Category Archives: Real Life Weddings

Nicola & Pete’s Wedding, Summer 2018

Bride & Groom Nicola & Pete share their stunning wedding story with us!

Nicola & Pete chose a custom bundle with us including Non Map Invitations, RSVP Cards, Menus, Small Add Info Cards, Custom Table Names & Table Plan.

  1. What was the initial vision of the Day?

Our main vision of the day was having all our friends and family together for a happy celebration, particularly as many of them are spread out all over the world and we don’t often get to see them. We got married in our local church and had the reception at beautiful Hampton Court House just up the road. We love to travel, but it was important for us to get married locally so we could show our guests our home.

1. What was the planning process like?

I love planning so started making lists and drawing up spreadsheets the moment we got engaged! We had almost two years in the end to plan which made things a lot easier as I had lots of time to research each supplier and look through magazines, blogs and social media for ideas. We booked all our main suppliers well in advance, and after that we could relax and focus on the details, knowing we were in safe hands.

2. What did the bride, groom and wedding party wear?

Dress shopping was one of my favourite parts of the wedding planning! From the first time I tried on a Suzanne Neville dress I knew that I would be buying one of her designs. In the end I chose Rosa, a beautiful, romantic dress with a low v-neckline, long train and delicate floral design. I wore Rachel Simpson heels and they were so comfortable! I didn’t need to take them off all night.

My husband had a dark grey suit made from a nearby tailor in Surbiton – King and Allen. And a dark blue Turnbull & Asser silk tie.

The bridesmaids wore mix and match blush and floral Jenny Yoo dresses, in different styles which they chose to suit them. My chief bridesmaid lives in New York and bought the dresses there, then shipped them out to the other bridesmaids in Cambridge and New Zealand.

3. How was the wedding themed?

Although a lot of planning went into all the details, we wanted to make sure the day had a romantic, relaxed feel to it, and didn’t feel stuffy or overly formal. Super-talented Steph at ‘Fairynuff Flowers’ provided the most beautiful bouquets for us. They had lots of blush, pale pink and peach roses, mixed in with a few peonies and eucalyptus. We had roses, peonies, hydrangea, delphiniums and loads more pretty flowers to decorate the church and reception. As soon as we’d booked the venue, I started looking at photographers. I loved Nick Ray’s photos straightaway as he is so good at capturing natural moments, and his pictures are beautiful. Then my brother and his girlfriend very generously offered to pay for a videographer for our wedding. We booked Jess Tottman and we’re so thrilled we did, we’re over the moon with our videos. Our first dance was to the Lumineers, Ho Hey

4. Were there any entertainment or activities for the guests?

We created activity packs to keep the children entertained during dinner, although the weather was so lovely, I think the part they enjoyed best was running around outside chasing rabbits.

5. Did you go on a honeymoon?

Our honeymoon was a safari / beach combo which was made possible by the generosity of our lovely guests! We caught a tiny plane from Johannesburg to Madikwe, one hour away on the Botswanan border and spent incredible three days on safari. Afterwards we had a relaxing holiday in Mauritius.

Real Life Wedding, Tina and Bruno

We had the pleasure of creating a beautiful range of wedding stationary for the lovely couple, Tina and Bruno as they were married in Provence, France.

Tina commissioned a fab range and we always love seeing pics of our designs used on the day, including one of our super-bespoke Cute Paths, signed by guests that the happy couple can take home to remember the day! How fun!

Have a read of Tina’s memories of their Wedding day and advice for other brides-to-be!


Names: Tina & Bruno

Wedding Date: 10 September 2016

The Venue: Le Mas De La Rose, Provence, France




The vision for the day: 

To have…

  • Intimate day, just with our very best friends and immediate family.  We kept our numbers down to 70 guests.
  • Bring the best of British and French cultures to make things a bit different for everyone, for example by mixing languages in our readings at the church, speeches and music selections.
  • Provence wedding – it had been our dream for many years to get married in the South of France. We fell in love with our venue many years before, while visiting the region.
  • Amazing setting, amazing food, great wine – we chose a venue that had their own restaurant – with fresh fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden and local products.

The Planning Process:

  • Pinterest wedding board to gather ideas was pretty key.
  • Plotted decisions and kept to a rough timeline.
  • Visited region twice for church preparations and to meet local suppliers.
  • Gave many people roles in advance (helping with signage and decor on the day) – family and friends played a role in our day.
  • Took 12 months from start to finish.



The Dress and Accessories:

Dress: Delphine Manivet

Shoes: Sergio Rossi

Headband: Les cerises de mars

Grooms Attire:

Suit and waistcoat: tailored by Faubourg Saint Sulpice

Shoes: Weston





The Details and Decor:

Theme Casual Chic – touches of bunting, decorated trees with paper flowers, fresh flowers

The Flowers: pink roses and olive leaves

Music and First Dance: A Rhumba to Let’s Marvin Gaye and Get in On – Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor

Entertainment and activities:

Pâte à Swing, Avignon.

Giant wooden garden games and vintage photo booth provided lots of fun throughout the day




The Food:

Starter : Tartare of cooked and raw vegetables with smoked salmon “macedonia“ way, roasted prawns, fresh herb emulsified vinaigrette

Main Course : Veal with potatoes, homemade olive oil, mushrooms, vegetables from the garden

Macaron Tower

The Cake: Macaron Tower – cut to Let There Be Love, by Nat King Cole, along with sparklers for guests.

Stationary: Cute Maps.

Cute Path – timeline of the story of our first years – that our guests were able to sign

Table plan themed in the style of our invites. Table names represented the 8 cities we visited while dating.



Your Photographer: Artaïs Studio

The Honeymoon: Tullum, Mexico – Jan 2017

Memorable Moments: Driving back from the church in our 1960s Fiat 500

The Best Man’s speech: the Sketch Show meets Euro Trash – portraying the life of the groom and all the English influences that led him to eventually marry an English woman.






Advice for Other Couples: You can’t plan the best moments but if you fill you day with the people you love dearly then it will be magical. Be prepared to make lots of decisions, it’s very hard in reality to make things simple.


The venue: Le Mas De La Rose

The car: Fiat 500 Classic

Photography: The talented team at

The videographer: Les Films Super









Real Life Wedding, Natasha and Dominic

Oh what a lovely wedding! We love the vibe from Natasha and Dominics fabulous day here at Cute Maps. The theme? Laughter and fun! Below you can read all about their wonderful day and pick up on some great tips preparing for your own. These photos also really highlight the importance and skill of good timing, they really encapsulate the happiness of the day and document the fun moments very well indeed. We hope reading their story make you smile as much as we did!




Names: Dominic & Natasha

Wedding Date: 10.08.16

The vision for the day: We didn’t really have a particular theme or idea of the exact style we wanted. Honestly, all we wanted was a happy, fun and exciting day filled with laughter. We wanted fun and laughter to be at the forefront of the whole day.

The Planning Process: We decided to have a 2 year engagement and if I were to do it again I would definitely do the same! It gave us a chance to enjoy being engaged and choose suppliers and venues without the need to rush. We loved the process of planning and having friends and family join in with making favours and goodie bags. Obviously it wasn’t all roses and rainbows but even when things went wrong I could see the funny side of it…eventually!

The Venue: We were married at St. Peter’s church in Bridge and then had our reception at Winters Barns in Canterbury.





The Dress and Accessories: I had a beautiful dress from Teokath in Canterbury, it was gorgeous lace with an Art Deco inspired belt. My favourite detail was the buttons that lined from top to bottom of the dress. I also had a headband that matched my belt which I adored both by Jenny Peckham. Then there were my shoes, gorgeous ivory and gold with a big bow! Irregular choice shoes are always a win in my book!

Grooms Attire: Dom had a gorgeous charcoal grey 3 piece suit by Ted Baker. And because I had vetoed red for the wedding Dom found a way to include it…his shoes!

Beautiful Bridesmaids: My gorgeous girls wore mint green knee length chiffon dresses with a lace bodice and key hole back. I wanted something elegant…but also something they wouldn’t get too hot in for dancing the night away. They had a messy bun to the side, to accent the key hole back.



Music and First Dance: The incorporation of music in our wedding didn’t just start with our first dance. We had the bridesmaids walk down the aisle to ‘I Can Go The Distance’ from Hercules, I then followed with ‘Tale As Old As Time’ from Beauty and the Beast. While signing the register Dom’s brother played a medley on the piano which included scores from; The Godfather, Game of Thrones, Aladdin and the Lion King. When we left the church we had ‘Accidentally In Love’ ringing out. For our first dance, trying to avoid the overly romantic or teary song choices, we decided on ‘I Wouldn’t Have Nothing If I Didn’t Have You’, but the John Goodman and Billy Crystal version! All these songs, and a few more culminated in a cd for our favour to guests.

The Details and Decor: Other little details we had at the wedding were a photo guest book, pots of sweets, confetti made out of unused invitations which looked great on the tables.





The Food: Dom wanted everyone to come away full from our wedding, so food was mainly on his planning list! We had a selection of canapés, some of which were chocolate covered strawberries and Dom’s favourite rare roast beef in mini Yorkshire puddings! We then had a 3 course sit down meal, with a Greek mezzo starter as a nod to my dad’s side of the family, followed by roast duck, vegetables and dauphinois potato. My favourite course was dessert, a trio of chocolate brownie, mini cream puff and creme brûlée (divine!). The one thing Dom said we HAD to have was a hog roast in the evening, he wasn’t wrong! Mama Feelgoods were amazing caterers and couldn’t do enough for us.

The Flowers: For our flowers we had an amazing supplier, Louise from confetti connections, who went out of her way to ensure I could have succulents in the bouquets and button holes! We also had roses with them but the whole effect was something natural and countryfied! For our centre pieces we wanted to keep it simple with fishbowls, pillar candles and dusky pink calalillies.

The Cake: The cake is where we had some fun, a little something that had meaning for Dom and myself, but would also be a bit of fun for our guests. With a link to Hawaii and our first date film…Lilo and Stitch, we couldn’t have asked for more from Mama Feelgoods again in this creation.

Your Photographer: Dom and I had emphatically agreed on one thing when it came to our photographer, we didn’t want loads of posed and stiff pictures. We very much liked the style of journalistic, candid pictures. Olly Knight was our perfect match, he was so easy to work with, was incredibly friendly and brilliant to have on the day.





The Honeymoon: Due to the incredible generosity of our friends and family we have managed to book our honeymoon for Easter 2017. We are heading to San Francisco and Hawaii. We are so excited!

Memorable Moments: There are so many memorable moments from the day, from being hugged so forcefully by my flower girl I landed on the floor, receiving a video when getting ready of the boys jump starting the wedding car, to saying the priests lines as well as my own during the ceremony or when walking in to dinner…tripping on my dress while Dom walked in fist bumping the air! Dom’s most memorable moment was his best man’s speech, he was so nervous and not one for public speaking but everyone was floored, no one more than Dom.




Advice for Other Couples: The best advice we could give to other couples would be; don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy every moment of your day and have fun with planning, it doesn’t need to be a stressful affair. Finally if the grooms nervous about giving his speech, do it before dinner, so he can enjoy his wedding meal.


Olly Knight (photography)

Confetti Connections (flowers and decor)

Mama Feelgoods (food and cake)

Real Life Wedding, Becky and Matthew

We hope you enjoy reading about Becky and Matthew’s big day(s!) as much as we did. How wonderful it must have been to get married in sunny Spain first of all, to then come home and do it all again! Becky got to wear her stunning white Mori Lee dress twice, as did her wedding party, ladies in coral, boys in navy, making a gorgeous crisp colour scheme which looks truly fabulous in the sun. I love the detail of Becky’s necklace; she had a bespoke necklace made from the off-cuts of the dress fabric, which created a lovely one off piece and matched the dress beautifully. Cute Maps favourite bits…? Delicious wedding menu, with hog roast for the next day’s pool party to boot! An amazing sounding (and looking) ‘cheese cake’ made up of brie, Manchego, Camembert and Spanish blue cheese, the perfect venue, captured by photographer Paco Montagut in the lovely photos, and of course, the fact that the happy couple got to do it twice! Congratulations to both of you! Read on for more details from the bride herself…


Matthew & Becky O’Sullivan

Wedding Date

The vision for the day
Sunshine, Prosecco and love!

The Planning Process
18 months working with Sunshine Weddings Spain

Budget & Venue
£10k budget. Two venues, first venue Hacienda San Jose, La Cala, Mijas Spain and the Cock O’Barton, Barton Road, Malpas.

The Dress and Accessories
My dress was from Mori Lee’s Voyage collection and I had it customised to make it unique. It had a sweetheart neckline with beautiful embellishments under the bust line. The Material was chiffon over satin and it had a tulip train to it. With the cut off material from the dress I had a statement necklace made so that the dress kept its original look.   My shoes were from Faith and were made of ivory satin with similar embellishments as my dress. My veil was medium length and had diamantes along the edge.



Grooms & Bridesmaids attire
My bridesmaids wore coral pink Sophia Tolli gowns and the boys wore navy blue suits, fitted white shirt with no tie and brown brogues.


The Readings
We didn’t have any special readings; our Padre (Peter) was fantastic and very entertaining!

Music and First Dance
Our first dance was to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell “You’re all I need to get by”. Back home we had acoustic guitar playing as people arrived by the wonderfully talented James Ball of The Beardband. Later on he was joined by his friends on the Cajun drum and keyboard and they were fantastic! Everyone loved it!

The Food
Fiesta Sol provided the catering; we had canapés during the cocktail hour, followed by a three course meal of Seafood salad, Filet Steak and a duo of puddings; mango cheesecake and chocolate love cake. The day after the wedding we had a pool party and Fiesta Sol provided us with a hog roast, it was delicious! Back home we provided a mixture of food from pizza slices, crispy beef, Italian salads, potato wedges, chicken drumsticks, homemade coleslaw, olives and whitebait – it was delicious and there was something for everyone.


The flowers
Provided by Deseos Florist, my bouquet was made up of white peonies, white cala lilies and peach roses. The bridesmaids had white cala lilies. Matt had a white cala lily also and the wedding party all had baby’s breath button holes. On the tables we had a mixture of petals and peach roses.



The cake
In Spain we had a cheesecake, made up of brie, manchego, camembert and Spanish blue cheese. Back home at the wedding party a family friend made us our three tier wedding cake. It was simply stunning with handcrafted peonies, roses and cala lilies to decorate it.



Your Photographer
Our photographer was Paco Montagut and he was fantastic. He stayed with us for an extra hour and didn’t charge us for it! He said he wanted to make sure he got all the shots he needed/wanted……… 🙂


The Details and Décor
The venue in Spain was gorgeous and simply breath-taking so it didn’t need much to decorate it, just a few twinkle lights and candles which added to its rustic charm. I really like the shabby chic, romantic look and so in Spain we had lots of candles and bird cages, lanterns, jam jars and lace! Back home, again the venue was very pretty and so we dressed it up with Cath Kidston bunting, bird cages, lanterns, candelabras and jam jars to recreate the feel of Spain whilst also accommodating a quintessential British summer tea party/fete. To incorporate our Spanish wedding we had a vintage suitcase for our wedding cards/presents. It was very quaint!

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The Honeymoon
After the wedding party back home, Matthew whisked me off to Rome for a minimoon! We were there for 3 nights and it was magical. In November we had the big honeymoon where we went to New York for 3 nights followed by 7 nights in Saint Lucia. It was the best holiday of my life, so far!

Memorable Moments
Being with Matt for 13 years before we got married, I wanted to ensure that we got the most out of our wedding and by having two wedding days/parties really ensured that happened. I mean how many brides get to wear their dress twice and celebrate the whole day all over again? Not only that but all the wedding party wore their outfits again, so it really was like having two wedding days! It was magical and I wish I could do it all again.

Advice for other couples  
Get married in Spain! The Hacienda is simply the most beautiful venue and because we stayed there for 3 nights it really does feel like it’s your own villa. It has such a warm and lovely feeling to it; you know that so many happy memories have been made there and yours will become one of them.



Julie Elliot and Scott Gibbons from Sunshine Weddings Spain are diamonds! No query was too much! They truly made the planning of our big day so effortless.

The whole team at the Cock O’Barton were fantastic – truly professionals of what they do.

Tamaryn Treasures for hiring of wedding decorations in the UK, based in Alderley Edge.

Cute Maps for our unique invitations 🙂

Tilly Anna Bridal for the fantastic service me and the girls received.

Paco Montagut for providing us with the most amazing photographs.

Emma Parry from Tarporley Travel for sorting the hotel in Spain, our minimoon in Rome and our honeymoon in New York and Saint Lucia. We must have driven her insane with all of plans but she was fantastic and sorted everything without a glitch!

Real Life Wedding, Jessica and Arthur

1_8733477_origThis fabulous Real Life Wedding took place in Gloucestershire where Jessica married Dutch hubby Arthur. How amazing is must have been for the bride and groom gave their many guests travelling from Holland a glorious English experience which occurred in Jess’ family home, a truly personal day with hints of Holland – of course! Read on for their low down of their special day, Cute Maps particularly love the sound of  the babysitters (how fabulous!) a jazz singer and chips in cones for an evening snack!





Names: Arthur and Jessica

Wedding Date: 10th of May, 2014

The vision for the day: Cotswold country wedding with a touch of Dutch.

The Planning Process: We started planning our wedding 10 months before the day itself. The first booking we made was for our wedding photographer, followed by the marquee. My husband is Dutch, and we expected about 65 guests to travel from Holland especially for our wedding. It was important to us to give them a truly English experience, so we arranged their accommodation in local B&Bs, designed our bespoke wedding invitations around a map of the village (Landrovers, local pubs and all) which doubled up as an actual map for the walk from the church to the house, and chose local produce/dishes for our wedding breakfast. We wanted to have a child friendly wedding, so also planned for 2 babysitters to look after the 10 babies and children who would attend.

Budget & Venue: We were lucky with our venue as my family have a large house and garden which we could use for the marquee. However, although this initially saved costs in terms of venue, it brought higher charges in other areas such as catering and drinks as we needed to source our own suppliers rather than working from a pre-approved list. Still, having our reception in my family home and selecting all the food and wines made it all the more personal. In terms of budget, we planned on spending 20k and managed to stick to this.



The Dress and Accessories: I bought my Augusta Jones dress from the White Room, in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. The dress was accessorised with Georg Jensen earrings and bangles, a vintage art deco silver clutch and sparking Jimmy Choo shoes.

Grooms & Bridesmaids attire: The groom and groomsmen were dressed in navy, with ivory waistcoats and dark purple ties/pocket squares. My two bridesmaids wore midnight blue dresses from Ghost, and my flower girl wore a dusky purple dress from Monsoon.



The Readings: extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Song of Solomon, Chapter 8, verses 6-7, and a dutch poem read by one of my husband’s family.

Music and First Dance: during the reception we had a jazz singer, and then live music provided by the A-Listers in the evening. Our first dance was Lifening by Snow Patrol.

The Food: Dutch bitterballen as canapés, nethermuir mushrooms to start, beef & game casserole served with spring vegetables, polenta & asparagus tart for vegetarians, followed by wedding cake as dessert. At midnight we served chips in cones with a choice of ketchup or dutch fritesaus.

The flowers: Tulips, of course! Our colours were purple and white.

The cake: 3 tiered sponge cake from Marks and Spencer


Your Photographer: Rupert Marlow Photography

The Details and Décor: flowers, flowers and more flowers! Instead of table numbers we used places that we had travelled to, with photographs of us on that particular holiday, which certainly raised a few laughs by our guests! We organised a surprise gift for children – on their tables they each had their own tin with colouring books, crayons, toys and of course, paper windmills to play with. This was a  big hit and kept them all entertained throughout the speeches and dinner. Our wedding favours were personalised M&Ms, and menus/table plan were styled around airmail stationary to tie in with the travel/international theme.




The Honeymoon: 7 days in the Maldives and 3 days in Dubai.

Memorable Moments: Our wedding car was my brother’s vintage Landrover defender which was fantastic, except not the easiest to get in and out of in a wedding dress! The dutch canapés were such a hit that the children were queuing up by the kitchen door to eat them as soon as they were ready to serve.


Advice for other couples: know your budget and stick to it. Prioritise what is important to you both – for us it was live music and the very best photographer that we could afford. Ask your wedding suppliers for recommendations – they wouldn’t recommend anyone they wouldn’t want to be associated with. Alpha hire, our marquee supplier, was especially excellent in this regard. Flowers are often very expensive, but we were able to save money here by asking the local w.i. to decorate the church which was a fraction of the cost.

Finally, if you have the space and can afford it, providing child care for guests with families was one of the single best things that we did. It meant that the children could play freely and that the parents could relax and enjoy the celebrations.

Rupert Marlow Photography
Alpha hire
The A-Listers


Ciao Bella! Margherita Missoni’s Wedding

85_4297066I know its an old one, but I’ve just gotta blog about Margherita Missoni’s wedding, which took place back in June 2012 in the small town of Brunello, Italy.

Every picture that I can find depicts the same really laid back, chilled out boho feel wedding party. Everybody is constantly smiling.

Margherita designed the dress herself, which was made by the tailor’s who had known her growing up (she also had close counselling from close friend Giambattista Valli.) The dress is cool and gypsy, and made from flower-embellished Missoni silk with voluminous organza sleeves and was totally in keeping with the relaxed feel to the day. Her hair was braided which kept her veil in place, which was swapped for a daisy-chain headpiece for the evening (as well as a blush pink version of her dress) and flat silver gladiator sandals. I know, it all sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? But look how well she pulls it off. All so natural, and not at all over ‘done’, which is why I love it so much.


For me the whole Missoni ethos is mismatched chic, colour clashing, highly patterned prints, very laid back, and generally has an extremely cool feel…which has been completely encapsulated in Margherita Missoni and Eugenio Amos’ day. Even the bridesmaids wore clashing print maxi dresses in various colours and ex French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld dressed up as a gysgy! So clearly this was the order of the day.

The reception looks truly amazing, and if the day ever comes (!) I will definitely be taking a few pointers from the styling here. Guests were entertained by a gypsy band, acrobats and a fortune teller and ate Moroccan style around low tables with Missoni floor cushions (of course) so luxe!



The cake was a heart shaped pastry covered in berries, the food was a ‘tuck in’ style with big bowls and servers on each table and the table fabrics and crockery were all Missoni. I’d like everyday of my life to be like that.

My favourite wedding to date.





Real Life Wedding, Heidi and Ian


Love the laid back coolness of this seaside inspired wedding at the Royal Pavilion on Southend Pier, Southend-On-Sea. Heidi and Ian had a fun Pirate theme incorporating loads of brilliant ideas! Including whimsical bucket and spades, ‘Just Married’ rock and personal sea creatures for the guests’ favours, a seagull guarding the cakes, Pirate centre pieces, and their very own wedding train which transported the guests to the end of the pier! (Think this is the first time I’ve seen a real life wedding train!) And what’s more, before boarding the train, each guest was handed an ice cream by Southend’s finest ice cream people – Rossi, what an absolute treat! Check out these brilliant photos of the day where everyone looks so happy and relaxed, and read on for more details from the bride herself…

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Names – Heidi Kendrick & Ian Livermore

Wedding Date – 31st May 2014

The Vision for The Day – To celebrate our wedding day at the seaside with our family and mates.  This morphed into a wedding day at the seaside with a soupcon of piratehood.

The Planning Process – We wanted the Best Party Ever.  This involved adding elements of every idea we ever had about what a Best Party would involve…as we are quite old, there were lots of them!

We had plenty of time to sort out who would be in charge of what, which gave me complete control of the playlists and Ian the opportunity to go all Pirate on the table decorations.  Some of our first “non-negotiables” were that we didn’t want a day-into-night wedding (we did the whole thing from 12 noon til 5, which gave everyone their evening back…we went to see a band in the evening along with some of the guests who were staying over), and that we didn’t want an official photographer.


Budget & Venue – £10,000 all in (came in under budget!). Venue was the very beautiful Royal Pavilion, Southend Pier, Southend-on-Sea, Essex.  We had our own wedding train to take everyone down to the end of the pier, and Southend’s finest ice cream, Rossi’s, handed out to guests as they boarded the train.  The table decorations evolved organically after a visit to Hobbycraft, whose pirate ship centrepieces Ian had to have.

The Dress and Accessories – Dress: Phase Eight.  Shoes: Irregular Choice.  Necklace and earrings from Pilgrim, bracelet was my “something borrowed” from my happily married mate Angela.

Grooms & Bridesmaids attire – the rapidly shrinking Ian (who lost 3 stone from first fitting to wedding day) wore a very handsome grey suit with an embroidered waistcoat which arrived after breakfast on the morning of the wedding, along with a variety of hats.  His daughter Lauren was the stunning bridesmaid in a Monsoon dress.


The Readings – “The Two of Us” by the Mr T Experience (it’s a song, but worked better as a reading), read by Jen with confidence and spirit on her first major event in maternity gear.

Music and First Dance – Ian’s a ska fan and I love indie music, so we did our own playlists on an Ipod, which worked beautifully.  We had “How High” by the Charlatans going up the aisle, and although we didn’t have a lot of room for dancing, had a bit of a sway to “This Head I Hold” by Electric Guest.  Epic.

The Food – As the pier is not the best place for fire in general, we had a local caterer, Affinity, who is used to working at the end of the pier.  We had posh canapes during cocktail hour, and went back to tradition for the main meal with a variety of small bowl meals, which included sausage and mash.  The food was delicious, and the small bowl option meant that everyone could try everything instead of having to choose.


The Flowers – We got the flowers from Southend Council’s nursery which were beyond gorgeous.

The Cake – We had a variety of little sweet things from M&S, including macaroons, mini cupcakes and brownie triangles.  Not a single bite left at the end!

Your Photographer – As we both had a horror of spending half the day posing and still looking like freaks, one of Ian’s mates did the honours and got some fabulous pictures of everyone being random…which of course was what we wanted.

The Details and Décor – A combination of seaside and pirateness – bunting, sea shells, a white and blue colour scheme, and a seagull guarding the cake stand, with a few heart shaped balloons thrown in.  All the guests got a bucket and spade set, “just married” rock, Love Hearts, and their own sea creature.   Our master stroke was having Mr Pinchy the lobster hold our wedding rings til they were needed.


The Honeymoon – As we have both just started up new businesses, we are looking forward to spending Christmas in Fuerteventura.  If our honeymoon-ness has worn off by then, we can at least be arguing in the sun!

Memorable Moments – The noise level was truly remarkable with plenty of laughter – we especially loved getting our two lots of friends and family together and seeing them get along so well.

Advice for other couples –  Chill and share!  We had a mega time bouncing ideas off each other, and loved that our guests knew who had put what ideas into the mix.  Bring your personalities into it. When you’re in the planning stages, think about what worked and what didn’t in other weddings you’ve been to.  Ask your married friends what the best bits of their big day were.   When you’re setting up your budget, sort out what your priorities are and spend up there, cutting back a bit elsewhere.  Wedding websites and Amazon will be your best friends when it comes to looking for those little special touches.  And please remember that everyone’s there to share your joy, not to find fault.  And if you do have potential guests like that, do you really want them there?  It’s your day.  Own it.  Wish you a wonderful wedding!


Thanks so much for all of this great information on your day Heidi, plus this excellent advice – ‘chill and share’ seems like perfect advice to me! We love the idea of the ‘small bowls’ for the meal, the reading sounds epic and the Charlatan’s song is one of my faves! Good luck to both of you and have an amazing honeymoon in the sun!




Real Life Wedding, Selena & Pete


This wedding is madness. AWESOME madness. It has taken me so long to edit these photos as so many of them are absolute gems! I love the emotion and sincerity of the ceremony followed by a beautiful dinner that then descend into full on party times. I think this is the first time I have seen a bride crowd surf and I hope it is not the last! Having the wedding party don wigs and costumes is a stroke of genius and makes for some of the most hilarious wedding photos ever! Love it ALL. Enjoy this epic barrel of laughs.


Names – Selena and Pete Callas

Wedding date – 19th October 2013

Vision for the day – Relaxed, fun, country style with some personal touches







Planning process – Collaborative with our families, no stress, nine months since our engagement

Budget – more than we originally thought but worth it!

Venue – church service at St Andrew’s Church, Irnham, Lincolnshire, with the reception a few miles away in a marquee in a field at my parents’ house (marquee from Events and Tents – The marquee looked great – clear windows across one side and up lighters across the view. Perfect location – should be a permanent wedding venue!





Dress and accessories – homemade by a dressmaker in London (I toured a few wedding dress shops in London and in Lincolnshire but then took the plunge at starting from scratch. I described what I liked, and the dressmaker sketched it out. A tailor made and affordable option, I’d really recommend); hairpiece, earrings and bracelet by Oliver Laudus.

Having been to a variety of wedding shops, I narrowed down my perfect dress to – soft fishtail, empire line, sweetheart, lace bolero, buttons on the sleeves and all the way down the back, lace over satin….I described this to the dressmaker and she sketched out just what I wanted.  And it turned out that way in real life too!



Hair – James White at – half up, half down with a hairpiece

Makeup – Leona Seymour at

They were not only great at hair and makeup but also great fun when we were getting ready – and managed all seven of us plus my mum. James had also done my hair as a bridesmaid before.

Groom’s attire – morning suit by Gieves and Hawkes; tie by Thomas Pink; shoes by Paul Smith





The Readings – three:
– Us Two from Now We Are Six by A.A.Milne (read by the bride’s sisters – a favourite from our childhood plays!)
– Romans 12 9-21 (read by a friend of the bride and groom)
– Ecclesiastes 4 9-12 (read in Greek by a cousin of the groom – the groom is half Greek)


– Lord of all Hopefulness

– Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

– Tell Out My Soul

Music sung and played by two of our friends during the signing of the register. Italian aria, It Had to be You, Can You Feel The Love Tonight from the Lion King. The music lasted longer than the signing but we loved this part – we were enjoying the moment and dancing with the bridesmaids and our families.





Beautiful Bridesmaids – six! The bride’s two sisters, the groom’s sister and three of the bride’s best friends from university. They wore long navy dresses, which looked the same but were a mix of Ghost and House of Fraser (Ariella)

Music and First Dance –
– one of our favourite ski resort bands from the Alps, now based in the UK, Doctor Bruce (booked via
– Bare Necessities – we wanted something relaxed and fun. We had a great time choreographing it for ten minutes the day before!
– and for after the band, the Cheese Playlist, perfectly created by our friend, Paddy

Food – – We chose canapés instead of a starter – which were delicious – and then a main course (lamb, dauphinnoise potatoes and vegetables) and a trio of desserts (our favourites – creme brûlée, crumble and chocolate mousse with pistachio)






Flowers – we realised that this could totally blow our budget and we wanted to prioritise other things. So, we focused on the church (arranged by some of my mum’s friends) and bouquets and buttonholes (arranged by Grantham Florists). All in a relaxed, country theme and with blues and yellows. We also hired topiary to line the route to the marquee from Seagrave Nurseries which we much preferred than fancy flowers!

Cake – we spared huge expense on this and ended up with something way more special and memorable. A chocolate cake – the one that my mum makes for our birthdays – with berries. Created by my mum and sister, Melissa, resembling the leaning tower of Pisa!

On the top of the cake, we had a topper of us skiing, wearing exactly what we wore when Pete proposed. Made by

Photography – George Powell, a friend of ours




Details and decor –
– table centrepieces made by one of our bridesmaids, Penny (with able carpentry support by her husband, Andrew!). They were piste markers in blue and yellow, our colour theme, with the number of a year of our birth. My sister, Amanda, then found pictures of us both from each year – hilarious childhood memories!
– favours – at first, we didn’t think we’d bother but then we (or Selena) became obsessed with finding knitted snowmen. Eventually, we found them on Etsy (Carrie’s Cupboard) and Carrie made them in rapid time, 10 days! We then sewed name tapes with our names and date of our wedding the day before the wedding day! They were on a few Christmas trees afterwards
– we love travel and maps (I studied geography at university) and had lots of people travelling from abroad so found large maps of the world, UK and London and encouraged people to take Polaroid photos and pin on where they were from
– advice for the couple cards for everyone to fill out, from
– our two fancy dress trunks – which everyone was wearing by the first dance, with blow-up microphones and guitars
– flip flops for painful feet
– a open trailer decorated with bunting, balloons, cushions and fur for the groom and ushers to travel to the church and the bridesmaids to join them afterwards to travel to the reception. We travelled in an amazing 1940s Rolls Royce – we discovered that someone in our village owned it
– silhouettes of us in blue, created into stickers and put on card for the placecards
– and, of course, Cute Maps for the invitations beforehand and menus on the day








Honeymoon – Sri Lanka, a perfect mix of beach, countryside and history. We usually create and book our own itineraries for our holidays but, given everything else with organising a wedding, we thoroughly recommend letting someone else do this for you. We used David Jones at Travel counsellors

Memorable moments –
– too many to list but a few highlights….
– the morning getting ready. We’d spent the night before in different places and both loved the morning getting ready with our friends and family
– the service – the real highlight. Everything from walking up the aisle, seeing each other and all the music and readings we’d chosen. Not forgetting the groom crying to Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’
– the first dance – we’d made it relaxed and fun and seeing everyone in fancy dress. Seeing the mother of the bride crowdsurfing!
– and, it’s cliched, but having all our friends and family together.
– and, finally, to be very British….the weather. The sun came out and shone through the church windows as we said our vows. And the rain stayed away throughout the drinks reception (which we had outside on 19th October) until we needed to sit down for the food.







Advice for other couples –
– for the wedding – don’t stress. Enjoy the planning. Involve other people.
– for the future – laugh together every day; don’t let time, money, effort stand in the way of your dreams (within reason of course!

And here are the details of our photographer:
– George Powell







Real Life Wedding, Catherine and Richard


A beautiful wedding to share with you today celebrated at The Vu in West Lothian. Catherine wore a stunning Maggie Sottero dress that suited her perfectly! And check out the bridesmaids lovely gowns, that could be worn multiple ways! So versatile and a sure way to make sure everyone is happy on the day. Their day was captured by the extremely talented Jeremy Stockton of Gallery Wedding Photography; truly spectacular images, especially love the ones from the pier, so special!




Names: Catherine and Richard

Wedding Date: 29th November 2013

The vision for the day: As it was November we wanted a nice autumn/wintery feel with warm colours and homely food.

The Planning Process: We decided at the start of 2013 that enough was enough and we needed to pull our finger out and get married after being together for 9 years and engaged for 7! Although we had been engaged for so long we managed to organise the wedding relatively quickly. We started looking at venues in January 2013 and had soon found a place that suited both our budget and the number of guests we wanted to invite.



The Venue: The Vu at Bathgate, West Lothian was a stunning venue located on Ballencrieff Reservoir in the Bathgate hills. It was perfect for us as we were having both the ceremony and reception in the same place and the ceremony room was beautiful, looking out across the water.

The Dress and Accessories: The dress was Maggie Sottero from bridal shop Emma Roy of Edinburgh. It was only the third or fourth dress I tried on but it was perfect for me, understated and elegant. My earrings and bracelet were from Swarovski and my Tiffany necklace was a beautiful wedding gift from Richard. My gorgeous hair slide was custom made for me by my bridesmaid Elise’s mum Laura Cunningham who designs and makes her own jewellery (

Grooms Attire: Being Scottish, the kilt is the outfit of choice and although Richard was keen on having his clan tartan, we quickly ruled that out as it looked like Rupert Bear’s trousers! Richard decided on the dark grey kilt instead and as the colour theme was dark red, this worked perfectly as the boys had matching burgundy cravats.




The Readings: We had a Humanist wedding which has the same legal status as a civil or religious ceremony in Scotland and had to put a lot of time into writing ‘Our Story’ for the big day. This part of the ceremony was really personal to us as it was all about how we first met, how we got together and little anecdotes about our life together which had our guests both laughing and wiping away tears. We had two reading also – the first was ‘These I can Promise’ by Mark Twain read by Richard’s friend Andrew which was such a simple yet beautiful reading and one we thought really summed up our relationship. The second was ‘I’ll Be There’ by Louise Cuddon which was read by my friend Lorna and was a lovely light-hearted poem that really made us smile. We had put a traditional Scottish Blessing on every guest’s seat which everyone recited to us at the end of the ceremony.

May you have,

Walls for the wind

And a roof for the rain,

And drinks bedside the fire

Laughter to cheer you

And those you love near you,

And all that your heart may desire

Lang may yer lum reek (which basically means long may your chimney smoke!)




Beautiful Bridesmaids: I really couldn’t pick from my close circle of friends so I had 7 bridesmaids and Richard had 8 ushers so there was a lot of people to clothe! Thankfully I found a beautiful bridesmaid dress early on from BHS which could be worn in 20 different ways which was ideal as it meant there was a style to suit all the girls. The colour was a beautiful deep burgundy and the girls looked stunning in their dresses with gorgeous dark purple calla lilies.

Music and First Dance: We had booked the wonderful pianist Alex Graham for our ceremony and wedding breakfast. He played Elton John ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ for my aisle music and ‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank and ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys for signing the register and The Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ for us walking back up the aisle after we were married. Alex was brilliant and was happy to take lots of requests from guests during the meal which was great and even culminated in an impromptu sing-a-long of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’!

Having very different tastes in music, with Richard liking heavy metal and me into more mellow types of music, picking the first dance song should have been difficult but it was actually surprisingly easy and a choice we agreed on straight away. Our first dance song was ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift which we picked because we have always had a bit of a joke with this song in that despite it being super cheesy and the most un-metal song you can imagine Richard secretly loves it which makes m

e laugh, as the lyrics were also quite fitting it was an easy choice for the day.


The Food: As it was the end of November we wanted warm homely food and so opted for classics including lentil soup, chicken balmoral, steak pie and sticky toffee pudding which was cooked onsite by the venue and went down a storm.

The flowers: The flowers were designed by a family friend who trained in floristy and were absolutely beautiful. I wanted to stick to a neutral trail for my bouquet and it looked perfect with the style of my dress. The flowers on both the top table and the cake were made up of beautiful roses and calla lilies.

The cake: This was one of the last things we organised and we weren’t fussed for spending a fortune on a cake so we opted for a simple iced three-tier madeira cake from Marks and Spencer which was expertly decorated by our florist Emma who truly did an amazing job.




Your Photographer: Our photographer was Jeremy Stockton of Gallery Wedding Photography. The photos from the day were great as we didn’t have too many staged photos which allowed us to mingle more with our guests and enjoy the day.

The Details and Décor: The colour theme was burgundy and everything tied in with that. I had the bridesmaids and several of the ushers making up little birdcage favour boxes with burgundy tags (no mean feat as they were incredibly fiddly) and filling them with burgundy heart shaped chocolate. We made our own sweet buffet for the evening reception by stock-piling sweeties over several months and borrowing jars and scoops from a friend. The sweet buffet seemed to go down a treat and there wasn’t so much as one chocolate raisin left by the end of the night!

The Honeymoon: Two days after the wedding we headed for our mini-moon which was 5 nights in Rome and Venice which was wonderful but so busy and we were exhausted when we got home so we are now looking forward to (hopefully) going away on a more relaxing break later on in the year although the plan is to save for Florida and Bermuda next year as our very belated Honeymoon!




Memorable Moments: There are so many, from the nerve-wracking drive to the venue with my Dad and my mouth feeling so dry I could barely swallow to the Best Man Tom’s hilarious speech which had the guests in stitches. As we had a lot of Scandinavians at the wedding (Tom being Swedish) I also really liked the fact that we had both a Swedish cheers during the meal and a traditional Scottish cheers which my dad had added into his speech which was great and went down really well. The ceremony was a real highlight for me and I loved that we had worked so closely with our Humanist Celebrant Marnie to make it very personal to both of us. Finally the evening reception was great as it gave us a chance to let our hair down and have a boogie on the dance floor.

Advice for other couples : One thing people always told me before I got married was how quickly the day went and I can’t stress how true this is! The day went so fast that even though we had an early ceremony of 1 o clock it seemed to flash past and so my advice would be to take several moments throughout the day just the two of you to enjoy the day and take in what is happening around you. If I could go back (and if I had more money in the budget) I would definitely have paid to get the wedding filmed.




Photographer – Jeremy Stockton of Gallery Wedding Photography


Real Life Wedding, Emma and Andrew


We head up to Bonnie Scotland today for this Real Life Cute Map Wedding; complete with a caller, bagpipes and a ceildidh. Everything you need for a good Scottish celebration! I love the classic, timeless quality of Emma and Andrews day and just wait until you get to the end, those dancing shots are ones to treasure.  It’s so nice to see everyone properly let their hair down after an amazing day! Let’s hear from the bride…




Names: Emma and Andrew MacArthur (nee MacMillan)

Wedding Date: 26th October 2013

The vision for the day: We wanted a traditional Scottish wedding – church ceremony, piper, food from Scotland’s larder and of course a ceilidh! We live in London so wanted to make sure the day was about spending time with our favourite people as we don’t get to see them as much as we would like to since we moved away three years ago. Having been a couple since school our families and friends know each other well and we wanted to make them central to our plans. Our colour scheme was grey and navy and we used a lot of wooden touches in our decorations- I didn’t want to look back on my photos in 20 years time and regret my colour scheme and these seemed timeless – not that I don’t love the photos of my mum’s powder blue 80s bridesmaids!! I also love fresh flowers so was keen to have a lot of beautiful blooms on the big day.





The Planning Process: We started planning as soon as we got engaged in paris in august 2012 so had 14 months – not as long as you think when you live 500 miles away from your venue and suppliers and work both long hours in The City! My mum was the biggest help in the planning of the day, she did a lot of the viewing and running around to suppliers for me. She has great taste so I trusted her judgement.

The Venue: Our ceremony was at Eastwood parish church in Glasgow, my childhood church. Our reception was in the beautiful Pollokshields burgh hall in leafy Maxwell park, also Glasgow. We had full use of the building so our guests could wander between rooms and the building itself is beautiful so we has a great canvas to decorate




The Dress and Accessories: I wore Eden by Jenny Packham with a matching headdress – I knew it was the one as soon as I slipped it on during my first shopping trip with my mum who did the right thing and started crying! Only mum had seen the dress until the wedding day, it was great to share that with her and see the bridesmaids reaction. My shoes were by love art, wear art – one of only 150 pairs made and matched my dress perfectly. I wore diamond drop earrings, a present from my husband and my parents gave me an amazing art deco diamond necklace on the wedding morning which again matched my 20s style perfectly.

Grooms Attire: Andrew and his 3 groomsmen and 2 best men wore full highland dress – the dark grey tartan is ‘hebridean grantie’.




The Readings: Andy’s grandfather John read ‘The Art of a good marriage’ by Wilfred Arlan Peterson. It was very fitting as he and Andy’s grandma Evelyn have been married for over 60 years so must be doing something right! Andy’s eldest sister Emma (now 2 Emma MacArthurs in the family!) read ‘What is Love’ (Anon). both were beautiful and we were so glad we could include family on the day.

Beautiful Bridesmaids: My 4 amazing bridesmaids – best friend Fiona, school friend Laura and university girls Steph and Lydia – although based in different cities around the uk were a fantastic support and help throughout. Steph and Fiona organised not one but two amazing hen parties for me in Ibiza and Glasgow and all were on hand with help or advice in the lead up to the big day. The girls wore dresses by Maids to Measure in London – all were dove grey and full length but were different styles to suit their shapes and tastes. Each wore different jewelry and had bun hairstyles. They looked amazing!



The Details and Décor: The details are where I went slightly overboard – but looking back it was worth it as we had so many positive comments! We gave all our guests a decorated paper bag (etsy design) for the Ceremony with the bridal and groom party names on it, inside was a small pack of tissues for happy tears and dried flower confetti. We had personalised paper favour bags hand tied with ribbon. Inside was a personalised shot glass, charity pin badge, loveheart sweets and a miniture bottle of Limoncello inside (a token from our first holiday together). We also gave guests a hangover kit as they left – this included a bottle of irn bru, teapigs tea bags, chocolate, alka seltzer tablets and a ‘DO NOT DISTURB, RECOVING FROM THE MACARTHUR’S WEDDING’ door hanger. We made up bags of toys and puzzles for the children to keep them occupied during the speeches and dinner. For our décor, we used the amazing Supernova events who managed the process throughout. We had a sparkling dance floor, beautiful table linen, chairs and decorations, a mini postbox for cards and mood lighting in all rooms. Our wedding guest book was in fact a treated piece of wood which guests added their comments to and is now being made into a table for our home! Obviously our save the dates and invitations by Cute maps were talked about by all the guests – they had never seen anything as personal before.





The Food: Our amazing caterers Scoop provided canapes, a four course meal and midnight munchies for our 115 guests. Our wedding breakfast included scallops and black pudding, pheasant salad, fillet of beef main and a trio of mini desserts. At 10pm the ‘midnight munchies’ were served; burgers and homemade relish and spicy lamb koftas which were needed as our caterers were also running our bar and everyone had enjoyed the selection of homemade cocktails! All the food was delicious and the staff were fantastic- they couldn’t have done any more to make the day run smoothly!

The cake: We had a 5 tier cake by liggys cakes. Each tier was a different flavour (fruit, chocolate, lemon, carrot and vanilla) and was topped with beautifully decorated icing and fresh flowers. We also had a 4 tier cheese cake decorated with pomegranate and oat cakes. This was perfect for guests who prefer a savory snack to sweet and was amazing to look at.

Your Photographer: Our family friend Ian Adam took photos for us from the morning through to the first dance – we didn’t need reminding of our bad dancing later in the evening and wanted to relax with our guests.


The flowers: As I mentioned I love fresh flowers and wanted to have as many fresh flowers as possible – and I think I did a good job! We had flowers on all pew ends and windows in the church as well as a flowing centrepiece and my favourite – a cascading floral arch outside the church. Our venue was bursting with flowers – on every table, window ledge, nook and cranny! We used lots of pinks, creams and browns – perfect for lifting a grey autumn day.

Music and First Dance: I walked up the aisle with my dad to a string trio playing Elbow’s ‘one day like this’ and we signed the register to ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’ – everyone sang along to the da-da-da-da-da part! our good friend Ciaran kindly played the organ for our ceremony hymns and of course we had a piper outside the church to greet our guests in the traditional Scottish way! Our first dance was The Proclaimers ‘Let’s get married’ and we closed the night with the old Scottish fave, ‘Loch Lomond’. Our band Ernest played a mixture of ceilidh and other music – from all decades which was great for getting everyone on the dance floor, which wasn’t empty all night!




The Honeymoon: We spent 4 days exploring Singapore then flew to Phuket, Thailand to The Shore resort for 1 week – which I would highly recommend to recharge the batteries post wedding!!

Memorable Moments: Reaching Andy at the top of the aisle and seeing his face was my favourite moment. We were both shaking and had dreadful dry mouth but it was still great!

My dad’s speech was fantastic – he doesn’t enjoy public speaking and so we were both nervous but I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was the perfect combination of funny and touching and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room at the end. I will always be so grateful for those words sending me off into married life.

On a lighter note, the minister forgot to turn off his microphone when he came out to greet me and the bridal party as we arrived and his ‘oh HELLO’ comment rang through the church and everyone laughed – at least Andy knew I had scrubbed up Ok!




Advice for other couples: Don’t get too bogged down in timings and detailed plans – on the day you won’t notice if things don’t go as expected. Our meal ran on for an extra hour but no one noticed – including us!


Supernova events –

Scoop catering:

Ernest wedding band:

Apollo string quartet:

Maids to Measure, London:

St Clair Wedding Cars:

Liggys Cakes: