An elegant rose gold and blush wedding in Nottingham
02 Oct 2019
Childhood sweethearts Eleanor Taylor and James Long tied the knot at St Wilfrid's Church, Calverton followed by a reception at The Old Vicarage Boutique Hotel, Southwell
How did you meet?
We are true childhood sweethearts; we met when we were 16. We went to different schools and we met through a friend at a school play. James apparently couldn’t stop talking about me to his mum all the way home and then a few weeks later we went on our first date to the cinema to see St Trinian's.
Tell us about the proposal
After nearly six years together, we bought our first house. It was always our goal to do this and so I wasn’t expecting a proposal because we’d been focused on our dream house. One surprise evening in September 2017, James got down on one knee to ask me to be his wife. I obviously said yes. He isn’t one for big fussy surprises and events, and It was so romantic that he just got down on one knee in our bedroom after we’d had a lovely evening watching a film with a takeaway. It was very James to be so chilled about it but with such lovely words.
What was the theme for the day?
My friends and I joke the theme was ‘expensive’. I wanted everything to look very sophisticated and elegant. I chose blush pink and navy as our colour scheme, but it was subtle and I really wanted to showcase shades of silvers and rose golds as the main colours within the venue.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
As James is not one for massive over the top parties, we wanted it to feel like we had all our best friends at the ultimate house party, and I knew I wanted glamour. We fell in love with a venue near our home called The Old Vicarage Boutique Hotel, which was an old vicarage refurbished into a stunning, elegant venue for intimate weddings.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I think I had just about lost the will to live and it had stopping being fun. I am quite picky when it comes to these sorts of things. My mum and I had been everywhere from designer shops right through to high streets and budget shops desperate to find something. We ended up one afternoon spontaneously going into Beau Belle’s in Derbyshire and that is where I found it. It is a Morilee dress, which I accessorised with a sparkly belt and lacy top. I took the lacy top off for the evening party to create a different look. It made the dress look so different.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
Choosing my bridesmaids was easy. I have a really close relationship with my sister, who was maid of honour, and then my three best friends from school were beautiful bridesmaids. I chose navy dresses as it was something a bit different to the standard blush pinks and pastel colours we’d seen at lots of recent weddings. I also felt it added a much more elegant tone to their dresses. I chose beautiful beaded long dresses with a V-neck front and back which suited their figures perfectly. They then accessorised with matching jewelry and silver shoes.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
My mum looked stunning. She chose a beautiful blue dress and hat which complemented her ginger hair and pale skin perfectly. It was a bottle blue colour and looked stunning next to our bridesmaids and with the flowers. The dress was from a local shop near my grandma’s house in Littleborough and where she grew up which had a sentimental feeling to it.
Where did you find your suits?
We ended up choosing a suit from Next because James fell in love with the lining of the jacket which was a bright blue swirly pattern. James had a grey tweed style waistcoat and his groomsmen had navy. My dad also wore a navy suit and coordinated with them by wearing blush pink ties. My dad had our names embroidered into his wedding waistcoat with the date of the wedding to mark the occasion which was a really nice touch.
James chose his best friend, Jay, to be his best man and his groomsmen were a mix of friends and his cousin. Our close wedding party were made up of people who had been there throughout our relationship to see the good bits, not so good bits and in my case had been the girls picking me up when something wasn’t going so great. But really they were people who loved me just as much as they loved James, they had become big parts of our relationship story and this day was for them to celebrate just as much as us.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
I wanted to create stunning elegant natural flowers and really bring some colour into the venue as everything else would be silver and rose gold. We used a fantastic florist, Rebecca, who created stunning a mood board for me and we worked from there to create the bouquets, buttonholes - which were all individual to the groom/groomsman - and arrangements for the church. The centrepieces were candelabras, so Rebecca created stunning flowers to weave around these. We also had some natural flowers on our cake.
Tell us about the details of the day…
- The best personal touch was our stationery. We created our own wedding logo which we now use on lots of little things. James had cufflinks made with the logo on too.
- At the venue, we had a sweet table made up of ‘his favourite’ and ‘her favourite’ sweets. Our table names were all named after places we had visited on holiday each year during the eight years of our relationship.
- We also had a brilliant photo booth (because I love a good photo).
The key message we wanted for the day was for it to feel like a complete celebration of our romance made up of the people who had been there along the way, and who had been significant in our relationship journey. There was no 'okay, we'll invite the aunt we haven't seen for 10 years', it was 100% our friends, our close family, the people who knew us as a couple and had been there with us through each stage.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I was so excited all morning and then the second I heard the bells of the church and the organ playing I couldn’t stop crying. My friend Suzie, who was a bridesmaid, did her best to pull me together, but as soon as I saw James’ face I just felt so excited and happy. I was marrying my best friend and he had been my childhood sweetheart. All those years we had grown up together and all the conversations when we were younger talking about our future had come together in that one moment, and I was just so excited to be able to say he was my husband.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The music in the church was from my favourite film, Love Actually, and the hymns were songs we use to sing at school. James also loves Lord of the Rings so I had a surprise quote; ‘I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone’ printed in our service booklet which was a surprise for him. We then had personal poems and readings read by our friends and a friend played the piano during the signing of the register.
What was your most memorable moment?
Walking into the wedding breakfast and seeing everybody smiling as one of our closest friends, John, announced us as Mr and Mrs Long was just wonderful. Seeing everybody you love in one room was a fantastic moment.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Keeping to budget. You just get carried away and see things on Pinterest or at wedding fairs and you want your day to be perfect and the best. I remember watching Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding earlier in the year and they had a harpist...next thing, my mum and I are searching for one and she was booked.
What was the most important investment for you?
My dress was very important because I wanted to look and feel amazing. The venue was also important as we wanted somewhere that had a brilliant atmosphere to create the type of wedding we wanted, and somewhere that had great food and staff - that is what made the day feel really special. We love to travel, so we splashed out on an amazing honeymoon around Thailand.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose Ed Sheeran’s Perfect which was sung by George Simpson, our entertainment. As a song the words just describe our relationship perfectly, from this young romance right through to being a couple and husband and wife.
Tell us about your wedding cake...
We chose a flavour each - James chose lemon and blueberry and I chose red velvet. We then worked with our cake designer to create a really simple and elegant cake to match our colours of blush pinks and silvers. We also finished of the cake with some fresh flowers from the florist.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
I would say I wish we had more time to spend together as the day just goes so fast. You end up spending so much time trying to see all your friends that I wish I could have just sat down for 10 minutes every few hours with James to take everything in.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
The cake company forgot our little name topper for the cake. Thankfully our wonderful venue and florist created extra flowers so you wouldn’t have noticed.
Did you have a custom hashtag for social media? If so, what was it?
We actually asked guests not to post on social media during the wedding because we wanted everybody to be present in the moment. We had paid a lot for a great photographer and video for the day so we wanted everybody to enjoy themselves and not be worried about photos and social media.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
Set a budget and stick to it! I am lucky James is fantastic with money and he was great at setting budgets for each item we wanted and setting some extra aside. He kept on top of who had to be paid which was great so we never really stressed about this. But I can see how, if you don’t keep on top of the budget and what is important to you to spend your money on, it can get complicated and stressful.
Steal Their Style:
Dress: Beau Belle
Photographer: Mustard Yellow Photography
Cake: The Sweet Stuff
Flowers: Floral Deco
Make-up: Caroline Kent
Hair: James White Hair
Venue: Old Vicarage Boutique Hotel
Harpist: Nottinghamshire Harpist
Singer / DJ: George Simpson
Stationery: Rose Press