October 10, 2011
When I first started to think of Chic Vintage Brides I must admit to being in equal measures excited and nervous at the thought of sharing my wedding photos – excited that they may inspire future brides (as the images I found on Love My Dress did when I was planning my wedding ), but equally nervous to be sharing such precious, personal and private memories with strangers.
But, putting any nerves to the side, here goes….I hope you enjoy……
Martin and I were married on New Years Eve 2010 – after just 9 months of being engaged! It was everything I imagined it would be and so, so much more. It was emotional, fun, beautiful, full of so much love (it was palpable) and definitely the best day of my life so far.
I was incredibly proud of the day we had planned for our friends, family and most importantly for us – we made sure every element was just how we wanted it (no swaying from family or the pressure to conform) We wanted a small intimate wedding of the closest friends and family, so venue was key for us – with 30 VIPs joining us on our special day we wanted a venue both intimate and impressive, a venue in which we wouldn’t feel lost but would be able to celebrate in.
We chose the stunning East Close Hotel on the edge of the New Forest in Lymington. I still remember with clarity walking into the Gallery Room where the ceremony takes place – so perfect, it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. Until that moment whilst we were planning the wedding I couldn’t visualise it, afterwards everything just fell into place. As much as when a bride tries on THE dress she knows, I believe the same can be said of the venue.
My dress was Petra, by Jenny Packham. I found it in Miss Bush Bridal, in Ripley Surrey – who I can highly recommend, for their beautiful shopping experience and an honest opinion. The moment I put it on I loved it, but it wasn’t until Emma draped an elegant maribou feather bolero around my shoulders and placed a dazzling asymmetric band on my head that I knew it was THE ONE!
My luxurious shrug came from Sasso – delivered wrapped in a beautiful, gold cherub paper lined box, and my pretty, era perfect, practical bag came from John Lewis (of all places?!)
The piece de resistance, the touch that completed my look and the find of the wedding, was the result of a chance meeting. Popping into Abbi Chapel Bridal (near Taunton) on a fleeting visit home, on the off chance they might have the perfect accessory, I got talking to Cheryl the proprietor – I cannot recommend this lady enough for her talent, passion and eye for detail. When I told her about my dress and what I was looking for she offered to make me a bespoke headband based on the beautiful detail in my dress…. the result was even better than I had ever hoped for, it sat perfectly in my loose version of the marcel wave or finger wave (think Keira Kneightly in Atonement), caught the light perfectly especially in the evening and received comments from everyone!
The Boys wore traditional morning suits, a contemporary Prince Edward jacket with pinstripe trousers – chosen impressively by the groom! He had complete free reign (….well almost, I did state no pink) and yet he chose the perfect attire for a vintage wedding.
Our Wedding Ceremony started at 4:00 – timed to perfection for it to start just as it was getting dark. With that in mind I had started getting ready at 12:00 and our photographer arrived at 2:00 but the time just flew by SO quickly, it was hard to achieve everything I wanted to – a few minutes with my budding photographer brother, champagne with my life-savingly organised but nervous Mum, time alone with my emotional Dad, with hindsight I would definitely have liked more time – my advice would be overestimate when scheduling!
I never knew how emotional it would be walking in and seeing my husband to be – I cried all the way down the aisle until I was by his side (and then couldn’t stop smiling) and when I saw the photos I realised it wasn’t just me, there were tissues and tears everywhere!
The ceremony was everything we had hoped for – intimate and personal. We had two readings, each read by one of my new sisters-in-law, and we had our Mums as witnesses.
After the ceremony we celebrated in style with a champagne reception, before the wedding breakfast and disco. We wanted to spend all of our time with our guests so chose not to have the usual formal photos taken, a decision I am incredibly glad we made. Time went so quickly, it was right we spent it with those most important to us – rather than our photographer (sorry Kevin!)
The wedding breakfast was awesome, so romantic and inviting, lit and scented by the amazing Sanctuary candles I found. The speeches were another emotional part of the day captured perfectly by our wonderful Wedding Photographer Kevin Wilson, who did a fantastic job of capturing the whole day – and single handedly. We will be forever grateful to him for working New Years Eve (and for the understanding of his wife!)
Our cake was kindly designed and made by the award winning and very wonderful Jennifer Bronsell at Coast Cakes – a 3 tier masterpiece with each tier a different flavour, simply and beautifully decorated with snow flakes (appropriate for the snowiest December I can remember!) and a vintage style brooch, which caught the light beautifully in the warm candle light (it matched the brooch on my bouquet and both made perfect gifts and momentos for our Mums).
My gorgeous flowers were by the very talented (and patient) Natalie at Flowers By Design in Christchurch (England) – the scent from my bouquet and centre pieces was incredible. The roses were perfect and I chose freesias because they are my Mum’s favourite flowers.
We made our stationery for the day – with designs from Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha we named each of our tables after the seasons. Instead of a table plan we placed a card with the order of service and the table name for each guest on the seats in the ceremony room – these proved particularly useful, doubling up as fans when the hotel overcompensated for the crisp New Years Eve with the heating!
The East Close had an intimate yet sumptuous bar with a perfect size dance floor where we boogied the night away, primed with a mega mix of music provided by our guests (from the invites) and our friend Ian, all loaded on to an iPod. As it was New Years Eve we decided to celebrate in true style with some particularly alcohol fuelled, of the era cocktails, which went down a storm!
The day was perfection, better even than we had ever dreamt it could be….. I wish we could do it every New Year!
I hope you enjoyed these few images.
Brides dress – Miss Bush Bridal (Ripley, UK)
Brides shoes – Paradox London
Brides bolero – Sasso
Brides Bracelet – Vintage Magpie
Brides Earrings – Vintage Headdresses
Grooms suit – Jeff Banks (available at Debenhams and Burtons)
Venue – East Close Hotel (Christchurch, UK)
Photographer – Kevin Wilson
Hair & Makeup – Caroline & Elke at Amazing Face
Flowers – Flowers by Design (Christchurch, UK)
Cake – Coast Cakes (Bournemouth, UK)