When these stunning pics landed in my mailbox before my hols I was over the moon! You really are in for a treat this morning, a wedding day filled with so much fun and beauty. Not only is Ellie a seriously hot bride in her pretty Cymbeline dress but there’s a cake buffet including millionaire shortbread, ‘cronuts’ and Sylvanian family cake toppers! Plus a serious amount of handmade detail and not forgetting the boys – a cardboard paper football table too! This beautiful London wedding was captured by Graham Joy who is as Ellie quotes, ‘one to watch!’
THE DRESS:: I wanted something quite vintage in style but being 6ft tall an actual vintage dress was out of the question, as they aren’t made for tall peeps! A friend from uni and my sister in law had both bought their dresses from Blackburn Bridal and I loved them both – long, elegant and vintage style. I went along with my Mum and my dress (‘Gala’ by Cymbeline) was the second one I tried on – I instantly felt awesome. It was super comfy, felt like I could dance in it, and didn’t feel as though I’d need to hold my stomach in all day and pretend to be something I’m not. My big proviso was ‘could I go to the loo in it alone’ without needing to be a diva and have henchwomen. In summary, every item of clothing I ever wear from here on in will clearly be a disappointment!
BRIDESMAIDS: I’m not a very matchy matchy person and I wanted my best women to feel great and like they were dressed in dresses that really suited them. Therefore instead of getting matching dresses I gave them a budget and went shopping with each of them to find the perfect dress. We stuck to a pale grey, nude and cream colour palette. I think they looked immense and they all felt brilliant too, which was the main thing for me.
THE ACCESSORIES: I never considered having a veil but in a very stereotypical fashion I tried one on at Blackburn Bridal and IT WAS THE GREATEST! Beautiful, long, vintage style, and with lace around the edges. It made the dress even more lovely too.
DECOR : One of the huge areas of enjoyment whilst planning our wedding was designing all the little elements and planning how the venue would be dressed ourselves. I designed our save the dates & invitations, made cake stands, constructed 120 confetti cones from vintage music sheets, dried and shredded all the lavender that was growing in our families and neighbour’s gardens, designed and drew three display blackboards, and helped arrange all of the flowers with John, family, friends, and my Mum – Phew!
THE CAKE: The VERY talented Mr Bake made us an amazing cake buffet! Two three tiered layer cakes; salted caramel and chocolate, and raspberry and white choc, millionaire shortbread, and cronuts! It was brilliant and proved incredibly popular with our guests. We also had a small ‘cake’ of tiered cheeses to add a bit of savory to the mix. The excellent thing was that guests could snack on all the leftover cakes and cheese from the meal throughout the evening.
ELLIE & JOHN
DATE: 1st March 2014
GUESTS: 110 and a load more in the evening for a proper party!
THE PROPOSAL: We’d been talking about getting married for ages but were both mega busy with moving house, moving jobs, and were probably a bit lazy!
I was having an op in April 2013 that meant I’d be unable to walk for a while afterwards, so John suggested we go to the coast for a nice walk the week before (excellent ruse). We got the train down to Hastings and went for a lovely walk from the top of the hill back down to the town. John brought a ring that he’d chosen with him (from the amazing Tomfoolery) and asked me if I wanted to finally get married, and then the fun ensued!
THE VENUE: London is our home and we love the city so much, we never considered anywhere else! My father grew up in London and lived there his whole life. He passed away in 2009 and so we wanted to get married in London even more as it felt then as though he would be part of the day.
Fulham Palace is not a palace in the sense of big ostentatious, showy, golden facades; rather it’s a very old ex Bishops residence and is wonderfully unique, full of history, and covered in huge fireplaces, beautiful dark wood, and peaceful gardens with beehives and vegetables. You can do everything there, get married, eat, and have the party. They allowed us to have the wedding we wanted rather than one they were trying to sell us – I’m a freelance illustrator and designer (check out Ellie’s blog here!) so wanted to do all the decoration and design elements myself with John and the staff at the venue (amazing Aini!) worked with us to help us make everything we had in our heads work in practice. We always wanted a relaxed and informal wedding, and the venue, decoration, and format of the day definitively enabled us to achieve this.
PHOTOGRAPHY: We wanted someone who was more of a friend rather than a stranger. I found Graham through my work and he’s just brilliant. We didn’t want any ‘cheesy’ wedding photos, and other than the few group shots for family members we wanted a documentary of the day and the details rather than anything showy or staged. We instantly felt at ease and knew that Graham wanted to take the kind of photos we wanted to see. We met up before the day for a chat over a pint and it felt so calm and easy. On the day everyone told us how comfortable he made them feel, and most of the time we didn’t even know he was there – he’s one to watch!
THE FLOWERS: I was very lucky, having a Mother who’s also a freelance florist! She took wedding flower courses on the side of her day job and now does the occasional wedding for family and friends, and general floral greatness for all. I scoured the internet and used Pinterest to source flowers I liked – very wild and non structured was the key for me, with lots of white and colourful spring blooms. We had 40 vintage milk bottles filled with daffodils and freesias decorating one of the drawing rooms, and lots of gypsophila and seasonal flowers everywhere else. I spent months collecting jam jars and bottles that I decorated with twine and lace for the flowers to go in. The wildness and non fussy nature of the flowers all went towards the relaxed feeling of the day – and at the end of the night everyone was offered the jam jars with flowers in to take home with them, which went down very well!
THE GROOM: John’s outfit was possibly better than my dress! A made to measure wool/cashmere blue suit with checked waistcoat from Suit Supply.
DETAILS: For our favours my Mum and I scoured every car boot, charity shop, and attic sale for 6 months and sourced 110 vintage teacups and saucers, so everyone had an element of the mad hatters tea party to take home with them. We also got everyone a British Heart Foundation pin badge which we pinned onto a card I’d designed and asked everyone to wear the badges for the remainder of the day. The BHF is a charity very close to us as they research into the rare heart condition that my Dad had. By having everyone wear a badge it was another way of us feeling as though my Dad was there on the day and to visually see these badges in the photos is a beautiful thing. John’s mum also made us about 50 metres of bunting which we used to decorate the venue.
FIRST DANCE: Rave On – Buddy Holly
We wanted an upbeat HAPPY song (no smoochy cheese). When we first started seeing each other we made each other mix mini-discs (showing our age!) for Christmas and each of us had unknowingly put that song on our compilation for the other, plus it’s a GREAT song to dance to.
THE ENTERTAINMENT: We had a fantastic pianist (Ben McGowan) during the ceremony who played piano renditions of the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and Queen, and then a jazz band at the drinks reception. Both were excellent and having some live music really lifted the day. In the evening we decided to scrap the cost of having a live band and instead made the greatest playlist ever and simply took a laptop and plugged it into a PA (it left us more money to spend on beer and cheese!)
CARRIAGES: I got a black cab to the venue with my Mum as I have always wanted to take a black cab to my wedding!
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Walking in holding hands with my Ma to ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys played on the piano was wonderful – the sun was streaming through the windows and everyone was smiling and looked so happy. We had covered the room in hyacinths and hydrangeas too so the smell was fantastic! Also seeing all the little things that we’d done come together was wonderful. We had printed over 200 photos from our lives, all our friends and family were in them and then we’d pinned them up around the venue. Seeing everyone spot themselves in photos and their excitement was brill.
OUR TOP TIPS: Decide what kind of wedding you want and then be confident in your decisions. Everyone’s got an opinion and you’ll never be short of advice or other people expressing what THEY want – but it’s your wedding and you should have the day that’s right for you both.
For us we wanted to celebrate with everyone we loved and then give them a brilliant time so we decided to focus our budget on that: the food, the wine, the bar, the venue, and the fun! We hired a photo booth in the evening and John bought a cardboard table football table (decorated with Sunderland and Spurs players) and we sourced a giant connect four. We ended up with a games room, dance room, and bar room. My feet were so sore the next day, from all the dancing, which is definitely a good sign!
Photography: Graham Joy | Venue: Fulham Palace London | Dress: Cymbeline at Blackburn Bridal | Groom: Suit Supply | Bridesmaids: Jenny Packham – Coast – Ted Baker | Flowers: Bride’s Mum | Hair & Make-up: Delia | Rings: Tom Foolery | Catering & Cake: Mr Bake | Pianist: Ben McGowan | Entertainment: Kiniro Quartet | Photo Booth: Say Fromage
Wowzers, what a beautiful day, filled with so, so much fun! How amazing are those Sylvanian family cake toppers, and all those cakes too?! Huge, huge congratulations to Ellie & John and a big thank you to Graham Joy for sharing these stunning pics. The lighting in those portrait shots is so dreamy.
PS. I love a bride that takes a black cab to her wedding!
Love, Mrs White x