Tag Archives: Festival

A Weekend-Long Family Festival Wedding: Emily & Stef

If you’re a blog addict like me you may have seen some of the following images from Emily & Stef’s incredible festival wedding around the interwebs already. Emily is a wedding photographer herself and so a lot of the suppliers they used for their wedding weekend were friends as well as being exceptionally talented wedding industry peeps!

After proposing to Stef, Emily set to work planning a unique and quirky wedding to suit them and their family. Being a wedding photographer herself Emily had seen a lot of things she didn’t want for her own big day. It was important to them to have a wedding that reflected them, was chilled out and laid-back and fun for all their guests. “We had a bright, colourful, happy wedding that was all tied together with buttons,” Emily began. “We have shot weddings together for the past 5 years and wanted to have something that didn’t feel like we were at work. We also wanted an environment that was going to work well for our three children and lots of other little ones who would be at the wedding (about 27!) We both love music and festivals, so we wanted a lovely big party where everyone could relax and have fun. Someone described it as a mini summer holiday. That was the vibe.”

“There was craft, games, cake decorating, a tuck shop, two DJ set-ups, BBQ breakfasts, a sushi brunch, a hog-roast, falafel, a BYO bar, face-painting and balloons. We also really wanted to get married outside and have a humanist ceremony (something important in our lives), so Billycan Camping offered a perfect space for that too. The dress-code for the wedding was ‘please wear whatever you want so that you are comfortable in a field for a weekend but please can all the guys wear a bow tie.’ And people did just that! It was fabulous!”

The couple were legally married on the Thursday before their wedding weekend. You can see more info, photos and a cute video of this day on Steve Gerrard’s and O & C Photography‘s blogs. They photographed this part of the wedding for them.

However the day the couple consider to be their actual wedding day took place at Billycan Camping in Sussex. Emily actually found this venue after seeing this wedding on Rock n Roll Bride! As the wedding had a festival vibe, the majority of the guests camped over the nights before and after the wedding, making the whole thing a big massive weekend celebration!

Emily wore a bespoke dress made with vintage cotton lace from 1976 (the year she was born!) by Mr Christian. In the evening and for the after-party she changed the underskirt and bow from white to bright pink. Stef wore a pink suit from Aubin and Wills, but he had no idea that Emily had planned to add some pink to her outfit in the evening. It just all worked out perfectly you could say!

Almost all of the wedding decor was DIY and they bought a lot of items (crockery, picnic baskets, jars, board games) from charity shops. Emily explains, “I made lots of things before the weekend from corsages and ribbon wands to ceremony programmes and the guest book. Then on the the Friday I showed a few guests how to make the big paper flowers hanging in the yurt and they spent Saturday morning making them. We had a craft area so all the guys could make a bow tie (I really wanted all the guys to wear a bow tie!) and the ladies could make a pretty hair accessory or a corsage. My friend Charis and I made everyone a pinwheel corsage from felt and a button. There will be lots of DIY inspiration on our new lifestyle site New Homely over the next few weeks.”

“We had a do-it-yourself wedding with friends and family giving a huge amount of their help instead of traditional wedding presents. This is exactly how we wanted it to be but it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to really want a wedding like this as it takes a huge amount of planning, logistics (we hired and organized everything ourselves from the hog roast company to the main yurt, even the generators, everything apart the cake table, which we hired from Billycan Camping.)”

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without the amazing help from Paige of Paige One Events and Charley of London Bride. Paige helped me so much with making phone calls and sending emails, creating timelines and spreadsheets (with a three children under 5 this was tricky for me to do all by myself!) Both Paige and Charley were amazing on the day making sure that everything ran smoothly and co-ordinating all my friends and family so that everyone could join in and help to create the weekend of our dreams without me having to worry about a thing.”

Their wedding was photographed by the fabulous Polly Alexandre, someone who’s work both Emily & Stef have admired for a long time. “We had a first look before the ceremony by a lake near Arundel Castle. Completely amazing and perfect walking up to meet my husband-to-be through long grass in my flip flops, tapping in him on the shoulder and him turning round and seeing me for the first time in my dress. Amazing and intimate. It gave us some really special time together that we knew we wouldn’t get later with our three young children and lots of family and friends. Polly photographed it beautifully and we also took the opportunity to do our couple portraits then too, so that after the ceremony we could just go with the flow.”

The couple also employed The Wedding Reporter to come and write their wedding story for them. If you want to read more about how the day went and what it was like to actually be there, then be sure to go and check out her report on her blog (part one and part two.)

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Jonathan & Zoe’s Wedding Festival

For their ‘Wedstival’ (wedding festival!), Jonathan & Zoe threw traditions completely out of the window and planned the wedding that they wanted.

As the bride told me, “Having been together for a (very!) long time we really wanted to steer away from a traditional wedding and do something that completely reflected us as a couple – we love the outdoor life, our Airedale terriers, our family and music festivals. Thus we came up with the idea of our “Wedstival” – a weekend that saw pretty much all 150 guests camping at the farm (in a mix of tents, VW campers, caravans and even a 36 foot luxury RV!!).”

“We took massive inspiration from our amazing venue, York Maze. It meant we could literally have everyone and their dog there! The kids enjoyed two adventure playgrounds, an animal farm, a jumping pillow and go kart track. All eleven dogs had their own special dog park and to top it all off we had a three table casino and the most amazing live band!”

“Guests were welcome to wear whatever they wanted, so long as they brought a pair of wellies to enter the Best Wellie competition!” Zoe continued. “We lavished attention on the guests to make sure they were more than suitably fed and watered and entertained – we provided a drinks reception with barrels of West Country cider (few early casualties – would perhaps recommend other brides rethink serving free 8% cider at 2 in the afternoon!!) and jugs of Pimms, lashings of canapés including fish and chips on a stick, a posh BBQ dinner, sweet station, cheese tower (complete with imported heart shaped brie) followed by a traditional pie and pie evening and topped off with a full Yorkshire breakfast on Sunday morning.”

The festival theme was pulled together with a lot of hard work and a DIY details. They included, “The vinyl Save the Dates; invitations of gig style poster and tickets; guest passes issued to all attendees detailing the running order, site map etc; my customised wedding wellies; seating plan of vinyl records, table centrepieces of vinyl records and kids wellies filled with flowers, place name of customised beer mat with menu choice reminder to reverse; individual gift bags based on age of child (30 in total!). We even published our own “Wedstival Times” newspaper complete with personalised crossword to keep guests occupied while waiting for the bride to turn up!” Zoe explained. “We even made banners and lawn signs for things like the Beer Barn and the Dog Park, and set up portable showers for the guests complete with hospitality baskets and a toiletry gift set for each camper.”

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Tara & Travis’ Denim & Diamonds Wedding at The Burning Man Festival

Tara & Travis met at The Burning Man festival in 2007, so where better than to be wed than the very festival that brought them together? The ceremony, which they wrote themselves, took place under the Bliss dance statue in the middle festival and was performed by a close friend of the couple.

The theme for the wedding was Denim and Diamonds/Cowboy Chic. The couple did everything themselves and due to the festival location, had very laid back attitude to the ‘formalities’ of a wedding, “We had a good old fashioned BBQ for everyone – no one was turned away” they explained. Their table design and all the florals were provided by the fabulous Asiel Design.

Tara wore a stunning dress which she designed herself with the help of and Zalikha from Ossai Designs. She had it made for her by a local seamstress. Her headpiece was also by Ossai Designs and her cowboy boots were from eBay. Tara made all her own jewellery except her wedding ring. Her necklace and earrings were made of Peruvian aquamarine beads, hand-made copper beads that were oxidized and hand-made silver chain with a patina finish.  The groom’s ring was made from sterling silver and then hammered.

Travis wore a vintage western suit which he purchased from a local consignment store in San Francisco.

Be sure to check out all the fabulous details (that the couple collected and put together themselves) after the ‘jump’. So cool!

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Michael & Chloe’s Seriously Bad Ass Festival/Circus Wedding

Michael & Chloe got married in the Circadia Circus Tent at Woodford Folk Festival, Australia. I think that’s all I have to say to let you know that this wedding is seriously bad ass and awesome right?

The bride wore a handmade dress and Wellington boots (festivals are muddy!) and the entire wedding was organized by the ‘Circadia’ team. The couple didn’t have bridesmaids, groomsmen or flowers, but they had a cake organized by Michael’s sisters (and a sweetie table, again organized for them by their family!) Bogan Bingo – a 90’s hair band doing a “bogan” version of Bingo – entertained the guests before the wedding began.

“Like so many Love Stories, ours starts with a boy doing something stupid and painful while trying to impress a girl,” began Michael, the groom. “It was late 2007 and I had only met Chloe a few short weeks earlier, having rejoined my friends at ‘Bound’ – the Acrobalance Troupe I had helped start while at Uni. In those few short weeks on the Southbank lawns however; between shoulder-stands, flying, and cartwheel practice; I found myself inexplicably drawn to Chloe’s company and I hoped – prayed! – she felt the same. On the particular evening upon which our story starts we were practicing tumbling. In true misguided machismo, I set out to impress her by leaping off a concrete bollard to the grass below before dropping forward into a commando-roll. Unfortunately ambition exceeded ability – my leap was too long; my roll mistimed – and my collarbone and shoulder connected with the ground with a resounding ‘crack’!”

“I lay there cursing through gritted teeth under the weight of a dislocated shoulder, broken clavicle, and badly bruised ego. And as my eyes refocused from the pain, I saw her blue eyes above me, filled with concern, pity, and something that looked just a little like laughter… Later that night after Chloe had reset my shoulder and helped me to re-mobilize the joint in the water of the Southbank lagoon, we shared our first kiss. It was way more sexy than that sounds. Because both of us were only recently single when we met, we had promised each other we wouldn’t get ‘too involved'; although we were practically inseparable until I headed away to the Woodford Folk Festival that New Year’s to take part in the Fire Ceremony. There Woodford, bathed away the hurts of old wounds, as Woodford always does, with rain and with fire. I realized what a silly promise we had made and on the 1st of January, 2008 as the Fire Event’s lighthouse burned and tumbled, I called her to say the words my heart had known since that first moment at training, “I love you Chloe”.”

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Louisa & Rob’s Music & Car Festival Wedding

“We knew our wedding was going to be slightly different but I guess thats what you get when you try to incorporate cars, music and food, emphasising the feasting and dancing with friends and family rather than the actual ceremony” began bride Louisa. “We both have an affinity with old cars, cars that have been around a while and have a tale to tell so we had no problem finding a wedding car – I had the perfect excuse to use my hotrod, a 1928 Model A Ford. Not wanting to leave his cars out of the fun, Rob decided we should include a mini car show where he and our friends could park up their old cars and in some cases, their beds for the night.”

Yep, that’s right – Louisa & Rob’s guests were invited to their homespun music and car festival wedding complete with the invitation to camp over afterwards. The wedding was a combination of a registry office ceremony, a tea party at the bride’s Grandmother’s house and finally a massive celebration in two yurts, set up in the bride’s Dad’s field.

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Elise & Nick’s Laid Back, Homespun & Festival Style Wedding…With a Piano in the Woods!

“Is that a piano…in the woods?!” I asked photographer Emma Case,  a stunned look on my face. When the affirmative came back I literally let out a little squeal of exhilaration that I was going to get to share Elise & Nick’s wedding with you. Unbelievably, as the couple went with Emma to have their portraits done they came across this unusual yet fabulous prop just sat there. Now I know Miss Emma Case very well and I can just imagine the expletives of excitement that would have come out of her mouth when she laid eyes on that!

The festival style wedding took place at Middle Coombe Farm in Devon – a beautiful cob & thatch farmhouse and cider barn which sits in a sheltered valley surrounded by 200 acres of organic farmland and woodland. With help and support from their friends and family, the couple DIY and crafted their wedding to perfection, “What really blew us away was the amount of effort, love and support we got from all our friends and family,” they explained. “The whole wedding was a DIY affair and everyone pitched in. We made the canapés, and all the decorations. Hundreds of metres of bunting were made by Elise, our mums and Laura – one of our bridesmaids. The cake was made by Elise’s mum and Dad with the iced flowers created by a family friend. Nick’s brother Anthony made welcome and direction signs; their was a family rota for the bar, the girls made the groomsmen’s boutonnieres from greenery from the woods and friends arranged games and provided music and entertainment across the whole weekend.”

“Using Apples with little luggage tags tied to the stalks as the place settings seemed to go down well with guests and fitted the cider-barn setting nicely. We went to a pick-your-own the week of the wedding and hand-selected every fruit. We then asked guests to peg their named luggage tags to their glass so they could keep track of it and reduce the amount of washing up needed to be done throughout the day.”

Elsie wore a gorgeous original 1920’s vintage dress from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company, shoes from Office and pearls that were gifts from friends.

“We didn’t set out with a fixed theme or an intention to do things differently but there we certain elements that we knew we wanted to include from day one,” the couple concluded. “We wanted our wedding to be a relaxed, fun and home grown affair that reflected our values so we ended up with what can only be described as a village fête, tea party, festival shin-dig! The perfect way to celebrate our relationship! It was important to us that the wedding was as environmentally friendly as possible. Middle Coombe Farm was the perfect venue, with acres of organic farm and woodland to stroll through, a solar heated swimming pool to play in, and compost toilets. We used proper glass ware, cups and plates, eat locally sourced organic vegetarian food and drank local ale. Flowers were organically and locally grown and at night the tent and field were lit by solar lights and willow lanterns guests had made during the day.”

Guests were invited to camp over and over 40 of them did so. The field surrounding the venue, complete with druid’s circle, was where they could pitch their tents. This field also played host to the afternoon games and the evening campfire. With guest camping over, they were able to continue the celebrations onto Sunday, providing breakfast and a BBQ lunch for everyone.

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