Beautiful Musical Coral & Blue Wedding with Soul

Beautiful Musical Coral & Blue Wedding with Soul


One of the most important elements for bride and groom Charlotte and Daniel at their wedding was the music. Charlotte worked super hard on their wedding playlist using songs with meaning and soul.

They chose to marry on Saturday 12th April 2014 at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I especially love the beautiful coral and blue colour scheme which worked perfectly. There were pretty florals, swishy dresses and personal touches throughout.

Thanks goes to the fabulous Casey Avenue Photography for sharing their photographs today.

THE PROPOSAL | Monday 3rd September 2012. The last thing I expected after a grotty Monday at work, was to be whisked straight off into the sunshine for a romantic picnic. At first I thought Danny had just taken note of what I had nagged him about that weekend - that we weren't spending enough time just the two of us. But I quickly realised something wasn't quite right, when Danny said that he had brought me some flip flops to change into... OK the sun was shining but we weren't in the ruddy Maldives! He wouldn't tell me where we were going but it didn't take me long too realised that we were heading to Marston Trussell. There was a split second on the drive there when I thought... OMG he is going to bloody ask me! But then I soon realised I was probably getting far too carried away, as usual. We arrived at the cricket ground where Danny proceeded to take everything but the kitchen sink out of the boot. He picked out a beautiful spot down by the lake and set up the most beautiful and romantic champagne picnic. Further to my surprise he handed me a present, a book with our names on the front... this had to be a big bloody clue, but I was so worried I was jumping the gun that I still wasn't sure. As I began to look through it I saw that it was filled with keepsakes, cards, pictures, cinema stubs from the very first day that we met up until that day. He must have been working on it for months and I had literally no idea whatsoever. With every page that turned, my vision got more and more blurred until I got to the last page which said 'Will you be my happily ever after?' As I looked up Danny had my Mum's (who passed away in 2007) engagement ring in his hand... before he could even finish the sentence we burst into tears.

It was the most amazing and surreal surprise of my entire life.

We have since found out that my Dad clean bowled out a pubescent young Daniel on that very same cricket field.

THE VISION | I wanted traditional with a twist. I knew I wanted to get married in a church and I knew I wanted to have the reception at Kelmarsh Hall. But I didn't want the traditional receiving line or six course meal. I wanted the reception to be very relaxed, with great music and plenty of alcohol. I knew I wanted my dress, the suits, the bridesmaids dresses, flowers and décor to be vintage inspired and I was desperate to try and incorporate my love of soul music into the wedding... somehow, someway.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had about twenty months to plan the wedding but we went straight ahead and booked the church and reception venue within a few weeks of being engaged. I wanted to make sure that we got the venues that we loved and once we did that it finally felt real.

BUDGET | We had a budget but didn't stick to it at all and I have no regrets about that ☺

THE VENUE | We chose Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I had wanted to get married there since I was fifteen and attended my first ever wedding there. I was over the moon to actually be able to have my dream wedding venue.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I chose the Odina dress by Modeca for Enzaoni and bought it from the lovely ladies at J's Couture on Blandford Street, London. It originally came with a sewn on belt and appliqué which I wasn't too keen on. But the lovely ladies at J's said they could remove the appliqué and gave me a belt to try on which totally transformed the dress into my dream dress, it was exactly what I had envisioned. I also got my veil from the same shop, it was floor length and trimmed with was the cherry on top of the wedding dress.

I knew I wanted blue shoes because I thought it would be unexpected, plus it was two birds with one stone ☺ I managed to find a pair of blue shoes, with red hearts by Mel... they were my bargain of the wedding.

I bought my garter from Liberty In Love, it was very vintage with rhinestone trim.

I found my earrings in John Lewis, they were some limited edition Downton Abbey earrings. Beautiful and very reasonable.

Perfume - BonBon by Viktor and Rolf.

FINDING THE DRESS | It definitely wasn't easy finding the dress, I looked in five different shops and tried on nearly every dress in each shop. I nearly settled on one which I thought was nice... thank god I didn't settle for just nice because once I found 'the one' wedding excitement truly set in.

Finding the veil was a little harder because I was desperate to have a birdcage veil but no matter which style I tried, it just didn't go with my dress in the slightest. In the end I just tried on everything in the shop and it was the one style of veil that I thought would ruin the dress, which actually complimented it perfectly.

GROOM'S ATTIRE | We both wanted a traditional style, navy tail coat, grey pinstripe trousers, white/cream waist coat, navy cravats for the best men and ushers and a white/cream cravat for the groom. We were toying with the idea of top hats... but the groom didn't want his hairstyle to be compromised #groomzilla

THE READINGS & MUSIC | The music was a BIG deal for me.... probably on par, if not more so than the dress. My Dad is a Northern Soul DJ/addict and he has passed his love of music onto me. I spent the entire twenty months leading up to the wedding listening to a thousand different songs. Some songs I absolutely loved but they just didn't represent us or our relationship and I feel that is really important. I was just messing around one day on my dad's juke box and I came across Aretha Franklin's - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. The first opening bars of the song are probably the most simple and most powerful that you will ever hear. Aretha's voice builds up so beautifully to a crescendo of emotion and you feel you are right there with her in that moment. The lyrics of song were just perfect too, they felt so personal to Danny and I. That was the song that I walked down the aisle to... we should have got a Grammy for best soundtrack.

We found picking the hymns really easy, we just went for the fun ones that we knew everyone had sung at one point throughout their childhood. We chose Sing Hosanna and Lord of The Dance, the last one was a bit tong in cheek because Danny absolutely hates dancing... and I am literally the lord of the dance floor.

We walked out of the church to Jackie Wilson's - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher. He is one of my all time favourite artists and growing up I used to listen to the lyrics and think, this is the kind of love I want - that happy and wanting to dance all the time kind of love. It was such a fun and joyous song to leave the church to, as husband and wife. #partytime

For the reception I had spent ages making a jazz playlist and we just used my Bose Ipod Dock to play it on. It was nice when guests arrived just to have a bit of background music to talk over and soften the room. In the evening my Dad arranged for a jazz singer to play, which was amazing. Really nice easy listening music, lovely welcome for the evening guests and a good warm up for the evening dancing ahead.

Our first dance was a bit harder, there were plenty of songs I loved but Danny hates dancing and I didn't want him to feel like he was on Strictly with Bruce. So we just chose something fun, classic and with beautiful lyrics - The Four Tops - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever. It was great, everyone got up and started dancing with us, it was really perfect... sweeter than ever ☺

We also had a second, first dance song which was a bit of a joke to be honest. The first night Danny and I met he was on a Harborough Town Football Club fancy dress night out. He was dressed as Jackie Moon, a basketball player from the film Semi-Pro, starring Will Ferrell. In the film Jackie releases a song called 'Love Me Sexy'... very Barry White-esk and actually very good. We couldn't resist.

Our last song of the night was Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - Ain't No Mountain High Enough. It's an incredible song and it really raised the roof. However, by that point everyone was very worse for wear and they began chanting 'one more song, one more song' at the poor bloody DJ. So our actual last song of the night ended up being Jonny Cash - Ring Of Fire. To which every man in the place (and one girl) ripped their shirts off, started swinging them round their heads, traffic cones appeared and my sixty year old Dad crowd surfed. An unreal end to an unreal day.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I chose four of my closest friends to be bridesmaids and conveniently enough for me, they are all drop dead gorgeous. Jess and Hannah are two of my oldest school friends and I spent many outrageous years living with Shin and Riannah at Uni.

Finding the bridesmaids dresses was difficult because I didn't have a style or colour in mind. But the girls were great and got stuck into the hunt for the perfect dresses. They were the best bridesmaids I could've ever wished for. There was a bit of extra pressure on them, as my Mum is no longer with us, they had do the 'Mum duties' too. They were huge supports throughout the entire wedding planning process, from hen do planning, to reassuring me that every decision I had made was a good one (I need that sometimes ☺).

THE FLOWERS | I found picking the flower quite easy, I was already really far along in the wedding process so I new what my colour and themes were. I just love hydrangeas, peonies and roses but wasn't sure how the colours would work with the unusual shade of pink of the bridesmaid dresses. The florist was really helpful and found a beautiful rose, called the Miss Piggy rose. It was a mix of pink and coral and it matched the bridesmaid dresses perfectly. So we mixed the roses in with white peonies, to match my dress and some blue hydrangeas, to match the suits. To break it up with some greenery my bridesmaid and the florist came up with the idea of using some beautiful succulents, which just pulled all the different colours together. I had a large posy and the bridesmaid just had smaller versions of mine. The flowers were really stunning, in keeping with the theme and totally unlike anything I had seen before.

For the table arrangements we used the same types of flowers but I was very conscious of having huge arrangements... nothing worse than not being able to see anything at a wedding. So we came up with the idea of using some vintage teacups and teapots with a simple flower in. To save money the florist came up with a suggestion of simply placing the bouquets in vases on the top table. The tables looked really beautiful, they did a great job. Only problem was when the tables got cleared away, my bouquet got taken away and so I totally forgot to throw it!

THE CAKE | I knew I was going to use our good friend to make the cake, she is so creative, tries anything you suggest and it always looks and tastes outstanding. I didn't want a huge three tiered fruit cake so we played around with loads of different ideas and ended up having a bit of everything.

We had a two tiered rainbow cake, with pearlescent frosting and light to dark pink sponge. Instead of having little figures on the top we had a big pink peony, which looked great especially after we had cut into the cake and revealed the pink sponge. We also had a beautiful selection of cupcakes, heart shaped biscuits and cake pops. It was beautiful and they all tasted beautiful.

The only upsetting thing was that our caterers didn't cut the cake up so none of our guests got to try Jemma's masterpiece.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer was the best investment that we made in our wedding.

Hannah arranged for us to meet with her several times before the wedding to have a drink, get to know each other and work out our vision for the day. We also had a pre-wedding shoot with her, which was brilliant, particularly for calming Danny's nerves about having his photo taken. On the day itself she was so much fun, as always, and all of our guests have commented on how great she was. From getting everyone into position for the few big group shots, to capturing people throughout the day, she was great and put me totally at ease... I knew should get incredible shots.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our themes were vintage and music inspired. Name places - we simply wrote guest's names on Doilies. Favours - we made a CD soundtrack to our day. Table number - pictures of my favourite artists.

Table plan - Each table name was an artist I love i.e. Frank Sinatra Or Jackie Wilson and the idea was that guests would match up the name of the artist with the picture on the table. So I got my bridesmaid Hannah, who has the most beautiful writing, to write the plan on some beautiful Laura Ashley wallpaper that I had left over. I had some lovely vintage inspired picture frames that I wanted to use, so we mixed the different tables in with the pictures of our Grandparents wedding days and a picture of my Mum. It worked really well, was in keeping with the theme and was really personal to us and our guests.

Guest Book - I had an idea that I wanted out guestbook to be a vinyl record but I had no idea of how to do it. So my creative genius of a bridesmaid, Hannah go to work and managed to attach a load of pages onto the inside if the record cover and it is the best bloody book, of any kind, that I have ever seen.

I love vintage and shabby chic bits and bobs anyway, so I just used a lot of bird cages and bunting of my own and borrowed a chalk board and some vintage suitcases of my friends. Little touches like that really helped to transform the space and put our stamp on it.

We did a 'his and hers cocktail' which was fun and advertised it up on the chalk board. It is little things like that which I'm glad we went to the effort of organising. It's just lovely for guests to have little surprises throughout the day and it makes your day that little bit different to other peoples.

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Sri-Lanka and the Maldives which was incredible. We originally had booked to go to Brazil but due to the troubles, cost and warnings from friends and family we decided to change at the last minute. And I am so, so glad that we did because you so need a break afterwards. Sri-Lanka is beautiful and has so much to offer from lying on the beach to riding elephants. We spent the first four days just lying on the beach, we then went off on a two day adventure up into the mountains. It was incredible, there is so much to see and the people are so lovely, it was a real experience. We definitely made the right choice to finish our honeymoon with five days in the Maldives... it is honestly the most relaxing place in the world. What you see online is what you get, it's like heaven on earth. I would definitely recommend doing both, as I think two weeks in the Maldives may send you a bit stir-crazy, but each to their own ☺

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | You can see a few of them here on our Marry-eoke video ☺

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | As hard as it is, do what you want to do, you will only end up resenting people otherwise.

Try to plan it together, I know it's hard trying to get men excited about flowers but get him involved where you can. It was so nice to feel the day reflected both of our personalities and tastes.

It is easier said than done but try to go round together when the evening guests arrive, it is very easy for both of you to be overwhelmed by all of the meeting and greeting. Plus it is nice to have your best bud by your side.

Don't worry about the guests, it is your day and they will come and find you if they want.

Rehearse the first kiss and the first dance. As awkward as it may feel it will feel worse doing it for the first time on the day, in front of two hundred people.

Don't underestimate how much you will actually enjoy the ceremony. I wanted to get it over and done with but my friends Mum said, take time walking down the aisle to look at everyone and really enjoy that moment. Truly the best bit of advice I was given and it was my favourite moment of the entire day.

And most importantly... ENJOY EVERY SECOND, IT WILL GO BY SO FAST!


Dress Shop | J's Couture

Shoes | Mel Shoes

Garter | Liberty In Love

Earrings | John Lewis - Downton Abbey Earrings

Flowers | Flowers In Style

Photography | Casey Avenue Photography

VW Camper | Pear Tree Weddings

Jems Gems | [email protected]

Hair | Moko Hair

Make Up | Lucy Macdonald Make-Up Artist

Christopher Scotney

Bridesmaid Dresses | Whistles

Vivienne Westwood Jewellery

Caterers | Emerson and West Catering

Super lovely.

Thanks so so much to Charlotte and Daniel for sharing their gorgeous wedding today XOXO Lou

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