Stylish Elegant Isle of Wight Winter Wedding with a Yolan Cris Dress | Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

Stylish Elegant Isle of Wight Winter Wedding with a Yolan Cris Dress | Whimsical Wonderland Weddings


We are starting the week with a couple who have oodles of style and elegance.

Stephen and Chloë married on the 11 January 2014 at Appuldurcombe House, Isle of Wight. They wanted their wedding to have brilliant music, tasty food and free drink to create the perfect party atmosphere.

There were lush blooms, a gin den, candles, scented lavender and rosemary on the tables and bridesmaids in blue.

Chloë had one of the most amazing bridal looks ever; donning an exquisite dress by Yolan Cris, which she teamed with statement Missoni shoes and super pretty up do. Stephen had his suit made by Sir Tom Baker and looked very dapper indeed. I so love the laughs and love throughout these images.

Thanks goes to the utterly wonderful Lisa Dawn Photography for sharing their images with us today.

THE PROPOSAL |Steve had been away working for a couple of months. He returned earlier than he had said (hours earlier not days) and surprised me by knocking on our door. I opened the door to find Steve down on one knee surrounded by his bags with a beautiful engagement ring. Steve had asked my parents in advance which was very sweet.

THE VISION |We had 3 main priorities for the day. We wanted great music, delicious food and free booze. The ingredients (we think) for a great party.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Because we wanted to have a very personal wedding and due to the venue being a completely blank canvas (no lights, heating or electricity) the process was incredibly detailed and long. But, it was lots of fun.

BUDGET |Was initially 12k but this went up! Our advice would be that if you're able to compromise then you should be able to stick your budget. However there will probably be certain aspects of your day that you won't want to compromise on which is where our budget then crept up. It's hard because it is just one day but spend on the things that are important to you. We spent more on booze, food and music and less on flowers, cake and decorations, it's a balancing act.

THE VENUE | We chose Appuldurcombe House on the Isle of Wight because we both grew up on the Island. It's a partly restored 18th Century House. When we looked around we were so excited as it was a completely blank canvas, beautiful, stunning, very challenging and it had a cellar! Only two rooms in the house have been completely renovated, meaning those rooms have floors, windows and a roof. The rest of the building is just the skeleton of the house.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was Almeria by Yolan Cris. Shoes were Missoni, earrings were borrowed from my bridesmaid Jo who had worn them on her wedding day.

FINDING THE DRESS | It was a fairly simple process to find the dress. I had done some research online to find designers that I liked and then looked for stockists of those designers. I'd narrowed down the designers to Yolan Cris, Claire Pettibone and Jenny Packham although I did end up trying on lots of other designers too. I chose the Yolan Cris dress as the detail was just stunning. It also fitted perfectly so the only alteration I had was to make it shorter. London Bride Couture (where I bought the dress) is such a lovely shop. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly and I'd highly recommend them to anyone looking for a dress.

GROOM'S ATTIRE | Steve had his suit made by Sir Tom Baker London.

THE READINGS & MUSIC |Our friends provided the music during the ceremony. Kev performed Elton John's Love Song for me to walk down the aisle to. Hannah and Norah played a flute & oboe duet while we were signing the register and one of the readings by my Dad 'Bring me Sunshine' by Morecombe & Wise turned into a sing along.

Our friend Oli wrote us a beautiful poem which he read during the service and the other reading was from our friend Jim who read the words of Certain Surprise, which is a beautiful John Martyn song.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My best fiends Jo and Becky wore gorgeous dresses by Project D. We got the feather shrugs from House of Fraser and the shoes were Marta Jonsson.

THE FLOWERS | Because it was a winter wedding we didn't want to go overboard with our flowers so for our tables we had rosemary plants and bunches of dried lavender.

Sarah Matthews made some beautiful bouquets for me and the bridesmaids and buttonholes for Steve and the Best Men. Sarah also made us a stunning display for the table in the ceremony room. We wanted lots of natural elements in the flowers so Sarah incorporated herbs, twigs and weather cones into the flowers which we absolutely loved.

THE CAKE | Steve's mum made us a traditional fruit cake as our main cake and we also had a couple of Curly Whirly cakes from Konditor & Cook because they are delicious and Steve doesn't like fruit cake!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Lisa and Scott of Lisa Dawn Photography were our photographers on the day. We spent a lot of time looking for the right photographer and loved Lisa and Scott's photos as soon as we saw them. It was important for us to have both the bride and groom's morning preparations captured so having both Lisa and Scott was perfect. They were so amazing to work with and really understood what we wanted from our photos. All our guests have said how well they captured our day and they fitted in with the spirit and the mood of our wedding effortlessly.

THE DETAILS & DECOR | We were really lucky that Jo (bridesmaid) is an arty crafty whizz! Jo made us the musical bunting and the dried oranges for the tea lights which looked so nice hanging from the fireplaces. She also managed to pilfer lots of other decorations like the gold stars from various places which really added a touch of sparkle to the less sparkly places in the building.

We knew that it was going to be a cold day as it was in January so we really went overboard with candles which helped to light the building and add warmth. Becky (bridesmaid) donated the jars that she had used at her wedding which we filled with candles. We had four fire pits placed outside the building which also added warmth and a lovely bonfire night feel to the day.

We dressed the entire venue ourselves with help from a couple of friends and family. It was very time consuming and tiring to do this but made it very personal which is ultimately what we wanted.

For us, one of the most exciting places to dress was the cellar which we turned into a Gin Den. It was completely candle lit and we filled an old fashioned suitcase and hat box with bottles of gin and tonic and had stacks of lemons and limes. We encouraged our guests to explore the building and if they stumbles across the gin den, to help themselves! It was lots of fun but also led to some serious hangovers the next day!

Live music is really important to us as a couple so we were determined to find a band that would really get the party started. The Electric Swing Circus were AMAZING!!! We really cannot imagine our wedding day without this band, they were everything we had hoped for and kept the dance floor filled the whole night. Our wonderful friends at Ev-Entz sorted our stage and PA out for us which allowed us to completely relax as we knew that took care of everything.

The food! If you are looking for catering for any event we would recommend Vanilla catering! We really don't know how they do it but every single plate of food that they served was not only delicious but hot! We've been to lots of weddings where the food is lukewarm but this was piping, and considering that it was so cold it was incredible. Sally and her team really care about the service they provide, they work so incredibly hard and are worth every penny. During our planning we quickly realised that a good caterer does far more than just provide the food. They make your day run smoothly and if there were any problems on the day, as a couple, we certainly weren't aware of them. The quality of their food is exceptional and we had lots of fun creating the menu with the team at Vanilla.

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Borneo. It was a package holiday... the less said about the honeymoon the better.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | All of it really, everyone singing along to Bring me Sunshine in the ceremony, entering for the wedding breakfast to the Grandstand theme tune, the food, the band, the gin den!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Have fun! If you have fun it's infectious for your guests so everyone will have a great time.


Caterers | Vanilla Catering

Stage & PA | Ev-Entz

Venue | Appuldurcombe House

Flowers | Sarah Matthews Flowers

Hair | Donna Jones

Photos | Lisa Dawn Photography

Wine | Naked Wines

Dress | London Bride Couture

Suit | Sir Tom Baker

Oh my, how beautiful.

Thanks so very much to Stephen and Chloë for sharing their wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

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