Bec and David tied the knot in March and wanted to do things a little differently, their way.
They chose to marry in Norwich, keeping their day intimate until they posted on facebook that they were married and inviting their friends to join them at the pub. How marvellous? With a green, purple and orange colour scheme there were the prettiest florals and crafty home-made touches.
Bec looked gorgeous in a David’s Bridal gown with flowers in her hair while David donned a grey Marks and Spencer suit. I love the whole atmosphere of this wedding day.
Huge thanks to Rob Dodsworth for proving the wonderful imagery.
THE PROPOSAL | We didn’t really have one!! We were on holiday in Morocco June/July 2013 and talking about starting a family as we lay in the sunshine by the pool…we spoke about children having the same name as David, but me not having the same name. We’ve been together 11 years – we “mutually agreed”that we’d like to get married. We then didn’t talk about the matter again until October – we were cleaning the house and paused for a tea break, marriage got discussed again and I thought we should tell our parents if we were going to do it. We had a celebratory drink then got on and finished cleaning the house. I remember saying to David years ago that my ideal proposal wouldn’t be fireworks and roses, but simply whilst having a cup of tea in bed one morning – part of the everyday. So really, becoming engaged whilst cleaning the house one rainy day was spot on! We decided to keep our engagement relatively secret and only told our wedding guests. I didn’t want an engagement ring ( I used to work in African Development and couldn’t stomach the idea of an expensive rock dug out the ground by a very poor man who got paid pittance for his find), so we didn’t get me one – which also made keeping the thing a secret easier!
THE VISION | David and I didn’t want our wedding day to be big and brash and showy – we weren’t out to impress anyone, just have a great day with friends and family. Our vision was pretty much for our day to be much like any other day, only with nicer clothes and a ceremony – simple, low-key and minimal stress, people we love having a good time together. We wanted to not get sucked into others’ expectations about what should or should not be done and not to spend ridiculous sums of money unnecessarily (to avoid the premium attached to lots of wedding services). Ceremony; drinks, nibbles and photos; speeches, big meal and cake; pub with all our other friends informed that we’ve just got married and will be at the pub if they wish to come celebrate!
I was also particularly keen to have our day as ‘home-made’as possible. I had asked my Mumma if we could make my wedding dress between us, as she had made hers in 1974, but she felt she didn’t want to risk such an important, special dress. I asked a family friend (and wedding guest) who has known me for 27 years to do the bouquets, button-holes and a jug of ‘meadowy’ looking flowers for the registrar’s table. Pauline accepted and had her sister, Rosemary, and daughter, Kelly, to help out – again adding a real family feel. I asked Mum if she could make our wedding cake (chocolate fudge cake tier atop a lemon Madeira cake) and she went about practising for a number of weeks.
I knew I wished to have a VW campervan as the bridal car and for it to be orange as my parents had had one when I was a baby. I knew I could ask my friend Rob to be our photographer.
Colours/Palette were pretty much lead by me, though I did try to keep David involved despite knowing the colours I really wished for and i had to be sensitive to the political symbolism of particular colours/colour combinations in Northern Ireland, where David is from – especially of the three colours that are my favourite –purple, orange and green. To avoid the symbolism we went with all three with purple and green leading the way, orange as an accent colour.
Table decorations and such were kept super simple and easy to set up –recycled jam/sauce jars and tealights, pots of herbs etc.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I bought one bridal magazine and checked out the basics, wrote a list and ideas about colours, then just got on with it… I checked out what could be done by us, friends and/or family and what couldn’t and just worked our way through the list – looking at things online, comparing, getting new ideas and deciding one the one we best liked. With only 6 months to plan the day, we couldn’t spend too much time wondering between this and that – it was really liberating and allowed us to avoid being consumed by the minutiae or paralysed by what decision to make.
BUDGET | We calculated that the whole day would cost £6,000-£8,000.
THE VENUE | Ceremony and Drinks Reception – The Assembly House, Norwich. Wedding Breakfast and Speeches – The Last Wine Bar, Norwich. Reception – Norwich Pubs various (only went to The Woolie in the end).
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The one I chose was from Davidsbridal.com, an American website (fitting as my husband to be is called David!) – it has some great dresses and for some really reasonable prices. I had a morning out with my Mumma with appointments at various local boutiques, but quickly decided I didn’t want a dress costing +£1000 – I think I knew that before trying any on really (the previous career in Africa thing again!). So I spent some time looking at sites online, US and UK. I found three that I liked, bought them, tried them on at my parents’ home and chose my favourite – it was an easy winner! The other two got sent back and I was refunded (bar a £70 import duty bill from HMRC). I really loved my dress, didn’t need to get it altered and managed not to spill any red wine on it.
Getting married in March, I needed a “warmth layer”and decided to buy a purple Harris Tweed Shawl. This felt fitting as I had lived and studied in Scotland for 4 years and David and I had ‘got together’ in Scotland also. I chose a green one for my bridesmaid to keep warm, who is of Scottish origin, so it again seemed fitting.
I asked Bohemian LoveStory to make me a flower garland for my hair – consulting Hannah and us discussing my ideas before she went off to create it. Hannah is an amazingly talented lady and her creations are truly beautiful. I am still very in love with my flower garland, it is just gorgeous.
I didn’t buy or wear any special jewellery, but rather wore the jewellery I wear everyday as it is of important sentimental value. I also wore some of my grandmother’s earrings (my something old) and the bracelet I was given by my best friend and bridesmaid when I was her bridesmaid in 2012.
Brides go crazy for shoes, don’t they?! Not me, I am a born barefooter and not that fussed by expensive haute-couture shoes. Colour was the critical factor as was comfort… hello Clarks! I found a great pair of green Mary-Jane heels, just the right height (3 ½inches) and I can wear again which is important to me… and they were in the sale for a cheeky bonus!
I also had my beautiful wooden clutch in the campervan with bits i might need in the evening.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | David knew he wanted to wear a grey suit and white shirt, so we looked online and went looking round the usual high street stores. David is not a keen shopper, so it was a bit like pulling teeth at times – he only had a tie and shoes with only 3 weeks to go. In the end, the one he liked most was from M&S, so we went with that – good quality, good fit, nice colour and didn’t make David feel like an idiot (he prefers a more casual fashion most of the time!). We also found a lovely plain green, non-shiny tie so popped that in the shopping basket too.
David also wore shoes from Clarks – making us both feel older than our years. David decided it would be best to wear his muppets socks, rocking one of Animal and one of K.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | “To Love is not to possess”by John Kavanagh –read by David’s Mum, Moya.
Oh the headaches created by choosing the music. Half our house is filled with music or musical instruments of one kind or another –this was the most stressful part of the whole planning process as music is such an important and symbolic part of our lives. In the end we went with:
Jon Martyn, “I couldn’t love you more”for me to walk down the aisle to.
The Flaming Lips with Erika Badu (cover version), “The first time ever I saw your face”
Devendra Banhart, “Baby”for walking out of the ceremony as Mr & Mrs.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Just the one, my best friend, Lucy (we’ve known each other for 24 years – she’s my BFL, I’m her BFB). Lucy has a wee baby boy and needed a dress that could accommodate a maternity bra. My Mumma and I met with Lucy and her son in London for a day of dress trying-ons. We couldn’t find a dress in a dark purple, but did happen upon a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood Anglomania dress in a berry purple (just the colour of my shawl) which looked great on Lucy, so we went with that. I am really pleased that it wasn’t too ‘bridesmaid-y’ and Lucy can wear it for lots of other functions. Lucy’s bouquet was a mini version of mine and I asked Hannah from Bohemian LoveStory to make a floral clip for Lucy similar to my garland. Lucy is very beautiful and would have looked amazing in a paper bag, so just looked gorgeous done up to the nines!
THE FLOWERS | By my family friend, Pauline, her daughter and her sister. My brief was really simple: “Purples –tones of, leaning more to darker and berry tones than lavenders; anemones and daisy-like flowers; not too uniform, neat and/or tidy –bit ‘country field’ and natural with accepts of orange.”I was so very pleased with the finished bouquets, so beautiful. I was especially pleased that Pauline had been able to incorporate some of my great-grandmother’s lace onto which were sewn an RAF button of my father’s and a Parachute Regiment button of my late brother, Nic’s. I didn’t throw my bouquet to the girls though as I had already intended to place my bouquet on my brother’s grave the day after our wedding day so that my brother could be part of the day.
Pauline, Rosemary and Kelly also made the button-holes for David, his best-man, his brother and his father as well as for my Mumma and David’s Mum. All were individual and unique and again incorporated some inherited family lace ribbon.
THE CAKE | My Mumma made it! Chocolate fudge cake top layer and lemon Madeira bottom layer – it was delicious and enormous and several guests took some away with them the next day! My Mumma spent several weekends exacting her recipe and feeding her colleagues the practice versions at work each Monday. On delivering the cake to The Last Wine Bar on the Friday, my Mumma instructed me not to open a sealed envelope containing some ‘bits’ and instructions for the restaurant’s chef to assemble the cake. On the day, David and I found that my Mumma had gathered childhood photos of David and I, printed them onto fabric and made a collar for the bottom tier and a photo of us as a couple on the top – really lovely surprise and funny for our wedding guests to see our kiddy photos!
I had wanted to cut the cake with my brother’s ceremonial military sword, but we decided it would be better (and more practical) to use the wedding cake knife from my maternal grandparents’ wedding instead.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Rob Dodsworth – a friend of Bec’s. David and I are not keen on posing and being photographed formally, but Rob made us feel so at ease and had a good laugh with us too. I was really pleased that he stayed on for the pub after he had signed off from the day job of being our photographer and shared a few pints with us.
We’ve had our photos back and really love them.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Jam jars, tealights, herbs and plant marker sticks as a table plan, wee ‘B&D 22.03.14’ purple magnets and green pin badges as wedding favours, homemade and hand-stamped place-names, purple/green/’ to have and to hold’ ribbon, family lace, ‘TEAM ERVINE’ wooden letters.
THE HONEYMOON | 3 ½weeks in Cambodia – we travelled around the country stopping in Phnom Pehn, Battambang, Siem Reap, Otres Beach, Koh Rong Saleom and Koh Tah Kiev Islands. We saw ancient temples, loads of jungle animals, beautiful tropical rainstorms and also took in a bit of the sad history of the country.
Cambodia is an amazing place – people describe Cambodia now as Thailand was 20+ years ago. Really lovely people, great food, cheap beer and a good range of cocktails amongst other things!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | David’s wee nephew asking, “Why are we here?” as David and I met at the top of the aisle. My Dad (a bit tipsy!) telling pub guests that he is Clive Crouch and the bride is his daughter. 101 little moments and laughs.
A random (non-wedding guest) woman trying to hide out of one of the photographer’s shots, but hiding directly (and not very well) behind the bride. David seeking assistance from the wedding party about what else he needs to say in his speech….how lovely his bride is they remind him!
The shock and surprise on the faces of our Norwich friends who joined us at the pub, having not known we were engaged, let alone got married until 3pm that afternoon when we sent out a message on facebook saying we’ve just got married, join us at the pub.
A dear friend who had been invited to the whole day’s events arriving at 9pm, not-so-fresh off a flight back from Malaysia and train up from London –he’d said he’d make it and he did, even if pretty dishevelled.
Us getting married and becoming man-husband and lady-wife!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get your knickers in a twist – yes it is a very important and special day, but it’s not a Hollywood film and the world won’t end/your day won’t be ruined if something isn’t 100% perfect.
Go with your gut.
Think about your immediate family and what is important to them – yes it’s your day, but you got this far due to the love, care and support of your family – show them you love and appreciate them also (a gift, a card, a thank you, a nod to them in some way).
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Hair & Make Up | Amanda Steed Hair and Make-Up
Flower Crown | Bohemian LoveStory
Photography | Rob Dodsworth Photography
Dress | David’s Bridal
Wedding Venue | The Last Wine Bar
Ceremony Venue | The Assembly House
Thanks so very much to Bec and David for sharing their wedding story with us here today XOXO Lou