Well now, as some of you may recall - I did get married to that there Beard way back in May. It has taken me a while to share some of the photos with you because, honestly, life took over a little and it is only now that I have the time to sit down and think.
Think back to when all the making and preparations were over in the blink of an eye.
But what a blink it was...
It really did fly past and I am so pleased that the photography is something that we didn't skimp on. Most things may have been sourced from eBay, thrifted or hand-made, but the one thing we refused to cut corners on was the pics. I could not have wished for a better woman by my side than Rebecca Douglas, capturing everything exactly as I had seen it in my head. And making me laugh. A lot.
As many of you know - I crafted a whole heap throughout the year leading up to the wedding - including making the bouquets for myself and my 2 bridesmaids.
On my head I wore a collection of silk flowers that I had picked up at a local car boot sale for a budget-cracking 20p and some white beads that once belonged to my Great-Grandmother. Jewellery wise, I decided to stick with some antique Amber pieces that I already had and finding my necklace on eBay. There was a lot of symbolism throughout our day and the Amber - being made of tree resin - tied in nicely with my new surname.
Plus, it has always been one of my favourites.
Plus, it has always been one of my favourites.
Now then - the dress. I will confess - I actually had 3 dresses. There was the original Edwardian tea-dress that I was going to customise and cut off my hips to fit into. I even started the embroidery on it, some time ago in the vague past. Then there was the eBay one, the one that I needed to have on account of it being all the more "wedding-y" that made me look like an odd Disney princess and sweat like a mutha.
No no, it had to go.
No no, it had to go.
Oh and then I came across the one. The one that made me feel comfortable, but look like a bride. The one that I could prance about it with ease, but was very much individual. The one that gave into my Titanic-era leanings, alongside my Alphonse Mucha appreciation.
The beautiful cake was made by a dear, dear friend of mine with insides made of lemon and poppy seed, chocolate and Victoria sponge. The chocolate layer was by far the bestest - although that said, the top of the cake is actually untouched, it now being nestled in the freezer ready for our anniversary.
Like most things to do with the wedding - we decorated the hall ourselves with all the home-made things I have been working on. It was a plain old church hall when we arrived on the Friday, but by the time The Beard, me and our amazing friends and family were done, it had been transformed. We, quite literally, could not have done any of the hall without them. They were, well, just The. Most. Awesome. People. Ever.
Our table decorations were collected or made over time, from the tins stuffed full of planted flowers from the local market to the appliqued table numbers using the bits I had in my stash.
All the old books were, mostly, from what we had at home (I knew collecting old tat would come in handy!) or ones that we picked up at jumble sales for pence.
We really wanted the reception to make guests feel as though they had stepped into a bigger version of our front room. A front room that is eclectically decorated, with crystals dotted about the place and smelling of Nag Champa incense. Oh, and with some wine to guzzle and popcorn to snaffle.
We made the most of things that were available to us in the hall. Case in point, this big old Joanna. We took off the cover and made it into a feature, whilst an industrial sized tea pot found in the kitchen cupboard was stuffed full of supermarket bought carnations and plopped on top. Oooh, how I loved working with what I had to hand.
There were little parts of the day that shall forever make me smile. Like this, pretty last minute, sign made by a good friend guest the week of the nuptials.
And seeing the 100 or so yellow roses I had crocheted for those attending. The fact that I had over made by 10 or so and the anger I felt at myself was forgotten when I looked out over a sea of people all wearing them. We chose yellow roses for their meaning of friendship, happiness, joy and new beginnings. They also doubled up as part of the wedding favours.
It is only looking back over a handful of the photographs that little stories of the day come back to me in a wave. Like the super thrifting of The Beard when he spotted this white Morris Minor in the car park at Costco a couple of months before the big day, got chatting to the owner and had suddenly asked him if he was free and would he mind driving me and my Dad to the church. All for a minimal fee.
Home making so many pieces of our day meant that we could be as creative as we wanted to and not break the bank in doing so. We made our own biodegradable confetti from dried flowers of lavender, heather and marigold.
I have to say, out of all of the fabulous things that happened on the day, one of my fondest memories will always be the confetti line. It seemed to be the slowest part of the day. It just went on and on and made me laugh so much - especially when a whole packet went down my dress.
It was wonderful to see all the little bits and pieces that we had crafted sitting in their places, adding to our day. Like the 40 or so old mayo jars that The Beard had faithfully covered in twine. Not only did they serve as decoration on the walkway from the church to the hall, but larger ones stuffed with my favourite filler gypsophila, were also there to greet me as I walked down the aisle.
The stunning birds were hand made by polymer clay artist Mel Chouniard of The Silver Branch. She and me have been penpals for.... oooh... errrr.... 10+ years. She could not make the wedding, being all the way over in the leafyness of New Hampshire, but she was there in the spirit of these epic birds, a tribute to our Save the Date cards. I actually cried when I opened up the box. They are so good, they look machine made - but she crafted them all on her ownsome with her talented hands.
There were plenty of opportunities to sneak off and have some photos taken. Like, when the food was being rolled out. Did I mention that we also self catered? Some may have thought that I was mad - but I could not justify paying someone else so much for something that I could do myself. It just did not make sense in my thrifty brain. It meant that we could serve what we wanted to serve. And the simplicity of a buffet and a refrigerated trailer made all the difference. Remember those awesome people from before? Well - they and some more friends stepped in to help and then some. I need not have worried about a thing.
The. Most. Awesome. People. Ever.
Asking friends to help and them agreeing was a key part of our day. For instance, these wedding favours for our guests which were made by my most excellent friend Bex and her business Bex By Design.
Once they were all lit they formed such a pretty part of our evening. Covered in oak leaves and with the wedding details on the bottom, once people found out they could keep them, there was a bit of a rush. I totally would have done the same.
Oooh, the day was long and the day was good. We partied hard into the night after our double whammy first dance to I Remember by Damien Rice (my choice) and Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell (Beard choice)