I’m almost tempted to tell the story of Lori and Tom’s wedding backwards… because I’m in love with this photo:
The only reason I’m telling the story from the beginning is that I’m just as excited to show you all of the other images of the day… today’s real wedding is full of surprises, beautiful touches and smiles from beginning to end. You’ll love it!
Contact and bookings: Rob & Sarah Gillespie Photography
Lori and Tom were married in the summer, and seeing their wedding today is warming my heart – it’s a beautiful celebration for a gorgeous couple in one of the most magnificent venues our country has to offer: Studley Castle. The ceilings are spectacular; the setting is incredible and the atmosphere is spine tingling!
Lori’s dress was created for her from her own vision: she bought a strapless bridal gown and had a lace top made especially for her by a local bridal boutique – it looks fabulous and I love her approach to customising an off-the-peg wedding dress!
There is one more thing I have to share before I show you all of the beautiful images from the wedding: Lori’s advice for other couples is wonderful: “Make sure you pause to realise how much you have achieved, how happy you really are in that moment, and how lucky you are to have all your friends and family around, and to be marrying your best friend.”
Isn’t that the most romantic thing ever?!
The English Wedding Blog Interview: Lori and Tom
Wedding photographer’s website:
Rob and Sarah Gillespie. http://robandsarahgillespie.co.uk/
How did you choose your photographer?
We researched several photographers online, and really liked the cinematic story-telling style of Rob and Sarah’s photos on their websites. We then went to meet with them at their home and found them to be very friendly and welcoming, and their albums of photography from previous weddings were beautiful and moving.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We were extremely pleased with our wedding photographers. The pre-wedding shoot and meeting with them before the wedding helped us to feel less awkward (!) having our photos taken as a couple, and they were extremely thorough, professional and conscientious throughout the build up to, during and after the wedding. They were also very unobtrusive on the day, and were considerate of allowing us to have time with our guests.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We received a link to our preview gallery of photos and a slideshow set to music whilst we were on our honeymoon in Hawaii. We watched the video together and I certainly got a bit emotional (and teary-eyed!). It was brilliant reliving the amazing moments of the wedding day through the beautiful pictures.
Studley Castle, Warwickshire.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
The best day of our lives – happy, emotional, magical and sunny(!)
Your wedding style or theme:
It was a vintage theme, with several touches related to afternoon tea, which we also had for our evening buffet!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mainly at the National Wedding Show (Birmingham), Vintage Wedding Fayre (Birmingham), online, and magazines.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Make a budget and (try!) to stick to it, make some of your own decorations or personal touches.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
I’m definitely happy that we spent a bit more money on the photographers (since they really did capture the day so well), the flowers (which were beautiful and really added to the whole look and feel of the venue and Church), Tom’s suit to hire, and my wedding accessories…I definitely spoilt myself a bit!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made our Save the Date cards – they had tea samples attached to them! We also made our invitations which incorporated a vintage theme, and we even made our Order of Service, and Programmes of the Day. These all took HOURS…but were worth it!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
YES when it was finally finished…! It was created from a vision and ideas I had..so it took a while to be complete! But when it was finally done, I loved it!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I bought a strapless dress by Mori Lee and then added several touches including a Mori Lee belt. I then picked out lace myself, and Anna Sanders at Liney’s Brides in Hinckley created a beautiful lace top part to the dress. She is a genius! The ladies at the boutique were lovely, and Claire even edged my veil with the spare lace.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I ordered my shoes first – they were designed and created by Amanda at Lace and Love – she took more of the spare lace used for my dress, and also included charms related to our theme (teacups!) and added these with pearls. My jewellery was all from Guernsey Pearl, in the Channel Islands – where my husband Tom is from! My hairpieces were made by Hermione Harbutt and Amanda Caroline Couture – both created beautiful pearl designs, and Amanda also created some little scatter pins to match; a collection of these was one of my gifts to each of my bridesmaids.
And what did the groom wear? Any recommendations for tailors?
Tom has always loved Ted Baker, so when we found out at the Moss Bros stand at the Wedding Show that they were introducing a slim fit Ted Baker blue groom’s suit, with tails – this was perfect! This was matched with an ivory waistcoat and cravatte, and tan Ted Baker shoes.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
THIS was a challenge…! With seven bridesmaids, we struggled! I was set on teal blue, which I really found difficult to find…finally we chose as close as we could get to teal, with a twist-wrap style dress from Debut. The girls were able to style in however they wanted, and one of them even rocked 3 different styles throughout the day! Good work, Lianna! They all looked absolutely stunning, and I was so happy to have them all at my side!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I’m SO thankful that we were able to hire professionals for hair and make up, as it made the morning getting ready much less stressful (for me at least – I’m not sure Caroline, who had to be up first at 5.30am for hair, would agree! Sorry, Caz!. I found both lovely beauty ladies through Makeup By Jodie – Laura worked tirelessly to do all of our hair, and Rachael did make up for myself and two sisters. They did a fab job!
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
For our wedding flowers, I didn’t really know where to start, so Sharon, our florist at Flair With Flowers in Studley, was a huge help! She was very patient, considerate and creative, and came up with some great ideas. I had a shower bouquet with ivory and blush pink roses and sweet ruscus to add some green, with eucalyptus to bring out the teal blue in the bridesmaids’ dresses. She even added pearl heads to the roses, and touches of (more!) left over lace from my dress to mine, and my bridesmaids’ bouquets. The candelabra flower arrangements for the table centres were also stunning, and the Church looked beautiful decorated by her and her fab team!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Our venue, Studley Castle, was beautiful and ornate already, and already had a vintage theme, with plenty of gilded picture frames, a ceiling with stars, and chandeliers! The flowers did most of the work to be honest, however we did add some personal touches with our centre pieces: gold picture frames with text and photos about places that are special to us as a couple. I also created several ‘chalkboard’ style frames with romantic/funny quotes too!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Other than the frames, chalkboards and wedding stationary…we also created our favours – we bought white teacups and mugs and I handwrote each guest’s name onto them. Finally, I also put together a suitcase of props and silly signs for a D.I.Y style photobooth and used an old vintage suitcase, which belonged to Tom’s late grandparents, to make a table plan! These took a while, but when I saw them all together in the venue, I was glad I had put in all that effort, and was pleased with them!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
Both Tom and I were quite excited about this part, and we did QUITE a few different cake tastings….! Eventually we found Vicki at The Handcrafted Cake Company, based in Leamington Spa. We weren’t too bothered about fruitcake, so had four different tiers of cake: Lemon, Victoria Sponge, White Chocolate and Chocolate and Baileys (my fave!!). The cake was iced with pearls, encircled with teal ribbon, and Vicki added lace (again!) from my dress. Our florist then assembled a cascade of flowers down the cake. It was beautiful…and delicious!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We booked a pianist for our evening reception – Scott Grant, who we found through Alive Network – he was brilliant, took requests, and got loads of our guests singing along! As a surprise to Tom, who loves magic tricks, I also booked a magician, named John Gordon who we had seen perform before in Leamington. He had many of our friends baffled! Also as a surprise, I hired Vintage Lawn Games from Linda O’Leary at Polyanna Vintage – these were a huge hit! Tom’s present from me at the start of the day was his ride to the Church…in a DeLorean car, as in Back To The Future, his favourite film! He was shocked…and loved it!
On the day tips and advice:
Make sure you pause to realise how much you have achieved, how happy you really are in that moment, and how lucky you are to have all your friends and family around, and to be marrying your best friend. It goes by so fast!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Knowing that we have a commitment to one another, and that we have devoted our lives to being with each other – and that I’m married to such an awesome man (!) – Tom didn’t write that!
Favourite supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Ok so there are loads:
Photographers – Rob and Sarah Gillespie – http://robandsarahgillespie.co.uk/
Hair and Makeup – Makeup by Jodie – http://makeupbyjodie.co.uk/
Dress – Mori Lee, and Anna Sanders – Liney’s Brides, Hinckley – www.lineysbrides.com
Hairpieces – Hermione Harbutt – http://www.hermioneharbutt.com/
and Amanda Caroline Couture – http://www.amandacarolinebridal.com/
Shoes – Lace and Love – http://www.laceandlove.co.uk/
Florist – Sharon, Flair With Flowers, Studley – http://www.flairwithflowers.co.uk/
Pianist Entertainment – Scott Grant, through Alive Network – www.alivenetwork.com
Magician – John Gordon – http://www.magicworks.co.uk/
Vintage Lawn Games (and Vintage China hire) – Linda O’Leary, Polyanna Vintage – http://www.pollyannavintage.co.uk/