Hello! Are there any other book lovers out there this morning? There was a very sharp intake of breath here when I first saw where beautiful bride Hannah married her husband Nick, and fellow bookworms will be as enchanted by this as I was! Yes – it’s a library wedding. Today’s real wedding comes from the Memorial Library at Malvern College. Gorgeous, inspiring and a bit of a dream come true, I have to admit!
I owe huge thanks to my lovely friends and wedding photographers Rob and Sarah Gillespie, who submitted this wedding for the blog. I do hope you love it as much as I do! But my heart is bursting even more with gratitude to Hannah and Nick for sharing their day with us all. They’ve injected such personality into their wedding day from start to finish I just wish I could have been there! Pretty much my dream wedding… so enjoy! Claire xxx
A creative and personal library wedding at Malvern – Hannah and Nick
Memorial Library, Malvern College (service), private garden (reception)
Your wedding style and theme:
English garden party meets Mediterranean bar
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
Best bit of budget advice?
Work out what is really important to you, and what you just think you should have because everyone else does. We really wanted to host a great party for our friends and family, so decided to focus our budget on the food and a free bar, rather than things like favours or buttonholes. If you happen to work in the events industry, call in some favours where necessary!
Invitations and stationery:
Designed by Nick and printed by a local high street company.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I knew I wanted something comfortable that I could run around and dance in, and after fitting bridal lingerie for a few years, I definitely wanted one with straps! I couldn’t find anything even vaguely resembling the dress I had in my head, until I found Caroline Arthur‘s website. Caroline allows you to approach your dress design as a pick and mix of tops, skirts and accessories and will then make up the dress for you, a much more cost effective approach than completely bespoke. After a couple of visits to Caroline, the dress in my head became reality.
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
I’m not really a glitz and sparkle type of girl and so wanted to keep my accessories fairly simple. I had seen pictures of brides with short dresses and brightly coloured shoes which I fell in love with, £15 later in M&S I had found the perfect pair!
I ordered a clutch online which was late arriving, so thought I’d just use one of my old bags, but on the day discovered it was rather more beige than cream. Disgusted by my suggestion of just using the turquoise satchel I was using as a handbag that day, my Maid of Honour called her husband and a lovely sparkly clutch she had used at her own wedding was delivered by motorbike 20 minutes later.
The groom wore:
Open necked shirt, linen jacket, chinos
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
One wore French Connection and one wore Untold, both bought in House of Fraser. I’m not a fan of matching bridesmaids and wanted the girls to feel comfortable and look like themselves. I did say they were both welcome to choose their own dresses so long as they fitted in with the colour scheme. However I have to confess that I saw both dresses whilst out shopping, and suggested they try them as I thought they complimented each other perfectly and would really suit the girls. Luckily they agreed with me, but I’m probably a bit more controlling than I like to think.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
After a couple of disastrous make up trials I decided to do my own. People tried to convince me that I needed way more make up than usual because of the photos. My photographers sensibly pointed out that most of the guests wouldn’t be plastered in makeup and nor would the groom! My hair was done by a great lady called Michelle who I found through an agency, she did a wonderful job and even gave the Maid of Honour’s fringe a trim, so she could actually see through it.
I decided that neither the ceremony or reception venue needed flowers to dress them up, and the thought of Nick wearing a buttonhole was just hilarious, but I did want a bouquet, admittedly mainly for the pictures. I had seen pictures of brooch bouquets and loved the style and the fact that you could add in special pieces that meant something to you. Having found instructions online, I decided to give it a go. I can confirm it is certainly possible, but involves a lot of evenings sat in front of the tv, with wire, tape and sore fingers!
Simple, quick, and personal – we both laughed all the way through it. We used the theme from Tony Hart’s Gallery as register-signing music.
From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, one of Hannah’s favourite books as a child.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The ceremony venue didn’t need any decoration, we felt that as a library the books gave it all the character it needed. We were lucky enough to use Hannah’s Dad’s garden for the reception, and as the weather was good we could have all the sides of the marquee open, minimising the need for decoration. Nick made a couple of fabric panels to define the area behind the bar, and Hannah filled embroidery hoops with a selection of fabrics to hang on the wall behind the cake table. Matching scatter cushions were made by a friend of the family.
The dining area had tables we made ourselves using reclaimed scaffold boards as we couldn’t find any the right size to hire. The only decoration was origami boats as place names, as we were having sharing plates for food, we felt the food would be decoration enough in itself. Nick works in the event industry so designed all the lighting, including wireless LED uplighters around the garden, which looked amazing as dusk fell.
We also created a tent village for guest accommodation, with Teepee style tents bought from eBay, blackboard signposts to identify each tent and fairy lights to help revellers find their way to bed.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Selection made by groom’s mother, served as part of afternoon tea when guests arrived at the reception.
Music selected by guests using Spotify/PlayMySong via iPad
On the day tips and advice:
Perfect is what you make of it. We both had a really busy year, with lots of time working away, so a few things went by the wayside, but it really didn’t matter. When people offer to help, take them up on it, any pressure you can take off yourselves is invaluable and people really do enjoy being part of your day.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
- Rob & Sarah Gillespie (photographers) http://robandsarahgillespie.co.uk/
- The Watering Hole (bar) http://www.thewateringhole-eventbars.co.uk/
- Westcountry Marquees http://www.westcountrymarquees.co.uk/
- Integrated AV (technical) http://integratedav.co.uk/
- Peak Hire, Cheltenham (lighting & sound equipment hire) www.peakhire.co.uk
- Kemp & Kemp (catering) http://www.kempandkempcatering.co.uk/
- Michelle (hair – hired through Jodie Hazelwood) http://www.jodiehazlewood.com