A Real Life Rock n Roll Bride
What do you usually do in that post-Christmas, pre-New Year slump? Eat up the leftovers, make best friends with your sofa and pyjamas?
Well, Jo and Dan did just the opposite, not only did they decide to get married, they did it in the most fun-filled, rock n roll inspired, unique and fabulous way...
With the bride being a florist we knew their wedding would be pretty stylish, and Jo certainly didn't disappoint. She opted for a bespoke rose gold sequined wedding dress, and hand painted leather jackets for her bride squad. There was even a Rolling Stones inspired piñata, smoke bombs and a glitter bar.
Hooked? We thought so...
What made you choose Elmore Court?
We were struggling to find a venue to fit the number of day guests we had that was fairly close to where we live, so we realised that it could mean a bit of travelling but for the right venue we would be willing to do that. It was Dan that came across Elmore Court. We were blown away by how gorgeous it looked and we loved the history of it, so we booked an appointment to come and have a look and boy did it not disappoint. As soon as we drove through the wrought iron gates I knew this was the place, the grounds, the house the Gillyflower it was all just incredible. I remember when we walked into the house we looked at each other and smiled, I think at that moment the decision was made.
Tell us about that Sequin Dress of dreams
Ahhh my dress! It was an absolute masterpiece and I feel blessed that I stumbled across the talented Margo who really made my dress dreams come true. I had tried on so many dresses and been to numerous shops and the dresses were beautiful but they just weren’t me.
I had pretty much given up on looking and had decided to take a break and maybe come back to it later when I stumbled across a blog which featured this incredible dress and I knew instantly it was exactly what I had been looking for all along!! Sparkle, rose gold sequins YES PLEASE! It was like a dress light bulb moment. So I got in contact with Margo. She was a dream to work with and managed to put all my dress ideas into reality. It was really fun going to fittings and trips to buy fabric, it made the whole experience really exciting and different. When it came to the final fitting I was just blown away by the skill that had gone into making it and it fitted absolutely perfectly and felt like a second skin. Maybe it was fate as the original design of the dress was called Johanna!!!
How did the Rock n Roll theme come about?
I didn’t really have a colour scheme, but I knew that anything I chose had to go with my rose gold wedding dress as I didn’t want it to clash. I used hints of gold and pink and a bit of green. The Gillyflower is so rustic and the light feature is just gorgeous I wanted to keep the décor quite minimal to show the venue off.
The theme of our wedding day was more like FUN! I wanted the day to reflect our interests and our personalities and I wanted the day to feel as relaxed as possible. I added things that both Dan and myself are interested in and enjoy doing together. I made a piñata of the Rolling Stones logo. We are massive fans so they had to be featured in the wedding.
Our guest book was a globe, we love to travel and have been to some amazing places so again I wanted to feature this at the wedding.
What flowers does a florist choose for her wedding?
Choosing flowers was really hard for me as I am a florist and I love flowers but I had to think on a more practical level as we would be bringing the flowers up from London and it being so close to Christmas there wasn’t the time to go too crazy!
We didn’t have anything in the ceremony room as there was a huge Christmas tree, which just looked incredible and the room just didn’t need anything else. I am a lover of foliage and ferns and I am obsessed with succulents so I decided to use a mixture of them both.
We decided to have a mixture of round and long tables to give it a less formal appearance. On some table centres we had fern plants in rustic wooden boxes, succulent terrariums and on the long tables, we had gold candlesticks and candles and a mixture of foliage running down the centre.
For the Bridesmaids and my bouquet, I used a mixture of foliage to give it texture and Succulents. I purposely wanted the bouquets to be understated, as the dresses were the main element.
Those Sequin bridesmaids!
The bridesmaids wore floor-length gold sequin dresses, which were a Jenny Packham design. This was the first wedding purchase that I made. Having 9 bridesmaids, I knew finding a dress to suit them all was going to be a hard task. Being a Christmas wedding I knew metallic colours would work well. As a surprise for all the girls myself, and my mum hand painted them each a leather jacket to go with the dress and to wear when we were taking pictures out in the cold. They looked amazing with the gold dresses and went down a storm!
What did Dan and his groomsmen wear?
Dan had his suit custom made, he wanted to have something different that would stand out. He chose a lovely rich emerald green colour and it just suited the venue so well. We were so pleased that we decided to go down this route, we had such a lovely experience choosing the fabric and everything down to the last detail, being measured and going back for fittings and adjustments and it made it really special for Dan.
The dads also got their suits made from the same place so it was a really nice experience for them too. I didn’t see Dan’s suit in full until I walked down the aisle so that was a lovely surprise to see him in all his splendour.
For the groomsmen, we wanted to choose a suit colour that contrasted Dan’s and really made his stand out. We chose an oatmeal colour and added accents of emerald green to it with the tie and pocket chief. It just worked perfectly.
How did you feel on the morning of the wedding?
I felt really calm in the morning, which surprised me as I’d always pictured myself being a nervous wreck. I think it helped to have so many bridesmaids, so there were lots of people around me and I just didn’t have a chance to get nervous. Also, the flowing bubbles probably helped a bit! It was just lovely being pampered having my hair styled and my makeup done by a professional.
Walking down the aisle
I absolutely loved walking down the aisle, having that special moment with my dad and I was also so excited to see Dan waiting for me at the end.
During the ceremony is when I felt nervous, although you are in a room with everyone you care about and feel so comfortable in front of them, I guess it’s the pressure of not saying the vowels wrong or messing it up. The ceremony seemed to go by in a flash and it was time to party!
Tell us about the drinks reception, photos etc…
We wanted our guests to be entertained whilst the photos were being taken so we hired some percussionists to play along to a song list that we had put together. Everybody loved it, the guests were dancing, mingling and enjoying the canapés and drinks.
I love cocktails so we had two Kilner jars filled with some winter alcoholic delights, Moscow mule and gin and cranberry just to give the guests something a little different.
We both decided that we didn’t want too many traditional wedding pictures and wanted to create some arty shots. I knew Lex our photographer would be the lady to deliver this as I had seen some of her previous work and I was so impressed with the different shots she captured. So I went sourcing for props, confetti, smoke bombs the lot. It made taking the pictures so much fun as colour smoke was going everywhere and it looked fantastic against the backdrop of the venue and grounds, the snow on the ground and our outfits. We really were so lucky with the weather that day. Lex captured some fantastic smoke bomb pictures; I haven’t seen anything like it before!
The piñata pictures were so much fun!
What did you eat and drink?
The food was absolutely fantastic! For the wedding breakfast, we wanted to keep the food quite casual and loved the idea of everyone sharing making it less formal. For starters, we had tapas, which we both really love and for main we had lamb and vegetable tagine. Accompanied with veg and couscous. For pudding, we had a trio of desserts, which finished off the meal perfectly.
All the guests really enjoyed the food and we had so many comments after the wedding about it.
And a Rice Crispies Wedding cake?
Dan’s not a lover of cake and we didn’t want to have a traditional wedding cake. One day I came across a picture on Pinterest which really caught my eye. It was a wedding cake made out of rice crispies. We have a family recipe for toffee crispies cakes which we have used for celebrations for many years, so I thought it would be a great idea for our wedding cake to be made with that recipe. They always get eaten in seconds at parties so I knew the cake would be a hit.
On the 26th December me, mum and Dan’s mum spent the morning creating the cake, it was a real group effort and then I decorated it with loads of sweets so it doubled up as a sweetie cart too. I was so pleased with the result it really did look great.
Evening entertainment and how did you choose your playlists for the day?
We had a DJ for the evening entertainment and he was incredible. Dan is a massive fan of music and he spent ages putting together a playlist for the DJ of a mix of music from so many genres. The DJ just did an outstanding job of mashing it all together.
Both the young and the older crowd were on the dance floor the entire night. It really was rocking!! The percussionists played another set in the evening so they accompanied the DJ, it felt like you were in a club... It was great to see everyone having so much fun! We also had a glitter bar and it was lovely to see everyone getting involved, young, old, male and female. It really made a party atmosphere, which is exactly what we wanted.
Our first dance was LOVE by Nat King Cole. We chose this song because we wanted a more up-tempo number to get everyone on the dance floor and to set the tone of the evening.
Tell us about all those unusual details
I did a lot myself, being a florist I go to so many weddings and I wanted ours to have lots of our own touches so our personalities shone through the day. I made all the groomsmen and dads' lego buttonholes. These were so much fun to make. We sourced figures that related to the person's personality or something they had done or were called, we wanted them to be a bit of fun.
We made our own photo booth. I bought a frame from the internet and some material and we covered it with decorations. Then I bought lots of inflatable shapes and objects that people could use in the photos. I also made a piñata of the rolling stones logo as we are huge fans. That was fun watching Dan blindfolded trying to hit it and it made some awesome pictures!
What was a particular highlight of your day?
There were so many highlights of the day but one that stuck out for me was the entrance to the wedding breakfast.
We had our friend Matt introducing the whole wedding party, so all the bridesmaids and the groomsmen in pairs had to come into the wedding breakfast and do a little dance. It was so funny to see them all and was lovely that they all got their special moment to shine.
The guests loved it and everyone was clapping and cheering and really got everyone in a joyful mood. Then after our bridal party made their entrance it was time for ours and everyone cheered and were on their feet, we felt like celebrities it was great.
What was your biggest surprise of the day?
There were so many special moments but one that particularly stuck out for us both was in the ceremony when some of my friends read out a poem. They had written the poem themselves and we had not heard it up until that moment and it made it very special and emotional.
Top tips for other brides:
I had so much advice from friends and family on what to do on the day so I tried to follow their advice.
Two things I definitely recommend you do is RELAX, have fun and make sure you enjoy your day.
If your guests see you enjoying the day they will too. Also, the classic that everyone tells you to do, make sure you make time to step back and take it all in. I did this a few times in the evening when everyone was on the dance floor having fun. It made my heart swell seeing everyone I loved in the same room having so much fun and seeing the smiles on their faces. I will never forget that and for me they are special memories of the day.
Some of the fabulous suppliers we used...
Dan’s suit: Suit Supply
Groomsmen suits: Next
Photos by Fleming Photo - Alternative Wedding Photography
Thanks so much Jo & Dan for letting us share your AMAZING day with everyone... we loved every bit of it!
Lots of love,
Team E x