PRESENTING CHARLIE BREAR'S #FRIDAYBRIDE #33

GETTING DOWN THIS FRIDAY?
WHY NOT KICK START YOUR WEEKEND WITH THESE NEWLYWEDS!

Dance lessons, self-written vows & over 100 bottles of Prosecco can only make for a hilarious & uniquely individual wedding! In the late Spring of last year, Laura & Joe were married in a registry office with just 10 guests. They arranged to share their love over the weekend by creating a humanist ceremony that suited them. This down-to-earth couple said 'I do' in the company of friends & family at Wytham Village Hall, Oxford.   

Bottles popped & partying continued in the countryside setting under amazing tulip style dome marquees; supplied by Laura's best woman, Tracie, from her company Sui-Shi Domes. Videographer & Photographer, Phil Smithies, created an interactive photo booth & videoed the unforgettable moments; while Boy called Bencaptured the couple's radiant energy through out the day. Wearing our delicate lace dress Neru, Laura looked so at ease, laughing & dancing, hand-in-hand with her beau. The candid nature of their snaps suits the couple's relaxed wedding & brings to life the warm love they have for one another & their guests by shooting them in such a natural way.
 
Why not pour yourself a glass & join Laura & Joe's party below...
 

How did Joe propose?
He was supposed to propose on a little boat that we took out to sea in Ibiza (on my birthday) but he was so nervous he forgot the ring… so it ended up happening whilst we were sitting on a rock watching the sunset. I guess I should have guessed as he was necking booze back but it was all very sweet, and to my surprise he’d gone to an enormous effort with the ring and had one made. He managed to acquire an heirloom from his mum – a huge 80s ring with tonnes of diamonds on it – which he then had broken down by a jeweller (split the diamonds with his sister) & then he enlisted my two best mates on email to help design a new ring. He then had the jeweller make it with 16 diamonds. Result! It’s very large and very unusual, very me - I absolutely love it.

What was your best experience when trying on dresses?
I actually didn’t really enjoy the experience a huge amount as it felt like a lot of pressure on one item of clothing. Therefore, I found it hard to make decisions which I ordinarily would make with ease… but, I shopped around, and my favourite experience was at Charlie Brear due to the selection of dresses, the staff, and the space itself which felt secluded, stylish and private.

How did you feel after you had ordered your dress?
Epically relieved. A massive tick off the list. I really didn't like the pressure probably because I’m privately pretty insecure about the way I look so the pressure I put on myself was enormous. Glad I never have to do it again!
 
What shoes did you wear?
I had a shoe nightmare, searched high and low for some cheap shoes as I was spending on the dress and was trying to stay in budget. I ended up buying 4 pairs (!) over the course of a few months...I bought a few pairs from eBay but they arrived and looked cheap and rubbish and in the end I had a total change of heart and bought some red Christian Louboutins. Despite having a high heel, they are REALLY comfy and I wore them all day and night.                                                                                    

Did you struggle finding the right lingerie for your dress & what would you recommend for other brides-to-be?
No, one aspect I didn’t struggle with was underwear; I had some flattering Agent Provocateur lace briefs already, called “Love”, so I just bought them in white. I bought a Wonderbra I already have too, in white, because I wanted the sculpted shape.

Who did your hair & make-up and how did you find them?
I had a total nightmare with this because I'm very pernickety and a perfectionist. Looking and feeling good is obviously important on your wedding day so I had er, four make up trials with four different people – gah! I was very confused about what I was wanting and that made it stressful. In the end I went to Space NK Liverpool St for a trial, loved the woman who did it - Kat - went back again for a second trial and hired her (she worked freelance too) to come and do it. She was brilliant, really lovely to be around, really attentive, charming, kind and has all the best products due to being in Space NK. I loved her!

My natural hair is thin and shit, so about 2 months before the wedding I decided to try extensions – I had clip ins and liked them so much I had them weaved in (I still have them, completely addicted, such a money drain) – then I had to find a hair person to work with them...I lined up a recommendation in Oxford who was great. She’d worked at Toni and Guy for 20 years with him and had just left - she was warm, friendly and we did a couple of trials and she nailed it.

My extensions are Remy from Beautyworks online and they are put in (LA weave style) by the excellent Michelle in Clapham at Hype salon. She does freelance work too e.g. she does Alesha Dixon. I love Michelle, if you want extensions go see her! She is the bomb.

What traditions did you follow? 
We’re not very traditional so we didn’t do the something borrowed, blue etc…We didn’t see each other the night before – I stayed at my mum’s house with my best mate and Maid of Honour, and Joe stayed in my best mate’s empty house with his Best Man. Joe had three Best Men. I had two Maids of Honour and six Best Women. We have lots of great friends and we wanted them to be a part of it all, so it didn’t matter to us that it wasn’t.                                                                                             

How did you feel walking down the aisle?
Surreal but happy. A friend who was sitting at the back where I came out of reminded me that as I entered the room I actually said ‘Oh My God it’s like You Me Bum Bum Train’ – for anyone who has ever done that they will know what I mean..

What was the funniest moment of the day?
There were loads, it was so full of laughter which is what we wanted – in all the photos everyone is laughing. We are pretty relaxed people and we wanted the day to be fun and funny rather than serious.
 
The speeches were particularly great. The Best Man finished his speech with some wise, sage-like advice ‘life’s not all hard ons and cartwheels you know’…

My friend Romy ripped the piss out of me during her speech – she read out old emails I sent her from years ago when I fancied Joe and was thinking about snaring him. One of which said ‘seeing Joe tomorrow eve. My plan is just to get really pissed and then accidentally snog him’. Cringe.

In our vows I vowed to remember Joe is funnier than me, and he vowed to remember that I am funnier than him. He vowed to put up with my love for shit 90s R'n'B pop and I vowed to put up with his love of noodly maudlin electronica.
 

TAKE 5 WITH THIS WEEK'S #FRIDAYBRIDE LAURA!

Laura's #WEDDINGHACKS
 
1. Film the speeches. I couldn’t remember the detail of the speeches and I also thought I’d forgotten to thank people but I hadn’t. It’s so nice to watch them back, Joe watches them regularly to make himself feel good, it’s cute.

2. Take 10 minutes to yourselves. We got the photographer to drive us to a nearby wood for some pictures. It was good to have a little bit of time to ourselves to say ‘oh my f***ing god!!’ etc..

3. Get friends & family involved & delegate jobs – it makes people feel included. We had friends help set up, take down, make the invites, do flowers, make pom poms, make the cake etc etc.. everyone said they felt a part of it.

4. When searching for a dress go through your wardrobe, think about what styles suit you best, then you have a style to loosely search for. Don't forget to consider your venue too.

5. Create a day that reflects you both - we wanted a fun-filled, relaxed day with loads of laughter & that's exactly what happened!

Did your wedding have any quirky or unusual features?
We had a ‘surprise’ wedged into the proceedings. We listed it on the order of service as ‘a surprise in the main hall’. We had hired a dance teacher to come and teach everyone how to do the electric slide to Cameo’s ‘Candy’. In reality, it was a confused mess of people banging into each other, the teacher wasn’t speaking loud enough, and the back of the room couldn’t see anything and lost interest. Oh well, haha.                                                                                                                                                                               
My brother married us. He’s great at public speaking and is funny. We paid a Humanist celebrant to write the script with us, which enabled us to add in some personal touches with funny stories. In the end it was just right tonally – funny but also touching. Or at least that’s what everyone said. They were probably being polite...
 
We printed off a stupid photo of each person attending onto a postcard. We then wrote them a challenge (e.g. down the drink of the person next to your, bang your fists loudly on the table and talk about the housing crisis.) on the back and put them on their place mates. We called each table a pub name (pubs that we love or have loved over the years) & we sat people according to which pubs they had hung out with us in.
 
My mum and her sisters made an amazing red velvet cakewhich was so lush. All our friends are total pissheads but even they didn’t manage to make a dent in the booze. Which meant we had 100 bottles of Prosecco at our house after the wedding (thus we careered slowly into alcoholism, which is what happens after you get married anyway!)

If you could do it all again what would you do differently?
Oh god. We had to un-invite some people. So horrrrrrribly awkward. We were drunk and overexcited when we made the original list and sent the save the dates, and as things progressed we realised costs were spiralling and we were becoming super stressed because of it. So we had to remove some people. It wasn’t the funnest thing we’ve had to do in our lives. They were all cool though thankfully. So yes, I’d have more cash next time.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?
We went for to Tuscany for 4 days directly after – you definitely need to go away for a few days to de-stress and take it all in. At the end of the year we went to Costa Rica then Rio for 3.5 weeks over Christmas. We used this brilliant site HoneyFund to create a humorous list of things people could buy us for our honeymoon, instead of a wedding list. 

Did you find organising your wedding an easy process? 
No, I found it a total nightmare. Strange because I’m hyper organised by nature and used to running a business and running events but the pressure & stress of wanting things to be great and the emotional side of things skewed my ability to function properly. Thankfully, one of my best women, Sam, stepped forward and basically planned it all with me. I really don’t know what I would have done without her – I probably would have died or run away or something.

 

Suppliers

Ceremony Venue - Wyndham Village Hall, Oxford

Reception Venue - Dome Marquees by Sui-Shi Domes

Photographer - Boy Called Ben

Photographer/Videographer/Photo booth - Phil Smithies

Lingerie - Lace 'Love' brief, Agent Provacateur
Wonderbra


Dress - NeruCharlie Brear

Hair Extensions - Michelle at Hype Salon

Make-up - Kat Krupa-Ringuet


Shoes - Christian Louboutin