Two beautiful brides, four lovely bridesmaids in pink and four in blue… the most incredible bouquets and a day full of creativity and love. Today’s real wedding is one of my favourites this year and I just know you’ll love it too…
Wedding signs and slogans are best when they’re just that little bit different… so when I read ‘Choose a seat not a side, either way it’s for the BRIDE!’ it made me grin. A lot. Jessica and Fiona are a gorgeous couple whose wedding at The Old Rectory in Handsworth has plenty of lovely personal touches just like this.
Fiona told me “the best thing [about being married] is the support from friends and family. Throughout planning the wedding, the Big Day itself and day-to-day life since we have been overwhelmed by the encouragement and support we’ve had and it has made us appreciate the joy of true friendship.”
Images are by the fabulous Taylor Hughes Photography. Jack and Jade are wedding photographers based in Berkshire and you can find out all about them here:
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Jessica & Fiona
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
They are our best friends! Jade and Jack have always produced beautiful photography so when they offered to photograph our wedding we jumped at the chance.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We were so pleased. As my mum said, “no-one could have done a better job”. We talked with them a lot throughout the process about the style of photography and editing that we liked and they took some great test shots. Jack worked non-stop throughout the day and captured every special moment perfectly.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We were really blown away, It was like re-living the whole experience again.
The Old Rectory, Handsworth
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
A personal, pastel and pretty wedding!
Your wedding style or theme:
Everything was pink and blue, our two favourite colours, with a bird theme. We had an amazing birdcage cake! It was all very light and airy and very girlie!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mostly by searching online. We did sift through a few wedding magazines for ideas and we went to the National Gay Wedding Fayre which was very inspiring!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
We pulled in so many favours. Our cake, my dress, our flowers and the decorations were all made by friends and our wedding singer was also a friend of ours. It’s amazing what talents people uncover! When we asked for help from friends we suggested a general idea and then left them to it- this meant they used their own creativity and produced things even better than we could have asked for. We also got married on a Sunday which reduced venue costs and made some additional decorations ourselves.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We did branch out on a bouncy castle which was so worth it, it added a lot of fun to the day! We were also persuaded to hire professional hair and makeup artists which was brilliant on the day- it saved a lot of worry about looking perfect!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We were given a beautiful engagement card hand illustrated by a friend of ours and we used that illustration on our invites, printed onto candles and on the Order Of Service- this ended up being a beautiful motif for the day. We got them printed onto pearly paper by a company online.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dresses?
Well, my dress was handmade by my best friend which was a nerve-wracking but exciting process! We came up with the design together and it was very personalised in the detail. We had the final fitting and last minute alterations the day before the wedding and it was amazing to see the product of months of hard work. It was exactly how I had wanted it. Jess’ dress was bought from a shop about 6 months before the wedding. She looked at lots of dresses but the one she chose in the end was perfect for the day. We had not seen each others’ dresses before the day but they complemented each other really well.
Wedding dress designers and bridal boutiques:
Jess’ dress was by Pronovias.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Debenhams have a lot to answer for on this front! We both wore the same jewellery- pearl earrings and a matching necklace. I wore my mum’s diamond bracelet as my ‘something borrowed’ and Jess had an elegant birdcage veil borrowed from her sister-in-law. She got a pearl hairpiece online which matched a pearl hairpiece I bought from Debenhams.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
We managed to find 8 dresses in two different colours so Jess’ bridesmaids were in blue and mine pink, They were pastel, chiffon full length dresses and we cheekily got them for a bargain price! As a gift, we gave each bridesmaid a silver bracelet with a pearl and their initials as a silver charm.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired a local hair stylist and make up artist. My sister trawled the internet to find options for us and we went with Klair and Keeley because they had been really friendly in their initial contact with us when we asked for quotes.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Again, our flowers were a favour from a friend! We bought flowers from local flower growers and florists as well as a few home-grown flowers added in. Our friend, who did the flowers for both of Jess’ brothers’ weddings, spent the day arranging them into very impressive bouquets. She worked a lot of magic and all of our bouquets and table pieces cost less than 150 quid!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue itself was beautiful but we wanted to really personalise it. We handmade 40 metres of bunting and bought a lot of added details from Ebay. On the day our family members and close friends set up the venue, it was a very pleasant surprise to see it when we arrived!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I spotted the perfect style of craft items on sale at my work’s Christmas Fayre and so I pinned down the colleague who had made them and asked if she would do the craft for our wedding. She made beautiful candles, favours and table decorations. We made some extra decorations but Jess is very crafty and so it was all part of the fun!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We wanted a birdcage themed cake- we saw the perfect one on Pinterest and Jess’ talented sister-in-law made a very similar version.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
One of our friends put together a Spotify playlist for the dance floor and we hired a PA system with lights to play it through- it saved so much money on getting a DJ and had the same effect! Our singer was a friend of ours who sings professionally and we picked songs meaningful to us for her to sing. We also asked her to change the words from ‘he’ to ‘her’ so that it would make sense in the context of our wedding!
On the day tips and advice:
Don’t be afraid to rely on others- it can feel like it is against human nature to expect a lot from other people but for a wedding, friends and family are more than keen to lend a hand.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Aside from the obvious, cheesy answer of unending love and security, I would say the best thing is the support from friends and family. Throughout planning the wedding, the Big Day itself and day-to-day life since we have been overwhelmed by the encouragement and support we’ve had and it has made us appreciate the joy of true friendship.
Favourite supplier list for other couples:
Photographer: Taylor Hughes Photography
Singer: Micki Consiglio
Venue: The Old Rectory Handsworth
Bouncy Castle: www.sparklenshineweddings.co.uk/Bouncy-Castles.html
Hair and makeup: http://loveyourweddinglook.co.uk