I am in pure wedded heaven today, why? Let me share all…
Harriet and Jacob were married on the 2nd May 2015 at Rye Town Hall and followed with a reception at Udimore Village Hall in East Sussex. They envisioned an inclusive, fun and informal celebration and by the looks of it everyone had a real blast. There were some brilliant moments including the town crier announcing the couple and walking through the streets following the ceremony, what a special feeling that must have been.
I utterly adore the decoration this couple and their nearest and dearest crafted for the reception. With a berry, navy, gold and white theme they went all out, from pom poms and bunting, through to table cloths, balloons and even their cook books made an appearance.
Thanks so much to Jade Lisa Photography for sending over these stunning images.
THE PROPOSAL | Jacob planned a lovely proposal – we’d kind of decided to get married already but there’d been no formal proposal. In March 2014 we headed to London to visit my newly born niece, on the way to visiting his parents in East Sussex. After crying and cooing over the newest member of the family – instead of heading to the train station for the trip to East Sussex. We headed to the tube (at which point I kind of worked out this was probably the proposal) and ended up at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnel Green. Jacob had booked the most amazing room, then we headed to the Grain Store at King’s Cross for dinner (wonderful food, I recommend the braised cauliflower). On the way out we had a romantic stroll and admired the fountains and at which point he pulled a box out of his pocket and asked me to marry him – simple, understated and romantic. He knew I wanted to choose my own ring – so he gave me a great temporary ring – a gold fox ring we nicknamed “Archie”. We then headed to The Gilbert Scott at St Pancras Hotel for a fabulous cocktail. A few weeks later we made a day trip to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter to find the real engagement ring and then returned to Birmingham to buy our wedding rings.
THE VISION | We wanted something that included all our guests, and felt like us. Nothing too ostentatious, fun, informal but a little different.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We used Pinterest for a lot of the inspiration. And multiple spreadsheets for the planning and shared Google folders and docs. We fancied getting married in the Spring and near to a Bank Holiday to make it easier for our travelling guests we so decided on the May day bank holiday. Our wedding day is also the day before Jacob’s parents wedding anniversary which also seemed appropriate.
We live in Yorkshire but got married in East Sussex, so spent a lot of time emailing and ringing suppliers – it also meant we had to be really organised whenever we visited East Sussex so that we could make sure we met suppliers, took measurements, and asked and answered lots of questions. I was grateful to a number of friends and family for chipping in with ideas and helping with décor.
THE VENUE | Ceremony, Rye Town Hall. Reception, Udimore Village Hall.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The first thing I bought was my vintage headpiece – this was the first thing I bought for the wedding. It was perfect. The wedding dress – Maggie Sottero –Tuscany.
I paired it with gold and champagne shoes from Linea at House of Fraser (for the evening I wore Ivory coloured Toms) and then at the last minute ordered a Biba fake fur stole when I realised it was going to be a bit nippy on May day weekend. Around my bouquet I wrapped the tie my dad wore on his wedding day – he died a while ago but it felt like he was still walking me down the aisle – my brother put it on at the reception when he and my mum did the Father of the bride’s speech. I wore the same rose quartz heart necklace my mum wore on her wedding day. I did my own make up (and my mum’s and Bridesmaids) but I had my hair done and they sewed my headpiece on, it didn’t move I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself.
FINDING THE DRESS | I originally wanted to get married in a gold sequin number – something that Shirley Bassey or the Supremes might have worn, my Mum was less keen. I also wanted to try on proper wedding dresses, so booked a couple of local appointments expecting to have fun and then pick something up in a department store in the USA whilst on holiday that autumn. I quickly realised I liked trying on wedding dresses but that pure white wasn’t for me and my petite frame was not made for a ball gown, although they felt very bridal.
In the second shop we went to we both got very excited about the same dress a Champagne beaded gown by Maggie Sotterro – “Tuscany” it went perfectly with the headpiece too. I never thought I’d find a dress mum and I agreed on but I did. We cancelled the third appointment and bought the dress then and there.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Paul Smith Navy three-piece suit, House of Fraser Tie, Loake brown shoes, the shirt he bought from a Gentleman’s outfitters in Rye on the morning of the wedding – as he’d left the original Paul Smith shirt at home in Yorkshire! The suit and accessories cost nearly the same as the dress – but he looked amazing. He never usually treats himself like that but he will get a lot more use out of it than I will the dress.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We wanted music that meant something to us and spent quite a long time working on the playlist for when guests arrived and waited and for the drinks reception.
Entry of the Bridal Party – Cinematic Orchestra – Arrival of the Birds.
During the signing of the register – Schubert Adagio Notturno.
Exit music – Avett Brothers – Kick Drum Heart.
First Dance – The Black Keys – Everlasting Light.
The DJ played Soul and RnB and 90’s Hip Hop classics.
1st Reading – John Steinbeck letter to his son about love – read by Jacob’s younger Brother.
2nd Reading – Love is Like a Butterfly, Dolly Parton – pre-recorded and then shown on screen read by a friend called Kat who couldn’t make the wedding as she lives in Canada – meant so much that she could still be involved.
Before our legal vows we read to each other the EE Cummings poem “I carry your heart”. This is a very special poem to both Jacob and I.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My best friend Karen flew in from Copenhagen to be my bridesmaid a week before the wedding she wore a long Navy dress from John Lewis. Her daughter and my niece were flowergirls and wore Berry shades of Liberty print Peter pan collared dresses made by my mum and sister–in-law.
THE FLOWERS | I wanted something that would look fairly dramatic against mine and the bridesmaid’s dresses so I went with a deep pink, with a similar mix of flowers for my bridesmaid in white. I spent ages picking the type of flowers I wanted Spring/Summer fragrant blooms such as peonies, anemonies, lilacs and freesias and didn’t want and then sending pinterest images to my florist. I found them online and dealt with entirely via email. I was so nervous about it but they were great. The florist also provided an amazing crate full of blooms for the Town Hall which we then took to the reception.
THE CAKE | Made and decorated by my very talented mother in-law. We set her a tough task by choosing a gold and white cake with a berry trim. There was something amazing about eating Gold cake decorated with edible gold leaf. Again it was an assortment of ideas pulled from Pinterest. The top two layers were chocolate sponge, the bottom later was a special fruit cake that included figs. My Mum made the fabulous bird cake toppers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Jade Lisa Photography – again chosen online. She was really, really good – we did a lot of discussion online before the wedding and I only met her when I headed up to the Town Hall – but the photos were just what we wanted, she made us feel very relaxed and we barely noticed she was there but she captured all the most important moments
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I chose a colour theme of Gold, White, Navy and Berry. It seemed like a lovely mixture of colours, and were reflected in everything from the invitations to the décor, flowers, clothes etc. There was also a recurring Pear theme that reflected the reception venue’s location next to a Pear Orchard.
We made all the decorations including 124 pompoms, heart place mats, rubber stamping cutlery, peg place holders, vases.
Jacob’s Dad made the amazing 5ft Love letters that we used as a back drop as well as the silver birch wooden centre pieces.
We collected Clementine crates for the tables and used our favourite cookbooks for the names of each of our guest’s tables – as we both love to cook together. We thought why not have the cookbooks on the table for our guests to leaf if they wanted.
We used photos of us with each of our guest as the table plan. We strung up the photo cards on ribbon. This was a great talking point as we didn’t include their names and it took them some our guests a long time to find their photo.
Each of the children’s places had a balloon attached to their chairs, as well as a party bag with activity sheets, crayons, stickers and a snack.
As a back drop to the top table we had three Geronimo balloons and I made tassels for these in the same tissue paper used for the pompoms.
A friend made mini washi tape bunting and my mum made and amazing 90 metres of broderie anglaise bunting.
Our catering was street food – and my best friend made little flags for the food. Our pie caterers Humble Pie were amazing, they made some really imaginative canapés and as well as serving their food they helped out cutting our wedding cake and prepared the evening buffet as well – I don’t’ know how we would have done it all without them.
We also had a pub quiz after the meal that Jacob and I put together it really got people talking.
I gave a short speech alongside the usual speeches mostly I wanted to talk about my dad- a vital part of my wedding day was missing with him not there – but because I’ve also never been known not to have my own say and it wouldn’t have seen like me not to.
We’d originally planned to have a vintage bus transfer us from ceremony to reception but all five of their vintage buses needed repairing the week before the wedding so we had a normal coach.
The ring cushion was made embroidered by the groom’s mother and made into a cushion by my mum. We even decorated the rather municipal toilets with washi bunting and our save the date cards with quotes that reflected us as a couple. For example “ you are the gin to my tonic” and “ I like petite brunette women and breakfast food”.
We made a gin and pear cocktail for our guests to enjoy at the reception and sourced local beer and champagne. We had a free bar run but a rota of friends and took donations for a local cancer charity.
It took seven hours to set up the hall the day before, but also gave us a chance to spend time with close family and friends who helped out.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent 3 days in Rye relaxing and recuperating, then in September took the train to the south of France for a week in Montpellier.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The Town Crier for Rye Town Hall was fantastic. He announced our wedding outside the Town Hall after we were married and then again on the high street.
My mum shouting 1.2.3 blast off to my niece before walking down the aisle to start it all off – not what I’d had planned.
Jacob was very emotional at times. When I walked down the aisle and saw Jacob for the first time, I thought he was very sweaty but then realising he was crying.
Seeing our guests enjoying taking photos behind the LOVE letters.
The sudden realisation the night before the wedding that against stereotype I’d become incredibly Zen in the face of all the things going wrong – no vintage coach, groom realising he’d forgotten his shirt at 9pm the night before the wedding etc etc.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Take your time, and don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Generally, they like to feel part of the day and it’s a nice way to incorporate things from the people you love.
Use Pintrest to get a few ideas. Spend some time just with each other to reflect on the day. Write it all down in a letter soon afterwards so you remember all the details. Things will go wrong, but as long as you get married that’s all that matters.
For the brides – doing your own make up is one thing but I’d draw the line at doing your own hair.
We did a huge amount of the planning and operations ourselves and had to work really hard the day before the wedding, on the wedding day and the morning after. We were glad we got in professionals to provide some parts of the day. Such as using a glass delivery and collection service and didn’t have loads of washing up the following day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Flowers | Vintage Flower Design
Caterers | The Humble Pie Company
Burritos | Carlito Burrito
DJ | Disco Wed
Venue | Rye Town Hall
Reception | Udimore Village Hall
Hire | Abbey Catering and Marquee
Hair | The Rye Retreat
Photography | Jade Lisa Photography
Oh so fabulous.
Harriet and Jacob, thank you both so much for sharing your wonderful wedding story today xo Lou