Recently I dubbed 2012 the year of the festival wedding. I’ve been seeing them all over (particularly on my own blog’s pages!) and loving it. I used to be a huge festival kid. I live in Reading and we have a pretty famous rock festival every year, so I’ve always been a bit of a fangirl. I have fond memories of dancing til dawn, getting soaking wet in the rain and not giving a damn and waking up in stranger’s tents …(I’d like to point out this was before Gareth by the way!)
Anyone who doesn’t love a good music festival might think it’s a bit of a strange idea to base your wedding on, but oh boy how wrong they are. There’s no more perfect a moment than when your favourite band comes out and starts bashing out your ultimate track…
My love of music festivals is why I’m more than thrilled to share Charlotte & Josh’s nuptials with you today. They also had picnic baskets for their wedding breakfast. Heaven.
Tam & Rob had a wedding in three parts. Firstly a ceremony at Michelham Priory, East Sussex. “Michelham Priory is gorgeous”, began the bride. “We got married in a beautiful medieval barn.” Their reception was then held at Hawthbush Farm. They set up a marquee for an afternoon tea and then used the barn for a festival style party late into the night! “The farm is absolutely stunning. We felt very lucky when we found it. We had looked for a wedding venue for about 6 months and found it really hard to find somewhere that would let us do our own catering and didn’t charge ridiculous corkage. We also really wanted somewhere that our friends could camp. Hawthbush Farm is such a beautiful place and Toby and Lisa who own it are brilliant hosts. We stayed in the Cowshed and Piggery on the farm for a week before the wedding with loads of friends which was great fun. Lots of late nights preparing and making quite a big dent in the wedding wine!”
“We really wanted a fun wedding which guests would enjoy”, Tam continued. “Rob & I decided we would split the day into three, so we had the ceremony, the afternoon tea with games then an evening party. I think having three different venues with lots of entertainment was fun for the guests and us!”
After the ceremony, the couple actually had a second one – a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. “My dad is Indian so after the wedding ceremony everyone had a glass of Pimms and then gathered round for a traditional Parsee ceremony called a ‘Mado Soro’. The ceremony is a blessing for the couple to wish them good fertility and a fruitful marriage. My dad explained what was going on to all the guests and what the ceremony meant. We were presented with the most amazing fresh flower garlands that my cousins had bought over from Thailand. A fruit tree was planted by my brother while prayers were said by other relatives. An egg was passed round Rob’s head three times then thrown to the ground and broken. A coconut was then smashed on the floor. Everyone then threw rice and confetti.”
Lauren & Matt started their wedding planning knowing exactly what they wanted: something relaxed, stress-free and fun. They were lucky enough to have a friend whose parents own a farm, so everything else really stemmed from that. Lauren told me all about it. “As soon as we got engaged we knew how we wanted our wedding to be, we just didn’t know how to do it! The first and most important thing was to find a photographer. Being a enthusiastic photographer myself, I spent weeks searching for one that she liked, we finally came across Sassy of Assassynation and sent an excited email straight away. She immediately told us to phone her for a chat as we hadn’t set a date yet, but when she told us she only had 2 Saturdays free in the 3 months that we were looking at we booked her there and then! Everything else was then planned around her.”
“I knew I didn’t want a traditional ‘wedding dress’ as I didn’t think I would feel comfortable in one, plus I knew it wouldn’t fit in with our wedding ideas”, Lauren continued. “I did try a few on, but although they were nice dresses I just hated being in them! In the end I wound up buying 6 dresses, all from eBay, all cheap and all not right! My last hope was a woman I had found on Etsy but I had to wait 4 months for it to arrive, considering we only had 5 months until the wedding I kept my fingers crossed the whole time that it would be right! Luckily it was perfect, and even more so at just £80! It was so comfortable and light.”
Layla & Daniel were married in Rusper, Sussex in St Mary Magdalene’s Church, followed by a festival style wedding at Ridge Farm. I’ve featured weddings at this iconic wedding venue before – why so iconic you ask? Well the farm has a recording studio where Oasis, Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody was written here!) Roxy Music, Thin Lizzie, Black Sabbath and many many others have recorded albums! AHHHMAZING.
“The wedding was all personalised by me & Dan”, wrote Layla, “including the wine glasses, the moustaches & lips, the heart decor, the table plan & numbers, the ‘LOVE’ sign and the bunting. We had a two-day wedding. From the start we knew we didn’t want everything to be over with in just one day! Ridge Farm was the PERFECT venue as we were able to hire it exclusively from Friday to Monday which meant our parents, brothers & sisters, bridesmaids and best men could share the whole time with us. We also had some friends of ours camping on the grounds. Friday was set-up day, with everyone mucking in; Saturday was the wedding; and on Sunday we had about 100 of our guests returning for a Hog Roast, DJ’s and dancing till the wee hours!”
When the Summer rolls round what’s the first thing many of us get excited about? Festivals! So it’s hardly surprising that so many Rock n Roll Brides (and grooms!) are taking wedding inspiration from their favourite past time. Warm beer, dodgy food, mud & sleeping in a tent… What’s not to love!? Haha joking!
Becci & Tom favour the UK’s biggest rock festival, Glastonbury, and so started here with their ideas including their wedding cake that was inspired by the Ribbon Tower and the song lyric centerpieces. This wedding was pure music festival gold. Tom even proposed to Becci while at a gig in Oxford!
“We love music and the unique atmosphere and goings on of a festival”, began the bride. “We hated the idea of having a formal, soulless, plain wedding where people couldn’t let go and have a great time! And so, Glastombecci was born! We wanted to get the essence of Glastonbury; we had tickets, wristbands, signage, lots of great music, fancy dress, cider, a BBQ and a silent disco!”
The couple picked Flaxbourne Gardens for their ‘camp site’ which was perfect not least because of all the interesting extra features, “The gardens have a grotto, a castle, waterfalls and ponds, a windmill, Roman arches and some beautiful flowers”, Becci explained. “We loved the character of the Tipis and the open space they gave us, plus they were pretty much a blank canvas for us to decorate however we wanted.”
After dating for four and a half years, Matt proposed to Alice on the long drive home from Glastonbury Festival in 2011. So needless to say, the couple decided they wanted a festival themed wedding… or more specifically a homage to their favourite festival. “It had been an amazing weekend of music, love and cider-fuelled reveling,” began the bride. “It was pretty much an unspoken agreement from the off that our wedding would be an homage to Glastonbury. The festival has played a massive part in both our lives and running around in the mud, dressed like loons, dancing until dawn is high on our favourite things to do list. As soon as we’d verbalised the words ‘festival’, ‘camping’ and ‘fancy dress’ the thought occurred that it might be worth a punt asking the Eavis family (who own the land Glastonbury Festival is held on) if they would consider letting us use Worthy Farm. The family are great friends of my parents and scrumptious people. Amazingly they were really excited about the idea and more than happy to help (although they have since decided they don’t want to host further weddings - we might have put them off for life…eek!! - that’s not their bag). Glastonbury was having a year off so we chose to wed on Saturday 23rd June, a date which anyone who knows anything about Glastonbury will know understand to be highly significant!”
Alice wore ‘Eden’ by Jenny Packham. She originally wanted to try and find it second hand but it proved impossible. “I fell in love with the Jenny Packham Eden dress”, she continued, which was way beyond our means. But after much agonising and many months of searching for second hand ones I came up empty handed and decided to bite the metaphorical budget-busting bullet. If Matt’s reading this, you should know I haggled like a trooper and managed to make significant savings and freebies along the way!”
With her perfect gown she wore a beautiful cathedral length veil (FYI, I don’t see enough full length veils these days, where are all my veil-donning readers?) and a homemade headpiece. ”The veil was chosen partly due to being fabulous and creating the effect of a train I wanted and mostly down to it’s name. As soon as we discovered the veil was called ‘the golden shower’ and my bridesmaid Jess fell off her stool laughing, we proclaimed it was the one. Some things are meant to be! I also found a fabulous Jenny Packham headdress which I also fell deeply in lust with, but at £450 and with an increasingly agitated groom, I decided it was a step too far and to try and make my own version. My Mum came to to the rescue using a £12.50 Accessorize sequinned headdress as a base to which she added years worth of broken jewellery and a marquisite brooch to create a one of a kind look-a-like.”