No matter how hard I try, it still feels a bit weird to be featuring our wedding today. It’s exciting, amazing, surreal and just weird again. Of course everyone says this, and probably because weddings are generally awesome, but it was the most perfect day and we feel so grateful not only to our friends and family that came from all over the world but also to the amazing people we have met who helped us during the day and in the lead up to it.
I’ve written this blog post about 3 million times as it’s a bit like writing a paper, the introduction feels awkward until you’ve written the conclusion and when you finally get to the point, you want to start over. It’s impossible to describe the day in the way that we experienced it but I’ll do my best… here goes….
Jack and I were married on the 4th of September at the Assembly Rooms in Bath, England. We chose the venue and the location because we had friends and family coming from all over and wanted a beautiful setting for a wedding weekend. We had both our ceremony and reception in the same venue and decided on a more formal but still fun themed event. We wanted fancy but fabulous.
I’ve written an entire second post about the event design, theme and production as it is far too much to put into one feature and it would be impossible for me to do all the people who were involved in the aesthetics justice in a paragraph or two. It was the most amazing group effort lead by my amazing mother (founder of Paper Dragon) so stay tuned for tomorrow morning’s post if you’re interested in the creative thoughts that went into designing our wedding.
Our guests arrived at the Assembly Rooms while Motown inspired songs like “Chapel of Love” and “Today is the Day I’m Going to Meet The Man I’m Going to Marry” were sung by acapella gospel choir the Hot Buttered Soul Collective represented by Sternberg Clarke from the balcony above. Order of service booklets handmade and designed by MOB and myself sat on each chair alongside flags with “confetti” and “love” written on them as we were not allowed to throw anything inside the venue. The aisles were decorated with handmade tissue paper flowers, topiary balls and trees in gold planters and the fireplaces on either side of the room showcased flowers by Steph Turpin of Fairynuff Flowers alongside personal infographic posters about Jack and my 10 year relationship designed by yours truly. The wedding party travelled to the venue via a London black cab provided by City London Black Taxis.
Following American tradition, family members and the bridal party walked down the aisle first followed by my father and I to the tune of Stand By Me, also sung by the incredible Hot Buttered Soul Collective. I had felt a pretty constant stream of adrenaline, nerves, excitement and utter fear throughout the weeks leading up to the weekend, mostly excitement but there were of course moments of panic as well. All of this was extremely heightened at the moment we walked into the room, I was so nervous I wanted to cry. And then, as stereotypical as it sounds, I saw Jack at the end of the aisle and I felt calm. Then I knocked over pretty much every single topiary ball in the aisle with my dress and everyone laughed. It was amazing.
Following the ceremony, we went off to take photos with the incredible photography extraordinaire Marianne Taylor, whom I have pretty much been obsessed with since the day I saw one of her weddings on Rockn’Roll Bride. I’ve gushed about Marianne many a time, as she shot our engagement photos as well, but in short, she and her amazing assistant Susanna stopped at no end to document every single last detail of our day, made us feel so at ease, and have given us the gift of these amazing photos so we can remember our wedding forever. There are really no words that can express how much WE LOVE YOU GUYS!
Our guests, in the meantime, were treated to cocktails and canapes and the slightly embarassing but incredibly touching slideshow that my father put together featuring photos of both Jack and I from when we were kids. As we’ve been together for over 10 years, there were plenty to choose from.
Finally, guests were brought into the ballroom for dinner. Tables were decorated with custom made black and white tablecloths, floral masterpieces by Fairynuff Flowers and menus that picked up the teal colour of the room, along with favour boxes stuffed with sugar covered almonds, a Greek tradition my mom had followed at her wedding. We chose our Linda Fripp cake based on the fact that it looked like my dress, and of course because it tasted out of this world, and customised it with a cake topper provided by the fabulous people at Cutture and ribbon I purchased at VV Rouleaux.
One of my biggest worries was that people were not going to have fun at our wedding. I don’t know why I thought this, but I was desperate to get people on the dance floor, drinking and having a good time. Cue the absolutely fantastic Max and Dan of the Wedding Smashers. I don’t think I even saw the bottom of the dance floor all night. I did see Jack and his sister battle it out to LMFAO, my mom getting down with a blow up guitar and my dad busting out the most dynamic moves I’ve seen in ages. In short, they had the entire wedding dancing all night and I love them to pieces.
To try and describe our wedding by “theme” is a bit difficult at the best of times, and I am going to go ahead and admit to the fact that I did not have a moodboard. (OMG!!) I had about 7. More on that tomorrow, but in short, we aimed for a contemporary, black and white wedding with touches of greens, teals, golds and graphic shapes. Lighting, dance floor and additional decor was supplied by Stress Free Hire and the lamps were provided by Great Hire.
The most difficult part of our decision making for me was definitely the flowers, centerpieces and decor. I remember going through magazine after magazine trying to figure out what I wanted and where I wanted it, and when I finally found it (hooray!) I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I described my vision to Steph Turpin of Fairynuff Flowers and how she took it and turned it into the most amazing reality ever. When I tell people about Steph, I always start by saying she just makes me feel calm. And chilled out. And totally at ease. I knew from the moment we met in Starbucks that she got me and she would not only take my ideas to heart, but make them better because she’s the pro and she knows her stuff. The feeling (well one of them) that I got when I walked into the ceremony room (and then later the ballroom) was that of complete magic for so many reasons, but one specifically was the way that Steph and the outstanding wedding planner Mary Lee Herrington of Forever & Ever Events transformed the rooms. THANK YOU LADIES!!!!
This leads me to the last details (I promise) I’m going to cover in this feature before the photos (it’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to) starting with the incredible luxury wedding planner Mary Lee Herrington of Forever & Ever Events. Mary and I have been close friends for a while now, with uncanny similarities like both attending the same university in the states and having both gotten married in the same venue. I also featured Mary’s wedding on OMG last year. I knew without a doubt by having Mary there on the day of our wedding as a friend and an extremely detail oriented wedding planner, that all the details my mother and I had thought out so carefully would be perfectly implemented. I trusted her 100% and then some and as I’ve said 100 times, it was a perfect day. Mary not only ensured that things were as we had hoped and planned for but the whole evening ran smoothly, and of course, we didn’t want it to end.
When it comes to the fashion details, my absolutely stunning bridesmaids chose their own dresses based on the mismatchy papers we chose to use for the ceremony booklets and website design, and then accessorized with nude shoes and Alexis Bittar bracelets I gave them as gifts. They of course all looked incredible and were the most patient and amazing girls I could ever have asked for. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have met each everyone of them. They not only endured countless emails, google docs, schedules and reschedules, wedding dress shopping trips and more, but they were there helping throughout the entire process and I love them to pieces.
My dress was from Vera Wang and I wore my mother’s wedding necklace, and grandmother’s bracelet along with a custom made headpiece by Atelier Millinery for our ceremony, before changing into a bolder Vera Wang statement necklace, vintage bracelet and black sash for the reception. All of our makeup was done by lash and makeup expert Sophie Stafford whom I interviewed earlier this year and also LOVE to pieces – she is the sweetest girl ever and ended up doing lash extensions post wedding for my mom and all her friends!
Last but not least (promise) I of course have to thank the one and only MOB. I don’t know how any of this could have been possible without my amazing mother. I will gush upwards and onwards in tomorrow’s post about how my mom and I designed every last detail of the day, but outside of the production of invites, menus, booklets and flags, my mother is my best friend and it was the best time ever planning this day together. Thanks Mom
The entire day was documented by the ever so charming, cool and extremely nice guys of Allora Visuals which I will be sharing with you soon!
So thank you to those of you who have made it to the end of this incredibly self indulgent wedding feature, I actually shortened it from what it was before. I’m sure you’ll forgive me for wanting to talk about every last detail and I promise to keep tomorrow’s feature a tad shorter.