If like me you adore colour, then this is the wedding to get you all in a tizz.
James and Rosalie married on the 17th September 2014 holding their reception at The White Hart Pub in Essex. They went for a whimsical rainbow colour scheme, with mismatched bridesmaids, tassel balloons and multi coloured flowers. Awesome!
It was important to them that their wedding was personal and that their guests had a great time to thank them for all of their support. How lovely is that? Not to mention Rosalie’s stunning lace and tulle dress, delightful flower crown and button bouquet. Wow.
Thanks so much to Christine Wehrmeier for providing these wonderful images today.
THE PROPOSAL | We had been talking about getting married a long time before we got engaged, but… I’d always said to James that I wanted our engagement to surprise me (so difficult of me I know) so he had a bit of a task on his hands.
So about 5 months or so after we met for the very first time he purchased a ring, he had consulted me about this as I am notoriously picky about rings and he wanted to make sure he got the right one. I knew he had gone to meet with the designer, I knew the ring was being made, so I had a rough idea when the ring was going to be ready, so I had a rough idea when he might propose (surprise ruined?). In fact I thought he was going to ask during a day trip to Brugge with a couple of friends. Thanks to some clever suggestions that he needed to go to London alone the week after to do ‘something’ (I’m a gullible mug and fell into his trap nicely, along with a little disappointment to boot) I put the idea of Belgian engagement completely out of my mind…
Few days later, the four of us trek to the very top of the bell tower in the centre of Brugge, right underneath the massive bells, James took me to a quiet spot to ‘look at the view’ (smooth) and got one knee and produced the elusive ring (the jammy thing had nipped out to collect it in his lunch break the week before) and asked me to be his wife. His double bluff had worked, I was well and truly shocked! So I said yes, and that was that…
THE VISION | We just wanted it to be fun! Some advice from a good friend helped when she said ‘your wedding should be a party for your family and friends to enjoy with you’. So as much as it was ‘our day’, we also wanted our guests to feel looked after, to thank them for all the invaluable support they have given both of us. (getting emotional just thinking about it!)
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I loved planning!! (mostly) I always wanted a rainbow wedding, but initially I thought it could be tacky so I shelved the idea. So I tried to come up with other colour schemes, nearly went with orange and turquoise… but I wanted yellow to be involved somehow and it just didn’t work… so I changed tack to a lemon and grey scheme with lime green accents. But it just wasn’t enough. So after a lot of googling, I decided to go back to the rainbow wedding idea! Yay!
Mum and Dad bought me a wedding planner book very early on so we were pretty organised from the beginning. What felt like hundreds of lists later… we had a wedding!
BUDGET | I would rather not say the amount if that’s OK. But safe to say we both really appreciate my Dad’s generosity because without that we wouldn’t have had the beautiful day that we did.
THE VENUE | After a LOT of searching (we got so sick of venue hunting!) we found the perfect venue that fitted all the requirements we had. The White Hart Pub. They have a wedding barn behind the pub which we used for the wedding breakfast, dancing etc. The Barn is set in its own little private garden which was perfect for the couple of group photos we wanted. Quite a few of us used their accommodation the night before and after, so my 6 bridesmaids and I used the large ‘getting-ready-room’ to get dressed, have our hair done, do make up etc. It was perfect!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was by Enzoani in their Blue by Enzoani collection and it was the Danbury dress, a tulle and lace tea length dress that had been adapted to have a sweetheart neckline. I wore it without the belt that came with the dress. For the ceremony I wore the dress with a lace top (three-quarter length sleeves and buttons up the back) and the pearl necklace my Mum had worn on her wedding day.
In the evening I wanted to be a bit more colourful, so I took the lace top off and wore a colourful belt with appliquéd flowers I had bought on Etsy and a Coeur De Lion rainbow necklace that James had bought for me to wear on our wedding day. My shoes were handmade white leather ballet pumps with lace ties that I also purchased on Etsy (COMFY!!!). Also, I made my own bouquet using buttons (some donated from friends and family) a sieve and a wooden handle my Dad made for me.
FINDING THE DRESS | This was also quite a mission! Had no idea just how picky I was going to be about this! Felt ridiculous in most of the dresses and after what felt like hundreds of shops I thought I wasn’t going to find a dress at all! After being: squeezed into too many size 0 dresses, informed that ‘you can’t look at the dresses yourself, I will choose some for you to try’, and being stripped mostly naked by an impertinent shop owner who did not seem to understand personal space, I had gone completely off the idea.
Until my sister-in-law to be recommended the shop where she got her dress from, I decided to give it one last try. So four sisters-in-law to be, two mothers, two nieces to be and I trooped to the shop together and after a lot more trying on, I found a dress!!! But it was just too far out of budget for me ☹ So, I scoured Ebay for the next couple of weeks to see if I could find anything similar and finally I did, just an hour up the road! I went to try the dress on, with a couple of adaptions it would be perfect! So bought the dress from the lovely lady who had an amazing outdoor wedding a couple of years before and was now trying to make some space for her family hence the sale. It felt great to be wearing a dress that had already had a special day! After a good friend of mine took the dress in a little, it was just what I wanted, and I felt far from ridiculous!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We are not a fan of pomp and ceremony so decided tails and top hats etc. were out! Apart from that, I left James’ attire to him! He went shopping with his ushers and they picked out a warm greyish suit with a light check from Moss Bros that they all liked so bought on the spot. With the addition of tan brogues, Lego cufflinks (I made a different colour set for each usher, rainbow Lego for James) teal ties for the ushers and rainbow check ties for James and his best man Peter their look was compete.
Oh, and James wore bright blue socks that were a gift from his team at work. On one it said ‘JJ & Rosie 17th September 2014’ and on the other ‘In case you get cold feet’. Very cute ☺
THE READINGS & MUSIC | There were no readings as such. We are both Jehovah’s Witnesses so we got married at our local Kingdom Hall which I helped to build last year and the ceremony was taken by James’ brother Tom. He discussed the marriage arrangement as described in the bible and shared its advice for both of us such as, never having a harsh work for each other and working together to complement each other’s best points. It was a lovely talk, we laughed and cried and finally he took us though our vows, said a prayer and finally we all sang one of our religious songs together called ‘Our reasons for joy’. We signed the register with the officiating registrar and it was complete!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 6 bridesmaids in the end, as well as two others who unfortunately could not be present. I always knew I wanted to have mis-matching bridesmaids, as I love them all for different reasons and they all dress so differently! So I decided that they would all have free choice as to what they wore and how they accessorized within their assigned colour. I’ll list what they wore below…
Eli – ‘The green one’ – Tulle halter neck dress from TK Maxx (Sorry I don’t know the brand of the dress!) wore with her own accessories.
Mo – ‘The blue one’ – Tulle dress with dropped hem at the back from Tesco. I made a blue button bib necklace and Lego necklace for her to wear with it. The shoes were from Ebay I think.
Isabella(my neice) – ‘The purple one’ – Net ‘poofy’ dress in lilac with a dark purple taffeta sash and matching flower (from somewhere online?). She wore little white shoes with purple ribbon ties and a Lego bracelet I made for her.
Emily(my cousin) – ‘The yellow one’ – Net dress from Monsoon with appliquéd flowers attached to the skirt and matching sash. Her mum and I also managed to find the perfect cardi to match from Debenhams. She wore white sandals that her mum ‘yellowed up’ with some flower hair clips and a Lego bracelet I made for her.
Saralyn – ‘The orange one’ – After a lot of searching, Saralyn found a simple silk dress in a charity shop (I love this as it is so Saralyn! Both of us cannot go past a charity shop without popping in!) which she dyed orange and had a seamstress do a little work on. She wore it with some flower brooches she made, shoes she got from Ebay and a cardigan of her own.
Kat – ‘the pink one’ – A funky pink dress from French Connection and black shoes also from French Connection I believe.
THE FLOWERS | My Aunt very kindly agreed to do the flowers for us as she has done a few before. We had so many different flowers to communicate the rainbow flower scheme I will try and list it if I can remember them all!
Bridesmaids Bouquets: Green – Carnations, Blue – Hydrangeas, Purple – Freesias, Yellow – Chrysanthemums, Orange – Alstromarias, Pink – Roses.
Button holes – Groom & Ushers – Rainbow Roses (Cannot believe how bright they were!! One of my favourite things about the day).
Parents – Cream roses (My Mum had a wrist corsage that also had freesias).
My Hair garland – Big Dasies( I don’t know the technical name for these!) and Freesias.
Flowers for the venues – The flowers used in the bouquets for the bridesmaids were all repeated with the addition of bright orange gerberas, small green chrysanthemums, corn flowers, large purple alliums, September flowers, Craspedias, and Muscari. These were all divided in a variety of vases and bottles on the tables, windowsills, on the bar, in the garden… Pretty much everywhere! (I may have slightly over ordered flowers!)
THE CAKE | Make that cakes! I have never liked the cutting the cake thing at weddings so I didn’t wasn’t too bothered about having cake at all, but a good friend of mine (one of my many extra mothers) really wanted to make cake for the wedding so we came up with the idea of having a cake per table to that everyone was sure to get some whenever they wanted some. I found some blue glass cake stands on sale in Homebase (scoured the country to find 13!) to serve them on, and also had a bright knife with a tag instructing our guests to cut the cake and eat whenever they were ready for it!
The cakes were all Chocolate cake (yum) and were covered with white fondant with a different rainbow design for each table (buttons, pain splats, hearts, polkadots… etc.). They went down a storm! She also made a VW Camper cake as a surprise Grooms cake for James! That’s in the freezer still though! Oh, and she also made 200 or so Campervan Cookies which we served straight after the ceremony with lemonade. Yes, she is amazing!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We met Christine Wehrmeier at a wedding fayre in the Excel, immediately really liked her and her photographs so contacted her a few weeks later, met up and booked her for the day! Had a great time with her on our pre wedding shoot in Covent Garden, and an even better time with her on the wedding day. So ridiculously thrilled with the photos, couldn’t thank her enough!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | This was the bit I enjoyed putting together the most!
We started with the barn itself. Mum and I made about 100 massive paper pom-poms which we hung from fishing line across the main section of the barn, from the rafters under the mezzanine floor and on the window sills. I got together some cocktail decorations and hurricane lamps to jazz up the bar. Hung fairy lights on every pillar, banister, rail etc. that would take them. Set up a games table for the kids. Finally hired some rattan furniture to make a quiet(ish) seating area for the older ones.
The table plan was a tube map based plan which a friend of mine who is studying art and graphics etc. very kindly put together for us. So all the tables were named after tube lines, a nod back to so many of our first dates that were in London and always involved the tube!
The tables themselves were decorated with a giant 2.5ft white balloon with rainbow tassel tail (which Saralyn, her Dad Gerry, James and I made.) held down with pained rocks, the cake with stand and knife, bright pillar candles, coloured glass tea light holders, coke bottles/vases/milk bottles with individual flowers in, pom-pom name tags, jelly bean favours and buttons scattered on the table to finish it off. We hired Chivari chairs and attached four ribbons to the back of each chair (My parents thought this was a ridiculous idea but changed their mind after it was all done ☺). We also made party bags for each child at the wedding to keep them entertained during the notoriously child-unfriendly speeches! They were personalized for each child so we had so much fun scouring toy shops for all the different things we know they like!
We decorated the outside with yet more fairy lights, tin lanterns, large board games and rainbow pinwheels.
My Mum and a friend of ours very kindly decorated the VW Camper (owned and driven by another friend of ours) for us too! Along with the traditional ribbon at the front, they attached rainbow ribbons to all the handles and wing mirrors, added a full picnic hamper for James and us to enjoy at Hedingham Castle where we had our couples photos and the sweetest thing, Mum dressed up my child hood cuddly toy in rainbow ribbons and buttons and sat him in the camper too! Really loved it! ☺
THE HONEYMOON | We wanted to go and explore somewhere that was new to both of us so eventually decided to visit Austria. After discussing the pros and cons of flying vs driving we decided to drive so we could stop on the way and do a mini road trip. So we stayed in Baden-Baden Germany, a week in Bad Hofgastein Austria, Nuremberg Germany, Branfels Germany and finally a night in Brugge to finish off where it had all started with the proposal.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are so many memorable moments but my favourites are:
Seeing all the bridesmaids all dressed and ready! I never had a chance to get them all together in their dresses so I was so worried it wouldn’t go together, such a relief when they all looked great, on their own and together as a group!
Walking in to the Ceremony and seeing all my friends and family there all smiling and happy to share the day with us. It really meant so much to both of us.
Our couple shots with Christine. It was great to have some time just the two of us and Christine to relax and go for a potter. It was so much fun but also really relaxing which really set us up for the rest of the day! Oh, and we got some great photos to boot!
The speeches really were something else! Dads was so emotional, James’ was funny, sweet and also emotional. But Peter’s (the best man) was something else! He had worked so hard on it! Jokes, funny stories, photos, a prank and also videos from friends in America, Sweden, South Africa and to top it all off videos from an old school teacher, the midwife that saw James born, Gabby Logan, Geoff Lloyd, Kris Akabusi and, our personal favourite, a song written and sung for us by James’ 4 sisters :D It was hilarious! Everyone was rolling around, it was great to enjoy it all together with our friends and family!
And finally, I have so appreciated everyone’s feedback! It’s great to hear that people enjoyed themselves! Everything from the food, the party bags, the speeches, the cake, the cookies, the canapés, the table plan etc. has been mentioned by various guests to us as their highlights.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Wedding planning is stressful! But the things that helped us the most was focusing on just one thing at a time, working together even though wedding planning is apparently a girl thing and staying pretty laid back about everything (It doesn’t really matter if you don’t get exactly what you want, you’re getting married to your best friend surrounded by your friends and family, you’re going to enjoy it whatever happens!)
Plan the day with your guests in mind. If they are enjoying themselves, you will feel it and they will remember that and most likely tell you so after!
Spend the day with your husband/wife. Talk to people together, dance together get a drink together. I will always remember the moments I spent celebrating our wedding together. (Getting emotional again!)
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Christine Wehrmeier
Venue | The White Hart Pub, Great Yeldham, Essex, CO9 4HJ
Furniture hire | Alfresco Hire
Flower Wholesaler | Byfords
Car Hire | Abbey Weddings (The VW was not from here, the white taxi that transported the bridesmaids was)
I would recommend all these people! ☺
What a dream day. I love a colourful party :-)
Thanks so very much to James and Rosalie for sharing their brilliant wedding today XOXO Lou