Hello you lovely people and welcome back to the blog after a few days off...
It will come as no great shock when I tell you that I love food! Nik and I eat out quite a bit and if you follow me on instagram you will see my feed full of photos of food! So when this submission came into my in box I knew I had to feature it. The couple chose their favourite Indian restaurant as their wedding reception venue based on the quality of the food, which I think is genius! I always say to my brides that the food is one of the most important aspect of the day and guests will always remember a wedding if the food is good. Emily and Jo tried to keep things as simple as possible with their big day and used the Brighton landscape to their advantage, what a great spot for some fab photos, big thanks to Paul Fletcher.
Emily and Joe were married on the 11th April at Brighton Town Hall, with their food reception at The Chilli Pickle and evening celebration at Pub Du Vin. “We both grew up just down the road in Lewes, but our life together has so far been spent in Brighton and we loved the classically Brighton regency architecture of the town hall. The food and drink was the most important element of the day to us (Joe works in food media) and booking The Chilli Pickle, which is our favourite restaurant in Brighton, was a no brainer for us. The space is fantastic and the vibrancy of the decor meant that we had to do very little decorating. The owners – Dawn and Alun Sperring – were the only people we trusted to provide high quality food for the numbers we had and exceeded our expectations in every way – the quality of food and service we received was simply outstanding. I recently changed my career to become a primary school teacher and we were planning the wedding during the very intense final stages of my training and my first year as a teacher. This meant that we needed to keep it very simple, which suited us because we are not into the fuss and detail of some traditional wedding. We were engaged for a year and 4 months before we got married and planned little bits here and there throughout this time. This laid back approach really worked for us and kept stress levels to a minimum.
How they met
We grew up in the same town and were a year apart at school. Though we had some mutual friends our paths never really crossed until our early 20s when Joe began working with my best friend, Lucy – who had no link at all to our shared past. Having grown up in the same place and attended the same schools. It’s lovely to be able to talk about our past and the other person to be familiar with the people and places you are referring to.
Joe proposed alongside a quiet canal in Cannaregio in Venice. He claims I cried, but I’m pretty sure I was quite composed.
How did you allocate your budget?
We were very fortunate that our parents and other family members were extremely generous and helped us out a lot. The most important allocation of the budget for us was food and drink, and everything else would have to fall into place around that. We didn’t need much money to decorate venues so were free to splash out on luxuries, like our very talented photographer Paul Fletcher.
Why did you choose your photographer?
I was browsing through wedding blogs to get inspiration for a Brighton wedding, where I came across some shots from a previous wedding of Paul’s. I loved the documentary style of his photographs and could sense straight away that he was skillful at capturing the essence of the day in a low-key manner. Meeting Paul made me certain that he was the photographer for us. He completely understood what we wanted and was pretty much as excited about the day as we were, which is amazing considering the number of weddings he goes to. The photos speak for themselves in regards to his talent and so many guests commented on his fantastic people skills. I’m not sure how anyone could top Paul Fletcher.
The dress and accessories
My dress was by LouLou Bridal, the shoes were Rachel Simpson and the gloves were Aspinal of London.
The suit and bridesmaids
Joe’s suit was by Patrick Grant and the bridesmaids dresses were made by the lovely and talented Eleanor at Dig for Victory, Brighton.
Not really, it all just fell into place as we went along. In fact, the only things that really matched were the bridesmaid’s dresses. The colours for the dresses needed to work around the daffodils, so I just experimented until I found the right colours.
Various varieties of daffodils and a rather lovely blue/grey thistle, which was chosen by local Brighton florist, Gunns. I believe it is Eryngium planum, but can’t quite remember.
The decoration was minimal because our venues were already so impressive. The tables at The Chilli Pickle were lined with vases of flowers and I made my own table placemats by dying doilies and printing the names on with block stamps from hobby craft. I used blackboards and magnetic letters from my school for the table plan and table names. At Pub du Vin we hung white pom-poms, which took an eternity to assemble, and generous friends supplied some gorgeous jasmine plants for the centre pieces.
The food and wedding cake
An extraordinary amount of fantastic Indian food. The meal started with an array of street snacks served family style including gol gappa (crisp spheres packed with tamarind chutney, chilli, potato and onion), chicken momos (Nepalese dumplings) and sticky vindaloo pork ribs. Main courses consisted of eight curries – standouts included the mutton laal maas and the Persian chicken biryani – and platters piled high with The Chilli Pickle’s brilliant kebabs.
Desserts included nutmeg shrikhand (a sweet dish of strained yoghurt traditionally served at Indian weddings), amazing coconut ice cream and gulab jaman (dumplings soaked in sugar syrup).
The food was accompanied by an eclectic selection of beers chosen by Joe and Alun. The selection included Deus (a delicate Belgium beer served in flutes in place of Champagne), De Koninck (an amber ale from Antwerp) and Redhook Longhammer IPA (a spirited US IPA with a wonderful piney citrus aroma).
We aren’t big cake fans and were reluctant to spend a lot of money on something that might not be eaten after a huge curry. Instead, we asked close friends and family to make simple home-made cakes and had a cake table. This contributed to decor, as the table of cakes looked beautiful.
Just good food and drink, good music and good old fashioned socialising.
Buy or DIY your stationery?
I collected old Brighton photographs for months and turned them into invitations. I enjoyed reading the messages from bygone times and did find it difficult to part with my collection when the time came.
Walking through the Pavilion Gardens to cheers and singing from a large group of students. My
7 year old nephew turned to me and said, “it’s like we’re famous”. I also enjoyed sitting back and watching our guests enjoy the wonderful food and drink supplied by The Chilli Pickle.
Advice to other couples
Start early and do little bits here and there. This will save you on last minute stress. I’ve watched so many people have meltdowns over their wedding, when planning a wedding should be as enjoyable as the actual day. On the day, make sure you give your new husband or wife some time. You can still do the rounds with your guests, but try to do it together – after all, they’ve come to see you as a couple.