real wedding: abi & jim’s perfectly foggy day
Good morning my loves! Like me, I’m sure you’re a bit fed up of the weather of late, gloriously sunny yet bitter cold one minute, and then well, still bitterly cold and snowing the next! But what if the weather on your wedding day isn’t quite what you imagined either? Well, with a great photographer and a little bit of PMA, it might just turn out better than you ever expected! Fog loomed over the North Downs on Abi & Jims’ wedding day, yet undeterred they ventured out into the vineyards with their photographer Fiona Kelly resulting in some beautiful and totally unique portraits of their day. Their wine-themed day contained rich red colours and lots of wine cork DIY details created by the bride & groom.
I do just love it when I get my questionnaire back from the groom – and it’s lovely to see it happening more and more as grooms realise it’s their day too! Here’s Jim with the details ~
We met through a mutual friend, Caroline who had decided that we would be good together. Caroline shared a room at uni with Abi, and used to work with Jim. Back in May 2010, we met up for lunch, which turned into afternoon tea, which turned into a drive over Box Hill, Surrey with the roof down to watch the sunset! Fast forward to Boxing Day, we went for a walk down and (and then back up!!) Box Hill. I proposed to Abi back at the top, absolutely shattered and somewhat sweaty. Not my finest moment. Fortunately Abi said ‘Yes’, and so we celebrated our Christmas engagement at the National Trust café with a Magnum ice cream, and a hot chocolate.
Abi tells us about her look ~
My dress was called ‘Pearl’ by Charlotte Balbier, and came from Harrington & Cleur in Epsom. I knew I didn’t want a “standard” strapless dress and came across this one, so I went to try it on along with some others. The sample fitted perfectly, and I could have it there and then. I was sold! Paula at Harrington & Cluer, suggested that a headband by Richard Designs would go perfectly, so it was an easy choice. I didn’t want traditional white bridal shoes, and had my heart set on a deep red pair. I found a pair of ‘mock croc’ dark red kitten heels which were perfect! My bridesmaid Caroline, wore a Bordeaux coloured dress by Alexia Designs, which was altered to be a one-shouldered dress, by Maureen’s, who also made ties from the same fabric.
Jim ordered a bespoke suit from King & Allen in Surbiton with burgundy coloured accents, and found a pair of deep red shoes in Jones. He wore a white herringbone shirt by Thomas Pink, and a champagne coloured tie by Duchamp of London. Jim specifically requested that his best men (all 4 of them!) wore their own suits as they would be most comfortable.
Our venue was Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. We chose it because you can see Box Hill and the spot we got engaged. Given the venue, we chose the obvious choice of a ‘wine’ theme (we thought it was obvious anyway, apparently not many other couple go for this!). It dictated our colours, which was lucky since we’d decided on an autumn wedding and so the bridesmaids dress and men’s ties were a Bordeaux colour which fitted nicely. Abi was pleased as she used to study in Bordeaux, France.
We made several of our own decorations from used wine corks – we bought some MDF letters and stuck the corks on. These were used as part of our cake display together with some old wooden crates which had been decorated with ivy. I (Jim) also made a framed cork board for the table plan to be pinned on. We wanted to keep this afterwards as we could used it as a notice board in the house. We decided against having a traditional guestbook. Instead we asked our guests to write messages on paper, and post them into black painted wine bottles, which we’d placed into an old French wine crate filled with hay. We would then break open each bottle on special anniversaries and see what messages people had left us. Finally table place cards made from blank manilla business cards wedged into halved corks, and the names were handwritten by Abi’s bridesmaid Caroline.
It’s hard to pick a single favourite part of the day, so we picked two! The first was watching our guests be entertained and amazed by a close-up magician Ben Williams from Unbelievable Magic. Then walking up into the vines with our photographer Fiona Kelly, only to be met by thick fog. Initially we were quite worried about how the photos might work out, particularly because we were hoping to see Box Hill in the background. In actual fact we could see Fiona getting quite excited about what she was seeing on her camera, which in turn helped us feel better. The fog gave our pictures the most amazing ethereal sense with the vines seemingly disappearing into nothing, and so as it turns out, we wouldn’t have had the weather any other way.
What was your first dance and how did you choose the song?
For our first dance, we chose Parachute by Train. It was one of the songs playing in the car on our first drive up Box Hill together. This was actually the first decision we came to about the entire wedding!
Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?
Don’t worry about the weather – What will be, will be. We would never have chosen a foggy day, but we’re so glad it worked out that way.
Photography: Fiona Kelly // Dress: ‘Pearl’ by Charlotte Balbier from Harrington & Cleur // Shoes: Dune // Bridesmaids Dress: Alexia Designs // Stationery: Wedding Chicks // Table plan and place cards: DIY // Venue & Catering: Denbies Wine Estate // Flowers: Ella Pepper // Hair & Makeup: Natasha Wiggins // Cake: Marks & Spencer // Music: Mark Godliman