There’s *thinks for a moment* no, nothing I love more than a surprise wedding. And Rebecca and Brian pulled it off beautifully, sharing their secret with only a few wedding guests before their – supposed – combined birthday party. Brilliant!!
It took 8 weeks to plan the wedding, and Rebecca and Brian went online to source small, local suppliers to style their day. It looks amazing – surprise wedding this may be, but the details are all there! Rebecca is a beautiful bride with a pretty vintage dress and the most wonderfully colourful shoes (LOVE!), and Brian’s jacket and trousers combo is perfect: but their expressions (delight mixed with an element of cheeky surprise!) are my favourite thing. I love this!!
Images are by the very fabulous Cris Lowis Photography in Staffordshire. Find out more about Cris here:
This is the first wedding featured with my brand new English Wedding Blog interview. I had a little rethink of the questions I’m asking all of my gorgeous brides and grooms, and Rebecca and Brian’s answers are extra helpful – with tips on where to find wedding suppliers and some superb little snippets of genuine advice: “Plan the day how you both want it to be without worrying about pleasing everyone else. Your guests will be thrilled to celebrate your special day with you regardless of whether they would have chosen what you have as a couple.”
Guys – I couldn’t agree more. You’re superstars! Thank you 🙂
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Rebecca & Brian
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Cris photographed my brother’s wedding in 2012 and not only were the photos absolutely fantastic, but Cris was such a pleasure to be part of the wedding, that I wouldn’t have chosen anyone else.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We were over the moon with both Cris and the photos. Cris was a true professional, very personable and for most of the time we actually forgot he was there which led to beautiful informal shots which truly captured the fun and emotion of the day.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
It really told the story of the day and bought the amazing memories flooding back!
Thrumpton Hall, Thrumpton, Nottinghamshire.
21 February 2015
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Informal, relaxed country affair
Your wedding style or theme:
We went for an informal country theme where the beautiful setting could hold its own, in a country house full of history, open fires and great food & wine. We only told a handful of people that we were getting married and they spent the day with us, with the evening guests believing they were joining us for our joint 30th & 40th birthday party as our birthdays were both within days of the wedding…the surprise on our guest faces will be something we will never forget! We even had a guest fly in from Washington DC on the Friday, spend the day with us on the Saturday before returning back to the US on Sunday!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We tried as far as possible to source small local suppliers and therefore it involved a lot of internet research, looking at previous work they have done and meeting suppliers to chat through ideas to see if they ‘get’ you and your plans.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Set a budget for each element and track it!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
There would be three key areas we glad we spent more on:
- The venue as this really set the tone of the wedding we were looking for, in addition to providing the most amazing wedding breakfast of venison, duck and partridge. The caterer the venue uses is nothing short of genius.
- The string quartet playing during the service and drink reception gave a wonderful atmosphere.
- Last but not least…the photographer! We were really keen to ensure that the day was captured accurately and was a lasting record of the day we could also share with people who couldn’t make it.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery?
For the birthday invitations we sent out we used Vista Print. For the wedding invitations we used Postman’s Knock who produce beautiful hand crafted invitations. We went for their Bunting Invites to tie in with our relaxed country feel, choosing the fabric from a wide selection of lovely choices. At each stage of producing the invites, they were so helpful and accommodating.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes! I knew I wanted a lace fishtail to bring about a vintage feel. I went with my Mum to the Wedding Dress Factory Outlet in Burbage, Leicester as they stock a wide range of dresses in many sizes you can buy off of the peg. It was the first shop I visited and I tried on approximately 6 dresses and knew this one was it. It was a relief as we planned our wedding in 8 weeks, I was running out of time to be able to order a dress.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Viva Bride from the Wedding Dress Factory Outlet.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My shoes were from L K Bennett in a bright floral print with colours to match my flowers. I was adamant that I didn’t want ivory shoes to match my dress.
I didn’t want to wear much jewellery, but chose a vintage looking tiara from Halo which set off my dress perfectly.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
We were keen not to make the feel too formal by Brian wearing a suit, so we chose a tailored tweed jacket from Magee which was purchased from A. Farley Country Wear in Oadby, Leicester. This was paired with some brown chinos, a plain white shirt and brown brogues all from Charles Tyrwhitt.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We didn’t have any bridemaids due to the small intimate nature of the wedding.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
The wonderful Emma Robinson (Hair by Emma Claire, Gotham, Nottinghamshire) and Kaye Salmon (Kay Salmon Make Up, Rothley, Leicestershire) did my hair and make up.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details)
Loose and unstructured, with an English Country Garden feel, which were arranged by the Blossom Tree in Melbourne, Derbyshire. Kerry is a very talented florist and added guinea fowl feathers to my bouquet, the main arrangement and the button holes which made them even more unique. I also bought lots of gypsophilia and pastel coloured roses and arranged them in jam jars I had decorated with complemented ribbon and lace. These were tied to the chairs for pew ends and went perfectly with the lace chair sashes. I had also bought lots of vintage glass vases from charity shops which were also arranged around the room.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We tried to keep the styling to a minimum as the venue was so beautiful as it stood.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Other than some of the flowers which were added to hand decorated jam jars, we kept things simple and used a minimal amount of very talented of local suppliers.
The wedding cake: simply beautiful or showstopper?
To go with our informal country theme, we chose a ‘naked’ wedding cake which was lemon flavoured and decorated in flowers to match my bouquet. A lady (Cupcake Claire from Castle Donington, Leicestershire) made our delicious cake in her spare time and handmade the bunting on top of it which made it even more special.
Entertainment: any music, surprises or treats?
During the day we went with a String Quartet which played some classical pieces and then some more well-known modern pieces during the drinks reception. In the evening we had lots of fun and dancing to a 6 piece swing band.
On the day tips and advice:
Enjoy dancing the evening away together like no one is watching.
Most importantly, plan the day how you both want it to be without worrying about pleasing everyone else. Your guests will be thrilled to celebrate your special day with you regardless of whether they would have chosen what you have as a couple.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Sharing the rest of your life with the most perfect person in the world…whilst having lots of fun and laughs along the way.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Photographer –Cris Lowis Photography, Staffordshire (http://www.lowisphotography.co.uk)
Bride’s Dress –The Wedding Dress Outlet, Burbage, Leicestershire (http://weddingdress-factoryoutlet.co.uk/locations/the-midlands.php)
Cake –Cupcake Claire, Castle Donington, Leicestershire (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cupcake-Claire/130331783703103)