Happy Monday! Welcome to a brand new sparkling week here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings lovely readers. I hope you had a fantastic weekend and are ready for a week of beautiful weddings as we certainly are. Today we have the utter pleasure of sharing WWW readers Amy and Will’s wedding, which was held on the 14th September 2018 at The Bell in Ticehurst, East Sussex. Our pair just loved the venue as soon as they spotted it, from the stable with a table for dancing on to the quirky neon sign. It was perfect!
They incorporated some really lovely elements into their gold, geometric and botanical theme. With lashings of greenery used on the tables and in the bountiful bouquets, to oodles of gold confetti blasted from cannons and cool laser cut table numbers. It all looked super cool and really modern.
You’ve just got to see Amy’s fringe beaded gown, a creation by Sottero and Midgley, which looked incredible on her. Then there were the stylish sage green bridesmaids dresses and Will’s smart grey suit and floral tie combo. Such style!
The relaxed and fun atmosphere was captured perfectly by Irene Yap Photography, we are so thankful to be sharing these images today.
For Christmas 2016 we went to Scotland to stay in a castle in the middle of nowhere. We arrived on Christmas Eve, and Will said he wanted to have a look around as soon as we got there. We went into the dining room, which had amazing panoramic views of the mountains and lochs that surrounded the castle, and he handed me a Christmas card. By the time I’d finished reading it, he was on one knee! We spent the rest of Christmas Eve drinking champagne, in a happy little bubble. It was the best, most magical Christmas which we’ll never forget!
As soon as we started visualising our day, we realised that we didn’t want a completely traditional wedding. All we knew is that we wanted everyone to have a lot of fun and didn’t want any formalities. We had the idea of a warehouse wedding in our heads to start with – we both love that industrial style and had visions of neon lights and a load of botanicals. When we started searching for industrial venues, an image popped up of an exposed brick wall with a bright pink neon light and industrial light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, and knew right away that we’d found our venue! After visiting the The Bell, everything seemed to fall into place. The venue really doesn’t need much done to it to make it look cool, and the atmosphere is hard to put into words. It’s friendly, fun, and completely relaxed – exactly what we wanted!
The Planning Process
Tessa, the wedding coordinator at The Bell, took care of so much that a lot of the planning was taken off our hands! We can’t sing her praises enough – she sorted everything from our dream menu to the accommodation and timings on the day. For everything else, our shared spreadsheet was a god-send. We put everything in there – even the things we knew we probably wouldn’t be able to afford, with costs, so we always knew how much budget we had left, to the penny!
We knew from the moment we stepped foot into The Bell that we would get married there. It’s a gorgeous quirky pub in Ticehurst, East Sussex, with so many little touches that makes it completely unique. There’s so much to see – from trees ‘growing’ throughout the building to full-size trombone urinals in the gents’ toilets! The neon light was the deal-breaker for us, and we fell in love with the ‘stable with a table’ – a room with a long table which guests are encouraged to stand on for speeches (and dancing!) I couldn’t wait for my guests to see their accommodation at The Bell too, each room is beautiful, especially the lodges outside which all have different themes and décor.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I’m a big lover of fashion, so the dress was always going to be a big part of the day for me. I had no idea what I wanted in terms of style, just that I wanted it to be something a bit out of the ordinary. I never thought I’d end up going for a fitted dress, but as soon as I saw my Sottero and Midgeley dress on Instagram, I knew I’d found the one- as cliché as it sounds! I felt amazing in it, and I’ve had so many comments about it since. One of my bridesmaids leant me her veil as my ‘something borrowed’, and I chose my nude velvet shoes from ASOS before I’d even got my dress! In the evening I swapped my veil for a sparkly crown from Crown and Glory. I got some star constellation rings from Accessorize (one was my star sign, the other was Will’s), and I splashed out on some statement earrings from Lulu Frost.
Buying Will’s outfit was the easiest part of the whole thing! He knew exactly what he wanted as he’d already seen it online on Next. He walked in, tried it on, and bought it within about twenty minutes! We bought his floral tie in there too, as it matched the bridesmaid’s dresses perfectly. His Kurt Geiger shoes were from ASOS, and were in the sale, which was a bonus!
I’m not a big fan of overly ‘done’ up-dos, so I asked Natalie, my hairstylist (and good friend!) to do something nice and relaxed. After some playing around in the trial, she came up with a braided up do, and we added some art deco style jewelled grips from Crown and Glory on the day which added something a bit extra. Natalie ran across to the other side of the venue to do Will’s signature quiff for the day, too!
I had another friend, Vicki, do my makeup. I like to wear quite heavy eye makeup, so we went for a smokey eye with a rosey nude lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury. It was so amazing to have both the girls with me in the morning to do my hair and makeup – it meant I had a couple more friends with me to calm my nerves, and they were around throughout the day and evening for touch-ups!
The Readings & Music
I honestly couldn’t tell you how many hours we spent trawling the internet for a reading we liked! We eventually settled on ‘All I know about love’ by Neil Gaiman, which my friend Rosie read at the ceremony. It was perfect- not cheesey at all, and the words actually resonated with us, which was really important.
We also wrote our own vows, which made the ceremony feel so special.
I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘My Love’ by Jess Glynne, and whilst we signed the register we played ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ by The Maccabees, ‘You make my dreams come true’ by Hall & Oates, and ‘Rearrange’ by Biffy Clyro. We chose not to have a first dance, and instead did the ‘first DJ set’. We hired ‘Stick It On’ for our evening entertainment, who basically turn up with all the equipment, and your guests apply beforehand to play a DJ set for 15 minutes each. It was so much fun, and the dancefloor was full from start to finish!
The bridesmaid’s dresses were probably the biggest struggle of the whole planning process, the problem being that I knew exactly what I wanted! We didn’t want completely traditional ‘bridesmaidy’ dresses, and I wanted the girls to look and feel cool and relaxed rather that formal. After sending what felt like a million dresses back after trying them on, I found these amazing sage green dresses on Topshop. I absolutely loved the shape, the button detail on the back, and the colour. It kept going out of stock, so I had all the bridesmaids on duty to snap them up where and when they saw them. I’m hoping they all get a chance to wear them again, because they all looked so incredible on the day.
We decided to let the groomsmen wear their own suits – we didn’t want everything to look too ‘put together’, and it also helped the budget! We just gave the boys the same Next floral ties and pocket squares to match Will’s. They all looked great on the day – luckily, the ties matched them all really well (apparently Will forgot to mention the ties to the groomsmen until the morning of the wedding!)
We chose the amazing Katherine from Florist in the Forest to do our flowers. Not only had I seen her arrangements before and loved them, but she’s based close to The Bell and had done the flowers there a few times before. We didn’t give her much of a brief – just that we wanted lots of greenery and neutral tones. Katherine was incredible, and I was completely blown away by what she’d done when I saw it all. She made beautiful bouquets in white and champagne tones with lots of foliage, and decorated the long tables with a mix of eucalyptus, cacti, succulents and ferns.
The Details & Décor
The Bell is already so well decorated, so we just incorporated our theme where we could, which was gold, geometric and botanicals. We wanted the venue and the flowers to do most of the talking, so just bought some gold terrariums, gold geometric lights, palm tree candle sticks and some huge cream and gold confetti balloons. Confetti ended up being a bit of a theme – we over-ordered on the confetti canons a bit, but it was SO much fun walking across the table in the stable getting absolutely covered in confetti – we were finding it for days!
We got so many comments on our place names, which were little black and white polaroid-style photos of our friends, which we clipped onto wine glasses. (We saw lots of the guests wearing them as name tags at the reception!) Our favours were miniature bottles of gin and rum, which are our drinks of choice, and meant that we could give our guests another drink on us on the day! We ordered some perspex table names from Etsy, which we had personalised with names of our favourite pubs in Southsea, the place we first met and had our first few dates.
Instead of hiring a photobooth for the evening, we tried something a bit different and hired a GIF booth instead, which recorded a little boomerang-style video, which our guests loved. The backdrop was homemade, and was just some streamers, banners and pom-poms attached to a frame from eBay.
My brother, who is a designer and had done our invitations, designed us a little logo which we made into temporary tattoos, and we had a glitter bar for the evening.
We knew from the start that we didn’t want a wedding cake, so we ordered over 70 cronuts from Dum Dums instead (they’re a croissant- donut hybrid and are DELICIOUS!) We also had a cheese tower from The West Country Cheese Company that we had out with the rest of the food in the evening.
We found Irene after she stepped in for my friend’s wedding last minute. The photos popped up on my Facebook feed and I went straight to Irene’s website to check her out– her style is exactly what we wanted – relaxed and natural. We had a load of fun doing an engagement shoot in Brighton, and on the day she was amazing. Irene seemed to just fit right in with our guests, and the photos are perfect. We didn’t know she was there snapping away half the time, and when she took us away to take some photos of just the two of us, she made sure we weren’t away from the party for too long! We’ve had so many comments from our guests about how amazing she was, and even some saying they wish they had used her for their own weddings!
A video was really high up on our wishlist, but budget meant we thought we couldn’t have one. A couple of weeks before the wedding, we found Mike from Black Sheep Films, who makes short highlight videos rather than full-length videos of the entire wedding. We couldn’t be happier with what Mike made for us, and we’ve lost count of how many times we’ve watched it. It sums up the day so perfectly in 3 minutes, and he was so lovely to have around on the day.
The day after the wedding we jumped in the car and escaped to The Pig in Brockenhurst for a few days. It was so nice to relax in one of their little lodges, have some spa treatments, and indulge in the incredible food while we spoke non-stop about how much fun we had on our day. We’re planning to have a trip to Japan at some point over the next year- it’s somewhere we’ve both always wanted to visit.
We have so many! The ceremony was so special, and it felt really intimate and emotional. We’ll remember the speeches on the table forever (they all did such an amazing job!), and doing our DJ set to get the evening started was so much fun! We also really valued the quiet moments. Straight after the ceremony, Tessa took us to a little room called The Snug to have a moment together. We were just sat there grinning at each other saying ‘that was amazing!’
Advice For Other Couples
It sounds cliché, but do exactly what you want to do, and don’t worry about traditions. If you don’t want to do a first dance, don’t do one! The moment you stop worrying about what people think, and plan a day you know you’re going to love, you’ll have the best day, so your guests will too. Spend some money on a good photographer (it’s so worth it!), and make sure you take some time out together on the day.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Irene Yap Photography
The Bell in Ticehurst
Florist in the Forest
Wow! What an amazing day.
Thanks ever so much to Amy and Will for sharing their lovely wedding story today xo Lou