If you’re big into Vintage Weddings and want to make a real statement on your wedding day make like a Royal and organise your own fly-past.
royal wedding flypast @getty
The team over at Kent Spitfire have a Spitfire IXe TA805 based at the historic former RAF Battle of Britain fighter station, Biggin Hill, that can be hired for weddings and events. The fly-past will give your guests a chance to experience the Spitfire’s iconic shape and unmistakeable noise made so famous above the Kent countryside. What a perfect way to bring back all the memories and emotions of the wartime era to add to your wedding day theme.
Team it with a 1940’s singer, roll out the bunting, wave those Union Jacks and be ready to shout “chocs away” vintage lovers!
If you’re struggling to find a venue that suits all your needs or you have some space but no roof over your head then marquees are a really flexible option for your wedding reception. With yurts and teepees added to the mix the humble marquee has come on in leaps and bounds giving you more to think about when booking.
1. ‘Traditional’ Verses ‘Frame’
The traditional marquee has the canvas as part of the structure and needs guy ropes to hold it up giving it a more vintage feel and is great for tea party or village fete themes. The frame marquee is more structured and relies on the frame to hold it up giving it a structured sleek effect. It has the added advantage that you don’t need to account for space for the guy ropes. The frame marquee offers the option of window sections and wooden doors to make it feel more like an ‘event room’ and let in natural light. Another option is the Clear span marquee which are made of aluminium box sections but are only really used when the marquee is over a certain size and is likely to be there for a while.
2. Yurts and Teepees
Yurts, circus tents and Teepees have been growing in popularity over the last few years and are great for a festival theme. Many can be joined together to form large spaces or ‘lounge’ areas for a bit of peace and quiet away from the main wedding party. Fabulous as well if you want wedding guests to be able to camp overnight as many companies hire out small versions for big sleepovers.
3. The Up’s and Down’s of Access
When deciding on what marquee to go for you’ll need to know how long it takes to put up and dismantle and work this in with any ground hire fees (unless it’s your own land of course!) plus a schedule of timings for all suppliers. Caterers will need to provide information about plug sockets and any electrical requirements they have so the marquee company can provide the correct generator and right amount of plug sockets. You’ll need to be clear on your layout plan so the sockets go in the right place and you don’t have a mass of leads trailing all over the marquee. If you’re having a DJ or band you’ll need to factor in electrical requirements for them as well.
4. Check how the land lies
Ideally your marquee should go on the flattest surface possible. Check for bumpy surfaces and don’t put your bar or cake table on uneven ground otherwise you might lose your top tier halfway through the ceremony! Remember to account for access – is the site easily reached for workmen and vehicles? Also consider what flooring and furniture you will need. Carpet and wooden dance floors are the favourite option but make sure your supplier leaves you a hoover. Once all the set up has been done it’ll need a little spring clean to make it wedding ready.
5. Get comfortable
Consider if you need heaters – there’s nothing worse than freezing wedding guests and if the weather turns a bit chilly you’ll be surprised at how cold marquees can feel even when packed full of guests. If the marquee is in your garden you might not have enough toilet facilities in the house to accommodate all your guests. Portable toilets are a great option but you’ll need to consider access, plus who is going to make sure they are kept clean during the day and top up those toilet rolls!
6. I can see the stars from here!
Popular across the pond “clear -roof” marquees are now making an appearance in the UK. They look similar to a large elegant greenhouse and are fabulous for summer weddings where you can enjoy the light evenings safe in the knowledge that you’ll stay warm and dry inside if the heavens open. These are slightly more complicated though in that they will get hot if the sun shines so you’ll need to make sure guests don’t eat directly under the clear section and that any dance floor is covered over until the sun has started to set.
Marquee companies will be more than glad to sit down with you to work out what options are suitable for you. You’ll need to be extra organised if you do want to manage your own marquee hire as you are essentially recreating a venue in a field! Just be clear about what you need from the outset and have a good budgeted plan.
OOoh as a blanket of snow covers most of the UK there’s just time to share with you our latest Mood Board for a Wintery Wedding in Silver. For more ideas and inspiration head over to our Pinterest Board where you’ll find loads more pics for sharing. It’s definitely the perfect day for pinning!
1. Rock My Boutique
2. Dessy Group
3. Style Me Pretty
4. A Diary of Lovely Blogspot
5.Pretty Wild Wed
9. Arkansas Bride Magazine
10. Wedding Salon
11. Arkansas Bride Magazine
12.The Wedding Dolls
Featured Image: Jared Wilson Photography
Today on the blog Amanda from Distinctly Floral talks us through Olivia and Carl’s Kent Country Wedding. Over to you Amanda!
“When we first met Olivia, we were a little intimidated by how cool, trendy and stylish she was, plus as a designer herself we hoped we’d fit the bill. Olivia and Carl are two of the nicest people and so easy to work with – we had a whale of a time! Their style was relaxed, natural, pretty, romantic and with a strong vintage feel.”
“Their wedding ceremony and reception was in the heart of Kent so we had to give the flowers a distinctly English feel. Nettlestead Church is a stunning intimate old 13th century church so we didn’t want to overdress is. We chose soft tied bunches of flowers for the pews, a single pedestal arrangement at the front of the church and a large terracotta pot arrangement for the window nook in the Entrance Porch. We also put a lovely soft arched arrangement on the lych gate. Carl and Olivia did their handmade confetti in bushel boxes – we think owning a garden centre helped them a little!
Olivia’s bouquet was a gorgeous textured and scented hand-tied bouquet designed to look quite “spriggy” and “just-picked”. It included a range of different roses, hydrangeas, freesias, bouvardia, mint and eucalyptus. It worked perfectly with her dress and didn’t overwhelm her petite frame. We finished the look off with a vintage crocheted doily.
Olivia’s bridesmaids had smaller hand-tied bouquets again with a natural feel to them. We decided on a small posy for her Flower Girl with a simple lace wrist loop to help her carry it.”
“Olivia knew she wanted her marquee reception to have impact with a “chill-out zone” in a separate marquee “room”. She sourced all the furniture herself (with lots of late night driving by Carl to collect her “finds”) and it looked amazing – we were then let loose to dress it with flowers. For the reception tables, we alternated between candelabra with a range of vases at the base and mixed selections of jugs, birdcages, vases, pots, teapots, china etc. A very eclectic vintage look, filled with gorgeous soft flowers and all draped with lace and pearls. We then added hydrangea florets and rosebuds to the tables to finish the look.”
“We even managed to dress the Indonesian Betjak (which belonged to Olivia’s parents) with sprays of flowers and added flowers to the cake, the bar and the tables. Basically if it didn’t move, we dressed it with flowers! We also provided the birdcage post box – all dressed with flowers of course!”
“Olivia and Carl provided the finishing touches with throws to keep knees warm, flip flops for tired feet and little Black Forest cakes for late night munchies….what a wedding!”
Thanks so much to Olivia and Carl for allowing us to feature their wedding and Amanda for doing such a fantastic job of talking us through the day.
Floristry & Images by Distinctly Floral
If you’ve had enough of ordering Christmas presents for other people online why not make your next click the Charlotte Casadejus Vintage online shop and buy something gorgeous for yourself instead.
There are so many beautiful things to choose from whether vintage or vintage styled. Here’s a collection of some of our favourites available now from the Kent based bridal designer. As with all original vintage pieces though once there gone there gone forever!
1. Vintage inspired white feather Cape, £275
2. 1970’s Frank Usher Vintage Wedding Dress, £350
3. 1950’s tiara, £95
4. Alisa Sample Wedding Dress, £300
5. 1930’s Ivory and Bronze clutch bag, £60
6. Audrey – vintage inspired ready to wear dress, £2,200
For more on Charlotte and her wedding dress collection take a look at our previous post.
All images from Charlotte Casadejus
After this weeks Kirstie’s Vintage Wedding Show on Channel 4 we’ve been involved in a fair few conversations with panicking brides about the DIY aspects of their wedding. In true vintage tradition it’s definitely a case of “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Whilst some Brides love the idea of DIY weddings it’s not for everyone though. Limited time and a distinct lack of crafty friends can leave some of you feeling a slightly bit… well… uninspired and in some cases downright frazzled.
Bunting. Check. Vintage Flowers. Check. Handmade Wedding Rings. Check. Vintage table settings. Check. Bespoke Invitations. Check. Vintage Outfits. Check. The list goes on and possibly on and on.
DIY Flower Girl Outfits
So before you launch head first into buying vintage material for bunting, collecting jam jars and scouring the local jumble sale take a step back and think carefully. Our advice is always the same. DIY can be lots of fun and give you a really fantastic individual wedding but you don’t have to do EVERYTHING yourself.
At the Wedding Dolls I love a bit of DIY and have a room stacked with stuff to prove it. I’ve also got lots of lovely crafty mates who can turn their hand at practially anything and come up smelling of roses. However Joanne is firmly in the non-DIY camp and to quote “if someone sells it then I’m not making it” and sometimes I just have to agree.
Lots of brides going for a DIY theme will add bunting to their list of things to make without realising just how long it takes and how the costs of material and sewing accessories can soon spiral. It may sound like fun scouring boot fairs for vintage china but when you need place settings for 80 people it will soon become a full time occupation. Having to buy everything from scratch and adding in things like petrol costs and the time involved may mean that your cheap DIY wedding is in fact costing you a small fortune.
Alice and the Teacup
Work out where your strengths lie and stick to your guns. If you know sewing isn’t your strong point and you don’t have someone to help then for the love of god buy the bunting. Or make paper bunting instead, which will look just as effective 8ft up in the roof of the marquee. If you don’t have time to collect vintage china there are some fabulous rental companies who won’t have chipped or stained cups and as a bonus you can give it all back unwashed at the end of the day.
Flowers are expensive to make mistakes with so practising before your wedding is key. Again if you can’t get the hang of flower arranging (and this is one thing even after 3 years as a Saturday girl in a florist I could never master) get your vintage bouquets made professionally, but by all means add your own DIY elements with much easier floral table settings.
Do pick DIY aspects that you can enjoy, either with friends or as a couple, like our wedding ring workshop post last week or by going through old family photo’s to make handmade picture place settings for guests. These types of personal touches will mean far more to you, and your guests, rather than knowing you spent six months sitting in front of EastEnders cutting out bunting triangles.
Like most things to do with wedding planning, do the bits you love and are good at, then get a professional to do the rest! Here’s our top five tips for a DIY wedding:
1. Be warned DIY doesn’t always mean cheap
2. Lots of spare time? Fabulous you’ll need it if you’re making everything from scratch. Do a reality time check. If you work 12 hours a day, 5 days a week things might get a tad stressful for a novice DIYer.
3. Wedding venue a blank canvas? You’ll need lots of help on the day (and in some cases the day before) to pull all your DIY elements together. Don’t think you can do it all yourself. Or try and leave it to your mum…..
4. Don’t get the hump when your friends won’t get up at 7am every Sunday to help you source vintage birdcages from the bootfair.
5. Be sensible. Make a plan of what you can do and what you need to outsource. Stick to it.
We’d love to hear your views! Are you planning to do it all yourself? Feeling DIY inspired or scared at the prospect of taking on so much yourself? Let us know!
P.S There are some amazing DIY Bridal Blogs out there for inspiration!
Choosing your wedding band can often become one of those wedding jobs that doesn’t get the time it deserves but you can change all that by making your very own. We met Laila Smith during the summer and really loved her unique workshops where you can make your very own Wedding Rings.
Laila is a trained jewellery tutor with over 13 years teaching experience and runs her workshops from a professional fully equipped jewellery studio in Hove, West Sussex. At the workshops you spend the day with her crafting beautiful wedding bands to your chosen design giving you a very special reminder of your wedding day that will last forever.
After attending a workshop, Louise and Rob said “We are so pleased we decided to make our own rings and we had such a fun, interesting and productive time at the workshop. The rings are now part of our wedding story.”
Tamsyn (with her husband to be Pete) also did a wedding ring workshop and said “we love that our rings are unique and it adds something extra special to the experience of getting married. I am now so addicted to making jewellery that I am going to weekly lessons with Laila, making all the presents for the bridesmaids too!
If you fancy finding out more about the workshops visit her website and blog which has loads of great information.
Happy Halloween Everyone! Today on the blog there’s no trick just treats all the way with Nick and Sarah’s Halloween Wedding.
The happy couple were married last year in a ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Speldhurst, Kent, with the reception at Mountains Country House, Hildenborough. We asked Sarah to tell us about their day.
“We had 120 guests during the day and had an additional 40 in the evening. We had to compromise slightly on certain things to enable us to invite the amount of guests we did. We found Mountains after a few weeks of looking and it had everything we wanted.
I was inspired by a wedding I had seen on the Green Wedding Shoes blog. We used autumnal colours with black and white ribbon and lots of pumpkins! Our theme was really fun and I loved the look – although it could have got very expensive!
The pumpkins were from a local supplier and all different sizes. We had wanted white pumpkins but weren’t available so I found some cool looking squashes at a farm in Kent. I cut holes in the tops of some of the pumpkins to hold candles for the tables and drilled holes and hollowed out some for candles as decoration. I made the place cards adding some of the black and white ribbon and got big MDF numbers from eBay and spray painted them black which were the table centrepieces. Plus we had huge bowl of sweets including chocolate eyeballs! I asked all the married guests for a picture of their wedding and put them in all different frames to decorate the reception. I was really pleased with our look but it was hard as it was such a massive marquee.
Our family helped with some aspects of our wedding, my sister did some stationery printing and Nicks mum made our wedding cake. One tier was fruit, one carrot and one chocolate.
Finally we asked Sarah what advice she would you give to other couples planning their wedding day? “Make sure you have a budget plan and don’t drink too much. The end of the night was a bit blurry!”
Wedding Contact Book:
Photography: Emma Knapp
Caterers: Pop Creative Food – all local produce
Brides Gown: Surrey Brides
Brides Shoes: Ted Baker
Brides Necklace: Muriel and Lily
Groom’s Suit: TM Lewin
Wedding Invites: Wedding Teatowels
Wedding Flowers: Blooming Perfect
Transport: Silver Phantom Rolls Royce from Cars For Wedding
Entertainment: Westend Jazz Band
First Dance: “You’ve got the Love” Florence and the Machines
Peter and Lydia were married in August 2012, taking them a relatively short eight months to plan this gorgeous wedding. Here Lydia tells us how she did it along with all the rest of the fabulous wedding details! Lydia says “I did the majority of the planning, with Peter helping me make decisions and willing to help when I delegated him tasks! My mother was also a massive help with organising the reception.
Our reception for just over 200 guests was held at Provender House, Faversham. As we planned the wedding in such a short space of time there were limited venues available but my mother’s friend knew Princess Olga Romanoff who lives in the house, which had been restored by English Heritage. I had originally wanted a stately home but it was too expensive, so having the reception in a marquee at Provender was amazing – it combined the elegant and traditional house with an easy and modern marquee that we were able to decorate as we wanted.”
Lydia goes on to tell us about her gorgeous gown “I tried on SO many dresses and loved 90% of them. I was being really indecisive but my dress stuck with me and I thought it was more stunning than the others. I took one of my bridesmaids with me to try it on again and she convinced me to go for it, despite the price tag! As Peter is a foot taller than me I wanted high heels as well as a bit of bling as my dress was very plain, so I chose some sparkly heels by Karen Millen. I borrowed Peter’s mother’s diamond studs, which she was given on her 18th birthday and also wore a thin bracelet with pearls and a lace edged chapel length veil and I had small pearl hair pins from Accessorize.”
Lydia tells us more about how they choose the details of their wedding, she says “Both of us wanted a traditional English wedding, with a few influences from Singapore, where I grew up. We didn’t have a theme at the outset but our light pinky/nude and butterflies theme just sort of happened and was a lovely mix of vintage and modern. I had a birdcage from the venue which I pegged individual table plans too. We had butterfly place cards from Cuttopia that had L & P on one wing and hand wrote our guests names on the other, which sat on everyone’s wine glass. We had our order of service and invitations printed in Singapore. I used lots of Orchids as they are the national flower of Singapore so I could have a touch of home on the day! They didn’t last long in the heat but they were absolutely beautiful.
We were lucky to have our family and friends help out. Peter’s incredibly talented younger sister made our cake, it was four tiers of fruitcake, red velvet, vanilla sponge and chocolate and our first dance song, ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz, was sung by Peter’s friend Ali Americanos.”
Lydia found their photographer, Samantha Jones, online and loved her photos. She says “When we met her in person and found her so friendly and enthusiastic we knew she would be perfect.”
Lydia’s final bit of advice for brides to be is “Don’t feel pressured into making all your decisions straight away. Try and listen to your family and friends without compromising what you want. DON’T be a diva because no matter what happens, it will be the best day of your life, regardless of all the little things. I loved our wedding. It was a great balance between a beautiful, serious and emotional ceremony that focused on our religious beliefs and love for each other, alongside a fun, relaxed reception where everyone let loose and danced the night away! It also reflected how much as a couple we put into our relationships with other people, it was amazing to have so many of our family and friends there on our wedding day.”
Thanks to Lydia and Peter for sharing their day with us. x
Dress: Suzanne Neville
Veil: Viva Bridal
Groom Outfit: Dress2kill
Bridesmaids: Fever Designs
Flowers: Graham Greener
Food: Blackbird Catering
Piano and Double Bass: Frances Knight
DJ: Party Plannerz
Favours & Centrepieces: Homemade
Photographer: Samantha Jones
Image Credit: With thanks to Samantha Jones
Unless you are really lucky the table plan, which seems like a relatively straight forward process to begin with, always takes more time than you think. There’s lots of choices to make, like whether you put your guests with family or friend groups or mix them up so everyone gets to know each other. If you do decide to mix the tables one great trick is to seat people with others they have something in common with and name the table accordingly. Say for instance friends who love cars, call your table Top Gear and let them work out why! Naming tables is a great way to break the ice and you can always match these to your theme or things you love. Some of the ones we’ve seen are:
Places special to you as a couple such as places you’ve visited on holiday
Names connected with hobbies such as star constellations or fashion designers
Favourite movies or authors
Famous romantic couples such as Romeo and Juliet, Bogart and Bacall and Taylor and Burton.
Once the fun bit is over and you’ve got brilliant names then comes the hard part, actually getting names to places. This for me was really frustrating. It required the patience of a saint as not so long ago, involved writing names on bits of paper and whizzing them around on a home drawn table plan for an eternity (well that’s how it felt!). However nowadays there’s a website for everything and table planning is no exception.
We’ve used Toptableplanner for many an event and it’s a really easy way to play around with the seating so you can get it exactly right. I’ve lost count of the times we’ve turned up to style tables and been given the name places only to find they don’t match with the seating planner! It’s easy to miss people off or forget to write a name tag so using a website like this really helps.
Screen Shot from www.toptableplanner.com
A good trick of the trade is to always take a few extra name tags (with pen!) on the day just in case. We’ve had guests who have turned up with a plus one but actually didn’t tell the bride and groom so we’ve quickly rearranged seating to accommodate them. And always, always, always make sure you have spelt names correctly. Where seating plans are concerned the phrase, check, double check and check again is your mantra.
Caterers will also love you forever if you can give them a table plan and mark on it where children and vegetarians are sitting. It makes their service so much smoother to manage.
And do remember that although many hotels and venues have “wedding planners” they might not be up for arranging all your seating plan, dressing the tables and putting out favours etc on the day. Check well in advance and if they are going to do this for you make sure you have a dummy run with them beforehand, especially if you have specific requirements or lots to put together.
Happy table planning!
Images. 1. Bridesmagazine.com 2. Planyourperfectwedding.com 3. theweddingchicks.com 4. lover.ly