Today: wise advice from Nana that paid off beautifully; an unexpectedly amaaaaaazing wedding dress, and the cutest, happiest couple ever. Monique and Adam are gorgeous. I love their style, the way they go together like peas in a pod… and oh, the blossom cheers my heart this morning!
Images are by lovely Laura Calderwood Photography (based in Yorkshire):
“I had so much fun at Monique and Adam’s wedding; it was just so relaxed and happy from start to finish. I had met up with them both in York for their engagement shoot the week before so I already knew that they were going to be naturals in front of the camera on the day – despite Adam being less than keen on having his photo taken! The weather forecast wasn’t great but it ended up being dry all afternoon and we were able to make the most of the little orchard at the back of the hotel for some lovely portraits. Monique was such a beautiful bride, and has the most infectious smile! Everyone was so friendly and welcoming it was one of those wonderful weddings that didn’t feel like work at all!” ~ Laura Calderwood Photography
It was Laura’s first time shooting a wedding at the Hotel Du Vin. “I loved the conservatory where the ceremony was held – lots of lovely natural light. The staff were fab and the whole day ran super smoothly, I highly recommend it!”
The English Wedding Blog interview: Monique & Adam
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
The first thing I did after we got engaged was look for a photographer. My Nana always said, “After 20 years of marriage you will only have your rings, photographs and memories of the day so always spend a little extra time choosing them.” I then spent many hours research the internet and the kind of styles of photographers we wanted. We wanted a photographer to capture the natural moments rather than all the posed ones. We finally narrowed it down to 3. From there I looked for all the reviews I could find from social media etc and emailed them all to find out some more information. Laura from Laura Calderwood Photography responded straight away answering all my questions. When I met up with her we hit it off straight away. She was down to earth and seemed so passionate about her work I knew she would be amazing. And I was right!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
I can’t say enough about Laura. She is a very talented, passionate photographer. I found her easy to talk to and she got my vision straight away. We both felt really comfortable and relaxed with her. She also went above her role as the photographer and helped me out a few times like when my garter fell down. Adam isn’t a photograph person. She got us to just walk and talk to each other and joke around. This got us both to relax and we had some really nature shots with natural smiles and some stolen moments captured. Half the time we didn’t know she was there. She was quick to get our photos over to us to view after the wedding. She is a true gem!!!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We were over the moon with the photos. Laura truly captured some beautiful moments when you thought no one was watching. There were so many to choose from and I still can’t say which are my favourite. The photos took us straight back to the moment in the day and it did make me cry. I even asked Adam if we could do it all again. One moment caught on film was when my step dad hugged me after the ceremony and you can see the raw emotion in his face and how proud he was. Almost a year on I still can’t stop looking at them.
Hotel Du Vin, York. We ended up hiring the whole hotel out with all the rooms as all our friends and family had to travel as we are all from Chesterfield.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Elegant, Sophisticated, Romantic, Relaxed, Fun, Emotional, Sparkle, Intimate, Lively
Your wedding style or theme:
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
I must have looked at a 100 different blogs and magazines for ideas but most of the suppliers were by word of mouth and recommendations.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Budget all aspects of the wedding even down to gifts, this gives you a way to keep hold of your budget otherwise it could run away with you. We saved money by finding ideas we loved from magazines, blogs and google and then did some research and made them ourselves. For example we made our own favours.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photography and Venue.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
I had it made by a friend. She has a website and facebook page – www.Invite2u.co.uk
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I, originally, wanted a very simple A line dress. I must have tried on every style you can think of and when the lady brought in a big sparkly ball gown, I actually pulled a face and she asked me to trust her and just try it on. And when I first saw myself one word came to mind – Wow. I couldn’t stop smiling I absolutely loved it. It was the first dress that both my mum and mother-in-law both gasped at and said that’s that one! And to guarantee I did chose it, it had just gone into the sale! A piece of advice: don’t judge a wedding dress on the hanger you always have to try it on! It was a dress that no one excepted I would wear.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My wedding dress was by Ronald Joyce and my amazing flowers were done by Fiona of www.heavenscentflowers4u.co.uk
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I had my shoes hand made by a friend so they were like Cinderella shoes. I kept my jewellery simple with a small diamante head band and simple drop earrings as my dress was covered in sparkle.
And what did the groom wear?
The groom and bridal party all wore navy 3 piece suits with a paisley tie and pocket chief and a white rose buttonhole.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The girls wore a one shoulder sky blue chiffon dress and diamante head band. They had a small version of a white bouquet of min. I that bought them an infinity bracelet as they are my best friends. The flower girls wore a ivory dress from Debenhams and carried a little wand.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hair, the bridesmaids and mothers were done by the talent Nikki Clifford and Perrie Mason from NJUK Hair, in Clowne – www.njukhair.com and my makeup was done by the amazing Chloe – Chloe Gray Makeup Artist (facebook) who is MAC trained.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
I decided on white flowers to give a romantic soft look. My boutique had scented white peonies, sweet peas, lilac and roses. The table centrepieces were made up of tall glass vases topped with hydrangeas, mini gerbera, lisianthus, carnations and sweet william, all in varying shades of white. Fiona of www.heavenscentflowers4u.co.uk/ got my vision straight away and I was totally overwhelmed at how beautiful they all looked and smelled. She even went out of her way to source sweat peas for my boutique as they reminded me of my grandparents who grew them in their garden back in Zimbabwe. They weren’t there to share the day with us so the smell did give me a little bit of a feeling they were there.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The venue didn’t need much as we loved the boutique feel, with the chandelier made of crystal wine glasses, the winding stair case and stone flooring throughout. We kept all the seat covers and tables white and light sky blue ribbon on pieces to create softness and romance in all the rooms. This also kept the cosy rooms light and airy.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
We sourced all the products to make little old fashion shot bottles with different types of homemade alcohol (carmel vodka, sloe gin etc) for our favours. We also made the table name tags. I used little chalk hearts boards to write everyone’s names. My plan was for them to take them away and as couples hang their hearts up at home. By shopping around I managed to save over £350 on the favours. It was fun making them, just needed more room to keep all the bits together before the big day.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We didn’t want a traditional cake as we aren’t a very traditional couple and with a love of chocolate we decided on having individual milk and white chocolate gauche cakes from The Cake Booth in Eckington. Can’t say enough of how delicious they were. Several guests said it was some of the best cakes they have had.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We just had a disco for the reception party as we didn’t want anything to formal and of course our family and friends do love a good tune to dance the night away to.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Once you have made a decision, like your colours or your wedding dress stop looking! You will change your mind a whole lot and cause additional stress. Always remember it’s your day so have who you want and what you want. And don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the day as it goes by so quickly.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I get to spend the rest of my life being loved by my best friend and soul mate.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Pinterest has amazing ideas you can copy! We found most of our ideas there then searched for suppliers who could help make my vision a reality.