Tag Archives: UK

A Magical & Ethereal Midsummer Night’s Dream: Daisy & Adam

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the inspiration for Daisy & Adam’s September wedding. The wedding was held at Mountains Country House, Hildenborough, with the ceremony in the gazebo in the gardens.

“As a child I remember being taken to watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Daisy wrote to me. “It was being performed in a London park, and with each scene the audience picked up their chairs and walked with the actors through the woods to get to the next setting. I remember being struck by the romance of it, the mystery of the faerie woodland was so magical, it was always how I’d imagined by wedding. Luckily, Adam loved the ideas too!”

“It was important to Adam and I not to spend money on things which wouldn’t enhance the guests experience/our wedding day. I’d so recommend this to other couples; it’s so easy to get caught up in having ‘essentials’ for your wedding which are really only essential because they make companies lots of money! We didn’t want to spend vast amounts of money on frilly bows for the chairs, or little favours on the table (particularly when guests were about to eat and drink really well anyway!), or anything else which wasn’t personal to us. I am amazed looking at wedding options when the only real option the bride and groom has is over the colour of the chair sashes and table plan. It seems sad when every couple has its own personality that this doesn’t always come through in the wedding – a wedding is about you two – make it that way!”

“Our wedding was a magical, ethereal, Shakespearean, muddy, messy, beautiful and romantic day,” she continued. “I tend to spell faerie in this situation the Shakespearean way – I tend to think of fluffy pink girly ‘fairies’ when it’s spelled the other way!”

Daisy wore a dress whcih she found in Perfection Bridal, Bromley with Irregular Choice Floral Cortesan shoes. “My shoes were the first thing I bought when we got engaged. I’ve known ever since I first saw these shoes that they had to be my bridal shoes! I initially wanted them in a deep green colour, but these were no where to be found, the cream and gold worked beautifully with the dress and veil though. Their messy, pretty and unusual appearance was a little touch of the faerie world!”

Daisy had two bridesmaid’s and she gave them both a different dress. “I knew I didn’t want them to be wearing the same dress, I didn’t want matching, when the girl’s personalities, looks and styles don’t match, it doesn’t feel right. I wanted them to be comfortable and happy in their outfits. The only real requirement was that they weren’t too ‘un-foresty’ in their colour – I was happy with blues, greens, purples, golds. My sister and her boyfriend Rob were travelling across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, Australia, NZ and India for seven months. Whilst there, she emailed me a photo of a dress she’d had made for her in Cambodia. A full length, deep green silk gown – it was $40. It was perfect! We found the second dress in the sale in Coast – it turned out to be similar to the first in style, and was equally vibrant in its colour, but was a beautiful sapphire blue.”

With a Midsummer Night’s theme, the flowers were of course a big part of the day. The couple worked really closely with their florist, Helen Tinworth, to make them just perfect. “I knew I didn’t want a formal, too arranged looking bouquet, I wanted a freely tied, messy assortment of leaves, foliage and a few wild looking flowers thrown in,” Daisy explained. “I wanted it to look as though it could have been picked when walking through the woods. The bridesmaids bouquets had to be similar, but we chose to have them without coloured flowers, just green and white, they were beautiful. The florists suggested incorporating herbs into the bouquets – this was such a wonderful idea as I’d wanted all senses to be ‘hit’ in our wedding.”

“I met with Helen countless times before the wedding to discuss ideas and work out how the theme would all come together. I’d bought an entire room full of Midsummer Night’s Dream ‘props’, Helen’s job was to take them from a great big pile of ideas and turn our venue into a magical enchanted forest! No small feat. I know this was the biggest project she’s had and I’m sure had as many sleepless nights as me, thinking about logs, and sourcing birds-nests, and other equally important things!”

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A Simple & Intimate Concert Hall Wedding: Valerie & Craig

“For us, we wanted our wedding ceremony to be kept simple – no flashiness and relaxed,” newlywed Valerie told me, “which is just the way we are. We wanted intimacy and for it to be very personal which I think was reflected in our music, readings (the lyrics of the Adam Sandler tune from the Wedding Singer and an extract from the Irrational Season, Madeleine L’Engle) and having our little boy with us. However, we definitely wanted a big party afterwards to celebrate.”

The ceremony was held at The Recital Rooms, Candleriggs, Glasgow and the recopetion that followed was at The Old Fruit Market, a concert hall also in Candleriggs. “There was a large visual and atmospheric contrast between our ceremony and reception but both were reflections of us as a couple,” the bride continued. “But we’re also an outgoing couple, for whom music and dancing is part of who we are.”

“The themes that ran through the wedding were peacock feathers and colours (greens and purples) so they featured on my hairpiece, the boutonnieres, page boys, flowergirls and bestmen outfits, the favours and place names. When we found our venue we wanted to stay in keeping with the rooms we used themselves. The ceremony room was a plain white room with art deco windows and draping at the head of the room. The lighting gave it atmosphere and these were subtly in our wedding colours. The only other decorations we used were the papal picado banners (found on Etsy) along the walls. For the reception room we wanted to keep with the rustic character of the room and I feel that everything from the flowers to the favours reflected that. For example, our placecard holders were simply made from branches from the tress in our garden and I made the favour CD holders out of hessian material for that natural feel. The Old Fruit Market is grand without being imposing and we felt it really matched what we wanted to create the party atmosphere for our wedding.”

With the reception being held in a concert hall, clearly music was a big consideration for the couple. Valerie explained, “The music for our wedding was always going to be really important to us, music is a big thing for both of us (even if our tastes can widely diverge at times) and we chose everything from the ceremony music to playlists for after the ceremony and during dinner. Friends of the Stars and James Summerfield played at the ceremony. Anna (from Friends of the Stars, the band that Craig sings and writes with) and James sang an acoustic version of Islands in the Stream for me to walk up the aisle to. It was lovely to have them sing for us as it made the ceremony feel so personal and intimate from the very start.”

“For the reception, our friend Kev Kiernan, DJ’d. We knew he’d rock it because of his wide and eclectic style of tunes. I’ve known Kev for years and have spent many nights dancing to Kev’s DJ’ing at house parties into the wee hours. He played everything from 60s funk, early 90s house and country tunes…And then of course, we had Elvis.”

“We knew early on that by choosing to have an Elvis, it couldn’t just be any Elvis. He had to be amazing for us to pull off this old wedding cliche. We did our research and pulled a blinder when we found Paul, a twice UK tribute winner no less. We chose the playlist of songs that he would sing too. He came out to the Space Odyssey 2001 theme and then went straight into See See Rider. The crowd literally went wild.”

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‘Rock n Robin’: A1950’s Christmas Shoot for the BBC

I know what you’re thinking…Christmas stuff already woman?! Well just hear me out would ya?*

I’ve known wedding photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre ever since we both went to Emma Case’s wedding back in March. I don’t think we managed to talk on the night, but after the event I saw some of his incredible photos (that he just took on his iPhone!) on facebook and so I got in contact to ask if I could share some of them on my blog. He said yes and we’ve chatted online ever since.

Ashton is deaf which makes no difference at all when communicating online, but when he asked if Gareth & I would like to do a mini shoot with him I was a teeny tiny bit nervous on how we would get on in ‘real life’. However I needn’t have worried. Ashton is so expressive and animated that it’s actually pretty easy to have a conversation. Although I didn’t know any sign language before we met, we were easily able to chat by gesturing and using a good old fashioned pen and paper to write things down when my feeble attempts and signing prompted confused expressions all round.

This is definitely one of my fave shots from the whole shoot…how cool does Gareth look?

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An Alice in Wonderland & Willy Wonka Themed Wedding: Aebbe and Sam

Aebbe & Sam wanted to go all out with their wedding theme and had it resemble a kind of Alice in Wonderland/Willy Wonka hybrid.

“Sam pretty much let me run with the theme,” Aebbe told me. “I love Alice in Wonderland and as my first wedding was very traditional and straight laced (not me at all) he really wanted it to be magical not just for me but him as well. We had a true fantasy day.”

“I think I managed to be really savvy with making decorations to save money,” the bride continued. “I don’t know what I would have done without my bridesmaid Vicky’s help.”

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A Rock n Roll London Wedding with Rockaoke!: Chris & Natalie

When photographer Annamarie Stepney slipped Chris & Natalie’s wedding my way, I just about squealed with joy. Not only was Natalie an avid Rock n Roll Bride reader throughout her wedding planning, but I could see a few little ideas that she’d gotten from my blog snuck in there – hello purple wedding dress and Butler & Wilson skull crown! “I fell absolutely head over heels for the Butler & Wilson skull crowns after seeing photos of Kat in one so I checked them out,” wrote the bride. “It was great as no one realised it was made up of skulls until they got close. I also wore it for my 30th birthday a month later.”

The wedding was held at Shoreditch House, London – a private members club which comes complete with a bowling alley. “Shoreditch House was the only venue we went to visit,” Natalie told me. “We knew it was the right place straight away. We loved the urban/warehouse feel to it and reminded us of New York where we had met. The bowling alley was an awesome addition too!”

Natalie found her incredible dress in a charity shop in Newbury – OMG talk about an amazing find! “I LOVE MY DRESS!” she squealed. “I had been on two wedding dress shopping trips and tried on a number 1950s style dresses. We were planning a party and I wanted a dress I wouldn’t have to worry about dancing in, bowling in and general stomping about in!”

“I then went and spent the weekend with my Mum in Newbury. The shop assistants were a wee bit bemused when I took my pewter, studded galore shoes out of the box. It kind of went something like this a few times – ‘Yes the dress has to match my shoes… yes these shoes… no, these shoes… no I am not going to buy other shoes…. sorry I seem to have got your dress stuck on the stud of my shoe!’ I tried on dress after dress in white, ivory, off white, antique gold, magnolia (that may be just a paint colour!?) and so on whilst my Mum cooed and ahhed I totally felt like a kid playing dress up! I have never dreamt of wearing a traditional white dress.”

“On the off-chance we popped into some local charity shops in my Mum’s town and as soon as we walked in I was in love with a dark purple dress. It was beautiful and I couldn’t believe it when I tried it on that it was perfect fit, never been worn and I knew my shoes would match perfectly (and rumoured to have been originally bought for a potential dress for Katie Price…although this may be rubbish). I was sold!”

The groom looked just as dapper in his Boland & Banks bespoke grey glen plaid suit, “I have to give Mark Banks a massive plug!” Chris wrote. “He was an absolute star and a true gent. He asks that you trust his judgement I’m really glad I did. He convinced me to go for the grey glen plaid patter over a more straight laced navy blue. He also give me the nod for the Oliver Sweeney shoes.”

Having a great big party for all their guests was really important to the couple, so instead of hiring a traditional band or DJ, they had Rockaoke! “Chris would make an excellent front man or guitarist!” Natalie laughed. “We used to go to rock karaoke at Arelene’s Grocery when we lived in New York. We had seen Rockaoke perform at festivals and in London and although we looked around for other bands we both really wanted to book them. The guests loved the band and so many people got up and sung. And we ended the night singing Motorhead together.”

“Music is a big part of our lives so it became a big feature,” the couple concluded. “From the table names, the place names – written on the discs from mini discs, with a band badge to suit each guest and a mini guitar. Rockaoke for our band and all the music throughout the day was chosen by Chris.”

“I guess we did things differently by doing exactly how we wanted and planned the day as if we were planning a party for our friends and family and not so much planning a wedding. This worked out perfectly as the wedding was all about us, the things we love and things that make our relationship special to us. Chris’ Dad wrote the reading that his Mum read during the ceremony – it was all about us and had people in hysterics! In fact we all spent the whole day in hysterics.”

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A Personal Preston Court Wedding: Gideon & Dara

Gideon & Dara described their wedding as not really having a particular theme. What was important to them was that their wedding was full of love and that the whole day felt very personal.

The wedding was held at Preston Court in Kent (I love this venue, just check out the reception room with the carousel wall!) which the couple decorated with all manner of things which they had collected themselves. These included paper place mats from Anthropologie, table numbers from Dear Emma Stationary, pom poms from Paper Pom Poms, Mustaches and Lips on Sticks from Mister Mustache and many other props from Amazon and various fancy dress stores.

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