An article for The Stockman Diaries 

Somehow-and truly I do not know how it happened- I fell in love with a man who is more obsessed with hawaiian shorts (and flip flops, bobble hats and hoodies. Together. In any weather. No, really.) than I am with weddings. Getting him to swap his Heston Blumenthalspectacles for some spectacular tortoiseshell 1960s half frames was a fruitless venture, so I can only imagine the perils of attempting to get him in to a suit; let alone one that is completely devoid of hawaiian print fabric.

In an ideal world, however, he’d be decked out in an outfit that would be entirely appropriate in some bygone era or another. Gonna completely disregard the advice of Brides magazine’s latest issue, that suggests sticking to one era only for the entire bridal party- pah, whatever, Bridesand consider mixing it up with a modish 1960s style suit, or maybe something like this. I’m clueless on what era I’d attribute this concoction to, but check out that pale tweed/scarf/tie combo!

I think these Prada shoes are a necessity, too, though I’m certain Chris won’t agree; or worse, he will, and then he’ll change to flip flops for the reception. Then again he does want an owl feather boutonnière, so perhaps there is hope for him yet.

Whatever happens on the flip flop front, though, at least one male member of the bridal party will be stylish: Rory! Rory’s style has evolved from the knitted pastels that swamped his 6lb newborn frame, to a strict dress code of coloured chinos and Christmas jumpers (and the occasional bear suit) as his first ‘proper’ clothes, to his wardrobe now, which consists mostly of retro finds and quirky pieces from small businesses (check out Toto KnitsRetro and Me, andHarriet’s Haberdashery). He definitely stands out. Okay, I know, you think it’s my style, not his; but the way I dress him has changed as I’ve got to know him as a person; I give him clothes that I think match his weird and wonderful, and forever goofy, little self.

A standard page boy suit was never really in with a chance here; in fact, the closest we’ve come to traditional is a tweed three piece with brogues, but even that was decidedly too boring. Ideally, we would have gone for some colour; a maroon suit jacket with brown tweed trousers, perhaps, but these are nyon impossible to find for littlies (though why there are so few options here but coloured three quarter length satin bloomers and peter pan shirts and so plentiful I do not know). Topman do a nice collection- of coloured tweed, not bloomers- but they were a little big, unfortunately. After quite a bit of searching we’ve settled on an outfit inspired by his Toad of Toad Hall tie, and have gone with old English eccentricity, though a little turned down, and toddler appropriate.

Scatterbrain Ties

Because the clothes looked a little lost on their own (and because I’ve just learnt basic photoshop skills and I’m a show off) I’ve made a little collage of his outfit (felt party hat is for the reception only).

He’s having a striped thick knit shirt, woollen waistcoat, tweed blazer, and camel knit trousers with fabulous Anniel shoes. And, of course, funky socks, a silk handkerchief in his pocket, a scarf (Toad of Toad Hall, remember?), a boutonniere, and his amazing tie! I’m crossing my fingers that potty training will be done and dusted by November, but, if not, then at least it makes a great excuse for a page boy nappy- do Weenotions do a tweed fabric? Maybe I’ll suggest it…

I don’t think we’ll have him carry the rings, either- would you trust a two year old with rings?!- I think allowing him to scatter petals, or small gold stars, along the aisle may be more appropriate. Or perhaps I’ll give him a ribbon and flower covered tambourine, which he’d adore.

So that’s the boys. And that’s yet another member of the bridal party who, potentially, will be better dressed than me… Sigh.

This probably sounds silly as I have no bloody clue what I’m doing but for over a year now I’ve been thinking about hiring out all of my wedding bits and bobs. I’ve accumulated so much stuff for the day that’s it’s ridiculous, and I’m still searching for a wooden rowing boat amongst other things. And as far as I know, no other companies have velvet triangle indoor tents, antique bath tubs, and boats for hire, so who knows, I might not fail miserably. If I do though (and no doubt I will, being 22 and clueless) it’s no loss to me, as everything I would hire I have for my own wedding, anyway. 

Also toying with the idea of doing invites/favour boxes/food boxes (though it’s likely just me weird enough to like the latter), as the invitations I have seen at wedding fairs and similar are shockingly poor.  

Anyway, my lovely other half, Christopher, is helping me set up a website for this likely doomed idea (I’m calling it Pea Green, you know, like the Owl & the Pussycat?) so I’m going to my parents’ house next week to take advantage of their Edwardian home, and my sister’s model’s figure, and do a photoshoot to showcase a couple of the props. Rather excited! 

Socks and pyjamas are such a wonderful luxury. No satin dressing gowns with ‘Bride’ emblazoned on the back in diamantes, thanks, I’ll leave the tack to the wedding industry. These Toast pyjamas and socks are the new lusts of my life. 

In love.

guest book dictionary!

Handmade velvet tablecloths. White linen is not for me. Antique found objects. 

Our place settings

Guys guys I need help. I want to look quite bohemian, especially for the reception, and as it’s winter I think a fringed shawl or cape would be ideal. I have found these; all antique; on Etsy (surprise surprise). Which is loveliest? Or none, I could do with some help! 

I think that we have decided that for common sense reasons we will have an indoor ceremony, though if it isn’t raining or windy we could carry out my outdoor ceremony plans but as a drinks reception instead, allowing for the chairs to be moved from the ceremony room to the reception room. If the weather isn’t permitting, then the library or dining room could always be used for the drinks reception. 

This is the room in which our ceremony will be held if we don’t have an outdoor ceremony: There are two large windows not visibile in that photo, and the room overall has potential. As it is, however, it just won’t do. So here are my plans:

- If possible, take down the curtains to leave the stunning arches on show.

- Cover the brown paint with worn out, antique looking wallpaper (as in the bedroom photograph). This can be masking taped quite easily to the walls for minimum damage and effort. 

- Cover the ugly carpet with many different antique persian style rugs. And perhaps dried lavender.

- Stack old books, borrowed from the library, to cover the fireplace and picture above it. Usually I love fireplaces, though sadly not this one, nor the black framed image age it. 

- Source panels, doors, screens etc to cover any other problem areas, or continue the stacked book/bookshelf theme. 

- Buy tall potted plants, a la image one, to decorate the room in general. These sell so cheaply at Ikea. Dried roses too would look stunning. I’d like these to appear as if they’re growing up the walls, as if the room is a greenhouse. 

- Have one or two old boats, painted in a deep blue, for people to sit in.

- For the rest of the seating, I have an Edwardian deck chair, and hope to hire/find other similar things, as well as having some normal chairs, and some arm chairs and sofas. 

Ta da! Fingers crossed it works!

And hello worn out velvet table cloths with tassel trim. They’re only a tenner to hire, and I only need four, so bye bye ugly plastic tables! Though really, why can’t venues buy nice tables and chairs?!

First off, I’m sorry for going on about my invites way too much, but I have yet another problem. Heartbreakingly, I have decided that it’s time to let go the idea of an invitation in a box. Making forty tiny boxes would likely drive me mad, or fall apart in the post, and Chris really dislikes the idea, so, alas, I’m keeping things relatively 2D. All I want to know now [that my dreams are smashed] is whether to make a small booklet, or whether to have individual cards and tie them with ribbon, or even with thin wire. Thoughts? We’re talking A5 lokta card, if it makes a difference.

I am a bit of an Etsy whore. Okay, understatement there. I have sourced 90% of my wedding bits and bobs from there. I adore it, there seems to be so many things going for ridiculously cheap. Of course, I have also bought things off of Ebay, from charity shops, and from small second hand shops, but Etsy seems to be my most reliable source. As I can’t post every item, here’s a link to my Pinterest board:

See the photo of the dandelion clocks? That table cloth is my absolute idea. I can’t find one similar, however, so I am having to compromise. I don’t know the exact table situation yet. The venue coordinator says that they have plastic folding tables for my use, that will therefore require large covers to hide the legs and the fact that they’re completely out of place in the quirky sanctuary I intent to transform the house in to. Looking at images of the venue, however, I’ve found a good few pictures of large wooden tables, which will of course be absolutely ideal if I am allowed to use them. As for tablecloths, I was thinking linen, however it’s rather difficult to find linen tablecloths to fit a banqueting table, and I dislike the standard cotton tablecloths of the wedding industry just as I dislike the vast majority of standardised wedding items. I came across the image of the green tablecloth on Pinterest and immedietly fell in love. It is exactly what I have been looking for. I’ve therefore put an advert on Gumtree et al for worn velvet curtains, and if that fails, I plan to buy normal velvet fabric and age it with sandpaper, a nice little trick that I came across on a LOTR site, and attach tassels to the edge a la the image above. If, however, I cannot use the wooden tables I will of course have to rethink. If I truly am stuck with folding tables and no table cloth solution, I suppose the chairs may at least hide the legs from view…

If I was not so ridiculously pedantic about little things I could have been happily married in a local mediocre hotel months ago. Oh well. 

Canvas  by  andbamnan