This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
Happy Tuesday everyone and welcome back to the blog, did you have a good bank holiday? Mine was really lovely, four days spent with friends and family, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and feel very rested and revitalised now, I hope you do too! We are back with another cracking wedding for you today, courtesy of my good friend and regular to the blog, Nicola Thompson. Nicola always brings amazing style and a fantastic eye to her photography and today’s wedding is no exception. A fabulous homemade affair, with a beautiful colour scheme of nude and pale blue, set in the most gorgeous of barn venues. A truly wonderful wedding to start the working week off in style.
Laura and Darran were married on the 3rd September 2016 at Kingshill Barn, Elmely Nature Reserve, Sheerness. ‘When we were researching different venues, many of them had restrictions on the amount of guests we could have, the type of food, the time it finished etc and we wanted something a bit more relaxed and have the opportunity to choose every element of the wedding. We loved Elmley and its beautiful surroundings. We could imagine ourselves getting married in front of the amazing window inside the barn and we we loved the fact that we could have the venue for the entire weekend and our guests could glamp on the surrounding area. We go to a lot of festivals and spend a lot of time outdoors, getting married in an urban environment didn’t feel right! We had 100 guests in the day and an extra 40 in the evening, and the wedding took 8 months to plan.’
How they met
We met whilst doing our Saturday jobs at M&S. We were both part of a fashion show in the store one day and then that evening we bumped into each other again on a night out in Croydon! How romantic! We’ve now been together for almost 13 years.
We went to California for two weeks and drove from San Francisco to Las Vegas. It was one of the best holidays we have ever had and little did I know whilst carrying around all our valuables I also had the engagement ring hidden in a shower cap box in my handbag. One night in Santa Barbara we went to go for dinner and had to wait for a table so we went to a pub around the corner to have a drink. Darran had the ring in his pocket but after a few drinks and me getting up to sing Bohemian Rhapsody with a bunch of strangers he decided the moment had passed..! Once we got to Las Vegas we got a helicopter to the Grand Canyon, we landed and he proposed to me there.
How did you allocate your budget?
A lot of our budget went on the venue and the catering. Having a venue where you can pick everything was great but it did mean we had to hire an entire kitchen from the ovens to the crockery, which we hadn’t initially taken into consideration. I had a few wedding spreadsheets from friends that had got married before so it gave us a good indication on what things cost and how we could allocate the budget – be prepared to spend more on things than you had bargained for!
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We splurged on the venue, however it spoke for itself so we didn’t need much decoration, we just added lots of festoon lights around the barn with bundles of flowers in jars on the tables. Luckily we both work in the creative industry, so things like invitations, table plans, wedding favours etc, we designed together. I borrowed a neon bar light from work and made a photo booth area from all different fancy dress that we borrowed from friends and family. The Bo Selecta Craig David mask went down a treat and everyone was walking around with either some glitter or a custom tattoo stuck on them. I made my own wedding cake and asked friends and family to make cakes for a sweet table in the evening too.
Why did you choose your photographer?
Nicola was recommended to us. We loved the emotion and the atmosphere she captured in her photographs and really like her documentary style of photography.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
Darran’s suit was from Charles Tyrwhitt, shoes were Loake, and the shirt was made to measure from M&S (brilliant service) the pocket square he saw on a blog and was shipped over from Australia. The bridesmaid’s dresses were from ASOS.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We just wanted everything to be quite natural looking. I guess there was a little bit of nude and pale blue going on.
The tables had blush bud roses, pale blue delphinium and foliage. My bouquet had white roses, dried blush peonies, rosemary and thalisia bell.
Festoon lights inside and out as well as fairy lights that were already in the venue. We made a sign to direct people to the barn and had a ‘bar’ neon light which came on in the evening.
Turkish breads, Hummus, tzatziki, baba ganoush. sumac chicken, iman byaldi, bulgar wheat salad and fattoush salad followed by meringue with lemon curd and vodka cream.
I made our wedding cake myself. I love baking and felt like I would have been doing a disservice to myself if I didn’t do it. It was a three tiers, chocolate sponge, vanilla bean sponge and one layer lemon and raspberry sponge with a vanilla bean buttercream and fresh flowers as decoration.
We booked a DJ but as a surprise Darran also booked a brass band called the Ol Dirty Brasstards that we had seen at Glastonbury a few years previously.
We designed everything ourselves. Darran is a graphic designer so he put it all together and we got it printed.
All of it! We pretty much did everything ourselves from start to finish. I wrote a poem which one of my bridesmaids read at the wedding ceremony. We couldn’t find any readings we particularly liked and many of them were too much of a cliche so I started writing a few lines and then I made it into a poem. We also wrote a personlised message to go in each fortune cookie for every guest as a wedding favour. Unfortunately a few friends and family got the job of inserting every note into each cookie the day before! We also decided instead of having a hymn for the ceremony we would sing “ You’re Just Too Good to be True” Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons. It really set the tone for the rest of the day and everyone knows that song so half of the wedding party didn’t even need the words.
Special Moments or Highlights
All we ever wanted was for everyone to have a great time and seeing all your friends and family laughing, dancing and enjoying themselves, really was a highlight for us.
Advice for Other Couples
At the beginning, think about what it is you really want from your day before your ideas get distorted by Pinterest! The way our wedding ended up was just how we wanted it to be but towards the end I did start to panic and even thought about making 100 metres of bunting, only to sit myself down and think this is ridiculous!
It had to be the brass band as I had no idea they were going to be there and they were so much fun. I’d also say we were surprised at just how smoothly everything went. It is true what people say, it really is worth all the hard work.
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