#TBT: Here comes the bride

Tuesday was our second wedding anniversary. So much has changed over the past two years – there have been three new additions to our clan (the first of the furry variety!), we’ve said goodbye to our beautiful boy Findlay, met our little rainbow, left the EU – that it seems like a lifetime ago Tom and I were discussing wedding flowers, and mapping out our honeymoon.

Our days are now dictated by the milkslug’s feeding/bowel-evacuation schedule, leaving little time for reminiscing (and even less for romance!) Last week, whilst Leo chomped on my boobs for the 129th time that day, I looked over at my husband who was on hand and knees cleaning piss of the carpet and said ‘”We’re not doing anniversary presents this year are we?” Fortunately, my lack of romanticism was met with thorough agreement from my equally exhausted (although not quite so chapped in the nipple department) spouse, who clearly had also not given our anniversary much thought and more than appreciated being let off the hook when it came to sourcing a gift.

We did manage a card each, and Tom got me a plant (very thoughtful, however it is yet another thing I need to try and keep alive) – but that was about it. Our evening consisted of sharing a take away pizza (and by sharing I mean Tom eating is half downstairs doing work whilst I took mine, and the boy, upstairs to our bedroom) before crashing out afound 11pm after what was a horrific day for all three of us.

So, I decided to write a post about our wedding as a means of momentarily reverting back to the carefree, idealistic, size 10 girl I was a mere 24 months ago, and as a tribute to my wonderful husband, who is my strength and without whom I would not have survived, and neither of our boys would be here.

I know I haven’t said it enough recently Mr B, but I love you really an awful lot. And 23rd August 2014 was one of the happiest days of my life.

(Plus, I love looking at the pictures!)

We had been together for 8 years by the time we got married, having first met in 2006 when I moved from Cheshire to Norwich. In that time we have spent a lot of time living in different places: first of all Tom was in Sheffield completing the final year of his law degree, then I went to Sheffield to study English Literature, leaving Tom in Norfolk. We have lived together since 2012 when I graduated and share a home just outside Norwich. Tom proposed in February 2013, just a few months before he took a secondment to New Zealand. Luckily I had wedding planning to stop me from missing him too much!


The ceremony was held at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist. This is Norwichs Catholic cathedral which was important to me and my family. My Nan passed away the November before the wedding so it was really important to remember her throughout the day and we included a number of personal touches in the day. I walked down the aisle to SchubertAve Maria, as my Nan did nearly 50 years before. It was a very moving part of the day.

The reception took place at St Giles House Hotel, just a short 5 minute walk away. We had lots of guests travelling from outside Norfolk so we were keen to have city centre venues which were easy for everyone to get to without having to worry about driving/taxis etc. The venue was perfect as we were looking to create 1920s / Gatsby vibe to the day. When I studied English Literature I fell in love with the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and this is something we wanted to build into the day. Tom, whilst not a reader, loved the idea of recreating the fun-loving, party atmosphere of the Roaring Twenties, and St Giles had a great lounge area reminiscent of a smoking lounge which we loved. 
We had exclusive use of the whole hotel which meant we could spend the next morning having breakfast with a number of our guests who also stayed over.

When I first started looking for ‘The Dress’ I spent a lot of time lusting over beautiful Jenny Packham gowns but these were WAAAY out of my budget. Also I didn’t think they would suit my shape as the ’20s was all about tall, willowy girls – and I am neither! I went dress shopping just with my mum and we went to all the bridal shops in Norwich. As soon as we saw the Phil Collins dress we both said ‘wow’ as we honestly didn’t think we’d find anything like it. It was so different from the other dresses I’d seen or tried in other shops. I didn’t get it straight away – I’m the most indecisive person on the planet! We went back the following week and as soon as I put it on I knew it was the one for me. In keeping with my ‘20s theme I splashed out and bought Rachel Simpson ‘Mimi’ shoes. They were so comfortable and utterly glamorous.

As the ceremony was in a Cathedral it was fitting to have a Cathedral length veil. It was stunning with tiny crystals dotted in it which caught the light and gave a subtle sparkle which matched the beading on my dress. I knew I wanted a side headband to add to the Gatsby style and found the perfect one which matched the detailing on my dress. Both were from La Crème bridal boutique where I got my dress from. The earrings were loaned from Winsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich. It was from their Something Borrowed range, which I was able to hire because both my engagement ring and our wedding rings came from there. They were absolutely beautiful (and probably the most expensive item of jewellery I will ever get my mits on!) 
Amelia Garwood did my hair. We tried several styles during the trial and in the end it was absolutely perfect. There were so many grips in my hair I set the alarm off at airport security the next day. My make-up was done by the amazing Katy, part of the beauty team at The Spa @ St Giles. They use Bare Minerals which is great as I dont wear much make up in real life so I wanted something which would give me a great coverage and that glamorous Gatsby look without feeling heavy or greasy. It felt fantastic and lasted all (with a little help from my bridesmaids who were on touch-up duty’)


I had 5 bridesmaids my younger sister, my sister-in-law and my 3 best friends from high school. The bridesmaid dresses were strapless, duchess satin and came from French Connection I managed to get them in the January sale, they should have been £180 each. The girls all chose their own shoes as I wanted them to feel comfortable. They all came from the high street. The girls also wore their own accessories the dresses were fairly simple so they were free to style the rest of the look how they wanted. All except my sister live some distance from Norfolk which meant the first time I saw all 5 in their dresses was on the wedding day. They all looked beautiful! 

Ragged Robin florist in Wymondham (where we live). We were really keen to use Anna as she had done the flowers for my Nans funeral which were beautiful. The flowers for Nans casket were based on her wedding bouquet, and I had the same flowers for my bouquet so in a way, a similar bouquet to the one she had on her big day. I had a hand tied style bouquet with ivory avalanche roses and white lisianthus with gypsophila and eucalyptus foliage bound in a solid ivory ribbon. I also had one of my Nan’s broaches fixed to my bouquet as my ‘something old’.  The bridesmaid bouquets were simple hand tied gypsophila. Tom’s button hole was an avalanche rose to match my bouquet with gyp and eucalyptus and the groomsmen had gyp with eucalyptus.
For the reception flowers, we had tall lily vases with a ball of gypsophila in them, and 3 staggered mini roses inside the vase, placed on a mirror surrounded with tea lights and small crystal table decorations. The Cathedral flowers were done by the church florists.

Mr B looking super chilled – no hint of doubt that I would show…don’t know if that’s testament to the strength of our relationship or if I should have done more to keep him on his toes!
Got him! Pleased as punch.

Cocktails all round! Brambles and mojitos (and they were STRONG!)


The Park Farm crew getting rowdy during the speeches!
Instead of a guest book we did a ‘Message in a Bottle’. Last year’s was fun to open…shame we’ve got to wait another three before we can smash the next one and see what people wrote!

The gorgeous lead singer from our wedding band. They were a four piece from Brighton called Lady and the Tramps and played a mix of older and contemporary tracks with a cool, vintage vibe and were amazing! They did a beautiful rendition of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ for our first dance, and everyone was on their feet for their jazzy version of Disney’s The Jungle Book’s ‘Wanna Be Like You.’ I think my brother developed a bit of a crush on her!


A friend of my dad made wedding our cake. We found a design we liked and he was able to perfectly recreate it. There were four layers in total (although the top tier was fake –  shhhh!). The flavours were chocolate, vanilla and my favourite carrot. Apparently, it was delicious – although neither of us managed to get any!
We also completely missed the evening buffet (Tom was gutted as he loves a good cheese board!) which may explain why we were so ravenous the following morning…
Preparing for the first dance…
Karen Fuller was our photographer. We met with 5/6 different photographers as it was really important to us that we had beautiful images. She absolutely got our vision of Gatsby glamour and 20s fun and our idea of Old Hollywood Glamour shots. This has got to be my favourite picture of the whole wedding. We call it our Sopranos shot as we wanted something very staged and magazine like and were inspired by the moody, DVD covers of TV shows like The Sopranos. 

So there you have it, our day summed up in probably too many words and some rather glorious pictures. Such a shame I will never fit into that dress again!