Date26/10/12 TitleTessa & Kian

A Tin Tabernacle & Brighton Beach Wedding

‘Keep. It. Super. Simple.’… Tessa was certain that she wanted to get married in her hometown, Brighton (and who could blame her?!). Planning a wedding is no mean feat at the best of times, but Tessa&Kian did so rather successfully from their home in Zurich over a few frantic weekend trips to Brighton. The first time we met them was only a few weeks before the big day and thankfully we got on like a house on fire. We completely got their mantra: ‘Keep. It. Super. Simple.’ “We basically wanted a quick ceremony and then a big party afterwards, without making it too weddingy.” Rather like us, they didn’t bother with a lot of the traditional wedding bits- they had no wedding cake, no bridesmaids, no wedding car, and no first dance. Even the speeches were unplanned and ad hoc, which actually kept them fresh and from the heart.

We did it our way!.. “The most important thing is to work out what you want and stick to it – it really is true that your friends and family will all want to have an input but your day needs to reflect your personalities and your style.  I was shocked at the strength of the criticism coming from some friends about some of our decisions, but we are proud to look back at our day and say that we had the day we wanted.”

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Wedding venues: Ceremony- The Brighton Hotel , Reception- Tin Tabernacle, near Lewes. “We felt incredibly lucky to stumble on the Tin Tabernacle, which was recommended by a family friend, but was initially rejected because it looked too small.  We must have looked at hundreds of other venues online and were pretty much starting to tear our hair out, since both suitability and availability were issues (we only got engaged 5 ½ months before the wedding day).  We went to see the Tabernacle on a sunny day and light was flooding into this beautiful, bright, white space.  We knew that it would give us a flexibility that not many wedding venues offer and was simply oozing with personality and character.  I didn’t want to have an over-styled wedding, but the Tabernacle really called out for some simple, vintage decor and I knew it would suit the laid back feel we wanted to have for the day.”

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Best memory: “I’ll never forget my first glimpse of the venue after it had been absolutely transformed by the florist and the caterers, I was literally gob-smacked by how beautiful it all looked.”

Wedding décor: “The lovely cornflower blue of the Tabernacle itself really dictated the look and feel of the whole thing and we chose a palette of different blues for various aspects of the day.  Our talented friend Neil designed our invites and we customised them with a bunting shaped rubber stamp which I made.  We used the same design on the menus and thank you cards.  We printed all the stationery on Kraft paper and had brown luggage labels as name tags.

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I know the bunting and jam jar look’s been done a zillion times before but it just seemed to suit the Tabernacle so well.  And yes, I made the thousands of metres of bunting myself.”

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Wedding flowers: Viva Verde, Brighton: “Because of being in Zurich, I didn’t really meet our florist before the big day, but she understood our brief perfectly.  We had two large arrangements with hydrangeas and gladioli either side of the main doors of the Tabernacle in galvanised steel buckets and I thought they were simply stunning.   The rest of the flowers were scattered around in jam jars, medicine bottles and water bottles in both blue and white.  She used wild flowers and really avoided over-arranging.  The result was just spectacular – a relaxed, natural feel which really suited the venue.  The flowers were one of the things I was most happy with on the day.”

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Wedding dress: ’Muse’ by Temperley. “I just didn’t feel like myself in most other dresses that I tried on and had begun to believe that there was no such thing as The One.  Then I found it.  Maybe I just got tired of looking and I did almost buy another dress at one point, but on the day I was totally in love with the dress – comfortable, elegant, I felt sexy but not OTT and Kian loved it, especially that it was backless.”

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Wedding shoes: “The shoes I’d had for ages… For some reason had hung onto these ones, thinking to myself  ‘You never know, they might come in useful one day’.  They perfectly matched the neckline of the dress.”

Bridal accessories: “I made the hair accessory myself, based on something I’d seen online… It was a right faff to make the hairpiece and I almost gave up on the whole thing, but I couldn’t find any other hair accessories I even vaguely liked, so I went with it in the end, as it was the piece which most accurately reflected my own personal style, as well as matching the style of the dress.”

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“From the start, we really liked the style of your photography.  We knew we wanted something relaxed and not too posed, a natural way to capture our day without looking cheesy.  We also liked that you were local and that you had recently got married yourselves, so we really had the feeling you knew what we were going through (in a good way of course)!  More than anything, we were pleased that you were so calm and relaxed, and that you weren’t scared off by how stressed we were when we first met you… Something that we didn’t really think through at the time but FULLY appreciate now, is how absolutely brilliant it is to have two wedding photographers, not just one.  You captured all angles of the day and seemed to have a telepathic ability to station yourselves where the other one wouldn’t be.  We never had to wait whilst you ran to be in a good position, because one of you was always there already!  I seriously can’t imagine how it would work out having just one person.”

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“The end result was a set of photos that really brought it all back to us.  The day passed in a complete blur but looking at the pictures reminded us of every small detail.  You captured the emotion of the day, as well as the quirkiness of the venue that we chose.  You captured the big picture, as well as the small details.  We will treasure the photos forever.”



Additional mentions:

Bridal hair & make up: Hair – Harriet at Hair Emporium Brighton, Make up – Maria Johnson at MAC

Groom’s suit: “I hated his Hugo Boss suit at first – I mean it was a great suit, he looked amazing in it and it would have been perfect for the office, but I didn’t think it was really suitable for a wedding.  Thankfully, he completely ignored me as he looked so fine in it on the day – the cut was beautiful and it really suited him.  He wasn’t going to even wear a tie but then plumped for a pale blue to match his shirt at the last minute.  Somehow his buttonhole flowers got lost, so he didn’t end up wearing them, but he still looked fabulous.”

Flowergirl’s headbands: Fabulous Flora

Wedding caterers: The Secret Restaurant “The venue also dictated the type of food we had – the kitchen couldn’t cope with a formal three course meal, so we opted to have sharing platters served from huge rustic slates or paella dishes.  Not only did it reflect the laid-back atmosphere we wanted to create, but it got everyone interacting and talking together right from the start, as they passed around the dishes to share. I was so happy with our amazing caterers, who did an unbelievably great job.”



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