You probably won't believe me when I tell you that this gorgeous wedding by Rosie Parsons Photography was planned in just six months...but alas, it's true! This laid back bride just let everything fall into place for her big day and lucky for her it all came together gorgeously! I'm loving the black cocktail bridesmaids dresses and the outdoor terrace at the Bingham Hotel. Now there's a place I could stay all day long! Click here for the full day!
We had 10 months to plan our wedding and apart from the dress and the venues which we knew we had to sort fast if we wanted our preferred dates, wedidn't start with the details until about 6 months before. It was during a time when I was unwell and off work for a few days and discovered the alternative universe that is the wedding blog community and the wedding heaven that is Etsy that my planning started. Seriously, I had absolutely no idea half these websites existed. There were so many ideas and choices out there, and at some point I think Tom thought we were going to have a circus/1920's/mexican fusion wedding with all the different details that I wanted!
Both Tom and I were adamant that we wanted our wedding in London as the idea (and cost) of having a wedding at venues in places that were not familiar to us and far away didn't appeal. The Church was a no brainer - I used to live near it and always thought that it was a pretty venue to get married in, and we eventually hope to settle in the area so it means something to us. The reception was a bit more difficult as we wanted to have a venue that wassuitable for younger children, something that was intimate, as well ashaving amazing food and wine. After some research on the internet we found The Bingham and made our one and only venue visit. As soon as we walked inthe front door we were blown away with the decor, the garden rooms, theamazing terrace and lawn. In addition the staff were welcoming andprofessional from the outset and it had a Michelin star for its food. Afterour visit we knew that this was the venue for us, and didn't even attempt tolook for any others.
I was a pretty relaxed bride and I didn't start looking for a dress until about 7 months before the wedding only spurred on by my bridesmaid sister who pointed out that after the magic six month mark a lot of dresses become rush orders and my options could be limited. My first stop was my fantasy bridal store Vera Wang and I fell in love with the first dress I tried on, and it elicited excited squeals from the bridesmaids so I was sold. It was perfect and they had just started makingit in white (which was a must) and had lovely black sashes to go with it. Spurred on by the notion that surely it couldn't have been that easy I half heartedly did the rounds at a couple of other stores and ventured to a sample sale or two but nothing had the wow factor for me. I had made up my mind and booked in for a second fitting for the Vera but the weekend before I attended a wedding fair and saw a stand for Temperley London. Most of the dresses were too flouncy for me but there were two dresses that caught my eye. I booked in for an appointment for the following week to try them on -the day before my second Vera fitting. I went alone (always a bad thing) and as soon as I tried the Dragon dress on I was wowed, and again it was perfect as they had only just started making it in white. Confused as now I had two dresses that I loved, I went home rang my sister and agreed that I would try the Vera on a second time and she would come for a fitting the next day for Temperley to help me decide. I tried on the Vera and almost put the order in there and then but stopped myself, and went back to Temperley again for a second opinion. As soon as I tried it on again, and seeing my sister speechless I pretty much knew Vera was off and Temperley was on! From that point on every time I went back for a fitting I felt a million dollars knowing that I had found 'the one'.
The most important element was our personal wedding vows that we wrote for each other, as it was not just about saying that we wanted to be married,but also about spelling out our commitment to each other in front of ourfriends and family. For our readings we wanted to have readings that talkingabout togetherness, rather than having traditional readings. We chose apassage from the bible as well as an excerpt from a Hemmingway book which wefelts that summed up how we felt. The music was more traditional, as wewanted to utilise the soprano that we had and her lovely voice. The defining moment of the entire day was definitely walking in the church and seeing Tom at the end of the aisle. I practically ran down it to get to him!
We didn't have a concept or theme planned for the wedding at all apart from the fact we wanted it to elegant and have a timeless feel to it. In the end though there was a common thread of trees/birds/spring from the invites to the seating tree but honestly that only all clicked into place in the last month of planning by accident! I really wanted to have some items that were used in the day but also keepsake type things. As soon as I discovered Etsy I was in awe of all the different little things I could get. I had our ringbowl made especially with our wedding date as I thought I was a nice keepsake but my favourite has to be the guest book 'tree.' I had never seen one before and both Tom and I love the fact that we now have an item that it not only beautiful but also reminds us of our day and all those who shared it with us.
I have a thing for wearing all black all the time so there was a running joke I was going to have a black wedding dress! We wanted to get everyonesomething that they had the option of wearing again (the holy grail of bridesmaids dresses!) As the bridesmaids were completely different shapes and coloring black was a safe bet for them and the ruffle on the shoulder matched my dress so it was perfect. We also wanted to ensure that the groomsmen could wear their suits again (and be different from Tom's greysuit) so black it was as well!
No matter how careful you are at planning things still may go wrong, but that's the fun of planning a wedding. Two months before our ceremony we didn't have a minister or a registrar due to circumstances beyond the churches control but it all worked out in the end. Also ensure that you both are involved in the planning. Although I definite lead the research, the time that we spent together discussing and deciding all the little details were priceless (especially when you end up having 30 min discussions on cupcakes and discover that your future husband has a thing for rose flavor!)
Photographer: Rosie Parsons Photography / Ceremony Location: Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel / Reception Location: The Bingham Hotel / Wedding dress: Dragon Dress by Temperley London / Earrings: Jenny Packham / Hair and Makeup: Justina Sullivan / Garter: Bespoke by Florrie Mitton Couture / Umbrella: Aspinal of London / Cars: Addison Lee / Bridesmaids dresses: Coast / Grooms Suit: Start London / Groomsmens outfits: Marks and Spencer / Fingerprint tree: Bleu De Toi / Table Tree: Tags made by the bride and the tree by florists Roseberg / Caterer: The Bingham / Flowers: Roseberg / Bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid's shoes: Coast / Cake: Marks and Spencer / Cupcakes: Primrose Hill Bakery / Band: The Hares / Rings: Raphel / Ring plate: Paloma's Nest /Favours: Hotel Du Chocolat