WWW readers Stevie and Anthony’s wedding was a pure geek fest. And I just love it. Everything from Batman to Harry Potter and Doctor Who were represented and brought together by Lego.
They married on the 1st August 2015 at Swallows Oast in East Sussex in the most beautiful outdoor woodland ceremony. In fact the arch they married beneath they will be keeping too, which is just a perfect idea.
Stevie wore a custom made gown with sweet veil while Anthony went for a blue and yellow suit combo with batman buttonhole. They looked gorgeous.
Thanks so much to Daffodil Waves for sharing these stunning images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Anthony had originally planned to propose whilst at Niagara Falls, however, a mixture of knowing I wouldn’t enjoy a public proposal and fear of ruining the holiday if I said no, led him to rethink his timing. Instead he proposed a few days later in the comfort of our own home; me on the sofa and him on both knees whilst about to put Battlestar Galactica in the DVD player! He jokes that after I had mentioned earlier that day that marriage was something I saw for us he had to act quickly before I changed my mind! Two days later we headed to the South Lanes in Brighton to choose a ring together.
THE VISION | We knew from the outset that our wedding was never going to follow a traditional path. We wanted it to really reflect us as a couple and to be a laid back, fun-filled day. We wanted the outdoors to feature heavily and also to find a way to incorporate our numerous geeky interests without it becoming a children’s birthday party. With the help of our friend and graphic designer Simon Gregory, we decided to use Lego as a way of tying all of our themes together. This was the best way to include everything from Batman to Star Wars, from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, and from The Walking Dead to Doctor Who, whilst still having some sense of overall cohesion. In total we had at least 10 different fandom’s that we included!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The planning process took place over the course of 3 years. A huge upside of this was that it gave us time to save as we were paying for the wedding ourselves. The biggest downside (aside from the waiting!) was that we researched so many ideas it was hard work to narrow down our favourite choices. The first decision that we made was to have a summer woodland wedding, the exact date was worked around when our incredible photographer (Nicola of Daffodil Waves) was free. Technically we booked her before our venue! Anthony and I both had equal input in the decision making process although I did have to veto hiring the 501st Storm Trooper’s!
BUDGET | We based our budget around what we could comfortably afford to save in the run up to the wedding. We don’t actually know how much we spent in total as some months we saved more, and some months we had to repair our classic Mini! We estimate that it was around £12K and worth every penny!
THE VENUE | As soon as we saw Swallows Oast we fell in love with it. The gorgeous sandstone and wooden Oast built in the 1830’s offered an intimate setting full of character; whilst the stunning views from the surrounding hills and fields gave us the perfect backdrop for photographs. The overwhelming factor that made it the ideal venue however was the secluded woodland copse at the heart of the grounds. On the day that we first viewed the venue the sunlight shined down through the leaves and dappled the woodland floor in the most romantic way. I knew instantly that was where we would hold our ceremony and make our promises together as husband and wife.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I must have tried on over 50 dresses in total! Whilst there were many that I really liked there was always something that I wanted to change, this led to me deciding that a bespoke dress was the best way forward. I contacted White Leaf Boutique in Brighton and with their help I designed a stunning ballerina length full circle dress. It had a gorgeous swishable silk organza skirt with a delicate lace bodice and an embellished satin belt, perfection! The most nerve wracking thing about designing my own dress was having to see if it looked as good in real life as it did in my head! I didn’t actually see my dress until 2 weeks before the wedding but it was worth all the stress.
I decided to keep my accessories simple; I wore a pair of pearl earrings borrowed from a friend and a necklace that Anthony had made for me the previous month as a Birthday present. The necklace was also my own design, made by the very talented team at Ring Jewellery in Brighton. It consisted of two silver swallows swooping towards each other with two clasps that held my engagement ring between them. Our wedding rings were also our own designs with the concept taken from previous work we had seen at Ring Jewellery. Anthony’s was a wide titanium band with ‘Stevie’ written in Aurebesh from Star Wars, whilst mine was a thinner band with a section of our vows written in circular Gallifreyan from Doctor Who.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Anthony’s suit was a vibrant blue three piece by Richard James Mayfair. Fitting with our non traditional take he decided to order a custom pair of Converse with a Batman Arkham City design on them. We agreed that a golden yellow would complement the blue nicely, we also liked that it was a nice nod to R2D2 & C3PO, classic Batman colours and of course the Doctors TARDIS!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music was very important to us, there was no doubt in my mind that I would walk down the woodland aisle to ‘Aerith’s Theme’ from Final Fantasy VII and we would walk out to the Throne Room music from Star Wars episode II whilst showered with confetti. The background music during the BBQ was a collection of instrumental themes from our favourite TV shows, games and films, the best being the Cantina music from Star Wars! We had two readings at the ceremony; ‘Union’ by Robert Fulgham and ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton. In addition to this our wonderful celebrant Katie (of True Blue Ceremonies) worked tirelessly to find numerous shorter quotes and references from our favourite shows and literature to include in the ceremony itself.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I was lucky, or crazy, enough to have six bridesmaids! They all chose their own dresses from Monsoon and looked absolutely stunning! Four were in navy multiway knee length dresses whilst two chose navy maxi dress with lace detailing. Aside from the colour I didn’t really give them any direction and they were free to wear whatever shoes or accessories they wanted.
THE FLOWERS | Fresh flowers weren’t something that was important to me so I opted to only have fresh flowers for mine and the bridesmaid’s bouquets with a few extra for my hair. I decided to have the bridesmaids carry Gyp as I loved the simplicity of it and it reminds me of my Nan’s garden when I was a child. For mine I kept it simple too with yellow roses, gyp and lavender. Lara at Darling and Wild did an amazing job considering I only gave her a couple of weeks notice and very few guidelines!
THE CAKE | Our cake was supplied by Angel Food Bakery in Brighton, who were coincidentally next door to our Jewellers! After sampling many flavours we settled on a decadent four tier cake consisting of Victoria Sponge, Red Velvet, Double Chocolate and Carrot Cake all frosted with either vanilla butter cream or cream cheese frosting. In addition they made us a lemon sponge with lemon frosting that was gluten, nut and dairy free. We decorated the cake ourselves with Lego figures that looked like us and origami flowers that I made. An unexpected gift from my parents was a cake sword that was a replica from the Lord of the Rings movies! We struggled to cut the cake because of the wooden dowels so in the end decided to stick the sword in like Excalibur!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I don’t think I could ever find enough words to describe how wonderful Nicola at Daffodil Waves is. She seemed as excited about our wedding as we did and was constantly at the end of a phone or email if I needed to run any ideas past her. We arranged to have an engagement shoot about a year before the wedding and I found it incredible how at ease she made me feel when previously I have been reduced to tears at the mere thought of having my photograph taken! On our wedding day she (and her second shooter Joie) went above and beyond. She captured so many heartfelt moments and memories that we will treasure forever. Best of all was just how much fun we had when we were taking our couples photos on the hill before sunset. It was like hanging out with a ridiculously talented friend! Booking Nicola as our photographer was the best decision that we made by far, never before have I seen photographs that manage to convey such emotion in a still image. The only difficulties are in choosing which ones to display and in trying to find an excuse to have her photograph us again! Apparently it’s frowned upon to renew your vows each year!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We decided early on that such a stunning venue didn’t require too much extra decoration. We decided to keep things simple and use large glass bowls filled with Lego as our centrepieces, this was a huge hit with our guests and everyone was super competitive when it came to us judging the Lego building competition! We placed the bowls on tree slices and decorated the edges with origami flowers made from novels and comic books. Each table was named after one of the fandom’s that we loved and the flowers for each were made from corresponding books. We also used the origami flowers, along with vines, to decorate a beautiful white metal arch that was the focal point for our ceremony. I had the romantic notion that we will now always own that arch under which we married. So that we didn’t detract from the simplicity of the woodland we decided to use hay bales instead of traditional seating and made an aisle runner from hessian and dried petals. I also handmade all of the origami flowers that were used as buttons holes for each guest. The centre of the origami flowers was a small Lego flower apart from those for the groomsmen, instead they each had a pin badge that matched to the super hero they had chosen.
The only other decoration that we had was almost 50 metres of comic book bunting that we handmade from comic strip wallpaper; we also used the wallpaper to make confetti cones.
Our incredibly talented friend Simon Gregory did an absolutely amazing job of designing Lego versions of all our favourite characters. These were used on everything from the invitations, to the table plan and the place settings. He is currently designing our Thank You cards and we can’t wait to see them!
We also liked the idea of having a sweet buffet but wanted to give it a geeky twist. We decided to go with Harry Potter and create a mini version of Honeydukes! We served everything from chocolate frogs, liquorice wands, sugar quills, jelly snakes and golden snitches made from Fererro Roche with paper wings. Our best man also surprised us with a gift of custom made Lego chocolates (courtesy of Stas Chocolatiers) that were absolutely amazing!
THE HONEYMOON | Our honeymoon was as untraditional as the wedding. I had relatives from America who came over for the wedding so we didn’t want to disappear and not get to spend any time with them. Instead we honeymooned with them! We spent four days in Paris and then went on day trips to local attractions. Unconventional but just what we wanted! We are also planning a second honeymoon to San Diego Comic Con for our first Anniversary!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was so perfect that it is hard to pick just a few moments. Saying that, being an hour late because of a particularly slow car (and poor timing on my part) stands out as quite memorable!
Our drinks reception was held up on the hill overlooking that farmland; it was amazing to have those moments in the sunshine to just relax with our guests. The fact that the canapés were never ending didn’t hurt either!
Another thing that stands out was the sound of Lego bricks clinking together and laughter. After spending so long worrying that people wouldn’t ‘get it’ it was such a beautiful moment to see it all come together.
My favourite moment of the day though had to be our last dance. We chose ‘Hey Jude’ and it was just incredible to have everyone linking arms and singing along long after the music had faded.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t be too proud to ask for help! We had so many people offer their services but we didn’t really take them up on it until the last two weeks. There is no way we could have managed without the generosity of our friends and family and I wish we had enlisted them sooner! Also, don’t get worked up about what other people think. Not all of our friends and family members share our love of Lego and Geek Culture but on the day they embraced it as it was so personal to us as a couple. Choose things that you love, not things to make others happy. Finally, create a separate wedding email address to give out at wedding fairs to avoid your inbox becoming clogged!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Venue | Swallows Oast
Caterer | Capers Catering
Photographer | Nicola at Daffodil Waves
Celebrant | Katie at True Blue Ceremonies
Dress | White Leaf Boutique
Hairdresser | Nicola Downey Hair and Make up
Stylist | Susie at Styled by Susie
Stationery | Simon Gregory [email protected]
Rings and Necklace | Ring Jewellers
Cake | Angel Food Bakery
Wine | The Weald Wine Cellars
Favours | Stas Chocolatiers
Flowers | Lara at Darling and Wild
Wood slices | The Woodland Centre
Wow, so many amazing ideas. What an inspirational day.
Stevie and Anthony, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful nuptials with us xo Lou