So, having told us about the inspiration for their gorgeous three-venue Brighton and Hove wedding — and about their super stylish bespoke outfits —(Nikki and Dan part one), Nikki went on to give us loads of juicy details about how they created their brilliantly creative wedding decor. Not only that, she also gave us the low-down on their wedding suppliers and filled us in on their ‘mother of all parties’ wedding reception.
Love Sussex Weddings: Ok Nikki, you mentioned that you and Dan DIY’d some of your lovely wedding details, can you tell us a bit about them?
Nikki: We got the idea for the string ball chandeliers from Ruffled blog. We had to use much more glue/starch mixture than is stated, and I would suggest covering them in a lot of string to get the best effect. We used large (3ft) balloons so this all took quite a while. You also need to ensure you put plenty of vaseline on the balloon so the wool doesn’t stick.
For the tablecloths we had for the evening party, we used a roll of black satin fabric from Fabric Land. It took a couple of long days to make it; cutting out circles and hemming them. If I never see another table cloth it will be too soon! Although we did save a fair bit doing it ourselves.
And the Lego hearts… I’m not sure where this idea came from. Another brainwave over a beer! I loved Lego as a child (it’s still in the loft) so I guess the decoration was a bit of a retro nod to our childhood. They were designed for the day and we re-used them in the evening. It had the unexpected result of people enjoying building their own designs
As most of our guests don’t live in Brighton and were coming for the weekend we quite liked the idea of incorporating the seaside theme somewhere but were really wary of being too naff. I had the idea of using saucy seaside postcards to put the menus on the back, which also gave us a giggle at the wedding breakfast with everyone swapping them around. These were sourced from Brighton Postcard Shop, which is on Queen’s Road in Brighton.
We asked my dad to make us the beach huts for guests to post their wedding cards and ‘advice cards’, instead of a guest book.
We set up jars of sweets and asked people to write their advice for a happy marriage. Some of the answers were touching and others were more humorous and gave us a good laugh the next day.
And then there was the flip flop bag. These went down an absolute treat with the ladies! Dan was quite shocked to come home one night to bags of flip flops all over our hallway. Good old Primark: one pound-a-pair and worth every penny. Once the girls got weary feet and kicked off their heels they were so thankful! I got the idea from seeing a blog about a basket of lovely posh Chinese slippers but as we live by the sea flip flops were much more appropriate!
Dan made various posters for the card boxes, flip flops and our wedding hashtag. There are some great free fonts on the web you can download; we used dafont.com
He also cut together various scenes from our favourite 80’s movies and we had them projected onto one of the walls. We also had a photo-slideshow running in one of the quieter rooms of all the guests. This isn’t a new idea at all but is something I really enjoy when I go to weddings and it went down really well.
LSW: And what about your wedding suppliers?
N: Heather Shuker from Brighton-Photo was very accommodating to our ideas and we really felt we clicked when we met her. She embraced our ideas about the wedding and had some inspiration of her own. We absolutely love our photos: some great formal shots to keep the family happy, and lots of photos which really capture the story and atmosphere on the day. I love all the windswept shots as that was just the day, and she was right to go with it, rather than head inside. She worked so hard and did a near on 12-hour day from when I put my make-up on, into the evening shenanigans until people were starting to look a bit wonky.
We didn’t explore other catering companies as Niki at the Secret Restaurant got what we were trying to achieve with the food immediately which made us feel very comfortable, and she had loads of great ideas which we discussed in the pub over a G&T. Even two months on and we’re still getting compliments on the food!
My parents wanted to gift us the cake so this was kept as a surprise which ended up being a great idea because you plan each detail to the nth degree so it was really nice actually having something you had no idea about. Luckily their choice was amazing: Choccywoccydoodah which would’ve always been our dream cake. Dad worked with them on a bespoke design.
For the flowers I chose cheap old carnations! They were right for the era of the dress and I got the florist (Florian in Hove) to bind them tightly together so it looked like a round ball. I had hot pink for my bouquet and then a mixture of orange and pink for the table.
LSW: So come on, details on this mother of all parties?!
N: We chose The Basement for our evening venue as we really liked the stark contrast between the day and night venues which echoed our vision for the day e.g. intimate yet grand, with a big party atmosphere. We loved the urban feel it had, with polished concrete floors, bare brick walls and metal girders, a complete contrast to the regency grandness of the day venue (James House in Hove). The Basement is literally the basement of the old Argus printworks.
Entertainment-wise, music plays a big part in our lives, going to gigs and festivals and discovering new artists and we knew that we wanted a band in the evening as well as a DJ. We had a great time planning the music. A few drunken nights were spent dancing around our living room with Dan meticulously putting together CD’s for the different sections of the day and for our DJ. We’d be out somewhere and one of us would remember a song and add it to the playlists or we’d Shazam a song we’d heard in a pub and we added it there and then. There was no doubt about who we’d chose as our DJ, it would be an old friend, Scott who had DJ’d at most of our friends’ weddings and knows our tastes exactly.
As the majority of our guests were invited to the party, we started it earlier at 6pm so we could spend time with them all. We like Mariachi music and couldn’t believe our luck when we found this band called Mariachi Mexteca. We were sooooo excited.
We decided to keep the band a secret from everyone — even our parents — the idea being that whilst everyone was mingling with their drinks a trumpet would sound and they would walk into the room playing. Mariachi is such a celebratory sound and it was an amazing way to kick off the party! Watching the looks on people’s faces was priceless. They were absolutely flipping amazing
LSW: Most stressful bit of the wedding planning?
N: The stress of having so many decisions to make about all the details, which seemed endless at times, though that said, we wanted our wedding to have our personal touch so we were aware we had made a rod for our own backs.
LSW: And finally: fave part of wedding planning?
N: Planning the evening party
Catering: Secret Restaurant
Band: Mariachi Mexteca
DJ: Scott – friend of Nikki and Dan
Wedding breakfast venue: James House
Evening venue: The Basement
Grooms suit: Gresham Blake
Bride’s makeup: Powder Beauty
Bride’s dress and veil: Hope and Harlequin
Find out more in Nikki and Dan part 1 too!
Now that sounds like our kind of wedding party, and we are LOVING all those brilliant details, what a creative pair! We hope you have an amazing honeymoon in Mexico Nikki and Dan and muchas gracias for sharing your gorgeous (and very cool) Brighton and Hove wedding with us! Thanks again to Brighton Photo for sharing her amazing photos of the day too.
So coming up next on Love Sussex Weddings? More lovely and local wedding inspiration! Be the first to know when we have a new post on the blogazine by popping your email in the subscribe box on the right!