Have you ever been to a street party, where your local street is closed off and filled with long communal tables, loads of bunting, and all the cake you can eat and tea you can drink? I was lucky enough to partake in one during my UK life and gosh, it was a ton of such jolly fun! The quintessential British street party is the theme of today’s wedding and as these delightful images by Ragdoll Photography confirm, it’s full to the brim with gorgeous vintage decor that I’m sure will inspire.
Mr and Mrs Lewis, Matt and Rebecca, married on the 14th of July 2016 at Windsor Guildhall, followed by a wedding breakfast at Cote, then retreated to Bradley Village Hall for their personalised party. Rebecca’s stunning Charlie Brear dress and overcoat were purchased from Cicily Bridal, who specialise in beautiful vintage-looking attire. Have you thought about adding extra pieces to a gown, just as Rebecca did?
“The lovely ladies showed me a lacy strapless dress and my first thought was ‘no way’, as strapless was something I didn’t want. After trying it on and finding it suited my figure, I was then given an overcoat to try on with it and it changed the look completely.”
“We chose Windsor because sadly Matt’s mum passed away a few years before we met, so we thought it would be a nice personal touch to tie the knot in the town where she was raised and worked. We then we had a party back in Staffordshire at Bradley Village Hall, as we wanted something inexpensive that we could completely personalise. We both love tea and cake, and as we chose Windsor as our ceremony venue, we came up with the idea of a Jubilee-style street party wedding. We imagined bunting, music, tea, cake and vintage – it was all very British.”
Firefighter Matt and Rebecca, who is a nurse, met during a joint exercise and I just adore their sweet story, as told by Matt.
“Rebecca was training with the local first responders and I was in the fire service but on light duties due to needing an operation. The exercise was a car collision and I was chosen to act as the casualty. Rebecca ended up as my trauma care nurse. She was taking my heart rate and it went off the scale … so the rest was history!”
The beautiful bride adorned a pretty flower-filled circlet made by Sarah Plant Floral Design to match the theme and the most fabulous choice of shoes, which the bridesmaids wore too.
“My shoes were Irregular Choice shoes in blue floral fabric with pearls on the top. I chose blue for something old, new, borrowed, and because the bridesmaids dresses were a lovely Wedgewood blue colour, we all had the same shoes.”
The two maids were chic in their gorgeous baby-blue lace dresses from ASOS, real flower slides to match the bride’s full head circlet, and simple pearly bracelets to match the pearls on their shoes.
“Our nephew’s suit was rented from Peter Posh and matched the father of the bride and the usher and his floral bow tie, from bowtieandcotton via Etsy, was predominantly pink so he matched the flower girls.”
“His bowtie was in the same pattern as the groomsmen, however their flowers were predominantly blue to match the bridesmaids.”
Matthew’s suit was via Topman and a powder-blue skinny fitting suit with a herringbone waist coat. He added brown brogue shoes, a blue bow tie and blue braces – and as Matt explains, a very heartfelt touch.
“The boutonniere had a small picture of my mum in them, as I lost her 11 years ago.”
Rebecca was accompanied by her dad down the aisle to Frankie Vallie’s ‘Take Good Care Of My Baby’.
The couple’s readings were ‘The owl and the pussycat’, ‘Better Together’ by Jack Johnson and a classic by Albert Einstein:
“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biologicajl phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”
“Our rings were from Krypton Jewellers in the Birmingham jewellery quarter. Pete the owner is another friend of the family and I was able to design my own ring exactly how I imagined it.”
The flower girls donned full head circlets of gypsophila and their sweet little sparkly dresses were from Monsoon. And the couple’s completely adorable 4-year-old nephew was their best man.
“Rosie Hunt from Ragdoll Photography was our amazing photographer who gave us such a personal touch.”
“She spent time with us, really captured the essence and is also one of the nicest people you could possibly meet. The photos looked so natural.”
To finish off her most stylish ensemble, Rebecca added jewellery by Marie Canning and the Dark Amber and Ginger Lily scent by Jo Malone, plus Wild Bluebell body lotion to create a personalised fragrance. Hair and makeup was by a friend of the bride, Shelbie Allport.
“We also had a vintage ice-cream truck Dotty About Icecream; a beautiful pink and cream spotty vintage truck beautifully decorated with shabby chic decor.”
“And our bar was provided by our friend Mick who runs the The Boat Inn in Penkridge – he is a mixologist and provided our guests with his own twist on cake-flavoured cocktails.”
“For the flowers we went with an independent florist by the name of Sarah Plant Floral Design, who lives very local to our Bradley venue. She is a friend of the family but also we wanted to support local independent businesses as much as we could.”
“Due to the style of wedding we had (in a village hall) I was worried that you couldn’t make it look as nice as lovely barns and stately homes, so I spent hours searching on Pinterest and blogs for ideas of how to make an old village hall look pretty. We used a company called A Little Bit of Blighty who provided props and decorated the village hall beautifully and worked closely with me to create the image I was looking for.”
“The night before the wedding we had our nearest and dearest help us put out the bits and bobs I had previously handmade, hang pompoms, putting the flowers in the painted maison jars. I think we nailed it.”
“Our cake was supplied by a company called Tea Vintage, and although not local to us (they are Oxford-based), we had made acquaintances with lovely Marie at ‘Car Fest’ presented by Chris Evans to raise money for Children In Need. Marie, also known as ‘Momma tea’, had a pop-up tearoom there and her scones were to die for. Marie and all her staff go all out on the vintage with their outfits and hair and completely look the part.
The catering was also provided by Tea Vintage and we opted for a savoury selection of sandwiches, quiche, and sausage rolls.”
With their passion for cakes, the couple decided to have ‘The Great Wedding Bake Off’ with guests providing the sweet treats for judging by the bride and groom.
“Half of the cakes were used during the party and the rest were donated to a local charity called ‘The House of Bread’ supporting the homeless. This charity was set up by our friend and Chaplain Mick Williams who performed a blessing at the start of our party.”
Rebecca and Matt decided to give charity favours to their wedding guests, which was such a lovely touch.
“Every wedding Matt and I have been to we bring the favours home and find them years later in the back of a cupboard some where, so we thought about what we could have that our guest could enjoy. Not all guests would support the same charity so we sent out an email and asked them for a charity of their choice and we then made a donation and on the day the guests had a pin badge at their seat from their chosen charity.”
“The Shine was a local live band who were amazing. They played a mixture of songs, including the Father of the Bride Dance and our first dance song, ‘God Only Knows’, and had everyone up and dancing all night long! They even let me up to sing Johnny B Good. After the band finished they had a DJ set up till midnight, who was great value and had the dance floor jumping from the first track.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“If you plan on DIY, start it as soon as you can and get as much help as possible. We planned our wedding in 9 months and I found that most of my spare time was taken up crafting. Set a date for people to help, as asking them to help the day before never works!”
Oh dear, I’m now craving a big slice of Victoria sponge and a hot cup of English breakfast tea! What a delightful wedding you had Rebecca and Matt and the joy was completely evident from Rosie’s brilliant pictures.
And if you haven’t already done so, you must read this brilliant piece by Annabel on her musings as Love My Dress turns the big 7 – hip hip hooray!
Have a groovy rest of week lovely ones.
Love Jo -x-
Credits & Thanks
- Photographer – Ragdoll Photography
- Ceremony – Windsor Guildhall
- Venue – Cote + Bradley Village Hall
- Wedding Dress – Charlie Brear via Cicily Bridal
- Shoes – Irregular Choice
- Flower Circlet – Via the florist
- Accessories – Marie Canning
- Perfume – Jo Malone
- Bridesmaid's Dresses – ASOS
- Groom – Suit from Topman
- Flower girls – Dresses via Monsoon
- Page boy – Suit hired from Peter Posh + bow tie via Etsy
- Florist – Sarah Plant Floral Design
- Catering + Cake – Tea Vintage
- Ice-cream truck – Dotty About Icecream
- Rings – Krypton Jewellers
- Entertainment – The Shine
- Decor – A Little Bit of Blighty + handmade by the bride
- Hair + Make-up – Shelbie Allport (friend of the bride's)