Aiming to create a fun and personal wedding is always a great place to begin. Add in vintage and handmade influences alongside using local businesses and you have one cracking, super gorgeous celebration.
WWW readers Chris and Becki were married on Saturday 30th July 2016 and held their reception at their local church’s community hall. This gave them the perfect back drop to their old fashioned décor, which included vintage crockery, reams of bunting and pretty blue and yellow blooms. The pale blue colour palette worked so beautifully with the lemon yellow pops of colour, it all looked so fresh and summery.
I have real dress envy today, I so love a peter pan collar. What a frock Becki chose, she looked just lovely in the So Sassi gown with her hair in waves. The bridesmaids wore darling blue dresses with sandals and Chris donned a royal blue suit and floral tie. Utterly wonderful.
Ellie Grace Photography, thank you so much today for sending over these glorious images.
THE PROPOSAL | Chris arranged for me to have a day out with some of my friends having our nails done and going for lunch. During lunch the girls told me that they had arranged for me to have a spa afternoon because I had been so busy and stressed at work recently. I was put in a taxi on my own and waved them good-bye. The taxi did not take me to a spa but in fact to Woodthorpe Hall – a private wedding venue that I’d always loved. After I was dropped off I saw some signposts that Chris had set up, taking me down a path into the grounds, that read:
We’ve been together for a while now
But do you remember the first time
That I said I love you
The final post pointed to a bench that had a beautiful view of the house and grounds (Chris had first said ‘I love you’ on a bench). On the bench was a bag and a letter in an envelope that read ‘Open me first.’ The letter, needless to say, was sufficiently soppy and ended by telling me to look in the bag. Inside the bag was a note saying ‘Look Up.’ Chris appeared from round the corner got on one knee and tumbled out the oh-so-special words through a mess of tears and I just about managed to say yes.
THE VISION | We really wanted a wedding that was relaxed and fun for everyone as well as feeling very personal to us. We both love the vintage and handmade look but also felt that it was important to use local businesses. The look of the wedding grew around those ideas and of course a lot of Pinterest trawling!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Having worked in the wedding industry I had quite a few ideas already of what I wanted and then Pinterest inspired a lot of the rest. We toyed between having the wedding where I grew up or in our home of Sheffield, and in the end the wedding venues decided it for us.
BUDGET | When we got engaged we sat down and tried to work out rough figures for everything we wanted to include in our wedding, trying to overestimate it. This helped us get a realistic figure of what we thought we would end up spending and meant that we were able to stay on track with most things. We wanted to make sure we could throw the best party we’d ever had but also not break the bank. In the end we spent £16,000 not a cheap wedding, but we can honestly say we felt it was perfect.
THE VENUE | We knew that we wanted PJ Taste to cater so that meant we had to use a venue that we would be able to have external caterers. After considering Woodthorpe Hall, where we got engaged, and looking at a couple of other rural venues we decided on our local church’s community hall which, with its 1950’s architecture, was the perfect setting for our vintage inspired day. For the ceremony we always wanted a church wedding and I am a member of St. Timothy’s Church so it was a no brainer.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I knew I wanted a dress that was a little bit different but also reflected me. I found the So Sassi range online and really liked the quirkiness of the dresses. I looked up stockists and found the amazing Alexandra Anne in Pilsley, Derbyshire and I couldn’t have been in better hands. It came down to 2 dresses but in the end the Peter Pan collar was so me and the large day flowered lace over fabric were so beautiful it couldn’t have been any other dress. I knew I wanted blue shoes, and Rachel Simpson’s Mimosa peep toe vintage inspired shoes in a powder blue fitted perfectly with the whole feel of the wedding.
FINDING THE DRESS | I only went to 3 shops. 2 to try on everything they had to get an idea of shapes that suited my body and then Alexandra Anne where I bought my dress. Knowing what suited my body really helped me to rule out dresses as there were so many beautiful ones. Also getting inspired online meant I could spend as long as I wanted browsing all in the comfort of my pyjamas.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We wanted Chris to look distinctly different from the groom’s men but for similarities to run throughout to tie them all together. The groom wore a made-to-measure 3 piece suit from Debenhams in royal blue and the groomsmen had complementing 3 piece grey suits hired from Debenhams. They all wore blue floral ties and pale blue Lego cuff links, both sourced from Etsy. The groomsmen had brown brogues from Next and the groom dark brown brogues from Clarks.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had both been to so many weddings where people haven’t sung so wanted to make sure that people did at ours. We put the songs (Shine Jesus Shine, One Thing Remains, In Christ Alone) for the ceremony on our wedding website so that people had an idea of the tune before they arrived. We chose a traditional bible verse, Colossians 3:12-17, for our first reading and the poem ‘Dance of the Starfish’ which held special significance for Becki. We didn’t want traditional procession and recession music so opted for ‘First Day of My Life’ by Bright Eyes for Becki to walk into and Vitamin String Quartet’s version of ‘Shut Up and Dance’ by Walk the Moon to walk back down the aisle together as people threw their confetti, which created a real celebratory feel to the end of the ceremony.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister and best friend both wore pale blue floor length Coast dresses made of chiffon with a lace detailing on the bust. Neither of them wanted to wear heels and as they are both taller than me I wasn’t going to argue, so we found some cream jewelled sandals in Marks and Spencer which they were both happy with.
THE FLOWERS | I wanted our flowers to reflect the relaxed feel of the wedding and look like they had just been scooped out of a country garden – this is exactly what our florist Kath, from ‘Of the Wild,’ does best and it was great fun chatting through ideas with her and looking through Pinterest together to make sure we were on the same page. When she sent me a mood board through of soft powder blues with hints of yellow and white it was perfect. For the tables we used tin cans, spray painted copper and gold, as well as twine topped jam jars with small bunches of flowers, they also adorned the windowsills and the DJ stage set in the evening.
THE CAKE | Having looked at lots of different ideas for a traditional cake we decided to instead have a cheese and pork pie cake, something we both loved the idea of, being great cheese lovers. It formed the main part of our evening buffet and went down a storm. Our caterer’s beautifully decorated it with crackers and edible flowers and it received so many compliments from our guests.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We wanted a photographer who would really capture the essence of the day and catch all those naturally beautiful moments that weddings are full of. Ellie Grace fitted this idea perfectly; we met her at a wedding fair and instantly clicked. Her natural candid style created some beautiful shots that mean we can relive our wedding again and again.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I had a bunting making party with my Mum and some girlfriends, where we had a great time cutting out and sewing all 150 metres of it together. I also recruited my Mum and Dad to collect tin cans and glass jars which Chris then dedicatedly scrubbed before I spray painted them. I also spray painted 3D cardboard table numbers in alternate pale blue and cream as well as 2 metal buckets for ashtrays.
We had a photo table with pictures of our parents and grandparents getting married as well as old suitcases and old cameras which were all collected from family members. Behind these we hid a rather ugly notice board with a fabric back drop using the same fabrics as our bunting. We put rosemary and lavender sprigs picked from my Mum and Dad’s garden on everyone’s place settings and used luggage tags as place cards. We put games like Jenga and Uno on the wooden barrels at the drinks reception for guests to amuse themselves and then set up fire pits and had a box of blankets so that people could sit outside in the evening. We also collected vintage cups and saucers from charity shops to serve the tea and coffee in after the meal.
THE HONEYMOON | The day after the wedding we put on our backpacks and flew to Tanzania for a 5 night safari with a private guide stopping by Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater and then on to the Serengeti and the River Mara for the Great Migration. A light aircraft from a bush airport took us to the island of Zanzibar where we spent 2 nights in the capital, Stone Town, sightseeing and trying the local cuisine. We ended the amazing 2 weeks chilling out on the beach at the Palms on the east coast of the island recharging our batteries before coming home to married life.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Playing Articulate as part of the talk during the wedding ceremony.
The groom delaying the speeches because he was in the loo and then received a huge applause as he left.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make sure you take time out during the day to spend with your new husband/wife, travelling in the morris minor on our own to have our photos taken meant we got that because when you get back to the reception everyone wants to talk to you both. Also during the planning process give yourself time to take a step back, you can get so bogged down in the little details that are lovely but not what is truly important about the day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Ellie Grace Photography
Car Hire | Richard and Moria Hall at Classic Car Hire North
Venue | St. Timothy’s Church, Crookes
Venue Dresser | Adam Went at Mesters Events
Tables & Chairs | Black Event Furniture
Florist | Kath at Of the Wild
Wedding dress | Alexandra Anne
Hairdresser | Wigs and Warpaint
Caterer | PJ Taste
Wedding Cake | Reece at Urban Panty
Gramophone DJ | Adam Wareham the 78DJ
Evening DJs | Chris Arnold and Mike Tate of Big Swing DJs
Ekkk so gorgeous.
Thanks so very much to Chris and Becki for sharing their lovely wedding story today xo Lou