A Lovely 50s Winter Wedding – Stephanie & Martin

9 Aug

Morning! Here I have a more personal wedding for you sent to me by the bride herself with photography by Bill Corris Photography. The lovely Steph contacted me via Twitter and I am more than happy to share her cute but cold wedding last February. Oh I do love a good winter wedding!

Martin proposed just before Christmas 2008, I thought he was breaking up with me, he was so serious! It was unexpected, but I was thrilled and said yes before he could change his mind! He’d already picked the perfect ring, a solitaire tanzanite on a thin band of diamonds, and to ensure it fit he’d measured a ring of mine and taken the measurements in to the jewellers.

We agreed we wanted to save up and pay for the wedding ourselves, so we could have what we wanted, we also agreed that we didn’t want it to cost a lot but we didn’t set a budget. I dreamt of a summer wedding, sunshine, a marquee with bunting & a pimms bus – but unless someone could guarantee no rain and had a bottomless budget, it wasn’t to be. So I googled the driest month – which is February, and a winter wedding would be cheaper. As it happened we had bright sunshine although it was minus 6 – I’ve never been colder! The next day we had 4 inches of snow.

As soon as I started looking at dresses, I fell in love with a Candy Anthony dress. With a £1500 starting price I thought it was too much. Martin told me I could have it but I didn’t want to spend so much on one dress. I looked at Vivien of Holloway but really didn’t want white or ivory so I started looking for dress makers – Natalie Ann Brides was recommended on the You & Your Wedding website and I arranged to meet Karen, their designer.

I briefly explained what I wanted, she sketched as I talked and when I looked at her drawing it was perfect, in vision of my nan’s wedding dress. She also drew a jacket to wear over the dress as I hadn’t thought about the February air. She helped me pick a colour to suit my skin tone and I only needed two fittings. I’d also set my heart on a pair of Christian Louboutins – until Martin took me to see them. The quality of the ones we saw was questionable so there was no way I was paying out! I chose a pair of champagne satin peep toes from Moda in Pelle but the week before the wedding I bought a pair of pale gold court shoes with sparkles on from Debenhams.

 My chief bridesmaid (or bridesman!) was my uncle, Mark, who wore Paul Smith and my friend Sarah was a bridesmaid in a lovely purple Vivien of Holloway dress. We also had Martin’s two nieces, Laura and Hannah as bridesmaids in black and ivory Red Herring dresses. Martin had his two younger nieces, Lauren and Isobel in cute Ladybird dresses as our flowergirls.

When we looked at venues to host the reception it was important to us that we get what we wanted, not what they were offering. Lots of places would give you a menu to choose from, a drinks package etc and I didn’t want our special day to be churned out. The Feathers was the only venue we met with who asked ‘what do you want?’ (and they had home made fudge on reception!) We decided on a menu of vegetable soup, a roast chicken dinner and apple pie. Very boring but we knew everyone would eat it! Instead of a drinks package we opted to put money behind the bar and the hotel threw in a bucks fizz reception & sparkling wine for the toasts. Although I’d still like to have had Pimms!

Our wedding organiser at the Feathers, Donna, couldn’t have been more helpful. She made sure it all ran perfectly. Our wedding cake was fruit, sponge and red velvet. I think cake tasting was Martin’s favourite part of the wedding! We had cake toppers made via ebay and got lots of positive comments about them. I had picked a purple colour scheme and the only flower I knew I wanted incorporated was a blue iris. They were mixed with champagne roses and I was thrilled with my bouquet. I made all the stationary myself which helped save a lot of money. For favours we had glider planes for the boys and little fortune telling fish for the girls. Needless to say, during dinner there were planes flying everywhere!

We had decided not to bother with transport and although I was very tempted to book a routemaster bus we decided to get taxis as it would work out less expensive. However, as a suprise, I booked a pale blue morris minor. Keeping a secret from Martin was almost impossible but I just about managed! He didn’t realise the car was for us until we were getting in it, he thought it was one of the guests!

I travelled from my mum’s house and we had a church wedding at Holy Trinity Church in Wavertree. I don’t remember feeling nervous at all until we pulled up outside the church. Walking up the aisle I was terrified that Martin wouldn’t like my dress as it wasn’t traditional, but as soon as I caught his eye I knew it was ok. One of the choristers had learnt Ave Maria especially to sing for us whilst we signed the register. We had two readings -the traditional Corinthians & an anonymous reading called Maybe.

We stopped for photos on the way to the reception and it really was very cold! Our photographer had brought blankets to wrap around the little ones in between which was a great idea. I wish he’d had a flask of hot chocolate too!

The time in the car on our own was amazing. You are in your own little bubble. The rest of the day flew by, but friends had told me it would so we made time to be together at the reception, to step aside and take it all in. Our friends and family amazed us with their generosity and I can truly say that until Eva was born it was the happiest day of my life. Our first dance was to Let it be Me – Martin recorded his own version it was so special. Our second dance was to Pure by the Lightening Seeds and everyone got up to join in. We opened all our cards in bed while eating a selection of the buffet that had been taken up to our room. My only regret is that we didn’t get any cake!!! My advice to anyone planning a wedding is to have what they want, not to compromise but to shop around as you can spend as little or as much as you want!

Thank you Steph for sharing all about your wedding. I just love how your dress was made in honour of your nan’s, that is so sweet. It looks like you had a great day, smiling through the cold! 🙂

Laura x


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