This wedding is dream like; happiness, love, fun and style all rolled into one.
Billy and Chloë tied the knot on the 22nd August 2013, with their ceremony at Clifton Hill House followed by a reception at Goldney Hall, Bristol. They wanted a relaxed day, which was vintage inspired and full of colourful flowers.
The flowers were pretty immense, a gorgeous array of blooms which were arranged by Billy’s mum, and Chloë had a divine flower crown and wild looking bouquet.
Chloë donned a 1930s inspired grecian feel dress with her hair plaited and a pink lip. Billy went for a suit by Next, which he teamed with a floral print bow tie. Ekkk!
Thanks so much to Blissful Wedding Photography for sharing their amazing photographs with us today.
The Proposal… After knowing each other since early teenagedom and dating during and since school we decided we wanted to get married in September 2009! We were both students and low on cash so both chipped in for an engagement ring, bought from a great antique jewellers “Amethyst Antiques” in Clifton, Bristol. The proposal took place on December 30th 2009. We had been rushing around all day, nothing going to plan, and we both knew it was going to happen that evening… We booked a restaurant, Sergio’s in Bristol, then drove round the south of the city, late at night and in the pouring rain! Billy drove Chloe to a spot in Totterdown at the top of the ‘steps’. We spent a lot of time there when we were dating, especially when Chloe wouldn’t let Billy in her house so we extended the dates there! We could see the school we went to, both our houses and all of Bristol! It seemed the perfect spot for the proposal. So Billy got his knee wet, Chloe cried and we both said yes.
The Vision for the Day… The vision for the day was for an informal wedding where all our best friends and family could attend and have fun. We wanted to have an informal, relaxed, vintage feel with lots of cakes, music, bunting, candles and colourful flowers.
The Planning Process… We initially started planning in November 2012 for May 2014. Both our Mum’s suggested Goldney Hall in Clifton as a location and after seeing it we decided nowhere else would be as beautiful, and provide the indoor and outdoor space we wanted. However in late January 2013 Billy received a place on a teaching course to start in September so we brought the date forward to August 2013. We managed to secure Goldney Hall for a new date … and on a Thursday which saved us heaps of money! When this was all sorted we called upon friends and family for all sorts of help: bunting creations, invitation designs, stag and hen arrangements, cake making, all manner of decoration, music-making and flower arranging! The wedding really was designed and put together by everyone we loved and it was perfect for exactly that reason.
Budget… We didn’t have a big budget for the wedding and we fell well under average. We made cuts wherever possible: As we mentioned we had friends and families doing jobs and we had it on a Thursday. We had an after-party at a bar we have both worked in (Bocabar) and everyone was incredibly generous along the way. This meant we could splash out in a few areas, such as by entertaining our guests with an incredible magician Darren Campbell and gypsy-funk band Fromage en Feu.
The Venue… The ceremony took place in a lovely room in Clifton Hill House, just across the road from our reception venue Goldney Hall. Goldney Hall is an absolutely stunning building with creeping vines and a huge grounds with a tower and a canal – all very close to the centre of Bristol and hidden away. The room we celebrated in is a orangery and had windows and doors across one entire wall which let the 22 degree sunshine in all day and gave our child guests an escape route during our lengthy speeches!
The Dress + Accessories… The dress was a creation by Robyn Ellis. It was made from a combination of French Lace, chiffon and silk off cuts. It was a Grecian style, very ethereal and floaty with a low back, and it used beading to give it a 1930s edge! Chloe accessorised with a floral headband of summer pastel flowers crafted beautifully by Lily Violet May a Florist in Bristol.
Finding the Dress… Chloe initially fell in love with a Jenny Packham 1930s style dress. Miles out of her price range she searched for an alternative, very nearly settling for second hand version that would not have been given to her till two weeks before the wedding, as long as the bride wearing it in July didn’t ruin it in any way! She decided this was too risky and so asked the wonderful Robyn Ellis to design the dress. This was no mean feat as Chloe had to face the fact she could not be covered in sequins and beading from head to toe on her budget! Between Robyn, and Chloe’s mum Mo and sister Issy, the dress was dreamt up and created. It was stunning, and Chloe received the compliment of ‘Grecian Goddess’ on numerous occasions on the day. Although Billy earned no points in stating as Chloe and Billy sat down to sign the registers “This isn’t what I imagined you wearing … I imagined you wearing a dress like Kate Moss” … that dress being designed by Jenny Packham! However the dress was incredible and Chloe, Billy and everyone there adored it! Getting it made rather than buying it from a shop not only meant the dress was original and could be modified, it also actually made it cheaper than most dresses off-the-rail in fancy retailers! Robyn was so easy to talk to, so incredibly unassuming, warm and honest, and most importantly unbelievably talented.
Groom’s Attire… The groom felt and hopefully looked like a model! He was fabulously decked out in a blue three-piece suit from Next! This was supplemented deliciously with light grey suede shoes, a white shirt (Topman) and a hand made, William-Morris-esque, floral bow-tie from Brooklyn!
The Readings + Music… We had three readings in our wonderful ceremony. One poem was incredibly written and delivered by one of the bridesmaids entitled “and their cornerstone was love”. Another bridesmaid delivered an informal, non-religious so-called-“sermon” having known Chloe and Billy since they were in their teens and watched their relationship grow. The last was read by the groom’s sister: a song by Tim Minchin – ‘If I didn’t have you’, which had the whole room laughing as it explained why if we didn’t have each other we would probably have … somebody else! Two friends accompanied the signing of the register by beautifully signing and playing the piano to The Mamas and the Papas and Nina Simone! The registrar commented that the choice of readings was so personal, honest and moving, that it was one of the best weddings he had ever officiated.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… Chloe had a team of wonderful bridesmaids. Her sister Issy was incredible and played as much part in the planning of the wedding as Chloe and Billy did. Chloe had six of her best friends, who have known Chloe and Billy for years and supported us to make sure we made it this far! They all bought and chose their own dresses. Chloe gave them a general theme of pastel colours and amazingly all six bought colours that looked like they had been selected and matched by Gok Wan himself. Lastly Chloe had her two littlest sisters and niece to add the cute-and-noicy factor! This team of bridesmaid was matched in size and attitude by Billy’s three best men (all staggered in ages between 7 and 47) and 9 ushers!
The Flowers… Chloe absolutely adores flowers and her one (!) demand was that there was to be lots of them! We really love spring flowers (peonies, vuvuzela roses and poppies) however the end of August was a little too late to provide these. Billy’s mum came to the rescue and after a few pre-dawn trips to the flower markets of Bristol hundreds of flowers were purchased and arranged to fill the wedding with colour and joy using roses, wax flowers, corn flowers, scabious, cosmos, lisianthas and daisies to name but a few! Billy’s Mum Lal also made the bouquets for all the bridesmaids (apart from Issy who along with Chloe had her bouquet made by Lily Violet May) and all the button holes, along side around 50 mini vases, 10 large vases and 2 pedestal displays! The flowers were wonderful and cost a fraction of the price of using a florist for the whole wedding. We even managed to make the remnants into mini-bouqets when we broke the venue down, which we passed out to friends when we all had breakfast together the next day.
The Cake… The cake was a three tiered combination. The bottom was hummingbird carrot cake, the second was Madeira and the top was chocolate – all finished with a buttercream icing. The groom’s talented auntie made it! It was decorated with fresh flowers and enjoyed by all!
Your Photographer… Our photographer, Oxana, was absolutely incredible. We met her on a number of occasions prior to the wedding day. We went through the day with her at the venue and she gave us brilliantly creative ideas about how to best document the wedding day. She worked tirelessly on the day – starting right at the beginning with Chloe at about 10am. She stayed with us up until 10 or 11 at night! She was friendly with all the other guests, carefully selecting and directing large, rowdy parties into what can only be described as glorious photos! She delivered colour and black and white photos in a wonderful narrative that showed the true celebration of our day. It was someone we really invested in and she was well worth it when we look back at the photos!
The Details + Decor… We went for a warm, informal, colourful, floral theme. We used bunting, candles, fairy lights, flowers, vintage mismatched crockery, lanterns, colourful signs, table numbers and plans, to make sure everyone could enjoy a fun and informal atmosphere.
The Honeymoon… The honeymoon was a week in Corsica. We had a fabulous time. We have friends who have a spare holiday apartment there so went for this as we were on a budget! We rented a car a drove over 800km around the splendiferous mountains, finding secluded ‘vasques’ (turquoise pools of water in the mountains). We went canoeing down a river from the hills to the sea on one of the days – it was glorious. We also visited mountain villages, coastal towns and went on adventurous walks by the beach. It wasn’t even dampened too much by Chloe chickening out of a rock-climb and having to “evacuate” down the mountain in shame!
Memorable Moments… One of the most memorable was both of us being lifted up on chairs in the reception venue by all our friends, while they shouted “mazel tov” at us as we bounced up and down to the gurgling vibes of gypsy jazz. Chloe nearly ruined her bright white dress with fear at this point… Ha. Other moments include the ushers being loud and obnoxious, standing on ornaments and statues of a very formal and well respected grounds… The bridesmaids performed a surprise poem during the speeches about how fabulous Chloe is and Billy ruined the sound system at Bocabar trying to DJ a drum-and-bass set while rather intoxicated…. In fact that moment was only “memorable” for one of us!
Advice for Other Couples… Get your friends to help you. Get your family to help you. Do things yourself. Save money. Both of you, get involved! The more you put in, the more amazing it will feel on the day. Our day was special because it was created by everyone else there. We felt so loved and we could never recreate that again! Sod Bridezillas and useless ‘Don’t tell the bride’ grooms – both of you have a part to play – it’s both of your wedding, make the most of it.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photographer | Oxana Mazur
Dress Designer | Robyn Ellis
Venue | Bristol University
Venue | Bocabar
Bouquet & Flowercrown | Lily Violet May Florist
Band | Fromage en Feu
Magician | Darren Campell
Oh so dreamy. I just LOVE this wedding :-)
Thanks so very much to Billy and Chloë for sharing their wedding day with us here at WWW XOXO Lou