My inner magpie is on high alert this morning, you will see why shortly.
WWW readers Adam and Alison tied the knot on the 22nd February 2014 in Brighton. They originally booked tipis on the seafront for their reception but just days before the wedding the weather meant they had to find an alternative venue. They kept calm and found an alternative that worked so very well, the Hilton Hotel Brighton, which provided the perfect space for the green and gold simple décor.
Alison is one super stylish bride, she donned a gold sequin dress by Debenhams which she teamed with fur shrug and simple white roses. The boys wore Next suits with emerald green ties to match the pretty bridesmaid dresses.
I so love the fun balloons with tassels and that amazing wedding cake by Choccywoccydoodah, scrumptious!
Thanks so very much to the amazing Red on Blonde Photography for sharing their images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | It was my birthday and we went out for a Greek meal. I have always loved the bandstand on Brighton seafront so we took a stroll there before dinner. I think that Adam wanted to do it then but there was a few people around so we went to get dinner. After dinner we went back to the bandstand (I started to get a bit suspicious at this point) and he got down on one knee and popped the question!
THE VISION | I think we were a bit overwhelmed and undecided about what we wanted. We also found that we both have totally different ideas on what makes a perfect wedding. I was keen on the idea of an abandoned warehouse with catering from a food truck and Adam fancied something a bit more traditional and fancy. We both agreed that we wanted everybody to have a fun day. So we worked from that!
THE PLANNING | We were engaged for around 11 months so pulled everything together fairly quickly. We are both ‘last minute’ kind of people so even if we had been engaged for five years, we would have organised it all in the last six months! We spent evenings after work doing bits and bobs and coaxed a lot of people (with wine and cake!) to help us in the month running up to the big day!
BUDGET | As cheap as possible (how romantic!) We didn’t want to spend too much as we are hoping to buy a house this year. We made a lot of decorative bits to cut costs and my mum made one of my dresses so we managed to save money here and there. Due to last minute circumstances we ended up ignoring the budget a bit but think that we ended up spending just less than £12k.
THE VENUE | Well, where do I start? We chose a beautiful church near to our house for the ceremony and a local reception venue as well. We had originally booked three tipis situated right on Brighton seafront. We had seen the venue a few times and we were really excited as they were so unique, cozy and beautiful! Unfortunately, due to the awful weather we were having in February, we found out 4 days before the wedding that the tipis could not be put up. We were obviously disappointed but had no choice but to cancel the venue and find another one. At this point, the support that people were offering made us realise that it isn’t the venue that matters, it’s about having everyone together, celebrating and having a good time. As we had a lot of guests staying in the Hilton Metropole, we called them on the off chance that they had a spare function room. They did and we went down that evening to look at it. I met the amazing events planners the next day and they sorted out everything. I cannot fault them! When people found out what had happened, they were amazed at how relaxed we were – I think that this was down to the staff at the Hilton who had everything under control.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I had two dresses! (What a diva) I didn’t really have much of an idea about what I wanted but thought that I might want a short fifties style dress. I had a few dress trying on days with my mum and sisters which was great fun although it didn’t give me much of an idea about what I wanted. In the back of my mind I wanted a gold sparkly dress so went searching on the internet one evening and found a ‘Jenny Packham for Debenhams’ dress in the sale (and a size smaller than I am to be honest!) so bought it on a whim! I took it to my mum’s one weekend and when I tried it on, I didn’t want to take it off – it fit perfectly and although there was a bit of a sewing mishap in it, (I ended up getting more of a discount in the end!) my super mum fixed it! I wore this dress with some shoes that I already owned that matched perfectly. And they were comfy too, which was a bonus!
My second dress was made by my mum from a pattern of a 1950s dress. We chose the fabric together one weekend and she started making it at home. Every time I went home to visit, a little bit more would have been completed – it was such a fun part of the wedding planning process and she did amazingly well. The dress was perfect (although she saw every imperfection!) I wore this dress with some beautiful shoes! I picked up some ivory bridal shoes in the sale and took them to a great shop in Brighton where you can have shoes dyed and customised. I had them dyed the same colour as Adam’s tie and had the soles painted gold and glittery!
For accessories, I chose a headband (also Jenny Packham for Debenhams) and didn’t really have much else. Adam’s family gave me some beautiful diamond earrings on the morning of the wedding as well as a surprise gift from my husband-to-be – a diamond bracelet (from Tiffany – my ‘something blue’!)
GROOM’S ATTIRE | The boys were suited and booted in grey three piece suits from Next and they looked awesome. They each had a tie made from the same material as my bridesmaids dresses which tied everything in nicely. They each had a pair of ‘suit up’ cufflinks (from TV show ‘how I met your mother’) and wore their own brown brogues.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a few religious readings (as it was a Catholic ceremony) which were read by Adam’s sister, godmother, cousin and childhood friend and my two sisters and best friend. The music was pretty much chosen by our organist – I was quite set on having modern music to walk in / out to but soon realised that this wasn’t an option so went for some more traditional pieces. But to be honest I was too nervous to even notice the music on the day.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my wonderful sisters! They did a fantastic job of supporting me throughout the planning period and threw me the perfect hen do as well. They both helped out with the crafty bits and were brilliant when the drama with the venue came about – I was so thankful to have them both around me. They were also a dream to go dress shopping with – we went into a bridal shop (Ozone Bridal, Brighton) and chose the dresses in about ten minutes! They both looked stunning.
THE FLOWERS | I didn’t really want flowers (which didn’t go down well with anyone!) so in the end I went for simple white roses. The church flowers were arranged by a lady at the church and our bouquets were silk flowers that we picked up at a wedding fair and put together one weekend. My mum made all of the buttonholes with the offcuts from the bouquets.
THE CAKE | To be honest, this was the part of the wedding that got me excited – I love cake!! We looked online at a few chocolate cakes and also went down to ‘Choccywoccydoodah’ for a tasting session. Choccywoccydoodah won us over and we signed on the dotted line for our beautiful cake (they were actually cheaper than many online places so we thought it was a bit of a bargain – as well as tasting amazing!)
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I saw ‘Red on Blonde Photography’ (the lovely Toby and Han) on a few wedding blogs that I had visited and we both thought their photos were stunning. They perfectly capture the emotion and feeling of the day and their pictures tell a story of the whole event. Although they aren’t local (they are based in Derbyshire and we are in Brighton) we knew that we wanted to have them photograph our wedding. I am not very comfortable in front of the camera so we decided to have a ‘couples shoot’ to get used to being papped and meet Toby and Han. It was so worthwhile as we felt comfortable and at ease with them and also got some amazing shots (in 8 years together we don’t really have any decent photos of the two of us so it was so nice to finally have some!)
On the wedding day, Toby and Han were brilliant – they had such great ideas and took some fabulous photos. Looking through them when we received them was such a fun few hours as they had captured the feel of the day so well. My mum text me to say ‘the photos are wonderful. They have captured the day…so many smiles and so much love. I don’t know how you are going to choose a limited number to go in an album. It will be the size of an encyclopaedia!’
I would highly recommend Toby and Han to anyone – so professional, friendly and creative – they really have given us such a special momento of the wedding!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I wouldn’t say that there was a theme to the wedding – but we did go for a lot of sparkly gold and green touches! Both of our families spent a weekend together glittering the inside of jars, wrapping up ‘napolitaines’ (Mauritian cakes, as my father in law is Mauritian), framing all of the table names / table plans – it was a long and busy weekend (fuelled by cake, tea and wine) but it was also a fun and memorable one!
We arranged for an old routemaster to transport our guests from the church to the reception and gave them a whistlestop tour of Brighton with a glass of bubbles. This also allowed us some time to go and have our photos taken on the beach.
I made all of the invites, place names and order of services myself (I love paper crafts – I have made invites for three other weddings now!) so kept a theme of brown paper, green and gold glitter. Our guest book was a plain album accompanied by an instant camera for people to take photos of themselves and write a message. This went down a storm and we had such a giggle looking at all of the photos – they got more entertaining as the evening went on! We had napolitaine cakes and personalised badges as favours (these said things like ‘buy me a drink’, ‘here for the cake’, ‘ VIP guest’ and ‘where’s the bar?’) and also provided hundreds of glow sticks for added fun on the dancefloor!
On the tables we had lots of glittered up jars and a simple balloon as a centrepiece. Initially I was dead set on having oversize, round balloons with tassels but when we had booked the tipis, thought that we didn’t have any need for them. When we changed to the Hilton, I managed to source (in a day!) some large balloons and simple tassels that gave the tables a little something extra.
THE HONEYMOON | We haven’t booked anything yet but were gifted a spa weekend which we will be taking over Easter. Hopefully we will be going away this year but if not, may go away on our first wedding anniversary.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There really are so many! I think one of Adam’s memorable moments would have been on the morning of the wedding when his best men, the photographer and Adam went to have a few shots outside the house. Shortly after shutting the door, they realised that they had locked themselves out! Adam finally got hold of our neighbour and she kindly came to the rescue and let the boys in so they (thankfully) made it to the church on time!
Once I was dressed and ready, my sister received a mystery phone call telling her that ‘Doug knows where to take Ali’. Once we got outside, we saw that Adam had ordered a white London taxi (I thought I was getting a bog standard local taxi) all decorated with flowers – it was such a thoughtful surprise!
Later in the evening, after the band had finished playing, Adam’s Dad got up on stage and performed a few songs with a former bandmate which got everybody on the dancefloor – it was so spontaneous and at that moment we looked around at everybody and felt so lucky to have shared our special day with them!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Our main piece of advice would be that whatever happens, it is not about the ‘stuff’ and venue – it truly is about the people that you have around you. Things may go wrong but at the end of the day, if you have married the person you love, you have achieved what you set out to do!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Hilton Brighton
Photographer | Red on Blonde Photography
Bride’s dress | Debenhams
Bride’s shoes | Beretun Designs
Suits | Next
Bus | Southern Transit
Taxi | Wedding Taxi
Cake | Choccywoccydoodah
Band | The Mixtape
Wow so gorgeous, and it just goes to show that last minute changes or weather issues needn’t ruin your wedding day AT ALL.
Huge thanks goes to Adam and Alison for sharing their beautiful wedding with us here today XOXO Lou