Today’s real wedding really knocked my socks off. Why? Well when you see it’s happy and fun vibes, teamed with multicolour scheme, DIY decoration and barn reception, you’ll totally agree.
WWW readers Craig and Sian were hitched on Saturday 23rd September 2017 at Park House Barn in Cumbria. I love that for half of the year the venue is a working barn and the blank canvas of the space meant that the couple could really make their mark, which they sure did. Think luxe florals in rainbow colours everywhere, Edison light installation, divine arbour backdrop and ribbons galore. It really was rather breathtaking and I am certain in person even more so.
The flowers really were a highlight for me and Sian by the sound of her write up below. I love love an array of stems in bright colours and they worked really perfectly. In fact her floral crown and bouquet matched well with her boho feel tulle gown. Her maids also complimented her style with sequin dresses that they must have been delighted with. Craig’s groom look was perfect, with a tweed and floral print ensemble. Ace.
Be prepared to want all the colours at your weddings folks. The images here today are courtesy of Joe Mather Photography and we cannot thank him enough for sharing them with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Dublin, December 1st 2015. After being together for 11 years previously (childhood sweethearts since high school) Craig had faced the regular question of “When are you going to pop the question” from various family and friends. We had both taken a bit of time deciding on careers but were both now qualified and working in our jobs as a nurse and social worker so I had figured it wouldn’t be far off. On a pre Christmas trip to Dublin I thought this might finally be the time, unfortunately Craig seemed pretty carefree about our carry-on luggage so this dampened my hopes; once there I had also managed to have a route through the luggage whilst he was in the shower and found nothing, disappointed I guessed this wasn’t the time. Swanky meal at night, again no proposal. Day two we had been on a city bus tour in the pouring rain, we both went back to the hotel to dry off and get ready for another evening meal out, when coming out of the shower towel wrapped around me with wet wild ginger hair there was Craig waiting with the ring. I don’t know how I hadn’t found it the few days before but Craig says he knows I am terribly inquisitive therefore had kept it in his pocket the whole time throughout. A gorgeous 18ct yellow gold band with a single diamond solitaire. I said yes.
THE VISION | Flowers! And colour! I am quite crafty so knew that I wanted a Pinterest fuelled DIY affair, luckily Craig was happy to trust my vision. We had also both decided that we didn’t want a hotel wedding as we wanted something a bit more laid back that we could put our own stamp on, neither of us are religious so we also wanted somewhere we could have our ceremony and reception together.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As we were paying mainly for the big day ourselves we knew it wouldn’t be a quick wedding to give us time to save, we both decided that September was a great month for weather as the weather had been beautiful the last few years before so we decided September 2017 would be the perfect time, giving us 18 months to get organised.
BUDGET | We planned to save £14,000, this didn’t include our honeymoon, Craig’s suit or my dress as these were our parents kind contributions. Total cost all in probably £18,000.
THE VENUE | Park House Barn, Heversham, Cumbria. Set within a fully working farm, Park House is a 16th Century half-cruck barn, which is used for lambing in the spring and then as a wedding venue throughout the summer. An absolutely breathtaking barn even when undressed, the perfect blank canvas to create our vision. We actually originally went to view the barn during lambing season, here Craig found it difficult to imagine our wedding in between the sheep; however I assured him that the potential was there and we booked it. This was a key joke in his speech.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress was “Jessie” from the Victoria Jane collection by Ronald Joyce, this was purchased at The Dressing Room in Garstang. Here I also purchased a fingertip veil with appliquéd daisies. Shoes were the gold glitter “Charm” from Kate Spade New York, after seeing these on Pinterest a few years earlier these were actually the first thing I bought once engaged, I had always wanted a gold metallic element throughout the wedding so these felt perfect.
Flower crown was made by one of my best friends and bridesmaid Katie, florist of Made in Flowers and completed the look perfectly. Make up was perfected by a local treasure Aimee Chorley, I felt glamorous and bridal all day and her friendly banter was appreciated on the morning when the nerves kicked in. Finally hair by Jess Tyrer who did a fabulous job of executing my brief of a tousled boho up do with plaits and securing the flower crown and veil to my head so well that they remained until bedtime. They both made my maids look sublime too.
FINDING THE DRESS | I had always imagined my dress to have a boho, whimsical feel with some sort of floral aspect (I love flowers). After visiting a number of boutiques and unsuccessfully suiting the “boho” style, I had almost lost hope in my vision. Because I have an hourglass shape it was the more A-Line princess cut dresses that suited me, but I felt this didn’t suit my style at all. After travelling a bit further afield to The Dressing Room in Garstang I picked off the rail a gorgeous dress that suited my ideal and decided I would give the “boho” look one last shot, to my surprise it was the one! With delicate floral embroidery and a skirt made of two layers of different lace “Jessie” by Ronald Joyce was perfect. Cathy at The Dressing Room was so helpful and even replaced the blingy belt with an embroidered tulle one to fit the brief.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Craig picked a blue tweed suit with a contrasting brown checked tweed waistcoat from Mark Darcy suits, we laughed before the big day saying it was very Toad of Toad Hall but he scrubbed up perfectly looking very dapper indeed. Shoes were tan brogues from Ted Baker. Liberty “Tana Lawn Rachel” print tie was by Gianni Feraud, matching pocket square was made by me in the same material. Craig also wore a gold engraved pocket watch, a wedding present from myself.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Entrance music: “Every little thing she does is magic” – cover by Sleeping at Last.
Ceremony music: “Toothpaste Kisses” – The Macabees, “Hearts don’t break around here” – Ed Sheeran.
Walking out Music : “Made up Lovesong #43” – The Guillemots.
Readings : Union by Robert Fulghum & He’s not perfect by Bob Marley.
First Dance: “Drops of Jupiter” – Train.
Reception Drinks: I love fiddles so it had to be a folk ensemble led by Scott Hartley an old school friend.
Evening Music – The Seals (my stepbrothers band) feat special guest Mike my Stepdad on Saxophone.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Four bridesmaids, three of my best friends and my sister, all wearing taupe sequin and tulle Maya dresses from ASOS. Flower girl my niece wearing a dress from Wish, which I altered to include a Liberty print waistband to match the groomsmen’s ties. Pageboy my godson wearing a waistcoat set from Next with bow tie and pocket square I again made to match the groomsmen.
THE FLOWERS | Oh the flowers! Luckily one of my best friends, Katie, whom was also a bridesmaid is a florist, an absolute superstar and very dedicated and talented with all things floral. She knew my vision was colour and lots of it, with a focus on my favourite’s sunflowers and daisies. The Wednesday before the wedding we went to the flower supply van and together picked everything colourful, from here we took everything to the barn and along with the other bridesmaids and family over the next few days made the table centres and venue flowers together, a memory I will always cherish. Flowers were everywhere, a favourite being the bright stems we hung from the Edison lights. Katie made a spectacular job of the buttonholes and bouquets, mine was just stunning an awash of tonal colours, my favourites being the Beatrice rose, Anemones, Sunflowers and Daisies, the stems were then wrapped in gold glitter ribbon; she then finished my look with a bright floral crown to perfect my boho dream. Swoon.
THE CAKE | To fit in with the rustic theme of the barn we wanted a naked cake, here we found Donna of Corr’s Cakes at a wedding fair. She crafted a beautiful four tiered cake, with layers of lemon and Victoria sponge; finished with flowers, berries and edible gold leaf. Our cake toppers were bought from Etsy, the two blue birds represented our beloved blue pet Parrotlet “Susan”.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | When deciding on a photographer we knew we wanted a documentary style, someone to photo the day as it flowed and capture the atmosphere, everyone having fun and being natural. Joe Mather was recommended to us by a few different people and upon viewing his online portfolios we fell in love and knew his style was exactly what we wanted. His pictures are show stopping, the way he has captured the exact feelings of the day transporting us right back to the precise moments every time we look through them. He has also captured moments we can’t even remember, yet as a subject you didn’t even realise he was there, blending into the background perfectly, capturing all of the emotion without being intrusive, he just really put us at ease. Everyone has commented on how great the photos are, pictures we will cherish for a lifetime.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As mentioned previously we wanted colour and flowers, the barn a naturally beautiful venue is a fabulous blank canvas to work with and as we had access to this from the Wednesday before we really could add our personal touch. One of the main show stopping details were the lights, although the barn already has four beautiful chandeliers hung throughout we wanted more lights and something a bit different to fairy lights. After searching we found the wonderful Megan and Darren of Typical Type, Megan was fantastic with suggesting lots of ideas and finally we decided on an Edison board over the ceremony/dancefloor area and festoons hung throughout the main room with Edison droplets hung from these randomly. The finished product was better than imagined, really added an extra dimension to the barn and we loved how the random Edison droplets looked very magical and felt quite “Harry Potter”, something which Craig a Harry Potter fan loved. We also hung floral stems from the Edison board to add a colourful element.
The flowers spoke for themselves and were everywhere throughout from milk churns to glass bottles, we also constructed Katie’s wooden arch to split the ceremony/dancefloor area with the..
Now we know that you guys love a quirky wedding venue, not to mention DIY décor, so we think you will just adore this happy and love filled celebration today.
Naomi and Rich were married on the 27th May 2017 at Ecclesall Woods Discovery Centre in Sheffield. The location in the woodland was all kinds of magical, it was perfect for the couple to host a day filled with all of their nearest and dearest. The ceremony looked so touching too, with the couple saying their vows against a stunning floral backdrop and a pet pooch ring bearer was also on hand. Too cute!
The couple chose the loveliest of outfits. Naomi fell for an embellished and flowing Anna Campbell gown from Jean Jackson Couture, with her hair scooped up into plaits and adorned with flowers. Rich donned a navy blue check suit and patterned tie for a modern groom look. Didn’t they just look incredible?
THE PROPOSAL | My birthday, Prosecco picnic in Victoria Park London.
THE VISION | To have a day that everyone enjoyed and could just all get together and celebrate with us.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Just did it bit by bit really.
THE VENUE | Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods Sheffield. It’s a community centre in the middle of the woods that hosts 12 weddings a year as well as craft classes and environmental education days. They don’t provide catering so is a blank canvas for couples to design their own weddings.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Anna Campbell dress, ASOS shoes.
FINDING THE DRESS | The amazing Jean Jackson Couture in Manchester. Can’t recommend these ladies enough, totally wonderful at helping me choose the perfect dress.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Rich’s suit was from House of Fraser (bit of a last min buy!).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I was supposed to walk down the aisle/decking to a cover of Nico’s “These Days” by St. Vincent… but the iPad had different ideas and wouldn’t work! My brother read a poem called tell Me The Truth About Love by WH Auden.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Ellie and best friends since we were tiny, Freyja and Rachel. They all wore the same dress from ASOS with different shoes.
THE FLOWERS | My Mum did the majority of the flowers; all the bouquets, button holes and table flowers. Campbell’s Flowers from Sheffield did the flower archway.
THE CAKE | Rich’s Mum Val made a giant chocolate brownie cake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The lovely Ellie Grace Photography.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Homemade!
THE HONEYMOON | A week in Lake Como, Italy. We got an Air BnB with a huge balcony overlooking the lake.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | A big gust of wind blew my veil into the pond on the walk down. The perils of outdoor weddings! Dad to the rescue!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get a long veil! Only joking… just try not to get bogged down and stressed with planning for every detail and eventuality. As long as you both turn up with your friends and family around you then it will perfect no matter what happens. Enjoy it!
WWW readers Hannah and Owen tied the knot at the Corran Resort, Wales on 1st June 2017. They envisaged a relaxed day and everything including the setting and outfits reflected this. There are plenty of details to take in here, with lots of them crafted by Hannah.
One of my particular favourites is the buoy card container. The vibe was certainly beachy, think pebble name places and message in a bottle style table centres as well as salvaged wood and shell signs. Hannah’s clever mum made the brilliant wedding cake.
Hannah’s beautiful dress was made for especially for her and rightly, she felt just like a princess! Owen wanted a Mumford and Sons look and struck just the right balance between relaxed and smart with his cream chinos and bow tie. The mint dresses the bridesmaids wore are just perfect for a seaside affair.
It sounds like Hannah and Owen’s day was choc-full of entertainment, I bet their guests were having fun every moment of their day! This gave them time to sneak off and take some wonderful portraits on the beach.
Aren’t the images captured by WWW fave Michelle Huggleston something really special? Thank you ever so much for sharing these with us Michelle.
THE PROPOSAL | This was at our favourite place down the Gower, Rhossilli – Worms head, Owen took me here for our first date to watch the sun set and 5 years later he proposed.
We also had an engagement photoshoot with Michelle, which was really relaxed and fun.
THE VISION | We wanted a relaxed wedding. We love shabby chic, I’m a crafty person so I made everything from the invitations, the centre pieces, which were wine bottles with pictures in of us on local beaches, wedding favours, 5 ft love letters out of pallets. I enjoyed the whole process.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | This was pretty straightforward after we booked the venue, everything just fell into place.
BUDGET | £10, 000 (We got married on a Thursday which kept cost down.)
THE VENUE | We fell in love with the Corran, Laugharne many years previously. So when Owen popped the question I couldn’t think of a more suitable place. Sam was our wedding planner. She and all the staff were outstanding. They made our day extra special.
This is a beautiful location, check it out. The food was outstanding, three courses, my mouth still waters at the thought.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I had my dress made by Elena Newcombe, A Ukrainian lady that was recommended. The hand stitched details were beautiful and I felt like an actual princess.
FINDING THE DRESS | I only went to two wedding shops and that was enough searching for me…….
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Owen is very “chilled out” and I could image him in a traditional suit. He wanted a Mumford and Sons look.
I always imagined I would marry him in flip flops but Jackie James Carmathen kitted him out and he looked very handsome indeed. Cream chinos and a shirt and all the groomsmen in navy chinos.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | My dear friend Stephaine Webber sang True Colours, she has an incredible voice and the thought still gives me goosebumps.
We had a piano player throughout our wedding breakfast, Tristan. He was amazing, He created such a relaxed atmosphere from playing my favourite Disney songs to the original classics
The evening band was John Adams. Where do we start, the dance floor was never empty. We chose our first dance to one of his original songs, Things that make you beautiful. He has now just signed a record deal so we wish him all the best.
We also had a DJ Mark Tonkins, when played all the classics right until early hours of the morning.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four beautiful bridesmaids that made my day so special. They all wore light mint green, and looked fantastic. My sister Helen and Best Friends Emma, Laurie and Katie.
THE FLOWERS | My flowers, A.J. Guttridges (WOW) from the flowers in my hair, the bouquet, the floral arch, the button holes. table flowers in decorated jam jars. A truly professional service. We wanted wildflowers and they were so beautiful and perfect.
THE CAKE | My beautiful mother made us a three tier cake, lemon, chocolate orange and traditional Victoria sponge, she decorated it with hessian and wild flowers with a cake topper that was shell from a local beach with wedding rings in.
Cheese…. don’t forget the cheese. We Love Cheese and found a local company called Blaenafon Cheddar company, this is a family run business that mature their cheese in Big Pit. Its the best cheese about so we did a beautiful spread of all their delicious cheese.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Say no more, the proof is in the pictures by the beautiful Michelle Huggleston.
Her relaxed style of shooting was perfect, the sun was shining and we went to Laugharne castle after the ceremony, which was amazing, then after speeches we put our flip-flops on headed to the beach. Just perfect.
YOUR VIDEOGRAPHER | John Mark Films.
What a gentleman, a professional and his wedding video is truly outstanding, a perfectionist in his own right. The video is something I will always reflect fondly on. He captured so many beautiful moments and the theme of our wedding day beautifully.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We went to dance lessons for our first dance, this was fun. It was very relaxed and basic by a lovely couple called Dance Fever near us.
It was nice to take some time out before the big day just to spend some time together. It all came together and I cant express how perfect the day was.
THE HONEYMOON | We have been well travelled over the years and Owen decided he wanted to do Ironman Wales so we delayed our honeymoon until after this event in September. Then the honeymoon fund has turned into the nursery fund. Which we are over the moon about.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are so many, but been surrounded by all your loved ones is definitely the best feeling.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Some advice Sam the wedding planner gave me, and I’m so glad I took it. She said don’t get too drunk too early. The day goes so fast you want to remember it all and she was right, I had a toasting drink with the speeches, a glass of wine with my dinner and then saved myself until after our first dance…. after that I let my hair down.
You literally wake up the next day and can’t believe it all over so enjoy and worship every second, because you feel like you blink and its over.
Guys, if today’s real wedding doesn’t have you reaching for the glue gun and scissors, then nothing will. This pair went all out for their awesomely creative nuptials, complete with a multicolour palette and so much personality.
WWW readers Alice and Andrew were married on the 30th June 2017 in a church ceremony, before transporting their guests in a route-master bus to their back gardenmarquee reception at Alice’s parent’s house. They wanted a bright colourful day and DIY‘d their hearts out to achieve their unique wedding style. Think rainbow streamers, pom poms and flowers in gin bottles. Talking of flowers, Alice’s bouquet may just be the prettiest bunch of blooms I’ve ever laid eyes on. Those large coral peonies mixed with roses and daisies are just so stunning.
The outfits were very stylish too; Andrew opted for a floral bow tie to accessorise his navy suit, Alice donned a darling Halfpenny London gown with flower crown and the maids wore aqua blue. There are so many wonderful moments and memories too, all of which are captured utterly beautifully by Jonny MP, thanks Jonny.
THE PROPOSAL | Our first ever holiday was to Amalfi and it’s a place we hold dear to our hearts. When we left Amalfi in 2013, Andrew said to me ‘next time I bring you here, it’ll be to ask you to marry me.’ Fast-forward to April 2016, and I was whisked away on a surprise trip to our beloved Amalfi and Andrew popped the question whilst watching the sunset on the pier. He presented me with a beautiful diamond and aquamarine ring – as my favourite colour is aqua blue (which was one of our wedding colours).
THE VISION | Having been to a lot of weddings with lots of pale and muted colour, we wanted ours to be full of bright colour and joy! I didn’t have a clear vision, and am not one of those brides who had planned their wedding to a tee before getting engaged, so it all came together as we went along! The colours were bright pink, orange and aqua blue and although everyone thought we were bonkers, we stuck to our guns and to the colour scheme we wanted. I love the colour of Bombay Sapphire bottles so everyone we knew was collecting gin bottles for our table decorations, including all the local pubs and bars in Tooting, and all our friends got through A LOT of gin…!
BUDGET | We didn’t set a budget, but we just took to bartering as much as possible and to prioritised the things we really wanted. The red Routemaster bus and the photographer were non-negotiable. We took a chance on a caterer that had never done a wedding before, which was the best decision ever. Pickle & Fizz were amazing, the food was delicious and they couldn’t do enough for us.
THE VENUE | We met in Tooting and have lived here ever since, so it was important for us to get married locally. The ceremony was at the beautiful St Paul’s Church, Furzedown and the reception was held in a marquee at my parents’ house in Croydon AKA – The Thunderdome!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a Halfpenny – Iris dress, which I bought from a sample sale at Leonie Claire Bridal in Brighton. My shoes were No.1 by Jenny Packham. My very clever Mum made my flower crown by hand, using artificial flowers to match my bouquet.
FINDING THE DRESS | I have always loved Kate Halfpenny’s designs and I walk past her shop in Euston every day on my way to work, gazing on the window at her creations… I found a boutique in Brighton that stocks Halfpenny dresses, tried on seven dresses in total, but the Iris was the clear winner. I put on a flower crown and a veil, caught sight of myself in the mirror and thought ‘who is that bride?’ – it was me! Needless to say, I had found the one.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Andrew got his suit from Moss Bros. He wanted something bright to match the vibe. The bowtie was very important! Andrew ordered this colourful beauty and pocket square from Mrs Bow Tie, which has an excellent selection. The socks were from Happy Socks and the shoes from Jones.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The Maccabees are our favourite band and we met at one of their gigs, so I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of ‘First Love’. My cousin also played a Maccabees medley on his guitar whilst we signed the register and our recession music was ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall & Oates. Our first dance was ‘Islands in the Stream’ by Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers – simply because it is a massive tune and we wanted something we could actually dance to. Then my brother, the talented Oliver Sudden, was on the wheels of steel as our resident DJ for the night.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I went all out and had my sister, Daisy, as Maid of Honour as well as my three best friends. They were all in stunning beaded dresses from ASOS in my favourite aqua blue.
One of my bridesmaids was 8 months pregnant at the time and wore a lovely floral number from ASOS Maternity. My Flower Girls were my niece and my goddaughter, who wore rainbow frocks from Monsoon.
THE FLOWERS | My favourite flowers are peonies, and I was determined to have them in my bouquet. I wanted something untidy and unusual, and I wasn’t disappointed. My bouquet was better than I could have ever imagined – I loved it! The flowers were also displayed on the tables in the gin bottles, including coral peonies, delphiniums, peach Juliet roses, September and wax flower. I couldn’t believe how amazing they looked, all thanks to Clarke’s Florist in Tooting.
THE CAKE | Controversially, I am not actually a fan of cake and never eat any at weddings. So we had a tiered cheese from West Country Cheese Co. which was delicious, and my Mum made brownies and multi-coloured meringues for those with a sweet tooth.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The man, the legend, Jonny MP was our photographer. When I asked my friend what she would’ve done differently about her wedding, she said she would’ve booked Jonny MP! So I contacted him, loved the sound of his ideas and ethos and even changed the initial wedding date we had pencilled in so we could book him. We didn’t regret it. Jonny was fantastic, he fitted in with the wedding party and got to know everyone, my family actually wanted to adopt him! He caught some amazing moments and really captured the happiness and joy of the day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The decorations were all DIY. I ordered loads of paper pompoms from eBay and my family painstakingly puffed them all out in the week running up to the wedding! I ordered paper streamers from eBay, which ended up looking much better than I imagined. The tables were decorated with the gin bottles and flowers. My mum made little personalised bottles of limoncello imported from the Amalfi Coast for the tables and she made two flower pedestals at the entrance to marquee. We also made rainbow festoons with fairy lights for the stairs, and lanterns for the garden, the list is endless…
THE HONEYMOON | We escaped to Kent for a few days after the wedding staying at Elmley Nature Reserve, in The Saltbox; a plush shepherds hut, which is completely glazed on one end so you can wake up to the beautiful views over the reserve. It was wonderful to escape reality for a few days and to relax after a busy few weeks.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I’m biased but the speeches were incredible, so funny and heartfelt. I did my speech in the style of BBC R4’s Desert Island Discs, with a song for all the important people in the room, complete with music clips, the theme tune and not blowing my own trumpet but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
My aunty and uncle also printed giant ‘King & Queen of Hearts’ playing cards (in the style of our wedding invitations) for photo opportunities and my Mum and Stepdad rocked up wearing them during the meal, which was very amusing!
There was also a moment where one (very drunk) guest threatened to punch the DJ if he didn’t play Ignition by R Kelly…!! Needless to say the laughter diffused the situation…
We also had a traditional Routemaster bus to take everyone from the church to the reception, which was beautiful. Although the reception was on a rather steep hill, so I understand it was a bit of a hair-raising journey.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The planning is half the fun so try to enjoy it and try not to get caught up in the wedmin. I kept a diary for the 6 months running up to the wedding to record everything we did to prep and it is lovely to look back on now and see all the effort and exciting bits and bobs that went on. We also broke down all payments into bite size monthly instalments, which really helped after the wedding as we didn’t have an almighty bill to ruin our newly wedded bliss!
A DIY delight today courtesy of WWW readers Abbie and Jason and their wedding photographer Laura Rhian Photography. These summer nuptials were created on a small budget and so much of their day was lovingly crafted.
The pair were hitched at Swallow Barn in Derbyshire followed by a quirky knees up at Hilcote Country Club. They both love vintage and afternoon tea and so the theme was set and the menu planned. Just wait until you see the tables laden with cakes and sandwiches, it all looked so delicious. The couple along with their loved ones hand made many of the lovely touches including the tea cup candles and sweet bunting.
One of my favourite elements though just has to be the big smiles captured by their photographer Laura (thanks for sharing them with us Laura), you can just feel the love all day long. The outfits were just so cool. Jason and the gents all wore a braces and bow ties combo that looked brilliant, Abbie chose a tulle and lace gown with flowers in her hair and didn’t she look beautiful?
THE PROPOSAL | Jason proposed after we had been together for 6 years, he took me to Paris for my 21st birthday after I had been talking about how I wanted to go and see love lock bridge. Just before we got to the bridge we sat on a little quite bench (Jason knowing I hate a fuss) and that’s when he asked me to marry him before giving me a lock so I could write just engaged on.
THE VISION | We both wanted a wedding that we could have fun planning and making together. More importantly we just wanted a lovely family day shared with a closest family so we could just relax and enjoy it. We love vintage and quirky things and going out for afternoon tea so the theme was decided from that.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Pinterest was a massive part of the planning process, and plenty of to do lists. I spent hours scribbling time lines, lists of things to get, thing to make and people to invite. But we basically just tried to enjoy every moment and do as much as possible together.
BUDGET | We only had a small budget as we wanted to go on an amazing honeymoon (to south Africa) so we made a list of the most important things to us, which was basically a pretty venue and lovely photos to remember the day and then we saved money were ever possible by either making things our self or calling in friends and family to cut the cost.
THE VENUE | We had two venues, our wedding ceremony was Swallow Barn at Mason Farm, Matlock, this is where most of our photos were taken and was a beautiful outdoor venue. And then to save costs our reception was at Hilcote Country Club, which was a local venue to us which was very flexible and very happy to let us put our own stamp on things.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was an Alfred Angelo and was from Lillies Bridal Boutique in Nottinghamshire.
FINDING THE DRESS | Finding the dress was surprisingly easy, on a week when I was feeling a little down and thought I’d better start planning some of the wedding me, my sister and mum decided to go to our local bridal shop just to make a start. I had been on Pinterest so knew the style I wanted. And then the 2nd dress I tried on (which was pointed out by my mum) was the dress!! I tried on every other style of dress in the shop after just in case but kept going back to it.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to a not very well know song; Troye Sivan: Youth (Acoustic). We didn’t have any readings but we signed our marriage certificate to Ed Sheeran Photograph and then walked out to Lumineers Hey Ho.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had my beautiful big sister as my maid of honour and two of my nieces as flower girls.
THE FLOWERS | The fact that I love flowers made this decision important, we used The Rose Bower, which is a local florist to us, we always drive past and comment on how lovely the window looks, always in a style similar to our own. I had also seen lots of her work around and always loved it.
THE CAKE | A family friend made us the cake, we wanted a cake both me and Jason would enjoy so it just had to be chocolate! I decorated it myself with dried flowers and cake bunting from hobby craft and the mice off the top were a valentine’s day present Jason got me from 5 years go from a shop we just happened to stumble across in Sheffield.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Once we got into full wedding planning mode we soon realized how important a good photographer was as was probably the only thing from your wedding that lets you relive the memories when looking at the photos. Me and Jason had never had professional photos taken and never really take that many photos ourselves so we are useless at posing, when we found Laura and her photos were just natural and in the moment they were perfect, I could just see the happiness of the people she had photographed and I didn’t even know the people so we decided she was perfect for us.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Me and Jason love vintage and quirky things and afternoon tea, so the theme had to be afternoon tea. We collected most of our decorations from car boots with family and then got busy crafting. I made our favours myself (tea cups turned into candles), my sister and good friend help turn scrap fabric we collected into bunting and so on. I saw the idea of photos to set places at my friend’s wedding and loved it, so me and Jason dragged all the photo albums out and made a collection of our favourite memories we had shared with our guest as another favour to them.
THE HONEYMOON | We wanted something to get us through the wedding blues and after such a busy year decided to book our honeymoon the following January to sun city in South Africa to enjoy a couple of day trips to a game reserve for a safari. We was however lucky enough to book a list minute mini-moon for the day after the wedding to Cyprus.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I could go on forever talking about the memorable moments on our day from my sister running around in a tiss in her pants in front of unexpected in laws, to moments when lovely words were shared between me and Jason while having our photos taken. I had a bee interrupt our vows by getting stuck in one of the layers in my dress and we had a unexpected visit from our much loved dog at our speeches. The whole day was just amazing and full of love and laughter. It was just perfect and every moment so memorable.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Just enjoy it! And do the things that matter to you.
This has to be one of the loveliest submissions stories ever today. Groom Robbie contacted me to submit their wedding whilst on honeymoon, to surprise his bride Helen, isn’t that just so lovely? There was no way I wasn’t going to share their super pretty and perfectly rustic wedding with you. It has it all, from the glorious summer sunshine, to the wonderful barn venue and DIY touches galore.
WWW readers Robbie and Helen were hitched on the 1st July 2017 at The Great Barn in Rolvenden, Kent. A relaxed country affair was order of the day complete with good food, music and booze! Sounds pretty wonderful right? Well their guests were certainly in for a treat with a pimp your prosecco station, fish and chip canapés, a BBQ, Millie’s Cookies dessert and tacos. Scrumptious!
Beautiful blooms took centre stage throughout alongside wooden details, including pallet signs and hay bale seating. It all looked just amazing. As did our couple who were elegant and timeless in their chosen outfits.
Sarah-Jane Ethan, thank you ever so much for sharing these incredible images with us today, what a delight!
THE PROPOSAL | We went glamping in a Shepherds hut in the North Kent and spent the afternoon at Chapel Day vineyard. We went for a walk in the countryside and found a secluded spot with only cows as witnesses. When we sat down, Robbie gave me his phone and said he needed me to read an important email he had just received. To my surprise there was no email open but a photo of our cat Leo with a handmade sign round his neck saying ‘will you marry Robbie’ and when I looked up surprised, Robbie was down on one knee with a ring!
THE VISION | Rustic, country, relaxed, DIY, good food, good music and lots if booze!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had 22 months from getting engaged to married, which was a long time to plan but being a DIY wedding we had a lot to do! I read countless wedding blogs and spent a lot of time on Pinterest and Robbie kept track of the budget and suppliers with a big spreadsheet. We both convened on evenings and went over all of our ideas, it was a good team effort.
THE VENUE | I wanted to get married in the countryside in Kent as it reminded me of my Nan and Grandad. We found The Great Barn in Rolvenden very early on in the search and it ticked the criteria we had. It is a beautiful old beamed barn surrounded by an apple orchard and open fields tucked away down a country lane. It is a completely empty space, which you decorate from head to toe. This suited us perfectly as we loved the idea of being able to choose everything ourselves and create our vision from scratch. It was more hard work but totally worth it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was by Sophia Tolli, I loved the colour and shape of it, and it wasn’t too heavy so I could dance all night! I wore my mums pearl necklace and a veil plus a headpiece with beautiful silver leaves on it. Robbie also brought a silver and pearl bracelet, which I was given on the morning of the wedding. Sarah from Powder and Pin did me a half up half down curled hairstyle with a plait as I wanted a relaxed hairstyle. For my make up, I also wanted a natural look and Harriet Rainbow did an amazing job.
FINDING THE DRESS | I only went to two shops and I found my dress pretty quickly, about 18 months before the big day.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Robbie had a bespoke three suit made from Copperfield’s tailors in Moorgate London owned by a lovely father and son team. He chose a blue prince of Wales check, layered with a subtle window pane made from a beautiful Italian fabric called Cacopoli. He paired the suit with a blue knitted tie, a white cut away collar Eton shirt and dark brown dune brogues. The whole outfit came together so nicely!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to Ed Sheeran ‘Tenerife Sea’ and during the signing of the register we had Ray La Montagne ‘You are the best thing’.
We walked out of the barn to Kodaline ‘The One’ and then we had Fred Clark a lovely singer who played acoustic music with his guitar in the orchard sing John Mayers version of Beyonces XO whilst we walked out of the barn for the second time as everyone threw confetti.
We had 2 readings. One was read by our old house-mates Charlotte and Jamie (Time Travellers by Terah Cox) and one by Robbie’s Aunty Helen (Wild Awake, by Hilary Smith). Both have a travelling theme!
Our first dance was by Samm Henshaw “Only want to be with you” (the unplugged version), a fairly unknown song but the lyrics are very beautiful and the music lends itself well to swaying for the first dance!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My two sisters and my best friend from Uni were my beautiful bridesmaids! They wore navy blue dresses from Coast. I love plaits so all of them had slightly different plait hairstyles. The morning of the wedding I decided their hair would look nice with gypsophila in it so my dad went out on a successful mission to find some! My flower girls wore monsoon dresses!
THE FLOWERS | I knew I wanted wild flowers, including daisies, and pastel in colour, I didn’t really have any other stipulations. Gwenda Jeffs from Bohotanical did an amazing job! My bouquet looked even better than I imagined it would!
The day before the wedding, me, my sister, Kirstie my bridesmaid and Robbie’s mum went to Blooming Green in Maidstone and picked our own flowers to decorate the barn with. It was extra work and hard but I’m so glad we did it! We had a couple of hours with free reign of the fields with so many beautiful flowers to pick from! Kirstie and Jennie then arranged all our flowers into different gin and beer bottles for the table and venue decorations and they looked incredible! Everyone was shocked we had done it ourselves.
THE CAKE | Robbie’s clever nan made us a three tier cake (Victoria sponge, lemon and fruit cake) covered in edible daisies. The cake topper was made by Helen’s friend Charlotte. Me, Robbie and Leo the cat as we wanted him to make an appearance!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Sarah Jane Ethan. We wanted a natural photographer and were so pleased with how our photos turned out. Sarah was perfect, it didn’t feel awkward at all just relaxed and fun and natural. Our photos are full of big smiles, and SJ really captured the day well, couldn’t have asked for me.
Helens friend Louis was the videographer, and we’re so happy we made the decision to have a video, I watch it back all the time!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Robbie’s Mum handmade about 150m of bunting using bought fabrics and old clothes from our nieces and a children’s tipi for the kids!
We had a slight travel theme because we love travelling and holidays! This included Robbie’s Mum cutting up old atlases and maps for some of the bunting, our table names were places we’ve visited and we had a compass and globe as part of our décor.
We spent the last year drinking a lot of gin and Robbie brewing beer, so we used gin and beer bottles for our vases on the table.
As well as drinking lots of gin we also had to drink a lot of prosecco to collect the 95 corks needed for our table names! We placed funny Polaroid photos in a cork with a scratch card for the favours, unfortunately no one won any big money!
We had some games; a coconut shy, tin can alley, ball in a bucket, swing ball and giant Jenga
We wanted the wedding to feel personal to us, we had quotes hanging around the barn, photos of our parents on their wedding day and some cat memorabilia!
Helen also carried home a huge (very heavy) pallet one day and decorated it with photos of us throughout the past 7 years.
Helen and her friends love drinking prosecco so we had a pimp your prosecco bar, which included different juices, cordials, chambord and prosecco shimmer!
A photobooth, most of the props sourced from Helens mums dressing up box as a primary school teacher!
For food; we had a fish and chip van for canapés, small portions of fish and chips. Australian Catering did us a great BBQ for main. We had giant Millie’s cookies for each table for dessert, as the first present Helen ever bought Robbie was a giant Millie’s cookie! And in the evening we had a taco truck housed in an old citreon fire engine, which did delicious tacos!
THE HONEYMOON | We went a few days after the wedding and spent 2 weeks in Canada. The first week we spent hiking and cycling the rockies, it was incredible the scenery was beautiful. The second week was more relaxed and we chilled in our boathouse on the water in Vancouver Island, finished up with a few nights in Vancouver City.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Helen: I have so many to chose from, but my favourite moment was on the dance floor the DJ played Westlife “You raise me up”. One of the girls picked me up onto their shoulders and one of the boys picked Robbie up onto his and we spent the song swaying around in the air holding hands and watching all our friends and family dance and sing along.
When we were having our photos taken SJ took us to a field behind the orchard, where we laid a blanket down and me and Robbie sat among the grass. I was lying in Robbie’s arms, the sun was shining on us and I could see our friends and family in the orchard all playing games and drinking and having fun, exactly how we had envisioned our day to be, it was perfect!
Robbie: Seeing Helen for the first time just made me think ‘wow’ and that I was very lucky to be marrying her, I felt extremely privileged she had actually chosen me! There was also a moment around 9pm where the sun was setting and the big barn doors were swung open. Some people were dancing inside, some were dancing outside and everyone was smiling and laughing and I was holding Helen’s hand to walk outside and I was very proud of the day we had created not only for us but for everyone around us that we cared about.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The day goes so quickly, make sure you take time to spend with each other! And try and take time to enjoy yourself, we had lots of games and afterwards I realised I didn’t even have a go on any of them!
Try to relax and enjoy your first dance, Helen found it really awkward having everyone staring at us, dance so asked everyone to come on really quickly and join, but in hindsight I wish I’d just relaxed and made the most of the moment.
We had a small top table of just Helen and I and our parents for the meal. This was a nice time to chat to Helen and also spend quality time with out parents who had put a great deal of emotional effort, support and money into making the day possible.
Colour lovers, you are in for a real treat today! Think all the colours of the rainbow, a mismatched scheme and all hosted in a beautiful Bedfordshireback garden. Oh YES.
WWW readers Elton and Olivia were hitched on the 20th May 2017 on a beautiful Spring day, with a church ceremony and marquee wedding reception. One of the loveliest moments has to be the country walk back to Liv’s family home, complete with super cool smoke bombs. A relaxed, fun and personality packed celebration was the combination of all of their DIY efforts. I am loving the multicoloured lanterns in the marquee to the pastel bouquets and Star Wars references. It was just so awesome!
Nicola Casey Photography was on hand to capture all the festivities, and I think you’ll agree her shots are utterly gorgeous. Thanks so much Nicola.
THE PROPOSAL | 20th June 2015. For Liv’s birthday we had our first summer BBQ in our new house, so invited Liv’s family and some of our closest friends over. We had a great time partying away and when Liv’s mum pulled out Pass the Parcel no one was surprised as it is her signature party game – it took 17mins to get to the last layer, which landed on Liv. She’opened it up to find what she thought was a pair of earrings from mum, only to find her late grandmother’s antique amethyst and diamond engagement ring. Elton was down on one knee and everyone was screaming! Liv burst in to tears and nodded a lot and we were engaged!! Elton had asked Liv’s dad’s permission a couple of weeks earlier and her mum had given him the ring, he suggested that Liv’s mum did one of her epic Pass the Parcels and she was well up for it. There is even a video of the proposal, which neither of us can’t watch without bursting in to tears!!
THE VISION | We always knew that we’d have the reception at Liv’s mum and dad’s house in a small village in Central Bedfordshire. We’ve been to over 20 weddings in the 8 years we’ve been together so we’ve seen a lot of things that we loved, and a lot that just weren’t our tempo. We wanted it to be bright, vibrant and not too matchy matchy; there wasn’t a colour scheme that we could agree on, so we decided to have all colours!
Most of all, we wanted it to be relaxed, fun and a reflection of our personalities. The last thing we wanted was a ‘paint by numbers’ wedding, but we weren’t going to re-invent the wheel in the process.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Liv is a Project Manager and Elton is a Creative, so Liv spent most of her time nagging Elton to do the invites.
We used as many local suppliers as possible, which could some times be challenging as we live in South London. We had a year and a half to plan and once you’ve done the big things you’ve just got to keep up with the smaller bits. Then it gets to the week of the wedding and if feels like the to do list will never end.
BUDGET | We spent about £20k in the end, which was more than we wanted to, but with the amount of people we had (and a free bar for them) it soon added up.
THE VENUE | We were lucky enough to have an incredible venue in Liv’s family home in Bedfordshire, they’ve got a huge garden, but even that wasn’t big enough, so her dad removed the vegetable patch, took down some fences and levelled out a part of a field to accommodate our marquee. Two of Liv’s sisters have had their wedding receptions at the house, so we knew how well it would work.
A short walk up the field and down a track leads you to a gorgeous 17th Century church on the top of the hill, overlooking the village and the surrounding fields. Whenever I (Liv) thought about walking up the field with my dad and my best friends, and in to the church to say my vows it choked me up, I knew this was where I wanted to get married.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | (Liv) I had my dress hand made in The Wedding Workshop in Ampthill and they were incredible. Hollie was my consultant and she was attentive, helpful and never pushy.
The veil was borrowed from my sister, my shoes were LK Bennett (thanks to my aunt Sandy for helping me choose them), my mum lent me a pearl and diamond necklace and I wore some simple diamond studs. I didn’t want any other jewellery on the day.
We had our hair and make up done by Lauren and Chelsea of Sweet Lemon Beauty and they were fantastic. Such nice people to have around you on the morning of your wedding and we all loved the result.
FINDING THE DRESS | (Liv) Knowing that I was going to be walking up the field, that I’m also quite short and seeing a lot of my friends shuffle around awkwardly under the weight of their dresses (and having to help them go to the loo), the full length, huge gown didn’t appeal to me.
I went to The Wedding Workshop in Ampthill and got mum and my bridesmaids to choose a dress each that they thought I should try on. Even though I knew I didn’t want to buy a long dress, I tried a few of them on anyway. The first dress I tried on I was in love with, I would have happily got married in it there and then!! They have example dresses but make all the dresses from hand, so I could make changes to the dress. That was in the November of 2015, so I knew I had a lot of time to look. So I went to a few other shops near to where I live in South London and didn’t find anything nearly as nice as the dress in The Wedding Workshop. I found that the wedding shops were pushing me to like a dress that I wasn’t comfortable in a bit too much. I did get some good inspiration for the final dress, which I used with The Wedding Workshop.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | (Elton) After looking at lots of suits in high street stores, none of which fitted my bizarre, potato-like frame, I decided to spend the extra money and go bespoke. Our friend got married a few years ago and I really liked his suit, so I found out where he got it from and it was his ex-flatmate who has started his own tailors business based in Bristol. After going through the Saville Row stalwart, I didn’t feel like I was going to get the best personal service for the money I was paying, it felt like they couldn’t be bothered with me because I wasn’t spending the big bucks, I needed advice and I wasn’t getting it.
I arranged to meet David from Brown in Town in London one week and after the first meeting we clicked. I felt like he totally understood how I wanted to look and feel on my wedding day and he gave useful advice and recommendations. David explained what would suit me and why and I felt very informed. He actually changed my mind completely from what I originally wanted.
The final piece was a brown, lambs wool, three piece suit with gorgeous purple paisley lining. I wore a classic white shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt and Liv made the tie and pocket square for me. The cufflinks were Darth Vader from M&S. I bought brown leather semi-brogues from Dune.
David was very accommodating considering the time constraints (I left it quite late deciding on a suit) and managed to make additional alterations to make me feel more comfortable in the suit. He was a really nice bloke and I enjoyed seeing him for the fittings.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We have a very eclectic taste in music and wanted to use it as a tool to show our personalities.
Liv walked down the aisle to the piano version of Nobody Does It Better, by Carly Simon. We then had The Lord’s My Shepherd and Lord of the Dance as hymns. When we signed the register we had Woman in Love, by Barbra Striesand and How Deep Is Your Love, by the Bee Gees. As our final hymn we had our friend Bayley play the guitar and the whole congregation sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love, by Queen, which was absolutely brilliant! On the way out of the church we had God Gave Rock n Roll To You, by Kiss.
For readings we had John 15:9-12 as our religious reading, read by Elton’s sister Kirsty. We had Liv’s sister Rachel read a Tom Lehrer song called When You’re Old and Grey, we urge you to have a listen if you’ve not heard it before!!
We introduced the wedding party to the wedding breakfast with Long Live Rock n Roll, by Rainbow.
Over dinner we had an epic playlist of classic 70s disco tunes and it was great fun to see everyone singing along and dancing in their chairs while eating!
Our first dance was to Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – the George Michael version, this gave us the perfect excuse to use it as an introduction to the newly married couple (Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr and Mrs Elton Lambden…), but also to our amazing Karaoke Band, Rockaoke!! We sang the last verse and then the bridesmaids, then the best man, and then Liv’s sisters got up and sang.
In between the band sets we had playlists that we’d made that contained all manner of things, the mini-mosh to Slipknot was particularly fun!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | (Liv) My gorgeous best friends, Nicola and Claire, were our bridesmaids. I’ve been best friends with these two since I was 5 years old, they are part of the family. I knew exactly the type of dress I wanted them to wear…. colourful and floral, but it took a while to find them. I finally found these dresses on ASOS in the sale for £27 each! However, when they were delivered they’d sent a completely different dress for one of them, but in the same fabric. The other dress was nowhere near as nice as the one I’d chosen, so I panicked for a bit and then managed to find the right dress in the right size, with its tags on eBay, which was brilliant.
The dresses came with a cropped jacket, which as a joke we put on Claire backwards to cover her massive boobs and lo and behold it looked awesome! So Claire was actually wearing the jacket the wrong way round for the whole wedding.
Their shoes were from M&S, lovely nude courts. With a dress that colourful we didn’t want to even try and match the colour with the shoes.
For the walk up the field I bought us some cheap white tennis shoes and replaced the laces with colourful ribbon.
THE FLOWERS | (Liv) An old friend from school is a florist as a hobby and came highly recommended by several people. Oonagh O’Neill loved being given free reign on the colours. I just wanted anything that was bright in the bouquet, I did insist on peonies though, they are my favourite. My mum is very green fingered so her and Oonagh discussed the types of flowers that would be in season in May.
The bouquets were absolutely gorgeous, and we also had buttonholes for the men and corsages for my sisters and Elton’s sister Kirsty too.
For months before the wedding we collected crystal cut vases from car boot sales (where you could pick up 2 for £1) and ended up with about 5 vases per table. Again, it didn’t matter if they matched or not, the more variety the better. Mum bought and arranged all the flowers for the tables, which was an incredible feat. The brief once again was colourful!
THE CAKE | Liv’s aunt is an incredible cake maker and sugar craft expert, so it was a no brainer to ask her to craft us a beautiful cake. We gave her a brief of colourful and floral with Star Wars and she created a beautiful double sided cake that everyone loved. She made every single of the flowers on the cake by hand, which is just amazing. The layers were lemon, chocolate, Victoria sponge and fruit cake.
We topped the cake with a little Lego bride and groom.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | It took us a really long time to find Nicola and we’re so glad we were patient. We wanted the pictures to look exactly like the day had done to us, so no filters or weird colour effects. We didn’t want anything too clichéd, so collected all the naff wedding photography we’d seen and made a Pinterest board, when we found photographers who were local or in our budget we found a lot of the naff photography was in their portfolio. Luckily, some friends of ours had used Nicola for their wedding and we absolutely loved the pictures. They were full of life, movement and colour and we knew it was exactly what we wanted. We had a Skype call with Nicola and she was so friendly and attentive to what we wanted. She’s got her own style and it’s exactly what we were looking for. Too many people told us they could match a style we’d seen on the internet and that just didn’t sit right with us.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Colourful, bright, fun, eclectic and non-matching. Elton would have had black, white and red as the colour scheme but we’d seen it done so many times, Liv wanted to have something that looked completely different from all our friend’s wedding pictures.
We used Pinterest to find our inspiration and the colourful lanterns was one of the first things we’d seen that we agreed on! Elton wanted Star Wars and Liv wanted Liberty print, so we had to come to a happy medium where we both got what we wanted and we didn’t go in to a theme wedding.
WWW readers Claire and Nico wed in the grounds of their local village pavilion on the 24th June 2017. Our pair didn’t want to spend too much money or have a day that was too formal and didn’t feel like it suited them. I’m a fan of their laid back style and it sounds like the planning was a labour of love, a real jar collecting, bunting making, crafting team effort. A word of warning to master bakers though, making your own wedding cake is not for the faint hearted! In this case, Claire’s efforts turned out simply stunningly.
Claire was delighted to find that ASOS has a wedding dress collection and I think her gown looks simply fabulous. Isn’t her bouquet made from painstakingly collected brooches so special? Nico kept things simple and stylish with a three piece navy suit from Next.
Everything else about their day was so colourful, it’s always a joy to see real weddings that don’t follow a strict colour scheme and there’s something so festive about the results. Claire and Nico were lucky enough to be able to hold their ceremony outside but Claire does have some wise words for others planning al fresco nuptials!
Claire and Nico actually came across their photographer, Sharron Gibson, on WWW! Thanks ever so much Sharron for sharing these wonderful colourful images of such a personal day.
THE PROPOSAL | We were travelling in Ghana for two weeks and were staying at a lovely little lodge by a lake for a few nights. The first morning we woke early and decided to go for a quick swim before breakfast. We were admiring the view across the lake when Nico got down on one knee…
THE VISION | Relaxed, colourful, homemade and fun, with a French twist!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | From the start we were keen to keep our wedding day informal and to make or collect what we could ourselves. We also tried to reuse materials where we could and use local suppliers. We wanted the day to be personal and not excessive. We also planned as much as possible around our guests having fun, being well fed and making sure there was plenty to drink!
BUDGET | Around £7,500.
THE VENUE | We knew we didn’t want a wedding venue as such, in order to keep the day more relaxed and informal. We chose the village pavilion round the corner from my parent’s house (very convenient for all the setting up!), which offered plenty of space and flexibility to make the day our own. The venue’s volunteers were unbelievably helpful and accommodating the whole way through.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from ASOS and I wore an additional underskirt for a bit more volume. I kept the accessories very simple – my favourite pair of earrings and a simple bracelet borrowed from my mum.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t fancy traditional wedding dress shopping and so started searching online to see what I could find. I was looking for a shorter length dress and something that I could sit on the grass in and dance in. I had no idea ASOS did wedding dresses and was amazed to find that they had just what I was looking for.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | A simple but lovely dark blue three piece suit from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We asked my dad to lead our ceremony for us which we wrote ourselves. My sister read a beautiful extract from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s ‘Gift from the sea’ and Nico’s uncle read ‘On marriage’ by Khalil Gibran. We chose Tom Odell ‘Grow old with me’ as we arrived and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros ‘Home’ for the end of the ceremony.
Instead of a first dance we sang a first song, The Moldy Peaches ‘Anyone else but you’. We wrote the lyrics ourselves for a couple of cheeky verses for fun!
From the outset we both knew we wanted to have live music for the evening entertainment. Nico’s band from university reunited to play a few songs, followed by our friend’s band. During the day and for the rest of the night we put on a playlist that we had both compiled with all our favourite tunes.
THE FLOWERS | We found an amazing local florist who supply beautiful seasonal DIY flowers. We collected them a couple of days before the wedding and my mum, her friend and I arranged them all into jars and a couple of milk pails. Some of our guests commented on how they looked like a summer meadow. My mum picked a mixture of wildflowers the day before to put in jars on shepherd hooks for the ceremony. She also potted up tubs with brightly coloured garden flowers which we used to decorate outside the marquee.
I made my bouquet from around 50 brooches. My mum and I got so much enjoyment from scouring charity shops and receiving donations from kind family members. It was pretty labour intensive putting it all together but I absolutely loved the end result.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by myself and my mum. We opted for a rustic butter cream tiered cake decorated with some beautiful roses and a cute little heart bunting topper. Each layer was a different flavour – carrot, lemon and chocolate. I’d made a few of my friend’s wedding cakes so was keen to have a go at making mine. In hindsight I probably should have taken up the offer of a friend for this as I must admit it does add a lot of pressure to the timings of things when making your own!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The wonderful Sharron Gibson. I came across her on WWW and instantly loved her natural, artistic, documentary style of photography. We love how her photos truly capture the colour and the happy, relaxed atmosphere of our day. And lots of fabulous facial expressions! It was quite an emotional experience looking through the photos the first time and reliving the day. We especially loved finding out what was going on throughout the day when we were preoccupied elsewhere!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My mum and I started off with making over 100m of bunting mostly from cuttings of old fabric. We then just got more creative as we went along! Other details (mostly handmade) included vibrant paper pom-poms, rag bunting, decorated jars for flowers and candles, tablecloths and runners, a pallet back-drop, colourful ribbons and fairy lights in the trees, dried rose petals and paper cones for confetti, and pallet order of the day and welcome signs. Everything was made by us and our wonderful family. The overall look was very colourful and eclectic. Thankfully it all worked and came together on the day. The venue took two days to assemble and would never have been possible without the help of our amazing family and friends.
We had an outdoor ceremony in a pretty sheltered corner of the field and then a drinks and nibbles reception at the pavilion. Our main meal was buffet style and we didn’t bother with a starter or a table plan. Instead our guests just sat where they wanted and mingled which worked out perfectly (we just put out a few extra chairs). We had ice cream and homemade brownies for dessert, served up by a couple of our very lovely and willing guests! For the evening we hired Vive la Crêpe to serve tasty sweet and savoury crepes. The weather was perfect for people milling around and chatting outside while eating crepes and it was a wonderful party atmosphere. We also had a fire pit and put out marshmallows for people to toast late into the evening.
Throughout the day our guests had heaps of fun playing ball games and boules in the field. Indoors we had table tennis and a pool table. We had a bucket list map for guests to suggest places to go/things to do to add to our bucket list. To keep the kids occupied we had a table with activity booklets and lots of colouring as well as a face painter for a couple of hours which went down a treat! The venue also allowed for camping in the field overnight which was a real bonus.
THE HONEYMOON | Just after the wedding we had a relaxing two day mini-moon with a wood-fired hot tub. A couple of months later we went to the Alps for our honeymoon for a week of walking, fresh air and beautiful scenery which was just perfect.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Setting up with family and friends in the lead up, feeling overwhelmingly emotional and then everyone cheering us as we arrived together for the ceremony, the amazing speeches, Nico playing with his band, seeing our guests enjoying themselves and having fun!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try to have fun with the preparations and creativities. Do things your own way, the more personal the better. Have a go at writing your own vows, it’s worth it. And have wet weather alternatives – we really wanted an outdoor ceremony but had an indoor contingency plan in case it tipped it down (luckily we didn’t need it but better to be safe than sorry!).
I do love it when a bride is a self confessed Whimsical Wonderland Weddings addict, it really makes me smile from ear to ear. I think you guys are really going to love their down to earth, crafty and happy real wedding too.
WWW readers Alistair and Deanne were married on the 1st June 2017 at the stunning tipi venue, Inkersall Grange Farm in Nottinghamshire. The grounds were really suited to their outdoor summer celebration, with plenty of love in the air. Just magical. Meanwhile WWW Supplier Love member Michael Mulholland Acoustic kept the atmosphere buzzing with his amazing tunes. Just wait until you see the tipi lit up come evening, what a sight to behold.
The pair along with their loved ones really worked so hard on all of the DIY decorations, it was so worth the effort. I mean the 1000 origami paper cranes alone looked so marvellous, let alone the hand arranged florals. The couple and their wedding party looked oh so stylish and the whole day was captured perfectly by Twig and Vine Photography, many thanks guys for sharing today.
THE PROPOSAL | Puglia, Italy, April 2016. Alistair had booked the holiday as a Christmas present in Dec 2015 and had planned everything including the most gorgeous hotel where we had our own trulli villa. On the first night, just before we went to dinner, Alistair asked me to be his wife and I cried with happiness for the next 45 minutes! We had the happiest week basking in the delight of being engaged, exploring Puglia in our Fiat 500 amongst the olive groves and vineyards, truly wonderful week! It was a complete surprise and we were so excited start to plans to celebrate our 16 year long relationship with our family and friends.
THE VISION | A relaxed and informal day filled with happiness and good food! We really wanted to use local suppliers as much as possible as well as involve our family and friends in helping us get crafty!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Deanne: I bought a wedding planning book, became a daily addict to WWW, ripped nice pictures out of a magazine subscription a friend had bought for me and started a pinterest obsession! I loved researching for our wedding. I would then show Alistair all of the pictures and ideas and we’d work through them together to reach decisions. As we didn’t have strong preferences, we were pretty open to ideas and changed things over the time we planned. Having a venue which is completely open to suppliers was fab but meant there were so many decisions to make!
BUDGET | We stuck roughly to what we wanted to spend and saved hard the year leading up to the wedding (which was tough as we also bought a house during that time!) in order that we pay for it ourselves and had no wedding debt. We kept a rather romantic (!) spreadsheet upon which we logged EVERYTHING and this helped us to keep to budget. We saved money by doing the flowers ourselves, by downloading a template for our invites and editing and printing ourselves and by enlisting the support of family and friends to hand craft decorations.
THE VENUE | Inkersall Grange Farm; a tipi venue on a farm on the edge of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. There are the most stunning views around the tipis. As the tipis are up from April-October each year, there are definitely some perks we wouldn’t have got by hiring tipis just for the weekend (lovely loos and wooden flooring for example). Linzi and the team were incredibly supportive and were open to all of our ideas. We loved that we got to completely personalise the space and the atmosphere in the tipis was just incredible.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | ‘Serena’ by Eddy K from Alice Rose Bridal. Gemma and Cherilyn were an absolute joy to plan with! I took a dress and changed it quite a lot by adding a bolero, which Cherilyn made from scratch for me, absolutely stunning!
Shoes were from Rainbow Club and oh so comfortable!! I would absolutely recommend. I only took them off at about 10.30pm so I could dance more easily!
Hair for myself and the bridesmaids was done by my super talented sister, Nikki. We had fun doing some trials with my wild mane! Thank you J
Make-up was by Jen and Sally, wonderful friends with mad brush skills and a lot of Body Shop products, they worked like a dream team, thank you J
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on A LOT of dresses. Like most brides to be, I had an idea of something in my head but the reality of trying dresses was completely different. I remained open minded and kept trying, eventually finding a dress I really liked, however it was way out of budget L I kept trying and found 2 dresses at Alice Rose and Gemma was fab at talking through my options in terms of bespoking the dress and getting a bolero made, it turned out wonderfully!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Alistair: I felt the relaxed venue called for a less formal wedding outfit and being 6 foot 7 inches tall, didn’t feel there was a need for a top hat. I also wanted to be able to wear the suit again so went for the Kin range in John Lewis. I also bought my best man’s suit from here in a slightly different shade of blue and we were lucky with the timing as some bits were in the sale. We bought the ties, bow ties and pocket squares from Mrs Bow Tie who had a great range of the blues/greens we wanted for our wedding and we received samples of the fabric first to help us decide.
Page boy outfits were from M&S. We wanted them to be comfy and opted for waistcoats rather than jackets.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | One of the hardest parts for us! We were officially married the day before in Coventry registry office however we wanted to write our own ceremony and vows for a humanist ceremony outside in front of the tipis. We had asked Alistair’s Auntie Claire to conduct the ceremony for us and we worked together on creating the words. It was so meaningful that A’s Auntie was doing this for us and that we got to completely personalise the ceremony.
Our friend Ellie, read a poem by Steven Curtis Chapman.
One of Deanne’ university friends from Iceland, Salka, read a piece by Rainer Maria Rilke.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Three of my oldest friends, Amy (schoolfriend), Lell and Ruth (Both uni friends), they were a tremendous support throughout and even though distance prevented us from meeting very often physically, our whatsapp group was active most days! As all three are married, I was able to gain some real insight and advice from them, thank you ladies!
Deanne’s niece was flowergirl, her dress was the first wedding decision, long before the venue was booked. It also gave us a deadline, so she didn’t grow out of it first!
THE FLOWERS | Deanne: I wanted the flowers to be in season and was leaning towards using more greenery than flowers. I came across Flowers From the Farm, which is not for profit network of small businesses, farmers, florists and gardeners. I found Caroline’s small business ‘Flowers to the People’, she lives in the next town along from us and grows flowers in her back garden and on her allotment, all in season. I looked at a few websites and YouTube videos about making bouquets and felt confident that we could do this the day before, this was a good decision as my bridesmaids and I spent time (not as much as you’d think, it was pretty easy as we were going for a natural look) putting together our bouquets whilst Alistair’s mum and Grandma helped to make the buttonholes, a lovely afternoon of family and friends supporting. It also meant Lell, Ruth and Amy had flowers, which were personal to them, they did a fantastic job!
We also bought lots of herbs from the National Herb Centre as the table flowers, which then doubled up as wedding favours.
THE CAKE + FOOD | We opted out of a traditional wedding cake as our food was all very informal. Instead friends and family baked chocolate brownies for us, which were stacked up in the evening with strawberries and raspberries for everyone to help themselves to!
Choosing the food was the best part! We opted for an Italian style picnic inside the tipi after our ceremony; sharing platters of breads, olives, veggies and meats, delicious!
We then had Pat join us with her ice cream cart, which was dessert and all our guests basked in the sunshine with their ice creams. We also got the kids involved by asking them to hand out ice cream tokensm, they felt very responsible for ensuring everyone was able to get one!
Around 5pm we had a coffee and crepe van join us, which went down well after a relaxed. The crepes were delicious and guests were able to choose their own toppings and didn’t have to wait long.
Around 7pm, the pizza van arrived, our evening food choice. Wood fired pizza with incredible toppings, this went down so well with our guests and not only was the pizza amazing, it just felt like the perfect choice for the venue.
Our friends Amy and James (Cheese Masters) prepared a cheese feast inside the tipi so guests had this choice alongside the pizza, people are still talking about the cheese! (Black Bomber Cheddar was a particular favourite)
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Mamad is an incredible photographer who captured our day beautifully. His style is documentary/reportage, which was perfect for us. We really wanted the essence, mood and atmosphere of the day capturing rather than formal photos. He includes an engagement shoot in his package, which meant we got some time to get to know him and get used to being in front of the camera. We LOVE our photos, thank you Mamad!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Where do we start?! Perhaps with the origami crane project, which started in 2016 when we’d seen some wonderful photos of origami hanging in a tipi and we fell in love with the idea. What started as something of a crazy idea (Let’s make 1000 of these for fun!) being a project involving so many family, friends and colleagues, we made origami in team meetings at work, with family when my dad was in hospital, with friends on wedding crafting days and my sister made 100s whist watching the Olympics! Stringing and hanging them was a whole new challenge, but one which we overcame together.
I made lots of felt flowers to fill the wooden letters, which were on the top table and Alistair’s mum helped in the days leading up to the wedding as well as making our table runners. So many people supported our crafting ideas, making clouds in the back garden, painting pots and chalkboards, writing names on leaves collected from a neighbour’s garden. My younger sister created stunning felt vines to wrap around the wooden beams in the tipi, she cut out each leaf and sewed it all together. The time and energy spent on crafting was just incredible and we are humbled at having some fantastic people in our lives.
THE HONEYMOON | Alistair: The day after the wedding, we spent the night at Sat Bain’s restaurant and hotel. The food was incredible, we had the tasting menu and the vegetarian dishes for Deanne were just as interesting and delicious as the rest of the menu. The peppermint tea just before bed was accompanied by a..
There are some absolutely cracking ideas here today lovelies. Styling and decorations that will really inspire you to think outside of the box and many of them were home made to boot.
WWW readers Victoria and Daniel decided to tie the knot on the 5th August 2017 at Rosedew Farm in South Wales, which gave them two years to plan the day of their dreams. A good thing really with the amount of crafty projects they undertook, I really love this string art seating chart below for example, the wooden crates and rustic pallet signage too. Another unique yet super cool touch was the bridesmaid hoop floral arrangements, which looked so cute against their sage green maxi dresses.
Victoria and Daniel both looked effortlessly gorgeous in their chosen outfits, Victoria in lace and Daniel in country tweed. Their portraits in the fields and beside the sea really are breathtaking, I’m sure you’ll agree. So we can’t thank Rachel Lambert Photography enough for sharing them with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Well… It was supposed to be at the top of the highest mountain in the Algarve on our 6th Anniversary. However, two weeks before we were due to fly, I find a receipt in the pocket of his jeans whist doing the washing. Of course, I called my mother (who was in on it) who tried to sway me away from it being a receipt for an engagement ring by saying its most probably an anniversary present, but I knew that there was no chance he would have forked out that much on a anniversary present! Anyway, I was convinced he was going to do it on our anniversary in Portugal (as was planned) but Dan decided to pop the question that night so that it would be a surprise. So, as we were getting changed to go to bed, I turn around and there he is on one knee with a ring in his hand asking me to marry him. Even though the first plan sounded romantic (and probably quite windy), I couldn’t imagine him asking me any other way. It was perfect.
THE VISION | Neither of us are very sparkly or over the top people, so we decided on a natural earthy theme with green, brown and white being the main colours throughout the day. Green is my favourite colour and completely suited the colour of the venue, but really it was chosen because it was the best colour that would suit my hair! We’re quite laid back in our everyday life so wanted the day to reflect how we are as a couple as well as be enjoyable. I think the natural theme aided that massively.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had got engaged on the 29th May 2015 and started looking at venues immediately. Lucky that we did as there was only 2 dates available in the venue that we wanted in the summer of 2017, we snapped it up there and then as so we had our venue booked within 2 weeks of being engaged. Naturally, I had already created a board on Pinterest that was filled with ideas that ‘we’ liked so narrowing what we really liked and what would work in the venue was pretty easy.
BUDGET | We hadn’t really set a budget but knew what we didn’t want to spend. We had estimated that we were going to spend around £12k but it ended up being more towards the £16k mark in the end, which wasn’t in the range of ‘did not want to spend’ so we were OK with that.
THE VENUE | Rosedew Farm, Llantwit Major, South Wales.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was from a local bridal shop called Eva Ashley. My shoes were Kurt Geiger and my earrings were a bargain from Debenhams.
FINDING THE DRESS | I thought I would have had to go to the city to find ‘the dress’ and it was just on a whim that I decided to go to the local bridal boutique as it was relatively new. Wish I hadn’t bothered with going to the shops in Cardiff as when I walked into the showroom of Eva Ashley, there it was poking out a little from the rest of the dresses and I knew it was the one.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan’s suit was Howick from House of Fraser, the boys suits were hired from Crush Men’s Outfitters.
THE MUSIC | The song we walked down the aisle to was a cover of ‘La Vie En Rose’ by Daniella Andrade. Our first dance song was ‘Feeling Good’ by Muse.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My gorgeous bridesmaids wore a custom eBay bargain. I was so happy with the colour that they come back in as I am a little fussy when it comes to the shades of green I like, and this one was the exact colour I had in my head. They all looked stunning in them too!
THE FLOWERS | The Bay Tree, Cowbridge
THE CAKE | My fabulous friend Joe!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Rachel Lambert – seriously couldn’t have found anyone better to capture the most special day of our lives.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We had decided we wanted a handmade feel to the wedding, and so we made as much as we could with the help of our bridesmaids! All together we made our own sweet stall, table centrepieces (wooden crates), order on the day on a pallet and a few signs dotted around the grounds.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on a mini-moon straight after the wedding to a family apartment to chill out and do nothing for a week. We’ve decided to have our honeymoon as a dual celebration in November 2018 as it’s Daniel’s 30th Birthday that month. The plan is to tour the East Coast of America starting in Boston and working our way down to Washington D.C. (we might ‘pop’ over to Las Vegas for a few days but that hasn’t been decided yet!)
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Honestly such a hard thing to do… mine was coming through the arch at the top of the aisle and seeing Dan standing there waiting for me. It was a weird, but lovely feeling as we were introduced as the new Mr & Mrs Jeynes before the wedding breakfast, a roar of cheers and whistles as we walked to our seats. However, the whole day was the perfect and we really couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was a beautiful day celebrating with all the people that we care the most about and to top it off, we’re now husband and wife!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Book your venue as early as possible, I couldn’t have imagined not being able to get Rosedew for the year that we wanted. Don’t let anything overly stress you out just before the wedding or on the day itself… if you’re chilled out, the day will be too. Enjoy it, it goes so quickly!