Hey lovely! Today I have a 1920s inspired wedding for you – a gorgeous little dose of glamorous vintage with a beautiful bride and super handsome groom. Rachel and Mike are brilliant – they styled their Chester wedding creatively with suppliers found online. Rachel designed the stationery herself and it’s fabulous.
Rachel’s love of the 1920s era flowed through the wedding day – first there was the dress, and then came the ‘silent movie’ idea. The invitations and place settings were inspired this way, and even the chalkboard style table numbers and bunting came from the silent movie idea.
Images are by Rosie at Ragdoll Photography, who gets a great review from our bride and groom. They had an engagement shoot in February and by the time their wedding came around they said they felt as though they’d known Rosie for ages – which really makes the images of the day look relaxed and fun!
You can find out more about Rosie here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Mike and Rachel
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
I (Rachel) met Rosie at the Chester vintage fayre and immediately felt at ease and loved her relaxed style of photography. We asked her to do our engagement shoot (on a cold February day in Chester, dressed in 1920s accessories!) and it was obvious we were going to get on from that day. We felt like we’d known her ages which resulted in a fun, relaxed series of photographs and made her an easy choice for our wedding photography.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Rosie was amazing, we can’t rate her highly enough. She put everyone at ease and blended in so well that most of the time you wouldn’t have known she was there! She got on so well with everybody it was almost as if she was one of the guests. She was fun and made us laugh too which resulted in lots of smiley pictures! She was excellent value for money and we received our photographs less than a week after the wedding which is amazing service!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
I cried (tears of joy) all the way through! She captured the day perfectly, just as we remembered it – happy, sunny, emotional, natural and a bit nuts 😉
Ceremony at St Mary’s Church, Halkyn North Wales (Rachel’s parents church in the village where she grew up) and reception at The Doubletree Hotel, Chester.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Best day of our lives, happy, fun, sunny and unique.
Your wedding style or theme:
The theme was subtly based on 1920s. I love this era; the fashions, the crazy dancing, Art Deco. I think it oozes class and elegance. Luckily my favourite wedding dress was very 20s too so it followed on from there really. From the 20s came the ‘silent movie’ idea – we used it in the design of our invitations and placemats/place settings and that carried through in the chalkboard style table numbers and bunting.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I searched high and low on the internet for most suppliers and found our band, florist, cars and videographers. The cake shop was recommended by the wedding venue and the photographer and vintage hire company I found at a vintage fayre.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Don’t go over the top or lavish with decoration (unless that’s what you’re into), think simple and personal. There are lots of things you can DIY such as bunting, favours and other decorations and I would totally recommend hiring any props, vases or anything else as it’s not only cheaper but convenient as well as you won’t be lumbered with them after the big day wondering what to do with 20 vases!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
I had considered making my own cake or asking my mum but I’m so glad we bought it instead as there was enough to do so that was one less thing to worry about. The dress of course is priceless so I would say, within reason, if you find ‘the one’ go for it and don’t opt for second best just to save a few pounds. The main extravagance which we added later were the drapes of fairy lights on the ceiling of the venue which looked amazing and definitely worth the cost.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Certainly a labour of love! I have my own graphic design business so to design my own save the dates and invites was a dream job. The stationery was again 1920s inspired with a silent movie theme, hence the 1920s engagement shoot which we used on our invitations. I made some signs for the guest book/photo booth, cake and ladies bathroom and designed a vintage cocktail menu. Plus some unique placemats/place settings replicating silent movie frames. We included a joke from our favourite stand up comedians (something we are both really into) with a different joke for every guest, some tailored especially to the individual.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely! I had been quite underwhelmed some of the dresses I’d tried on. I adored this one when I saw it hanging up as it was completely different to all the rest (no lace, no fuss) just simple and classy. It happened to be 1920s style too which was a bonus. When I put it on I couldn’t stop smiling and didn’t want to take it off. Most importantly it felt like me.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Enzoani from Cheshire Rose Bridal, Chester
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Shoes from ’Rachel Simpson’, they matched the dress and theme perfectly. Necklace, bracelet & earrings from Debenhams! You would never know but they were so reasonably priced.
The headpiece (again 1920s style) was a bit more pricey, from Cheshire Rose Bridal. I adored it, it really made the outfit and went so well with my hairstyle.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
Mike wore a light grey 3 piece suit from Reiss with a cornflower blue tie. He chose to buy a good suit over hiring tails as neither of us are huge fans of tails and he now has a very special suit to keep. Shoes: Jeffery West. Tie Pin: a gift from the bride, personalised with the coordinates of Queen’s Bridge Chester where Mike proposed (from etsy.com, ‘The Little Homebird’)
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The adult bridesmaids wore a cornflower blue Biba maxi dress from House of Phraser which matched the wedding dress so well and the flower girl had a gorgeous ivory dress with blue ribbon from a local occasionwear shop.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired professionals, 3 girls came to the house. They were great, very efficient and patient too as I changed my mind about my hair a couple of times and had something completely different to my trial on the day which turned out to be perfect, I loved it! The bridesmaids all looked beautiful too.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Fresh of Chester provided our flowers (http://www.freshofchester.co.uk). The bride and bridesmaids had beautiful natural bouquets in blue, yellow and white and the groomsmen had buttonholes in the same colours. We had blue delphiniums, white phlox, yellow gerbera, freesia and white roses.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The room itself was lovely already as it is a converted barn so there is lots of indoor brick and a rustic wooden roof, so it didn’t need too much but we added some personal touches: vases of flowers in blue, yellow and white, chalkboard bunting, picture frames containing famous quotes and of course the special canopy lighting which really lifted the room and made it sparkle.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Stationery mentioned above plus a prop box for the photo booth which I covered in quirky black and white paper with moustaches! (chalkboard style to match other bits and pieces), table numbers: I bought mini chalkboards on sticks and painted the numbers on and did the same with the chalkboard bunting on the top table which said ‘Just Married’. I loved every minute, although stressful at times it was worth it!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Inspired by cakes I’d seen online I chose a simple ivory Art Deco design with a few diamantes dotted about for sparkle. I also made a feather brooch which the cake shop kindly placed onto the top tier for me. We had a fruit base and madeira sponge top tier.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
52 Skidoo were our live entertainment to kick off the evening – a quirky 20s jazz band – they were brilliant and got everybody up dancing and provided a fun atmosphere. We also had a resident DJ playing into the early hours who was great and played all our favourite tunes. We sent him a list in advance and he was very accommodating. He finished off with ‘Hey Jude’ – Mike and I met at the IOW festival in 2010 where Paul McCartney was the headline act and we more or less bonded over ‘Hey Jude’. At the end of the night we were all in a circle singing ‘Na na na na na na naaaaa…’ It was epic.
On the day tips and advice:
Everybody kept telling us to breathe, stop for a minute and take it all in and I would totally recommend that to anyone else too. The day can rush by too quickly if you get caught up in worrying about the little details but Mike and I kept saying to each other “it’s still our wedding day!” remembering that you only get this opportunity once and making the most of it. My one regret is not getting to chat to and spend time with everybody and getting caught up in other things but it’s difficult not to on your own wedding day.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being part of a new family and knowing that I’m bound to my best friend for the rest of our lives.
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Racoon Graphic Design: racoon-graphicdesign.co.uk / www.facebook.com/racoon.graphicdesign