Zoe + Mike
YOU’LL BE MORE THAN A LITTLE GREEN EYED OVER THIS OH SO PRETTY AND ENTIRELY BESPOKE BIG DAY...
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSICA WITHEY
A Halloween date organised via Tinder set a humorous tone for Zoe and Mike’s relationship. “We were both each others first and only Tinder date back in 2013. We met for a few drinks around Brick Lane and I just remember having face ache from smiling so much – I’m glad we swiped right!” Zoe laughs.
In keeping with Mike’s New Zealand roots, he chose his native Bay of Islands as the destination to propose after carrying the ring in his backpack for the entire trip, waiting for the right moment.
Funnily enough though, even the most magical of settings still allowed for a few comedy moments, as Zoe tells us. “I felt unwell after being out at sea on a wild dolphin tour and when Mike got down on one knee he realised he had done so quite far away from me, so he proceeded to shuffle towards me before eventually asking me to be his wife! The ring looks vintage but was made especially, perfect for our love of mixing old and new.”
While separates are a big in the bridal fashion scene at the moment, this bride still stepped well clear of convention when it came to choosing her dress. “I found a skirt from Needle and Thread first and then purchased the top to wear with it last minute! I loved my outfit because I felt like me – it wasn’t too girly but I still felt like a bride, just a comfortable one!”
Local dressmaker Helen from South Woodham Ferrers made Zoe’s veil, credited with instantly making her feel like a bride. She teamed it with diamond earrings borrowed from her mother and her great grandmother’s bangle that dates back to the 1940s. “I’m not one for anything too fussy or sparkly, so the accessories for me were just right – sentimental and simple.”
In keeping with the bride’s smart but casual bridal style, the groom wore a suit sourced from Topman that featured a Tweed texture and added a bowtie to create an equally vintage vibe. “He was an emotional wreck but a handsome one!” smiles Zoe.
The bride turned to ASOS for her bridesmaids dresses.
“I absolutely loved the muted dove grey tone and vintage element of the dresses.”
I gifted each of my three maids a feather necklace to reflect our wedding theme – the feather for me being a bird lover and the fern for Mike being from New Zealand. Being a hair and makeup artist myself, I wanted to do it for the bridal party and just called in my friend Clare from Silhouette Du Barry to help with the hair styling.
The couple held both their ceremony and reception at The Old Parish Rooms in Rayleigh, Essex. ‘Mike and I danced to ‘Old Pine’ by Ben Howard when we got engaged, so we chose that for me to walk down the aisle to. As we left, The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’ became our soundtrack – we love that song and aptly got married on a Friday!”
Styling their reception décor on all things simple, elegant and natural, the couple sought the expert help of florist Liz from Early Hours to bring it to life.
“We decided we wanted to bring our love of the outdoors inside in a woodland theme featuring New Zealand’s native ferns.”
“Liz used succulents, feathers and ferns in the bouquets and buttonholes to capture our ideas.”
The bride handmade love heart birdseed wedding favours for guests to take home and hang in their gardens in a natural extension of their theme. The outdoors also inspired the woodland-inspired fancy dress on offer during the evening part. “It went down an absolute treat – the evening photographs look like something from A Midsummer Night’s Dream!”
Gypsy jazz band Café Manouche kept the dance floor full, also playing the couple’s choice of ‘La Vie En Rose’ for their first dance. “It’s an absolute classic but not too cheesy and felt right for our vintage day.” Andy Hatman, a friend of the bride, played a mixture of classic 80s, 90s, R&B and hip hop music as the evening drew to a close, too.
“Our wedding was about celebrating. Celebrating our relationship together, our friends and family, and celebrating having everyone from near and far together in one place. We wanted our big day to be fun and natural and we knew that by only inviting our close friends and family, they would be happy so long as we were, so do exactly what you want. It’s your celebration of love and it should represent you and your husband, whatever that might be!”
VENUE The Old Parish Rooms
DRESS Needle and Thread
BRIDESMAID DRESSES ASOS
ACCESSORIES Dressmaker Helen, South Woodham Ferrers
MAKEUP Zoe Cornwell Makeup Artist
FLOWERS Liz from Early Hours
ENTERTAINMENT Café Manouche