Lifestyle Magazine

A Homemade Kentish Affair with a Retro Vibe

By Claire

So Louise planned her coun­try­side cre­ative wed­ding with a fab­u­lous vin­tage twist. One thing I hadn’t seen on her blog was that Garry, her groom, was a police­man. Cue vin­tage police car as a sur­prise — along with the loveli­est dri­ver to chauf­feur the boys around.

Of course Louise’s own beloved Bertie (the Bee­tle) took pride of place car­ry­ing the bride and her dad to the church…

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As a sur­prise I’d arranged a vin­tage police car to col­lect Garry, his best man and two ush­ers who are all Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police Offi­cers. The dri­ver Ernie, was fan­tas­tic! He even wore his old uni­form to add to the expe­ri­ence. Garry was so chuffed when he saw the Police Car rock up out­side his best man’s. And the dri­ver was just sooooooooooooo lovely!!!

An ex-police offi­cer him­self with loads of sto­ries for the 4 young plods in the car on their way to the church. The bus was great fun, I’m so glad that we went with every­one rather than just the two of us. Ernie the police car man kindly stayed on until after the wed­ding and offered to take us to the recep­tion, and when said that we were going to travel with the masses he took two of Garry’s traf­fic police friends (who are car mad) with their wives. They loved it!

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Garry wore a clas­sic black F. Lli Cerutti suit that we bought at Moss Bros. With a shirt and shoes from good old M&S. His plain blue tie was from Tie Rack, where we bought all of the men’s match­ing ties in an array of pas­tel colours.

I treated all the chaps to cuf­flinks that related to their hob­bies from an array of shops. I went all out with Garry’s ster­ling sil­ver routemas­ter bus cuf­flinks from Links of Lon­don, to remind him of our first jour­ney as hus­band and wife together.

Our day was a home­made Ken­tish affair with a retro vibe. We opted for local sup­pli­ers and home-grown pro­duce in a bid to sup­port the busi­nesses around us.

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Our day was a home­made Ken­tish affair with a retro vibe. We opted for local sup­pli­ers and home-grown pro­duce in a bid to sup­port the busi­nesses around us.

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The brides­maids and my mom walked round to our local church whilst my dad and I were dri­ven in my 1965 VW Bee­tle by my friend Lee. I was so glad that my faith­ful old jam jar could be part of the day.

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Walk­ing down the aisle was incred­i­bly enjoy­able! After fight­ing back a sud­den wave of emo­tion I grinned my way along to Garry. I also really enjoyed say­ing our vows in front of all our friends and fam­ily, it felt so special.

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My dress was by the Eng­lish designer Chan­ti­cleer. I fell in love with the Aurora when I tried it on but it was at the top end of my bud­get (and the shop assis­tant kept chang­ing the price, putting it up as my enthu­si­asm for it grew eeek). As I was mulling it over with a cuppa at a friend’s house my friend Laura found the dress in my size online at www.sellmyweddingdress.com for just £370… Sold!

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Being a bud­get bride I opted for some bar­gain­ous peep toes from Deben­hams, which I still absolutely love, and some sil­ver bow design jew­ellery from Oliver Bonas. My veil was from a lovely online shop called My Pretty Lit­tle Things who were great value for money and so nice to deal with.

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The bow theme of my ensem­ble was fol­lowed on in the church with pas­tel coloured pew ends, which I had been so spe­cific about in the run up to the wed­ding and then didn’t even notice on the day!

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My dad chok­ing on the con­fetti was quite funny (we’re cruel aren’t we) and the pho­tographs of this moment made us laugh even more.

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After the “I Do’s” we hopped on a clas­sic routemas­ter bus with 70 of our guests and headed to Keston Vil­lage Hall for the recep­tion. The atmos­phere on the bus was fan­tas­tic and we got to chat to lots of peo­ple straight away which was nice, and of course flash our new rings!

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My team of trusty helpers and I had spent hours dec­o­rat­ing the hall the day before the wed­ding and I was so pleased with how it looked on the day. Assorted tea cups and saucers that we had col­lected lined the long tables. We did all of the sta­tionery our­selves and I made lit­tle signs with tea quotes on them to dot along the tables.

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As well as the sta­tionery we had arranged the flow­ers our­selves too, as well as mak­ing the bou­quets and but­ton holes. It was such a reward­ing expe­ri­ence and I couldn’t stop smil­ing at my bou­quet, which two of my brides­maids Teresa and Claire made for me two days before the wedding.

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We gave all our helpers and the entire wed­ding party a per­son­alised thank you rosette dur­ing the recep­tion. I found a lovely lady on Ebay who made rosettes for all sorts of events and she let me pick and mix the colours. The work­ers had most def­i­nitely earned them.

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Our cake was dec­o­rated by my aun­tie and adorned with a hand­made top­per by the Lol­lipop Work­shop (which was one of my splurges). Guests tucked into the three tiers and there was even enough for the strag­glers to take for the jour­ney home.

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My parent’s friend Dave made us a per­son­alised post box for our wed­ding cards and he also loaned us a mini mar­quee to pop up out­side the hall as we were unsure what the weather would do. Thank­fully the sun came out, but the “Union Jack Club” as we called it made a great lit­tle cool off area for those who wanted to drink and chat. We placed “make your own” paper air­planes on the tables and the men all had a ball putting them together whilst sip­ping on Spit­fire Ale from a great big keg.

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The sweetie table we put together kept both the chil­dren and adults happy through­out the day, as did the face painter. Ply­mouth Gin (from Garry’s home town) flowed for the ladies as well as the other usual boozy sus­pects and organic fruit drinks by the Eng­lish Belvoir Fruit Presse.

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After our deli­cious Kent After­noon Tea, which was home­made by a local cake shop, we cleared half of the tables away to make room for danc­ing. We took to the floor for our first dance, “I Do I Do I Do” sung by an Abba trib­ute called The Abba Babes.

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After their hour long set the DJ kept the dance floor full with a mix of clas­sics and the guests were then treated to real Fish and Chips from a van out­side the hall.

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We danced the night away and most of the Photo Booth fancy dress items made their way on to the dance floor, with burly police­man wear­ing an array of head­bands, bows and sequin hats!

The finale of the evening was when one of Garry’s ush­ers treated us girls to a “Full Monty” style strip. He requested “You can leave your hat on” and the only thing to be left on were his socks and a sparkly pink visor. He had us all roar­ing with laugh­ter and I’m not sure I will ever look at him the same again!

I don’t think that any­one will for­get the tongue-in-cheek strip at the end of the night!

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Louise’s wed­ding day advice

To relaxxx on the day. I’m usu­ally a bit of a con­trol freak but on the day I just went with the flow and I thor­oughly enjoyed every moment. We’d booked an acoustic gui­tarist to play whilst peo­ple had drinks and ate their After­noon Tea but unfor­tu­nately he was a no-show. Nei­ther of us let it phase us and peo­ple were non-the-wiser. As long as you are mar­ried and you keep peo­ple fed and watered you can’t really go wrong!

Louise’s rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers

Tony Mitchell Pho­tog­ra­phy www.facestudios.net/wedding-menu

Oh My Honey — For the Bridesmaid’s ensem­bles http://ohmyhoney.bigcartel.com/

The Real Con­fetti Co www.confettidirect.co.uk/

Cake of Downe — Our scrump­tious caterer who also baked our wed­ding cake www.cakesofdowne.co.uk/

The Fry­ing Squad – Fab­u­lous fish and chips www.thefryingsquad.co.uk/index.htm

Rocket Rosettes — FOr our thank you vil­lage fete-esue pressies http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/rocketrosettes/&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2754

IA Sound & Light — For our uplighters, fairy lights, disco ball and stage back­drop www.iasoundandlight.co.uk/

Speed­well Cater­ing — For our cham­pagne saucers, cut­lery and fold­ing wooden chairs http://speedwellcateringhire.co.uk

Ambas­sador Fur­ni­ture Hire — Bar & fridge hire www.ambassadorfurniturehire.co.uk

The Bit­ter End — For our kegs of Spit­fire Ale www.thebitterend.biz/

The Bunting Queen — For our per­son­alised Bunting www.buntingqueen.co.uk/

The Cot­ton Bunting Co www.cottonbunting.co.uk/

Awe­some Mer­chan­dise — For our badges and ban­ners www.awesomemerchandise.com/

The Abba Babes — Fab live music www.abbababes.com/

Dance FXDJ www.dance-fx.co.uk/

Derek Hard­cas­tle Flow­ers — For our DIY blooms www.derekhardcastleltd.co.uk/flowers.html

With huge thanks to Louise for being such an amaz­ing wed­ding blog­ger (it’s all still there at Met My Match — a great intro­duc­tion to Lou is her refresh­ingly bal­anced post about My Big Fat Gypsy Wed­ding — remem­ber that one?)

Pho­tos are by Tony from www.facestudios.net and used with kind per­mis­sion.


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