My Wedding Inspiration: One Year On!

Tuesday 10 September 2013

I really can't believe it's been more than a year since I got married. Even the word 'husband' used to freak me out, and took me a while to get used to at first!

I was never one of those girls whose always dreamt of walking down the aisle. In fact, I was pretty sure that I would be a Bridget Jones character, dedicated to my job, having flings with unsuitable men, and spending all my money on shoes.

But when the moment came, I discovered I do have it in me to care about table decorations and seating plans. But more than that, peace, contentment and a joy I'd never known before were all possible...

So, a year on. It hasn't all been roses, but I've been with my Mr long enough prior to getting hitched not to expect that, anyway. It has been a good year with him though, so I don't have any regrets.

I don't think of my wedding day as perfect (a few things I would have changed, and a few mistakes made) but it was a lovely event that I definitely enjoyed planning! At the time I got married, I had pretty much abandoned blogging, so I didn't really capture any of it on here.

So I've decided to do a little posting, a year on, hopefully with the beauty of hindsight!

My Theme

My wedding mood board- feeling inspired!

My theme was a complete mash-up of everything I love, which was the best idea ever, as the day ended up being so personal to us. We were determined that everything about our day should relate to the kind of people we are.

In terms of the general style of the wedding, I love anything art deco, so I wanted a bit of that glamour, with a modern twist. The colours I picked were black, white and nude- inspired by my favourite perfume, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, which I wore on the day.

Being quite a traditional gal, it was important to me to get married in church. We ended up tying the knot in a church opposite the first apartment we shared together. It's a beautiful and very ancient church and- rumour has it- the church where Robin Hood and Maid Marian got married.

While I'm not sure if that's true, it was a gorgeous and very romantic setting. The reception was at a restaurant near where we live that's right on the banks of a river.

St Mary the Virgin, Lace Market, where we got married

I knew I wanted orchids as the flowers on the tables- partly because they've always been my favourite, and partly because we went to Thailand on our honeymoon, where they grow in abundance.

As we are also both well known for our love of afternoon tea, we decided the reception would take the form of a champagne afternoon tea, with dinner and dancing later in the evening.

I decided I really wanted to get the look of a vintage tea party, and because of that, my husband and I spent a whole year getting up early to trawl round car boot sales and collect individual china cups and saucers for each guest! Friends and family also helped, seeing it as a challenge to help out by collecting as many as they could find.

And I was touched that most guests asked if they could take their cup and saucer home afterwards as a memento, so it was worth all the early cup-hunting starts! I was also determined that I wanted a wishing tree, for guests to tie good wishes too, and ornate white birdcages on the tables.

My husband had plenty of input into the day too- I loved that he wanted to be really involved, and didn't do the usual male thing of leaving it all up to me.

As his idol is Napoleon, we named all the tables at the reception after Napoleonic victories (Marengo, Rivoli etc...). He also helped make all the wedding favours- Earl Grey Bitter Chocolate Truffles and Salted Caramels, and helped me to make our three-tier wedding cake. Yes, we made our own cake.

We're  from a family that all loves to make cakes (he won me over the first year we were together by baking me a delicious homemade birthday cake), and as his older sister had made her own wedding cake a couple of years previously, luckily we had all the right sized tins and her experience to call on!

We made the cake all about our own favourite flavours. The bottom tier was Fruit, Cherry and Amaretto, the middle tier was Lime,Rosewater and Pistachio and the top tier was Dark Chocolate and Sour Cream (just like the first cake he made me!)

My Dress

Looks far better on the model!
My dress was a complete surprise to me. I was intially determined that I wanted something drapy and made of chiffon- a sort of grecian look.

But when I tried a few dresses like that on, they all looked like bedsheets on me, and really didn't suit either me or the type of wedding we wanted. I was nonplussed. I went to lots of bridal boutiques and tried on so many styles, and nothing seemed just right. I even got a bit discouraged- I could see lots of dresses I didn't like, but none I could picture myself falling in love with!

I didn't want anything big, anything satin or anything that looked like an Oscars dress. But I never would have foreseen in a million years the dress I did get.

My best friend happened to pick it up when we were out dress shopping, and I tried it on 'just in case'...and it was the one! I didn't have that moment where I welled up and 'knew' instantly- it was more that each time I thought about the wedding, I would picture myself in this. So then I knew it had to be this one. I thought it has just enough impact, without being a 'big' dress.

Lace, I wouldn't have chosen in a million years (this was before the Royal Wedding, so it wasn't yet as popular as Kate Middleton made it). And yet the lace made sense, as we were getting married in the Lace Market.

Also, I loved the empire line, and the big ribbon sash made me feel like a princess. Just goes to show you never know what will suit you, so my word of advice to any bride-to-be is to try on as many different styles as possible, even ones you don't think you'll like.

My Bridesmaids

I had three bridesmaids- my best friend, my best friend from school/growing up days, and my husband's little sister (I would have had his older sister as well, but she'd just had a baby and had her hands full adjusting to being a new mum!).

This created an instant dilemma, because all three were so different in terms of looks, height and colouring. I had a blonde, a brunette and a redhead. I had curvy, athletic and skinny. I had petite, average height, and tall. And I had to find one dress that would magically suit them all.

Plus, they all live in different areas around the country, so I couldn't take them all on a shopping trip together. I wanted them to have something they'd like, and want to wear afterwards, and I wanted them quite sophisticated and sleek as they're all adults.

I initially bought black lace shift dresses, but they just looked wrong on. Luckily, I found these absolutely gorgeous draped dresses from Karen Millen.

They had some black on, but not too much. And they had a gorgeous cross over back. Luckily, it suited all of them because its such a forgiving dress- a thick satin pencil skirt that pulls you in, and a lovely draped satin top. Only trouble is, I wanted one of the dresses for myself!


My Hair & Make-Up

I loved the style of the King of Rock n Roll's bride!
Bizarrely, my inspiration for my hair and make-up style was none other than Priscilla Presley! I just think she looked so gorgeous when she married Elvis. And the cats eye make up and big, bouffant hair is my absolute favourite style, so I tried to do it in a slightly more toned down way- less black eyeshadow and slightly smaller hair.

I went half-up-half-down with the hair, because that felt more 'me' that a very formal updo. My hair stylist and make-up artist on the day were both brilliant, and spent a lot of time practicing with me beforehand to make sure the look was right.

I was a little sad that I didn't do my own make-up, seeing as its my passion, but I wanted to make sure I used a professional who knew what would photograph well and last on the day.

The Day

Saying our vows..
So relieved after the ceremony!


A year has gone quickly!
Like I mentioned, my day wasn't 100% perfect....the vicar said the wrong name for my husband when he started the ceremony, and actually used the name of his cousin instead, leading to some hilarious 'Have I married the wrong cousin?' post-wedding banter, the sun shone only sporadically, and I felt sick during my reception and didn't manage to eat any of the beautiful food. 

But you know what? None of it actually mattered. If you'd have told me beforehand, I would have said those things would freak me out and ruin my day. 

But in the actual event, they didn't at all. The most overwhelming feeling I can remember from my wedding day is just thinking that nothing else really mattered apart from me and him, and having our loved ones there to share it all with us. And that was how I knew I'd made the right decision!


  1. You make a far prettier bride than I was! LOL!
    Love your dress, and I know what you mean about the fling thing, I was a wild one in my single days, but when love strikes, you just know! My hubby and I celebrated 3 years. :)

  2. Hello again, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! :)

  3. wow, thank you so much, that's extremely kind of you...:)