Hello lovely readers! How on earth is it April already? It’s always been one of my favourite months – the days get longer, I stupidly start to think that culottes are appropriate spring clothing (they’re not by the way, your ankles will freeze) and there’s lots to look forward to. This April in particular is a real gem for me – two weddings, one an intimate family gathering with a doggy ring-bearer, the other a village church and rustic barn combination; mine and my lovely mum’s birthdays; a weekend in Gothenburg organised by my lovely fiancé and a whole 365 days of being engaged or ‘basically his wife already.’ Charming.
One of the very first features I ever read on Love My Dress, the one that confirmed me as a member for life, was about this absolute beauty of a wedding in Rye, so when I saw that today’s lovely couple had chosen this most gorgeous town as the location for their day, my tummy did a happy little squirm.
“We love vintage and boutique style weddings and we’re big foodies so we knew we wanted lots of delicious food and drinks. I had always wanted to go to The George as the hotel looked so beautiful and boutique. When Al proposed I knew straight away that The George was a venue I wanted to visit and saw from their website that you could also get married in the Town Hall. We loved the character of the Town Hall and knew on our first viewing of both that they were exactly the right places for us.”
Photography by Parkershots
The vintage inspired bride paired her dress with the elegant Elizabeth shoes by Little Book for Brides favourite, Emmy London. In case you didn’t already know, our Little Book for Brides is a fantastic resource for the discerning bride-to-be; a select and curated guide of the very best in the world of weddings.
To add a little more vintage charm, Becki crowned her bridal ensemble with a pearl birdcage veil purchased at Froufrou Bridal Boutique and for the reception, a stunning Art Deco style Emmy London hair comb draped artfully across her curls.
“We met through my best friend, Natasha, who worked with Al. We hit it off straight away and within 6 months had moved in together! After dating for 5 years, in April/May 2014, we went on an amazing trip to Bali where Al proposed during a candle-lit dinner at our hotel, Alila. The hotel had lined the pool and steps with lanterns which took you down to the candle-lit platform where we ate. It was truly magical. We had a 13-month engagement, which was just the right amount of time to plan and prepare, especially as in the April before our wedding I suffered a slipped disc and was bed bound!”
Oh my gosh! It’s incredible to think that in these lovely images, so tenderly captured by Nick from Parkershots, brave Becki was awaiting surgery. Her smile is contagious and she looks simply radiant in that beautifully delicate Ivy & Aster lace gown. Those sleeves!
Becki purchased her divine dress from Froufrou Bridal Boutique and it was the very first one to catch her eye.
“It was the first dress my sister and I saw on the racks and we both loved all the lace but weren’t 100% sure if it was the style I wanted. However, I was open to trying on all different types of dresses as I wasn’t sure what I wanted and the moment I put this dress on, I knew it was the one. My sister, mum and I all fell in love!”
Becki’s soft, glowing make-up was expertly applied by Harriet Rainbow, and these getting ready shots have to be some of my all time favourites. Floral kimonos, check. Bubbles, check. Laughter, check. Adorable flower girls, double check! The finishing touches to Becki’s bridal vision were a second Art Deco flourish in the form of earrings from Fur Coat No Knickers and a spritz of Tom Ford Black Orchard perfume. These luscious Tom Ford scents are such a popular choice with our brides, I may be convinced to cheat on Jo Malone…
“Harriet Rainbow is an absolutely amazing make up artist, so calming and helpful and incredible at what she does. My hair was styled by our dear friend and hairstylist Mus from The Studio. Both Mus and his wife, Natalie, were guests at our wedding and so he arrived early to The George with Nat to do my hair and enjoy a glass of fizz with us! I loved the vintage style curls he created that went so well with my head pieces.”
Becki’s two grown-up bridesmaids also look incredibly elegant in their Twobirds Bridesmaid classic ballgowns, purchased along with Becki’s wedding dress from Froufrou Bridal Boutique. Twobirds are another of the fabulous suppliers listed on our sister site Little Book for Brides and they hold a special place in my heart; my own two besties will be rocking Twobirds’ tulle ballgowns on my wedding day next summer.
I would urge any bride-to-be to pay a visit to their London showroom; I enjoyed the experience as much as shopping for my wedding dress.
I particularly adore the shot of Becki beaming out of the car window and the portrait style images of her little maids with their sugary bunches of feathery astilbe. The gorgeous fresh blooms were supplied by The Flower House Studio and the bride used Pinterest to collate her floral ideas.
“Al’s sister-in-law’s parents drove me to The Town Hall in their beautiful burgundy Jaguar – even though it’s only a short walk from The George, because I had a slipped disc and was due to have surgery the next month we decided the less walking I did the better!”
“I had collected loads of Pinterest pictures of flowers I loved which were all different colours with a vintage feel. I loved the David Austin roses with their tight petals together with waxflowers, delphinium, craspedia and astilbe.”
Rye Town Hall really is a beautiful wedding venue and the images of Becki and Al’s ceremony are so full of joy. Becki’s dad walked her down the aisle to an instrumental version of Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last – you have to check out these lyrics, they’ll melt your heart. I’ll just pretend I didn’t first hear this gorgeous track on one of the Twilight films…
Al cut a very fine figure in his made to measure three piece suit and shirt from A Suit that Fits paired with Paul Smith shoes, Thomas Pink braces & tie pin and bicycle inspired Piere Andrews cufflinks. The best man and father of the bride also wore suits from A Suit that Fits and all three dapper chaps sported ties in Liberty fabric made by Sue Hill.
Sue, based in Tunbridge Wells like so many of the couple’s suppliers, also made the flower girl’s tulle dresses with Liberty print sashes and the page boy’s dickie bow. Those little maids look picture-perfect in their pretty frocks and flower crowns made by Becki and Al’s florist, The Flower House Studio.
“My engagement ring was from G. Collins & Sons in Tunbridge Wells. This is where my parents purchase their jewellery from and where my sister’s engagement and wedding rings are from so it was really special that Al chose my ring from there. Our wedding bands were handmade by Bill Foreman and are both inscribed with our wedding date and ‘A&R’.”
“Al and I decided to ask his two nieces, Olivia and Darcy, to read a short poem during the ceremony. We had scoured the internet for a sweet poem that wasn’t too “mushy” as this just isn’t us! We finally came upon this poem and it felt simple and just right!”
Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow
Pairs of things that go together:
Pigeons with park
Stars with dark
Sand with sea
and you with me.
Hats with heads
Pillows with beds
Sky with blue
and me with you.
I can tell you now that this is going straight onto my secret wedding Pinterest board – such sweet words. Becki and Al’s rings also have a very touching sentiment behind them.
The newlyweds’ favourite part of the day was the ceremony and immediately afterwards; bathing in that just married glow.
“We loved the ceremony (even though I was extremely nervous beforehand as did not cherish the thought of everyone watching me!) but walking through the cobbled streets of Rye having pictures taken by Nick was probably our favourite part. It was such a lovely setting and so peaceful to have some time together away from the party and we even bumped into guests who were attending the evening ceremony. The only thing we would probably have spent a bit more time thinking about were the timings as we didn’t really work out exactly what we wanted to do and so started the meal quite late.”
In their wedding finery, the wedding party and guests walked the short distance through the quaint streets of Rye from the Town Hall to The George in Rye and were greeted by a glorious foodie spread catered by the hotel. It looks like such a glorious party atmosphere! Nick Parker of Parkershots did the most fantastic job of capturing the abundance of love emanating from all angles.
“We’ve had so many great comments about Nick at Parkershots, even before the photos were processed. Everybody said how they didn’t even notice he was there but he managed to capture so many amazing pictures of friends and family. Nick produces amazing photos and we’re now finding it very difficult to pick a selection for our album! Nick’s professionalism, skill and manner on the day were second to none and it was such a pleasure to have him as part of our day. We will cherish his photos forever.”
To pull all of their reception gorgeousness together, Becki and Al had expert help from Sarah at The George in Rye as well as creating plenty of their own handmade goodies.
“We collected tons of jam jars and my mum, best friend and I decorated these with different pastel coloured lace, ribbon and buttons, which we had tea lights in on all the tables. We also bought lots of fairy lights and church candles to scatter around the venue together with lots of flowers. We bought some old polaroid cameras and had these on a table with props for people to take pictures and have some fun!”
The groom’s brother, who owns printing company Longridge Print, kindly created their pastel-toned wedding stationery and the thoughtful couple gave gorgeous Alice in Wonderland style favours to their guests.
“We had different flavour macaroons made by Bicycle Bakery in Tunbridge Wells for all the girls with “eat me” tags on them and Monkey Shoulder whisky for all the boys with “drink me” tags on. The children also had little goody bags with bits and bobs to keep them busy!”
Now I know I’ve gushed over the sweet groom but now it’s Becki’s turn – any girl who loves cake enough to pick FIVE of them is instantly shortlisted to the group of best brides ever.
“I am the biggest cake eater around so this was a really important aspect for me! I knew I wanted a cake table rather than just one main wedding cake and had already roped in a couple of best friends and my mum to make some classic home made cakes for our card and camera table. However, I wanted even more for the main room cake table and Vintage Rose Cupcakes make beautiful vintage style cakes in stunning colours which I thought would go perfectly with the colours in the George’s ballroom.
Alex makes the most delicious, exquisite, vintage looking cakes, which we had tasted at one of the vintage wedding shows. When we mentioned we were marrying at The George she showed us some pictures of a cake table she had created there and I fell in love! We chose 5 cakes with different fillings all decorated in slightly different pastel shades of yellow, orange and pink. The overall look was amazing and one of my favourite things about the wedding!”
Becki and Al chose the band Funkin’ Function to entertain their guests and lead singer Grace serenaded them with a very original, cool first dance track.
“We found it really hard to choose a first dance track as the music we like just isn’t first dance material – R&B, Garage, Rock! After lots of evenings trying to find the right song we finally decided to ask our wedding band if they could re-work a Nirvana song for us to dance to. Nirvana brought us together when we first started dating due to a mutual love of the band and so it seemed appropriate. We danced to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which had been reworked into a jazz style with saxophones and trumpets!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“Read Love my Dress religiously! I had tons of ideas from Love My Dress and got quite addicted to it during the run up to our wedding! My words of wisdom are in fact something I read from another bride on Love My Dress: that it doesn’t matter what happens on the day – if things go wrong you will be the only one that knows as the guests have no idea how it was meant to be, so don’t get hung up on it, just enjoy yourself.
Finally, always applaud whoever does readings at your wedding as it’s a nerve-wracking job and they need to be applauded!”
Oh Becki, you’re a wise one! Our gorgeous team member Katie shared a ‘from the heart’ feature just last month along these very lines (please please read it, thinking about knickergate still makes me laugh but it’s also an incredibly helpful read).
That just leaves me to thank both the fabulous Becki and Al for sharing their beautiful day with us and also Nick at Parkershots for these wonderful images.
For more beautiful weddings in Rye, browse here to your heart’s content. And if you’re considering The George in Rye for your own big day, a romantic weekend away, or, if like me, you fancy going just to eat everything on the menu and then stroll around the darling town, our lovely Tamryn shares her experience of The George and Rye right here.
Have a wonderful Wednesday lovely ones,
Photographer – Parkershots
Venue – Rye Town Hall + The George in Rye
Wedding Dress – Ivy & Aster via Froufrou Bridal Boutique
Veil – Froufrou Bridal Boutique
Shoes – Emmy London
Accessories – Emmy London hair comb + Fur Coat No Knickers earrings
Perfume – Tom Ford Black Orchard
Groom – A Suit that Fits suit + Paul Smith shoes + Thomas Pink braces & tie pin + Piere Andrews cufflinks
Bridesmaids – Twobirds Bridesmaid via Froufrou Bridal Boutique + Misguided shoes + Oliver Bonas earrings and bracelets
Flower girls – Sue Hill
Page boys – Sue Hill bowties
Florist – The Flower House Studio
Cake – Vintage Rose Cupcakes
Entertainment – Funkin’ Function
Rings – G. Collins & Sons
Catering – The George in Rye
Stationery – Longridge Print
Make-up – Harriet Rainbow
Hair Stylist – The Studio