I asked Sonya “What was great about your venue?”
“We hired it, solely, for the entire weekend so no other guests staying, just all our wedding party!!
The proprieters John & Clodagh McCluskey & all their incredible staff were so accommodating, friendly and made everyone feel like they were at home. Nothing was too much for them to do for us, just what you want & need at this time!! One of our criteria when choosing a venue was somewhere with character and the possibility to add our own design touches to the decor which the staff even helped us with. The other criteria highest on our list was menu & food: this turned out to be amazing & we also appreciated their pride in sourcing locally where possible, which is very important to us as a couple. Additionally to the wedding day meal, they arranged an awesome pig on the spit BBQ the following day which blew everyone away altogether. All in all the best venue we could have possibly chosen!!! ”
What was the best part of the day?
“It was probably getting ready in the morning with all my nearest & dearest girls in my life: my mom, & my 5 bridesmaids who were just incredible, doing everything for me and adding the bubble so early was a sweet idea to calm the nerves also!! Thanks girls!!!
Both our most abiding memory from the day was the feeling of pride having so many amazing family & friends from all over the continent who made it to our special day, all the people that mean the most to us in the world together in one place to celebrate ‘US’… that is an awesome feeling!!! ”
”What advice would you give to brides to be?”
“Prepare well in advance, make a thorough list and keep ticking off. being totally anal, I actually made spreadsheet lists for myself. It is enjoyable and should need to be too stressful trying to source items… i used the internet for inspiration & purchasing cause if you give yourself plenty of time you can buy stuff from anywhere getting better bargains. Do shop around as there can be great disparity between different sites for the exact product!
Have an idea of even a slight theme/ inspiration eg. ours had a vintage, oldie worldy but with a contemporary edge to it. If you have an idea of what you want it to look like, it makes it far easier to source what you want. Google images, pinterest etc.wedding blogs are all a great help when sourcing. Its all about the details & personal touches that speaks for you as a couple!! have fun & be creative with it!!
Don’t try to speak to everyone cause unless its a very tiny, intimate wedding, you just wont. People understand! theres always the day after for all that!!
Everyone says to take a few minutes away from everything just the two of you together, we did this & it was lovely just to savour the moment together!!! ”
“Who made your dress/Where did you buy it from?”
“I was the jammiest bride ever & believe i AM very choosy when it comes to fashion but… the dress DID actually call out to me in the first bridal store & the rest is history!!! If you find ‘THE ONE’ don’t waste time searching any further as it takes months for the making and then the alterations and its great to get one less stress off the list, especially the most important perfect dress!!!
The store was local to me in Brighton “Leonie Claire” & my sales person was the lovely Hannah whom I found to be very friendly & accommodating.
My dress was designed by London based designer David Fielden
Final fittings & alterations by in-house seamstress in Bridal Store.”
“What details did you choose for a personal touch?”
- Shoes: Rachel Simpson:
- Ben’s amazing bespoke suit was tailor made by Gresham Blake in Brighton: http://www.greshamblake.com/
- Fresh water pearl & crystal bracelet from bespoken for to my wrist width which is narrower than usual, made & sent within 4 days soecial delivery at no extra cost by the most lovely & accommodating Jenni:
- bag (which I never even used after all but I love & was a total bargain) monsoon. gold hardcase vintage ’30′s deco inspired’ clutch.
- We created a ‘sweet shop’ for all the guests to help themselves en route to & from reception.
- We designed our own rsvp’s and my amazing cousin Sharon (bridesmaid) made our invites which were incredibly creative, delicate & beautiful,
- Massive thanks to my amazingly creative Mom, Julie, who is the best baker in the world & did us very proud with the beautiful designed & created three tiered cake & millions of beautiful fairy cakes. I found gorgeous lacy ribbon for the cake decor & kept it minimal but perfect!!!
- Flowers: Ben’s wonderful Mum Christine was busy working on our flowers two days prior & all the wedding morning putting the finishing touches to all our venue flowers/ bouquets & pinholes which she designed & created to a top notch standard!!! Thank you so much mummy in-law!!!)
- My wonderful friend & bridesmaid Joanne made us the quirkiest place mats for each guests meal place. They were there to give everyone a giggle, she superimposed our faces ( Ben & I) onto famous clips from big-time movies.
- We also had 2 of these images enlarged to A1 size posters and hung in the bar area along with bunting we brought to decorate the venue.
- I made our own menu’s for each guest (using old-skool luggage tags) and placed little bunches of ribbon tied dried lavender on top. We placed these into the proper fabric napkins which I had the fabulous staff make all the same to accommodate the insertion of the menu, it looked really pretty, if I do say so myself!
- For the table names, I designed the idea of a different herb for each table so instead of table numbers, our guests found their tables by the herb name. We bought mini silver metal simple pots from homebase £1 each and I sourced mini chalk board herb stakes online which we stuck into the herbs pots earth & wrote the herb mane on each with chalk. ( We also hired candelabras & wax candles for the centrepieces which were very elegant.
- We choose 3 colours for our decor- pink, blue & orange and sourced lanterns one of each in a cluster at various heights centralised over each table. We sourced re-usable LED lights for each lantern also so no need to hook up to electricity, this was done by 3 strapping men the day before Ben & his bestman Neill & groomesman Andy, who did a cracking job!!!
- We made the tags with each table names for seating arrangement which was hung from string with tiny-mini craft pegs on an old-skool blackboard which was places at the entrance for the guests to find their tables.
- We bought a piniata and filled it with mimi-haribo bear bags of sweetst, it was great fun smacking it until all the sweets fell to the floor- the children loved it!! Its a good idea to have something like chalk boards/ drawing books/ crayons for children to amuse themselves with too.
- We booked an ice-cream van for everyone to have an ice-cream for our BBQ the following day also at the venue. The pig on the spit was a great novelty for everyone & a great chance to actually chat to all your guests as you wont get much time the day of the wedding!!
Who were the people or businesses who helped to make your day so special?
My cousins Fionn, Cormac & Ultan & friend Brian were the musicians, who are an amazing & lively blue grass band: Dr. Fox’s Old Timey String Band - https://www.facebook.com/DrFotsb
Bernie Moriarty, one of my oldest & dearest friends sang an old traditional Irish song ‘She moves through the fair’ along with two other musicians on harp & flute Aoife & Deirdre Granville for the bride/ bridesmaids entrance song. http://www.myspace.com/aoifegranville
Our great friend Keith (& Ben, the groom) were the DJ’s. Keith brought and set up all the equipment for it as well as spinning some deadly tunes, he also runs a great night in support of live musicians: http://www.clubheadbangbang.org/
”What made you choose Bespoken For?”
I happened upon ‘Bespoken For’ by sheer happy accident on the internet. I was at in state of desperation as I couldn’t find anything like what I had in my head & then when I found the bracelet that fit my style perfectly, I didn’t need to look any further!! I didn’t have much time to wait as I was also having my wedding abroad, my bracelet of fresh water pearls & crystal bespoken to my wrist width which is narrower than usual, made & sent within 4 days special delivery at no extra cost by the most lovely & accommodating Jenni.
“Anything else you’d like to say?”
“Thanks to Jenni for featuring my big day, Jenni seems to be a very genuine person who is passionate not only about her designs & work but also for making your experience as a ‘stressed bride’ as stress-less as possible in dealing with her & her brilliantly professional service!!! She didn’t achieve her Best Retailer’s Award for no reason & that’s no small feat!! It is inspiring to see caring, great quality hand-made, home-made industries that have so much pride in their creations, and are thriving!!! She even sent me a ‘thank you’ handmade gift- pearly clip, at Christmas (which is gorgeous)… now that’s a professional service well above the call of duty! Its these little details that make it a far more memorable & special service rather than a generic faceless store!!”
a note from Jenni: Thank you to Sonya, for being such a fantastic customer and for sharing her wedding with us and huge thanks to Emily Doran for allowing us to feature her stunning reportage wedding photography