Real Destination Wedding: Saying ‘I Do’ in Iceland – Helen & Danny

When I first met Helen she told me all about her wedding and the incredible location she had chosen. I had a picture in my mind of what she had envisioned for her special day with Danny. It turns out that what I had pictured couldn’t come close to the real thing. Helen’s wedding photographs by Bragi are really beautiful. From her beautiful bouquet, to the stunning backdrop of waterfalls and a sunset, everything came together perfectly and Helen and Danny got their dream wedding.

For anyone considering getting married in Iceland Helen tells us all about how she went about organising her special day from another country.

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When did you get engaged and did you always want to get married in such an incredible location?

We got engaged on a trip to Iceland in 2013. We had been there once before for Danny’s (my husband’s – still feels weird to say that) 21st birthday. We totally fell in love with the place – the scenery, the people, the food, the night skies… and when Danny proposed it was a total surprise.

We had initially planned to get married here in the UK and had picked out a traditional British manor house as our venue. We were very close to putting our first payment down when we realised that planning the wedding was feeling like a chore and we were not 100% excited about the idea. We both felt a lot of pressure and stress about planning it, we didn’t know where to start and on the whole were just putting it off. After Skyping Danny’s sister in Australia, she asked us what would make it exciting. We joked about getting married in Iceland and she said “well why not”. The idea stuck with us from there and in the end, we realised that it was totally what we wanted. It was a big decision to make, mostly because we realised that it would be a big ask of our family and friends if they were to join us, but it just felt right and a lot more “us”.

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How did you organise your wedding? Did you have help and would you recommend hiring a wedding planner.

There is no way that we could have had the wedding adventure that we did without the help of a wedding planner. We realised this pretty early on into the planning process so a big part of our early planning was to find the right planner. We settled on an amazing company called ‘Pink Iceland’. They are a gay and lesbian specialist that also do straight weddings too. When we first Skyped our wedding planner, who was called Sigga, we knew that it was 100% the right thing to do because she had so many amazing suggestions, ideas and contacts that made the process so much easier for us. She set up one big shared document where we would discuss all of our ideas back and forth, so it fit perfectly into our daily schedules. We’re both professionals who work full time, so it meant that we could sit down together when we had time and write down our ideas or paste in some images that had inspired us for Sigga to look over. We planned a 4 day adventure, which included our wedding day, to give our guests a real taste of Iceland. Sigga guided us through the whole process and worked with us to give everyone the best experience of Iceland – we couldn’t have done it without her.

We went over to Iceland in October 2016 to meet with Sigga and view the venue that we had picked from the portfolio of venues that she had sent over. It was a converted three storey farmhouse in the Icelandic countryside where all of our guests could stay for a couple of nights, including the wedding night. It had an external barn, where our evening wedding reception could be held and a huge hot tub for relaxing in. After viewing the venue, and totally falling in love with it, we went to meet Sigga in the Pink Iceland office in central Reykjavik. It was great to go through everything with her face to face. One thing we knew we were really keen to do is to not have the “traditional” wedding and feel pressure to do all of the traditions that it entails. It just wasn’t really us and we wanted to do things our way so we picked the traditions that we liked – white dress, cake, speeches and ignored the ones that we didn’t. Sigga helped us to realise this and then to bring it to life.

I would absolutely recommend a wedding planner to any future brides – whether they are getting married abroad or not. At the end of the day, they are the professionals and have done this a number of times. You may not have planned anything like it before so why not get the help, advice and expertise of someone who has? It will take some of the pressure off you so that you can sit back and enjoy the process. It also gives you piece of mind that, thinking worst case scenario…if something does go terribly wrong on the day, it is not your job to fix it, it is theirs! I was so lucky – everything on the day went amazingly and this really was down to the level of detail that we had planned with Sigga.

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What was your favourite part of the wedding?

This is a really hard question to answer! Like I said, we had planned a little adventure that was built around our wedding day – almost like a sampler of Iceland – and I absolutely loved every second of it.

We had some exploring time and then a meal in our favourite restaurant in Iceland. Danny and I had created a map that highlighted all of the fun places in Reykjavik that we thought people would like to visit (within walking distance). We all had our own time to explore before being picked up by our private coach at the Pink Iceland offices. We had arranged our own tour guide to stay with us for two days. We went for a trip to the Blue Lagoon before heading to our wedding venue for a welcome meal and some down time. We stayed together on the night before our wedding (none of that old tradition of sleeping separately!) and it was so nice to wake up next to each other and say “we’re getting married today!” We got ready separately and then when I was ready we met in our bedroom before heading downstairs to see everybody together. Our ceremony was outside (in -7 degree weather!) by an arch and was so relaxed, intimate and personal. We shared fun stories about our relationship and our family members read quotes from Sex and the City and Game of Thrones. Afterwards, we had arranged for our guests to go out with the tour guide on the coach for some sight seeing while Danny and I travelled to a couple of different locations for our photoshoot. This was great because it meant that they weren’t just sat around waiting for our photos to be done (something we’d experienced before at other weddings). We then all came together for some speeches and then our evening meal. After the meal, we had some casual drinks and just relaxed. The northern lights even came out at this part of the evening so we all put our comfy clothes on and watched the night sky dance. We then retired to the hot tub to “chill” and then ended the night by playing some board games, which was a nerdy addition to the day and the perfect way to finish it off. The day was a mix of “wedding” and “us”.

If I had to sum it up, I’d say that experiencing our favourite place in the world with all of our favourite people and to have them there for the biggest day of our lives so far was my favourite. This is not likely to happen again and I treasure every moment of the experience with them all.

My personal top moments from our day were – the first look, ceremony, hot tub and boardgames.

Plus Size Brides Helen

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Any advice for nervous brides to be?

I’ve said it a few times above, but make sure that the day is you. Don’t feel the pressure to do things that you don’t want to do. At the end of the day, it is about celebrating your relationship and nobody else can tell you how this is done.

I was very worried about everybody else and their experience of our wedding but in reality I learned that they ultimately want you to be happy. People surprise you! If you’re worried about what they will think if you don’t do certain things, just explain to them what you do want to do and why and they will totally understand. If they don’t, then maybe they don’t know you as well as you thought they did.

You definitely learn a lot about the people around you when you are planning your wedding and your support system will be tested. You just need to be honest with yourself and everyone around you and keep bringing it back to “what do we want?” or “how can we make this more ‘us’?”. You will have no regrets about your day if you look back and think that you did everything the way that you wanted to.

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Wedding Dress & Veil from Edith & Winston Bridalwear – Designer Callista Bride

Alterations and bespoke straps by Boutique Alterations

Wedding planner – https://www.pinkiceland.is/

Venue – http://www.mengi-kjarnholt.com/

Photographer – Bragi Þór –  https://www.icelandweddingphoto.com/index

Videographer – Eirikur Hafdal – http://www.hafdal.is/

 

Please click on the images below to see more from Helen and Danny’s day.

Real Wedding: Part Two – Jo & Patrick’s Wedding Day.

For those of you who have been following the wonderful Real Weddings and Engagement Shoots here on Something New. You may remember Jo and Patrick’s beautiful outdoor engagement shoot a few months back. Jo was so kind in also sharing with us her incredible wedding phototgraphs by Ash Davenport for Miki Photography. I hope that you enjoyed seeing a couple from engagement to marriage.

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Where did you get married and how did you find your venue?

Patrick’s Dad is a retired vicar so we wanted him to marry us and it’s wasn’t difficult to persuade him to come out of retirement to do that so we wanted to find a local church that would allow that. All Saints Church at Ashover is local to where we live in Derbyshire and the Rector there was happy for Canon Reverend Richard Wheeler to step in so it was perfect. It is also a beautiful church in a pretty village so that helped!

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How did you choose your wedding dress? How did you know it was the one for you?

Wedding dress shopping was not something I was looking forward to. I lost my Mum to cancer three years before we were planning the wedding. I missed her through every aspect of planning the wedding but especially wedding dress shopping. Expecting it would be emotional and not much fun, I planned to go on my own but my bridesmaid Bernadette was having none of it. Even though she has a full time job and two kids to juggle and lives a 4 hour round trip away, she made last minute plans to be there and persuaded me to also invite my Mum’s best friend Liz.

We went to a lovely shop in Borrowash in Derbyshire called Beau Belles where my sister-in-law got her wedding dress years previously. I wanted to go there as I remembered they had samples in lots of sizes. Lots of other local shops only have samples in small sizes and I didn’t want to spend the appointment being shoe-horned into a tiny dress and feeling bad about my size. We picked out about 6 or 7 dresses that try but when I put the 4th one on, I knew it was the one from Bernadette and Liz’s faces before I even looked in the mirror. It was just the old Hollywood glamour look I was going for and I loved the creamy colour and the beautiful beading. I didn’t even try on the others. One appointment; four dresses. I’m pretty decisive.

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What was your favourite part of the wedding?

I loved all of it so it’s really hard to choose. I think it would have to be the speeches. I spoke first (the idea being that I thought the others would make me cry so I’d get mine out of the way). My Dad was next and his speech was brilliant. I have been a bridesmaid 9 times and he realised they were all there so he got me to have a toast with all of them. Then my lovely groom Patrick, my two bridesmaids Bernadette and Rachael wrote a hilarious poem and best man James (Patrick’s younger brother) finished with a really lovely best man speech.

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If you could give one piece of advice for a bride on her wedding day, what would it be?

Spend the day with your spouse and take the time to look around the room together and really take it in. We had loads of guests and if we’d spent the evening saying a quick hello to each of them that’s all we’d have done. We went round each table during the wedding breakfast so we’d seen everyone and could just relax and enjoy ourselves.

Also don’t be frightened to throw in a few risks and surprises. I made and iced my own wedding cake. I’d always wanted to have a go and figured if it looked rubbish it didn’t matter – it would be funny. I also sang a song with my bridesmaids in the evening as a surprise for Patrick. I rewrote the words to ‘Son of a Preacher Man,’ since he is and it made everyone laugh. I was in two minds whether to do it but I’m really glad we did because he loved it. Do what you want to do, it’s your day.

Lots of people who are getting married have lost a loved one that will be missed that day and it can make it difficult. My advice would be to remember them in the ways that make you happy but try not run dwell on it because the day is about you and your new spouse. I had a bespoke bracelet made as a gift from my Dad so that I could wear a locket of Mum’s on my wrist and put her picture in it. Our wedding favours were Mum’s favourite sweets – midget gems. I took my bouquet the next day to where her ashes are scattered. She would have loved everything about the day except not getting to be there.

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Thank you so much Jo and Patrick for sharing your incredible wedding day with us all.

For more beautiful photographs please click on the images below.

Wedding: All Saints Church, Ashover
Reception: Shottle Hall, Derbyshire
Car: Wedding cars of Derby
Flowers: Nadia di Tullio Flowers
Photography: Ash Davenport for Miki Photography
Dress: Justin Alexander from Beau Belles, Borrowash
Veil: Diane Speak
Bracelet: Joe Coyle
Music: Lizzie Spear (cellist), Debbie Hinsley (pianist) and Andy Kosicki (DJ)
Cake and favours: home made
Hair: David Sebastian, Derby
Make up: Natalie Clarke, Studio 4.6

Real Wedding: One Fine Day & A Fabulously Floral Dress – Beccie & Leigh.

If you could picture your dream wedding dress what would it be?

For many brides-to-be they long for something just a little bit different, yet still incredibly elegant and timeless. Last year we got our first glimpse of ‘the dress’ that everyone was dreaming about. Her name was Carmel and she was Callista Brides first floral print design. Beccie knew instantly that this was the one for her and I am so pleased  to share with you her stunning wedding photographs. If you love floral prints, you are going to LOVE these pictures.

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Tell us about how you got engaged?

We got engaged on a holiday in Moroccoo. We went on a visit to their only waterfall and went on a boat to the bottom of it. He proposed there.

You chose such an incredible dress. How did you find it?

I saw Edith & Winston Bridalwear’s post on Instagram with the lovely model Georgina wearing Carmel and knew it was the one. I had a day planned of visitng four stores. This boutique was the last one and Carmel was the one I fell in love with instantly. I knew I would. It’s perfect for me. I loved the store and the staff, they are my friends forever now!

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Please can you tell us about your day?

We got married at Castlefield Rooms, Manchester. Our theme was floral! To match my dress. My bridesmaids were in baby pink dresses. The best bit for me? I loved my dad’s speech, had us all crying and he finished a bottle of whiskey during it! I also wrote a live song and I sang that with a guitar as a surprise for him. He also dropped the ring during the ceremony which was funny!

Don’t focus too much on decor for the ceremony! I cannot even remember if the bunting was up or not! And try to spend as much time with your new husband as you can. You get so caught up saying hi to everyone the two of you don’t get time together. I loved getting home that night and snuggling my new husband.

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Wedding Dress: By Callista from Edith & Winston Bridalwear.

Leigh’s suit: Groom Warrington

Bridesmaid Dresses: Chi Chi London

Beccie’s friend Joanne made all the wedding bouquets.

Photography: Paul Baybut Wedding Photography.

A Picture Perfect Engagement Shoot – Gemma & Paul.

Gemma and Paul have kindly shared with us their beautiful engagement shoot. They tell us why it’s important to pick the right photographer for your wedding day and why you should take part in an engagement shoot.

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Where did you get engaged and how did it happen? 

Paul got down on one knee on Christmas morning, it was our first Christmas together in our new home. He had the ring in a Christmas cracker and I cried for around an hour! It sounds cheesy but it was perfect!

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Did you choose your wedding photographer first of your wedding venue?

Our wedding venue was the first thing we picked out! Everything else came a few months after including the photographer. I knew I wanted a photographer that would capture natural moments and capture the wedding venue really well, as the grounds are ++

beautiful. I really think it’s a good idea to get to know your photographer before the wedding, having a good connection with them really helps things flow on the day. She managed to get all the shots she needed while making it fun at the same time!

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Did you enjoy having an engagement shoot? Would you recommend it to other brides?

Me and Paul was not looking forward to the engagement shoot at all! We both don’t like getting our photo taken, especially me being a bigger girl, I was very self conscious. But it was the best experience leading up to the wedding, we really enjoyed it. We got to know our photographer which made things flow a lot better on the big day and now we have a lot of Photos of us as a couple which we didn’t have a lot of before. Paul was a natural by the end of the shoot! We both love how the shoot turned out and have them framed all around the house!

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You have now had your Wedding Day and we can’t wait to share those images on a future blog post. But If you could give yourself one piece of advice looking back now what would it be?

I think looking back on the whole experience now I would tell myself to enjoy the build up more, I stressed out a lot about all the little things and details. On the actual day the small things don’t matter. The most important thing is to let that stress go on the day, enjoy every moment with your new husband and all your family & friends. The love and support you both feel on the day was icredible, we felt like we were on cloud 9! Our day went by so quickly, so my advice would be “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

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Gemma and Paul picked Laura Parkinson Photography to be their wedding photographer and we are super excited to be bringing you the pictures from their wedding day in a future blog post. So keep an eye out for that! Thank you both so much for sharing.

At The Beach with Edith & Winston Bridalwear.

This summer has been and gone in a flash of hot sunny days. I can’t remember a summer like it. With plenty of trips to the beach and eating outdoors, it really has been a great summer. With the leaves starting to fall from the trees, I wanted to share with you a shoot that we did one sunny day with Firinn Photography.

The beautiful Georgina Horne – Fuller Figure Fuller Bust came up north to work with a fantastic group of wedding suppliers to produce a stunning photoshoot that showcases two of Edith & Winston’s favourite wedding dresses.

Please enjoy these images, if you follow Edith & Winston or Georgina you may have seen some of these on Instagram but we also have a few previously unseen images below.

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Georgina wears Angelico (above) and Cezanne (below) both by Plus Size specialist designer Callista Bride. Both are available to try on at Edith & Winston Bridalwear. We are also super excited to say that next year there is a new version of Angelico being released with a brand new belt design so brides will have two options to choose from!

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Venue – The Dalmeny, Lytham St Anne’s Beach & Blackpool

Hair & Make Up – Flossy & Leigh

Flowers – Paragon Floral Design

Model – Georgina Horne – Fuller Figure Fuller Bust

Dresses – Edith & Winston

Photography – Firinn Photography

Floral Crowns – Clea Broad

For more images click on the images below.