Tag Archives: Relaxed

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) www.ollyknightphotography.co.uk

Confetti Connections (flowers and decor) www.confetticonnections.co.uk

Mama Feelgoods (food and cake) www.mamafeelgoods.com

Late Summer Wedding

I know when people think of Summer Weddings, thoughts usually turn to pretty pastels and fresh clean hues, hay bales, bunting, wildflowers and photographs in glowing cornfields. I love it too, but what about another direction? I’m thinking a lush romantic jewel-tone vibe; deep reds, rich purples, golden greens. I imagine that time of year when balmy Summers first ease into Autumn. Leafy forests with dappled light and a cool breeze, the sunshine glistening from the canopy above and the leaves starting to turn from green to gold. With a little moody lighting, colourful prints, comfy cushy seating, you could make a fab romantic magical vibe in the depths of a secluded forest.









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!




Bohemian Wedding Inspiration

Another beautiful mood board for you to swoon over today. There’s just something about a bohemian wedding; the air of freedom, free spiritedness and uniqueness; all so inviting. And completely defies any pre-conceived notions of what a wedding should look like. I love the flowers, flowy dresses and wedding parties that just look so effortlessly cool; a definite essential for the bohemian bride. Enjoy these beautiful images and if anybody has any ideas on how to make a floral headpiece look so chic PLEASE let me know.




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, www.love-photography.co.uk


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 http://www.love-photography.co.uk
Reception venue: Utopia at Broughton Hall http://www.broughtonhall.co.uk/utopia/
Wedding night: The Tempest Arms http://www.tempestarms.co.uk
Catering: GFS Catering http://www.gfscatering.co.uk
Wine: Martinez Wines http://martinez.co.uk
Groom’s outfit: Michelsberg Tailoring http://www.michelsberg.co.uk
Dress: Brides of Harrogate
Hair piece: Liberty In Love http://www.libertyinlove.co.uk
Bridesmaids dresses: JJs House http://www.jjshouse.com
Transport: Land Rover Experiencehttp://www.yorkshire.landroverexperience.co.uk/Centre/Weddings
Invitations: Cute Maps https://www.cutemaps.co.uk