Thursday, 20 March 2014

The January Wedding

For over a year, files around my house, on my computer and even a board on Pinterest have been titled simply "January Wedding".  Friends of the bride and groom may have guessed that this board, crammed full of inspiration and tutorials was indeed to help plan the decor for the lovely Reuben and Jens' wedding.

Acres of bunting.... I think there are about 160 metres in total, which was strung up all around the venue and really helped to provide for a warm cosy feeling by bringing the high ceiling down a little.

Bouquets in the making - a lovely day spent with one of my besties cutting, sticking and generally playing with pretty things to create the bouquets!

Such a wonderful privilege to be invited to take part in the preparation of a wedding - and nothing quite beats the fun and excitement of being involved!  So, early last year when Reuben and Jen asked me to help, I was thrilled!

Buttonholes and all important pins all wrapped up and ready to go.

The buttonholes ready to be delivered.

The wedding was set for January and we began playing around with ideas and finding out what was possible and what would provide for a creative, fun and beautiful day which expressed Reuben and Jen's love for each other.  Right from the beginning, we knew that the day would more than likely be cold, so we wanted guests to feel cosy and comfortable at the reception venue, a local Village Hall in the lovely little West Sussex village of Lodsworth.

I had spent a long time wondering how to light the hall, as I knew it was still winter and the reception was at 4pm. I didn't want full on ceiling strip lights, but I wasn't sure if there were dimmer switches! I decided on as many fairy lights as possible, including battery operated ones strung inside the vintage lampshade.  And then about 100 or so candles in pretty lace covered jars.  It was just as well we had these all ready to go, as at about 5pm, a mini tornado swept through West Sussex and took out power to the hall!  Guests were quickly handed jars of lit candles and along with the lampshades twinkling above our heads (and a generator for the essentials of heating and sound, rapidly sourced from the vicinity!) there was just enough light to carry on with the rest of the celebrations.  I actually think this made for an even cosier and more memorable day......even if I needn't have spent several months worrying about whether the hall had dimmer switches!

Cosy glow!
If you're anything like me at this point, you'll be skipping through the wordy bit and looking at the photos....and as I have rather a lot of them, this is going to be a heavy on the visual post.  Just to say, the whole things was a pleasure to be involved in from start to finish and I wish Reuben and Jen every happiness as they begin their married life together.

A special moment......

Jen had asked me to make some of the flowers in each bridesmaid's bouquet out of a letter she wrote to each one of them individually.  Before they departed, the bridesmaids had a moment to read the words Jen had penned for her.
Jen's bouquet contained roses made out of the prayers her friends and family had written for her.  A really special way of carrying the love your precious ones with you on the day.

The groom getting ready.....

Reuben's older brother pinning on his buttonhole

The groomsmen had matching, but slightly different paper flower buttonhole.

The bridesmaids arrive.......

Uncle Bob's red mini having another wedding outing!  Doesn't it look perfect on the country lanes?

The beautiful bridesmaids, wearing their vintage inspired dresses.

The paper bouquets were wrapped with subtly hues of braid.

"I think she's here!
The bride arrives.....

Jen and her Dad arriving at the church

Our first view of the Beautiful Jen

The bouquets were a mix of papers, feathers, buttons and scrabble tiles with the bridesmaid's initials
Freshly married!

Absolutely stunning bride and....

.....her dashing young groom!

It was a rather windy day!

Churchyard photos in the bluster!

Reuben and Jen had their photos taken in Petworth Park - a short hop over the wall from the church in Tillington.

 And on to the venue.....

The decorated venue, ready for guests.
A warm welcome for the guests.
One of the themes of the decor was words and blackboards, so I put lots of little quotations on the table and around the walls.  A simple idea which hopefully provided for conversation through the day.

Simple tin cans covered in book pages and paper flowers

Weddings such a lovely way for people to feel they can contribute....these lovely little primulas were arranged by our florist freind Caroline, who was just weeks away from giving birth!

Tables were covered in hessian and then layered with a multitude of vintage tablecloths

Vintage lampshades were strung with gorgeous pastel coloured ribbons  from the beams above the hall, having been painted white and wrapped in braid.  Some of the larger shades were strung with battery operated fairy lights, which was perfect when the power went out!

A last minute thought to add a touch of "freshness" to the proceedings!  I gathered armfuls of viburnum from my neighbour's garden, which was just coming into bloom.  The dusky pink and cream colours worked perfectly.

The Stage is set......

The "last minute" card s and presents area.  I had actually transported much of the decor in these suitcases, so when Jen asked for somewhere for guests to put cards at 8pm the night before the wedding, I piled them high and made a string of paper bunting....cute!

The stage area of the hall was also used for guest seating and still had the black "flats" or drapes at either side - which actually worked really well once the paper word bunting and fairy lights were hung up!

 Let the games commence!

Guests were invited to take a game from the two vintage tea trolleys in the venue.  Dominoes, connect 4, pick up sticks and chalk and slate mazes.

The messages.....

This vintage dressing table was a charity shop find, which was filled with inspirational books, blank cards and pens and topped with a typewriter.  Guests were invited to write a message for the happy couple and then hang it on the fairy lights above.

A guest composing a message on the vintage type writer.

Speeches....Nothing quite as beautiful as a radiant bride laughing!
 So....what an amazing experience to be part of.  It's always a pleasure to work to create a beautiful wedding day, especially for two such wonderful people.  It was an honour.