
The Planning Process… We both really enjoyed the whole planning process – it was so much fun and when the wedding was all over and we were back from honeymoon we both missed the planning side of it. Once you have your venue and photographer you can pretty much relax for a bit. We called in lots of favours from friends and family from the writing of the invitations to making bridesmaid dresses, making favours, making decorations and the evening entertainment and it was nice to get them all involved in the day. It was also a really nice excuse to meet up with people for a natter and a glass of wine!
The Venue… We got married in Fontwell House. It is a really really lovely venue and the ceremony room is really small and intimate and is attached to a larger reception room. We loved that you didn’t have to travel anywhere after the ceremony – it was all there. They also let you go in the day before and decorate it yourself which was what we wanted. We mainly dealt with two people there called Rebecca and Adam and both were utterly fantastic, but all the staff were brilliant. They were great the weeks leading up and also on the day and made sure everything ran really smoothly.
The Dress + Accessories… I had an idea of what kind of dress I wanted. I wear a lot of 50’s style dresses so liked the idea of something 50’s looking. The shoes were ordered online from elegant steps and are Rachel Simpson. It took me ages and ages to find the shoes as I didn’t want anything too high and wanted quite a classic shape. They were really comfortable and I managed to keep them on till the end of the night. It also took me ages to decide what jewellery to wear and by chance I found the necklace from the Palace Art and Craft Fair that my sister-in law was exhibiting at from a jewellery designer called Xuella Arnold.
Finding the Dress… I found the dress really quickly. It was the first one I tried on from a bunch I had picked in a shop called Proposals in Chichester. I didn’t want a long dress as I didn’t want it to restrict me being able to dance in the evening! I am not really into anything sparkly so wanted to avoid anything blingy. I love my dress; it is so pretty and love the detail of the embroidery on the bodice. It was also really comfy. The headband was also from Proposals. I liked the idea of a veil but again didn’t want anything long that was going to annoy me so this was perfect! The ladies in the shop were lovely and so helpful.
Groom’s Attire… Anthony is quite fussy when it comes to suits! It was a long process finding one that fitted him just right. It was a much harder thing to find than my wedding dress. In the end he got a lovely Hugo Boss suit from a shop in Chichester called Stephen Lawrence. He wore Hudson shoes which he got from a shoe shop in Chichester called Zig Zag. He liked them so much he went back and got them in black too!
The Readings + Music… I walked down the aisle to Yann Tiersen – Comptine d’un autre été: L’ après-midi. When we were signing the register we played The Moldy Peaches – Anyone else but you, and when we left the ceremony The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t it be nice. Laura my aunt did a lovely reading of the Beatles – Because. We had our first dance to Bombay Bicycle Club – Swansea. We both love the band and the song is a cover of a Joanna Newsom track and is so pretty. For the evening we had a band play, it was some friends of ours and they don’t normally play covers so it was a one night only thing! They were utterly utterly superb and had the whole dance floor crammed! After the band we had a DJ who played an absolutely perfect play list. I don’t think the dance floor emptied once!
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I was a bit greedy and had 5 bridesmaids! They are all really close friends of mine so wanted to have them all. I wanted 50’s style dresses for them but really struggled to find a dress that was right. In the end I asked my aunt Laura if she would be up for a bit of dress making. She thought about it for an evening and then said yes!!! From January we met up every Tuesday and had a dress making night (or as my uncle like to call it Tuesday Club!). We picked different coloured polka dot fabric (courtesy of C&H fabrics) as the girls are all very different and so had colours that would suit them. We used Vintage Vogue patterns. Laura turned out to be a bit of a dress making wizard and they all came out so perfectly. We ordered underskirts on ebay and it all came together. It was lovely seeing them on the day as they looked so beautiful and it was the first time I had seen them all on together. They enjoyed spinning around in them on the dance floor as there was so much material in the skirts.
The Flowers… A lovely lady called Chloe did our flowers. We told her the sort of thing we wanted and she got them exactly spot on! They looked so amazing. I gathered old carafes and milk bottles from car boot sales and she used those for the vases. For our table I found an amazing big flowery jug at a car boot which she used and it looked lovely. All of the vases and bottles were completely different sizes and there were two different ones on each table but she made them all look so effective and the flowers made all the tables really come together. As Chloe had put lavender and eucalyptus in them it smelt incredible as you walked in the room. There was also veronica, gypsophila, dried corn, chrysanthemums and poppy heads in the vases. The bouquets and buttonholes were so pretty and she did such a wonderful job. As there were so many flowers and they were all so fresh my family and a few of the bridesmaids took them home at the end of the night and they lasted in vases for ages. The arrangement in the jug were still going strong when we got back from our honeymoon two weeks later!
The Cake… Our cake was made by another lovely lady called Emily Howard-Wall. She had made a cake for a party we had been to and it was so nice that we asked her if she would do our wedding cake. The cake really was exceptional, a work of art! She had never done a naked cake before so it was pretty impressive. I think it was also the first wedding cake she had ever done. She had used some of the flowers supplied by Chloe to decorate it so it also tied in with all the bouquets and table flowers. It tasted amazing and the whole lot got eaten before the end of the night! We had been hoping to take some home with us!
Your Photographer… We found the excellent Pete Cranston on WWW! He was brilliant and we were so pleased that we asked him. He offered an engagement shoot which we found really really helpful. I don’t like having my photo taken at all but Pete really put me at ease and it made me not dread having my photos taken on the day. He turned up on the wedding morning and ran from house to house capturing every part of the morning. He was even pinning my mum and dads buttonholes on for them before we left. He stayed all day and all night and captured every part of the day. A lot of our friends and family commented on what an easygoing bloke he was and how the group photos went very smoothly! We are so pleased with the photos, they are fantastic and he didn’t miss anything.
The Details + Decor… We didn’t want the venue to be really really glitzy and wanted to keep costs down so thought we would decorate it ourselves. I started making bunting as soon as we booked the venue. I used lots of old curtains and throws that I had found at a jumble. I also used the remnants of the bridesmaid dresses to make it all tie in. We went up to the venue the day before the wedding and put all of this up (with the help of my dad and Mary one of the bridesmaids). The venue already had some ceiling drapes and it all seemed to fit in really well.
For the favours we used old Penguin books wrapped in brown string with a little crochet heart attached that Emily one of my other bridesmaids had made (talk about calling in favours!!). We used the books because they matched the invitations; it was quite a mission finding 80 penguins books with the right kind of covers. To go with the vases with the flowers we also found some little glass dessert bowls at the car boot to put candles in for the tables in the evening.
The Honeymoon… We were incredibly lucky and had 10 days of our honeymoon in Bali with 4 days in Bangkok. It was absolutely perfect and we had an incredible time. We ate amazing food, lounged by the pool and saw some incredible sites. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Memorable Moments… The whole day was memorable! From getting ready in the morning, to the ceremony, the dinner, speeches and evening. The evening was incredible – it was fantastic to see so many people we love in one room, dancing, drinking and eating together. One of the only things we were anxious about on the day was people having a good time and dancing lots so it was great to see a full dance floor with lots of over the top and enthusiastic dance moves! Also the food was very delicious!
Cherry – Walking down the aisle and seeing everyone in the room smiling at me was incredibly emotional and also terrifying at the same time! The ceremony for me was so lovely, we had a friend marry us so it was really special. It also makes me smile when I think of Anthony trying to put the wedding ring on my clammy nervous hand!
Anthony – One of my memorable moments was watching all the bridesmaids and Cherry coming down the aisle.
Advice for Other Couples… Do what you want. It is your day so don’t let people try and influence you to do what they think you should do. Planning the wedding was so much fun so enjoy it and try not to let it stress you out. We both stayed really calm leading up to the wedding and it meant that on the day we were both really relaxed and just enjoyed ourselves instead of worrying about little details.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photographer – Pete Cranston
Venue – Fontwell House
Wedding dress – Proposals in Chichester
Anthony’s suit – Stephen Lawrence Clothing
Cherry’s shoes – Elegant Steps
Cherry’s necklace – Xuella Arnold
Cake – Emily Howard-Wall firstname.lastname@example.org
Flowers – Chloe Neilson email@example.com
Amazing!! Oh how I adore WWW reader weddings, I am over the moon that Cherry and Anthony found the brilliant Pete Cranston on WWW. Thanks so much to Cherry and Anthony for sharing their delightful wedding with us today XOXO Lou
Tags: 1950s, 1950s Bridesmaids, 1950s Style Wedding Dress, DIY Wedding, Fontwell House, Hugo Boss Groom, Pete Cranston Photography, Rachel Simpson, Real Weddings, Vintage Wedding, West Sussex Wedding, White Wedding Ideas