Whimsical Wonderland Weddings UK Wedding Blog 2014-09-22T10:47:03Z http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/feed/atom WordPress Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Eclectic Quirky Theatre Inspired Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=122029 2014-08-19T10:13:52Z 2014-09-22T07:00:17Z Eclectic Quirky Wedding http://www.claudiarosecarter.co.uk/

 

 

WWW readers Katy and Simon were married on the 28th September 2013, hosting their reception at Haslemere Hall, Theatre and Cinema; which they drew inspiration from for their wedding theme. The most delicoius cinema inspired menu of pulled pork baps with sweet potato fries and coleslaw, ice cream with popcorn and nachos for the evening were all served by usherettes… YUM.

They hand crafted their personal touches and details, had a family feel to their wedding and kept everything as local as possible.

Katy looked beautiful in her customised Raimon Bundo dress and Rachel Simpson shoes, while Simon donned a fun bow tie with his three piece suit and the girls were pretty in floral dresses. Stunning.

Thanks so much to the utterly wonderful Claudia Rose Carter for sharing her photographs today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | We met through mutual friends seven years ago and hit it off straight away.

Two children later, Simon finally decided to make an honest woman of me and popped the question, having arranged a (very rare!) date night in London. He proposed at the start of the evening so we could spend the night celebrating! We had cocktails and pizza and then stayed in a gorgeous hotel in Little Venice.

My engagement ring was (is!) perfect. I loved the idea of having an antique one but hated that I wouldn’t know the story behind it. So Simon bought an antique diamond ring but had the stones (two baguettes and one marquise cut) re-set in a new ring.

THE VISION | We wanted something very relaxed and we wanted to involve our friends and family as much as we could. We didn’t have a specific theme but I would describe our wedding as very ‘us’! We like quirky things and made the majority of our decorations ourselves. We fell totally in love with Haslemere Hall the moment we saw it (which was before we knew we could hire it as a reception venue!). The fact it was a theatre and a cinema played a part in a lot of our choices, for instance we incorporated the deep claret colour of the stage curtains into our colour scheme – and the fact that the Hall is the centre of our community made us want to give our wedding a laid back, old fashioned village fete feel.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We only had six months to plan the whole day but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We didn’t want to hang around – plus I work better under pressure!

BUDGET |  We didn’t want to spend a fortune. My parents paid for our photographer as a wedding gift, and Simon’s parents paid for the catering. All in all we spent around £4,000 extra.

THE VENUE | Ceremony: St Bartholomew’s Church, Haslemere. Reception: Haslemere Hall, Theatre and Cinema.

We only moved to Haslemere at the end of 2012 and it was really important to us to have a ‘local’ affair within our new home town. We used a lot of local suppliers and wanted our family and friends to get to see where we have settled down!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |  Raimon Bundo – bought from Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique in Brighton. I chose the Dalia dress.

This was actually the second dress I bought! I had originally bought an off-the-peg number, but had niggling doubts about it for ages. Friends had told me I’d ‘know’ when I found the right dress and I just didn’t have that feeling with the one I’d chosen. Five weeks before the big day I knew I had to do something about it.

I was due to visit family in Hove the following day so made an appointment to try some dresses on at Leonie Claire. The whole experience was amazing and, as predicted by my friends, I burst into tears when I saw my dress. I ended up buying the sample and Leonie arranged for her seamstress to make the alterations I waited that same day. The dress was originally floor length and with a huge train but I had it taken up so that it was tea length. Leonie was honestly amazing, I’ve never known customer service like it. I took my dress home that evening. Pearl hair clips. Pearl necklace – antique – my something borrowed (from a friend). Pearl earrings – antique.

Brooch – a surprise gift from Simon on the morning of the wedding. Made by SAXFORD*HAWKINS, who specialise in reworking antique pieces, it was made up of two vintage brooches – one of a daisy (Daisy is our eldest daughter’s name) and one of a bluebell (our youngest daughter’s middle name). It goes without saying that I cried when I opened it!

Hair by my old friend Nicola Elliott. Makeup by Corinna Harrod who I discovered through Twitter and who is now a great friend! I’m quite specific about how I like my make up and she got it just right.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit: Marks & Spencer. Bowtie: Mrs Bowtie. Pocket watch: Family heirloom.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | At the church we were really traditional; I walked down the aisle to Wagner’s The Bridal Chorus and walked back up it as husband and wife to Mendelsson’s Wedding March.

Readings: We chose Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare, which I’ve loved forever and 1 Corinthiuns 13 was our religious reading. They were read by my two oldest friends, Emma and Vikki, who I’ve known since secondary school.

At the reception my brother’s band played as people arrived and then my Dad and Godfather’s band played after dinner (including our first dance!). The evening ended with an amazing set of our favourite indie and 60s and 70s rock & roll tunes from some of our DJ friends.

Our first dance was to ‘Yes I Will’ by The Hollies – performed by my Dad and his band (lead vocals by my godfather). We both love 60s music and this is one of our favourite songs. The words were particularly fitting for a wedding day.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had two bridesmaids (two of my best friends) and two flower girls (my daughters). The bridesmaids wore fifties style dresses from Monsoon, with real flowers in their hair and my daughters wore off-white dresses, also from Monsoon, with white converse hi-tops.

THE FLOWERS | The flowers came from my friend’s shop, The Naked Grocer. I wanted wild looking, seasonal flowers so opted for sunflowers, craspedia and daisies. I didn’t want smart bouquets, I wanted it to look as if they had just been picked. The Naked Grocer did an amazing job – they were just beautiful.

I did my own flowers for the reception, with single stems in jam jars, which I had decorated with ribbon and twine.

THE CAKE | Made by our good friend Sarah Hawkins, from Sarah’s Lovely Buns, we had vanilla sponge cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream frosting and edible glitter, vanilla meringue nests with lemon curd filling and decorated with seasonal fruits and a topper of lemon sponge (my favourite!) with a lemon curd centre which Sarah had hand decorated with royal icing & bespoke daisy flowers.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Claudia Rose Carter, who was just AMAZING. She shot our friends wedding last year and literally the MOMENT we’d set the date we called her up to book her!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR |  Because our reception was in our local theatre/cinema we wanted to incorporate that theme into our food. We were also adamant that we didn’t want a formal three course meal. Joe made the most divine pulled pork baps with sweet potato fries and coleslaw, which were brought to tables on trays by usherettes. Dessert was ice cream with popcorn and toffee sauce and then big plates of nachos were brought out later in the evening.

Wedding car: A friend’s orange campervan –my parents had an orange campervan that I LOVED when I was growing up which was why I chose one as my wedding car.

Stationery: Peony & Rose designed our invites, orders of service – and also the huge posters we had in the advertising frames outside the Hall (which were printed off by a friend).

Décor: We made our own table numbers, which were years – and had photographs of Simon and I from that year on them – and I made the table plan, framing a blackboard with gold gilt. We also gave our wedding a hashtag and encouraged our guests to tweet and Instagram photos – and we made blackboards with this information on for them.

We decorated the hall with 100m of bunting in mustard yellow, claret and burnt orange. Jam jars (collected with the help of friends and family) filled with either a single stem flower (sunflowers and daisies) dried wheat or tea lights. Hessian bunting made by myself. DIY heart table ‘confetti’ made from bark and paper using different sized heart shaped punches. Paper pom poms (hand made) and old fashioned, round balloons. We also hired LOVE letters from Doris Loves which were the piece de resistance!

THE HONEYMOON | We didn’t have a honeymoon as such; instead we spent our wedding night at a lovely local hotel and the following day set off on our ‘familymoon’ with the girls. We stayed at a friend’s house in Padstow, Cornwall and spent five days together as a family.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I loved every part of it, but mostly the lead up to the big day! Our wedding was a real family affair and a true labour of love. All of our friends and family contributed in some way and that meant so much to us. On the actual day, I loved Simon and I sneaking five minutes away together to digest everything that had gone on! We had been so busy speaking to our guests all day that we’d barely seen each other. It was lovely to have some time on our own, even if it was only a few minutes before dinner.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  As you’re walking down the aisle, make eye contact with your husband to be! I can’t tell you how petrified I was of having to do that walk and having everyone looking at me. I was planning on keeping my eyes to the floor but a week before the wedding two different friends told me they’d done the very same thing and regretted it. That moment when I locked eyes with Simon will stay with me forever. Without sounding too corny it was magical.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Claudia Rose Carter

Venue | Haslemere Hall, Theatre and Cinema

Dress Shop | Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique in Brighton

Veil | Richard Designs

Shoes |  Rachel Simpson (Eva style)

Brooch | SAXFORD*HAWKINS

Makeup | Corinna Harrod

Bowtie | Mrs Bowtie 

Flowers | The Naked Grocer

Cake | Sarah’s Lovely Buns

Catering |  Joe Gray

Stationery | Peony & Rose

Bunting |Bella and the Moo

LOVE letters |  Doris Loves

 

Absolutely fantastic.

Thank you so so much Katy and Simon for sharing your amazing wedding story with us XOXO Lou

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Announcing Our New Arrival]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=124370 2014-09-16T10:29:27Z 2014-09-21T07:30:59Z Two weeks ago our beautiful baby boy made his entrance into the world.

After a traumatic first birth with A, I had the water birthing natural experience I had always dreamed of. A speedy safe arrival and we are all doing great.

I must be slightly mad sharing images of me after the birth but here we go…. hehe…

 

Labour Birth First Shot Labour Birth First Shot

 

It’s amazing being a family of four and we are totally in love with this little one.

Welcome to the world little W. Our perfect 8lb rainbow baby…

 

New Arrival

 

 

 

Thank you for all of the messages of congratulations, I have been over whelmed by all the love :-)

 

XOXO Lou

 

 

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Snow Mountain Ranch Wedding in Colorado]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=122556 2014-08-21T10:46:06Z 2014-09-20T07:30:26Z Snow Mountain Ranch Colorado Wedding http://www.searchingforthelight.com/

 

This morning we head to Colorado for the most gorgeous of weddings.

Alison and Will married in the Autumn at quite possibly the most beautiful outdoor setting of Snow Mountain Ranch.  There were sweet personal touches, a pretty blue and yellow colour scheme and a whole lot of love.

Thanks goes to the wonderful Searching for the Light Photography LLC for sharing their images today.

 

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From the Bride |

“We wanted our day to be special to us, not a picture perfect catalog wedding. So we included many personal special details of our story and handmade many things. Our ceremony was particularly special with building an Ebenezer and having a close friend perform it. Other special details were quotes we had family and friends write out to display on the tables, homemade aspen centerpieces, childhood photos, wearing my mom’s jewelry, and handmade signs. Other special details were handmade to bless our guests- a hot cider bar, a blanket basket, a photo booth, homemade fudge, and bags for the kids.

Choosing the venue was maybe the hardest part of the planning process. I had been to YMCA’s Snow Mountain Ranch before and fallen in love with the place, and looking at wedding photos from there was simply amazing. The columbine chapel was perfect. It had natural beauty and the laid back atmosphere and raw potential I wanted. They were the first place we contacted, and they were booked. No openings around when we wanted (what happens often with 5 month engagements). So we looked elsewhere. Will is from the West Slope of Colorado, where as I’m from the East Slope, we decided that a wedding right in between in the mountains would be ideal. One of the best parts about being from Colorado is the mountains, and they hold many special memories for us from hiking and camping trips to fall retreats and fun day trips. Budget was also a big issue as well as size. Our guest list was at 250, with a budget no where near what that would require. So we needed someplace big and inexpensive. Luckily I also love DIY, so I wanted a place that would allow for a lot of that. After countless hours of internet searching, a few visits, one booking with a venue that refused to send us a contract, I was over it. In a last stitch effort I called Snow Mountain Ranch, who miraculously had a cancellation on the exact date we wanted. We toured it the next morning and fell in love immediately. In the meantime it was booked by a church group, who after the efforts of the wedding coordinator agreed to let us interrupt their retreat with our wedding.

Our wedding being unique was never something we aimed for, rather we tried to just make the wedding “us,” a reflection of who we are, where we are from, and what we believe. And from that things became beautifully unique. One of the main focuses for us was the ceremony. We had a friend perform it for us who had known us both for years and mentored us both individually and as a couple. We worked with him to create the order of events, including a friend singing and building an Ebenezer, Will wrote our vows, a friend performed the music on a flute. And the reception was just my DIY side playing with homemade aspen centerpieces with childhood pictures and quotes from family and friends, homemade lace light balls hanging from the ceiling, homemade signs, homemade fudge favors, homemade bags for the kids, a homemade photo booth, and many more. We had fun with it and focused on blessing the people there and getting to share our joy with them.

I believe Will and I counted one time and prior to being married we had attended something like 20 weddings together. Those were a huge source of inspiration of what to do and what not to do, what we liked and didn’t like. I particularly remember one with an amazing ceremony, another with the best dance party, and one with delicious favors, so we had a good idea of what we wanted from those. As far as specifics the Colorado mountains in the fall guided it. I love love love golden aspens against the blue sky, leading to Colors of golden yellow and navy, and aspen accents. And just the whole feeling of being awed by natural beauty and wrapped in cozy warmth. Our venue was perfect in it’s natural beauty, so I just tried to accent that with beautiful and comforting things.”

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Venue | Snow Mountain Ranch

Venue Coordinator | Emily Burgess 970-887-2152 ex 4227 SMRWedding@ymcarockies.org

DJ |  Jammin’ DJs

Photographer | Searching for the Light Photography LLC

Florist | Margaret’s Garden mbergman@rkymtnhi.com

Bakery |  My Mom’s Pie

Bride Attire | David’s Bridal

BM Attire | David’s Bridal

Groom Attire | Men’s Warehouse

GM Attire |  Men’s Warehouse

Make-up/Hair | The Winter Park Salon

Stationery | Nato Design

Honey Moon | St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Other People | Pastor Ryan Rowlette

 

Utterly perfect.

Thanks so much for sharing guys XOXO Lou

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Village Hall Spring Fete Wedding with a 50’s Twist]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121284 2014-08-18T12:17:52Z 2014-09-19T07:00:48Z 1950s Spring Village Fete Wedding http://www.lifelinephotography.co.uk/

 

To end a week of wonderful weddings, I have a super pretty Spring celebration to share.

WWW readers Sam and Mat tied the knot on the 10th May 2014 at The Nottingham Council House followed by a reception at Lockington & Hemington Village Hall. It was important to them that they had a village fete feel to their day with a big party for their loved ones.

They started their planning with finding the perfect Thai meal followed by 50s style rock n roll band for the evening. Then of course they decided to throw some 1950s inspired touches into their wedding, with DIY décor and wait for it…. a scone station… YUM.

Sam looked super gorgeous in a tea length dress made by Mat’s mum which she teamed with floral shoes, Mat opted for a sharp suit and the maids were lovely in mint frocks.

Thanks so much to the fabulous Lifeline Photography for sharing their images today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | I had been trying to get Sam somewhere romantic to ask her for about 6 weeks. I had originally planned to ask her while we were on holiday on the island of Zykinthos, but whenever I had suggested we go somewhere she had been ill or wanted to invite other people with us. After getting back from holiday I tried to arrange something romantic, but for various reasons everything fell through. The proposal finally happened at our friend’s house, we had gone round for bonfire night fireworks and a few drinks. Sam and Marie (Our friend and the best mans wife) were watching me and Matt (my best man) setting off fireworks, it seemed like the right time, so I lit a sparkler and spelt out ‘will you marry me?’ to Sam. It was funny watching her face as she started to realise what I was writing.

THE VISION | We were looking to have a laid back, village fete type feel. We are both relatively easy going and didn’t want a formal grand wedding. Just a big ass party for all of friends and family to enjoy!

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started out with a few fixed ideas and the rest was worked out around them.

One of the first was the catering, we wanted something that we enjoyed and that people would remember, Luckily our local Thai (we have been going for years) The Thai Kitchen has one of the best Thai chefs outside of Thailand.

The second was the band. We had both been to weddings where there was a DJ playing very loud music and everyone was sitting watching an empty dance floor. We wanted a band that played music that everyone knew and hopefully would dance to, for us that meant a 50’s style Rock & Roll band. After quite a few online agency’s and youtube videos we found The Bluejays who rocked the night away, the dance floor was packed from start to finish. Still now our guests keep telling us they have never been to a wedding before where the dance floor was always full.

Everything else was worked around these and the venues, with friends and relatives roped in to help wherever possible.

BUDGET | We didn’t want to spend a fortune on the wedding, neither of us wanted to get into debt to fund it, but we also didn’t want to comprise our idea of the day because of the budget.

With generous help and hard work of friends and both families we managed to keep the cost down. And a MASSIVE shout out to Toni, Pete & Pearce for all of their help, we can not thank them enough and know our day would not have ran so well with out them!

THE VENUE | The Nottingham Council House, then Lockington & Hemington Village Hall. We had looked at a few different venues (Sam already knew most of them given she is a wedding photographer!) and we couldn’t find anything that suited us. Sam had already worked at a lot of the local venues and for her they were all the venues of other couples weddings. We wanted something that would be 100% personal to us.

Nottingham Council House seemed to be the obvious choice for the ceremony as we are not really religious, however wanted somewhere quite traditional.

Sam grew up in Hemington, so it seemed fitting to have the ‘do’ at the village hall in the village where she grew up.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The wedding and bridesmaids dresses were made by the grooms mum Sandra.

I knew from the start that I wanted Sandra to make my wedding dress, Since I’d been dating Mat I had been lucky enough to get a custom designed/made dress pretty much every Christmas so thought it would be lovely for us to design something together for when I married her son.

Shoes – Irregular choice and custom designed converse.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Jeff Banks suit, shirt and tie from Next and Jasper Conran Shoes.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Reading (read by Marie) The Future by Emma Salmon. Walking in – Wouldn’t it be nice by The Beach Boys. Signing – Make it wit chu by Queens of the Stone Age. Walking Out- Higher & Higher by Jackie Wilson. First Dance – Let’s Dance by Chirs Montez.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Sally (Mat’s Sister), Kelly (One of Sam’s oldest friends AKA little sis) & Ella (Matt and Marie’s daughter who was present during and born a few days after the proposal).

THE FLOWERS | Our very talented friends at Honeysuckle & Castle supplied and arranged all of the flowers for the day & made the most awesome bouquet I have ever seen! We didn’t have specific flowers we requested, just whatever was available and in season. Helen and Sally know me & my taste pretty well so I had no worries about just going with what they thought best.

THE CAKE | Three tier naked Victoria sandwich with Raspberries. Made by the Bride and Best Man (Matt) who always seem to end up in the kitchen together rustling up something.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | After spending a long time searching we found Hannah from Lifeline Photography, she has a casual style that we liked and she makes you feel more like friends than clients.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Village Hall spring wedding fete style with a 50’s twist. We spend a lot of time on the details. We made masses of bunting (with help from Sam’s mum and Matt & Marie), made little black board signs, home-made (& grown!) Jam for Favours and for the ‘scone station’. We collected vintage china from car boots and ebay to add to the china Sam and Sandra (Mats mum) already owned. We wanted the whole day to be personal to us so pretty much everything there was made by us with a lot of help from our friends and family.

THE HONEYMOON | An epic American adventure, Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson & New Orleans…

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Mat’s – The first was realising I had forgotten the music for the ceremony half way to the venue, with no time to go back. Panic set in as I realised I had 30 min until we were due to get married and I had to find all the songs on CD. The look on the staff members face at Fopp was a sight when I rushed in all dressed up with an entourage including a photographer to see if I could find the songs on CD!

The second and most memorable was seeing Sam walking down the aisle in her dress, she looked stunning and the butterfly feeling I had had for the previous half hour vanished, it just felt right.

Sam’s – Seeing Mat for the first time and finally stopping freaking out! And everyone dancing to The BlueJays in the evening. It was really important to me that everyone had a great time and it certainly seemed that they all did!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Everyone will have there own ideas on what your wedding should be like – stick to your guns! They might try to change your mind but don’t let them, remember its your day not theirs!

Watch the budget, it’s really easy to get carried away and think it can be stretched here or there. We talked about how much we had to spend and where we wanted to spend it. You need to think about what is important to you. For us we didn’t have a massive budget but wanted all our guests to have a great time and to have some wonderful photographs from the day, so the vast majority was spent on the food, band and photographer.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Flowers | Honeysuckle & Castle

Photography | Lifeline Photography

Band | The Blue Jays

Caterer | The Thai Kitchen 07976 428235

Bar | The Jolly Potters  01332 811912

 

Wow what a day.

Thanks so so much to Sam & Mat for sharing their brilliant wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Colourful & Stylish City Parish Hall Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121818 2014-08-15T12:04:48Z 2014-09-18T13:00:44Z Colourful City Hall Wedding http://www.lisadevinephotography.co.uk/

 

Oh how I love a reader wedding :-) This is one colourful, fun and happy city affair that I have the utter pleasure to share with you today.

WWW readers Natalie and Ify married on the 28th March 2014, holding their humanist ceremony at Glasgow University Memorial Chapel followed by a reception at Hyndland Parish Hall. They wanted their wedding to be mix of their English, Scottish and Nigerian backgrounds with great some great wine for good measure.

There were the most divine colourful blooms by Sparrow and Rose, scrumptious catering by Three Sisters Bake and stylish décor.

Natalie looked beautiful in a gown by Raimon Bundo which she teamed with sparkling ballerina shoes, while Ify looked dapper in a bright blue custom made suit with red tie and statement glasses. Oh so cool.

Thanks so much to the fabulous Lisa Devine for sharing her photographs with us this afternoon.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Ify planned a sneaky weekend break to Cameron House, by Loch Lomond in the Spring of 2012 on the background of us dating for 6 years. He proposed by the side of the Loch and got a muddy knee. I knew he was up to something in the weeks leading to this secretive trip as he asked me “what did [I] prefer? Platinum or gold?” My response was “in relation to what?” Ify’s reply, “hair colour.” I was suspicious.

THE VISION | There was no vision as such, apart from wanting friends and family to have a great party. We hoped to incorporate a mix of our backgrounds with a little bit of Englishness, Scottishness and a fair sprinkling from Nigeria.

We decided quite early on that we wanted a Humanist Wedding Ceremony – having never been to one before?! – we liked the idea that we could create our own Ceremony and involve friends and family.

Making sure no one had an empty glass was an absolute priority. We also did not want your average cheap, stale, throat burning wedding wines, instead we wanted to provide some of our favourites.

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  We had a couple of false starts getting this organised. We had originally booked a place down in the South East of England– where my family are from – but on realising how it would be slightly tricky to transport Scottish friends and organise the wedding from a far we repatriated our search to Scotland.

Here we found the glorious Three Sisters Bake in Quarrier’s Village outside of Glasgow. Unfortunately due to issues out of their control they were unable to host our Wedding Reception.

After a bit of aimless wondering, (and a helpful pointer from a pal in a similar situation), we came across our photographer’s Lisa Devine’s photos and Lou’s WWW website we saw a lovely wedding in the Beautiful Hyndland Parish Hall. Perfect! We didn’t want to lose a lot of time travelling between venues. The Hall allowed us to fulfil our ambition of no empty glasses with us providing the booze, and we were fortunate enough that Three Sisters Bake would still be able to do the catering. Hurrah!

BUDGET | We were definitely on a budget – but soon found that this went! We had hoped to do it on the cheap but we there were things we weren’t prepared to compromise on. We had to spend some time the day before moving stuff in and cleaning up the next day. But thankfully had very supportive and attentive families, in particular, Mums. Mums are great.

THE VENUE | Glasgow Memorial University Chapel – having maybe felt that we had disappointed some family members that we would not be pursuing a traditional religious wedding, the charm of the Chapel more than made up for this. On walking around the University quadrant, the delights of the Chapel inside catch you by surprise. The building and quadrants are so beautiful that we didn’t need to add anything else to it in terms of decoration, and they provided their Organist too.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Raimon Bundo, with some ridiculously sparkly Pretty Ballerina shoes.

FINDING THE DRESS |  Being dragged into a London Wedding Dress Boutique in called Angelica Bridal, Camden near Angel Tube Station, having left it very much to the last minute. The girls, Hannah & Catherine set the appointment and also picked the dress.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Bright Blue Tailor-made Three Piece Suit by Steven Purvis, with Paul Smith polkadot tie.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Bob Dylan: Wedding Song – read by John Forbes. H. Presley: I Rely on You – read by Oliver Black. “First Poems,” Rainer Maria Rilke read by Graeme ‘Orange’ Murray.

I had desperately wanted, The Code Poem to the French Resistance by Leo Marks – but Ify thought it was too solemn thus I quickly learnt the art of compromise

Music: Organist: Entrance of Guests: Flower Duet by Lakme (a nod to my mum – as she works for British Airways), walking down the aisle to the Beatles, All you need is love, Signing stuff to Zadok the Priest (Champions League theme tune) and leaving on a high to Toccata (Symphony 5) by Widor.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The more the merrier! This was a mix of old school friends, university pals and Ify’s sister. The only thing I asked of them was to jump on the dance floor as soon as possible to help dilute the blow of the first dance.

THE FLOWERS | Lisa Hodgens at Sparrow and Rose. We both loved her work, wild and styled (!) with a keen eye for colour. Her bouquets look like she has just gone to the meadow and handpicked all the most beautiful flowers. We wanted lots of colour, and daisies were a must. In memory of a favourite Uncle, sweetpea was in the bouquet too.

THE CAKE | With Three Sisters Bake Catering it had to be a cake table. This was so much fun to pick and negated the need for a pudding, with a Naked Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake, Velvet, Chocolate, Lemon & Blueberry Cheesecake, Empire Biscuits and brownie bites. Incredibly delicious – we had people months later still talking about it!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  LISA DEVINE! You wake up the next morning and all you have is the ring and a knackered new husband. Until you get your photos and you get to relive it all again! Yippee!

We are totally made up with Lisa’s work. On the day she was just the perfect amount of bossy in trying to operate some form of crowd control on quite an unruly bunch whilst letting us just enjoy ourselves.

Her photos are absolutely gorgeous. She completely captures the huge amount of fun that we had. So many fantastic photos of all our friends and family with absolutely no-one left out. Amazing.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR |  Crazy criss-crossing Bunting, tin baths, a great sash window pane table planning and fabulous outside urn. Flowers covering the hall everywhere, a complete wild floral explosion from the incredible SPARROW AND ROSE with some lovely little fairy lights from Three Sisters Bake.

THE HONEYMOON |  A Minimoon to Paris and Provence, followed by a Mega/Maximoon for a road trip from Las Vegas to San Fransicso via LA, and then some R&R in Mexico.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Glowstick hoopla, pulled pork, a bottle of prosecco per head, empire biscuits, Andy’s speech (those photos of people looking awestruck), some of Ify’s family members over from Nigeria but still being on “Nigeria time” arriving at the chapel just as we were walking out of the ceremony, and of course the ‘pre-1st dance’ dance-off to Happy!

At the end of the night, looking down at my dress and realising it was a totally sodden state – our photographer, Lisa Devine “if your dress isn’t ruined, then you haven’t had a good time.” Too true!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  We felt so flukey that we had pulled it off without much stress. But it’s because you realise that all the leg work goes on by the people you work with special thanks definitely go to the Lisas x 2 (florist and photographer) and Gillian and Lynsey from Three Sisters Bake. Therefore advice for others, is invest in the people that make your day. Especially these girls.

Oh and go away straight on honeymoon. Unfortunately through work commitments, we had to return to work on Monday morning. Work colleagues asking casually ‘what did you get up to at the weekend..’.. Errr.. We got married.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Lisa Devine Photography

Florist | Sparrow and Rose

Caterers | Three Sisters Bake

Venue | Glasgow University Memorial Chapel

Reception Venue | Hyndland Parish Hall

 

Wow such a happy colourful day :-) I am so happy WWW was able to assist with the venue search too.

Thanks so much to Natalie and Ify for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou

 

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Alternative 1950s Inspired Seaside Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121767 2014-08-15T11:09:40Z 2014-09-18T07:00:36Z 1950s Seaside Wedding http://www.amyradcliffephotography.com/

 

It all started with the sweetest seaside proposal, with a heart shaped stone underwater. And so WWW readers Sarah and Tom planned their quirky seaside wedding held at Oxwich Bay Hotel, Wales.

They had a meaningful humanist ceremony, sweet seaside inspired décor and pretty gypsophila throughout.

Sarah had the most gorgeous bridal look, a swishy 1950s inspired Candy Anthony dress with red and blue accessories, while Tom opted for a pale grey suit with blue tie. Such a fun and happy celebration.

Thanks so much to Amy Radcliffe Photography for sharing her gorgeous photographs with us.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Whilst holidaying in Thailand and staying in Koh Phangnan Tom suggested we went on a walk to go snorkelling. When snorkelling Tom seemed to be acting a little strangely which Sarah put down to him never having snorkelled before, when after a few moments she spotted a heart shaped stone under water with ‘Will you marry me Sarah?’ written on it. Later on the beach Tom explained the stone was made from Bath stone (we first met in Bath) and he had had it especially engraved. He then presented Sarah with an engagement ring charm for her charm bracelet, so that we could go together to get the ring when back in the UK. We then went for cocktails and to watch the sunset.

THE VISION | 1950s seaside was the main vision. We wanted it to be fun, informal and to reflect us as a couple. The seaside theme became obvious after such a wonderful proposal, we also both love the sea so felt it was very ‘us’. We knew we wanted fish and chips for the wedding breakfast (this is the meal we always have with champagne when we have something to celebrate so was an obvious choice for us to share with everyone on our wedding day).

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  The main thing to plan initially was finding a venue, we knew we didn’t want a really long engagement so said we wanted to get married a year later. We decided to get married in South Wales (where Sarah is originally from) partly due to the beautiful seaside venues there and partly due to the majority of family being based there.

We struggled to find a venue near the sea that would allow us to be flexible with the menu. Eventually we narrowed it down to a few in Mumbles and the Gower. Tom eventually picked the venue as he fell in love with the view.

Once the venue was picked most other things fell into place – we had very definite ideas on what we did and didn’t want. We had a humanist ceremony and it was important to us to be able to do this in a great setting (due to weather we had to do it in the marquee rather than outside but we still had amazing seaside views). Music was also really important to us and family members assisted with this. Sarah’s cousin sang before the bride entered and her Uncle and friend were the wedding band, playing the ceremony music and later in the evening. We knew we didn’t want traditional music but wanted music to be involved, in the end we picked music that was personal to us. The humanist ceremony allowed us to have the music we wanted, say our own personal vows and be inclusive of the congregation. Before the wedding there were a lot of sceptics but afterwards everyone said how much they’d loved how personal the ceremony was.

We also felt personal touches were important so spent lots of time in the lead up to the wedding crafting things and making sure there were lots of special touches for our day.

VENUE |  Marquee at Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower, South Wales. We wanted a blank canvas with great views and this was definitely that! We wanted to be able to put our own twist on the venue and were able to do that here.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Sarah really wanted to wear black on her wedding day but in the end did this the day before at the legal ceremony (Humanist ceremonies are not legally binding in England and Wales).

For the main wedding: Dress and matching headpiece – Candy Anthony. Cardigan – Tom purchased this for Sarah as he thought it reminded him of the wedding. Shoes – Vivienne Westwood and Melissa. Jewellery – vintage from antique stores.

FINDING THE DRESS | The dress was fairly easy, Sarah knew she did not want a long dress and this was confirmed after a trip to a wedding fayre where she tried a few on (just in case!). After a search online it was decided there must be a trip to London as she would not find the sort of dress she wanted anywhere else. Sarah took her Mum to Candy Anthony to show her the ideal dress (with a view of seeing it for inspiration) her Mum agreed it was very ‘her’ and insisted she have the dress! Sarah knew she wanted lots of colour involved so the shoes were picked next and this decided the colour scheme for the rest of the wedding, including the blue sash on the dress and red petticoat.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | This was the hardest thing to find! Initially we wanted pale blue but couldn’t find anything that suited, so decided on pale grey, but we wanted something different with a bit of a vintage twist – eventually we found these suits with white trim which were perfect.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings: Sarah’s godmother read – Edward Monkton – A Lovely Love Story. Lucy (Sarah & Tom’s friend) read – an excerpt by the Dalai Lama.

Music: We knew we didn’t want traditional music but wanted music to be involved, in the end the Bride walked down the aisle to Queen-Crazy Little Thing Called Love and during the ceremony everyone sang ‘Madness-It Must be Love’ and ‘Turtles-Happy Together’, with the bride and groom leaving to ‘Foo Fighters-Times Like These’, there was even a special surprise during the ceremony when a song was played that had been written especially for the couple called ‘Sarah & Tom’.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Sarah’s Goddaughter (Livi) was a mini maid and Sarah’s friend Kate was bridesmaid, her friend from university (Lucy) who has become a mutual friend to her and Tom was a female Usher.

Kate wore a 1950s style swing dress in pale blue which we accessorised with a ivory sash and Livi work a ivory dress accessorised with a pale blue sash. Livi knowing it was not a traditional wedding was desperate to where her converse and went out and got special pale blue ribbons for the laces.

THE FLOWERS | We knew we wanted something fairly simple as we had lots already going on with the colours and styles involved at the wedding.

Sarah has always loved gypsophila from a young age and hated being told when she was younger that it was just for mixing in with other flowers. So early on she knew she wanted this for her bouquet. We also wanted twine to create a rustic laid back look.

Sarah also knew she didn’t want bouquets for the bridesmaids as she wanted to give all the females involved in the wedding flowers to symbolise that they were also part of the wedding party, due to the 1950s style she quickly decided on corsages on a diamante bracelet when could be used again. Livi the junior maid had gypsophilia on a hairband.

THE CAKE | We had an amazing cake made by Cymrucakes for our engagement party as a surprise (depicting the proposal) so decided that we would entrust them with our wedding cake too.

We had three tiers – two chocolate and one lemon. We described our wedding theme to the cake designer and provided a copy of our wedding invite and left the rest of the design up to them so we had a lovely surprise on the day.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  Amy Radcliffe. We knew we didn’t want a traditional photographer and saw Amy through a wedding forum, we thought her informal style would suit our wedding perfectly and after our love shoot knew we’d made the right choice.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The detail was important to us right from the beginning and this started from the invites – we had vintage 1950’s/sailor jerry style invites designed for us as it was important that we set the scene from beginning.

We wanted lots of personal touches during the day, so there were lots of framed quotes that we loved and also photo bunting of our grandparents’ weddings.

As we were trying to get a 1950s seaside them/vibe we used lots of pictures of postcards that we’d picked up on day trips in Brighton and turned them into bunting to decorate the bar area.

In the main room we wanted to keep the seaside theme – so had lots of blue lanterns on the ceiling, the centre pieces were hurricane vases with sand, shells and candles and the table names were sandcastle buckets with flags we’d made with a picture of the different beaches we love (each table a different beach).

We also wanted to keep things fun so had a Polaroid camera with our guest book so got vintage style pics of all our guests, we also had quizzes on the tables and ‘fortune teller’ games, along with a sweet buffet (named Tom’s Tuck Shop) and lots of other fun touches, like a jar of dates (where guests had to put a date ideas into a jar for us to do during the year).

It was also important to us that our guests enjoyed and were comfortable/happy to we put toiletries and other supplies in the toilets, did bottles of water with personalised labels for those going home by taxi and made everyone staying a goody bag which we put in the hotel rooms.

THE HONEYMOON | We had a mini-moon immediately after the wedding (Majorca) where we relaxed and ate/drank lots.

We then went on a long honeymoon the next year (Hong Kong and travelling around Thailand). We put a lot of effort into the planning and ensured we had lots of fun trips planned and gorgeous hotels to stay in.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The ceremony itself was perfect and this is one of the most memorable parts of the day, as it had been really hard to envisage beforehand as everything was written just for us so was totally unique. On top of that we had not shared our vows beforehand so it was really nice to hear these for the first time on the day.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be yourselves!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE|

Photographer | Amy Radcliffe Photography

Cake | Cymrucakes

Venue | Oxwich Bay Hotel

Dress | Candy Anthony

 

Amazing. Such a vibrant fun wedding.

Thanks so much to Sarah and Tom for sharing their lovely story with us today XOXO Lou

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Relaxed & Quirky Country Barn BBQ Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121555 2014-08-15T10:16:45Z 2014-09-17T07:00:54Z Country Barn Wedding http://assassynation.co.uk/

 

WWW readers Alexandra and Simon held their wedding on the 31st May 2014 at the countryside setting of Ashley Wood Farm, Wiltshire. They had a vision of a relaxed day, with a BBQ, vintage china and afternoon tea. In fact their whole menu sounded so very delicious.

I love their personal approach to the planning of their day, with the wedding really reflecting their personality as a couple. There were pretty crafty touches, gorgeous blooms and some amazing portraits by their photographers.

Alexandra donned a romantic gown with her hair plaited with flowers running through it, while Simon opted for a dapper Ted Baker suit with fun converse. Be sure to read the whole wedding report in all it’s glory too :-)

Thanks so much to the utterly brilliant Assassynation for sharing these photographs with us today.

 

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Simon and I were officially married two and a half years ago but it was sudden and we weren’t able to have all our family and friends with us! We spent two years keeping our ‘elopement’ to Torquay a secret from all except immediate family and our bridal party, then announced our blessing in our wedding invitations! It was a bit of a surprise to some but all understood and showed support helping create a really special wedding day for us and even the Vicar made allowances with protocol to make sure my Dad walked me down the aisle and the service was as close to a marriage ceremony as possible. We’d always promised each other we’d do it right, from Simon surprising me with the proposal to my white dress and me changing me name in May officially – to us this was our wedding day so it’s amazing that you’ll be sharing it with others! Whether you include those details, that’s up to you as we don’t mind either way! Original ‘marriage’ was 21st April 2012.

THE PROPOSAL | Simon ‘popped the question’ on the 3rd January 2013 in Hong Kong International Airport. I’d been talking about having real noodles in the airport for about a week and by the time we got to the restaurant Simon had decided he wasn’t hungry… we had a little disagreement and I may have sulked… Then we were sat waiting at the gate and Simon just started saying ALL the right things. He actually started by saying “Well I didn’t know when to do this but I guess it’s now or never…” I didn’t know what was happening until he remembered to dig out the ring! Very understated, private (even with us surrounded by people!) and personal! It was our fifth anniversary and half way between our two homes! We got to share it with Simon’s family in New Zealand and mine a few weeks later back in the UK! It was a lovely way to do it as juggling two homes has always been tricky and this way it was just for us to share at first! I still think he’s lucky I said yes after the noodle spat though…

THE VISION | We wanted it to simply reflect us and although I’ve always been a bit of a planner, over the years Simon’s laid back attitude has rubbed off! So we wanted an smoothly run, yet relaxed day that didn’t scream formal wedding but still emphasized all the main bits (cake, dress, suit, music, food and alcohol!) We originally imagined marquee but one of our bridesmaids put us onto the idea of a barn and it was too perfect to argue with so the barn search started! We pictured garden games, yummy outdoor styled food, (burgers were our salute to the NZ and UK barbecues we’ve enjoyed!) straw bales and fairy lights and candles giving it a brilliant look as it darkened. I pictured vintage china and afternoon tea, Simon imagined his friends coming over and dancing to their favourite duo all night long.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had a pretty amazing team behind us every step of the way! My bridesmaids, Sarah Taylor, Samantha McClure, Aimee Fookes, Claire Moore and Maisie Minett each brought so many different ideas to the table and helped with all the planning. My MoH Sarah was hugely involved with researching wines, florists, bridesmaids’ dresses, etc. and also got involved with the decoupage for the table numbers despite telling me adamantly she isn’t creative… They all got involved and made sure everything was on track, especially when my work got too busy to focus on the wedding!

The ushers were mostly overseas and busy planning the stag do but the week before they were there and involved with all the hard labour! They contributed when needed and helped ‘borrow’ things from my parent’s pub and worked hard to get everything looking great!

My mum, Linda Stone, found us our barn! She stumbled across it in a jazz music email and we went straight round that day to find out someone else was pencilled in! She pushed the woman to contact them and they had changed their mind but not told her so we put a deposit down the following morning after we took Simon to view it. Simon is a crazy workaholic and being a farmer, some parts of the year we pass like ships, so my Mum stepped up and met florists, caterers, cake makers, and did multiple trips to the venue to measure or check or show DJs around. An absolute Godsend!

Simon chose the Church (we viewed together and I kept my lips sealed the entire afternoon! Luckily he chose the one I loved and where my parents live!). We planned together and then I’d go view and meet, take tons of pictures and if we liked we’d revisit together! It was a good system and worked well for us with his hours!

I had very a very creative bridesmaid, Maisie, who not only suggested burgers as our main but also came up with the idea for the table numbers, showed me how to make bunting and did our ‘welcome’ chalk board for the day! Maisie Make Home on facebook for chalk boards!

The menu was mostly inspired by me (one of the many Chef’s in my family!)! I originally called the starters my ‘French market buffet’ but it eventually turned into a ‘picnic explosion’ that was enjoyed instead of canapés or a three course sit down meal and our guests grazed on it whilst they played croquet or lounged on straw bales! Exactly how we pictured it and we were soooo glad people received it well and didn’t feel put out to miss a three course meal!!! Burgers originally came from my bridesmaid, Maisie, we’d been leaning towards BBQ but they just weren’t done as nicely as we wanted and a ‘build your own burger’ event meant guests could have fun but also have something different! We found our caterers through online research and once we met and discussed the two ideas they came together perfectly! They were VERY understanding to our wants and needs and we were so grateful that they let us supply our own cakes rather than have dessert and they helped us in so many different ways!

I’d imagined English afternoon tea, so we visited a yummy local bakery that we’ve had a few too many treats from in the past and she was fantastic! She bakes everything and does gluten free, we got a variety, picked them up the day before and stored them until the day! The caterers kindly put them out on our many, many cake stand my Mum and I have collected and it was the perfect way to end the meal! It was relaxed and informal and the cake was too good to try one slice!

The last few weeks we had some kiwis here to help! They were fantastic alongside my family with the last bits! Collecting cakes, stringing fairy lights around very high beams, putting up marquees, taking down marquees, washing over 80 teacups and saucers the day after the wedding! Everyone pulled together whether they were family, bridal party or just friends who’d arrived early!

BUDGET | We went a *little* over with the last minute threat of rain and hired a small marquee! It was worth it to keep Simon and I from feeling panicked but I’d say that took us to around £18,000. We decided a decent caterer, photographer and flowers weren’t worth cutting corners and spent a little bit more than originally planned, but those three components actually made our day so decided only to ‘save’ where it was actually worth it! We had help from our families as well so our total spend was around £14,000.

THE VENUE | Ashley Wood Farm, Tisbury.

A beautiful barn that overlooks the lake from the movie ‘Chocolat’! The view was a huge hit with the guests – they all wandered out with drinks and nibbles and took it in and we got some fantastic shots as the sun was lowering with the reflections! The barn itself has stone walls and wooden beams it was spectacular and had so much character without any added décor! Duck egg blue doors add colour to the outside and it worked very well with our relaxed style. It has a lovely courtyard out front, a large, L-shaped barn with a bar and basic kitchen installed and a formal garden at the back. We set up the emergency marquee and straw bales out the back with croquet and giant jenga to amuse everyone! We did forget to light the firepit in the evening but we survived without it! Clare, the lady who owns it, takes really good care of it and you can smell her massive lavender pots and herb garden as you drive in. My favourite spot is the benches surrounding the firepit with massive rope hung up, covered in creeping roses and fairy lights! Simon and I escaped for five minutes before dinner to watch our guests chat and enjoy taking it all in! It was incredible and we both said we could’ve lived in the farm house and been happy for all our days but sadly we had to give it back on the Monday…

As I said above, my Mum stumbled across it on a Jazz Music email and we snapped it up ASAP!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |  My dress came from Brides of Winchester and was by Chanticleer Brides. It had beautiful Beaufort lace bodice and sleeves, a satin band around the waist and a tulle skirt that I loved because it swished! I decided against hoops or veils because I didn’t want the skirt any bigger and I wanted to keep my hair and face as natural as possible.

FINDING THE DRESS |  I went in quite early on in the engagement with my MoH Sarah and tried on a few but kept going back to Chanticleer and all the pretty lace! I loved three different ones but for different reasons… the skirt from one, the lace from another and the top from a third! Laura, the owner, suggested we got in touch with Tracy, the designer and see if she’d combine them as she’s done it in the past! I was obviously thrilled and when she said yes ‘we’ got to work! I got the sketch and it was as I imagined so we went ahead and created my very own, unique dress! We added the little sleeves later on with the same lace, they were detachable which was perfect as I wanted my shoulders covered for the Church and photos but wanted to dance and eat like a human!

My Mum, Sarah and my sister Samantha all attended fittings, went over photos and sketches and helped me get my perfect dress. It had the tiniest satin buttons on the back that the woman in the shop did in maybe five seconds but on the day Sarah had to get help as they were so fiddly I was nearly having a panic attack about having to go naked! Well worth it for the final result!

I teamed it a very glamorous pair of grey converse all-stars and kept everything else simple, a matching grey pashmina for when it cooled off, a charm bracelet made by the lovely Charlotte, Lottylou, that matched the ones I gave my bridesmaids and flower girls. The day before the wedding I realised I’d forgotten earrings and whizzed to the nearest jewellery shop to find the prettiest drop blue Pandora ones that I now love more than Simon!!! I decided against a veil and went with gypsophilia and daisies in my hair instead. Maisie, my bridesmaid, styled my hair and did a wonderful job of making me look like a bride but also look like me! I wear braids a lot and decided to stop for a few months before hand so it wouldn’t look like my ‘everyday’ hair but even if I hadn’t done that it would’ve still wowed me as I could never braid like that!!!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Simon wore a dark grey, Ted Baker suit and also donned a pair of grey converse all-stars! He didn’t want to wear traditional tails so we went for something that set him apart but kept him comfy! The waistcoat and smart fit stopped the trainers from making him look scruffy! We got the ushers rented suits but kept them in the same waistcoats, they had mismatched ties and cufflinks related to either their work or something that reminded Simon of them! Race car and hammer cufflinks were hard to find but we got there!

THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose readings and hymns that reflected us, my love of literature, my history in the Church choir, Simon’s love for the outdoors and things that make us appreciate our love; Songs of Solomon, An extract from His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman, A Poem of Love, written and read by my sister! Morning has broken, Jerusalem, Love Divine.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Sarah Taylor, Maid of Honour and best friend in the entire World. Also a very good planner and organiser! Sarah would ask me on a Monday what needed to be done and by Wednesday have emailed me a list of websites, telephone numbers, reviews or photos. Sarah also fought for what we wanted when we were pushed into things we weren’t keen on as we tend to ‘go with the flow’! She is adamant she lacks in the creative department but also stepped up to make sure the venue looked beautiful! Without her, Simon and I would be floundering fish.

Samantha McClure, my older sister and having recently got married had tons of advice and wedding bits to nab! Even 7 months pregnant she spent the day making sure I was taken care of and had a blast and even let me play one last song after we were told we needed to leave…

Claire Moore, one of those friends who’s more family, especially as she tells it as it is, holds nothing back and will always give me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it. Also came up with the idea of a barn so she’s pretty much a genius!

Maisie Minett, lovely, creative Maisie made time for me and my décor whims and helped show me how to be nearly as skilled at bunting as her… Nearly! She also volunteered to do my hair and insisted we had burgers for dinner as your wedding is about you, not other people!

Aimee Fookes, my now little sister-in-law arrived two weeks before to support us and be the right kind of bossy, got excited about everything and kept the party going when everyone else was getting a little tired!

Flower girls were Sophie Norsworthy, a close family friend, and Gracie Roigard, Simon’s sweet little cousin! Both girls were brilliant and did so well with all the stuff going on around them! They looked beautiful in their mini-me dresses and danced all night long!

Our beautiful bridesmaids wore different styled dresses in three different shades of green. We mixed Dessy dresses with Alfred Angelo and Kelsey Rose to create a slightly unique look and they got to wear something they felt comfortable in on the day. The flower girls were in simple, ivory dresses from Monsoon with matching cardigans and pink converse styled trainers! Their dresses matched mine in style and we wanted them to be country and pretty but also cool and comfy!

They all did their own hair and makeup and wore individual Lotty Lou Charm Bracelets that I ordered to be made, including the little ones.

THE FLOWERS |  Flowers came from a local florist who had supplied my original bouquet for our ‘marriage’ in Torquay. My mum had surprised me with it and insisted two years later my bouquet came from the same shop. I was intent on doing our flowers myself but after chatting to her she offered us such a reasonable deal and knowing we’d probably run out of time and stress about it, we went ahead with her. Best decision I made! Not only were the flowers beautiful we realised that our guests didn’t care or expect us to put together our own flowers to make the wedding feel personal! We made or created so many of the little things and they all noticed those but would they have even known if I’d spent the night before rushing to carefully arrange flowers that would inevitably not look as nice as a florist?!

THE CAKE | Simon and I had researched wedding cakes and come across a beautiful cupcake tower we decided to try and replicate! We got in contact with a local woman who runs her business from home and trusted her to recreate from the picture! She went above and beyond, was so reasonable and the cake didn’t just look beautiful, it tasted heavenly! We decided against a cake topper so fresh baby’s breath went on top just before I left for the church!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  Sassy – Assassynation! She was absolutely fantastic! You might’ve read my review on her page so I will try not to gush too much but in all honesty we wouldn’t have had the same day without her and Jo, the second shooter! Not only do we have the most beautiful wedding photos I’ve ever seen, (I know I’m biased but did you see that lake reflection?!) she also guided us through the day, advised us, gave us confidence in front of the camera, had a laugh with us, danced with us and hopefully took home a cupcake for the road as I did insist!!! Couldn’t recommend her more – best photographer in the World!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR |  We didn’t read wedding magazines other than in the first few weeks… Simon brought one home about six months prior and after looking through we realised it was pointless as what we were creating was completely unique to us and if we, or a friend, hadn’t thought of it, we didn’t need it! That meant on the day it was very reflective of our personalities and not what’s in fashion… Someone asked me about a year before if I was going to have vintage china as it was getting quite fashionable but it seemed silly to avoid trends with something I’ve collected since I was 19 and love! Have the décor that you will love when you’re 90, not what’s ‘hot’ this summer and definitely don’t avoid things you love because they’re ‘fashionable!’.

The décor involved home-made bunting, handmade chalk boards, strung fairy lights everywhere, candles in massive jars, candles in lanterns hanging from shepherd’s hooks, more fairy lights, and a dresser covered in china, photos, chalk quotation frames and pretty mr and mrs signs! We kept it minimal but what we had we made look fantastic!

I designed and created the chalkboard art, it suited my pub background and I was so pleased with the result and glad I took the time to do them! I’d research fonts, find images to copy, sketch them with pencil, start with a liquid chalk pen and change my mind and start again… We’re going to frame a couple though as we love them so much! I also made the flower ‘vases’ out of empty baked bean cans, hessian and tiny buttons and hearts! Fiddly job but total worth it! I got all our photo frames from home and filled them with little chalk boards with some of our favourite quotations on them! We filled a beautiful wooden dresser with them and photos of our parent’s and grandparent’s wedding day pictures! It looked exactly as we’d imagined it and we’ve had such lovely reactions to it from relatives!

I also ‘borrowed’ a large signpost from my sister’s wedding the previous year! She’d had the fantastic idea to put all the places that meant something to them on it with distance in miles, we took her pretty white signpost and me and my Dad varnished it a dark wood colour and the day of the wedding we finished writing the distances to Honk Kong, New Zealand and Chichester!

The Church was decked out with beautiful flowers (from Tescos…) arranged by the lovely ladies from the village! We stopped in on the Friday before with cake and coffee to keep them going and I knew at that point it was going to look incredible! They did a fantastic job and it was lovely to have them involved in our special day!

THE HONEYMOON | Simon and I decided with our overseas guests it would be unfair to up and leave after the wedding and we’d taken time off work beforehand as well! We postponed the honeymoon and are boarding a plane to America on September 1st where we will spend a full month visiting NY, Chicago, New Orleans, Vegas and the West Coast followed by a quick trip to Honolulu (thank you Mum and Dad!!!) before we head home. We are beyond excited as you can imagine!!!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS |  Sassy and Jo heading off with my dress to go find somewhere with better lighting to photograph it. I told them they could hang it from a tree for all I care, as long as it came back… The photos were a fantastic treat and the girls and I were in hysterics watching them walk it off into a field!!!

Simon and I finding a bottle of Prosecco, leftover quiche and wedding cupcakes and winding down after midnight on the patio overlooking the lake!

Being caught on camera downing champagne from the bottle when I sneaked off to our rented cottage (next to the venue) for five minutes!

Gracie, our flower girl, chasing the chickens outside all day long! She was so fascinated!

The bridesmaids taking one for the team and hiking their dresses up and following me into a field where we had to stand very, very still as the boys drove sheep behind us. Wasn’t sure whether we’d be laughing or crying by the end!

The couple shots with Sassy – it was really intimate and we both felt lucky to have that time to be with each other and have a little quiet!

Simon’s memorable moments include;

Seeing me walk down the aisle in my dress!

Arriving at the venue, getting out of our beautiful car and seeing all our family and friends.

My Dad’s speech! It was very funny and emotional for both of us.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  Set a realistic budget – you don’t want to find yourself owing afterwards! Try to save a little bit more just in case! It’s hard, I know, but it’s worth it as things can always crop up in the last few days!

Everyone has their own priorities but a really decent, flexible catering team made our day! They did 110% to make sure we were happy on the day and really did things they didn’t have to which we were grateful for, but you wouldn’t get that from just anyone!

Go for what you’ll love in twenty years’ time, not what is fashionable this year or your friends did last year and don’t think you have to do anything a certain way! Make it about you as a couple, be considerate to your guests but don’t forget to make it fun for you!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Venue | Ashley Wood Farm

Caterers | ForkingOut  

Photography | Assassynation

Cake | LilyLou’s Cakes 

Afternoon Tea | Indulge Bakery

Flowers | Bright Blooms Florist     

Dress | Brides of Winchester       

Bridesmaids | J C Brides

Jewellery | Lotty Lou Jewellery        

 

Such a wonderful wedding, definitely one of those days I’d love to be a guest at :-)

Thanks so much to Alexandra and Simon for sharing their wonderful story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

 

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Vintage 1960s Spring Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121656 2014-08-14T14:21:01Z 2014-09-16T13:00:52Z Vintage 1960s Spring Wedding http://www.flukephotography.co.uk/

 

A happy afternoon to you :-) I have another fabulous affair to share today, which you guys are going to adore.

Sarah and Steve married on the 22nd March 2014 at Abbeywood Estate, Cheshire. They wanted their wedding to have a 1960s vintage spring feel, with Spanish traditions.

They had a pretty pastel lilac colour palette and sourced many of their details from the marvellous Etsy. There were Spring blooms, vintage style frocks for the bridesmaids and smiles all round.

Sarah looked amazing in a 1960s inspired dress, which she teamed with vintage gloves and shurg, while Steve went for a skinny fit grey suit with brogues. Oh the style.

Thanks so much to Fluke Photography for providing the fantastic imagery this afternoon.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Steve proposed at the beautiful village of Portmeirion in North Wales in a little Chinese pagoda next to a lake. We later went for a celebratory champagne dinner (secretly pre-booked by Steve) at our favourite restaurant – The Loft at The Bull’s Head Inn, in Beaumaris, Anglesey.

THE VISION | Elegant early 60s vintage-style, with lots of spring flowers, an eclectic mix of music, some Spanish traditions and a bit of woodland magic…

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  We started planning the wedding pretty much after the engagement, so we had just under a year to get everything sorted. We booked the venue first, then the food, photographer and entertainment soon after. We collected things like decorations and wedding accessories throughout the year to spread the cost, most of which were bought from Etsy and eBay.

THE VENUE | Abbeywood Estate, Delamere, Cheshire.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |  Dress: Based on a wedding dress design from 1960 – handmade in guipure lace and silk by Llewellyn Shaw of Hawarden.

Hat/Veil: Based on the hat/veil worn by Nancy Sinatra on her wedding day (September 1960) – also handmade by Llewellyn Shaw of Hawarden.

Shoes: Jimmy Choo. Gloves: Vintage from Etsy. Faux fur shrug: Vintage from Etsy. Vintage 1960s watch & leather clutch bag from Etsy. Evening fascinator: Handmade by EvianZO via Etsy.

FINDING THE DRESS |  I decided to have the dress made as I couldn’t find the style that I wanted in the shops. I collected photos online (googled ‘1960s wedding dresses’) and also found a vintage dress pattern to give to the dressmaker so that she could get an idea of the styles I liked. It ended up more lovely than I could ever have imagined!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit & Shirt: Mr Bathing Ape. Silk Tie: Marks & Spencer. Shoes: Grenson. Tie Pin: Donated by Groom’s Father. Watch: Uniform Wares. (Father of Bride/Groom & Best Man suits and ties all from Marks & Spencer; Page boys’ suits from George at Asda).

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Reading: American Indian Wedding Ceremony. Ceremony Music:  Piano music played by Sarah’s school friend (Jeremy Heald), Debussy – Arabesque No.1, Grieg – Wedding at Troldhaugen, Debussy – Clair de Lune, Piano arrangement of Daft Punk – Aerodynamic.

After ceremony: Jazz music played by another friend’s Jazz band (David Bird). During wedding breakfast: Piano music played by Jeremy Heald & David Bird. Evening reception: Salsa Band – ‘Salsa Pa Gozar’ (Manchester) and three friends played DJ sets.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Dresses: Handmade in silk by Sarah’s Aunt Sylvia – based on a vintage 1960s dress pattern. Gloves: Also handmade by Sarah’s Aunt Sylvia – based on a vintage sewing pattern.

Headdresses: Handmade by ChantalEveleen via Etsy. Shoes: Elegant Steps. Shoe clips: ElizaJaneClips via Etsy. Faux fur wraps: Faulkner & Carter via Etsy.

THE FLOWERS | Flowers were arranged by a friend of the family, with a mixture of fresh spring flowers, roses and heather & broom to signify the ties with North Wales (Steve’s birthplace) and Galicia in Northern Spain (Sarah’s Dad’s birthplace)

THE CAKE | The chocolate wedding cake was decorated by a friend of the family, including the gorgeous sugar flower topper! The crystal cake stand was hired from ‘Arty Cakes’ of Ruthin, North Wales.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  The wonderful Marie-Claire Ashcroft of Fluke Photography, Chester. Everyone at the wedding loved her and she captured the day perfectly! She also produced a beautiful wedding album for us which is a gorgeous mix of vintage and modern styles – exactly what we wanted.

THE DETAILS & DECOR | 50+ vintage cut glass vases were collected by Sarah’s Dad from charity shops for table decorations. Ivory paper lanterns bought online. Circle paper garlands bought from FancifulChaos via Etsy. Vintage-style wedding postbox hired via eBay. All paper stationery designed by a friend of Sarah’s, printed on home printer and trimmed/decorated by hand by Sarah, her Mum (Libby) and her Nan (Pat).

Spanish-style ‘bonboniere’ wedding favours, with chocolate dragees/sugared almonds, a mini Welsh Love Spoon (from Welsh Gifts) and personalised wooden tag (from STELLAnCHARLIE via Etsy) – also assembled by Sarah, her Mum and Nan.

Table plan board made by Sarah’s Dad.

THE HONEYMOON | We spent two weeks in Japan during cherry blossom season, which was amazing. We toured the country by bullet train and visited Tokyo, Yudanaka Onsen (near Nagano), Kyoto, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima and Hakone. During our time there, we met some Snow Monkeys, bathed in natural hot springs, experienced a traditional tea ceremony with a Geiko (trainee Geisha), dressed up in traditional Japanese costume and viewed Mount Fuji from a cable car. It’s a place that we had always wanted to go to and would love to go back one day…

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking out of the ceremony the wrong way and getting a big laugh!

The delicious food, including a Spanish tapas-style starter, Welsh lamb main and Baileys cheesecake dessert – accompanied by wine from Northern Spain!

Rowdy Spanish customs involving lots of shouting & cheering during the wedding breakfast and the hilarious best man’s speech.

Traditional Northern Spanish ‘Queimada’ ceremony during the evening reception, which involves setting fire to a bowl of strong alcoholic punch, casting a spell on the drink and sharing it around the wedding party for good luck!

An amazing improvised violin solo played by a member of the salsa band.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We found it really helped to start collecting items for the wedding as early as possible, to spread out the cost and keep stress levels down! Also, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help out with organising and making things.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Details & accessories | Etsy

Postbox | eBay

Dress | Llewellyn Shaw

Bridesmaid Shoes | Elegant Steps

Catering | Stables Cuisine

Venue | Abbeywood Estate

Photography | Fluke Photography

Cake | Arty Cakes

Love spoons | Welsh Gifts

Band | Salsa Pa’ Gozar

Honeymoon | Inside Japan Tours

 

Oh how I love a 1960s inspired day, the fashion choices were totally divine.

Thanks so much to Sarah and Steve for sharing all about their wedding with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

 

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[Pretty Floral Country Garden Fete Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121509 2014-08-14T13:45:57Z 2014-09-16T07:00:45Z Pretty Floral Country Garden Fete Wedding http://www.emmaboileau.co.uk/

 

WWW readers Helen and Maarten were married in South Africa in April, but headed to the UK for a blessing on the 20th June 2014 on a gorgeous summers day. They wanted an English country garden fete feel to their day and chose The Bells Of Peover pub to host their reception.

With fete games, a bake off and thoughtful personal touches their guests had a whale of a time.

I adore Helen’s pretty boho bridal look, with her floaty dress and flower crown she looked gorgeous. Such a wonderful day.

Thanks so much to Emma Boileau Photography for sharing her lovely images today.

 

 

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THE PROPOSAL | At the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. We’re both avid distance runners, so this was fitting.

THE VISION | ‘English country garden fete’

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  Since we live is South Africa there wasn’t much of a planning process. We only arrived in the UK 10 days before the wedding, so although the venue, flowers, photographer, church etc were booked… that’s about as far as we’d been able to get! In hindsight that’s probably a good thing. The stress would probably have been too great otherwise.

BUDGET | Let’s say this was supposed to be a relaxed low key party with a low key budget, but that was blown out of the water as the small party became a full on celebration.

THE VENUE | St Oswalds Church, Peover, Cheshire (dating back to the 13th century) with obligatory bell ringers. We then had a very short walk into the Bells of Peover restaurant and pub, known for its role in the planning of the D day invasion. Jane the vicar, and Jose and the team at the Bell,s couldn’t have been more helpful!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | A Joanna August dress from the US. Few accessories other than a flower halo to fit in with the theme and some pearl earrings courtesy of my mum and sister. The shoes I already had from a previous wedding… and I knew I could walk in them (I’m not so used to heels!!)

FINDING THE DRESS | This was interesting! I couldn’t find anything I liked in the typical wedding dress stores. I wanted something simple, a bit vintagey, comfortable… but all I could find were ‘toilet roll covers’ or dresses which were either heavy, or where you were so strapped in you couldn’t even breath or have a drink. I saw ‘the’ dress online in the US and decided to take a chance and order it on the basis I could always tailor it/sell it if it didn’t work out. Fortunately it worked out! It was a little big, and was strapless, but I added small spaghetti straps myself and did have to have it shortened and taken in.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Maarten had a fantastic suit hand made by Grant at Frank Bespoke in South Africa.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music was provided by Sale Brass Band, much better than getting people from all different nationalities to sing hymns they may not necessarily know. We had our own playlist for the afternoon/evening.

Readings were provided by Helen’s good friend and thespian Mark Winstanley, who read a Shakespearian sonnet to perfection. Helen’s sister Clare then read a Pam Ayres poem on marriage which suited her style too. Oh, and Jane the vicar also threw in some Dutch for the Dutch visitors which was great fun. All were brilliant!

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Helen’s sister Clare. Relying on her good taste, I left her to choose her own dress.

THE FLOWERS | Provided by Rachel Hall. She did an amazing job with seasonal flowers for our bouquets, my flower halo, the church and table decorations which fit in with the theme perfectly. Again, she couldn’t have been more accommodating.

THE CAKE | We weren’t into the big cake cutting thing, so friends baked their signature cakes which we had on a cake table a la ‘Great British Bake Off’. This was more personal and went down a treat!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Emma Boileau of Emma Boileau photography. Again we were super lucky with Emma. Despite not being able to meet up before the big day, she worked wonders and made us feel completely at ease. Everyone commented on how nice she was!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Fortunately the church and The Bells were already fantastic venues and didn’t need too much ‘dressing up’ so to speak. In keeping with the theme we just added bunting and flowers outside, along with garden games for guests to enjoy. Apart from one non lethal head injury from a flying giant connect four piece, this worked perfectly. Inside we just dressed up with a little more bunting, vintage tablecloths and accessories such as wine crates, chalkboard signs, board games, candles, flowers in jam jars or tins, vintage suitcases for decoration and for cards to go in etc. Much of this came from raiding the attic, charity shops, hobbycraft and ebay. Fortunately I have some very creative friends who helped, and who also designed and created the invitations and thank you cards.

THE HONEYMOON | Due to our crazy travel schedule, this will come later!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | So many…. Just having all our family and friends come together from all over the world was amazing! We also enjoyed lots of ‘photobombing’ (not mentioning names.. Joe & Liv!), guests getting to know each other playing our home made ‘bridal bingo’ game, a stealth like interception of the bouquet toss, late night Jagerbombing and cigars…. Oh, and of course the ceremony itself and seeing each other for the first time of course!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We had no choice but to leave a lot of things to chance and do away with a lot of formalities. This worked for us. Stay true to yourselves and try not to worry or panic (things can be done in relatively little time if need be). Relax, take some time for yourselves and enjoy the ride.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Reception Venue | The Bells Of Peover, Peover, Knutsford, Cheshire

Photography | Emma Boileau Photography

Flowers | Rachel Hall miss.rachel.hall87@gmail.com

Dress | Joanna August 

Suit | Frank Bespoke

Music | Sale Brass Band

 

How pretty?! A beautiful summers day.

Thanks so much to Helen and Maarten for sharing their lovely wedding story with us XOXO Lou

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Lou Whimsicalwonderlandweddings <![CDATA[English Country Garden Meets Downton Abbey Tipi Wedding]]> http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=121421 2014-08-12T13:59:32Z 2014-09-15T07:00:21Z English Country Garden Downton Abbey Wedding http://www.s6photography.co.uk/

 

Happy Monday lovelies :-) I have the perfect way to start the week; a beautiful English country garden wedding set in Devon.

Tim and Michelle married in the 21st June 2014 at Cadhay House; opting for a rustic tipi reception in the picturesque grounds. They wanted their wedding to have a relaxed party feel with a touch of Downton Abbey. Michelle chose the exquisite 1920s feel Esme by Jenny Packham gown which she teamed with a Polly Edwards hairpiece.

There were yellow and grey details and décor, from natural feel flowers to bunting and lanterns. Be sure to look out for the super scrumptious menu, a cheese tower and outdoor games too. Perfect.

Thanks so very much to the amazing S6 Photography for sharing his photographs with us today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Umm Qais in Northern Jordan, among wildflowers at a Roman ruin overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

THE VISION | Ultimate English country garden party meets Downton Abbey/Great Gatsby. It was also very important for us for the day to be very relaxed and informal.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Surprisingly calm and stress-free! Chelle is an events organiser so that was a definite bonus as it made sure the day ran seamlessly without a hitch and with military efficiency! One of the biggest compliments one of our guests made on the day was that they could see a lot of work had gone into it, but it was the most relaxed wedding they had ever been to, which was one of our main aims for the day.

In the planning/ organisation phase, spreadsheets are your best friend (we had one for the venue, the caterers, the tent company, the décor requirements, the gifts, the running order etc, you name any component part of the wedding and we had a separate spreadsheet to cover it!! Plus Pinterest will definitely become your new obsession!! The latter is so useful though as it lets you build up a visual picture of what you want and allows you to tweak ideas over time as well which is extremely useful as the idea of your day evolves. Finally we set up a wedding website which was a one-stop shop for all of our guests which had all the info they needed, plus it allowed them to RSVP, notify us of their food requirements etc and it saved us considerable time at the end when we could just download a spreadsheet (yes another one!) which had all the relevant guest information in one easy format. As we had guests coming from overseas this was fantastic and convenient for them.

THE VENUE | Cadhay House in Ottery St Mary. Listed by Country Life as “one of the top ten manor houses in the country”, Cadhay is an Elizabethan manor house situated one mile north west of Ottery St Mary in East Devon. The ceremony was held in the old Apple Store which is now a Tearoom, dressed with bunting, wicker hearts and fairy lights – all very shabby chic and relaxed, with most guests standing for the short ceremony. The reception drinks with canapes were held in the garden, a short but very pleasant stroll through the grounds, which were in fabulous shape thanks to the efforts of the Cadhay head gardener, Dave, and his team. The wedding breakfast followed in our TiPi tent, provided by World Inspired Tents from North Devon, for whom James and his team were an absolute credit when constructing on the Thursday on one of the hottest days of the year!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES |Esme by Jenny Packham, from Miss Bush Bridal in Ripley, Surrey, with headpiece by Polly Edwards.

FINDING THE DRESS |  I always knew that I wanted something unconventional that had a simple silhouette and I was drawn to the 1920’s style. Most importantly I wanted the freedom to move unrestricted around the gardens at Cadhay. Comfort was very important hence I also wore flat shoes!

I came across Jenny Packham very early on in the dress-finding process flicking through one of the many bridal magazines I’d picked up. The minute I saw her 2012 bridal collection, I was sold!! The whole collection was AMAZING but I was drawn to Esme as it fitted my brief for what I was looking for in a dress perfectly.

I went dress shopping with my Mum and grandparents and whilst we have differing ideas on clothes and style (!), the minute I put Esme on my Mum and Nan said in unison “that’s the one!”.

GROOM’S ATTIRE |Good old Moss Bros hire. Excellent service though, so I won’t hear a word against them! Newbury tailcoat with grey-striped trousers, silver cravats for the groom’s party and yellow for the groom.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | Readings were “What does marriage mean in the modern world?”, and “Be My Homer” by CJ Munn. The latter definitely raised a few giggles among the guests and the first reading summed up succinctly why we were getting married.

Music wise, the bride’s entry was to ‘ Today I met the boy I’m going to marry’ by Darlene Love, signing the register was ‘Something changed’ by Pulp and ‘For your precious love’ by Otis Redding and then we walked out to ‘Feeling good’ by the legendary Nina Simone.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Chelle’s best mate and partner in crime from their backpacking days in their early 20s, Samantha Nash.

THE FLOWERS | By Gill Clavey at The Mossy Twig in Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon. A friend of Tim’s sister who happens to be a passionate florist. As with Jon, our photographer, she’s probably tired of hearing us gush over her work but she 100% nailed our brief.

The concept was for the flowers to be very English summer garden but again very informal in design. We didn’t want anything to look to stiff and ‘done’ so we went for bouquets that looked like they’d been loosely swept together that morning from the garden and for the TiPi’s we went for jam jars filled with Chelle’s favourite flowers including freesias and sweet peas.

THE CAKE |  A cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed in Bovey Tracey in Devon, comprising a variety of cheese from Devon and Nottinghamshire (our home counties). Layers included Quicke’s Extra Mature Cheddar, Colston Bassett Stilton, Rachel (a goats cheese), White Helford (soft), and Smoked Woolsery. Decorated/accompanied with herbs, fig balls and physalis, and served with crackers and Tim’s Aunt Jennie’s home-made chutney.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  The inestimable Jon Dennis at S6 Photography in Sheffield. He must be bored of us telling him how pleased we are with his coverage of the day but he was AWESOME.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The colour palette was yellow, grey and white, allowing us to have bold ‘pops’ of colour and contrast while complementing the yellows and whites predominant in the garden. Crespedia flowers in the bouquet, buttonholes and on the serviettes were the perfect shape and colour around which to theme the flowers, with freesias and sweet peas for soft colours and delicious scents. Buttonholes had a sprig of rosemary, which will forever be the smell of our wedding! The table layout was a giant E-shape, partly out of necessity with the layout of the tent and partly because it gives the top table much more contact with the rest of the party. The garden party theme demanded informal rectangular table and benches, with reindeer and sheepskins for comfort. The World Inspired tents have the option of a ‘chill-out kung’, complete with plenty of soft furnishings for kicking back and relaxing with a beer or glass of fizz, and an open fire for toasting marshmallows and we absolutely knew we wanted to include that as well! We also decorated one of the main tents with a ceiling installation of variously-sized paper lanterns in yellow, grey and white, for a very visual ‘planetary’ feel and also hung some of these paper lanterns out on the tree behind the reception drinks station to carry the colour theme through.

The food was a Devon Feast by Dartmoor Kitchen. Canapes included beef carpaccio, potted shrimp on toast, smashed broad bean and pea bruschetta and for a nod to Tim’s Devon heritage – a scone mountain! For the wedding breakfast we opted for a buffet-style meal based around pork belly and torn pork shoulder, chargrilled seafood and sweet potato gallettes, with potato dauphinoise, heritage carrots and blue cheese and walnut salad. The facility to have seconds went down very well with certain guests! Dessert was a trio of small desserts, which were lemon tart, chocolate torte and macerated strawberries with vanilla shortbread – yum!

Our late night food was the cake of cheese with crackers and bread washed down with port, all of which went down very well with all of our guests who kept dashing off the dancefloor for a cheese break!

THE HONEYMOON | We’re moving to Wales and are thus both between jobs, so have the luxury of not being bound by holiday allowances. So we’re off for six weeks, to the US first to drive Route 66, then up to Canada to explore the Rockies and finishing on Vancouver Island for a week of five-star luxury at Sonora Wilderness Retreat.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Far too many to mention!! At a push, standing looking at each other during the wedding vows trying to take in the moment and be in the moment at the same time, the impromptu rendition of ‘On the Street where you live’ during the wedding breakfast, dancing to Killing in the Name of by Rage Against the Machine towards the end of the evening (not a typical wedding song I know!!) and other grunge classics from our student days… The leaning tower of cheese as it wilted in the heat, Michelle throwing shapes with her granddad who’s 83 on the dancefloor and sitting down with our closest friends at the end of the evening, digestifs in hand and reliving the days events till 2am.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  We opted to make our wedding a long weekend and it was the best decision we made as it gave us extended time to enjoy the day and the build-up/ aftermath with our nearest and dearest as the day itself just flies by. (the night before we had drinks at the house with everyone and the day after we hosted a BBQ/ picnic with the biggest water fight you have ever seen in the grounds which was great fun).

Finally Pinterest is great to get ideas but also to see your vision for the day and convey that to your suppliers to show what you want to achieve. Much easier to show rather than try to explain over the phone/ email in my experience.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Venue | Cadhay house

Photography | S6 Photography

Catering | Dartmoor Kitchen

Tipis | World Inspired Tents

Dress Shop | Miss Bush Bridalwear

Wine | Majestic Wine

 

Utterly beautiful.

Thanks so much to Tim and Michelle for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

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