The Rainbow Wedding to End all Rainbow Weddings: Jen & Ben

I think most of you will be aware by now that I love love love a rainbow wedding…why pick one or two colours when you can pick twenty seven!? So as you can imagine I squealed like a small child on Christmas morning when Jen & Ben’s wedding landed in my inbox. If I was less of a chatterbox I’d say that ‘I had no words’ when I saw these images…but in actual fact I had all the words in the world flying around my head as I made my selections for this blog post…

The wedding took place on 29th February this year. “We chose the date because we were so excited that there would be a 29th Feb this year!” Jen told me. “It was a Wednesday in late winter, but it didn’t put us off one bit. Our guests were a little surprised when we announced to them that the ceremony would be outside, but the weather was very kind to us and the ceremony was beautiful. Everyone also commented on how we won’t get an anniversary for four years, but (as my dad rightly pointed out in his speech) we get to have a two day celebration every year, on the 28th and the 1st!”

The outdoor ceremony and rainbow-covered reception were both held at The Matara Centre in the Cotswolds. The venue decor and rainbow touches were a real labour of love as the bride explains, “Working in the wedding industry (I make bridal headpieces and my company is called Head Full of Feathers), I knew I wanted to make things very personal to us. There are so many weddings that all look so very, very similar. We concentrated on having only the aspects of a wedding we liked the idea of, and got rid of the rest. We just wanted a huge colourful party with all our friends, and that’s what we got. We wanted the day to be as jam packed with things to do as possible, and the venue has such beautiful grounds that we wanted everyone to see them. So we got everyone to bring wellies and we went out to plant a cherry tree (Blossom flowers are my most favourite flower) It was a wonderful sight to see everyone playing about in the sunshine (in Feb!) all dressed in their best, and their wellies.”

“We wanted our wedding to be bright and colourful, so I suppose the theme multi-coloured fun-fest,” Jen continued. “So many people advised against it, saying we should stick to just 3 or 4 colours, but we knew it was going to work. Bright colours are just us. The invitations (drawn by me) were a magical wonderland inside a toadstool (the swing in the middle is in the grounds of The Matara Centre), so halfway through planning we decided to have as many toadstools at the wedding as we could. We printed off mini versions of the toadstool drawing on coloured card for our guests to write us messages on and peg them to our ‘guest book’ washing line and framed a large copy of it in the venue with our names and the date on. We also had a magic toadstool drawing tea-towel printed for favours for all our guests too. We even made 20 paper mache red and white toadstools which we put around the venue. The ushers had the job of secretly moving them around throughout the day, so it was like they were just popping up out of nowhere. Guests got to take these home at the end of the day too, which was lovely.”

“I had a dream during the planning process which featured a tree covered in cupcakes that looked just like blossom flowers. I just knew I had to recreate it somehow. I got in touch with my wonderful cake making friend, Sam, and she helped me bring the vision to reality, only better! She coloured all chocolate in all the colours of the wedding, and added them to the tops of all the little cupcakes. A true blossom tree. They were delicious too.”

“I bought a huge number of loose wooden flowers from Accents and Petals (their flowers are made of woodshavings from old pallets – amazing recycling!) and made all the table centres too. We concreted branches into pots and glued the wooden flowers onto them, to make a mini blossom tree for each table. Each table was a different colour, and thats how our guests found their seats.”

“We made so much of the decor ourselves – it made it so personal. We made so many different coloured pom poms – 200 pompoms in total, which took a whole lot of ‘froofing’ by very kind friends and family that had arrived the night before.”

Jen wore a 50s style dress which she had made by Honeypie Boutique. She really wanted a firey petticoats (oranges, reds etc) and Ann of Swank Underpinnings was up for the challenge! “When I first started looking for a dress I was do disillusioned by the whole process. I knew I wanted to have a short dress, because we would be dancing (a lot) and going to plant a tree, and I am a bit clumsy – I would have definitely got tangled up in it at some point. The first bridal shop assistant quite plainly told me that it was a ridiculous idea, and I wouldn’t feel like a bride in a dress that didn’t come to the floor – I was stunned (she has obviously never read Rock n Roll Bride!) Then I got in touch with a wonderful dressmaker who, it seemed, would answer all my prayers. Then she started ignoring my emails/tweets/phone messages. In the end I ordered a dress from Honeypie Boutique (lovely people that will do anything for you) and ordered a custom petticoat from Ann Swank. I customised the dress by taking the back out, and adding tulle to the bust, and I love it.”

The DIY didn’t stop with the wedding decor though as Jen painstakingly added 8000 Swarovski crystals to her Irregular Choice shoes. “I really didn’t think it would take too long to add the crystals to my shoes, I was wrong, it takes A LONG time. I even did my research wrong, thinking it would be 4000 crystals, but that turned out to be per shoe, oops. When I finally finished them I really wanted to show them off, but knowing I’m not allowed (and wanting to keep them a surprise for everyone for the day) I made a video and emailed it to Kat! I couldn’t help myself, I had to show someone! Luckily she loved them like I do!”

Being a headpiece designer of course Jen made her own headpiece as well as the ones her bridesmaids wore. “I made so many fascinators for the guests at our wedding and we had taken on so much in the way of DIY decoration, that I hadn’t even started to think about my hairpiece for the day three days before. I just kept getting on with other things that needed doing. Finally I got to it, and am really pleased with how it turned out. I made a mix of the wooden flowers that we used in all our decorations, and a version of my bleached peacock feather flowers, and finished them off with crystals and pearls. I wore a tangled pearl necklace and bracelet made by my good friend Helen (Fruitloop Designs) so this tied everything together”

My mind is blown! Thank you so much to Jen & Ben and their photographer Albert for sharing these today. Who fancies some DIY tutorials from the bride soon?! Watch this space!