Something different, but still cute

It’s been a wonderful few months filled with some out of the ordinary maps and requests. Amongst many wonderful ideas were a Cute Path version of a table plan, a wedding map inside the fascinating Eden Project biomes and a table plan full of pubs…

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Halloween Wedding, if you dare…

So, Halloween weddings? This has to be the King of themed weddings, right? I think it’s a pretty cool idea, you’re not going to be disappointed by bad weather, as we already expect it in autumn, and if your tendencies veer towards the quirky anyway it’s a perfect opportunity to go a little bit wild, and get your guests involved too! No pastels allowed! It doesn’t have to be all blood and gore though, oh no. We’ve found some fabulous classy and fun ideas for a sophisticated Halloween wedding. Personally I love the idea of lots of black in a wedding theme, how do you like the look of these stunning black wedding gowns? The black gold and diamond ring would be something I absolutely could not say no to! How about experimenting with fun treats, showstopping dessert tables, smoky cocktails, deep red flowers and a hint of gothic font? There are so many great ideas for a Halloween wedding, it by no means needs to be tacky or unoriginal, question is, do you dare?

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Has the Vintage Theme had its day?

27_8340382_origThere has been a reoccurring pattern in wedding themes these past few years, the ever popular ‘Vintage’ scheme. Although I am a huge fan of the pre-loved, soulful and meaningful things, I must say I’m starting to feel that vintage themes have had their day. I know, I know that this is not the most favourable thing to say, but I do feel as though ‘Vintage’ or ‘Vintage inspired’ themes can sort of miss the point.

As a major interior design enthusiast in my spare time, vintage means so much more. It means something that has qualities which represents the era in which it was made, something that has been made with love and craft, something that has value.  Most of all something that is not less than 20 years old, therefore ‘shabby chic’ and mere second hand items do not cut it or pass the test to be classed as Vintage. It’s losing its meaning and for me, losing it’s charm. It makes me wonder how much longer this theme can remain in Vogue, but I’m reckoning it has a while more to go.

I’m all for looking at themes that use pre-loved items that actually mean something to the couple, or to the families and friends, like grandma’s tea sets to serve the wedding meal, cutlery that pre-dates Ikea and table cloths crocheted by a great aunt. But a melange of simply old, charity shop or second hand shop finds hashed together to create a mock vintage theme strikes me as a bit of a muddle.

Don’t get me wrong I am not condemning here! It’s merely just something that I see a lot of each day, and when you see a lot of something it gets tiresome, right? I think that like all trends, they are easy to follow as the component parts are so readily available to us when something is in style. So it can sometimes be hard to see past what’s commercially out there, ready for us to add to the shopping cart and purchase. But hey, why not glorify the modern? Create something new and fresh, celebrate your true style? There’s an immense amount of amazing modern design out there today to enjoy, fabulous uses of materials like Perspex, plastic and glass, flowers made i to sculptural architecture, clean and classic table setting ideas and so much more.

If you think that vintage themes are getting old, take a look of some of the below images for some ideas on modern inspiration. How about a new style, ‘Anti-Vintage?!’

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Black and White Styling

77_5249082_origSo this post is a bit of a contrast to what I was saying in the last one (the Missoni wedding.) I was all like, if I get married I’d sooo do the colourful clashy Missoni laid-back thing, but hey, a girl can change her mind right? (Especially when the girl likes everything!) So this post is all about super glam, crisp, black and white wedding styling ideas, which we at Cute Maps absolutely love. And at the end of the day, I truly think that anything that resembles a Chanel store/display/outfit is absolutely a very good idea for a wedding theme.

Such a stylish, elegant and classy theme, timeless and sophisticated, but also a theme that isn’t too ‘themed’. It’s really easy to achieve as you can’t really go wrong with it in terms of ‘matching up’ items, it’s not like it has to be the right shade of blue or red. It’s a really simple idea which quickly turns to super glam when done to perfection.
It’s also great for anytime of the year, not adhering to colour trends or the seasons. Classic.

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We love the idea of elaborate black and white wedding cakes, check out the stripy ruffle cake below (but equally, simple black and white works just as well) complete with a black and white desert table with interesting and quirky chocolates, lollys and cakes – I’m thinking the devilishly black macaroons found at Laduree. Black details on a white dress (or for me, white details on a black dress OR a totally black dress with totally white flowers! See the bridesmaids image below for this idea) black and white flowers, table settings, centre pieces, creative and striking favours and of course, black and white invites and wedding stationary designed by Cute Maps! Enabling you to invite your glamorous guests with the continued theme. Some black and white photography, film noir style also wouldn’t go a miss here (see below for some ideas) I can see these photos really standing the test of time.

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Personally, I also think a hint of gold can take the black and white theme to new heights, when I think of this I think of Great Gatsby style imagery and suave cocktail parties. Some ideas could include gold rimmed plates on a black and white table setting, gold cutlery, gold text on the menus, a hint of gold in the centre pieces, you could really go wild with this.

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We have put together a gallery below of some of our favourite black and white wedding styling images that we hope can give you some hints of inspiration… I feel this may be an ongoing obsession of mine, so watch this space for more!

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Room, Manchester: A Luxurious City Centre Venue

1_3738275Fab Local Business Alert!

Cute Maps are seeking out some gorgeous ‘wedding related’ (!) businesses in and around the Manchester area (because Manchester is so great), that we think our followers will love.

This time, a Wedding Venue in the heart of Manchester City Centre’s fabulous King Street, one of the most important thoroughfares in Manchester. Formerly the centre of the North-West’s baking industry, it’s now known for its luxurious high end shops and eateries.

‘Room’, a grade II listed building sits magnificently on the corner of King Street and Spring Gardens, in and amongst a hub of architectural bliss opposite the likes of Rosso, Vivienne Westwood and Jamie’s Italian.

Room offers three packages to suit various budgets and tastes, starting at £49.50 per person for the Silver Package menu, which sounds truly amazing, then up to £65.50 for the Platinum menu. They rightly state that “we are all different, so there is always room for personal preference”, which is great to know.

Room are able to accommodate for smaller parties of up to 58 guests for a sit down meal, and up to 100 for the evening drinks reception in the private function room: The Rose Room. And for those of you with lengthier guest list, they can sit 120 guests for the meal and up to 220 people in the main restaurant on an exclusive use basis.

Not only is this grandiose Manchester architecture at its best, but the interior design is truly decadent. Oodles of traditional period features teamed with opulent wallpaper, dark woodwork and the amazing light that pours in through the arched windows, gives the rooms and incredibly rich, special yet cosy feel. We really think that this is the perfect location if you want that ‘city feel’ to your wedding day, a great balance between pure decadence and buzzing city centre excitement.

Check out some images below and for more info visit their website:http://www.roomrestaurants.com/weddings/wedding.php

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Real Life Wedding, Emma and Andrew

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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…

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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.

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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

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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’.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

Credits

Supernova events – supernovaevents.co.uk

Scoop catering: scoopevents.co.uk

Ernest wedding band: ernestmusic.co.uk

Apollo string quartet: stringquartetglasgow.co.uk

Maids to Measure, London: maidstomeasure.com

St Clair Wedding Cars: www.stclairweddingcars.co.uk

Liggys Cakes: liggyscakes.co.uk

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Real Life Wedding, Ann-Claire and Gerard

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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.  https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanPhotography  

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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 etsy.com 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.

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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 etsy.com 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.

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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.   https://www.facebook.com/PatrickRyanPhotography

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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 etsy.com. After the main course we had a singing chef and waitress to entertain guests. During the band interval we had Irish dancers to entertain.

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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.

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Credits: All credit goes to Goldlink stationery for our fabulous invites, http://www.goldlinkstationery.com/. Cute Maps for the beautiful quirky maps, http://www.cutemaps.co.uk. Our families for all their support, Lena in The heritage golf and spa resort for her hard work, http://www.theheritage.com/. Mary at Finesse weddings for all the behind the scenes work,  http://www.finesseweddings.ie/home.php.  My florist Liz and the priests who helped make the ceremony beautiful.

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(www.mbishopphotography.co.uk) so curl up on your Christmas couch and have a read.

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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The Cake: Cupcakes from Primrose Hill Bakery to take away

Your Photographer:Matt Bishop, www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

Credits

Venues:Ceremony and drinks/canapé reception, www.lanesborough.com, Charlie Williams at The Lanesborough email: cwilliams@lanesborough.com. Evening Reception, www.thebullandlast.co.uk, Sarah at The Bull and Last email: thebullandlast@googlemail.com. Wedding Night for Bride and Groom,www.deanstreettownhouse.com

Photographer: www.mbishopphotography.co.uk

Brides outfit: Wedding dress: www.phase-eight.co.uk. Wedding dress alterations:www.deisgneralterations.com.

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

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: vegasveils@gmail.com who is a US-based supplier that I found on Etsy. Bag: www.vintagebridalaccessories.co.uk. Hair pin:www.libertyinlove.co.uk

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

Groom’s outfit: www.selfridges.co.uk, Armani at Selfridges.

Wedding cake: Wedding cupcakes and boxes, www.primrosebakery.org.uk

Flowers: www.chivers.co.uk, Robyn at Chivers in Charlotte Street email: sales@chiversflowers.co.uk. Flowers the The Lanesborough which were taken to The Bull and Last were prepared by the in-house florist

Transport: London Bus, www.timebus.co.ukTimebus Travel email: book@timebus.co.uk

Stationery: Wedding Invitations: www.piccolopress.co.uk.

Wedding Map + Information: www.cutemaps.co.uk. Sheree Willis email, info@cutemaps.co.uk.

Calligraphy for addressing invitations: www.calligraphycompany.com, Angelo Meola email, angelo@calligraphycompany.com

Entertainment: Pianist at The Lanesborough – John Pickup, www.johnpickup.org

Catering: The Lanesborough and The Bull and Last

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Real Life Wedding, Oonagh and Craig

I have an absolutely stunning wedding to share with you today, filled with personal touches, delicious details and a bride and groom that look ridiculously happy throughout! Oonagh and Craig got married in the July of this year in a beautiful ceremony in the Lady Chapel of St. Alban Cathedral near to where they live. A perfect romantic touch is that now when they hear the cathedral bells ringing they are reminded of their wedding day.

The bride and groom look so happy and excited; and this must have been contagious as every guest seems to be having a blast! The occasion has been captured naturally and beautiful by Hannah Mia (of Hannah Mia Photography www.hannamia.com) letting the charm of the day really shine through.

The magic of this wedding seems to be in the incredible attention to detail; from a mixed bouquet incorporating thistles and shamrocks to reflect Scottish ad Irish heritage, to an exciting array of music and a delicious barbecue, this day looked fantastic and the Divine Comedy as a first dance song: perfection.

I also loved the idea of their table plan, each one named after a different type of gin! Definitely something I can appreciate, I urge you to join in, grab a G&T and take a look at this incredible day.

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Names: Craig & Oonagh McGill

Wedding Date: 5th July 2013

The vision for the day: We wanted our wedding to be elegant, but relaxed. We wanted our family and friends to enjoy fabulous food and great music, in a beautiful setting.

The Planning Process: We booked the Cathedral and the reception venue about 8 months before the big day…you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to book both on the same day, even that far in advance! We really got going with organizing invitations, caterers, musicians and all the other details in the 4-6 months leading up to the wedding.

9_4869784 The Venue: The ceremony was held at the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St. Alban, St. Albans. We had a marquee reception in a beautiful orchard setting nearby.

The Dress and Accessories: My dress and veil came were from Angelica Bridal in Islington. It was the first shop I went into and I decided on the dress there and then! My shoes were from Rachel Simpson … I would recommend her shoes to any bride. I must’ve tried 20 pairs of shoes before I found mine. They were beautifully made and were incredibly comfortable, even after hours of dancing!

Grooms Attire:Bespoke 3 piece suit from Mathieson and Brooke Tailors (M&BT), Harpenden – the suit was beautifully made and the service was wonderful.

 

 

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Beautiful Bridesmaids: They were stunning and the best bridesmaids a girl could ask for! They were Emir (my sister) and Christine (Christine and her husband Andy were bridesmaid and groomsman – they are the mutual friends who first introduced Craig and I).

Music and First Dance: Music was really important to us so we had two bands on the day. We were very lucky to have a beautiful, sunny day for our wedding. We had a champagne reception on the lawn accompanied by an acoustic folk band. In the evening our band played two sets of crowd-pleasing soul and rock n’ Roll from 1960s to current – the dance floor was full all night! Our first dance was ‘Songs of Love’ by ‘The Divine Comedy’ (which some people might recognize as the theme music from Father Ted!) – We both love THE Divine Comedy and this song was an easy choice for us.

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The Food: The food was such an important element of the day for us – we wanted it to be fantastic and our caterers didn’t let us down! Everything was barbecued and presented by rolling service to the tables with fresh, brightly coloured salads and warm, home-baked breads. The menu included monkfish, fillet steak, chicken, lamb, and some tasty vegetarian treats for our less carnivorous guests. We served strawberries and cream for pudding, which was perfect for a hot, summer’s day.

The flowers: We wanted the flowers to fit with the country garden setting so we opted for bright, seasonal blooms. We mixed peonies (my favourite) with thistles (to reflect Craig’s Scottish heritage) and shamrock (as I’m from Ireland) together with lots of wild flowers. Two very talented ladies (Craig’s mum, Heather and her friend Marion) created the table centre-pieces for the marquee and the ladies of St. Alban’s Abbey flower guild provided the arrangements for the Cathedral.

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The cake: We absolutely loved our wedding cake, which was made for us by Craig’s lovely friend Chrissie Smetham. We had three different tiers comprising lemon sponge, vanilla with fresh raspberries and a cherry-bakewell top layer. The cake was decorated with fresh flowers to match our theme and the final piece was a work of art …almost too good to eat (although we managed a piece or two, and it was delicious!).

Your Photographer: We were also thrilled with our photographer, Hannah Mia, whose documentary style of wedding photography really captured the atmosphere of the day. We didn’t have many posed photos, just natural shots of our family and friends relaxing and enjoying the celebrations.

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The Details and Décor: We put a lot of work into the details and décor ourselves but the finishing touches were provided by Cute Maps who designed our table plans, table numbers and Menus and also by The Dream Wedding Company who helped with the table decorations, bunting, and the flowers for the cake. The same company provided the bouquets and buttonholes…each one was original and unique.

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The Honeymoon: We spent a wonderful week in a very sunny Cornwall. We were so lucky with the weather and spent most days on the beach.

Memorable Moments: Our favourite part was the ceremony itself – the setting, The Lady Chapel in St Alban’s Cathedral was perfect. Walking down the aisle after the service to the sound of the cathedral bells was very special to us. We live very near the cathedral so we are fortunate to hear the bells every day, which is a lovely reminder of our wedding day.

One of the funniest moments was when I threw my bouquet. My friend Sara came out of nowhere to successfully make the catch, momentarily forgetting that she is already happily married! A good natured wrestle ensued and most of the girls caught the bouquet for at least a moment.

Finally, my favourite part of any wedding is the speeches and on the day my Uncle Johnny (who gave me away), Craig’s brother David (Best man) and of course Craig himself more than rose to occasion. We roared with laughter and most people shed a happy tear or two.

Advice for other couples: When your big day arrives, try to relax and enjoy every moment! It’s true what they say…the day passes so quickly you won’t believe it. It was most definitely the best day of our lives!

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Credits

Photographer: Hannah Mia
Caterer: Hanson’s, Watford
Flowers and Décor: The Dream Wedding Company, St Albans
Music: John & Caroline Hoare and The Hound Dogs http://www.thehounddogs.co.uk/
Dress: Angelica Bridal, Islington
Shoes: Rachel Simpson http://www.rachelsimpsonshoes.co.uk/
Groom’s Attire: Mathieson & Brooke Tailors – http://www.mandbt.co.uk/ The Cake: ‘There’s always cake’ available at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theres-Always-Cake/165015856955923?ref=profile