Lori and Steven, who live in the South West of England, got married earlier this year, on 9th February 2013. Their unique and quirky wedding day was captured beautifully by Steve Nuth Photography, and Chris Horrill Photography.
What was your wedding date?
We set the date for the 9th February 2013 – the day of our 7th anniversary. We had talked about a Spring wedding or even around Halloween (as Steven asked me to marry him whilst I was applying ‘head wound’ makeup to my zombie costume) but decided we didn’t want anything too gimicky.
We had thought we would have a very long engagement as at the time, I working for free as a tattooing apprentice and he was supporting the pair of us and our little family (2 rats, Sirius and Severus!) and we would be paying for the wedding all by ourselves. But then, out of the blue, we both received rather large and unexpected tax rebates!
When you did meet, and how long had you been engaged?
We had been together for 6 years by this point but engaged for only one, as Steven didn’t want to ask me until people stopped asking when he was going to do it. He wanted me to know that he was asking from his heart and not because he felt pressure from others, silly boy!
I remember thinking after 2 weeks of knowing him that I loved him and after about 2 months that I hoped to spend my life with him. Never have I met someone who makes me laugh so much and just totally ‘gets’ me. When we met, I definitely wasn’t looking, I’d not long moved back to Devon and found that I had been featured in an alternative lifestyle mag, Bizarre Magazine and so my friend and I had gone to a local rock club to celebrate!
A friend introduced me to Steven as he wanted to buy me a drink as he was a fan of the mag (corny eh?!) but I soon found he was so easy to talk to, super funny and had the most beautiful goofy smile that I’d ever seen (it also helped that he fit every bit of my ‘ideal bloke’ list! ). We later sat outside the venue where he pulled out his CD Walkman (Haha! Retro!) and we listened to a band called Dragonforce. Just as I was nervously trying to think of something to say, he grabbed my leg, pulled it up across him and proceeded to play the guitar solo on it!
After telling our wedding DJ (a friend and rock radio dj/promoter) this story, he then went on to tell the lead singer of the band. He recorded a ‘congrats’ message that was played at our reception followed by the song itself which we all rocked out to, which definitely went down very well!
How did you approach wedding planning? Did you enjoy it?
After getting over the shock of the tax rebates, I threw myself into wedding ideas. I spent a tonne on wedding magazines, but I found they just weren’t right; I felt they were written for a different type of bride. I’ve always considered myself to be a creative and artistic person so I knew early on that I wanted a real hands on approach, and after looking at fancy country clubs and hotels who offered to ‘take the stress out of planning the details’ by having their set wedding package, I knew I wanted things done differently!!
Steven was cool with whatever ideas I had, his only stipulation was that his family and everyone he loves had to be there and that we had to have awesome music (so my ‘Las Vegas with me dressed as Marilyn Monroe whilst tanked up on cocktails with an Elvis impersonator’ idea was out!!) He said I could do what ever I wanted! WIN!! Looking at craft ideas online then lead me to the wonder that is wedding blogging, the only problem being that for every one fab idea I saw, it would lead to a million other ideas and I didn’t want to over do it!
What was your vision/theme for the day? What did you hope to achieve?
The venue of the wedding itself was Haldon Belvedere. I had planned on having it there years before Steven asked me to marry him, it’s a beautiful magical little castle set in a stunning landscape, and it was exactly what we wanted for a small intimate wedding with the people we love there to join us.Again, the staff here were wonderful, and were very helpful, especially with our older guests who later told me they had been very well taken care of, and even allowed us to supply our own drinks for after our vows. Tying in with our Eccentric English theme, we had some ridiculously yummy Hensford Farm Cider supplied by some lovely family friends.
The Belvedere was the perfect setting for our photos by both Steve Nuth and Chris Horrill, Chris being a good friend and up and coming photographer (and top rate usher!), a Steve being my knight in shining armour when I was struggling to find a photographer in the first place!! Steve Nuth was great for getting beautiful intimate shots as well as the more formal family ones, and I think Chris got more relaxed shots of our friends showing their more ‘natural’ behaviour!! At the reception another friend, Paul Courtney also stepped up as a photographer. I’d had a lot of stress and heartache regarding wedding photos, so to find I had three on the day was amazing! Paul got some fab photos of the Photo Booth prop wall (supplied by Carmen from The Very Vintage Hire Company) which went down amazingly well with my guests and made for some beautiful memories of the day and of my awesome 6 year old niece and flower girl rocking out on the dance floor!!
After looking at real wedding pictures and write ups, I decided that I wanted a theme, but not a gimmick, or fancy dress etc, and the words ‘Eccentric English’ kept coming into my head. The more I thought about the more I realised this was not only doable but also totally our style anyway! I already had a collection of vintage/retro treasures that I worked from, but all from different time eras and different themes but I think by having a hodge podge of different bits seemed to all work well together!
From my own collection my main bits were my teapot collection (which I will come back to), my vintage glass bottles, miniature Disney ceramics, vintage books including my much beloved Oscar Wilde Collection, kitsch 60’s deer, singer sewing machines amongst other random unrelated bits! Meeting Carmen from The Very Vintage Hire Company was definitely a high point, and I think her creativity, ideas and outstanding helpfulness made my wedding vision come true.
From the start, she totally got what I had in mind and had an amazing wealth of treasures for me to use on the day! I think the stand out piece was a collaboration between her and my amazingly talented florist Elsie Mo Flowers – the beautiful gramophone filled with fresh stunning blooms overflowing from the horn, which got a lot of compliments! Elsie also was wonderful for climbing inside my brain, I’d seen pictures of tea pots filled with flowers and thought they were such a fab quirky idea and would fit in perfectly with my theme. But I wanted to make it a little more personal, so, armed with my bridesmaids and soon to be mother-in-law, we set about decoupaging my teapot collection with tea stained printouts of sheet music, ranging from The Beach Boys, The Monkees and The Beatles to Foo Fighters and System of a Down!
One teapot that I was especially fond of as I mixed Morrissey music with Iron Maiden as a memento of the time when I turned down Iron Maiden tickets with Steven and his Dad to see Morrissey instead with a friend – something that Steven still doesn’t understand to this day and still takes the piss for!! Elsie filled them with the most beautiful floral arrangements, also vintage boxes, jam jars and both myself and Carmen’s vintage bottle collections got filled too!
My other fave bit of craft was my favours – I decided upon little ‘drink me’ bottles full of booze for my guests! I wanted it as a nod to the Victorian aspects of a lot of other bits, but didn’t want it overshadowing the other themes. I had intended to fill them with absinthe as a nod to the darker side of Victoriana – the madness, the art and mystery surrounding it, but realistically realised that if I left bottles of 80% proof alcohol around the party would be over before it began! I made 100 in total, each with a hand written & tea stained label, half of them with little bronze adornments of keys, pocket watches, rabbits etc and had them full of different party shots. I also made little jars of sweets with labels with skull and crossbones (well, Jack Skellington and crossbones) with the word POISON written on for the little guests, and also a few big jars with vintage style cyanide labels for the big guests too!
Finding our reception venue was almost by accident, I was looking online for a photographer and I saw photos of the Cellar Bar that I didn’t know existed at the City Gate Pub and Hotel in Exeter. The deco tiling and cobbled walls gave exactly the kind of feel that I had been hoping for and I was absolutely blown away by the care and level of service I was given by the staff, especially from Rosie (Events Co-Ordinator). I honestly can’t recommend them any higher, they were awesome!! Any niggles/dramas were dealt with so seamlessly, they really went above and beyond with customer service and really helped make our day perfect. I LOVE them, plus, the food was AMAZING!
I decided to make the most of social networking by making a Facebook Page to encourage guests to upload all their photos of the day too, so that we could see all the fun buts we may have missed as we were so busy. I’m so, so glad that I did this as there was A LOT that I missed (such as our charming friends spelling out rude words with the giant scrabble letters from The Very Vintage Hire Company!)
What would your top tips be for someone planning their wedding?
If I was going to think of any tips for people planning a wedding, it would be not to listen to tips!! Haha! I had so much conflicting advice given to me, often it was being told I couldn’t do something (such as having life-sized flamingos or doing a high-five with Steven when he was told to kiss his bride!) In fact, the best advice I was given was from Rosie from the City Gate which was; “It’s your wedding, sod what anyone else says!”
Although, to conflict what I just said, maybe don’t stay up till 4am each night on the week of the wedding is a good tip! And, don’t be afraid to ask for help – I thought the weight of responsibility was going to destroy me but as the wedding approached, I realised the ‘anything I can do?’ offers were genuine, and people were happy to have a job to do, it kept them feeling involved, and saved me a lot of stress!
My dress – I found online, made to measure but based on the dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Funny Face
My shoes – again online – red sparkly Dorothy shoes and for the evening do – dancing shoes – leopard print converse and a leather jacket for traveling in!
My night before ‘I DO’ ring finger tattoo was done by the stunningly awesome Lou Hopper of Black Cat Tattoo in Torquay, definitely got a good laugh when Steven clocked it as he was saying his vows!
My hair was done by Amy Winters from Inner Image Hair and Beauty in Teignmouth – an amazing hairdresser and world’s best sister and bridesmaid
Bridesmaids hair was done by Vanessa Claxton of Headmasters in Reading. I owe her the world – we never would have been ready on time or looked so awesome if it wasn’t for her!
My hair accessories (Haha! An owl, a blue tit and other random birds to give that ‘snow white’ feel! …again, I wouldn’t let people tell me what I couldn’t do!) were from Zoo in Gandy Street Exeter, and I was so very chuffed with them!
My Bridesmaids looked stunning. I had my best friend Rebecca Murray, Steven’s awesome sisters Nicola and Emmo Bennallick and of course, my sister Amy in dresses from Collectif. I was mega happy when I found them – 4 different retro styles in matching hibiscus print fabric, all with beautifully styles beehives!
Steven’s outfit was a mix of bits from The Real McCoy in Exeter (vintage clothes) and online searching. I wanted him to have a kind of 60’s crossed with Victorian gentleman look – with maroon cords, a paisley cravat, tweed waistcoat and then black converse shoes! A weird mix but I think he looked amazing! Again, I was very grateful he let me dress him head to toe, with Amy Winters cutting his hair into a beautifully scruffed mop!
Our Ushers wore whatever they wanted! I had hinted towards outfits similar to Steven’s, but ultimately, I wanted Chris Horrill, James Keefe and the Best Man Scott Bastow to just feel good in what they fancied wearing!
Special Shout Outs and a Huge Thank You from Lori & Steven goes to –