Colour popping, fun fair riding, fun loving times this afternoon. Yippee.
James and Katie chose to get married on the 6th June 2015 at The Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Their wedding beside the sea was just delightful and included many of Brighton’s hot spots. A trip to the pier complete with rides and games entertained their guests, followed by a restaurant meal on the beach. It really doesn’t get much more fun does it?
Katie looked ever so lovely in her short lace frock, while James went for a vibrant blue suit and red tie combo. I really adore the felt and button bouquet and of course the chocolate cake creation by Choccywoccydoodah. Yum.
Thanks so much to Jacqui McSweeney for sharing these marvellous photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | I always say I knew I wanted to marry Katie the moment I saw her on our first date however it was within a few months that I really knew she was the one for me.
Katie loves Tiffany jewellery so I knew I’d find the perfect ring for her there and after a few trips to the Royal Exchange store and some help from Monika (the very patient sales consultant) I found the perfect ring.
I’d planned to propose on Christmas Eve in the village we live in, there’s a really pretty spot on a bridge over the River Lea that we often stop and watch the world go by. So I put on my Christmas hat, made an excuse for us to go out and see Father Christmas fly overhead (aka the international space station) and off I went to propose.
The moment passed in a blur but I was on one knee, Katie was smiling and the ring fit perfectly so I was happy….. And yes we did see Father Christmas fly overhead! We celebrated later with dinner and drinks in the local pub, a really perfect evening.
THE VISION | We are both quite low key and don’t like to be centre of attention therefore we knew we would like a small family wedding where the formality of the day was kept to a minimum and the guests enjoyed everything just as much as us. We wanted it to be a really fun day and to us it meant being at the seaside. We had been going to Brighton for weekends since we met, we love it there, and when we were thinking of where to get married this seemed to come out on top. The Royal Pavilion, The Pier, the lanes and the beach are all icon in Brighton and we knew we wanted to incorporate them but we weren’t really sure how, we didn’t even know you could get married in the Pavilion at that stage.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had a short 6 month engagement, I am super organised so the whole process was quite structured, lots of budget and things to do lists, in the end it was all quite easy and as James and I agreed on everything and the only ‘stresses’ we had were making decisions RE which restaurant and music to choose and planning how to get people from A to B without losing anyone!
THE VENUE | A mid morning ceremony in the Red Drawing Room @ The Royal Pavilion, Brighton.
Followed by afternoon tea in the Pavilion Tea Rooms & Terrace, drinks and fairground rides on the pier and dinner at Alfresco’s restaurant on the beach.
James and I plus all of our guests stayed at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton for the long weekend so we were able to enjoy lots of time together.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | After deciding I didn’t want a weddingy wedding dress and ordering 20+ to try from the Internet, I found my perfect dress on the high street a few weeks before the big day and a local tailor adjusted it and I customised with a simple red ribbon.
Hair was kept simple and in a style I often wore, I was conscious I still wanted to look like me, no make up, no big ‘up do’s’ just very natural..
Shoes on the other hand, why have 1 pair when you can have 3! Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon shoes for the ceremony, the flat Melissa version to walk between venues and red Haviannas for the beach!
My mum lent me her red vintage Christian Dior handbag (something borrowed) which my amazing bridesmaid kept hold of during the day and my mum also gave me the lucky sixpence she had on her wedding day (something old) and I attached into my dress lining on the day.
As I didn’t know what the weather was going to be like I also had a hand knitted shrug cardigan and a red heart pashmina, it was the first hot day of the year but, both came in handy once the sun disappeared!
James’s mum also surprised me with a gorgeous hand man elephant brooch (something blue) which I wore to keep me and my pashmina photo ready!
FINDING THE DRESS | I am completely non traditional, non girly and a bit rubbish at being centre of attention. For me, finding a wedding dress shop and choosing a dress I felt comfortable in was going to be nigh on impossible. James even came with me on one occasion to see what all the fuss was about, I think we lasted 10 minutes! I knew I wanted something short, lacy and simple so I searched the Internet and ordered lots, I’m first name terms with the postman now.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | James knew the look he was after and we found the perfect suit together in the first shop we went in (much different to the dress experience!). The midnight blue suit and bright red tie were both from Debenhams, shirt from TM Lewin and the shoes from Paul Smith. James chose retro ‘Outrun’ cufflinks to finish off the look.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music during the ceremony was important to both of us and was probably the most difficult aspect to agree on, we wanted to make everyone smile and take the formality out of the occasion so we walked down the aisle, together, to Suddenly by Angry Anderson (Scott and Charlene’s wedding song in Neighbours!). The rest of the playlist –
Marry Me by Train
Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell
Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Blame It On Me by George Ezra
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Beth Davies the calmest, funniest, most attentive and caring bridesmaid a girl could ask for!
THE FLOWERS | I love flowers, however I knew Id find it sad to see my wedding flowers wilt and die so I researched alternative bouquets and knew I’d found what I was looking for when I stumbled across the Jamball Creations website. James and I both worked with Jaime and Pete to discuss ideas and we created Pinterest boards and swapped drawings and ideas throughout the process, neither of us could have anticipated just how much we loved the finished bespoke bouquet, buttonholes and wrist corsage.
The bouquet, and the bridesmaids corsage, was full of red and primary colours and made out of felt, buttons and sequins and the button holes suited James’s personality perfectly with fishing flies and motorbike parts incorporated.
On the day they received lots of attention from guests and strangers!
THE RINGS | We knew we wanted to get our wedding rings from Brighton and we set of to the Lanes to have a look, we went into Exclusive Jewellery on Union Street not really knowing what we both wanted, after speaking to Sam (the very helpful and knowledgeable sales consultant) we found 2 beautiful rings. Titanium band for James and a platinum and diamond band for me. Surely it couldn’t be that easy? We went to other shops that day but nothing came close and we went back to see Sam, we couldn’t be happier with the rings!
THE CAKE | In my eyes there’s only one cake (chocolate) and when you’re having a wedding in Brighton there is only one cake supplier – Choccywokkydodah. The ordering process was very simple, the staff in the Brighton store couldn’t have been more helpful, we simply ordered online and collected the day before. The cake looked and tasted amazing.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We found Jacqui McSweeney after being recommended by the The Royal Pavilion, we looked at her website and new she would ‘get’ how we wanted to remember our day. We met whilst in Brighton one weekend and felt completely at ease, she offered us lots of ideas and suggestions for the day and places for interesting shots. We had a pre wedding shoot, to put us at ease, in Greenwich. The pictures were amazing and any apprehension disappeared. On the day Jacqui put us both at ease and we had lots of fun together, the pictures from the day are amazing, a perfect mixture of formal and informal and traditional and street photography, she knew when all the smiling was hurting our cheeks and gave us lots of time by ourselves and with our guests, some of my favourite shots are the informal pictures taken when we were relaxing.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The Royal Pavilion is stunning and no additional dressing details were required, we personalised with a ring cushion (something new) which my mum made for us.
As we were moving around venues we gave out guests goody bags that contained everything they’d need for the day – A handmade map for the the day (so we didn’t lose anyone), heart shaped confetti, tissues (for happy tears), Love Heart and rock sweets (to keep energy levels high!), 2ps and ride tickets for fun on the pier!
The restaurant was simply decorated with red heart balloons, personalised Brighton Rock place settings and some felt flowers mum made for the table.
THE HONEYMOON | We weren’t planning on going away directly after the wedding but quite late on we decided we needed to escape so we had a lovely relaxing week in Portugal and 6 months after the wedding an unforgettable 2 weeks on the magical island of Kuredu, Maldives.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The most valuable piece of advice I was given was that ‘this is probably the only time in your lifetime that all of the people you love most will be in the same place at the same time, the colour of the table clothes or your hair not being ‘perfect’ doesn’t matter, remembering the day and making memories for and with everyone does’. I consciously stopped, looked and remembered certain parts of the day, seeing James for the first time on the morning, saying my vows, kissing my parents after the ceremony, riding the carousel on the pier with my nephews, cutting the cake with everyone smiling and clapping and the last picture taken with my new husband on the beach. I hope I never forget any of them.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Jacqui McSweeney
Cake | Choccywoccydoodah
Hairdresser | Cove Hair Brighton
Flowers | Jamball Creations
Dress | BHS
His Shoes | Paul Smith
Suit | Debenhams
Ahh so gorgeous.
Many thanks to James and Katie for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us xo Lou