REAL WEDDING // OUR WEDDING DAY - DEARLY BELOVED GET HITCHED

Abi&Ben-708.jpg

One of the absolute highlights of 2017 was when we tied the knot, it was genuinely one of the best days we have ever had; we were lucky enough to be surrounded by the people we love for a whole weekend of celebrating and vowing to be best friends forever in our home town of Plymouth.

From beginning to end the whole weekend was about love, laughter and family and we just had the most beautiful time. EMBRACE the traditions you love and DITCH the ones you don't and above all else HAVE FUN.

We really wanted to follow the advice we give to other couples to not get bogged down with conventions that didn't suit us for our wedding; in so many ways our wedding was beautifully traditional, but we loved adding a couple of touches to keep it feeling like "us" (including a few feminist twists).

Photography by our talented friend Emma from Freckle Photography

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben_Friday-57.jpg

We kicked off the weekend with a tiny legal wedding ceremony followed by champagne by the sea and an intimate dinner with our immediate families.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben_Friday-37.jpg
Dearly_Beloved_Abi&Ben_Friday-95.jpg

It was really important to us to get married at somewhere that meant something to us, since Plymouth has been such a huge part of our story we really wanted to get married in our hometown and it definitely had to be by the sea.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-035.jpg
DearlyBeloved-wedding stationery_copper-foil_12.jpg
Dearly Beloved-wedding invitations_retro_bird_ocean studios7.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-030.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-031.jpg

Our flowers were created by florist and jewellery designer Clare Elizabeth Kilgour, who did an amazing job. We love the wild natural shapes she creates with her arrangements; we really left it up to her to create whatever she wanted, they just turned out beautifully.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-068.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-039.jpg
Abi wore earrings by East London designer  Wolf & Moon

Abi wore earrings by East London designer Wolf & Moon

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-103.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-060.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-087.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-098.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-162.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-100.jpg

We both really wanted to feel comfortable and like the best version of ourselves on our wedding day... Ben wore his trusty Next navy wool 3 piece suit (that he already owned and always feels good in) with a mustard gold knitted skinny tie and white shirt; he also wore cufflinks stamped with with coordinates to Portminster Beach, St Ives (where we filmed our wedding announcement/engagement video) and a custom tie clip both from designer maker Copper Poppy found on Etsy.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-238.jpg

We didn't have a formal wedding party with bridesmaids and groomsmen but instead had our immediate family walk down the aisle with us and stand by our side while we said our vows. Our sisters wore a white dress of their choice with a flower corsage and our brothers and nephew wore blue suits and light gold knitted skinny ties.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-144.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-224.jpg

Abi: I knew two things before I even tried anything on ...that a traditional white dress just wouldn't feel right and that I wanted a cape! I wanted to be comfortable but still like the sassiest version of myself! Dressmaker Ailsa Munro created a wide legged jumpsuit for me with a floor length cape and rose gold leather flower detail on the shoulders. In the evening I slipped into a backless rose gold full sequin dress for dancing.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-209.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-184.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-187.jpg

Our official wedding began the day after with a ceremony at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard. Primarily an art gallery and artist studio space weddings are new to Ocean Studios and we were overjoyed to be the first couple to tie the knot in such a beautiful spot. We both really love the aesthetic of honest spaces that still have the charm of their original purpose, the whole of RWY is made up of old Navy buildings and Ocean Studios just had the right feel, both historical and industrial, so many of our guests commented on how it space "was SO us". We hired holiday apartments at Royal William Yard and spent the whole weekend there with our close family and friends.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-230.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-019.jpg

In terms of colour scheme we weren't worried about things "matching" but wanted to blend colours and styles that were right for the spaces we were in. We had lots of different golds, yellows, coppers and oranges with touches of pink and red and blue as an accent colour. We also collected over 70 glass bottles and jars of all different shapes and sizes, including Plymouth Gin bottles which Clare Kilgour filled with flowers.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-003.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-246.jpg
Dearly beloved_Abi&Ben-015.jpg

The wedding stationery we designed featured mid century inspired illustrations of birds and florals and hand drawn modern calligraphy; it was important to us to design the stationery together and so Ben drew the illustrations and Abi created the lettering. 

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-382.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-386.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-408.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-340.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-318.jpg

We really wanted our wedding ceremony to be a celebration of us and our families coming together; we wrote the ceremony ourselves with the guidance of Abi's parents church Pastor who conducted the ceremony. Instead of hymns we sang motown songs such as 'Let's Stay Together' by Al Green and 'Higher and higher' by Jackie Wilson; we had a sand ceremony in which we mixed together sand from Jamaica and Cyprus (places important to our families' history) to symbolise our union; we also had had a ring warming where before we exchanged rings they were passed around all of our guests so that they could place well wishes upon them.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-420.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-360.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-431.jpg

After our ceremony we celebrated with homemade cocktails and canapés...

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-451.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-442.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-453.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-439.jpg

The canapés included lots of olives, sun dried tomatoes and humous, and Abi's Mom's infamous spicy fried chicken.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-547.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-543.jpg
Abi&Ben-530.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-602.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-560.jpg

One of the traditions we broke was to give our wedding speech together, after all we had just vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, why not start with the speech.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-664.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-672.jpg

Ben's twin sister Lucy and her husband are musicians in Royal Marines Band and they played us into our reception at The Loft with a surprise rendition of some of our favourite songs on clarinet and ukulele, they included a few that had featured in our ceremony and Ben's late Grannie's favourite song. It was so special to us and a definite highlight of the day. 

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-670.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-679.jpg

We had planned a surprise evening boat trip before our reception but when the time came around the sea was pretty rough and we had to abandon our plans - It just goes to show you can't plan for everything and you just have to "go with the flow" and everyone still had a wonderful time. After a delicious Caribbean wedding breakfast catered by Mama Rita's Afro Caribbean Pot we danced the night away to live music from 8 piece funk and soul band Freshly Squeezed.

dearly beloved wedding cake Abi&Ben-645.jpg
dearly beloved wedding cake sign Abi&Ben-639.jpg
dearly beloved wedding cake Abi&Ben-644.jpg

Our beautiful wedding cakes were baked by our amazing friend Abbi and Ben's fabulous big sister Rebecca (look out GBBO2019!)

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-735.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-763.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-769.jpg
Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-739.jpg

WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS
Having Pastor Cassius conduct our wedding ceremony will always be so important to us, the whole ceremony was very personal and an absolute joy from beginning to end, we just couldn't stop smiling. Walking down the aisle with our families; Ben chose to be given away by his Mum and Abi was given away by her Dad. Walking into our reception in such a special way ...AND we also had glitter confetti cannons which was pretty incredible.

Dearly Beloved_Abi&Ben-174.jpg

TOP PLANNING TIPS
Just do what makes you happy! There were many moments when people told us "you can't do that - it's a wedding!" You have to wear a dress, you can't see each other on the morning of the wedding, you should get married in a church... Many of our guests commented that it was the best wedding they had ever been to (which is just so amazing to hear) from beginning to end the whole weekend was about love, laughter and family and we just had the most beautiful time. At the end of the day a wedding is a celebration of you both and your lives coming together, EMBRACE the traditions you love and DITCH the ones you don't and above all else HAVE FUN.

SUPPLIERS
Photography - Freckle Photography

Intimate legal wedding day
Bride's dress - Oliver Bonas
Groom's suit - Ben Sherman
Venue - Plymouth Hoe & Plymouth Registry Office

Wedding celebration day
Bride's jumpsuit and cape - Ailsa Munro
Bride's jewellery - Wolf & Moon
Groom's suit - Next
Venue - Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard & The Loft, Sutton Harbour
Flowers - Clare Elizabeth Kilgour
Catering - Mama Rita's Afro Caribbean Pot
Band - Freshly Squeezed

 

Eastern inspired glamour // Morocco meets India shoot

Venue -  Worden House . Styling by  Best Day Ever.  Make up by  Gemma Ryder . Photo by  Freckle Photography

Venue - Worden House. Styling by Best Day Ever. Make up by Gemma Ryder. Photo by Freckle Photography

When Emma from Best Day Ever was on the look out for creative suppliers to help out with an alternative styled shoot we jumped at the chance to get involved. Influenced by her love of rich Eastern fabrics and colour this look has all the glamour of a traditional Indian wedding but with a laid back modern twist. 

Florals by  Bloom & Florish . Photo by   Freckle Photography

We looked to everything from indian mandalas, jewelled sarees and moroccan henna to design this fresh suite of stationery. And for that extra special touch we collaborated with the talented folk over at The Foil Invite Co. who added the delicate gold foiling.

Hair by  The Hair Lounge . Wedding gowns from Angel Face Bridal. Photo by   Freckle Photography

Hair by The Hair Lounge. Wedding gowns from Angel Face Bridal. Photo by Freckle Photography

Invitation, RSVP and place setting with hand lettering by  Dearly Beloved  and gold foiling by the  Foil Invite Co.  Photo by   Freckle Photography

Invitation, RSVP and place setting with hand lettering by Dearly Beloved and gold foiling by the Foil Invite Co. Photo by Freckle Photography

Best Day Ever are experts in alternative wedding ceremonies including same sex couples, we just love this shot of both brides surrounded by lush fabrics and vibrant florals by Bloom & Flourish. 

Table numbers featuring hand painted lettering and indian inspired illustrated pattern. Photo by   Clare Kinchin Photography

Table numbers featuring hand painted lettering and indian inspired illustrated pattern. Photo by Clare Kinchin Photography

This style has so much scope for lavish special detail, the decorative pattern continue onto the wedding cake designed and created by Cut Me Off a Slice.

The stationery featured in this shoot is available in not only hot pink but also purple and turquoise. Why not mix and match for your celebration? Photo by   Clare Kinchin Photography

The stationery featured in this shoot is available in not only hot pink but also purple and turquoise. Why not mix and match for your celebration? Photo by Clare Kinchin Photography

RSVP with gold envelope and illustrated envelope liner by  Dearly Beloved . Photo by  Clare Kinchin Photography

RSVP with gold envelope and illustrated envelope liner by Dearly Beloved. Photo by Clare Kinchin Photography

We were lucky enough to attend the shoot and have a little wander around the gorgeous venue, Worden House - It's safe to say Abi is in love with the views of rolling hills, pool side dining area and extra party shed decked out with vintage industrial interior.

Want to create this look for your wedding? The stationery will be available from our website very soon as one of the Dearly Beloved Collections! But if you can't wait just get in touch and we can send you more info via email.

And a special shout out to the talented Devon based team that made the shoot possible - Make sure you head over to their websites to see more of their creative wedding skills!

Stationery designed by us here at Dearly Beloved and foiled by The Foil Co. 
Styling by Best Day Ever
Photography at Worden House by Freckle Photography 
Photography of table decor by Clare Kinchin Photography
Wedding gowns by Angel Face Bridal
Headpieces by Kye Tew Jewellery
Venue: Worden House Dartmouth 
Make Up by Gemma Ryder
Cake by Cut Me of a Slice 
Hair stylist: The Hair Lounge 
Florals by Bloom & Flourish
Catering by Elaine Day Entertaining Food

Making your wedding personal

Photograph by  Freckle Photography

Photograph by Freckle Photography

HOORAY you're getting married! BUT now you have to plan the darn wedding!

It can seem like an impossible task, our advice is... Your wedding is a celebration of your the beginning of your lives together - So do it your way! 

We loved working with this couple to create their  NYC edgy, colourful collection .   Photograph by  Weddingbytwo

We loved working with this couple to create their NYC edgy, colourful collection. Photograph by Weddingbytwo

Your invitations set the tone for your wedding day; they are the first snippet of the wedding you get to share with your loved ones. There are so many options, how do you decide? Ignore the norm and stay true to you! What do you like? What are your interests? Favourite colours, films, places?

Classic 1950s  Order of Ceremony programme. Photograph by  Sarah Lauren Photography

Classic 1950s Order of Ceremony programme. Photograph by Sarah Lauren Photography

This couple came to us with ideas inspired by their parents, favourite film and the Groom's Malaysian heritage.

Images from the couple that inspired the collection

Images from the couple that inspired the collection

The Bride's mother on her wedding day

The Bride's mother on her wedding day

Their  Classic 1950s bespoke collection  included everything from illustrated compact mirrors for favours to the menus, all featuring painted herb inspired foliage and clean classic typography. 

Their Classic 1950s bespoke collection included everything from illustrated compact mirrors for favours to the menus, all featuring painted herb inspired foliage and clean classic typography. 

The happy couple on their big day!  See more here on Sarah Lauren's blog

The happy couple on their big day! See more here on Sarah Lauren's blog

Use your wedding to celebrate yourselves! Choose your best friend to give you away... Ditch the cake and eat wedding donuts! We're here to help!

Meet Freckle Photography

On the blog today is Emma, talented Devon based wedding photographer who works under the name  Freckle Photography .  Emma's beautiful images always manage to make you feel as though you are genuinely sharing a moment with the couple she is photographing... She is also the nicest person you will ever meet!

On the blog today is Emma, talented Devon based wedding photographer who works under the name Freckle Photography.

Emma's beautiful images always manage to make you feel as though you are genuinely sharing a moment with the couple she is photographing... She is also the nicest person you will ever meet!

"My aim is to capture love and truth in whatever way it presents itself. I love my job so much and feel so lucky to play a part in so many couple’s weddings"

"I love nothing more than when my couples say ‘the photos are so us’. That’s my main aim – to tell the real story of your wedding day but more than that is to show what makes you ‘you’ and your wedding day just yours."

Dearly Beloved have had the joy of working with Freckle in the past in styled shoots and she has even taken some of our product shots, having watched Emma work her magic in the past we can fully recommend her services. Check out more of her work here!