Monday 25 November 2013

A London Library Wedding with Irish Tartan & Indian Extras

There's nothing I like more than a bride who knows exactly what she wants for her wedding day, and when she can't find it, makes it herself! Lovely Sally handmade all her wedding stationery - including her invitations and table plan, and her pretty seed wedding favours. Then, when she couldn't find bridesmaids dresses in her chosen shade of green, she called on her mum to sew them out of fabric originally designed for suit linings. The end result is a gorgeous, relaxed big day with tonnes of truly personalised wedding details. I love how groom Michael reflected his Irish heritage with his fabulous traditional kilt, and the sunny pop of the gerbera buttonholes. Sally bought her wedding dress from BHS online, and isn't it stunning! Just goes to show you don't have to have a designer gown to look gorgeous on your big day. Another stealworthy idea is Michael and Sally's choice of a fabulous Indian buffet for their wedding reception. If your favourite food is Asian or Mexican, why not choose it for your wedding menu? Huge thanks to Corrado Chiozzi for his fantastic wedding pictures, more of his work coming soon on Before the Big Day!

We celebrated our wedding at Charlton House in London. I knew I wanted our wedding to be fairly simple, my husband wanted it to be somewhere fairly formal, and I wanted fairy lights! Also we both love reading, and so hosting our reception in a library suited us perfectly.

We didn't have a theme as such. We wanted green for the bridesmaid dresses, yellow for the flowers and Indian fabrics and food to feature!

My husband is Irish, so wanted to wear the traditional Irish kilt outfit, which he hired from Moss Bros.

The ushers all wore green ties to match the bridesmaids' dresses. The buttonholes were bright yellow gerbera, and we also had two gerbera corsages, one for my witness and one for my mother.

My wedding dress was from BHS online. I chose it while looking online at a friend's house - in fact her mum saw it, and showed me. I emailed it to my Mum, and at exactly the same time, my mum was looking online, and found and emailed the exact same dress!

My veil was my Mum's veil from her wedding - my something borrowed. My shoes were Indian beaded style - I've always wanted to wear them on my wedding day, because I grew up in a predominantly Asian area of London, and have always loved the shoes and fabric. My jewellery was custom made by a jewellery designer friend of mine.

My bridesmaids' dresses were all made by my Mum! I was really specific about the shade of green I wanted, and I couldn't find matching dresses anywhere, so so I asked my Mum to make them instead. We found a pattern we liked, and bought the material, which was strictly-speaking lining-material from a fabric store on Green Street!

We used a local florist near where I grew up, called Molly and Bill Stevens, who were fantastic. We had chrysanthemums for the bride and bridesmaids' bouquets, as they are my some of my favourite flowers, and look like daisies. 

I walked up, and back down the aisle to 'One Day Like This' by Elbow. Our first dance was to 'Never Forget' by Take That, but a friend of mine who is a music producer, mixed in bhangra drumming at the ending to make it more special and individual. A friend of mine also wrote and performed a song for us on the piano, just before our evening reception, which was absolutely wonderful. 

While planning our wedding, there were moments when I felt like giving it all up and just going away, getting married and not telling anyone! But in the end there is nothing at all I would change about our big day. 

Everyone who came mentioned the personal and relaxed atmosphere, was which was the one thing I was really concerned about. I didn't stop smiling all day, and as a friend said 'you spent the whole day on tiptoes just being overexcited'. 

My advice to brides would be to think about what you want for the day rather than what will please other people and use as many people to help with things as you can. For us, what made our day so special was that so many people who came, had helped with something for our wedding. This made everything all the more personalised and special. 

Our wedding photographer was Corrado Chiozzi, who I'd met before, because he's the photographer for the band I sing with, Omarose. He was fantastic at capturing the atmosphere of the whole day, and everyone's commented on our lovely photographs.

Our entire wedding was pretty much DIY. The invites, bridesmaids dresses, table plan, table decoration, setting up the room. We were really lucky to have lots of friends and family with skills they were able to provide to help us.

I designed and made our wedding invitations, the table plan, and all other wedding stationery. I wanted daisies as a design motif, but also wanted it really simple. As I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, I decided it was easier to make everything myself.

I handmade all our wedding favours. Each guest had a small brown envelope with seeds inside to plant. On one side of the envelope was instructions on planting the seeds, and the other side was the guest's name, and a personalised quote from Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A.Milne. They also doubled up as place settings. Our table flowers were small potted sunflowers.

We had two wedding cakes, one a traditional fruit cake my Mum made, as there were people in the family who like fruit cake, and we wanted to keep things fairly traditional. Our main wedding cake was a three-tier cake, baked by my maid of honour's sister and mother. The bottom layer was a chocolate fudge cake, the middle was Victoria sponge, and the top layer was lemon drizzle cake, which is my favourite.

Our wedding food was extremely important to us both, and our caterers were absolutely amazing. They are a company called Relish, based in Dartford, and they provided exactly what we wanted. We had canapés and cocktails in the garden after our ceremony, and then an informal buffet for the main reception food. 

Everyone commented on how nice it was to be able to pick and choose what they wanted, as well as the amount you wanted, with some people going up for seconds which was fantastic!! They also provided us with champagne cider as a toast drink instead of ordinary champagne, as my husband doesn't like champagne at all! The evening buffet was a mixture of lots of different Indian foods, pakoras, samosas, bhajis, naan, poppadoms, dips etc. It was fantastic.

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