I think Naomi and Elric are a wonderful couple – individual, glamorous, quirky, creative and exciting. Their wedding is fabulous: from Naomi’s stunning outfit and captivating smile to Elric’s inspired choice of wedding reading and their shared wedding report this is a feature I’m proud to have on English Wedding Blog today! I do hope you love it too.
The wedding venue is Birmingham’s Highbury Hall; the images are all by Midlands-based wedding photographers Rob and Sarah Gillespie. I want to rush right in to Naomi and Elric’s wedding report – it’s one of very few I’ve ever had where the bride and groom have written their wedding story together – and so, it’s very special.
The bride and groom
Naomi & Elric. Mr & Mrs Bell.
Who proposed, and how?
I asked Naomi. I took her out for a birthday meal at Portofino, Colchester, where we were living at the time. It was a really nice evening, everything was so good, and I popped the question. I hadn’t planned to do it that evening, and I must have been really nervous as I can hardly remember what happened! If I could change one thing it would have been to have planned it – I don’t regret being spontaneous but poor Naomi had to wait for an engagement ring.
Wedding venue: Highbury Hall, Birmingham
Rob and Sarah Gillespie www.robandsarahgillespie.co.uk
How would you describe your wedding style? Eclectic: Lots of 50’s influences, with quite a traditional ‘English Country Garden’ feel. We wanted the day to be special and it was important to us that the majority of items were unique and hand-made. We’re both quite individual and hate being pigeon-holed, and we wanted the wedding to reflect that.
The wedding ceremony
Religious or civil? Civil. We had a fantastic registrar, Geoff, who I think missed his calling as a nightclub compere. He was wonderfully eccentric and made us feel so relaxed.
Which wedding readings did you choose?
Elric: Erm… we didn’t really go for romantic or traditional choices. I chose a short story about 2 diametrically opposed Dinosaurs who fall in love. Reptile romance.
Naomi: I chose ‘Yes I’ll Marry You’, by Pam Ayres. It’s a light-hearted warning to men!
The wedding reception:
What were your highlights?
The wonderful, funny speeches from Paul (Naomi’s dad) and Damien (Elric’s brother / Best Man). Our incredible, fantastical, Choccywoccydoodah cake – Naomi worked long and hard to pay for that!
Wedding venue styling and details:
We saw this amazing grade 2 listed Mansion (built 1878 for Joseph Chamberlain) on our photographers’ website. It has bags of character and presence, and so many interesting features that we felt too many details would detract from the venue. Along with the floral arrangements for the tables, our florist provided a few large candelabras draped with flowers and ivy which brought the ‘Country Garden’ feel inside.
Music and entertainment:
Mike Giorgiardes, a fantastic classical guitarist, played for us throughout the day. Mirror Image Disco provided the back drop for Elric’s dodgy ‘dad-dancing. There are some great photos where you can see the bubble swirling all around us.
What did you wear:
Naomi: I went for a ’50’s inspired outfit in ivory with a mixture of coloured accents (purples, pinks, blues gold, burgundy) : Bird-cage veil and fascinator, T-cut dress with a hand beaded bolero and a poofy purple petticoat, sash and floral pin, ivory wristlet, ivory court shoes … which influenced Elric: I wore an ivory suit with burgundy accents and ivory coloured shoes. I’ve always imagined shining on my wedding day!
Memorable wedding day moments:
Elric: Seeing Naomi come down the Aisle; I had no idea about her wedding outfit and she looked absolutely beautiful. And yes, I did cry! Also stepping out of the vintage Limo with my son Yukio wearing matching suits was a very proud moment for me.
Naomi: I was overwhelmed with pride when I first saw my son wearing his suit that matched Elric’s, and also was brought to tears walking down the aisle like Elric! I think for us and everyone that attended, the speeches had also left a lasting impression from the wonderful heart-warming thoughts from my dad to the hilarious ribbing Elric received from Damien!
Wedding day advice:
Don’t get stressed, over-do things and make sure to budget carefully. Do things the way you want them. We had an attitude of “We’re only going to do this once”, and didn’t compromise on what we wanted, and it really was the happiest day of our lives. On that note, your face will hurt from smiling all day!
Recommended wedding suppliers:
- Rob & Sarah Gillespie Wedding Photographers www.robandsarahgillespie.co.uk
- Mike Gorgiades – Guitarist www.functioncentral.co.uk/acts/mike_classical_guitarist
- Home James Wedding Cars www.homejamesweddingcars.com
- Choccywoccydoodah www.choccywoccydoodah.com
- Formal Affair suit hire www.formalaffair.co.uk
- The Flower Centre www.flowercentrebirmingham.co.uk
- The Vintage Hair Salon www.lekeuxevents.co.uk/vintagehair.html
- Handmade Flowers by Sara www.flowersbysara.co.uk
- Highbury Hall www.birmingham.gov.uk/highbury-wedding
- HobbyCraft www.hobbycraft.co.uk/
- …Etsy.com sellers (fill the blank!) http://_____.etsy.com –
- pickledbeads (baby jewellery)
- carolendicott (jewellery)
- JewelrybyJohan (wedding rings)
- AnnabellaDesignsuk (petticoats)
- Chikakojewellery (beaded jewellery)
- rosabridalcouture (ivory wristlet)
- RoseoftheMire (jewellery)
- giselleboutique (flower girl tutu dresses) – these are gorgeous! Claire
- SolBijou (jewellery bouquets)
- missbrache (vintage style handmade dresses)
- bellasbowtique2008 (flower girl wreath)
- HeadFullofFeathers (fascinator and veil)
- rosyposydesigns (sash and pin)
- rosebudlips (garter)
- naturallyinspired (fascinators)
- kisforkani (bridesmaid headbands)