A Novel of Love: Tom & Marie
One of the things I love the most when writing for Bespoke Bride is seeing peoples weddings brought to life, the images we post here are the results of their ideas, their visions and their dreams. What makes them even more special is listening to their experiences, how the wedding come to be, what the themes, decor and moments meant to the the couple. We are always so honoured to be able to share what is one of the biggest days of their lives!
I had so much fun reading Marie & Tom’s story today. Marie reminds me a lot of myself, she has visions and ideas in her head of how she wants a certain thing to be and feel but it is up to the extra special people around her to help extract those things and bring them to life. Todays story is a tale of romance, magic, dancing & merriment and I think you will agree it really is like something straight of a novel.
Here is bride Marie to tell you more…
“I have a very peculiar imagination and as soon as we were engaged I had a bizarre scrapbook in my mind; it included images of a forgotten library in a magical darkened 1930s’ wood all underneath a canvas of bright moonlight and stars – with maybe a dash of Jane Eyre. Of course, trying to explain this to family and friends understandably raised eyebrows – ‘but what do you mean exactly?’ and indecisive, inarticulate me would mumble ‘I’m not sure, actually errrm’. Luckily, my husband Tom found the perfect venue early on: Sywell Grange Farm in the heart of Northamptonshire – tucked away at the bottom of a tree lined lane surrounded by corn fields.
Amazingly, as the months passed by, people were able to access my weirdo mind. For example my florists knew straight away what I meant when I (again) inarticulately mumbled ‘ I sort of want to look like I’ve just strolled through a meadow, where I’ve casually happened upon a spray of wild flowers… but on the way to a poetry recital,…but I also really like the bouquets 1930s’ brides used to have ’. ‘Errr no problem, I know exactly what you mean’. And they really did – because my bouquet was a 1930s’- meadow -poetry recital ready – vision!
Being indecisive is an awful affliction for a bride – particularly wedding dress shopping. I knew I wanted to look like a 1930s’ bride with a Juliet cap and tiered dress. Yet I also wanted to feel a bit like Audrey Hepburn when she goes to the Embassy Ball in My Fair Lady – see what mean? I wanted a million different things all at the same time but was never clear about it! Thankfully, Serendipity Brides directed me to the Claire Pettibone Kristine dress which embodied all of what I ever wanted. It was an easy decision!
My mother in law, a talented lady, offered to make the invitations – ‘how would you like them ?’ she asked – ‘well, a bit like a 1930s’ novel adorned with wild flowers please?’ – her eyes only slightly widened as she said ‘no problem’. Astonishingly, she then made an exact replica that was in my imagination. She also hemmed table cloths, made floral runners which were wonderfully fringed and Victorian made from an array of materials. I owe this woman much.
My sister-in-law, Katy, made our wedding cake armed only with the strange request of ‘something you would find on Miss Havisham’s table maybe ..’.‘Er ok, no problem’ Katy said– and she, with absolute perfection, produced an ivy covered cake, along with iced version of our cats: Emmett and Clawed. My brother’s partner, Nicola, chalked up beautifully drawn black boards for our seating plan and another welcoming guests behind the top table. This was last minute but she, echoing others, reassured us with a ‘no problem’.
So this forgotten, dusty 1930s’ library began to take shape. The marquee, rigged up by our friend Ben gave us the scope to do this. We had books which have shaped our lives for each table with corresponding favours. The Wuthering Heights table had honey from the Yorkshire moors; the Great Gatsby table had bow ties for everyone – which all the men gleefully wore! The top table was, of course, Jane Eyre. Everyone on the top table had a book we thought they would enjoy. We had book cover bunting along the bar. I think on the day people read and danced at the same time!
My husband had a brain wave of creating place names around extracts from novels and plays. We scoured old novels, children’s books, fairy-tales for characters with the same name as our guests. However, we did forget about this! We ended up resuming the task a few nights before the wedding! In fact, my one word of advice is to do things in plenty of time. For example, we didn’t really pay too much heed to the order of service. I started putting it together five days before the wedding and ran to the priest because I had no idea what the order was (yes really). We had a problem printing them, so the night before my best friend Laura and I were stapling them together with luminous pink staples (we had run out of ordinary staples). Yet it all worked out – it always does. Luminous pink staples et al!
The page was set for the story of our day. We made our vows at Northampton cathedral, it was a lovely home-spun, personal service . My dad and I were on time. Unexpectedly. Starfular by Sigor Ros hauntingly playing as I walked up the aisle; jokes made by our priest about my disorganisation i.e. the order of service fiasco, cue a roar of hearty laughs from the congregation. Even though it was at my expense, I felt great! It was such a beautiful atmosphere exchanging our vows in front of such wonderful family and friends – most of whom regularly said ‘no problem’ to us .The marquee really was the forgotten 1930s’ library we imagined. People loved the individual story name cards. The speeches made us all cry, laugh and cheer. My dad gave me my late grandmother’s wedding ring. Unexpectedly.
Little surprises happened along the way: a fanzine about us produced by brother in law and his wife – full of stories of my many mishaps, cartoons about us, haikus about us! Our brilliant band making everyone dance! My cousin’s fiancé hijacking the band’s microphone; dedicating a song for us, stealing the show and making the whole marquee drunkenly sing along to ‘Your song’. These things will stay with us forever
The weather was on our side too: dramatic steely skies at first; a brief downpour which huddled us all together; Glenn Miller soaring over the rain; the rain stopping to reveal a double rainbow for the photos. It felt a lot like it was all done on purpose! A beautiful evening with a sunset over the cornfields.
Our photographer Steve was exceptional. He has this unique ability to capture the subtle, important moments you would otherwise lose forever. So many things we would have missed without him. This includes a glance, a hearty laugh, a flash of emotion or just some detail he has noticed – transforming it from the ordinary to the extraordinary!
He also has an instinctive way of understanding your day, telling the story in a way you would like it to be told. I would tell anyone who has a big event to contact Steve – I can not recommend his work enough. A lovely, chilled person who will put you at ease. For instance, I’m usually very self-conscious when having photos taken but I hardly noticed him taking them and as result, everything is natural and well, just wonderful. Steve caught this all and somehow managed to tell this particular story. It was a good story.”
Super Suppliers – Photographer: Steven Anthony Photography// Florist: Jack Haddon// Make Up: Joanne Tromans Make Up// Hair: Dominic Lehane// Beetle: Fifties Chic// Campervan: Gary Witts – he’s just setting up his own website. Our wedding kick-started his business hiring out the van!// Band: Milo Max// Food: Limes Farm// Marquee: Wings Events Limited// Venue: Sywell Grange//
And that dear readers is the beginnings of a bigger story! We wish Marie and Tom all the happiness in the world for their future together!
Much Bespoke Love