Claire got in touch to tell me about her beautiful English wedding to Andrew. She won my heart with her very first email:
“It’s not just about seeing all of the hours of work fiddling about with lace, pearls and pva glue come together. It’s about seeing loved ones there for you on your special day. My dad’s disability meant he was only able to have pictures with me before I left to get married. Luckily, I had one of the best photographers to take a few special pictures with my dad. Funkyphotographers, I am so grateful. He was part of my day as much as everyone else. The day ran like clockwork from my brother giving me away at Orleans House Gallery, to the boat trip along the Thames through Teddington lock. Our guests welcomed our arrival at The Lensbury to carry on the celebrations.”
Claire was a star – crafting a wedding with handmade vintage touches which are some of the loveliest I’ve seen. She explained, “A-Level Art skills were dusted off leading up to the big day. Many hours were spent creating pearl luggage nametags, a vintage map of the world displaying our special places, Mr & Mrs photoboards, and lace embossed pic n mix stand to ensure those with a sweet tooth were catered for. All the little details made our day unique and special, even if there was the odd PVA glue splodge on some of the nametags!”
… I think when you DIY for your wedding bits and pieces, a little imperfection makes it all the more charming and personal, don’t you? Anyway – this is gorgeous and I know you’ll love it. Enjoy! Claire xxx
Claire and Andrew – a beautiful English wedding with handmade vintage touches
The bride and groom: Claire and Andrew Morris
Ceremony at Orleans House Gallery Twickenham followed by a reception at The Lensbury, Teddington. The bride and groom travelled down the Thames in a boat whilst the guests travelled in a vintage red bus between the ceremony and reception.
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Happiness, love and lasting memories spent along the beautiful River Thames setting with our special family members and close friends
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time? Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Stunned! Hannah is fantastic. We knew as soon as we met Hannah that we wouldn’t be disappointed. She captured lasting memories which show love and happiness with a fun artistic edge.
Your wedding style and theme:
Classic style with handmade vintage touches
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
Best bit of budget advice?
If you are prepared to spend time creating your own stationery and adding a personal touch, you can save a great deal of money making your own name tags, table numbers and table plan. Plus it adds a unique personal touch complete with the odd PVA glue fingerprint!
Invitations and stationery:
Invitations were made by a lovely lady Teri Gumpert in Teddington. She runs her own card company and will be able to design beautiful and reasonably priced invitations. All other stationery was handmade by myself using luggage tags, pearls, lace and ribbon to create a vintage feel.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Without question. As soon as I walked into The Dress in Teddington, Jo and Gillian knew exactly which designer would fit my brief. I was torn between a couple of Suzanne Neville dresses and finally picked one which was tailored made for me to include beautiful hand stitched buttons. I chose a fishtail classic style dress with no glitz and bling. I fell in love with the silhouette of the dress and intricate corset detail.
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
As my dress was plain, I wanted to add vintage sparkle from a statement headpiece. Gillian Million‘s accessory shop in Teddington is like an Aladdin’s Cave. After trying copious amounts of beautiful handmade headpieces, Gillian designed my headpiece, necklace and hair pins for the bridesmaid. I now have a handmade headpiece and necklace to treasure and Gillian will also turn the headpiece into a piece of jewellery should I choose to do this.
The groom wore:
A grey suit from Moss Brothers with a cream waistcoat and cravat. The cream and grey kept the look simple and classic.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I feel in love with the colour of a shift dress on Marie Claire. Ironically, the dresses were from Dorothy Perkins and I added a couple of vintage touches with a pearl brooch and handmade hairpins from Gillian Million.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I selected Kristiana Gasperas as my make-up artist. Kristina was able to create a very natural and classic look which lasted all day despite the tears through the speeches. She is extremely talented and will make you feel completely at ease. No wonder she has won the Wedding Makeup Artist of the year!! I didn’t hire a professional for my hair as I wanted a simple side bun which my regular hairdresser in the salon was able to do for me. This helped keep costs down.
A lovely friend from school created my intricate and classic bouquets. I gave Carly a strict brief to hunt for David Austin flowers and despite the challenges she created a beautiful set of flowers with a delicate and slightly rustic look.
Civil Ceremony at Orleans House Gallery complete with a harpist to keep with the classic traditional feel of the gallery. The staff at Orleans are fantastic.
We choose the Wedding as it described all of the reasons and meanings behind our special day.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Orleans House Gallery required no decorations due to the traditional black and white floor, paintings and ornate features. At the reception venue we were lucky to be the first wedding in the new refurbished Thames Suite.
I added individual handmade touches with a map of the world table plan, photo boards, sweet table with vintage sweets, and a crate made for all our wedding cards. To keep with the vintage feel and rather than using traditional plain vases, I choose to display the David Austin roses in shabby chic flute jugs. We also decided to have a couple of giant confetti balloons from Bonbon Balloons which were fun and came with handmade strings to fit with our theme.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
I wanted the cake to fit in with the pearls and lace theme but at the same time have something a little quirky! Rebecca at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery helped me design an simple, vintage cake and the bottom tier was red velvet – as shown in one of the pics above! – which looked (and tasted!) great. We choose to have mini cupcakes and large Mr & Mrs cupcakes to be displayed on a vintage stand.
We organised a vintage bus to take the guests from Twickenham to Teddington which added a bit of fun on the day. We were lucky to travel in style with our neighbour’s friend’s stunning boat. We took a leisurely ride down the Thames and through Teddington Lock to be welcomed by our lovely wedding guests. In the evening, we hired a wedding DJ who was great and played a large selection of songs from our playlist. We really didn’t want cheesy wedding music
On the day tips and advice:
Preparation is in the planning. Write up an itinerary for the bridal party and particularly the ushers. On the day, you can then (hopefully!) relax. Tip for brides – make sure that you look at your husband “to be” as soon as you walk down the aisle. This memory will last forever. No staring at the floor or down at your bouquet!
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
- Orleans House Gallery
- The Lensbury
- The Dress, Teddington (26 High St Town Centre, Teddington TW11 8EW)
- Gillian Million (34 High St Town Centre, Teddington TW11 8EW)
- Ribbon and Ink Invitations (Teri Gumpert – firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Surrey Wedding DJ (Jon Saunders – email@example.com)
- Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery (Rebecca – Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery, 13 Church Street, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3NJ)
- Kristina Gasperas Make-Up
- Bonbon Balloons
- London Legend Cars
- Petals and Peonies