What comes to mind when you hear the word tradition? Boring? Uncreative? Obligatory? It doesn’t have to be any of that. When planning a wedding, […]
Clive popped the question – no ring, no grand gestures, just a simple declaration of love and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
Meet Suzy a poet and Clive, a gorgeous London couple who wed at a fantastically unique and vibrant Glastonbury inspired wedding filled with great music, bright colour, and the laughter of family and friends.
Suzy who wore a stunning vintage gown that fit her like a glove, wanted to include some of her Caribbean heritage in the big day. She did this through special traditions like jumping the broom – and of course, a proper Jamaican fruit cake! I loved the way that both Suzy and Clive included their beloved late mums in special ways too.
The wonderful Summers Photography captured all the joy in these fab images. Over to Suzy to tell you more about the details!
It was a surprise for both of us! Deep in conversation at our local Costa Coffee, Clive popped the question – no ring, no grand gestures, just a simple declaration of love and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me! I was stunned, but still managed to stutter out a “yes” after a couple of minutes. Although Clive says I responded in a few seconds!
When I suggested a festival theme, Clive was fully on board. We went to Glastonbury the year we got engaged, so it seemed like a fitting way to kickstart our marriage with a chilled festival vibe. Clive and I both love live music so we hired a DJ (Anthony Winyard Entertainment), who was just excellent. He really knows his music and found all of our favourite tracks. We also curated a playlist together for the time before the DJ set during the dinner and speeches, which was a mix of soul, rock, show tunes, folk and reggae, and was great fun. We love music and it was a great way to reflect our diverse personalities and backgrounds as we joined together.
I worked in PR at the time, so planned the wedding ceremony and reception right down to the last table crystal. The menu tasting was the bit Clive was really keen on! Clive and I did as much as we could ourselves, from designing and printing the invitation to creating our playlist. I loved the whole planning experience, finding it really creative – I even considered becoming a wedding planner!
I got my vintage gown from Gillian Million in Teddington, a high end wedding dress and accessories agency, and a real treasure trove for gorgeous and romantic pre-loved wedding gowns. I envisaged a lacy, feminine dress that would look supremely glamorous but also a little bit ‘thrown on’ and relaxed. Unbelievably, I found this dress on my first visit to the shop. It was love at first try. Although I lost a bit of weight in the run-up to the wedding and had to have some alterations made, I wanted to look like myself: a confident, curvy first-time bride in my late forties.
Clive’s suit was from Moss Bros. We went for a flattering charcoal grey to set off the accents of orange in the flowers and other details which worked really well.
We had a beautiful ceremony at St. James Church, led by Reverend Julian Reindorp, who is an expert at ensuring everyone stays relaxed and happy; he also kept the service moving along. The last hymn was emotional for me as it hit me that my mum wasn’t with us, but it was still a beautiful service.
We kept the church service traditional and simple, introducing Caribbean elements into the reception, which we think worked really well.
We agreed to include three cultural aspects into the day.
First, a libation, which is a Caribbean tradition, and dates back to Homer’s ‘Iliad’. An alcoholic drink is poured into the ground to appease/remember the ancestors. Both Clive and I have lost our mums, so it was a touching way to invite them into our day spiritually.
Secondly, one of my friends organised for us to ‘jump the broom’ – we literally jumped over a broomstick together into our new life, ‘sweeping’ away what had gone before.
Finally, we had a slideshow of all our happy times together with family and friends and, of course, our beloved mums.
I love the vibrancy of the colour orange. It’s a life affirming colour and a summer one. We had been to Glastonbury the year before we got engaged, so I wanted a bright colour scheme to reflect our joyous day. It was such a beautifully sunny day too!
We had two cakes, a traditional Jamaican fruit cake with orange and silver decorations made by my cousin, and a raspberry vegan chocolate cake by Beas of Bloomsbury.
For our first dance, we danced to John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, which is such a romantic song that Clive used to sing in the kitchen whilst doing the washing up. We’d had a few dance lessons in the back garden, which was really sweet.
There were many wonderful moments for me, but watching my son, nephew, and niece jumping over one of the low brick walls in their wedding outfits – just kids being kids – was a favourite.
Stand out suppliers
Our pictures were taken by Stephanie and Steve of Summers Photography. I researched quite a few photographers, but was immediately taken by Stephanie’s warmth and helpfulness when we spoke on the phone.
Gardenia Flowers in Teddington were amazing – super organised, with wonderful blooms that lasted for ages afterwards. My makeup was done by Natalie Guest, who was super calm and chilled on my wedding morning when things got a bit frantic and the door seemed to be going every five minutes!
Challenges and Triumphs
We didn’t encounter too many major trials, although there were some heated discussions about who should sit at the top table! I’m sure a lot of Nu Bride readers can relate to that! (Nu Bride: Yup. Family politics!)
Top Tip for Couples
You won’t agree on everything, so as long as you can agree on the big things (theme, venue and location) you need to give and take on the rest of it. (I didn’t get the vintage bus, but looking back it was still a fantastically perfect day!)
Photographer: Summers Photography
Venue: Shepperton Studios
Event Design and Florals: Gardenia Flowers, Teddington
Boutique: Gillian Million
Suit: Moss Bros
Paper Goods: Suzy & Clive Productions 🙂
Chocolate Cake: Beas of Bloomsbury