a small vintage style family wedding in Pangbourne | uk wedding blog

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe


Morning lovely readers! Another week and another collection of gorgeous weddings for you to feast your eyes on. Today’s is rather beautiful, the short dress is such a brave choice but works so so well. It was also exceptionally budget friendly and hands on. I hope you enjoy! How are you finding the new Real Wedding search options by the way?

The Proposal – It was Alec’s birthday in 2012 and after a very heavy night partying at home with our friends and family, I was cooking breakfast for everyone. Alec came in to the kitchen and got down on one knee (after just asking my Dad’d permission in the hallway) and proposed to me in my pyjamas! The ring was his late Grandmothers. It had been reset and made to fit perfectly. It was stunning! Of course I said yes and we broke the news to the hungry guests in the next room immediately.

Photography by Lily and Jasmine 

The VenueWe had our whole day from start to finish at The Elephant Hotel in Pangbourne. The venue was quirky, spacious and had some vintage elements which we could build into our theme

JAWEDD-13 JAWEDD-33The GroomAs Alec is into his tweed he decided to buy some Harris tweed directly from the mill in Scotland. His Auntie, a dressmaker and tailor, made his suit, both the best man’s suits and all the cravats and waistcoats for the ushers. They looked fabulous! Alec got his shoes from Jones the Boot makers, he wanted a traditional pair that went perfectly with the tweed suit and for the evening he changed into a pair of personalised trainers with out initials and wedding date stitched into them.


JAWEDD-35 JAWEDD-46 JAWEDD-51The PhotographerLily & Jasmine Wedding Photography,  Alex ( half of Lily & Jasmine)  is a friend of mine and we felt more comfortable on the day by having a pre wedding shoot done a few weeks before. My husband was camera shy and I don’t think we would have got such great photos if she hadn’t photographed us prior and made us feel so at ease. The photos from the pre wedding shoot were fantastic but the wedding photos were stunning. Alex & Anna captured our personalities and the essence of the day perfectly.

JAWEDD-63 JAWEDD-67The BrideThe dress was from Swoon. It was a short pencil dress with embellished shoulders of Swarovski crystals and pearls. It weighed a tonne, felt beautiful on and the best bit I could dance in it!  The shoes were peep toe cream Kurt Geigers with a gold cigarette heel, which also were perfect for the whole day and of course the dancing.

I intended to wear two dresses, one long dress during the day and a shorter one at night. I started looking at Miss Bush and had seen and tried on a very slinky long gown which was way out of my price range, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I then decided to hit the high st and found a £75 Pippa Middleton style dress, I thought I could wear during the day. I wanted to wear a shorter dress at night so I went to Swoon, tried on a few possibilities but then THE dress was brought up from the stockroom, even though it was a sample dress it hadn’t been touched. It was brand new! I put it on and it hugged in all the right places, fitted perfectly. That was the dress for me and my friend Jo said I looked stunning. I decided to wear this dress all day instead and sold the one from Debenhams.

Hair Accessories – The hair combe was off the Internet, think I sourced it on eBay! Clare, my sister , who is also a hair dresser, did my barnet.I wanted to have my hair up in a bouffant to go with the vintage theme and after a 30 minute back combing session it was up, sprayed and accessories added. I went for a bejewelled double hair comb in the back to enhance the bouffant. The pearl necklace was Alec’s grandmother’s .

JAWEDD-73 JAWEDD-78 JAWEDD-79 JAWEDD-83 JAWEDD-86 JAWEDD-90 JAWEDD-148The Hair and MakeupI did my own make-up on the day

JAWEDD-157 JAWEDD-162 JAWEDD-175 JAWEDD-179 JAWEDD-182 JAWEDD-184The FlowersCreated by the Pangbourne village florist. The bridesmaids each held a small simple bunch of white Gysophilia and I had a larger bouquet of the same with plum and ivory roses. They were beautiful. The boys also wore a white Gypsohilia buttonhole and we had some pretty corsages made for both Mum’s.

JAWEDD-186The FavoursThe favours were old school sweetie bags, filled with nostalgic candy to bring back the memories of the good old ten pence mix. Those were the days!


The Readings + Music….We wanted to keep the music fun and up tempo for the civil ceremony and went with some Motown. ‘Signed, Sealed Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder of course for the signing, we finished with ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown for the exit.

JAWEDD-258 JAWEDD-269bw JAWEDD-290 JAWEDD-297 JAWEDD-300bw JAWEDD-333 JAWEDD-341The BridesmaidsMy mum is a dressmaker so she made all the dresses except Vickys, my younger sister who is also an accomplished dressmaker and fashionista. I bought the young bridesmaids a necklace each with their initial punched into silver, to say thanks and to remember their day by.

JAWEDD-357 JAWEDD-404 JAWEDD-407 JAWEDD-420 JAWEDD-425 JAWEDD-430 JAWEDD-433 JAWEDD-435 JAWEDD-444 JAWEDD-447 JAWEDD-449 JAWEDD-456 JAWEDD-465JAWEDD-470 JAWEDD-472JAWEDD-484 JAWEDD-476 JAWEDD-481JAWEDD-496 JAWEDD-559 JAWEDD-562The FoodThe Cake was made by my Mum.We decided on a Lego cake ( another interest of Alec) and placed a Lego Bride and Groom on the top which we had picked up on our travels a few months before. It tasted fabulous! hence there wasn’t even a crumb left at the end of the day.


The Details + Decor….We had an ivory and plum coloured vintage theme. The afternoon prior I roped in family and friends to help decorate, we put up flowery bunting, balloons and paper pom poms. It was great getting everyone involved and really put the fun into the potentially stressful preparations. For months before I had been collecting jam jars to create my own table decorations. I cleaned them up, bought some ribbon and glued this on finished off with a button. Being an art teacher I had to make some bits myself and use my creativity. I bought some flowers from the local supermarket, trimmed the stems and popped them in the jars. 

JAWEDD-581 JAWEDD-592 JAWEDD-602Favourite MomentThe speeches were definitely a highlight. My Dad’s speech was a corker! His Northern dry sense of humour immediately surfaced and there were lots of laughs all round. The Best Men were like a comedy double act, bouncing off each other and of course doing their best to embarrass the groom. The DJ played all the music we requested and lots of shapes were made on the dance floor.


The Vision for the Day – We wanted it to be a small wedding as neither of us have huge families and didn’t want to invite people just for the sake of it, or the long lost Aunt that no one ever sees. Our friends and close family were what was most important to us. We kept the numbers fairly small for the day and decided on a BBQ for the main meal when the evening guests arrived as it was August and of course it would be sunny!!

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