Thursday 29 September 2011

Real Pink & Feather Wedding with a Short Puffball Dress: Sarah & Adam

Short wedding dress alert! I love it when a bride takes the plunge and wears something truly original. I'm head-over-heels obsessed with Sarah's incredible Charlotte Balbier puffball wedding dress. Isn't it gorgeous! She teamed it with a pair of custom-made shoes and a DIY bouquet of pink roses, for a fun, flirty look. Groom Adam also looked supremely dapper in his Moss suit. The happy couple added loads of DIY details to their big day. From the stationery, to the table decorations and all the flowers, including the lime-lined table arrangements, everything was created by the bride and groom and their wedding party. I'm loving their pink and black colour scheme, the feather theme, and the incredible four-tier cheesecake wedding cake - yum! Stunning pictures as ever published with thanks to Lola Rose Photography. Sarah has very kindly filled in my Before the Big Day Brides Questionnaire, so don't miss all her helpful hints and tips on suppliers, and how to stop yourself becoming bridezilla!

The Before the Big Day Bridal Q&A - Sarah was kind enough to fill in our bridal questionnaire, aimed at helping other brides with their planning process. Feast your eyes on her answers for helpful hints and tips from someone on the other side of her big day!

Where and when did you get married?
At the beautiful Stoke Place near Windsor, on Saturday August 6th 2011.

What was your thinking behind choosing the venue and the decoration of the reception?
Honestly – this was the one and only venue we looked at. We did some research online beforehand, but Stoke Place more than stood out from the pack. Its modern style captured in a beautiful old building, with stunning grounds – it really was a perfect venue for us.

Did you have a theme, colour or motif in mind?
We didn't start with a theme - instead we focused on finding the right outfits for me and Adam and our bridal party, and creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere on the day. Neither myself or Adam were particularly interested in traditional wedding styles, so were quite open minded in our search. I think this really helped make our day unique to us.

Who made your wedding outfit, and how did you come to that decision?
My dress was 'Fay' from Charlotte Balbier. I discovered a picture of the dress in Brides Magazine. The magazine had written an A to Z wedding feature and my dress was Q for quirky. I wasn’t looking for a short dress, but I did want something different. I've stood in bridal shops and not been able to tell the difference between the rows and rows of big long ivory gowns. As soon as I saw this dress I had a rush of excitement and immediately emailed the designer. Trying on the dress for the first time was just as exciting. The knee length puffball hem, the gem detailing under the bust, the crystal buttons that ran the length of the back to just below my hips, the cut of the straps and the fold of the fabric across the chest made it just perfect! It was 'The Dress' from the start!

Whilst trying on my dress at Windsor Bride, I came across some hair accessories by Jo Barnes Vintage. I was so excited looking though Jo’s website... her handcrafted elegant vintage inspired designs were amazing. Jo was incredible to work with, and created a custom design for me, plus buttonholes and corsages for the wedding party.

Something that I was surprised to discover when looking for my outfit was that wedding shoes are ugly! I really don’t understand why?! I searched and searched for a funky, modern pair of shoes in a size 8 to show off with my short puffball dress to no avail. Getting rather frustrated with the whole experience I made contact with Jo Barnes Vintage again and asked for her help in designing a pair of shoe clips that I could fasten to a plain pair of ivory shoes. I love my shoes... I hope that one day I have a little girl with big feet just like me, who may choose to wear them on her wedding day!!

What about your husband’s outfit? Where was it from?
Adam wanted a simple, sharp dark grey suit. We shopped around and found a nice reasonably priced suit from Moss. We teamed the suits with a crisp white shirt with a collar pin and a black silk tie.

And how about your bridesmaids’ outfits?
I absolutely loved my bridesmaid outfits! I had four bridesmaids in total – all completely different in shape and personality, but they each looked absolutely stunning in their Enzoani Love Collection A15 dress in black. We also found an amazing hair accessory from Reiss, black peep toe shoes from Next, and simple black stud earrings and a lick of pretty pink nail polish on their fingers and toes. As I put toether the bridesmaids outfits, I gradually started thinking of a theme, and black became our wedding colour, with feathers used throughout the decoration.

What type of cake did you go for, and how did you come to that decision?
This was the easiest decision ever! We chose a 4 Tier So Much Strawberry Shortbread cheesecake from the English Cheesecake Company. Words cannot describe how delicious this tasted and looked!

Did you have any favours? What were they? Was there any particular reason why you picked them?
We had a very intimate ceremony and wedding breakfast with only 32 guests in total. We chose to seat our guests around one long table... this created such a lovely atmosphere and it was a real pleasure to share the moment with our nearest and dearest. The table looked amazing with the flower arrangements, scattered black feathers and confetti, finished off with large candles in glass jars and two candelabras. Pretty heart table place name cards were perched on the rim of a wine glass filled with 'Just Married' sweets and a black feather. We spent very little on the table decorations, but our choices looked very effective and really set the scene.

Who was your florist, what flowers did you choose, and how did you come to that decision?
I created the flower arrangements and my bouquet! This was a scary time because I am not a florist nor have I ever tried to do anything like this before. I absolutely love peonies... the plan was to use these on the day, but unfortunately this was not to be as they were out of season by the time our big day came around. I had searched the internet for inspiration on design and found a really different arrangement that used a short square vase lined with cut limes. I swapped the peonies for pink and white roses and added my own funky twist by using bright green chrysanthemums and inserting some gems into a few of the roses.

My bouquet was made from pink roses tied together with cream ribbon and gem studs. The bright pink colour looked amazing with my puffball dress. Each bridesmaid held a long stem, large head white rose with a long flowing black bow.

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?
This was another easy decision... Kelly Green from Lola Rose Photography was the only photographer that we met with. Kelly’s personality, professionalism and style of photography were first class... I am a complete photo-phobe, and super critical of photos taken of me. Kelly put my mind at ease immediately and the photos of our big day are of outstanding quality. We honestly could not have wished for better. Kelly captured the moments, the details – the whole story of our special day with perfect ease.

Did you enjoy planning your wedding?
I have been told by many brides and grooms that planning your wedding is one of the most stressful things you will do. I can honestly say that at no point did I feel stressed, find doubt in our choices or get all Bridezilla! We went with our instincts and based our decision-making on what felt right for Adam and I. We took one step at a time, and before you realise it you have everything in place, your Big Day has arrived and the only thing left to do is enjoy and savour every moment of it. I am extremely lucky to have such an amazing family, my sister Nicky without a doubt is my rock in life... without her advice, support and amazing ability to turn my ideas into reality – the planning would have infinitely harder, in fact I know I could not have done any of it without her. Oh I am such a softy, I am actually crying as I right this!!

Did you have any DIY projects?
I think this was a DIY wedding... our small budget gave us no choice, but I would not have done a thing differently! It meant I got to spend time with my Mum and sister putting my ideas into fruition – making the whole experience all the more special for me. I made my bouquet and flowers arrangements with their help. Ideas captured from magazines and websites during my research were beautifully crafted by my sister with spectacular effects... I don’t think there was a single guest that did not compliment our decorations, I took great pride in informing them that my little sister had made them.

Who designed your stationery? What did it look like and how did you come to that decision?
This was another DIY project. I did some research created a design, sourced the media and printed them myself. I saved a fortune but did not compromise quality. Both Adam and I were really happy with our efforts!

What advice do you have for brides planning their big day?
This might sound corny and not a particularly practical piece of advice but... Enjoy every moment. The planning is a massive part of the big day and should be part of the fun... be confident in your decisions and do not allow the little hiccups to get you down. Your day will be perfect whatever happens because it will be filled with your favourite things, your family and friends and the love you have for each other. Oh good grief, listen to me... marriage has turned me into a complete romantic sucker!

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  1. Sarah you looked truly beautiful, it looked like you had a fabulous day, I LOVE the wedding cake! Congratulations to you both, thank you so much for your kind words you were a pleasure to deal with, I wish you and your new hubby a long and happy future together... Jo Barnes x

  2. Very beautiful couple. I loved the bride's dress and the design of the cake, looks just fab!


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