Monday 10 March 2014

An Elegant London Wedding with Sparkly Vintage Details - The Reception

Possibly the hardest job for any wedding photographer is to get the perfect portrait shots of the bride and groom. Only a truly talented tog can tread the narrow line between romantic and cutesy, loving and lovey-dovey. These gorgeous shots by Cotton Candy Wedding Photography are a lesson in how to do it well! It helps that the fabulous Lennie and Geraint are comfortable in front of the camera, and clearly super loved up! But aren't they fabulous? I'm also seriously obsessed with Lennie's fantastic wedding reception details. From the hand-painted wedding stationery {by one of her bridesmaids}, to the champagne cork place markers and mercury glass vases, every detail is elegant and perfectly placed. Huge kudos to Lennie for using {handmade!} tumbling white macaroons as decorations for the naked wedding cake - it's the first time I've seen them used as decorations, and it's SO effective. Enjoy the pictures, and don't miss Lennie's answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire, including her clever idea for a wedding guest book!

We got married on the 2nd November 2013 in our little church, St Mary Magdalen's in Mortlake, followed by our reception in the wonderful Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, London.

St Mary Magdalen's was a no-brainer it is a beautiful church in our parish. Also we live locally to Richmond Park, and spend a lot of time either wandering through on a wintery Sunday afternoon, or picnicking in the summer, so Pembroke Lodge was ideal. 

We both love Firework Night and Pembroke Lodge overlooks the Thames Valley, so on the night of our wedding, we had a great view of all the local firework displays that were taking place that weekend.

Our wedding photographers were the amazing Gem and Phil from Cotton Candy Wedding Photography, whose enthusiasm was contagious when we met them and made the decision easy!  Not only are Gem and Phil fab people, they caught the best day of our lives just as we will always remember it - with a lot of smiles, laughter and dancing. They even made myself and Geraint look good in front of a camera which as any of our friends and family will tell you is a rarity!

I loved planning our wedding. It was a major team effort, not only with Geraint, but also my family and friends, without whom, the day would not have happened, let alone be so special with such personal touches that truly made it a day we will never forget.

My advice for future brides would be to take your time, you will only do this once and the preparation is as much part of the big day as the day itself. Try not to do too much at once - organise to do separate tasks weekly, or monthly {if you have the time}, so you can enjoy every part of it. 

Our wedding florist was the lovely Heather at Evelyn Cole Flowers, who made me feel so at ease. She also helped me pick the perfect flowers for winter - at time you don't normally associated with beautiful blooms!

The biggest featuring flower was gypsophilia - we wanted high impact but simple flowers and these seemed the perfect choice. {They also dry very well so we still have one of our centre pieces on our dining room table!} My bouquet featured blue and cream anemones and viburnum berries, which we also chose for the little vases on each table. They added a lovely splash of colour on a chilly winter's day.

By way of decoration we wanted our wedding to be colourful and elegant {with some sparkle}. Our theme lightly touched on London - where we met, and Paris - where we have spent a lot of time as a couple. 

We made our own seating plan by using a vintage mirror, and borrowing the very talented handwriting skills of one of my bridesmaids, who wrote out our guests' names with a chalk pen. We didn't want a traditional guest book, so we bought a bottles of our fave wine to be placed on each table along with a permanent marker. Then we asked guests to sign them for us - giving us a selection of lovely memories that we could drink to on special occasions in the future!

We created our own wedding favours using lottery scratch cards inside a glassine envelope, with a hand-tied, glittery mini bow to fit with the colour theme. We wanted to give something that they either wanted to take home because they won {we had a few £1 and £5 wins}, or that they could leave behind, because they hadn't won!

Our wedding stationery was all designed by one of my wonderful bridesmaids, Sally Richards. Sally created everything from the Save the Date, to the Order of Service, {which included poems and sayings that meant a lot to us}, to the menus, table names and place cards.

The stationery design included a skyline of Paris and London in the same teal blue. Sally even designed each table name individually - they were all named after somewhere important to us as a couple - so a huge task! Having such personal wedding stationery made our day that little bit more special.

We didn't want a traditional fruit cake as it's not something we tend to eat. Also we were serving it as dessert at our wedding breakfast, so we wanted something the majority of people would enjoy. We also made the decision to have a 'naked' cake as icing isn't our thing. In the end we chose tiers of red velvet and lemon cake, with butter icing made by the very talented Jen's Cakery. Finally I have a bit of an obsession with macaroons, and decided I would make them to decorate the cake and to be served alongside it as dessert - that was definitely a labour of love! People still mention how good the cake was today! 

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