SEASIDE DIY WEDDING | Part I | “Properly throw your heart and soul into it…” I officially LOVE white bridesmaids dresses, y’all. Also, Good Bambino Hunting.

*i die*

Ok, SO!  Happy late Monday afternoon, my darlings. :)  It’s lovely to talk to your fine faces again after this muggy (in these parts) weekend we had.  Hope it wasn’t too icky for you, wherever you’re currently living!  I’m pumped to share the first part of this feature I’ve got for your eyes today, mainly because it’s fantastic, but also because it’s great, and a little bit because it’s amazing.  So, a mixture.  It’s by the fantabulous Joanna Brown of Browns Photography, and I’m freaking out a little because it’s bursting with killer inspiration and color and happy.  Tons and tons of happy.  Like, so much.  It’s one of those weddings that just simply makes you wanna have one of your own.  So it’s good that the vast majority of you are actually DOING SO!  ;)  Ok… but FIRST… as always… an anecdote that has absolutely nothing to do with any of it!  HOORAY for the way I blog! :P

Ok, so here’s the thing: Bambo slapped a chihuahua day before yesterday (many know it as ‘Saturday’).

I feel ashamed to even tell you where he focused the hit.  It’s kind of too shameful to share.

It was in the face.  It was a facially-focused slap, you guys.  Like, he *b!tch-slapped* him.  Across the face.  Like, “I f***ed your girlfriend, Bambo!“  “OH REALLY?  Well I hope you’re hungry, because you’re about to TASTE PUPPY PALM.” kind of deal.  Like, wind-up, batter’s position, full rotation swing-around-and-slap-your-bat-on-your-back IN the FACE kind of slap.  Like, if Bambo was Will Hunting and the chihuahua (am I spelling chihuahua right?  chi-hua-hua ok seems right) was the Harvard guy, and Bambo was asking the Harvard chihuahua if he likes apples through the glass of the restaurant, and the Harvard alum responded that he did – by nodding in acknowledgment – and then, instead of slamming the glass with the girl’s phone number – well I guess she’d be a *b!tch* in this scenario but that’s neither here nor there – Bambo Hunting instead responded by entering the establishment, approaching the Harvard chihuahua’s table and open-palm-slapping the number directly across HIS FACE.  At this point I’m going to assume you follow.

… So anyway, I stood there in awe, keeping Bambi to a restricted radius of movement so the chihuahua (UNHARMED, DON’T WORRY) could wait in undisturbed peace for his owner who had sent him down the stairwell ahead of her.  Couldn’t believe it.  Ohh, funfact!  The chihuahua owner and I are friends.   Yeah.  But I couldn’t bring myself to tell her he slapped him.  All I could tell her was that I was pretty sure the chihuahua was a little afraid of Bambo, and she said, “good!  he should learn to be scared.  he’s far too aggressive and confident!“  This made me feel *somewhat* better about the situation.

Fast-forward to the next day.  When I relayed the story to Honey, he laughed.  When I relayed the story to my MOM, she soundlessly old-man laughed.  Translation: laughed so hard she couldn’t make a sound.

Umm.  I actually felt so weirded out by the fact that Bambo did this.  Usually he tries to “own” other pups.  By “own” I mean grapple them with his bear paws and *hug* from above.  As you can imagine, this is generally the most adorable thing anyone has ever seen in their lives.  But b!tch-slapping, Bambo?  I dunno about this recent turn.  I hope it’s ok?

On a final note about the slap – I do get why he did it; the chihuahua was BOUNDING DOWN the stairwell like a hurricane towards Bambo’s face, immense inertia in his favor.  Bambo seemed to be attempting to prevent a head-on puppy collision.  He was being a responsible citizen.  A responsible citizen who slaps to avert potential crises.  At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself so I can sleep at night.  Oh, and I guess I figured out that he’s a lefty, like me!  But, was it WORTH IT?

Yeah, ok.  THAT is enough of THAT, for now.  Amirite?

Especially because HELLOOOOO THIS WEDDING, y’all… Like I mentioned above, it was captured by Joanna Brown of Browns Photography, and I am hopelessly smitten by every little detail there is… by which… umm… to smitten, or something.  Aye carumba, grammar!  I love it but it can get in the way of the fun. ;)  Okey dokey, hope you love it as much as I do!

Here’s the first half of the rundown from our beautiful bride:

So basically, Julian and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We went to affiliated boys and girls schools in the same town and hung around in the same group of friends without ever actually speaking I don’t think (?!) throughout the 6th form. After many long years of not seeing one another at all I tagged along with some friends to his birthday drinks one night in our late 20′s which ended up at a cheesy nightclub. After getting hit on by a strange older man one of my friends stepped in and pushed Julian forward as my ‘husband’ to rescue me. That was 6 years ago. I never thought a) that I’d EVER meet my husband at Volts, ‘Europe’s most electrifying discotheque!’, or that it would be someone I knew at school, but there you go! Julian proposed to me on the beach in Whitstable back in Sept. We both love the place and have spent some really happy weekends there. Obviously it had extra- special significance for us after he went and did that (!), but we went round the houses a bit before it dawned that it was really the most perfect place for us to get married…

So…we both really wanted to get married, but to be honest neither of us were particularly fussed about a fancy wedding, and once I’d had a look at a couple of wedding magazines I started having mini-palpitations at the horror and the cost of it all. I do love a wedding, but I hate being centre of attention myself and the whole coordinated, packaged nightmare of it was enough to bring me out in a sweat. We did visit a few beautiful venues, but I knew they were just not us, and the final straw was visiting a perfectly manicured courtyard garden venue which had installed a permanent marquee ‘facility’ complete with carpet tiles AND bow back seat covers (my two pet hates), glowing colour change pillars ‘to fit your colour scheme’ and multi-function twinkling ‘star canopy’. They were so proud of it and it just epitomised everything I hate and DID NOT WANT at our wedding. Finding the world of wedding blogs was a revelation and really just gave me the confidence to do what we wanted all along.

I already knew about the Beacon House from researching accommodation in Whitstable but we’d initially ruled it out as being too small. We went back to have a proper look just before Xmas, and while we were there popped into some nearby venues to see if they might work as a spill-over reception venue. As soon as we went into East Quay we knew it was perfect. I had my heart set on getting married at the Beacon House, so we decided to keep the ceremony small and just invite everyone along for a big party afterwards at East Quay. By chance I stumbled across Joanna’s work on a blog about a week later and knew she would be perfect, and then, looking for accommodation for me and my bridesmaids the night before the wedding, I found The Apartment, a beautiful self contained B&B, owned by the wonderful Frances Prescott (who is a make up artist by trade and ended up doing our makeup on the morning – it was all just serendipity!) and her husband Mark – the whole thing just fell into place after that.

We took our parents down to Whitstable straight after Xmas. They loved the house but It was a freezing blustery day and the grey sky just blended into grey sea. We tried to sell the harbour venue to them as ‘industrial chic’ but I think on a day like that it was hard to see past the weather. They did tried to be positive but I knew it wasn’t quite what they’d imagined when my parents diplomatically said ‘as long as its what YOU want’. I loved the contrast between the two venues – the Beacon House is stunning, a picture perfect, Arts and Crafts beach house with a veranda right on the beach – and our reception venue was a converted C19th oyster sorting house, all stripped brick and flagstone and set against the backdrop of the working harbour and a giant concrete factory. Best of all the two are literally minutes apart and I loved the idea of us walking with our guests along the beach to celebrate after the ceremony. I guess we were pretty much banking on sunshine, but it didn’t really ever worry me that it wouldn’t be perfect.

The obvious theme to go with was vintage sea-side which is great in itself but I was really conscious that I didn’t want it to be twee or pretty-pretty. I also really wanted the wedding to have a personal, intimate feel about it, so decided early on that I wanted the whole thing to be as home-made as we could. I think some people initially thought this was a cost cutting exercise but actually, tho our budget was quite tight, I would have done it this way regardless. I don’t get the opportunity to be particularly creative in my job but I’m always cutting, sticking and sewing things together at home so this was really a dream project for me.

I started off with the invites which I designed myself in Photoshop and then enlisted the help of my parents to print, trim, stitch and tie together . It took some time to get them perfect but it was so important to me to get that right as they completely set the tone for the kind of day we were hoping to have. We got such a good response to them that I knew we’d made the right choice, and I ended up using the same theme through all the menus and signs for the day.

I seriously.  Cannot.  Wait.  To share the rest of this incredible, joyous, colorrific, amazeballs wedding with you guys.  Part II puts Part I to shame.  No offense, Part I.  None taken, Part II.  We cool, we cool.

Yeah, maybe Alison needs to cool it on the looney tunes-ness, eh?  Sigh.  But seriously, Part II involves details, details, details from the bride on how it all came together, plus all the photos you could ever want on how beautiful a seaside wedding can actually look (Spoiler Alert: SOOO beautiful!!!), aaaaand a real-life situation where having friends across the ocean – even ones you’ve never met – can prove to be life-saving when there’s something you’ve just GOT. TO. HAVE.

Oh, and by the way.. I was serious about the heat over the weekend.  A visit to the park resulted in 10 minutes of this guy on a table in front of the a/c…

You are correct, he IS spoiled.

Ok, so… what do you think of  Part I?  Are you a sucker like me for happy brides and happy weddings?  And how lovely is this “little” shindig on the coast looking?!!!!!  P.S. – love the outdoor ceremony factor.  LOVE.  So excited for my friends across the pond.

xoxo!  – Alison

Photography: Browns Photography /Etsy & Folksy – amazing. Used it for everything from my veil, and the ushers ties, to Julians cufflinks, hip flasks, banners, decorations, cupcake holders. / Dogwood Ties for Ushers ties / Whimsy & Ink for Hipflasks / Flortini designs for veil / Little Retreats for banners & props / Bookity for Cufflinks / Shoes: Lanvin Gold T-Bar heels – Selfridges / Dress: J Crew – Whitney / Earrings: bought for me by Julian as a wedding pres from Liberty in Love / Pearls and bracelet both belonged to my grandmothers. / Ushers and Best men: all wore own suits. Shirts and ivory ties came from Marc Wallace / Bridesmaids: All bought own dresses from french connection, alice temperley, vintage butler and wilson, Shoes all their own. / Bridemaids jewellery: bought them all a Luna bracelet by Monica Vinader / Evening Band: Emily and the Beats / Daytime Acoustic Band: Matt & Natalie Lungley / Ceremony: The Beacon House / Reception: East Quay/Lobster Shack / Florist: Jane at Graham Greener / B&B/Make up: Frances Prescott – The Apartment / Hair: Robert Mitchell. Whitstable / Ice-cream tricycle with the Eastenders market inspector!! ( Still loving this!) – Nick Wilton / Julian’s suit / Julian’s shoes: Grenson Brogues at Urban Outfitters / Badges & candlesticks: Cox & Cox / Cheese tier: Waitrose Entertainin

Label(s): {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Lena on August 8, 2011

    Ok first, TKB definitely just got me all up in some spam. There were children and there was music and I frantically refreshed.

    Second, Bambo bitch slapping a few city dog made me bust out laughing at work. I mean, maybe you had to be there to understand the negative aspects, but your retelling is nothing but enjoyable. I wouldn’t worry too much about him slapping other creatures, unless they’re bigger than him. In which case, then I’d worry.

    And third, but certainly not last, this WEDDING! Holy mother of seaside heaven. The white ‘maids dresses are killer.

    Speaking of things that are killer? First. Guest. Post. Working on it-it’s happening.

  2. Alison on August 8, 2011

    Lena – Howwwwww do you make me laugh, every. single. TIME.

    P.S. – AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Can’t wait for your very first Bloggista post up in hea!!!!!

  3. Becca on August 8, 2011

    Can I just say that I love your blog? Just discovered you over the weekend and instantly subscribed! I think you are the one and only wedding blogger out there who writes with a real voice :)

    Also, this wedding is gorgeous! Can’t wait for part II!


  4. Alicia @CharityWedding on August 8, 2011

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Lena is guest posting?!? I didn’t think it was possible but your blog is about to get even more fabulous. Don’t even WORRY about Bino slapping chihuahuas. First they are freaky, sometimes I want to slap them too. Second, my dog prefers to take full advantage of other dogs in a way that is horrifying to children. Worst of all, my dog is a GIRL. A girl that likes to be on top if you will. (Which isn’t possible in dog world FYI. She clearly is confused.)

  5. Alison on August 8, 2011

    Becca – Thanks, Becca! That makes me smile :) I’m really so glad you enjoy it; I enjoy bringing it to ya face! lol Welcome aboard the crazy train! xx

    Alicia – Yup, you know it! And it’s just a matter of time until Lena and I work you over and get you on the bus, too. I can feel it cooommmming in the aiiiir, tonight. Hold ooonnnn.

  6. Elsie on August 9, 2011

    Love this, can’t wait for part 2! I love that the bridesmaid dresses are white, too. Ive been debating what color to choose and never even thought of white. Just didn’t even occur to me. But I’m definitely liking how it looks here!

    And your pup is the cutest little guy, I really wouldn’t worry about one little slap across the face. Though you’re talking to someone who feels he can do no wrong ;)

  7. Marie Summers on August 9, 2011

    Beautiful summer wedding flowers! What a great location!!

  8. Alison on August 9, 2011

    Elsie – Hope you loved part 2! It’s my fave :) Oh and guess what? I came clean; I told his pop that Bambo slapped him. We cool :)

    Marie – I know, right?! I love that location, and that bouquet is out of control amazing :)

  9. Once Upon Your Day -- Julia on August 9, 2011

    Love the all white wedding theme! Love the buttons! Cant wait to work for a couple that what somehting like that!

  10. Sabina on August 10, 2011

    Nice choice of color for male suits…I love blue

  11. Alison on August 13, 2011

    Julia – I totally fell in love with the white wedding approach here, too. The bridesmaids look incredible in their ivory duds :) xx

    Sabina – I agree! Love the suit colors. :) xx

  12. Sara on September 5, 2011

    Love this! Seaside weddings are always so beautiful to me.

  13. Felix on October 1, 2013

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t
    already ;) Cheers!


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