A Grey DIY Winter Wonderland Wedding

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I love today’s couple. WWW readers Misha and Shaun even used one of my little tutorials for their crafty wedding, that is the best feeling ever!!

Misha and Shaun held their winter wonderland wedding in Brighton, having their wedding ceremony at Brighton Unitarian Church followed by a reception at The Terraces Brighton. They wanted a personal DIY feeling to their day which was also a great day for everyone from London.

They crafted hundreds of felt hearts, felt badges for the guests and the stationery. Many of their family and friends got involved in helping out with their wedding including creating wreathes and baking cookies.

I so love the chic grey colour scheme to the day, with the pretty grey bridesmaids dresses complimenting Misha’s amazing fishtail lace wedding dress and fur coat. Shaun found his edgy looking suit from Marks and Spencers and teamed it with a tie found in Topman. They looked beautiful.

Thanks so much to the fabulous Elly Mac Photos for sharing her images with us today.

 

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The Proposal…. On our second anniversary Shaun left the house with the dog in the morning and had a friend drive me on a tour of everywhere in South London that meant something to us, such as our first flat, where we met, where we had our first date etc. At each destination (12 in total!) there was a love letter to open. Each letter contained lovely words about why the place was special, or jokes (such as this is where you threw up on the night bus!) or clues about the next stop. Eventually at our final stop was a picture of a place in Greenwich Park (first date) where I was supposed to find and meet Shaun. I walked halfway up the hill and found ‘Happy Anniversary’ balloons tied to a fence. I turned around and Shaun appeared with Alfie who had a beautiful ring on his collar!! After lots of happy tears and people walking past wishing us a ‘Happy Anniversary’ we celebrated with a champagne picnic in the park.

The Vision for the day…. We wanted to have a personal DIY day with all of our family and friends in Brighton. We wanted to enjoy the whole feeling of escaping out of London for a weekend, but not so far away that people couldn’t join us. We knew we didn’t want it to be too stuffy or formal, instead we focused on making everything very personal to us as a couple. Our gorgeous Jack Russell Alfie featured heavily-on the invites, the seating plan and the cake topper! We also had a sort of winter wonderland theme, lots of sparkles and grey and silver decorations.

The Planning process….Was a mixture of very fun and occasionally stressful! Knowing that it would take a while to save for the wedding, we decided to tick things off month by month. We booked the venue, photographer, ceremony and hotels very early on-as Saturdays in December get very busy very early on, but from then on we undertook DIY tasks month by month. I obsessively read wedding magazines and blogs (I was on www 2-3 times a day!) looking for DIY tips and good ways to budget. I loved looking at other real weddings as inspiration. We kept a wedding planner at home that Shaun wasn’t allowed to touch! I was having daily conversations with my bridesmaid Philippa and my mum-my co wedding planners! It was a tad stressful the closer it got to the wedding but was totally worth it!

Budget…. I can’t pretend to know the final budget as towards the end I abandoned the spreadsheet! I would say it probably came to about £10,000 plus our honeymoon, but that included family members paying for certain items, such as flowers and some alcohol-we were very lucky.

The Venue… We chose to have our ceremony at Brighton Unitarian Church. Its such a lovely and intimate venue and they place a real value on personalising your ceremony. For our wedding reception we chose Terraces on Brighton sea front. It is such a brilliant place for a reception. It is a big room with massive windows where you could look out onto the sea, Brighton Pier and the Big Wheel-it all looked amazing lit up at night! Also the staff were utterly fantastic and so helpful in the build up to the wedding- our guests were really impressed with the fantastic service.

The Dress & Accessories… My dress was by Benjamin Roberts, style 2228 in ivory. I always knew that lace was a style I would love and a fishtail type shape would be a more flattering style for my figure. My veil was from my dress shop, Perfection Bridal in Bromley. It was a single tier and had tiny silver crystals along the edge that caught the light. Jewellery wise I decided to keep it simple, I wore a bangle that was a 16th birthday gift handmade by my friends mum, earrings and a necklace from Accessorize and I borrowed a pearl bracelet from a friend. Shoe wise, my lovely bridesmaid Philippa gave me a pair of silver glittery peep toe Kurt Geiger heels, that were gorgeous and totally went with our winter wonderland type theme! However I did end the night barefoot as I couldn’t handle dancing in heels! Also my bridesmaid Katie painted my nails in a grey, leopard print design and my friend Lekha very generously did all of our hair.

Finding the dress… Ah. This was a bit of a nightmare. I originally ordered a second hand dress off the internet that I did love, but after a few months I realised that it wasnt for me. I decided to try some styles on to see what suited me and thought I would order something cheap from the internet. So after an afternoon of ‘just looking’ in other dress shops I completely fell in love with the Benjamin Roberts dress from Perfection Bridal and knew I had to have it. I can’t recommend them enough, they were so friendly and let me come back as many times as I wanted to try it on, show bridesmaids, alter etc. I did lose quite a lot of weight between ordering it and having it altered weeks before the wedding, but Dee who does the tailoring was absolutely fantastic and worked wonders! She took away all dress stress.

Groom’s attire… After months of looking online the boys decided to get their suits from good old Marks and Spencers. It was pretty much the first suit they all tried on and agreed! My brother and I went shopping with Shaun for the final details such as shoes, ties and pocket squares, which came from M and S and Topman. I loved how it all turned out, they looked fantastic but not too formal. Shaun looked absolutely gorgeous, it was so lovely to see him all suited and booted at the end of the aisle!

Readings & Music… We didn’t want anything to formal and were keen to find readings that really reflected us as a couple. Our bridesmaid Elena read ‘Falling in love is like owning a dog’ as we are big dog lovers-this got a laugh during the ceremony! Our friend Harry read ‘the Blessing of the Hands’ before we exchanged rings, it definitely brought a tear to my eye. Our friend Grice played his guitar as I walked down the aisle, to ‘Kiss Me’ originally by Sixpence None the Richer. Our bridesmaid Amy then sang this whilst we were signing the register, and they also performed an acoustic version of ‘You Got the Love’ which was absolutely beautiful. We left to ‘Here Comes the Sun’-perfect for a December wedding!

Beautiful Bridesmaids… I had 5 bridesmaids to accompany me down the aisle-Philippa, Sophie, Amy, Katie and Elena. They are all very close friends of ours and Amy is also my sister in law now! My 2 year old sister Lily was also a flowergirl, she definitely provided the cute factor of the day. I decided to have mismatching bridesmaids as it was hard to find a dress that everyone was keen on/suited everyone-and I love how it turned out! They all looked gorgeous in their dresses which were shades of white, grey and silver. We got them all from different high street stores and luckily managed to get some of them in the sale. They all got different white fur coats to wear on the day as well, this really pulled the look together and was perfect for a winter wedding.

The Flowers… My Mum’s friend Harriet who lives in Brighton used to be a florist, and thankfully she agreed to do our flowers. They were absolutely gorgeous and one of the most exciting parts of the morning was when the flowers arrived at the hotel. They were a mixture of roses, freesias and silvery twigs-which definitely added to wintery feel. The boys had buttonholes of white roses with ivy and silver twigs. Harriet was brilliant and creative-we were very lucky to have her!

The Cake… Our cake was from Marks and Spencers, a 3 tier white iced chocolate cake. Apparently it was lovely though neither Shaun and I managed to get any on the night! We made lots of different sized felt hearts (from a www tutorial) in shades of grey and white to scatter over the cake, had mismatching ribbon and a bride and groom Jack Russell as the cake topper!

Your Photographer… Our photographer Elly Mac was one of the very first bookings we made, I am sure we booked her about 18 months in advance! We really loved her style and she was absolutely fantastic. We booked an engagement shoot with Elly too, which was good as it made us far less self conscious in front of the camera and we used some of the pictures as our Save the Dates. Elly went completely above and beyond for us on the day and we are so pleased with our beautiful pictures.

The Details & Decor… I was very focused on the details and the decor of the wedding. I probably undertook a few too many diy projects that contributed to a teeny bit of wedding stress! We made 150 hanging felt heart decorations for favours all in shades of grey, white, cream and silver-with the aim that people could hang them on their tree at Christmas. Whilst I can now make one in double quick time, it did become a bit of a task towards the end! I also made small felt pin badges that were handed out as each guest came into the church. With a lovely design from my artist friend Stephanie we made the invitations and RSVP cards-there was glitter everywhere in our house for about 4 months! We used the same design to make our Orders of Service. Amy, Philippa and I spent an afternoon making 50 decorated jars to use as vases/candle holders in the reception.

My amazing Mum made heart shaped wreaths covered in ivy, flowers and silver ribbon to decorate the church and reception venue, they looked beautiful. She also made centrepieces of sprayed silver twigs in vases, with icicle decorations hanging off them. They were so simple but looked really effective! Pretty much all of the decorations were hand made by either my mum or me and the bridesmaids. I enlisted my friend Sandie who used the felt hearts to make some hanging garlands too!

One of the biggest stresses was the cookies Philippa and I decided to bake 2 days before the wedding. We need to make 100 but ended up accidentally making enough dough for about 450 cookies! We made them in Jack Russell and Russian Doll shapes-2 of our favourite things! The night before we left for Brighton we had a very late night icing and decorating the cookies with another bridesmaid Katie, we were literally begging them to dry so we could package them! It ended up being quite stressful but with hindsight I can see it was definitely worth doing-they went down a treat.

We hired a company to cover the reception venue in white draping and fairy lights-it really transformed the place and it looked magical. One of our biggest hits was a sweet cart buffet-there was none left at the end of the night! We had some pictures of the wedding party hanging up, glow sticks, sparklers, an amazing handpainted guest book with a picture of Shaun and I at the pier, made by one of our bridesmaids.

It was a real labour of love and there was no relaxing on the morning of the wedding-all of my family and lots of our friends were set to work! They all went off to decorate the church, find christmas trees, decorate the reception, put on 100 chair covers and tie the bows, decorate the cake, make the sweet buffet,set up the music…we are very lucky that so many amazing people helped us out.

The Honeymoon… After much debating whether we should go on a honeymoon, we ended up taking the plunge and booking a 10 day trip to Riviera Maya in Mexico. It was absolutely beautiful, the hotel was gorgeous and was full of trees, flowers and cute little animals. Most of the time was spent relaxing on the beach but we also had a couple of day trips to visit the Mayan temples and an eco park. It was so nice to be away together after the wedding, remembering everything that had happened and feeling really happy that we had pulled it off!

Memorable moments… Oh wow there are so many…me, my brother and my mum all waking up at 5.30am in the morning, the wedding celebrant consistently mispronouncing my name much to the amusement of the congregation, the sheer amount of jagerbombs consumed, my dad doing ‘gangnam style’, Shaun and I being surrounded by everyone at the end of the night singing ‘Dont look back in anger’, the Pokemon song and the Only Fools and Horses theme tune playing on repeat, the gorgeous sunset as we were taking our couples photos, my baby sister shouting ‘I want sweeties’ in the church, having a big meal in the American diner the night before with family and the wedding party, my Dad winning me toys on the Pier teddy machines, being sat up at 3am in our hotel bar with my family-all worse for wear! and my personal favourite, when Shaun turned around to me during the wedding meal and pointed and said to me ‘Can you believe all this is for us?’

Advice for other couples… Its a very hard thing to do, but try and stick to what you as a couple want to do-ignore other peoples opinions! Its not possible to please everyone and at points people questioned our choices but everyone loved it on the day. Also, try to DIY where you can, it saves money and it was such a great feeling to look around and see all the personal touches you and your family/friends have made. Try not to lose sight of the bigger picture, people wont care or notice if things go wrong-things didnt go exactly to plan on our day but I truly cant remember those bits! It is so overwhelming to be surrounded by everyone who is wishing you well and so excited for you, so just try to take it all in and enjoy the day!

Credit where credit is due…

Dress- http://www.perfectionbromley.com/

Suits and Cake- http://www.marksandspencer.com/

Church- http://www.brightonunitarian.org.uk/

Reception- http://www.the-terraces.co.uk/

Photographer- http://ellymacphotos.com/

Sweet cart- http://www.mysweettrees.co.uk/

 

So so gorgeous. I do love a WWW reader wedding :-) Thanks so much to Misha and Shaun for sharing their wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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10 Comments

  • Yay!!!

  • yay!! hehe thank you so much Misha xx

  • Beautiful wedding :-) I loved being a part of it and seeing how happy you two were on the day after all the hard work paid off! X

  • Chantelle Cotton says:

    Misha and Shauns wedding was a magical fairytale, i was so happy to be a part of it. Everything and every one looked amazing it was truely like a love story seeing how happy they both were.

  • Beautiful pictures from a beautiful wedding! The personal touches made the day even more of an honour to be a part of… they all worked so hard and it definitely paid off! X

  • I was fortunate to be a bridesmaid for Mish & Shaun on their day. I can honestly say that the effort, love and thought that went into every detail was utterly amazing and, as you can see, the results were testament to all of that!
    Wishing you all the love and luck and many, many Jack Russell’s for the rest of your wedded lives! Lovesies x x x

  • I loved reading about your wedding; so much work but totally worth it! The wedding looked and sounded fantastic! I loved that you walked out to here comes the sun and your dress was stunning – jealous! :)

  • Great photos, you can’t beat a seaside wedding, looks like lots of fun.

  • An absolutely gorgeous wedding! I look on this site all the time and think how fab all of the weddings are, but this one looks extra special!

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