Author Archive | blades

Jenny and Alan’s Venice Celebration

Jenny and Alan’s Venice Celebration

Jenny and Alan renewed their vows after 25 years of marriage in the beautiful city of Venice, accompanied by their four sons, their romantic getaway was majestic and magical.

Their wedding was set on the Ca Sagredo Grand Canal in Venice, followed by a small reception at the Florian Bar in Piazza San Marco, otherwise known as St Marks Square.

Jenny describes the planning and a magical day for her, Alan and their family.

The dress:

I first approached Catherine to see if she would be interested in creating a dress for someone who was the opposite of a new young slim bride. Alan and I were renewing our vows after 25 years of marriage with our four sons in Venice and I wanted a red and gold dress that reflected Venice. Our first wedding had been 30 people in a Registry Office, our youngest was 5 weeks old and the outfit choice was more about being able to breastfeed in a modest way than impress!! I met Catherine in her studio, surrounded by beautiful floaty dresses and fabrics and everything was really beautiful. I had chosen Catherine as she had worked with Alexander McQueen, my most favourite Designer ever, because of his style, complexity, and personality. Catherine was really pleased to work with me and it was obvious she felt what we were doing was very special and indeed it was. The meeting with Catherine made me realise how special this event was going to be, I think she was as dewy eyed as me! I dressed with care for our first meeting as I wanted her to get my ‘style’ so I paid attention to everything. Catherine is astute and highly skilled, with real clarity. The only proviso I gave her was that the dress needed to be red – scarlet – with some sort of gold embroidery on it somewhere – not a lot to go on. In my head I imagined something with a train perhaps, and to my ankles, not right to the floor. We parted and Catherine asked me to send her any photos of any ideas I had. I took my time and sent her snippets of ‘that waistline’ or ‘that sleeve’ or ‘that pleat’, I think 17 things in all, none of which joined up! By my next visit she had some beautiful red silk and had already made up a little jacket that we both recognised as being very similar to the photo of a Dior model from the New Look (50’s fashion phenomena not budget high street!!). She had made the jacket without measuring me and it fitted almost perfectly, in fact, I don’t recall that she ever measured me, she just has an amazing understand of fit. She then draped fabric around me whilst I looked frankly stunned in lots of mirrors. It was such a strange combination – I both recognised and did not recognise myself at the same time, and it was an incredible process.

My girlfriend, Julia, came with me for the next 3 visits and I brought along no end of pairs of red shoes with me each time to make sure they matched. Each visit the dress became me and by that I mean, you know when you wear a posh frock it can wear you? Well, it was like putting on an old favourite, but yet I had never worn it. The final fitting was amazing, but it was not a big reveal as we had designed and created this absolutely beautiful garment together. I felt like it had heritage, like a historical costume, but at the same time it was absolutely contemporary. Catherine had made the most of my best bits – which we all have – and she created a shape that was absolutely right for me. It was in fact two dresses worn together, a straight shift dress with no sleeves and, what can only be described as, a wrap over dress mounted on a small jacket with a stand up collar that all together presented like the most elaborate dressing gown ever. It moved beautifully, I could manage it, it felt like I had had it forever, it took my breath away, we were all in tears. My Twin brother, with whom I was very close, and who was a Goldsmith, was making four rings for me to wear as a ‘stack’, each one representing one of our children. His text to me when he saw me in the finished dress was so lovely, and one of the last texts as I ever got, as he was killed in a car crash 3 weeks later. Unfortunately I had the both the best day and worst day of my life within 3 weeks. Catherine was skillful at the highest level – a designer, a tailor, a costume designer, intuitive, magical and she delivered something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I walked in St Marks Square and the Doges Palace with 1000s people around me feeling like a Queen- absolutely supreme and that was down to her.

The accessories:

It was freezing cold in Venice! I bought red cashmere gloves and red fox wristlets from a boutique in Venice. My shoes were from Russell and Bromley, my jewellery was bizarrely from Amazon!
My wedding rings were designed and made by Paul Draper, a fellow of the Goldsmiths Institute.

Alan’s Suit :

Hand made silk pink and red tie limited edition
Prince of Wales check suit with red line
Shoes from John Lewis
Cufflinks hand made Murano Glass from Venice

The Day itself:

We were staying at Palazzina, a 5 star Phillipe Starck designed hotel on the Grand Canal. My hair and make up artist arrived at 7.20am and spent 3 hours with me! The two Italian Weddings planners and photographer all arrived at 10.am. We chose an Italian Wedding Planning Company to work with us and they were amazing. They gave us lots of options to choose from including the hotel we stayed at the venue for the ceremony the receptions the photo venues photographer and hair/make up, florists wedding cake and Celebrant. We wrote our own words and had them translated into Italian. The Celebrant said them first and we repeated the English version, it was very personal. The Celebrant actually said she thought it had been so beautiful, she thought more people should celebrate their marriage with their children after so many years! We walked together up an amazing candle lit staircase with huge murals on each side to classic Italian Opera music. The food was classic Venetian Canapes at the first reception at Ca Sagredo with, of course, Prosecco. The second reception, which we travelled to by boat, was at the oldest bar in St Marks Square, The Florain Bar, where we had more savoury and sweet canapés, and more Prosecco. We had planned another dinner in the evening, but in the end we all got into warm clothes and went to a family Pizza restaurant with our boys, which was perfect.

The best part of the day:

The moment when we walked into the room for the ceremony at Ca Sagredo, holding hands and reaching the top of the stairs, with the beautiful Italian Opera playing, and brilliant sunshine flooding the room. In such historic surroundings it felt so powerful, like all the love we had felt over the last 30 years was in the room. We could not see if our boys had arrived because it was so bright, they had flown in from London that morning, but then I caught sight of my youngest boy’s silhouette. It was very emotional and I hugged each one of them. We sat on two beautiful chairs and my rings were bound together on an embroidered cushion. We said the words to each other that we had written with so much love and feeling, there is a photo of Alan really looking at me and it is a forever look. Each of the rings were placed on my finger, and words about each son said. The whole thing was magical, and the feelings Alan and I were left with really shocked us, as it made us realise we had taken an even deeper step with our love for each other, it was just amazing.

Dress – Catherine Blades Couture

Photographer – Enrico Celotto

Hair and MakeUp – Stefania Bon

 

Thank you to Jenny and Alan for sharing their special day with us.

Blades Real Weddings

Halloween Asylum Wedding

Halloween Asylum Wedding

Matt and Gemma got married at Halloween. The venue? Where else than Asylum in London.

They wanted a unique day, something that reflected their tastes, something special and fabulous, and so their masked ball wedding was planned. With candles instead of floral decorations, the venue lit up with soft light and dancing shadows, transforming the atmosphere and creating the magic they desired. So where did it all begin? At dawn in Flores, Indonesia, Gemma and Matt rose early to see the sunrise over the ancient volcanic lakes. Matt’s proposal took Gemma totally by surprise, and after gathering herself, she replied “I’d love to”. They wanted a wedding completely unique to them. They wanted Matt and Gemma got married at Halloween. The venue? Where else than Asylum in London.to keep some traditions, but add in some of their own, a wedding that reflected their relationship, not governed by the Church, but one that was true to them and put their friends and family at the centre of it all. This intimate focused ceremony should be followed by a fun-filled decadent party, and that is what they did. They started planning in the February, planning to marry at the end of October on Halloween. Luckily they agreed on almost everything throughout the planning, with things falling happily into place within the last manic month. Their ceremony and reception was to be held at their chosen venue, Asylum in London, which meant a few room changes throughout the proceedings, but all went without a hitch, and they relocated to the local pub for the after party.

Drinks and canapes were served on the portico, making it possible to prepare the ceremony room for lunch, then after the speeches, guests were treated to macarons and a cute coffee van so the masked ball could be prepared. A lighting crew transformed the daytime venue into a decadent night time affair, and the atmosphere was changed for a fun-filled and sexy evening party. The venue was completely bare, and so Gemma and Matt hired in large golden candelabras for the tables, and props from the National Theatre to create a chilled corner with chaise longues and a standing lamp. Candles added to the atmosphere and the venue provided a welcoming space for all their friends and family. Gemma and Matt chose a Humanist ceremony, conducted by a celebrant, and had speeches from the Bride and Groom, Father of the Bride, Best Man and Bridesmaid, and chose tequila shots instead of champagne toasts. They had a reading from The Prophet by Khalli Gibran, and Us Two by A.A Milne, then sang Fever by Peggy Lee and Get By With a Little Help From My Friends by the Beatles, accompanied by their friends Nick, Cleo and Yaz.

Gemma wanted an Oscar worthy gown, and didn’t she just get it! She wanted red, and after her off the peg search proved fruitless, she turned to designer dressmaker Catherine Blades. Catherine was brilliant and completely ‘got’ Gemma’s vision. She took her two pictures, one a Marchesa red dress with a huge skirt and lace bodice, and the other an Oscar de la Renta black dress with an open back and asked Catherine to merge the two. What Catherine designed was absolutely perfect, it combined all the elements of the two dresses that Gemma loved, with an added bit of something thrown in. The dress was three quarter sleeved, with a lace bodice and an open back to show off Gemma’s butterfly tattoos. The large silk skirt added drama and the red colour made the gown even more dramatic and stunning. Gemma decided against accessories as the dress was so grand, and had a simple pearl, cream and black silk bouquet made by Matt’s Mum. Gemma already owned the perfect pair of shoes, and so she was wedding ready. Matt chose a cobalt blue classic slim cut two button Paul Smith suit, and the five bridesmaids wore black dresses of their own choosing and red shoes, to match their red glitter masks for the ball.

Gemma and Matt’s photographer, Sassy from Assassynation, captured their day perfectly, missing dramatic images of the couple and their venue with gorgeous candid shots of their friends and family enjoying such a special day. Sassy took the couple around the Old Kent Road to find some interesting places for shots, and the resulting shots are wonderful. After the wedding, Gemma and Matt flew to Glasgow, got legally married, and then drove to Islay in the Hebrides where they rented an Eco Lodge for a weeks honeymoon.

Humanist  Sally Feldman

Band  Congo Faith Healers

Venue  Asylum, Caroline Garden Chapel

Photographer  Sassy at Assassynation

Oystermeister  James Bowles

Dressmaker  Catherine Blades Couture

Coffee Van  Santiago Coffee

 

Thank you to Gemma and Matt for sharing their wonderful wedding with us.

Blades Real Weddings

Shermin and Sam’s Oxfordshire Wedding

Shermin and Sam’s Oxfordshire Wedding

Shermin and Sam got married in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside surrounded by their family and friends.

Shermin shares her experience of their special day and the planning it took to make it wonderful.

The dress

My dream dress idea came after I had seen an image of a designer dress which was very light, delicate and feminine. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy the designer dress (it was over £10k) so Sam’s mum suggested getting it made. I searched online and Catherine’s name came up. We booked an appointment to see her at her studio. The dress would have a v-neck line, was fairly sheer and had a bit of lace on the bodice and it would be light and airy at the bottom. At the first appointment we started getting my ideas down, what I liked, didn’t like , the style of the wedding, my personality etc. With this information and the images I had previously sent of dresses I liked, Catherine was able to sketch out exactly what I wanted whilst paying close attention to my body shape. That is something you will never get from an off the peg dress. I found when I tried on the boutique dresses, parts of my body that I was self conscious about were accentuated and Catherine explained that was because of the way the dresses are made and that each persons unique proportions aren’t taken into account, something that is not possible during mass production. I was very self conscious about my back because I have a wide upper back and a small lower back (a bit like a gymnast) and I’m only 4ft 9. Catherine was able to identify the parts of the dress in the image which would need to be changed so that it complemented my shape (the model wearing the dress was 6ft something and was long everywhere!). What I hadn’t realised was that it would look completely different on me if I was to wear the same dress in my size, simply because it has been designed with the proportions of the model in mind. Once that had been figured out, Catherine then gave me a great big pile of lace and other bits of material to pick from (create two piles – one for things I liked the look of and one for things I didn’t fancy). This was actually very quick considering just how much choice there was and it was fun to see Catherine getting excited about some of the laces I had picked. Her enthusiasm showed at every single stage of the process was contagious, it was just wonderful to see somebody love what they do so much and be amazing at it. Catherine also gave an estimate of cost based on the laces I had chosen, which we were pleasantly surprised with given it was a bespoke dress that would fit perfectly with no alterations!

Before my next appointment, I unfortunately had just had a miscarriage, so other than being completely distraught by the news, I was also a bit apprehensive, and I wasn’t sure if I would still feel the same way about the wedding, the dress etc. Suffice to say Catherine was so amazingly wonderful about the whole thing and actually having her make my wedding dress was the one of the few things that kept my spirits up at such a sad time. Catherine treats you not only like a human being but also like a friend and caring relative. You feel completely at ease with her and trust her from the first time you meet her. You might think that that’s not so important when choosing your wedding dress but I can’t stress enough how much anxiety it relieves when you know you’re in good hands. When I went to the designer boutiques, there was always the sense of a false happiness and generally as pleasant as the staff appeared to be, when it came down to your thoughts or needing advice on how the dress would look after adjustments, any advice on what size to order when you were expecting a baby, the service really was just okay, because that’s all it can ever be when you’re buying a dress that just needs altering. The motivation of the staff is different and unless there is an in-house seamstress who is amazing, it’s difficult for the sales staff to provide any additional advice and ideas. With Catherine, any doubts or uncertainties you had, she would explain things in a way that was easy to understand. Because she knows how every dress is made from scratch and therefore has the confidence in saying ‘that shape would suit your shorter torso or those lines will complement your frame or adding a bit of bone structure here will create x/y or z’, she is able to advise you perfectly. In short whatever you’re not sure of or can’t imagine, Catherine will help you ‘see it’ without actually having it in front of you.

My second appointment was lots of fun. Catherine had drawn up some sketches based on the first visit and I chose the one I liked the most, and samples of the lace fabrics I had previously selected were draped across a dressmakers dummy. Catherine fitted me with a plain toile and marked out all the various lines, making sure they worked with my body. She then started pinning lace in various places to get the shaping of the bodice exactly right on my frame. I can only describe it as black magic! The way she starts off with a plan piece of fabric and within an hour you can already see the outline of the dress and what it could look like, it was amazing.
The next appointment was trying on the dress which still had several pins in as Catherine needed to make sure the placement of the appliques were exactly right once I wore the dress. Adjustments were made to the sleeves too as I preferred the sleeves a little bit over my shoulders and Catherine tried a variety of other things including adding appliques over the sleeves which worked beautifully. Catherine also tried adding a final touch to the appliques on the body which again I preferred so that was done too.
The final fitting was wonderful. I tried on the dress and I was blown away with just how perfect it was. My dreaded ‘back fat’ was non existent and everything was just right………… I know it sounds silly because you’re getting a custom made dress but there’s one thing saying it and there’s another thing actually seeing it! Every detail was there for a reason, I could walk easily in the dress and wouldn’t worry about dancing it, it was light, airy, delicate and very feminine. It was exactly what I wanted. Meeting Catherine and seeing her enthusiasm for her craft and seeing that flow into her work. She’s a genuinely beautiful person inside and out and it was an honour having her be part of what will always be one of the most important days of my life.

Sam’s Suit

Sam, his brother and the best man all wore the same thing and we all went shopping together with Sam’s mum. I had seen a picture of a light grey suit jacket and navy suit trousers and thought Sam would look good in it and it wasn’t too formal because I knew the more formal it was, the more ‘out of place’ he’d feel. We went to M&S first and managed to find everything there including their dark brown Oxfords and belts. Their shirts were light blue and ties were navy. Sam is blonde so the light grey and blue went beautifully with his hair and eyes.

The Decor and Accessories

We pretty much went with how everything came as it as with the venues etc. The only thing that ‘matched’ was my bouquet to the button holes of the boys. Catherine also made me a matching head piece using the same embellishments as were on my dress.

The Ceremony

The ceremony was pretty basic and relaxed, as we didn’t want to feel too nervous about remembering anything! We went for the simplified vows, Sam had a best man but I didn’t want any bridesmaids or anything like that. My aim was to be as relaxed as possible and just have an amazing time at the ‘after party’ reception. Â Although it was relaxed, we both still had sweaty palms, and reading our vows to each other was quite emotional. I also struggled to get Sam’s ring on so that was amusing……. actually there were quite a few moments with lots of laughs, for example when our neighbours arrived late and had to sit at the front whilst proceedings stopped, the sheer embarrassment on their faces really lightened up the mood in the room and made us a lot more relaxed. We decided to walk down the aisle together as I didn’t want any pressure on picking anybody but also we both agreed we would be most comfortable if we walked in holding each others hands so it was perfect for us. The music we walked into was KC and Jojo “all my life” instrumental which Sam had prepared a few days before from a sound clip online which he edited himself. We walked out married to “Stand by me” acoustic version. My favourite part of the ceremony, other than saying our vows, was just seeing everybody there on our special day and how happy everybody was for us.

The Reception

We picked The Perch in Binsey because we had a few of our first dates there and it was always very laid back and rustic. It also has a load of willow trees which I’ve loved ever since I watched Pocahontas as a little girl. Everything was super relaxed, which is exactly what we wanted. We didn’t have a head table and took turns in sitting at each table during the meal so we got to talk to everybody. Lots of people commented on how much fun it was and how relaxing it was being so informal compared to a lot of weddings they had been to. We used all the existing decor in the marquee (simple fairy lights and rustic table runners) and that was it! It didn’t need much else because the food was a country feast which meant there was a lot of food on every table, not leaving much space for anything else! We had ‘I-spy’ games on each table with a disposable camera and each table had to take certain snaps…….. my two nieces ended up taking most of the photos and there were lots of great candid shots. The food at the Perch was really good, and it was the perfect venue. We had a live band for the evening reception and that really made a difference with the number of people up on the dance floor. Our first dance wasn’t really a dance, we both just held each other in our arms and swayed whilst I tipsily sang to Sam the words of our first dance, “let’s stay together” by Al Green. All our guests found it amusing and it made Sam relax as he had been nervous about the first dance. My new mum had a pair of white flip flops made for me which had “Mrs Lucas” studded on them which was very sweet. However I didn’t get to use them on the night as I wore the comfiest wedges in the world (even though they were over 6inches……. I’m only 4ft 9 so I needed the height). I found them in the Kurt Geiger store in Heathrow by chance as I had been looking for wedding shoes for a long time. We had burgers and bacon baps in the evening alongside individual cake slices from Pattiserie Valerie, which went down really well.  Overall it was a wonderful day and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and so did all the guests too. Every time we think back about the day, we can’t help but smile every single time.

The best bit

Other than seeing everybody and dancing with my new hubby (as well as every other person I dragged onto the dance floor) I shed a few tears at the speeches. The father of the groom and best man both did speeches and I was balling my eyes out (and I don’t usually cry!). Such kind and loving words and it meant the world to us, especially me as I didn’t grow up in an environment which openly showed love, so being part of Sam’s family has really taught me that and changed me (in a good way).

Suppliers

Dress – Catherine Blades Couture

Flowers – Harrison and Green

Photography – Chris Kemp

Venue – The Perch

Thank you to Shermin and Sam for sharing their wedding with us.

Blades Real Weddings

Rebecca and Richard’s Lundy Island Wedding

Rebecca and Richard’s Lundy Island Wedding

Wedding Shop Hampshire

Rebecca and Richard’s Lundy Island wedding was a weekend filled with friends, family and fun. We asked Rebecca to tell us all about the wedding, weekend and their inspiration behind the island celebration.

Our vision
The inspiration behind our wedding was all things that we love: Lego, bridges, and maps all tied together with a grey and yellow colour scheme. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and so including aspects was a no brainer! My challenge was to incorporate HP subtly so that the die-hard fans would have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment, but to the causal onlooker, the detail would just look in keeping. Our first holiday together was on Lundy Island. We went in winter and so the only way to get there is via helicopter: The instant we landed, we knew it was a magical place. Lundy sits in the Bristol Channel between Devon and Wales, very fitting as I grew up in Devon, and Richard in Wales! We wanted our wedding to feel more like a weekend away with friends than a formal affair, so much so that we called the wedding ceremony ‘the legal bit’ on our invites. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a serious commitment, but we already felt married so this was really just a formality. We planned our whole wedding around Lundy Island: from the date to the ceremony venue, the reception decor to my dress (gotta get in and out of a helicopter with ease!) Logistically, this meant we needed to be super organised because all our decor, alcohol, favours, and photo-booth props for our November wedding needed to go over on the last ferry, which was in September. The only venue on Lundy with a marriage license is the Church but neither of us are religious, so we needed to get married on the main land beforehand. The helicopter only flies to and from Lundy on a Friday and Monday, and at set times. Because we didn’t want to interrupt other people’s holidays, we planned our schedule around the regular flying schedule.

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What we wore

I couldn’t believe my luck when I met Catherine. We talked about our wedding inspiration, colour scheme, what type of clothes I normally wear, the look I was going for, etc. She was so thorough before she even took out a sketch pad. I brought along some images of dresses that I liked and she took each of the elements and combined them into my perfect dress. My must-have was a backless number with sleeves, and she certainly delivered. It was her idea to add the beaded embellishments to the deep v-cut back to bring the dress to life and what a difference it made! To complement, I wore a pair of yellow suede heels, a simple silver bracelet, and small hair clip with feathers, so as not to detract from my dress. My bouquet was informal and simple with white roses, yellow craspedia and grey thistles, topped off with a hidden snitch. Richard has always wanted a tailor-made suit and this was the ideal opportunity. To complement, he had custom designed and embroidered converse for both him and his two best men. His yellow and grey Hufflepuff socks also made an appearance!

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The wedding ceremony

We chose Hartland Abbey to get married in because it was the closest licensed venue to the helipad. An immovable 11am chopper dictated a 10am ceremony, which meant a 6:30am dissention of seven (yes seven) hair and make-up people at the cottage where us girls (one bride, two bridesmaids, two mums, and a sister-in-law) were staying. It was pastry-fuelled organised chaos! Credit to the ladies at Bideford-based Colorseum: they turned us round and we left for the Abbey on time, in fact we were there 10 minutes early! My ‘something old’ was a beautiful 100-year-old-plus silver bracelet that my mum gave me on my 18th birthday, she had received it from her great Aunt on her 18th birthday, as had she. My ‘something new’ was my wedding dress designed by Catherine at Blades Bridal. My ‘something borrowed and something blue’ was a brick from Richard’s Lego Tower Bridge model (I returned it to him during my vows!) And, the often forgotten ‘six pence in my shoe’, from my husband to be. My Dad (aka Big Nige, Shovel Hands, and Captain Morgan) and I had a quiet moment together whilst everyone got settled. We’re both quiet, introverted people. He squeezed my hand just before the door was opened to the ceremony room and that was all I needed to feel utterly calm inside even though I was shaking like a leaf! We walked in to one of my bridesmaids, a very talented pianist, playing Glasgow Love Theme from the film Love Actually. The Victorian Drawing Room, with its dark oak-panelled walls and crackling log fire, was the perfect setting to tie the knot. Our guests were seated in an arc rather than rows to give a more intimate feel to the ceremony, with us standing in front of them in the beautiful bay window to say our vows. Richard and I wrote our own vows, something many of our friends and family didn’t expect as we’re not outwardly affectionate or soppy. We got a few tears from our guests as we read them!

With our ceremony over by 10:30am, we recessed to the light and airy Billiard Room where we cut our wedding cake and handed out the mini Lego cupcakes to our guests. Who doesn’t want to eat cake at 10:30am?! Each guest also received a breakfast snack box to keep them going until lunch – I can’t stand being hungry so we wanted to make sure our guests were well fed from the start! Our helicopter (the very one used by Anneka Rice!) was scheduled to pick up the bridal party and our photographer from Hartland Abbey at 11am, with the rest of the guests making their way to the helipad for 11:30. There was a slight hiccup which meant our flight was delayed but this gave us the opportunity to take some beautiful pictures at the abbey, which we would have otherwise missed out on.

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The Lundy Experience

Albert took us off around the island to take some couple shots. My one demand was photos at the top of Old Light, the 96ft-tall light house on the island and damn it, I climbed all 147 spiral steps in my dress! Having arrived at the top and handed my craspedia-filled bouquet to Richard whilst I caught my breath, he promptly dropped it – all the way down! Our guests arrived over the next couple of hours, and were greeted with an afternoon cream tea spread, where those that didn’t know each other already were forced to mingle! Copious amounts of Brightwell sparkling wine helped the conversation flow! After a quick freshen up, everyone headed to Marisco’s Tavern for the wedding breakfast, which was a feast: spiced parsnip soup followed by Lundy Lamb shanks, rounded off with rhubarb crumble. The staff at the tavern were what made the weekend feel special. We could not have had such a smooth-running weekend without them, and our special thanks go to Island Manager Derek and head chef John who welcomed all of us with open arms: From suggesting a hearty menu to laying the tables with our DIY projects. We had buckets of yellow, white, and grey Lego; jars full of paper flowers; menu-printed napkin-wraps; and bags of sherbet lemons as favours to lay out. We sipped the evening away on wine from our local vineyard and apple nectar from my hometown’s cidery.

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Our first dance

Completely awkward by the way, was to Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz, an odd choice but the words and meaning are so beautiful. The whole party danced to our iPod playlist solidly from 8pm to 2am, when the island’s generator was turned off. Being a rowdy bunch of 90s teenagers, we reminisced with some classic chart topping numbers from Reef, Spice Girls, Offspring, S Club 7, Craig David, Bon Jovi and Meat Loaf – you get the idea! The evening was rounded off with the entire island’s staff joining the party when the happy hardcore hour kicked in! I’m proud to say I was the last person on the dance floor!

Weekend shenanigans

Because we were on the island for the whole weekend, we’d planned some activities to keep our guests entertained. Everyone was sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses by picking a handmade badge out of a Sorting Hat. Each team (hip flasks at the ready!) was then sent out to find the hidden Letterboxes: a kind of treasure trail which is spread over the whole island. It got seriously competitive pretty quickly. Not even a hail storm straight off the Atlantic dampened the spirits! In fact, when all the letter boxes couldn’t be found in one day, the super dedicated amongst us went out to find the missing ones on Sunday, whilst the rest of us relaxed. We hosted a candle lit pub quiz in the evening with lots of questions about us, as well as a Harry Potter charades round – the father of the groom’s was particularly memorable!

Home time

We woke up to a fog-bound island on Monday which meant that the helicopter couldn’t fly. We were fortunate that MS Oldenberg was passing Lundy to go to dry dock that day, and so she took a detour to collect us.

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The fabulous suppliers

Ceremony venue  Hartland Abbey

Weekend reception  Lundy Island

Photographer  Albert Palmer

Cake  Rosanne Hollowell

Groom’s suit  Cad and the Dandy

Dress  Catherine Blades Couture

Hair clips  Beth Morgan

Hair and Makeup  Colorseum

Flowers  Blooms of Bideford

Invitation  Michael Burbridge

Wine  Brightwell Vineyard

Cider  Lyme Bay Cider

 

Thank you to Rebecca and Richard for sharing their amazing wedding with us.

Blades Real Weddings




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