I had the pleasure of shooting Debbie and Adam's gorgeous chilled out wedding in Chester.
Debbie has kindly done a write up for the blog.
So all I have to do is thank Debbie for this and also thank Birgitta from Birgitta Zoutman Wedding and Lifestyle Photography for being an outstanding second shooter
Adam wanted a nice three-piece suit for the day that he could keep. He settled on this one from DKNY and accessorised with Loake brogues and Hugo Boss tie and pocket square and a Paul Smith tie clip. I commissioned some eternity shaped cufflinks for Adam from the same silver as my bracelet and gave them to him before the ceremony to wear.
The groomsmen were in suits from Primark which we were really pleased with. The three-piece suit plus ties ended up being cheaper to buy than what we’d been quoted for hire! All the boys had varying colourful socks from Richard James which were also part of their gift from us.
Groom's Suit - DKNY Groom's Shoes - Loake
Groomsmen's Suits - Primark
I had a vision for my dress, but finding it proved difficult! I knew I wanted something that looked quite vintage and glamorous, but with no ‘sparkles’. I’m not into sequins and diamonds (my engagement ring is a black diamond custom made on Etsy as Adam felt I deserved a diamond but knew the ‘bling’ wouldn’t suit me!). When I tried on the Clarissa dress by Eliza Jayne Howell it was perfect- it was fully beaded so gave plenty of wow factor and caught the light beautifully, but as the beads were all white it didn’t technically have any ‘sparkle’.
I found my dress at Agape Bridal Boutique in Altrincham who also supplied my veil. As I wasn’t intentionally going for the 1920’s theme I wanted to tone down the vintage style of my dress and so decided on a plain single layer veil. I wore my usual All Saints jacket for when it got chilly and this kept the look (as well as me) relaxed. It was comforting to have something familiar that I was comfortable in on the day.
My shoes were Rachel Simpson and the bracelet was a piece I commissioned on Etsy by Nicole at Hummingbird Hawkmoth. This served as my ‘something old and something new’ as it was made from recycled silver. My ‘something borrowed something blue’ was my Mum’s garter from her wedding day!
I wanted my bridesmaids to be in two-piece outfits so started looking around in the sales early on and pieced them together over time to help the budget. In the end, they wore skirts from Coast which I found in the outlet store and teamed these with a plain silk vest top. I asked them all to bring a leather jacket on the day for when it got chilly.
My flowers were provided by a friend of the groom’s Mother who is a retired florist. I originally planned to have a bouquet made from succulents only but they are heavy so in the end I incorporated them into a more flowy arrangement of foliage including eucalyptus and gypsophila. The men’s buttonholes featured some little succulents and the girls had gypsophila in their hair.
Bridesmaid Dresses - Coast
We wanted a city centre wedding, without any need for travelling between venues. The only transport arranged for the day was a black cab which was decorated for the day. This allowed easy access through the barriers into Chester’s old town. There were several companies who offered ‘wedding taxis’ at a wedding-worthy price, but in the end we contacted a local taxi company who was happy to arrange this for us. We wanted to be able to regularly walk past the locations and revisit memories as well as having our adopted home of Chester serve as a backdrop to our photographs. We were married at Chester Town Hall which has a gorgeous gothic style interior. It provided the backdrop that we wanted whilst being non-religious. It gave us the freedom to be ourselves and get married to the tune of Rilo Kiley and The Stereophonics!
The only drawback to the city centre location was that confetti was not allowed outside, but our improvisation of ‘bubble confetti’ actually worked wonders and has become one of our favourite photos! I taped a little bottle of bubbles to each order of service for guests to have ready.
Venue - 1539, Chester Racecourse
After the ceremony we walked through town to our reception venue of Bar 1539 on the racecourse. Our meal was a grazing board including Thai fish kebabs, hummus, chicken skewers and pork belly which went down really well. We wanted a casual meal which would allow Adam and I to mingle with our guests and returning to our food periodically rather than having set courses. Our cake was a cheese tower which we found at a very good price at Costco, and this also served as part of the snacks for evening guests along with toasties. The bride’s Mother made Bara Brith and the Groom’s Mother made chutneys to accompany the cheese. Our favours were locally made fudge which we bagged and decorated with stickers I had printed on Vistaprint.
Evening entertainment was provided by our friends who volunteered to DJ and a two piece band who played our favourite indie songs.
We didn’t have a particular colour scheme, but tried to keep things fairly neutral so that new ideas/outfits I found could be easily worked into the day (like the bridesmaids’ skirts for example). I never imagined I’d have pink as art of the wedding party outfits but they were a great price and the right size and in the end it worked really well against the foliage of the bouquets. We got engaged at Cloudy Bay vineyard in New Zealand during a tandem bike tour, so we featured tandem bikes on our invitations and cake topper and named each table after a vineyard we visited. The top table was obviously Cloudy Bay!
I made all the decorations myself, which was great fun if somewhat stressful at times! I took inspiration from Etsy and items I’d seen on stationary websites but produced them myself to save money. The printed items such as the Photobooth banner, orders of service, guest message cards and ‘I spy’ cards were made on photoshop and printed on Vistaprint. The welcome easel was from Ikea’s children range which I sanded and stained before writing on it with chalk pen.
The table decorations were kept simple, using craft beer bottles from Wales, Manchester or New Zealand and filling them with sprigs of foliage to match the bouquets. This meant little waste at the end of the wedding as they could be put straight in the bottle bank. I found the little fairy lights in Primark and the place settings were made from corks to match the vineyard theme.
Each guest had an instax photo taken for them to sign and post in a jar which we put into an album/guestbook after the wedding.