When she told me about her wedding day Claire mentioned how she’d always looked forward to the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue – so I chose the title for this wedding blog post too. Claire and Richard were married at Mallory Court in August. There are some really special little touches in Claire’s wedding report: I love how she kept the dress a shared secret with just her mum, for example – and what a gorgeous dress.
Claire is a stunning bride. Richard looks fantastic in his kilt – this is just a fabulous wedding day with real style and a nice traditional touch. The wedding photography is by Rob and Sarah Gillespie; I’ll leave you with their pictures to tell the story of the day alongside Claire’s own wedding story.
The wedding dress – Sassi Holford, London
I bought my made dress from Sassi Holford’s London Boutique. I knew as soon as I saw Sassi’s dresses that I would get married in one of her designs and chose a made to measure ‘Samantha’ dress and jacket as I felt it had the traditional feel I was looking for. I had expected to favour an elbow length veil, but the boutique manager April, helped me try a number of lengths and design options and I settled on a 3 tiered full length veil to complete the look.
Only my mum had seen the dress before the wedding day, with even the bridesmaids being kept in the dark! This meant that we had a number of great girly trips down to London for shopping trips, measurements and toile fittings along with a lovely sense of sharing in a special secret together.
Bridal accessories and bridesmaids
I bought a simple hair band from Ivory & Co. Tiaras at their stand at the NEC wedding fair, and the bridesmaids chose complementary hair slides from the same range. They had simple, traditional designs which complemented the dresses without overpowering them, and our fantastic hairdresser Natalie Bartrum then worked the hair accessories into the individual styles we all wanted.
The bridesmaids, my mum and I all had shoes from the ‘Pink’ range at Brides of Shirley. The girls and mum had theirs dyed to match their outfits and chose a range of different styles that they felt would be most comfortable for them, and they choose complimentary handbags too.
All of the girls had their make up done by Ali Gunn and she found an individual style for each of us. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to start the day and Ali ensure that it stayed picture perfect all day.
The bridesmaid’s dresses came from the wonderful ‘Platinum brides’ in Hall Green, Birmingham. Our maid of honour chose a one shouldered design and the 2 bridesmaids, a complementary strapless design each with matching shrugs for inside the Church. Xanthi and Joan at Platinum could not have been more helpful and made everyone feel to calm throughout the process.
For our little Flower girl, I choose a simple Ivory dress with butterfly detail from Next and she chose a range of accessories from Debenhams – her favourite being a fluffy ivory shrug intended for the evening but which she wore all day!
Richard and the wedding party wore traditional Scottish dress incorporating the ‘Grant Modern’ tartan which comes from Claire’s side of the family. All the outfits come from Vankilter in Solihull and the boys all had fun trying something new for the big day.
The choice of tartan then informed the colour scheme for the rest of the day with a the bridesmaids dresses, flowers and even in the cars following the indigo colour picked out from the kilts.
Growing up I most looked forward to the tradition of “Something old, new, borrowed and blue”. For my something old I wore the first piece of jewellery Richard bought me – an eternity ring that me bought while we were a universities 300 miles apart, for new I chose my shoes, for borrowed, I wore my mum’s diamond earrings and then I wore a blue garter which was a gift to my mum on her wedding day from her mother and was now being passed onto me.
The wedding day
When we got engaged we knew we wanted a traditional Catholic wedding with a strong family feel. Having put in the planning a long time in advance we both found the morning very calm and peaceful and we had a great time getting ready with our friends and family in the morning. Richard was joined by Rob from Rob and Sarah Gillespie photography and they were superb at capturing every moment while also guiding us through the day.
We were married at Olton Friary in Solihull during a nuptial Mass. We wanted a real sense of celebration to permeate the service so we opted for a Gospel Choir and hymns that either had strong personal significance or that lots of people could join in on.
Following the service we went on to Mallory Court in Leamington Spa for the reception. Natalie our wedding co-ordinator was superb throughout our engagement and put us at complete ease on the day itself. There we enjoyed drinks and canapés in the gardens as the weather was perfect, while a saxophonist and piano duo played on the terrace.
This gave us the opportunity to have photos taken while our guests enjoyed the surroundings. Rob and Sarah are the ultimate professionals and put everyone at ease – we have been amazed by how many gorgeous shots they got without us even noticing and our families have been really pleased with the group shots.
The chef at Mallory court is Michelin starred and produces amazing food which was a big contributing factor for us booking. He put together a fantastic wedding breakfast menu which people still talk about! You hear about people not eating at their own weddings but that was certainly not the case for us!
We rounded the day with a traditional Scottish ceilidh followed by a disco. This gave up the opportunity to please all the guests and a ceilidh always gets people up dancing straight away.
Memorable wedding day moments
One of our favourite moments actually occurred the morning after the wedding. We arranged for our parents, grandparents and our wedding party to have brunch together, and Mallory made it a really intimate affair. Following this we were waved off on our honeymoon by the people who really are those closest to us which was the perfect completion to our perfect day!
Claire’s Wedding day advice:
This is a piece of advice that I was given and would certainly pass on… During the day take a couple of opportunities to take a step back as a couple, alone, to absorb the day and its events – it goes by so fast that you will really value those stolen moments.
Mallory Court wedding suppliers
- Wedding photographer – Rob Gillespie www.robandsarahgillespie.co.uk
- Venue – Mallory Court (www.mallory.co.uk )
- Dress – Sassi Holford (www.sassiholford.com)
- Bridesmaid – Platinum brides, Hall green, Birmingham
- Flowers – Passion for flowers (www.passionforflowers.net)
- Kilts – Vankilter (www.vankilter.co.uk)
- Hair – Natalie Bartram (www.bridalhairspecialist.co.uk)
- Make up – Ali Gunn (www.makeupbyali.co.uk)
- Bus – Routemaster Ltd (www.routemasterbuses.co.uk)
- Cars – Barrie James Cars (www.barriejames.co.uk)
- Video – Craefully crafted media (www.carefullycraftedmedia.co.uk)
- Choir – Audrey Mattis Chorale (www.amc-chorale.com)
- Reception music – Round Midnight (www.roundmidnightmusic.co.uk)
Read the full story of Claire and Richard’s Warwickshire wedding on their photographers’ own blog: http://robandsarahgillespie.co.uk/2011/09/claire-richard-olton-friary-and-mallory-court-hotel-warwickshire/