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Relaxed Back Garden Wedding in Surrey: Rachel & Ally

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Rachel and Ally won their wedding photography though a contest hosted on this very wedding blog, so when Rachel excitedly emailed me with the resulting gorgeous photos, I couldn’t wait to post them! The wedding was held in Ally’s parent’s back garden in Surrey.

“When we first got engaged and I started to look at possible venues I got so downhearted that I abandoned the search for 18 months”, began the bride. “Every couple wants a wedding that represents them, and we were no different, but I felt everywhere I looked we either couldn’t afford or wouldn’t let us choose the things that were important to us. They all seemed to insist that you use their recommended suppliers. We are both laid back and wanted something that wouldn’t be stressful to organise.”

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“Rather than start at what we wanted, we started at what we didn’t want and built from there. We didn’t want formality or to subscribe to tradition. I didn’t want a wedding dress and Ally didn’t want a morning suit. We wanted it to feel very natural and relaxed so cut out many of the usual parts that make up a wedding. I didn’t want to be a princess; the only thing I wanted to be on our wedding day was Mrs Jowett.”

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Los Angeles Backyard Wedding: Misti & Asaf

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Having been to a lot of their friend’s weddings, Misti and Asaf always enjoyed the more casual celebrations the most. So for their own in October, they wanted it to be similarly laid back and full of personal touches. They held the wedding in their own house, which they remodelled especially for the event. This added to the no pressure party atmosphere and kept the day small and intimate.

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“We own a Craftsman house built in 1905″, wrote the bride, ” and we only moved in a week before our wedding! My husband is a designer and builder. We planned a 10 week remodelling before the wedding. There was a ton of work done on the house. Some of the work included: completely remodelling the kitchen, putting in new hardwood floors, new landscaping, and painting the house inside and out.”

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Heavily Tattooed Gothic Wedding at Home: Jesse and Chris

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Oh I do love when I get to blog both the engagement shoot and wedding of such an awesome couple. I actually don’t post too many of the former, but Jesse and Chris’s cemetery session really stood out so I just had to! I made their photographers, Sarah and Rachel of Sugar and Spice Weddings, promise that she’d send me their wedding pictures after it happened too, and I’m thrilled to share them with you all today. You’ll see why…

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The wedding was held at their own home. They didn’t have a set theme, only that they wanted it to be very ‘them.’ Their colours were black, pink and purple. “Our wedding was very intimate and small”, explained Jesse. “All of our guests all have a very close relationship to us so it was very emotional and happy. We never felt so much happiness and love. The fact that it was at our home made it so intimate and everyone we loved was together at the same time to share and celebrate our love for each other.”

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Homespun DIY Farm Wedding: Nicole & Greg

Nicole & Greg were married at home, at their own farm in Port Orchard, Washington. The wedding was a DIY family affair. The maid of honour’s mother baked the cake, Greg’s Aunt baked the pies and family and friends catered the event with home cooked food. A very good friend officiated the ceremony and Nicole’s mother played the harp for the processional. Greg’s mother made all the bouquets and boutonnieres and Nicole designed the invitations and RSVP cards, as well as all the decor and reception details!

“The scope of our wedding really was pretty huge”, began the bride. “Not only did we hold it at our farm, we did a ton of DIY. With all of the time and money it took us to whip the place into shape, I’m sure it would have been cheaper and easier to rent a venue. But I’m glad we did it the way we did for a lot of reasons. It made the day that much more special; we were inviting guests not just to our wedding, but to our home. We exchanged vows in front of the garden that my friends and I had cultivated and planted ourselves, and we played games in the yard while the barnyard animals looked on. Plus, it was a great excuse to do all those projects around the farm that had been neglected. The barn got all cleaned out and decorated so sweetly, we even replaced a fenceline! Every little touch was a true reflection of our vision for our perfect wedding. It was so satisfying to look around at what we had created and soak up the day with our beloveds.”

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Ethical Wedding at Home: Feng & David

Simple weddings are often the best, and for Feng & David, doing something low-key and ethical was important. So they had a super tiny civil ceremony with only their closest friends and family in attendance, and hosted the reception at their own house! Yes, Feng put on an apron and served all the food herself!

“Our wedding budget was £1500, but we went over this with our photographer and our rings”, began the bride. “Our rings were pretty expensive as they were custom made using fair-trade gold, recycled gold & conflict-free gems by Amanda Li Hope. We were married at Oxford Registry Office and our reception was in our tiny house in East Oxford.”

“To decorate the house we scoured the markets, car boot sales and charity shops, and raided my parent’s hoard of strange wooden objects”, Feng continued. “I made paper pompoms out of retro dress making patterns and flowers from David’s ‘Physics World’ Magazines – combining the two things that we both do. One of our best finds was a 50p Readers Digest atlas on which we printed all of our invites & turned into paper flowers. Although David didn’t take part in the DIY, he let me cut up his physics magazines and was a constant source of support and sage advice. He came back one day surprised that I’d painted chevrons all over the dining room wall! I was addicted to reading wedding blogs (especially Rock n Roll Bride) as a source of inspiration.”

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A Mountaintop Homespun Wedding: Allison & Scott

Allison & Scott were married at 4,629 ft, at their favourite place – the top of Max Patch Bald, NC. They hosted their reception in their own home. “The décor of the ceremony was the panoramic view of the Smokey/blue Ridge Mountains and the wild buttercup flowers”, they began. “At the reception, drinks were served in mason jars, farm tables were used for dining, and the flowers were roses and hydrangeas mixed with sunflowers in mason jars. Vintage plates and napkins were used and little jars of local Tennessee wildflower honey and dippers were at each table setting as favors. Our home was built in the 1800s and we wrapped the columns in garlands and roses.”

The whole wedding had a really personal feel and everything they included was significant.  A keen hiker, the groom and his best man camped out the night before near the ceremony site, and the bride and her bridesmaids stayed at a cabin just a mile up the road. The groom, his best man and all the guests were already on top of the mountain the morning of the wedding.

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