I am giddy with excitement today at featuring this totally epic and uber stylish real wedding. There really isn’t much to love about a couple that march to the beat of their own drum and chuck a heck of a lot of personality at their celebrations right?
Lily and Josh were hitched on Saturday 5th August 2017 at the Nottingham Council House followed by a stretch tent reception at a family friend’s home in Nottinghamshire. The whole day was totally bespoke and personalised, down to every little detail. For example their bar was named Franc and Elvis after their beloved cats and their names were also embroidered into Lily’s sensational gown.
Right, let’s get onto that dress… isn’t it all kinds of beautiful? Lily came across Hermione de Paula online and swiftly contacted the team. She ended up falling for the Wisteria and Rose embroidery in the Rose Belini colour-way, which she teamed with a whimsical veil and floral block heels. Let’s not even get started on her incredible engagement ring and killer manicure. Josh knew from the outset that he wanted a coloured suit, once he settled on burgundy, the rest of the colour scheme came together. He looked really dapper in his rich hue suit and floral tie.
The stretch tent looked super magical decked out in fairy lights, rose gold DIY details and greenery florals. I am so in awe of the floral arrangements with many of the flowers home grown by green fingered Lily, they were truly beautiful.
The whole event was captured so perfectly by Jake Morley Photography, we’re delighted to be sharing these marvellous images, thank you so much Jake.
THE PROPOSAL | We got engaged on Saturday 9th May 2015 at home. Josh had had a big win at cricket, I had cooked a curry at home and we were sat having a gin and tonic at home when Josh asked me. After watching far too many ‘proposal fail’ videos on YouTube, Josh decided it would be best to do it at home and it was perfect. So lovely and personal and special that it was just us and our cats there.
THE VISION | As we had such a long engagement due we really were able to develop our vision as we went. We knew that we wanted to move away from certain traditions and that we wanted a day surrounded by our favourite people and our favourite things to celebrate. As we had so much time we were able to source everything ourselves, which allowed us complete control over the final vision and how everything came together. We hadn’t initially had any sort of colour scheme but Josh decided that he wanted a coloured suit as he wears a suit everyday to work and when he had decided on burgundy it helped us to tie in other aspects of the day.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We both really enjoyed the planning process as we had such a large time scale we were allowed to focus on each little detail and get things just right without feeling like we were rushed or pressured by time. We started by deciding that we would like a dry-hire venue where we could hand-pick all of our details but a quick look online we realised that nothing was quite cutting it for us. We then realised that some family friends owned and lived in a beautiful house in a village just outside of Nottingham, which we thought would be perfect for a marquee as there were so many different elements to the gardens that we could use, luckily the lovely Elaine and Richard agreed and we went from there. During the planning process we realised how truly talented so many of our friends are and we utilised this as much as we could. From the stationery design, flowering arranging and cake making to the beer, band and bar.
THE VENUE | We had the ceremony in Nottingham’s Council House in the Market Square. We both love Nottingham and felt it was a really lovely way to start not only our day but married life. The Council House is a hidden gem of a building and so many of our guests commented that they had never been inside before or realised what a beautiful building it was. It really added an extra level of colour to proceedings when you could see the ‘Nottingham Riviera’ in full swing outside the windows. We then hired a coach which took our guests out to Aslockton, a village on the outskirts of Nottingham. We both really enjoyed the coach as we got to speak to lots of guests and sit down and take it the day before everything started at full-speed once again. Once at The Manor House, guests were greeted by the beautiful stretch tent that we hired from The White Rose Tent company, which we had spent the Friday decorating alongside friends and family.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I knew that the traditional route of dress shopping wasn’t for me; the idea of someone suggesting options and hauling me in and out of dresses whilst others watched on was not filling me with joy. I knew that I wanted a long sleeve that had to be appropriate for a summer wedding, a low back on the dress and something personal and unusual. After hours spent trawling the internet I came across an image of Florence Welch as a bridesmaid in a Hermione de Paula two piece and I knew I’d stumbled across something special. I contacted the team at Hermione de Paula and went down to initially try on some dresses and to look at the different options that were available to me. We designed my dress together and looked at various options within my budget. I knew straight away that I loved the ‘Wisteria and Rose’ embroidery as they are both things that I have loved growing in our home. I also knew that I didn’t want a typically white dress so we chose the ‘rose belini’ colour for the silk skirt with complimenting beading and embroidery on the top half of the dress. On my final fitting, after being adamant that I didn’t want a veil I decided to try one on. I ended up going for a floor length veil in a colour that complimented the colour way of my dress. For shoes I ended up deciding on a pair or floral platforms from Topshop that went with the botanical theme of the stretch tent.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Josh knew that he wanted a suit that was a little different to the usual. With that in mind, my dad put us in touch with McCann Bespoke Tailoring on Shaftesbury Avenue. They were brilliant from start to finish. Josh had a bespoke suit and shirt made with them. They took into consideration every tiny detail and it was a truly special process. He paired the suit with a Paul Smith silk tie, again, a nice nod to our Nottingham roots and Loakes shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | For our first reading my sister Matilda read a section from Bruce Springsteen’s song ‘If I should Fall Behind’, she did such a fantastic job and we felt incredibly proud of her. Our second reading was the John Cooper Clarke poem ‘I wanna be yours’ read by our wonderful best man, Jack. To walk down the aisle we decided on ‘There will be time’ by Mumford and Sons, which we thought was suitable emotive and atmospheric for the occasion; during the signing of the register we obviously had Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ and to leave the ceremony we had Beyone’s ‘Crazy in Love’, a classic.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaids all looked beautifully unique with their mismatched dresses. The brief was something in a neutral colour with sparkles and I think they all looked incredible on the day! I loved that they each wore something that suited their personality and were comfortable in. We tied them together with the ribbon on their flowers and I thought they all looked so beautiful. They were an amazing help in the run up to the wedding and on the day and we couldn’t have asked for better bridesbabes.
THE FLOWERS | The flowers were one of my favourite details on the day and one of the things that I was most excited in the run up to the day. The majority of them were grown by a wonderful lady called Caroline who we found via Flowers to the Farm and the rest by myself in our garden at home. I thought they looked beautiful, vibrant and unique. We tied them together with a selection of ribbon. All the flowers were arranged by my wonderful and wonderfully patient friend Sarah who completely got what we were after and went with it. She arranged all of the bouquets, buttonholes and the marquee foliage and did such a brilliant job. We really do have talented friends.
THE CAKE | Another triumph of a wonderful, talented and patient friend. Our friend Carly, our best man’s fiancé, made our cake for us. She created a delicious three tier cake covered in white chocolate ganache with handmade sugar flowers keeping with the theme of our bouquet flowers. Carly created a lemon tier, a champagne one and a classic Victoria sponge layer. So many guests said that it was the most delicious wedding cake that they had tasted and although a little bias, I would have to agree. Our wonderful family friends, The Miltons, also made 100 crispy cakes (a family tradition), decorated in beautiful chocolates that went down a storm as the evening wore on and people fancied a sweet treat.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We were introduced to our photographer Jake Morley, by a family friend (another photographer and friend of Jakes’). We loved the work that we had seen him produce and couldn’t wait for him to capture our big day for us. They produced the most beautiful set of photos that truly captured the day, they listened to our vision of the day and we couldn’t thank them enough for all of their hard work. They also produced a fantastic video that includes a mixture of still images, stop-motion and video capture; a unique momento from the day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We didn’t start out with a theme for the wedding but when looking for things we started to develop a general theme of burgundy, metallics and lots of greens. We thought this worked perfectly with the setting and the feel that we wanted to create for the day. We had a gin bar over in the barn of the house and used this as a theme for our table plan and table décor where we had a variety of gin bottles sprayed in rose gold with rose gold fairy lights and eucalyptus down the centre of the tables. Each table was named after a different gin, which we thought worked nicely without it being too thematic. Our bar was named after the loves of our lives, our two cats Franc and Elvis. All of the signs for the day were made by myself with the help of my sister Matilda. For place names on the tables we bought Agate slices, which we edged in copper paint and I wrote each person’s name on for their place setting; we thought this was a really nice way to display names and combine them with an unusual favour for people to take home as a reminder of the day. I especially loved the pom pom décor behind the dance floor that our bridesmaids lovingly constructed the day before the wedding, we thought it framed the dance floor perfectly and was a wonder backdrop for photos.
THE HONEYMOON | We went away to Oxfordshire for a few days following the wedding and stayed at both a brilliant Air BnB (with an outdoor shower) and The Hanbury Arms, which is part of the Artists Residences group. Both were wonderful. We had a fantastic meal at the Hanbury Arms and were upgraded to a suite with the most incredibly copper roll-top bath; we felt truly spoilt. We then went to Lisbon for a week of sunshine and sightseeing and are hoping to continue to honeymoon celebrations next year with a potential trip to New Zealand on the horizon.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are too many to list. We had the most brilliant day and looking out at dinner seeing all of our loved ones in on place made us feel incredibly lucky. My dad’s band played for us in the evening and played our first dance, which was Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’. I think that was a really memorable moment for us all.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy every moment of the process. We tried to make everything in the build up to the wedding an event in itself. From going to Calais to buy wine to a night in creating the playlists with our friends; we loved it all. I think wedding planning can start to seem daunting and stressful if you don’t have the time to enjoy it so I would always say to rope people in to help, take your time and do what makes you happy! We were also incredibly glad that we were able to involve so many people we love in the process, it made it all the more special.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Jake Morley Photography
Stretch Tent | White Rose Tents
Dress and Veil | Hermione de Paula
Suit | McCann Bespoke Tailoring
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | ASOS, Needle and Thread and Monsoon
Day Catering | Indian Nights West Bridgford (absolutely delicious!!)
Evening Catering | Lucabuca Pizza
Coach | Sharpes Nottingham
Oh wow! What a magnificent day.
Lily and Josh, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your stunning celebration here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings xo Lou