Wes Anderson fans are in for a treat with the wedding of Frances and James today. They held their outdoor ceremony and reception at East Keswick Village Hall in West Yorkshire on 22nd June 2019 and it was a wonderful colourful day with nods to their favourite Wes Anderson films and their love of adventure!
They made lots of the decor themselves and friends and family really helped them out to make this a perfectly personal, handmade and unique day. I’m loving the Camp Ivanhoe inspired ceremony back drop which they created themselves too.
Images come courtesy of James & Lianne Wedding Photography, thank you both so much for sharing with us. Enjoy everyone!
James took Frances to New York in September 2017 as a surprise for her 30th birthday. James had no real location in mind in which to pop the question but after visiting Central Park, the Rockefeller Centre on her birthday, Brooklyn bridge and most other landmarks, James was running out of time. On the penultimate day, James finally found the confidence to propose during an unanticipated quiet moment on the Highline. After a frisson of excited laughter, Frances remembered an answer was required and obviously said yes. They celebrated with ice cream sandwiches.
Frances and James are both creative people and were excited to embark on an imaginative endeavour planning their big day. They always knew that their wedding was going to be very DIY, involving designing and making as much as possible.
After brainstorming their shared interests, passions and aesthetics; Frances and James arrived at a Wes Anderson themed adventure wedding with particular nods to the director’s 2012 film, Moonrise Kingdom. The film inspired various elements of their wedding including the (slightly haphazard) colour scheme, intricate wedding invitations, scout patch style pin badge favours, the bell tent den outside and not forgetting the bamboo Camp Ivanhoe inspired Murphy wedding arch.
The success of the day was testament to their amazing friends who came together to make their vision come alive; particularly their maid of honour, Emily who catapulted Frances’ already proficient organisational skills to another stratosphere; and their friend Duncan who brought their wedding to life by officiating their ceremony dressed in a purple suit reminiscent of a Grand Budapest Hotel bellboy. Following the ceremony, the celebrations were launched through the unveiling of a brand-new family flag combining elements of their surnames – an apple tree from the Murphy coat of arms, and the nine stars from the Bailey coat of arms arranged in the constellation of Lyra which sat above them during their vows.
The Planning Process
Frances and James were living in London when they got engaged and returned to their hometown of Leeds two months prior to their wedding (yes, moving house, changing jobs and getting married all in the space of a couple of months – if they can survive that – they can survive anything!)
Frances and James were very organised in planning as much as possible before the big move through a range of spreadsheets, Trello boards and lists. With the help from fellow organisation enthusiast and Maid of Honour Emily; the final weeks running up to the big days were a military operation as most purchasing and making was axiomatically left until after the big move!
Approx. £8k but we don’t dare do the final maths.
Having worked in a popular bar and pizzeria, Sela Bar in Leeds during Frances’ studies at Leeds Arts University, it was important to the couple to choose a venue which allowed external caterers so Frances could bring Sela Bar’s Little Red Food Truck to the wedding to serve Sela’s famous pizza to their nearest and dearest.
A venue with outdoor space was also super important to Frances and James; as walking, camping and surfing are prominent hobbies of theirs. They quickly agreed that East Keswick Village Hall would be the perfect location to celebrate their marriage – with added sentiment pertaining to Frances growing up in the village.
Your Outfits & Accessories
We had two wedding ceremonies with the legal wedding taking place two days before at Leeds Town Hall, followed by a family garden party at a beautiful AirBnb in Thorner,
On Thursday, Frances’ dress was from the Rock & Roll Bride collection by Little Mistress.
On the Saturday wedding, Frances’ dress was from Monsoon. She chose this as she wanted something classic, with a hint of bohemian and most importantly, didn’t feel like fancy dress – which most of the princess dresses made her feel (albeit loads of fun to try on).
James’ suits were from Moss Bros on both days – both thriftily purchased in their Christmas sales.
James’ shoes were Cherry Red Vegan 3989 Oxford Brush brogues from Dr. Martens.
James’ bowtie was from Swagger & Swoon
Frances’ shoes were from Kurt Geiger
Frances’ hair jewellery from borrowed from her cousin Georgina, who wore it on her wedding day the previous year.
Frances’ wedding gift to James was an engraved compass.
Make up and hair was by Sarah Haines.
We had six bridesmaids – one of which was pregnant and three of whom had given birth within the last three months. It was important to me that they all felt confident wearing something they loved and felt comfortable in. They purchased their own navy blue dresses of their choice and they all looked beautiful!
The Groomsmen we given a simple brief, black jeans and a white shirt and we provided bow ties from Ties Plant. We had three best men and three groomsmen so needed to keep costs down.
The Readings & Music
Our friend Ralph Pelleymounter played an acoustic version of Today by Jefferson Airplane as Frances walked down the aisle.
We had two readings, one was an excerpt from Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love (page 318 paragraph 2 – page 319 paragraph 2, if you want to read!) – this was read by our bridesmaid, Roo.
One of our best men read our second reading, Carrie’s Poem – from Sex and the City
His hello was the end of her endings
Her laugh was their first step down the aisle
His hand would be hers to hold forever
His forever was as simple as her smile
He said she was what was missing
She said instantly she knew
She was a question to be answered
And his answer was “I do”
First Dance was Make It Wit Chu by Queens of the Stone Age closely followed by Crazy in Love by Beyoncé!
Frances and James did not want to spend lots of money on cake and bought an undecorated cake from Waitrose. This was decorated with Julie’s flowers and topped with a toy canoe from Sylvanian Families to tie in with the adventure theme. This was supplemented by tray bakes made by some of the hens. It was perfect!
James & Lianne Wedding Photography.
The Details & Décor
We’ve mentioned a fair bit already but to summarise:
Moonrise Kingdom inspired décor:
- Bell tent
- Red gas lanterns
- We designed our own scout patches which we had printed into pin badges and used as favours on the name cards
- The Murphy’s wedding bamboo wedding arch
- Wildflower meadow photographs located just around the corner from the village hall
- Our handmade family flag
- Arrows in the flowers hand cut, painted and assembled by Frances (the feathers are cut from old shuttlecocks!)
Travel / adventure inspired décor:
- Globes and maps of our favourite places
- Table names displayed as travel posters of locations that mean something to us
- Table plan – map of the world hand painted by James with names listed on postcards (Frances collects postcards and these are just some from her vast collection!)
- Murphy US mailbox used for collecting cards
- Handmade bunting made from second hand atlas pages
Frances’ mum, Julie painstakingly grew and arranged every single flower in her garden. The flowers were displayed in mini keg barrels. James is an illustrator and graphic designer and primarily designs cans and pump clips for Abbeydale Brewery – so having beer ephemera, including James’ flagship cans of Heathen in many of the guests hands – was an important element of the day.
We went to Fuertaventura on the Tuesday after the wedding which we booked the day before we went! We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to go away but we tightened up and managed to squeeze it out of our budget in the end! We like to be spontaneous so our honeymoon sums us up really – we even managed to sneak in a surf trip whilst we were there!
- The lace of my dress getting caught on the buttons of James’ waistcoat during the first dance – it became a bit of a sideshow really… not romantic in the slightest!
- We almost forgot to cut the cake – photographers James and Lianne had to remind us…
- How competitive our guests were completing the quiz we had made for during the wedding breakfast
- Although we had the lovely Sela Bar folks supplying the pizza in the evening, we catered the wedding breakfast ourselves! We made a ploughman’s lunch for 140 people. This worked really well as it’s essentially food portioning – we had a small army of friends slicing, spooning and wrapping cheese, crackers, pickles, crudités etc. the day before. Our Maid of Honour’s dad even made cheese scones. We cannot thank our friends enough for the time and effort they put into making our day unforgettable.
- Friends still adding the final touches as guests started to arrive!
- Forgetting to edit out the f-bomb from the bridesmaid’s reading!
Advice For Other Couples
When you feel overwhelmed or tasks and costs feel as though they are going to spiral out of control – remember the mantra ‘it’s just one day’ – it really keeps things in perspective. Frances works in marketing so ‘return on investment’ is something she thinks about constantly – is spending 100 hours making paper flowers worth the time for just one day? If not, don’t do it!
Don’t fall into the trap of doing something because you’re supposed to. It’s your day, do what the heck you want! And don’t obsess about feeling the need to entertain your guests every second of the day – most people will just enjoy being there and catching up with friends. We debated a lot over hiring a band, but we were also praying for sunny weather. After a very wet June we miraculously got what we wanted and everyone was enjoying themselves so much outside that we were really glad we didn’t spend a small fortune on music – our Spotify playlist comprising of guest requests did the job perfectly.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
So fun! Thank you ever so much Frances and James for sharing your adventurous day with us. Rachel x