The Importance of Having Help…

October 14, 2011 by  
Filed under our wedding, sponsors, wedding planning


{Image Lucy Shergold}

Today’s blog is more of an ode to wedding planners/coordinators/stylists, whatever their title might be and more importantly to my friend Kate Fletcher. Regular readers might remember our ‘exchange of services’ – having met ‘virtually’ and bonded over a mutual love of design we decided that in exchange for my {now} husband creating her blog The Stockman Diaries, she’d act as-on-the-day coordinator at our wedding…

And how glad am I that we made such an agreement! Yes, I adore styling and had very clear ideas about how our day would look. Yes, I was organised enough to have copies of quotes and agreements and payment details. Yes I knew how much was left of the budget and regularly reviewed it with my better half…but despite having more than a little bit of the ‘Monica Geller’ about me – there is no way I’d have been able to cope – or even wanted to have coped with the day before and on the day details Kate assisted with.

In order to execute the look of our day, I needed my ‘team wedding’ with me – it was simply too much work for a single pair of hands…but beyond that, what Kate did was hold my hand and boy did I need that more than I realised. To have someone there, not just as my “ambassador of style” but as my friend too, was amazing. When the venue coordinator went awol in the middle of hanging our lanterns, I was able to concentrate on dressing the tables, whilst Kate tracked him down. When he said a fire pit would definitely be a no-go, Kate made it her mission to hunt down the owner of our venue and got a ‘yes’ directly from the horses mouth…

When it got to 7pm and I still hadn’t finished titivating, Kate took the scissors our of my hands and ordered me home to shower ahead of our 7.30pm pre-wedding dinner!

On the morning of the wedding – I didn’t have to worry about a thing. I was able to feel 100% confident that the cakes would be on the cake bar looking perfect; that the giant balloons would be handed out to guests and that our flower covered heart would be hanging above our heads as we said of vows…why? Because Kate had our backs. She was there to make the whole day seem effortless – and she did. And if we hadn’t had her help – well, I guess we’d have muddled through – but either myself, or my Mum or one of my Bridesmaids would have had to have filled her role…especially when the elements were hell-bent on challenging our outdoor plans!

So here’s my big boho thank you to Kate. And for any Bride out there who’s been in two minds about having that extra bit of help – go for it…I am sure you won’t regret it. One of the best wedding decisions I could have made…aside from marrying my man of course!

With Love,

Boho Bride xx

Our Wedding Reception & Decor

October 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride, inspiration, our wedding

Those of you who’ve followed the blog quite regularly might know about my passion for design and styling; having worked in the theatre and as a home designer…I’m all for the pretty details!!! It was my love of styling that led to me creating this blog – an outlet for all my ideas and that same desire has also led me to set up the business of my design dreams Dressed With Love…

So here’s me really baring all. Here is my wedding style. Created from all the design bits of loveliness I’ve gathered over eighteen months, further inspired by some of my favourite blogs including Rock My Wedding, Love My Dress and Elizabeth Anne Designs, further mixed with our personal style as a couple {which has evolved over the past 10 years}  and the expectations of the beautiful, love-filled day I’ve been planning since I first felt the flutterings of enduring love towards my now husband. I hope you enjoy…

A few weeks ago I posted up our wedding mood board, which you can see here. My aim when making it was to create a wedding not only brimming with colour but full of our own personalities. We’re a laid-back couple, we don’t like pomp and ceremony and if in doubt, always err on the side of comedy. I doubt you can tell that from our mood board, but it’s certainly the feel we hoped to create for our day…

Assisted by my very own ‘Team Wedding’ which included my Bridesmaids, Sister-in-law and friends Amry and Dave, as well as my ‘ambassador of style’ Kate Fletcher, who not only acted as on-the-day coordinator, but also travelled down a day early armed with accessories from her other creative business Vintage Style Hire, we spent the Friday transforming an old, lofty, characterful barn into the ultimate reception venue for our laid-back, fun and colourful wedding!

It’s been quite well documented on the blog that I fought with the venue coordinator to ensure we could have trestle tables and lime-wash chairs…at times I worried that I was ploughing too much energy into sweating the small stuff, but as it felt like big stuff to me and I really didn’t want to compromise on design, I am now so glad I did. They worked perfectly in our long narrow barn and I loved how Adam and I were able to blend in amongst our guests!

We covered the tables in hessian and I scoured antique shops and ebay for old ink bottles to hold our blooms as I knew both would be a cheaper option than hiring tablecloths and having more floral arrangements created. Plus I loved how rustic the raw fabric looked against the brickwork in the barn and all those gorgeous glass bottles now have a place in our home.

The letters on the backs of everyone’s chairs were to represent our love of words. I love writing and have made lots of features throughout our home of letters and prints, so it seemed like a fun thing to do. We ordered the first letter of everyone’s christian names and tied them to the chairs with ribbon. We didn’t buy/make any favours, but instead encouraged our guests to take the letters home. We added more colour to the tables by making fabric napkins out of eye-catching remnants – thanks for your handy-work Mum!

I stumbled across The Hanging Lantern Companywhilst researching paper brollies for a photoshoot and immediately fell in love! Not only would they add more colour to the reception space, but they’d also bring the ceiling height down – creating a much more intimate feel. Result. I ordered a heap of them in different shades of pink and orange, different sizes and a handful of florist lights to hang in them.

Our ‘guest-book’ was actually a collection of white plates from Sainsbury’s, as I wanted something we’d see rather than pack away. They’re going up on the wall of our stairs…

The delicious food was supplied by local company Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Kris and Lee used to run a local restaurant {which I loved} so we were really happy to find they were now catering weddings and events. They worked with us to create an informal and tasty seasonal feast of spit-roasted Dartmoor lamb and salads and we had strawberries and clotted cream for dessert. Keeping things seasonal and local was very important to us and it also helped save pennies! At 10pm a snack of Cornish pasties were delivered to our guests to ensure no one went home hungry – although I missed out {too busy dancing} I hear they were delicious!

We had planned to set up the bar outside so folks could sit out in the courtyard on hay bales and mingle by the fire pit {a eureka moment from Kate – which was an amazing addition to the evening} but as more rain was a threat, we decided to cram it into a small room attached to the barn. My wonderful friends Kimmy and Laura had hurriedly decorated it the evening before – adoring every inch with fairly lights – those, plus the insanely cool neon sign that had been made for us as our wedding gift from friends Andy and Kirsty {Andy owns A1 Designs – and created the stunning Louboutins sign for Selfridges} transformed a dark, damp space into the funkiest bar area!!!

As you probably all know – dessert tables are very en vogue at the moment and rightly so. Well, we’re not crazy about dessert so much as we are cake fiends…so a cake bar was on the wedding ‘must-have’ list from very early on! I asked those of my friends who can bake – to bake away and Ann, Kim, Paula and Laura most definitely delivered – with offerings of brownies, cheesecake, pound and cupcakes to name but a few. We also ordered cupcakes from Lindsays Cakes and our next door neighbour Mark made the uber fabulous, traditional victoria sponge!

I’d sourced an array of vintage glassware from charity shops {costing me £11 in total!} and juxtaposed these pieces with neon plastic tableware from Matalan – as I didn’t want the look to be too ‘vintage’. Kate brought the little steps, crates and suitcase {her genius idea to display the cake that way!} and laid the whole table out for me on the morning of the wedding. The oh so cute and kooky ‘love birds’ was made by regular guest blogger and friend Katy Howieson. You may also notice the gorgeous cuff I’m wearing in the evening…a gift from Katy and more of her beautiful handiwork.

We ♥ music and it was hugely important that the party rocked. From the offset Ads and I knew we’d like a live band and after hearing a Beatles track in the car and both singing along emphatically, we decided a tribute band was the way forward. The first band double-booked and it was thanks to a Twitter shout-out and some help from Alison Tinlin {aka @MrsP&P} that we booked The Fab Beatles, an Exeter based band they are the mutts nuts! It was like we were witnessing a genuine Beatles gig – they sung the roof off the venue and everyone was dancing, singing and having the time of their lives!

To end, I just want to say that your wedding day will conform to all the cliches your told about…it really is the greatest of occasions and so worth putting time into. Whatever your budget – you can still have the day of your dreams. Surround yourself with those dearest to you, embrace each others ideas, hold tightly on to each other and steal as many private moments as possible and you’ll be sure to enjoy the ride. We might have planned the ultimate outdoor wedding…but wind, rain and hail was clearly meant to be….it created so many incredible moments and memories – we wouldn’t change a thing!

With Love,

Sarah, Boho Bride xx

Our Wedding Ceremony

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride, our wedding

I wrote some notes ahead of writing this as I thought it might help – but I’ve actually decided to go ahead and just use the notes. It’s hard to describe our wedding ceremony in too many words – I can only really recall it in feelings and snippets of moments as if I’ve watched a silent film…

I arrived to Bridesmaids giggles and the welcoming sight of our friend Dev’s beaming face as he held an umbrella for me. Warm rain and the smell of the end of Summer. My shoes kept catching in the gravel, the grip of my Dads arm. Music…the beautiful sound of ‘Feel My Love’ being sung alongside an acoustic guitar…

My gorgeous girls and the wall of pink they created up ahead. So many steps! My brother’s wide smile under a big umbrella {a moment between us I’ll never forget} My collage flatmate Helen’s pink tipped hair (!), familliar, smiling faces, big balloons and the feel of my face crumpling as I try not to cry…

My Adam. So handsome. Beaming. Tears in his eyes. Seeing his face was the most comforting feeling, like the world dissapeared around us…I don’t remember feeling the rain. My Dads voice. My face aching from smiling so much. Our Best Men’s emotional faces over Adams shoulders. My nephew chatting, my Mum hushing. My mother-in-law sobbing into a hanky.

Friendly voices giving readings…The Apache Wedding Vows {roars of laughter at the words “now you will feel no rain”}, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I Carry Your Heart, Sonnet 116.

Rain. Wind. A break in the ceremony to let the rain pass. Bodies huddled together under the toot. Laughter. Adams squeezing my hand and we steal a moment in the shelter before our vows…

Confusion and laughter as Simeon hands me my ring…nearly married the Best Man! My hand in Adams. His hand in mine.The vows. My husbands big brown eyes – so full of emotion. So aware of my voice…high and breaking…can’t hold it together. I see the other Simon break down over Adam’s shoulder…tears from a big burly rugby player. I cry too. Adam’s big hands are so warm. My hands feel cold and wet.

The comforting sound of our friends joining in with ”I Wanna Grow Old With You” from the Wedding Singer and more voices join for “Better Together”. I look out and see friends swaying and singing under their umbrellas – amazing! Man and wife. Kisses. Applause. Smiling. More music…”Kiss Me” as everyone runs to find shelter from the rain. We run across the wet grass and reach the cobbled steps just as the hail storm starts! So much laughter. Can’t have blessing outside. Relief; Kate has cleared the tea room - it looks beautiful. Flowers & warmth. Rev John holding roses. Such words of love. More tears from my Mother-in-Law. Nephew drops rings – more laughter.

A prayer for our baby. Gasps from shocked guests who didn’t know. Tears from loved ones – and so much love in the room. We exchange roses – our first gift to each other as husband and wife. Steal another kiss. More cheers! Now on to the Pimms and cream teas…

Our reception and decor details on the blog tomorrow!

With Love,

Sarah, Boho Bride xx

♥ Photographer, Lucy Shergold; Venue, Tapeley Park; ‘On-the-day’ co-ordination, Kate Fletcher Events; Hair, Creative Wedding Hair; Florist, Allene Daly allenedaly@hotmail.co.uk; VW Van, Devon Cool Campers; Gown, Claire Pettibone at High Society Cowbridge; Shoes, BHLDN; Veil, Etsy; Bridesmaid dresses, Yoox, Oasis, French Connection and Oh My Honey; Grooms suit, Next

Our Wedding Morning

October 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride, our wedding

Wow, it’s actually really hard to know where to start, but I think it best to split our wedding posts up into three parts…the morning of, ceremony and reception – as I might otherwise overkill on info and images! The morning of our wedding is a part of the day that I will always hold dear, as I was surrounded by so many of my favourite people who were as excited as I was to celebrate the occasion. So here goes…

The day before had been blisteringly warm and as I had heard from my heavily pregnant, dear friend Nat, also one of my ‘Maids-of-Honour’ that she wouldn’t be able to make it down from Crawley, due to her baby girls arrival being imminent…I felt confident that despite my heavy heart, the sun would shine. I’d prayed all week that to have Natalie at the wedding, I’d trade good weather; so as she now wasn’t going to be there, good weather surely would; imagine my reaction then when I woke to discover that not only was it raining, but blowing a gale too – I was doubly gutted.

Our whole wedding had been planned outside (we expected an Indian Summer!) so no sooner had we wiped the sleep from our eyes, we set about texting everyone  to ensure they brought thier wellies and umbrellas!

My dear Dad was outnumbered by nine women and kindly arranged breakfast for us all, as we set about preening, gossiping and giggling our way though the morning…

One of the best things about writing Boho Bride has been the people I’ve met, who I now count as good friends, Claire Mathers of Creative Wedding Hair is one such person and I was so pleased to have her there on the day not only as a friend and guest, but as a hair stylist too. She just gets me – so I was clearly going to be in safe hands!

My other close friend and fellow wedding industry peep, Lucy Shergold soon followed and it was at this point that it dawned on me – this is really happening! Lu and I have crammed in so much work together in recent months – my own wedding always felt an age away…but the day had finally come!

Florist Allen Daly then arrived and set off a cacophony of ooh’s and ah’s as she brought through the stunning arrangements. I’d asked Allene to create bouquets that looked very natural, almost wild. She knew I wanted lots of pinks, oranges, blues and yellow and that I loved Daisies, but the rest was up to her. I hadn’t a clue what type of flowers I’d be getting. We were all blown away by how beautiful it all looked.

I’m not very good at make-up, but my friend Jo is awesome. A solicitor by day – this girl really has some talent in the beauty department, so was the obvious choice to help transform me. We’d visited Mac in Bristol the week before, where I had a ‘makeover’ and Jo had taken notes…but no sooner has she’s started priming my face, Nat called to wish me well…little did we know within seconds of taking the call I’d end up in floods of tears with a red, blotchy face!

As I was chatting to Nat via iPhone face-to-face when she suddenly turned the phone and asked if I recognised where she was; it was her old bedroom in her parents house less than 20 minutes away!!! Nat and her husband had set off from Greater London at 5am to make sure they didn’t miss our big day – they’d even made note of all the hospitals along their route just in case their little girl decided to make an appearance! I truly have the best friends in the world.

A half hour later and Natalie had arrived, all my Bridesmaids were present, my niece and nephew were there and our Mums had arrived back from the hairdressers and were in the midst of getting their glad rags on. It was 2.10 pm and I was due to get married to my beloved in 50 minutes!

The following half hour or so is a blur – there was a flurry of activity and before I knew it our transport, an beautiful VW van from Devon Cool Campers had arrived and everyone had left bar me and my wonderful Dad. After what seemed like forever, the gorgeous camper called ’George’ had returned and all I remember at that point is my Dad squeezing my hand as we sat in silence as the van wound it way round the drive of Tapeley Park…

The ceremony will follow tomorrow.

With Love,

Sarah, Boho Bride xx

♥ Images, Lucy Shergold; Hair, Creative Wedding Hair; Flowers, Allene Daly allenedaly@hotmail.co.uk {website coming soon}; VW Camper, Devon Cool Campers

A Little Announcement…

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride, our wedding

Happy Monday all! A big thank you to everyone who continued to support the blog whilst I was on honeymoon and for your patience with my somewhat sporadic postings in the lead up to our wedding – it was indeed the best day of mine and my hubby’s life so far! Not everything went to plan…it rained, poured and even hailed on our wedding day, but we wouldn’t change a thing.I’ll be publishing my write up of our wedding over the next few days – so I hope you’ll tune and and that you enjoy. I actually feel incredibly nervous about unveiling it all.

Well, getting back to the little announcement…I am delighted to finally be able to shout from the rooftops that my Husband and I are expecting even more joy…as we are having a baby in the Spring!

Life threw us a little curve-ball ahead of the wedding and way back in July, after a couple weeks of feeling slightly strange and acting like I had the nose of a bloodhound it dawned on me that there was a chance I might be pregnant. Knowing we were about to embark on a romantic weekend away, I decided to quietly take a test; (really wasn’t expecting two lines!) lucky for me I did – as (after I’d picked Adam’s jaw off his desk) the next day my friends showed up to whisk me away on my surprise hen do…and so the secret was out amongst my girls. I was to be a knocked-up Bride!

It’s tough planning a wedding when you’ve an aversion to everything, when you’re retching over the mere thought of cake – let alone can’t ever envisage being able to enjoy it…and by the time I’d got home from work, having already battled to stay awake at my desk, an evening of table plans and wedding diy was, at times really hard graft…

But I was lucky. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. As the wedding approached, so my 1st trimester symptoms began to wane and I suddenly started to not only feel myself again – but feel more alive and more energised – more full of life, than ever before. And being able to make our baby a part of our special day, has to have been the best wedding gift the world could have ever given us.

There was more than a little concern about how I’d squeeze into my form-fitting, oh-so-gorgeous Claire Pettibone gown…but thank goodness for Mama Spanx – they saved the day!

So there we are, our secret’s out. A new chapter as newlyweds and parents-to-be has began and we couldn’t be happier.

Big in-love-with-the-world goodness to you all,

Sarah, Boho Bride xx

P.S Whilst I was away Boho Bride turned 1 years old – so an enormous thank you to everyone who has dropped by, contributed, commented on and supported me and my blog on this wonderful journey…it’s been amazing so far and although I am no longer a planning Bride myself, I hope I can continue to help inspire those still enjoying their journey. There’s plenty more pretty to come! xxx

The One Where I Accept That I Can’t Do It All…

August 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride, our wedding

I have always had extremely high hopes for our wedding; perhaps a little too much ambition style wise. You see, writing this blog has been the most wonderful experience whilst planning my own wedding, but it is also a bit of a duel edged sword…I see so much pretty and am inspired by so many other creative Bride’s, that I have tried to include it all in our own wedding…

I have failed. It occurred to me this weekend, as I tried to juggle multiple diy projects, whilst acknowledging that I’ve yet to confirm some quite major details (haven’t even sorted wedding cake yet!) that somethings gotta give…and I think that something(s) needs to be some of the ‘details’ that, if I hadn’t had this moment of clarity, might have made our wedding look a little OTT and ‘overdone’.

Instead, I’m focusing on the elements that really give me design love palpitations – the one’s that are more ‘us’ than general wedding trends. And it feels really good….and such a relief. So I guess what I’m trying to say is stay true to your signature styles as a couple. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step back from your plans and step away from your various ‘look books’ and wedding files and think about what really fits for you.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to having your wedding, your way.

With {less than three weeks to go!} Love, Boho Bride xx

Our Wedding Countdown…

August 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Boho Bride

Hello Lovelies,

I just wanted to write a brief post today to give you a heads up on my blogging for the next couple of weeks – in that it could become a little sporadic! With our wedding a mere month away and my day job becoming very busy ahead of taking a ma-hu-ssive three weeks leave, I’m worried that I may not fit in a daily post. If this does happen – I can assure you that it won’t happen for long, or very often…

And once our nuptuals have taken place - they’ll be plenty more wedding loveliess to follow. Thanks so much for your support and for those getting married in the coming weeks too – congratulations -  and do make sure you schedule some time for rest and relaxation too!

Here’s to the wedding countdown! With Love, Boho Bride xx

PS Whilst we on the subject of our wedding, regular readers who’ve shared my wedding stresses with me {Jo, Reena, My Honest Answer – I saw your fab comments!} might be pleased to hear that my {not so} Boho Groom FINALLY ordered his suit last night!!! Result.