Amy and Peter’s wedding is beautiful and traditionally vintage, with lots of handmade touches. I was so pleased when Amy got in touch to show me their wedding – it’s full of ideas and handmade DIY touches I think you’ll really love. The antique lace Amy used for her bunting and tablecloths, and the antique lace doilies, really make for the prettiest feminine style.
Even Amy’s dress is a one-off (and doesn’t she look incredible?!) She bought her wedding dress from an American vintage shop online and had it customised by a dressmaker in the UK. With simply beautiful accessories it’s the perfect vintage bridal look.
Flowers are another highlight: Amy knew she wanted wild flowers in pastel colours, and ended up choosing hydrangea, stocks, peonies, roses, lilac, lavender, astilbe and wax flower. Amy’s bouquet was a loose, hand-tied bouquet, and she used an antique lace ribbon and a brooch given to her from Pete on an anniversary to tie it together. Gorgeous, don’t you think?
Our wedding story: Amy + Peter
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Hugely. Caitlin was so enthusiastic and willing, and came up with some great ideas. She went above and beyond before and on the day, and understood the look that we wanted.
Ceremony: All Saints Church, Hastings
Reception: Pashley Manor Gardens, Ticehurst, East Sussex
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Our day was the most magical day and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Everything went perfectly and to share such an amazing day with all who we love, meant the world to us. We still smile today when we think about our wonderful wedding and what a special day it was from start to finish.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
I (Amy) cried when we saw our photos – we loved that Caitlin had captured so much of our day and were thrilled with the final look of them. They are so special and will be cherished forever.
Your wedding style and theme:
We went with an English Summer’s Day feel, with a loose 1930s theme. Amy’s dress was 1930s and her look was a soft version of this, as well as some of the furniture and décor. I (Amy) wanted to keep everything natural and we tried to use pastel colours with an antique feel, and not have too many formal touches in our wedding party’s clothing. A lot of the décor and stationery was created by us and our friends.
Any happy tears on the day?
Lots! A few before walking down the aisle and Alfie our best man (Pete’s son) made the whole room cry when he gave his speech.
How did the two of you meet?
We worked together a few years ago and gradually a friendship blossomed into more.
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
One and half years. Amy was quite neurotic with the planning and booked everything as far in advance as possible, getting the best possible deal. Plus there were lots of spreadsheets!
Best bit of budget advice?
Work out what you really can’t cut back on – for us, we fell in love with the venue and love our food, so these were the big spenders. Then we got the best deal possible with everything else, spending ages trawling the internet and negotiating. Plus we made so much ourselves and used trainees for the photography and the on-the-day coordination – two usual huge costs.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
Pete has some InDesign skills, so with Amy’s ideas the two of them designed all the stationery and got it printed by an online service. We created all the stationery, from Save the Dates, invites with maps, etc, orders of service, seating plan, plus much more.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Actually I bought it online and wasn’t sure! I had tried a few on and nothing felt quite right. The majority of my wardrobe is vintage and I knew I wanted a vintage dress, but thought I would go more 1950s than 1930s. But I was trawling the internet and found my dress. It was cheap enough to chance it!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I bought the outer layer of my dress online from an American vintage shop and I then took it to a wedding dress designer to get altered and for 2 layers to be put underneath it. It worked out perfectly in the end!
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
I don’t really wear much jewellery, but knew I wanted a head piece and a bracelet. I found my head piece in Gillian Million in Teddington. My in-laws live in Teddington and I was always walking past the shop admiring the window displays. I had so much fun trying on loads of bling, but in the end decided to settle on something a little more subtle – a beautiful pearl, 1930s style head band, that looks like the flower gypsophila. I bought my bracelet online in a matching pearl.
The groom wore:
Pete’s suit cost more than Amy’s dress! He has always wanted a suit handmade, and decided to go for a grey, informal three-piece suit from King & Allen in Surbiton. He chose a white shirt and a grey with pale pink polka dots tie from Debenhams, which all the groomsmen wore.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I really wanted my bridesmaids to be comfortable and choose something they were happy with, and could ideally wear again. I knew that it had to be a pastel colour, but I was completely open on the look. One bridesmaid – Michele – was living in Australia at the time, so the other two adult bridesmaids went shopping with me to try on various high street options. We found an absolute bargain that suited everyone and all were happy with, and it was a long, blush-coloured dress from Warehouse. The dress had a shorter inner layer, so we took them to a local seamstress who took the inner layer out and replaced them with a longer lining, to look more classic. Daisy – Pete’s daughter – was the young bridesmaid and wore a cream dress from Monsoon.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We had the amazing Andrea and a colleague from Mitchell and Millyard in Hastings come by the house in the morning to do all the girls’ hair. Amy wanted hers put up in a soft 1930s style and she was happy to let the bridesmaids have their hair how they wanted. In the end all the adult bridesmaids had theirs put up with different style plaits in each, and Daisy had hers curled. The adults had miniature flower buds placed in their hair, along with a pearl grip that was their gift from Amy. Daisy wore a crown of gypsophila and wax flower. Amy’s friend Natasha Binns – makeup extraordinaire – did her makeup, and she went for a quite natural look of flicked eyeliner and a pink lip. The bridesmaids had their makeup done by Alice’s friend Grace Benson, who is a fab freelance makeup artist.
Our flowers were so beautiful and we were thrilled with the amazing job that Kim at The Flower House, Mayfield did. We met with her a couple of times and Amy’s scrap book played a large part in their meetings. Amy knew she wanted wild flowers in pastel colours, and ended up choosing hydrangea, stocks, peonies, roses, lilac, lavender, astilbe and wax flower. Amy’s bouquet was a loose, hand-tied bouquet, and she used an antique lace ribbon and a brooch given to her from Pete on an anniversary to tie it together. The adult bridesmaids had smaller versions and Daisy had wax flower and gypsophila, like her head band. This was also used to fill jam jars that were tied with lace for the pew ends in the church. For the tables and the marquees, Amy’s family and friends filled antique cut-glass vases in various sizes (Amy had been picking them up from charity shops and boot sales) with all of these flowers. Lavender sprigs were used on each place setting and the cake had a trail of stunning flowers. The buttonholes were an antique pink rose with astilbe.
What do you remember most about the wedding ceremony?
Feeling so happy. It was a beautiful ceremony and by adding personal touches, like a solo from a friend’s daughter, well-chosen hymns and a fab vicar, the ceremony did not feel stuffy and formal, and was enjoyed by all.
Pete’s daughter Daisy read ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ and a very good friend of Amy’s family who she grew up with read 1 Corinthians 13; The Way of Love.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The church is so beautiful, so we decided to just do pew ends and have a table with the handmade confetti and orders of service, which were placed in a vintage suitcase on a lace-covered tablecloth.
At Pashley Manor Gardens you can use the terrace at the back of the beautiful residential house for a champagne reception. This was so beautiful and did not need any decor. After the champagne reception, the rest of the day was spent in a marquee on the lawn. We decided to go for a traditional marquee and leave it unlined, so it could be decorated. Amy filled it with handmade bunting, made from antique lace, antique lace curtains, a 1930s dressing table to display family wedding photos, handmade paper pompoms in pastel colours, and outside we set up huge pots of flowers and hanging baskets. Amy used antique lace tablecloths on the tables for the guest book and cards, and antique lace doilies were used on the round tables underneath the vases of flowers. Table numbers were placed in pearl photo frames and other handmade touches were throughout, such as a sweet table with a handmade curtain, personalised straws at the bar and ribbons tied on the bride & groom’s chairs.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
A bit between the two. The couple don’t like fruit cake, so chose a sponge. Amy’s family neighbour kindly made the two tiered sponge cake and roughly iced it in blush-pink butter icing. Trailing flowers were placed on it along with a Sylvanian Families bride & groom topper.
Amy created playlists for the music throughout the day, simply played through a laptop. In the evening we had a fab band. We knew we wanted a band that had a jazz feel that could also play modern music, so we chose the fantastic 4 Colours band through SAM Entertainment in East Sussex. They played jazz and modern music and inbetween their sets we played playlists through a laptop and their AV equipment that had been carefully chosen.
Outside we had a fab vintage style photo booth created by the amazing Jenny at Bellaboo and Beau, who also supplied other props like the festoon lights held up by bamboo to light up the outside area. We had a vintage croquet set and Pete made a coconut shy, something he was set on having from the very beginning.
On the day tips and advice:
Leave the stress behind. You can’t do any more at that point and I managed to chill and just enjoy everything, despite my neurotic planning. Enjoy every moment and make sure you have time to do what you want to do and not what everyone else expects – from around 9pm we just spent most of the night on the dancefloor! I had created a very thorough timing plan, starting from morning showers, so all could be factored in. The on-the-day wedding coordinators meant that Amy & Pete could just enjoy the day without worrying.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being husband & wife and sharing every moment with the person you love so much.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Venue: Pashley Manor Gardens www.pashleymanorgardens.com
Wedding coordination: Peter West and Joanne Stentiford at www.theweddingplannerschool.org.uk
Photographer: Caitlin Mogridge http://www.caitlinmogridgeweddings.co.uk/
Florist: Kim at The Flower House http://www.theflowerhouse.biz/
Prop hire: Jenny @ Bellaboo and Beau http://bellabooandbeau.co.uk/
Dress amends: Natasha Shaw www.harlequinfox.com
Hair: Mitchell and Millyard https://www.facebook.com/mitchellandmillyard?ref=mf
Band: 4 Colours through SAM Entertainment www.SAMlive.co.uk
Catering: Food Glorious Food www.foodgloriousfoodsouth.co.uk
Marquee: Best In Tents http://www.bestintentsmarquees.co.uk
B&B for friends & family: http://www.theoldrectoryhastings.co.uk/
Routemaster bus for guests: Renown Group http://www.renowngroup.co.uk/
Bar: The Great Mobile Bar Company http://thegreatmobilebarcompany.com
Bellaboo and BeauBest In Tents MarqueesCaitlin Mogridge PhotographyCaitlin Sara PhotographyFood Glorious FoodGillian MillionGreat Mobile Bar CompanyKatherine SwaineMitchell and MillyardNatasha Valerie MakeupPashley ManorRenown GroupThe Flower House