WWW readers Kirsty and Dan were married on the 16th July 2016 at Longstowe Hall in Cambridgeshire. I feel especially honoured to share their day today, as I actually went to school with Kirsty. These two just smiled all day long and their happiness is just infectious. I think Binky Nixon captured their day just so beautifully and I cannot thank Binky enough for sharing these images today.
The vision for the celebrations stemmed from their engagement and a saved cork. Vineyards and champagne became their subtle theme along with a touch of sparkle, it all looked so pretty! The flowers by WWW fave The Basement Florist were utterly beautiful and were filled with natural seasonal blooms. Kirsty’s flower crown was such a bold and gorgeous statement too. It worked in harmony with her Pronovias gown complete with stylish pockets. Dan was very dapper in his pale grey suit and bright pink bow tie, a super stylish pair.
THE PROPOSAL | A holiday was planned with friends but unfortunately my Nana passed away and her funeral was the day before our flights. I felt really conflicted about going away straight after the funeral and changed my mind so many times but with encouragement from Dan and my Dad, I made the decision to go. Little did I know that Dan had asked my dad’s permission to marry me and that’s why they were both encouraging the trip!
Half way through the holiday Dan and I went out for a meal at a beautiful open-air restaurant in the middle of a vineyard in the south of France. During the meal I ended up not only singing Beyonce Single Ladies but also doing the hand dance moves, totally oblivious to the fact Dan had an engagement ring in his pocket. After dinner we walked through the vineyard and Dan dropped down on one knee. When we got back from the meal our friends had waited up for us (Dan had given them a tip off) and we all lay by the pool drinking champagne at midnight.
THE VISION | On the night of the engagement I saved the champagne cork as a memento. When we started to plan the wedding we instantly thought of incorporating vineyards and champagne in to the wedding due to the engagement location and because we love champagne!! Dan was harder to convince about the glitter part of the vision but I only wanted this to be subtle, featuring mainly on the cake, place settings and of course my shoes!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We planned the wedding in 18 months and I can honestly say that I really loved the process. I think having the time and trying to be as organised as possible meant that I didn’t feel too pressured at any point. We bought things as we saw them and kept lists of what we had and what we needed. Girls’ nights with my sister and Mum were great fun and helped no end at getting most of the home-made things done with production lines fuelled by prosecco. I also think that because we didn’t have a strict colour scheme and the champagne theme was fairly low profile this reduced stress levels, no matching colour dramas!!
THE VENUE | Longstowe Hall, Cambridge for both the ceremony and the reception.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress from Pronovias bought at Once in A Lifetime Stony Stratford. Veil worn until the end of the meal. Flower Crown by The Basement Florist for the evening. Gold glitter shoes by Dune.
FINDING THE DRESS | Looking back on it, and even at the time, I think I found the dress process the most difficult, not because I didn’t enjoy it but because I’m so indecisive. I knew I wanted a fairly simple dress and although I love lace wedding dresses I knew this wasn’t the style I wanted for myself. From flicking through magazines and Pinterest I knew I loved Pronovias dresses. After ordering my dress I had doubts whether I had chosen the right one and after much fretting and worrying I re-visited Once in A Lifetime a few months before the wedding to re-try it on. I never had the feeling that “this is the dress” and I think this is OK but even after trying the dress on again I still had doubts! Don’t get me wrong I loved my dress, but my nature is to always doubt myself. That’s when I got in contact with Simply Alterations.
Lisa at Simply Alterations did an amazing job at listening to all my worries and making lots of little (and some bigger) changes to the dress. I was so much happier with it after she had worked her magic and created me a bespoke dress.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit and shirt from Reiss. Ted Baker bow tie and pocket square.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a simply amazing string quartet “Nero String Quartet” who played before the ceremony and whilst signing the register as well as during the drinks reception.
Bridesmaid and bride walked down the aisle to Christina Perri Thousand Years. Although I know this is far from an original song choice I love the song and the more I listened to it the more I loved it and couldn’t imagine myself walking up the aisle to anything else. As the wedding came closer I got more and more emotional listening to the lyrics and although Dan thought the song was too obvious initially, even he said he had started to get goosebumps listening to it. On the wedding day, whilst I waited to walk down the aisle, I heard the first note and I knew we had made the right decision for us.
Whilst we signed the register the string quartet played ACDC Back in Black, Taylor Swift Shake it Off and The Beatles Penny Lane; much more fun and less wedding typical.
Readings; It was really important for us to have readings during the ceremony and it was a way to include important people in our lives in the ceremony.
Union – Robert Fulghum read by Mother of the Bride.
Marriage is Madness – Best man’s sons.
This is What Love Is – Coulson Macleod read by one of the brides best friends.
I found the readings much more emotional than I had thought, resulting in frantic glances to guests in the front two rows for tissues to be passed forward. The readings made the ceremony so much more personal and special and I love that we had them.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I chose to have just one bridesmaid, my little sister Fiona.
She wore a two piece from Coast which consisted of a white/silver sequinned top and blush pink high low skirt. We had screenshot the outfit long before starting to look for bridesmaid dresses. By the time we started to look, we still kept looking at the picture of this outfit, it won hands down but was sold out locally. After ringing around multiple stores and a 200 mile round trip to pick up the skirt in the right size, we had it and it was well worth it. She looked absolutely stunning. Fiona also had a flower crown, which she wore for the evening.
THE FLOWERS | The Basement Florist is an absolute genius and was so patient with me. I liked every picture I saw and couldn’t decide if I wanted big, small, flowing, bright, pastels. Noeleen was so great, emailing me pictures, setting up my own brief, which changed as our ideas changed. The finished bouquets, flower crowns and barrel displays were perfect!
The flowers for the tables were made by a close friend and we had lots of fun doing the mini vases together the day before the wedding.
THE CAKE | We had a 4 tier sponge cake made by The Cakey Lady who we are lucky enough to call our friend. Jemma instantly knew exactly what I wanted after the first meeting and sketched a cake which was perfect and incorporated all the elements I had mentioned and loved.
It was a ruffled sequinned monogrammed dream!!!
So many people commented on how amazing the cake was, not only to look at but to taste as well! All 4 tiers were different flavours ranging from chocolate orange to raspberry and white chocolate!
Our cake topper was a bride and groom made out of corks, nuts, bolts and nails made by another close family friend and tied the corks and champagne theme in again.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What can I say about the amazing Binky Nixon? Choosing our photographer was really easy. I had seen her work on Facebook as two people I had been at school with had had her for their weddings and I simply loved her style. We had an engagement shoot with her, which I am so pleased we did. It felt like we had the same sense of humour and that she “got us” and instantly put us both at ease.
On the morning of the wedding Binky was so helpful and lovely, it felt like a friend was in the room rather than someone I didn’t really know.
Looking back through our wedding photos now fills me with so much love and happiness.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Dan left much of the décor to me and I kept things relatively simple.
We had hired wine barrels, which we decorated with vines and pictures of our grandparents on their wedding day. Cork hearts decorated one of the walls in the marquee and we made cork initials, which lit up for the main reception area.
The table plan was on a large ornate mirror I bought on eBay. I had totally underestimated the weight of the mirror and carried it through London, on tubes and then on the train. It was a crazy pre-wedding workout but worth it! All the tables were names of champagne brands and people’s names were written on corks, the same as the place settings.
I made the order of service using large lollipop sticks so they would double up as fans, which came in handy as the day of our wedding was really hot. They had silly facts about the bride and groom on as well as explaining why we had used corks throughout the wedding.
The centre pieces on the tables were hurricane vases, which sat in a fresh flower ring and rested on a mirrored box, which we made ourselves. I wanted the mirrored box to add some height and also reflect the candles and mini vases, which were dotted around the box to further decorate the table. They were a real pain to make, but I had seen them on Pinterest and simply couldn’t find any in the UK to buy.
The top table was decorated with vines and some larger candles on candle pillars as well as tea lights.
We had 3 foot balloons in white and peach scattered around the marquee, it added some height to our decoration and they proved great fun for the guests in the evening trying to smuggle them home!!
THE HONEYMOON | Summer 2016 was an amazing wedding season for us. Two weeks after our wedding I was bridesmaid to one of my best friends and 2 weeks later Dan was best man for his big brother. We therefore decided to have a mini moon in the Lake District at The Gilpin Hotel and Spa and saved our honeymoon until March when we went to Riviera Maya in Mexico. Although I had thought I wanted a honeymoon full of adventure and exploring, we ended up 2 weeks all inclusive and it was exactly what we needed! Plus we escaped the grey and miserable tail end of the British winter!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I can honestly say I have never felt so loved as I did when I walked down the aisle with my Dad. Even though I knew exactly who was coming to the wedding I remember being shocked and excited to see everyone as I walked in, which actually helped the nerves. If you could bottle that feeling of love and happiness and everyone’s smiling happy faces beaming at you, it would be worth more than any amount of money in the world!
One of my best friends started a conga line when the band sang Love Train. So many people joined in and I remember being so happy, Dan and I leading all of our guests round and around the dance floor whilst singing at the top of my voice. I have a video of it that one of the guests took and I simply love it!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | I really wanted to try to speak to everyone who came to our wedding, to say hello and tell them how happy we were that they had been able to join us! We spent time during the meal, between courses and before the speeches, going round to each table and to chat, even if it was for just a few minutes. After the wedding, so many people mentioned to both us and our parents that it was a great thing to do and meant we got to speak to everyone, which I really don’t think we would have managed otherwise.
Dan said to me before the wedding day that as long as we were enjoying ourselves and having a great time everyone else would too. It seems like such a silly thing to say but it really is true. If the bride and groom are relaxed and smiling and loving every moment the guests will too. Don’t stress on the day about the small things, in years to come you won’t remember that your centre pieces were round the wrong way or you forgot to wear your garter! You will remember the love and happiness and the people that were there.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Binky Nixon
Cake | The Cakey Lady
Venue | Longstowe Hall
Caterer | Cambridge Dining Company
Wedding Dress | Pronovias
Brides Shoes | Dune
Grooms Suit | Reiss
Grooms and Best Men Ties and Pocket Squares | Ted Baker
Grooms Party Suits | Next
Bridesmaid Outfit | Coast
Day Music | Nero String Quartet
Barrell Hire | Nerissa Eve
Balloons | Party People UK
Bridal party make up | Fiona Lennox MUA
Bridal Hair | Natasha Welsh
Wow just lovely!
Kirsty and Dan, thanks so much to you both for sharing all about your day with us xo Lou