Tag Archives: Festival

A Country Vintage, Festival Inspired Wedding: Nichola & Jay

I’m loving the fact that the gorgeous country vintage/ festival-inspired wedding of Nichola & Jay is brightening up Monday morning on my blog! Talk about heading into a brand new week with some gusto!

The August wedding was held at New House Organic Farm in Derbyshire. The farm is not a wedding venue (the couple were legally married at the resister office after their handfasting ceremony in the field) but they chose it to host their celebration here because it’s a place that’s very special to them. Their theme was chosen to not only compliment the farm setting, but because they love Glastonbury music festival – they met there and were engaged there (not in the same year!)

“We spend a lot of our time camping during the summer months and the farm is our quick getaway place,” Nichola told me. “We’ve spent many happy weekends there and I always imaged getting married to Jay in the top field looking over the most amazing views of the Derbyshire countryside. We wrote to the farmer (a proper handwritten letter!) asking if we could hire the field for our wedding. Being a farmer and very busy he didn’t get right back to us. I looked at many other venues but none matched my idea of our farm. Eventually Jay called him and asked the question… He agreed although I don’t think he quite understood why we wanted a bare field when he’s surrounded by traditional wedding venues!”

The bride wore a genuine vintage wedding dress which she bought from The Vintage Wedding Fair, a fair that travels all around the UK. “I love vintage clothes, I literally have over a hundred vintage dresses and we regularly go to vintage fairs,” the bride continued. “That being said I didn’t think I wanted a vintage dress for my wedding but I did the usual bridal places and got more fed up with each dress I tried on. Nobody understood my style or what I wanted. We’d planned to visit The Vintage Wedding Fair for a look round and immediately I realised I had been kidding myself and I wanted a vintage dress. I tried on a couple and then found my dress. It was the dress I had in my mind, I went to the fitting room (a room full of other vintage brides…very different to the bridal shop experience) and the dress fit perfectly. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. A friend’s aunty did a couple of little alterations but it was always perfect.”

To compliment their countryside festival theme, the couple decorated the field and their marquee with bunting, vintage crockery and even vintage floral napkins and wooden cutlery tied in brown string. They managed to find many items in charity shops, car boot fairs and even in their local pound shop. “Never underestimate the local pound shop,” Nichola laughed, “we found little windmills, seeds, rainbow umbrellas (luckily not needed) and hooks for the aisle etc!”

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A Casual & Intimate Outdoor Wedding: Michael & Mariko

Michael asked Mariko to marry him at a festival, “in a trashed tent with some beers, talking with some friends about relationships and life,” he told me. “You know… those most profound things you talk about at festivals. It was just the right moment.” So then they had their wedding theme – a festival style, party wedding!

“We wanted our wedding to be intimate, nothing big, loud or expensive,” Micheal continued. “The most important thing was that we were getting married and be together forever, to share our love with the people we love, all our friends and family.”

“Being both outdoor cosy crazy people, we decided to give our party in a forest in Antwerp, called St. Anna bos, near the river de Schelde. There was no real theme, we just wanted to give our guests a ‘welcome home’ feeling.”

“Almost everything was self-made, made by us or with the help of our friends. With some colorful ribbons, simple bouquets, 1000 candles and a couple of balloons, we did so much more than we expected. The place where we held our wedding party was not fancy at all, it was kind of dusty and old. It was a clubhouse that had probably had it’s best days somewhere in the 60s. You could tell by the hundreds of different vintage dishes we found in the kitchen!”

“It was a beautiful night, there was moonlight on the trees, candles lighting up everywhere and we and our guests were happy and relaxed, just as we wanted! Everybody was sitting on the benches, having conversations and drinking.”

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“Joyfest 2011″ A Weekend-Long Festival Wedding: Jen & Rob

“A weekend of celebration” was how Jen & Rob described their festival wedding to me, and that couldn’t have been a more perfect description. Stokes Barn, specialising in self-catering group accommodation, in the Shropshire hills played host.

“We knew we wanted something different,” explained the bride. “We wanted to celebrate with the special people who enrich our lives and who share and understand our values and beliefs. We had the idea of a festival type celebration where we could create a magical, memorable and warm weekend (whatever the weather!) of celebration, relaxation, much merriment, Peace and Love!”

After the ‘legal ceremony’ at a register office on the Friday morning, the couple had a humanist ceremony outside, on the Saturday afternoon, in front of all their guests. “We made our commitment to each other, and shared our aspirations with our guests as they sat on rugs and chairs in a semi circle around us. My brother was our celebrant and our daughter read ‘the Owl and the Pussycat’ and my son read ‘The Art of a good relationship’.”

“We are not practising pagans but are pagans by heart and believe deeply in our connection with Mother Earth,” Jen continued. “Therefore we wanted to find a peaceful and natural environment where our friends and family could also share with us the beauty of nature and of the countryside. We found Stokes Barn, the most perfect location imaginable, a place which provided shelter but also allowed our guests to camp while enjoying views stretching across Shropshire.   Our daughter came up with the name ‘Joyfest’, a perfect description of what we were hoping to create: A Festival of Joy!”

For catering, the couple asked their guests to bring their favourite dish instead of wedding gifts. This not only meant they had a really unique and delicious meal, but that everyone was able to feel involved in the day. “We asked people to bring a dish for the Friday night buffet and, if they wanted, to bring something to decorate the courtyard or marquee. We wanted to make the whole event very personal to every single person that was there. We wanted our friends and family to feel like they were truly a part of it and that they could make themselves completely at home!”

“We hired a bouncy castle which was a complete success with not only the 46 children who celebrated with us, but with many of our adult friends and family too,” the couple continued. “We asked people also to contribute to the entertainment so our guests organised tug of war competitions and rounders. We also put on a morning of archery.”

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Giant Teacups, A Homemade Bouncy Castle & Elvis – A DIY Wedding to the Extreme!: Caroline & Stuart

Caroline & Stuart were married at St. Annes Church in Littleworth Common, Burnham. They held their reception in a field right opposite the church. Their wedding was a super creative affair with them making and styling the whole thing themselves, they even renovated some giant funfair teacups!

“Bizarrely we had in our minds a vision of an abandoned set from an old Elvis film for our wedding ‘theme’,” Caroline told me. “We did things differently by building almost everything ourselves and loving doing it! In the end we made…
The stage (old fashioned wooden with footlights, which several guests sat/ fell on when drunk!)
4 giant funfair teacups for sitting in (we renovated them ourselves)
1 giant funfair teacup cake table
Giant wooden light up initials
Old fashioned funfair stall drinks bar
An oversized cake stand for every table
Giant lollypop table numbers
Maypole wedding cake stand
The light up frame for the table plan
All the other signage
Old fashioned style high striker to play on (now that was a challenge!)”

“We even designed the bouncy castle ourselves! Any wedding ones we could find were too trashy, and not in a good way!”

Phew….(and yes dear reader, I have asked Caroline if she’d like to do some DIY tutorials for the blog, let us know in the comments which ones you’d like to see the most!)

Caroline’s wedding dress was made by her Mum from an original 1960’s pattern. She also wore a beautiful original 1960’s headpiece. She bought herself some plain shoes and added all the swarovski crystals (all 2400 of them!) herself.

Caroline & Stuart now hire all their wedding props out through their company Vowed and Amazed.

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A Farm & Festival Wedding: Roisin & Paul

Roisin & Paul’s Somerset wedding makes me ache for those long Summer days again. The Apple Orchard at Brook Farm played host to their August nuptials – a celebration of love, life and all things good. The couple opted for a humanist ceremony led by Alison Orchard, “She was so crucial to the success of the ceremony, which was such an emotional and wonderful experience,” the bride told me. “I think lots of people thought it might have a been a hippy-dippy, tree-hugging, fingers down-your-throat service, but instead found it was a lovely and romantic experience. We wrote our vows and kept them quite similar to the traditional ones. We sang, ‘A little Help from My Freinds’ by the Beatles and I cried all the way through it.”

After the moving ceremony, came cocktails and games on the lawn and in the marquees hired from Abbas Marquees, “This was very much a DIY wedding,” Roisin continued. “All of my friends and family got involved which made it a lovely and personal wedding, along with being quite a lot cheaper. We picked stones from the beach for name places and brought ‘Brighton rock’ as favours. I also made lots of little clay hearts.”

“Our theme was, ‘Festival’ which was fitting as the site of the farm is less than a mile from the Glastonbury Festival site. My bridesmaids and the Best Man were incredible. It was quite an organizational feat and they took it totally on board. In fact we had a ‘hand-over’ on the Thursday evening. They then became in-charge and only came to me if they really needed to. This made me be able to really enjoy the day and not worry about all the details that had been prepared.”

“My sister organsied games in the field of ‘Welly Wanging’ and ‘scissors, paper stone’. It was one of the highlights of the wedding! It was a really relaxed affair, full of love, romance and fun. People dressed how they wanted to and children were very much allowed to run around and have loads of fun. At my hen-do, the girls hired a hoola hooping instructor and we learnt a routine that we performed at the wedding. Everyone loved playing with the hoola hoops and it added to the festival feel.”

“My favourite ‘home-made’ bits were the clay hearts that we made and put in the orchard. We just bought heart shaped biscuit cutters, rolled out the clay and hung them from the trees using ribbon. It made the ceremony feel so magical.”

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A Vintage Festival Wedding…in the Rain!: Natasha & Charlie

Natasha & Charlie are the kind of couple that wedding photographers dream of – creative, unique in their inspiration and totally in love. The bride told me all about their vintage festival wedding. It may have rained for their outdoor ceremony, but it certainly didn’t damper their spirits!

“Even though I had prayed for months for sun on our wedding day, it still rained! I thought that this would ruin the day as everything we had planned involved being outside – including the ceremony. Just before we were due to go down, the wedding organiser at Maunsel House said that it was raining and tried to convince me to move everything inside. But I couldn’t bare the thought of not getting married under the beautiful bandstand as this had been my dream from the start – so I made everyone stand outside with umbrellas! It actually turned out really well and everybody loved it – the pictures of everyone with umbrellas looked great as well!”

“Even though we are from London we both knew that we wanted to celebrate our big day somewhere further afield,” the bride continued. “We are also huge music festival fans so the idea of a festival-style, open air wedding was really appealing for us. We saw about 5 places before we finally settled on Maunsel House. With a licensed bandstand set in the grounds for wedding ceremonies and a roofed Pergola for outside dining, it totally fitted the bill for our outdoorsy festival theme.”

“We really wanted the wedding styling to reflect our personalities and our love of vintage things, so we began trawling car boot sales for trinkets and props to start creating the look.” Natasha continued. “As an alternative to the standard marquee uplighting, we bought loads of cheap old lampshades in different colours and shapes to hang from the centre of our marquee. We lit some with bulbs and others with fairy lights creating a vintage living room effect.”

“I also found a beautiful 1950’s record player on eBay which we set up in the main hall playing ‘The Sound of Music’ soundtrack to guests as they arrived. Instead of a table and traditional guestbook, we hired an old 1920’s bureau from The Little Wedding Helper and put a typewriter on there with a typed welcome letter to our guests. Kirsten, our wedding helper styled it beautifully with our vintage books and telephone as well as some flowers and luggage tags for our guests to write messages to us.”

“We used old scrabble sets to create our table names which were all based on the different festivals we had been to over the years and the walkways were adorned with hundreds of metres of vintage style bunting made by myself, my mum and my mother-in-law. We also made satin bows from the left-over bunting material to decorate the wedding cake (a delicious cake of cheese!) and little jars of home-made chutney for our wedding favours. My mother-in-law sketched a lovely drawing of the garden bandstand (where we had the ceremony) for the cover of our Order of Service booklets and we included poems and readings, as well as the words to our our Elton John and Kiki Dee Sing-a-long.”

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