real wedding: red roses & ranunculus for a fifties-style wedding {catherine & ashley}

Today’s real wedding is full of rich reds and classic fifties style.  I completely adore bride Catherine’s red rose and ranunculus bouquet – a modern take on the classic with the ranunculus breaking up the texture of a traditional red rose arrangement. Love.  Her Justin Alexander dress, complete with stunning lace and sparkly details is so, so pretty and accessorised with the most darling comb from Flo & Percy (I will always love these ladies designs being a Flo & Percy bride myself!).  The tea-length skirt is perfect for dancing and twirling, and for showing off those fabulous shoes, and of course adds another touch of fifties style.

Catherine and Ashely’s day was captured by Cheshire-based wedding photographer Claire Penn.  With a creative style, and a touch of vintage Claire is passionate about capturing the genuine love and emotion of your wedding.

Over to our gorgeous bride, Catherine, to hear more about their day~

We met at a local nightclub through a mutual friend and we hit the ground running – moving in together after 3 months and we haven’t looked back since.  Ashley proposed to me over Valentines in 2011, he booked a table at our favourite French restaurant. He later told me he was going to ask me over dinner but he bottled it. Instead he asked me when we went for a walk after dinner down by the Marina in Deaganwy, we sat down and he popped the question, I must say it was more his style than getting down on one knee in a restaurant and I couldn’t have been happier.

I made an appointment in the only bridal shop I knew in Chester and went in with vision of what I thought I wanted however I tried on my dress and instantly knew it was the one for me and I didn’t want to try any others on then, so it was a very stress free process.  Ashley wanted a grey three piece suit and he found it after a lot of searching, it was by Paul Smith.

The location was the first and only venue we went to, Soughton Hall – we were sold on the drive up to it never mind what it looked like inside. It’s fairly local and this meant most of our guests could attend which was very important to us plus the guests travelling great distances were able to stay. We had the whole place to ourselves and it really was magical.

I have a love for vintage and we really liked the idea of playing with that really, I  looked at old wedding pictures from the 1950’s though to see their style.  Our venue already provided us with a stunning backdrop so we just tinkered about….my dress was vintage inspired and my accessories were vintage. We wanted it to look fairly simple but quite luxe so we chose beautiful deep red roses and ranunculus for the bouquets and for the tables but they were in cream.  We didn’t want to faff about with the unnecessary so keeping it simple and concentrating on the big things meant it fell in to place nicely. The most important thing about our day was that we were getting married and what that meant to us and we never lost sight of that during the day – we kept pinching each other.

A very good friend of ours helped us make and design our wedding invitations which turned out amazingly – a mix of photographs on a flyer with us and our son Oliver holding up boards with some basic information for the day on – they were really fun and right up our street. We also included, which were also handmade by us, another invitation which was more formal.  Also the florist was Mum to one of my bridesmaids. She is semi retired so having her do our flowers was great – she is a genius I must say.  My amazingly talented friend Lulu did my hair and make-up and also one of my best friends (and bridesmaids) Victoria Thomas did all of the bridesmaids make-up… they all looked stunning!  A lot of our close friends are DJs so we had three of them DJ-ing throughout the night which was great – the floor was never empty!  Having all this input from friends and family made the day that little bit more special and it felt really personal.

My husband Ashley made the table plan and also the wedding favours which were CD’s personalised with our pictures on which had all the music from the ceremony on. We also put batches of chocolate eggs on each table personalised with our name on the top wishing everyone a happy Easter.

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song?

Choosing the song was a no brainer, Jamiroquai’s ‘You Give Me Something’ hold lots of memories for us – it’s a very special song and a favourite of Ashley’s it was followed by  Bill Withers ‘Lovely Day’ which is a favourite of mine…

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

We found out that everything falls in to place if you take the relaxed approach. Stay true to what you both want and you can’t go wrong.  Also invest in a really good photographer, we met ours at our friend’s wedding and after seeing their photographs we were sold. Claire took the time to get to know us, which I think is great as it meant our personalities really came out our photographs and we love her style of shooting. The engagement shoot also meant we got used to having our photograph taken ahead of the big day. We couldn’t be happier with them – they are truly magical and really encapsulated our day.



Photographer :  Claire Penn Photography //  Second Shooter: Victoria Phipps Photography // Dress: Justin Alexander at Pronuptia, Chester // Shoes: Rainbow // Veil & Accessories: Flo & Percy /// Stationery: All handmade // Venue & Catering: Soughton Hall //  Flowers: Pamela Bradshaw // Brides Hair & Makeup: Luscious Lulu’s Delicious Hair Do’s // Bridesmaids Hair: Jenny Goodham // Bridesmaid’s Makeup: Victoria Thomas MUA // Bridesmaids dresses: Wallis // Cake: Corsets and Cupcakes // Music: Most of our friends are DJs so we had a few of them playing throughout the night


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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