Charming Chinese Fusion

March 4, 2010

The majority of submissions that land in Rock n Roll Bride’s inbox are from photographers. which is great because I get to sample all the best, innovative and inspiring new photography and Rock n Roll weddings out there. However there is something very special about receiving an excitable email from a recently married couple, bursting to tell me all about their wedding. I got an email just like this only yesterday and Sally & Sam’s charming vintage/Chinese fusion wedding was only made better by the fabulous running commentary from the bride.

“I married my husband over the bank holiday weekend of the 1st – 4th May 2009 in a private, and very grand, house in a tiny village in North Norfolk. Having stayed there on family holidays since I was a little girl, it was always a dream to get married in the hall and use the sweeping staircase as my aisle.  We had 40 guests staying for the whole weekend and 60 more arriving on Sunday for our main wedding day. Our venue wasn’t licensed so we had a very small registry office service on the Saturday which was followed by a larger Humanist service on the Sunday. This meant that on the morning of the humanist wedding, I went downstairs and had a very nervous breakfast with my guests! Being inspired by LOVE, it was our dream to have a celebration of everything that this small word encompasses – our love for each other, our love for our friends and family and the love that we wanted to give out to thank all our fabulous guests for coming to celebrate with us. We wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t just a celebration of our love for each other but our love for our family and friends as well.”
sally (24)

“The vision for our wedding was Bright and Beautiful, inspired by all manner of things – from Carrie Bradshaw, to cherry blossoms, vintage glamour and the madcap nature of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffanys- a book I fell in love with whilst planning! The theme changed thoughout theweekend – partly down to my very indecisive nature and partly down to embracing the multi-cultural aspect of our wedding (my husband is Chinese). We wanted a celebratory atmosphere, full of bright colours that would express the feelings and joy of the day. The idea of having one theme was completely alien to us – we’re not one dimensional people so why would our wedding be! So, we created a Sex and the City inspired ‘bright and beautiful’ wedding festival, mixing quintessentially English afternoon tea and cake with an informal and relaxed hog roast and giant games, the glamour of glitter balls and beautiful shoes and the cultural cross-section of a multi-coloured Chinese celebration. We planned events and served food that would make people smile – giant outdoor games, a traditional Chinese meal, an afternoon tea, Chinese lion dance, very tasty hog roast, a tea ceremony and lots of drinking and dancing into the very small hours.”

“Having a humanist ceremony meant that we could write all of our own vows and put a completely personal touch on our morning service – we had our guests singing ‘Rule the World’ by Take That as our ‘hymn’! Using the grand staircase and balcony as our ‘aisle’ meant that our guests could line the staircase and others sat in the hallway looking up at the service. The service was full of the style and unique touches that I wanted – my bridesmaids walked down the aisle, partnered with the ushers, in a mini catwalk show. They carried Chinese parasols and wore custom made bridesmaid dresses with stunning sequin shoes from Topshop, whilst Moon River played on the Grand Piano. For my entrance, the pianist played ‘Leave Right Now’ by Will Young, our song, and I walked down the grand staircase with my father, carrying a bouquet of lilac and wearing the most beautiful David Fielden dress, aptly named Grace Kelly. Following our service, we walked out the hall to ‘All Dressed in Love’ by Jennifer Hudson to a sea of confetti and blowing bubbles. My man wore a beautiful custom made suit by Gresham Blake in Brighton, complete with sequin cufflinks and bright red socks.”

“We wanted to give our venue a personal touch for our weekend so we hung romantic quotes on pink ribbon around the house and gardens. We hung large homemade L O V E letters from the balcony in the hall so that love was the focal point for the whole weekend. As my husband is Chinese we also made hundreds of origami cranes and had these hung on threads around the house. On the bedroom doors, I made signs which I felt represented the couple staying in the room. These were mostly well known couplets such as Cookies and Cream, Hope and Glory and Diamonds and Pearls. In every guests room on arrival was an ‘Order of the Weekend’ which I designed myself. I wrote Thank Yous by way of film credits which credited everyone who had been in involved in the wedding e.g. Directed By, Dress Design, Flowers, Managed By etc etc. In the entrance hallway we had two guestbooks which we invited guests to sign as they wished. One of these was a graffiti wall and the other was a notebook. On the guests pillows, I placed a Beanie Bear which most represented that person. These had luggage tags round their necks with the guests name, the date of the wedding, venue and our names. On the Sunday, I also designed ‘Order of the Day’ handouts which gave everyone a break down of plans for the day and I wrote a mini love story of how we had got together.”

“We decorated the grounds with bunting, balloons and brightly coloured table cloths. We also had a large sweet table inside the hall which had a huge selection of penny sweets, pink and white paper bags for our guests, large vases filled with yummy things and seaside rock and a carousel in homage to our home town of Brighton! Our wedding cake was served after the buffet hog roast and was mostly homemade by my bridesmaids at midnight the evening before – it looked fabulous! As favours, we handed out Chinese chopstick sets which were engraved with our names and the date of our wedding. This is a traditional Chinese favour and represents being a pair for life. For the more glam evening, I changed my hairpiece to add a bit of ‘bling’ to my dress and wore my slippers so that I could dance into the early hours – they were hidden by my dress of course!”

“I would imagine that everyone probably says this but our wedding was not only the best weekend of our lives, but many of our guests as well. It was an amazing four day party, celebrating all the things we love most in a completely unique and personal way.”

Thanks to Sally & Sam for sharing their fabulous day with us
Credit: H-Pinkness