I feel so privileged to have been tasked with writing this feature, lovely readers. It’s the wedding of Katie, one of our gorgeous Lovettes of 2015/16, to her very special fella Jack. I’ve so enjoyed reading all about their wedding planning adventures, which you can check out here and I’ve been dying to hear how the jam jar saga turned out! Take a break over a hot mug of tea as you hear all about their late summer wedding, with the completely divine images taken by one of our favourite photographers, Genevieve from Miss Gen Photography. Enjoy lovelies!
Katie, a Set Design Stylist for QVC, and Jack, a Confectionery Buyer at Harvey Nichols (dream job for those with a sweet tooth?!), tied the knot on 5th September 2015 in London, their home of five years, and went with the stylish combination of mint green and gold as their colour scheme.
“We stumbled across the idea of mint green and gold for the wedding – a colour scheme that was modern and cool yet still ‘weddingy’ enough and we introduced glitter to give it a glam, fun feel. The laid back feel of the venue, 06 St Chads Place in Kings Cross, was exactly what we wanted for our day, and the fact that we could decorate it and the team there would be on hand to help was a big plus for us.”
Photography by Miss Gen Photography
The stunning bride donned a two-piece Charlie Brear number, with a gorgeous silk slip underneath and lace dress on top, from The Secret Dress House in Reigate, Surrey. Be sure to see here for more Charlie Brear elegance that we’ve previously highlighted on this beautiful blog. I just love how Katie describes that she felt like a rock star in her gown – you go girl!
“From the moment I tried on that silk slip I knew it was the one. I’ve always felt a little self conscious of my shape (as I am sure many girls do!) and never considered I would have a dress that was a little more figure hugging.”
“When I described the look and feel I wanted for the wedding to the wonderful team at The Secret Dress House, they recommended Charlie Brear for the classic, yet laid back boho style dresses and also how versatile they can be, as you can mix and match pieces from the collection to ‘build your dress’.”
Shoes via ASOS
“Being a Set Designer, I was naturally pretty adamant that the day would have to look fab! Our venue 06 St Chads Place is hidden away down a little alley-way, so even though you’re in the centre of London it felt very special and secluded.”
Treats via Meringue Girls
her first Lovettes post. She shares her thoughts below about how important it was spending a good chunk of time planning their big day.
“It felt like torture at some points waiting for the months to pass but to be completely honest, eighteen months was the right amount of time for us. It allowed us to really save and work hard for the wedding. Before Jack proposed, we probably weren’t the smartest with our money and planning and saving for the wedding has really taught us a lesson in how to manage our money a lot better.
I really felt during the wedding planning that we both grew up and learnt so many valuable lessons that will stay with us hopefully for the many years we are married. It also gave us enough time for all the DIY bits we had planned for the wedding, mainly the mammoth task of collecting and painting our jam jars!”
“My hair and make up was done by the lovely Lynda Darragh, who is part of the Make Up Junkies team that I know though my work. I knew that anyone who can handle the pressure of doing make up for live TV would do a fabulous job!”
“My mum bought me a bottle of Chanel’s ‘Chance’ – it’s what she wears most days and so it was nice to have a familiar scent of her to calm me on the day. I also wore a necklace that was a gift from my mum from Alex Monroe; it is two love birds and I have worn it every day since the wedding – I can’t take it off! My something borrowed was my grandmother’s engagement ring with her and grandad’s initials engraved with the date he proposed. To have her so close to me on the day felt really special.”
“I put on that slip and for what I think was the first time in a long time I loved the look of my ‘curves’ in this dress. I loved the way it fitted and I felt like a complete rock star – not too over the top but still special enough. Adding the lace on top made the dress feel classic but the modernity of the slip underneath made it the perfect combination.
Jack is always saying how much he loves my shape and ‘proper’ feminine figure, so it felt even more special to wear something on the day that I felt comfortable in and knew Jack would love.”
Katie’s maids looked gorgeous in mint green ASOS gowns, their own shoes in gold, and sprigs of gysophila from the florist.
“We bought some gypsophila that had been sprayed gold from Triangle Nursery, so we took some of this and simply pinned it into their hair.”
Katie chose as her accessories the ‘Katerini’ veil by Kelly Spence, a pair of sparkly ASOS heels (plus white and gold Puma trainers to change into for dancing into the wee hours!), a bespoke belt via Etsy, a pretty necklace from her mum as well as her mum’s scent, and her grandmother’s ring as her ‘something borrowed.’ And the pièce de résistance for the beautiful bride’s ensemble was a pretty dried gypsophila crown.
Sporting a suit and shoes from ASOS, a Burton tie and sparkly Topshop socks, Jack cut a suave and stylish figure, as did his best man and Katie’s ‘Man of Honour’. And the couple were gifted with very groovy leather jackets from some of their wedding party.
“We decided that the best men would wear the same as the groom, along with my ‘Man of Honour’ Jordan. The sparkly socks were chosen as Jack and I loved the idea of guests being flashed by them when the boys were showing off their moves on the dance floor!”
“The ceremony took place at Stoke Newington Town Hall – a beautiful and stunning building. It manages to be both modern and classic and like ‘proper London’, which is something we both wanted for the day as London has been where we have called home for five years now. As the majority of our guests didn’t live in London, we wanted them to feel not only part of our day but like they were experiencing a part of our lives in London.
I was walked down the aisle by my amazing stepdad Michael to ‘Ceremony’ by New Order. It’s always been a song that I’ve been drawn to and those first few notes are so strong and powerful – I felt like a rock star walking down the aisle!”
“We discussed writing our own vows but when we got the ceremony script back, they were so perfect for us we didn’t want to change them. The vows the register sent us spoke about being with your best friend and for us there wasn’t a better way to describe what marriage and love is for us.”
“I asked my granddad to do a reading for us at the ceremony and I think he really stole the show, not only for his amazing tartan trousers (easily the best dressed guest at the wedding!) but also for his wonderful, calming reading entitled ‘Hugs’. All the female guests were quite smitten by him! My granddad chose this reading himself, it’s fairly special to our family as it was one of my grandma’s favourite poems and read out at her funeral and the words are so simple but heartfelt and true.”
“Jack and I always knew we would have to do the wedding on a budget and I knew I wanted something fairly simple for the flowers, so we decided to go for gypsophila for the decor, bouquets and button holes. We ordered a mixture of white and (sprayed) gold gypsophila from Triangle Nursery. They were a great help and recommended exactly how many we would need for all those jars!
The day before the wedding my mum, auntie and I made up the bouquets and button-holes (Mum had had many practice attempts watching YouTube videos leading up to the big day!). It made it all the more special doing it ourselves and helped us save a few pennies allowing us to spend in other areas.”
“I had spotted Sophie and Luna at the Most Curious Wedding Fair and she’d stuck in my mind for her unique dried flower crowns. I got in touch with her and she made me the most gorgeous bespoke gypsophila flower crown with painted gold seeds to tie it in with the colour scheme of the wedding. It really was the finishing touch and what feels more special is the fact that I can keep the crown as a treasure from the day.”
The couple turned to the talents of photographer Miss Gen to document their day in images…
“I am not sure how I originally stumbled across Gen’s website, but I remember being instantly drawn to her. Looking through her website and the couples on there I didn’t know them, but from looking at the pictures of them I instantly got a sense of who they were, their personalities and their wedding day and that was exactly what we wanted from our photos. We wanted to capture moments from the day – and Gen has done exactly that, she’s captured the whole essence of our wedding and it was such a pleasure to have her involved in our day.
Jack and I both aren’t the most comfortable at having our pictures taken and we were both so nervous about this aspect of the day, but Gen totally put us at ease (and even helped us feel more relaxed by planning a pre-wedding shoot for us) and she’s managed to get some fab pictures of us that we both really like, which was a hard task! She even put us together a wonderful slide show of some of the pictures from the day (set to one of our favourite songs ‘Home’ by Edward Sharp) which I have watched a hundred times since the wedding and every time it still makes me cry with happiness!”
“I loved the idea of all our out of town guests getting to go on a proper old school London bus. We made up little bus tickets that were attached on our order of services for the guests to keep as a memory of the day and served up prosecco and popcorn for the journey from the ceremony to the reception. It was a bit of a fun bus!”
I’ll hand you over to Katie to give you all the updates on the incredible decor, including the hundreds of stunning hand-painted jam jars!
“From the moment we started to plan, I knew the decor was super important to me; this was unsurprising given what I do for a living and I did put a lot of pressure on us to make it look amazing. I knew we were on a budget but I still wanted to have that wow impact when our guests entered our reception. Honestly, I initially cared more about the decor than the dress I think!
“My wonderful colleague Jo-anne (who makes many of the food items and cakes you see on air at QVC) made us the giant cake. Neither Jack or I really like fruit cake, so instead we decided to go for three flavours; lemon, coffee and white chocolate and raspberry, all covered in mint icing and gold leaf details – it was pretty impressive!”
“I’d spoken a lot about the labour that went into preparing the jam jars in some of my posts and I have to admit, we never got to the illusive three hundred that we were aiming for, but it didn’t matter as I over-estimated how many we needed and the two hundred and fifty we did manage to collect and paint was more than enough! I know it’s such a silly thing, but I loved those jam jars and I loved speaking to all the people at the wedding who had collected them and seeing them amazed at how we had transformed them.”
“We hired our initial lights from Doris Loves, which we had on the dance floor, and when our DJ started playing music we had them flashing which helped give a disco vibe! We collected the paper lanterns over the months from Ebay and the fabulous metallic gold ones were from The Hanging Lantern Company and helped to add a bit more of a luxe glam feel.”
“For our table names, we decided to up-cycle vinyl records we got in charity shops with images of famous couples for each table (my favourite was Elvis and Priscilla!) and for our menus on the other side.”
“We also used them for our guest book. I didn’t want to have a conventional guest book that ended up sat on a bookshelf and forgotten about, I wanted something we could keep and show off in our house, so we bought some records and frames for them and got people to sign them with a gold pen.
It went down really well with our guests and all four are hung up proud of place in our kitchen, which makes doing the dishes a little more enjoyable when I can read them and chuckle over some of the ‘words of wisdom’ our guests left for us!”
“We bought some mini animals and sprayed them gold to use for our place-names, which the guests could then take away with them. I just wanted a fun and silly reminder for our guests to have of the day and, along with taking their animal, a lot of our guests took some of the jam jar’s home as a souvenir! We also had mint and white paper bags so our guests could take the mini meringues home too.”
“When I walked into the reception venue and saw all of our hard work come together, I had to take a moment to myself. I felt so proud and so blown away at what we had managed to achieve.”
“One thing this wedding has really done for me (more than give me the best day of my life!) is teach me how be more confident in myself, from the build up and speaking to people about the wedding, to how I felt with myself and my figure on the day, and managing to pull off the decor – it’s made me realise I am better than I give myself credit for.”
“Because we had managed to save money in other areas we decided to treat our guests (and ourselves!) to some mini meringues from the Meringue Girls, who Jack has worked with through Harvey Nichols. Their meringue trays are a real eye catcher and our guests loved their unique flavours.”
Katie reflects on her time as a Lovette and her favourite part of her big day.
“Writing my Lovette posts was so therapeutic and will now serve as a reminder of all the build up to the wedding. It was honestly the best day of my life! I felt like an utter rock star and loved every moment of it, but there is one moment that really sticks in my mind. During the reception I took a couple of minutes to go outside for some fresh air (and a break from dancing!) and found myself alone.
I looked through the window into our reception and saw all our guests, family and friends dancing and having a really great time and I realised that I had received exactly what I wanted from our day and what I had wished for in my last Lovettes post – all of our family and friends together, celebrating our love and having a great time doing it.”
A good friend of the couple, Alex Hayes, was their DJ for the evening activities and he played a decade an hour, starting with the 1950’s for some of the older guests and ending with more recent songs for the younger folks, such a genius idea! And their first dance song was a reminder of the time they first met at university.
“Our first dance was to ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness and every time we hear this song it takes us back to being eighteen at university. On a night out in the early days, a very drunk Jack serenaded me with this song, right in the middle of a nightclub dance floor. It was probably the first time all those years ago I realised that he was the one for me, and true to form he sang along to all the words during our first dance.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“If you can, take five minutes to step back and take it all in. And consider footwear! Having a pair of more ‘sensible’ shoes to change into for the evening was such a life saver for me and meant I could dance the night away!”
There’s a reason trainers were invented – for total comfort on the dance floor after spending a day in heels! Sending Katie a huge thankyou for your wonderful Lovette posts and for sharing all the little planning details with our readers in the lead up to your big day. You’re an inspiration and I love that this process has helped you grow more confident. I felt exactly the same way; it’s incredibly empowering! Wishing you and Jack a beautiful life together and if I need some jam jars for a future event, I know who to ask.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Katie and Jack’s special day below and what type of decor you’re planning? Please feel free to comment in the box below – we’d love to hear from you!
Love Jo -x-
Photographer – Miss Gen Photography
Ceremony – Stoke Newington Town Hall
Venue + Catering – 06 St Chads Place, Kings Cross, London
Dress – Charlie Brear via The Secret Dress House + bespoke belt via Etsy
Veil – Kelly Spence
Shoes – ASOS heels + Puma trainers
Hair accessory – Dried flower crown from Sophie and Luna
Jewellery – Alex Monroe necklace + grandmother’s engagement ring
Scent/Perfume – Chanel’s ‘Chance’
Bridesmaid Dresses – ASOS
Bridesmaid Shoes – Own shoes
Bridesmaid’s Hair Accessories – Gypsophila from Triangle Nursery
Groom + Groomsmen – Suit and shoes from ASOS + Burton tie + sparkly Topshop socks
Florist – Triangle Nursery
Rings – Etsy
Cake – Handmade by work colleague Jo-anne + meringues by the Meringue Girls
Stationery – Designed by the bride and groom
Hair + Make-up – Lynda Darragh from Make Up Junkies
Entertainment – DJ Alex Hayes, a friend
Transport – The London Bus Company