Rebecca and Will wanted to suffuse their whole wedding day with rich colours to create a feast for the senses! The three main colours they chose were rich orange, ultramarine blue and a bright claret. They decided on a church wedding ceremony and their reception has held at Will’s childhood home.
“We know everyone says this, but we wanted our wedding style to reflect us,” began Rebecca. “I think we both knew it was always going to be quite theatrical and sumptuous as we both perform in concert and opera. Food, colour and music were our theme! So long as all three elements were vibrant and the best quality we could manage, we knew we’d be happy.”
As Rebecca wore a blue wedding dress, her ‘something blue’ was herself! “I was never a fan of white and as a singer, I wanted any wedding dress to be able to be used for recitals after the wedding. We found the silk, which is shot with two shades of blue, in India. I then found a local tailor to make it up in a 1950s pattern that I’d found on eBay. My dress actually ripped 10 minutes before I was due at church! Luckily we had a needle and thread and the tear was minor, but at the time it felt like the world was going to implode. I also felt so awful leaving Will hanging at the altar…Even though it was only for 15 minutes!”
Having met on a choral music course, the music was the most important part of their ceremony. “We built the ceremony by picking our favourite pieces, and then working out how to squeeze them in! Since we were in a church (where else could we get married within walking distance of the garden, with great acoustics and an organ? we were somewhat constrained by the Church of England format, but Keith, our vicar was really understanding, and allowed us to edit the official text to better match our views. We were able to replace the required bible reading with a piece sung by the choir (made up entirely of guests, and which we joined in with for some pieces) and we also sang lots of the church readings.”
Their wedding was a full-on DIY project as they designed and made so much themselves. “The canopy was specially designed by Will to fit around his parent’s house and avoid the trees! We grew a lot of the flowers ourselves (in fact we ripped up the lawn in our garden to do so!) and Will’s father spent a year growing flowers that matched our wedding colours. We rigged up a pulley system that held the flower globes in the church. I made my own wedding cake. We also made bunting, lots of the food, all our stationery (including invitations, maps and order of services), flower bouquets, buttonholes, animal signs for food, jam favours with home grown fruit and banners. We used these when we walked the wedding party over from the church behind a big banner my sister made that said ‘Just Married’ on one side and ‘Walk this Way’ on the other. Quite a few locals came to watch the parade! I also made our dog’s collars and leads, the backdrop for the stage (created from traditional paper stars from India strung between the trees. We hid electric tea lights in them so that as the
Their biggest expenses were their photographer and the food. “We originally met Dasha, our photographer, in 2011. Will and I had just started dating and we modeled for her in an editorial for a bridal shoot. We really admired her style and we knew we would love her to document our real wedding! We also spent a lot on the food, because well fed guests are happy guests! Rather than having caterers we hired two food vans to take care of the bulk of the feeding, and supplemented this with a late night ‘supper table’ which held cheeses, charcuterie, bread, fruit, vegetables and other nibbles. The vans were both local to Cambridge and we had gone on special research trips around various village fêtes to find the right ones for us. It fitted to have vans which guests went to when they wanted to eat, and could go wherever with it, rather than a formal sit down meal.”
“Our advice for future brides and grooms is that eBay is your best friend”, she concluded. “Shop around, but know your limits. If you’re doing lots of DIY then do anything and everything you can ahead of time, even if it seems ridiculously early. Have to-do lists with time frames and be very clear about who is in charge of what. Whenever you have an idea, think about your guests first and yourself second. Yes, your wedding is about you and your partner, but your friends and family are there to celebrate with you and you should plan for their experience to be as good as yours.”