Festival and tipi weddings have been big in 2012… like huge. Like they’re the wedding trend that just won’t quit. And that not necessarily a bad thing, because hell, who doesn’t love a festival and camping and toasting marshmallows over an open fire?
When Amy & Chris set to planning their July wedding, they decided that the groom’s family home, Laskey Farm in Thelwall, was a more than perfect spot. After a humanist ceremony performed by Kate Gee came a various bands and performances with the evening being rounded off with a silent disco!
“Our ceremony was totally unique because of the lack of legal and religious stuff every minute of it was about us”, explained the bride. “My sister and I read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII in English and Spanish which sounded amazing even though I couldn’t understand what she was saying! My cousin Tom, who’s an actor, read a ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ which I’d chosen as a surprise for Chris because we tease him about looking like an owl! His friend Tom played some Beatles songs for the beginning and end of the ceremony, and in the middle we had an ‘alternative hymn’ – The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” which worked really well, everyone joined in and sang along! We both felt quite strongly about being atheist and not having a church wedding, so after a little research we found Kate Gee, a humanist celebrant and all round fantastic lady. She totally understood the way we felt about our wedding and took lots of time to get to know us both so that she could write and talk about us in detail and on a personal level throughout the ceremony. It was the ultimate way to personalise our wedding! She suggested the handfasting involving the colourful ribbons and it worked beautifully – we tied the ribbons to random chairs and at the end of the ceremony anyone with a ribbon was asked to come up and tie it around our hands, and wish us well. My mum had stitched my buttons from the collection I’d inherited from my Nana to the ends of the ribbons to weigh them down so that they hung beautifully and didn’t get tangled in the wind; after the ceremony we tied them into a tree on the lawn.”
Sarah & Dan wanted a blank canvas space that they could completely transform for their wedding. So after their ceremony at The Guildhall, the oldest building in Leicester, the wedding reception was held in tipis set up in The Cedar Field, Market Bosworth. “The Cedar Field was great venue, basically a blank canvas in a farmers field where you can tailor every aspect of the day”, explained Sarah.
“It had a gorgeous 200 year old cedar tree taking pride of place but unfortunately it’s days were numbered and it fell over a few weeks before the wedding. It wasn’t a big issue for us though and in fact looked a little more interesting. Matt & Annie who run the field were great, they even ran the bar service for us. We hired tipis from Elite Tents. They were awesome looking, very different and everyone loved them. The team behind them were also brilliant. A number of us camped overnight in the field and we managed to persuade them (with bacon butties!) to wait until a bit later the next day (so not to wake us up early) to take them down.”
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!”