This week we fancied doing a bit of a throwback... and what a throwback it is! When we revisited Zoe and Tim's wedding pictures we had forgotten just how much fun their day was. When we first met them, we liked them, but by the end of the process they were kind of our heroes. They're both (incredibly passionate) teachers, they blog (when we say blog, we mean, they're the King and Queen of blogging), they stand up for what they believe in and they quit their day jobs to follow their dreams (you can read more about that from them below). We now follow their adventures on Instagram, grab their cheese recommendations and Lisa stalks Zoe's reading list (The girl on the train is amazing!). Thank you Zoe and Tim for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences on your wedding day!
H o w D i d Y o u B o t h M e e t ?
Zoe: "Tim was on the panel of staff who interviewed me for my first ever teaching job – and I didn’t get the job! The job went to Steve (more on him later.) A few weeks later I got a phone call from the school because they needed another teacher. We worked together for four years and got together in Italy the summer after Tim left."
TIm: "In my defence. I was the least senior member of staff on the panel so it wasn’t really up to me..."
T h e P r o p o s a l
Tim: I proposed by The Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta – we’d had a fantastic holiday there the year before so it seemed like the ideal location. I’d enlisted the help of our friend Kathy who was tasked with finding out Zoe’s ring size (which she did without Zoe twigging what was going on – quite the pro.)
Zoe: The proposal came as such a surprise. Things were going well and we were really enjoying living together but we’d never even discussed the possibility of getting married. It happened on the first night of our holiday and we’d been playing cards and drinking beer and Tim suggested we went for a walk. The moment he got down on one knee I think I immediately burst into tears (and said yes – of course!) We went out for dinner to celebrate but I couldn’t eat anything I was too excited!
T h e V i s i o n
Zoe: "The day after we got engaged we spent the afternoon wandering aimlessly around Malta and discussing what sort of wedding we wanted. All we knew at that point was the day should be “epic but silly” and personal to us – oh and we knew we wanted a ridiculous amount of cheese. Ultimately, we wanted to make sure that everyone came away from the wedding having had a fun and relaxed day."
Tim: "A year before I’d attended my friend Mat’s wedding – he’d had a separate, small legal ceremony and then had a blessing at his family’s farm. I really liked that model as it meant we could design our own ceremony and there would be no restrictions on the readings & songs, etc"
T h e P l a n n i n g P r o c e s s
Zoe: "We quickly realised that planning a wedding is essentially lots and lots of admin. At the same time as planning the wedding we were trying to run schools and plan our move to The Netherlands – at times it was quite stressful! I think our humour got us through it. We worked as a team: Tim had the spreadsheet of all the finances and planned the honeymoon - I handled the spreadsheet of information about the guests. (Nothing says romance like wedding spreadsheets.) My Mum was amazing and sorted flowers, an ice cream can and the VW camper van that took me to the wedding!
Highlights from the planning stage include going to Wildes Cheeses dairy and trying the cheese for cake and watching how it was made, meeting Elizabeth to decide our menu oh and choosing the wine. Oh and making my wedding ring was great fun. We went to Simon Lewis’ workshop in Hatton Garden and Simon guided us through the process of turning a tiny piece of platinum into the ring I have my finger today."
Tim: "We’d decided to write our own vows so we went to the pub, and each wrote three serious vows and one silly one. We then merged our ideas and came up with the vows that we felt summed up what we wanted to say to one another."
M e m o r a b l e M o m e n t s
"I loved the ceremony – we’d written the entire thing ourselves and it was lead, brilliantly, by our friend Steve. We’d planned it to start out quite formal and slowly get sillier by the end. Our friend Kim had written a song for the ceremony to the tune of “Wonderwall” and it was so personal, funny and moving. A real highlight."
T h e V e n u e
We needed somewhere big, that would allow us to have our own ceremony and could then be converted into a space for dinner & dancing etc… Ideally, we wanted it fairly close to London. When we got the The Granary Estates we were blown away with how beautiful it was. The staff were great – they were completely on board with all our slightly bonkers ideas from singing The Proclaimers to walking down the aisle to theme from “Jurassic Park.”
F i n d i n g T h e D r e s s
"I went to a few boutiques in London but in the end we found the dress at Perfection Bridal & Menswear in Maidstone http://www.perfectionbridalmaidstone.co.uk I was completely clueless when it came to dress shopping so they encouraged me to try on as many different dresses and styles as I could (including one gown that had POCKETS!) In the end the lovely Naomi asked if she could suggest a dress – and that was the one."
G r o o m ' s A t t i r e
"I ordered morning suits (navy blue, ivory waistcoats, white shirts and bluebell cravats) from Debenhams. It was an efficient process and all the best men and ushers were able to use their local branches."
T i m ' s F a v o u r i t e P h o t o
"This should come as no surprise. I’d known for a while I wanted a spoof “Bullingdon Club” photo with my groomsmen – I never imagined it would come out this well! My only fear is people might not realise it was a spoof!"
Z o e ' s F a v o u r i t e P h o t o
"I love this one – it’s a perfect example of what you two do so well – capturing those little moments. This was quite a private moment before we made our entrance as “Mr & Mrs Paramour” and I hadn’t realised it was being captured – I’m so glad it was."
A d v i c e F o r O t h e r C o u p l e s
Tim: "The best advice we got was from Steve. He said, “Lots of people are going to want to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do – everyone will have advice. My advice is just do whatever you want – this is your wedding day and nobody else’s.” He’s a very wise man Steve."
T h e H o n e y m o o n
Zoe: "Well... we’d both quit teaching and decided to do an around the world trip. Tim is a big fan of Michael Palin’s “Around the World In 80 Days” but we decided to beat that and did it in 70. You can do it in less time than that but we’d decided (and I say we, I mean Tim) to only use planes to cross oceans. The rest of the travelling was done by train. So we took a train from London to Paris. Then Paris to Moscow. At Moscow we got on the TranSiberian Express which we took all the way to China (via Mongolia.) From there we got on our first plane (hurrah!) to Hawaii where we spent three weeks exploring the islands. After that it was back on planes to San Francisco and from there we did coast-to-coast Amtrak trains all the way to NYC. Our wedding list was with https://www.honeymoon-memories.co.uk/ which allows guests to buy you experiences, accommodation & transport for your honeymoon. We didn’t need any more “stuff” so this was perfect."
T h e R e v i e w
S p e c i a l C r e d i t t o . . .
The Granary Estates Wedding Venue
For the friendliest, most talented cheesemakers you ever met go to Wildes Cheeses. Phil & Keith started off making cheeses on their kitchen table but you can find their dairy in Tottenham and their produce at farmers markets all over London. Second to our wedding day I think our happiest day of 2016 was visiting the dairy and choosing our cheeses.
Simon Lewis jewellers
We made my wedding ring at Simon Lewis jewellers in Hatton Garden.
Sweet Ally's Ice Cream Van
Sweet Ally’s Ice Cream Van was the perfect addition to the drinks reception particularly on such a hot day. Guests were getting their ice cream and going straight to the back of the line to get another.
Johnny's Little Sister (Florist)
Our flowers were put together by the exceptionally talented and exceptionally lovely Bella at Johnny’s Little Sister. She has a shop around the corner from my Mum in Sevenoaks
Elizabeth Hall Event Design and Catering
Elizabeth Hall created our menu and orchestrated the day and did so brilliantly.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
Go check out the Paramour's blogs, they're brilliant.