They say weddings are all about the love, the romance, the emotions and moments… and then someone shows me THESE BALLOONS and suddenly weddings are all about that instead!! Am I wrong? But aren’t they fun and pretty and brilliant? I’m absolutely thrilled to be sharing today’s wedding because – [balloons, obviously?] – it’s a real family affair, with the little ones even helping to make the wedding favours! The venue is London Shenley Club (Hertfordshire). The pics by our lovely friend and sponsor Nicola Norton Photography are a breath of fresh air, the details are wonderfully creative and Becky and Liam are just the most gorgeous-looking pair too!
Becky and Liam described their big day as like a big, summer children’s birthday party, with cricket! They included all the best things about summer: the outdoors, sunshine, cricket, Pimms, barbecued food, ice cream, children running around in the grass… and you know what? When a wedding is all about family and children it becomes SO much FUN!
“The pavilion and marquee at Shenley were quite large spaces so needed a fair bit of decoration to make them look complete. The giant balloons we had as table centres really helped create impact in the marquee, and I was really pleased with our ‘The Butlers’ light up letters (from The Word is Love: thewordislove.co.uk) which turned out to be a real talking point. The venue decoration was by Dress It Yourself, a combination of items hired directly from DIY and bits and pieces I sourced myself.
The wedding favours were heart shaped chocolate cookies (gingerbread man shaped for the children) which I made with my son and daughter, and which they helped me decorate. Each had a little ‘Made with love by James & Alice’ tag on them. They were a lot of work and a lot of stress in the days leading up the wedding as I wanted them to be fresh, but worth it in the end. I also had a lot of fun making individual party bags for each of the children coming to the wedding. I wanted it to really be a day to remember for them.
Wedding photographer’s website:
We researched online for Hertfordshire wedding photographers. We really liked Nicola’s natural, relaxed but romantic style of photography from the start.
Nicola was fantastic. She was totally laid back and happy to go with the flow on the day. We weren’t really into formal wedding pictures so Nicola was very happy to just capture the day as it unfolded. Nicola’s ideas on the day were brilliant and she used the giant balloons we had as table centres and the beautiful natural backdrop of the venue brilliantly.
We were very excited to see our photos and we were all smiles as we looked through them. It was lovely to relive some of the highlights of the day, but also to see some of the moments we hadn’t experienced first hand. The pictures Nicola captured of everyone’s reactions while they were listening to the speeches were some of my favourites, as well as the pictures of all the children who were at the wedding enjoying themselves (there were about 30!)
Contact & Bookings: Nicola Norton Photography
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mostly A LOT of searching online
What’s your top tip for saving money?
The barbecue style and ice cream van for dessert meant that the food was great value – and we didn’t have to worry about whether or not people liked our menu choices as there was something for everyone. The barbecue was provided by the venue and the ice creams by Elsie’s Ices: elsies-ices.co.uk
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
I never thought I would go for ‘the big’ wedding dress but I was very glad that I did. That, and Nicola as our photographer who made the dress (and everything else) look amazing on the day.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
The stationery came from Creationery on Etsy. It looked beautiful and Katy was very patient with my many changes: etsy.com/uk/shop/Creationery
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes, 100%. Still love looking at pictures of it.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
It was a Maggie Sottero dress, bought from Morgan Davies Bridal in Hitchin: morgandaviesbridal.co.uk
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I had a headdress made bespoke by Lila which was beautiful: lila-lila.com
My shoes were Bohemian Wedding Sandals (I can’t wear heels) by Bella Belle from Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/BellaBelleShoe
And what did the groom wear?
The groom and best man both wore bespoke, dark blue Ben Sherman suits.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had three bridesmaids. My sister wore a ‘Heather’ coloured Multiway Maxi Dress from In One Clothing: inoneclothing.com. My niece (her daughter) and my own daughter both wore peach coloured ‘Emma’ flower girl dresses from Wild & Gorgeous: wildandgorgeous.co.uk, with Ivory Rose flower crowns from Flashfloozy on Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/Flashfloozy
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
My hair was by Ashleigh Stephenson at Inspired Hair Ltd. She was awesome and knew exactly what I wanted. I found Ashleigh via Facebook: facebook.com/ashleighstephensonhairdesign/
My make up – which was beautifully natural – was by Lucy Russell at Lockets: facebook.com/LucyRussellMakeUpArtist/
I had lash extensions, manicure and pedicure, and a spray tan prior to the wedding by Rosie Keen at Beauty By Rosie: facebook.com/rosiekeen.beauty1/
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Flowers were by Jan Harrison: janharrisonflowers.co.uk, on recommendation from a friend. They were designed to match the pastel, country wedding theme with jars on each table and a gorgeous bouquet for me and for each of my bridesmaids. Having not seen the flowers until I arrived at the venue, they were one of the best surprises of the day – absolutely beautiful.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a tiered cake covered in pastel confetti to tie in with the theme and add to the birthday party feel. The cake toppers were my daughter’s Happyland bride and groom to make it really personal. We chose four tiers in chocolate, vanilla, lemon and carrot – again to make sure there was something for everyone. The cake was made by Deb’s Dream Cakes: facebook.com/DebsDreamCake/
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had children’s entertainers from Sharky & George: sharkyandgeorge.com at the wedding all afternoon. They played a range of old-fashioned party games to help keep the children busy and make sure the adults had plenty of time to enjoy themselves too. That was a big hit all round.
In the evening we had a good old fashioned wedding disco: sweetvibeevents.co.uk
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Have a joint hen and stag do! Being a more mature bride and groom we’d both seen our fair share of hen and stag parties and wanted something a bit different, so we invited around 30 of our friends to come and join us for a weekend at a country house a couple of months before the wedding. It was a great warm up to the big day and a brilliant way to spend quality time with our favourite people in a way you don’t get to in the whirlwind of the wedding itself. We went to Stretton House in Derbyshire: strettonhousederbys.co.uk
What’s the best thing about being married?
Finally having the same name as my children and being officially part of the same team.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Ashleigh StephensonBeauty by RosieBella BelleBen ShermanCreationeryDebs Dream CakesFlash FloozyHertfordshire wedding photographersIn One ClothingJan Harrison FlowersLila-Lila.comLucy Russell make upMaggie SotteroMorgan Davies BridalNicola Norton PhotographySharky and GeorgeWild and Gorgeous