Wow. I can't actually believe that I am married. A year and a half of planning and in one day it was all over. And what a day it was, my wedding day, the best day of my entire life! I don't think words will do it justice but I really wanted to do a little write up about just like my engagement so even if no one else reads it I have something to look back on over the years to come.
I was unsure of how best to write this so I thought I would break it down into sections and moments with any tips or advice I might have to offer along the way.
We got married at Broadoaks Country House, Troutbeck, Windermere and it was perfect. It was actually the first venue we saw and fell in love, every other one we looked at kept getting compared to it. The location was stunning and we liked the fact everything was all in one place making it easier. And in case we got the typical February lake district weather it meant no one would have to venture into the rain, but we were lucky and got beautiful sunshine. We hired it for 2 days so that we could chill out with our wedding party and family the night before and get ready with ease the following day. The staff were friendly, attentive and made us feel very welcome from the get go. I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a Lake District venue.
When looking for your venue think about the kind of day you want, how do you want it to feel? How many guests? What's your budget? If you can go and see places again to see if you get that feeling again or if it was a one time thing.
The photographer / videographer
Having photos was essential, I really wanted to look back on the day and keep the memories alive. We wanted someone who knew the venue as well because if it rained we would need their expertise. We found our photographer David Goodier at a wedding fayre at the venue and straight away we knew we wanted him to photograph our wedding. He knew the venue very well, he didn't try to oversell anything and he was really friendly which helped. From the start he made the whole process easy and put us both at ease from the pre wedding shoot to the actual wedding. Our photos are incredible, he captured the day and everyone perfectly. Most of the pictures in this blog are taken by him so you can see for yourself.
I always wanted a videographer for our wedding, there is something about a wedding video that captures something photos can't. Videography is expensive and we weren't sure we would be able to fit it into our budget and then Sean came along. As a fellow WeBlogger we have met a few times at events and got to talking about it all. It just felt right for him to do it for us and as you will see below he did an amazing job. Working with the photographer and blending into the background I didn't once feel like I was being videoed (if that makes sense). If you can fit it into your budget I would highly recommend it as you see things that you didn't on the day. We were so happy with what was created and the thought that had gone into to make it super personal to us.
When looking for your photographer and videographer make sure you gel with them, that they know what you want from the start and work with you. The last thing you want is someone making you feel uncomfortable or stupid on your wedding day.
I absolutely loved my wedding dress, just perfect for me. The fit was exactly what I wanted for my body shape, the long sleeves added something different and perfect winter wedding fit. I loved the contrast between the lace detail on the top and simple skirt with the most incredible train, which didn't actually get that dirty to my surprise ha.
As I have previously written the wedding dress shopping was my favourite part. This particular dress I found on Pinterest and messaged my friends saying I needed to find it.
An internet search or 2 later brought me to the designer Stella York and trunk shows of her latest collection featuring my dress. I saw that Emma Louise Bridal in Bolton were doing one so along with my mum and sister I went along. And as they say the rest is history. The girls at Emma Louise Bridal were amazing and it is a gorgeous boutique for any bride to be to find the dress of her dreams.
Try on as many dresses as you can to get a feel for what is your style. If you find the one try it again to see if it is still the one. Shop for you and your body not for a dress to get into. Take people with you who's opinion you trust but also won't pressure you into getting anything you don't feel right in. If you have a budget mention this at the beginning so that you are only shown dresses within that otherwise you could end up falling for something you can't have.
When picking my shoes 2 things were vital: 1/ they went with the dress 2 /they were comfortable so I could wear them all day. The pair I went for in the end were Lace Mary Janes from Rainbow Club. The lace worked with the dress when it peeped through and they were super comfortable to wear all day. I also like that I can send them off to be dyed another colour so I can wear them again and again. I still have't decided if I'm going to do this or just keep them ivory we shall see. Top tip for wedding shoes WEAR THEM IN. Don't make the first time you wear them be your wedding day. I ended up wearing them around my flat on the run up to my wedding so my feet were used to them. We actually also practised our first dance in our shoes.
The wedding party
We decided on our wedding party pretty much as soon as we were engaged, that was the easy bit so we told them straight away before we did anything else. For me as we knew we wanted them it seemed silly to wait and this way they could be involved in the planning from the start if they wanted to. They were all part of our lives in some way and had known us as a couple and were perfect for us. These people are going to be by your side on your special day so think about who you want there with you. You don't need to follow traditions or have a certain number it's about who will enhance your day and be there for you. We had 4 Bridesmaids, 6 Groomsmen and 2 page boys. The page boys were my godson and nephew and even though they might not have totally got what was going on they were amazing and looked adorable.
What they wore:
Bridesmaid Dresses were all from ASOS. We went for a multi-way style so they could all wear it in a style that suited them. I didn't want them to feel uncomfortable on the day.
Suits: We hired the suits for Elliot and his groomsmen from Moss Bros. They were Ted Baker suits and everything was included in the hire apart from the shoes.
Page-Boy suits were from Primark keeping it simple so they matched each other.
Hair and Make up
My friend used to do Bridal make up as a living and she is bloody good at it so she was always my first choice to do it. And thankfully she said yes even though she was a guest so thank you Kat it looked amazing, suited me perfectly.
The Bridesmaid make up was done by a local make up artist Amy Brown who had great reviews and actually came from the same home town as me so that helped :). She did a lovely job creating a natural smokey look to compliment the dresses and my own make up.
All of our hair was done by a local hairdresser from Kendal. Liesl created an elegant updo for myself and beautiful half up half down styles for my bridesmaids.
Make sure as a bride you have trials for your hair and make up, this way you can talk about what you want and get it right. If it goes wrong in the trial then you can work together to get it how you want it. I also found it made the morning run smoothly because we all knew what we were doing and I had no worries at all.
My engagement ring is a palladium Emmy London ring so I wanted my wedding band to be palladium as well which made it a little harder to find. Add to that the shape factor it was tricky however Elliot had bought it from H-Samuel so it made sense to go there and see what they had to offer. Originally I thought I would go for a plain one however once the sparkly ones were shown I was sold and below you can see what I went for in the end. Fitting and complimenting my engagement ring perfectly.
Elliot's wedding band was also a palladium band from Goldsmiths.
My hair piece and earrings were both from Ivory and Co. The hair piece I bought with my dress so I found some earrings that matched. For me the dress was the statement piece so my jewellery was always going to be something that enhanced that.
I bought my bridesmaids a bracelet each from Lisa Angel. A simple silver chain with pearls on to go with their dresses. It was also lovely to give them a keepsake from the day.
Created and designed so beautifully by my friend Jasmine. The font and purple design was then taken and used throughout our wedding signage.
We printed them using a local company Alvis signs Altrincham to send to our guests. Instead of sending a RSVP back we had a website they RSVPd to instead.
The decor and flowers
As this was a self-funded wedding we wanted to do most of the decor ourselves picking up bits from Etsy, The Range and Amazon to dress the room. I asked my mum to help as she is way more creative than me. Well she went above and beyond and basically became our wedding planner it was amazing. She took my ideas and Pinterest board and created the perfect backdrop. We had hints of Marvel and Harry Potter throughout (big fans ha) but it fit into the purple/grey/vintage feel to the day.
All the flowers were fake, there were no real ones on the day and she did all of them as well. The centrepiece flowers were paper and she made every single one (over 400 i think) I was blown away by the whole thing. With added pine cones, fake Eucalyptus and fairy lights we had our centrepieces.
The buttonholes, bridesmaid bouquets and my own bouquet were made up of silk, paper and artificial flowers that she arranged tied with hessian. We got the flowers from a range of garden centres and home shops. But I think it's safe to say your wouldn't know and now I have a bouquet I can keep forever.
Made by my grandma as a wedding present we had a gluten free lemon drizzle tier for myself and Elliot and then a whole load of cupcakes for the guests. She created a variety of them to cater for the many dietaries we had at the wedding and I think everyone was very happy. It looked beautiful and tasted amazing.
The little extras
Because I am a walking cliche there were loads of little bits I wanted in my day that may not be vital but they made it a little more special for me. So if you are also into these sorts of things this may help. Most of them were bought from Etsy so I will put the company name for the rest. Honestly Etsy became my best friend during the wedding planning.
Bridal/Bridesmaid robes: I wanted us all to have some whilst getting ready. I got ours from RNVYGifts
Bride PJs: Personalised with my new name from Bespoke Wedding Gift Co
Bridesmaid cards: I was always going to write thank you cards to my bridesmaids with personal notes so I wanted the cards themselves to be personalised as well. I got mine from Ink and Fred who were great when there was postage issues and actually remade them for me.
Thank you cards: Speaking of cards we created hangover kits and left cards in each room of the main house. These were personalised for our wedding. We also got the groomsmen cards from here as well. Ink Paper Print
Mr and Mrs t-shirts for the morning after and for our honeymoon (told you walking cliche ha) from Pink Positive Shop.
The best day of my life I could speak about it for days. However I thought a better option would be to show you it :) Here is our wedding highlights video, shot and edited by Sean @ The Published Image we could not be happier from the final outcome.
Love Vicki xxx