// I am meeting 50 people that are getting married to find out about the personal planning journey they are on, it’s a lot of fun!
As well as the 50 Weddings Project Hester is also available for bookings – so if you need help with the planning or design of your wedding then please do not hesitate to contact Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org // 07970 706 534
Wedding No.17 Jo & Christian
Jo and Christian met online 4 years ago. They both tell me the story of when they first saw each other on Greenwich station platform; they knew that they had just seen the love of their lives. They now live in Surrey with their two children and are looking forward to a wedding this August.
The planning began straight away with a party atmosphere being at the forefront of their plans. They both dreamt of an Alice in Wonderland, festival inspired sparkly affair. Sharing the same vision, Christian started planning the evening whilst Jo turned her hand to the ceremony. They imagined a ceremony in a forest, but when practical aspects came in to play they needed to look beyond their initial ideas and think of a new way to interpret their vision.
It was important to them that the venue did not feel corporate; they wanted to discover a gem, find a place that seemed unique to them. Jo found a tiny advert in the back of a magazine for Kimberley Hall in Norfolk, and although the name may conjure an image of extravagance and grandness it is in fact a much-loved family home, it just happens to be very big! When they visited Kimberley Hall they fell in love with the tree lined avenue, wild horses and welcoming atmosphere.
Jo and Christian have a very relaxed and healthy approach to their day. They both know that details may have to change, they might need to adapt new ideas and make compromises along the way, but nothing is more important to them than the happiness of their guests. And they see that their guest experience is their responsibility not that of the venue, caterers, or DJ, but their choice to choose them. Jo and Christian believe that it is the choices that they make at this stage that will create the atmosphere they aspire for.
They are creating an atmosphere and designing moments through a few key planning decisions. Christian has taken on the music challenge and is working closely with a DJ who will be there all day. Christian has broken the day down into segments and each with is sound tracked. A very creative Jo has designed the day’s detail, from the Save the Date Cards to the table centrepiece. Another nod to the importance of each guest will be illustrated when they receive a present that has been chosen especially for them – this is not just a wedding favour but a gift.
They are asking guests to write a message of advice or good wishes that will be posted in locked chest. It was suggested that the chest could be opened in a few years time – or if they felt their marriage ever needed of a reminder of its importance and relevance in theirs and there families lives.
Jo and Christian have taken a lot of time to concentrate on the detail and understand its relevance on the day. They have not minded making comprises ‘because that is what you do for the people you love’. And they have found it fun to design, make and plan for such a fun event…. exhausting but fun.
“I’m looking forward to the end of the night when I walk with my husband along the tree lined path to our cottage”
Ceremony and Party at Kimberly Hall
Wedding Cake by Mellies Makes Cakes
Caterers are Bespoke Caterers
Stationery supplies Brackendale Arts
Wedding No.16 Geoff & Niki
2o May 2012
Geoff proposed to Niki at Glastonbury festival last year. Whilst they sat on a hill watching the sunrise and listening to cheers from the stone circle Niki turned to Geoff and said how perfect it was. His reply, “not quite” and produced an engagement ring.
So it comes with little surprise that they wanted to include some of the delights and spirit of the festival to their day. Originally their wedding would have a ‘Glastonbury’ theme, however such a theme is hard to carry off, it takes dedication throughout the planning process, allowing little room for changes. Niki and Geoff are a very relaxed couple and know that one has to accommodate change, make compromises, and allow it to take the course it wishes, their wedding day is inspired by an idea, not governed by theme.
They began the planning process by looking at venues and visiting wedding fairs. After visiting a local manor house they felt that it wasn’t for them, as it didn’t honour their individuality or their personalities, instead they felt as though they were just ‘another wedding’. They have since chosen to celebrate their Wedding in a marquee just moments from their house, where they know their guests and themselves will feel more relaxed and they can make it their own. The ceremony will be in a small church just a couple of miles from where they live.
They have called upon the expertise and advice from all their friends and family, Geoff’s sister has made the invitations, a mate is the DJ, friends are filming and Niki’s dad is the fountain of local knowledge and advice. They have chosen their suppliers based on personalities and trust, and although this may not sound wise, I think it’s inspiring. Apart from the sterling work of friends and family you are putting a lot of trust in the people that will be helping the day happen, you want to make sure that you trust these companies from the beginning, that you like them as people and respect their work.
As the guests stand on the grass seeing the silk flags flap in the breeze, take their seat at the Stone Circle table and see the wedding cake across the room, their will be no doubt that Glastonbury has inspired their choices. However this wedding is a celebration of two people that love more than just the things we see and do at Glastonbury. Geoff and Niki are celebrating and creating the moments that one may only feel at a Festival. This wedding is about people meeting each other, celebration, twilight and love of moments and atmosphere, for which there will be plenty!
They are both looking forward to that moment just after finish their vows, the moment when all the nerves disappear and a new era begins.
Engagement Ring from Diamonds 365
Ceremony Church of St Aldhelm, Somerset
Wedding Dress is from Solitaire Brides
Geoff’s Suit will be hired from Youngs Formal Hire
Caterers Windsor Catering
Wedding Cake Cherry on the Cake
Photographer Wiltshire Wedding Photographers
Favours are from The Chocolate Society
Evening Entertainment One Eyed Jacks
Wedding No.15 Fiona & Sean
20 may 2012
Sean and Fiona were only together for 4 months when they were sat in the pub and Sean began to ask her to marry him, biting his tongue he decided to wait. He waited just another 2 months and took her to Paris were he proposed by the river seine.
Shying away from the many Manor houses of the Cotswolds, Fiona wished for a city wedding, she felt it was more them, and a reflection of her creative side. She began their planning by looking for unique and interesting hotels in the Gloucester and Cheltenham area. She was lucky to find a converted Cinema, now acting as a restaurant and wedding venue. Thrilled by the discovery she took Sean there for lunch and they both feel in love with its sophistication and vintage atmosphere.
And although they did not have a theme, one could argue that the venue is the theme. The style of the building has offered its self to act as the perfect centrepiece to the day. The old cinema boasts original poster boards on the outside for which Fiona has had some personalised posters made.
Whereas they had tried to source locally they ended up getting their invitations from Portland USA! This was due to the local companies she contacted being uncommunicative. Royal Steamline have been a wonderful company to work with, helpful, creative and nice – what more could you ask for from a supplier?
Dedicated follower of blogs, magazine and twitter, Fiona has been very open and inspired by creative ideas, ‘What to do and what not to do’ and supplier suggestions. She has found twitter fun to use, as it’s been interesting to read what industry figures recommend and the way in which they view things. Facebook group ‘Quirky British Brides’ has offered a space for ranting, questioning and asking questions without worry. Social networking can offer a different dimension to the planning process, allowing you to ask questions, see common themes and connect with Real Brides.
Fiona and Sean have been inspired by a lot but have always tried to remained confident in their owned shared ideas. Fiona is very happy and excited about their choice of photographer. John Day. They had originally booked another but Fiona had her doubts, not by his ability but his style not being right for them. They are confident that John’s photos will compliment them, their ideas and the building.
Fiona’s dress is from Candy Anthony, a designer renowned for beautiful short, and full dresses. They are obviously inspired by vintage but are still unique, not retro reproductions. At first I was worried about how much Fiona was telling me about the dress but I soon learned it didn’t matter as Sean had helped choose it! It was incredibly important to Fiona that Sean really liked the dress and wants him by her side as she chose it. They both loved the experience however it was met by much worry and hostility in the shops (but not candy Anthony!)– But they did not worry, as this is their day, their choices and their wedding.
Engagement Ring David Christopher, Worcester
Weddings Rings from Suay Designs
Ceremony and Party Venue The Daffodil, Cheltenham
Photographer John Day
Florist Bumblebeez, Cheltenham
Invitations Royal Steamline, Portland, USA
Wedding Dress Candy Anthony, Oxo Tower London
Bridesmaid Dress Vivian of Holloway
Wedding No.14 Emily & Bud
17 May 2012
This entry is not about seat covers, colours, or invitations. It is about personalities, honesty and compassion without compromise.
Bud met Emily at her sisters wedding 2 years ago; they danced, dated and a fell in love. In November 2011 Bud woke Emily with a replica ring and proposed before she had even managed to open her eyes. Bud was raised in northwest London and Emily in rural Saddelworth. They are now looking forward to the birth of their first baby and planning for a wedding in April 2013.
Originally Emily didn’t want a ring – she had considered another piece of jewellery. However her mind was changed when they went to an antique jeweller in Battle. Emily felt as though she had underestimated the beauty of diamonds, and the rings place within their history. They were buying an heirloom that added a different kind of value to the future of their family.
Their initial ideas were strong, honest and forthright. If it were not for all their differences, you could be excused for thinking that they were the same… but this is Emily and Bud, individually the same. Both value the same things in life, like respect, others, culture and love. However Bud imagined a large colourful Sudanese wedding with no guest list, an open event. Emily imagined an intimate day in a stark white space in a discreet location. Both ideas stand for the same thing, a love of hosting, friends, family and style.
And although their ideas have since changed they continue to stand for the same thing, this is their day and they will be honest to their shared values and heritage, yet still understand that their choices have an impact on others. But you don’t need to tell this couple that ‘you can have whatever you want’, they know this, and they have always known this. The idea of a ‘wedding venue’ or ‘wedding menu’ means nothing to them. They know that they need to be creative and find what they want. They are planning for a day that celebrates them as a family.
Although there will be no religion aspect to the day, culture will be at the forefront. Emily and Bud both believe in and love creating moments. In Sudanese culture they celebrate the moment that is the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the celebration, this is called the Jirtig. Its will be an explosion of music, dancing, and excitement. They have also decided to get married where Emily was raised, for Emily this represents her culture and is reminiscent of home and significance. She hopes to introduce an element of English culture through the sprit of local community traditions.
Emily and Bud believe that they will be able to stand back on the day and know that each decision was considered. They also know that any compromises they do have to make will not even be relevant on the day – and they are so right!
Emily is looking forward to stolen moments on the day with their baby and Bud.
Wedding dress inspiration from Fur Coat No knickers, Stephanie Allin Couture and second hand wedding dress sites.
Wedding to be held in Saddleworth
Engagement Ring from Friars Antiques, Battle
Wedding Rings will be made by their friends Claude and Aurelie
Wedding Stationery will be designed by Emily (she is a graphic designer…”sort of”)
Honeymoon will hopefully be a few months travelling
Wedding No.13 Katie & Lloyd
10 May 2012
Primary school teacher and musician Lloyd met creative dog care assistant Katie at university 6 years ago. They have recently bought their first flat together and are now looking forward to a summer wedding in August 2013. Lloyd proposed with a ring that has been in Katie’s family for 120 years. It belonged to her grandmother’s best friend, Doreen. To Lloyd and Katie this ring symbolises more than marriage, it is a symbol for new beginnings, family and friendship.
They started planning their day straight away. Katie knew that she wanted to get married near her parents in Kent. And although they are still undecided on the ceremony venue the wedding party will be held in a marquee at her parent’s house. They both love the house and garden, Katie said that it is the perfect venue, think woodland, swings, flowers, horses, and large enough to host a massive party.
Having your wedding at your parent’s house is a wonderful idea and a testament to the importance of family and home in your relationship. However it is important to remember the stress it may potentially put on your parents and land. Katie and Lloyd have made it a priority to ensure that her parents can enjoy the day as much as everyone else by making sure they don’t have lift a finger! This may mean hiring extra staff for longer or having a dedicated team of loyal friends – but it will be worth it just to see mum and dad relaxed.
With Katie’s love of design and craft and Lloyd’s dedication to music this wedding is going to be a celebration of creativity, summer, music and fun. Katie loves looking at wedding blogs, taking inspiration for the stationery and detail from blogs such as; Natural wedding Co., Green Wedding Shoes, Green Union and Boho Wedding – each of these offering advice on creative ways to ensure an eco conscious day without sacrifices. Lloyd is in charge of the music, ensuring each part of the day is sound tracked by a friend and a fiddle or an acoustic crooner.
They dream of a day unique to them, a day that will be a nod and a wink to their love of fun, friends and family. A day with handmade detail, an abundance of flowers, candlelight for dusk and fairy lights for fun.
They have some other plans…but I’ve been sworn to secrecy, however I can guarantee you smiles and giggles all the way.
Engagement Ring is a family heirloom
Wedding Rings will be made from the welsh gold Clogau
Favourite Wedding Magazine Unique Brides
Wedding Party will be held at Katie’s parents house in Kent
Flowers will be a perfect mixture of dads dedicated gardening skills and pick your own from Blooming Green Flowers in Kent.
Wedding Cake by Choccywoccydoodah
Wedding No.12 Kerry & Kenny
29 April 2011
On Christmas Eve 2011 Kenny proposed in front of some penguins at London Zoo. And despite the penguin area being surrounded with Spanish tourists and stinking of fish, he still managed to mumble nervously in great detail about how penguins find their true love and stay with them forever, sharing in life’s responsibilities. He then got down on one knee and proposed.
Kerry did not want to hang around, pondering for months over the colour and shape of a centre piece, she wanted to get married and begin their lives together as Mr and Mrs Oxenford. This meant that planning started straight away. By the second week of January everything was booked for a May wedding. It was important to both of them to find a venue that would be easy for everyone to get to, accommodate a small wedding in the day and big party in the evening.
They will be getting married and having the wedding breakfast and party at the stunning Le Gothique, Wandsworth common, London. The venue ticked all the boxes; in London, all in one, good food, nice wine and great bar. They knew that they could have visited every London venue, tried every taster menu and asked every question but they were happy to find a place that avoided a trawl through London’s wedding locations, raising more questions and possibilities.
They have chosen purple and yellow as a colour scheme, showing its self in the design of the invitations, flowers and wedding detail. Penguins have also made an appearance on occasion, as have monkeys, a subtle nod to Kenny’s nickname…Monkey!
They feel as though some decisions have been made due to the time constraints of a short engagement. However they were not keen to be lead by the bombardment of wedding ideas, ‘must haves’, clichés and detail that are often thrust upon brides by wedding fairs and magazines. They are super excited and looking forward to a day surrounded by their friends dancing and smiling.
It was essential for Kerry and Kenny to stamp their own mark on the wedding, in their style, adding a touch of personality and sensitivity to the day. They will both be wearing their grandparent’s rings as wedding bands, something that has always been important to Kenny and loved by Kerry. Another, slightly less subtle show of personality is the music. For 2 hours the guest will enjoy the ridiculously perfect delights of the Prince Tribute act, Purple Rain. Amazing.
What are you most looking forward to on the day? Kenny: “I can’t say the band, can I?” (Just joking of course!)
Engagement Ring Midas Touch, Brighton
Wedding Ceremony and Party Venue Le Gothique, Wandsworth, London.
Morning Photography Rachel Bass
Day Photography Kari Bellamy
Florist Vanilla Rose and Kerry’s Mum
Kerry’s dress is from a sample sale
Kenny’s suit will be hired from Moss Bross
75 day guests and another 75 in the evening
Wedding No.11 Jonny & Lucy
28th April 2011
Primary school teachers Jonny and Lucy met whilst working at the same London school 4 years ago. They were both raised in Devon, Jonny in mid Devon and Lucy on the stunning south coast. Although they are still in London they are passionate about the outdoors, often escaping the city for long hikes and coastal walks.
Just 3 weeks ago Jonny proposed on their favourite coastal path near her parent’s house. They are now they are planning for a coastal/country wedding in August 2013.
Organising the big day began straight away. Jonny had proposed in the morning and planning started on the journey back to London that afternoon. By the time they reached home that had written the guest list and planned the order of the day! Lucy had always dreamed of getting married in the beautiful costal village where she was raised and therefore they will be married at the village church, then back to her parent’s garden for the wedding breakfast and party. Her parents are thrilled and honored to be hosting the party as they know that she could have chosen anywhere, but to choose home shows a heart warming attachment to her childhood and love for the house and village
Both Jonny and Lucy do not consider themselves very religious, Jonny especially, but this wedding plays tribute to tradition and understands the part that this church has played in her village life. Her mother has worked hard in the community to restore it, its where Lucy would have spent time as a child and it’s an iconic symbol for any small community – this is something they can both believe in.
They want this day to feature aspects of their life that they are passionate about. They are considering ways to combine their love for the coast and the country, so think trees, boats, ferns, ropes and teaching. Sapphire will be the supporting colour, complementing the woodland green, crisp whites, and engagement ring rock! They have fun ideas of how to introduce twists on traditions with fun guest books, place names and cakes.
Together with me, Hester Moore, we will design a wedding that is fun, traditional and incredibly beautiful. Starting with the Save The Date cards, we will look to combine their ideas and inspiration to create an announcement that gives a subtle hint to the day, a suggestion of what the guests can expect…what fun!
Jonny and Lucy can’t wait to get everyone they know in the same room together and see smiling happy faces.
Engagement Ring made by Eric Ross, Hatten Garden
Ceremony at St Peter’s Church, Noss Mayo
Wedding Breakfast and Party will be held at Lucy’s Parents house, Noss Mayo, Devon
Designer Hester Moore – yes that’s me!
Colour / Theme Country Nautical with Sapphire
Wedding No.10 Russell & Laura
9th April 2012
Two months ago Russell and Laura decided to get married. There was no grand proposal, engagement ring or champagne, however Russell describes that evening with such love, honesty and excitement. They live in pretty cottage in a pretty town, expecting their first baby and are getting married this weekend.
They have their own wedding photography business, which means that most weekends they are submersed creatively in the world of someone else’s dream day. It was essential that they too create a dream day for them, and only them. With a love for walking, nature, peace and quiet they have chosen to get married in Kendal, The Lake District, followed by a family meal at the Michelin star restaurant, Holbeck Ghyll Hotel.
Russell and Laura both love weddings; this is what they do, this is their passion, it is an extraordinary day of personal expression and commitment. They recognise that it is a day when you can do what the hell you want; you can get engaged as the sun sets over Paris, you can invite every person you have ever met, you can get married in a castle, but this is not them.
For them a wedding is about intimacy, a moment in their relationship when they stand in front of each other and make a formal commitment. And although they had considered a wedding party of just two they decided they would have just a handful of close family members to celebrate with. They don’t feel as though they are making their vows in front of other people, just each other; there is no show, just a celebration of love and promises.
They will do a lot of their own photography, all of the detail shots, getting ready, the dress, the shoes etc. And they have also booked wedding photographer Steve Barber, he is local to Kendal so knows the areas idyllic secret romantic photo spots. And with a shared profession they have been able to talk endlessly with honesty and passion about specific shots, style and creative inspiration.
Russell and Laura love the experience of planning their wedding day, all of the decisions have been made together and with care. They have done nothing and everything to be true to them.
Wedding Venue Kendal Registry Office
Wedding Breakfast at Holbeck Ghyll Hotel
Honeymoon Cottage in The Lake District
Photographer is Steve Barber
Flowers from Valerieanns Florist
Guests about 8
How Photography www.howphotography.co.uk
Wedding No.9 Vida & James
6th April 2012
Come and play at the party!
Vida and James are looking forward to a wedding extravaganza in the summer of 2013. This maybe a year away, but there is no hesitation here, as just days after they met James had told her that he wanted to marry her.
Vida and James want their guests to enjoy a whole weekend for more than just its title; they want guests to enjoy the experience. This is an event, a creative venture, and a happy spontaneous affair. This couple are inspired by spontaneity, the unleashing of imagination, whenever it comes. Just make sure its fun.
Vida and James understand that in order to have such a relaxed affair people have to work really hard. They do expect a lot from their venue – but then so they should. There has to be a level of trust, it’s your money and it’s an investment, honesty is a must. But they know it goes both ways – they must have clear channels of communication with the venue and suppliers to achieve the vision of carefree.
Music and dancing is a crucial ingredient to this wedding and guests can expect a collection of live music and entertainment. And I just hope that since our meeting they have booked the Devon band Company B, they talked about them with such passion and excitement. And when the band has finished and lights have gone out you can expect live music around a campfire. Guaranteed!
Vida will wear her Nonna’s wedding ring, which is engraved on the inside with her Grandfathers name, and the date they were married, 1939. Vida is getting James’s name and date of their wedding engraved on the outside and James will do the same to his. A new generation creates an heirloom.
Both James and Vida consider themselves extremely creative in everything they turn their minds or hands too. Vida likes very raw art and design, a sketch that offers just the essence of something. This wedding is no different, there will be a strong idea of concept and you will enjoy being a part of the art that they have created.
Question: “Give me a style reference”
Venue will be a big green space in Devon
Engagement Ring is from an antique shop in Honiton, Devon.
Stationery Designer James
Theme Fun playtime
Flowers are being grown by mum
Wedding No.8 Amy & James
6th April 2012
On a beautiful Devon spring day in 2011, James suggested a spontaneous after work walk. They went to Mamhead viewpoint where James got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend of 4 years, Amy. Now they have a future to look forward to as Mr and Mrs Hoy with their baby Ryan leading the way.
They knew it would be a long engagement as they had a baby on the way and a new lifestyle as parents to settle into. Now a year on from the engagement and a year to go they have started to plan their wedding.
They wanted the venue to mirror their love of the Devon countryside. The countryside setting and the entire day being held in one venue were the things that were important for them when looking for the perfect venue was. Amy rediscovered a venue that she had known for years through growing up, The Waie Inn, Zeal Monachorum. They have faith and a high level of trust in the old pub, it’s a local, family run business that has been recommended by friends and worked hard to establish itself as a party destination for many years.
They have engaged the ideas and expertise of a best friend Lorna Sibley for all the wedding stationery and flower design. And as they are not very confident in their own creativity they love that Lorna is involved in the day, offering her creative eye with such enthusiasm and excitement. They are handing over all of the design ideas to her; they trust her to produce something that reflects them and the choices they have already made.
Amy considers the invitations as an important part of the wedding. She has been raised to hand write letters and understands the significance of the personal sentiment attached and recognises that invitations are another way to honour the tradition of the letter, ‘it’s the right thing to do’, I concur.
Amy and James have a certain air of calm around them, they are both very laid back people that just look forward to a day of being surrounded by happy friends and zero stress, I have no doubt that this is what they will have!
Engagement Ring is from Beaverbrooks, Exeter
Wedding Rings are from Smooch http://www.smoochrings.co.uk
Wedding Venue Waie Inn, Zeal Monachorum http://www.waieinn.co.uk
Wedding Dress Te Amo, Plympton
Live Band http://www.thelateshift.co.uk
Designer Lorna Sibley
Wedding No.7 Anne & Jamie
5th April 2012
Anne and Jamie have known each other since school but their destiny was not an accident, it was thanks to the queen.
15 years ago, friends Anne and Jamie went to collect their bags after the last exam, on the last day of school. Not sure if they would see each other again Anne suggested they flip a coin. “Tails we never see each other again, Heads we get married and have children.” When the coin revealed itself as tails she suggested the best of three. Jamie flipped the coin but didn’t look to see their fate; instead he just put it in his pocket.
They didn’t see each other for 11 years. They are now expecting their fist baby and planning a wedding.
Jamie is an architect and they have recently finished converting a village hall close to where Anne grew up. Inspired by timeless design and simple architecture they have enjoyed embracing the essence of the hall and making their home, together, as a team. They are a creative couple that take pleasure in the detail and the personal.
They are currently planning to plan. They understand that a baby is soon to change their lives, flip it upside down and welcome changes. So they are waiting to see what the baby has to offer in the planning process! However they do have a few ideas – lets just hope the baby agrees.
Growing up in Devon, sunsets and natural beauty have inspired their lives. They want to apply the same sense of calm and atmosphere to the day, just maybe not in Devon. Anne has always imagined getting married outside, with no pressure, no cares, and beautiful food – so currently she dreams of a sunset party in the rural setting of Tuscany, Italy, surrounded by people they love sharing the beauty of the day.
But it could all change. This is just the beginning of the wedding planning process, they say that they have changed and grown as a couple so they are aware of the compromises and complications that come with panning a future. However these are two people with the beauty of peace and perseverance; they work hard, stand up for what they believe in, carve a path together and still laugh at each other’s jokes. I think their wedding will be a day of love and honesty – they also have awesome taste in wedding stationery designers (yes me, Hester Moore)
“This is the real thing, this is no show pony” Gary Neville
Engagement Ring is from Clayton Fine Jewellery
Our first thoughts are to have a day of rustic, sunset, outside, celebration
Get the detail right and the rest will follow
Invitation Designer Hester Moore – Yep me again!
Wedding No.6 Nicky & Phil
3 April 2012
“I will be happy to see Nicky happy – all of this is for her. I already have what I want…a Anduril Sword”
Nicky and Phil may have only been together for 2 years but they have known of each other for a lifetime. I am sure this engagement was no surprise to friends, family or even themselves; they had even chosen the ring and venue before the proposal!
Passionate about history, Nicky originally had dreams of getting married somewhere akin to an old country manor, however these often have restrictive prices and limited options. Instead they have chosen a venue that they can treat as a blank canvas and create their own unique atmosphere. In a beautiful Devon setting this venue has rooms to do with as you wish and all with the support of great staff that have been flexible and willing at all times.
This wedding is the Nicky and Phil show; if you are invited then you have a day look forward to. However don’t expect anything that is not true to them and their honest nature, be prepared for a massive Geek Out (their words not mine!)
This is a movie themed wedding; the tables are named after famous trilogies, showered in memorabilia and even Phil’s dad has worked tirelessly on the epic design of a Harry Potter Marauders Map table plan. But the highlight is the cake, well not the cake but the knife to cut the cake; they are getting a replica Anduril Sward from The Lord of the Rings, yes a sword. Legends!
Nicky’s passion for history will shine on the day as the Pengelly men wear a recently designed tartan that celebrates their Celtic ancestry, whilst Phil’s dad has contributed to their history by designing a new coat of arms that combines the two existing shields – a poignant symbol of the two families coming together.
They have both loved the experience of planning the wedding. So many of their friends and family have offered help or are helping. Nothing has been a chore and the only problem has been other peoples thoughts on their day, but Nicky and Phil couldn’t give a damn, this day is for those that want to have fun, party and celebrate. In addition this is a black tie event, so guests need to dress for the Oscars and I would advise brushing up on film trivia!
“We cant wait to see everyone happy and enjoying a great party”
Nicky’s Dress is from EBay
Phil’s suit is from Nicklebys, Exeter
The Wedding Service and Party will be held at Lakeside, Roadlford, Devon
Invitations designed by Hester Moore (yes me!)
Colours Turquoise and Black
Cake Knife Lord of the Rings, Andruil Sword
Wedding No.5 David & Marlene
20 March 2012
After 10 years together they both admit to not fancying each other at first. But this is an office romance that paid off! This June Marlene and David are getting married just outside Manchester at the Lymm Hotel.
They chose the venue as it offered a welcoming atmosphere; they had looked at other venues but were put off by rulebooks and non-responsive staff. Lymm Hotel could offer them a reasonable wedding package, excellent staff, winning reviews and a dedicated wedding coordinator that is there to help with the day-to-day questions that arise when getting married.
Marlene has chosen just two colours as her theme, this will emphasise the beauty of her flowers enhance the table decorations and create a simply soft atmosphere. I would tell you the colours but I have been sworn to secrecy!
I love to hear how your friends and family are getting involved on the big day! This time it’s David’s Auntie who they hope will play photographer (she sounds like a bit of a pro!). I have a top tip to ensure your family/friend photographer enjoys the day like everyone else: Give them a list of what you want snapped, the people, the groups, individuals and moments. They probably wont know everyone so tell them, or get an usher to help. It will help them to structure their day, and know they are doing what you want. And once they have finished they can relax and party!
At times it may seem as though you are restricted by tradition, what the ‘norm is’ and unsure of what is available. Marlene has shown her creative side by making the invitations and now she needs to remember she can continue to do so all the way through to the big day! Marlene would like to introduce some West Indian influences but not sure if she is restricted by the venue – my advise is ask, ask what they can do to make this perfect for you and award winning for them.
They have planned this wedding together, supported each other’s ideas and taken the strain when needed. This day has been along time coming and they are going skip into the next era of her life as Mr and Mrs Wride – happy times!
When you think about your wedding day what do you imagine? Smiles, happiness and people having fun.
When I asked them what are you most looking forward to on the day they both responded at the same time, “Saying I do”
Marlene’s dress is from Pastiche Couture, Manchester
David still needs to get his suit
Guests 50 Day 70 Evening
Civil Ceremony and Party will be held at Lymm Hotel
Photographer David’s Auntie (they hope she’ll say yes!)
Wedding No.4 Ashleigh & mark
19th March 2012
December 2012 will see the dream winter wonderland wedding for teenage sweethearts Ashleigh and Mark. Community Nurse, Ashleigh and Self Employed Builder Mark are currently renovating their new home not far from where they both grew up. Surrounded by friends and family, this wedding is a team effort led by remarkable Ashleigh… and a very supportive Mark!
Ashleigh has left no stone unturned in the planning of her big day; she subscribes to Wedding Ideas Magazine, has sourced immaculate detail and learnt all the money saving tips. Ashleigh aspires to a day of understated elegance, with no fuss, and plenty of friends, family and storybook dreams.
Referring to Christmas as the most romantic time of the year, she feels it will make the perfect backdrop for this ice blue themed snowflake wedding. She has chosen a confident theme, something that offers a wealth of possibilities but requires a lot of imagination – but with Ashleigh’s ‘off the wall’ ideas and Mark’s practical coolness I think they will pull it off a unique detail driven event.
They are getting married at The Monastery, Manchester, and an exceptional venue at the heart of a community. It has been restored back to its glory after years of restoration. It is now owned by a charity and its profits go to local schools and projects. They could not fault the venue in helping them with everything you would expect and everything you wouldn’t. And once the very elegant, but perhaps not understated, venue is booked then it’s all in the detail. Ashleigh has worked so hard to source and perfect each aspect of the day. She has been careful with the budget and saves at any point she can – but never sacrifices.
Ashleigh has every magazine, stationery sample, planning schedule and spreadsheet to hand but she has created something else that I am struggling to put into words. She has created a community around her wedding, she talks about every supplier on first name terms and with respect and warmth, her close friends and family are pitching in, the photographer lives around the corner, her friend is designing the invitations has brought them closer together and her dad is making the music playlist.
I am lucky enough to know some of the details and some secrets about the big day. I wont say what they are – but every time I think of them I smile a little.
I truly believe that this is going to be Ashleigh’s dream day and Mark wont be able to stop looking at her with pride and admiration. I was worried about what she will do once the wedding is over and she won’t have it to plan anymore. But then I thought she can get on with planning their life which I am sure will also be very organised, pretty, ambitious and surrounded by her friends and family.
“When I imagine the day I am standing and looking, just looking, taking it all in”
Ashleigh’s Dress is from Eternity Brides in Warrington
Mark’s Suit will be a traditional Prince Edward
The Service and Wedding Party will be held at The Monastery, Gorton, Manchester
Engagement Ring is from H Samuel– and will be reset with Grandmother’s ring
Photographer is Mark Gibbons
Wedding Stationery Design Ashleigh’s friend Sally
Wedding No.3 Adam & Milly
16 March 2012
Adam and Milly met in 2007 whilst studying design. They are renovating their first home in Birmingham whilst running a web programming business. This July they are getting married in a field, in a village, with camping for guest accommodation.
Emily was nice enough to admit that she has been collecting ideas and making plans in her wedding file for years! Emily loves making, sewing, cutting, knitting and gluing. She is always collecting ideas for homemade craft projects and this wedding is proving to be the obvious outlet. They have both been keen to do everything they can for their big day; they are more than capable, creative and resourceful to make everything they need. And when they can’t do it, it seems her mum knows someone that can!
Emily said the theme was no theme – But there clearly is! This is a village fete wedding; think bunting, trestle tables, coconut shies and cake making competitions. This really is a home made affair, her best friend is making the dress, the photographer is a friends hubby, the field belongs to her mum’s friend, and seeds have just been planted for the flowers.
Not surprisingly Emily designed their wedding invitations. She wanted to use origami and the hopes of proving there was no theme or colour scheme she tried to use a variety of styles and colours. It all came together in a very pretty interactive paper folding invite. They have also set up a website for further information, gift list, and music choices. I am sure there will be lots of extra homemade touches throughout the day – how could she resist.
They want this to be a laid back day – but they are discovering that it takes a lot of work to achieve such a thrown together look! Communication is the secret here – be clear about what it is you want, if you are not making it yourself then show others how you want it, they wont mind.
Adam has been very happy to take the back seat when its come to planning the wedding and Emily has loved every second of it. It would be just wrong to take a single moment away from her!
“On the day I am most looking forward to walking down the aisle and seeing Adam turn to see me in my dress”
Emily’s Dress is being made by her friend Emma
Adam has a suit
Engagement Ring from Drip Gold, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
Photographer Paul Cannon
Ceremony and Party will be held in a field in Gloucester
Wedding No.2 Lou & Dean
13th March 2012
Lou and Dean have been together since 2006 and in just 10 weeks they will be married at one of the exclusive Bijou wedding venues, Botleys Mansion. Lou and Dean live in Staines and both work In PR.
There are no mood boards, wedding books, themes or even colours. Their wedding is lead by their own personal style. Lou is the creative organiser in this partnership and although Dean might not consider himself creative, he is design minded – their home is full of collectables, prints and beautiful books. This is a couple that are confident in their style choices.
Planning has been a slow process, but with a two-year engagement they gave themselves the time and freedom to save, plan and procrastinate. Lou began planning by doing what many do – she bought a wedding magazine, she still loves looking at the dresses and reading about real brides. She also looked at blogs for inspiration, and researched local sites and venues. They chose Botleys Mansion soon after seeing it; the sweeping drive and striking setting and confident staff made it the right choice. They will have the venue exclusively and this was a very important factor for them.
Hester Moore designed their wedding invitations, and yes that is me! As Dean is a DJ and Lou worked in Music PR we joked about designing a poster/flyer for the invitations. But when you consider the posters created by the modernists (Dean is a big fan) you then think straight lines, complementary colours and proportioned angles – it didn’t seem like such a bad idea after all. Lou and Dean enjoyed working with their designer (yes me) because they knew that I could understand their direction and style. The invitations were an important factor for them, PR is about perception and they wanted the first glimpse of their day to be met with feelings of style, excitement and anticipation.
This wedding is not about flower arrangements or table settings; it’s about the moment of marriage. Lou and Dean want to share their moment with their closest friends and dearest family.
“I am most looking forward to getting married”
Lou’s Dress is by Ian Stuart
Deans Suit currently looking at Paul Smith and RAF Simons collections
Engagement Ring Alexander Craig, Hatton Garden.
Photographer Russell How
Ceremony and Party will be held at Botleys mansion, Chertsey
Invitations by Hester Moore
Favours Homemade Jarred Delights
Cake by Lou’s Mum (I got to try a slice of trial cake – AMAZING)
Wedding No.1 Rach & Si
Interview with Rach / 9 March 2012
This is Rach; on 9th June 2012 she will be marrying her boyfriend of 10 years, Si. Si is a Digital Project Manager and Rach a Photographer and Animal Carer; they live in South East London. Both are design minded, with an eye for iconic design and well-made objects.
Rach had no ideas, dreams or thoughts on her wedding day before Si proposed. A wedding had never been on the list of things to do and the engagement came as a complete surprise. Although she had zero expectations, Rach never imagined planning a wedding would be such a personal journey, one with only love and friendship at its core.
The wedding will be held in Tuscany, Italy and to help them with the logistics and language they employed an Italian wedding planner that is proving to be a big help and relief. She has helped find venues, organise caterers, decor and all legal detail. Rach is confident that their dream day will come together with help of a planner; the key has been constant communication with images, ideas and feedback.
Every aspect of this wedding has been beautifully considered and all with certain air of calm. There are no frills, meaningless additions, or compromises. On a few occasions they have stepped back from the whirlwind that is wedding planning and made sure that every detail is true to them and their own ideas. On a small budget it becomes even more essential that you understand the reason for each choice you make. Rach and Si have had to make big and small decisions in regards to location, number of guests, and the handmade detail, all of which have an effect on relationships and time. The personal consideration shines through and I’m sure is a perfect ingredient for a perfect day.
“When I imagine our wedding day I am standing on the steps of the villa looking at all our friends and family getting to know each other”
Rach’s Dress is by Johanna Heir, Marylebone, London
Si’s suit is Paul Smith
Engagement ring by At Work, Brick Lane, London
Ceremony will be held at Lucignano Town Hall, Tuscany
Wedding Breakfast and Party will be held at Villa Fontalunga, Tuscany
Invitations were designed and made by Rach
Colours Coral, grey and yellow
Theme Rustic, Vintage, stripped back. Think Jam Jars, blankets and lanterns