What a way to start the week. A gorgeous loved up couple and their rainbow eclectic wedding are gracing the blog this morning :-)
WWW readers Sam and Heather married on Thursday 5th June 2014 at Marks Hall Estate, Essex. They put so much of their personality into their wedding, with DIY touches, a lego cake, origami, hot air balloon pom poms and fun adult party bags.
They had a touching outdoor ceremony and wrote letters to one another in the morning, which is such a lovely idea. Heather looked stunning in her fishtail gown and twist hair style, while Sam donned a blue tux and bow tie. Just wait until you see the last portrait shots too.
Thanks so very much to the wonderful Marianne Chua for sharing her images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Sam and I had always talked about getting married so after 7 years together when we had our first ever holiday away to Paris I was convinced he was going to propose. But after an amazing holiday with no proposal I was left feeling a bit disheartened! 2 weeks later Sam had 3 days off which he said were due to having to use up left over holiday from the previous year. On the final day, a Wednesday, he told me I had to let him know when I was nearly home as he had a surprise for me. I was led blindfolded upstairs and told to wait until he text me. 30 minutes later, with me still completely unawares (I mean who proposes on a Wednesday?!) I opened the bedroom door to see the stairs covered in candles and our song playing. I knew something was up but still hadn’t twigged until I came to the bottom of the stairs and saw him standing in the kitchen with a shirt and dicky bow on. As I walked over he got down on one knee and it finally hit me! After lots of hugs and excited squeaks I asked, ‘but why on a Wednesday?!’ and he replied, ‘because I wanted to make the ordinary extraordinary’… the tears followed shortly afterwards!
THE VISION | We knew we didn’t want anything too themed as we have such odd taste so we ended up just getting stuff we loved. The end product was a mix of rustic, retro, vintage and rainbow!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had 14 months to plan and got all the big things booked up within the first month! We then took a bit of a break and went back into full planning mode after Christmas with 5 months to go.
BUDGET | We never considered having a budget wedding as such but seeing as the average wedding costs £20,000 (apparently!) we managed to come in at just over £10k. We tried to source sensibly and locally to cut costs and did a lot of DIY which helped keep the cost down too.
THE VENUE | I have always dreamed of getting married outside but after discovering the English law of having to be legally married under a structure, and realising we would love to have the ceremony and reception in one place, we had some set guidelines for the search! After a lot of googling we came across Marks Hall Estate in Coggeshall, Essex which had an amazing original Coach house with beautiful exposed beams and brickwork… and more importantly a gorgeous enclosed flower garden with a summer house at the end for outdoor weddings! It was the only venue we viewed and after the first visit we were sold – we put the deposit down right then and there!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was called ‘Gaynor’ by Viva Bride from The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet. Shoes were from Primark and my veil was from Ebay. The only jewellery I wore was a pearl necklace Sam brought me for my 21st birthday.
FINDING THE DRESS | I am not a typical girly girl so I was actually really dreading going dress shopping! I also knew I didn’t want to spend our entire budget on a dress for one day so I searched for cheaper alternatives. Then I came across The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet which offered a relaxed shopping experience and designer labels at bargain prices! After looking at dress inspiration online I knew I wanted a loose, Grecian style dress with either long or capped sleeves. At the shop I picked dresses like that and then my friend grabbed a tight, fishtail, strapless dress with a grey sash. After lots of protest she convinced me to just see as the grey sash would match the groomsmen. It was the first one I tried on (to get it out of the way) and I fell completely in love with it!!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Sam’s suit was a bright blue tux with black lapels, black bow tie and blue polka dot pocket square all from Moss Bros.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Sam’s sister read A Lovely Love Story by Ed Monkton and my brother wrote a very emotional speech about Sam and I. Our first dance was to ‘Same Love’ by Macklemore which held a lot of meaning to Sam and I and then I danced with my Dad to ‘Lean on Me’.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 2 Maids of Honour, 4 Bridesmaids and a Flower Girl (I know so greedy!). They wore grey/mauve coloured chiffon dresses in all different styles – I just asked them to pick a style they would feel comfortable in on the day then I found a designer on Etsy who made them for me.
THE FLOWERS | The original plan was to go to Covent Garden Flower market to save on cost, but after factoring in petrol and time we decided it would be too much hassle. We knew we didn’t have any specific flowers in mind and liked the ‘freshly picked’ mismatch look so the day before the wedding we went to Tesco’s and brought bundles and bundles of flowers (2 shopping trolleys full to the brim) all for £60.
THE CAKE | The cake was made up of individual ‘lego brick’ sponge cakes with each colour being a different flavour (carrot, lemon, chocolate and vanilla). We then had a large lego brick fruit cake on the top with mini bride and groom lego people made by one of my wonderful mother’s in law! It was absolutely delicious!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | From the very beginning we knew that photography was a top priority for us as we didn’t have a huge budget but we really wanted a quirky, informal, relaxed style. After spending every lunch time for what seemed like years searching I came across the amazing Marianne Chua! Her style was exactly what I had envisioned and she sounded like a cool gal so we arranged to meet. 4 hours and loads of giggles later I couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing our day… and she did it spectacularly!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As we didn’t have a set vision for the day we started by using Pinterest and wedding blogs like WWW to help us gain inspiration, then we just started gathering lots of stuff! We decorated the tables with hessian table runners (cut the day before), collections of mismatched glass jars and bottles filled with flowers and giant wooden pegs which held the table names (made from kraft luggage tags by a friend). My amazing mum made gingham fabric napkins for each guest and our friends made origami cranes which we scattered around the venue. We hung giant rainbow paper pompom hot air balloons from the beams (I think my favourite detail!) and our favours were adult party bags with homemade jam (again my amazing mum!), seeds and a retro toy. We had a cake buffet (I couldn’t decide on just one dessert!) and our reception drinks were bottles of Bud in large tin trugs and Pimms in recycled jam jars decorated with lace and stripy straws. Our cards went in a wooden apple crate with a hessian liner and our guestbook was a puzzle which we are going to make and hang in our house. Finally we made our own save the dates and invites from recycled card, stamps and kraft paper. They took AGES to do but were well worth it.
THE HONEYMOON | We got an apartment in Valencia for 4 days on the Sunday after the wedding which was a much needed break after the wonderful craziness of the day!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was incredible and we spent it with everyone we loved dearly but there were a few moments in particular…
For me: rather than write our own vows (too much pressure on the day!) we wrote a letter to each other which was given on the morning of the wedding. Sam had typed my letter on a friend’s typewriter as my Granddad (who has sadly passed) used to type me letters so that meant so much to me. Also doing the big reveal to my dad when I was ready – I walked around a doorway to face him and for a split second we were both speechless then we both just burst in to tears. Finally, walking out of the doors to face everyone and seeing Sam at the end of the aisle trying not to cry!
For Sam: Reading the letter Heather wrote to me the morning of the wedding as that was the moment it hit me I was getting married that day! Also seeing Heather appear at the top of the aisle was incredible!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you are DIYing bits make sure you plan far in advance but also don’t get too wrapped up in these projects – there were a few bits we just decided we didn’t have time for and it didn’t affect the day at all! Also, make sure you plan with your partner and take breaks from ‘wedmin’ to enjoy life. Finally don’t worry about what your wedding ‘should’ look like – our day basically looked like a slightly more sophisticated kids party but it was absolutely everything we wanted and friends and family all commented on how ‘us’ it was.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Marianne Chua
Catering |Twice as Nice Catering
Venue | Marks Hall Estate
Dress | The Wedding Dress Factory Outlet
Just brilliant. The décor looked so much fun.
Thanks so much to Sam and Heather for sharing their wedding story with us today XOXO Lou