This Weddingnesday the ultra cute Sally from To Dry For (the place to go to if you need a cool tea towel) has very kindly shared some pics from her lovely wedding last year. When she first sent me the pics I was bowled over by her gorgeous cake, her vintage place names and her general attitude to getting married – so I knew I had to share.
So here today is the first ever Weddingnesday interview… I hope you enjoy reading it (and drooling over her pics) as much as I did.
Did you always know what kind of wedding you were going to have?
Not at all. I’ve never been one of those girls who imagines her wedding day and already has the seating plans sorted out before she’s even met her future partner. I looked forward to getting married and having a husband, but always omitted the bit about the actual wedding; the idea of putting on a big white frock and having to think about how the colour of the flowers should match the napkins made me feel a bit squeamish.
How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
Dave and I got engaged on my birthday in August 2007 and our wedding was in November the following year. My engagement ring was a felt butterfly bought by Dave from Lik Neon (just off Brick Lane in London). I’ve since replaced it with something a bit pricier (an Edwardian diamond ring).
We chose the venues pretty soon after this, booking the ceremony in Oxford Town Hall and the reception in the Bodleian Library’s Divinity School. The building itself is so beautiful and we didn’t want to diminish this by doing anything too tacky (although we both like pretty stupid stuff). We therefore needed to draw a line between making it our own and still keeping it formal enough to match the venue. This makes it sound really dull, but I think we still managed to inject some fun stuff along the way
How did you find the dress?
The dress was actually pretty easy to find in the end. I didn’t have a clue what to wear; the only thing I was adamant about was that it wouldn’t be a big traditional meringue affair. I started looking at ethereal Jenny Packham dresses, but when I tried them on I looked a bit like a hooker, so they were out of the question (although I’m sure Dave wouldn’t have minded). My mum on the other hand…
I went to a total of two wedding dress shops and only took my mum as I didn’t want loads of conflicting advice. I also found the experience a bit embarrassing, standing in front of a mirror wearing something that obviously holds a lot of symbolism and provokes a huge emotional response. When I tried on the dress that I wore on the day (a Pronovias lace dress that looked vintage) it just felt right (that sounds cheesy, I know).
Basically I thought it made me look like the snow queen from Narnia so I was pretty chuffed (and not at all concerned about the evil undertones in that image). Apparently everyone had bets on that I would come down the aisle with the dress that Molly Ringwald wore in Pretty in Pink so I think I probably disappointed them.
Could you tell us about your gorgeous cake?
When I started thinking about what kind of cake we should have I was really disgruntled over (a) how boring and predictable most wedding cakes are (even the ‘quirky’ ones are pretty dull) and (b) how expensive they are. I thought I’d just have a look at google images of wedding cakes and found one on Dahlias Cakes and I figured it would be pretty easy to do something similar. But we completely overestimated on the amount of M&Ms we’d need (and consequently only finished them off about 2 weeks ago)!
Our amazing friend Simon actually had to carry 2.5 kilos of M&Ms back from New York as it would have cost so much money to import them. It took nearly 2 days to plan it out and add them to the plain iced cake – all I could see was M&Ms by the time I finished! Also, looking back at the photo of the cake in our kitchen, I’ve realised that our kitchen tiles look somehow familiar?!?!
Was there a moment when everything ‘fell into place’?
On the day! Dave and I were up to our necks in pritt stick, menu cards, moss and M&Ms right up until the morning of the wedding…
What for you turned out to be the most important bit during planning? The dress? The cake? The seating arrangements?
I think the most important thing was trying to make each little bit fun and think about everyone that was coming to the wedding and how they would like to spend their day. Obviously it was about the two of us getting married but we didn’t want anyone to be bored; we wanted it to be a really spectacular day out that was formal enough to be significant, but relaxed enough so that it wasn’t stuffy or dull.
We also didn’t want it to be too conventional. It was really difficult to try and get away from the commercial dross that’s out there in relation to weddings. I therefore found nice 1940s vintage name cards from America on Ebay. We spent ages deliberating whether we should make name cards, but in the end we decided we wouldn’t have enough time, and this worked out much prettier.
We had sticks of rock with our names in them on the tables as favours. (Dave’s from Blackpool originally, so it seemed to make sense). I also asked my mum to pot up loads of cyclamen for the tables and graffiti-spray painted the invitations, menu cards and table numbers. Our lovely friends Igor and Mark took all our photos. One of my favourite things was assigning one person per table to be responsible for booze, making sure to top up everyone’s glasses!
Is there anything you would advise someone to definitely do – and to definitely not do?
The only advice would be not to get too bogged down in the faffiness of weddings. It can completely take over and at the end of the day it’s about having a fun celebration of getting married; everything else is irrelevant. On a practical note, we planned a pub trip for everyone in between the ceremony and the reception – it gave us plenty of time to take some photos, before everyone arrived merry after a pint or a glass of mulled wine.
What was your favourite bit of your wedding?
Ooo gosh! I really loved cutting the cake and watching all the M&Ms fly off in every direction. I love the fact that my friend’s mum made us a moomin as a wedding present and he sat on the table next to the cake throughout the reception.
I loved seeing all our friends and family together in one place having fun. I loved walking back up the aisle with Dave to Dolly Parton’s ‘Love is like a Butterfly’. I also loved the fact that our nice black cab never turned up at the end of the day and we ended up sharing a minicab with Dave’s brother and my sister-in-law, me in the front seat with my dress tucked up all around my head (the driver didn’t even mention it) – it was hilarious!
I always thought it was super cheesy when people said, ‘oooo it was the happiest day of my life’ but afterwards I actually couldn’t stop crying/giggling with happiness because I just had so much fun crammed into a few hours. Quite silly and spectacular really!
P.S. It’s actually Sally and Dave’s first wedding anniversary on Sunday – so a big congratulations guys!
P.P.S. If you’d like your wedding or engagement to be featured on Weddingnesday, drop me a line at conversation (dot) pieces (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk