February is here already, and seeing as it’s the month of love, it’s a favourite time of year for this wedding blogger. I have some super gorgeous weddings to share this month, so lets start today with Vanessa and Sean’s lovely day.
Vanessa and Sean had a love filled wedding at Bristol Register Office follwed by a reception at Beeses Tea Garden and a fun boat ride. They wanted their wedding to feel relaxed and informal which was also child friendly.
With the beautiful setting of their venue, they had colour fest of wild flowers, homemade stationery, bunting and an amazing cake complete with quirky topper.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Ellie Gillard for sharing her photography with us today.
Names…. Vanessa & Sean
Wedding Date…. 15 Sept 2012
The Proposal…. We had talked about marriage relatively early on in our relationship so there was no big surprise proposal! However it WAS a surprise when after taking me out to dinner at one of our favourite places Sean produced a ring at the end of the meal. It was my 103-year-old grandmothers engagement ring! When she had heard that we wanted to get married she had offered it to Sean to give to me. I was so touched & genuinely surprised & now wear it everyday, along with her 1930’s wedding ring that she also passed on to me.
The Planning Process…. We had over a year to plan everything, as we wanted to wait until our son Rafferty was nearly one & we weren’t so tired! We had a very clear idea that we wanted the whole day to be fun & enjoyable for everyone, including children. We wanted it to be informal & relaxed so the choice of Beeses was perfect. It is a BEAUTIFUL setting & you would never believe you were 10 minutes from the city centre. The staff at Beeses were SO helpful & accommodating. The choice of a hog roast added to the informality of the event. The flowers were ‘wild’ looking in jam jars, friends & family were involved whenever possible. My mum made the ring cushion from some vintage fabric of my grandmothers. She embroidered our names & the date on it. I really wanted to enjoy the anticipation of the event as well as the actual day itself. Having lots of time made this possible.
The Venue…. Bristol Register Office (Lantern Room) & Beeses Tea Garden
The Readings + Music… Bridal Entrance=All I want is You by Barry Louis Polisar. Signing of Register= live acoustic version of ‘Everlasting Light’ (The Black Keys) sung & played by friend of the Groom, Pete McGillan. Exit=’Howlin’ for You’ by The Black Keys. We went to see the Black Keys at Brixton Academy & we love them!
Readings: ‘The Reluctant Bride’ by Lucy Mangan (read by Brides brother), ‘Ship’ by Carol Ann Duffy (read by friend of bride & groom).
Groom’s Attire… The Kooples suit/Paul Smith Shirt/Hugo Boss tie/Paul Smith shoes.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My daughter Evie (6) was a Flower Girl. My son Isaac (8) was the ring bearer. Evie’s Hairband made by Bride! Evie is known for her love of bows on hairbands so I wanted to make her something really special for the wedding. I couldn’t decide whether to have ribbons, net, feathers or jewels so in the end I just included everything! Evie’s Dress by Next. I don’t usually like Next clothes but this dress looked so vintage & pretty & Evie loved wearing it. Shoes from John Lewis.
The Flowers…. Xanthe at Ivory Flowers, Bristol. Discovering Xanthe was one of the best things about the whole planning process. She creates the kind of floral arrangements & combinations that I had in my mind but didn’t know how to articulate. With Xanthe I didn’t have to explain too much as she totally ‘got’ what I wanted. She has an in depth knowledge of flowers & is genuinely passionate & excited about flowers! I couldn’t have been happier with the flowers she put together for our wedding.
The fact that her shop is within a vintage clothes shop with a café is also an obvious bonus! Xanthe seemed more than happy to discuss ideas at length whilst drinking coffee in beautiful surroundings. This just added to the whole planning experience.
The Cake…. M&S cake decorated by Bride & Florist. Customized Cake topper (Bear & Fox) from Etsy.
Your Photographer.… Ellie Gillard. Ellie was FANTASTIC. She was the photographer we always wanted but didn’t know it! We discovered her online & were blown away by the creativity & atmosphere she conveys in her photography. With her background in Fashion, her images often reflect this. She was so professional & a pleasure to be around. We hardly noticed she was there snapping away. Definitely one of the best choices we made, financially & for the beautiful record of our special day.
The Details + Decor…. After the marriage ceremony we all walked through the historic centre of Bristol, down to the dockside & boarded a 1920’s pleasure cruiser, the TOWER BELLE. En route we stopped off at one of our favourite places to eat, SOURCE, where we collected homemade sausage rolls, scotch eggs & cheese croquettes to eat on the boat. We also collected some of their amazing brownies & cakes to supplement our wedding cake. We had Pilton Cider & pink lemonade to drink as we cruised down the river to Beeses tea garden where we had a hog roast. My mum dad made meters & meters of polka dot bunting, which decorated the marquee & decking. The tables were named after films we had enjoyed together. I had made all the invites, table name signs, seating plan, place cards etc. by paper cutting. I love Rob Ryan’s paper cuts & had taken his style as inspiration for all the wedding stationery. Xanthe & I had worked along the idea of wildflowers in jam jars (collected & decorated by me over previous months!) & these were on all the tables.
We didn’t have a best man as such but my very good friend Nige & his wife, Barb gave a speech/performance that was both touching & hilarious at the same time. It was incredibly entertaining & also involved a wig! Our friend Ivor supplied the tunes in the evening & he did a wonderful job, it just all flew by too quickly!
The Dress… I met Alexandra King at a Vintage Wedding Fair in Bristol & loved her quirky, retro inspired dresses. I made an appointment to go & visit her at her studio in Somerset. Together we came up with the idea of a ‘wiggle dress’ in white corded lace. I really wanted something that was a similar shape to dresses I would normally wear. Alexandra was so helpful & took on board everything I said to make my dress perfect for me. Going to her wonderful studio full of vintage dresses, shoes & handbags, surrounded by beautiful fabric & creations was such a treat. She offers a really personal enjoyable way of getting the dress you want & was happy to listen to me wittering on about all my wedding plans! When I saw on her website that she had started a range of glittery bow clutch bags, of course I had to have one to go with my dress…….
The Accessories… My very talented friend, Isabel While made my headpiece. I saw some headpieces she had already made & then was able to specify exactly was I wanted & she conjured it up. I wanted something that looked ‘vintage’ and that complemented the style of the dress. My parents bought me a gorgeous FLO & PERCY cuff as a present & I already had the glittery shoes, which were originally from ‘Office Vintage’. Isabel also did an amazing job of my make-up.
The Honeymoon…. We only had a nights honeymoon, as with 3 young children it’s not always easy to get away! We spent a wonderful night at the Old Post Office which is owned by The Walnut Tree Restaurant in Abergavenny. After a lovely meal we only had a 2 min walk to our luxury cosy cottage! The fridge was filled with delicious Welsh produce (smoked salmon, ham, fresh eggs, bread, pastries etc). The next day we visited Sugar Loaf Vineyards & tried their wine selection & Welsh cheese plate whilst sat in the autumn sunshine with a wonderful view of Sugar Loaf Mountain. It was beautiful & very romantic!
Memorable Moments.… So many to list but here are some…….. Complete strangers waving & smiling as I was being driven through Bristol to the Register Office in a vintage blue Hillman Minx (driven by Sean’s mums partner!). Walking into the Register Office & all my friends & family bursting into spontaneous applause! Seeing all my friends & family all dressed up & looking gorgeous & glamorous. Seeing Sean waiting for me looking so happy, handsome and CALM! Walking down ‘the aisle’ behind Isaac & Evie & feeling SO proud of them. It was wonderful that they could be so involved in the ceremony. Pete singing & playing his acoustic version of “Everlasting Light’ so beautifully. Stopping off for an impromptu bottle of champagne (courtesy of my brother) after the ceremony. Dancing with my children & my new husband. Waking up as Mrs. McBride!
Advice for Other Couples.… Leave plenty of time to plan everything so you can ENJOY the planning as part of the whole event.
We used suppliers or people/friends who we felt totally understood what we wanted. It made the whole thing so much more personal & individual. Plan a wedding you can afford. It doesn’t have to be overly expensive to create a memorable day. If you have a baby or very young children, pay someone to look after them! We used a friend of my mum’s who is a nanny. She was fantastic with Rafferty & took him home when he was tired in the afternoon. We were able to enjoy our wedding without having to worry about him & he had a much nicer, calmer time. Get a dress that is ‘you’, and then you’ll feel relaxed. Don’t feel you have to follow convention. No one is going to care if you don’t have favors or a first dance. Do what makes you happy & what you feel comfortable with. We had Pilton Cider instead of champagne & everyone loved it! Remember, it’s a big day but it’s just a day. ENJOY it all & plan some good things to do after the wedding. Putting too much emphasis on one day is never a good idea; the real fun starts after you’re married!
Credit where credit is due…
Photographer = Ellie Gillard
Ceremony Venue = Bristol Register Office, Lantern Room.
Reception Venue = Beeses Tea Garden
Wedding Dress = Alexandra King
Brides Headpiece = Isabel While
Groom’s Suit = The Kooples
Bride’s Hair & Make-Up = Isabel While
Flowers = Xanthe Ivory
Hillman Minx, owned & driven by Chris (mother-in-laws partner!)
There is so much to say about this lovely lovely day, the ring cushion… love! The sweetest little children, heart balloons and delicious sounding food. WOW.
Thanks so much to Vanessa and Sean for sharing their amazing wedding with us today XOXO Lou