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Emily and Barry had not only a cool wedding date (Hallowe’en, people!!), but also a fabulously brilliant theme – comic books and superheroes. And their day is jam-packed with DIY, so get your craft on because you’ll be wanting to recreate a lot of these ideas.

The bride had a bit of a nightmare with her dress, God love her, but her mum saved the day (as mums do!), and I think she looks gorgeous, really elegant and the cool girl all at the same time. All in all, this is an absolute gem of a wedding. It’s about fun, family, and having a darned good party, come what may.

How they Met
Barry and I met through a dating website in 2011, whilst we were both working in London, and we chatted online for a few weeks before we met up in person. We haven’t spent more than a couple of days apart since! In the last four years we’ve welcomed our son, Angus, into the world and relocated to Buckinghamshire to have a better quality family life.

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The Proposal
Having moved from London to Milton Keynes in early 2013, we returned to London in the October for a night out to celebrate Barry’s birthday. After a lovely meal, we walked down Southbank towards the London Eye. As we walked through the fairy lit trees, Barry handed me his phone plus headphones, and directed me to a bench to sit down to watch a video he’d made. In the video, Barry sang along/held up cards with the lyrics written on to McFly’s Love is Easy and, as a bit of a graphics whizz, had created a video so there was more than one of him in the video at any one time. It was pretty epic! In the video, the last sign that Barry held up said ‘will you marry me?’ Of course I said yes! We then took in the views on the London Eye with champagne to celebrate.

The Venue
We chose Dodmoor House in Daventry as it’s beautifully simple and rustic, consisting of converted barns, and it suited the vision we had for our wedding. Dodmoor offers superb value for money; we got a fantastic discount for marrying in the autumn and on a Friday, and found that so much is included with the booking that other venues will charge extra for, in particular your own dedicated wedding coordinator and the freedom you get with your catering choices.

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The Styling and the Details
The theme was comic books/superheroes. Our colour scheme was a winter berry palette of navy, plum, aubergine, burgundy and lilac. We were determined that whatever we did should reflect us and our interests as we wanted our wedding to be quite natural, relaxed and personal.

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We wanted to find a way to incorporate the comic book theme into the wedding without it being over the top or too garish. I found a few examples online of people using comic book paper to make decorations, and decided that would be a good way to incorporate the theme. We managed to pick up a couple of boxes of comic books at a local car boot sale that just happened to have pages within them that suited the colour scheme. We also found vintage black and white comics that worked really well and helped tone down the decorations. We made: paper fans; a hanging heart mobile (which is actually made out of comic book wallpaper, jewellery wire and a cheap painted piece of dowling); confetti; and all of the paper flowers for the buttonholes and corsages (I folded nearly 200 squares of comic book paper to make the petals!). I also used comic books to decoupage ‘LOVE’ and ‘MR & MRS’ letters, as well as the card post box and the heels of my wedding shoes.

My very talented mum made my brooch bouquet and hair piece, which are both so beautiful. Unbelievably, she had never made either before. I also made my flower girl’s button bouquet.

We saved a lot of money by making the tissue paper pompoms ourselves; we had over 80 pompoms hanging in the venue (predominantly on the mezzanine), which would have been far too expensive to buy.

Our favours were also fairly cheap; we took plain paper mâché photograph frames and painted them, added comic book inserts, replaced the string, and decoupaged comic books onto them to create individually personalised favours.

Our biggest saving was the stationery that we designed and used to produce. Printed has lots of templates, so it made designing the stationery to the right size really easy. Before making the buttonholes and corsages, we had a lot of fun staging the Lego superheroes in a number of poses to come up with the order of the day (my favourite being the photo booth shot!).

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Overcoming Disasters
My dress was the disaster, unfortunately. The original Veromia dress is a halterneck dress with a beaded collar (to match the belt). When I tried on the dress, the boutique owner assured me that the neckline could be altered, and sleeves created, to turn it into a round necked, long sleeved dress, which is what I wanted.

Over the course of the fittings, it became apparent that making these alterations was too difficult for the seamstress, although they dragged it out until a week before the wedding before admitting defeat. Eventually they suggested that I instead wear a backwards, off the shoulder jacket made by Veromia, which I reluctantly agreed to. I walked away from my last fitting having not tried it on fully fitted and finished.

I was able to try on the dress the day before the wedding to make sure everything was ok. It wasn’t; the sleeves hadn’t been finished, the belt had been sewn on wonky and not finished at the back, the hem was a mess, and where they had attached the jacket to the dress at the front (matching up the lace appliqué) they hadn’t even attached it properly. I don’t know what I would have done without my mum being there (and for thinking to bring her sewing machine and kit!). She spent all day fixing their mistakes to get my dress to a point where I could wear it.

The boutique really let us down and resulted in my wearing a dress that, while others said I looked nice on the day, I didn’t feel 100% confident in. It’s already nerve-wracking being a ‘plus size’ bride, knowing you’re going to get extra scrutiny for how you look. It would have been nice to have faced that feeling pretty awesome in my big floofy dress, but it wasn’t quite meant to be.

It certainly didn’t ruin the day, though; the whole reason for investing in the decorations and the day itself is because we’re both not bothered by being centre of attention. The venue shone gloriously on the hottest Hallowe’en on record, our family had a fantastic time, and we were able to say our vows, eat pie and mash, and dance with our inflatable guitars!

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The Advice
If you can’t decide what you do want, then list all the things you that don’t want; you’ll soon be left with options that are best suited to you! Stick with those options and make the most of the opportunity to do it your way.

As for married life, I don’t know as we kind of did things in reverse! I feel really lucky that we were able to have Angus relatively early in our relationship. It’s unconventional, and I’m not sure I would recommend it, but if you want to test whether your relationship is going to work, it’s a bloody good way to test it! Having survived moving house numerous times and having a newborn in a new relationship, by the time it came around to getting married, there was genuinely no fear from either of us what we were committing to. I think it allowed us to enjoy the day more as a celebration of what we already have rather than what lies ahead. For those heading into marriage wishing to start a family I would say three things: make the most of the time you have together now as a couple; that you can’t prepare for parenting, you have to ‘learn on the job’; and remember to try and be nice to each other at 3am when you’re sleep deprived and the baby is still crying!

The Music
First dance – Love is Easy by McFly – after Barry’s proposal video, it had to be this song!

Walking down the aisle – Mike Georgiades is an exceptional classical guitarist who played our chosen ceremony music beautifully, and didn’t once question our ‘different’ choices of music. I entered as Mike played Le Valse D’Amelie (from the movie Amelie) and we exited to Mike’s classical interpretation of AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long. It was spectacular!

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Photography – Marianne Chua Photography
Venue – Dodmoor House in Daventry
Bride – Customised Veromia dress
Groom, big best man, little best man, page boy and father of the bride – Suitors
Bridesmaids – True Bride
Flower girl – John Lewis
Budget – £12,000

All the Pictures