Good morning everyone! I’m having a very exciting week this week and today’s gorgeous wedding totally fits my romantic and happy mood…
I begged for this one – Essex wedding photographer Tracy Morter happily said I could share her lovely images with you on English Wedding Blog (hurray!) and today’s beautiful bride Claudine has written a fantastic wedding report to share with us all.
So do get yourself comfy and prepare to enjoy some amazing moments: from a bunny to a first kiss so good the vicar made them do it twice, all the way past the Mosh Pit table to the Festival of Light, which was kept a secret until the end of the day. Beautiful images, wonderful memories and a really lovely couple.
“Just be there for each other and embrace the unplanned because it will be something you’ll remember and smile about for the rest of your lives.”
A fun festival themed wedding in Essex
The bride and groom: Claudine & Ian Webster
Who proposed, and how?
On holiday 2 years ago Ian proposed to me whilst celebrating his 40th Birthday at the restaurant at the top of the famous Burj Al Arab, in Dubai. A wonderful unplanned moment and very special.
All photos are by Tracy Morter at www.tracymorter.com
Claudine told me about one of her most memorable moments from the day, “Giving my Nana Joyce a special cupcake (a mini version of the wedding cake) as she couldn’t come to the ceremony due to ill health. I gave it to her in the morning of the wedding and her face lit up no end.”
Wedding photographer: Tracy Morter
Tracy is a fantastic photographer, with a reportage style. As part of our package Tracy included a free engagement shoot, which helped us to relax to become comfortable in front of the camera on the big day! Tracy turned out to be a real success, with intermit storytelling and tremendous use of lighting that captured both the joyous atmosphere and beautiful backdrops to our big day. www.tracymorter.com
Wedding venue: St Mary’s Church Widford, Chelmsford
The Church celebrated 150 years this year and is located next to Hylands Park, Chelmsford home to V Festival. The congregation really are something special as they engage the hundreds of thousands of festival goers each year with friendly banter and beverages which go a long way to lifting peoples’ spirits prior to the festival entrance. This sense of fun and adventure is what primarily attracted us to this very special place.
Reception venue: Newland Hall, Roxwell near Chelmsford Essex.
We chose this venue as we liked that the marquee was set in a private garden with beautiful backdrop of the Tudor House and lake. www.newlandhall.co.uk
How would you describe your wedding style?
Traditional yet relaxed for the church service. A ‘Fun Festival Theme’ for our reception with sparkly surprises and festival goodies for our guests!
Wedding readings: A Walled Garden & Philippians 4 v 4-9
Memorable wedding day moments
- Seeing Ian at the end of the aisle and when I reached him, he said “Hello you! You look beautiful!”
- Ian says our first kiss as man and wife, the Vicar said it was so good we had to do it again!
- Watching everyone enjoying themselves, all wearing the lanyards & flashing lights!
- My little cousin laying down in the confetti and making angel shapes like a snow angel!
- Giving Ian’s parents their special cake to celebrate their 50th / Golden Wedding Anniversary on the same day!
- On the dance floor, Ian and I in the middle with everyone dancing & singing around us to Chelsea Dagger totally unplanned but we will not forget that magic moment.
- Having to smile for romantic photos next to the lake, whilst those spending the afternoon fishing, shouted across with goodwill messages and much humour!!
What did you wear?
Bride: An ivory strapless A-line dress with train, and beading at the top of the dress. The Dress and tiara came from Bridal Boutique in Southend on sea, Essex. The veil was my sister’s as my ‘something borrowed’ and my shoes were by Rainbow Club.
Groom: Dark Grey tails, ivory waistcoat with champagne gold cravats. Two cream roses on his lapel. The Groomsmen also matched the Groom.
Wedding venue styling and details:
Invitations: We chose Be Mine by www.specialdaydirect.com – these suited our sense of humour with the bride pulling the groom to the church.
Order of Service / Evening invites: We saved money and I designed these myself, very simple design with a blue single flower as the theme for more formal stationery. Also keen not to give the Festival Theme away until the guests reached the venue.
Flowers: Blue and White, Cottage Garden style with blue hydrangeas as the prominent flower in the bouquet.
Our Festival Themed Wedding Reception
- Welly boot Vases Flowers of White & blue in cottage garden theme on the tables.
- Favours – Tents filled with smarties (handmade by my sister)
- Gift box – Bigger version of the Tents (handmade by my mum)
- Lanyards with a rundown of the day and timings for the different types of music to feature during the night (designed by me on the home pc).
- Musical notes decorated the table name places. (we ordered these via Ebay)
- Tables were named after Stages & Areas you would find at a festival with a personal twist i.e. Main Stage for top table, Festival Fun Fair and Champagne Tent etc.
- Table plan was also designed on my PC based on a Festival map
- Cake was white with iced blue hydrangea flowers sprinkled down the 4 tears to match the bouquet. We had Fruit, Chocolate, Lemon Sponge and Vanilla Sponge. They added an iced copy of my pet bunny rabbit at the bottom!
- We also had Photo I spy on the tables for the children with disposal cameras for them to click away.
Wedding day advice:
- In choosing your venue or church; ensure you feel it’s the right place for you and ask lots of questions based upon how you want your big day to be special.
- Ask if the venue will be exclusive to your party on the day, or whether you’ll be sharing the venue with other wedding parties.
- Don’t be afraid to try something different and be brave!
- Not everything will go 100% according to plan on the day, just be there for each other and embrace the unplanned because it will be something you’ll remember and smile about for the rest of your lives.
- Pop some tissues in the Groom’s pocket for emotional moments for both of you remember, most brides don’t have pockets.
- On the day take a step back for 5 minutes when possible and embrace the moment
- Don’t forget to thank those that have helped you along the way and possibly back this up with a list so that no one feels that they’ve been overlooked.
What were your wedding highlights?
- Ian arrived at the Church in a Party Bus with all his friends.
- The last journey as single lady in the car with my Uncle and Bridesmaids, one of which was my sister, all chatting away just lovely.
- Exiting the wedding service to raucous tune from “Ski Sunday” and everyone’s reaction, all laughing, bobbing up and down & clapping!
- A surprise Horse and Carriage booked by my mother, which waited in a nearby farm as our vintage wedding car took an unexpected detour. With the journey to the reception slowed to a more traditional pace, we took in the beautiful country side, chatted, laughed and soaked up all the attention from passersby and local folk. What a way to start your married life together!!
- Our First Dance, we had a few lessons but were still nervous as anything as we had adopted the “up beat” and sensational “What a life” by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The gasps and smiles from the crowd were just what we needed and with much cheering and clapping of hands, we managed to carry out the routine with our best performance to date. Difficult, but so pleased we held our nerve and did it!
- Our Festival of Light. We’d created festival lanyards for everyone to know what type of music was on and when. However, we kept a little up our sleeves as the “Festival of Lights” section remained somewhat of a mystery. At 10.30, the lights went out, pumping house filled the marquee and box after box of flashing wands, tiaras, Bunny ears, Glasses, rings, and glow sticks were handed out to everyone. The roof practically came off the marquee as young and old alike danced around with the brilliant colours flashing and twinkling across the unlit room. A brilliant a moment with everyone joining in!!
Wedding music and entertainment:
- Bridal Entrance: Johan Pachelbel’s Canon in D
- One more step along the world I go
- To God be the glory, great things He hath done
- Give me Oil in my Lamp (Sing Hosanna)
- Recessional music Pop Goes Bach the Ski Sunday Theme Tune.
- Our Vicar Rev. Dave Robins had everyone bobbing up and down just before we played the music. The Vicar was very accommodating and open to ideas, we even sang Happy Birthday to my friend!
- As it was a Festival Theme all our guest had Lanyards with a guide to different types of music to be played.
- First Dance – AKA What a Life by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- Farewell circle, Music from the Opening Ceremony from the Olympics
- We left the venue to Extreme Ways by Moby, the theme music to Bourne Films, Ian said it was our way of signing off the evening.
Ian and Claudine’s recommended wedding suppliers:
- Cake – Fancy Nancy http://www.fancynancy.info/
- Rings – Hand made with special care & design by Martin Reade at Michael Clarks Designs, Raleigh http://michaelclarkdesigns.co.uk/
- Dress – Ellis, supplied by Bridal Boutique, Southend on sea – http://www.bridal-boutique.co.uk/
- Flowers & Welly Boot Vases – The Wedding Stores, Fay Barwell. Leigh on sea http://www.theweddingstores.co.uk
- Car – Aristocars http://www.aristocars.co.uk/
- Horse & Carriage – The Ostler – http://www.theostler.org.uk/
See more: Pop Looks Bach Down The Aisle by Tracy Morter Photography.