A Floral Wedding Dress Dress For A Handmade and Charming English Pub Wedding

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I just love when a wedding pops into my inbox that’s a little bit different from the norm and today’s wedding is just that. And believe me when I say the dress will blow you away! So without further ado, let’s meet today’s bride and groom.

Textile Designer Hannah and Product Developer Tom were married on 9th September 2017 at New Mills Town Hall, followed by dinner and a party at The Old Hall Inn and Paper Mill in Chinley. Hannah and Tom were keen to keep their wedding day as relaxed as possible, though with a passion for pattern design and a creative eye, it was hard for Hannah not to get carried away with the theme.

“Once we’d decided on a relaxed pub wedding I went wild with the style of the day. From personalised beer mats and gin bottle candles, to beer tankards for the flowers. We also wanted to incorporate Tom’s love of cycling and woodwork so I designed wooden laser cut table names, a cake topper and a ring box. My passion for colour shone through in all of the stationery and decoration. I tried to design and make everything myself as far as I possibly could. This added a little pressure but I absolutely loved doing it. The colour scheme followed on from my dress (more on that later!), which made a pretty big statement in itself, so I tried not to use anything too contrasting. It was very much a DIY wedding.”

Images by Kerry Diamond

Charlotte Balbier floral wedding dress

Making sure all the details were well documented was photographer Kerry Diamond

“We enlisted Kerry as she has an amazing talent for capturing mood and emotion, combined with her beautiful compositions and colours. As soon as I saw her work I knew we had to have her. We really couldn’t have wished for a more lovely person to have joined us. Her laid back approach made it feel like we had an extra friend joining our day. She’s also a fellow red-head and lives just down the road from us – it was meant to be!”The tale of how the pair met is one of a longtime friendship which blossomed into something more.

“We went to school together and had been friends for a long time – it took us about 8 years to actually get together. After 5 years together Tom popped the question during a little getaway to York. It’s something we’d talked about a lot and we knew we’d do it eventually but I couldn’t help gazing into jewellery shop windows every time we passed one. Tom doesn’t rush anything so, true to form, he took his time!”


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Hannah had fresh flowers tucked into her plaited up do by hair stylist Tracy from KH Hair Derby.

“Tracy worked her magic on my hair which is no mean feat, curly hair is pretty unruly but she did an amazing job. Me and my bridesmaids all had a style that incorporated plaits, with everyone choosing something a little different. I decided to do my own make up on the day. I don’t usually wear much and I was unsure about letting someone else do it. I had a couple of lessons at Bobbi Brown and purchased a selection of products they recommended. It probably cost around the same amount as hiring a make up artist but now I have it all to use again and I really enjoyed learning how to achieve a bridal look.”

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And without leaving you in suspense any longer, Hannah’s incredible sleeveless floral design dress with long train was by Charlotte Balbier via Songbird Bridal in Keswick.

“My plan was to order some dresses from the high street to try at home. Something slim fitting, perhaps beaded and fairly simple in style and shape. I wasn’t bothered about a traditional white dress, it didn’t feel very ‘me’. This soon went out of the window when I visited a wedding show a couple of months after we got engaged. Along with my mum and one of my bridesmaids, we wandered around with the intention of just having a nice day out and going for lunch.”

“My mum decided that she wasn’t leaving until I had tried a dress on so I picked out the Untamed Love dress by Charlotte Balbier as I’d seen it on Love My Dress before and thought it would be fun to try something I wouldn’t find on the high street. Mum and Rachael cried when I put it on and I felt brilliant in it – it was the one! We ordered it there and then without even setting foot in a wedding dress shop. Perhaps it was a little impulsive, especially with something so different, but I loved the silk chiffon and digital print floral pattern. As a textile designer, the fabric really drew me in.”

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Hannah’s necklace and bracelet were gifts from Tom and her bridesmaids.

“Tom bought me a beautiful gold origami swan necklace and my lovely bridesmaids presented me with a sixpence bracelet, from the same designer as my shoes. They were both complete surprises and absolutely perfect. I also wore pearl earrings which had belonged to my late grandma, they were a lovely reminder of her to have with me on the day.”

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Hannah and Tom’s flower girls and page-boy were the ones that really stole the show, looking angelic in pretty outfits from Next.

“The pink ballet pumps the girls wore were soon discarded so they could jump and swish around in their dresses on the dance floor. Our cheeky page-boy looked very handsome in his little navy suit and a super cut handmade bow tie to match the groomsmen and Tom.”

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Hannah’s bridesmaids paired their gorgeous plaited hair styles with a mix of pastel hued embellished dresses from ASOS and Coast.

“I wanted my bridesmaids to be comfortable and love their outfits so I asked them to choose their own, as long as they were blush pink, soft blue or green and with a touch of sparkle. My sister, who was my maid of honour, was nine months pregnant at the time and found a beautiful maternity dress from ASOS. The others mostly found their outfits in Coast – a mixture of tulle, lace and sequins. They all looked incredible and I love that they’re mix and match. My ladies also love shoes, especially ones with a but of sparkle. They all selected their own from a variety of places including Irregular Choice and Merle and Morris.”

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The groom opted for a two-piece deep navy jacket and trousers from Ted Baker with a handmade Liberty fabric tie and pocket square.

“Tom paired his navy suit with a turquoise belt and his shirt was a simple white one I picked up in the Reiss sale. He looked so handsome standing at the end of the aisle! I also surprised him with a pocket watch from Auteur. It was a simple design with a smart navy leather strap and a wooden shell which I had engraved with our names and the wedding date. He also wore a handmade Liberty fabric tie and pocket square made by Claudia at Little Greyhound who I’d highly recommend – they were beautifully made. Finally, we had a silver tie clip made with his initials and the date of the wedding stamped on, crafted by the lovely Laura Donovan.”

“The groomsmen all wore navy blue suits too, which most of them already owned. We treated them to the same handmade Liberty ties to coordinate with Tom and gave them a little thank you gift, a personalised silver tie clip to match Tom’s.”

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“Tom and I had a simple and intimate ceremony first. Only our closest family and friends joined us for this part of the day and the meal that followed, making the day relaxed and informal, without the pressure of a huge group watching us.”

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Both Hannah’s dad and stepdad walked her down the aisle to The Shining by Badly Drawn Boy.

“Not only do I have a lovely dad, but I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful stepdad too. They are both so important to me that it only felt right for them both to walk me down the aisle.”

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Following the vows, Hannah’s sister Emily read a short poem; That Still And Settled Place by Edward Monkton and swapped rings created by Natalie Jane Harris at Pyramid Gallery in York.

“This poem really resonated with me and our relationship. When I feel overwhelmed, which can be a lot, Tom calms my busy brain and makes me feel more settled. He’s very laid back and I’m pretty highly strung, so we balance each other out.”

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“We bought my engagement ring from Pyramid Gallery and it was designed by Natalie who creates beautiful, contemporary pieces. We got in touch with her to commission a ring for Tom, a matt white gold ring which was hammered. My wedding ring belonged to my mum, she wore it when she and my dad got married. It’s a simple rounded gold band. It was lovely to re-use an old piece of jewellery with sentimental value.”

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“Other favourite moments include seeing everyone’s faces smiling at us in the ceremony, including Tom waiting for me at the end of the aisle. It was such a joyous and simple ceremony that I didn’t even feel nervous. The speeches were also brilliant, especially the best man’s speech. It was based around a game of Play Your Cards Right, with Tom guessing higher or lower to determine whether Dom shared a funny or nice story about him.”

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The bridal and bridesmaid bouquets and buttonholes were a gorgeous blush pink and coral mix of vuvuzela roses and eucalyptus and were created by talented florist and Tom’s aunty Sarah from Sarah Rogers Flowers.

“The wonderful and incredibly talented Sarah created all of our wedding flowers. She interpreted my mood board and rough ideas perfectly; loose blooms in blush pink and coral with a hint of blue and plenty of greenery.”

“I’m a big fan of peonies (aren’t we all?!) but as we got married in September they weren’t feasible. Instead Sarah suggested a combination of vuvuzela roses, David Austin Keira and lots of eucalyptus, amongst other blooms. I have a slightly unhealthy ribbon obsession too so got carried away with a mixture of velvets, organza and even pom poms from VV Rouleaux.”

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“The ceremony was followed by dinner and a party fuelled by plenty of delicious food and gin! We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of us and our life together. Having both grown up in the Peak District, these were venues close to our hearts.”

“We’ve visited the Old Hall many times for drinks and dinner – they have a fantastic food menu and it’s such a welcoming pub. It also has gorgeous rooms; ours had a four-poster bed and roll top bath. The staff there are brilliant, nothing was too much trouble and they helped make the day run smoothly.”

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Back at the pub The Old Hall provided all of the food including steak and ale puddings, triple cooked chips and fish and chips.

“Their steak and ale puddings are legendary and were all served with triple cooked chips and peas, or fish and chips. This was followed by chocolate brownies or passionfruit cheesecake. In the evening they served pulled pork butties and chip cones – proper pub grub! They also have a fab selection of beer, wine and gin. We actually drank the bar dry of gin which explains the sore heads the next day!”

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The tables were adorned with tankards and goblets of flowers, all sourced from eBay, Camden market and charity shops.

“A local bar saved their empty gin bottles for the tapered candles too, which saved us from drowning in gin! We also had gold confetti balloons and canons from Ginger Ray and copper lights sourced from Amazon. Festoon lights we found on eBay and our instax guest book was from

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In keeping with the DIY wedding aspect, Hannah designed all of the stationery herself, from the invitations to the beer mats and the pattern on the favours.

“For the invites I wanted to design something that reflected us both, hence the portrait of Tom and I riding a tandem bike with our little cat Pippin sat on the back. It was really fun to get creative and produce something totally unique. The floral design coordinated with my dress, which really set the colour theme for the day, and I used these illustrations to create a pattern which was then used elsewhere.”

“I then used elements of the invitations to create the seating plan, favour pattern, chalk board illustrations, guest book sticker, instax sign, beer mats (printed by Mosaic Board Print) and place cards, which I hand wrote with a nib and ink after a bit of calligraphy practice. My mum and dad created the little bags for the favours and filled them with chocolates using paper printed with my floral pattern and hand folding each one.”

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“The most hilarious moment of the day was our failed attempt to ride the tandem bike which we later realised didn’t actually have the wheels properly attached. It was near impossible to get on and off and I had to be lifted onto the saddle. We were in fits of giggles and I still can’t believe we didn’t fall off.”

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The couple chose a local cake maker, Little Belle, to create their two-tiered pink ombre wedding cake.

“Now, I’m a massive cake fan, as are my bridesmaids so this was important! We had a cake tasting afternoon with Little Belle and discussed ideas. Between us we decided on a two tier cake with chocolate fudge and raspberry bakewell, plus an extra lemon drizzle serving cake – they were delicious! The main cake was covered in rough buttercream with a subtle pink ombre effect and little flecks of gold leaf. We added flowers and a laser cut cake topper of a tandem bike to tie in with the wedding aesthetic.”

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Bringing the day to a close was the first dance to Breathless by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.

“This song has such beautiful lyrics. It’s one of my favourites. Tom needed a little more convincing to even do a first dance, but we’re so glad we did it. During the song my bridesmaids set off gold confetti canons which made for some great photos of a very surprised Tom.”

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“After dinner we moved over to The Paper Mill, where the lovely Scarlett Cooper from High Peak Music sang and played guitar for a couple of hours. This was followed by our DJ Bob Molloy, who got everyone on their feet for a boogie.”

“I wouldn’t change anything about the day, just my approach. Stress less and let go. I have a habit of micro managing everything. It was worth the effort and sleepless nights though but I wish I’d taken a leaf out of Tom’s book and relaxed a little more and over thought details a little less.”

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Words Of Wedded Wisdom

“Delegate! We were lucky to have a couple of very organised bridesmaids and family members who really helped the day flow. Also, take time out. We found a quiet spot later on in the evening for a catch up just the two of us. And finally, do it your way. Everyone says it, but it can sometimes be difficult to do exactly what you want and not be influenced by what you think is expected or traditional. It’s a day for the two of you, so put yourselves first.”

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What a spectacular day! So relaxed and full of fun and love. A big thanks to Hannah and Tom for sharing with us and to Kerry Diamond for capturing the mood so perfectly.

Until next time…

Much love,

Holly x

Credits & Thanks

Holly Grocott

Holly Grocott View all Holly's articles

Holly loves nothing more than getting her fill of beautifully styled weddings and couple's individual stories. After living in London for 6 years, she's now moved back North and settled in the leafy suburbs of South Manchester with her husband and much-loved pet pooch. You'll mostly find her reading in a corner, writing or creating a moodboard (or five).

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