Welcome to my newly revamped site.
I realised that I have never shared any tips about organising our SecretGardenHome Wedding that happened in August 2016. So here you are.
The theme: A mix of art deco and rustic, with a hint of blue.
I was inspired by an old photo of my grandma, circa 1930, so straight away I knew that I wanted to honour her in some way. I love the art deco style, so wanted to have some accessories and decorations referring to that period.
The rustic element came from the venue, The Reid Rooms in Margaret Roding, Essex. The converted farmhouse, with lots of character and an amazing courtyard surrounded by flowers required the touch of a creative bride.
Also, we wanted to have a mix of Polish and English traditions.
The dress and the headpiece: vintage inspired
I bought my dress in Poland as I wanted my mum and my good friend from home to take part in choosing my perfect outfit. The gorgeous, vintage inspired dress came from Herm’s Bridal Lumbia collection and was bought at the Outlet Tylko Ona in Warsaw, which I totally recommend as the service was amazing!
Warsaw is a great place for beautifully designed wedding dresses that don’t break the bank. The lace dress matched the overall theme and had a classy exposed back with an impressive laced train that made a real impression.
However, the outfit wouldn’t be complete without the amazing headpiece I managed to at a sample sale at the Craft Central, created by a very talented Katherine Elizabeth Millinery.
My hairdressers (Beccy and Emily) from Westwood Hairdressing did a great job showing off the headpiece and making my hair match the vintage inspired theme.
Jewellery: blue and vintage silver earrings and a necklace were bought in Poland. The bracelet came from Accessorize.
I felt like an old movie star and I’m sure I put a smile on my grandma’s face.
My bridesmaids took an active role in choosing their dresses. We ordered lots of dresses from Asos during a January sale, and had a great time choosing the one over a glass of Prossecco…or two. We wanted something elegant but simple.
Blue grey long floaty dresses, with a beautifully decorated front using little crystals, made them look absolutely gorgeous and classy; the perfect choice. The Westwood hairdressers created their up hairdos complementing the outfits.
The venue: The Reid Rooms
The first time we went to see the venue, we knew we wanted to have our summer wedding reception there. There are so many rooms to choose from and it’s a perfect blank canvass for any creative bride. We loved the fact that the venue was very flexible in terms of decorations and catering, so we could pretty much do what we wanted, with their helpful guidance.
Also, the courtyard and the surroundings (a working farm) were perfect photo opportunities for any rustic lover.
The décor: A bit of DIY can be fun
We decided to do our own decorations and flowers. We just couldn’t believe that people were spending a mini fortune on something that could be fun creating in your spare time.
We had been collecting old bottles, jars and tins for a few months, and then, a few weeks before the wedding, we spent one weekend painting them white and blue using some leftover paint.
Also, we bought some grey and blue ribbons at Hobbycraft to create our centrepiece jars. Plus, we bought some blue and teal honeycombs to add more colour.
Our table numbers took a format of the places in California we were planning to visit during our honeymoon.
Our art deco table plan was designed by a very talented Charlotte Edey.
To finish the look, we went to our local wholesaler EleFlora Ltd. where we bought some white roses, thistles and gypsophila – a perfect rustic combo, which we also used to create our bouquets and buttonholes for the boys. The whole flower prep took us less than 3 hours, and it was a real bonding experience and stress reliever before the wedding.
The food: a real mix of Polish, English and Italian food; rustic style
Our caterer Magpie Catering did an excellent job at creating a bespoke menu for us accommodating the mixed nationalities we were entertaining.
Also, at the arrival, we were welcomed by our parents with a Polish tradition of having bread, salt and a shot of vodka signifying wealth and good luck.
The wedding cake was created by Trina Cakes and was delicious. I was introduced to Trina by a good friend of mine, and have tasted her baking skills over the years, so I knew she was going to do a good job preparing a rustic, naked cake for us that we could serve as our dessert.
We chose Claire Gill based on her wonderful personality and sense of styling. She was fun to work with, full of ideas and very discreet. She managed to capture the key moments and emotions, took lots of action shots and even the posed photos were fun. Absolutely amazing memories! The majority of photos in this post were taken by her.
The DJ and entertainment
James from Piano Djs was probably the best DJ we could have had. He made our day super special by playing our favourite tracks and masterfully mixing both Polish and English hits for all of us to enjoy and go crazy to on the dancefloor. He made everyone dance until the end and his positive and very friendly personality shined through his music. The whole set up was classy and looks great on all the pictures.
In terms of entertainment, apart from some old outdoor games, we had a photobooth, which was a great idea and left us with a very funny photo album.
Do your own decorations and flowers. It’s really easy. Just watch some tutorials on YouTube and don’t be afraid to experiment. It will save you lots of money you can spend on things you really want.
Don’t skimp on catering. Definitely go for a taster session and pay attention to details like presentation.
The biggest cost is the venue and catering, so choose wisely. Always negotiate and pick suppliers you like working with, who respond to your correspondence and are flexible and listen to what you want.
Hope you found my wedding hints&tips useful. Let me know if you have any questions.
Photography: Courtesy of Claire Gill and Claire Jones.