I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You guys rock! I mean just look at today’s WWW reader real wedding as an example. A day jammed packed with gorgeous styling ideas, cool outfits and immense imagery. Let’s find out more shall we?
WWW readers Chris and Kayleigh were married on the 28th October 2016 at Tissington Hall followed by a tipi reception at Ashbourne Self Catering’s Shinningford Farm in Derbyshire. The vision was clear from the beginning of their planning, a massive and relaxed weekend-long party with all of their nearest and dearest. Sounds pretty perfect to me! They chose an autumn date, and what an inspired choice. The colours were decadent, deep and seasonal. With blooms in burgundy, mustard and blue, which totally stole my heart. I mean just look at Kayleigh’s bouquet and flower crown, swoon!
Talking of Kayleigh’s bridal look, she looked incredible. She chose to wear ‘Patchouli’ by Claire Pettibone, wore dramatic make up and Christian Louboutin heels. Chris meanwhile went for a country tweed style with a brown herringbone suit, yellow tie and brown shoes. Then there were the maids in mismatched grey dresses with yellow pashminas, which really tied them together perfectly. You’re going to be so in love with these images WWWers.
Bloom Weddings, I cannot thank you enough for sharing these wonderful photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | 2nd August, 2013. Ugly-crying on a cliff overlooking beautiful Whitby.
We arrived on a Friday afternoon, after driving through horizontal Yorkshire rain across Brontë-esque moors, and entered Whitby in blazing sunshine. Chris suggested trekking up the 199 steps to get a better view of the sunset before tea, so off we went. The view was, as always, pretty breathtaking (as was the climb…), so we wandered as far as we could around the side of the church to get a better look. After a few minutes, Chris turned to me and said, ‘You know I love you, don’t you, and you know I want to spend the rest of my life with you? Well, I’ve brought you here for a reason.’
I remember looking at him and exclaiming, ‘But we’re having fish and chips tomorrow!’
There was an awkward pause where Chris looked bemused, but not affronted (luckily), before he took both my hands in his, got down on one knee… (cue my ugly-crying and squeaks of, ‘Don’t do this!’) and asked me to marry him. I obviously said yes :)
THE VISION | Simple: a massive, relaxed, weekend-long party in a tipi with all the people we love most in the world.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I actually went back to uni to do my Master’s a few weeks after we got engaged, so we didn’t actually start planning until late 21014. This gave us two years to flesh everything out.
We did everything together, which sounds madly stressful, but was actually really lovely. It meant that the wedding was ‘us’, and that was what we wanted. It was also really important to us that everything about our wedding had some special meaning to us, or connected to our families in some way.
So we found a venue where we could stay with our nearest and dearest for the whole weekend, and where we were able to choose our own suppliers. As Chris and I are big real ale fans, we also wanted somewhere we’d be able to crack open a couple of barrels of our favourite beers, bought from a local Nottingham brewery. Plus, we also really wanted a tipi, so the place we chose needed to have the space to accommodate one.
This seems like it was a big ask, but once we decided what we wanted, it meant there were only a few places to choose from, and that really helped us make a decision.
THE VENUE | We actually held the ceremony at Tissington Hall in Derbyshire, and travelled back to Shiningford Farm at Carsington for the reception. Derbyshire was a natural choice – we live in Nottingham and it’s right on our doorstep, plus it’s wild and beautiful. And because it’s in the middle of the country, it was an easy place for our guests to get to.
We fell in love with Tissington – it’s so old and quirky – and we adored the library. It just felt ‘right’.
Shiningford was perfect. It had enough rooms for our parents and the bridal party to stay, and there was plenty of accommodation nearby for our families and friends.
Plus, it had a gorgeous outdoor space for the tipi and we could stay there all weekend!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My wedding gown was ‘Patchouli’ from Claire Pettibone’s Romantique collection.
I decided against a veil as it just wasn’t me, so I accessorised with a simple flower crown and a pair of Louboutins (eeeep!), which later became a pair of sparkly high-top Converse.
I also wore some very old and very dear jewellery – a fork bracelet Chris made me when we first started going out almost 13 years ago and which I’ve worn everyday since, alongside a gold and garnet ring of his nan’s and some closely-matching garnet earrings.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t really want to look like a bride, and I’ve never really been a girly girl, so the thought of trying on endless wedding dresses scared me a little.
I did a bit of research beforehand, and the more I looked (on Pinterest, natch) the more I fell in love with Claire Pettibone’s designs. They’re so elegant, ethereal and not too bridal. Just what I was after! She’s created some truly stunning dresses, but in the end I kept coming back to Patchouli from her Romantique collection.
I found a shop in Nottingham which stocked her designs, including Patchouli, and made an appointment. I tried on three dresses, all of which were beautiful, but just not… me. Then it was Patchouli’s turn. As soon as I tried her on, I knew she was for me, and when I left the changing room, my mam – who did very well not to cry throughout the whole process(!) – loved it too!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Chris always knew he wanted to get married in tweed. Not only is it super stylish and all the groomsmen loved the idea of wearing it, it was also a nod back to my time at uni in Edinburgh.
He chose a gorgeous brown herringbone three-piece tweed suit from Walker Slater, which he wore with a crisp white shirt, sunflower-yellow fabric tie from Asos and his trusty brown Loakes. Oh, and a Paul Smith pocket square – he needed a bit of Nottingham in there somewhere! He looked so handsome :)
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We deliberated over the readings for ages. I’m a big reader (I even have ‘Reader, I married him’ from Jane Eyre engraved on the inside of my wedding ring) and so we wanted our readings to be beautiful but meaningful.
In the end, we went with Sonnet 116 (Let me not to the marriage of true minds…) by William Shakespeare, and Boy, Girl, Flower, Bicycle by M K Joseph, which reminded us so much of when we first got together.
As for music, I walked down the aisle to The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back (which apparently had everyone in fits of laughter!); we signed the register to Arrival of the Birds by The Cinematic Orchestra; we had photographs taken to Turtle by Bonobo; and we exited as husband and wife to Autumn by Vivaldi (recomposed by Max Richter).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My four best girls in the world were my bridesmaids, and my cousin Lauren was my beautiful maid of honour.
It was really important to Chris and I that the bridesmaids (and groomsmen and dads!) felt comfortable and happy in their swanky wedding get-up, and we weren’t concerned with everyone being matchy-matchy as long as they felt a million dollars. So in the end, we asked them to choose their own suits and dresses.
I mentioned to the girls that I’d had visions of grey, and they all chose the most amazing dresses and looked absolutely beautiful on the day. As part of their gifts, we gave them all a sunflower-yellow shawl to wear (which weirdly and quite accidentally matched the groomsmen’s ties), which brought out the colours in their bouquets really nicely.
THE FLOWERS | Our show-stopping flowers were arranged by the amazingly talented Marianne from Frances & Rose.
They use all locally grown, seasonal flowers fresh from their Peak District plot and create the most incredible bouquets.
Marianne was an absolute delight to work with, and very accommodating. Not only did she take our super-vague ideas (‘Autumn tied together…’) and create something fantastic, she also swaddled Nottingham lace around the stems of my bouquet and my cousin’s.
Marianne also carefully wrapped my beloved grandmother’s pearl necklace around the stems of my flowers and pinned them in place with my grandfather’s Russian convoy medal, which meant they could be with me all day too. This meant a lot to me as neither of them are with us any more. I adored my bouquet as soon as I saw it.
Marianne also made my lovely flower crown, the buttonholes, bridesmaids’ bouquets and two gorgeous corsages for our mothers.
THE CAKE | Our cake was a three tier naked Victoria sponge cake with a trail of individually handmade sugar flowers. Pretty damn epic! And it was scrummy too!
It was made by a friend of my mam’s, and we couldn’t be happier – it was everything we wanted it to be!
We also had a dessert table, and lots of our guests made cakes and goodies for everyone to share. It went down a treat!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The incredible Chris and Anii of Bloom Weddings. We really can’t recommend these guys enough!
We decided really early on that one of the most important things about our day was amazing photographers, and Bloom Weddings were perfect.
We were super nervous and super awkward in front of the camera, so we decided to have an engagement shoot. Chris and Anii were great – they were really fun to work with, have fantastic taste in TV shows, and really put us at ease. Plus, they take the most gorgeous photos! So when it came to the wedding, we were really relaxed and happy in front of the camera. And we couldn’t be happier with the images!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Chris and I have been together forever (during uni, after uni, before Chris moved to Nottingham…), and have spent much of our relationship travelling up and down the country on trains to visit each other. So we decided that our tables should be named after all the railway stations we’d travelled through to see each other, and our table plan should be a massive map of the UK. Easy!
Our best man, Al, is a very gifted graphic designer, and very kindly offered to design all of our wedding stationery for us as a wedding gift. He created everything from the save the date cards to the invites, table names and little replica train ticket place settings, and it was amazing! He even created a logo for us too :)
As the tables in the tipi were so narrow, we didn’t want to have too much cluttering them up, so we went for really simple decorations: just flowers in a jam jar on each table. Chris’s mum arranged them for us, and they just finished off the settings.
Gingham bunting, which we borrowed from our friends who got married a few years ago, hung above the tables, and Chris made all the signs himself (with a little help from me, of course). We also used my grandfather’s old navy kit bag as a present bag. We just wrapped a big red ribbon around it to give it a festive feel. It was so lovely to include it on the day. And our guest book – well, guest poster – what else can we say???
As with everything we organised, it was important to us to give favours that meant something to us personally. In the end, we chose to give money to the Alzheimer’s Society, in honour of Chris’s nan and two of my great uncles, and gave everyone a little sparkly forget-me-not favour. We were really touched when we noticed that everyone was wearing them. It was a really lovely thing.
But really, the tipi didn’t need much decorating – it was festooned with fairy lights and a glitterball, so we just added little bits here and there to fancy it up.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent the week after our wedding at Scale Hill at Loweswater in the Lake District – a gift from our parents. It was somewhere I used to visit as a child, so it meant a lot to go back and share it with my new husband.
Then later this year, we’re off on a three week inter-railing tour of north-west Europe and Scandinavia!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Kayleigh: the few moments me and my mam had, just the two of us, while she helped me into my dress; driving through Ashbourne in dad’s car on the way to the ceremony and waving at all the bemused people (dad gets really travel sick so drove us there while the bridesmaids and my mam travelled behind in the wedding car); seeing Chris in his suit for the first time; saying our vows; the speeches.
Chris: bacon sandwiches with the groomsmen; welcoming the guests; waiting for Kayleigh to walk down the aisle; struggling to get Kayleigh’s ring on; the drive back to Shiningford in the wedding car and going through a ford; the night time photos.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Everyone says it, but take time to take stock. Spend some time together just watching your guests have fun.
Also, eat the food and drink the drinks! Dance, dance, dance! Relax and have fun. And above all, book an amazing photographer!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Bloom Weddings
Flowers | Frances & Rose
MUA | Rochelle O’Brien
Suit | Walker Slater
Venue | Ashbourne Self Catering
Ceremony | Tissington Hall
Tipi | Peaktipis
Car | Cupid Carriages
Hair | Victoria Rose Hair Design
Dress | Claire Pettibone
Oh my. How utterly beautiful.
Chris and Kayleigh, thank you both so very much for sharing your wedding here at WWW xo Lou