vintage fairground fabulous

<div class="attached_imaAutumn is a stunning and special time of year to get married, so we wanted to hunt down a couple who chose to tie the knot in this season. Laura and Kevin are both graphic designers, and met at work, two and half years before they got married. Their creative flair was clearly behind the detail and sense of fun that permeated their wedding day, and they really made the most of the season and setting. It looks like they had a blast, and we were so happy to hear that Laura recently gave birth to a gorgeous little girl called Alice Rose! We’re really pleased to mark their anniversary with this blog post, and to share their stunning wedding day with you:

Who popped the question and how did it happen?

It was a typical Saturday afternoon involving our weekly chores. As we were heading for the local dry cleaners Kevin suddenly pulled the car over, handed me an envelope and asked me to get out! This wasn’t so typical! He then sped off. I opened the envelope to discover a card that read: “It’s big, green and not exactly posh. It’s a map, it’s a sign, ‘X’ marks the spot”. After much deliberation, I headed to the nearby map of Peckham Rye Common on which was a large black cross. This led me to a tree where I found another envelope… I was on a treasure hunt! For the next half an hour, I visited local haunts and shops where each time I was handed an envelope containing a letter of the alphabet and a puzzle which gave me a clue to my next destination. Finally, I found myself knocking on our front door. Kevin answered and handing me my last clue which was to take a letter step back from each of the letters I had compiled. N B S S Z N F spelt out M A R R Y M E! I looked up to find him on one knee holding a ring. I cried for a long time and said ‘yes’!

When and where did you get married?

We chose 16th October 2010 for our wedding day, because of the great autumnal colours and strong winter sun which can appear at that time of year. We got married at Preston Court, Canterbury, Kent. We were looking for a rustic barn that was charming in its own right but that we could also stamp our own mark on. From the moment you drive up to Preston Court you are overwhelmed by its beauty and setting. After passing a lake with a small island on it you approach a very charming 17th century Kentish Barn. Walking in, you are immediately struck by two magnificent antique fairground organs – one of which we were able to use for the ceremony. The barn is licensed for the civil ceremony and can seat up to 120 for the reception so it was ideal for our needs. The bonus is an amazing Victorian carousel just outside the barn that you can hire for use on the day too! This worked perfectly for our wedding theme – vintage fairground fun!

Tell us about the wedding details…

For the wedding flowers, we had hydrangeas, roses and eucalyptus with a little foliage. For the table displays we had a mixture of tall and low displays to provide some variation. For the low displays we collected the family’s vegetable dishes!

We chose to have a cheese tower instead of a wedding cake as it seems that a traditional cake is often ignored at weddings once it has been ‘formally’ cut. It was made from some of the local Kentish cheeses and worked very well as it was served with French sticks and chutneys in the evening. A good accompaniment to all of the wine!

For the music, we hired a band called The Noize via a company called Gigz Management. They played a number of our favourite covers and interacted with the guests which really made the night. The dance floor was continually packed from the moment we finished our first dance!

Being graphic designers we had a lot of fun with the stationery. Our ‘save the date’ cards were old style fairground tickets printed on pink and blue sugar paper. The vintage funfair theme meant we could go to town with the invite – we designed a long fold-out poster with a whole load of different typefaces printed in gold on cream. (watch this space, we might get Laura selling on notonthehighstreet.com soon!)

All the table decorations and favours were made by us too. We bought some simple double-sided white frames from Ikea to hold the table names – each table was named after one of the haunts / shops that I had to go to as part of the treasure hunt. The tags on our favours doubled-up as the place names.

Tell us about your wedding fashion

I chose a 1950s vintage dress from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company. I picked out around five vintage dresses and this one just stood out as being fun. I could dance in it, ride on the carousel in it and the fit was perfect! I chose antique jewellery to go with the dress. I found my cape in a local charity shop and bought my shoes from Dune – they sparkled in the light, matched the colour of my dress and were not ridiculously high! The bridesmaid’s dresses were from Oasis. I wanted a fun floral theme with a 50’s feel to complement my dress.

The groomswear was hired from Moss Bros as the wedding party was dotted around the country and it meant they could all go and get measured and kitted out in their own town. We opted for navy blue morning suits with camel colour cotton waist coats and white shirts. We then made the outfits unique by choosing a selection of Liberty’s floral fabrics and getting the cravats and pocket scarves made up by a local seamstress.

What was your favourite wedding idea?

Our best idea was purchasing an old wrought iron market stall on ebay! I bid on it and won it one night whilst late at work, much to Kevin’s horror at the time as he had to strap it to the roof of his car and drive it back from Kent to London the next day! We collected a range of different shaped and sized glass jars and designed labels which hung on coloured ribbons. Finally, after a ‘supermarket sweep’ style cash and carry shop we had our very own sweet stall! The guests seemed to go mad for them!!

Did you get crafty and make anything for the big day yourselves?

We made a host of things ourselves as we wanted to make everything very personal to us. The seating plan was a series of photographs taken at all of the treasure hunt locations. We posed in a tongue in cheek manner in each place incorporating a table plan in each photograph. So some of our guests were sitting on Peckham Rye Common and some on Ayres the Bakers!

The favours were each guest’s first name initial in a wooden letter block. My grandpa had collected thousands of different wooden typefaces when the old presses were closed down as he admired their beauty. We packaged them individually in pink boxes for the girls and blue for the boys!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We were very close to the Ashford Eurostar link so the morning after the wedding we left for a romantic week in Paris.

Such a gorgeous wedding and we hope you got some inspiration from it! Breaking away from the typical wedding months can work out well, and provide a wonderful celebration at a traditionally quieter time of the year for weddings, meaning your big day really stands out from the rest. It also means you get your first choice in venues, car hire and the finer details, helping you capture just the look you want, like Laura and Kevin did. Happy anniversary and congratulations on the birth of Alice Rose.

Photographs from Tom Gold

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