WWW readers Sophie and Craig tied the knot on Saturday 16th September 2017 and planned a wedding which was relaxed, colourful and included some rather sweet Harry Potter touches. They tied the knot at the very beautiful Stratford Upon Avon Town Hall and then held their reception at Alveston Pastures Farm in Warwickshire. Being a dry hire venue, they could let their imaginations run wild and boy did they!
With florals that look like they’ve been plucked straight from the meadow and cheeky touches all around, you’re going to love this one – the invisibility cloak hamper really had me chuckling! And what an absolutely brilliant idea to have a wedding cake per table, great when you don’t want to choose just a few flavours. I wouldn’t fancy the pressure of being in charge of choosing which one to take to my table though, I’ll tell you that!
Can we also talk about Sophie’s stunning gown? Jenny Packham’s ‘Esme’ is a beaded beauty and I can imagine that it was perfect for dancing. Meanwhile, groom Craig found his dapper blue tweed suit in Next, such a well turned out pair.
We have Nicola of Daffodil Waves to thank for the marvellous photography today, what a gorgeous set of images!
Introducing Andrew and Lucy and their utterly beautiful village hall wedding held on the 21st October 2017 in the stunning Highlands of Scotland. They first were married though at The Carnegie Courthouse in Dornoch, Sutherland and their wedding was the first at the venue. What a gorgeous setting it was, with high vaulted ceilings, striking windows and it was decorated beautifully with the loveliest floral installation to say I do against. The blooms have to be one of my fave elements of the day, in those rich red hues to match Andrew’s kilt, which included King Proteas, Roses, Eucalyptus and Astilbe to name a few. Lucy’s bouquet just took my breath away! Didn’t Lucy look stunning in her Charlotte Balbier Untamed Love ‘Luna’ gown and Britten Weddings’ veil? WOW.
I love how this pair wanted to create a crafty DIY wedding with informal and relaxed vibes. Focusing on their guests when planning helped keep things running smoothly and tackling it all together meant that decisions were made simpler. Well I think it all came together so perfectly and I really think you’re going to adore these sublime shots by Steven Gallagher. Thanks for sharing them with us Steven.
Happy Bank Holiday Monday guys! I hope you’re having an awesome long weekend so far. To make it all the better, let me introduce to you WWW readers Sophie and Sonny and their super gorgeous tipi wedding held on the 2nd September 2017 at Bridge House Barn in Leicestershire.
Hold on to your hats because this DIY fest is a total dream. It’s colourful and fun with festival vibes and so much love. I have a feeling you’re going to utterly adore it. So just what gave me butterflies when compiling this feature? A cute pup in a bow tie, the multicolour ribbon adorned chairs, the glorious sun shining countryside venue, the beautiful imagery by Ben Wetherall Photography (thanks Ben!), the super stylish attire and all the quirky signage throughout.
With three years to plan their day, it meant that they could consider every little detail. Thoughtful touches included flower crowns for guests, flip flops for tired feet and a photo table. Guests must have been utterly blown away by everything this pair put together along with their loved ones. So inspiring!
WWW readers Kay and Ciaran wed on the 5th August 2017. Their day was an event of three venues, each with its own special atmosphere. The ceremony took place in New Walk Museum under the watchful eye of a few dinosaur guests, followed by a blessing at nearby Holy Cross Church and good old fashioned dinner and dancing at Seagrave War Memorial Hall. It sounds like guests were treated to a really lively party, with plenty of musical talent on display and of course lots of dancing.
Our pair really poured their time and creativity into their wedding, resulting in a truly personal day that was full of fun! I think the ‘Til Death Do Us Party’ backdrop on the stage is just brilliant, can you believe that Kay made it herself? The flowers were also DIY, and loads of the other décor too. Rather than having one wedding cake, expert bakers amongst the guests provided delicious cakes to keep Colin and Connie the caterpillars company! Everyone loves a good temporary tattoo and it looks like the guests went to town on these too!
THE PROPOSAL | In August 2016, on an amazing trip to NYC, Ciaran proposed spontaneously after we came out of ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ in Central Park. He didn’t have a ring, but it meant we could choose one together on our last day in Brooklyn. After much Googling, Ciaran found a beautiful little jewellery shop in Williamsburg called Catbird; it was really special that the ring was also a memento of our adventure in NYC.
THE VISION | Hmm…no specific vision really. I started off Pinteresting everything and we sort of decided on a colour scheme but in the end it just ended up a mix of lots of different things that we liked all in one place. We wanted it to be relatively informal, for people to be relaxed and just have fun!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We decided on a date fairly quickly so once that was done, planning basically consisted of a Pinterest board!
BUDGET | We didn’t set a specific budget but tried to be sensible and DIY as much as we could ourselves. The biggest expenditure was the scrumptious food, which there was loads of, all day!
THE VENUE | The marriage ceremony was at New Walk Museum in Leicester, surrounded by beautiful paintings (and the odd dinosaur!). We then had a blessing only metres away at Holy Cross Church. The reception was held at Seagrave War Memorial Hall out in the country. We were transported there on vintage double-deckers.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My outfit was a top and skirt by Bouret from Rock the Frock in Chelmsford, Essex. The top had an exposed back so I bought a back necklace (is that what they’re called?!) with a hanging moon and stars from Topshop. I wanted a bit of sparkle and found some barely-worn gold glitter Dune heels on Ebay for £15! I bought matching star-shaped shoe clips from Charlotte Mills.
FINDING THE DRESS | I spent a loooong time looking for dresses. I was also determined not to spend a ridiculous amount, instead opting to try on lots from the ASOS bridal range. Although the designs were lovely, none of them ever felt right or looked as good as they did on the website! I stumbled upon Rock the Frock’s website and was wowed by their amazing collection of very different styles. I knew I didn’t want anything traditional and it seemed more up my street. I tried on a few different options and settled on the two-piece by Bouret. Yes, it totally went against my initial outfit budget but the skirt had pockets! Say no more.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ciaran wore a bluey-grey suit from Next, with a DKNY shirt. His floral tie was from Etsy and his shoes were custom-made by shoe designer Anthony Miles (they even had his name printed on the sole!).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Ciaran’s father and brother played traditional Irish music while the guests were waiting before the ceremony and our friend Mark played Boy Meets Girl’s 80s classic ‘Waiting for a star to fall’ on the Steinway piano as my sister and I walked down the aisle. We had three readings: the first, Ciaran’s mum read Sonnet 116 (we’re English teachers so had to have some Shakespeare!); his brother read an extract from The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and lastly, my friend Dom read an extract from The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman. Ciaran himself plays drums and the violin, so later at the reception, he played a set of brilliant covers with his very talented friends and his current band, The Whiskey Rebellion, played their own brand of gypsy folk rock.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Gwen was my bridesmaid, and she got an absolute bargain of a bridesmaid’s dress from Pretty Kitty Fashion for £16!
THE FLOWERS | On the advice of a friend who recently got married, we went to a flower warehouse on an industrial estate in Leicester and had a lovely time just picking flowers we liked! Ciaran’s mum’s friend, Mary, made the bouquets and centrepieces and my mum, sister and Ciaran’s mum helped put together flowers in bottles we had collected for months from charity shops and..
The wedding industry is slowly but surely doing away with rulebooks, with personalisation and creativity at the very heart of this change. Today’s real wedding is an eclectic and perfectly unique celebration of this, and we’re so grateful to Rachel and Alex for sharing their wedding day with us.
With strong creative and artistic veins in both the bride and groom, this couple wanted to express their love of design of community through a completely homegrown and handmade wedding day. Each feature, both visual and practical, was chosen to reflect their hometowns, their family heritages, and the creative people that fill their lives. They also wanted to embrace the outdoors and source elements as locally, collaboratively, and sustainably as possible, showcasing all the wonderful talents of their family and friends. Everything from the stationery to the tablescapes were collages of their life, their past together, and all they love most, with touching details like ‘heritage’ canapés reflecting the likes and lives of each of their grandparents, served on trays alongside old photographs of the family members they represented. With friends in the roles of ceremony officiants, beer brewers, flower arrangers, musicians, seamstresses, and much more, the whole day reads like a journey full to the brim with love and laughter. The décor echoed their story, with an eclectic assortment of brown beer bottle vases, hand screen printed napkins, ceramic adornments and geeky paper craft centrepieces, all organically complementing the seasonal arrangements of dahlias, roses, rosemary and wheat.
We adore the emotive capture of this wedding day by the Toast of Leeds, so powerful, authentic, and eloquent with light, sit back, relax, and take it all in.
Happy Easter lovelies! What better way to celebrate Easter Monday than with this utterly delightful Spring wedding, complete with cherry blossom (I cannot wait for cherry blossom to grace our trees again), cute sausage dog Alan and SO many smiles all day long?!
WWW readers Alex and Jess were hitched on the 29th of April 2017 at Yeldersley Hall in Derbyshire. The venue was perfect for their personal day due to it’s flexibility, beautiful gardens and accommodation. These two wanted a day that had their personality stamped all over it, from the Derby County references to the sausage dog details. With live music during the day, a DJ at night with both bride and groom play lists and relaxed food served at tables; guests were suitably spoilt.
One of Jess’ fave parts of planning was designing her own dress, what a gown it was too. She looked incredible right?! The boys were super cool in their bright blue suits, knitted bow ties and colour pop yellow buttonholes. In fact all of the bright yellow florals were a delight and really added a touch of fun.
THE PROPOSAL | After being together for several years and going to many weddings I knew it was going to happen at some point soon- every holiday or weekend away I was anticipating it. What I didn’t expect was to be proposed to in our dining room at 1am on a random Friday evening after a night with friends as we danced around being daft. Alex popped out for a minute and came back and got down on one knee; he had had the ring for months and was waiting for a time at home together which felt right. It was really intimate and sweet and best part, I was actually surprised!!
THE VISION | After being serial wedding goers for the last few years we have really loved every single wedding we have been to and all the practice helped us to think about what we wanted for our wedding. We wanted it to be relaxed, fun and have lots of personal touches. Whilst we both have many things in common we also have our own interests and we wanted our individual personalities and that as a couple too, hence some “classy” Derby County references throughout. I am not a football fan, but it’s important to Alex and they say a happy marriage is all about the compromises!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We got engaged in August 2015 and wanted to wait until 2017 to get married to give us time to save money and have time to plan the day. For us having this amount of time meant that we could be relaxed and didn’t feel pressured or rushed. We booked the big things; venue, food, registrar, photographer first and as the months rolled on the rest seemed to fall in to place. We are not very good at spreadsheets but I had a notebook that I would write lists and track the budget in and loved using Pinterest and other wedding blogs such as WWW for inspiration.
We were also lucky to have our friend, Sally Bancroft, who works in events planning and has planned, set up and coordinated weddings. Sally was fantastic! She’s a dab hand with crafts, an amazing eye for detail and she communicated with all our suppliers on the day, which meant we could relax and enjoy ourselves. She really helped us to pull our ideas together.
BUDGET | Under £12,000
THE VENUE | Yeldersley Hall, Ashbourne.
I went to a wedding at Yeldersley in 2014 and I thought it was such a lovely venue. We had several things on the list for venue criteria and Yeldersley hit them all; beautiful venue, relaxed approach, can get married there, can have it for the whole weekend, can bring our own suppliers in and very importantly, no corkage, winner!
We really liked Andrew who runs Yeldersley and he was very helpful but he also gave us the space to decorate and make the venue our own, which we loved. The setting is beautiful, there are stunning gardens, ample inside space, a marquee and accommodation for 14, which was lovely as it meant that my parents and bridesmaids could stay the night before and Alex and I could stay there the night of the wedding.
I’m such a sucker for floral boho details and today’s wedding has style in spades! Enter WWW readers Stephanie and Mark who wed at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa on the 27th May 2017. The whole day was a wondrous, whimsical feast for the eyes with some very intricate work on Stephanie’s part!
The whole wedding was inspired by the book The Secret Garden and the little touches are just beautiful. Each table had its own garden delicately made from dolls house items, aren’t they just darling?
Separates are a brilliant idea for brides who want something a bit different from a traditional dress and Stephanie looks just stunning in her Charlotte Balbier bralette, skirt and topper. I also love the idea of custom made waistcoats to make the groomsmen’s own trousers and shirts really special. Drink in all the details WWWers!
THE PROPOSAL | Mark treated me to a surprise weekend away to the Lake District, when we arrived and went to our, I opened the door and the words ‘Will you marry me?’ were written in fresh rose petals on the bed.
THE VISION | Frances Hodgson Burnetts ‘The Secret Garden’ was the inspiration.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | There were 18 months of planning, it was quite the DIY wedding in a sense that I handmade many of the items used therefore took a lot of my free time.
BUDGET | £13,000
THE VENUE | All Saints All angels Church Rode Heath and Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa Nantwich.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Charlotte Balbier Separates from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was having great difficulty finding a dress that I felt like me in. Many dresses that were traditional in style did not suit my tattoos and I felt like a trashy Bride trying to something that I am not. I’d seen that 7th Heaven were showcasing the Charlotte Balbier separates range so I went along to try them. Helen and the team were fantastic with me, would not let me try anything on that was over my budget as opposed to other places I had been where they would allow you to fall in love with a dress that there was no way you could afford. They understood my style and I ended up with a dress that compromised of a skirt, bralet and topper. The skirt was my favourite bit of it so flattering, elegant and comfortable at the same time.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Due to the budget and wanting to keep the day less formal, The Groom and the Groomsmen did not wear a full suit but used their own white shirts and black trousers coupled with custom made waistcoats and bow ties. These were made by J & J Bridal and Mens Formal Wear in Newcastle. They allowed us to choose our own material and buttons for the waistcoats and pattern for the bow ties, making the combination truly unique to our day.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Colossians 3 v 12-17 by Steph’s Godmother Ann and Love is a friendship caught fire (L.Hendricks) by Marks sister Kellie. I chose these reading because they speak more about the reality of a relationship where it isn’t always fairytales and magic but you can have a ‘happy ever after’ if you love each other enough. I walked down the aisle to ‘Stand by me’ by Ben.E.King which was sung in A cappella beautifully by two friends Cassie and Kelly.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | 12 Bridesmaids! I don’t do things by half. I am very fortunate to have many friends and family members who are friends in my life and I couldn’t choose between them so why not have them all! I got the dresses from ASOS which I an affordable option and allowed me to have the entire similar colour but in different styles so that everyone felt comfortable on the day.
THE FLOWERS | The Bride’s bouquet and the buttonholes were created by a florist called Carol. She grows the majority of her flowers herself. I chose Carol because of the style of her creations, they have a sense of wilderness to them yet look so intricate and beautiful. She provides flexibility in the process; you can simply buy the stems and do it all yourself if cost is an issue or she can have as much involvement as you want. With that in mind, with the amount of bridesmaids I bought the stems separate for the Bridesmaids and my good friend Zoe so very kindly created the bunches.
THE CAKE | The Cake was made by one of my best friends and bridesmaid Tash, doing a three tiered naked cake all by herself and then decorated with flowers. This saved me so much money and yet still looked amazing.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We used Dan from Bib and Tucker Wedding Photography. We chose him because we wanted a relaxed and more artistic photographer. Dan was brilliant and we instantly knew from the first time we met him that he was perfect for our day. Myself and Mark were quite uncomfortable with the posed kind of shots but Dan made us feel so at ease. For the day we asked to have a second shooter which was the best decision, so that nothing was missed. On the day Dan and Luke were great, all the guests commented on how nice they were; you could barely tell they were there at all, which helped considerably in keeping the day flowing, there was no stopping the celebrations to have endless choreographed shots done. On reviewing the photos from the day Dan took massively into consideration my ideas about how the finished product should look and put up with my demands of which shots to use due to personal insecurities. Ultimately the pictures we ended up are beyond our expectation and completely tell the story of the day, you can see the enjoyment on peoples face and emotions that were felt.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I tried to make most things myself, Each table had its own individual garden as a centrepiece which I achieved by using little bits bought from a dolls house shop. The tables were named in relation to the story of the secret garden, with a table plan made in the style of a map with painting and using the old primary school technique of using tea bags to make it more authentic. I also decorated an arch to have over the cake table, did the wedding post box in decoupage and made tambourines for the party at night. The décor was put together by EVENTURES Venue dressers. The tied in all my hand made pieces and put them into place on the day. They also supplied Chiavari chairs, table décor and hanging lanterns from the ceiling to soften the formality of the room. Natasha at EVENTURES coordinated everything so well and put everything together better than I imagined.
Due to the amount of people in the wedding party we decided to put on a bus to keep costs down for the transport, I highly recommend this as then there aren’t lots of cars scattered everywhere and everyone is all in one place. For myself and Mark we had an old Morris Minor convertible which was super cute.
Instead of having a traditional sweet after the buffet we decided to have an ice cream man instead. We used Lanzas traditional ice cream, which comes in the form of a push bike cart. Mark was just about able to ride the cart into the venue which was hilarious.`
THE HONEYMOON | We spent ten nights in Mauritius, personally having never done a luxury holiday before this was unreal and something I could definitely get used too.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Hearing the girls sing whilst walking down the aisle was amazing, all the planning and preparation had finally come down to that moment and their voices were so beautiful it just completely made it magical.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try not to stress out too much on the run up to the day and let it consume you, by time the night before came I didn’t care if it all fell apart all I wanted to do was get married to the man I loved and this sometimes gets lost in all the planning.
Well would you look at that? Did you ever see a cooler photo booth, than a crescent moon and starry sky backdrop? Oh how I love it. In fact this beautiful artwork was a DIY project, which worked out so very well, as did the rest of this gloriously cool homemade wedding day.
WWW readers Cara and Matt join us this fine Monday with their super awesome wedding celebrations, which were held on the 24th June 2017. It was really important to them both that they were wed in Yorkshire and so held their ceremony at the spectacular Fountains Abbey followed by an intimate party at Ripley Town Hall. There to capture all the goings on just so perfectly was Shutter Go Click Photography, whose images today have us swooning.
Our couple wanted to create a rustic tropical vibe with their decorations, think gold painted pineapples and hand stitched palm print bunting and table runners. It looked ruddy brilliant alongside the fun balloons, blooms and fairy lights too. Cara was lucky enough to have her dress custom made, hello polka dot tulle! While Matt went for a Topman suit and the maids chose their own white frocks. Not to mention flower crowns all round. Oh yes!
THE PROPOSAL | Christmas Eve 2015. We were just packing to go to Matt’s parents for Christmas and he surprised me by getting down on one knee in the middle of our living room. Initially, he forgot to open the ring box..! But when he did there was a beautiful platinum 1920s ring in there, which he had sourced from Etsy. It was perfect to announce the news to our families over Christmas and was the best present ever!
THE VISION | The plan was to get married in Yorkshire as this is where we are both from. Narrowing down an exact location was pretty hard but as soon as we discovered that Fountains Abbey was licensed for weddings we were sold! This helped to shape our vision of the day because Fountains would only cater for the ceremony so we were then tasked with finding a venue for the reception. We wanted a neutral space that we could really go to town with in terms of the decorations and after a few weeks of searching we discovered a beautiful town hall in the nearby village of Ripley. Although we wanted the day to be a small intimate affair, we were thrilled to have such a beautiful backdrop for it.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We confirmed the venues and the date about 3 weeks after the engagement, and then had roughly 18 months to plan the finer details. My main concern was decorating Ripley Town Hall, so we spent most of our time finalising the touches for that. As soon as we got engaged I knew I wanted a ‘Moon Booth’ for the reception, luckily after a little gentle persuasion my very handy Dad offered to give making one from scratch a go.
THE VENUE | The ceremony was held within the grounds of Fountains Abbey near Ripon, a wonderfully preserved monastery designated a World Heritage Site, which dates back to the 1100s . The ceremony room was within the atmospheric ‘Fountains Hall’. Our reception was held at Ripley Town Hall, known locally as ‘Hotel De Ville’ due to it’s French Gothic Revival style of architecture. We hired a gorgeous vintage double decker bus to take guests between the two venues.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was handmade by my exceptionally talented cousin Rhiannon. Rhiannon has a background in wedding dress design so asking her to design and make mine was a no brainer for me. It took me a while to decide on a specific style, but it was such a fun collaborative process coming up with the design, which ended up being floaty and ethereal.
The top of the dress is made from Chantilly lace, and the skirt is a very fine polka dot tulle. I loved the contrast of the two fabrics, and it was embellished with tiny flowers, which were so delicate and pretty.
All in all the dress probably took about a year to make, I feel so lucky that I was able to have a dress designed just for me!
For accessories, I wore my hair down and had a fresh flower crown, which had shades of pink, red and white in it. My shoes were from Office and were glittery and gold. To go with my bouquet, my Mum gave me the horseshoe she had on her wedding day, which was really special.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Matt chose a deep blue suit from Topman, and we ordered a bespoke tie and matching pocket square from Kate Temple, which was made from beautiful red floral Liberty print fabric. His shoes were oxblood brogues from Office.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to ‘Comin’ back to me’ by Jefferson Airplane. We had one reading during the ceremony, which was the poem ‘The Present’ by Michael Donaghy and we wrote our own vows. We left the room to ‘You’ve got the Love’ by Candi Staton/Frankie Knuckles which was just joyful!
Our first dance was to ‘Because the Night’ by Patti Smith; we wanted something fun, loud and celebratory, which would get everyone on the dancefloor (where we stayed for the rest of the night!).
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids, and loved the idea of white dresses for them. All of the girls chose their own dresses, which were from ASOS, Reiss, Warehouse and Ted Baker, it was really important to me that they felt confident and comfortable in their outfits. To bring the look together, they each had a gypsophila flower crown.
THE FLOWERS | Duck and Daffodils in York came highly recommended from my cousin. They have a farm where they grow all of their own beautiful flowers, and we ordered lots of buckets of seasonal flowers and foliage to make centrepieces from. Matt’s mum did a wonderful job at arranging them in the various milk crates, bottles and jars we had sourced. As the flowers were seasonal, the colours used were a complete surprise but I loved that! My flower crown ended up having the most gorgeous pink and white sweet williams, roses and peonies, and my cascading bouquet was a riot of purple sweetpeas, which felt so summery.
THE CAKE | Luckily for us, we have a superstar chef in the family who we asked to make our cake. After spending ages sourcing inspiration from Pinterest, I opted for a very simple cake decorated with edible flowers. The three tiers were three separate flavours; vanilla and poppy seed with homemade strawberry and prosecco jam, banoffee and lemon curd. It was huge!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | It had to be Shutter Go Click! We weren’t planning on having a wedding photographer until we came across Ryan’s photos. They were so different, and seemed to capture something just outside the every day which I loved. I cannot quite express how much his beautiful images have enhanced my memories of our wedding day and I’m grateful for that. It was great to have the opportunity for him to capture our very first moments of marriage in the grounds of Fountains Abbey, which was just stunning.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The main focal point in the town hall was the ‘Moon Booth’ that my parents made from scratch (my Dad built it and my Mum painted the face). It looked better than I could have ever imagined and it was a great talking point for the evening. Ryan’s photos of all of our guests on the ‘Moon Booth’ were an added bonus!
Alongside the ‘Moon Booth’, I had plans for a tropical theme for the reception venue and we spent the day before the wedding spray painting about 20 pineapples gold! They looked unexpectedly chic and brightened up the tables amongst the flowers. My mum made over 70 metres of bunting from lovely tropical palm print fabric and she even made table runners to match.
The handmade touches to the décor were so special, it felt like a real joint effort. Alongside the bunting and pineapples we used an old step ladder for the seating plan and had various other paper garlands and a huge willow heart adorning the walls not to mention 100 metres of fairy lights.
Decorating each place setting we had place cards from Papier, which were the same design as our wedding invites, personalised napkins and a vintage-style drinks token, which was also the wedding favour.
I think the biggest (and possibly only) extravagance decor-wise was hiring neutral wooden chairs for the reception as I wasn’t keen on the ones supplied by the venue!
THE HONEYMOON | We travelled to Sorrento in Italy for two weeks, which was just breathtaking! After all the planning and excitement of the wedding it was so perfect to relax on our hotel balcony overlooking Versuvius, sipping prosecco! A highlight was heading into Naples for the pizza of our lives.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I will never forget the audible gasp from my family and friends when I walked into the ceremony room with my Dad, I felt like a fairy princess in my dress but also so grateful and happy to feel so much love!
Having a quiet moment amidst all the madness with Matt at dinner was super special too. We were the first in the buffet queue and sitting down with our food we turned to each other and shared that smug ‘we actually pulled off a wedding and we are now married!’ look.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t get too bogged down in the finer details, I spent ages considering exactly how the tables would look but I soon realised when all the guests arrived on the day that it just didn’t matter! I would also recommend researching a good photographer who’s work you love!
WWW readers Emily and Neil are childhood sweethearts and I really love their story of get togethers with their friendship group at Emily’s parents over the years as they grew up. It’s something that holds dear memories in my own heart and I am sure many of yours too. So when they chose to hold their wedding reception at Emily’s parents back garden, it really brought back good memories and nostalgia for all. I think it’s wedding planning choices just like that, which make for an authentic, special and meaningful day. We haven’t even mentioned the fact that the whole celebration was a real home made affair, with loved ones coming together to craft up a beautiful style for the country knees up.
For a back garden celebration, summer is always the perfect time of year and this pair chose the 19th August 2017 for their wedding. With a background in design and interiors Emily has real creative flair and I am sure you will agree that the whole look of their marquee was just delightful. There were greenery laden blooms, a hanging foliage installation, laser cut place names, doilies and painted wooden signage. Fete games, a tea station and a bake off all added to the fun festivities and guests made the most of the gardens.
Now let’s talk about that Milamira Bridal gown. It’s appliqué floral detail, long sleeves and side split skirt complete with pockets looked so chic and elegant. Emily looked sensational. She wore a flower crown to match her maids who wore blue and grey dresses in mismatched styles. Neil looked very smart in his military uniform and later changed into a navy suit and red tie. All in all a very stylish bunch then!
THE PROPOSAL | Neil proposed on a beautiful secluded Cornish beach in August 2015 with the most gorgeous 1940s antique Opal and Diamond ring. Much to my unawareness a month previous Neil had spent a day in London with my best friend ring shopping, a day later I spent a weeks holiday with her and I’m still not sure how they managed it keep it quiet!
THE VISION | I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a lovely Suffolk countryside village and for a long time I knew that that was where I wanted to get married. Neil and I have been together for almost 10 years, from only 16. Growing up we spent a lot of time at my parents and their relaxed, open door nature meant that we often had friends over with lots of parties and BBQ’s, so it was a very natural decision to hold our wedding in their garden. Our most important factors were that the day was to have a relaxed, country feel with good food and plenty of it, a well stocked bar and a brilliant party to wrap it all up.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Two or so years before Neil proposed, in a London pub and after a bottle or two of wine we pretty much planned our whole wedding. So when Neil did pop the question our planning process was very relaxed, with all the big decisions done I was able to spend 2 years doing the bit that I enjoyed the most; the décor and styling (and all the finer details)! We are very organised people so we had a wedding spreadsheet and lists a plenty and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
THE VENUE | We got married in the village church where I had grown up and held the reception at my parents, with drinks, garden games and cakes in their garden, a beautiful traditional marquee in their field and camping behind it.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I loved dress shopping, and definitely used it as an excuse to try on as many dresses as possible! I knew I wanted a floral crown and I was so lucky to find Florence & Flowers who made me the most beautiful dried flower crown.
Something old – My antique engagement ring
Something new – My dress
Something borrowed – My mum’s bracelet, that my Dad had given her on her 21st birthday.
Something blue – A pair of opal earrings that had a beautiful blue shine.
FINDING THE DRESS | I bought my dress from Rock the Frock in Chelmsford. They have so many beautiful dresses and are so nice and incredibly helpful. On my first visit I took my Mum and it was lovely to share that experience just the two of us and I came away knowing that I had found THE dress. We went back a few weeks later with my four bridesmaids and their reaction was just as I had hoped! I chose a beautiful Milamira gown, with a light lace sleeved top, appliqued flowers and a floaty skirt with pockets and a side slit. I also bought a Self Portrait midi dress that I changed into after our first dance, so that I could party with our friends and family!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Neil wore his military uniform for the ceremony and photos, which meant so much to him (and looked incredibly dapper!). He then changed into a navy suit and dark red tie.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | One of my bridesmaids and child hood best friend did a reading from Winnie the Pooh (my favourite book as a child)…
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
It meant a lot to us as Neil is often away meaning we have to spend a lot if time apart.
Neil’s brother read Corinthians 13 1-7.
Neil’s brother’s partner is a wonderful singer and we were very lucky to have her sing whilst we signed the register. She sang Skinny Love (Birdy) and Your Song (Elton John), both songs that we love and it was amazing, a memory that we will always cherish.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My four beautiful bridesmaids wore blue/grey dresses, all from ASOS. I knew that I wanted them to be comfortable and happy with that they were wearing so it was a natural decision for them all to be in different dresses. They chose their own shoes and hair styles complimented with beautiful flower crowns that matched in with mine.
THE FLOWERS | Triangle Nurseries made out beautiful bouquets, buttonholes and corsages. With our rustic and countryside feel we knew we wanted our flowers to reflect this too, and Triangle Nurseries did such a great job! Greenery played a big part, and this worked beautifully with the simple and wild looking flowers.
For the marquee we did the flowers ourselves, picking them from my grandparents garden, we used beautiful vintage glass bottles for the tables and used an old ladder of my Dads to hang flowers from the top of the marquee. It looked great!
THE CAKE | My Mum’s friends made our cake, she’s a brilliant baker! We chose a naked cake with four tiers: red velvet; chocolate and vanilla. We left her to it with the decoration and it looked and tasted amazing! One of my bridesmaids made a beautiful gold laser cut cake topper.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What can I say, Emily Tyler is wonderful! She photographed Neil’s cousins wedding a few years previous and we loved her work. Her relaxed, documentary style was perfect for our day, and we were so incredibly pleased with her photos. She managed to capture some beautiful candid moments, some playful (and hilarious!) group shots and some loving couple photos along with a mountain of other great shots!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I have a background in design and interiors so the décor and styling was really important to me, everything was designed, made or sourced by either us or a friend/ family member. Our colour scheme was quite broad, more of a feel; soft, pastel, rustic and countryside. I made 100 linen napkins, ripped metres of fabric to make tassel bunting garlands that hung in the marquee, sourced and purchased nearly 150 linen and lace doilies that I stitched together for the table runners, designed all our stationary, Neil and I made all the signage and my Mum and I sourced around 50 vintage serving dishes and platters for the food. Neil and my Dad converted my Dad’s horse box into a bar, my Dad restored an old ice cream bicycle that had been rusting away in his shed for years, which we used for a gin bar and we made garden games and a photobooth for the afternoon.
Instead of giving favours I designed individual place names that one of my lovely bridesmaids laser cut out of wood, they looked amazing and our guests loved them!
We were so lucky that one of my bridesmaids also runs a lovely prop hire and styling company, in which we borrowed the beautiful glass bottles for our table flowers, candle sticks and vintage china.
There was so much making and sourcing and we loved doing it all!
THE FOOD | As a nod to our love of Cornwall and our Cornish engagement we had Cornish pasties in the evening. We had cake, tea and a gin bar in the afternoon. With pulled pork and pavlova for our wedding breakfast. All are our favourite foods!
THE HONEYMOON | We had a mini-moon to Norfolk, spending one night in a lovely B&B on the coast and one night in a country spa hotel, it was a lovely little break. We are having a big two week honeymoon this year!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We were so incredibly lucky to have had so many offers of help for our wedding, so many friends and family made things, lent us items and helped during or in the lead up to our day. The week leading up to our wedding was almost just as wonderful as the day itself, there were so many people coming and going and there was such as buzz! We held a BBQ the day after our wedding and invited those that helped, along with our close families and wedding..
I know I know, I’ve said it time and time again. But you guys, you blooming well rock! I love nothing more than featuring our reader’s weddings and today’s certainly is no exception.
WWW readers Kenndel and Dan were hitched on the 16th September 2017 at The Cow Shed at Wood Hall Farm in Staffordshire. The venue was perfect for their countryside rustic wedding vision and we think it provided the most amazing backdrop. They had an outdoor humanist ceremony against a DIY wooden arch, followed by a reception in the beautiful barns. The barns were spoilt with decoration by the couple and their family. I mean just check out the ribbon backdrop sweetie table and cool signage for starters. Awesome.
Then there was the gorgeous attire, which were high street finds. Kenndel and Dan both looked boho beautiful! The blooms for the bouquets were provided by WWW faves The Flowermonger, which Kenndel then arranged herself. We love the end result too.
THE PROPOSAL | Dan proposed on the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria on a freezing January afternoon. Although our teeth were chattering, the weather meant that we were completely alone, which was actually really lovely!
THE VISION | From before we even got engaged, we knew that we wanted something relaxed and informal. We’re both quite laid-back people and love the outdoors, so a rustic DIY countryside party with our family, friends and dog was perfect.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | It was a whirlwind nine months from getting engaged to the big day! This meant that we had to be quite organised with our time but flexible with what we wanted. It took a while for us to find the perfect venue with such short notice, but once that was sorted, everything else fell into place. We really wanted the day to be a DIY project to reflect us, so we organised the details for the ceremony, catering and entertainment ourselves. We had a huge amount of help from family and friends, from the DIY photobooth to the handmade wooden decorations and archway for the ceremony. I really enjoyed browsing Pinterest and gathering ideas, although it can be tempting to get carried away with all the plans!
THE VENUE | We knew that we wanted a humanist ceremony outdoors, with enough space for our guests to enjoy themselves without it feeling too detached. We visited the Cow Shed on a dark winter’s night and instantly fell in love with the barn, outdoor areas and endless possibilities for personal touches. Lucy, the owner was a delight from start to finish and really helped us make the most of the venue.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I got my dress from Monsoon, my shoes from Debenhams and my gorgeous handmade faux flower crown and veil from Etsy.
FINDING THE DRESS | I visited a few bridal shops over a few months and tried on lots of different styles, from classic princess to modern fashion, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I finally found my dress whilst browsing Monsoon’s website, which suited my laid-back style perfectly.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan managed to put his outfit together in just one day with the help of his best man. His shirt and trousers were from Next and the copper braces were from Etsy.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We included an excerpt that we loved from Louis de Bernières’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and had a local musician perform with an acoustic guitar for the ceremony, it was lovely.
We hired a local DJ for the evening entertainment in the dance hall, which went down a treat and we had a lot of complements on the DJ and playlist!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My two sisters and sister-in law, who were fabulous and open-minded about all of my ideas!
THE FLOWERS | I had always wanted to arrange my own flowers for my wedding as I knew I wanted something wild and homemade. I love the personal touches and this felt like the perfect thing to do. We ordered the flowers and foliage from Claire at The Flowermonger, who recommended different types, based on my vision and was nothing short of lovely. The flowers were delivered a few days before and I put the bouquets together myself with help from family. I really enjoyed the whole process and they came out perfectly!
We also ordered some decorative foliage from Triangle Nursery, which we used on the tables and around the venue, which were excellent quality. My dad, a keen gardener helped arranged them and I even kept them at home for a month afterwards!
THE CAKE | We love cheese and wanted to go local, so we chose a simple layered cheese ‘cake’ from The Cheese Yard, Knutsford, complete with crackers and grapes.
THE FOOD | Vintage afternoon tea and ‘fancy’ fries from a van! Rashelle and the girls from Yours Truly were exceptional, the food was delicious and the whole thing ran so smoothly. The fries got a lot of compliments for being so inventive, and everyone loved sitting on their haybales by the fire pits tucking in!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The exceptionally talented Brook from Brook Rose Photography. I found Brook when browsing Whimsical Wonderland Weddings for inspiration and she was nothing short of fabulous. She captured some lovely, natural, sincere photographs and was discrete and professional throughout, which really put us at ease. We now have some unique photos that really capture the atmosphere of our day, which was what we really wanted.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My parent’s new family business, The Rustic Wedding People did a beautiful job at the décor, making the handmade oak candle holders, decorations and wedding arch, which really suited the simple copper and forest green decorations. We made a find-your-face table plan ourselves, with photos of our guests and the lovely bridesmaids set up a homemade sweetie stand and photo booth, which was very popular! Most things were homemade and it was very much a family effort!
THE HONEYMOON | We love to travel and we love road-trips, so we will hopefully be combining the two somewhere far away in August, we cannot wait!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Standing with Dan and our Border Collie, Meg in the sun in front of all of our family and friends, the speeches and dancing to our favourite cheesy pop music all night!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t stress about the weather! We worried for weeks about rain and, although we had to change our plans slightly, the sun came out, we still got our outdoor ceremony and we had a lovely time!