Bella and Matt were married at Cowparsley, a wedding venue in Somerset. They wanted a relaxed, outdoorsy day with a festival feel, a picnic lunch and a meaningful ceremony.
“We searched for a long time for a venue that would give us free reign to do what we wanted, (at an affordable price!) and we had nearly given up when we discovered Cowparsley”, the bride began. “The whole day; ceremony and reception, was spent in their delightful farmhouse country garden. We had our ceremony in a lovely little orchard, saying our vows in front of a tree that we decorated with Mexican flag bunting, flower garlands, paper petal strings, and paper birds. We drank Pimms and played croquet and skittles on the neighbouring lawns, where we also relaxed on blankets for our picnic style feast. There was a lovely big antique canvas marquee, in which we danced in the evening, before sitting round the bonfire back in the orchard at the end of the night. Everything being in one place allowed everyone to kick off their heels and make themselves at home, rather than standing on ceremony. This informal atmosphere was very important to us.”
“We wanted to get married outside, under a tree, in the sunshine”, she continued. “Sadly, it is not currently possible to have a legal marriage service outdoors in England, so we went to a register office in the morning with Matt’s mum and my step-mum as witnesses. In and out in 20 minutes, no fuss. For what we considered the proper ceremony, that afternoon, with our family and friends, we considered hiring a Humanist minister, as we are not at all religious. However, we felt that it would be a little odd to have a stranger preside over such a personal event, especially as we had quite an intimate wedding, with just 70 of our closest friends and family. So we asked a close friend to be our celebrant. Esh is an actor, so very confident with public speaking. He has also shared a flat with us in the past, so knows us both very well, and has a unique insight into our relationship! He did a wonderful job, creating the relaxed, fun tone we wanted, and giving a brilliant speech in which he logically proved that our relationship was a good one, with reference to a theory by philosopher Bertrand Russell!”
Guy and Kirsty had a 1950s themed wedding and everyone dressed up… including every single one of their 282 guests! “To state the obvious, we had a 50s theme and the dress up was compulsory for all guests too”, began the bride. “They all went to town and it rocked my world!”
“I really wanted our wedding to be a celebration and a good old fashion party! So we had a vibey ceremony with a mini flash mob supporting our dancing down the aisle. This was a complete surprise for my groom! Watching his absolute surprised face whilst he shed tears like no man’s business as we bopped our way towards him was my favourite moment of the whole day.”
Lindsey and Ned were married in Tasmania, at the bride’s parent’s farm. overlooking the ocean. Their reception was at Stanley Town Hall. “Getting married on top of a hill overlooking the ocean (where the next landmass is South America!) and utilising whatever venue we could find locally was a pretty unique experience”, began the bride. “A weather proof reception venue was key to us as we can’t stand a flapping marquee on a windy, crappy night which is so often the case in Tassie. We were so lucky that the only place suitable was a recently restored, beautifully painted Art Deco hall! And it was only $800 to hire for four days!”
“We made/collected so many elements of the wedding ourselves without going overboard and getting stressed about it. I think the Pinterest generation are pressured to have hand made wedding elements and for people who may be not that way inclined already, they may feel forced to craft everything. It can really take the fun out of wedding planning. Luckily, I love making things and thrifting anyway but also feel like I got the balance right by not stressing about the little things.”
Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean date night should go out the window. I actually think it’s more important to make sure to keep it up once you’re hitched. It’s all too easy for life to get in the way and to forget just how wonderful spending time together is.
Here are 50 fun and affordable date night ideas for all you lovebirds out there.
1. The supermarket challenge (aka set a spend limit, separate and go and buy each other fun gifts!)
2. Cook dinner for each other
3. Wine tasting
4. Go for a romantic picnic
6. Make something together
7. Go for brunch
8. Go to a museum or gallery
9. Hop on the train and see where it takes you
10. Model village!
11. Set up a scavenger hunt
12. At home movie night
13. Take a class together
14. Paint your bedroom
15. Go thrift shopping
16. Jumble sale!
17. Watch the sunrise or sunset
18. Go to the beach
19. Walk the dog together (if you don’t have one, just walk!)
20. Play video games together
21. Get up early and go to a car boot
22. Go bowling
23. Ice skating!
24. Play tourist in your own city
Featuring this wedding is a little bit extra special for me because I actually went to school with the bride, Emma! When she told me she was getting married, and hosting it in their own back garden, I insisted that she submit it to me afterwards. I’m so thrilled that she did! Emma is now a florist and owns the Green Parlour in Pangbourne, so clearly this wedding was going to be full of beautiful blooms. Just look her her bouquet! Epic or what?!
Oh and they only spent £1000 on their wedding. UGH, SO AMAZING.
“We had been engaged for what seemed like forever (3 years to be precise) and during that time our lives changed so much, we became a family”, Emma told me. “Suddenly the whole idea of what we might want for our wedding shifted. It became about our space, our home and our garden. We wanted an amazing day but we also wanted to transform our back yard into a lasting memento of the day, something we can remember each year. We knew it had to be colourful, and unbeknown to Chris at this point the colour gold had to be included in as many places as possible!”
Nick and Tamar were married at Danby Castle in North Yorkshire. This was a DIY wedding and the bride even made her own dress! She wore it with a vintage kimono jacket in the evening. The groom’s sister made the cake and the bride and her bridesmaids arranged all the flowers.
“Our wedding was inspired by roses, Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, vintage cups of tea, floral prints, lace, mason jars, and the country side”, said Tamar. “We wanted to keep it as true to ourselves as possible. The most important thing for us was that our wedding represented our own personalities. If there is anything that shines in our character is that both are a mix of classic and modern. Nick has an amazing moustache (he even made his groomsmen grown moustaches for the wedding day!) and I’m a creative person and always try to express myself in any possible way (including my skin!) Another thing that made our wedding really special was that my brother played the ukelele and sang while I was walking down the aisle. ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ by Elvis Presley.”