Good morning all. Just a little reminder that we’re posting just one feature a day this week, as we work very hard behind the scenes on our latest project that we’ll be launching on Monday 2nd June (5 days time – eek!). It will be totally worth the wait and we’re truly grateful for your patience.
Today’s wedding is a lovely Spring time celebration – Ruth, a Radiologist tied the knot with Pete, a Sonographer, on 5th April, 2014 at The Ashes, Endon, Staffordshire. I love that Ruth opted for a coloured wedding dress that matched lots of pretty pale blue touches throughout the rest of her day. Ruth’s dress was created by the very talented designer Jo of The Couture Company and these photographs were taken by my good friend Jonny Draper.
“Our main focus for our wedding day was that we wanted it to be relaxed and informal and for our guests to have fun. We wanted to make Pete’s daughters, who were our bridesmaids, feel part of the day. The girls wore navy dresses that they picked themselves and we chose blue as a colour scheme, which was really easy as all shades of blue blend together.
I wanted to make a lot of the detail myself as I love arts and crafts. In keeping with the barn venue, our wedding evolved to have a nostalgic, ‘English Country Fete’ feel with sausages, bunting and lots of homemade touches.”
Photographer Copyright (c) 2014, Jonny Draper Photography
“Pete and I initially met at work but got to know each other at a friend’s wedding when my cash card wouldn’t work behind the bar and Pete paid for my glass of wine. He had quickly worked out the way to my heart! We got chatting about music and realised we had a lot in common. Pete then set out to woo me with the help of Harv, his ginger cat, and his lovely daughters – Ashleigh and Georgia.
After three years together, I moved to Canada for a year with work whilst Pete stayed at home to support his daughters whilst they took their GSCEs and A-levels. Despite the distance, our relationship went from strength to strength and when I returned we moved in together.”
Two and a half years later, Pete proposed whilst on holiday in Iceland, the day before my birthday, under the Northern Lights. It was five and a half years worth of romance distilled into one incredible moment. One extremely cold but incredible moment!
Our engagement lasted for 17 months which gave me plenty of time to work on all of my DIY projects.”
“We picked The Ashes in Staffordshire as our wedding venue, because it is an absolutely beautiful venue. It has two converted barns full of original features and a gorgeous garden. As soon as we visited we knew it was the right venue for us. The staff are superb, incredibly enthusiastic, helpful and very well organised. The planning in the run-up was impeccable and the day ran like clockwork. We live in Staffordshire so it was handy for our guests too.”
“Early on I decided that that I would like to be able to wear my wedding dress again. It will be the most beautiful dress I ever own so why not? Ivory and cream really don’t suit my skin tone so I was looking for a dress that looked bridal, but not too bridal. I also wanted a dress I could dance and move in.”
I am 6 foot tall so in a long white dress I look a bit like a Greek column! Through internet research I found Jo at The Couture Company in Birmingham, and I didn’t need to look any further. Jo makes beautiful custom wedding dresses in a rainbow of colours. She designed me a 1950’s style dress with ribbon trimmed petticoats, a lace overlay, tiny buttons up the back, a belt with a fabric rose and little cap sleeves.
Jo was a joy to work with and patient with me when I changed my mind over the design after my initial visit.”
“My shoes were by Rainbow Club but I customised them by dying them silver and painstakingly applying 5000 crystals – every single one of them was glued on individually by myself!”
“When I saw the finished dress, it was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was really comfortable to wear, I had room to eat our wedding breakfast and a lot of fizzy wine and still breathe and I was on the dance floor all night. I had a lot of compliments on how unique my dress was and assuming I am ever invited to an event fancy enough to justify it, I will definitely wear it again someday.”
“For our cake we chose Gaynors Cake Creations as she had made the cake for a friends baby’s Christening and it was delicious. We wanted the cake to look like it was made of Wedgewood pottery. Gaynor did a fantastic job. She made us a vegan chocolate layer so our 2 vegan guests could enjoy some cake, and the carnivores loved it too. She was also very happy to let me decorate the cake with homemade felt roses, and even arranged them for me.”
“Both mine and the bridesmaids bouquets, plus the button holes, are made of felt. They were made by the very talented Princess Lasertron who is based in Omaha in the United States. I bought two bouquet kits from her to make the bridesmaid bouquets. The kits contained everything I needed with really clear instructions, and I customised them with buttons bought on our travels around the UK.
I customised my own bouquet by tucking a tiny ‘Dr Who Tardis’ in amongst the flowers as my ‘something blue’. I chose felt bouquets as they are beautiful, sparkly and most importantly, they will last forever. I can re-use my bouquet when we get an Elvis impersonator to renew our vows in Vegas in a few years (if Pete lets me!). Also, Pete’s daughters get to keep their bouquets as a memento of the day.”
“I cannot recommend our Photographers Jonny Draper highly enough. We adored his portfolio and were so pleased that he was free on our wedding day. He works like a photography ninja warrior. Jonny is so unobtrusive you barely notice him, but he is always in the right place at the right time. He captured the story of our wedding day from start to finish and all of the little personal details.”
“My Dad, David ,gave me away. We walked down the aisle to the sound of ‘Hoppipolla’, by Sigur Ros.”
“We found a short vow in the booklet provided by the registrar that perfectly summed up what we wanted to say: ‘I promise that I will love and care for you for the rest of our lives together. I will honour, cherish, comfort and support you with patience, understanding and humour. More than this, I will love you with all of my heart forever’
I, however, am the world’s least patient person so the line about patience led to a lot of giggles from our guests and set the tone for a day filled with laughter. Our weddings included ‘A Marriage’ by Mark Twain, an ‘Apache Wedding Blessing’ and an extract from ‘So long and thanks for all the fish’ by Douglas Adams (Ruth’s favourite author). All three of these readings focus on the hope and new beginnings that a partnership or wedding brings.”
“We both said our vows and married our best friend in front of the people we love most in the world. Nothing beats that.”
“My very clever Mum created the flower arrangements for the venue. She used hyacinths and grape hyacinths that she had grown in her garden, or raided from friend’s gardens, together with foliage gathered from woods and hedgerows. We also had anemones, tulips and roses. We wanted the arrangements to look like we had been out and gathered spring flowers that morning.”
“Our venue decor was as all home-made. I made fabric lovebirds for each table and the owl cake toppers. We named the tables after our favourite places in Canada and used holiday photos in pretty frames as table decorations. We also provided jars of mini eggs, which went down really well! My Mum made 70 metres of bunting which really suited the barn venue (The Ashes even have bunting hooks).”
“In lieu of favours, we made a donation to the Cardiomyopathy Association (my Mum has dilated cardiomyopathy). I also made little clay hearts decorated with birds which I tied to the napkins with ribbons for our guests. A little homage to the local pottery industry.”
“Our wedding DJ, Darren, was awesome. Music is important to us and he played a mixture of 60’s rock, soul, indie and 80’s music. The dance floor was heaving.
Our first dance was to a cover of ‘I can’t help falling in love’ by the band Eels. The Elvis Presley original is a classic with beautiful lyrics and the Eels cover gives it a modern twist. It’s also 2 minutes 4 seconds long which was helpful as we viewed it less as a first dance and more as a first uncomfortable shuffle.“
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“Let your day reflect you and your husband’s personalities. A wedding doesn’t have to be a show, full of pizzazz. It’s about 2 people in love saying ‘I do’ in front of their loved ones. That is what people remember.
Focus on what is important to you. For us it was the venue, the food and drink and the photography. If you are on a budget, you can save on things that aren’t quite as important to you (flowers, stationery etc.). Don’t be afraid to DIY. It’s fun.
Don’t get too stressed on the run up. Take a couple of days off work if you can, get some sleep and spend time relaxing. Most importantly, enjoy every minute of it as it really is the best day of your life.
Finally, I would have bought crystal encrusted shoes rather than make my own – they took 25 hours to do!”
Photographer – Jonny Draper Photography
Venue – The Ashes, Endon, Staffordshire
Brides Dress – The Couture Company
Hair Accessory – Glitzy Secrets
Brides Shoes – Rainbow Club, dyed silver and 5000 crystals glued on by myself
Hair Accessories – Crystal hair clip by Martine Wester
Grooms Suit – Savoy Tailors Guild, with alterations by The Suit Doctor
Bridesmaids Dresses – Fairytales by Sherry + shoes by Paradox (customised by the bride)
Florist – The brides Mum
Felt bouquets and buttonholes – Princess Lasertron
Cake – Gaynors Cake Creations
Cars/Transport – Copeland’s Coach Hire
Acoustic guitarist – Stephen Stanley
Rings – Victoria James Jewellers
Catering Company – Jenkinsons Caterers
Entertainment – DJ Hi-Life Entertainment
Make-up Artist – Gemma Hallowell
Hair Stylist – Natalie Bartram
Photobooth – Retrobooth
Stationery – the bride
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