By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Guys, if today’s real wedding doesn’t have you reaching for the glue gun and scissors, then nothing will. This pair went all out for their awesomely creative nuptials, complete with a multicolour palette and so much personality.
WWW readers Alice and Andrew were married on the 30th June 2017 in a church ceremony, before transporting their guests in a route-master bus to their back garden marquee reception at Alice’s parent’s house. They wanted a bright colourful day and DIY‘d their hearts out to achieve their unique wedding style. Think rainbow streamers, pom poms and flowers in gin bottles. Talking of flowers, Alice’s bouquet may just be the prettiest bunch of blooms I’ve ever laid eyes on. Those large coral peonies mixed with roses and daisies are just so stunning.
The outfits were very stylish too; Andrew opted for a floral bow tie to accessorise his navy suit, Alice donned a darling Halfpenny London gown with flower crown and the maids wore aqua blue. There are so many wonderful moments and memories too, all of which are captured utterly beautifully by Jonny MP, thanks Jonny.
THE PROPOSAL | Our first ever holiday was to Amalfi and it’s a place we hold dear to our hearts. When we left Amalfi in 2013, Andrew said to me ‘next time I bring you here, it’ll be to ask you to marry me.’ Fast-forward to April 2016, and I was whisked away on a surprise trip to our beloved Amalfi and Andrew popped the question whilst watching the sunset on the pier. He presented me with a beautiful diamond and aquamarine ring – as my favourite colour is aqua blue (which was one of our wedding colours).
THE VISION | Having been to a lot of weddings with lots of pale and muted colour, we wanted ours to be full of bright colour and joy! I didn’t have a clear vision, and am not one of those brides who had planned their wedding to a tee before getting engaged, so it all came together as we went along! The colours were bright pink, orange and aqua blue and although everyone thought we were bonkers, we stuck to our guns and to the colour scheme we wanted. I love the colour of Bombay Sapphire bottles so everyone we knew was collecting gin bottles for our table decorations, including all the local pubs and bars in Tooting, and all our friends got through A LOT of gin…!
BUDGET | We didn’t set a budget, but we just took to bartering as much as possible and to prioritised the things we really wanted. The red Routemaster bus and the photographer were non-negotiable. We took a chance on a caterer that had never done a wedding before, which was the best decision ever. Pickle & Fizz were amazing, the food was delicious and they couldn’t do enough for us.
THE VENUE | We met in Tooting and have lived here ever since, so it was important for us to get married locally. The ceremony was at the beautiful St Paul’s Church, Furzedown and the reception was held in a marquee at my parents’ house in Croydon AKA – The Thunderdome!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a Halfpenny – Iris dress, which I bought from a sample sale at Leonie Claire Bridal in Brighton. My shoes were No.1 by Jenny Packham. My very clever Mum made my flower crown by hand, using artificial flowers to match my bouquet.
FINDING THE DRESS | I have always loved Kate Halfpenny’s designs and I walk past her shop in Euston every day on my way to work, gazing on the window at her creations… I found a boutique in Brighton that stocks Halfpenny dresses, tried on seven dresses in total, but the Iris was the clear winner. I put on a flower crown and a veil, caught sight of myself in the mirror and thought ‘who is that bride?’ – it was me! Needless to say, I had found the one.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andrew got his suit from Moss Bros. He wanted something bright to match the vibe. The bowtie was very important! Andrew ordered this colourful beauty and pocket square from Mrs Bow Tie, which has an excellent selection. The socks were from Happy Socks and the shoes from Jones.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The Maccabees are our favourite band and we met at one of their gigs, so I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘First Love’. My cousin also played a Maccabees medley on his guitar whilst we signed the register and our recession music was ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oates. Our first dance was ‘Islands in the Stream’ by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers – simply because it is a massive tune and we wanted something we could actually dance to. Then my brother, the talented Oliver Sudden, was on the wheels of steel as our resident DJ for the night.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I went all out and had my sister, Daisy, as Maid of Honour as well as my three best friends. They were all in stunning beaded dresses from ASOS in my favourite aqua blue.
One of my bridesmaids was 8 months pregnant at the time and wore a lovely floral number from ASOS Maternity. My Flower Girls were my niece and my goddaughter, who wore rainbow frocks from Monsoon.
THE FLOWERS | My favourite flowers are peonies, and I was determined to have them in my bouquet. I wanted something untidy and unusual, and I wasn’t disappointed. My bouquet was better than I could have ever imagined – I loved it! The flowers were also displayed on the tables in the gin bottles, including coral peonies, delphiniums, peach Juliet roses, September and wax flower. I couldn’t believe how amazing they looked, all thanks to Clarke’s Florist in Tooting.
THE CAKE | Controversially, I am not actually a fan of cake and never eat any at weddings. So we had a tiered cheese from West Country Cheese Co. which was delicious, and my Mum made brownies and multi-coloured meringues for those with a sweet tooth.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The man, the legend, Jonny MP was our photographer. When I asked my friend what she would’ve done differently about her wedding, she said she would’ve booked Jonny MP! So I contacted him, loved the sound of his ideas and ethos and even changed the initial wedding date we had pencilled in so we could book him. We didn’t regret it. Jonny was fantastic, he fitted in with the wedding party and got to know everyone, my family actually wanted to adopt him! He caught some amazing moments and really captured the happiness and joy of the day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The decorations were all DIY. I ordered loads of paper pompoms from eBay and my family painstakingly puffed them all out in the week running up to the wedding! I ordered paper streamers from eBay, which ended up looking much better than I imagined. The tables were decorated with the gin bottles and flowers. My mum made little personalised bottles of limoncello imported from the Amalfi Coast for the tables and she made two flower pedestals at the entrance to marquee. We also made rainbow festoons with fairy lights for the stairs, and lanterns for the garden, the list is endless…
THE HONEYMOON | We escaped to Kent for a few days after the wedding staying at Elmley Nature Reserve, in The Saltbox; a plush shepherds hut, which is completely glazed on one end so you can wake up to the beautiful views over the reserve. It was wonderful to escape reality for a few days and to relax after a busy few weeks.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I’m biased but the speeches were incredible, so funny and heartfelt. I did my speech in the style of BBC R4’s Desert Island Discs, with a song for all the important people in the room, complete with music clips, the theme tune and not blowing my own trumpet but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
My aunty and uncle also printed giant ‘King & Queen of Hearts’ playing cards (in the style of our wedding invitations) for photo opportunities and my Mum and Stepdad rocked up wearing them during the meal, which was very amusing!
There was also a moment where one (very drunk) guest threatened to punch the DJ if he didn’t play Ignition by R Kelly…!! Needless to say the laughter diffused the situation…
We also had a traditional Routemaster bus to take everyone from the church to the reception, which was beautiful. Although the reception was on a rather steep hill, so I understand it was a bit of a hair-raising journey.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The planning is half the fun so try to enjoy it and try not to get caught up in the wedmin. I kept a diary for the 6 months running up to the wedding to record everything we did to prep and it is lovely to look back on now and see all the effort and exciting bits and bobs that went on. We also broke down all payments into bite size monthly instalments, which really helped after the wedding as we didn’t have an almighty bill to ruin our newly wedded bliss!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Jonny MP
Catering | Pickle & Fizz
Music | Oliver Sudden
Flowers | Clarke’s Florist
Stationery | Dohm
Venue | St Paul’s Church, Furzedown
Cheese | West Country Cheese Co.
Hair | Tana B
Dress | Halfpenny London – Leonie Claire Bridal
Shoes | Jenny Packham No.1 (House of Fraser)
Suit | Moss Bros
Bow Tie | Mrs Bow Tie
Groomsmen | Debenhams suit hire
Bridesmaids dresses | ASOS
Flower girl dresses | Monsoon
Red Bus | Traditional Travel
Rings | Lambtons / Camelot Diamonds – both in Brighton
Favours | Homemade
Wow! So gorgeous.
Huge thanks to Alice and Andrew for sharing their epic story with us xo Lou
Want In On My Happy Wedding Letter?
Join over a thousand engaged couples (and counting) who have snagged my fun no-nonsense regular wedding advice and inspo straight to their inbox. Plus you'll get planning checklists & spreadsheets for absolutely nada.
Leave a Reply
I love the marquee decorations so much! I’m having an unlined marquee and I’ve been struggling to imagine that it will look good once decorated. This beautiful wedding has put my mind at ease. I’m definitely going to buy some crepe streamers!