A colourful and fun Penguin Book theme Wedding

Today I am thrilled to share a colourful and fun Penguin Book theme Wedding at Tom Brown’s Brasserie with a games, candy floss, a puppet show and some incredibly fantastic wedding detail.

Images were captured by Sarah at Mirror Imaging Photography.


Mirror Imaging Photography, penguin book theme wedding, tom brown's brasserie


Mirror Imaging Photography is run by Sarah Illingworth, a fine art photographer.

Mirror Imaging is based centrally to Nottingham, Derby, Mansfield and Newark, and cover all areas of Nottinghamshire, across the UK and abroad.

Working in an elegant and editorial style, she says of her work… “One of the reasons I first picked up a camera was to help positively change the way people (and particularly women) saw themselves and it still holds true today, and for every wedding and portrait I capture.”

“It is a combination of clean, beautiful photography and this level of empathy and understanding that is most often cited by clients as the reason they choose Mirror Imaging.”

“I strive to capture the best of everyone and everything, developing a simply beautiful style that won’t date or go out of fashion.”


Sarah says of the couples Big Day….


“We started the day at Clare’s parents, getting ready and capturing some of her important details, all of them with meaning to Clare.”

“In fact, the whole day was peppered with lots of touches with significant meaning to the couple, including their pet names for each other, making it truly unique to them.”

“Their love of bright colours but a vintage style, and eclectic symbolism of chickens, penguins, pumpkins and bikes was brought together seamlessly by Mad Philomena, who styled the venue and produced the bespoke stationery based on the classic Penguin books.”

“After photographing Clare with her beautifully scented bouquet of ivory roses by Floraldeco, we met up with Stefan and his groomsmen at the church, photographed the rings with their pumpkin ring cushion (another meaningful symbol) and then Dennisson Classic Cars arrived with the bridesmaids and the bride with her dad.”

“The ceremony was conducted with a real sense of celebration, and in keeping with this we threw a huge amount of confetti before the red bus took all the guests to Tom Brown’s.”

“The reception looked amazing styled by Mad Philomena, with bespoke jam jar drinks to greet every guest and Highly Strung playing beautiful string music, a chill-out marquee that later transformed to the children’s entertainment room, outdoor games and a Parisian cake table with tempting treats by Yummy Little Cakes.”

“Jam jars decorated with the couple’s insignia were filled by Floraldeco with brightly coloured mixes of flowers, including dahlias, freesia and hydrangea.”

Tom Brown’s produced a beautiful three course wedding breakfast, before the cake was cut and the DJ played their first dance song.”


I hand over to beautiful Bride Clare who shares the couples story…


How did you meet?

“We met in a pub that Stefan formerly worked in.”

“It was very strange as the pub has been there for many years but the Sunday I went in, with one of my best friends, was the first time I had realised it was there.”

“She wasn’t keen on going in but something pulled me towards it. It was there I saw Stefan, working behind the bar.”

“I said to my friend that I thought he was quite cute and from there my friend helped orchestrated the whole thing: by the end of the night we had exchanged numbers.”


When did you get engaged?

“For my 24th birthday in December we decided to go away and ended up choosing York by sheer chance.”

“Instantly we fell in love with the City. We are both foodies and loved the mix of restaurants you get there and added to that we like beautiful scenery and just generally mooching about.”

“For this reason, Stefan decided to take us back to York in October half term years later to propose.”

“We spent the day in our favourite pub, The Tumbling Madness (where Stefan worked especially hard not to let me try another real ale/craft beer), and then went for a meal at La Piazza.”

“La Piazza was the restaurant we first went to for my 24th birthday and we both loved it for its authentic Italian food albeit questionable “retro” decor.”

“It held fond memories for us as we hadn’t long been dating before my 24th birthday and the time we had in York was wonderful.”

“After the meal Stefan took us on a walk round York past the Minster.”

“Little did I know at the time that he had planned that walk earlier in the day; he had managed to escape for half an hour whilst I indulged in my guilty pleasure of having my tarot read.”

“It looked beautiful all lit up and there was a real freshness to the air as it was October.”

“There was work being done and I am such a chatter box that I was talking aimlessly about the scaffolding and even commented that it may be there to stop people jumping off.”

“Naturally, Stefan did not want me going into one of my soap box debates least of all about the tragedies of suicide at that time.”

“Telling me politely to shut up and let him speak (for once) he simply said how much he loved me and asked me to marry him.”

“I was laughing hysterically, a mixture of nerves and excitement, and it took him a good five minutes to get me to calm down at which point he got down on one knee and produced the most beautiful ring.”

“Unfortunately for Stefan- for he is shy-, this was the moment tourists began filtering out of the Minister following a tour and we had quite the crowd around us.”

“When I said yes everyone cheered and someone kindly took our photo. It was a perfect moment in one of our favourite cities and that photo is absolutely brilliant. Our faces say it all.”


Tell us about your wedding planning journey 

“We wanted a family affair. It was important to both of us that, where possible, all our family share the day with us.”

“We had about 100 day guests which worked out at about 80 adults and 20 children.”

“With regard to the Church we had some difficulty. I had wanted to get married at the Church where I was christened in Sneinton but having met the Vicar we felt his strict approach to Christianity and Marriage didn’t reflect the type of Ceremony we wanted.”

“We later decided to look at All Hallows Church in Gedling and instantly fell in love with the Vicar’s warmth and enthusiasm and so we didn’t hesitate to proceed.”

“When we went to look at Tom Browns Brasserie something felt instantly right. It is hard to put into words.”

“We are, as mentioned before, both foodies and having good food at the wedding was important to us.”

“Added to that it is in a lovely riverside setting and it feels relaxed within its formal decor which is what we wanted.”

“We had already made our minds up before taking our two Mums along for their final seal of approval. I think it was only a week after that that my Mum paid the deposit for us and the wedding was set to go.”

“Stefan would have liked there to have been a set colour scheme from the start but no I did not.”

“All I had in my head was “Shabby Chic” and I wanted the wedding to have a quirky, mismatched feel to represent our personalities or rather mine should I say.”

“Once the bespoke invitations were completed, the four motifs (Penguin, Bike, Pumpkin and Chicken) inspired most things.”

“These motifs came from our nicknames for each other and out of Stefan’s passion for Cycling.”

“However as the invitations didn’t adhere to one set colour quickly my dream of “shabby chic; mismatched” became a living nightmare. Nothing was complimenting each other.”

“By chance one day I found Liz from Mad Philomena as I was browsing the internet.”

“I had a look at her styling page, not remotely understanding what styling meant, and noticed she had Jam Jars for hire. I asked if we could meet to discuss hiring out her Jam Jars for our wedding flowers.”

“From that first meeting we got talking, she is incredible, and she took all existing elements of our wedding and created a mood board of how things might look.”

“From here, finally, we had the basis of our wedding and decided to use vintage rose pink as the base with hessian and lace runners throughout with pops of bright colour to bring in the bespoke stationery we had previously chosen.”

“Liz brought in new elements we could never have thought of too and I loved the inclusion of literary features, to reflect me being an English teacher, such as our Top Table book page bunting.”

“Styling is a must for people, like me, who don’t want everything to be pink or purple.”

“It is about creating the look you want bringing in props and artwork to keep that look going throughout.”

“We had Penguin, bike, pumpkin and Chicken charms on our jam jars which were so incredibly cute, as an example of how styling might work for you.”

“Stationery was easy in the fact that I knew I wanted something that was totally different from what you usually get but hard in trying to source this.”

“In the end I found the Independent Shop online who designed our bespoke invitations, RSVPS, Wedding activity bags, favour labels, table numbers and place names.”

“These weren’t cheap but it was lovely to send out things that were 100% unique to us and they gave the wedding a fun feel.”

“Added to this Liz from Mad Philomena made us our wonderfully quirky Orders of Service.”

“In keeping with the motifs and the newly bought in literary element we chose a Penguin Classic book cover design which ran into the venue in the form of welcome signs and cake table signs and we have the most gorgeous wedding itinerary sign made.”

“Liz also made our bespoke Jam Jar and Cake table labels. There was something unique and original wherever we looked. We absolutely loved it.”

“Choosing flowers for my bouquet did not come easily to me. Rebecca from Floraldeco is amazing and was so patient with me as I sat, with my Mum, musing for hours in her house with her wedding magazines: ruling out this and that.”

“In the end I kept coming back to a photograph I had found online of a simple, small bouquet of pink roses.”

“We used this as a base and decided that my bouquet should be a mixture of different height white alabaster roses and faded pink wax flower.”

“This gave the bouquet a whimsical feel which complemented my dress perfectly. For the bridesmaids I chose a spray of pink wax flower which gave that relaxed look I was seeking.”

“Flowers for the venue came more easily. I had always known that for the wedding I wanted flowers in Jam Jars. I fell in love with the mix match style years ago.”

“I told Rebecca that I wanted the flowers to be fun in the venue and she used the mood boards from our stylist Liz from Mad Philomena and the stationery we were having out on tables to ensure all the colours came together.”

“As with the first Church we had a negative experience with the cake at first too.”

“There is so much choice out there that it is easy to fall into the trap of choosing the first thing that you come across. We had already paid £120 deposit for a cake without even trying it.”

“Something didn’t sit right with me about it, and having tried a cake slice from the cake supplier we were originally going to have at another occasion and finding it most dry, I explored other avenues.”

“I found Natalie’s website through a recommendation on our Car hire’s website. Looking through her portfolio I felt her cakes were more us.”

“She came round to our home with more samples than we could physically finish, and we are big eaters, and certainly tried for they were gorgeous.”

“She listened to our ideas without telling us what we wanted and instead added her creative input. ”

“We never did get our initial £120 refunded bearing in mind we booked two years prior to the date. My advice would be to try before you buy and if living in the East Midlands area choose Natalie every time.”

“Eventually we settled on five types of cake: a two tired cutting cake of chocolate fudge and sticky toffee with salted caramel, a lemon and raspberry cake, a strawberry champagne cake and a fruit cake.”

“We wanted the cakes to be a part of a desert/sweet table and they certainly did. They looked absolutely gorgeous and there was none left-everyone loved them.”

“Similarly with the cake, we had a disaster with the photography to begin with. We set up a meeting with a photographer who photographed a relative’s wedding.”

“Upon meeting him something didn’t feel right but I thought it was just me being precious and so booked anyway.”

“Needless to say the doubts kept presenting themselves to me the more I looked at this haphazard, unedited work.”

“The said relative then E mailed to say she was most disappointed with the end product and so I didn’t hesitate to cancel him, losing my deposit.”

“We then set about making sure we met photographers who were highly recommended by people in the business and whom we liked and trusted.”

“Sarah came recommended by our florist who upon our first meeting understood what I was about.”

“We met with Sarah and Susan and felt instantly comfortable that they would do an amazing job – which they did! I think my best advice for photography is to look around, if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t and to remember that you get what you pay for.”

“Getting married at 1.30pm can make it a long day for adults and little ones alike. As we are both family orientated people it was important for family to be at the core of our wedding.”

“To keep everyone entertained whilst we were having more photographs, we organised a drinks and canapé hour for guests where we put on Peroni, Champagne and Personalised cocktails in Jam Jars.”

“We chose Strawberry Daiquiri as I loved the colour.”

“We chose three different types of canapés to try and keep all people fulfilled: mini burgers, duck parfait and feta cheese and chorizo skewers.”

“And for music we chose the wonderfully talented Highly Strung Quartet.”

“In a bid to keep the wedding fun and relaxed within the formal setting of Tom Browns Brasserie, we chose music from popular culture that people would recognise as opposed to Classical music.”

“When we arrived and heard them, it gave the wedding that different edge that I so desperately wanted. It was beautiful.”

“As there are lots of Children particularly on my side of the family I wanted to make them feel as part of the wedding as the adults.”

“For that reason during the drinks and canapé hour we chose giant garden games to keep the children entertained.”

Robin Hood Hire Ltd were fantastic and have an extensive range to choose from.”

“I could easily have got carried away with the selection but with the help of Liz we chose Giant Connect four, Giant Snakes and Ladders and a Giant Buzz game. All the children loved them and they doubled up as games for the adults to play at night time too.”

“During the meal we had bespoke Wedding activity bags made that we filled with age appropriate toys.”

“We had Liz make bespoke Wedding activity books for the children and I absolutely loved those. Secretly I enjoyed completing the activities myself such as the personalised word search with words from our motifs such as “Pumpkin” and “Penguin” thrown in there.”

“After the Wedding Breakfast, from 6pm-9pm, we put on children’s entertainment in the marquee.”

“We had a magic show and punch and Judy show by the super talented Peter Presto followed by a Mr Tumble bubble disco act

“It was wonderful seeing the children singing away to ‘Let it go’ from Frozen whilst foam, like snow, filled the marquee. Seeing them so happy made the adults relaxed and made the day everything we wanted and more.”

“I wanted the evening reception to be FUN, FUN, FUN so we had an Adults Magician, Russ Appleby that went down very well.”

“Everyone raved about his tricks and we hired a Popcorn and Candy Floss machine at night for everyone to enjoy.”

“We also hired a Vintage Photo Booth which all ages enjoyed-and we very much enjoyed looking at the drunken photographs afterwards. All this combined with our wonderful DJ-Sean Reckless made for the best evening ever. Everyone was partying until the very end.”

“My Mum and I regularly frequent Garden Centres for a look around and a nice cup of coffee. It was whilst at a Garden Centre, years before Stefan proposed that I found a happiness kit bag.”

“Inside there were little bits and bobs and attached was a little statement. I bought it for £1 and kept it in a safe place.”

“I knew when I first saw it that that would be my wedding favour and after Stefan proposed and we began discussing the wedding I took it out to show him, he smiled and agreed. It was something that little bit different and personal.”

“Inside Hessian Organza bags we filled: rubbers, pennies. marbles, elastic, string and a chocolate treat with the message that read:

“A rubber to make the little mistakes go away

A penny so you are never completely broke, and of course, for good luck

A marble for when you have lost all of yours

A piece of elastic to help you stretch beyond your means

A piece of string to hold it together when it all seems to fall apart

A chocolate treat to remind you THAT SOMEBODY CARES”

“For the children Natalie from Yummy Little cakes made us Chicken and Penguin Gingerbread biscuits. We chose Ginger as Stefan is and I thought it would be funny and cute.”


When did you get married?

“I teach so we wanted it to be in the Six Weeks Holidays so that we could comfortably fit in a Honeymoon.”

“Stefan’s birthday is at the end of July and so we decided not to have a date that would coincide with that.”

“Eventually we settled upon August and it was Stefan’s idea to choose the 9th because he thought the second week in August sounded right.”


What was the best bit of your day?

“Aside from marrying Stefan, seeing all our wonderful family and friends make the effort to share the special day with us. It was everything we had hoped for.”


What advice would you give to other couples getting married?

“Have exactly what you want even if it is different from the norm.”

“Prioritise what is most important for you and work around that. For us it was having a family orientated relaxed, fun day.”




























































jam jar cocktails, mirror imaging photography






















































mirror imaging, Vintage Booth photoboth





Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing this amazing Penguin Book theme Big Day.

From order of service to table plan to table decoration its bathed in literary magic with a subtle hint of pink, and chickens.

What an incredibly fun celebration, with games and special entertainment and packed with outstanding styling inspiration every way you turn.


Wedding Suppliers

Venue: Tom Browns Brasserie

Dress: The Little White Dress Shop in Derby (Designer – Lusan Mandongus)

Cake: Yummy Little Cakes

Stationery: Alice Palace

Bridesmaids: Mia Sposa

Flowers: Floraldeco

Styling: Mad Philomena

Photographer: Sarah at Mirror Imaging Photography

Cars – Dennisson Classic Cars

Entertainment: The Wrks DJ

String Quartet – Highly Strung Quartet

Adult musician – Smart Magic

Children’s entertainment – Peter Presto and Party Punkz

Photo booth – Vintage Booth

Games – Robin Hood Hire Ltd

Candyfloss and popcorn machine – Candy Floss Crazy


To Contact Mirror Imaging Photography

Website: http://www.mirrorimaging.co.uk/

Email: sarah@mirrorimaging.co.uk

Phone: 07968 159465

Blog: http://www.mirrorimaging.co.uk/Blog.aspx

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mirrorimaging

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mirrorimaging


UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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