Today I am delighted to welcome back regular contributor to the real wedding section Aline...
Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone! I do hope you are having a lovely one. Is it sunny where you are? It is glorious here so I am off to enjoy a day in the sunshine as I have been working all weekend, getting the blog ready for my trip to Ibiza next week. We have anther bunch of amazing weddings for you this week starting off with this gorgeous wedding from John and Soph from John Barwood Photography. It’s a wedding full of DY projects and amazing handmade decoration, from the table plan to the table numbers, the wedding signs to the headband and bouquets, along with the Wedding dress and the bridesmaids dress, which were made by Josephines mum. It’ great to see a wedding with so much Character and personality.
Josephine and Emile were married on 18th October 2014 at Paintworks in Bristol. The venue was a great big blank canvas, and gave us the feeling that we could really make it ‘our own’. We also liked that fact that we could have both the ceremony and the reception there, and so didn’t have to think about the logistics of getting everybody from A to B. We had 90 guests attend. As for the planning and organising – For the big things (for example, finding venue, arranging the ceremony, choosing food, sorting the band, finding photographers), these were arranged probably over the course of a few months at the beginning of the year. We then went away travelling for 5 months and came back one month before getting married, which I spent making things.
How they met
We have been together about 8 years now and met through mutual friends.
The proposal happened at Westonbirt Arboretum, one of my favourite places, in Autumn, my favourite season. We walked around and sat down for a picnic and that’s when Emile asked me. Even though it was not out of the blue, I was still overcome when he gave me the ring. It was such a lovely day.
How did you allocate your budget
Firstly I bought a ‘plan your wedding’ type of book for guidance of what to do and when, which had a useful and thorough Wedding Expenses checklist in it. I then chatted with my mum and my sister about how much my sister had paid for certain things for her wedding, so I had ballpark ideas, and went from there. As I was making a lot of things, and especially as my mum made my wedding dress and my sisters bridesmaid dress (amazing!), I was able to save in those areas and spend a little bit more on other things.
We sorted the big things/the most expensive things/and the things that were most important to us first. I also spent time looking at different sources for a lot of things so I could compare prices and quality.
How did you choose your photographer
We wanted a photographer who was based in Bristol, so I did an internet search for Bristol Wedding Photographers. After looking at a few websites I clicked onto John Barwood Photography and fell in love with the photos there – the style in which they were shot and the stories they told. I stopped searching as soon as I had been on his website.
My mum made my dress, which I designed. She measured me for it before I went travelling, then whilst I was away we would have Skype dates where she would show me a practise dress or chat about the design. When I returned, the first thing she did was make me try on the mock-dress so it could be fitted properly and then she spent the next month making the real thing. It was amazing. She also made my sisters bridesmaid dress which I let my sister design as I wanted a surprise on the day of the wedding.
I wore a flower crown which I made about 3 days before the wedding and absolutely loved – it’s not often you get to wear a flower crown. And, my shoes were gold and glittery, because why not?!
The Suit and Bridesmaids
We got Emiles suit from Austin Reed – it was the first one he tried on and looked perfect so that was nice and easy.
Theme or Colour Scheme
I didn’t have any one set colour, instead I went to B&Q and picked up some paint colour palette samples of colours and tones I liked. There were about 7 in total. Once I had them, they acted as a base to choose other materials or decorations to make sure it didn’t feel too unmatched.
There was no set theme as such, we just wanted it to feel like us. I had a good time making bits and bobs for the wedding day, which I guess represented me, and then the cake very much represented Emile (I chose the theme for it as a surprise for him on the day – it was a circuit board with cascading electrical components instead of flowers. It was also green. Not very traditional!).
I made mine and my bridesmaids bouquet out of fabric and beads. I also made fabric flowers for the tables and the mens buttonholes. In fact we had no real flowers at all.
For the ceremony we had homemade ribbon wands. We made a signpost to go near the bar that pointed to things like food and the dancefloor. Lighting (including Festoon lighting and fairy lights around the pillars) and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, were provided by SXS Event Production Services.
We chose a leek and onion tartlet to start, chump of lamb for main and chocolate brownie for desert, and had some brilliant canapes after the ceremony.
Was quite unique (see description above). Emile didn’t know what I was planning and so it was a surprise for him on the day. The lady who made it was so lovely and did such a fantastic job.
We had a band who did a Mumford and Sons style set first, and then later in the evening did a more rocky kind of set. They also provided music for in between their live performances. They were brilliant and got everyone on the dance-floor by the end of the night.
Buy or DIY your Stationery
I love stationary and was very excited at the start of wedding planning to design and make all of our stationary, including individually written save-the-dates, our wedding invitations (which I sewed fabric onto), our menus, orders of service, place names, table plan, table numbers. I very much enjoyed making it all!
Personal or Handmade Touches
It was quite DIY so I will list all the things I can remember making!
Firstly, as said above, my mum made the dress and the bridesmaid dress.
I made the above stationary, E & J letters wrapped in wool, centre pieces, bouquets, buttonholes, favours, ribbon wands, a ‘here comes the bride’ sign for my nephew……that is it I think!
I was very overcome whilst walking down the aisle and needed to get a grip, but then I remember having this wonderful moment of clarity when me and Emile were saying our vows, when I thought, this is it, this is when we actually get married…and from then I just felt so happy and enjoyed it so much. I also loved the speeches as they were all so well thought out and so personal and touching, and funny – all for different reasons!
Advice to other couples
For planning your big day just try to remember the only thing it is really about is you getting to marry the person you love. That is the most important thing about it. Don’t get bogged down in the details.
Just how it all felt – a whole range of emotions and quite overwhelming at times, but so lovely indeed.