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These two brides, Jo and Rachel, have some serious city wedding style. The look of their day reminds me of a Sex and the City wedding, what with its whites and blacks with pops of colour from those sexy purpley-pink shoes, and from the greenery of plants and flowers. Everything is very clean and crisp, but in this gorgeously fun way. And their university venue looks so modern and not at all like how I remember uni being! In short, their day is contemporary and chic, and it’s warm and friendly and happy with all those big smiles from literally everyone.

And their musical choice for walking back down the aisle had me high-fiving them. I’m not giving it away here; you will just have to read on!

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Their story, by Jo…

We met at work. Rachel worked in the design industry, and I was managing a branding project. Apparently I walked around the corner in Nottingham in a red duffel coat and it was love at first sight or something.

I proposed to Rachel on a cold and windy Brighton beach in March 2012. The big wheel was twinkling in the background when she said yes!

We held our ceremony in the Old Chemistry Theatre at Nottingham Trent Univeristy, followed by a reception in the Old Library. We chose the venue because we met a stone’s throw away in the heart of Nottingham and wanted to tie the knot nearby. Rachel spent her university years at Nottingham Trent, and it holds a special place in her heart, too.

Early on in the planning stages, we had a sketch done of the Arkwright Building, which is the older part of Nottingham Trent. This became the centrepiece motif of our invitations and stationery. We wanted to keep things simple with a palette of black and white with a hint of purple.

We both wore 1950s style short dresses. Mine was a ivory vintage lace number, while  Rach’s was more of a Marylin Monroe chiffon. We didn’t have bridesmaids – there were already too many girls to think about! But the mothers of the brides wore a hint of purple to go with the wedding theme. Our dads, brother, and nephew had the same navy blue suits and handmade tartan waistcoats. We used our family tartans: Fletcher and Morrison.

Our photographer, Gabrielle Bower, was our perfect match. She captured our wedding day with creativity, style and subtlety. We met before the day at the venue, and she took the time to listen to our ideas and understand what we were trying to achieve. On the day itself, she worked tirelessly without our even noticing that we were being photographed. Her talent brought our little touches to life, and she has given us memories that we’ll treasure forever.

Were there any DIY elements to the day? Absolutely! I hand-sewed lavender pillows made from some beautiful Livery fabric we picked up in London. Because we were in the ‘Old Library’ for our reception, we decided to give everyone a personalised printed bookmark with a quote that meant something to them or their life. It was hard work, but we got there in the end!

The only disaster was that our brother-in-law’s band had to pull out five days before the wedding because the guitarist broke his leg. In the end, we booked an Elvis tribute act who was fabulous!

We didn’t plan to have a first dance. In fact, we wanted to pick and choose all the traditions we liked and didn’t like! The first dance, in the end, was thrust upon us by the amazing Elvis…it made us all laugh! We also had a memorable dance to Hold On by Wilson Phillips. We had walked down the aisle to a pianist playing Moon River – it’s one of Rachel’s favourites. We walked out to Angry Anderson’s Suddenly – a slightly comic nod to Charlene and Scott and that Neighbours episode!

Our advice for the big day is to enjoy every second. It’ll fly by, and you need to stop every now and again and appreciate that for the first (and possibly only time) in your life, you’re surrounded by every single person who loves you, and they’re all there to will you on and celebrate your happiness.

Photography – Gabrielle Bower Photography
Venue – Nottingham Trent University
Dresses – The Wedding Club
Suits – House of Fraser