Category Archives: Real Life Weddings

Real Life Wedding, Ann-Claire and Gerard


Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are all looking forward to the weekend ahead, definitely well deserved I think! I have a stunning wedding to share with you today, an absolute classic, filled to the brim with old style glamour. Ann-Claire and Gerard got married in December, and I love the festive touches they have incorporated into their day; it fits perfectly with the grandness of their theme. Their venue is simply stunning, complete with incredible Christmas tree; ideal for wedding photos! Enjoy these glorious images brought to you by Patrick Ryan Photography.  




Names: Ann-Claire Rochford and Gerard Reynolds

Wedding Date: 20th December 2013

The vision for the day: Black and Gold elegance

The Planning Process: We got engaged in March 2013.once we found an available date for December 2013 from our church and venue it was straight into the planning process. I found and pinterest great resources. I went with the black and gold theme based on a ball gown I had seen, this ended up being our bridesmaid dress. By May I had chosen our invites and my dress. During the summer months I met with my florist and” finesse weddings” to discuss church and ballroom decor.



The Venue: The 5 star Heritage golf and spa resort Killenard, Co. Laois, Ireland. It is a distance of 10km from our church. We had to factor in December weather for guests and what it may be like to travel on the roads, therefore we choose a venue close by that we both were very familiar with.

The Dress and Accessories: I got the dress in May at Ronald Joyce, it was a “light gold Blanch” gown, from Amarra bridal,Co. Kildare,Ireland. My shoes -Jimmy choo “Vamp”- were a wedding gift from my sisters. As there was a lot of detail on my dress I just wore earrings and a hair piece under my veil. I wanted a vintage veil in a very off white colour to match the dress. I finally found one on it was cathedral length “Juliet capped” champagne vintage veil.

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Grooms Attire; Gerard said from the start that he wanted no tails on his wedding attire so suits were the only option and the men looked really smart. Gerard’s suit was purchased locally (in Eamon Brackens menswear) while the other 8 were hired also in Eamon Brackens, Portarlington, Co. Laois. All 9 men wore black and gold cufflinks, brown shoes, white shirts, gold tie pins, black and gold ties and matching a matching black and gold handkerchief.

The Readings : I picked the readings myself from a book my sister had given me when she visited Knock, Co. Mayo during the summer of 2013. The first reading: A reading from the book of Genesis 2:18-24 was read by my brother Mark. The responsorial psalm was Ps 32:12. 18. 20-22. R v.5 read by my friend Annie.The second reading: A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians 12:31- 13:8 was read by one of Gerards sisters, Sinéad. We had a selection of cousins and friends read the prayers of the faithful and Gerards sister Mary read the communion reflection “Perhaps love” by John Denver.

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Beautiful Bridesmaids; I ordered the first bridesmaid dress in April and once it matched the online version I went ahead and ordered the other girls dresses. I loved the black and gold polka dot corset and black gathered skirt.

Music ; My cousin Joseph sang in the church and was accompanied by the very talented musician Owen Lynch. A family friend sang A Capella after communion in the church. Arrivals music in the hotel was provided by the hotel; a pianist on a grand piano in the foyer. Our band were fantastic they were called the The Pearls, they had everyone out on the dance floor from the word go.





Our First Dance; This was a Christmas song the “Fairytale of New York (Christy Moore version) it is a favourite of ours and reminded Gerard of absent friends. R.I.P.

The Food: The food was all provided by the Hotel and was plentiful and tasty. The arrival food was mini goats cheese tartlets, filo pastry prawns and spring rolls served with mulled wine and prosecco. The main meal consisted of : chicken and mushroom vol au vent, butternut squash soup, turkey and ham or beef or a vegetarian option, and a trio of desserts: pistachio Crème Brule, apple pie, meringue nest.

The cake: This was a fruit cake made by my Mum. It was almond iced and decorated with white icing that had been placed in a lace mould. . I also made Cadburys chocolate biscuit cake for the guest wedding cake boxes and for afters food on the night.

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The flowers: I wanted generous looking flowers everywhere and my florist certainly delivered. We had sweeping bouquets of red, orange, (arum lilies) hints of purple and lush green foliage.

Your Photographer: Our photographer was a local guy called Patrick Ryan, from Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Though only in his twenties Patrick has been practicing as a photographer for over ten years now. Starting out his career as an assistant to one of Ireland’s most renowned and highly decorated portrait and wedding photographers, Theresa and Brian Redmond AIPPA of Redmond’s of Roscrea.



The Details and Décor: I was very interested in having small details at the wedding. For the wedding car we had personalised ribbons with our name and date on them. In the church we had tones of flowers, our aisle stands and lanterns were supplied by Finesse weddings. On arrival at the hotel we had black and gold cake boxes for guests with the date and event on front. My cousin Martin made a beautiful candy cart placed in the foyer of the hotel. It had personalised black and gold stickers on the sweet jars “AC and Gerard 20/12/13”. We also had a personalised “hot air balloon guest book” for guests to sign their name on, it was on an easel in the ballroom. In the ball room, provided by Finesse weddings we had purple and peach coloured up lighting and we also had a fairylight backdrop behind the top table. At each individuals seat we had black and gold picture frames as guest favours from After the main course we had a singing chef and waitress to entertain guests. During the band interval we had Irish dancers to entertain.



The Honeymoon; We are saving again and planning on travelling in the summer of 2014 to around the world trip.

Memorable Moments: Seeing the congregation through my champagne coloured veil. Saying our vows.

Advice for other couples: We were lucky to have a short engagement and it added to the excitement of the year. Pinterest is incredible for DIY ideas. Keep track of gifts by writing in small writing on back of guest cards.


Credits: All credit goes to Goldlink stationery for our fabulous invites, Cute Maps for the beautiful quirky maps, Our families for all their support, Lena in The heritage golf and spa resort for her hard work, Mary at Finesse weddings for all the behind the scenes work,  My florist Liz and the priests who helped make the ceremony beautiful.

Real Life Wedding, Jenny and Stuart


A blissful, beautiful, sunny affair to share with you this morning. Enough to forget about the terrible rain that has descended today! Jen and Stuart got married in Ibiza, such a fantastic location and you can see all their family and friends basking in the sunshine looking so happy. Their day had definite holiday vibes and the beautiful scenery provided the perfect backdrop for some very romantic wedding shoots, taken by the super talented Ana from Ana Lui Photography.  Ah looks like a fantastic day, lets have a look at the loveliness…

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Names: Jenny and Stuart

Wedding date: 19th September 2013

The vision for the day: We wanted to use bright colours which would look nice in the sunshine and also wanted the day to have a relaxed fun vibe to allow everyone to enjoy the day.

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The planning process: We both knew pretty soon after our engagement that we wanted to go abroad to get married as we wanted to make a real holiday of our wedding. Ibiza was an easy choice as it is a special place for both of us and we have shared great times there.  After doing a bit of research we found a catering/wedding planning company called eat-ibiza who had so many great reviews. They offer a complimentary wedding planning service and Vickki, the organiser was absolutely fantastic throughout. She has so much experience she made us feel relaxed about the whole process, which I can imagine can be pretty stressful when you’re planning a wedding in a different country! We also used Ibiza Ceremonies who helped us organise everything to do with the church including an English speaking priest. We also planned a pool party at our villa for the day following the wedding which we organised ourselves.

Budget: We had a budget from the start and managed to stick to it (roughly!) It is easy to get carried away with every aspect so we felt it helped to record everything in a spreadsheet, which we updated on a regular basis.

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The venue: Es Cubells church then Elixir shore club, Ibiza. We wanted a relatively small church to allow our ceremony to feel intimate and Es Cubells was perfect, it also has the most stunning views over the ocean from the back of the church. Elixir was also exactly what we were looking for as it has stunning views, minimal chic décor and a great open area looking out to Es Vedra rock.

The dress and accessories: A customised Suzanne Neville dress from Eleganza Spoza in Glasgow, fresh flowers for hair, Vivienne Westwood shoes, vintage style gold jewellery including my Grandmother’s locket which my Mum also wore on her wedding day.

Grooms attire: Hugo Boss suit, white shirt, tan coloured belt and brogues and a tartan tie from Charles Tyrwhitt.

The readings: Poem called ‘These Hands’ read by my Uncle during the ceremony. We both love the poem and felt it was really appropriate.

Beautiful bridesmaids: My friend Pauline wore a dress by JLM in ‘candy apple’ with gold accessories.

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Music and first dance: Sam and Johnny (wedding ceremonies Ibiza) not only helped us organise everything for the church but provided the music for the ceremony too (piano and voice). Picking the music was fun and we were able to choose music and hymns which meant something to us both which included the Beatles ‘Here comes the Sun.’ We wanted to pick music that fitted in with the vibe of Ibiza so had a Spanish guitarist playing during our drinks reception and then Hed Kandi for the party at night which included DJ Ben Santiago, the Lovely Laura on the saxophone and an extremely cool and talented bongo player. They were fantastic and kept the dance floor full all night with classic dance hits. Our first dance was Chaka Khan, ‘Aint Nobody’.

The food: Tapas sharing platters to start, then a choice of fillet steak medallions with rosemary-rioja jus or local or local fish en papiotte with hand crushed tomato salsa verde for mains then a buffet dessert table for dessert. Eat-ibiza are known for their great food and they didn’t disappoint as all the food was delicious, in fact it was the best steak we’ve ever had!

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The flowers: I chose various wild flowers in bright pretty colours for our bouquets and white roses for the men’s button holes which were organised by eat-Ibiza.

The cake: We decided on a dessert buffet table rather than a large wedding cake, Vickki from eat-Ibiza is a talented pastry chef and all her desserts were absolutely delicious.

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Your photographer: Our photographer was the talented and lovely Ana Lui. I came across her website when I was browsing online and also noticed she had won photographer of the year on the white-ibiza website. We absolutely loved her style of photography so it was an easy decision and she didn’t disappoint as she captured our day beautifully.

The details and decor: We chose wild bright coloured flowers for the tables, lots of small candles dotted around the room and silk hanging lanterns which looked beautiful when the sun went down. Our tables were named after our favourite places in Ibiza, including space nightclub!

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The honeymoon: We both wanted to go away and have a bit of an adventure so we chose 3 weeks in South America in Brazil, Argentina and Peru with the highlight being our visit to Machu Picchu.

Memorable moments: Seeing Stuart for the first time when I walked down the isle and having all our friends and family dance the night away. To be honest, the whole day was so special that everything was memorable, from getting ready in the morning to getting the bus home at 2am-everything was perfect.

Advice for other couples: Planning a wedding can be stressful so try and keep it fun and don’t get too stressed with minor details..just enjoy it. We found that wine can be your best friend, and when there are major decisions to be made, sometimes taking time out and having a glass of wine can ease rising stress levels!!!

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Credits: Wedding planning and catering: Eat-Ibiza

Photographer and videography: Ana Lui

Church organisation: Samantha and Johnny

Cute maps stationary:

Wedding dress: Eleganza Sposa, Glasgow:

Makeup was done by Carolina Svensson at Smack Ibiza: She was fantastic and took her time to make sure we achieved the exact look I wanted.

Real Life Wedding, Rhiannon and Tom

Pops of colour, a stunning venue and the best cheese wedding cake EVER; this wedding has it all. Rhiannon and Tom got married in August last year in Finchingfield. I love the relaxed atmosphere of the whole day, definitely channelling garden party vibes with an amazing jazz band and canapés outside. Those balloons are such a great idea! So simple but they really bring the photos to life. This fantastic day was captured expertly by the lovely Laura at Babb Photo



Names: Rhiannon and Tom Puar

Wedding: Date 31st August 2013

The vision for the day: Tom and I both love bright colours and a pastel/shabby chic wedding was never going to be our style. Very early on I knew I wanted a bright midnight blue accent to things as I love the way that colour pops out and catches people’s eyes but I didn’t want just one main colour scheme so we decided that the colours of the rainbow would be the best way to go. We also wanted the day to be formal enough for people to be able to dress up in lovely clothes but relaxed and summery so that people felt as if they were at a garden party.



The Planning Process: I bought my first wedding magazine about two weeks after the engagement, I felt proud of myself for waiting that long! This is when I began my obsession! I still have a stack of wedding magazines by my bed that I can’t bring myself to give away. They were really useful in the planning process and I got lots of ideas and support along the way from reading them. We decided to have the wedding close to our anniversary and gave ourselves just over eighteen months to plan it, having such a long time was great as there was no stress involved and I loved every part of the process so didn’t want it to be over quickly.

Budget: We had a budget from the beginning which we felt it was important to try to stick to, if not come under but things inevitably cost more than you expect. I started to do a lot of DIY bits and pieces which made a big difference.



The Venue: We chose the beautiful Spains Hall in Finchingfield as it made such a big impression on us, everything there was geared to making the day special and we loved the slightly quirky nature of the ceremony room, the award winning toilets(!) and the quality of everything in the stables where the reception would be held. There were also a number of ducks wandering around which was perfect as they are one of our favourite animals!

The Dress and Accessories: The dress was Jenny Packham and my veil was made by a milliner who lives down the road from Tom’s parents. She used the excess beads after my dress had been altered to create a headpiece which matched the dress! My shoes were a finding of fate: The perfect bright blue colour and the last pair in a Kurt Geiger sale which fit me perfectly! I also wore a pair of blue earrings which had belonged to Tom’s Aunt which meant a lot to him and his family.
I started the dress hunt very early as I was too excited to wait! I had seen Jenny Packham dresses in magazines and on the Internet and knew I loved her style so I thought I had better try some of her dresses before anything else. I found a stockist in Birmingham and took two friends along to help me but when we got there the woman wouldn’t let me try on any Jenny Packham dresses, telling me it would be a shame if I liked one and then couldn’t afford to buy it (I hadn’t told her my budget at this point), so feeling very put out and a bit Pretty Womanesque I halfheartedly tried a couple of other dresses and left.
I then went to a few other dress shops in the area with Tom’s mum but felt like I was playing fancy dress in all these big netted dresses and felt ready to give up when Tom’s mum found a shop in Worcester who were having a Jenny Packham sample sale, they had photos of the dresses and one in particular caught my eye so we travelled down with our fingers crossed it would fit and as soon as I tried it on I had the feeling I’d been missing- this was “the one”!





Grooms Attire: Tom didn’t want tails but otherwise wasn’t sure what he wanted, we went to a couple of suit places and in Moss they gave him a French connection Tux to try on which he loved, that was that! A much easier shopping experience than the dress!
The Readings:  I had stumbled across the passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin early on and we both loved that so decided that would be our first one to be read by my oldest friend (it turned out to be extra special when I told my brother what we had chosen as I had forgotten that was the reading he and my sister in law had at their wedding). Our second reading was to be done by a close friend of us both from university and we accidentally stumbled across a poem called “The One” which, despite slight cheesiness, was perfect as he and his friends used to claim they had found “the one” every night out so it added a comedic touch!





Beautiful Bridesmaids: My four best friends from university and my best friend from school were the adult bridesmaids who planned an absolutely perfect hen do for me in Bath and helped make the day before and morning of the wedding completely stress free by being simply wonderful! They were all in bright blue dresses from Oasis and matching gold shoes and earrings, my Dad also made them matching poppy hair grips to match the poppy in our bouquets! My littlest bridesmaid was my treasured niece Isla who looked perfect in her cream lace dress and a poppy in her hair! She loved being a bridesmaid and asked me the other day if I was going to get married a second time so she could be a bridesmaid again!

Music and First Dance: The music I walked down the aisle to was the very first decision made. I have always loved Eva Cassidy’s Songbird and I knew this song would fit how I felt about the ceremony and about Tom.

I was very keen to have a live band in the evening whereas Tom really wanted a DJ so we decided to have a jazz band for the afternoon and wedding breakfast and a DJ for the evening, this worked out so well, the jazz band Jazz Company gave the afternoon exactly the garden party vibe I was after and it was great having them play while we ate dinner as well. The DJ Simon played songs we had asked for in a great mix which kept everyone dancing all night, although he was slightly confused when we confirmed it was the Jay Z version of Empire State of Mind we wanted for our first dance, not the Alicia Keys one!






The Food: was a recommended supplier from the venue, Cambridge Dining Company. The food was delicious and we had fun choosing the menu options before the wedding. The canapés in particular went down a storm during the drinks reception.

The flowers: Were designed by a family friend Irene Belton who suffered through my many changes of heart and demands and ended up creating centre pieces and bouquets that were even closer to what I wanted than I had been able to explain! She captured what we wanted exactly and the flowers had such an impact on the bright and fun nature of the day. We had great fun on the Thursday before the wedding helping her to put the centre pieces together and Tom and I both loved that we had been so hands on with something so important. Tom’s mum also helped with the centrepieces and grew some bright and colourful flowers in her garden for us which she then arranged in some wicker baskets to decorate the troughs in the reception hall to help add to the colour!

The cake: Was five layers of delicious cheeses from Gunton’s deli in Colchester, we had brilliant fun trying all the cheeses and choosing our five favourites! My parents couldn’t stand the idea of the day going by without actual cake as well so they asked their friend to make 150 brightly coloured cake pops which went down a storm!





Your Photographer: The brilliant Laura Babb, I came across her photos on a blog and showed Tom who agreed that her style was exactly what we wanted. After meeting her in London and liking her Facebook page where she uploads previews of her photography regularly I was convinced she would be the only person to capture the day right so we booked her up and as you can see from the photos were completely right about that!

The Details and Décor: This was my biggest obsession over the year before the wedding, we had asked Cute Maps to create our stationary and the cute and quirky design the lady behind Cute Maps came up with massively influenced the rest of the style. We wanted lots of colour and I wanted everything to tie together so I used elements of her stationery and my own designs to create menus, a scavenger hunt style game and my biggest obsession; the favours. These were individual boxes with a small pot of homemade chutney, some savoury biscuits, some wax paper and a sticker so people could use them to take some of our cheese cake home with them. They were almost too successful though as Tom and I didn’t get to eat a single piece of the cheese!
I spent a lot of time scouring blogs and wedding magazines to find ideas for the details but the best ones came to me at random times! I made a poster for our guest book and spent an afternoon stamping out mini card balloons for people to sign, I found some mini bunting in rainbow colours to decorate the cake and found 7 giant balloons in rainbow colours which ended up behind us during the meal before being commandeered by my niece and nephew! Laura Babb also used them to take one of our favourite photos from the whole day. I have never been one to follow the crowd and didn’t want the typical Mr and Mrs sign I was seeing everywhere so instead bought and painted the letters of The Puars to sit in front of us during the wedding breakfast.




The Honeymoon: Was a three month trip round the world, we have talked for a long time about going travelling so decided our honeymoon was the perfect time, it was easily the best three months of our lives and we have such fantastic lifelong memories from it. We visited the USA, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Thailand over twelve weeks. Some of the highlights of the trip were relaxing on the remote islands in Fiji, feeding kangaroos in Australia, travelling the south island of New Zealand and riding an elephant in Thailand.
Memorable Moments: Seeing Tom for the first time in the ceremony was wonderful, my dad getting choked up at the end of his speech and a great surprise from the boys who had been on the stag do who had attempted to put together a brilliant dance routine. To be honest I could write every detail of the day here, we loved every minute of it!
Advice for other couples: Make the day about you and your fiancé, incorporate your own personalities and invite the people you want to be there and you can guarantee it will be a roaring success! Also, don’t stress, things that seem vitally important three months before the wedding or even three hours before are completely forgotten when you see each other for the first time from opposite ends of the aisle!




Definitive Music for both the band and DJ, I couldn’t recommend this company and the two acts we hired more…
Laura Babb at for our amazing photos.
Cute Maps stationery
Gunton’s Deli
Perfections dress shop in Worcester, the perfect wedding dress experience, the staff are wonderful here!
Sally Harper Milinery for my handmade veil

Real Life Wedding, Ailsa and George


An absolute stunner of a wedding to share with you today! With such a classic looking bride in the grandest of venues; all those hours on pinterest certainly paid off. Love their idea to give each table a ‘leader’, a genius way to share the hosting duties and get everyone involved. This beautiful day was captured wonderfully by Geoff Kirby Let’s hear from the bride…





Names – Ailsa Clarke & George Adams

Wedding Date- 14.09.13

The vision for the day- classic chic wedding with a lot of originality and a focus on family.

The Planning Process- hours spent working out which way to go. Once the major details were worked out the smaller parts were planned night after night. Pinterest was very much my friend! George got to the point where he wanted to be involved but given options rather than researching so i took on the role of chief planner .

The Venue- pinchbeck church followed by a marquee on the lawn of Georges father’s house- Pinchbeck hall.

The Dress and Accessories- customised Mark Lesley dress. Earrings and hair slide from both with a pearl and diamond effect and veil from masquerade.

Grooms Attire- traditional wedding suit hired from Goddards in Spalding. Went for grey suit with navy ties to match the colour scheme.




The Readings- my oldest school friend Gina workman read song of Soloman from the bible- which is a love poem. George’s sister Lucy Adams read “grow old with you” from the film the wedding singer.

Beautiful Bridesmaids- My two sisters Lizzie and Mabel wore silver, Lizzi- George’s sister, Sam- my brother’s girlfriend and my best friend Emma wore navy. Dresses were made by my mother in law Liz Alexander. She did a fantastic job and made them out of a stiff silk material from John Lewis in two styles! I loved having bridesmaids in completely custom one of a kind dresses made by family.

Music and First Dance- I walked down the aisle to Victoria and Albert- Ilan Eshkeri which was from the soundtrack to the film The Young Victoria. It is one of my favourite films and the score is beautiful and felt right for us as it was classical sounding but had a love story behind it. We left the church to mad caddies- without you. This was a favourite of ours and is very upbeat so fit nicely. Our first dance was the Beatles- in my life. For entertainment we had a band who went down a storm- the Supertones.




The Food- We went for a posh bbq with Moroccan lamb, cajun chicken and mozerella beef burgers alongside salads. For the night time George’s family butcher shop catered pork pies, sausage rolls, hams salads etc. The best part was the pork pie wedding cake they did for us.

The flowers- Flowers N’ Things of Spalding Lincs put out flowers together in a rustic way to match our theme. We had delphiniums, gypsophila, hydrangeas, roses etc. They were the most beautiful arrangements I have ever seen and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

The cake- Anna Davies at country kitchen cakes at Weston lincs did our cake in blue with pearls and lace, it was so beautiful she did an amazing job.

Your Photographer- Geoff Kirby from Nottingham was our photographer who did such an incredible job, he managed to capture the most intimate moments. We were keen not to have many posed photos as much prefer ones that capture moments and people when they don’t realize.




The Details and Décor- the marquee was done by events and tents lincs. They have beautiful marquees and an amazing vision. We went for navy and silver as the colour scheme. I got lots of French looking accessories and hearts to decorate the inside. Lots of my ideas came from pinterest including gluing 3 photo frames together with a flameless candle behind them. The photos included the people on each table and were a great conversation starter. We also came up with an idea that we would have table leaders on each table who were responsible for making sure everyone was happy, got fed and had lots to drink. As part of their role they had to wear a hat of some sort which again was great fun and the people really enjoyed it. The tables were named in line with each headwear so one table was “high society” and had a top hat, another was “the fuzz” with a police hat!

The Honeymoon- We went for 2 weeks to Tanjung Benoa in Bali and spent the whole time relaxing, eating and drinking! Think we pretty much put a stone on each but it was such an amazing time.

Memorable Moments- A memorable moment for me was the time before the church as George’s sister phoned to stall us because some guests were still in the pub. This gave my dad and I a good 10 minutes on our own in the car which was really special. During the service I had a butterfly in my dress layer which was quite funny as it was flying around throughout the whole service- George managed to get it out in the room where we signed the register. Another memorable moment was after the service as we arrived back at the marquee first and enjoyed a few minutes on our own drinking champagne before people arrived. The speeches were particularly memorable too- my dad had managed to steal my childhood teddy prior to the wedding and had got him a little tux to wear so presented that during his speech which was hilarious. George also did a fantastic speech based on the guidance i had printed off for him a few nights before when he still hadn’t written a speech. He just basically listed this off and said a little bit about each point which went down really well despite him being in trouble from me for not writing a speech!!




Advice for other couples- It will never cost what you expect even if you are meticulous with budgeting and planning so definitely plan to spend more. When planning try to remember why you are doing it and pick things that are personal to you. It literally goes by so quickly it’s unbelievable so definitely try to take a few moments during the day to take it all in!

Credits- Photographer- Geoff Kirby

Marquee- the events and tents company

Band- the supertones booked through


Pork pie wedding cake-

Cake- country kitchen cakes Weston-

Real Life Wedding, Carol and Bob

This beautiful wedding is definitely an ode to doing it your way. Carol and Rob got married in May last year in a chic London ceremony with a reception at Trinity Buoy Wharf. I love the way they’ve decorated this industrial warehouse, making it a beautiful wedding venue while still retaining a cool edge. Also this venue gives plenty of space for a dance floor, a definite necessity! Let’s hear from the bride shall we:



Rob and I wanted to get married in London and discovered Trinity Buoy Wharf: a warehouse with dry hire on the river opposite the o2…  It meant we could avoid the packaged deals and organise our own food and drink without being restricted by the venue’s choices.  Perfect!

I found my David Fielden dress on the first day of the sample sale in January 2013.  I loved the dress and am pleased that I went with a fairly simple look as it really suited the venue and the vibe we had on the day.





My hairdresser (Stan Watts, The King’s Canary) came to my flat to make my hair look gorgeous on the day, as well as my bridesmaids’, my mum’s .. and my dad’s(!!).

We did the flowers ourselves – roping in my mother in law for a trip to Covent Garden Flower Market at 7am on the Friday before the wedding on the Sunday.  My mum and friends, as well as my mother in law and her sister all helped out me out the day before the wedding to put the flowers (peonies, ranunculus and lady bombastic roses) in the sherry glasses and medical bottles I had collected from eBay.  Rob, my dad and my father in law helped put up lanterns to make the warehouse less bare..  Exhausting but fun!


35_762256The weather didn’t allow us to have our bellinis and canapés outside to enjoy the urban views of Canary Wharf and the o2 but it didn’t matter. We loved every minute, especially the “Jewish nods” we included to reference Rob’s cultural heritage.  We would love to do it all again – and we wouldn’t change a thing!  I would have loved to have been a guest!

We planned a lot of things ourselves.  We got Cute Maps to prepare the digital invite which we sent out by email via Greenvelope.  I made the picture frames for the table plan and the guest’s polaroid photos using old frames and vintage maps and I made the name tags myself using a simple ink stamp and brown parcel tags.

Advice to future couples is to take time out on the day to be with your new husband / wife to look at all of your guests enjoying themselves. The day passes so quickly and it is nice to try to slow it down by observing the events as well as taking part in all of them. Also, when planning, remember to take a step back and make sure you are only doing things because you want them or they have a meaning, we didn’t have a wedding cake (instead we had Italian cannoli delivered late in the night) and we didn’t have a first dance. Nor did I have a bouquet – I found the thought if walking down the aisle with flowers in my hand too weird!


Photographer: Jonny Donovan
Music: The Gold Diggers during the service and canapés;  The Belles for the reception
Food: Tasting Plates – delicious Mediterranean platters and sharing plates
Bride’s dress: David Fielden
Bride’s shoes: Chie Mihara
Groom’s suit: Spencer Hart
Flower girls’ tutus: Bob & Blossom
Late night cannoli: (delivered by vespa at about 10pm) Arancina, Notting Hill
Venue: Trinity Buoy Wharf, East India Dock

Real Life Wedding, Meg and Pete


Today we have the beautiful wedding of Meg and Pete to share with you. It is enchanting. Never have a seen such smiley, happy photos; shot after shot those smiles don’t fade! Clearly they had a wonderful day. I love their table plan idea too, each one had a rustic wooden sign and is named after a mountain; perfect for this outdoorsy couple. Their gorgeous day was captured by Lana from Love Photography,


The vision for the dayWe are both countryside loving, outdoorsy people and wanted a wedding that was full of personal touches that felt like a relaxed country garden party.
The Planning Process: Very few wedding magazines, lots of online blogs and frequent reminders that we don’t have to fit to anyone else’s preferences but our own! Planning took 11 months and it was a great opportunity to spend time together as we’d only met 3 months before Pete proposed!
Budget: Pete is an accountant who occasionally requested budget discussions and maintained a very complicated looking spreadsheet. Meg just wanted a wedding that reflected who we are, without going overboard on cost…and tried to ignore the spreadsheet wherever possible! We stumped up more for what we felt was important, and tried to save on everything else.


The Venue: The ceremony was held at Meg’s family church near Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. A beautiful traditional setting. The reception was held at Utopia at Broughton Hall in Skipton, a stunning timber and glass structure set in a walled garden. The transport was a classic Land Rover Defender, a tribute to our love of the countryside.
The Dress and Accessories: It was the first dress I tried on! A very classic ivory lace Justin Alexander mermaid gown.
Grooms Attire: I always said I wanted Pete to have just as special an outfit as me, so I insisted he got a fully tailored suit. He deserves to feel a million dollars too! We picked the blue-grey cloth together, then I didn’t see it until the wedding day. It was a 3 piece custom made suit from Michelsberg Tailoring, with a tailored shirt and an intricate Liberty floral print tie.



The Readings: We found real inspiration in the words of Ruth 1: 16-17 and this was read by Pete’s Mum. Meg’s Mum took us back to our childhood days by reciting the whole of the Owl and the Pussy Cat, it ended up as a sort of bedtime story during the ceremony!
Beautiful Bridesmaids: I had 3 gorgeous bridesmaids who all played a massive part in making the day perfect. Gill, a friend I’ve known since I was 11, was one of our witnesses. Ashley and Helen are close friends from the first school I worked in. Ashley did my make up and Helen did my hair, they know exactly what suits me and getting professionals in was never something I’d wanted.



Music and First Dance: Having Helen, a music teacher, as a bridesmaid made our job really easy when selecting music. She played the violin during the signing of the register, playing Romance from the Gadfly and Gabriel’s Oboe, leaving my Mum in floods of tears! As a wedding present she then gave us our drinks reception entertainment, which was a fabulous jazz singer and pianist. For the big party after the wedding breakfast we had an awesome band put together by an extremely talented musician friend of hers. The dance floor was never empty and they agreed to play our first dance song, ‘Everything’ by Michael Buble, live. Making the most of talented people your friends and family know really pays off. As does finding a wedding dance on You Tube that you can teach yourself in 4 weeks…nailed it!







The Food: We had Pimms and canapés on arrival at the reception and opted to have no starter for the main wedding breakfast. We had roast pork with proper crackling, roast potatoes, vegetables and roasted apples. This was followed by a trio of small desserts made up of chocolate torte, lemon tart and rhubarb crumble.
The flowers: All beautifully created by Meg’s Mum (with the exception of the buttonholes) after doing a fabulous full day course on producing bouquets and wedding arrangements. The bouquets contained anemones, veronica and ranunculus and the church and venue had arrangements of tulips, daffodils (to represent Meg’s Welsh heritage) and white roses (for Yorkshire).
The cake: The cake wasn’t a priority for us and we even considered not having one at all, so we were reluctant to spend a lot of money. Thankfully a family friend of Meg’s makes amazing cakes and so she kindly created one based on our own ideas of what we wanted. We saved a fortune and it looked fabulous. We had chocolate, vanilla and lemon sponge tiers each surrounded by white chocolate cigarellos and topped with fresh fruit.


The Details and Décor: I think even Kirsty Allsop would’ve been proud of our handmade personal touches! The place settings were hand painted giant ceramic Scrabble tiles of guest’s initials with favours of wild flower seeds. Jars wrapped in hessian held tea lights, vintage milk bottles full of loose bunches of flowers decorated the tables and the ceiling was hung with bunting handmade by Meg’s Auntie. Pete spent hours producing traditional carved footpath signs of mountain names for the tables and personalised hand painted bags contained toys and games for the kids. We covered the lawns with garden games, and outdoor heaters, fire pits and baskets of blankets drew people onto the veranda despite the cold. In the toilets we put a pamper basket packed with hand creams, hair spray, lip balm, nail files, hair brush, tissues and even condoms….and yes they were taken! The personal elements were what most people still comment on.


Your Photographer: Lana Davies, introduced to me by a friend and someone I’d known for a few years, ended up as more of a wedding guest than just a photographer. Her down to earth and genuine approach meant the guests and us were relaxed around her and at times she had people in stitches.
The Honeymoon: We had a week long mini-moon in Portugal straight after the wedding and then in the Summer holidays we spent 3 weeks in Kenya. It sounds rather extravagant but the mini-moon was a fairly budget stay in a yurt by a river in the middle of no-where with a compost toilet and outdoor shower. It suited us perfectly!


Memorable Moments: The recessional out of the church was a closely guarded secret; Coldplay’s Viva La Vida played on the church organ. It sounded amazing and only having a short aisle, we made the most of listening to it by dancing around in a loop around the church before finally exiting. We forgot to warn the photographer who says she was terrified when we just started “running at her”!
Meg’s Grandparents share a gravestone next to the path up to the church door. I had an extra bouquet made and as we left the church we laid this on the stone. It was a really moving moment to feel like they were part of the day and celebrate them as we walked past.
Between sets of the band in the evening Pete revealed a big surprise as he mysteriously ushered everyone out onto the veranda as sky started to light up with fireworks! Such a perfect climax to the perfect day!
Advice for other couples: Let your personalities show in every part of the day. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to and such enjoyment came out of creating the tiny little touches that made it ours. oh and have fun, sing, giggle, dance and kiss….it’s your party after all!


Photographer: Love Photography by Lana Davies
Reception venue: Utopia at Broughton Hall
Wedding night: The Tempest Arms
Catering: GFS Catering
Wine: Martinez Wines
Groom’s outfit: Michelsberg Tailoring
Dress: Brides of Harrogate
Hair piece: Liberty In Love
Bridesmaids dresses: JJs House
Transport: Land Rover Experience
Invitations: Cute Maps

Real Life Wedding, Victoria and Brendan

I hope you are all having fantastic festive seasons and are enjoying all the post Christmas relaxing as much as the pre-Christmas partying. There’s still lots of turkey to eat, movies to watch and mulled wine is definitely appropriate until March! (promise). So while you are enjoying this extended nap time, we have another incredible real life wedding to share with you. Brendan and Victoria got married in November 2012 and they did it in style. The whole seamless elegance of the day is so apparent, a beautiful occasion captured by the talented Matt Bishop( so curl up on your Christmas couch and have a read.




Names: Brendan and Victoria

Wedding Date: 24th November 2012

The vision for the day: Elegant and English Rustic with a hint of vintage glamour

The Proposal: Brenden proposed to Victoria in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris on an Easter Break in 2012. We have been to Paris every year since we met so it is a place which holds many happy memories for us both.





The Venue: Ceremony at The Lanesborough and food at The Bull and Last. We specifically wanted two different styles of venue – somewhere elegant for the ceremony and somewhere relaxing for the evening. Both venues had to meet our high standards of quality for food and drink.

The Dress and Accessories: Firenze wedding dress from Phase Eight, I wanted a cream coloured vintage-style dress with embroidery over the dress I accessorised it with Vintage-style earrings and bracelet from Fur Coat No Knickers, Shoes from Manolo Blahnik (bought on my hen weekend in New York), diamond necklace was borrowed from my sister, a silver-jewelled hairpin to wear in the evening when I removed my veil.




Grooms Attire: GiorgioArmani navy blue suit. Tie by Penrose

Music: Brenden chose the songs that the pianist played at The Lanesborough. At the Bull and Last we played Horace Silver (jazz) from an ipod.

The flowers: At the Lanesborough in the ceremony room, on every other pew end, there was a small posy of roses tied with cream ribbon. In the reception area there were small silver goblets arranged with roses. These flowers were then carried by friends to the Bull and Last where they were placed in silver tankards to put on the tables at the pub.



The Cake: Cupcakes from Primrose Hill Bakery to take away

Your Photographer:Matt Bishop,

The Details and Décor: Tea lights on the mantelpiece in the ceremony room and around the statue at The Lanesborough during the drinks/canapé reception. We had a table outside the ceremony room with photos in vintage frames of family weddings and Brenden and Victoria when they were young. Other than that we did not feel that any additional decoration was required as the venues carried themselves perfectly.







The Honeymoon: We went on a road trip to California working our way down Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA for a month over Christmas and New Year.

Memorable Moments: Brenden’s speech. Standing back from our guests and seeing them all having a good time.Victoria’s father ordering a brandy to calm her nerves before the ceremony and then proceeding to drink most of it himself.What made our day truly special was all the people closest to us in our lives being in one place at the same time helping us to celebrate our wedding.


26_1280149Advice for other couples: Focus on what is important to you when planning your wedding. Do not conform to preconceived notions of what a wedding should or should not entail.


Venues:Ceremony and drinks/canapé reception,, Charlie Williams at The Lanesborough email: Evening Reception,, Sarah at The Bull and Last email: Wedding Night for Bride and Groom,


Brides outfit: Wedding dress: Wedding dress

Accessories: Short sleeve marabou cream fur (fake) jacket: Biba at House of Fraser. Earrings, bracelet and vintage compact:

Shoes: Silver Sedaraby pumps purchased at the Manolo Blahnik store in New York. These can be bought at Liberty in London. Necklace: borrowed from my sister Catherine.

Veil: modelled on Kate Moss’s wedding veil and made by Arin Hopkins email: who is a US-based supplier that I found on Etsy. Bag: Hair

Hair and make-up: Hair: Grace at Charles Worthington in Percy Street Makeup: www.sadafmakeup.comSadaf Ahmad email:

Groom’s outfit:, Armani at Selfridges.

Wedding cake: Wedding cupcakes and boxes,

Flowers:, Robyn at Chivers in Charlotte Street email: Flowers the The Lanesborough which were taken to The Bull and Last were prepared by the in-house florist

Transport: London Bus, Travel email:

Stationery: Wedding Invitations:

Wedding Map + Information: Sheree Willis email,

Calligraphy for addressing invitations:, Angelo Meola email,

Entertainment: Pianist at The Lanesborough – John Pickup,

Catering: The Lanesborough and The Bull and Last


Real Life Wedding, Hugh and Adele


Welcome to our first ever featured wedding! An exciting occasion indeed and we had to get a very special wedding to kick off.

Hugh and Adele got married in July this year in Old Wardour Castle, yes a CASTLE, in Tisbury Wiltshire. This gorgeous English heritage site with lush grounds and stunning views provided the perfect setting for their wedding. It’s so lovely to see their friends and family enjoying themselves and relaxing in such a stunning environment.

The reception took place at Hugh’s family farm; giving the whole day a perfect laid back theme complete with hay bales and a beautiful pop-up marquee. The family farm was also the basis of their fantastic Table Plan, each field representing a different table. Cute Maps were very excited when we heard this idea, and really think the finished product looked tremendous. Take a peek at the images below and let us know what you think!

Their vision for the day completely shone through ‘Nice and relaxed with plenty of food and drink!’; the smiles on every ones face speak for themselves. Also, have to mention, their food sounded delicious! Mediterranean (amazing) and served on platters, literally the best form food can come in, in my opinion. The day was captured beautifully by Lisa Dawn photography ( and looks absolutely stunning. And of course the Cute Map table plan sets everything off beautifully.


Names:Hugh and Adele

Wedding Date:20th July, 2013

The vision for the day:Nice and relaxed with plenty of food and drink!

The Planning Process:Lengthy….we got engaged in December 2011, so gave ourselves plenty of time to plan just what we wanted and ensure that all the suppliers that we wanted to use were available .

The Venue:Ceremony at Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire and reception at Hugh’s family farm, East Stour, Dorset

The Dress and Accessories:Augusta Jones Dress, veil and headpiece all from Clifton Brides, Bristol and Rainbow Club shoes dyed pastel blue, diamond earrings a family heirloom

Grooms Attire:Grey three piece suit from Marc Wallace, Round collar white cotton shirt from Marc Wallace, navy/pink stripe tie from T.M. Lewin, white linen pocket square and Loake brogue shoes

Beautiful Bridesmaids:Coast dresses in vintage pink and nude shoes from M&S


Music and First Dance: DJ and first dance was to Finley Quaye – Even After All

The Food: Mediterranean-style sharing platters from Thyme After Time in Hazelbury Bryan near where we live – we wanted a really sociable atmosphere, so we decided to have individual sharing platters for each table, which worked really well. All homemade and Dorset sourced. We also had a hog roast in the evening to soak up some of the alcohol!

The flowers: Bridal bouquet tied with vintage lace and broach. Bridesmaid’s bouquets were sweet peas tied with vintage pink velvet ribbon with a mother of pearl button. We wanted lots of colour and fragrance to the bouquets whilst all being very natural. Remainder of the flower arrangements at the castle and farm were colourful mixed garden flowers.

Your Photographer: Lisa and Scott at Lisa Dawn Photography ( – these were the first people we booked for our wedding and did such an amazing job. Don’t let anyone talk you out of a decent photographer for your big day!


The Details and Décor: We had a marquee in a field on the farm, so didn’t want to go over the top on decorations and tried to keep it simplistic and in-keeping with the farm environment. The same applied to the castle as it is such a naturally beautiful place, we actually had to do very little extra decorating.

Memorable Moments: Walking down the field together and looking back at the marquee with everyone having such a great time – it’s always a great occasion when all your friends and family can come together like that and have such a fun time.

Advice for other couples: It’s never too early to book the suppliers for your wedding, the sooner you start the process the better to make sure you get the right people on board without compromising, we wouldn’t have changed the people we worked with for the world. Grooms, if the wedding is in summer, wear a really good cotton shirt….priceless to avoid sweat patches! As long as there is enough food, drink and music, no-ones cares what the weather is like. Never underestimate how important your bridesmaids and ushers/best man are – they are absolute lifesavers and we couldn’t have done it without them



Everyone at Cute Maps – the table plan was exactly what we were looking for and Sheree’s vision, design and prompt service made the process so easy,

Berin Made stationary – invites and table stationary,

Thyme after Time catering, Dorset,

Lisa Dawn Photography, Dorset,

Oakleaf Marquees, Dorset,

The team at Old Wardour Castle,

Bright Blooms, Shaftesbury, Dorset,

Shaftesbury Flower Club, Dorset,

Mr DJ, Dorset,

Hugh’s parents for preparing the farm!