A Surprise 1920s Inspired Wedding


Lucy and Paul were married in October of last year. They decided to have a 30th birthday party for Lucy, when they thought they would have a surprise wedding reception at the same time. Lucy let Paul plan everything….  and i so love that this girl just wanted to marry her boy.

This couple are so very stylish, bringing 1920s inspirations into the day, from their attire to the smaller details such as the gramaphone. What a super chic, elegant and very fun wedding.

Thanks so much to the fabulous Joanna Millington Photography for sharing her incredible images with us today, here is what she had to say about the day;

“Lucy let Paul plan their wedding day.  The entire thing.  All she had to do was buy a dress and turn up on time.  Yep, she’s a braver girl than I!  But from the first time I spoke to Lucy I knew she was one of those ‘anything goes’ girls and was just excited about having a party and finally getting to marry her guy.  Not that she needed to worry, Paul planned the day perfectly, and it really was the most gorgeous day :)  And as if that wasn’t enough, she also decided to keep the entire wedding a secret from all her friends – telling them it was her 30th birthday party!  So on a wet, drizzly day they cosied up with champagne at the opulent St Giles House hotel Norwich, followed by a gorgeous candlelit lunch in Bishops, before we were finally greeted by a wine cellar full of shrieking girls and a few shocked aunts and uncles…”




Names…. Lucy & Paul

Wedding Date…. 08/10/11

The Proposal….On a holiday in Monaco the previous year, just before Paul was made redundant and was out of work for 6 months which meant saving for a big expensive wedding was impossible.

The Vision for the day… Paul had already offered to organise me a surprise 30th party in about July and we soon thought we would have everyone in the room for that, that we would want to be there to celebrate our wedding. So he just said ‘leave it to me’ and organised a wedding for the same day!! This meant we could keep it low key, low budget and still have everyone there to celebrate! But it did mean we had to keep it a secret from everyone apart from our parents and Nan, a very difficult task! Paul also had to cope with me fishing for details about all the surprises he was organising

The Planning process…. Paul knows I am a massive vintage lover and the glamour of the 1920’s are a particular love of mine. He contacted Karen at Blue Skies Vintage Events who produced a storyboard of ideas for the day, which led him to the venue and Becky at A Curious Party helped with all the wonderful finishing touches! He did an amazing job, and it showed me how well he actually knows me and must listen when I’m going on about various things! The day itself was the best present I could ask for.

The Venue… The ceremony was held at St Giles House Hotel in Norwich, we then had a beautiful meal at Bishops restaurant in Norwich for us, our parents and Nan and then the ‘30th’ party was at The Wine Cellar in Norwich.

The Accessories….. See below for my dress. My vintage inspired beaded hair band was from ASOS, my sparkly deco style earrings and bracelet were a present from my Nan, my vintage beaded evening bag was part of my mums collection. The most important accessory was my Art Deco delicate crystal necklace which mum gave to me the morning of the wedding, it had belonged to her mother (my grandmother Olive) who passed away before I was born, she had worn it on her wedding day.

My ivory feather jacket was from John Lewis.

Finding the dress…. I didn’t want something ‘weddingy’ and was hoping to find something reminiscent of the 1920’s. I also knew I wanted the focus to be on the back of the dress. I began by looking on the web at various evening dresses and had a look on Net-A-Porter.com I was immediately drawn to the Antik Batik gown for its simplicity and beautiful cowl back detail. So I ordered it, loved it and that was it!

Groom’s attire… Paul already had his beautiful slim cut black suit and the addition of my late grandfathers silk scarf which he had bought in the 1930’s made it extra special.

The Readings + Music…. We kept the ceremony very low key with only our parents and my nan invited. I walked in to Frank Sinatra ‘It Had To Be You’ and we played The Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’ at the end of the ceremony. We also walked into the party to Billy Idol ‘White Wedding’ as we surprised everyone!

Your Photographer…. I had found Jo after visiting her blog after seeing it mentioned on Twitter. I fell in love with her pictures and after our first meeting, both Paul and I knew she would be perfect to capture the emotion of our day, as we all got on so well over a bottle of wine. She put in such an effort during the day and felt more like having a friend there than a formal photographer, although she was never intrusive.  She managed to capture our spirit and love in a unique way.

The Details + Decor….St Giles House Hotel is full of beautiful Art Deco architecture, which provided a perfect backdrop for the ceremony. After drinks there we moved on to Bishops restaurant for a fabulous meal and were treated to wonderful personal service and equally wonderful food. Paul had decorated the Wine Cellar with so many beautiful vintage touches including peacock feathers, vintage picture frames with pictures of me in!, candelabras, vintage lamps, bird cages entwined with flowers and even a gramophone!

The Honeymoon….Our parents gave us money towards a honeymoon which was spent walking around Paris eating too much cheese and drinking too much wine!

Memorable moments… Saying our vows in such an intimate group of people, it was important to us that this part was focussed on each other and didn’t feel like we were ‘performing’ to a crowd. Walking in to the party and surprising all the guests who thought they were there to celebrate my 30th!

Advice for other couples…Although taking families & friends wants and needs into consideration is important, keep bringing it back to you two and what you actually want and stop worrying about everyone else on the day and just enjoy yourselves!

Credit where credit’s due…

Wedding Venue:  St Giles House Hotel, Norwich. http://www.stgileshousehotel.com/

After wedding meal at the beautiful & chic Bishops Restaurant in Norwich: http://www.bishopsrestaurant.co.uk/

Reception/Party held at and buffet provided by The Wine Cellar, Norwich http://www.winecellarnorwich.co.uk/

Paul was advised on wedding ideas by Karen at Blue Skies Vintage Events http://www.blueskiesvintageevents.co.uk/

Vintage pieces for decorating party were hired from Becky at A Curious Party http://amostcuriousparty.co.uk/

Brides Dress by Antik Batik at Net A Porter. http://www.net-a-porter.com/

Brides Shoes by Terry De Havilland http://www.tdhcouture.com/

Brides Make up by Nova Dye at Milk And Honey Vintage Make Up  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Milk-Honey-vintage-makeup/212091118829120

Photographs by Joanna Millington http://joannamillingtonweddings.blogspot.com/


Thanks so much to Lucy and Paul for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today. Girls would you let your boy plan your wedding day as a surprise? I know i would let G :-)) xoxo Lou

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