Good morning folks! April is certainly living up to its showery reputation…My husband and I have just spent the last hour locked outside our house in the rain. After walking home in the sun, it started tipping it down almost as soon as the key snapped in the lock. Thankfully, a little ray of sunshine made the wait for the locksmith worth it when the most incredible double rainbow formed above our heads. If the old adage ‘April showers, bring May flowers’ holds true, we’ll have a bumper crop of blooms next month!
Now to today’s wonderful wedding. Portrait and wedding photographers Jo and James (the creative duo behind Melia Melia Photography) tied the knot on the 26th of June, 2015, at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, West Yorkshire, followed by a garden party reception in a beautiful PapaKata Sperry tent at James’ parents’ house.
“Family is really important to us both and we wanted to keep things as close to home as possible, so we were delighted when James’ parents offered us their home and lovely cottage garden. We were inspired by William Morris’ botanical prints and the colours and ideas our very talented florist, Fiona at Firenza Floral Design, came up with. I just love the natural, foraged foliage she pulled into the arrangements. ”
“My dress was designed by one of our incredibly talented friends: Hayley at Glory Days Vintage. I tried on lots of lovely vintage dresses at Glory Days, but fell in love with one of Hayley’s own designs. I loved the simple champagne coloured skirt and beautiful sixties daisy lace, which Hayley bravely altered while on, cutting it until we’d found a shape which was more organic and felt less structured.”
Jo purchased her ‘Peony Low’ heels from one of our favourite shoe wear designers: Harriet Wilde. We are huge fans of Harriet Wilde’s unique style and exquisite detailing here at Love My Dress. Do take a peek at Harriet Wilde’s listing in our Little Book for Brides, a carefully curated collection of the best wedding suppliers in the business.
“I’m a bit of a shoe lady and I totally fell in LOVE with my Harriet Wilde shoes, covered in laser cut flowers and leaves with a soft ribbon tied across the foot.”
We learnt to shoot weddings together and spent many years watching other people making incredible commitments to one another. As some point, James jokingly suggested that maybe I should be the one to propose, so I did! I figured he could always say no, so I bought him a ring and with tears in both of our eyes, he said yes. We got engaged in April 2014, married in June 2015 and we are expecting our new arrival in April this year!”
“We planned everything in about three months and to be honest it was the best thing we could have done. We could concentrate on exactly what we wanted and not be too crazy about it. Even now I can’t think of anything differently we would have done with foresight!”
“My two little boys (Ashton, nine, and Logan, seven) wore grey linen shorts from Monsoon, paired with grey Vans with alternating white and grey laces. Their favourite part of the outfit was some really crazy looking green foliage waistcoats which I very excited to find on a Dutch website called Scotch & Soda.”
Jo and James’ stunning, wild blooms were arranged by award winning florist, Fiona of Firenza Floral Designs…
“We wanted the flowers to be ‘wandering and wild’ and our friend, Fiona of Firenza, is totally incredible at this! My bouquet had a huge scented garden rose, celosia, olive, honeysuckle, asclepia, eremurus, lisianthus, olive achillea, and cotinus. Our tables were decorated in much the same way, with the addition of fruits, such as physalis, passion fruit and satsumas.”
The couple’s two youngest bridesmaids looked very sweet in dresses created by Jo’s stepmum using green William Morris print fabric, with the eldest three sporting Monsoon dresses in similar tones. Each wore a simple olive circlet and carried a herb posy made up of mint, olive and rosemary.
Jo applied her own makeup and her hair was styled into a wavy half up ‘do by Kizzy at Charisma Bridal Hair.
“As well as being a photographer, I have been a makeup artist for the past five years so it made sense for me to do my own makeup. I asked my very good friend, Kizzy at Charisma Bridal Hair, to style my hair. We’ve worked together for so many years and she truly is magic with hair!”
Our bride’s stunning, bejewelled headpiece was created by Jane at HF couture, and was a gift from a friend. Jo also accessorised with a handmade bracelet and matching earrings, hand crafted by Rebecca at Eclectic – Mix.
“It really made my day to know that my friend had worn this headdress on her special day and I had it with me for mine. It is honestly the most beautiful thing I’d seen, created by the very characterful and talented Jane from HF couture.”
“’Poppit’ has become James’ nickname for me over the years, so I made him a little pocket square with a very rough stitching of ‘P’ in the middle to remind him of me.”
Jo and James’ big day was documented by photographer Joanna Brown. I love the way in which Joanna has captured the emotion behind each of these atmospheric shots…
“Without a doubt, Joanna Brown was the best photographer for us. We LOVE all her film work, she’s talented and funny and made us feel so happy and comfortable on the day – no mean feat when we are so used to photographing other people’s wedding days. Plus, she takes pictures of her own cute little feet on your day as a special ‘I was here!’ gesture.”
“My eldest son, Ashton, walked me down the aisle, with a huge proud grin on his face, while Logan waited, holding onto James’ leg, with the ring box.”
“I walked into the room to ‘Candles’ by Daughter. As soon as I heard the opening line, it made me cry: ‘that boy took me away into the night, out of the hum of the street lights, into the forest’.
We were both so incredibly nervous, that we decided to keep to simple vows and we didn’t have any readings.”
“My engagement ring was from one of my favourite ring shops: Trumpet & Horn. I found Trumpet & Horn on Instagram and instantly fell in love with a beautiful vintage 1800’s Opal Flower ring set in yellow gold. For my band, I had my granddad’s wedding ring resized and James’ band was the one I proposed to him with – a titanium ring with a sandstone texture running through the middle, purchased from Element Jewellery.”
The couple’s wedding breakfast was catered by their favourite local deli: The Larder in Ripponden…
“We have a small deli in our village of Ripponden called The Larder that we may have frequented a little too much in the past few years. The Larder were fantastic at helping us to create a great Yorkshire buffet with artisan pie’s, homemade chutneys, fresh green salad bowls, fish and meat pates with a few side orders of meat and potato pie to keep James’ dad smiling!
We didn’t have a cake, just a great selection of favourite desserts, made by James’ sister in law and family, including chocolate meringues, crème brulee, passion cake, profiteroles and bowls of fresh berries.”
Following the ceremony, the wedding party walked the short distance to James’ parents’ house where they held a reception in a Sperry tent provided by PapaKata…
“We chose to hire PapaKata’s little garden Sperry tent, which we just loved for the light inside (the guys who set it up were awesome too). We wanted the décor to be as organic and natural as possible and asked our florist to fill the space with plenty of foliage and fruit and finished things off with some vintage cigarette cards strung along the back of the tent which were all of English roses.”
The couple’s evening entertainment was provided by DJs Matt and Annabel of It’s a Wind Up. The talented husband and wife duo (take a look at their vintage wedding, on the blog, here!) have over 20,000 78rpm shellac discs in their collection and travel the length and breadth of the country playing music on their original 1930s gramophones.
“Our good friends Matt and Annabel of It’s a Wind Up were kind enough to come along and play their vinyl records to our family and friends and brought along some of their vintage games too.”
“James didn’t really want to do a first dance, much to Jo Brown’s total dismay! In the end, my sister (who was playing the DJ) said ‘I’ve got one for you’ and played David Bowie’s ‘Rebel Rebel’. We danced while family fired some huge confetti canons and it couldn’t have been any more perfect!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom:
“Just try to relax and remember your marriage will continue for years ahead of this one day. Also it’s important to equally enjoy every minute of the normal and the fun parts of your wedding day!”
A huge thank you to Jo and James for sharing the details of their big day and to Joanna Brown for the wonderful images. If you’d like to see more sixties inspired brides, please follow this link. You can find lots of other lovely garden party inspired nuptials here.
Wishing you a great rest of your week!
Photographer – Joanna Brown Photography
Venue – Ceremony at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, followed by a reception at the groom’s parents’ house in a PapaKata Sperry tent.
Wedding Dress – Bespoke gown, created by Hayley at Glory Days Vintage
Headpiece – HF couture
Shoes – ‘Peony Low’ by Harriet Wilde
Accessories – Bracelet + earrings from Eclectic – Mix
Groom – Paul Smith suit + cream braces from Zara + Clarks boots
Bridesmaids – Monsoon dresses
Page Boys – Grey linen shorts from Monsoon + waistcoats from Scotch & Soda + grey Vans
Florist – Fiona at Firenza Floral Design
Entertainment – It’s a Wind Up
Rings – Engagement ring: Trumpet & Horn + groom’s band: Element Jewellery
Catering – The Larder Deli in Ripponden
Stationery – Created by the bride
Hair Stylist – Kizzy at Charisma Bridal Hair