Selina and Paddy are one super creative couple. Selina loves to spend her spare time crafting and Paddy is an art teacher, so you can only imagine how wonderful their DIY wedding was.
They chose to marry on the 1st August 2015 at the Old Barn Esholt, which was the only venue they looked at. When you know, you know right? They then set about making their day very personal indeed. They had some wonderful ideas, including a personal scrapbook for each guest, a story board of their relationship and even a balloon release.
How gorgeous did they both look? Selina had a 1950s bridal look wearing her tulle tea length dress with polka dot bow veil and glitter heels, while Paddy went for quirky bow tie and braces. Amaze.
Natasha Cadman, thank you so much for sharing these divine images.
THE PROPOSAL | It was our 5 year anniversary in October 2013 and we had booked a weekend in the Lake District, as we usually do to celebrate our anniversaries together. The weather was pretty miserable when we arrived (and by pretty miserable I mean torrential rain) so the likeliness of a nice walk that day was minimal. However the minute the rain stopped Paddy was insistent on going for a walk. Looking back I actually remember being quite annoyed that I was being dragged out in the miserable weather but after a walk through some lovely woodland we reached a gorgeous part of the lakes called High Dam, where there is tranquil water surrounded by woodland. Believe it or not the sun was just setting too (I know, sorry for the cheese!) so Paddy said he wanted to stop and sit for a minute to admire the view. We had said that we weren’t giving pressies this year as we were skint and saving for a house but at that point Paddy admitted he had got me a gift (I too had secretly got him a gift anyway… socks and Haribo sweets, not quite as romantic as the gesture I was about to receive!) He presented a printed hard back book all wrapped up called ‘The Story So Far’ where he had written a poem about our relationship and adventures so far, a few lines on each page with lots of photo’s of us and our friends. He told me I had to read it out loud and in the meantime he had set up his iPod and portable speakers and started playing some of our tunes in the background. The final lines of the poem asked me to marry him and when I looked up he was down on one knee with the ring! I had started crying about halfway through the book as the words were so sweet and I had an inkling at this stage what was happening. I jumped up and said ‘of course I will’ It was so perfect and it meant I got a book to re-read and remind me of that special day over and over again!
THE VISION | Both myself and Paddy are quite creative in the sense that I love crafting whether it be a sewing project, a home-made gift or special cards and Paddy is an art teacher and is constantly painting/drawing/building/making you name it! So we knew we wanted to make lots of the elements ourselves and make it personal not only for us to but everyone that attended. The best weddings I’ve attended are the ones where I’ve felt totally involved even as a guest. So we had lots of ideas of ways to keep everyone involved and give them lots to do. We love things to be colourful, and I particularly love soft pretty pastel colours so that seemed to be the theme!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | After lots of time spent on Pinterest (this is my favourite waste of time ever, I literally lose hours on there!) I started to gather more ideas of things we wanted to include in the wedding. As a typical girl I also had many ideas of what my perfect wedding would be like, stored in my head from over the years, so it was exciting to know we could actually start to put these in practice! I made a pretty detailed plan/timeline of what we needed to do/make/buy, especially as there were so many crafty/handmade elements that would take time and effort to make. From there it was just a case of following my little plan and lots and lots of searching online for materials/products/items etc.
BUDGET | I don’t think we really set a budget but we just knew we wanted to try and do it as cheap as possible (I’m sure most people set out with this intention) we are both real bargain hunters and always after a good deal but the wedding came out at about £10,000 which is probably about average.
THE VENUE | The Old Barn at Esholt –Years before I was engaged one of my good friends, Charlotte, mentioned to me that if I ever got married she had found the perfect venue for me. This was a result of the girly chats we all had about our ideal wedding. All I wanted was a something like a converted barn with exposed stone and wood and I could do the rest. The Old Barn had this and so much more! It was the first and only place we went to view. As soon as I walked through the doors I could see lots of little touches like hanging hearts, birdcages, those cute signs with the nice quotes etc (yes, this is all it takes!) and the function room upstairs was so pretty. It had the exposed stone, it had the wooden beams, it even had fairly lights (total winner!!). When we had the first meeting they couldn’t be more accommodating, they were so flexible and were happy to hear our ideas on what we might want to do, we got a quote and put a deposit down there and then! The staff have always been so helpful and the wedding coordinator Diane was a pleasure to work with, she had our day running so smoothly, no issues, no stress!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was tea length with a full, layered tulle skirt, fitted bodice with tulle halterneck. It had a big bow at the back and a small bow at the front to the side – I made that myself to cover the exposed seam as we had moved the big bow from the front, plus it meant it tied in with the bridesmaids who also had a bow in this position on their dresses. I wore an extra petticoat underneath to give it even more body which made it perfect for twirling in! I wore delicate little gloves made from polka dot tulle which matched the veil that I wore in the back of my hair, which fell from a lovely ivory bow slide. My shoes were specially made from a great shop on Etsy, I actually had 2 pairs made: both baby pink glitter, one pair of 5.25 inch killer peep toe heels tied with ivory ribbon, and one pair of 3 inch heels with closed toe and ivory ribbon. I figured I better get a backup in case the killer heels took their toll however I lasted until after our first dance and they were actually more comfortable than the smaller heels for me! They were definitely statement shoes and got lots of comments. My jewellery was a set found in another shop on Etsy, soft pink pearls with silver and small diamanté detail for the necklace and earrings. For me it’s always about getting the right look, so I don’t fuss over where I buy things from or how cheap they are, as long as they look perfect. It’s usually a colour or a material that is the key element and as I mentioned before I’m a total bargain hunter!
FINDING THE DRESS | I already knew what type of shape best suits me and for me it was a halter-neck to give me shape around my shoulders and chest (not much there). I also wanted a dress that was tea length or at least short enough that I wouldn’t be tripping over it all day/have to hold it up etc as this would drive me mad. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a nice dress with this neckline anywhere or at least anywhere within budget. Trying to find a nice dress on a bargain I tried a few of the bridal warehouses/outlets but unfortunately this type of place usually just stocks the usual corset/longer traditional dresses – which just made me look square and frumpy. I finally found a local place from an online search called the Abbey Wedding Warehouse, incidentally this is where one of my friends (Charlotte again!) found hers. I called them first to make an appointment and told them what I was looking for, when I arrived the lady had pulled out all the dresses that were anything close to this, ready for my appointment. The shop itself is very basic, looks quite dated from the outside and has just rails of dresses downstairs, they have a nicer dressing area upstairs but the whole point is that they don’t spend much on overheads so that the dresses can be at a better price. It was here that they advised that I needed to stop looking for ‘the perfect dress’ and look for one that could be altered to make it perfect. Great advice! Especially when you are looking at dresses at a very reasonable price, you can afford to spend more on alterations and changes. The first dress that was selected for me was the only one I tried on here. The length was perfect and the skirt was full of layers of floaty tulle. At that point it had a big bow at the front but pointing downwards (think of a bow rotated 45 degrees), with loads of diamanté and the upper body was just the usual boobtube/corset shape. They recommended a local seamstress who completely altered it to the perfect dress! All in all, my dress cost £399 and the alterations were just an additional £50 to take in the sides, add a halterneck, move and alter the bow and remove the diamanté!! It just shows that it’s worth looking locally at the smaller shops and supporting the local businesses in the area.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Paddy is a ‘jeans and t-shirt boy’ and like me, isn’t one to spend loads of money on clothes, so again it was about getting the right look. He didn’t want a dark or traditional suit so we found a great pale blue suit just from Burtons. Paddy is tall and skinny so they had plenty of slim/skinny fit suits in there for him and his best man. I’d always loved the bow tie and braces look and Paddy was chuffed at the idea of wearing these. He searched for the bow tie he liked and eventually found a nice coral one a great shop on Etsy. On the invite we had mentioned that all boys were free to join in Paddy’s dickie bow and braces theme so we had loads of the guys turn up wearing this, it was great!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | There aren’t really any poems or literature that is special to the both of us, so I thought rather than search for a nice poem out of the blue it would be more personal to write something for each other. So we each wrote a poem, mine entitled ‘For Paddy’ and Paddy’s entitled ‘For Selina’ and we didn’t let the other see or read it prior to the ceremony. I had my sister read mine and Paddy’s brother read his. It felt much more special and so personal to each of us. Paddy’s brother had actually beautifully written out Paddy’s poem for us and framed it as a wedding gift and we intend to do the same for my poem.
The Music – another important part for us, the music really helps set the vibe and also shows a big part of who we are. Amongst other things, I absolutely love Motown/Soul and I’m always in awe of the amazing gospel choirs. Growing up me and my sister were big fans of the films Sister Act/Corrina Corrina where there is a lot of great popular gospel so I had always said I’d love to have a gospel choir at my wedding. I really wanted the day to be a celebration right from beginning to end, so imagined them raising the roof with their great energy and getting everyone going, even at the beginning of the day. I searched around to try and find a good balance of budget and talent and finally found The Gospel Touch Choir. After watching the videos of their choir I instantly requested the quote, they were an established choir based in London who also had a choir in Manchester (this is who we had, given our location) Due to it being a civil ceremony we weren’t allowed any religious content but I couldn’t have a gospel choir and not hear the best gospel songs! So we agreed 3 non-religious songs during the ceremony. As the guests arrived – ‘Going to the Chapel’ by the Shirelles/Dixie Cups (had to change the word chapel to wedding, yes they are really that strict!) I walked down the aisle to ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Riperton and we had ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’ by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell as we signed the register. Once we were pronounced husband and wife and the registrars had finalised everything, we all stayed for the choir to perform 3 of the most popular gospel songs ‘This Little Light of Mine’ ‘Oh Happy Day’ and ‘Joyful Joyful’. I had included the words to them all in the Order of Service so everyone could get up and sing along and by the last song we were all on our feet singing and clapping. The choir absolutely lived up to my expectation….. they were amazing!!
For before and after the ceremony, and during the wedding breakfast we had created different playlists of our favourite songs. We had spent hours working through iTunes and downloading songs to include. I tried to include lots of songs that were special to each of our friends, maybe their first dance, or a reminder of a time we all shared.
For the evening, two of our friends DJ’d for us so we knew they would play everyone’s faves! We’d given them a list of songs we wanted to hear but we knew they didn’t need much guidance, they even orchestrated a full on dance off – boys v girls which was soooo much fun and everyone got involved (the girls won, just saying) They started with a family friendly set with all the golden oldies, 80’s, 90’s moving onto more house/dance to finish off. Our first dance was L.O.V.E by Nat King Cole. We ended the night with a good stomp to Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing in The Name Of’ followed by a big group hug to Fat Freddy’s Drop – ‘Roadie’ .
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We are so lucky to have a really big close knit group of friends and I have so many amazing ladies in my life so I had 6 bridesmaids. These were 4 of my bestest friends, my youngest sister and my niece which have all been so important in my life over the years. I had wanted the day to be as pretty and as colourful as possible so the girls each wore a different pastel coloured dress. I was so surprised at how much bridesmaid dresses cost in the bridal shops and trying to find the same dress in 6 different colours was either really hard or really expensive. I didn’t want to let go of my little vision so I had a look at some of the online shops. Now there are so many horror stories about ordering custom made dresses online and from overseas, however I did lots of research and found DIYdress.co.uk. The website is very professional and very detailed and gives you specific instructions on how to measure and order to avoid any issues. The dresses are made and shipped from China so it’s really important to follow the instructions, which is where I think a lot of people go wrong. I found the perfect dress here and the swatch of colours available was incredible. I ordered one dress first to trial it, the price and timescales were brilliant I was just concerned about the quality and the fit. When it turned up I couldn’t believe how good it looked, it was really well made. The quality was amazing, the same as if I found it in a bridal shop and it fitted perfectly. From here I went ahead and measured my other bridesmaids and ordered the rest. They turned up sooner than expected and only one of the girls needed further alterations. The girls looked absolutely gorgeous on the day, especially when they stood side by side in all the colours.
THE FLOWERS | I made all the bouquets myself from artificial flowers so that we could each have a nice handmade bouquet to keep. I’ve never tried any type of flower arranging before so this was new to me, so knew I needed to keep this simple. I got all the supplies from a place called Country Baskets on the outskirts of Leeds. I went for white hydrangeas for the bridesmaids with some pretty pearl embellishments and soft sprays to soften it. I loved the look of Peonies so found some pink/coral ones and again used the pearls and a few other soft sprays to make it pretty. The first one took me about an hour as it was so fiddly and I wasn’t quite sure of the arrangement at first but luckily once I’d done one I got through the others quite quickly. I was really pleased in the end so I’m glad I gave it a go.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by our super talented friend Louise Gibson (Curly Lou) who makes and decorates cakes just as a hobby but she is absolutely amazing! We had 3 tiers, two were Victoria sponge and the top one was fruitcake so that we could keep it. The colours tied in with the pastels, the bottom tier had bunting icing around it and we had a big bow made of icing on the side. Our topper was from Ebay and said ‘Best Day Ever!’ I absolutely loved it and it tasted delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the extremely talented Natasha Cadman. I had searched all over for a good photographer and believe it or not, these are not easy to come by. All the photographers I had seen previously seemed either quite dated, had the wrong type of edit/effect or the shots themselves were actually not that great to begin with. When a friend recommended Natasha, as soon as I saw her photo’s I knew she would be perfect. They were clear, bright, natural and her whole style of what she captures is really refreshing (plus she mentioned her cats on her blog which practically sealed the deal for me) She put us both at ease at the engagement shoot, where we were a bit nervous and thought we would find it a bit cringey but we had so much fun! We got on really well and had a good laugh and she was brilliant at giving direction and keeping the shoot moving so that it never felt awkward. At the wedding she worked tirelessly to capture the spirit of the day, even when we had rain for a few hours she made the most of it, in fact the shots that were taken when it was rainy outside are some of my favourites. She had published some highlights of the day on her blog the very next day which was really nice and exciting to see so soon! When we saw all of the final photos we were really blown away, they were absolutely perfect. It was here that we could see the level of detail and how she had gone out of her way to get that extra shot of something you don’t expect to be captured. I have always loved photos and think it’s important to capture memories forever, so Natasha was a big part of our day. Natasha is a true professional that really invests her whole heart into making sure your day can be remembered forever, for what it was. She was an absolute pleasure to meet and genuinely lovely person.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | A lot of the wedding was handmade and this was what we spent most of our time, (blood, sweat and tears along with love, care and happy thoughts) on. For us this is the essence of the whole wedding and the little details that people will remember. So with a mixture of ideas from ourselves, friends, Pinterest and anything else that blinked ‘wedding’ we got cracking and started making all the handmade elements. I love paper crafting so all the stationery was handmade by me: Save the Dates, Invites, Order of Service, Table Plan, Menu’s etc and Paddy brought to life all the stuff for outside: photo frame wall, peephole board, cute pickets, ‘Yes balloon’ sign etc. We worked together to make the favours which was a party bag where we had made a name rosette for the front, with a cake pop (made by Paddy’s’ sister Alys, who makes the best cake pops ever!) a ‘Tea-time Task’ and a photo scrapbook of each person. The scrapbook took a while to pull together as we spent hours looking at our friends’ facebook pics and choosing our faves, (which in itself was such a lovely task), before having to actually cut, stick, decorate and tie each one. It was so worth it, they all loved them and it was so nice to hear everyone opening them and showing each other. The tea time task asked everyone to draw a self portrait of themselves which we would then use to make a tea-towel of the day, with everyone’s portrait on. The tables were named after our hobbies so we had names like ‘Secret Spraypainters’ or ‘Crafty Cardmakers’ so for part of the centre piece Paddy had photo shopped each person’s face onto a picture of the activity. It made for some pretty hilarious pictures and everyone had a good giggle seeing themselves. For our guestbook we made it into a scrapbook where people could create a page with stickers and glitter pens and all things pretty. We had some very creative pages with lovely messages to read! We created a ‘Story so Far’ board showing our story and adventures with photos of us, our friends and family, we made sure everyone at the wedding was on there.
For the décor outside we had lots of white bunting bought in bulk online, with colourful pastel honeycomb garlands along the arches. Inside we kept the décor simple for the ceremony with just the fairy lights and large round paper lanterns in different coloured pastel paper handing from the high wooden beams. We made tissue pompom boxes to line the aisle and match the bridesmaid dresses, and also used these for part of the centre piece for the tables. For the wedding reception we hung 50 metres of pretty pastel bunting made by my friend, Michelle and the top table had personalised ‘Mr and Mrs Haddow’ bunting made by another friend Jess. The tables were sprinkled with tiny pastel paper heart confetti, they looked great, so colourful and sweet. It was perfect.
THE HONEYMOON | Me and Paddy met all the way in Massachusetts in America where we were both counsellors at a summer camp, and from there we did lots of exploring around America. We both like an adventure but will soon be hoping to start a family so our honeymoon was to be our last big one for a while! So we wanted to do something that let us explore a few places but also give us time to relax in luxury. So we spent 2 days in Singapore, 2 days in Kuala Lumpur then 3 days at a rainforest camp in Thailand where we washed and fed elephants, stayed in a floating tent on a lake and saw monkeys! We finished at a lovely resort in Koh Samui where we could just chill and enjoy the sun and sea to finish.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The wedding and honeymoon were so amazing and I feel like I’ve lived in a magical bubble for the last few weeks. My most memorable moment was the ceremony for me: the gospel choir, the poems, the vows! For Paddy he says it was seeing me walk up the stairs and down the aisle towards him. Overall we were overwhelmed by how amazing it was to have all of our closest friends and family in one place, all happy, all getting along, all feeling the love! It was especially nice having our parents meet and spend lots of time with our friends, who made loads of effort to all speak to, and really get to know each other.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | A practical piece of advice would be book your civil ceremony as soon as you can, we didn’t know the registrars only have a certain amount of slots per day. We had quite a long engagement so was slow to book things at first and once we’d secured the date with the venue I didn’t jump to do anything else just yet, however when we went to book the ceremony there were only 2 slots left! This meant I didn’t get the time I initially wanted and I would have been gutted if we couldn’t get married on the date we had secured.
If you are going on honeymoon soon after the wedding, make sure you pack well in advance. You want to be able to enjoy the aftermath and soak in the moment the next day, not rush tidying/packing/shopping etc.
Final advice would be to take your time and enjoy every minute, from the planning to the making to the buying to the I do’s and everything else involved in between. Don’t lose sight of what’s most important – you two! The more you can do together on the run up, the more special the actual day will feel for you both.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Bridesmaid Dresses | DIY Dress
Wedding dress | Abbey Wedding Warehouse
Shoes | Chelsie Dey Designs
Veil | Selinish Design
Gloves | Tout Ensemble
Jewellery | Classpearl
Suit | Burton
Bow tie | Veronicas Bow Ties
Venue | Old Barn Esholt
Photographer | Natasha Cadman
Photo printing | Photobox
Choir | Gospel Touch Choir
The loveliest day.
Thanks so very much to Selina and Paddy for sharing their joyful nuptials with us xo Lou