I love everything about today’s wedding – the joyful colours, the happy couple and their gorgeous smiles, Charlotte’s fabulous Lucy Can’t Dance dress and Pete’s tweed suit (orange buttons get a YESSS!) and the vibrant floral styling on the tables. Here’s a wedding to Pinterest the hell out of – you’re gonna LOVE this! Images are by lovely English Wedding member Helen England Photography.
We got married at St Michaels and all Angels Church in Withyham, Hartfield and had our reception at The Bell, Ticehurst. We wanted to get married in church and luckily for us, Pete’s parents attend St Michaels and all Angels which is not only visually beautiful but the choir (Pete’s Dad sings in the choir), the bells and the fabulous Vicar James made our ceremony very personal. We knew we wanted The Bell, It is a quirky, boutique pub in which we have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries so was a natural choice. Tessa, the wedding coordinator, and the whole team made us feel important and special. One of my strangest, and happiest, memories is watching the team dancing to our wedding playlist whilst serving dinner.
Our day was a colourful, fun party celebrating our awesomeness. Styling was colourful and eclectic. We wanted it to be very us so just made choices that reflected our personalities. One of the biggest compliments following the wedding was that it was ‘very us’ – exactly as we hoped!
I wanted a hi lo dress with colour and googled ‘coloured wedding dresses’ and Lucy Can’t Dance popped up. Lucy makes quirky and colourful wedding dresses for the alternative bride; she uses beautiful lace and dip dyes her dresses in any colour. I had a bespoke dress made, a lace top with low back, a hi lo skirt with a chiffon overlay, dipped dyed in orange. It was, and still is, the most beautiful dress I have ever seen. Surprising and shocking to our guests but not unexpected by my lovely husband. I told Lucy what I had in mind and she completely surpassed my expectations. I bought a veil from a local bridal shop (a last minute decision) and Karen Millen orange suede sandals. I borrowed diamond and pearl earrings from my Mum and my customary Swatch watch. People told me I didn’t need to know the time as the day would be ‘timeless’ but I always wear one of my collection of Swatches so it would have felt odd to not wear one!
Pete wear a 3 piece light brown tweed suit from Empire Outlet online and brown Ted Baker shoes. His suit has orange buttons which was a happy coincidence and it made us laugh that people thought it was planned whereas I was just very happy when he showed me a picture of the suit he wanted to wear.
Wedding photographer’s website:
My clever sister found Helen to photograph her wedding in May 2016, and we loved her. The photos were amazing and as bridesmaid, I managed to be in quite a few! My then boyfriend took an instant shine to Helen and struck up a rapport so we were always going to have her! I think photography is based a lot on personality and we got Helen and she got us; easy decision!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Absolutely delighted. The images are simply incredible; Helen has captured (and this sounds cheesy) our fun and lively personalities. On our wedding day, it felt like she was not just our photographer but our friend. She captured the best moments, and many of these were moments we might not have seen or remembered. I would honestly recommend her to every single person I meet!
Helen showed us our photos on a beautiful slide show, based to music and they were simply overwhelming. Such colour, fun and humour…despite the rain! We then received the most fabulous box of printed photos to take home. I loved this about Helen, we wanted physical photos to flick through not just photos to look at online or on a laptop (though of course, we received these too!)
Contact & Bookings – Kent wedding photographer Helen England
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Some online searching and wedding blogs. Real life weddings just give the best inspiration.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Pete is a good saver so would squirrel away money and then announce what I could spend! Budgeting is probably our best advice, decide what you want to try and save and try and stick to it.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The band, The Somebody’s, booked through Earcandy. Such an amazing investment. Also Helen; wedding photography is an expense but Helen was worth every penny. We love our photos and will love them forever. Such an amazing memento of our day.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We sent tea towels as invitations sourced from Original Wedding Tea Towels. I collect tea towels and knew if I ever got married I would send them. I love seeing people using them in their kitchens when we visit and we used a framed one as our guest book. It was a papercut design in jade green and we even had Pete’s nickname ‘Pedro’ printed on them, much to Pete’s joy and our parents disgust… We also ordered evening invites and order of service fronts.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Rewritten Mykonos dresses in concrete. I loved the grey contrast with my bright dress and the mixed coloured flowers really popped against the colour. They wore their own bright shoes and bold statement silver necklaces.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We had my old hairdresser who is more of a family friend do our hair and my regular beautician came to do our make up. I think professionals can do make up and hair in a way that I never could so it was a treat but I felt completely beautiful and fabulous so well worth it.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Pete’s Mum does flower arranging and offered to do our flowers for us. We collected over 60 varied sized crystal cut vases from charity shops for eclectic dotting down the tables at The Bell. These were filled with all colours and flowers but we had roses for scent and dahlias that my lovely mother in law grew in her garden. She also filled an old copper kettle (made for my grandparents engagement by their village blacksmith) and a china beer keg that I bought. The aim was random and odd! The church was filled with colourful blooms and the bouquets were wild and bright, with lots of orange ribbon!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The Bell did not need much decoration as it is very quirky. We had some flowers dotted around and a balloon installation as I love balloons. Balloon installations are a relatively new thing, and shops kept telling me I was a ‘quirky bride’ but they couldn’t help me. Eventually I found Balloon Wise in Brighton who delivered my dream. A long installation like a big beautiful rainbow but with a modern edge.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
My clever Mum cross stitched name tags which we glued onto luggage tags and stuck in corks (Pete is ‘into’ wine!), and my parents made the order of service from the artwork fronts, inserts and lots of orange ribbon, not a fun job. We also created a table plan from records and artwork from the band Ocean Colour Scene, Pete’s favourite band ever.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We choose both a chocolate Choccywoccydoodah cake covered in white chocolate with a mixed chocolate fan on top and a fruit cake made by a friend, which she covered with flowers and she even made bird toppers. They were both incredibly beautiful and different and tasted amazing.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
The choir in the church and the band, The Somebody’s in the evening. We knew we wanted a band and would recommend this decision to everybody.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Everyone says it but do the things you want. Make it your day! I love balloons and Pete loves OCS. These are the things that people notice and remember. Spend your money on the stuff that says ‘this is us and we’re flippin great’!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Reduced tax…! Ha ha! It’s very cheesy really but people ask if you feel any different and assume it’s exactly the same when you’ve lived together, but it does feel different. It’s amazing and awesome.