Tag Archives: bridal

A homespun, back garden wedding – all aboard the tractor!

2 Oct

As you all know by now, this little shabby chic wedding blog is only as good as the weddings it features! So I always get disproportionately excited when a really fab wedding pops up in my inbox.

This is Daniel and Lucy’s big day – and I’ll let Lucy tell you all about it!

“Daniel and I met in a little bar in Brighton – a typical “my friend fancied his friend” situation. My friend was too shy to go over and speak to the guy she fancied so I went over and started a conversation with the group of people and got talking to Daniel. We hit it off straight away and started dating. Unfortunately my friend never actually got around to speaking to the guy she had initially fancied!”

“After dating for 6 months we moved in together, and then after about 2 years Daniel proposed. It was a bit of a surprise as Daniel is well known for being very disorganised. I had an interview in London, and Daniel suggested that he come with me and take me out for lunch afterwards. We met up at Green Park tube station and he suggested we take a walk, and then walked me into The Wolseley. I had never been to The Wolseley and was immediately taken by the beautiful decor and understated elegance. It turns out Daniel had bought an engagement ring and smuggled it up to London without me knowing and had booked a table with champagne was waiting for us. He got down on one knee in the middle of the restuarant and asked me to marry him whilst crying and shaking uncontrollably – although he maintains that he was calm and collected! I was absolutely surprised and delighted and said yes straight away.”

“I then found out that a few minutes before I had met up with Daniel, he had been mugged at the cashpoint. He had gone to get some money out for lunch and someone stole his card as it came out of the cashpoint. Luckily a rather large rugby sized man stood behind Daniel in the queue ran after the mugger and retrieved Daniel’s card so he could actually pay for lunch.”

“We planned the wedding for about a year, and from the beginning we knew we would like to get married in our local church in Albourne, Sussex. It is a 15 minute walk from our house down a little lane – it is the only building down the end of the lane apart from the rectory and it is surrounded by fields. I think they only have a handful of weddings a year which made it even more special. We also wanted the reception in our garden as we wanted to keep everything very personal to Daniel, me and our guests.”

“The theme was country garden, so we had a selection of picnic tables covered in floral table clothes, vintage mix match crockery and glasses and country garden flowers from a local grower. The tables centres were vintage jugs or teapots filled with small posies. and alongside these we had wicker baskets filled with a bottle of red wine, homemade chutney and homemade apple sauce. It was important that the food was really good as all our friends are foodies so we had a hog roast and then a wonderful buffet that we did ourselves with the help of our friends. It included whole baked salmons, spinach feta and pinenut filo pastry tarts, french green bean salad, summer vegetable and herb cous cous, homemade coleslaw, herby potato salad. All the food was bought from the local greengrocer or grown in our garden and the wine came from our independent wine shop in the village. My sister made a beautiful cake using eggs from our chickens. It was 3 tiers – carrot, beetroot and then a banana cake covered in cream cheese icing and a mix of berries. After supper a local band played music and everyone talked, drank and danced in the garden until the small hours with fairy lights and lanterns lighting the garden.”

“We had so much help from so many people – Daniel’s mum made vintage style table cloths from old floral curtains, she hand embroidered napkins with our initials, our neighbour lent us his vintage tractor and trailer so people had the option of walking down to the church or getting lift. The local farmer cleared the field of cows so we could turn the tractor around as the lane is so narrow, another neighbour’s dad did our hog roast as the planned person pulled out at the last minute, a jeweler friend made our rings….the list really does go on and on. We had so much help that we had a nickname for our neighbours “the Albourne Elves” – as when anything was needed or we asked for help it magically appeared.”

“My favourite part of the day was walking into our garden with my new husband, the sunshine appearing from behind some rather worrying dark clouds and seeing everyone in our garden enjoying the day, drinking champagne and listening to music. My second favourite part was watching Daniel run around the garden in his wedding suit trying to catch our chicken Muriel who had managed to escape her pen!”
“A few tips for future brides would be to try to be a little flexible when organising your wedding – the most stressful points are where you have a set idea and then for some reason you can’t have X flowers, or X venue or X tealight holders. Give yourself some options and keep an open mind – no matter what happens you will have an amazing day and those little details don’t always feel quite as important on the day as you thought they would as you are too busy enjoying yourself.”
“A second really important thing I now tell anyone I know who is getting married is to try to stand back for a few minutes, relax and really appreciate your day and your new husband. The day is so busy, and so many people want to speak to you and the build up has probably been so intense that the day can rush by and suddenly you find yourself saying your goodbyes and heading off to your honeymoon. Take 10 mins with your new husband away from your guests and photographer – maybe get the car to pull over at a pre-arranged place between the church and venue so you can sit there and let it all sink in – or after dinner agree to sneak away with your husband to have a glass of champagne just the two of you. I was really lucky to have a friend who just took me to one side and said “breathe” you have done an amazing job organising the day – now ENJOY it!”
Lucy has since started Mayflower Events! Her website is coming soon and I can’t wait to see the results of her planning adventures 🙂
Dress by Monsoon
 Wine supplied by Lucy at South Down Cellars

A stunning, shabby chic wedding – Elizabeth and Tomás

18 Sep

I love it when I get real wedding submissions that actually inspire me! This gorgeous US wedding took my breath away – and is the absolute pinnacle of what a DIY wedding can be! There are so many lovely ideas in here, but I’ll let Elizabeth tell you her story in her own words.

“The summer before my senior year of college, I went to Sevilla, Spain for a month to take a TESOL teaching course. The daughter of one of my mom’s coworkers had been studying there the previous semester, and this girl gave me the email address of a Spanish friend so that I could meet someone right away to practice Spanish with. That friend turned out to be my now husband! Tomás and I fell in love seriously in three days. We had a long distance relationship for the first year, seeing each other every three months in either Spain or Pennsylvania. After college, I moved to Spain for two years to teach and be with Tomás. Three and a half years after we met, Tomás proposed, and now we’re married!”

Elizabeth and Tomas opted for a shabby chic wedding theme

“A summer night in late July 2010, Tomás asked me to come outside–he had been outside all evening supposedly building a bonfire with my brother and he wanted me to see it. As soon as I got outside though, I saw that Tomás had actually been out there creating a beautifully romantic scene. He led me to my parents’ pool, where dozens of tiny candles were floating in the water. He told me we were going on a special walk, and let me to another part of the tard where I saw a pathway made by candles. Under each candle was a paper heart with a characteristic of our relationship written on it, like “respect”, “love for nature”, etc. After reading all the hearts, the candle path led us to the vegetable garden that we had built and been tending all summer. When we got to the garden, Tomás read me a poem he wrote comparing our growing love to the growing garden. Then he got down on his knee and proposed! My engagement ring was my great-grandmother’s ring that my grandmother gave me before she passed away several years before. My mom had been holding on to it until Tomás was ready to ask for it. It was such a lovely proposal!”


“I planned the wedding with lots of support from my mom and friends. I absolutely loved the way I decorated the tables. I spent our engagement year collecting glass bottles, vintage doilies, and lovebird figurines, and the way they all came together just looked so pretty and very shabby chic. It also meant a lot to me because I had put so much time and love into collecting these decorations.”

“As soon as we were engaged, I started combing wedding magazines and blogs and kept a notebook of photos I liked. It didn’t take long for me to realize that most of the pictures I was saving shared a soft, romantic, vintage style. Tomás and I both really love antiques and tend to like things that have a homey, lived-in style, so shabby chic was a perfect fit.”


If I were to give any advice to brides-to-be, it’s that making your wedding really about you and your future husband requires a lot of thought and planning, which takes a lot of time–especially if you want to DIY parts of it. But in my experience it was SO worth it, because on the day of the wedding, everything was just what I wanted, and it felt US.”

Why not hang pictures of yourselves together as decorations?

Wildflower seed favours will give your guests something permanent to remember your day!

Photos by Love Me Do, Dress by Eden Bridals 

Pretty things… introducing Moll and Mostin

18 Aug

You may have guessed by now that the Shabby Chic Bride likes to do things a little differently. That’s why it’s always fun to stumble upon a quirky and unique wedding business.

So check out Moll and Mostin. Perfect for the bride that’s allergic to flowers, their gorgeous wedding products encapsulate everything that’s vintage and unconventional.

I’m also a bit in love with how Moll and Mostin came about. The lovely Lucy, who founded the company explains: ” Moll and Mostin was inspired by a love of paper and vintage images, and a serious flea market, antiques market, secondhand shop and car boot habit. I started it in my bedroom, with a one off run of twenty cards, and a quick trip along Brick Lane to find a shop to stock them. Now I am manning market stalls and supplying different shops in London, websites and other small creative businesses,  working from a studio space somewhere between St Pancras and Camden.”

“Since starting to make cards, I have been looking for ways of using the beautiful vintage paper I had in a more creative way, and using the qualities of the paper as well as the images. This is when I started making paper roses, and this has led me to work on a specific wedding range – whereby you can order just a bouquet, or everything you need, including bouquets, corsages, button holes, fascinators for bridesmades or mothers, or bunches of roses instead of regular flowers on table tops.”

“Moll and Mostin are the names of my two great-aunts – two little ladies with twinkly eyes and a grasp on living life, and my very own inspiring retro relatives.”

“I really like working with a range of papers – from old novels, magazines, to sheet music and beautifully coloured maps. Roses for a wedding can be made with a range of papers or with just map for those travelling types or just music for music enthusiasts.”

Pick up a bargain at Bride2Bride

2 Aug

There’s nothing more inspiring to me than someone who is brave enough to make their dreams a reality. That’s why I was so thrilled to see the lovely Sophie Trinick doing just that and launching her fabulous bridal website, Bride2Bride, this week.

Bride2Bride is a unique online service that allows brides to be, like myself, to buy items listed by newlyweds who have been there and done that. From speaking to Sophie, I know how much this service means to her and how hard she’s worked to make it happen. I know so many brides out there will be thrilled to start using the site.

The site is run by Sophie and her husband John, who does all the design.

Sophie and John on their wedding day

The initial concept came about when Sophie ran into some frustrations planning her own wedding. In her own words:

“I wanted to make my wedding day perfect (mainly copious amounts of bunting, fairy lights and paper lanterns!)

I had to do some serious shopping around, and spent a small fortune having to buy it all new. As well as worrying about how much I was spending, I also started worrying about what on earth I was going to do with it all after the big day – there are only so many fairy light strings one small flat can take! I thought I could probably advertise it on Ebay (but get stung for selling fees), or perhaps on Gumtree (at least it’s free), but neither of these are designed specifically for buying and selling wedding items.

In fact, I couldn’t find any site that was dedicated to this, and surely a site like that would be so useful? From this point on the seed had been sown in my mind. I casually mentioned this idea to John, and to my surprise he said “uh, yeah – I could do that”. And so began the journey to where we are now. It hasn’t been an easy ride – we have spent many an hour inside huddled over computers when the sun has been shining and we were longing to go surfing with our friends, but we hope that all the effort was worth it, and that everyone who uses it is as happy as we’d hoped they’d be!”

I’m really excited about what this site has to offer and am confident that with Sophie and John’s dedication and enthusiasm, Bride2Bride will be a huge success.

Sorry to sound like an overexcited teenager, but there’s some seriously awesome stuff up already, so go on, get listing and buying!

Sophie and John are making their dreams a reality

Sambuca bottles, a transatlantic proposal and the world’s cutest flower girl

23 Jul

This Shabby Chic Bride is getting all misty eyed over this beautiful wedding – and the story of how it all began…

It all started when Tom met Poppy. “We met back in 2003 standing in a queue for the incredibly trendy and romantic (not) Camden club – the Underworld,” says Poppy. She asked him to take a photo of her with her friends and there was a spark – they went inside and danced all night (helped along by a generous amount of Sambuca). “As Tom lived and was studying in Ireland we had a summer fling and we went our separate ways.”

But the romance didn’t end there for Tom. Poppy explains: “Two years later I was living in New York and Tom flew from Ireland to declare he had not stopped thinking about me for two years. Within six months we were living together in London!”

The proposal…

Tom whisked Poppy off to Florence for 10 days. It took him until eight days into the trip to find the right moment.

“We were at a beautiful monastery in the Tuscan hills having just had a gorgeous meal. We were grabbing shelter before running to the car, as the heavens had opened. Suddenly I turned around to find Tom on his knee, ring in hand. We got the restaurant to re-open their doors so we could drink a toast.”

The couple got married on the 25th of June 2011 at St Mary’s Church, Cricklade. “Closest friends and family stayed near or at our reception venue, the Rectory Hotel, which we had exclusive use of. Everyone was impressed with how the venue combined a trendy boutique feel with real Cotswold charm and a home away from home feeling.”

Poppy created a heart-shaped “poppies & shamrocks” design to celebrate her name and Tom’s Irish heritage and incorporated it into the invitations (designed by bridesmaid Rachel Brunning) and into the order of service and menus, which Poppy made. The wedding cake continued the theme with fuchsia pink poppies and shamrocks on turquoise blue icing.

Turquoise, fuchsia pink and green made up the colour theme and this was reflected in the flowers, which were blue hydrangeas, fuchsia pink peonies and green alchemilla.

“Our florist (Scentiments in Tetbury) did a fab job of incorporating these flowers in the bouquets, buttonholes and the reception flowers which were arranged in blue vases I bought to tie in with the theme, the centrepieces were specifically supposed to look natural, just picked, which I loved. I was so chuffed that the local ladies of the church, for a nominal fee, decorated the church with these same flowers which certainly saved some money and was lovely.”

“During the signing of the register we had a soloist sing Panis Angelicus and at the end of the service as we reached the top of the aisle we turned back to our congregation as the choir sang ‘How Sweet it is’ and we all had a sing song.”

The day was made extra special by Poppy and Tom’s 16 month old daughter. “She was so delightful as our flower girl in her pretty little lace and organza dress. She welcomed everybody with daddy at the church and then came down the aisle with her godmother Rachel.”

Two white Austin Sheerlines called ‘Olive & Rose’ took the wedding party and from the church in style (supplied by AlexCars).

Poppy’s attention-to-detail really shone through during the reception. “To celebrate our first ever meeting I made little bottles of Sambuca with special ‘Tom and Poppy’s Sambuca’ labels which sat at each person’s place tied with the same blue ribbon I had used throughout. During my short speech I explained the relevance and asked everybody to join us for a shot from their bottle which raised a laugh. Also on the table we had matching blue ribbons tied around napkins, place cards I made at home, glass tea lights dotted around in our colours and the table names which all represented places that meant something to us such as Florence (engagement), Morocco (our first holiday) and so on.”

Tom and Poppy joined the growing number of brides and grooms opting for something a little bit different to entertain their guests. “We have a brilliant guest book that we will always look back at and have laughs at as thanks to the fancy dress box and Polaroid pictures we provided there are some great guest pics and comments.”

“My absolute personal favourite bit was the speeches, my mum, Tom and Paul – the best man, moved me to tears with their humour and loving comments.”

“A seriously funny part of the wedding was my gift to my new husband. Just before our first dance I surprised him with four little Irish dancers from a local school. Their dancing was amazing and the extreme curly wigs and make up was very entertaining.”

“Another definite favourite bit was that our phenomenal friend Machiel Van Der Aar ‘SaxSymbol’ really got the dance floor rocking with his brilliant saxophone playing in the evening.”

“A major part of our big day was the super calm and creative photography of Graham Young Photography who manoeuvred skilfully from one shot to the next unobtrusively and, having listened to our preferences, really captured natural and beautiful shots we will treasure forever.”

My dress was a soft organza gown by Ella Bridals. The food was provided by our fabulous venue, which has won many accolades for its superb food.

Real wedding: pink cupcakes, garden roses and a whole lotta love

19 Jul

Every now and then I come across a wedding too cute to ignore! And it should definitely win an award for the most creative use of jars in wedding history- fabulous stuff. And I’m a little bit in love with those cupcakes – anyone else?

Allison and Joseph Micali got married on the 29th of May 2011 after a year and a half engagement. The wedding took place at a Chapel at Sandy Hook, NJ, USA.  The venue was chosen not only for its rustic feel, but for the sentimental value to Allison, who grew up in Sandy Hook.

Allison knew she wanted pink flowers so, after researching different types of flowers, she decided on the beautiful peonies and the two different types of roses. The planner picked up flowers from a local wholesaler and decorated each table with mason jars filled with pink peonies, garden roses and spray roses.

She then scattered mason jars with candles all around the arrangements.  The top table was outlined by the mason jars and with 4 mugs (L O V E from Anthropologie) in the centre, next to the couple.

“Our wedding was very different in many ways,” says Allison. “I wanted to stay really far away from anything traditional. We had our ceremony outside overlooking Sandy Hook Bay. We then had our cocktail hour in a restored chapel that had beautiful golden lighting. Our reception was in a tent overlooking the bay. We had a front table with the wedding party decorated with LOVE mugs and a Sweet Love Banner. We had chalkboard table numbers, the planner wrote the menu on a full length mirror.  Our favours were mason jars with chalkboard decals and CDs filled with our favourite songs.”

As it turns out, Allison loved the planning process so much that she has decided to start up her own planning company – with a fab blog to kick start her new career (Skinny Love Designs).

Credits: The cupcake with hot pink frosting and the cupcake toppers were supplied by Pink Studios. The bride wore a strapless metal taffeta Nicole Miller gown. The wedding was captured by Kella MacPhee, in the bride’s words, an absolutely amazing and quirky photographer.  Merri-Makers caterers supplied the food. The “best DJ in the world” according to the lovely bride was DJNYC

Everything was put together beautifully by wedding planning service, Lulu’s Inspirations.

Shabby chic wedding decor – top touches

10 Jul

It’s been a week or so since I blogged about shabby chic weddings and in that time I’ve seen quite a few inspiring things. I’ll do a few of these shabby chic wedding decorations posts, but for now, here’s the first! Enjoy:

Wellies aren’t just for the rain

You may have seen my last real wedding, provided by the gorgeous Hannah Stevenson. She filled yellow wellies with flowers as a tribute to the footwear she was wearing when her groom proposed. But wellies don’t need to have a special meaning for you to incorporate them in your day. Filling wellies with flowers is a cute and quirky touch that everyone will notice! You can either leave it to a florist or re-pot a potted plant into the wellies yourself.

Vintage bird cages

Like this one from Wedding Direct at Amazon. There’s very little you can’t do with them! Fill them with flowers for your centrepieces, or hang them around the room at different heights to decorate the venue. Put a candle in them. Decorate them with clip on butterflies, do what you like with them. It’s very very difficult to make a bird cage look bad. If buying so many is a bit steep, you can rent them from many vintage crockery and decoration companies.

Bird cage by Weddings Direct at Amazon

Vintage luggage tags

Use them as place settings, hang them up to form a unique table plan, tie them to a vintage suitcase and let people write their honeymoon going away wishes instead of a guest book, tie them to favours, or even write a special message to each of your friends on them, if the wedding is small enough for you to do that! You can get 6 for £2.50 from The Wedding of my Dreams.

6 for £2.50 at The Wedding of my Dreams

More vintage decorative touches to come over the next week. Enjoy!