I don’t know about you but I do love a good pompom. I have a pompom maker myself and have made a fair few in my time, but certainly not as many as featured in this colourful wedding. Kudos to the couple for crafting up a storm and if you are hoping to create a similar look, be sure to invest in a pompom maker and rope in your fave people to help too. From pom badges to hanging pompoms and pom place settings, Jasmine (Jas) and Alastair (Ali) hand made the lot!
Jas and Ali were hitched on the 8th April 2017 at Brighton Town Hall and booked two venues for the celebrations. A scrummy meal was laid on by The Independent and the evening party was at Brighton Rocks, on the sea front. This made for the perfect atmosphere and kept the couple to their £7000 budget, amazing! I love their cool and quirky style, with Jas rocking a short gown and yellow colour pop shoes, while Ali chose a floral tie and pink shirt.
The florals are totally on my radar too, I mean what’s not to love about the vibrant multicolour blooms, which included Ranunculus, Craspedia, Eucalyptus, Wax Flowers and Astrantia Roma? Such fun and all captured wonderfully by Allison Dewey Photography, thanks Allison.
THE PROPOSAL | We had gone to Ali’s parents’ bungalow in Bournemouth on a Friday after work to relax for the weekend (end of July 2016). On the Saturday Ali suggested that we went to Stourhead for a picnic given that it was such a lovely day. It was quite a hot day and Ali didn’t have appropriate attire after packing in a rush so he suggested I go to the shops and get him some and he would pick me up before going to get some treats for our lunch.
We wandered around the gardens enjoying the scenery and had our feast before walking up to the Temple of Apollo in the gardens where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was incredibly romantic and very sweet given that I had been wittering to the volunteer who had worked there about a year before about it being the most perfect place for a wedding. After proposing he told me we weren’t going back to the bungalow and instead took us to a gorgeous B&B in Belluton (near Bristol) for the weekend (he had packed all of our stuff into the car whilst I was out shopping). It was all so unexpected, especially after 5 years of being together and numerous other, and rather more obvious, opportunities for him to propose and not doing so; but I’m so glad he waited and did it the way he did!
THE VISION | To not have a long engagement, to keep it small, laid back, cheap and colourful and not to get stressed or let the wedding planning process take over our lives!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning process was a bit haphazard. I’m not great at organisation and tend to leave things to the last minute (I was still sending evening invites a week before the wedding). I enjoy making bits and pieces so I tended to do the bits to make it look pretty and Ali did the emailing and phone calls. I am also very fortunate to have a very close friend, Claire, who works in events planning and management and made a rather marvellous spreadsheet and mentioned things I needed to plan but would never have thought of without her prompts! She really helped to prevent the whole thing spiral into chaos during the planning process and on the day!
BUDGET | We were very fortunate in that both of our parents offered us some money towards our wedding. In total I would estimate that our wedding cost around £7000, give or take a few last minute taxis or pairs of shoes, but we were only able to spend this much because of the generosity of our families.
THE VENUE | Our plans were entirely centred around having our wedding in Brighton, as it had been our home for the past 3 years and was close to our family homes. The first thing we did was to book the wedding date at Brighton town hall – we had to fit our wedding around school holidays as Ali is a teacher and we were worried school holiday dates would get snapped up quickly.
With the Town Hall booked we proceeded to email numerous pubs and restaurants in Brighton and after some eye watering quotes for fifty guests, found The Independent – a lovely pub in Hanover that serves the MOST delicious food. James, the manager, was wonderful and was so accommodating to what we wanted and made us feel completely relaxed throughout the planning process. On the day, him and his staff were just wonderful and served up an incredibly tasty 3 course meal to us and our guests!
We would only be able to book the out until 5:30ish so we knew we would need another venue for the evening and wanted to invite some more of our friends to this without spending extortionate amounts of money on hiring a venue. We approached Brighton Rocks in Kemptown (a 10 minute walk from The Independent) and booked their venue for our evening party for free! Because it was free, we were able to pay for some bubbly upon arrival and what turned out to be an amazingly generous and beautifully presented buffet with some very well reviewed sausage rolls (honestly, I have never heard so much about a sausage roll in my life). We were very fortunate with the weather so people were able to stand outside the bar, go to the beach (2 minute walk away) and once the party was in full drunken swing, there was ample space for a good dance to our own playlist.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a True Bride bridesmaid dress, my earrings were from Accessorize, my bracelet was from Silverado and the blue heart charm on the bracelet was from my mum’s friend to fulfil the something borrowed and blue! My shoes (which were, in my opinion, the best part of my whole outfit) were Rainbow Club shoes but were purchased from, and dyed yellow by Beretun Designs. I’m not great in heels so I bought some pink satin ballet shoes from Newlook. The cardigan was from H&M and my mum gave me my Pom Pom bag on the morning of the wedding so that I could carry around my shoes and cardie in style.
FINDING THE DRESS | Finding a dress was the most stressful part of the whole wedding process, the gorgeous long dresses just weren’t really an option for me so I was limited to short dresses, which is harder than I originally anticipated. I must have tried on about 25 dresses in about 5 different shops. Fortunately my mum was on the lookout and she spotted a bridesmaid dress, which turned out to be exactly what I had been looking for, and for an extra cost was made in ivory to make it more bridal and altered to the right length.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ali wore a navy blue suit, which we had purchased for his brothers wedding a year before. He tried to buy a tie for himself from M&S which, whilst lovely, wasn’t really appropriate so we had to switch it to one that I chose! His shoes were also from M&S.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our reading, The life that I have by Leo Marks, was read beautifully by our bridesmaid Anna. We had four songs during the service, although the sound system broke half way through it so our guests didn’t hear all of them! They were Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On my Shoulder) by the Beach Boys, Two Doves by the Dirty Projectors, Bewitched by Luna and Real Love Baby by Father John Misty.
We also made playlists for the lunch and evening reception.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Our sisters Anna and Livs agreed to be our bridesmaids. They both wore a rather pink dress by ChiChi London and both looked gorgeous.
THE FLOWERS | My sister’s very talented friend Filly did our flowers. The flowers were made up of Ranunculus, Craspedia, Eucalyptus, Wax Flowers and Astrantia Roma. The ranunculus were perfect for the colour scheme and because they were in season it helped to keep the cost down.
THE CAKE | Our cake was made by Clare and it was, without a doubt, the best cake I have ever eaten. We had 3 tiers of different flavours – chocolate with chocolate orange buttercream, carrot cake with salted caramel buttercream and lemon with lemon curd buttercream. Clare was great and provided us with a very enjoyable cake tasting session and travelled to our evening venue to set up the cake before we arrived there at no extra cost.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The lovely Allison (Ally) Dewey! We found out about her after a tip from my friend Claire. We hadn’t originally anticipated to spend quite as much on a photographer but it was one of the BEST choices we made. Ally was wonderful on the day, she was warm and fun and put us and our guests at ease. Ali (groom) was getting quite tired of walking around being photographed but Ally made it fun with her endless enthusiasm and didn’t fuss unnecessarily over shots. The photos that we received just 3 weeks after our wedding are just amazing and we have been struggling to choose which ones we want printed. We couldn’t recommend her more.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Pompoms, over 300 of them. I’ve always loved a pompom and knew that they had to be involved in any way they could be. I made some brooches that I attached to invites that I had made for the day guests so that they could wear them on the day and had a basket of them at the venue for the evening guests. The place cards were pompoms with initialled labels and there were also pompom trees. My mum was a huge help and made the giant pompom garlands, the gorgeous bunting and assisted in the logistics of gluing pom-poms to spray painted twigs dragged home by my dad following a walk. There were also a number of handmade tissue paper flowers on the tables and decorated jam jars with daffodils and pom-poms on sticks in them.
Our wedding favours were pouches of tea from a Brighton based company, Bluebird Tea, with individually stamped labels (many an hour spent doing this).
Our rather fabulous knitted groom and bride were made by Ali’s Auntie Sue and amused us and our guests greatly!
All of our decorations were taken to The Independent and skilfully set up by my sister Olivia’s friends, Natalie and Filly, and then taken down to the evening venue where they set them up all over again whilst guests ambled down to Brighton Rocks after the meal.
THE HONEYMOON | On the Sunday after the wedding we set off for the Lake District at about 5pm after our friends had left after a balmy and rather hungover day in our garden. We travelled for a couple of hours and stayed in a hotel in Kenilworth. The following day we travelled the rest of the way to Windermere and stayed in a beautiful hotel, Cedar Manor, where we spent 3 nights. We then made our way to Liverpool for the final night but stopped for a rather memorable day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach before getting to the hotel early evening. After a short stay back at home and seeing family for Easter we headed to Bournemouth for another few days of relaxation!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Because it was such a beautiful day everyone decided to go to Brighton so the traffic was a nightmare. I had managed to stay quite calm all morning but when we were so much later getting into Brighton than originally anticipated I got really nervous. When we got stopped at another set of traffic lights I had enough so I got out of the taxi with my dad and ran through The Lanes to the Town Hall. At the time I was feeling rather flustered but looking back on it, it was quite funny and like being in a film with everyone yelling good luck at us as we charged to the town hall.
I also remember hearing Ali laugh in the room next door to me when we were waiting for the ceremony to start and I remember feeling so completely reassured by his chuckle that I didn’t feel nervous any more.
Ali’s most memorable moment was when he was doing his speech and he said that he said he was going to say a few words on behalf of him and Mrs Webb and everyone cheered. He had been really nervous about doing the speech so when this happened he knew everything was going to be all right!
The other moment he remembers is walking through a housing estate on the way down to Brighton Rocks and a rather disgruntled man muttering ‘wish I got married, none of my brothers got married!’.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Ali – Drink halves! (Sound advice because he was definitely doing better than me the next day). Do mingle, but take some time to relax and enjoy time with friends and family.
If you want to do your wedding on a budget don’t be afraid to explore venues that don’t advertise themselves specifically as wedding venues. We could never have got the day we wanted and got if we had gone for the obvious options, and both the venues we chose were really kind, enthusiastic and felt more ‘bespoke’ than venues more usually geared up for weddings.
Have fun with the planning and exploit the free cake at wedding fairs as much as possible.
Don’t worry too much about the little details near the day – no one but you will notice on the day and if you do notice, forget about it.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Allison Dewey Photography
Dress | Couture and Tiaras
Shoes | Beretun Designs
Hair | Samantha Elizabeth
Bridesmaid dresses | Chi Chi Clothing
Cake | Clares Cake Boutique
Flowers | Felicity Boyce
..and all our friends and family!!
Utterly brilliant, I so enjoyed reading all about this day.
Huge thanks to Jas and Ali for sharing their wedding story here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings xo Lou