Sara is one incredibly beautiful and creative bride. And I’m talking creative with a capital ‘C’ folks. Yep all the amazing decor and imaginative touches you see in the pictures below were all hand made by Sara. It’s one big explosion of colour and thrills with lots of vintage prettiness everywhere!
As the bride herself says, “With our wedding it was more “what did you leave alone?” than what did you create! It was the biggest project of my life but I was so happy with the way it all came together!”
Sara and John met at work in Sara’s first ever contract job as a copywriter. She left the job pretty soon afterwards but kept a special souvenir!
Over to Sara for the story of her gorgeous W-day.
Sara, the Bride: Our wedding was at Kidbrooke Park in Sussex. We chose this venue because it’s actually my old school. At first I’d ruled it out because I thought it would be strange to get married just outside the room in which I sat all of my exams, but the first venue we booked fell through when they insisted we use their preferred caterers who priced us right out of our own wedding and wouldn’t do a simple meal for us citing colours and presentation (or something silly).
After that I revisited the idea of getting married at my old school and suddenly felt like it would be really great to say “I do” somewhere so close to my heart. There is a beautiful, crumbling outdoor theatre which is covered with flowers in the spring and summer, and I suddenly had a vision of making my entrance through the doors of the theatre. It was such a nice daydream that I booked immediately!
OUR ‘OLD LADY LIVING ROOM CHIC’ THEME
Our theme was sort of old lady living room chic. We stuck to dusky purple, pink and blue hues with chintzy flowers and roses as part of the motif. We incorporated a lot of lace and old, shabby furniture to complete the look, even creating a vintage tea room where we had sofas and comfy seating for elderly (or just tired) guests and a photo booth. Even our homemade chuppah was part of the theme.
MAKING ALL THE INVITATIONS MYSELF
I made all of the invitations myself from card, cloth, ribbon, lace and a lot of glue! They weren’t perfect but no two were the same and everyone got a very personal invitation made with love!
THE FIRST THING I BOUGHT FOR THE WEDDING: MY DRESS
My dress was a Justin Alexander gown I bought from Love U Forever bridal. It was more princessy than I expected to go for, I thought I wanted a short and flirty fifties dress, but as it turns out those didn’t suit me! I put it on and weeks later I was still thinking about it, it was the first thing I bought for my wedding.
MY GRANDMOTHER’S VEIL
I had my great grandmother’s veil, which my blog, Under The Vintage Veil, was named after (mum wore it too, so it’s a real family heirloom). It actually looked strange on with the dress so I went for a Grecian-style headband and used the veil as part of the ceremony for the wine and the blessings.
AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE WITH MY SHOES
The shoes were Rachel Simpson shoes and I didn’t know until after I’d chosen them, but they were called “Hettie” which is the name of the great grandmother whose veil I wore!
HAIR & MAKE-UP
I had Lucy from Hair That Turns Heads doing my hair and all my bridesmaids — she was great, I just wanted my hair down and natural with my curls being the main emphasis (what better day to show off my Jew-fro?) and my bridesmaids all had different pretty braids. Sam Pearce was my make-up artist and she was just brilliant, my make-up lasted all day, as did the girls’ and she did a wonderful job of making everyone look fabulous!
WALKING DOWN THE AISLE
I had my brother playing an instrumental version of Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez. I just liked the sound of the music, and I wanted to make everyone cry. Naturally!
We had two ceremonies back-to-back, a short legal ceremony where we signed the register (and they forgot we wanted to save the kiss so instructed us to kiss — John went for it and I was mid-protest. It made for a lovely photo — not!) We then had a Jew-ish ceremony with a dear friend and the chazan from my old shul at university (he was also the Jewish chaplain when I was the president of JSoc) leading the ceremony. It was just very special, full of laughs and surrounded by everyone we loved.
A HOME-MADE CHUPPAH
I wanted the chuppah to look like the rest of the wedding, so we bought white banisters from Homebase and somehow rigged up a pretty cloth and large lace tablecloths to make a canopy with some complicated ropes contraption (I wasn’t involved in the logistics, I still don’t quite understand how it all worked!)
We made our own ketubah with our specially written vows inside.
I went to a small, family-run florist in Sussex called Pat’s Flowers in Hailsham. Pat was so experienced she understood my ideas right away and made the most stunning displays. It was like she was inside my head, it was amazing. I customised the pots for the flower centrepieces myself and chose to feature purple, vintage-look roses heavily with lots of herbs and wild flowers. All the colours matched the rest of the wedding and I loved my bouquet so much I could barely put it down!
THE GROOM’S OUTFIT COMPLETE WITH RETRO COMPUTER KEYBOARD CUFFLINKS
John wore a linen suit from Marks & Spencer with brogues from Topshop and cute retro computer keyboard cufflinks with his initials on them. We chose his tie to match the purple hues in my bouquet. The most adorable moment was when I came out and John was already crying. I had taken bets on this and asked the photographer to make sure he got good shots, so we have plenty of lovely pictures of John’s crying face to show our grandkids!
My bridesmaids’ wore bespoke gowns by Flossy & Dossy which were made to measure at the last second. They were all designed to tie in with the theme. They were paired with flouncy Doris Designs petticoats, each in a different colour (and each corresponding exactly to the colour of a groomsman’s tie).
The photographer is actually a good friend of mine and he does everything, from corporate events to food photography to portraits of famous people (check out his brilliant portfolio on his site Satureyes). I’d seen his wedding work and loved the special moments he captured and the clarity and composition of his images so I asked him if he’d come out of wedding retirement for us, which he did!
CATERING BY MY MOTHER
The catering was spectacularly put together by my amazing mum, Lorraine. She worked for months baking and freezing hundreds of quiches and finding cost-effective ways to put on a delicious spread. She even made and froze her own hummus and falafel!
A PERFECT CAKE FOR OUR ‘GRANNY CHIC’ THEME
The cake was by Genuine Cakes, I chose a simple tiered Victoria sponge decorated with lightly dusted icing sugar, roses and strawberries. It was the perfect centrepiece for my granny chic theme!
We had Shir, a popular London-based Jewish wedding band, because I really wanted to do some traditional Israeli dancing — I’d seen them perform at Klezmer in the Park and fell in love!
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
The best advice I received was from my dad. He told me that nobody else knows my vision apart from me, so if it isn’t perfect, I’ll be the only one that realises it and I shouldn’t get upset.
SARA + JOHN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Venue — KIdbrooke Park
Photography — Satureyes
Bride’s dress — Justin Alexander from Love U Forever bridal
Bride’s shoes — Rachel Simpson
Bridesmaids’ outfits — Flossy & Dossy and Doris Designs
Groom’s attire — Marks & Spencer and Topshop
Styling — Jennifer Sue Weddings
Cake — Genuine Cakes
Hair — Hair That Turns Heads
Make up — Sam Pearce
Florists — Pat’s Flowers
Entertainment — Shir
Catering — Bride’s mother
Invitations — The Bride
Wow, Sara’s creativity knows no bounds! Aside from all her DIY talents and her amazing bridal style, I think this big day quite possibly has the best bridesmaids I’ve seen in a while — how stunningly gorgeous are they? And on top of all the amazing artistry, the whole day is clearly infused with a healthy dollop of sunshine, love and good feeling. Thank you Sara and John for sharing your W-Day and inspiring us with your innovation and brilliance.