Hooray! It’s time to share WWW readers Helen and Paul’s super sparkly wedding, held on the 4th October 2019 at The East Quay in Kent. Their day was packed full of personality and fun, I am pretty sure you are going to love their multicoloured, smoke bomb filled, loved up wedding celebrations.
They went all out with the décor at their quirky seaside venue, with lots of homemade decorations. Think painted unicorns and dinosaurs, pom poms, homemade cakes, origami stars and even a tropical wedding arch… whoa! There were also vibrant blooms and super cool outfits. Helen wore a beautiful tea length gown with silver glitter heels, while Paul chose to wear brown tweed with a patterned shirt and bow tie. Didn’t they look amazing!?
Anna Pumer Photography I cannot thank you enough for sharing these absolutely amazing images of a very fun packed and brilliant day.
We had gone on holiday with my parents to Cornwall and Paul had asked to let my parents know of his intentions to ask when we met them down there. The original plan was to propose at a waterfall but there was too many people (and water) about, so later when we were sat overlooking the sea at Tintagel Castle and I was nattering away (as usual) about something nonsensical, Paul had to tell me to shut up so he could actually ask. I obviously said yes right away though and then we went out for fish and chips and this awesome little pub in Port Isaac to celebrate – it was a fab day.
I always liked the idea of having the wedding in autumn as I have a summer birthday, Paul’s is in February and the obviously Christmas is in December, so it nicely spreads out the times for celebrations! We didn’t want to take the day too seriously and to make sure we had as many of our friends and family there as possible. We just wanted everyone to have fun, nothing too stuffy and formal with lots of colour and sparkly bits. I love to make things and so I always knew that I wanted to make a lot of the decorations myself.
The Planning Process
Knowing I wanted to make a lot of things myself, I got started early and Paul learnt fairly quickly it was a good idea to just say yes! I loved the organising and had various spreadsheets and lists on the go. I don’t think I felt particularly stressed at any point really as we had started so early.
We looked at several venues around the Kent area but the East Quay just stood out to us. We loved the location and space, we couldn’t find fault at all really and knew it was the one for us. We had always wanted to have the ceremony and reception at the same place and the fact that there was the upstairs for the ceremony was perfect. One of our favourite meals is fish and chips so the fact that this was an option was AMAZING! Lucy was so helpful and there to offer support and answer emails from the moment we booked. So many people have said how wonderful it was, how amazing the staff were and that the food was super yummy. It is a quirky venue, which suited us and has the bonus of being on the beach, which made for some lovely photos.
The Details & Décor
I love making things and so was determined to make as much of the décor as possible, so started early, I spent many nights in front of the TV making several hundred pompoms for the pompom bunting and over a thousand origami stars, which we had scattered on the tables. I also made the wedding arch from copper pipe and artificial monstera leaves (although my dad had to assemble this at the venue). I painted dinosaurs silver to hold the table numbers and glittered up some unicorns, which were additional table décor. Since buying a house, I have developed a love of plants and so the half of the favours were little cacti and succulents. The other favours were little jars of strawberry jam I made. The seating plan I made up of funny photographs of everyone, which made people laugh. My dad was also the best dad ever – he made a stand for the doughnuts we had in the evening and stands out of pallets for the sweet station and post box. I think people thought we were a bit mad, but we could not have been happier as to how it all turned out. We could not thank our friends and family enough who helped get everything set up at the venue the day before the wedding. The first weekend after the wedding I felt a bit lost with nothing to make!!!
Jane at Graham Greener did the flowers on the tables, the bouquets and buttonholes. They were fab! For the tables, I supplied her with some test tube racks, which was a nod to the fact I work in a lab. I had asked for them to be fairly natural, with lots of different colours and textures and she did not disappoint – they were amazing and lasted for ages afterwards so we were able to enjoy them for more than just the day. She also provided extra decorative items, such as the fairy lights and colourful lanterns and also put up all the pom pom bunting I had made. She helped our vision come to reality.
My hair and make up was important to me, I have quite a particular and distinct style. I had a trial with Lucy Jayne and she was super lovely and catered to all my somewhat less traditional requirements. I had all of the sparkles and loved it. Amy from Vicki Lord Hair was super lovely too. I had a last minute change of mind and hair accessory and she was fab, nothing was too much trouble. We all had so much fun at the trials and on the morning of the wedding, I could not recommend them enough!
Your Outfits & Accessories
I fell in love with the dresses from House of Mooshki as soon as I started looking for wedding dresses so found Sophie Grace Bridal near Wokingham that had them in stock that was equidistant between where I live in Kent and my mum and sister in the Cotswolds. They were super helpful and managed to get some extra ones if for me to try on. I only ever had one appointment as my dress (Mimi) was my favourite before even trying them on and I knew it was the one straight away. Simple! I’m a massive lover of quirky earrings and knew I had to have something a bit different – my sister bought me some silver glitter seashell earrings from No Basic Bombshell and also my silver glitter converse that I changed into for the evening. I loved my glittery high heels from Charlotte Mills, but was happy for some trainers in the evening!
The Readings & Music
We had two readings, the first was a Neil Gaiman excerpt from a graphic novel – the sandman, volume 9: the kindly ones, which was read by Paul’s mum, Steph. The second was a lovely love story by Edward Monkton. We knew we wanted this straight away as it featured dinosaurs and was light-hearted and fun! I asked my friend Jill to read this, who is one of my close friends I have known since university.
During the day, we had put together playlists for different times with songs we both loved and/or meant something to us. I walked up the aisle to You’re so Cool by Hans Zimmer, which is from one of my favourite films, True Romance. We had a DJ in the evening, but also did a karaoke hour, which was loads of fun. We obviously had to lead by example and sang Elton John and Kiki Dee. Our first dance was to Chris Cornell’s ‘Finally Forever’ – I think this was the part of the day I was most apprehensive about but we’d had a few drinks by then and just got everyone to join us fairly quick.
Paul often has to dress smartly in a suit for work, so knew he wanted something a little different, ideally a three piece tweed suit and a quirky shirt. We managed to find the perfect brown tweed suit at Slaters in Canterbury, a bird print shirt online at Austin Reed and my parents bought Paul his camo brogues from Eves & Gray, London as a gift. Paul had two best men, who both wore the same suit and shirt as Paul. He then had four groomsmen who wore blue chinos, tweed waistcoat and shirt. All the guys had matching bow ties, which we had found online.
Everyone thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to make my own wedding cake, but I just love baking! My best friend (and one of my bridesmaids), Claire made the top layer for me, which was Victoria sponge and then I made the bottom two tiers, which were a baked apple and pecan sponge cake with blackberry jam and custard buttercream and a chocolate peanut butter cake. I decorated them with turquoise buttercream, dark chocolate drip glaze and lots of retro chocolate bars and sweets. We had loads of fun decorating and I even got Paul to stick on a couple of smarties. I think the most stressful part was transporting it to the venue, but it survived! We actually had two wedding cakes as our friends Alex (one of the best men) and Caspar also made one – it was amazing and covered in unicorns and tasted delish. I made sure it had a place next to the other cake and we had two cake cuttings. I wanted to make sure they knew how much we appreciated their incredible effort.
It took me quite a while to find the bridesmaid dresses. I wanted them to be a similar style to mine and also be available in different colours. We found them online at British Retro and I even managed to find something very similar for Paul’s niece, Emily who was a flower girl. We managed to get pink, blue and purple polka dots with matching petticoats, they weren’t very traditional bridesmaid dresses, but I loved them. I also got my two bridesmaids some silver converse to wear in the evening, which looked super awesome with the kind of 50s style dresses they had.
We had done some research into wedding photographers and I came across Anna and knew she was the one. I met her at a wedding fair held at the venue and after having a long chat about glitter, doc martin boots and cats I knew we had to book her. Anna and Todd were just amazing, we had so much fun and they captured the day perfectly. It was fab to have two photographers to get different aspects of the day and they were so accommodating with my requests for smoke bombs and sparklers, without anything looking too staged. All the photos look so natural, without anything being too posed, which was exactly what we wanted. It meant we didn’t feel too awkward and were also able to just enjoy the day and being with everyone. We just had huge smiles on our faces when we got the photos sent through to us and so many people have commented on how much they love the pictures (and Anna and Todd), we cannot thank them enough! Love love love!
We went up the Lake District for a three day ‘mini moon’ the week after the wedding, just to chill out. We stayed in this super cute Shepherds hut called the hut in the sheepwash. There was no phone signal and we were just able to relax and found some lovely pubs to enjoy. We are going to Iceland for our actual honeymoon at the beginning of Feb – we are super looking forward to it! Yay!
During the ceremony I stumbled over my words saying “I know not of any unlawful impediment…’ which everyone found amusing and we all had a laugh at Paul’s, brother getting emotional! The speeches were super funny especially the best mans speech – well done Antony! We were so lucky with the weather and managed to get some lovely photos outside too. The party and karaoke was also hilarious, our friends definitely know how to party! Having so many of our friends and family there was what helped make it such an amazingly awesome day. We loved every moment though, but it just goes by in a flash! It sounds cliché but it was actually the BEST DAY EVERRRRR!
Advice For Other Couples
Your day, your way! Don’t do things just to please other people. Start early, especially if you plan on making things yourself. Know where to save money and where to spend it – I think the venue and photographer were the best money we spent. Spending money on a photographer like Anna was one of the best decisions – the photos are something we will also look back at and remember how awesome it all was. Also, don’t get too bogged down in the finer details on the day, just enjoy it! No one will know if something isn’t quite how it was meant to be!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Anna Pumer Photography and Todd Lawton
The East Quay
Jane at Graham Greener
No Basic Bombshell
Vicki Lord Hair
Oh so awesome. I do love a DIY wedding.
Thanks so much to Helen and Paul for sharing with us their epic wedding day xo Lou