Happy late morning folks! Apologies for the little delay getting our first post life today – trust me though, it was worth the wait. How can it be that we are only a little more than four weeks away from Christmas?! The festive season has really snuck up on me this year – in fact, it feels as if the whole year has gone in flash. And while I really love Christmas, I still haven’t quite come to terms with it not being summer, let alone autumn (despite the lashing wind and rain persistently telling me otherwise!) Luckily for me (and you!) there is lots of lovely summery inspiration in today’s wonderful rustic, wedding. Joe, a civil engineer, married Ruqayya, a graphic designer, on the 4th of June 2015 at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond, Surrey.
“I visited Love My Dress once a day for ideas during the planning process. We were inspired by so many different things, but I would describe our overall theme as rustic with a touch of vintage – we wanted our wedding to have a natural and understated look. I love arts and crafts and the wedding was also a great opportunity to be creative and make my mark.”
After months of searching, Ruqayya spied her perfect gown on none other than Love My Dress. Ruqayya fell in love with her stunning, floor length, floral, Wendy Makin gown after spotting it on another beautiful bride whose Italian wedding we featured a couple of years ago.
“I spotted my dream gown on Love My Dress after searching for floral wedding dresses. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it – I love florals and I liked the idea of wearing something a bit different.”
Ruqayya and Joe’s blooms were supplied and arranged by The Fresh Flower Company, East Dulwich.
“I really wanted to do my own flowers but realised that it would be taking too much on so we hired a florist. For our centrepieces we displayed a few stems of flowers in little vintage blue glass bottles, which we then placed on rounds of wood. We wanted our blooms to look simple and seasonal.”Still White. After many messages back and forth between myself and the seller, I took the plunge, hoped for the best and transferred a lot of money. My gown got stuck in customs and when it eventually arrived, I was teary eyed when I opened the box. Thankfully it fit like a glove – it was like it was meant to be.”
“I had a lot of fun doing a MAC makeup lesson before the wedding and bought myself some really good make up. I found that being in charge of my own makeup on the day ensured that I wasn’t worrying that I would be wearing too much (although I did have a few bad dreams about my makeup going wrong!)”
Ruqayya wore fresh white roses and gypsophila in her elegant up do and accessorised with a diamond pendant and a pair of diamond earrings.
“My maid of honour kindly lent me the diamond earrings her dad bought for her when she was born. I bought the diamond pendant with the help of some birthday money I received from friends. I loved the fact that I had something special to wear that meant something to me.”
“My bridesmaids wore blush pink maxi dresses from Debenhams and fresh flowers in their hair. My maid of honour lives in New York so I bought the dress for her and she tried it on for the first time three days before the wedding!”
Joe looked very dapper in a House of Fraser suit in a lovely rich shade of blue, a cream tie and a Ted Baker waistcoat, which he paired with some stylish brown leather boots from The Natural Shoe Store in Covent Garden.
“Joe and I met at a bar in Clapham in 2009 – Joe tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what my name was. We exchanged numbers and I thought I wouldn’t hear from him again but he texted the next day and we’ve been together ever since!”
“Joe’s ring was made from recycled gold and mine was a vintage half eternity that I tried on about twenty times before deciding it was the one! We chose Lila’s as they sell Fairtrade and recycled gold and liked the fact that they were local too.
We chose vows from the options that the registrars gave us. On the day they got Joe’s wrong and he said different vows to me! I didn’t mind too much as I heard ‘love’, ‘forever’ and ‘best friends’, all of which meant so much to me. “
Our couple opted for two readings; the first an excerpt from Winnie the Pooh, plus ‘This Marriage’, a beautiful poem by 13th century Persian writer Rumi…”
May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.
Ruqayya and Joe commissioned The Campbells to take their wedding photographs…
“Joe knew Neal through some mutual friends and his style of photography was exactly what we were looking for. Neal was amazing – he arrived at our house and was so unobtrusive that it almost felt as if he wasn’t there. He made us feel so comfortable and the whole experience was lovely. I don’t think I’m very photogenic but Neal managed to work some magic and we love our photos.”
Ruqayya created the table cloth centres and runners using hessian and floral fabric and decorated the venue with handmade bunting in the same fabrics.
“For our place names and favours I bought mini terracotta plant pots, planted a succulent in each, painted a label on with blackboard paint and wrote each guest’s name. I also designed the invitations, save the dates, orders of service and menus and made the table numbers from old frames that I repainted.”
“A friend of ours put us in touch with Sophie of Sophie’s Cake Studio. Sophie makes amazing wedding cakes in her spare time and she created the most wonderful cake for us with very realistic sugar craft flowers, complete with two little birds on top.”
“We first heard this song in Australia when we went travelling for a year. We spent a lot of time in crazy house shares and a camper van so the words ‘home is wherever I’m with you’ meant so much to us. It became ‘our song’ from then on.”
“I am terribly shy and don’t like being the centre of attention, but I wanted to do a choreographed first dance to ‘Home’ so we had three dance lessons. At the end of our dance I looked around and saw a room full of people looking at us with so much love. “
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“If you plan to make a lot of things for your wedding then leave enough time do get everything done to perfection (I left the table plan too late and did a rushed job – I would have preferred to have spent more time on that.)
Learn to delegate, especially on the days leading up to the wedding. Take some time with your husband/wife and go for a short walk alone on your wedding day and spend some time together – it’s difficult trying to stay together with so many people to talk to. “
Thanks so much to our handsome couple for taking the time to write about their wedding and to Neal Campbell for sharing these lovely images. If you’d like to see more floral wedding dresses, please do follow this link. If you have been inspired by Ruqayya to take part in a little crafting of your own, why not take a peek at our DIY projects, which cover everything from creating your own floral wreaths and wedding stationery to beauty tutorials?
Wishing you a wonderful (and warm!)rest of your week. Oh, and ‘happy 6 years‘ to Love My Dress!
Photographer – The Campbells
Venue + Catering – Pembroke Lodge, Richmond, Surrey
Wedding Dress – ‘Katelyn’ gown by Wendy Makin purchased second hand from Still White
Headpiece – Fresh flowers
Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Bride’s Scent/perfume – Iris Bleu by L’Occitane
Groom – House of Fraser suit + Ted Baker waistcoat + leather boots from The Natural Shoe Store, Covent Garden
Bridesmaids – Dresses from Debenhams
Florist – The Fresh Flower Company in East Dulwich, London
Cake – Sophie’s Cake Studio
Entertainment – A string quartet + DJ hired via Liquid Strings
Rings – Lilah’s, East Dulwich, London
Stationery – Created by the bride
Hair Stylist – Perry from Blue Tit Hair, Peckham, London
Makeup Artist – Bride applied her own makeup following a MAC lesson