If you’re looking for shabby chic wedding ideas you’ve come to the right place. Hannah and Jeff’s real wedding is bursting with inspiration!
WHO: Hannah and Jeff
WHERE: The Burlington Hotel, Worthing Seafront, Sussex
WHEN: May 2012
“Jeff and I had been together for nine years before he proposed. We’d talked about it several times over the years, but I didn’t feel it would make any difference to our happy family. We’d been through a rocky patch, and suddenly it made me realise, without a doubt, he was the man I wanted to commit myself to forever. I told our three children in November to tell Daddy that Mummy wanted an engagement ring for Christmas!
On Christmas morning the children bundled into our bed to open their stockings, and that’s when Jeff gave me a small wrapped gift. Our girls watched beaming while I opened it, and that’s when he popped the question. I immediately said ‘yes’ – it was a beautiful relaxed proposal, with the most important people in my life. It couldn’t have been more perfect,” smiles Hannah
The bride’s outfit
“My Stepmum, Sandy, used to own a bridal boutique, but retired recently after 20 years,” explains Hannah. “She hadn’t sold off all her stock, so said I could have the pick of whatever was left. The second frock I tried on out of about six was beautiful, but tight all over. Sandy said she could take it out for me, but I found it hard to envision when I couldn’t even do it up! As we were packing up at the end I spotted a couple of boxes that I hadn’t seen. I opened the first box and pulled out the exact Davina Sposa dress but a size bigger! I tried it on and it fitted so beautifully. It must have been fate,” beams Hannah
“I told the girls, tell Daddy I want a ring for Christmas”
The groom’s outfit
“I knew the theme was vintage and had in mind what I wanted Jeff to wear – surprisingly when I told him, he really liked the sound of it. We spent an afternoon in the North Lanes, Brighton, looking for shabby chic wedding ideas in all the retro clothes shops,” says Hannah. “We ended up buying his black velvet smoking jacket from Pre-Loved, simple black trousers, then he completed the look with his late Grandad’s watch,” adds Hannah
“I knew from the beginning that the only bridesmaids I wanted were our three children – Ellie, Poppy and Maisie,” explains Hannah. “I didn’t want the girls in matching dresses as their personalities are all so different.
There was no colour scheme as such, just all things pretty and vintage – our day was full of shabby chic wedding ideas! Poppy is bold and outgoing, so it seemed right that she should be in a vibrant colour. Ellie wore a mocha coloured dress, while Maisie wore a cream dress with crochet detail. She loved twirling about in it, and called it her ‘princess’ dress,” adds Hannah
The couple chose two readings – one given by Hannah’s close friend Linnie, Godmother to the children, the second by a dear school friend, also Godmother to the girls. “We aren’t religious,” says Hannah “They were just heartfelt pieces about love and the future,” she adds
Hannah’s mother-in-law, best friend and business partner, Juliette made her bouquet and the children’s hand-tied flowers. She also arranged all the floral table centres at the reception – they were the perfect match for the couple’s shabby chic wedding ideas.
“We chose the Burlington Hotel as they have beautiful high windows with lots of natural light,” says Hannah
“Friends would end up sewing bunting when they popped round for a cuppa!”
“As our big day was full of shabby chic wedding ideas, our favours were recycled baby food jars filled with speckled eggs and covered with different vintage fabrics,” says Hannah. “We used recycled card and hand-stamped ‘Mr and Mrs North’ on each one. The children had white chocolate buttons in theirs,” she adds.
“We had some photos taken on an old stage at the Lido at Worthing Beach. Our photographers bought the girls balloons to play with, and standing on the stage having our photos taken, on a warm sunny day with so many holiday makers around was surreal! Jeff asked if I felt embarrassed, but how could I? I was with my beautiful family, celebrating the happiest day of my life.”
“We decided on a family honeymoon and went to Holland for eight days,” recalls Hannah. “We went Eurocamping, which is ideal for families,” she adds.