After their small legal ceremony at Bletchley Registry Office, Hannah and Craig hosted their wedding in Craig’s parent’s back garden. They had a blessing followed by a marquee reception. The bride wore two dresses. The first, which she also wore again for dancing at the end of the night, was a bodice and skirt from BHLDN. Her second, more traditional gown was from Trudy Lee.
“Our wedding was a country rustic day but with modern touches”, began the bride. “When I was younger I didn’t have that picture in my head of my perfect wedding, I think it was probably because I had never seen one like ours before (!!) – outside in the open, garden ceremony and fields behind us. I think because we had that space to use that defined what our wedding was going to be like.”
“We were engaged for 3 years before we married. Craig proposed when we’d only been together 7 months so we didn’t make plans straight away. Bur during the spring of 2012 we were looking out across Craig’s parents garden and land and we decided it would be the most perfect venue. It was from then on the wedding plans went into full steam ahead! The ‘venue’ we had was certainly the lighting out of the blue inspiration we needed to kick start the plans. That’s what made the wedding so unique, Craig’s parents have a stunning home and we are so deeply grateful to them for allowing us to hold our wedding at their house.”
Beckie and Nick were married in Devon and wanted a day that focused on the things they loved the most. They had a limited budget but made sure they prioritised the things that mattered while putting their own stamp on everything. The bride’s mother made her dress and they handcrafted the majority of the decorations.
“We focused our budget on the things that mattered to us most – a gorgeous venue, fantastic food and a free bar – and dispensed with the frivolous things that we didn’t particularly care about”, the bride began. “People never remember these things anyway, I mean is a fancy wedding car or elaborate flower arrangements really key ingredients for a great party? My main sources of inspiration were Rock n Roll Bride and Pinterest. I didn’t attend any wedding fairs or buy a single wedding magazine as I didn’t want to get sucked into buying personalised umbrellas!”
For their late summer wedding Sarah & James wanted something relaxed, quirky and quintessentially English So they opted for a tea party style reception in the Suffolk countryside. The wedding was held at Otley Hall, a 16th Century moated hall surrounded by 10 acres of gardens and which has been voted one of the top 20 Historic Houses in the UK.
“We don’t like conform to the traditional”, began Sarah, “so we didn’t go for the big bank busting do to show off and invite hundreds of people we didn’t know. We wanted a day to celebrate our love for each other and to share it with the people we cared for. It was a day to show who we were as a couple in a setting that suited our individuality and to have a celebration! I suppose you could say our inspiration came from a collection of things we liked; we wanted it to be a celebration of us.”
“Our theme was English country garden party with a vintage homemade feel. There wasn’t a specific colour palette, but we decided to go with blue scale for the wedding parties’ attire. We decorated the space ourselves including a sweet stand for jars of sweets made by James’ dad, with handmade doily cones (made by James!) I customised the stand with bunting to match the bunting around the room and outside space made by my sister Aime.”
A colourful country fête wedding with a 1950s flair? What’s not to love in Steph & Dale’s wedding?! The day took place in Essex, kicking off at St Giles Church with the reception at Pledgdon Barn.
This wedding was a real DIY love affair and a project of passion. The couple made as much as possible including (deep breath) the bunting (both triangle and heart shaped), their stationery and all the paper goods, cocktail stirrers from laser cut card, the cake flags, the acrylic cake toppers, the wooden signs, the blackboards, the paper hearts for decorating the tables, the bridesmaids earrings, the buttonholes, the bow ties for their dogs and the cupcakes!
“I really wanted most things to be handmade because I like to be creative, plus this allowed things to be personal to us and also it can keep costs down”, Steph explained. “The bunting and stationary took the longest to make. If anyone says that bunting is quick then they would be lying!! The amount of man hours it took to make 200m of bunting was ridiculous!! I was still making up until a couple of days before but it turned the barn from something ordinary to something really special and it was definitely worth all the blood, sweat and tears.”
Julia & Stephen were married at Knowles Lodge, Yorkshire, in September. The wedding, although set in the English countryside, had a colourful Mexican fiesta theme! “We wanted the day to be relaxed, intimate, rustic and fun”, explained Julia. “I knew I wanted bright colours, and I have an obsession with Mexican food so a fiesta theme seemed to fit. As soon as I saw the Mexican team at the opening ceremony of the Olympics I knew we’d picked the right theme!”
“We had no idea about traditions before we planned our wedding, which was definitely a good thing because it meant it wasn’t a particularly traditional wedding”, she continued. “I always had a dream of getting married in a forest but there aren’t many places in the UK where you can get married outside, so we were really lucky to find one. We took a huge risk planning an outdoor ceremony at the end of September, but the risk paid off and the weather was beautiful. We were so lucky because the week in the run up to the wedding saw the worst storms in the area for 30 years!”
The cute countryside retreat of The Barn at Timberlake Farms was the perfect venue for laid back Elaine & Drew. They started their day with a traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony and ended with a dance contest!
“We wanted to be comfortable, and we wanted our guest to be comfortable too”, wrote Elaine. “We tried to do that while still honoring the importance of the day, and the formal nature of the ceremony being performed in the Greek Church. Our aim was to create a picnic-feel, but with tables and chairs. And we weren’t afraid to cut the traditional wedding elements like tossing the bouquet or renting a limo. Instead, we held a very serious dance contest complete with engraved trophies. And, we got a free car wash on the way to the reception!”
To give the wedding a personal touch, the couple and their family DIY’ed as much as they could. “My Mom and Dad helped make the miniature picnic basket favors”, the bride continued. “Inside each was full of kufeta, or Greek jordan almonds. For a while, the dining room table was piled high with these little guys – it looked like an elf workshop. The wedding programs came equipped with a vintage hanky, each one different. My Mother-in-law found hundreds of them at a yard sale in Illinois for next to nothing. I had wanted to construct a quilt for our “guestbook” wedding quilt but I ran out of time. However it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I think the vintage squares, which people wrote personal notes on, worked out better!”