If you follow along on Instagram you may have seen that last year, I got married to my favourite human, right here in Somerset! As our first year anniversary is approaching, I thought it was about time I shed some light on the amazing small businesses that helped to make our big day special and what better way to do that than with a blog post! We tried to use as many small businesses as we could afford to because being one myself, I know how much the orders mean to someone working for themselves! So let's just jump straight in shall we?
After 9 years together, Ross finally popped the question on the 6th October 2017 on top the cliffs in Perranporth, Cornwall! It was already my most favourite place in the country and now it's even more special! Little did I know he had spent months agonising over finding the perfect ring on Etsy and even roped our good friend Alice into helping him get it without me knowing! I absolutely love the fact he got it from another maker (Doron Merav) and it's a tiny twig! I don't think I could have chosen better myself!
I always knew that I was going straight to Etsy to get my wedding band! But I was so overwhelmed with choice that I just didn't know what I wanted. It's no secret that I'm not a jewellery wearer at all. I wasn't allowed to wear it when I had the day job so I never got into the habit and I always forget about it! So wearing an engagement ring was weird enough!
So what did I do? What I always do when I get stuck, ask Instagram of course! And my goodness they did not disappoint! I found sooooo many talented makers was spoilt with choice and offers of help! Someone recommended Fire White to me and I fell in love with Candice's simple but gorgeous rings! She was so helpful in ensuring I got the right product and after a bit of back and fourth, I finally settled on my organic texture ring!
Ross' ring was passed down through his family and is actually his great Grandma's wedding band! The beautiful inscription from around 100 years ago is still on the inside of the ring which is a wonderful thing to treasure.
Our wedding was also the first time I had ever had my nails done professionally and still is the only time I've had them done! I popped over to visit Beauty Box by Holly and she did a wonderful job and it was actually a really fascinating process! In true Joanne style, let them grow out until they looked ridiculous before I eventually figured out how to take them off!
Oh the ladies who helped me with my dress! I can honestly tell you, Somerset Bridal was the most amazing dress shop I visited! And I visited a lot of shops. Seriously, I was slowly running out of shops in Somerset to visit as I was being that picky! Let me tell you why they blew me away with their service...
My first visit with them was brilliant, all went well, they weren't pushy, told me to think on it and told me they were having a 'trunk show' at the end of January if I wanted to attend. I did want to go because it was with my favourite designer, Watters. The only problem was, the only date I could make was on the day I was due to fly home from Portugal! No problem they said! I could have the last slot of the day and I would drive straight there from the airport. Brilliant! That is until my flight got massively delayed and the shop would have been closed by the time I got to them. I sat in the airport and cried my eyes out and messaged them to let them know I couldn't make it. To my surprise, it wasn't a problem, do you know what they did? Told me to let them know when I land, and give them an estimated time I'd be able to get to them and they would could back and open the shop so I could try on the visiting dresses. And that's exactly what they did. I couldn't have asked for better service. Every time I go past I can't help but have a quick nose through the windows at all of the beautiful dresses! Debbie and Roberta, you really are the best!
I teamed my Watters dress with a bright yellow cardigan. I had to get yellow in there somewhere right? You'll see more of my dress in the next post with the main images from the big day itself!
To begin with, my mum and I had grand plans of doing the flowers ourselves and roping my nan in too but the reality of growing enough flowers and the pressure of it going horribly wrong led us to find the lovely, award winning Charlotte of Fleur Amour! And I'm incredibly glad I gave up that idea because I couldn't have done a better job. For a start I didn't know what any of the flowers I wanted were called. I believe my brief to Charlotte was, yellow, blue, bit of leafy things and those yellow balls on sticks... Haha! I loved my bouquet so much that I dried it out. Badly, and it smells a bit funky but I'm still not ready to let go of it. And the same goes with my flower crown! That is currently hanging up in my lounge and won't be going anywhere anytime soon!
I spent hours on pinterest pinning photos of the dream cake and I quickly realised that I was into these 'semi naked' cakes. But at every wedding fair we visited, I saw a lot of full iced cakes and I'm not really an icing/marzipan person. I find it way to sickly and often there is way too much. So when I spotted Hip Pop Cakes and their semi naked cake I made a bee line for their stand and wanted to know everything! A little while later we were sat in Lesley's kitchen eating our way through an array of amazing samples! We settled on three different flavoured tiers! Pink champagne (without the pink colouring), Victoria sponge and Elder flower. The elder flower was definitely my favourite! The champagne flavour was a complete surprise to us. We didn't think much of the idea until we tried it and then just had to have it! It was a real shame to cut it up because it was so pretty!
I had grand plans of making our cake toppers out of air dry clay but seeing what a nightmare it was with other projects I used it for I decided to give it a miss because I knew I'd never get a finish I'd be happy with. That is where the lovely Jane Kent comes in! I'd been following her on Instagram for a little while and absolutely loved her work. I knew she was busily prepping for a show but couldn't help but cheekily ask if she would make me a custom cake topper in yellow and blue! And lucky for me she said yes and we now have three of them around our home!
This week I discovered that Martha Brook now does bullet journals too! Whaaat! How has it taken me this long to discover that? I'm genuinely considering cheating my yellow bujo for one of her foiled beauties! Anyway enough of that. Martha kindly gifted us one of her gorgeous wedding guest books for our wedding and it was so pretty! I didn't want anyone to write on the first page so I could add a photo to it but apparently no one got that memo! It's such a beautiful book of memories from all of the wonderful humans that took the time out of their busy lives to attend. I actually cried reading it after the wedding. It's so full of love and is the perfect way to capture those precious messages! Thank you Martha, I'll be forever grateful for your kindness!
When I was little, I nagged my mum for ages to my ears pierced. I was in primary school and all my friends had theirs done and my best friend had hers done too. Eventually my mum gave in and took me to the local piercing shop. I was allowed to choose my first ever pair of earrings and I went for a pair of little gold stars. They were my favourites! Over the years though, I lost them. They were my first and my faves and I was gutted. So when my dad said he wanted to buy me some earrings for the wedding I jumped at the chance at getting a new pair! That is where the lovely Alison Moore comes in. Alison has a pair of moon and star earrings and I asked her if she would mind making me two stars and it wasn't a problem! And now, because of the power of the internets, I now have a pair just like the ones from my childhood.
This is such a terrible photo and I apologise to advance to the lovely Charlie of Stitchsperation who so kindly made us several metres of bunting for our top table. I've searched through all of our wedding photos and I can't find one where you can see it on the table, which is really sad because I liked our top table! I've already found another use for it and that is to decorate our spare room! It's draped along two of the walls with our paper pom poms hiding the hooks every so often!
My dad is the MOST difficult man to buy for. He doesn't want anything, and if he does he just goes out and buys it himself. So getting him something for the wedding was a huge task! Not only that but he is picky and so am I! I eventually stumbled across these personalised initial cufflinks by Penelope Tom and they went down an absolute treat alongside a card I had designed for him. He couldn't wait to take his standard cufflinks off and replace them with these. And Ross liked them so much, he got his dad the same ones!
We also had a number of signs we designed printed for us by Becka Griffin and Lela from Doodlelove as I've only got a little A4 printer which didn't quite cut it! This one was especially important as it accompanied the ladder we had covered in family photos of those who couldn't be there with us on the big day and were instead partying it up in the stars.
I knew I wanted to create my own cards for giving to my parents on my big day. Not only because I wanted to give them something I had made but because I knew I'd need to write it several times. I believe it took me 3 attempts at writing my dads card and the same with my mums, so I knew I made the right decision when I could just run them off myself! I didn't upload these until well after the wedding because I wanted my family to have the first ones. And if you look hard enough, you can see that I actually used my wedding dress as the back drop. I even gave Ross one and when he opened it a cod illustration fell out haha. Don't ask, but I thought it was pretty funny! I've made an entire range from these with an option for all of the family. You can see these here if you wanted!
I know this post was pretty product and text heavy but I just wanted to share a few of the makers and small businesses that helped us to make it such a wonderful day. Don't worry though, I'll be sharing more of the actual day and what went on in part 2! There's a tea party, plenty of wedding shots and lots of stories to tell! See you next time!