Today’s couple, WWW readers James and Colette knew exactly what they wanted from their day and that was a bohemian, 70s inspired wedding that was truly reflective of them and their relationship. They worked really hard to find suppliers who could share their vision and give them the something a bit different they really wanted. The ceremony took place at the church just across the road from where James and Colette live and the reception was at Langar Hall near Nottingham all held on the 14th June 2018.
The décor is really elegant yet rustic with lots of deep colours and you definitely get the boho 70s vibe with some more modern geometric touches too. I simply love the exquisitely painted terrariums which James and Colette sourced and painted themselves.
Of course, being a 70s boho bride required the appropriate sleeves, and isn’t Colette’s Rue de Seine gown breathtaking? Meanwhile James looked ever so dapper in his morning suit and dinner jacket in the evening.
Thanks must go today to Robert Leons Photography for sharing these wonderful images with us, just beautiful. Enjoy taking all of it in WWWers!
James and I have known each other 15 years (half of our lives). Originally, I am from Chicago in the US and James from Poynton in south Manchester. We were both figure skaters and met in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2003 while were training. James and I kept in touch for many years and became best friends. In 2010, we decided to meet face-to-face once again and so our romantic relationship began. I visited him in the UK and he visited me in the US until in 2013 when I decided to pursue my Masters degree in the UK. It was after this period of time, we knew we wanted to be together forever. In 2015, I started as a PhD researcher at Loughborough University and we moved into our apartment together.
Everything we do, we do together, which includes all important decisions and choosing to get married was no different for us. We mutually decided in spring 2017 we wanted to get married and had an informal engagement until February 2018. Our informal engagement allowed us to design our bespoke engagement ring together, which a family friend graciously made for us.
In February 2018, James and I decided to visit London to meet James’ best man. He surprised me when we took a detour to The Shard and he said we were going to stay the night at the Shangri-La Hotel. We had a beautiful room that overlooked London from Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge. That night James took me to The Goring Hotel for a special meal and when we returned to the hotel, he told me to wait outside our room. When I came in, beautiful rose petals were scattered throughout our room and all of London lit up at night was the backdrop. When I had finally figured out what was happening, James looked at me and said, “I have your ring here” and got down on one knee…and so our formal engagement began!
The most important thing to us was to share our marriage with our closest family and friends in a small, intimate wedding. We wanted it to reflect our personalities and tell our story as a couple. It was essential to us that all of our guests had a wonderful experience at our wedding and it would be something they did not soon forget. Every little detail was thought of to ensure all of our guests enjoyed the day as much as we did.
We both appreciate traditional elements of a wedding but wanted to make it more contemporary and unique to us. Because of this, we knew we wanted a church wedding and our local parish was the only choice for us. At the same time, we wanted something different and modern. Our choice of venue fit perfectly into this idea as we were able to have the quirky, bohemian wedding of our dreams and our eclectic venue just enhanced it.
The vision for our wedding was a rustic, bohemian, 70s era feel while adding modern touches with a unique and moody colour scheme inspired by this direction. By incorporating geometric details, it was a perfect marriage of vintage and fresh, natural yet structured…it described us as a couple perfectly and that was exactly what we wanted to share.
The Planning Process
James really took the reins in terms of the planning for the wedding while I was busy working on my PhD. It began with us attending Bride wedding show at Tatton Park in spring 2017. It was a great place to begin to get ideas for our wedding day and see what was possible. We knew immediately from this show that we wanted Robert Leons as our photographer for the day and Soul Revolver as our band.
Everything else we went away and researched heavily. We found it easier to dismiss suppliers we knew didn’t meet our needs. Everyone always says they want something different for their wedding, but we really did want something very different for our wedding…something non-conventional and memorable. Our research online led us to those suppliers that really matched what we wanted and the vision for our day.
Because we started over a year before the wedding took place, we were able to book all the suppliers we really wanted. Plus, we were able to attend the Bride wedding show at Tatton Park once again in spring 2018 to see if there were any other details we could add as final touches to our big day. As we went along this journey, we seem to choose things that were eclectic but yet matched our rustic, vintage and modern collaboration.
The ceremony was held at the beautiful All Saints with Holy Trinity in Loughborough, literally just across the street from our apartment. There was no other choice for where we wanted to be married.
The reception was held at the stunning and quirky Langar Hall in Nottinghamshire. The house is a gorgeous golden yellow, the inside of the house is inviting and stylish and the surrounding grounds are breathtaking.
Langar Hall was most accommodating and allowed us to have a tipi provided by Premier Event Tipis. James at the very last minute (three days before our wedding) decided that we needed a tipi for our band and he spent a lot of time researching for the best, most cost effective one by contacting at least 15 different companies. The tipi was perfect for our 70s era feel wedding with a modern twist. Having the tipi just outside Langar Hall allowed for people to sit and chat inside in a quiet space, be outside or in the tipi to enjoy the music and dance and for those who wanted to move between the two to do so. It had something for all of our guests.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I could not have dreamt of a more perfect wedding dress. When I went back to the US for a few weeks in summer 2017, I went dress shopping with my parents. We must have gone to a dozen different dress shops and I tried on all different styles. As with all important decisions, James was helping me to make this critical choice. I wanted a dress that was bohemian and unique with lace and preferably big 70s style flare sleeves (even though James was unsure about this detail)!
I finally decided on a strapless bohemian lace dress that could be bought in the UK. And the bonus was that I could have flare sleeves added to the dress! I scheduled an appointment at Jean Jackson Couture in Manchester and went with James and James’ mother, Cindy, to try on my potential choice and video chatted with my mom, Beth, in the US. In the end, it was unanimous! We all decided that the Ash Gown from Rue de Seine was perfect and adding the Beau Sleeves completed the whole look! Later, I decided on a custom cathedral length veil with blusher made from a beautiful soft silk fabric that had just the right amount of opaqueness and fluidity that draped over me in the most ethereal way. I knew straight away that it was the perfect veil for my dress!
I added the Stella Crown, a wonderful crystal quartz crown, from Howling Moon UK that I found on Etsy. It was a mixture of Game of Thrones and old- world Italian glamour! In the evening, I changed my crown putting on a custom Briony Crown, a silver metal flower crown, once again from Howling Moon UK.
I wore amazing, delicate matching silver and pearl Tiffany earrings and necklace that were gifts from James for our wedding day. They were perfect with my dress! I added a bit of a bohemian feel by including tiny star stud and celestial long chain earrings from DOSE of ROSE.
James wore a navy morning suit tailor-made by King & Allen for the ceremony and wedding breakfast. Inside of the jacket he had embroidered our names and the date of the wedding as a lasting reminder of our special day. James always wanted to keep traditional elements of a wedding and therefore chose to wear a morning suit but wanted to modernise it by wearing an unconventional colour like navy. His waistcoat was fastened with an Albert watch chain and the fob was an old family swimming medal from 1903…ironically James is a poor swimmer, so we both thought this was a comical addition.
He wore a blush patterned tie from Hermès with black Paul Smith Oxford shoes and Cartier cufflinks. Because we met in Sun Valley, Idaho, he wore Paul Smith socks which had a sun design on the ankle. My wedding gift to James was a Paul Smith watch with silver band and navy face, which he wore on the day. For the evening party, James changed into a black velvet Hackett dinner suit with a black bow tie from Henry Poole.
After considering having my makeup done by a professional makeup artist, I decided that I wanted to look like myself on our special day. James sees me every day and thinks I’m beautiful, so I figured it would be best to do my own makeup. I used mainly Charlotte Tilbury makeup with the Dolce Vita palette.
My hair was beautifully styled by Tierni Bozeat in a crown braid in the perfect combination of polished style and “lived in” bohemian feel. She styled my maid of honour (my sister, Briana) in a stunning half up half down style with curls embellished with a Raw Crystal Magic Quartz Comb and Flower Hairpins from Howling Moon UK.
Our gorgeous flowers were provided by Tracy Burr at The Flower House in Stamford. She was able to create gorgeous arrangements that fit our vision perfectly… burnt oranges, yellows, burgundy, grey-blue hues and blush pinks (not your typical summer colours) which were a bit moody and reflected a 70s vintage and rustic feel with lots of textures.
The biggest thing was that we wanted all the floral arrangements to feel natural, as though they had just been picked from the field. We also specifically asked for dahlias, as those are my favourite flower. We wanted geometric terrariums as our centrepieces at the wedding breakfast and Tracy did a wonderful job filling them with the most magnificent flowers! We could not have asked for anything more beautiful!
The Readings & Music
The first reading during our wedding ceremony was the Song of Solomon delivered by James’ uncle, Wynford. We chose this reading because we liked the sentiment. The second reading was from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and delivered by my uncle, Ronald. Les Misérables is our favourite musical and the excerpt chosen has beautifully written words.
At the ceremony, we had The Wedding String Quartet serenading our guests before the wedding began with some of our favourite songs such as I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables and One Day Like This by Elbow.
When we were planning our wedding, we agreed that James would be in charge of choosing the music for the church and I would be in charge of choosing music for the reception. Our hymns included Jerusalem, We Pledge to One Another and Lord of the Dance. James is very patriotic and wanted to share this passion for his country with our guests both from the UK and the US (and beyond), and so Jerusalem was always going to be our first choice. He even sings it around the apartment. Also, with James and I being figure skaters, Lord of the Dance seemed perfectly apt for us as a couple!
I walked down the aisle to Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission, which was played by The Wedding String Quartet. While we were signing the registers, they played Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen and Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan. We walked out as a married couple to Starlight by Muse.
We were lucky to have the band, Soul Revolver, for our evening party who had a repertoire of fantastic alternative and classic rock music mixed in with some wedding classics. They played our first dance, which was ‘Til Kingdom Come by Coldplay and is featured in our wedding highlights video. The rest of the night, our guests enjoyed and danced to some of our favourite songs like I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons, Mr. Brightside by The Killers, Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand, and Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes.
We had an impressive four tiered naked cake decorated with exquisite real flowers by Couture Cakes that matched our moody and distinctive colour scheme. It was a real focal-point at our reception. We had a classic vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam.
Couture Cakes also provided a cheese tower with six different cheeses complete with little sugar mice running up the tower. The cheese tower was certainly a huge hit with our guests! You can never go wrong with cheese.
I only had my one bridesmaid/maid of honour, my sister, Briana. Because my sister was coming from the US, it was easier to get her dress there so it could be easily altered if necessary. She wore a beautiful off-the-shoulder chiffon gown from the Dessy Collection in blush purchased from Nordstrom.
This was probably the most difficult and time-consuming part of the planning process, believe it or not! James wanted his best man (Gilberto), father (Colin), and my father (Mark) to all have matching suits. Finding suits which complimented all three men was exceedingly difficult!
The original idea was to rent suits, but frankly, this was very expensive. Particularly for a suit which needed to be returned after the wedding and could not be tailored in any significant way. Therefore, James decided purchasing suits would be the best option. Each man could have the necessary size and have any tailoring needed to make sure they looked great on the day.
At one point, there were over a dozen different types of suits to be considered hanging in his parents’ lounge! Luckily, in the end, we did find the perfect suit for everyone. We chose a beautiful Richard James mid-blue, grey toned three piece suit purchased from House of Fraser. The ties were a beautiful dark burgundy colour from Reiss which reflected the flowers in my bouquet and the floral arrangements. All three men had an antique silver Albert watch chain to compliment the one James wore, which were purchased on eBay.
Our photographer was Robert Leons who we found at the 2017 Bride wedding show at Tatton Park in Cheshire. When we saw his exhibit, we knew right away that he was the perfect fit for us. The quality of his work really stood out to us above all the other exhibitors.
We didn’t want awkward, cheesy wedding pictures and a photographer who was constantly in our faces. With Robert, we loved how he could capture beautiful photos at a distance and how he could tell the story of the entire day. He directed us but allowed us to be natural and interact with one another as we would normally do, and he clearly captured the special moments from our wedding day. We were also drawn to the finish of his photos being a modern vintage feel.
We had the wonderful team of Lukas and Laura from Lukas & Laura Films to document our wonderful marriage and found them by scouring the Internet to find someone who fit exactly what we wanted. One of the key elements we were looking for was a videographer who films in Super 8. I love Super 8 film because it obviously has that lovely vintage 70s era feel and such a romantic quality to it. While Lukas and Laura don’t film in Super 8, they have a filter they can add to their digital film to give it Super 8 attributes and this was perfect for us! When you watch the highlights film, I’m sure you’ll agree that they did a fantastic job filming fabulous memories from our wedding!
They were a great combination with our photographer and offered a different perspective. They captured the fun and love we experienced on our wedding day and we can’t wait to replay our film over and over for years to come.
The Details & Décor
We had so many little details that all came together to make our wedding as stunning as it was, it’s difficult to acknowledge all of them! As we were deciding on extra details and the décor, we chose things that we loved and while they were eclectic in nature, they really worked to give us that bohemian yet modern chic style we wanted. Langar Hall being eccentric and stylish accommodated our quirkiness perfectly! We didn’t need to change ourselves or decisions to match the venue or vice versa…we were a perfect match from the start! Since we had so many, we will just discuss some of our favourite details…
Our Order of Service was beautifully designed by my best friend, Julia. She was amazing and sketched our church on the front of the programme embellished with a rustic floral wreath reflecting our floral selections. On the back, she continued the gorgeous floral pattern with minimal colour. It was such a special personal detail to our wedding and something we will absolutely treasure forever.
Couples tend to have pet names for one another, and we are no exception. For a number of years, we have referred to ourselves as The Penguinos. We do love penguins, particularly the chocolate bar kind. We have a lot of things in common with real penguins: They live on ice (although we are a bit nimbler than the average penguin…more like ‘Happy Feet’ level – especially James), they’re always dressed smartly for any occasion, and most importantly, once they meet their true love, they’re together forever. For this reason, we had a number of penguin-related décor at our wedding. We had an adorable personalised penguin cake topper complete with wooden chapel from Japan that we found from the Kikuike shop on Etsy (although we ended up just displaying it next to our cake). We also had cute wooden penguins and an illustration of a penguin wedding that were both gifted to us…so we were excited to include them in the festivities!
James’ best man, Gilberto, works at the Royal Automobile Club and is one of the best mixologists in London! He took the time to create two cocktails for our wedding. The first, was ‘The Penguino’ – a delicious mix of peach syrup, vodka, lemon juice, basil leaves, shaken together and double strained, topped up with champagne and garnished with dried raspberries. The second was called The Sun Valley Mocktail – a tasty combination of Wilkin & Sons lemon curd, apple juice, lime juice, topped up with sparkling lemonade and garnished with thinly sliced apple and edible flowers.
We celebrated our countries being united with US and UK themed items. At one of the fireplaces in Langar Hall and outside the front where guests entered, we had US and UK flag bunting from The Cotton Bunting Company. We also had red, white and blue M&M’s with our picture on them, which we ordered in little jars, so our guests could take them home as a wedding favour.
Geometric touches were key to the rustic but modern twist of our wedding. We sourced geometric and painted floral terrariums from TK Maxx and Home Sense, which our florist beautifully filled and were placed on the tables at our wedding breakfast as centrepieces. Each guest had an original, handmade geometric copper and glass place card, which we found in the Babapots shop on Etsy. I wrote each guests’ name with our initials and wedding date as a reminder of the day.
To complete the best day of our lives, we had a 10 minute fireworks show timed to music provided by Britannia Fireworks and a sparkler send off by our guests. We could not have asked for a more perfect ending to our special day!
We have not yet had our honeymoon. We thought it was most important to share our marriage with our family and friends and so concentrated all of our efforts on that. After the wedding, we had to organise my new spouse visa, and I am still finishing my PhD…when life slows down a bit, I am sure we will be able to enjoy some relaxing time away together. For now, we just enjoy living together as husband and wife in our apartment.
We had so many memorable moments it’s hard to list them all! For me, getting ready in the morning with my mom and sister and riding to the church with my dad giving us time to reflect on our growing family is something I will always remember.
When I saw James at the end of the aisle, it really sunk in that I was going to marry this wonderful man and get to spend the rest of my life with him. I was not nervous, but just excited about our future ahead!
Reverend Wendy, who officiated our marriage, was absolutely amazing before and during our ceremony and gave the most thoughtful sermon. She really took the time to get to know us as a couple and even did her research on figure skating! Her inspirational words she spoke on that day will stay with us forever.
For James, he says one of the most memorable moments was walking out of the church with his best friend by his side, now his wife, and the bells ringing and sun shining. Just as we left the church, we stood outside by ourselves for the first time as a married couple and it was serene.
Of course each second brought something spectacular and memorable… greeting all of our guests outside of the church, enjoying the ride to the reception in the 1965 Jaguar MK2, walking in and first seeing our wedding cake, the funny but poignant speeches made, the amazing food, walking around the stunning grounds of Langar Hall together, our first dance, friends and family cutting a rug on the dance floor, cutting our cheese tower (the second cake of the evening to cut), the beautiful fireworks to round off the most perfect day we could ever ask for and being able to share it all with our family and friends.
Advice For Other Couples
The first bit of advice we would give is if you’re wondering whether to spend your money to have a videographer capture your day…do it! At first, we thought it may not be necessary because we had a wonderful photographer. But we are very happy we did seek out a filmmaker because not only does it offer a different perspective of your day than the photographer, they capture different elements of your wedding and a highlight video is a perfect and easy thing to share with family and friends through social media. A film really brings your wedding back to life, so you can relive it whenever you would like and share the special day with everyone.
We also would suggest making sure that all of your planning is finished at least three days before your wedding. We were making last minute touches all the way up to the night before, which can add unnecessary stress. Instead, try and put away all of the planning and just enjoy every minute leading up to your wedding day.
The last bit of advice we have is if you can, have the ceremony early in the day. Our wedding began at noon, so we had a full day, but it still flew by! Make your wedding day last as long as you possibly can for your guests and yourselves. You only have one special day like this…enjoy every moment you can because it will stay with you forever.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Robert Leons Photography
All Saints with Holy Trinity
Premier Event Tipis
Howling Moon UK
Groom’s Morning Suit
King & Allen
Groom’s Evening Suit
Shoes, Watch & Socks
The Wedding String Quartet
The Flower House
Lukas & Laura Films
The Cotton Bunting Company
Bride & Groom Transport
Rutland Wedding Cars
Thank you so much James and Colette for sharing your elegant, perfectly boho day with us. Rachel x