Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Wedding Part II

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my first wedding post, and if you read that, you'll know I was waiting to get the official photos through before posting all the details of the day. Well here they are!

It took me a while to do an edit as we had hundreds of lovely shots by our photographer Jemma of Pearl Pictures. Jemma did a fab job and captured all the little details of the day as well as all those personal moments; certain people crying during the speeches or my folks busting some moves on the dancefloor for example! (don't worry mum, I haven't posted those on here!)

When we were planning our wedding, as soon as we decided to get married abroad I knew I had to have a photographer who would just slot in easily with the rest of my family and friends as we'd all be together for a few days, and I knew straight away Jemma was the person. We'd got to know each other through working on 91 Magazine, and I just knew she'd get on with everyone easily and also do a fantastic job - which she certainly did! Thanks Jemma for all your hard work! x

Getting married in France does mean doing things a little differently. Normally at home, I would have researched things like florists to the death, but there, we literally went into the local florists and had a conversation in, well mostly hand signals, as neither could speak the others language! In the end we communicated by email and I sent her way too many images of what I wanted. Still, I fretted the week of the wedding that they might not be what I'd hoped. But, when she arrived with them the evening before the big day, I practically cried with joy when I saw the flowers! They were absolutely stunning and exactly what I wanted! Marie-Claire, our florist, really was fantastic, and a lovely lady too. I would definitely recommend her if you are having a Dordogne wedding.

On the left is the little vintage postcards I bought at the Decorative Living Fair from The Old Haberdashery stall to use as thank you cards for my bridesmaids. I also gave them bracelets I bought from Honey Rose and Amber on Etsy, which I put in little fabric bags I made. My mum made floral fabric hangers for them for their dresses too. On the right is my bridesmaid Nici's reading which she gave during the ceremony. I love how she typed it out on old pages of a book on her typewriter. 

My shoes are Sergio Rossi which I found at their outlet store at Bicester Village. Definitely the most beautiful shoes I've ever owned! My dress is the Femea from Cymbeline. I tried the dress on with my bridesmaids when we went to Paris dress shopping, but in the end I bought it from Mirror Mirror in Islington. My necklace and earrings are vintage - they were my Grandmothers. 

I didn't want my bridesmaids in matching dresses, so Nici (on the left) found her's in a vintage shop and Lauren's (right) is from ASOS. I think they both looked absolutely gorgeous, and the dresses were perfect next to my flowers and their white hydrangea bouquets. 

We were so lucky to be able to have our ceremony outside at our venue Chateau du Bourbet, as even though it was really warm it was actually a bit of a drizzly day in France. But it held out for the ceremony which we were so happy about. The ceremony was conducted by Christine from Celebrants in France - it was such a lovely, touching ceremony, personal to us, and with beautiful readings from two of our closest friends. At the end Christine presented us with a lovely gift - a sealed box with a bottle of wine and love letters we'd been asked to write to each other inside - to be opened on our 5th wedding anniversary! 

The zinc buckets with the hydrangeas in I found on eBay, and I got the little milk bottles from The Sweet Hostess. The tiny vintage tin below had our wedding rings inside. I found this at Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair at Spitalfields about 9 months before the wedding and thought it was the perfect thing to put them in.

I made little fans for our guests to use if it was really hot - they have the illustrations that Charlotte Love did for our invitations on them. I printed them all on the computer, cut them out and stuck the two sides together with the wooden handle sandwiched between and a little bit of lace tape added to the handle. The lace tape and the little pink bags which I filled with the rose petal confetti, were both from Wonderland Room on Etsy (yep they came all the way from South Korea!) The bags say 'une promesse de bonheur' which means 'a promise of happiness' - so perfect for a French wedding!

The little flowers in my hair were custom made by Gil Fox. I came across her work at the Decorative Living Fair (more pics of her work on this link) and they were just perfect to add to the fishtail plait my fab friend Siobhan did for me. 

After the ceremony we had fizz and strawberries. I had to order these little wooden boxes from America as I couldn't find them anywhere in the UK! Party suppliers take note! :) I got mine from Think Garnish  and just painted the edges in pastel colours myself, and the little bride and groom cocktail sticks are from Pipii.

Our marquee was provided by a local company called La Bonne Fete run by a lovely British family. They saved our lives after we had problems with our original marquee hire company, and stepped in just a few weeks before the big day. They were absolutely fantastic - not only with what they provided but with all the help they gave us, serving drinks and ice cream to our guests and generally running round helping out. That kind of stuff is totally invaluable on your wedding day. 

A couple of days before the wedding, me and some of my girlfriends spent about 4 hours sitting on the floor fluffing pom poms! We had wine of course, but wow, is that an arduous task! That's not counting the hours I spent at home actually making the things! It is also a mammoth task to get them all hung up from the ceiling! Its at these times when you realise you've got the most amazing friends who will work tirelessly to help you make the place look fabulous. 

I also made the table plan myself, again incorporating some of Charlotte Love's illustrations she did for us. The fabric was glued onto thick card and the bottom was edged with lace trim. Really simple, but I loved how it turned out. 

The mismatched vintage chairs were hired from a local vintage shop called Unik and the tables we borrowed from the local Mairie for free!

Above were our favours for the boys. A pair of black framed glasses replicating the ones Simon wears, and a temporary tattoo, which was designed by Charlotte Love also. I printed them on tattoo paper I got from Crafty Computer Paper and made the little bags myself. It was hilarious seeing everyone wearing the glasses and tattoos during the meal!!

I also made our place names. I just bought plain tags and painted them in watercolour paint to create an ombre effect and then used rubber stamps to write the names on. All our napkins were either vintage or made from floral fabrics by my mum. 

The jars for the flowers was another slightly arduous DIY task! I spent a good few weeks dipping jars into paint and then letting the excess paint run off and I had to keep turning them to make sure they dried evenly! They looked nice though, so worth it in the end!

The mismatched teacups were hired from La Bonne Fete also, and the fan bunting I got from Pipii. The cream candles holders were from dotcomgiftshop, and instead of tablecloths we just had lots of vintage lace and crocheted doilies scattered down the tables. Our favours for the ladies were vintage hankies wrapped in a cardboard band which says 'For your happy tears' which I just made on the computer and printed myself. Turned out it was the men that needed those hankies during the speeches!! :)

Over on our cake table, we had lots of little bits and bobs; vintage tins, old books, the cute little ice cream cone blowing bubbles from The Hambledon, vintage plates and a beautiful book which I found at Sunbury antiques market called The Lovers Pocketbook. It has the sweetest illustrations in it by Raymond Peynet, and this is what we used as our guest book as there were blank pages opposite each illustration. I felt a little weird about writing in an old book, but then I thought it's something we'll keep forever and is really special. The mini suitcase I found at a vintage fair, and lined with Liberty wrapping paper. And of course there was cake! The croque en bouche was made by a local p√Ętissier - it was so delicious! 

The vintage scales were an eBay find, perfect for macarons I think! Lauren my bridesmaid (and new sister in law!) made the cookies and my mum made the chocolate mendiants. The cupcakes and ombre cake below were made by my super talented cousins and auntie. This was the first time they'd made this specific cake, and I couldn't believe how they got it to look exactly like the one in the recipe I'd given them! Amazing, thanks girls! You may recognise my congrats sign? I posted the tutorial for making this recently.

That's it! Sorry for such a hugely long post! I could talk about our wedding for hours! I hope you enjoyed having a look at all the details and again a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us on the day, it was truly amazing.

All photography copyright of Jemma Watts / Pearl Pictures - if you want to pin any of our pictures, please do, but we'd love it if you can credit Jemma please. If you would like to use any of the photos on your blog then please just email Jemma to get permission. thanks!



  1. Wow. So many beautiful details. I adore everything! And breathtaking photographs, Jemma did a wonderful job. :)

  2. What beautiful pictures of such a beautiful day! All those personal details are just gorgeous, I think your wedding will be the most memorable for your guests as well as yourselves. Congratulations again!

  3. what a terrific day... the table shots are fab! Jemma did a great job... and im sure they will prove amazing memory-ticklers for many years to come. Congrats to the Rowlands!

  4. Lot of work, it was completely worth it, Loved all the details and the pics were fabulous, Congratus for you two!! From Argentina.

  5. What an incredibly gorgeous wedding. WOW! Absolutely amazing. I love the vintage touches. The flowers were perfect. The pom poms made the tent even more fabulous. It looks like you thought of every single detail. Great job!

  6. Wow, amazing Caroline, and it looks like so much work! You did an amazing job! And you look fabulous :)

  7. it's a great article love it, Thanks for sharing this. bookmarking your blog as we speak lol xx
    from: wall stickers wall decals

  8. Amazing! So beautiful, full of love and of course attention to amazing details. xxx

  9. I rarely post on blogs nowadays but am blown away by your wonderful photos. Your wedding was beautiful. Absolutely love all the vintage and handmade touches. The tin for the rings, hankies, table dressings and pom poms, oh and that cake table. Oh my, all gorgeous! Victoria x

  10. Caroline, your wedding looks like it was a beautiful celebration. We totally have the same style, I love every single detail of your wedding! Love it!

    Congratulations again!


  11. Oh Caroline it looks wonderful. I hope it felt that way too x

    (PS - had to read this twice because after the MAKE YOUR OWN TATTOO revelation I didn't take much in first time :)

  12. Beautiful photos! It all looks wonderful. Makes me want to have a wedding re-do! Love the miss-matched things like tea cups and chairs. And love the sweets table. All so pretty!

  13. Beautiful! I love it all! hx

  14. The most perfect, handmade wedding! Love it all, especially the vintage scales with the macaroons!

    Stevie | Stevie Hearts Makeup

  15. Amazing - what a lot of work you put in and it looks like it was spectacular!

  16. So lovely and you all look gorgeous! Congratulations! Xx

  17. Caroline, these pictures are simply stunning (well done to Jemma!). You did such a wonderful job of making the place look absolutely fab, such lovely details and oh... that cake table!! You look beautiful and it looks like a truly wonderful day, congratulations! xx

  18. Caroline, your wedding was absolutely GORGEOUS and so personal! wish I was there! loads of love Jill Witheyman

  19. Ahhh Caroline, you did a beautiful job! Your wedding was just gorgeous, as were you. You put so much heart and soul into all the little details. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your day with us. Jemma captured the day to perfection. Holly x

  20. Caroline all I can say is WOW. I am absolutely amazed by all the details. I am totally in love with little painted vases and all the details. Thank you so much for the mention xxx


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