Turquoise, Pelican Books and a Short, Sweet Dress ~ A Relaxed September Wedding… was last modified: May 7th, 2014 by Annabel

Morning beautiful people, thank you so much for your patience yesterday whilst I took time out to iron out some viewing compatibility issues with the freshly redesigned 'Love My Dress'.  I felt like the blog required a bit if a spring-clean and freshen up and I'm so, so delighted with how it's looking around here now – huge thanks to my new illustrator Lucy Joy Oldfield! ;)

I'd ike to celebrate the re-design of Love My Dress by featuring this fun and fab wedding sent in by photographer Shell de Mar.  I love Shell's work, which has feautured previously on Love My Dress here, and this is no exception. It captures all the fun and laughter of a relaxed wedding day last September at Walcot Hall in Shropshire, when Love My Dress reader Imogen and Tom tied the knot…

Imogen wore a gorgeous custom-made dress by one of my favourite independent designers,  Joanne Fleming

"I'm a big lover of vintage dresses but have worn too many full-skirted 50s dresses at other occasions so wanted something different to surprise Tom and our guests!

After trying a couple of 1960s wedding dresses on at vintage wedding dress outlets that weren't quite right but seemed to be along the right lines, I decided to get something made. After much hunting online for a wedding dress maker I could afford I stumbled across Joanne Fleming on Love My Dress…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, Shell de Mar

Short wedding dress

"Chloe from Bareblooms was wonderful and comes highly recommended. Walcot Hall is in a lovely part of the Shropshire countryside and we wanted the flowers to look local and natural and not too “arranged”. All the other local florists we looked into had a style that was too fussy and a little overblown for us. By chance I found Bareblooms in the Independent newspaper’s ’50 best florists’ feature and the moment we started chatting I knew we wouldn’t just end up hiring her for our big day but we’d become firm friends.

Our taste is so similar! Chloe grows pretty much all of her flowers too and had only recently started doing weddings so it felt great to be helping her career along. I gave Chloe quite an open brief, just telling her the colours we didn’t like and emailing her pictures of our outfits and the venue itself (and the rough colour scheme of different shades of blue with a splash of warm red shades). She made fantastic mismatched buttonholes for the male party and beautiful bouquets of cornflowers, antirrhiniums, nigella, nepeta, annual grass for myself and the bridesmaids (which helped tie the mismatched dresses together). Even though it was the end of the season (mid September) the flowers looked great. She was also fabulously good value."

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"As soon as I met her and briefly described what I thought I was looking for as well as giving her some cuttings from fashion mags she immediately drew the perfect thing! Jo made a wonderful dress of silk duchesse satin with a tulip shaped skirt (a skirt shape I’m very keen on), a boned bodice and a corded lace overlay. Joanne Fleming made the whole process a lot of fun and was very easy and enthusiastic.

I loved how, despite being ivory and having darling little buttons running down the back, the dress was quite unusual compared to other wedding dresses. It had echoes of the 1950s and 1960s but was also quite contemporary (in fact one of the catwalk dresses I’d fallen in love with was by Erdem and another photo I gave to Jo was of Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin show for Paris Fashion week in March 2011 – all of the dresses had fabulous tulip skirts)…"


"Right from the beginning we wanted our wedding to be fun, laid back and eye-catching whilst reflecting the two of us – our style and our taste for vintage stuff as well as our interests (books, birds, art, well-cut and well-made clothes, the beautiful outdoors, good natural food and good wine, music).

 We didn’t want everything to feel too ‘matchy-matchy’ but found that naturally this sort of old turquoise colour began to emerge as a colour that could run through the wedding – It started with the invite: we collect old pelican books and almost immediately after we got engaged decided to base our wedding invite on the cover of one I’d loved for a long time ‘More Common Wild Flowers’. I’d also seen in an interiors mag pictures of an American florist’s apartment decorated with blue glass Perfect Ball Mason Jars and had grown fairly obsessed with them so ordered some on eBay in the US!.." 


"Suddenly we found that turquoise was emerging as the main colour for the wedding and then we found Walcot Hall with its old turquoise ballroom for wedding receptions – see. I also found a colour swatch of different shades of blue with a splash of white and reds – it was of a series of tiles in an interior mag but it became our rough colour palette. Once we’d settled on having the wedding at Walcot Hall we decided to let the style of the place itself be a huge feature of the wedding rather than over-decorating the venue..."


 "Finally, because we love birds there were also a fair few of them scattered throughout the décor – and during the ceremony we had the doors of the hall open to show the view over the lake and by chance a buzzard was circling overhead. It was very magical!"

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Our birdcage seating plan was from This Is Pretty



"My Stepmum Cathy baked hundreds of brownies for us! Her brownies are a family favourite – totally addictive – so as soon as we started talking about wedding catering we knew we wanted to ask her if she'd indulge us. Luckily she did!

We made the cake toppers ourselves from a kit we bought from Goosegrease on Etsy…"


"We gave each guest an RSPB bird brooch attached to his/her luggage tag place setting.  We’re bird lovers and the cost of the brooches was donated to the charity so we were pleased to have something that looked pretty but helped a good cause.

The fabric used for the place name settings was a Liberty print…"



"We chose the venue because Imogen's Dad and Stepmum live in Shropshire.

We were initially looking to get married in a rustic converted barn but we couldn't find one that was right and when we saw the turquoise ballroom, the converted chapel and the gypsy caravans at Walcot we lost our hearts to the place and quite simply had to book it. A family live there and the outhouses (and some parts of the main building) are all self-catering so as well as being utterly beautiful it feels lived in and has lots of personal touches – hens were running free in front of the house when we arrived to view it and people were picnicking in the orchard. The place has real heart!

On a practical note, Maria and Val who run the weddings at Walcot are brilliant – really friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. They made the whole process a joy…" 


"The chapel in the pictures is where we stayed while at Walcot hall – it’s in the woods surrounded by birds singing and its original features but has been converted into a 2 bed self catering pad. I stayed there the night before the wedding with one of my bridesmaids and had a little drinks reception for some of my friends who had already arrived. Then Tom and I stayed there together for the wedding night and the one after. It was the perfect romantic hideaway.

We’d been planning to go back there (or our other favourite – the dipping shed for our anniversary this year but as it turns out we have our first baby on the way in August so we may have to stay at home!"
























"Tom and I met at Truck music festival in 2006 when two of our friends kept randomly bumping into each other while dancing. We were inseparable fairly instantly!"


"We’re both quite creative – Tom’s an artist and I’m an arts journalist so we knew from the day Tom proposed with his Granny’s diamond ring (under a tree in a secret garden on London’s Hampstead Heath with a delicious picnic prepared) that we wanted to make lots of the elements of our wedding; use skilled local suppliers and craftspeople (ideally supporting people trying to establish their careers); and get some of our talented friends and family to help make aspects of the wedding.

All of that meant that we were surrounded by elements made by people we loved and who had put lots of care into their creations, for example, the wedding invite based on a Pelican book and designed by our friend, the brownies made by Imogen's step-mum, Imogen's hair accessories and the music played by our friends too.."













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Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Try to find a venue that makes your heart skip a beat whenever you think of it. I almost cried with joy when we found Walcot Hall…I couldn’t believe such a grand, eye-catching venue would also have quirky gypsy caravans and an old converted chapel. It was my dream venue and the added bonus was that it had accommodation for over 60 people to stay for the weekend.

Find suppliers you get on with, who ‘get’ you and your tastes and who you can rely on completely on the day. It makes the process much more exciting and less stressful as half of the time they second guess what you want and if they don’t you feel comfortable to explain why you perhaps don’t like their ideas! On the day you’ll have so much on your mind that you don’t want to have to be worrying about whether the food will be ok or the flowers will work…"

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"From the beginning start a wedding thoughts document/book to capture things you both love (in words and images ripped from magazines etc). For us it was a great resource we could keep going back to and somewhere we could paste useful/inspiring links and images

Don’t get too obsessed with everything being perfect. We didn’t end up finishing half of the decorations that we wanted to do and some that we did weren’t as good as I wanted them to be but the wedding was delightful anyway…"


"Someone said to me early on “remember things will go wrong but don’t worry, the most important thing is that you and Tom get married”. That certainly helped when, the day before the wedding, I discovered that I had somehow torn my dress slightly (and had to sew it in a panic!) and when the caterers lost lots of our bottles of prosecco halfway through the drinks reception (luckily they found them)!"


Such a fun and colourful wedding.

"It was really important to Tom and I to find the right photographer to capture our day. I spent ages trawling blogs and when I came across Shella's website, I knew she’d be perfect.

We wanted the pictures to reflect our vintage taste but to not look so stylised that they’d date easily. We also wanted a good mix of reportage and a few posed ones. As soon as we shared a cocktail and a natter with Shella we knew she’d be great. She was incredibly hardworking, good company on the day and v reliable. Her pictures are beautiful – and she’s really captured the colours and emotions of the day…"

I'd love to hear back from some readers about this wedding. Are you going for a short wedding dress like Imogen? What about that goregous turquoise colour scheme?

You can see more wedding photography from Shell de Mar here, and more brides in short wedding dresses here.

Much love everyone,



Photographer – Shell de Mar
Venue – Walcot Hall in Shropshire
Brides dress – Joanne Fleming
Brides Veil & hair accessories – made by our friend – Angela Britton
Brides Shoes – Rachel Simpson Eva shoes from Fur Coat No Knickers + Red hunter wellies!
Brides Accessories – vintage bracelet via Fur Coat No Knickers + vintage earrings {a gift}
Grooms Suit – Bespoke suit + shirt Gresham Blake + Ozwald Boateng tie + swallow cuff links from Tatty Devine
Bridesmaids dresses:-
  *  blue button front dresses from Jigsaw + shoes from Monsoon
  *  very pale blue – vintage from Cow Vintage Clothes in Birmingham
  *  peacock blue – vintage (from a shop in Ludlow, we can’t remember the name!) 
Flowers – Bare Blooms
Catering Company – Roslin Catering from Shrewsbury
Caketopper – Goosegrease on Etsy
Birdcage seating plan – This Is Pretty

Leave a Comment!

24 thoughts on Turquoise, Pelican Books and a Short, Sweet Dress ~ A Relaxed September Wedding…

  1. This is just gorgeous! I am having a short dress, but of fiftie’s swing variety and our accent colour is a deep peacock blue. I am hoping the bridesmaids dresses come out very similar to Imogen’s :o)

  2. Thanks for the that Charlie (The Natural Wedding Company). Imogen and Tom have great style and were a dream to grow and arrange the flowers for. I knew as soon as I spoke to Imogen that we would remain good friends forever. A truly gorgeous, inspirational wedding, helped by a very cute couple!

  3. I just love this wedding! Turquoise is my favourite colour, and how refreshing to see a bride rocking her specs! She looks gorgeous. The lace on that dress is just stunning.
    And I’m loving the new blog look too!

  4. Oh I think this is one of my favourite weddings! I love everything about it. From the bride’s quirky and gorgeous style, to the details (love the pelican book), THAT CHAPEL! and the turquoise walls! Love, love, love – and of course perfectly captured by Shell!

  5. Such a stunning wedding and love the whole look. The venue is amazing and that chapel WOW.
    Imogen you look stunning and I just wanted to say thank you so much for these wise words
    “Find suppliers you get on with, who ‘get’ you and your tastes and who you can rely on completely on the day. It makes the process much more exciting and less stressful as half of the time they second guess what you want and if they don’t you feel comfortable to explain why you perhaps don’t like their ideas!”
    I’m currently having major doubts about a key part of my day and been worrying/ mulling it over for the past couple of days. My head is telling me that I will lose money but my heart is telling me its not right.
    This really sums up what I had been thinking but have been doubting myself so thanks for the nudge. x

  6. What a fabulous wedding…charming, unique, genuine and beautiful.
    What a stylish couple they do make.

  7. How fabulous! Two of my favorite suppliers in the industry, Shell has a fantastic energy and is so much fun to be around, Joanne is one of my ALL TIME fave designers, I just adore her style. Can’t wait to see that wedding! :) xXx

  8. What a fabulous comment Pen, thanks :) I saw this wedding on Facebook but before I could move at super-quick light speed to ask Shel if she’d allow me to feature, she had already contacted me! Great minds think alike. Love love love….

  9. Hi Scarlet,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this feedback. If it means anything, I had doubts about two of my suppliers for my own wedding – and dropped them both. Losing a few ££ deposit was less important than finding suppliers I”m happy to work with.
    My original choice florist was insistent we had roses as our table centre pieces. We didn’t want roses but she wouldn’t listen. In the end I had to lose the £100 deposit and my husband grew all our table centrepieces with his own fair hands!
    My original dress purchase experience was fine until the point I went to collect the dress and received such terrible customer service. I couldn’t look a the dress again with out feeling cross and upset, so sold the dress on ebay {it was a shop sample} and went to another boutique where I experienced customer service that was out of this world.
    I hope you get your concerns ironed out very soon :)

  10. Thanks Annabel, your kind words mean a lot to me. I’m really torn at what to do , its seems so trivial as I no its just a wedding, Maybe I’m just being a bridezilla. I’m also scared if I cancel I won’t find anyone else , but am tempted to try myself….

  11. How wonderful, this wedding really made my heart skip a beat! I love the dress, hair, and the fact she chose to wear glasses even on her wedding day (I wasn’t as brave and went for contacts!).
    As for her comments about suppliers who “get you” – I have to totally agree, I was so lucky to find some exceptional suppliers (wedding dress, catering and reception styling, and flowers especially) who immediately understood what we wanted and made the process really smooth – and everything turned out even better than we could ever imagine. So Scarlet if you have major doubts and think your suppliers don’t “get you” I would think twice and probably go with my gut instinct as Annabel said! Good luck!! xxxx

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