There are no words. Truly — there are no words worthy enough to even begin to describe this fantastically creative W-day photographed by the always amazing Martin Beddall. To start with this Jewish wedding is held in an old arthouse cinema (the oldest operating one in the UK) and all the guests are decked out in fancy dress which makes for such an inclusive atmosphere is genuinely special.
The couple organised everything themselves from the other side of the world (New Zealand!) and their attention to detail is astonishing. Jono, the groom, designed the delightful invitations himself, and both he and Stacey created the most beautiful short film that was played during their ceremony, full of images of their past, literally from birth through to the present day. You can watch their very special film lower down the page. Warning: you might tear up!
ORGANISING A NEW YEAR’S EVE WEDDING FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
Stacey and Jono: We met and fell in love on New Year’s Eve 2007 so that has been such a special time for us. There’s also no better excuse for a party than New Year’s Eve so we decided to throw our big day five years later to the day! We now live in New Zealand but wanted to celebrate the big day in style with our oldest and dearest in the UK.
The logistics of getting married while back in the UK for a short time were actually quite difficult, so we ended up getting legally married barefoot on the beach in New Zealand with new friends then having the big one in UK with home friends and family.
We were lucky enough to have our wedding at the Dome Cinema in Worthing on the South Coast. The reception was upstairs at the Dome function room. After looking at a few old cinema venues around the UK we settled back in Worthing where Stacey had grown up. We had to persuade the cinema (the oldest operating cinema in the UK) to close for New Years Ece and let us take over. It was exciting knowing we had a blank canvas. We had canapà©s in the foyer of the cinema amongst the Hobbit and Bruce Willis movie boards!
We organised the whole thing from the other side of the world – lots of late night Skype calls and calling on friends and family to do visits for us… well worth the extra effort.
A SEASIDE THEME
Jono, The Groom: The seaside theme was the perfect fit — living next to the beach in New Zealand, Stacey growing up on the South Coast and the wedding being held across the road from Worthing beach. The colour scheme was a traditional red, blue and yellow for print and decorations.
The invitation was a seaside postcard that doubled as it’s own envelope. Lots of people said it was the best invite they’d ever seen!
Jono, The Groom: Stacey’s mum visited us in New Zealand 6 months before for wedding dress shopping. Stacey was set on not having a meringue dress and when they saw the final result it all fell into place. It was true red carpet style and she looked stunning.
Stacey, The Bride: My dress came from a designer called George who does a lot of ‘red carpet’ dresses. I found it in Smith and Caughey’s, NZ’s equivalent of Selfridges in London. I was coming up the escalator and saw it on the model. I knew it was perfect – it was an evening dress in long champagne chiffon with heavily beaded arms in black and silver – very unique and ‘red carpet’ style which was perfect for the venue.
MAKE UP, HAIR + ACCESSORIES
Stacey, The Bride: For make up, I decided to go for big eyes and toned down lips as I didn’t want to have to be touching up all day. Mac Zoom Lash and some carefully placed extensions really bought my eyes out. I also used Benefit Brow-zings which kept my brows in perfect position all day. For my hair, I really wanted to wear it down as my husband likes it that way, however advice from friends was to have it up to stay in place so I decided on a compromise! Swept back with big corkscrew curls held in place with an amazing hair piece by Stephanie Brown from Liberty in Love. It was perfect for the Art Deco look of the cinema and stayed in place perfectly all night.
A CEREMONY IN THE CINEMA!
Jono, The Groom: The cinema wedding was incredible. Our friend Rob is a lighting designer and specced all the lighting for the cinema – myself (Jono) and the groomsmen installed it all on the morning of the wedding. There were LEDs in helium balloons, spot lights on us and fairy lights down the balustrades and behind the back drop of colourful translucent balloons. When Stacey walked down the aisle there was a magical rotating light show filling the auditorium — it really was spectacular. Our friend Jake played guitar and sang Stacey down the aisle. He also played our favourite Kiwi tune Always on My Mind by Tiki Taane. Another friend Al duetted on the guitar with Jake as a total surprise — everyone really got involved.
I walked into One Day Like This by Elbow. Jake our friend created an acoustic version. It made me well up.
Stacey’s eldest sister Lyssa married us because we’d done the legal bits in NZ. Lyssa married Stacey’s middle sister a few years before so we kept the tradition going!
The piece de resistance was playing a movie on the big screen. We’d spent hours planning and collecting images from years gone by then editing it into a movie. It was a perfect celebration of our friends and family. The lights went down, the curtains were pulled back and we rolled this:
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Everyone was in tears from the wave of emotions. I still cry now when I watch it. It was the strongest memory.
It was a bit tricky because we needed the chuppah to be movable for when we planned the video. We settled on keeping it simple and focussing on the people holding it (friends and family). It was a sparkly chiffon and poles.
We used Martin Beddall – he was local and came highly recommended. We wanted a photo journalism style that told a story rather than posed scenes. He was the best money we spent – he was brilliant to work with and the results were stunning and will be with us forever.
FOOD… AND CAKE!
The Dome made a delicious sit down meal. Stacey’s mum did the pavlova wedding cake (my favourite). Lyssa did all the canapes that we had in the foyer of the cinema – what a legend!
We used a brilliant wedding band called Cover Up. Stacey used them for a work function years back. They got the party started! Highly recommended
SEASIDE THEMED FAVOURS
We made our own sherbert dibdabs in the shape of a beach hut. We used striped bags and designed a stamp which imprinted a beach hut design onto the bag and then wrote peoples names on them.
GUESTS IN FANCY DRESS!
We went for a fancy dress party in the evening to see in the New Year! Fairytale wedding of course. We were Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf! That was a lot of fun!
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Never fear asking for help – everyone wants to get involved and it’s an honour for most. Go the extra mile because it will be with you forever. We found a lot of people default to ‘it’s your wedding, do what you want’, which is true but we considered it for everyone we invited. Being inclusive was the key to an unforgettable day.
STACEY + JONO’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photographer — Martin Beddall
Venue — Dome Cinema
Bride’s Dress — George from Smith and Caughey’s
Hair piece — Stephanie Brown from Liberty in Love
Entertainment — Cover Up
Lighting Design — SVA
Some wonderful advice for other brides at the end there from a truly inspiring couple. ‘Being inclusive was the key to an unforgettable day’ says it all. It’s the guests that make the atmosphere, and the atmosphere that makes the wedding. Really try to make your guests an integral part of your party and you can’t go wrong. Thank you Stacey and Jono for sharing the story of your very special day – what an inspirational couple you are.