Page 1

Issue 15

w w w. m a rgo t s w e d d ing. c o . u k



In this issue Inspire 6

Mighty Fine Design


Amy Baker – Bride-to-be


Tin Roof Kitchen

30 Wagner Hall – Striving for Zero Waste 32

Lisa Pascoe – On Love


Get the Look


Be True to You




Cover Photographer | Sarah Rook Photography Design | RAD Creative | Published | In Southsea by Margot’s Wedding Ltd


Freya & Matt


Sophie & Nick

From the editor

Styled Shoots 8

The Low Tide


Salty Kisses


Outside Bride


Bold & Vibrant

Heeeey, how’s your summer going? I’m preparing to go to France for my best friend’s wedding. The reception is in the garden of their alpine chalet, she’s been growing her own flowers, they’re stringing lights in the trees and shucking oysters for guests on arrival. I’m ‘best woman’ and have been tasked with writing a poem for the happy couple. I’d better get onto that… I’m so excited to reveal my next big project in this issue – boat shed weddings! The Boat Shed in Portchester is so versatile, and the setting is beautiful. I’m picturing festoon lighting, long trestle tables, wild flowers and brides strolling barefoot along the jetty. I can’t wait to plan a spring wedding fair at the Boat Shed and start meeting with couples who share my vision.

Featured Venue 12

Teddy Pig Photography

Real Weddings

Salty Kisses – The Boat Shed @ Salt

We also feature another special venue in this issue. Wagner Hall is bang in the centre of Brighton and has a garden big enough for a tipi. It’s being run by Kelly Wickson and her business partner. Kelly and I go waaaay back: we met at the beginning of our journey in the wedding industry and have done all sorts together. I’m looking forward to featuring some real weddings at Wagner Hall soon.


We’ve got four styled shoots in this issue, two coordinated by yours truly. I put together a simple shoot to promote The Boat Shed and I coordinated a live styled shoot at my outdoor fair. A shoot and a fair on the same day was a bit of a test but I had such a brilliant team with me that day – big shout outs to Tessa from Kissing Gate Events for hosting us at Thornton Wood, Alex from The Vintage Parade for taking charge of styling and Kerry from Teddy Pig Photography for capturing everything so beautifully… and of course everyone else who was involved in the fair/shoot. It was a bit of a crazy one, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Enjoy! And as always, I love to receive feedback.



Helen Ruff | Editor | 07795 076 553 @margotswedding margotswedding


Mighty Fine Design

Vicky, of Violet Paper Studio, designs bespoke wedding stationery. Although themes and styles can overlap, no two designs are ever the same. Vicky offers us a little insight into her creative process.


Chit-Chat Getting to know you is one of the most important parts of the whole process. Whether this be over a coffee in or near Brighton, or over the phone, this is where I get to hear about all the details of your day and establish the project aims. I love to hear about everything, from the colour scheme, flowers and decorations to the type of food you will be serving. This helps create a mood board in my mind and ideas start forming.

The Brainstorm The idea generation is possibly my favourite part of the whole process. I sit down with my mental mood board and get it all down on paper. This can be in the form of sketches, paintings, cuttings of paper, fabric swatches and anything that relates to your big day. I then transfer my thoughts onto the computer and begin forming your invitations. I love playing around with fonts, layouts and spacing, all whilst keeping your brief and preferences in mind.


Printing & Assembly


Upon feedback/approval from you, I finalise the design and prepare it for print. I often need to scan in any drawings and paintings at a high resolution and convert them to CMYK, or a Pantone spot colour, depending on the project. Many hours are spent in Photoshop fine-tuning images and tidying them up. When your invitations come back from the printer looking beautiful, I start to assemble them – this typically involves adding items such as wax seals, hand-addressed envelopes, wax threads, belly bands… the list is endless and often involves lots of late nights! Hooray! Your favourite part of the whole process, I imagine. I wrap your invitations and post them to you, ready to be sent to your guests. I also offer a service whereby I post out your invitations to save you time. It’s surprising how long licking stamps and sealing envelopes can take! By Vicky Perry-Reed


THE LOW TIDE Back in January, Dale Rook (of of Dale Rook Films) was scrolling through Instagram and came across Jade’s (florist at Burdock & Twine) story of her walk underneath Hastings Pier with her children. Wanting to do a unique and forward-thinking styled shoot, with both film and photography, Dale began chatting to Jade, and the idea gained momentum. On the day, at 2.30a.m. (!), everyone gathered at Yard & Quarter’s private hair studio by the sea, where handground coffee was ready and waiting. The sky outside had a promising glow so they knew their plans were coming together. They started shooting just as the sun started to rise.


PHOTOGRAPHY | Sarah Rook Photography FILM | Dale Rook Films MODEL | Laura Harwood FLOWERS | Burdock & Twine DRESS | Tara Deighton HAIR | Yard & Quarter PROPS | Lulabelle Wedding & Event Hire TEXTILES | The House of St Leonards JEWELLERY | Stargazy HAND-DYED SILK RIBBONS | Little Acorn Silks









Have you ever been to Salt Café in Portchester, Hampshire? It’s a destination café, the kind of place you hear about on the grapevine, pay them a visit, become a regular, tell your friends, and so it goes on. It’s not somewhere you pass by – it’s down a remote lane, in the yacht haven of a boat yard. So, what’s so special about it? Well, you can sit out on the jetty watching the marine life, enjoying delicious coffee with your breakfast/brunch/lunch. But it’s the little touches that make it so special – the baskets of hot water bottles and blankets if the day is bright yet chilly; sun hats offered for a hot day; and binoculars on standby to get a closer look at the passing boats. Kids and dogs can happily run on the shore within eyeshot of their family. The interior of the café is shabby and quirky, yet somehow luxurious – think rustic dressers, filament bulb lighting, vintage lamps and quirky signage. They host regular pizza nights in the summer and their monthly ‘dining room’ offers a supper club-style experience. The café is licensed so you can enjoy a beer or glass of fizz as the sun goes down, and the venue is available for private hire. If you’re heading to one of their evening events and don’t want to drive home, that’s not a problem because they have Airbnb accommodation on site! Could this place get any dreamier? They rent out a beautiful cabin complete with all mod cons and your own private deck, or you can stay on Amble, their beautiful wooden sailing yacht. If you’re in need of some retail therapy with your cappuccino, they’ve got that covered too. Their onsite shop sells cards, gifts, homeware, jewellery, artwork and the like. You really can make a day, or a weekend, of it at Salt, even hiring a kayak or paddle board to explore the harbour in peace and solitude if so inclined. So why am I telling you all this in a wedding magazine? Because… behind the café they have an amazing boat

shed, and we’re getting it ready for weddings! I’ve been in talks with owners Scott and Imogen, they like Margot’s style (and I very much like theirs), so we’re working together to open a super cool and quirky new wedding venue. Exactly what Hampshire needs, am I right? The Boat Shed offers a large, industrial-style blank canvas space. We’ll be keeping some of the nautical touches – think buoys and oars, and we can even push a boat in if the space is a little too big for your numbers (decorate it with fairy lights and flowers for a stunning prop). We think trestle tables, wildlook flowers and strings of festoon lighting is the ideal vibe for the space and location, but the décor really is down to your imagination. It’s a DIY venue but I’m on hand with my black book of contacts to offer full or partial planning, or even just on the day management. We’ll be running the bar in-house and I’m working on a preferred list for caterers and other suppliers. Our photo shoot over the next pages gives you a feel for the space and the scenery. Now this issue’s out and the cat’s out the bag, it’s full steam ahead clearing and painting the space, promoting it, building our bar and getting ready to welcome enquiries (watch this space for a March 2020 wedding fair). I’m so excited about the project – it feels like all my experience in the industry over the last ten years is coming together. Could boat sheds be the new barns? Why don’t we meet at Salt Café to discuss dates and ideas?!

Helen 07795 076 553

Featured Venue

Images by Confetti Coast Photography

Check out the bride-to-be feature on pages 18-19. Singer Amy Baker and her fiancÊ Sam are our first booking at The Boat Shed! We can’t wait to host their wedding in July 2020.

This is the kind of place you hear about on the grapevine...


SALTY KISSES “I put together this simple nautical shoot to showcase our new Boat Shed project. The boat yard in Portchester offers a beautiful backdrop for free-spirited couples who like the smell of sea air, and the taste of salt on their lover’s lips.” HELEN RUFF, MARGOT’S WEDDING






AMY BAKER Br id e- to -b e


Popular wedding singer Miss Amy Baker prepares to tie the knot at the beautiful, rustic Hampshire Boat Shed…

Sam surprised me with a trip to London. I had no idea where we were going, but when he took a rucksack out for the day (he hates carrying anything) and then suggested a visit to a park (rather than a pub) I knew something was up! We took a leisurely walk around Regent’s Park and then hired a pedalo. Sam climbed onto the back of the boat and wobbled down onto one knee. I stared at him confused and finally said yes! He whipped out a bottle of Moët and we spent the rest of the day at a festival watching the Kooks and Kate Nash. I had always dreamed of a low-key wedding in my mum’s lovely garden. We had discussed the idea of getting married from early on and we both knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding. When my sister suggested getting married in a Boat shed, I knew it was going to be right up our street. I had sung at Salt Café a few times and seen the Boat Shed in action for a family party, so it was easy to visualise what could be done with this unique space.

The first thing we booked was music! We’re both big music fans - I’m a singer and Sam just loves listening to music. We saw an amazing vocalist called Joanna Cooke at a jazz festival and we both agreed there and then that if we ever got married, we would book her. We have lots of other music confirmed for the day but I’m not going to give it all away! I am lucky to sing at so many beautiful weddings so it’s hard not to find lots of inspiration. Our main meal is going to be curry (it’s our favourite food) followed by ice cream and then pizza in the evening. We love bright Indian tones so, although the venue has a very nautical feel, our tables will be laid with green, turquoise, coral, mustard and gold colours. We hope to have a ceremony in the Boat Shed or at Salt Café on the jetty overlooking the water: it’s such a beautiful spot. We know that our day is just going to be a big celebration with no formalities. All our friends love a party, and a drink or two, so we know it’s going to be an amazing day! The only thing that we have to do now is explain the day to my nan – she still can’t get her head round the fact that we’re all sitting down to a curry! By Amy Baker

Ali Gaudion

s on i t a l u t a gr Con Amy & Sam!


GET HAPPY Hallelujah I Love Him So Fever My Funny Valentine A Fine Romance A Tisket A Tasket Every Time We Say Goodbye Night and Day I’m A Woman It’s a Good Day Cheek to Cheek

Margot’s Wedding is managing the weddings at the Boat Shed (see feature on page 12). Watch this space for a spring wedding fair!



OUTSIDE BRIDE Back in July I coordinated a festival-style wedding fair at an outdoor wedding venue in Hampshire. While visitors wandered around in the sunshine, sipped their drinks and got inspiration from our exhibitors, we got our beautiful model ready. The vibrant set-up looked stunning under the shade of the trees and we were able to capture some amazing shots using products from our exhibitors. My initial concept for the shoot was ‘Electric Romance’ and I took inspiration for the colour palate from the iconic film True Romance. I love how it all came together with the vibrant clashing colours and leopard print touches.




PHOTOGRAPHY | Teddy Pig Photography LAND VENUE, HORSE BOX AND BELL TENTS | Kissing Gate Events MODEL | Eliza McMurray HAIR | Hannah Hair UK MAKE-UP/GLITTER | Totally Flawless HEADPIECE | Ritz & Sass DRESS | Sophie Rose Bridal TABLEWARE & CAMPERVAN | Black Diamond Weddings STATIONERY | Grey & Copper (bright cassette design); Cat Creative (square folded design) FLOWERS | Blooming Cow Flowers and Bloom Bloom STYLING | Alex, The Vintage Parade CHAIR WITH RIBBONS | Lavender Wedding & Event Supplies PHOTO BOOTH | Outside & Instant





TIN ROOF KITCHEN ofk www.tinro


Here at Margot’s Wedding we love street food caterer Tin Roof Kitchen. Their mobile set-up looks super-cool – we especially love the industrial-style lighting, hessian sacks and flowers in colourful tin cans. They’re the perfect addition to an outdoor festival-style wedding. We caught up with owner Barny to find out a little more about his fantastico business…



My love of Italian food comes from time spent working at Fifteen London (Jamie Oliver’s restaurant) and the working holidays in Italy that came with it. Over the past eight years I have been working as a chef for weddings and events and I’ve now turned all that experience and passion into my pizza business. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE VEHICLE AND CONVERSION? The vehicle itself is a 1956 Dodge pickup, imported from California and converted to the wood-fired pizza truck here in Brighton. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MENU AND INGREDIENTS? My pizza toppings are based on a traditional Neapolitan style, a menu I love to see when I’m out for a pizza. As a chef of over 20 years I’m very ingredient-led and spend a lot of time sourcing the best ingredients I can from my suppliers. All my dough is home-made which I ferment for at least 24 hours to produce a great tasting, easily digestible pizza. WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT NEAPOLITAN PIZZAS COMPARED TO OTHER TYPES OF PIZZA? The Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a super-hot oven (450/500°) and is hand-stretched to give it its characteristic puffy crust. I really enjoy the whole process of making the pizzas as it brings a real sense of theatre and fun to the event.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIZZA? Although I’m a great believer in less is more when it comes to pizza, I do love a bit of heat so I usually go for a Diavola- San Marzano tomato sauce, Spinata (spicy salami), Fior Di Latte mozzarella, parmesan, fresh chilli and fresh basil. DO YOU HAVE VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE OPTIONS? I am happy to offer vegan options and gluten-free bases on request. TALK US THROUGH YOUR ECO CREDENTIALS. I take my eco-obligations very seriously and always try to buy local where possible. All my pizza boxes, plates and napkins come from an eco food packaging company in Devon. HOW DO YOUR WEDDING PACKAGES WORK? As every wedding is different I like to chat to the couple about their wants and needs for their big day. HOW FAR DO YOU TRAVEL? The Dodge is fully driveable but getting on a bit now so I’ve limited my distance to a radius of approx. 60 miles from Brighton. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE WEDDING INDUSTRY? At every wedding I am asked to attend I feel extremely privileged and honoured to be part of it. I also feel extremely lucky to have a job that is centred around a happy and joyful occasion.

Featured Caterer


dream the green

Wagner Hall – Striving for Zero Waste Exciting things are happening at a new wedding reception venue right in the heart of Brighton…


Wagner Hall offers a blank canvas for creative folk looking for a city-centre venue with a garden. The industrial-style space comprises high ceilings, a beautiful woodenfloored stage and shiny new catering kitchen. Outside, the Fig Tree Garden is adorned with coloured festoon lighting and has room for a tipi. You’d never know you are minutes away from the registry office, the seafront and the hustle and bustle of central Brighton…   Kelly Wickson, one of the venue managers, has been in the wedding industry for more than 10 years, having previously run a wedding transport company as well as hosting wedding fairs throughout Sussex. She has lots of knowledge and is armed with a trusty list of recommended suppliers.   Kelly and her business partner Penny Parker (who ran events at The Brighton Centre for a mere 17 years) have created something special at Wagner Hall. Their vision for wedding receptions, and all events in their fabulous venue, is to achieve zero waste. This means your suppliers will be partners

in their green dream; you won’t be able to leave any food, so you’d better provide doggy bags! Kelly says “Within a few weeks of being open, we already had a wedding booked for August 2020, and lots of enquiries from curious couples. We have something unique here and I just know that creative couples are going to see the amazing potential of the space.”   The central position of the venue means you have to end the party at 11p.m., but Kelly suggests that, if you want to carry on celebrating with your dearest dancing-pals, you book a VIP area in one of the many clubs and bars in the vicinity, and wave goodbye to those guests who need to head to bed in one of the fabulous nearby hotels or B&Bs. You can even be on a train within 15 minutes, so all bases are covered.     Kelly and Penny can only book six wedding receptions a year, so you know what that means: you need to enquire now… or even yesterday!

Images by Ferris & Sloane


Li s a Pa s co e e ...on lov While I loved The Little Mermaid as a child, I never grew up wanting the fairy tale romance. I didn’t dream of a big wedding and never wanted to be rescued. What I did crave, however, was marriage, Marks and Spencers and a mortgage. It sounds funny now, but as an only child to a single parent, this somehow represented stability and comfort to me.


Fast-forward to the present, with just months until I marry my partner Bekky, and my view of marriage has shifted. For me partnership is at the core of marriage. It means being clear on your values both as individuals and as a couple, as well as having a vision for your life together. It means acknowledging each other’s humanity and knowing that we are constantly evolving. What I love most about my relationship with Bekky is how we challenge each other, stretch each other’s comfort zones and encourage growth. After five and a half years we are closer and more rooted as a couple than we have ever been. Of course, you can have all of this without being married if that feels right for you. For me, however, marriage is important because in making this public and legal commitment, it’s like you’re putting your stake in the ground. For me it has a gravitas to it that feels sacred and should be entered into as such. I feel the same way about the ceremony – that it’s an important ritual to be honoured. This is why we’ve chosen to have a weekend wedding at Folly Farm, which is part of a gorgeous 45-acre

nature reserve near Bristol. The night before we plan on having a fire pit with our loved ones and burning intentions for our future together. The wedding itself is 100% vegan which makes us both happy. Overall, what excites us most about the wedding is the opportunity to bring together loved ones to celebrate our love and create new memories together. Lisa is a qualified NLP Master Practitioner  with over five years’ experience and is also the host of Bravehearts Rising, a podcast for deep feelers, dreamers and empaths.  She is passionate about all things mental health and rewilding, and is on a mission to help highly sensitive women in their 40s to thrive in a noisy, modern world. An important part of this is helping them to reconnect with their intuition and nurture all of who they are, not just the shiny parts. She does this through soul-nourishing workshops, retreats and private coaching.


ite my favour


“Death is not the greatest loss i n life. The greatest loss is what dies i nside us while we live.� Norma n Cousi ns



Model: Holly Douch Photo: Lauren Matthews Makeup: Bridal Hair Company

Get the Look


Our advertisers, The Bridal Hair Company and Antique Lace Weddings Dresses, have worked together on some beautiful shoots. These photos show the versatile looks you can create with the same style of dress.

DUTCH Fishtail crown braid, complimented with an intricate handmade headpiece and delicate drop earrings. BOHO Dramatic eye make-up is softened with nude lips. Tousled hair is topped with a dried flower crown comprising fragrant herbs. The antique lace dress and vintage slip are comfortable and floaty. Perfect with a pair of barefoot sandals. DECO Bold eyes and lips and carefully coiffured finger waves. Works well with antique lace from the 1920s/30s and a delicate, handmade headpiece.

ALL HAIR | ALL DRESSES | FLOWER CROWN | Model, photography and make-up indicated on each photo


Model: Brady Riley


DELICATE A beaded headpiece is stylishly woven into a loose French plait. Simple pearl earrings work perfectly so as not to distract from the intricate antique lace and beautiful back detail. CELESTIAL Twinkly celestial clips work well with the embellishment on the dress and give a modern, edgy look. The dress is sleeveless and sheer, perfect for a hot summer’s day.


Model: Teddie Hargrave Photo: Teddy Pig Photography Makeup: Bridal Hair Company

Model: Brady Riley


Model: Holly Douch Photo: Katya Alisia Makeup: Carol Hart





If the Shoe Fits… Celebrity shoe designer Freya Rose married lawyer Matt Archer at the picturesque St Hubert’s Church in Idsworth, one of the oldest churches in the country. Freya’s own grandfather had been the vicar there between 1950 and 1960. Their day was classic, elegant and full of sentimental touches.



Freya & Matt


imal, chic and elegant, with

The daytime look was min

untryside feel.

distinctly modern English-co

When asked what she loves about Matt, Freya said “Matt is the most genuine, kind and loyal person I’ve ever met.”


A sprig of Honesty flower, taken from Freya’s grandmother’s garden

and hand-painted in gold

leaf, was used on name place cards and elegantly woven into Freya’s


nies – inspired

t of white sweet peas and peo

que Freya carried a gorgeous bou

n twist.

ng bouquet but with a moder

by her grandmother’s weddi

Real Wedding

beautiful updo.

Freya had three luxurious pairs

of bespoke wedding shoes she desi

gned herself. Each pair was

made to Freya’s own unique desi

gn, using exquisite materials such

sterling silver and her signature

as polished brass,



For the evening, the look was more relaxed with a focus on warm, golden tones that looked stunning in the evening light of the woods.

Freya felt sure her father, who sadly passed away last year, was there with her during the ceremony.



ti e men s a e l p


s ’ t o g r Ma g n i d Wed wh en co nt ac ti ng ad ve rt is er s

Midsummer Festival Wedding



Sophie & Nick


“We envisaged

a midsummer vi

dancing. The id

be: festival, feas

ea then develope

prairie ribbons,

ting, singing an


d to include mea

floral patterns

dow flowers,

and celestial to



“Sophie’s father grew sweet peas and parked his beloved tractor up

outside the ceremony,

Nick’s aunt drew the cocktail illustrations… even the gin was brewed

by a family friend.

It was a real family affair!”


tantly said, ‘That’s the one.

friend ins “The third dress I tried on my you and Nick - the top part

It’s the perfect mix of

l like Nick, and the bottom

is structured and traditiona

part is

ll that sold it for me.”

floaty and boho like you!’ We

Real Wedding

“My dad is not a confident public speaker, and we hated the thought of him sitting nervously throughout the whole dinner. He is however, an amazing dancer, so we did a father/daughter dance to our favourite song ‘Electric Dreams’ instead. So many guests commented on what a lovely moment it was, and it portrayed our relationship way better than an awkward speech would have.”

“When it came to the venue, we Downland museum ticked the natu

knew we wanted something uni

Gridshell building we were both

que. The Weald and

re/farm/outdoorsy boxes and whe

n we stepped into the

blown away. It had the grandeu

whilst being a short picturesque

r and acoustics of a church,

walk from the marquee.”

49 “After the ceremony, our guests were all gathered on the balcony under a canopy of trees, then drifting through the woods came the sound of trumpets and saxophones. It really was such a magical moment. People’s faces lit up as we started to follow the band in a procession down to the marquee. Everyone was dancing and cheering. It was like a dream.”

“I walked down the aisle to a choir performing Stormzy’s, ‘Blinded by your Grace’. It felt like the modern day equivalent to a hymn. The choir then performed ‘You’ve Got the Love’ by Candi Statton and finally, Believe by Cher. Our first dance was ‘You Send Me’, by Aretha Franklin’. We followed the first dance with our own DJ set.”

BOLD & VIBRANT “This shoot brings vibrant colours and quirky touches together. Weddings don’t need to be the same. Don’t be afraid of throwing some colour at your day…”




PHOTOGRAPHER | ICPhotographics VENUE | Southlands Barn FLOWERS | Lady Lissy HAIR | Pinnies Hair MAKE-UP | Kimberley Louise Makeup DRESS | Rosemary Jane Bride STATIONERY | Charlotte Wilson Design CAKE | Kasserina HEADPIECES | To Be Adorned VENUE STYLING | To Have & To Hire CROCKERY | Place Settings MODEL | Daisy Scott



Be True to You… A little advice from Ami of Lo & Behold Bespoke on planning a day that is utterly you. “A ceremony whereby two people are united in marriage” – we’ve all been to weddings and we all know what they ‘should’ be… Traditions and things you’ve got to do: rules, regulations, things you’ve got to wear and customs you need to adhere to. Simple, right? It’s almost like you’ve got a checklist to work through… Do all these things in this order and ‘wham bam’ you’ve got yourself a perfect wedding.


Left to right Band-name table names for Jonny & Robyn. Shakira & Robert look onto their evening reception from a pair of peacock chairs, photographed by Harry Michael. Me doing a speech at our wedding. Photographed by Hayley Savage.

Left to right Unique seating plan set up. Photographed by Hayley Savage. Bike wheel decor at Jenny & Ewan’s big day. An outside ceremony for Vicky & Dan led by a friend. Photographed by Kitty Wheeler Shaw

Well, what if I told you no? Actually I’m telling you ‘Hell no’ – I’m telling you to throw out that outdated rulebook and instead plan a day that is truly you... In the 20 months since I launched Lo & Behold Bespoke with my husband, following our wedding in the summer of 2017, the shift towards non-conventional weddings has been evident and it seems to be picking up speed. That, my friends, puts the biggest smile on my face! Regardless of religion, race, gender, sex or culture, most of us still feel some pressures to do what you ‘should’ do on your wedding day. Decades, or more like centuries, of traditions weigh upon our shoulders. There’s a lot of pressure and expectation on newly engaged couples to stick to what we know best, and what’s been done a thousand times before.

I’m here, as an industry professional, to give you the confidence to make your own rules when it comes to your special day. If there’s a part of a traditional wedding celebration that makes you feel uncomfortable, such as a first dance or a speech, just don’t do it. If the order of the day doesn’t suit you and what you two want to do, change it up… As long as at the end of the day (or week… who am I to squash your dreams?) two people are officially wed, who cares how they chose to get there?! One of the biggest challenges couples face is the expectations of others, especially older generations who have a harder time letting go of ‘proper’ and stuffy traditions. Cries of “But you have to invite all the cousins!” or “Of course you have to cut the cake”. It’s your wedding… YOU make the rules.



If you’re finding yourself in a situation where you feel you’ve not got a choice, calmly and with confidence explain your reasonings for not wanting to do it. If you can’t get it 100% your way (I appreciate a lot of people feel they have to say yes because parents or family are helping finance their day) try a compromise that you feel comfortable with. I repeat, at the end of the day it is YOUR WEDDING! I adore it when couples approach me with ideas that truly represent who they are as a couple… Sci-fi fans, or nature lovers, a vegan celebration or an Indian/ nautical mash up… These are the briefs that excite me most.   When we got married, we didn’t have a theme as such, we instead planned a day that was utterly us: relaxed, bohemian and full of quirky details, props and beloved items from our home. It all helped to create a day that was a true reflection of us and who we are as a couple.    I want to tell all couples planning their big day to try and squeeze some individuality into your wedding… If you don’t normally like butterflies and Swarovski

crystals, don’t have them on your wedding day. If you hate being the centre of attention, plan a day with just a handful of friends and family. If you love Ru Paul’s Drag Race more then anything in the world, find a way to work in those passions into your day… ‘Can I get an Amen!’ It doesn’t have to become an all-consuming theme (unless of course you want it to be) but subtle references and little ideas and inclusions can make all the difference. And this is where we can help – I love helping our couples create a vision, a concept and a day that celebrates not only their wedding but also them!   Here’s a few simple ideas, borrowed from some of our recent weddings, of ways couples planned a ‘truly them’ day. And if you want a little help planning and styling your day then I would LOVE to hear from you!

Left to right Grooms in Pink! Photographed by Nadia Meli. Quirky retro table decor at Celia & Josh’s wedding. Photographed by Nicola Streader. Hand-drawn order of services at Freya & Matt’s wedding. Captured by Carrie Lavers.

Share your sci-fi fandom by using Star Trek spaceship names for your tables. Host your reception in a family back garden space because you feel at home there. Use Polaroid photos as place names to share favourite memories of your guests. Have a beer pong table set up at the reception because it’s your party game.


Have an ‘Always’ cake topper to subtly share your love of Harry Potter. Do a speech you traditionally aren’t supposed to, or do a joint one, or sing a song if that’s your thing! Incorporate your love of cycling by up-cycling and creating decorative floral hoops from bike wheels. Have a small official ceremony the day before, meaning your best friend can deliver your real ceremony. Get married outside and surrounded by nature because that’s what you all imagined. Have your pet there on the day, because why would you leave them at home on this most special day? Substitute a traditional cake for a pile of donuts because they’re your favourite snack. Forgo a first dance because you hate dancing. Wear a different colour because you don’t look good in white.

I hope these few simple suggestions show how easy it is to tweak things up and change traditions to make a day that is truly you, and if you need a helping hand you know where I am!  

Ami  X

Profile for Helen Ruff

Margot's Wedding Issue 15  

Margot’s Wedding (formerly Doily Days) have been involved with weddings since 2009. Creative brides, quirky suppliers and a need for an ‘alt...

Margot's Wedding Issue 15  

Margot’s Wedding (formerly Doily Days) have been involved with weddings since 2009. Creative brides, quirky suppliers and a need for an ‘alt...


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