Showered with Love - Our April 2013 wedding report.

Well, I have debated whether to do a wedding report.  I was in two minds as my planning thread was a bit of a flop! Also, I have not been that active a member on this forum but like most brides on this site, I found the reports interesting and inspiring and so I thought I would do one in the hope that someone gets some tips and ideas for their wedding.  I had an absolutely perfect day but in all reality, there were things that didn’t go to plan and I think the things I learnt may help someone else! So here goes! Oh, and a sneak peak of us on the day…

 (Some photos are guest pics  but the good ones are from my fabulous photographer Zoie Carter Ingham)

 How we met

At university in 2nd year in Sheffield.  It  was in a dodgy club on NYE 2005.  He was completely different from anyone else I had been out with before but he won me over by taking me rock climbing in the Peak District on our second date which was amazing and as he is an avid climber, it was great to see a little part of his world.  I’m gonna call him B.

 How we got here

We travelled after uni for a year, around the world which was amazing and sealed the fact that we made a good team.  If you can survive being together literally 24/7 for a year, often with no one else to speak to, then you can survive anything! After travelling we moved to London and have been here ever since. 



  • Getting engaged

    B popped the question in the gorgeous grounds of The West Wing at Ickwoth.  He had taken me there for my birthday and after sending me off for a facial, we went on a bike ride around the gorgeous grounds.  After stopping to admire the view, he got down on one knee and completely surprised me with a proposal.  It was a beautiful moment (I did know a proposal was on the way but didn’t think it was going to be that weekend as he threw me off the trail by taking me to a jewellers that morning asking me what type of rings I liked so I thought that he must not have a ring yet – very sneaky, especially when I found out he had had the ring for months and was waiting for the right time!).


     Where we got engaged.

    Planning begins!!!
    Ok, so as I mentioned, I knew a proposal was coming.  We had talked about it and it felt like the right time.  We had been together 6.5 years and got through a lot together so I will admit that I had been looking at venues online for a while. Ironically, B had started designing my ring in January and it was in February that I had started to think about venues.  I just felt drawn to all things wedding related which I hadn’t been bothered about before so I think I knew on a subconscious levelimage

    We didn’t get engaged until August 2012 but by this point I had already found a venue that I loved.  I know that sounds crazy but my nana has been diagnosed with terminal cancer so I really wanted to have ideas together so we could have as short an engagement as possible in the hope she would be there on the wedding day.  That’s why I chose my user name as it felt like I had done things in the wrong order but I had a valid reason! (spoiler alert – my nana did make it to the wedding and looked gorgeous.  It made my day and I'm so grateful).

  • Venue

    So I had sent my mum and sister to visit a few venues in Lancashire where I am originally from and they had not liked anything particularly.  I then found a few more and went up to see them without B.  I saw Peckforton castle which was too expensive and Rookery Hall which I really didn’t like and the third and final place I saw was perfect. I found Eaves Hall in a magazine and the picture wasn’t great but we went and were not really expecting much.  We drove up and I started to get excited.  We walked in and I got even more excited. After looking around I fell in love.  It is a beautiful county house but had been done up inside and had a modern touch.  I brought B back a few weeks later and he loved it too.  We loved that you had the whole place to yourself and could do what you wanted in terms of using the rooms in unusual ways. It was the only venue I showed B but I knew he would love it as much as I did.  The grounds are breath-taking, the building is gorgeous and there are 30 newly decorated rooms for guests which was perfect. 




  • thanks rubycupcakes! I tried to find a non posed pic as an into one!

  • Theme

    I wouldn’t say there was a theme.  I considered the English country garden theme with bunting and cake stands.  I loved this look so much but the past few weddings I have been too have had this theme so I decided to go in another direction.  Taking inspiration from the venue which has a modern feel inside with silver and grey curtains in the main room, I wanted to choose grey as a dominant colour and to go with that, I would have little accents of lilac.  I think grey and lilac look good together so a ‘theme’ or more like a colour scheme was born.


    So with the planning in full swing we had booked the venue for 2014 but on reflection we decided to move the date forward a year because I was so worried my nana wouldn’t make it, so we booked the venue for 27th April 2013.  That gave us 7.5 months to plan everything.  Luckily, I had been saving up for a while (for an extension that we are no longer doing!) and our parents kindly donated some money but with the venue not being the most economical, we had to really watch the budget in every other area. 

    This began a stint of DIY that I took on very early on when I decided to design and send an email save the date ( I had great help from a graphic design friend who was one of our ushers). -




     Then I moved on to making my own invitations.  They were a friggin nightmare and took forever but I was really pleased with the result –




     TIP – pda crafts have really reasonably priced card and pocketfolds and making our own invites saved me hundreds (according to quotes I got for professional pocketfolds).

  • The dress

    The dress was thought about very quickly.  I only had just over 7 months to plan everything so I knew I had to get my dress quickly if you take into consideration the 6 months it can take for a dress to arrive. So a couple of weeks after I got engaged, I went to try on a bajillion dresses with friends and family.

     TIP - I fell in love with Suzanne Neville but couldn’t afford her dresses L  be really clear about your budget when you go to try on dresses and DON’T put a dress on that is over budget, it will only make you sad if you fall in love!

      Here are a selection of dresses I liked but were not meant to be.








  • JJ2013JJ2013 Posts: 628

    You look gorgeous in all those dresses but I really love your real one image

  • After going to about 6 shops and trying on probably over 50 dresses I was getting a bit worried.  I didn’t get that ‘wow’ feeling in any of them.  It didn’t help that people can be very opinionated! So I decided to go to a shop on my own.  It was Mia Sposa in Hatton Garden, London.  It was a bit odd being on my own but it was a good thing as I could really concentrate on what I actually liked.  This was the first shop that had Maggie Sottero so I had a few lined up I wanted to try on.  I told the lady I wanted a slim fitted lace dress and after trying on a few I liked I kept thinking I looked a bit ‘up and down’ and like I had no shape.  I have no hips and I don’t have an hourglass shape at all and I think to pull off a fitted dress, you need a more womanly shape.


     Anyway, the lady helping me pulled out a dress that immediately said no to.  It was A-line, satin, low cut… all the things I didn’t want but I put it on and it just felt right.  It made me feel like I had a womanly shape and the material was a really gorgeous colour (alabaster).  I was concerned about how low it was but I was told this could be rectified in the fitting stage*.  I really loved it and took my aunty the next day and she loved it too so I bought it! Woohoo dress done (oh, its called Maude by Maggie Sottero btw).

     This is me trying a smaple of my dress.  The sample was too big and made the neckline lower too (but you can see why i was worrried!).


     And on the day -

    (you can see my giant balloons in this picture.  I wanted to have pictures taken with them but forgot image so big TIP is to make a list of pics for your tog).



    I LOVED the dress on the day.  I felt amazing and I got so many comments on how unusual it was.  I am so pleased I went for this shape in the end.


    *The necklines was the biggest stress for me in the whole planning process.  I was VERY concerned about the fact that is was low and actually, when I got my seamstress to alter the neckline and make it more conservative, it didn’t look right and I really hated the dress and went through major dress wobbles.  In the end, having the straps shortened helped but it was a still little low on the day but everyone assured me it didn’t look tarty (maybe they were just being polite but it’s too late now!)

  • Thanks JJ2013 - i felt great in it! I think whatever you end up wearing on the day you would love because you are just so excited and happy!

  • cherrydropcherrydrop Posts: 904

    You look stunning Hun! And I love love love your colour scheme!

  • A couple more dress pics

    (sorry, that last one is pretty cheesy!)



  • cherrydrop wrote (see)

    You look stunning Hun! And I love love love your colour scheme!

    Thanks so much.  The colours came together so well on the day.  I did have lots of people telling me beforehand that grey was a depressing colour for a wedding but you can't please everyone!

  • Shoes

    I splashed out on my shoes.  I umm’ed and arr’ed about whether I could justify getting these shoes but after getting a staff discount from Selfridges thanks to a friend’s friend, I went for it.  I ended up with some Jimmy Choo shoes in a gorgeous champagne sparkly colour. I had loved them for months and I just think they are amazing. They were just over £300 and the most expensive shoes I have ever owned (or ever will own) but I can wear them again so I felt a little better about themimage On the day they were actually really uncomfortable.  I had tried to wear them in before but I think I bought them a half size too small.  Luckily I had bought some spare shoes to change into and some wellies )thank god!) so I was actually a 3 shoe bride! 



















    The Dune shoes are the best buy EVER – they were so unbelievably comfy. 


  • Wow! You look amazing!!! image I love that first picture. Your dress really looks lovely...I remember reading your thread on your dress wobbles - clearly it all turned out well in the end! Can't wait to read more.

  • Bridesmaids.

    I decided I had to have my 4 best friends as BM’s.  I was a bridesmaid for 3 of them so it seemed fair but after telling our family about the decision, my sister and B’s sister really wanted to do it too so that made 6!!! (I know, a bit crazy).

     Bloody hell, how the hell can I afford 6 dresses was my initial thought.  I wanted grey dresses, and I wanted them to be different if possible, I was going to go down the dessy route but that is too much money times 6! So I thought I would put that part of the shopping hunt off until the sales at Christmas but as luck would have it, when I was in a bridal shop looking for me, they were having a sample sale. 


    As I walk in, there in front of me are 7 grey satin dresses sitting there.  They were wrapped up in plastic, never been tried on.  I ask how much.  They were £180 but were reduced to… wait for it… £30!!!! I could not believe it. I asked why the hell they were so cheap, apparently, Forever Yours (the make) were not stocking that style anymore or something. So I bought all 7 of them.  I thought the extra dress could be made into flower girl dresses or at least a sash or cravats for the men. At £30 I would find some use for it. So here are my fab girls looking gorgeous in their dresses! (I didn’t end up using it and I'm going to sell it at some point).

     Here are my lovely ladies



     (this last picture gives a little hint as to why this thread is called 'showered with love'!)


  • MrskdsMrskds Posts: 396 New bride

    Was hoping you were going to do a report as similar colours to mine! You look stunning loving it all so far x

  • Flower girls

    I have 2 nieces.  I love them both to bits so they of course had to be flower girls.  I was going to have them in ivory dresses with grey sashes made from the extra dress I bought but then, I went to America with my mum and niece this summer and they have such as massive selection of shops with flower girl dresses! It’s crazy.  Literally, one of the shops I went into had about 200 dresses for little ones!  I made my niece try on a load of dresses all in ivory but I wasn’t feeling it at all, something wasn’t clicking.  She is blonde and the colour just washed her out.  Then my mum found a lilac dress for her to try on.  I was not sure at first as I didn’t want too much lilac going on but when she put it on, she looked so cute I had to get them and I got a teeny tiny lilac bow tie for my new nephew  who is 16 months old.  He looked so cute! The dresses were a bargain to at about £30 each.


    My gorgeous nieces –







     I made the hair bands for them.  The younger one had a halo of flowers and the older one had a hairband with flowers attached.  I had asked my florist to make them with real flowers but it was going to cost £40! I made these for about £7 and they still wear them!

    And my nephew in a BHS suit and cute bow tie –



  • My Accessories

    I bought  lovely headband to wear form the National Wedding Show.  I tried loads on and they really hurt but the one I bought seemed much looser and didn’t seem like it hurt.  I loved it but actually I ended up with horrendous bruises on my head after the wedding.  It REALLY hurt on the day as it pinched behind my ears but I didn’t really notice it until the end of the night but it took a week for it to stop hurting!


     My ‘something borrowed’ was a gorgeous diamond bracelet from my mum and a lovely diamond necklace from my nana.  I didn’t want to give them back! I had bought some lovely earrings to wear.  It had taken me ages to choose the perfect pair but as I was getting ready I realised I had forgotten them!!! I was gutted and sent my BM’s off to ask if any guest had any earrings I could borrow.  They found some that were ok but I didn’t love them but they would have to do.  I was a little disappointed but then just in time, the best man came to give me my gift from B and amazingly, he had bought me a gorgeous pair of diamond studs.  I have wanted a pair for years.  I was so happy to wear them and I haven’t taken them out since!



  • Photographer

    I have mentioned already my fabulous photographer – Zoie Carter Ingham.  She was so fantastic on the day I could not recommend her more highly.  She was such a massive help when I got ready and kept me calm all day and was just a pleasure to have at the wedding.  Anyone getting married in Lancashire please check her out.  She was a reasonable price and worth every penny. 


    TIP - I actually found her on Facebook.  I was looking at my venues Facebook page and she had just done a wedding there and had posted pics up and they were so fantastic I called and went to see her that very day! So I recommend joining your venues Facebook page if you are still looking for any other vendors such as chair cover people, cake makers etc.

     Another TIP – I want to really reiterate my earlier point about giving your tog a list of pictures you want.  I didn’t do this (I had one but just forgot L) and now I'm missing some picture I would have loved (such as lots of little details I made,  a picture of me with the in-laws and one of me and my nana to name a few).  It was totally my fault but don’t make this mistake!

  • MrsBeau2BMrsBeau2B Posts: 1,513

    Wow you look so beautiful, love your dress! All the other details look lovely too! Congratulations!  xxxximage

  • kdw wrote (see)

    Was hoping you were going to do a report as similar colours to mine! You look stunning loving it all so far x

    Thanks so much.  It is nice to know people are reading! I still love the colours but you dont see it so much.  I think people hear lilac and think of an dodgy 80's wedding!

  • MrsBeau2B wrote (see)

    Wow you look so beautiful, love your dress! All the other details look lovely too! Congratulations!  xxxximage

    Thanks to you too! I do love the dress.  I am now considering selling it but everyone thinks its crazy to sell.  Can't decide! thanks though x

  • The Men’s outfit.

    I wanted B to have a custom made tailored suit in grey and all the other men to just wear a grey suit of their own but this went down like a lead balloon and in the end I gave in a decided to hire morning suits (I hated them before but on the day they all looked lovely).  We got ours from Debenhams and they were fine.  I just got the jacket and trousers to save money and asked the men to wear any white shirt (I showed them a pic of B’s shirt as I didn’t realise collars really vary and they wanted to match!). As  B wasn’t getting a custom suit, he paid to have a shirt made which was a nice compromise. 


    I had gone for the cheapest suit hire package that didn’t include waistcoats as I thought I would get some online but this didn’t work out I couldn’t find any cheap enough.  A week before the wedding (grrrr, this had been B’s job to find waistcoats but didn’t happen!) I went to Debenhams to ask about adding them to the hire package.  It was going to cost us about £30 PER PERSON to add them to the package plus insurance as it would be under a new order.  Crazy, so I bought them all waistcoats from Debenhams and they got to keep them! It actually worked out cheaper to buy them than to rent them.    B had 2 best men and 5 ushers!!! Our wedding party was huge!

     Here they are –


     And us all together




  • Flowers

    I went with a lovely local lady who used to own a florists shop but has retired and works from home now so it works out cheaper as there are fewer overheads.  I wanted each BM to have a different bouquet so I chose 6 different flowers I liked and each girl had a bunch of a single type of flower and my bouquet had a mixture of those flowers.  I had asked for pink peonies to be in my bouquet and for my sister (maid of honour) to have a bunch of these but apparently the pink peonies she ordered didn’t open in time L instead we had blush coloured peonies but they still looked gorgeous. 

     Bouquets –





  • PepperPotPepperPot Posts: 115

    I love everything about this Backwardsbride image you look lovely - more please! xx

  • jadeylouxjadeyloux Posts: 551

    Beautiful beautiful report so far! Love the idea of the different flowers for BMs!

    Your dress is beautiful and I love the pictures. I only had a couple of me posing in my dress image wish I had more! 

    And I agree with what you said about photographer, we had family pictures done but we didn't actually have one of everyone all together- usually the two families have one but we missed it- I think it was because as soon as people had their pictures they disappeared off to the venue image.

    looking forward to reading more x

  •  Centerpieces

    I had tall ones in glass cylinders and I had low ones in 3 square vases of different heights that I got form Ikea.  I can’t find a pic of the low centrepieces but they were actually my favourite, I'm a little sad i didn't get  apicture.  Around the centrepieces, we had crystal tea light holders with single roses and flowers in. 


    There was more greenery in them than I wanted but I guess it would have cost a lot more to have the same impact but with just flowers.


    As part of my wedding package at Eaves Hall, they include flowers for the top table (which we used in ceremony too).  I was going to use the florist that they use for all my flowers but she was a little too pricey for me.  So she only did this one element in the wedding.  I told her about what flowers I was having as i obvioulsy wanted them to match my centerpieces.   On the day, these flowers were COMPLETELY different from the rest and looked weird next to my other flowers.  They were not lilac at all and were very formal looking with maroon type lilies.  I really didn’t like them at all (so I'm very pleased I didn’t go with her for everything).  It just goes to show, if you have an image in your head, you have to be REALLY clear about it and don’t expect people to just ‘get’ you! Luckily I liked the other flowers!  




  • Confetti

    I was going to make confetti cones but after making 2, I decided life was too short and instead, we put dried flower petals in wicker baskets and guest just grabbed a handful on the way out, after the ceremony.  It worked out very well and was less wasteful so that’s a bonus.  We made a lot of the petals ourselves by buying flowers from supermarkets on the day they got reduced and drying them in the airing cupboard and apparently my sister also put them in the microwave too.  A few days before the wedding, I panicked that we didn’t have enough so I asked my florist if she had any and she provided a high box for £50.  Pretty expensive as we could have done made them ourselves much cheaper if I had had enough time but it was much cheaper than I had seen online.

      I was a little disappointed that the confetti the florist provided was red!!! So didn’t ‘go’ with the colour scheme but really, who cares.  In an ideal world I would have had fresh rose petals but we experimented with this and we would have had to do it on the morning as they wilt very quickly but I think they look more effective in pictures.




  • PepperPot wrote (see)

    I love everything about this Backwardsbride image you look lovely - more please! xx

    Thanks very much.  I have to say, I am enjoying reliving it!

  • jadeylou_x wrote (see)

    Beautiful beautiful report so far! Love the idea of the different flowers for BMs!

    Your dress is beautiful and I love the pictures. I only had a couple of me posing in my dress image wish I had more! 

    And I agree with what you said about photographer, we had family pictures done but we didn't actually have one of everyone all together- usually the two families have one but we missed it- I think it was because as soon as people had their pictures they disappeared off to the venue image.

    looking forward to reading more x

    Yeah, i would say it was one of mmy biggest regrets about the photo list but I just have to let it go.  Oh well, hopefully some other bride will read this and not make the same mistake!

  • Music

    We had a fantastic pianist who played before and during ceremony, then throughout the drinks reception and the wedding breakfast.  He went down well but I can barely remember him at all! I had a CD playing for my own entrance music (Massive Attack – teardrops) as it is one of my favourite songs and I ask Ken to play ‘here come the sun’ by the Beatles when we walked out. 


    For the evening reception, we hired an amazing band called ‘The Dollars’.  They were a young band (age wise) and had less experience than others so they worked out much cheaper than other people we had seen.  We found them on an AMAZING website called the ‘Alive network’ (  On this site, you can listen to samples of the hundreds of bands and read review.  I would highly recommend checking it out.  The band were amazing on the night and their fee included them DJ’ing after their sets.  My bridesmaid loved them and has since booked them for her wedding and I found out they have gone up in price by about £400 so I think we got them at a good time!  They kept the dance floor packed and I'm sure they played much longer than the 2 hour sets I had booked as I only recall them DJ’ing for about half an hour but I'm not sure.

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