July 14th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Welcome to Monday, Brides Up North! I’m here to make it all the prettier with this cute and stylish celebration sent to me by real bride Hayley, her new husband Matt and their photographer, Cassandra Lane.
Crafty designer Hayley worked hard to add unique decorative touches to their 1920s inspired Village Hall wedding day, with fabulous results.
Hayley says: We got engaged a little after midnight New Year 2012-2013 in our own home in Nantwich. We had had a nice quiet new year in together and Matt shocked me by saying he had a late Christmas, early birthday present for me. He disappeared upstairs and came back with a box, got down on one knee and proposed! He had bought a cheap costume jewellery ring as he couldn’t choose a real one for me. We picked my real ring together on my 30th birthday (one to remember!) on 3rd January in York where we were visiting for my birthday. It was the best birthday ever!
We got married on April 5th 2014 as it was just a few days over three years since we moved into our first place together. We also didn’t want a very long engagement and actually fifteen months was the perfect time to enjoy being engaged and get organised.
We got married in the local church in town (Nantwich, Cheshire) which is beautiful, and our reception was at a local nearby village hall (Wrenbury Village Hall). We weren’t keen on the very formal, grand hotel reception family wedding affairs we had been to in the last few years and wanted somewhere we could decorate ourselves, do our own thing.
Our theme was handmade, vintage 1920’s art deco style, and lavender. The main colours were lavender purple and vintage gold. The colours just came with the theme really but I love purple and the gold fitted the vintage theme.
We hired a cream Morris Minor (Matt is obsessed!) from Mirabelle Classic Cars.
My bridesmaids travelled in a vintage Rover from the 1930s which belongs to a friend of Matts. He drove it for us as our wedding present.
My dress was Sincerity Bridal 3730. I did a bit of research online before going to any boutiques and fell in love almost instantly! When I tried it on at Brides of Liverpool in Liverpool (my home city) I knew it was the one. No other dress I tried on subsequently lived up to it so the deposit was paid!
I love the dress because it’s quite vintage looking with a modern twist. Very classic looking. It made me feel really elegant. I knew I wanted lace, and the neckline was perfect because I didn’t want bare shoulders. The train was gorgeous and the dress also fitted in perfect with my idea for a 1920s style headband.
I chose gold glittery heels from Kurt Geiger. My flapper style headband was handmade by mum using a 1930s vintage brooch which was a gift from Matt.
My younger sister Charlotte was my matron of honour. She wore a knee length handmade silk dress made by my mum in a lavender colour. My two flower girls (our nieces Phoebe and Eve) wore handmade pale gold silk dresses made by myself and mum. They carried handmade Suffolk puff pomanders.
Matt wore a Prince Edward suit in dark brown from Formally Yours online. He had a pale gold waistcoat and cravat. My dad, his dad and his two brothers (best men) all wore the same. The style of his suit really complemented the vintage style of my dress.
Matt and all the men also wore buttonholes which I made to complement my bouquet.
I made my own bouquet using cream silk, artificial flowers, and vintage brooches (which I sourced on eBay and charity shops/car boot sales). My sisters bouquet was very similar with one key brooch in the centre. I’m a designer, and therefore very creative so was obsessed with doing a lot for my wedding myself. I also wanted to keep my bouquet so a keepsake bouquet was perfect.
Cassandra Lane was our photographer, she was amazing. She made us feel comfortable every time we met (our initial meeting and engagement shoot). On the day she was chilled out, friendly and very well organised. We all squeezed into my tiny terraced house! I fell in love with Cass’s vintage relaxed style from her blog and website when searching for a wedding photographer. I just knew she was what we were after. I’d definitely recommend Cass!
We used our favours as place names. The boys had hessian lavender sachets and the girls had floral cotton lavender sachets. These were attached to a luggage tag with each person’s name on. The idea was that people could take them away and use them in their clothes drawers or hang them in their home.
We kept it simple on the decorations. I collected and upcycled a lot (a lot!) of jars of all different shapes and sizes, decorated them with hessian, lace, twine and ribbon, and we filled them with real dried lavender, foliage and gypsophila. The room smelled amazing with all the lavender! We bought the lavender online and picked the other bits up in the local supermarket.
The afternoon tea was all served in vintage china collected from family and friends, charity shops and car boot sales. We chose to mis-match this for an eclectic look. Everything came together and looked fab on the day.
We had welcome drinks of ‘Charleston ice tea’ which I sort of made up after a bit of Google inspiration. Lemonade, white wine and ice tea served in high ball glasses with trendy stripy straws.
We had champagne ready on the table for the speeches which people popped themselves. My sister did the same at her wedding and it was such a fun moment, champagne corks popping everywhere!
Mum made metres and metres of bunting and I made paper pom poms which hung in the hall and completely transformed the place. We sourced a lot of stuff from charity shops and car boot sales. We used cheap twinkly fairy lights to light the stage and picked up a second hand mirror ball to add a touch of glamour!
Doing everything yourself is very rewarding, stepping back and admiring all of your own hard work. Everyone was gobsmacked with the details and design and told us how beautiful everything looked.
Our venue was perfect for our wedding. We were able to hire the hall very cheaply for the whole weekend giving us time to get in and decorate on the Friday and clean up on the Sunday. They allowed us to pop in during the week before to put our bunting up and even gave the place a quick lick of paint before our big day just so everything was perfect.
We had afternoon tea with scones, sandwiches and tea and coffee. This was all laid out on the tables ready for the reception. We knew we didn’t want a sit down three course meal as it’s just not us. We wanted something fun, informal and vintage inspired.
For our evening meal we had rustic stew and crusty rolls with pickled cabbage. The pub (The Cotton Arms) across the road from our reception venue provided the evening food. We approached them after having a meal in the pub one evening and really enjoying the simple homemade food. They also provided a bar with staff at the hall.
We had a vintage style sweetie bar using lots of cut glass sourced from charity shops and car boot sales.
My mum’s friend is an amateur cake maker, but she is amazing! She made my sister’s wedding cake in 2011 so offered straight away when we got engaged. I chose a three layered cake, simple but decorated with lavender sprigs. The cake was placed on a rustic slice of tree trunk sourced from a friend of Matt’s, and we made our own peg doll cake topper.
We also had a ‘cheese’ cake decorated with grapes and also presented on a chunk of tree trunk!
We chose the amazing Naomi Payne and her Hotsy Totsy band.
We had been to a 1920s evening at the Longmynd Hotel for our first year anniversary (I’m obsessed with the 1920s!) and Naomi and her band were the entertainment. When we decided on the theme I got in touch with Naomi and booked her straight away! It was so nice having a proper band and not a DJ at the wedding. She brought a dance tutor who had everyone up learning how to move.
Our first dance was a surprise Charleston which went down a storm! Everyone said the band made the evening party and it was so different to other weddings they’d attended.
I absolutely loved every single second of our wedding day – even having to stop in a side road and hide under an umbrella whilst the roof was put up on our car because it had started to rain – it was perfect in every way.
For our honeymoon we went to Cuba which was the trip of a lifetime. Two weeks of relaxing by the beach, swimming with dolphins, drinking daiquiri’s and just enjoying not having to think about anything wedding related!
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to enjoy your day no matter what. It rained on my wedding day but in the end we didn’t care. Take a moment to get away for just with your new husband or wife… time runs away with you! Just take a moment to look at each other and say ‘we did it’. If like me you did a lot yourself, take a moment to look at all your amazing hard work and accept all the complements people make!
Try not to let the stress get you down in the run up to the wedding. People won’t remember to send the RSVPs. You will have to chase them!
Congratulations Hayley & Matt!
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…