Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Big Day!!!

Hi Everyone - so sorry not to have updated this sooner. Those married people who are reading this will completely understand how hectic things are in the weeks after the event! Things seem to be getting back to normal now, I have had my professional shots back, sent out my Thank you cards and caught up with my washing - so now with the blogging!!

I have decided not to add all of the images onto my blog, instead I have used my very favourite shot, which for me encapsulates the whole day. This was taken in front of the most beautiful pink barn door in a small holding across the lane from the pub where we had our sit down meal. For those interested in seeing some more photos from the day please visit my flickr gallery and check out my sets of not only the pro shots, but photos taken by our guests, processed images and also the preparation!

So where do I start? Well - it was the most magical day - this is something I'm sure every bride says about her wedding day. The sun was shining, the back garden looked amazing (after the whole week before was spent decorating it!), everything was organised and even my hair had turned out well after a last minute trip to the hairdressers to add more highlights and then having to wash my hair in cold water the night before! As the wedding was at 11am it was an early start, so my parents, sister, sister in laws and friends Jo and Mandy (who were responsible for the make up and photography respectively) all arrived bright and early.

The flowers arrived on time, and I was amazed at the unusual hydrangeas used on the bridesmaids bouquets, really wonderful! Unfortunately my peonies hadn't opened in time, so they were just buds, very pretty still, but not the big pom pom flowers I had wished for. Jo did an amazing job on the make up for myself and the bridesmaids, she's a miracle worker! We even had time to spare for a photo shoot in the garden which turned out amazingly! Then the lilac morris minor convertible arrived, driven by the fantastically named Andrew "Charlie" Chaplin - in a smashing 50's inspired outfit!

We married in our local registry office - the Archbishops Palace in Maidstone, which as registry offices go, it's pretty special. It's a very old stone building right next to the river with a herb garden and small park behind which many (including us) use for photos. After a short wait in an adjoining room, with a few last minute shots it was show time! The bridesmaids all looked so pretty in their colourful pink and lime green shrugs, and polka dot and floral dresses. They also had smaller versions of the fabric pom poms in their hair.

Dad was suited up with his lilac floral shirt and tie. And not forgetting his vintage grey converse trainers (these were the same as Wayne was wearing, he didn't know that both my Dad and his Dad were wearing these also until the day!) He looked so cool - much better than a stuffy old morning suit! I entered the Solar Room to the sound of Glenn Miller Moonlight Serenade (one of my faves). It was so touching to see all our friends and family there, smiling, wearing a wonderful mix of bright pretty colours (as I had suggested on the wedding blog). Then I saw Wayne, he looked so handsome, and nervous, but smiling still. He seemed pleased to see me too - which was a bonus!

The whole ceremony didn't take than long, and flew by. Although I did manage to start blubbing during my vows, which set everyone else off! Oh yes, I almost forgot, I did also get Waynes name wrong - much to everyone's amusement! Doh!!!

After this we all flew out the building, gave and received lots of kisses, then had some formal shots taken in the park behind. At this point I must mention my photographer. My good friend Amanda Jayne Stewart, never will you see a more hard working photographer. She has such a lovely way of dealing with the guests - who can be unruly at times! She manages to capture so many wonderful formal and informal shots, and did a truly amazing job at documenting the whole day, including all the little details I had worked so hard on. Details of Amanda's (Mandy's) website are below in my thank you list.

So then onto the pub - the beautiful Horseshoes, gastropub in East Farleigh. It's one of our locals, and was the ideal location for our informal gathering. We basically took over the back half of the pub, where we had our own bar, toilets (most important), lounge area, patio and restaurant! The restaurant section is is a lovely conservatory like building, with wonderful beams, vaulted ceiling and an eclectic mix of vintage chairs and tables. The manager Paul Stewart was most accommodating and enable us to tailor the room to our specific needs.

At this point though, I cannot go any further without mentioning the truly inspirational Haylie Harrowell - owner of Violet Weddings. Haylie is a super organised, knowledgeable, hardworking and lovely lady, without whom I couldn't have survived the day (or the run up!) I contacted Haylie early on in the planning when I realised that to have the reception in the back garden with food and entertainment meant I needed help. Like many people I'm guessing, I always thought wedding planners were for the rich and famous. Or are an extravagance nonetheless - how wrong I was! Having Haylie help plan and organise the day was completely invaluable. A good wedding planner will actually save you money! Even for the reassurance side it is money well spent! Not to go on too much about money, but our wedding was on a tight budget - the whole thing (excluding the honeymoon) came to just over 5k. Not bad I think considering what we achieved. But to stress my point, having Haylie on board was the main reason we managed to keep our costs down without compromising on anything! Details on how to contact Haylie are below.

Ok - so whilst our guests were enjoying the Pimms in the lovely sunshine, Wayne and I nipped off in the Morris Minor to the small holding across the road. It is owned by the lovely Ann Moon, who was so very kind and sweet to allow us to use her property for our mini photo shoot. The idea of this was something I'd had from the very start, I'd seen some lovely images on flickr (check out these galleries of inspirational images I gathered from the world of flickr) of couples stood "shaker style" in front of agricultural buildings and really loved the quirky, twee, arty feel, so was amazed when I caught eye of Ann's pink barn door just across the lane from the pub - perfick! So as you can see from the image above it really works with the vintage 1950's feel I was aiming for.

Then after the wonderful food and drink at the Horseshoes (amazing quality, extremely tasty by the way!) we all set off back to our house - a 5 minute drive from the pub. When we arrived the band were setting up, Waynes's ipod was on, playing his fabulous playlist (which started off with Buddy Holly (our first dance was "True Love Ways"), Glenn Miller, Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis - classics to get everyone in the mood for the band!! Even before I met Wayne, I knew two things about my wedding day (as I'm sure every girl does) at my wedding it must have fairy lights, and a live band! The band we chose after about 3 weeks of researching was Brighton based Greggi G and his Crazy Gang. A four piece jive band who were perfect for my theme. As well as the marquee we had also hired a stage for the back of the garden for the band to play from - it was a little tight (sorry guys) but it didn't seem to affect the glorious sound they made!

So to set the scene - you had the large open sided marquee, filled with bunting, fairy lights, martha stewart tissue pom poms and seating made from straw bales - we even made a sofa from them! The band at the back on their stage (of course also with bunting, fairy lights and pom poms!), the dance floor in the centre then on the left hand side trestle tables with polka dot and floral oil cloths, a plethora of cake stands, jars of sweets, punch bowls, candles and all around were scattered the assortment of vintage bottles and jam jars I had sourced throughout the months before. These were filled with either tealight candles or the mix of pretty flowers we bought from our local supermarket!

Inside the house were the main attractions - the chocolate fountain and the cake! Wedding cakes are funny things. Some people spend hundreds of pounds on them, then moan that they didn't taste very nice, or hardly anyone ate any. For a start, I knew for sure I didn't want a traditional cake, and then the only other option seemed to be a cupcake tower - but everyone does this now - as pretty as they are I wanted something else. Luckily flickr came to the rescue again as I came across the doughnut wedding cake!! Here's a link to my one. The stand was cardboard - not the most glamourous material I know - but cheap and recyclable! To pretty it up I covered it with Cath Kidston wrapping paper - alternating between polka dots and florals. Then the toppers - I spent so so long thinking about this - until Haylie suggested the obvious - mice! For those who don't know, in my crafting world I am most know for my sock mice - they have been my most successful creation by far. So it made sense to make my own mice! This time I chose not to use socks - maybe a little too much foot association considering food is involved! So I then used the linen from my wedding dress - oh the dress, I should have mentioned this already!! Will do after this section! Ok - back to the cake! Both the Wayne and Shelley mice were made from linen, and instead of the usual button eyes I used miniature black glass eyes used in toy making. My mouse had a pink chiffon petticoat and a mini pom pom sash, whist Waynes had a grey felt waistcoat, complete with pocket and handkerchief! Then the doughnuts themselves were Krispy Kreme, original glazed and chocolate sprinkled. Although you can get this type of doughnut cheaper in the supermarkets they really don't taste anywhere near as good as Krispy Kreme! I will never forget the gasps of delight everyone made when I lifted off the cover! Brilliant!

Right then - the dress! So, as I mentioned in previous posts the idea of finding a wedding dress filled me with horror! That was until I realised I could have any kind of a dress I liked. I very quickly settled on a 1950's tea dress style, which just HAD to have a colourful petticoat underneath! My friend Sass Tetzlaff was the obvious choice to make this dress for me, she has made more wedding dresses than I've had hot dinners (!) I managed to find a roll of Irish linen on eBay for £20, just what I had wanted, then I came across Annabella Designs who can custom make petticoats in a variety of styles and colours - so I chose a pink and blue tulle petticoat - not too full, as I didn't want to look like a toilet roll holder! After just a few fittings Sass created my dream dress, which was finished off perfectly with a hot pink silk sash, and a teal blue shrug. I then added my own finishing touches with the pom pom and ribbon corsage! A bit bonkers, but fun and colourful!

So - the rest of the day went well. The drink flowed, the music was popular thanks to Wayne's tireless efforts in putting together a diverse mix of old and new songs for each stage of the evening, Haylie and her partner Andy worked so hard (and so discretely) at laying out the food (and cooking some of it too - sorry!), the flowers, the drink and making sure everything was running to schedule! The punch went down well, and even though we had the doughnuts and the extremely popular chocolate fountain even the sweeties in jars were scoffed - our lot certainly do have a sweet tooth!!

After the scrum when the bouquet was thrown, the band had packed up and DJ Wayne was in effect, the heart lantern had been lit (say no more), the evening then whizzed by in a blur of twinkling lights, dancing and laughter - our Perfick Summer Fete Darling Buds of May wedding. What a day!

So here I must thank all of our friends and family who helped us create this day, for the gifts, the crafting, the generosity and kindness, that made everything even more special than I had ever dreamed it would be.


Wedding Planner - Haylie Harrowell - visit website
Photographer - Amanda Jayne Stewart - ajsphotography - visit website
Bouquets + Buttonholes - Girlflower - visit website
Wedding Dress - Sass Tetzlaff - please contact me for details
Petticoat - Annabella Designs - visit folksy page
Morris Minor - Andrew "Charlie" Chaplin - please contact me for details
Chocolate Fountain - Chocoholics Delight - visit website
Band - Greggi G and his Crazy Gang - visit website
Wedding Rings - Charmian Beaton - visit website
Marquee - Four Jays Group - visit website
Letterpress Invitations  - Blush Publishing - visit website

And a special thanks to:-
My amazing sister Zoë for her help, support and thoughtfulness.
My dear friend Jo for her makeup, beauty and crafting skills and all round support.
Our friends Darren, Leza, Steve & Sam for their help with the preparations.
My Mum & Dad and Wayne's Mum & Dad for their generosity and help.
Ann Moon, for the use of her barn door and tractor!
Ron and Glenn for the Straw Bales
Krispy Kreme Bluewater


  1. OH WOW - i will have to read it again and again as its just like how i remember it on the day too-just a specially magical day - thanks for thanks little sis too

    love ya


  2. You looked like you had a great day, lots of memories for you, and the detail you put into the day was mega!

    Vanessa x

  3. Congratulations - love every bit of your big day.

  4. Congratulations! I already saw those magical pictures at flickr but with you telling the story was wonderful! You looked so beautiful and happy, the groom was handsome and all smiled - a perfect day!

    Happy thoughts from Finland!


  5. Oh this is just the coolest wedding, love that shot, you look amazing. Colour - what better way to say LOVE?? Love Posie