If you haven’t got that Friday feeling just yet, then you are in the right place today. This wedding is going to plant a big fat smile on your face and get you in the party mood.
WWW readers Andy and Leila chose to marry on the 24th August 2014 at Stone Barn in Gloucestershire. They planned a month long honeymoon in Mexico and so a Mexican Fiesta was the perfect theme for their fun and colourful celebration.
The giant tassel balloons, flag bunting and giant piñata all added to a playful feel. The boys donned bow ties and braces, while the girls wore multi way dresses and they looked brilliant. Leila wore a gorgeous lace sweetheart dress with statement flower crown. Ohh and there was a Mariachi band to entertain their guests… eekkk.
Thanks so much to Lily Sawyer Photography for sharing these fantastic photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Our birthdays are on the 15th and 16th October. Andy took me out for a birthday dinner at Sushi Samba in London and proposed at midnight right in the middle of both of our celebrations. It was very romantic, Andy had a little too much champagne to settle his nerves but it was wonderful.
THE VISION | We wanted a wedding that was informal and fun, something that just felt like an amazing party with all of our friends and family. We knew that we wanted to spend a month travelling around Mexico for our honeymoon and decided to give our guests a taste of our planned Mexican adventure
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning process was actually quite easy! However it was most definitely NOT fun! We are organisers for a living so it felt a little like having another full time job. We tried to let it take over our lives. We organised everything in under 10 months.
BUDGET | Definitely more than we planned on spending although we did try and keep the costs as reasonable as possible.
THE VENUE | After weekends trawling around the M25 visiting venue after venue we were starting to lose the will to live, the final venue that we visited was the Stone Barn in Gloucestershire. We knew from the moment we stepped in that it was the one. Originally we were looking for spaces that we could 100% do our own thing but after meeting with Jo from Cripps and knowing that they do this day in day out and that there was scope for us to give the venue our own twist took the pressure off.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Shopping for a wedding dress is like entering a parallel universe! Things you think you like look hideous on you and the things you least expect look wonderful!
I actually found my dress in Berketex, I loved the dress from the waist down but hated everything about the top. I could see under the lace top was a sweetheart neckline so I tucked everything down into the top and created my own dress. The seamstress at Berketex did all of the alterations that I wanted as part of the standard alteration cost which was brilliant. A one of a kind dress at a high street price!
I wore a gold necklace with a little heart which my mum bought for me in Iran years ago and I have been wearing it every day since. Andy gave me some beautiful diamond earrings to wear on the day of the wedding.
My day time shoes were Jimmy Choo which I picked up in Bicester Village and I changed into a pair of silver sparkly TOMS for dancing.
I wore a fresh flower crown during the day made by our florist Beth. I sent her the measurements for the crown that I wanted her to make and she was terrified it was too big and I would hate it. “Beth do not worry, my hair is massive!” I tried to reassure her. When I tried the crown on for the first time it was just perfect, exactly what I wanted.
I changed into a red rose faux flower crown from Rock ‘N Rose for the evening party. A slick of red Chanel lipstick finalised the look.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we were having a civil ceremony we were worried that it may become a little legal and soulless.
To spice up the ceremony we knew that we wanted to add readings and asked Andy’s sister Sarah, my best friend Angie and Andy’s best friend Kirsty to be part of the ceremony. Rather than dictating to them what they should read we let them pick their own words. Sarah and Angie chose beautiful poems and Kirsty wrote her own poem. It made the ceremony so personal.
The music for the ceremony was provided by my “brother from another mother” Mat. He created an acoustic arrangement of Quindon Tarver’s “Everybody’s Free” for me to walk down the aisle. It was so beautiful. We walked out to his version of the “You and Me Song” by the Wannadies.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I am very lucky to be blessed by such beautiful friends! I was supported on the day by my 5 beautiful maids Angie, Charlotte, Rae my sisters Zay and Hannah. They were just gorgeous! I had my eye on some gunmetal wrap dresses from Two Birds Bridal which allows each maid to tie it in a way that makes them feel comfortable but they were way over my budget, you can imagine how happy I was when I found a very similar dress from M&S for 1/5 of the price and promptly ordered them in. The girls all picked their own silver shoes as I wanted them to feel comfortable and have their own vibe. The girls looked absolutely gorgeous.
THE KIDS | Our wonderful mini maid and god daughter Olivia wore a mini version of the girls dresses but in white and Olivia picked her own little silver shoes with butterflies on, our god son Benjamin, and nephews Damien and Anthony looked deliciously gorgeous in their little chinos, shirts, bow ties and converse.
THE FLOWERS | Our florist Beth totally understood the look. It needed to be simple and understated and we didn’t want to spend a fortune on something that was just going to die.
The tables had potted succulents for a bit of cactus like structure to go with our Mexican theme and vases with white hydrangeas as you don’t need many to be impactful, white and vintage roses; just a couple as they are expensive, and padded out with gypsophila which costs next to nothing.
The piece de resistance was the incredible hanging flowers that Beth created for the ceremony room that later became the party room. They were breath-taking.
The bridesmaids carried bunches of gypsophila tied in twine and I carried an amazing array of white and vintage roses with succulents and other wild flowers tied off with some twine.
The buttonholes were single white roses with a mini succulent.
THE CAKE | Our wedding cake was next level amazing! Arianna from Bittersweet bakers is a genius! Having grown up in California Arianna had so many ideas of how to incorporate Mexican flavours into our cake. We wanted this to be something fun! The base layer was chocolate and Mexican coca-cola cake (in mexico the coca-cola is made with real cane sugar, it tastes 100000% better than elsewhere in the world), the mid layer was hibiscus and lime and the top layer pineapple and coconut. Arianna then decorated the cake with flowers and succulents left by Beth on the day. It looked amazing, it tasted amazing!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | As someone who studied photography in university picking a photographer was always going to be the hardest part of the whole wedding for me! After much searching I came across Lily Sawyer, after a drink in my local pub with a portfolio review I knew that she was the one! Lily perfectly captured the day and the final images are beautiful.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Car arrival – Our wonderful friends Rosie and Richard kindly let us borrow the vintage Land Rover that Richard had been painstakingly restoring for the past year. “Rosebud” as she was named was decorated with white flowers and my Dad and I travelled on the back on a special seat that Richard had built. My dad didn’t know that this was going to happen so it was a brilliant surprise for him. My friend Ross acted as chauffeur which was so lovely, we even squeezed in a selfie on route.
I really enjoyed planning the details. Having a Mexican theme made this really fun.
Daytime décor – I ordered the authentic papel picado and customised versions from a lovely vendor in Mexico on Etsy (Etsy is a god send!). The balloons came form the giant balloon company who were brilliant and the balloon tails were painstakingly made by my mum almost giving her RSI in the process. Mexican sweets were imported for our sweet table and Mexican hot sauces for our guests to help themselves to on the tables. Our tables were named after our honeymoon destinations and each place setting had a Mexican loteria game card enabling the guests to play together during dinner.
Night décor – Our HUGE piñata was made by a lady that I found on Etsy in the English countryside, I received the pictures of it when it was finally made with sheep in the background which was such a wonderful touch!
The evening vibe was “fiesta!” which can only mean silly fancy dress under the glow of a neon cactus!
Evening music was provided by our Mariachi band “Mariachi el Mixacana”, Acoustics by Andy Huntley and Mat Lomas with DJ sets from our friends Zoe, Matt and Christian, DJ Fresh, Jaguar Skills and Mista Jam. We are incredibly lucky to have such talented mates :-)
THE HONEYMOON | A month travelling around Mexico, the trip was perfect, everything we hoped it would be.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The day goes by in such a whirlwind! Every moment was memorable.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try to remember that this is just one day of your lives together, don’t overspend and begin your journey as a married couple up to the eyeballs in debt!
As much as you want everything to be perfect on the day things will go wrong, just roll with it, accept that some things are out of your control and make sure that you give your trusted friends some little jobs on the day to help things run smoothly.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Lily Sawyer Photography
Dress | Berketex Bride
Shoes | Jimmy Choo
Pumps | Toms
Lingerie | Victorias Secret
Engagement Ring & Earings | Raphael London
Wedding Ring | Luke Rose Jewellery
Bridesmaid Gifts | Deca Dorn
Bridesmaid Dresses | Marks and Spencer
Cake | Bittersweet Bakers
Florist | Go Wild Flowers
Awesome from beginning to end.
Andy and Leila, thank you both so much for sharing your brilliant wedding story with us xo Lou