A Gran’s hat that ended up as a photobooth prop and a best man dance off were a couple of the bride’s memorable moments. Combined with an invitation that read ’Family, food & bad dance moves, you in or what?’ and you just know you have one serious wedding party.
WWW readers Sue and Nick chose to marry on the 26th July 2014 at The Faversham in Leeds. They wanted a chilled out vibe for their city chic rustic wedding day.
There were gorgeous blooms, pops of yellow and blue and home made touches.
Sue looked wonderful in her tea length lace dress with peep toe heels while Nick donned a polka dot tie and tan shoes with his grey suit. So much style.
Thanks goes to the brilliant SD Photography for providing the photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | For Christmas week 2012 we were going on a winter wonderland ski trip. While picking up one of our friends, sat in a car packed to the rafters with stuff for the holiday, Nick played a voicemail on his phone. It was from the jeweller saying that the ring was ready to pick up, which let the cat out of the bag somewhat! I went very quiet and started freaking out a little, having declared weddings & marriage as not really for me, although knowing that Nick really felt the opposite. After a bit of mumbling something about Christmas presents & quite obviously pointing out that I wasn’t supposed to hear that we both essentially seemed to decide not to talk about it. Nick spent the next few days silently freaking out and worrying, being in a really strange mood. I was trying to come to terms with the fact that it was actually going to happen, whilst also trying to ignore it.
Anyway, I managed more or less to forget about it. Christmas Eve came around, we were all having an amazing time skiing in fancy dress – our animal onesies were setting the slopes alight & it was a great laugh!
After lunch our friends made some lame excuse about wanting to ski somewhere else & went off without us. I felt slightly put out, but didn’t even put two & two together. I’d really got my ski legs on that day & just wanted to cover some good ground. Despite my protests, Nick later managed to drag me off for a break to sit down at the same place we’d had lunch – a gorgeous little patch of fresh snow surrounded by picturesque mountains, a view I had earlier said was ‘nice, but not that amazing’, which I’m sure really helped Nick relax.
After I’d decided we’d had quite enough rest, I started to get up & went to put my skis back on. Nick pulled me back onto the snow next to him & said something like ‘Come on, you know what this is’. Out popped the ring box, a long pause and a ‘Well…. will you?….’. Queue another pause from me and some giggling and I managed to tell him he had to ask properly, he refused to down on one knee though! So there you go, an owl and a giraffe got engaged at the top of a mountain. That explains the cake toppers from the wedding day.
THE VISION | It took me a long time to have any kind of vision! I didn’t have many ideas about the kind of wedding I wanted, having only just been persuaded to get married ;) But essentially it came down to a bit vintage, a bit rustic, very chilled out, not too traditional & a big party! Our invitations read ’Family, food & bad dance moves, you in or what?’, which I think sums it up pretty well.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | If I’m honest, on the whole I didn’t enjoy the planning process. Having never wanted much of a wedding, even trying to figure out what to do was a bit of a chore at times! I gathered loads of ideas from the internet & eventually got pretty into it all. In fact that was largely how I planned the entire wedding – eBay and Etsy were amazing sources. Wedding blogs were really useful, piecing together different elements & ideas which I loved & trying to put our own personal slant on it. I did most of it myself but it really helped to have input and ideas from our mums and friends when I needed it.
The best bit was definitely the final few weeks when I spent ages making things and seeing it all come together in the last week was a great feeling.
THE VENUE | Despite having initial thoughts about a barn wedding (they were largely booked up way in advance) we chose the fabulous Faversham in Leeds. Nick & I met at the start of university & had many a good night at the Fav in years gone by. It looks rather different now & we just loved the fact that the venue was everything rolled into one that we could adapt to what we wanted for the day. Getting married and holding the reception in the same place was really important when it came down to it & the Fav offered all that and more at a great central location.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Having never even wanted to wear one before, I was worried that I’d find it hard to find the right wedding dress. I was fairly certain that I wanted a short lacy dress & they’re not as common as you might expect, most shops had 1-2 shorter styles, if that. In the end, ‘the’ dress was found in the very first shop Mum & I visited. It was still worth doing a fair bit of extra looking around to make sure it was right, as we both found the dress shops a bit overwhelming with their sea of ivory! It was at the second trying-on that I knew it was the one, but only when the extra length was pinned up & I got this massive grin on my face. It is gorgeous lace with cute little cap sleeves & a cutout v at the back. I swapped the corsage on the belt it came with for a custom made one from a talented girl on Etsy, its lovely. So many people commented that it was the perfect dress for me & I felt fabulous all day. A short dress was definitely a good choice as it was such a hot day and I didn’t have to worry about the length when changing into flat shoes at night either.
Since I have short hair, it made sense to have something sparkly in it so it didn’t just look the same as every other day. A visit to Victoria Walker’s Boutique in Farsley quickly sorted that out – she was amazing at helping me figure out what I liked and in the end made me a smaller version of one of her designs and a gorgeous little bracelet to match.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | For the boys’ suits we went to Slaters & blitzed it in an afternoon. They weren’t really up for too much shopping around so I had my printout of ideas & we just went for it. I’d had visions of the boys in cute little waistcoats but in the end we opted for braces & they looked fantastic! The two best men were in blue to match the bridesmaids & Nick looked smart in light grey. The ties were an eBay bargain from Hong Kong. I thought putting the boys in bow ties might have been a bit of a step too far for them, but they were so lovely I reckon they’d have worn whatever!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I was so chuffed that my uncle said yes to doing a reading for us. We had a version of the Apache blessing that my mum had read at his wedding a few years before so it was a lovely family thing.
Music was a mix of planned for ages & a little bit last minute. I went down the aisle to the beautiful Tarnation by Max Avery Lichtenstein & we walked out to Ski Sunday, for obvious reasons. It was also a little in-joke with the ski friends as I always play it through the chalet as a wake up alarm when we go away.
As for the rest of the day, we put together an amazing playlist for background music full of our favourite songs. Once the evening guests arrived, we had the band come on. The Warning Tones did a superb job & I can’t recommend them highly enough. They got absolutely everyone dancing, young and old, and played a perfect mix of tunes from all eras. Out first dance was Ho Hey by The Lumineers and the band were fantastic enough to learn a song of our choice for the second set. We went for White Nights by Oh Land. It was just four of us who knew it but I don’t regret it one bit, it was amazing!
My brother took over DJing in the evening. He did an ace job & the cheesy songs definitely went down the best, I think the best men dance-off has to be one of the highlights of the day!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My three bridesmaids were two friends from school who’ve known me forever and a great friend who used to work with Nick. Sadly we don’t live near each other any more, so organising dresses between Leeds, Bath, London and Newcastle was a bit of a challenge! I found the whole idea of asking them to wear the same thing very weird but really struggled to find similar-but-different dresses. Despite hoping that it would be easy to find vintage-style dresses off the peg that also weren’t too ‘bridesmaidy’, we struggled to find anything that suited and fitted them all. So we ended up taking a punt on made to measure dresses from For Her and For Him. Given the mix of reviews, I was a bit worried but overall it worked out ok. The dresses arrived a little later than planned so I actually only saw one of them try their dress on before the day and the other two needed some alterations, but it was all good in the end and the quality was great.
THE FLOWERS | So flowers and cake fall into the sizeable category of ‘things I sorted last minute because I wasn’t sure what I wanted’. To be honest, I wasn’t sure why we needed flowers at all as they seem to be one of those things you’re just ‘supposed’ to have. But saying that in the end they were absolutely beautiful & really set everything off. Jane at Blooms and Baskets was absolutely incredible – I took my ideas and pictures in and she had so much time for me, helping me to figure out exactly what I wanted. I really can’t sing her praises enough, she was brilliant – beyond wanting the cute little craspedia buttonholes, some succulents and things wrapped in twine I didn’t have many set ideas for the bouquets before speaking to her!
THE CAKE | We kept it simple with cupcakes and a big fat single tier (definitely didn’t want the traditional tiers!) of Victoria sponge cake and rough icing. It was more about the beautiful tree slice stand and cute cake toppers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Oh man, this was an epic search! I literally spent hours looking for a photographer. I’m into photography so I always knew this would be such an important part for me. I was quite specific about wanting a more relaxed style with a film-like quality to the images. Plus the photos give your lasting impression of the day, bringing all the memories to life so you really don’t want to get it wrong.
The photographers are like extra guests who are going to be at your entire wedding, so it has to work, and luckily it did. Sarah & Darren were absolutely amazing from start to finish and they’ve given us amazing photos. One of the best things was having an engagement shoot to get us used to having our photo taken; it really made a difference and helped us relax.
Having a photobooth was a dream come true too. Retro Me were brilliant from start to finish, so easy to work with. I desperately wanted one of their analogue booths as I still shoot film myself, but in the end my head won out with the more sensible choice of digital so guests could get photos faster. It was so much fun and a hit with everyone!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I had so much fun with all the little diy touches. Admittedly I didn’t end up doing quite as much as I wanted, but when it all came together I was really quite proud of everything. I designed the invitations, made the hessian table runners, added lace to the vases & arranged the flowers in them, hand made all the place settings and seating plan etc. I even made a rough and ready shuffleboard game which went down a storm! Doing things yourself is fun and saves money, what’s not to like?! I also loved that we had photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, that was so sweet and added to the vintagey feel.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on a fantastic mini-moon to Cornwall after the wedding. It was a lovely week of pottering about, relaxing after all the busy wedding prep, kayaking and eating way too much. A proper honeymoon is still on the cards, now that we actually have time to plan one!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The best men dance off was definitely the funniest moment and everyone loved dancing like idiots to Whigfield.
I also have a shoddy but fantastic video that I love of everyone in a big circle singing along to the band playing ‘Hey Jude’ – I swept around the inside and got all the guests in it, its great.
The best story I’ve heard since is that Nick’s gran’s hat got packed up with all the photobooth props at the end of the night. She found it really funny & said if people thought it was a prop, they’d better have it. Turns out Nick may be the only person wearing it in the photos, so we know who to blame!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | I found the whole planning experience a right mix of things, from being really excited or terrified about the whole thing to often feeling horribly self absorbed! The main thing is that you have the time of your life on the day, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune. Allocating budget to the key things you want first means that you can then build the day around that and it’ll be easier to be pragmatic about where to draw the line. Just have fun with it and try and make the most of it – you don’t want your wedding to be over in a few short hours, we went from midday to about 2am, so make it a proper party! ☺
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Invitations | Moo
Dress | Truly Madly Deeply by White Rose Bridal
Custom corsage | floraljewellery on Etsy
Accessories | Victoria Walker Boutique
Bridesmaids | For Her and For Him
Flowers | Blooms and Baskets
Cake | Laura’s Cakes & Bakes
Cake topper | littledollsuk on Etsy
Photographers | SD Photography
Photobooth | Retro Me
Band | Warning Tones
Bus | Yesteryear Cars
So much fun! Oh I do love a WWW reader wedding, you guys are the BEST.
Thanks so much to Sue and Nick for sharing all about their love story today XOXO Lou