In August of this year, I was super lucky to shoot Jake and Roxy’s wedding at Tunstall Floral Hall in Stoke on Trent. They are the most wonderful couple and the day definitely reflected their gorgeous view on life. Their day had a ton of gorgeous details inspired by Roxy’s love of vintage decor. She owns a lovely little shop which you can find here! Here are some of my favourite images (especially of my favourite pug!) and the couples view on their special day.
Lots of love to you both!
The Venue – The Floral Hall, Tunstall
It was fate! We got engaged in May 2016, the weekend after there was a wedding fair on at The Floral Hall, which is somewhere which had been recommended to us to hold the reception. We had rough dates in mind of when we wanted to get married, so we went along to the fair to have a look, mainly at the venue.
We loved it, it’s a complete blank canvas to do whatever you like to, perfect space for us to fit our family and friends in and doesn’t break the bank. So we asked if the bank holiday Sunday in august 2017 was available, thinking there would be no chance and it was! The only weekend left in that entire summer – clearly meant to be.
She also told us that they held the licence to have the ceremony there too, which was perfect for us! I’m Catholic and we both went to a Catholic school but I’m not a practising Catholic so getting married in a church wasn’t important for me, to be honest, I’d feel a bit hypocritical getting married there as I never go to mass anymore. So we provisionally booked the Floral Hall, made sure the registrar was available and that was that! That was probably one of the easiest parts of the entire planning process!
I knew what I wanted in my head, I knew the type of dress I wanted and I also knew the wedding dress shops wouldn’t have what I wanted. I went to a wedding fair with my mum in Birmingham and not one stall had the type of dress, as I expected.
I absolutely LOVE embroidery, lace, patterns. I’m such a casual dresser, I would just not feel myself in a big princess dress and long veil, it’s not who I am so why change for that one day?
I wanted something really relaxed, quite bohemian and comfortable. I found one on Instagram which was from an Australian brand I think, I tracked it down in a wedding dress shop in Manchester (this was all online – i never stepped foot in a wedding shop) and it was around £1500 *crying emoji face* I just wasn’t prepared to pay that much money for a dress for one day!
So, I started to look online on the high street stores and found the perfect one – £30 from boohoo.com – could not believe it! Styled it with baby pink court shoes, red Rock n Rose flower headband & voila!
Dressing the bridesmaids/maid of honour was the trickier part. I’m not a fan of ‘matchy, uniformed’ styles, I hate things being the same. I got them to try a grecian style, multi way dress from Misguided in a baby blue colour and thought they’d all wear the straps in different ways. It was nice but they weren’t all happy with it and the most important thing for me was for them to feel comfortable, I would hate for anyone to feel uncomfortable on the day, I wanted them to enjoy it as much as possible and there’s nothing worse than feeling self-conscious with what you’re wearing.
I came across a picture on Pinterest of a bridal party all in different outfits but the same hairstyle and I loved it! So I went with that idea. I went through all the high street stores, found lots of dresses/jumpsuits/playsuits/
co-ords in the same colour scheme and told them all to pick their favourites and they all found something they loved. They wore their own shoes and had their hair done however they wanted. The only deal was they wore a flower crown with me.
Again, the rings weren’t really important to us, we actually forgot about them until someone reminded us about 2 months before! We weren’t fussed what they were made of, how much they cost. I knew I didn’t want anything too shiny and ‘blingy’. Jake was after something quite matte, darker colour and plain.
We found Jake’s online at www.starweddingring.co.uk – just what he was after. Mine was from Swarovski, a plain thin band with the cutest, smallest little crystals in. Jake also bought me another stacker ring as it’s our 10 year anniversary of being together this year too, so I’ve stacked them together. They’re all completely different, different patterns, thickness etc – no matching sets in sight!
My Maid of Honour, Amy offered to make our cake as a wedding present. I’ve grown up with Amy from secondary school and she knows my weird taste in things, she just gets it.
We had about 5 pinterest boards on the go for the wedding, I must have sent her SO many pictures of cakes I’d seen which I like, I ended up asking her to surprise us – she knew the different aspects of the designs i’d already seen which I liked. (I say I a lot, because Jake just left me to most of the creative decisions)
She went out and picked all the foliage and created all the detail herself, which means so much more to me than having a random company make it for us.
She even made little heart shaped biscuits with our names stamped on them to go with the cake – everything was just so personal and meant the world to us!
Flowers: Nicola Jayne
Where do I start with the flowers!? AMAZING!! I met Nicola through the shop, she was a customer who I got talking to. She had started a Floristry course and began to help me to decorate my shop windows. When me and Jake got engaged I knew straight away that I wanted her to do my flowers.
I loved her style and again, she knew my particular taste. I knew for certain I didn’t want anything typically ‘wedding’ – no roses, no lilies, nothing cream, nothing baby pink, blush colours. Anything that you wouldn’t expect to find at a wedding, I wanted, and Nicola got this 100%. I love the wild, earthy feel – I love leaves, foliage, bold colours!
She did the Bridesmaids flower crowns, the flowers on the front of the wedding car (which I now have in my shop as they’re artificial), she potted all my Cacti & Succulents for the centrepieces, she put foliage and flowers on the back of seats, the button holes and my bouquet…so she had her work cut out.
We spent hours together, we went on the hunt for Cacti & Succulents, the cutest pots for the centre of the tables, looking at different flowers – she helped me make a lot of decisions but I was just so overwhelmed with all the choice and possibilities, so same as the cake, I ended up asking Nic to surprise me, she knew the focal flower I wanted and the wild style I liked and she went with it. I trusted her completely and knew she wouldn’t let me down, she even turned up on the morning with TWO bouquets for me to choose from!
Again, having a friend to work on a part of your wedding meant so much more to me and I got to enjoy the process more and be more involved.
Photographer: Laura Rhian Photography
Laura was one of the first Staffordshire Wedding Photographers I came across on google and she was the top of my list after spending a while looking at other Staffordshire photographers. Laura’s site and images were the only one that stood out to me which were ‘quirky’, that little bit different from the normal wedding photography that you expect and the colours. So we emailed her and she got straight back to us, I’m sure it was a Saturday night too!
We met for tea and cake and loved her, it was like we already knew her. Me and Jake had discussed that we wanted natural photographs, we didn’t want to spend hours standing in lines with our family shouting ‘Cheese’. We wanted to enjoy the day and for the photographer to capture ‘those’ moments naturally.
Obviously there would be some posed ones but again they weren’t set up – Laura played games with us and just captured the laughs and reactions.
The video was another important part of it for us. We knew of people who had literally just had the whole day recorded word for word and we were pretty sure that would be something we’d probably only watch now and again. The little montage Laura does is perfect, you don’t even realise she’s filming during the day, which makes the end product even better because she captures moments you completely forgot about. The first time we watched it back, it made me feel that nervous/excited sicky feeling (in a good way lol) exactly like it was the wedding day all over again – and I think I must have watched it over 50 times easily that week!
On the day, Laura and Lisa were such a laugh – it was lovely to have them around, such smiley happy people!
Evening Entertainment: The Selfie Box
For the reception, we had a DJ, a photo booth, chocolate fountain and lots of FOOD! I didn’t originally want a photo booth but I came across this really cute one called ‘The Selfie Box’ which had loads of cute backdrops, ace props like horse head masks and you could completely customise the print outs.
We ordered pizzas in from mine and Jake’s favourite takeaway, my mums friend cooked a load of curries for us (another fave food of mine and Jake’s), we bought Naan Bread from the local Naan Bakery and the Floral Hall also did a buffet for us. My friend Courtney bought along her ‘Sweet Sensations’ chocolate fountain which was spot on!
Table Decorations: Blush Balloons & Venue Design
This was a massive one for me – I love being able to be creative – it ended up just looking pretty much like my shop. I wanted quirks, non-traditional, FUN, weird & cute. Our place names were plastic toy dinosaurs sprayed copper/gold with each persons name on, everyone kept asking me ‘Why Dinosaurs’ – Errrrr Why not!?
I made Menu cards for everyone with their meal selections on so they could remember what they had ordered. There were little pillar boxes with personalised cactus stickers, which I made, filled with mine and jakes favourite sweets for everyone.
There were little shot glasses with ‘We’ve tied the knot now take a shot’ tags attached. I wanted everything to just be really cute and personal.
The middle of the table was crammed full of mis-match patterned pots of the prettiest Cacti and succulents which now are all around our house, another keepsake for us. Then we had HUGE 3 foot colourful balloons with Ivy Garlands on each table centre too, which brightened up the top of the room as it was so big and white. (The balloons were from Blush Balloons & Venue Design in Burslem)
The most important things we wanted from the wedding day…
Me and Jake have been together for 10 years this year so to get married was our next step. We didn’t want it to be a big formal thing, we literally wanted a big celebration with our Pug, family and closest friends to celebrate our lives together, past, present and future.
The dress, the rings, the decorations, they weren’t that important to us – we definitely didn’t want to spend a lot of money, as we see it just as a one day celebration and it’s way more personal to do things yourself and get people involved who you know.
We just wanted people to have the best time and know how much it meant for them to be there with us.
Anything you wished you had done differently?
A lot of people have asked me this question and asked if I would like to do it all over again. I wouldn’t like to do it again 1. because the planning was really quite stressful 2. it literally was the best day ever and I want to just remember that day as it was – perfect for us both.
What would I have done differently? Tried not to stress, get caught up with the little details which I thought at the time were really important and to stop letting peoples opinions affect my decisions, Jake had the best attitude towards everything. If WE wanted it, we would have it.
Offer advice to couples in planning process….
Just enjoy it and do it your way. Try and enjoy every little aspect of the planning process, you’re only going to do it once (hopefully), make the most of everything and try and to do as much of it as you can together!
Make lots of lists! It’s so hard to keep up with every small detail, so keep on top of what you’ve already done and what you have to do.
Accept help when people offer it – I HATE asking for help, but as the months flew by and the date got closer I’m so glad I accepted their offers. I loved that my family, maid of honour and bridesmaids came and spent days/nights helping me make stuff.