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!”
Chris and Emmy were married early in the day, so they wanted to lay on lots of entertainment for their guests. “We wanted a day that was relaxed, fun and family-friendly”, wrote the bride. “We had our humanist hand fasting ceremony at 10:30 in the morning, so we wanted to make sure there was plenty for our guests to do throughout the day. We go to a lot of festivals and run a dance tent with my family called the Griffin Tent, so we used that as a starting point, using the marquee and having a pub quiz and live bands in the afternoon.”
“The river running through Loudwater Farm is the same river we both played in as children (we’ve known each other since we were 11!), so we had fishing nets and wellies for everyone to paddle. We added archery, circus toys, dreamcatcher making and an art and crafts den, and finished up with a silent disco.”
Lizzie and Rob, wedding photographers from Australia, were married in a field, on a friend’s property in Upper Brookfield, Queensland. Their wedding had a colourful, festival theme, and even though it rained – a lot – it didn’t damped spirits one little bit!
There was oodles of amazing DIY action in this wedding. Lizzie’s mum made her dress from a vintage pattern, the bouquet was home made and the bride designed and made that amazing cake herself! All the invitations were sent out digitally, which saved a lot of money. They also designed these themselves.
I’ve seen a lot of festival inspired weddings in my time, but I think it’s safe to say that none of them have been as so naturally cool as this one! Not only do Charlie and Kane both ooze awesome, but their dinner set up has to be one of the most beautiful ever. At their reception site, a field behind the bride’s parent’s house, they had a Bedouin tent and one huge, long table for their 150 guests to eat at. Thank goodness it didn’t rain!
The couple met in London, Kane is from New Zealand and they now live in Australia but they wanted to get married back in the UK. “All I wanted was to eat at one single table in the middle of my favourite field, like a big family meal for our big extended worldwide family”, began the bride. “I also wanted everyone to come for the whole weekend since we’re not back in the UK very often and one afternoon was never going to be long enough to see everyone properly – hence the bell tents!”
When Rob and Laura told me they had a fancy dress Alice in Wonderland/ Mad Hatter’s tea Party wedding I thought “Wow that sounds cool, but I bet I’ve seen it all before…” Oh how wrong I was! Never in my life have I seen a wedding where everyone – the couple, the wedding party and the guests – threw themselves into it so much. These costumes are just off the hook awesome!
The wedding took place in September in a marquee on a field at Hodore Farm, East Sussex. It was decorated from top to bottom with balloon teapots and playing cards, oversized playing cards, papier-mâché mushrooms, giant paper flowers, giant paper clocks, blow-up flamingoes, blow-up bananas, giant bean bags and a black and white tiled dance floor!
“We had our first (and actual) ceremony at Burning Man in Nevada – the theme for that one was Mad Max vs Barbarella,” began Rob. “Laura had never been before but knew how much the place meant to me, having been the previous four years, so we decided we should get married there! Oh, and it was blogged by Buzzfeed!”
“This was our second (unofficial) wedding two weeks later. It was proper fancy dress as we love to dress up. I was the white rabbit, Laura was Alice, and all the people to do with the service were allocated characters. Laura had nine bridesmaids (and made the hats for all of them), a flower girl and a little drummer boy. I had Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee as my best men, whilst Laura’s best men were the Walrus and Carpenter. Of course, some people went completely off piste and we ended up with all sorts turning up, including Santa himself.”
Laura and Matt’s wedding was simple, personal and perfect for them. When they started planning they were encouraged by their parents to do whatever made them happy – so that’s exactly what they did!
“We just wanted a very relaxed ceremony with our immediate family, and then a great party for our friends and family”, explained the bride. “We had 15 guests at Manchester Museum where we had out ceremony. It took place under their T-Rex and then we had our drinks reception in the fossil room! The staff were great and took the children on a tour around the museum while we were having photographs. After drinks, taxis took us to Room Restaurant for a meal. The food and service were excellent, and the bill was surprisingly modest.”