Ailsa & Duncan

 Ailsa and Duncan’s sweet English wedding was in every sense of the word traditional- a ceremony in a church and a reception in the nearby church hall. But with their fun personalities, Ailsa and Duncan managed to turn the traditional into something whimsical- balloons, streamers and plenty of ice cream.

Today’s beautiful wedding shots are from photographer Jonathan Ong, if you’re across the pond Jonathan will be shooting weddings in the UK & Europe in June- July 2013 so is welcoming bookings!

Ailsa started the day with her vintage wedding gown from Etsy. She explains, ” I bought my dress from the lovely Julie Bergmans of FabGabs. It is a romantic vintage 1960’s ivory lace confection with ruffs at the neck and sleeves. I chose it because as soon as I saw it, I knew it was my dress.” Ailsa’s bridesmaids wore floral Cath Kidston gowns. For her makeup, Ailsa says, “Wanting to keep my makeup simple and understated I opted to do it myself. My sister, having practiced a few times before the big day, gave my hair a soft curl”

Ailsa and Duncan chose St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Manchester for their wedding.

Post ceremony, guests enjoyed plenty of sweet icecream.

Ailsa’s mother made the floral arrangements, with Ailsa telling, “My mother is extremely talented, very patient, and more than willing to learn a dozen new skills to make my dreams come true – she made my wreath, my bouquet, my bridesmaid’s bouquets, my bridesmaid’s hairpieces and the buttonholes using armfuls and armfuls of baby’s breath.”

Of their photographer, Ailsa remarks, “Choosing our photographer was one of the biggest, but ultimately easiest, decisions we made…we saw Jonathan Ong’s photographs online and fell in love with his work. He completely understood our vision of the day and it was a pleasure to have him with us. We adore our wedding photographs.”

Guests flocked over the road to the church hall for the reception. Ailsa explaining, “My Uncle David worked so hard to organise the presbytery, the gardens and the hall before we arrived – it was the most lovely venue. All our decorations were handmade and arranged by family, friends and us. My mother made two hundred metres of torn-strip bunting which she then hand dyed lemon and baby pink. It took us a whole day to hang it in the hall. My mother also dyed some crochet mats to add to my collection (bought from a whole host of charity shops) which, together with the flowers, formed the centrepieces. The jars of flowers were arranged by my mother, my sister, our organist and I – the trickiest bit was tying pieces of ribbon and lace around tiny jars. I made the giant pinwheels that acted as the seating plan. My mother and father in law, my mother, my sister and some friends helped Duncan and I to set up the tables, put out the table cloths, lay the cutlery, put out bubbles, organise favours and set out the centrepieces the day before the wedding. The balloons and outside seating were arranged by friends on the morning of the wedding. It was a lot of work doing it all ourselves but we had so much fun in the process.”

Reception band Gypsies of Bohemia was a gift to the couple. Ailsa tells “As our wedding gift my wonderful sister Annika and her boyfriend Colin hired an incredible three-piece band, the Gypsies of Bohemia. We hadn’t planned to have live music as it was a little outside our budget but Annika and Colin secretly searched for, found and booked the band as a surprise. They let us know about our gift a little bit before the wedding (so we could finalise times!) and we are still so touched at how well Annika and Colin know us – Duncan and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect band to play at our wedding.”

The couple took to the stage for their first dance, Ailsa remembering, “Our first dance was a big surprise! We had chosen a song, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong, when we started planning but eventually decided that we wouldn’t have dancing at the wedding. This was partly because we needed to squeeze dinner seating for one hundred and fifty people into the church hall and partly because we aren’t the wedding disco type. However, unbeknownst to me my sister and Duncan had hatched a secret plan and just before dinner, when all our guests were seated, my sister stood up and announced our first dance. The band played What a Wonderful World and we danced next to them on the stage. It was utterly romantic and I loved every second – it’s one of my favorite memories of our day.”

The cake had a very special story behind it, Ailsa tells, “When my parents married, my Aunty Mary and Uncle Tony made their cake. As the wedding was in Holland the cake had traditional blue and white delft tiles painted on it. As a little girl I would look at my parents’ wedding photos and admire their cake. When Duncan and I announced our engagement my Aunty and Uncle asked if there was anything they could help with…Well, my lovely Aunty Mary baked and iced our three-tier fruit cake which was then hand-painted by my Uncle Tony. As we didn’t have a theme for the wedding it was a little tricky trying to explain the kind of design we imagined, so we suggested flowers, birds and William Morris as inspiration. At the wedding I found out that my Aunty and Uncle had spent months researching Morris, colours and techniques to create our wedding cake. They even included the Scottish thistle as a reminder of where Duncan and I were both born. It was definitely the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen.”

Congratulations Ailsa and Duncan on your marriage! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Jonathan Ong for sharing today’s wedding with us!~