This is officially the village hall wedding of my dreams. It has everything, from gold painted dinosaurs, to epic florals and a Russian army truck serving a BBQ. Yes you heard right, stay tuned to see the day in all it’s glory.
WWW readers Christopher and Emma were hitched on the 3rd September 2016 and hosted their wedding reception at Great Barrington village hall. With it’s beautiful beams and rustic character it was just perfect for their big party vision. Let me start with the most divine florals by WWW fave Flower Style Co. who created whimsical arrangements in an array of colours, which included seasonal dahlias. Oh my! Just look at Emma’s bouquet and the boho greenery swags in the hall, amazing. Emma also chose an incredible gown called Violet by Rue De Seine and with a pretty flower crown completing her look she looked super gorgeous. Christopher went for a blue suit by Ted Baker teamed with a classic tie and colour pop buttonhole. So stylish!
The hall was also decked in fairy lights and fun touches, like gold pineapples and a pimp your prosecco station. In fact much of their day was given a helping hand by creative loved ones, Emma’s mum is a chef and made the canapés, a friend made the cool letter lights, Emma’s brother served the BBQ and the cake was baked by a caterer friend. Simply wonderful.
Thanks so very much to Nicola Casey Photography for sharing these joy filled images.
THE PROPOSAL | It was a complete surprise. We were going to Liverpool for the weekend to see Chris’s family. On the way up Chris wanted to stop off at a part of the River Mersey. His dad died when he was younger and had his ashes scattered in the Mersey. That’s where he proposed. It was great that his dad was part of a really happy and big moment in our lives.
THE VISION | Just a big party.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | There wasn’t really a process to my planning. I booked the big things first, venue, church, bar and coaches, then just chilled out. That was until Chris and I sat down to write a to-do list. Turns out my ‘relaxed’ attitude was actually just laziness. I soon pulled my finger out.
THE VENUE | We live right by St Luke’s church so knew we wanted to get married there. I loved the idea of walking across the road arm in arm with my Dad.
For the reception we wanted somewhere that was relaxed and a blank canvas for us to make our own. I was already googling venues when we were on our way home from Liverpool. All the venues I found where we live in Cheltenham just were not what we had in mind; then I stumbled across Great Barrington village hall. It was stunning, big wooden beams and fantastic views. Chris was a little dubious at first as it was a half an hour drive from where we were getting married but he quickly changed his mind when saw just how perfect it was. Because it was quite far from where we were getting married we hired coaches to take everyone there and back. The journey home was hilarious, everyone singing and a few guests even snuck on some beers.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I really struggled with the dress, not my favourite part at all. I found a dress by Rue De Seine on Pinterest that I loved. There was only one shop in the whole of England that sold that designer and it was in the sample sale, fantastic! That was until it was sold two days before my appointment. I was planning on cancelling the whole trip down to London but my mum convinced me otherwise. I tried on another dress by the same designer, called Violet and loved it, also in the sample sale. Only problem was my boobs were too big and we couldn’t do it up.
I went to a couple of other bridal shops but just they just weren’t me, I began to feel really disheartened about the whole thing. One of my bridesmaids recommended looking on second hand websites to see if anyone was selling the Violet dress and unbelievably there it was in the right size and for £1,000 cheaper. The seller was in London so my friend Jon who lives in London said he would pick it up for me. He noticed that it was actually a size smaller than advertised, the same size I had tried on in the shop!! I figured it was too right to be wrong so just went for it (and crossed my fingers). Thankfully it fit perfectly, it was fate.
Due to the design of the dress, the shop assistant recommended not to wear stilettos. It was a struggle as that was exactly what I was drawn to but found some lovely block heeled sandals from Dune that my bridesmaid bought for me. I wanted something I could wear again and I have already worn them loads, they’re so comfy.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Chris is by far my decisive than I am and knew exactly what he wanted, the three piece Lounge Lizard suit by Ted Baker in sharp blue. We bought all the Groomsmen and Best Men a bow tie and got Chris one too. This was before he’d even bought the suit, so when he tried it on all together it just didn’t look right at all, he looked like a snooker player when he took his jacket off. He changed the bow tie to a tie in the same colour of the suit and it was perfect. He looked incredibly handsome!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings by the mum’s. Chris’s mum read a poem called ‘He Never Leaves The Seat Up’, it’s pretty funny and very fitting. She changed one line from going to the gym to going to the pub, much more believable. My mum did the second reading, ‘The Song of Solomon’. They both read them beautifully.
We hadn’t sorted our first dance till moments before. We went for Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’, it’s one of our favs and got everyone on the dance floor.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids are absolute stunners and were fantastic from beginning to end. It wasn’t a hard choice who to have, they’re four of my closest friends. As they’re all so different, one style of dress wasn’t going to suit them, plus one of the girls was going to be 6 months pregnant by the time of the wedding and all I really wanted was for her to feel comfortable. With that in mind I told them all to wear a dress that they loved. I originally wanted them all in white but not all were convinced by this. After much umming and ahhing I thought pastels would work, but by a sheer fluke they all choose a brightly coloured dress. They looked beautiful.
I also had my god-daughter as a flower girl who looked like an angel, she was incredible and a real mover on the dance floor.
THE FLOWERS | I’m so very fortunate to have a close friend who’s an amazing florist and just started her own business. I wasn’t the easiest of customers as everything I liked was out of season. Then she posted a picture on her Instagram of some dahlias. They were big and bright and beautiful and everything I wanted!
She came to the venue with me to get an idea of what to do and suggested having eucalyptus swags along the sides of the room, which combined with the fairy lights looked stunning and very bohemian.
Esther and her business partner Dandy were fantastic. They both spent the whole day before the wedding at the venue setting everything up. The flowers were the talk of the day, they were beautiful and the flower crowns were stunning. I still can’t believe how much they both did and how beautiful everything looked.
THE CAKE | Again I’m so lucky to have a friend who has their own catering business and offered to do our wedding cake. It was amazing, we had three tiers consisting of chocolate cake, carrot cake and a gluten free and vegan friendly lemon drizzle cake.
It was incredible and there was barely any cake left for us to take home, always a great sign!
She asked another friend of ours who owns The Cutlery Commission to make us our own personalised knife to cut the cake with. A lovely touch and a great keepsake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I entered a competition to win a wedding photographer. Unfortunately I didn’t win but knew I wanted Nicola anyway. I loved her style, it was exactly what I wanted. Although we hadn’t met until the day of the wedding, I got a great vibe off her from her emails and we were on the same page with how we wanted the pictures to go.
I bought some coloured smoke bombs and emailed her about them straight away. She was just as excited about them as I was.
It rained pretty much all day but Nicola powered through although she was soaked to the bone. She also stayed for all the drunken dance floor shots which is exactly what we wanted.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As the venue was so pretty we didn’t really need to do much. We had loads of fairy lights hanging across the hall and a friend of ours kindly made us some large letter lights, they were a real feature.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such but I love gold and copper so I painted loads of dinosaurs gold, which Chris and my mum couldn’t really understand but with the bright flowers they looked awesome. I also spray painted some pineapples gold too.
We’re both big film buffs so we wanted to name our tables after celebrity duos, but not soppy romantic duos, funny duos. We had Dumb & Dumber, Solth and Chunk and Men in Black to name a few. I found a very talented girl on Etsy that commissioned these for me, she was fantastic.
Other than the flowers, the food was a big talking point. My mum is a chef and offered to do the canapes for us. They were beyond amazing, in both looks and taste! My brother bought a Russian army truck last year from Pinewood Film Studios (it appeared in X-Men First Class), that he has turned it into a BBQ catering truck. We were his guinea pigs. Everyone thought we were crazy when we’d tell them my brother was doing the food out of an army truck and he’s never done it before. He did us incredibly proud. The food was phenomenal.
We also had a caricaturist which went down a storm, everyone had a drawing to take home.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Ischia for a week. It was beautiful. The bad weather sort of followed us but we had the best time. It’s such a beautiful island and only a boat trip away to Capri and Sorrento.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I actually can’t pick one moment. Everything was just perfect down to the speeches (although my dad’s was pretty questionable, admitting to running over our pet cat when I was a child??), the food, the flowers and all our amazing guests. Everyone pulled together in getting the venue set up the day before, moving tables on the day, and helping us clear the venue the next day. We’re incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful and generous people around us and couldn’t have done it without them.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | My advice is the same as everyone else’s really. Don’t stress over every little bit, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people are honoured and more than happy to lend a helping hand. Make your wedding as personal as you can. We had loads of little touches which really made it individual to us.
Take time out together and just watch all the people you love have an amazing time. And make sure you have some great music!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Nicola Casey Photography
Food | Big Reds BBQ
Cake | Canapé to Cake
Hair | Harani
Dress | Rue De Seine
Table Names | Abby Dahl Illustration
Wow wee. What a celebration.
Christopher and Emma, I cannot thank you both enough for sharing your wedding day with us here at WWW xo Lou