Maria and John were married in June at The East Quay, Whitstable, Kent (AKA The Lobster Shack). They wanted their wedding to be stress free, creative and full of colour.
Maria looks so beautiful in her lace gown and Valentino shoes while John wore a custom made three piece suit. Maria chose multicolured mismatched gown for her maids with coordinating blooms, and they look just amazing.
Using their venue and location as inspiration, they had a seaside details throughout theie reception. With beach huts garlands, a seaside table plan, multicoloured tables, bunting and cupcakes. Oh so so pretty, i so love a multicoloured wedding :-)
“Maria is my wife Claire’s best friend. They have been best friends since they were 11 years old and so I have to admit that when Maria and John asked me to photograph their wedding I was just a little bit nervous. I really shouldn’t have been. Their wedding was fantastic, even the British weather and near gale force winds on Whitstable beach couldn’t stop everyone having an absolutely great time!”
Names…. Maria and John
Wedding Date…. 16th June 2012
The Proposal… We were on holiday in Margaret River, WA, which is a fabulous wine region in Oz. John proposed at sunset on a beach called surfer’s point on our last evening of the holiday. Although we had talked about getting married, I wasn’t expecting a proposal just then (we were walking back to the car and going for dinner in my mind) I actually nearly fell over him when he rather abruptly stopped and got down on one knee. :o)
The Vision for the day…. We always knew that whatever we did, we just wanted a very relaxed, informal and stress-free day. I also wanted to have some fun with it all and flex my creative muscles to do something a little different. Luckily for me, John is a very laid back guy, so was happy to go with all the colour and little ideas I kept coming up with.
The Planning process…. This was a little tricky for us, especially being based abroad. All I can say is thank god for the internet!!! :o) Once we booked the venue we had a good 18months to plan, so we did manage to take it all in our stride. I spent an awful lot of time doing research online and this is how we found many of the vendors.
Budget…. Approx 17K
The Venue… The East Quay, Whitstable, Kent. Picking a venue had the potential to be a complete nightmare for us as we were unable to visit anywhere before booking. We’ve always been in love with Whitstable and knew it quite well, so it was only natural that we’d start our venue search here. When we found out that the East Quay (The Lobster Shack restaurant by day) was a wedding venue we were really excited. The East Quay has a fab rustic–chic feel and it’s directly on the beach which was a massive pull for us. We also liked the idea of the whole day being in one place – it helped to make the planning a little simpler.
The Dress + Accessories….. The dress was a Ronald Joyce dress called Darling. I am a big fan of the lace vintage looking dresses, but many of them would never suit my figure, so I was over the moon when I found this dress with it’s little nod towards the 50s and gorgeous lace detail. My shoes were definitely an extravagance (but I have always been a shoe girl!) They were Valentino and just beautiful. I found them on Net a Porter in their winter sale, they were reduced by 70% and the heel was a perfect height for me. This was all the justification I felt was needed…. My jewellery was brought from a little bouquet in Singapore and my hair piece was brought as the same time as my dress.
Finding the dress…. Ahhh, this was not quite as simple as it should have been …. :o) I had a dress made for me near where we live in Singapore, but during the fitting sessions I wasn’t really that happy with it. Although it was a nice dress, it just wasn’t THE dress and I didn’t feel like a bride wearing it. After much panic, I decided to make an emergency trip back to the UK 6 weeks before the wedding to buy a dress off the rail. Luckily, the very first dress I tried on turned out to be THE one and we were then able to have a celebratory “Oh my god, what a relief!” drink in the pub.
Groom’s attire… John and the best man both had their suits made by a tailor in Singapore called TJ Tailors. John was always very clear that he didn’t want a morning suit, so this seemed like the best and easiest option as he got to choose exactly how he wanted it to be.
The Readings + Music…. All the bridesmaids took part in the readings and did a brilliant job. We were very keen to have a ceremony that was light hearted and memorable. Victoria (in the blue), Sinead (in the orange) and Megan (in the yellow) read A Lovely Love story by Edward Monkton that was then adapted to be more relevant to John and myself. They were quite game for it and put on voices, so it was rather entertaining and certainly got some laughs. After the exchange of rings, Claire (the Maid of honour in purple) and my sister Andrea (in the pink) then read Foxtrot from a Play by W.H. Auden. They read alternate lines, with Andrea always taking the line of “but you’re my cup of tea” and pointing to John as she said it. It was absolutely priceless and one of the best, most talked about moments of the day.
I walked down the aisle to Songbird by Fleetwood Mac, we then had Romeo & Juliet (Dire Straits) during the witness part and Stevie Wonders Signed Sealed Delivered as we walked back up the aisle. The afternoon music and evening music was provided by a band called the Talent. They really did suit their namesake, we were so happy with them, the dance floor was always packed when they were playing. Our first dance was to Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody
Beautiful bridesmaids….. Claire (the Maid of honour in purple), Megan (in yellow), Victoria (in blue), Sinead (in orange) and my sister Andrea (in pink). Our lovely bridesmaids were all different shapes, sizes and colouring so I knew from the start that I could never hope to dress them all the same. So I went about picking different styles for them and then thought, well why not different colours too? This decision then pretty much led the colour theme for the whole day and I quickly decided on the rich jewel colours (Purple, cerise Pink, Orange, Canary Yellow, Royal Blue) that would be used…… I wanted it to be bright, bold, funky and ever so slightly retro! Luckily, they were very trusting of me as I tried to explain what I was planning via email and the little picture montages I put together.
All the outfits were made by a dressmaker’s in Singapore. I went very prepared with lots of my own drawings and images I’d found on the internet. Once we’d firmed up the designs, I then picked out all the different fabrics. I am an aspiring jewellery designer in my spare time and so decided to make all the bridesmaids jewellery as thank you presents to each of them. I had great fun in coming up with the designs and turning them into reality and the girls all received their gifts when we were getting ready in the morning.
The Hair and Makeup was done by the lovely Lisa of Lisa Bridal hair and makeup. As I saw it, all the dresses had a little fun retro feel to them, so I wanted this to continue on with the hair and makeup. They were all pretty open to different ideas and Lisa was fabulous at honing it in & turning it all into reality, indeed they all looked so unbelievably amazing that I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional!
The Flowers… These were provided by Lara from Darling & Wild. I found Lara on the internet and had a great feeling about her. She immediately understood the theme and was quick to offer many creative ideas and advice. I was very keen to steer clear of your typical bridal flowers and wanted the flowers to be just as funky, fun and colourful as the dresses. My bouquet was made up of yellow craspedia balls, gloriosa lily, mango calla lilies, rich dahlias, thistle (special for me as my grandma was Scottish) and deep purple lisianthus. The bridesmaids all had posies in the colour of the belt they were wearing and made up of one or two different flowers of the same colour. The ushers all had a buttonhole to match their tie. In the venue, we had loose flowers in little vases on the tables and an amazing arrangement at the foot of the top table with the flowers coming out of 2 trellises. We also had a garland of carnations and greenery on the stairway banister.
The Cake… Our cupcakes made by a great friend Kate of MadHatter Creative Cakes and really did taste as good as they looked.
Your Photographer…. The very talented Paul Fuller of “Paul Fuller Kent Photography”. We were extremely fortunate to already know Paul as a good friend but as a very thorough internet researcher, I like to think that I would have found him and booked him even if he were a stranger. Paul completely fit the bill in what we were looking for in a wedding photographer, not only in the quality and style of his work, but also in his manner, approach to the day and ability to interact with the guests. Aside from a lot of obvious talent and a strong eye for composition, one of the reasons Paul manages to capture such beautiful natural pictures of people is because quite often, you don’t even realise he’s there taking it!
The Details + Decor…. All the lanterns and candle holders were collected over the course of a year (once we had booked the venue and decided the colours) mainly from DIY stores & Supermarkets when they had special offers and sales on and then the odd little shops we came across in our travels. Both the large and small paper lanterns were brought online from the Hanging Lantern Company. The larger lanterns were hung individually and lit with little LED battery powered lights. The table runners were made with the help of my mum. I brought the Thai silk material in Singapore, we then cut them to size and my lovely mum run them up on her sewing machine for us. All the amazing bunting was made by John’s mum from odd scrap material, pillow cases and other little finds in fabric shops, charity shops and various sales bins from shops across Kent. The beach hut holder gift card holder was made by my Dad and painted by myself and my mum. Chair covers and sashes were hired from The Wedding Breakfast. The ribbon idea for the ceremony room actually came about from a meeting with the florist. We attached cheap white king size flat sheets to the wall and then over the top attached the streams of satin ribbon with a staple gun (I say “we”, I actually mean several members of my family who were part of the decorating team – at first I think they thought I was quite mad mind you!!)
The Honeymoon…. We had a very romantic and rather cultural week in Italy (4 nights in Florence and 3 nights in Venice)
Memorable moments… The guest’s reaction to going outside in gale-force winds whilst doing the conga… Andrea’s you’re my cup of tea moment. The brilliant speeches.
Advice for other couples… We got plenty of strange looks when describing what we had planned for the day. A lot of friends and family couldn’t really picture how all the colours would all come together. If you’re planning to do something a little unique, don’t be afraid to stick to your vision.
Credit where credit is due…
Cup Cakes: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MadHatter-Creative-Cakes/285986731420002
Hair & Makup: http://www.lisabridalbeauty.co.uk/index2.php#/home/
The Band: http://www.thetalent.info/
Décor: http://www.theweddingbreakfast.net/ http://www.hanginglanterns.co.uk/
Ekkk i am in multicoloured seaside heaven!! Thanks so much to Maria and John for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou