This real wedding blog post was photographed by the husband and wife photography duo John and Sophie Barwood (John Barwood Photography). Not only did the bride and groom share there love for each other, they also invested a labour of love into creating this wonderful wedding.
In addition to being well organised in the planning of their wedding, Christina and Paul were quick to react to resolve some of the problems caused by suits supplied in the wrong sizes and the ties being the wrong colour. Despite these hiccups, their Greek influenced wedding avoid tragedy. Check out the wedding in Christina’s own words to see just how much they enjoyed their big day and see for yourself in these stunning photographs.
WHERE DID YOU GET MARRIED AND HOW DID YOU PICK THE VENUE?
Christina: We chose Langdon Court for its abundance of character compared with other venues in the area. Paul is a Conservation Architect and was keen to have our wedding in an historic building. For me, the building atmosphere, the wedding offering and the location being close to the beach all contributed. We also attended our close friends’ wedding (my bridesmaid) there a few years back so there were some lovely memories attached to the venue.
Finally, the layout of the venue really suited our plans for the day; the ceremony room is separate to the wedding breakfast room, which allows easy set up for both. The ceremony room gets turned into the evening reception room, so the band were able to set up in there whilst we were sat in the other room, so no disruption to the speeches or the softer atmosphere we had earlier in the day.
WHEN DID YOU GET MARRIED AND WHY?
Christina: 1:30pm 28th February 2014 – we got together on the 4th February 2002, also February has Valentines day so it’s been the month of love for us for all these years, it seemed fitting! We also took advantage of the Winter Wedding offering the venue have to keep within our budget whilst not really compromising on anything that we really wanted for our day.
The time was a practical choice – not too late in the day so we could have natural daylight for our photos which I really wanted to go to the beach for, but not too early either so we had time to get ready and our guests to arrive and get settled.
WHAT WAS THE WEATHER LIKE?
We were very lucky on the day with the weather – although a shower hit us whilst we were on the beach having our photos taken, John was incredible in capturing some really dramatic skies in the background in a short session of extremely fast but amazing shooting! Being February, it was quite cold but my mum had knitted lovely fluffy shoals for my bridesmaid and me which kept us reasonably warm when needed for those outdoor moments.
I think some of our guests who came from warmer places, including my poor Greek mum, were possibly shivering their socks off for the confetti and rice bit straight after the ceremony but the warm winter pimms warmed them up nicely after! My greatest worry was those guests who had to travel from quite far and the transport network being overwhelmed due to the preceding weeks severe storms whilst had knocked out the Dawlish stretch of the train lines. However, everyone made it over and back safely, a happy ending.
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE WEDDING?
A moment right after my hair and makeup were complete when I looked in the mirror and thought Paul will love this. Trembling before entering the ceremony room. Seeing his reaction to me when I walked in. Holding his hand during the ceremony. Seeing my mum looking so beautiful and so happy for us. A massive circle with everyone dancing Zorba, rocking out in the evening.
WERE THERE ANY INTERESTING OR FUNNY HAPPENINGS THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
Classically, the speeches had us both in stiches and in tears, but my little gem of comedy moment happened right at the end of the evening, when everybody had gone: a few of us were still up sat around a coffee table drinking rum and coke (someone had the genius idea to have a bottle stashed). My cousin poured herself a drink, put the bottle of coke down a little roughly in her drunken state with the lid on – sort of… The bottle toppled over, the top end facing me across the table, the lid went flying and in a real comedy style the bottle flew backwards whilst spewing its contents right on me and my little ivory dress! My pour cousin was mortified but it really didn’t matter, it was at the end of the day and it wasn’t the JP dress I was wearing – it was a little ivory dress I had made to change into as I knew jumping up and down to Rage Against the Machine would be a challenge in heels and a long lovely gown – one I wouldn’t be able to manage too well.
WAS THERE A COLOUR SCHEME OR ANY OTHER KIND OF THEME?
We chose a light olive green as a nod to my Greek heritage. It goes really well with the ivory and brought out Paul’s eyes. In addition to that, the reasons behind the choice of flowers and foliage were all centered around my mum’s and Paul’s favourites (paper whites, rosemary) as well as the name of my dress (freesia), the olive branches of course to tie it together to the Greek me, gypsophila is a classic wedding flower, the lysianthus because I love how delicate it looks and pussy willow because it’s so fluffy and warm looking – a cosy winter wedding . Everything else sort of fell around these.
HOW DID YOU PICK THE DRESS AND WHO WAS IT BY?
One of my friends got married the year before us and I helped her find her dress. During that search one of the local shops was visit by appointment only, so I looked at their website to see what they had and came across the Jenny Packham 2013 collection. I liked pretty much all the dresses in that collection but a couple stood out for me but it was my mum who pointed my dress out.
I ‘liked’ the shop’s Facebook page and a few days later I saw they had a Jenny Packham event when the entire collection would be available to try on, so I booked myself in even though, at that point we hadn’t event set a date or chosen a venue or anything! Coincidentally, my bridesmaid was going to be in town that day so we went together and her reaction to me in what ended up being my dress totally convinced me it was the right choice, in spite the fact I wasn’t really going for the asymmetric one shoulder style .
WHO WERE THE OTHER SUPPLIERS?
- Groomswear from Moss Bros (top tip: allow time to pick the suits up as early as possible so the men can again try the suits before the day.
- Earrings bought in Camden market by Paul for me on a prenuptial weekend away – my something new.
- Bracelet was given to my mum by my granddad (my dad’s dad) when she and my dad got engaged –my something old.
- Little blue eye/ cross charm – protection from the ‘evil eye’ (a Greek tradition) a gift from my mum, blessed by her priest in Greece before she come over – my something blue.
- Rings – the rings I wear on a daily basis are a part of me so I kept them on with the addition of my bridesmaid’s wedding ring which she gave me as my something borrowed in one of the sweetest gestures anyone has ever done for me.
- Hairband originally from Emmy London (emmyshoes.co.uk) was another something borrowed from another friend married
- Little ivory dress I wore in the evening made by a local seamstress to my design.
- Photography by the amazing John and Sophie Barwood – John Barwood .Having seen their work prior to our day we knew they were exactly what we wanted. Excellent skills, really unobtrusive during the day and captured everything to perfection! Paul’s really camera shy but said he quite enjoyed himself on the shoot.
- Catering by the venue – amazing food!
- Shoes were a real bargain from BHS and I loved their look! White DMs for the evening’s rocking from Amazon.
- Hair by Jody from Chixhair
- Make-up by the lovely Aline – Aline Kaloudi Make-up Artist. She’s a friend and shares the greekness :) . She did such an amazing job on all of us and is lovely to have around – highly recommend her!
- Flowers. The Secret Garden Flowers – Louise provided top top top service, prompt responses, and it was an absolute joy to visit her in the shop and chat through everything, laugh and share a tear of joy at the final results. She pulled out all the stops to source the paper whites and olive branches which were really key to the ensemble. I really can’t praise her enough!
- Bridesmaid’s dress from InOneClothing.com, she already owned her green shoes. Green DMs to match my white ones from Amazon.
- Accessories and jewellery from Debenhams.
- Cake by my lovely friend Julie from Little Home Bakery is a super talented baker: she did our top tier of lemon sponge cake for us to cut in honouring the English tradition of cake cutting. I ‘d only discussed the olive leaves and branches with her for the cake décor and it was a lovely surprise to see the flower she included. As a twist to the tradition of cake/ cupcakes, we wanted more traditional Greek treats (baklava) for everybody. Olga (friend) kindly volunteered to bake it all for us. My awesome mum baked her super sweet walnut and syrup cake (karydopasta) the day before the big day.
- Rusty Angels provided the rocking tunes for the evening but we also had a mix of all our musician friends get up to play and sing including Paul’s 80’s big hair metal band – it was a real laugh!
- Favours: embroidered ivory fabric pouches with candied almonds – again a traditional Greek thing., tied with ivory and green ribbons and embellished with a brass olive branch. Pouches made in Greece, ribbon from eBay, metal olive branches from Etsy, and assembled by my mum and myself.
- Venue décor: The venue has so much character we really didn’t need to do much to it. Light touches here and there with the flowers, organza and fairy lights, and tea-light holders made out of short pudding jars (any excuse to have Gu to save the jars!) and decorated with ivory and olive green ribbon was all that was needed. We bought two small olive trees on line for the ceremony, which will continue to grow with us. Battery operated fairy lights from Lights4Fun, organza from eBay. The staff in the venue were very helpful in placing things and moving the flowers and table centrepieces around as the day moved us around the building.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
It was the best day ever!
Go on get some more inspiration in your life from all the other Off To Wed Real Weddings.