As a huge lover of music this wedding has instantly leapt into my top ten of all time! Vic and Chris describe their wedding to me as “A mix of loves and eras – mainly focused around our mutual love of music” – which ticks all of my boxes!
They’re an amazing couple with the coolest taste in tunes and as I write this blog post I’m listening to every single song they’ve mentioned – there’ll be links below if you’d like to have a listen as well: as far as musical wedding inspiration goes, this is definitely the best I’ve blogged so far – bar none!
While the images of this fabulous wedding are a treat – by long time supporter of English Wedding Blog, Mark from Sheffield based Tierney Photography – please do read Vic and Chris’s wedding report in full. Their focus, inspiration and love is truly inspiring and I was captivated reading their story.
Before we begin, here’s one of my favourite quotes from Vic:
“Chris and I were adamant that the wedding would reflect who we are today not who we want to be in the future or who we are expected to be. Our relationship as it is, our loves and the people who we love.”
… and that’s what it’s all about. Enjoy! Claire xxx
A musical wedding at The Swan: Vic and Chris
A little about the wedding ceremony:
There was an early promise to my husband-to-be, that I wouldn’t insist on a church (I’m Catholic) and in return, he wouldn’t insist on a beach wedding (he is Californian)- so I had some concerns over a civil ceremony.
With lots of discussions, some inspiration from blogs and a lot of time poured over the right readings and vow exchanges we pulled off the intimate, special ceremony we wanted. We spent the time agreeing on a structure to our vows and what really mattered to us on the day – we also had two friends play the most wonderful music for us (rock and indie versions of our chosen songs) which helped make it even more personal.
The ceremony was 42 people which made it even more special – we had to make some tough decisions on the guest list but we more than made it up in the evening when our numbers more than doubled.
Which readings did you choose?
1st – This one took some time to choose as we wanted song lyrics spoken and a lot of songs were too cheesy, but we finally decided upon ‘I love you because’ performed by Johnny cash (amongst others) – it was perfect!
2nd – Union by Robert Fulgham – beautiful and real – talks about all those conversations and promises you make each other on the lead up to exchanging vows.
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
We 100% agreed that our friends (if they so wish) should be involved as much as possible and if we were going to spend money, it was going to be on quality. We had such generous friends, cake maker, flowers, music, readings and we chose our professionals carefully.
The wedding professionals we involved exceeded every expectation, Emma the wedding co-ordinator at the Swan, Mark Tierney the photographer, Mariam the make-up artist.
If you looked around the room at any time it reflected us as a couple and it was exactly what we were looking for!
Invitations and reception stationery:
We wanted to get the mix right of seriousness with the ceremony and fun and design with the rest and this started with our Save the Date cards which were a play on our nationalities – a mock up of me as the Queen and Chris as Uncle Sam.
The invites were mock record labels and the order of service was a CD album sleeve with the front being a take on the iconic ‘Appetite for destruction’ artwork.
Chris did all the design work brilliantly and carried through some personal themes right into the wedding itself with self-designed guitar picks on the tables and posters of our favourite song lyrics for the venue.
Wedding music and entertainment:
Music was the heavy influence for us;
Ceremony – live music from two amazing friends playing acoustic indie rock versions of our chosen songs – I walked in to ‘Steal my heart’ by Augustana – as soon as it started playing both Chris and I knew to take a very deep breath !
Signing of the register – acoustic version of ‘One day like this’ Elbow
Exit music – ‘Baby I love you’ The Ramones
We hired a full size juke box to add to the music drama of the day – Chris had pre-prepared a playlist for dinner (the staff mentioned that they have never served a wedding breakfast to a Neutral Milk Hotel track) and for the evening which reflected our tastes.
The finale was the live band ‘Captain Caveman’ – who rocked !! we expected them to be good as we had spent a long time online choosing but they were amazing. They tore the place up and we were just the right crowd for them with my husband jumping on the stage to sing a couple of songs with them and a friend of ours singing a punk version of a Take That song!
“The only wedding I have been to where I got to mosh with the groom” was one of my fav comments that evening.
What did you both wear?
As soon as we started talking about attire it was clear that we both cared as much as each other about what we wore.
Chris had a suit made for him in a beautiful pop out blue (by A Suit That Fits)– and found the perfect pair of Converse All Stars to go with – it wouldn’t have been right with him in anything else. He wanted a waistcoat as it was important to him that he wore his Grandfather’s pocket watch and a charcoal grey one leapt out at us a month or two before the wedding.
I was a little more traditional than I thought – always thought I would pick a 50’s influenced dress. A full dolce satin gown stole my heart, and the boutique (Angelica Bridal – Angel, London) ensured it fit perfectly!
My dress was so sophisticated that I did feel I needed something modern in there so I went all out on the shoes… they were far from subtle! I love them and have worn them many times since.
Accessories were built up over time which included an Etsy seller in America for the cuff, vintage styler for the evening hair clip, and my Mother in law allowed me to borrow her pendant that both her and her mother wore on their wedding days which was very special.
We were very lucky – we won our bridesmaids’ dresses from a wedding blog 9 months before the wedding. Twobirds donated two dresses to the competition ‘ how did you ask your bridesmaids to be part of your day’. My entry consisted of a letter I had written to my ten fav women in the world, introducing them to each other as well as explaining that we are not having a huge wedding and therefore had chosen only 2 people to deal with my tantrums.
The dresses were slate and were perfect for both ladies – I was just sorry I didn’t win one for myself ?
Our accent colour was scarlet red which worked perfectly with the dresses and we carried it through by purchasing ties for all the men in the party.
We were never going to have a wedding that I planned all on my own, it was our wedding and we made all decisions together to ensure it was a reflection of both of us. We made sure, if we love it – it’s in! Even down to the sugar skull button holes.
We were however surprised how much we did care about certain things. We didn’t care what seat people sat in, so we only assigned tables… but we did care about the names of the tables and how they were presented more than we would have imagined beforehand for example.
Memorable wedding day moments:
• The guests playing a Mr & Mrs game with American and British flags before dinner – and most of them going out on the first question ”who said I love you 1st“ Chris or Vic ?
• The guests going tattoo crazy! I had a temp tattoo made of the American and British flag which went down very well after a few drinks.
• Standing on the millennium bridge with St Paul’s behind us being photographed and saying to my new husband… “This has been perfect” and meaning it!
Wedding day advice:
- Sit down at the beginning and run through your ‘loves’ individually and as a couple, this should determine what you spend money on and what you reflect on your day.
- The rest can have a lesser priority – if you don’t like traditions, don’t do them, we had an issue with the traditions of getting the singles together… so we just missed it out.
- Don’t be afraid to make last minute changes – two days before the wedding we hired a videographer to capture the ceremony so we had a record of our vows (great decision!)
- A very good friend of mine gave me some advice which I used: Get a photographer for as much as you can afford –
Recommended wedding suppliers:
– Photographer extraordinaire – Mark is fabulous, extremely talented, extremely personable and the proof is on his site…check it out !
– Make-up artist, no concerns whatsoever over the make-up after meeting with Mariam and her team, she was so amazing I even got her to come back pre-evening party to touch up all those happy tear marks on my face.
The Swan at the Globe
– we knew this would never be a cheap wedding venue but it proved to be worth every penny and some, beautiful location, gorgeous food and customer service that should be replicated the country over.
A suit that fits
– Chris’ suit was to his specifications down to the buttons and stitching colour.
Captain Caveman Band
– This was a late addition as we originally had planned for Chris and two friends to play together, but we ‘caved in’ and found Captain Caveman to not be at all cheesy, but an amazing band that everyone loved signing and dancing to!