I have to admit when I first saw WWW readers Dan and Rosanna’s October wedding, it pretty much blew me away. There may be a fair few images below :-)
Bride Rosanna works for a record label, and so not only had some incredible contacts but also had some serious organisational skills. They wanted a simple, rustic, country and festival chic feel to their day; with a cool grey colour scheme which worked perfectly.
Rosanna donned a beautiful swishy gown by Lyn Ashworth with bohemian flower crown and perfect waves. The bridesmaids wore pretty grey dresses and had gypsophila bouquets; one of whom you may recognise as Katie Melua who sang their wedding song in the evening… amazing!
Thanks so much to the wonderful LifeLine Photography for sharing her photographs with us today.
The Proposal… Dan did a treasure hunt and left notes for me (with petrol money and parking change just in case). I followed the trail and had to drive all over surrey, past the place we had our first date and the place we had our joint birthday together. At each stop the waitress in the restaurant or the guy behind the bar had further notes to hand to me until the final clue was an anagram of ‘will’s bench ripley’ at which point I cried… I lost my little brother in a sailing accident a few years ago and we never found him… Dan was waiting at the bench we put up in his memory in the village we grew up in (Ripley, Surrey) and he was there on one knee waiting for me with a ring box.
The Vision for the Day… Simple, rustic, country, festival chic. We wanted to get married in the church in Ripley and walk down the high street (weather permitting!!) to the village green (where my brothers bench is). We had a lovely marquee with hay bales, festival flags and wild flowers and trees with loads of fairy lights everywhere. I have a huge extended family and what was important to us was to have everyone there we loved, so numbers were high (160 during day and a further 40 in the evening). We didn’t do a sit down three course meal and instead did a hog roast and a gourmet vintage ice cream van arrived for pudding, plus an evening bbq and we wanted to provide booze all day for everyone. We wanted the whole day to be relaxed and informal. Music was also very important to us (I work for a record company). We just wanted our guests to have fun!
The Planning Process… I organise events so this was easier for me than most brides I’d imagine, as I already had lots of great contacts. However, its much harder to plan great things on a personal budget rather than a corporate one! We only had 5 months to organise the wedding (we didn’t want to wait till next year but wanted a summer wedding so risked the latest possible date for that year which hopefully would be nice – and it was!! – which was first week in October). We got permission from the local parish council and the cricket club to have a marquee on the village green, then found the marquee company ([email protected]) and hog roast company first, then finalised everything else after that.
Budget… Managed to get a local band fronted by amazing singer (Natalie Palmer) who I knew for a great price to sing at reception and a couple of musician friends (Imogen Harfleet and Andy Cortez) to sing in the church (they were amazing!); a friend made the cake; a work contact did the wedding video; hair and make up artists from work gave me their services as a wedding present; my aunt is a caterer and did all the canapes as a present; I bought all of the bridesmaids dresses on etsy for a ¼ of the price if I had bought them from a bridal shop (I had 10 bridesmaids so this was important!); I did deals with pretty much all of the suppliers and 3 amazing events organiser friends of mine (Ben, Stevie and Jody) ran the day for me (I wouldn’t trust anyone else to have their attention to detail!) so I was able to hand over the very detailed schedule and knew they would take care of everything on the day! Plus Dan’s clients are amazing graphic designers and they made us the most beautiful bespoke wedding invites in the form of a festival ticket (Dollyanna Lovefest) – they were amazing and all as a wedding gift!
The Venue… Church in Ripley then walked down to village green.
The Dress + Accessories… Lynn Ashworth ‘Scarlet ‘ dress with customised velvet sash and sheer jacket plus a floral crown for the church and then a different beaded sash and hippy headband for the evening. I found an amazing shop which sold designer samples called SWOON based in Weybridge so got the dress for less than half the original price and they customised everything else for me… I teamed it with all vintage accessories from my godmother Anne (Advintage).
Finding the Dress… I knew I wanted something simple which hopefully made me look lovely rather than the dress overpowering everything. I tried the Lynn Ashworth one on and the fit made me feel so beautiful…in at the waist and then out, hiding all the bits I don’t like! It was a really special moment being with my 2 best friends and my mum and coming out in the dress!
Groom’s Attire… Very simple the groom and ushers all wore black suits with grey waistcoats (Dan had a scooped black one).
The Readings + Music… From The Alchemist by Paul Coelho read by an old school friend of mine:
“When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen — the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.
“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”
And 1 Corinthians 13 read by Dan’s mum.
Music… we walked into Air On A G String played by the organist. During the service we had “At Last” by Etta James and “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, sung and played acoustically by my musician friends. We walked out of the church to “For One In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. During the speeches, one of the bridesmaids who is a singer on the record label I work for (Katie Melua) did an acoustic version of Beyonce’s “Love On Top” which is Dan’s and my song – it was stunning. Our first dance was Tom Baxter’s “Light Me Up” and our SECOND dance (for my daughter) was “Layla” by Eric Clapton.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 9 bridesmaids plus my daughter Layla which made 10 in total. Layla wore a custom tutu and a floral crown to match mine. The women were all very natural and wore gorgeous dresses from Coralie Beatrix on Etsy, all worn in a different style to suit their body shape. I know it is an excessive amount of bridesmaids but they are all like sisters to me and I couldn’t have done it without them.
The Flowers… Amazing local florist called Daisy Stenning (Daisys in Bloom) did the flowers. I had a tiny budget for flowers and wanted everything very natural so she used a lot of ivy and baby’s breath to create a very natural pretty look.
The Cake… One of my best friend’s mum (Mary Wales) made the cake… I don’t like fussy prim cakes so I wanted something that tasted amazing foremost and I just adored what she created! It completely fit in with the rest of the wedding and tasted amazing.
Your Photographer… Completely ADORED HER!!! I found Hannah from Life Line Photography late in the day literally 5 weeks before the wedding as my original photographer backed out on me(!!). She was amazing and beyond expectation, from attention to detail, her style and the way she was on the day – just stunning… We didn’t want many formal posed photos, more of a reportage of the day and with natural happiness and laughter captured… And on a practical note she helped fix my daughters bridesmaid dress on the day, tuck in spanx for the bridesmaids, peel off stickers from new shoes and went above and beyond the call of duty and made the whole day run smoothly – seriously amazing and lovely to have around on such a special day!
The Details + Decor… Loved the bird cages which spilled ivy out of them and hung throughout the marque. Found an amazing company called Extremely Lovely Wedding rentals who lent us baskets of rugs, chalk signs for all the tables and amazing 7 ft trees with fairy lights on which we scattered throughout the marquee – they completed our rustic wedding without breaking the bank! Loved our festival flags which we hired from The Event Flag hire company. My mum got a bunting banner handmade by a local old peoples home which said ‘welcome to the Dollyanna Lovefest’ which is what the whole day was called rather than the wedding (Dan Oliver and Rosanna- Dollyanna is our nickname!). We adored our invites made by one of Dan’s clients- absolutely beautiful and I loved the festival wrist band we had made for the day…
The Honeymoon… We actually just had the weekend at home (minus the daughter!) and got take aways, opened presents and relaxed which was amazing. We were going to go to a spa for the weekend but so glad we didn’t as I was shattered! We got contributions towards a honeymoon from our guests at the wedding and are finally off in 2 weeks to Barbados and Grenada!
Memorable Moments… Me and the bridesmaids did a surprise dance for Dan in the evening and rewrote the lyrics to Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ all about my Danny boy with one of the bridesmaids who is an actress doing the very funny Kanye west rap section which she re-wrote all about how we met…very funny!
We loved walking up the high street after the ceremony.
Photo booth gave us very funny pictures!
We had a basket with flip flops in for the girl guests to wear in the evening- this went down very well.
Advice for Other Couples… Work out what is important to you. Don’t feel you have to spend loads of money on what other people do. Also, when buying wedding rings, find a shop that makes their jewellery on site that way you can get exactly what you want and cut out middle men costs – most high street shops are just sales men rather than jewellery designers so you are paying for the brand rather than the design or quality.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Flags | Event Flag Hire
Marque | Marvellous Marquees
Photographer | Lifeline Photography
Make up and hair |Carol Hoffman / Nancy Sumner
Dress | Lyn Ashworth
Bridesmaids dress | Etsy
Decorations | Extremely Lovely
Ice cream van | Daisy Ice Cream Van
Photo booth | Booth Star
Flowergirl dress | Etsy
Bridal dress | Swoon Wedding Gowns
Wedding rings | Originals Jewellery
Booze | through a friend – great wines for a good cost [email protected]
Oh my, such an amazing wedding day, wish I was there!
Thanks so much to Dan and Rosanna for sharing their beautiful story with us today XOXO Lou