Well WWW readers, I have a truly Wonderland wedding for you today. Squeal.
Laura and Joe tied the knot on Saturday 23rd August 2014 at Thrumpton Hall, Nottingham. They went for an Alice in Wonderland theme following their joint 30th birthday celebrations come proposal.
They injected so many playful elements into their stylish day, one of my favourites is the magnifying glass table plan, so whimsy. Then there were the pretty flowers in tea pots, gorgeous bridesmaids and flower maids carrying confetti and cute sign-age.
Laura and Joe totally upped the style stakes. Laura donned a stunning custom made gown with 1940s style hair and make up. While Joe was suited and booted in Ted Baker, colour pop tie, brogues and sweet badges. Glorious.
Thanks so very much to the fabulous Lifeline Photography for sharing these amazing images today.
THE PROPOSAL | 4th February 2012. Our joint 30th birthday party, held in central London. The theme of the party was kings and queens. Laura was dressed as a 30th birthday prom queen and Joe was dressed as Freddie Mercury.
Joe had made a video to one of our favourite songs, I LIKE by The Divine Comedy, which he played in front of a room full of our friends and family before getting down on one knee. The prom queen said yes!
That evening had been blighted by a freak snow blizzard, but our amazing guests braved the conditions (and affected London transport!) to come out and play. When we emerged from the venue at the end of the night, London was covered in a blanket of snow – it felt like we were part of a Richard Curtis movie!
Link to the proposal video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF_3vQn1P64 (or type ‘I Love Laura’ into YouTube)
THE VISION | We met at secondary school in Nottingham so it was important for us to get married in our home town. We tried to ensure that as much of the day as possible was locally sourced from East Midlands suppliers.
Since the decorative theme of our Kings and Queens 30th birthday party was playing card suits, we decided to continue the playing card theme into our wedding with a touch of Alice in Wonderland.
Laura is a children’s book editor and the company she works for was the original publisher of
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, so we utilised the story’s original John Tenniel illustrations which nicely complemented the vintage tones we incorporated in the day.
The most important thing for us was to give our guests a good time. We tried to create as many fun elements as possible and playful Alice touches to spot throughout the day.
The drinks reception had a village fete theme with a brass band, coconut shy, hoopla and croquet, and pin badge prizes for the winners and losers (Coconut King/Queen, Coconut Calamity, Hoopla Hero, Hopeless at Hoopla). Our ushers ran a book for guests to place bets on the total length of the wedding speeches, with half the winnings being donated to a children’s charity, The Flying Seagull Project, which Joe is involved in. The winner also donated her prize money to the charity.
At the evening party, we had an Alice Auditions photo booth with lots of Alice props for people to dress up.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Finding the venue was easy as Joe grew up in Thrumpton, so we booked the church and hall two years before the wedding to give us time to save money.
As we’d decided to get married on the bank holiday weekend, we sent out our save the dates ten months ahead of the wedding, before our guests got booked up! We followed up with the invites four months before the date.
We started to jot down ideas for the details of the day a year before the wedding and began booking suppliers and sourcing wedding items at the start of 2014, eight months before the wedding. Because we wanted to include so many little details in the day, we had to allow a good amount of time for all the sourcing and making.
THE VENUE | The wedding took place in the small village of Thrumpton in Nottingham, and the service was held in the tiny village church, All Saints.
After the service, we walked down the lane with our guests to Thrumpton Hall where we enjoyed a village fete style drinks reception in the rose garden and grounds.
We continued the rest of the day – dinner and dancing – in the venue’s marquee which was embellished with lots of small Alice details.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: A bespoke Kula Tsurdiu gown, The Nottingham Lace Market Boutique. Underwear: Personalised embroidered silk French knickers from Just For Eve (Not On the High Street) – Joe’s children’s entertainer name is ‘Joe Jangles’ so our friends call us ‘Mr and Mrs Jangles’. Shoes: Handmade crystal prom shoes from AngelBlingBox (Etsy). Daytime jewellery: Seed pearl necklace and bracelet from Highland Angel (Not On the High Street). Sparkly zirconia earrings from Pure Rain Designs (Etsy). Evening jewellery: Swarovski pearl two-tier necklace from Pure Rain Designs (Etsy). Crystal bangle bracelets from jewels4divas (eBay) Shawl: Bride’s own, family heirloom. Hair and make-up: Loose curls and winged eyeliner with raspberry red lips to create a classic 1940’s style.
FINDING THE DRESS | Laura had a specific design in mind for a 1940’s style evening gown. Being from Nottingham, it was really important that the dress was made with Nottingham Lace. Laura came across Kula Tsurdiu’s boutique when searching for a wedding dressmaker who uses Nottingham Lace. She instantly fell in love with her designs and found the perfect dress which Kula then adapted into the bespoke design Laura had in mind.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit and waistcoat: Italian Silk Prince Charles check from Ted Baker. Shoes: Brown Derby Brogues from Ted Baker. Pocket Square: Mrs Bow Tie. Tie: Orange knitted silk, from The House of Ties (Joe wanted his tie to add a dramatic splash of colour). Lapel pin: Pewter rabbit from WedCats (eBay).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Laura walked up the aisle to The Blower’s Daughter by Damian Rice
Laura and Joe walked down the aisle to You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates. Hymn: Jerusalem (William Blake).
Our friends did three readings: He Never Leaves The Seat Up (Anonymous) read by our friends, Michelle and Matt
Uutitled Poem written specially for us by our friend Tom and read by him and his partner FIroza Corinthians bible passage read by our usher, Paul.
Our friend, Anna, sang two songs on acoustic guitar during the signing of the register – All Of Me by John Legend and Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell.
We did our fully choreographed first dance to Have You Ever Been In Love? by The Divine Comedy.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Susanna (blue dress), Lauren (purple dress), Charlotte (pink dress) and Stephanie (green dress). Their dresses were handmade by Alison at Sew Retro. Laura sourced the spotty fabric from Fabric Inspirations.
The three flower maids are the bride’s grown up nieces, Chloe, Georgia and Adele. They walked down the aisle with the bride’s nephews, Kyle and Matthew. Their dresses were from Lindy Bop. Matt and Kyle wore their own suits and we gave them floral tie and pocket squares from New Look.
THE FLOWERS | Supplied and arranged by Mark Webster of Webster and Son Florists. We wanted brightly coloured wild flowers to look as though they’d just been scooped up from a meadow.
Bouquets: Laura had loosely gathered pale pink English Roses, Daisies, red Carnations, red Gerberas, yellow Freesias, purple Lisanthus.
The bridesmaids had loosely gathered white Daisies and Gerberas and purple Anemones to complement the colours worn by the flower maids. The flowermaids had small bunches of daisies hair.
Laura wore a single purple Anemone to match the colour of the flower maid dresses and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The bridesmaids wore white Gerberas. The flower maids wore small daisies.
Buttonholes and corsages: Purple Lisanthus, yellow Freesias, white Daisies decorative flowers.
Rose trees at the church and in the grounds of the hall. Large trees in the marquee for an added Alice in Wonderland touch. Wild English meadow flowers arranged in vintage teapots for the centrepieces – Laura’s father’s homegrown flowers in jars outside the church and at the hall.
CATERING | Our original caterer let us down just three weeks before the wedding. Imagine the horror! Fortunately, our bridesmaid, Charlotte, recommended Saffron Catering to us, and they were fabulous! They pulled together the original menu we had planned, and they executed it with lots of fun little Alice touches. They were on hand for the entire wedding day so we never had to worry about a thing.
Drinks reception: Prosecco with elderflower and mint. Assorted savoury and sweet canapés, with rice paper Alice in Wonderland cards for decoration Dinner menu.
Starter: Trio of flavours: Cucumber and Watermelon Gazpacho (with ‘Drink Me’ labels around the shot glasses). Mini Duck Confit or Goats Cheese Tart Spicy Potato Beignets.
Main course: Choice of pie (Lamb and Mint / Beef / Chicken and Leek or Vegetable), with tarragon mash, seasonable vegetables and port wine jus.
Dessert: Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea: Queen of Hearts’ Jam Tarts. Mini Scones served with Jam and Cream. Mini Chocolate Brownies. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Liquid Cherry Bakewell Tart (with ‘Eat Me’ labels round the glasses).
Evening: Hog roast cooked on a spit.
THE CAKE | Made by Briana Bridgen via our caterer. We designed a three-tier topsy-turvy Mad Hatter cake. Each tier was a different colour and flavour sponge – red velvet, rum, chocolate. We wanted the colours and patterns to echo the bridesmaids’ dresses and bouquets.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Lifeline Photography (Hannah Webster).
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Bright, varied colours, playful notes of Alice in Wonderland and vintage country garden were the main themes for the look of the day.
Church: Rose trees. Small jars of Laura’s father’s homegrown flowers lining the church path. The confetti was brightly coloured paper discs, which our flower maids carried in small white buckets.
Drinks reception in the garden: Signs handmade by Joe (This Way, That Way, Other Way / Jangles Wedding / Joe and Laura 23rd August 2014). Croquet set with playing cards, model flamingos and a “Can you play croquet?” sign to echo the rose garden in Alice. Hoopla and coconut shy stalls with ‘Hop Up For Hoopla!’ and ‘Let’s Go Coconuts!’ signs. Small jars of Laura’s father’s homegrown flowers on outdoor tables. Rice paper Alice in Wonderland playing cards on the canapés
Dinner and party in the marquee: Vintage crockery. Vintage teapots with wild flowers for the table centre pieces. Lots of brightly coloured handmade paper pompoms. Bunting. Trees. Lots of photographs – framed and hanging – of Laura and Joe with friends and family, and photos of relatives on their wedding days. Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass books. Sweet jars. Vintage cases for wedding cards and dressing up props (‘Cards are nice’ and ‘Alice Auditions’ signs). Playing cards and Alice quotes for the table numbers, and individual playing cards for the place settings.
Our seating plan was based on the quote, “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”, with each table being a playing card number. The seating arrangement was printed in small type so guests had to read it through a looking glass.
Sweet bags on each place setting with ‘Fill Me’ labels. ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ labels on the food and drink during the meal. (We had a ‘Liquid Cherry Bakewell’ as one of the mini desserts – almond and cherry liquors with a cherry on a flamingo cocktail stick and an ‘Eat Me’ label).
THE HONEYMOON | We love to travel and explore on holiday, so Hawaii seemed like the perfect place to combine relaxing and taking in all the sights. Our trip took in: San Francisco – Hawaii Big Island (to see Kilauea Volcano) – Hawaii Kauai – Las Vegas.
Since we had no need for anything for our home, we instead asked our guests for a small donation towards our honeymoon as a wedding gift.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was memorable! Everything went to plan, and our guests told us they had a great time, which was exactly what we had set out to achieve. A few stand out moments . . .
The wedding service: our vicar was fantastic, a real performer. Walking down the aisle to You Make My Dreams Come True and the two of us stepping outside the church and realising what had just happened!
The speeches: Running the bet kept everyone engaged, and it was great that the winner donated her winnings to the money raised for charity.
Our first dance. Despite Laura momentarily going wrong, all the practising paid off! The fireworks!
The After party: A few of us continued the party in one of the bedrooms at the hall. The best moment was when the two of us went to our room at the end of the night and closed the door on the world and took in the day.
The day after: We held a barbecue for people to drop in and out. We even recreated our first dance, this time with no mistakes!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The planning: Allow plenty of time for the little details, especially if you plan to make things yourself. They may be small, but they by far take the most time! If you intend to have a band for the evening do, make sure you book early. They go fast!
The day: Take ten minutes out during the day to have a moment together. Make sure you have an energy drink available for mid-way through the day – you’ll be grateful for it! You’ve made all the plans and now they’re out of your hands, so just have fun!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Thrumpton Hall, Nottingham
Make-up | Make Up By Jenni
Hair | Adele Deacon, Indigo Hair (01509 2374161)
Wedding dress | Kula Tsurdiu
Photographer | Lifeline Photography
Wedding bands | David J Thomas
Flowers | Webster & Son (01509 502220)
Catering | Saffron Catering
Vintage crockery hire | Vintage My Wedding
Brass band | Derwent Brass
Games stalls | Electric Rainbow Entertainments
Band | Mulder and Co – Tailored Entertainment
Fireworks | Fireworks International
Wedding stationery design (save the date, invite, table numbers, place cards) | Kritter Design
Wedding stationery printing | Instantprint
Seating plan | James Brown Illustration
Bunting | flyingstart (eBay)
Confetti | FlumpyButtons (Etsy)
Shoes | AngelBlingBox (Etsy)
Earrings & Necklace | Pure Rain Designs (Etsy)
Pocket Square | Mrs Bow Tie
Incredible. What a way to start the week :-)
Thanks so much to Laura and Joe for sharing their wonderful wedding with us here xo Lou