Hello lovelies, the wedding we’re sharing this afternoon is that of Jon and Lauren, both Doctors who tied the knot on 27th June this year, with a ceremony at All Saints Church in the bride’s hometown of Southport, followed by a reception at Rainford Village Hall, St Helens. This is such a sweet and genuine celebration – nothing contrived at all, just a lovely village hall setting, elegant vintage touches and a beautiful Eliza Jane Howell gown. I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I have preparing it.
“We weren’t set on particular types or colours of flowers, we just wanted them to be natural and colourful. Great British Florist had a stand at the North West Wedding fair which is where they caught my eye. The flowers are all British grown and they pick the best looking flowers on the day (you can ask for particular colours etc) but I chose not too and just selected the English cottage garden themed flowers from their website.”
Photography by Rachel Joyce Photography
“It was extremely exciting when the flowers arrived at 9am the day before the wedding and was a lovely surprise (perhaps a little risky but it definitely paid off!). They offer buckets of blooms for you to arrange yourself, which I used for the centrepieces (we arranged them in cut glass vases collected from charity shops). We were absolutely thrilled with the quality and prettiness of the flowers I received, so many guests commented on how much they loved them too!”
“We were extremely happy with our choice of photographer in Rachel Joyce. She understood the relaxed nature of the photographs we wanted and her beautiful shots tell the story of the day perfectly. Rachel and her assistant Christian Thompson were a pleasure to have around at the wedding, they were really lovely and made us and our guests feel comfortable. We couldn’t recommend them more!”
“I loved all Eliza Jane Howell’s dresses, they are all vintage inspired with beautiful detail but not too ‘bridey’. I was determined to get one of them so searched out somewhere that stocked her range in Manchester. Lucille felt particularly elegant and not over the top but had lovely intricate detail. I loved the sleeves especially.”
“The bridesmaids wore dresses from BHS Bridal. These dresses flattered everyone’s figure and all the bridesmaids felt comfortable in them.”
Jon arranged with my family to help kidnap her and go on a mystery day out (that turned out to be three days in Rome and a proposal!) in June 2014 so we were engaged a year before the wedding.”
“We are both Christians so getting married in a church for the ceremony was very important to us. We also exchanged tailored vows to one another as below…”
I promise to make our home and our marriage a safe and secure place where you can be yourself and be honest. I promise to keep on romancing you, making you feel special and surprising you as much as possible with the things you love. I promise to love you with all of my heart forever and never forget how blessed I am that we are married (Extract from Jon’s vows to Lauren)
I promise to love you everyday, to continue to find new ways of showing you that love and to keep on loving you no matter what. Together we make an incredible team, and I am going to give my all to be the best half of this team that I can (Extract from Lauren’s vows to Jon)
“We hired a car from Lea Wedding Cars because we loved the cute vintage Morris Minor, which was our main transport for the day, as well as a retro Mercedes for the bridesmaids. The video option was a lovely bonus.”
“We were keen on having bunting in the village hall to add to the english country feel. Tamaryn’s Treasures provided and set up the Cath Kidston bunting for us within the room.”
“We put traditional games on the tables as entertainment for our guests, young and old. These included tiddlywinks, jacks, pass the pigs, cards and more all from notonthehighstreet.com.”
“Finding a venue that was flexible enough to make our ideas happen, was the hardest part of the planning for us. We visited several hotels which were lovely but didn’t provide us with the flexibility we wanted and saw several tired looking village halls too.
When we walked into Rainford Village Hall, St Helens though (found on a whim after lots of trawling on google!), we knew it was the one! It has lovely character with beams and chandeliers as well as a large bar and patio space. Plus we were able to do pretty much what ever we wanted with the space and for the catering. The village hall staff were so helpful too. We couldn’t have been happier with our choice of venue. We learnt that it’s worth persevering to get what you really want.”
“The idea for our wedding reception started off with the food! We’ve been on lots of afternoon tea dates together (after Lauren convinced Jon about how good tea is!); we decided we wanted to create an afternoon tea experience for our guests which was relaxed and very English.”
“Our favours were test tubes of loose leaf tea and hot chocolate purchased from Custom Favours on Etsy.com. This was inspired by Lauren’s love of tea and both of our scientific backgrounds. We combined them with a little bag containing either a tea strainer or marshmallows.”
“Alice and her catering team at Alice’s Vintage Pantry made our dream of afternoon tea happen! We met to discuss options and she absolutely sold it to us with a sample of incredibly tasty lemon cake! Her package provided all the vintage china as well as tea ladies to serve the tables on the day.
There were tonnes of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, loose leaf tea and an incredible cake table with a massive selection of homemade cakes including chocolate cake topped with ganache and raspberries, and our favourites, red velvet cupcakes. On the day, the tea ladies were so attentive and friendly, creating a lovely atmosphere in the room.”
“We ordered paper roses made from old maps, sheet music and book pages from kc2 designs on etsy.com. These looked lovely scattered in the centre of our tables.”
“Fish and chips was another one of our original ideas that we wanted to incorporate somewhere within our wedding day. Dodsons Fresh Catch provided fresh fish and chips served from the van which was particular hit with our guests!”
“We struggle to pick our favourite part of the day, there are lots of little moments that we will treasure forever. The main highlight for us was having all our family and friends together in the same place. We also loved our first dance, mainly because we thought it was going to be a disaster but it actually wasn’t too bad!
We danced to ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran, performed by Funk Soul Family. We had three hours of dance lessons to prepare for our first dance. This provided 3 hours of laughs for us and definitely made the first dance far less daunting on the day! We would recommend this for any other couples out there who have two left feet like us!”
“Funk Soul Family were a fantastic live band that filled the dance floor all evening, from kids to grandparents. They also performed our first dance live.”
“We really enjoyed planning the wedding together, we got to go on some lovely dates exploring places together, met lovely people and tried good food. However as the day got closer the nerves and worry grew. If I was to do anything again I would not worry about it as much, as it really will all come together on the day! It’s the little things that don’t necessarily go as you planned that make your day all the more unique and special!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“We found choosing a venue for our wedding reception the hardest part of all the planning, at one point we were close to giving in to choosing something more traditional, however we couldn’t be happier that we persevered! We would recommend sticking with your ideas, there are people and places out there who can make them happen.”
What a beautiful day – thank you so much Lauren and Jon for sharing your treasured memories with us.
Readers – are any of you planning on wearing an Eliza Jane Howell gown?
Love Annabel xxx
Photographer – Rachel Joyce Photography
Venue – Rainford Village Hall, St Helens
Dress – Lucille by Eliza Jane Howell
Bride’s Veil + hair accessory – The Brides Room of Birkdale
Bride’s Shoes – Debenhams, No. 1 Jenny Packham
Perfume – Pure Poison by Dior
Grooms Suit – Ted Baker + Mrs Bow Tie + Scrabble piece cufflinks + Loakes shoes
Bridesmaid’s Dresses – BHS
Florist – Great British Florist
Cake – Alices Vintage Pantry
Cars/Transport – Lea Wedding Cars
Entertainment – Funk Soul Family
Rings – Fraser Hart
Catering Company – Alices Vintage Pantry + Dodsons Fresh Catch
Chair + Table Hire – Chairman Hire
Make up artist – Jenny Bird, Tarleton