If you are missing the beautiful colours of autumn as much as us then you will love Vikki & Ian’s wedding. Orange, burgundy and everything autumn rolled in one beautiful wedding day.
We met in the 21st Century sense….online dating! After being constantly berated by my friends for still being single, I lost a bet where my penalty was to allow them to create me an online dating profile. Ian had met some friends while he was skiing who had recommended he give it a go too. Within a few weeks of joining he sent me a message, and for once it was a message that seemed genuine so I decided to reply. After a few weeks of emailing and texting, we agreed to meet up……and the rest is history! Ian likes to cycle & I used to go out running, when we were talking it was odd to think that we had probably crossed paths while out on our routes without even noticing. We had been together 2 years, had just bought a house and went for a day out to a place called Alnwick Gardens. After wandering around the Christmas market and the gardens, we sat down and he proposed in December 2014. I was not expecting it at all! (But it did suddenly make sense to me as to why he’d been so jittery all day!) After the initial shock wore off, I said yes.
Our wedding was 27th October 2016. I wanted our day to be a chance to have all of our family and friends in one place because as everyone gets older everyone leads their own lives and it’s very difficult to celebrate anything with everyone that’s important to you. We had over 80 guests at our daytime event and approx 130 at our evening reception.
We chose autumn for our wedding. It’s my favourite time of the year; I am absolutely fascinated by the colours, especially the oranges. We have 2 dogs so we spend a lot of our time outside in woods walking them and we wanted to have this incorporated into our wedding. We did absolutely everything ourselves. We wanted everything on the day to mean something to us and wanted everything to link in together. If I had to describe it in 3 words they would have to be “traditional, but quirky”.
THE VENUE & CEREMONY
I’ve been brought up Catholic. My dad is a regular “church goer” & I knew he would be so proud of me being married in a Catholic church. We arranged for our ceremony to be held at mine & my dad’s parish in the village where he lives, St Teresa’s RC Church. It’s a very small church for a Catholic church, but it’s more intimate.
We held our wedding reception at a country pub with a large function room. I did not want to hold it at one of the many country manors in our local area. Both Ian & I are quite reserved and didn’t want a venue to be “over the top”. I did not want to have our wedding anywhere that had already been used by someone we knew. I wanted ours to be special & different, and not able to be compared to anyone else’s reception. But it was also very important to us that we were somewhere quiet, in the countryside. Our venue was surrounded by fields. Close enough for guests to reach easily, but far enough away to be secluded and have some privacy.
My dress was not a designer, I didn’t care about the cost, but I knew roughly what I was looking for. Everyone always tells you “try on lots of different dresses, even if it’s not what you think you want”. So I did. I went to an outlet shop to try on different styles to get some ideas before I started booking appointments at bridal shops. It turned out that the 3rd dress I tried on was exactly what I was looking for….I didn’t need to go anywhere else. As long as I loved it, it did not matter to me that I hadn’t spent thousands & thousands of pounds on my dress. The problem was, I needed to lose weight for it to fit properly. Over the next year, I lost 4 stone. I had to have my dress altered when I got to my goal weight.
I don’t like a lot of fuss. I like things to be very simple and plain. I opted for traditional ivory pearl pins in my hair, with gold earrings & necklace. I did have a veil. I was undecided about this until about 2 weeks before the wedding as I struggled to find one that I liked. In the end, my seamstress, who altered my dress, made me one to suit exactly what I wanted. I wanted to wear shoes I would be comfortable in for the entire day, and I am not a massive fan of high heels. I opted for some Irregular Choice kitten heels.
GROOM AND HIS MEN
I had the final say on the groomsmen outfits, but I wanted them to be comfortable. We opted for charcoal tails with an ivory waistcoat, with ties & handkerchiefs to match the colours of the bridesmaid’s dresses.
Originally, I wanted my bridesmaid dresses to be orange. But I really struggled to find an orange that didn’t fall into the realms of fluorescence or neon. When I eventually found a one I loved (it was called spice) in a dark burnt orange, the suppliers had discontinued the line. Therefore, I changed to burgundy.
HAIR & MAKEUP
My makeup was done by a local beautician. She came to my parent’s house on the morning; she did the makeup for my mother, 3 bridesmaids and me. One of my close friends did mine and the bridesmaids hair. They all looked lovely and I was so grateful to Amy and Stephanie.
I chose to not have a lot of flowers. I had real flowers for my bouquet, the bridesmaid bouquets & all of the wedding party button holes, but sticking in with the autumnal theme, I wanted to go more towards a harvest festival feel; lots of dried barley, straw, pumpkins & miniature gourds. These were set up in wooden boxes inside of the church & throughout the reception venue.
The guests were welcomed to the venue with reception drinks with chocolate covered strawberry canapés. To start, we had winter vegetable broth, mains were roast chicken or salmon, and desserts were Eaton Mess or sticky toffee pudding. The food was absolutely fantastic and we have since had many comments from guests regarding the standard of the food. We had roast beef on the evening.
We had a wedding car to take me, my parents & the bridesmaids to the church, and then myself and Ian from the church to the reception venue. We didn’t want a white or cream car….we wanted something slightly different. We found our perfect car at a local business in the form of a 1939 Studebaker Commander, in a platinum gold colour, to fit in with our autumn colours theme.
Everything from invites, the order of services, table planner & name cards, as well as thank you cards, I made from scratch myself. I bought all plain card & paper and created everything myself. This way, we could have things exactly how we wanted it, in the colours we wanted. Seeing everything completed was very satisfying knowing no one else would have had anything the same.
A good friend of ours offered to perform at our wedding. He made our day and made it so personal knowing he had spent so much time learning the songs we wanted. He sang me down the aisle, signing the register, walking out of the church, our first dance and my father daughter dance, as well as singing and playing acoustic guitar throughout the afternoon and evening. All songs were chosen by Ian & myself and played by Anth Jones. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, he really made us feel special.
We used Steve Atkinson Creative Photography. It’s very important you choose a photographer you are comfortable with. Personally, I don’t like getting my photo taken, so I was very nervous about this. Steve & Jo relaxed me as much as they could and made us both feel comfortable throughout the day. And, our pictures are lovely. We did not get a videographer, and in hindsight, I do regret this. The whole day is so busy and goes over so quickly, a videographer would have caught the times I feel we missed out on.
Knowing that we handmade almost everything for our wedding ourselves it was exactly the way we wanted it. Seeing everyone enjoy the day and comment on the decor etc, made it even more special. Ian and his father made all of the wooden items; the sweet table, the name card holders, the gift box, the wooden rounds for the table centres, and even the easel for the table plan. My chief bridesmaid helped make my centrepiece idea come to life (she hand-painted all of the glass jars). I made the entirety of our stationary items and even handmade all guest favours.
BRIDE TO BRIDE
As I said earlier, the day is so busy. It’s very stressful. I feel like we missed out on a lot of things because we were rushing around so much. I regret not having a videographer. I regret not taking 5-10 mins here and there with my new husband for us to enjoy the day together. Things will go wrong, even when you’ve planned everything meticulously. Don’t let the little things (that feel massive at the time!) darken your day. Spend some time to think of little things which make your day stand out from others and one that people will remember. It is impossible to plan and have a large wedding on the cheap…..but you can have everything you want without spending tens of thousands of pounds and stay within a budget.
Ceremony: St Teresa’s RC Church ♥ Reception: Withheld by Bride
Wedding Dress: Wed2be ♥ Alterations: Maken Mend
Accessories: Irregular Choice ♥ Makeup: Amy Howe
Bridesmaid Dresses: Light in the Box* ♥ Groom & Groomsmen: Waltons
Transport: Merlin Wedding Cars ♥ Doggie Daycare: Betty Kisses Pet Services*
Photography: Steve Atkinson
*A note on the suppliers: Light in the Box – dresses were lovely but please be vigilant regarding hidden delivery / customs charges. Betty Kisses Pet Services – we had never left our dogs with anyone other than family previously, but we found a home boarder for our dogs, and I felt relaxed and wasn’t worrying knowing that they were being well looked after. I cannot recommend Lynn highly enough!