Today’s real wedding feature really does have it all; pretty blooms, multicolour hues, an industrial venue and relaxed vibes all round. I really am in wedding heaven!
WWW readers Jenny and Richard were married in a church ceremony followed by a reception at Wylam Brewery in Newcastle on the 11th August 2018. Their wedding planning began with a beautiful full moon proposal in Italy and they swiftly decided that their day was to be a stress free affair. A vibrant theme emerged once they tackled the the top of their to do list and I just love everything. There were multicoloured ribbons on wooden chairs, wildflowers in bottles, a fun photobooth backdrop and delicious sounding drip cakes.
What I love most though, is the little personal touches used throughout. Such as their meaningful choice of readings, thoughtful favours and even Jenny’s manicure. Do be sure to read their report to find out all about those wonderful details.
And finally, a shout out for the super stylish attire! Richard and the boys were suited and booted by WWW Supplier Love members; Master Debonair, Jenny looked stunning in Fleur by Naomi Neoh and her bridesmaids wore mismatched pastel dresses of dreams. Also keep an eye out for the bountiful bouquets, so pretty.
Huge thanks goes to the fabulous Amy Lou Photography for sharing with us these divine images.
Richard proposed the summer before our wedding whilst we were on holiday in Italy. We spent the day in Verona, wandering through the busy streets and soaking up the romantic atmosphere. Sipping red wine, we shared a belated birthday lunch before heading back to our hotel, in Garda. Later that evening, we settled in the hotel gardens to admire the full moon over the lake. Richard got down on one knee right there under the stars. Every full moon we see is a reminder of that moment and we now use ‘full moons’ as a unit of time to measure how long as passed since that most wonderful of days (17.5).
We didn’t start with a very clear vision of what we wanted; that formed over time. All we knew was that we wanted our wedding to be totally stress free. I am a lover of all things colourful so was sure I wanted colour to play a part in the day. As we secured details like the venue and the dress, our laid- back, vibrant wedding theme began to emerge into sharp focus.
The Planning Process
Planning seemed a little daunting at first. Richard is an engineer and I am a teacher so we are used to prioritising at work; we applied this approach to our wedding planning to break it into more manageable tasks. We wrote a list of what was most important to us and went from there: fun, relaxed, memorable. This gave us a starting point. We needed entertainment to make the day fun, a venue whose ethos would create a mellow environment (for us and our guests) and a photographer that would capture our day in a natural, unstructured way. Once we had tackled ‘the biggies’, the little details seemed to just fall into place.
The Readings & Music
Choosing the readings was, hands down, my favourite part of the whole process. We worked hard to choose words that truly reflected us as individuals and as a couple. We also carefully considered the person who would be reading. We had 3 readings:
Relativity by Albert Einstein
The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman
We have the words to the readings framed and displayed above our fireplace because they are so special to us.
To enter, we had Seasons of Love covered by Vitamin String Quartet as a nod to my days in musical theatre clubs. To leave the church, we had another Vitamin String Quartet cover: Sweet Child of Mine which is Richard’s favourite song.
Our first dance was ‘Here comes the Sun’ by The Beatles- the perfect metaphor for our married life.
When budgeting, we decided that we did not want to spend money on things that wouldn’t have an impact. This led us to ditching a traditional wedding car for a minibus full of bridesmaids and plates of canapés for an ice cream van. While it can feel scary spending thousands of pounds at a time, when you truly consider whether it is going to be worth it to the both of you, and when you decide ‘Yes! That is right for us!’ those decisions become a lot less stressful!
We always knew we wanted our ceremony to take place in St. Peter’s Church in Bywell as it was where Richard’s parents and grandparents got married. It was important for Richard- and therefore important for me- to uphold this tradition. I work in a Church of England school and we were very fortunate that Rev. McCartan, who I work very closely with, agreed to conduct the ceremony. She was able to add personal details to the ceremony that no one else would have been able to.
We had booked a number of viewings but cancelled them all after we stepped foot into the first venue: Wylam Brewery at The Palace of Arts. Nestled within Exhibition Park in Newcastle city centre, its tranquil lake and impressive domed roof were absolutely perfect and the exposed brickwork and industrial feel appealed to the engineer in Richard. They even offered brewery tours to entertain the guests! We first met at the pub while Richard was holding a pint of Wylam ale; it was meant to be!
Our flowers were utterly breathtaking. When we met with Amy from Muscari Events, we simply said we wanted colour. I did set one challenge: no roses but Amy exceeded our wildest expectations with the beautiful array of wildflowers that she provided.
Without a doubt, the flower crowns stole the show. Amy used eucalyptus leaves to make the asymmetrical flower accent really pop and the flowing ribbons from the bridesmaid’s crowns caused one little girl who was walking through the park as we arrived at the brewery to exclaim, ‘Look mummy, those girls are princesses!’
To add a personal touch to the church, my mum grew all of the flowers in her back garden. We spent the day before the wedding filling over 50 jars with freshly cut flowers!
The Details & Décor
Alongside my mum’s flowers, the church was decorated with blackboards that my class had written for me. They explained, through a child’s eyes, what love, marriage and commitment means.
We spent months drying petals to create our own confetti bar. As we walked through our family and friends with colourful petals and bird seed raining down around us, we knew that every foil lined baking tray full of flowers was worth it.
My incredibly talented sister created all of our signage by upcycling mirrors from the charity shop. Her electrical circuit order of the day was, without a doubt, a triumph.
Amy from Muscari Events truly elevated our day with her attention to detail. Chair backs with flowing ribbons and hundreds of tiny glasses filled with flowers and candles adorned the tables. She made us a colourful photo backdrop and her stylish touches were evident throughout the venue.
My favourite detail of the day was definitely our favours. We printed temporary tattoos with the geographical co-ordinates of the altar in the church!
To name our tables and create our table plan, we had to drink quite a lot of beer (poor us!). We used the names of beers from the brewery to title each table. We displayed a row of bottles, each filled with wildflowers, which had a printed tag to show our guests where to sit. Each table then had the corresponding beer label, framed and nestled amongst the votives.
The bridesmaids dresses were where my colourful vision truly came to life! Lots of people were sceptical of my plan but it ended up looking even better than I imagined. I had seven girls with seven different personalities and seven different bodies; there was never going to be one dress to make everyone feel at their best. We trawled ASOS and created our own shop! Clothes rails filled my sister’s house. We sipped prossecco as we mixed and matched. I still look back on the photos and cannot believe how truly fabulous they all looked.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I went dress shopping with a vision that my mum gently warned me was unachievable: No lace, no bling, A-line, colourful. Marrime Bridal in Jesmond was the first and only dress shop I went to. As soon as I walked in, I spotted my dream dress and added it to the pile of 5 that I tried on. I left it until last because I was utterly terrified that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. As soon as I was laced up, I knew I had found it- Fleur by Naomi Neoh. It was important that my grandma approved of the dress as she was buying it for me. While she loved the colour, she was concerned that a strapless sweetheart was a bit too revealing. Honey, the shop assistant, told me that she hadn’t showed me the lace jacket (that was originally from the ‘Primrose’ dress by Naomi Neoh) as I had specified no lace but asked if I’d like to try it on. As the lace slipped over my shoulders and clipped to the waistline, my mum welled up and that was that!
Most of the jewellery I wore were pieces I already owned with lots of sentimental value: a necklace Richard bought me and a set of rings my friends bought for me. I did buy a new set of earrings from Etsy- they were my ‘something new’.
From the start I knew that I wanted blue shoes and ASOS came up trumps! I did also invest in a pair of Kate Spade Keds as I wanted to be able to dance the night away in comfort.
Richard’s suit was from Master Debonair. We found the company as they held a stall at a local market. I was instantly drawn to the intricate tie knots they had on display and Richard spotted a number of options that he liked (I live for colour, he lives for navy blue; opposites attract). We headed to the shop and, surrounded by tattooed shoes and sartorial charm, Richard chose. He opted for a light blush shirt to match my dress and a flamingo tie to add a bit of flair.
Richard accessorised with gold cufflinks and a tie clip. His cufflinks were engraved with our initials and his tie clip with a line from our first dance. These were both from Etsy too.
With a thunderstorm looming on the day of the wedding and a very changeable weather forecast, it was a toss-up whether we would need to accessorise with the umbrellas we had purchased from Ebay or the sunglasses from River Island. In the end, and much to our relief, the shades won out.
I was very concerned that I wouldn’t feel like me on the big day if I was fully made up with my hair pinned. I asked Molly (one of my bridesmaids sisters and notorious make up guru) if she would do my makeup as I knew I would be confident asking her to change certain aspects. After a few practises, she totally nailed the fresh, summery look I was after.
I had my hair done by my usual hairdresser as she always does it perfectly. Her salon is 2 minute’s walk from my mum’s house, where I was getting ready, so it seemed perfect. This journey did turn into a scene from a Mission Impossible film as I tackled the walk back, carrying my veil and trying to avoid Richard, who had been at the barber a few doors down!
As our wedding took place at the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, I had cosmic nails.
Amy has been a friend of my sister’s since school and we knew from the very start that her style of photography was exactly the way we wanted to capture our day. She made us feel totally at ease and captured the true spirit of the day through her lens. The colours, movement and laughter are evident in every single picture.
We spent our honeymoon aboard a cruise ship, seeing some of the most delightful places Europe has to offer. From eating gyros beneath the windmills of Mykonos to standing (and eating ice cream) where Galileo was buried in Florence, the experience was truly once in a lifetime. We spent 12 nights relaxing and soaking up the Mediterranean sun. Utterly blissful.
Richard’s younger brothers shared the role of best man. Richard knew that he wanted them to wear the same suit as him but still wanted their outfits to be slightly different. We found pink ties that matched the shirts, Richard’s flamingos and my dress (no easy task) in Next.
The moment that Richard winked at me as I arrived at the altar will be forever etched into my memory; any nerves I had melted away at that very moment.
Walking into the wedding breakfast to the cheers of all of our nearest and dearest was also a highlight of the day.
We are firm believers that cake is for eating, not just for looking at so flavour was the top of our list! The Pudding Parlour have created our birthday cakes for a number of years so we are well acquainted with their vast array of flavours. After a quick consultation to tweak frosting colours to match some of the bridesmaids, we decided on mint Aero, custard cream and (of course) rainbow cake!
The trickiest part of the whole wedding was sourcing cake stands but eventually we stumbled upon Prop Options on Etsy who custom made our stands.
Advice For Other Couples
Make sure that you do what will make you happy. If you aren’t that bothered about it, don’t do it but if it’s want you want, it is totally worth it! Also, put plans in place to make your day as stress free as possible. We booked buses to transfer our guests between venues and dropped bags off at the hotel the day before; those little extra jobs made sure that we were present- both in mind and body- for every second.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Amy Lou Photography
Florist & Stylist
The Pudding Parlour
Jenny and Richard, thank you both so very much for sharing your utterly beautiful wedding day with us xo Lou