Our Wedding

Our Wedding (also featured on Love My Dress) 

In October 2014, I married my wonderful husband. It was the happiest of days and the most wonderful weekend of my life. It's true what people say: marriage does change you, and I think my favourite change is that I can now say 'oh, I'm just waiting for my husband' or 'my husband prefers red wine'. It's so grown up!

We were married at Blanchland Abbey and our Reception was held at The Lord Crewe Arms, which is very conveniently located next door to the church.

Blanchland is a favoured spot among my family and it is the most perfect place in the world. I couldn't have imagined anywhere else to get married, and it was beautiful to see our dearest loved ones gathered together in that tiny village, nestled between the heather-strewn North Pennines on a chill October morning.

James decided he wanted the men to wear navy three piece suits (very dapper) and he also chose the ties: McLarin tartan. I was having minor palpitations, but I thought the outfits looked fantastic when put together and it was lovely that they had that personal touch. 
The bridesmaid dresses were chosen - after hours of deliberating and consideration - to suit each one. I'm not a huge fan of women wearing the same dresses (why is it okay at weddings?) and I wanted the girls to feel great in what they were wearing, so the shapes and colours were chosen based on their individual shapes and colouring.  

My wedding dress was designed and made by the genius Jane Bourvis. Located off Portabello Road, Jane's boutique is nothing short of magical. The place is adorned with glittering antique headdresses and flapper dresses float above your head, moving to a Charleston beat sewn into their silks and feathers. I knew within one moment that I would buy my dress there. 

And so it was. An Edwardian veil, which Jane had only just put out, with honey pearls and iridescent sequins instantly drew my eye. I really had no intention of buying my wedding dress that day - I was on my own and en route to meet James for lunch - but when I saw myself in the mirror, there was no way I was leaving it behind. 

The shoes are by Lucy Choi, whom I met at the Fenwick Christmas event last year. The perfect Cinderella fairytale slippers - only way better because they're made of the most delicious, buttery leather - not glass.

I felt...ethereal. 

My headdress was handmade and I bought it from a craft fair in Balham.

One of my favourite photographs of the day. Doesn't my Mam look breathtaking?

The thrilling, but also rather unnerving, sight from the bridal suite.

My veil came from weddingveilsdirect.co.uk. I chose the colour, length, style and embellishments - all for £70.

We really wanted the weekend to be a celebration of our relationship, and our family and friends. We made as many of the decorations as we could - opting for a Jane Austen inspired feel, while giving a nod to my Northern-ness and James's Danish roots. 

The church was decorated with candles and twinkling lights. The flowers were spectacular! We couldn't believe them when we saw them. The pedestals were so big that not even three of the ushers could lift one, (shame on you, boys!). 

Our wedding stationery was designed and made by LucySaysIDo. I was incredibly lucky to WIN all of our stationery. This is called 'Danish Blue' and I just love the simplicity and elegance of it. My crafty mother added the ribbons - to all 75 Orders of Service! 

Another favourite. I loved walking with my dad and the photographer, Mark Tattersall, captured the mood so perfectly.

The string quartet, Angels of the North, played in the church and for an hour at the Reception. Our Bridal March was 'Honeymoon' (from The Young Victoria); Signing - 'Lark Ascending' (Vaughan Williams); Wedding March - 'Under the Umbrella' (Thomas Newman).

The two best men looking very smart indeed.

One of The Lord Crewe's barmen took on the task of ringing the church bell. 

The Lord Crewe exceeded our expectations in every way. Upon our arrival, the home fires were burning - prompting one of our friends to announce 'I smell of wood smoke. I smell like a real man!' - and the party began. Now under management of the Calcot Manor group, the hotel has been refurbished to an impeccably high standard. The furnishings are inspired by the Northumbrian countryside and local crafts and fabrics. When we weren't making merry, we were all gleaning interior design tips!
Nothing was too much for the staff, who did everything with smiles on their faces and laughter in their voices. We were made to feel as though it was our place for the weekend - and the only thing I wish now is that it really was our place! 

This photo board, made by my mam, was a real focal and talking point.

The veil didn't last long after the ceremony! 

My beautiful and wonderful parents <3 

There really is only so much looking into each other's eyes that a bride and groom can do...

Three generation wedding cake: my Mam made two tiers, my Grandma made one and I made one. We then decorated it using artificial leaves, berries and pearls. It was nothing short of scrumptious! 

Our 'topper' is available at Halinka's Fairies. I added a section of my dress to the bride's skirt. 

A lovely quotation from one of my favourite books, 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell'. 

Our parents created a quiz, which the tables completed together. Not only was this good fun, it was a great way to encourage people to talk to each other. 

Austen's leading men gave their names to our tables. 

Scandinavia meets Jane Austen...

Our table plan.We created silhouettes and used pages of an old Austen book around the edges. 

My mam and I collected lanterns and candles. This one was bought from an independent shop in Ludlow, when my parents were on holiday there. Charity shops and sales are also a great idea - just add glitter! 

My mam made these gold paper hearts. They are based on a traditional Danish design. 

The wedding favours were made by James' mother, using produce from their garden in Devon. I drew the Regency couple and had it turned it into a stamp via The English Stamp Company.

Then some birds turned up...

My wedding gift for James: Mark from 'Falconry Days' put on a spectacular show with his birds.

I love this photograph - it is wonderful to see everyone looking so happy - and none of the people in it had ever met before. 

Our 'guest book' comprised of a log and some Jane Austen postcards

As the sun set, the orchestra struck up. Our first dance was THAT ONE from the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. It is intimate and romantic without being cloying...and it is a very forgiving dance. Phew! If you want a laugh then you can watch the dance here.

When I said we didn't want to go overboard on the Jane Austen theme I might have been fibbing. This was made by a colleague - it was a high-res photograph printed and stuck onto MDF with supports on the back. It's still at home with my parents' and I think my dad secretly likes being able to pretend he's Mr Darcy.

My Mam embodying the spirit of the ceilidh! 

My evening dress was a silk bias cut 1930s-inspired dress by Joanne Fleming.

Our photographs were taken by Mark Tattersall (and we love every one of them). We could not recommend him highly enough.

We had the loveliest, most magical weekend. Looking through our photographs the observation everyone keeps making is just how happy everyone looks, and that really is how we remember our day. 

It was truly the happiest of days. Here's to many, many more of them. 


We are such stuff As dreams are made on

I must admit that a little part of me always dreamed of being able to spend an unlimited amount of money on a wedding dress; but fate can be a cruel mistress, and consequently, the blasted spread sheet dictates otherwise.

But, as Cinderella sang, ‘perhaps someday, the dream that I wish will come true’.  Well, it came true for me for 45 minutes when I booked an appointment to visit Halfpenny London.

Kate Halfpenny, the eponymous founder of Halfpenny London was a bride herself last year and I think this really translates through her designs. She has a fundamental understanding of what every little girl dreams her wedding dress will be like.

Halfpenny’s designs have a timeless elegance and are simple, yet intricate, encapsulating a celebration of the female form. In particular, I especially like that many of the designs are in fact tops and skirts, tied in the middle with a sash. Ingenious – and incredibly comfortable!

I did have to tell a teensy white lie when I visited the boutique – I may have enhanced my budget just so I could try on some of the particularly exquisite designs (The Halfpenny London Collection starts at £2,250 with Couture starting at £5,000). But it was worth it.

The company has recently relocated to Bloomsbury and the latest collection is simply stunning. The dresses possess a rare transcendence – utterly unparalleled by any other bridal designer of the moment.

Kate Halfpenny has the power to make bridal dreams come true. And here's why:


No comments:

Post a Comment