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Our Vintage 1920s/1940s Literally Inspired Wedding - 30.03.13

The Background Bit

I was in my third year of university in York, I’d just got back from an amazing couple of weeks in America with friends. The trip had been rather last minute and mostly a result of wanting to get away from the bad boys I kept falling for. So after 14 days, 3 hostels, numerous cocktails, one nearly-missed flight and one emergency wiring of money via Western Union (thanks Dad) I was home and thoroughly cheered up. It was a Monday night, Monday the 21st of April to be precise, and I was getting ready to go out with Robyn for her birthday. I’d bought a fabulous pair of magenta boots that day and was feeling fab.

Skip forward to a couple of hours later and we were in Revolution. I spotted my housemate Dan talking to a really cute guy so decided I should probably catch-up with Dan at that very moment. The cute guy turned away so I zipped over to find out all about him. Dan informed me that it was his ex-boyfriend — devestated! Before I know it, Dan’s disappeared and cute guy turns to find me instead of his ex. Cue awkward conversation where I explain that I’m a friend of Dan, his ex. Cue even more confusion as cute guy tries desperately to explain that he isn’t in fact gay! So a few giggles and introductions later, Jack and I are getting along really well. I go back to the girls and share the goss. When we leave the bar, I try my very best to saunter past him and tap him on the shoulder, and in the sexiest voice I can muster, tell him I’ll see him later — Jack completely fails to be impressed by my femme fatale impression and I sulk off!

The story doesn’t end there though … later that night we bump into each other again and get chatting. When the lights go up at 3am, we both look disappointed. So unlike the good girl I’m meant to to, I invite him back to mine for a drink with Robyn and I. After putting the drunk birthday girl to bed, we stay up talking about everything until 7am — despite having work at 9! I was totally smitten. So much so, when we finally stopped talking and went to bed, I took him to my housemates room because hers was always lovely (thanks Dani!) and mine was such a mess! Funnily enough, he never did notice that all my pictures were of Dani and her boyfriend!

So that’s how we met… on a Monday. He stayed over again on Tuesday. And Wednesday. And every night since. By the Sunday, I was in Hull, meeting his entire family.


 Me and Robyn the night I met Jack! Clearly I was having fun!



 And it didn't take long for us to be pretty inseperable!



  • Wow that looks like a lot more writing than I expected!! I promise future posts will be less detail and more pictures!

  • The Proposal Bit

    Four years later, on New Year’s Eve, Jack took me to Hyde Park WinterWonderland with my family and at the top of Ferris wheel, got down on a very shaky one knee and told me what we’d known by the end of that first week. That I was The One. That he couldn’t live without me. That he wanted me to be his wife!! And that was it, we were engaged!


    It was such a lovely night, we had champagne on the Ferris wheel and looked out over London (as well as taking some cheesy loved-up pictures!). As we got off, Bruno Mars ‘Marry You’ started playing… I was so amazed, I just looked at him. For a second he paused then said “I so wish I could take credit for this!” – Obviously just luck! But my family were there and we celebrated by going for more champagne and going to see Million Dollar Quartet. We finished the night along the banks of the Thames watching the fireworks… bliss!



     And this is us about 2 minutes after we got engaged!!!

  • The Heady-Dreamy-Million-Ideas Bit

    As I'm sure most of you know, the very first bit is sooo exciting that it's almost impossibe to start planning anything... the possiblities are endless!!

    So to try to narrow my millions of ideas, I put together an inspiration board. Then another. Then another... You get the picture, there were lots of pictures and lots of ideas!

    This is one of my favourites, it include the Peachy/Dove Grey colour pallete we've gone for and some of the Vintage Inspiration. I wanted it to be weddingy, but not sickly. Peachy, but not 80s! Vintage, but not themed. Grey, but not dull. Literatry inspired, but not overkill.


     What do you think? x

  • MrsPar13MrsPar13 Posts: 821
    Oh I love it, can't wait to see more
  • Love the story so farimage xx
  • jadeylouxjadeyloux Posts: 551
    Sounds great so far image x
  • Oh I love this, definitely going to follow this. We seem to ghave similar tastes & ideas! image

    More please!
  • The Venue Hunt Bit

    This was a bit of a tricky one for us, as I'm sure it is for a lot of couples. It's challenging at best, impossible at worst to find somewhere that fits all of your criteria. I've come to think the venue hunting bit (as with the dress perhaps) is like searching for the perfect partner. We often have an unrealistic list of expectations and requirements, but inevitably, compromises must be made. Equally, the same list sometimes gets thrown out of the window when something comes along that you know is just right, whether it fits or not!

    Requirements List

    • Location - I wanted to get married from home, so proximity to my parents house and in Lincolnshire generally was a must.
    • Fit numbers - approx 70 day
    • Accomodation - as almost everyone coming to the wedding doesn't live in Lincolnshire, we'd need a venue with, or close to, accomodation for upto 120 people.
    • Carpets and Curtains - I realise this is a very odd one, but in planning the wedding I realised I have a deep hatred for patterned 70s carpets that so many venues are fond on. And worse still, they have equally garish curtains that often don't even match!
    • Style - We both wanted somewhere with a bit of history and style and were quite set on not having a windowless conference room in a hotel.
    • Food - we're both proper foodies and really wanted something other than a Sunday lunch or buffet.
    • Tableware - much like the curtains and carpets, tableware was an issue! MrW is a restaurant manager and likes good glassware and tableware so was looking out for this everywhere we went.
    • Hotel/Venue Staff - this became a requirement throughout the search. Venue staff that are engaging, interested or even just pleasant! I've been amazed at the attitude of some people - you work in the wedding industry people, it's your job to at least look interested!!

    So, we knew we'd  be a little limited, we live in Lincolnshire - otherwise known as the land that time forgot! So this list became quite difficult.

    Did anyone else have unrealistic requirements, or requirements that were difficutl to fulfill? x

  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
    Interested in this one as my parents are also in Lincolnshire. We found it a nightmare, and we have the same criteria as you, but with a guest list of 200. we also had '50,000 people we know haven't got married there' too. I can confirm that there isn't anywhere in the Lincs, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, East Leicestershire and North Northamptonshire area we haven't looked at.

    We also have AMAZING suppliers so let me know if you want the information. Some of them are travelling from London but most are local. We found a real dearth of decent suppliers in Lincolnshire so booked early to get the best ones we could. A curly side ponytail does not a bridal hairdo make.
  • TickleyJessTickleyJess Posts: 1,649 New bride

    Love your thread - I'm from Lincolnshire too.  Are you anywhere near Burghley House?  Weddings there are amazing, and it's a short walk from Stamford town centre, which has plenty of really nice hotels.  Can't wait to read more! x

  • The Venue Viewing (and ruling out!) Bit

    So with the above list in mind, off we went to see what Lincolnshire and even a bit of Nottinghamshire had to offer. The following is a list of the venues we saw and what we thought of them. I'll be very frank with our views of them but please don't be offended if you have gone with one of these venues, we all have different tastes and requirement!

    • Stoke Rochford Hall - very grande, great for numbers and def had the wow factor.  However, when you look closer it had the dreaded dodgy carpets situation! We also weren't able to get much of an idea about the food. On reflection, I can't think why we really discounted it but we did, so there we are.
    • Belton Woods Hotel - literally walked in and walked straight back out. I'm sure they're a great venue for lots of things, but the conference room look wasn't for us at all.
    • Kelham House - we looked a Kelham before the building of their events room thingy and it was looking a bit too small. At the time, there was no certainty that the room would be ready and even if it was, Kelham House is gorgeous and having the reception in an events room kinda took away from being in the actual house. That said, their room looked amazing and service seemed quite good. If we were having smaller numbers then it would have been a firm favoruite!
    • Vicarge Boutique - beautiful, great, but too small.
    • Washingborogh Hall - also beautiful, I mean really really lovely, but could fit a max of 60 (if i remember correctly) so was just a smidge too small. Real shame.
    • Petwood Hotel - a definate look with the dramatic outside and gardens. They had two conference rooms you can use, I felt a bit odd about being one of two weddings there on the day and as we're getting married on Easter Saturday it seemed likely that someone else would pick that day. In addition, the carpets and curtains situation here was dire! I had school proms at Petwood and then I was really impressed by it, but ten years on, you see things very differently. Nice hotel, just really not for us.
    • Dower House, Woodhall Spa - Amazing, gorgeous venue where all the bridal party and immediate family could stay. Lovely events room (floral curtains, but acceptable!) The owner was amazing, she totally got some of my ideas and was very quickly brainstorming ideas of how to put them into practice. I particularly loved this venue (Mr W never saw this one - work) and would have happily got married here. I think it would have been amazing and it's still the venue I think of when I have venue wobbles! Unfortunately though, our date wasn't available. We looked at changing the day but nothing in school holidays was available and so we had to walk away image
    • Golf Hotel Woodhall Spa (not sure if this is the proper name!) - walked in and walked right back out. Lovely modern reception but very tired looked events room.
    • Stubton Hall - another one that my head goes back to when I have doubts. It's really lovely and very impressive. The house is amazing and it is of course a dream venue. However, there were drawbacks: events room, this isn't exactly in the house so you still end up being in an events room which could be anywhere. Flexibility, they're very firm on using their suppliers and packages rahter than creating your own. Staff - we didn't get an amazing impression from the staff there about how well they'd work with us. Wedding fayre - when we went they were quite strange, there were canapes, wine and food for tasters but you had to book first! I felt this was very short-sighted. Who puts down £12,000 min without trying anyting? Price - it is extraordinarily expensive, so it would have to be perfec to go
  • Thanks for all the interest so far, very flattering!! Thanks for the suppliers recommendations but as yet, I think it's all planned! Will have a think though. Stamford was ruled out for being too far away from our church but I agree, it's gorgeous! As fate would have it MrW now works in Stamford so i sometimes wish we'd looked there. I'm definitely one for having venue wobbles so doubt creeps in quite easily! X
  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
    Yes we are! Are you getting married at Burghley? We looked at it, along with Belvoir, but discounted it. We wanted a marquee and both Burghley and Belvoir are too dark and castle like for us.

    I can honestly say you had a lucky escape with Stubton! We went to meet them too and, aside from the fact the owner was mental and just decided to start pulling a wall down overnight and the wedding co-ordinatior didn't know why, they have really strict policies on their suppliers because they get massive kickbacks. Which is why you need to pay to bring in anyone of your own. I also read on here that someone was shown around and she just knocked on the door of the bridal suite when a bride and groom were in it!

    It's definitely the 'newest' venue around here but it's still a bit shabby. My Mum noticed some scratches on the wall which they'd covered with the wrong coloured paint. And they don't let you have access on the night before which is rubbish! Lucky escape!!

    Also re Stoke Rochford....the library is full of new books and the caretaker that showed us around told us the conservatory still leaked! The rooms in the house are OK but the ones in the older block are rank!

    Stamford also has the William Cecil but it was too small for us.
  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
    I think you've either gone for Langar Hall, Harlaxton Manor or Belvoir. Just a hunch. My top guess would be Harlaxton judging by your other venues.

    Did you go to KSHS? We had our proms at the Petwood and Belvoir castle too!
  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
    I think you've either gone for Langar Hall, Harlaxton Manor or Belvoir. Just a hunch. My top guess would be Harlaxton judging by your other venues.
  • Lol, wrong on all counts actually! Glad I've got you guessing, I think based on your guesses, you'll be very surprised!

  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
  • I've never heard of Woodys!

  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225
    Woodland waters....probably a good thing! Can I have a clue?
  • You can indeed, in fact, you've already had one... lol

  • The Venue Saga Continued Bit

    Well, that was one bulk of the viewings and it didn't stop there!

    • The Tally Ho Inn - qutie a random choice, we go there for fireworks every year and love it so had a little browse online and their functions site looked quite tempting. Well we had a meeting with the owner and he had a million ideas about the food - we'd found a proper foodie which was very exciting! But, it was still a pub marquee wedding and that's just not what I imagined. Anyhow, as lovley as the owner is, he took several months to get back to us and by then we were already booked up at our venue.
    • Norwood Park - looked at this briefly and to be quite honest, I can't even remember why we discounted this... maybe distance? Anyhow, seemed nice.
    • Charlotte House Hotel, Lincoln - we again looked at this briefly. Couple of things put me off quite quickly: I had a group viewing - this is not my idea of clever business! It had a whole wall of windows and I thought it might be cold in March. The venue room looked very modern and a little soulless. So it was discounted. However, the plot thickened. We ended up going there for a little night away together and it was LOVELY! The owner was so friendly and personable and the hotel itself was just great. Que another giant wobble and wishing I'd given this one more of a chance!
    • The White Hart Hotel, Lincoln - we looked at this as it was gorgeous and historic from the outside, with views of the Cathedral and a surprisingly modern interior. Our viewing didn't go particularly well, the venue co-ordinator wasn't particularly interested and we were rushed through like a conveyor belt. That put me off a lot. But the events room was split into a formal dining room with charater features and a modern reception area which was very much a blank canvas. The hotel had standard packages which I really hate but showed some willingness to work with us on this.


    So... it was decision time and after all that, we decided to go with the White Hart because...

    • The Bailgate location reminded me of York, where we met
    • The views over the Cathedral were breathtaking
    • Size - it fit our numbers nicely, not squeezed in or too spaced out.
    • The hotel location and size would allow all of our guests to stay there or at somewhere cheaper nearby.
    • They said we could write our own menu!
    • The two room situation really appealed to me, perfect for what we wanted.
    • The cocktails.... if you don;t know what I mean, you have to go... TO.DIE.FOR!
    • Proximity, Lincoln is a good location for transport between the Church and hotel.
  • The Overdue Pictures of Venue Bit




     View from our balcony!



  • image

     Reception Area / Bar / Dancefloor later

  • image

     The Dining Room for Wedding Breakfast

  • image

     View of the Cathedral from the Bridal Suite

  • The Church Bit

    This part was super easy, I am not a practising Christian, my partner was brought up Catholic. His Irish Catholic parents would never dream of asking us to have a church ceremony, but I knew it would mean a lot to them. So we decided to go for our lovely parish church at the bottom of our road - the reverend is lovely (think vicar of dibley) and MrW's parents cried when we told them because they were so happy.

    It's about two famillies as well as a couple, and pleasing everyone is important to us. Since then, I've been attending church and I'm pleased, it's a lovely community and it was the right decision.





  • The Photography Bit

    This was always going to be one of our first big decisions. Early on we were told to really think about photography - it's one of the only things left after the champagne goes flat and the party dies down. I spent HOURS searching online for photographers that managed to balance our (once again) list of requirements:

    • Style - the photos had to be reportage/vintage, quick specific I know! We didn't want a great deal of posed photos. I personally hate the phased out, black and white with colour pops and bride sat with dress flared out style of photography. We wanted someone that would document our day as it actually happened! Then there was the slightly vintage aspect to the photos... tricky!
    • Budget - inevitably, most of the above meant this category was fudged! Finding style on a budget was really hard. We were tempted to just splurge a few times. We has an inital budget of £1500.
    • Me and Him - ideally we wanted someone to take photos of both me in the morning with my girlies, and MrW with his boys.
    • Times - we wanted a lot of time for our buck! We didn't want gorgeous photos during the day then dodgy fbook style evening ones! (this was probably more my request than MrWs actually! He looks fantastic no matter what!)


    We narrowed it down to two options:

    Lissa Alexandra Photography

    Amazing natural photos, vintage inspired finish. Super friendly when we met her at a Harrogate wedding fayre. Really understood the need for capturing the moment. Affordable. Friendly. Helpful. Just a fantastic first impression really!



    Rachael Connerton Photography

    Met her at a 'Save the Date' wedding fayre - really put me at ease. She was SO professional, I was so overwhelmed by the amazing photo albums that just look so damn slick! Husband and wife duo, so one for me and one for MrW. VERY expensive. Don't get me wrong, worth every penny, but you don't always have every penny!




    There were a lot of other potential and I'm happy to copy up some of my notes (sad, I know) on each if it helps anyone. x

  • MRCJMRCJ Posts: 225

    I love Rachel Connerton and I love your venue! We absolutely BLEW our budget on photography but I love having photos around the house and they are a lasting memory once the champagne has been drunk. We also saved money by not having a videographer. Can you tell that I'm justifying it to myself?!

    Can't wait to see who you picked!

  • I tell you what, on days when things are a bit shit, this forum really does perk you up! Having a few issues at the moment with petty family squablles, hen do and friends being shit and just getting really down cus we're staying in all the time to save for the wedding. Does anyone else ever feel like that? I know it will be worth all the saving, but right now I just want to get my glad rags on and blow the chair covers budget! lol

  • The Photography Bit Continued

    So after umm-ing and ahh-ing we went for a proper meeting with Lissa. I was worried that I'd feel like I was settling by not going with Rachael Connerton, but Lissa blew us both away. She got exactly the look we wanted and seemed unbeliveably dedicated. So that was it, done deal, amazing photgraphy and not too far out of our original budget.

    The reason we'd save a bit with Lissa is that it wouldn't include any albums. As much as we'd like these, by postponing buying them, we'll save a hundreds now. So we'll treat ourselves to them for our first anniversary:Paper! x

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