This afternoon I am taking you on a beautiful journey to Tuscany for this weeks...
Happy Monday everyone and welcome to another fabulous week on the blog. We have lots of amazing weddings to share with you this week, starting off with this bright and cheerful rainbow wedding in Essex from Nicola Casey. Siobhan and Chris love all things bright, so they knew a rainbow wedding had to be for them. They set about planning a colour filled day and really went to town on the decoration and the flowers, as well as filling the venue with an abundance of rainbow ribbons. With lots of lovely DIY details, this is the perfect way to start off your Monday, have a good one everyone!
Siobhan and Chris were married on the 30th July 2016 in a ceremony at Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Church, Saffron Walden, Essex. The reception was held at Great Chesterford Community Centre in Great Chesterford Essex. ‘We were looking for a venue where we could put our own stamp on things and we had the freedom to hire the suppliers we wanted. Siobhan also grew up in Great Chesterford so we liked the idea of having our wedding there and where lots of our family and friends live close by so we chose the community centre. In the end the venue was such a flexible, adaptable space and Cresta who runs the events was so helpful it made our experience so much easier. We had 95 guests in the day with another 25 in the evening. We got engaged in February 2015 but were buying a flat so we didn’t start properly planning until September 2015.’
How they met
We meet at Brunel University in second year, the cliché is that I fell for the boy next story as we lived in houses next door to each other. It wasn’t smooth sailing at the beginning as we split up after around 10 months together, but we were reunited 18 months later and we had been together for 9 years straight before the wedding.
Chris surprised me with a trip away, firstly we went to Iceland which had always been a dream of mine to visit, being an accountant he found a great deal and after 3 days we flew to New York for another 4 nights. I messed up the proposal location – it was due to be in a fancy bar overlooking NYC but as I forgot to bring my ID we were turned away and had to go straight to the restaurant – Eleven Madison Park – that Chris had booked for afterwards. The restaurant knew about Chris’s plans but luckily were super professional and didn’t ruin the surprise. I collect Russian dolls and have many different sets but he proposed by giving me a Russian doll with each Russian doll having a word on it which together created the sentence ‘Will you marry Me?’ with the engagement ring in the smallest doll!
How did you allocate your budget?
We decided early on that we wanted to spend our budget on great food & drink (a free bar was important) & a live band. We were less bothered about a fancy venue but would rather have a cheaper venue with budget to put our own stamp on it.
Where did you splurge and where/how did you save?
We splurged on our band because we knew from other weddings we had been to that getting a good band can make a real difference to the evening party. We also spent more than we had originally planned on our favours but it was totally worth it. We wanted a nice wedding car but definitely underestimated how much they cost – in the end we just went for it and had a 1953 blue Cadillac. It looked great in the pictures and was a great talking point for the guests. We saved on my dress (rare I know!) and by buying prosecco in various deals in the months leading up to the wedding. We also used the wine society to get delicious great value wine from small producers.
Why did you choose your photographer?
We found our photography Nicola Casey online and really liked her style of her beautiful shots. After meeting the lovely Nicola we clicked with her right away and her relaxed attitude.
I really struggled with the ‘dress’ it was an experience I didn’t enjoy and felt very pressured by the whole thing. I went to a couple of bridal shops but couldn’t find a dress that I felt comfortable in, I found the bridal shop experience quite intimating and difficult to visualise myself in a dress that wasn’t the right size and also the idea of spend thousands on a gown didn’t sit comfortably with me either. In the end my mum & I stumbled into Debenhams on Oxford street and realised they had a bridal suite and there I found a load of dresses that I actually loved and felt comfortable in. In the end I went for a Debenhams own dress, I felt the most like me in the dress. As I had saved so much money, I splashed out on some beautiful gold sparkly shoes from designer Lucy Choi. I really wanted a bright flower crown and I found the amazing Sophie and Luna who modified one if their designs to match our colour scheme.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Chris wanted a bright blue suit with a low cut waistcoat and after looking everywhere he finally found the perfect suit from Noose & Monkey he got his bowtie made by Mrs Bowtie. The bowtie was a nod to our engagement as Chris was wearing a tie made from that Liberty fabric on the night we got engaged.
I wasn’t a fan of the matchy bridesmaid dresses and I really liked the idea of white dresses with bright accessories. Each bridesmaid found their own outfit, the only brief was white & knee length but in the end everyone ended up picking similar outfits from ASOS, Debenhams, Warehouse and House of Fraser. Each bridesmaid had one of the bright colours and had shoes, hair accessories, flowers and nails in their colour.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Our theme was bright colours & ribbons. We both love all things bright so we really went for it. We had a lot of ribbon, ribbon on all the bouquets, on all the chairs, we created a ‘curtain of ribbon for the stage area. Colour was everywhere in our flowers, decs, our bridesmaid accessories and my nails!
We got our flowers from the wonderful Amy Louise in Saffron Walden. Helen the florist there did such an amazing job, I wasn’t bothered by the types of flowers but more having lots of bright colours. My bouquets was such a stunning mix of colour and I loved the ribbons we added to the bouquets we had loads of comments about the flowers. For the tables we sprayed jam jars gold and using flowers from Amy Louise to make simple arrangements for the table.
We really went for it on the decoration front – over the top was key for us! We used wedding creative to drape the hall as it had a very high ceiling and then put up a load of bright big paper lanterns which looked great and at night all lit up. We bought loads of decoration from eBay – lots of paper tassels, pom poms, bunting everywhere. We also found some great giant bright windmills from John Lewis for the outside area. We spent hours tying coloured ribbons to outside areas, the ceiling, making a ribbon curtain and tying ribbon on every chair. We used the brilliant local party box to create a gorgeous rainbow balloon arch and the amazing rainbow heart string giant balloons which feature in our favourite photos.
After going to many of his pop up events over the years we knew that we wanted the super talented Jimmy Garcia from Jimmys Pop Up to do our food. We had so many comments about the canapés’- especially the smoked salmon scotch eggs. Our menu was sharing style, starting with Spanish anti pasti- meats, cheeses, marinated veg & crusty breads, a main of slow roasted shoulder of lamb with salsa verde, asparagus, roasted veg, summer slaw & summer potato salad then dessert was a grown up ice cream factory – ice cream with a selection of sweets, chocolate, brownies and fruit for people to pimp their pud. The talking point amongst guests was that we offered espresso martinis instead of coffee after dinner. Instead of a big evening buffet we had a load of wild boar sausage butties and chips around 10 – perfect when all the booze had hit!
We had our cake made by a wonderful local cafe in Cafe Coucou in Saffron Walden, we opted for a hundreds and thousands covered cake with a rainbow sponge inside. It was delicious!
Our wedding band, The Lowdown were fantastic and sounded awesome, even better than in the online videos. We spent quite a lot of time searching for the right band as we wanted a mix of indie classics as well as some 60s, 70s and modern pop to get everyone dancing. The Lowdown definitely delivered and we chose signed, sealed, delivered as our first dance. During the afternoon we had a selection of summer fete games set up outside. Hook-a-duck, coconut shy, hoopla and more kept the kids and the big kids occupied whilst the photos were happening and into the evening. We also had a tug of war in the afternoon which was so much fun! Team bride vs team groom it was close!
Who supplied the stationery?
We found the very talented Valeria from Cheeky Toons on Etsy who drew us both as Russian dolls to carry on the theme from our engagement. We used this design on our saves the dates, our invites, orders of service & menus. We used Canva design these ourselves and Moo.com for printing.
We had an idea very early on in our wedding planning to have novelty sunglasses as our Wedding favours. This in some way set the vibe of the way we wanted the day to be; fun and not taking it all too seriously. We tried wherever possible to not have as two pairs the same and tried to match the glasses to the guest. In the end we were shipping in wacky shades from the US, but they made for a real talking point and were perfect for selfies.
Team bride vs team groom in the tug of war was so much fun and got everyone involved. The father of the bride speech was fantastic and the fun everyone had with the novelty sunglasses really encapsulated the day.
Advice for Other Couples
Keep some of your budget aside for the last couple of weeks before the big day you will spend all sorts on things you never thought of to include in your budget! Don’t worry about timings on the day it all works out.
How quickly it went! And how many espresso martini’s our friends & family can drink…