Bex and Scott had a two day wedding, on 16th and 17th September 2013. They wanted a long celebration so they could get married twice! The first day was the legal ceremony followed by a low-key after party. On day two they went all out with a handfasting ceremony, a tractor ride for the guests and a facepainter!
“We hired Huntstile Farm from Sunday to Wednesday so it turned into a mini break event”, began Bex. “The first wedding day was a small and intimate wedding party (the legal bit!) at Bridgewater Registry office then a causal meal with BYO drinks back at the farm. This allowed us to have the exact wedding we wanted on our second wedding day, which was the big party fun day with all family and friends and Missy Dog (our lemon beagle!)”
“We had a trailer tractor ride, handfasting at the stone circle on the edge of a woodland, rain, mud, wellies and brollies galore. There were rainbows, cream teas, Pimms, face painting and fresh organic home grown food. Many guests stayed on site in rooms or camping, and the kids got to collect the eggs from the chickens ready for breakfast the next morning. The facepainter had so many adults queuing to be painted, even Scott’s gran! Scott being Spiderman and doing his speech was fairly surreal!”
Helen and Toby’s rainbow wedding took place at Coombes Farm in Lancing. The didn’t have a huge budget, £8000, but they made it go far with plenty of personal touches and DIY projects. The cakes, flowers and stationery were all done by friends and they didn’t hire a fancy caterer to feed their guests. Instead of gifts they asked their guests to each bring their favourite dish!
“We deliberately chose to get married on Friday 13th September 2013, as we liked the idea of choosing a date that is not usually chosen by couples planning a wedding”, Helen explained. “It also meant that it would be unlikely to clash with any other weddings and Toby won’t be able to forget our anniversary!”
“We chose Coombes Farm due to its relaxed vibe, it is very much a working farm and therefore doesn’t feel like the average wedding venue, which can feel very polished and formal. We also wanted somewhere where we could stay in the camper van and for our guests to have the option to camp, which made it feel like a mini festival. We basically treated planning our wedding like planning a party and wanted to ensure that everybody enjoyed themselves! Key ingredients included a tractor ride and of course, a bouncy castle!”
When my favourite vintage wedding dress shop launched their own, self designed, collection based on vintage styles (but able to be sized up to a Uk size 22!) I was super excited to be able to host an exclusive competition for one of my readers to win one. Alongside Fur Coat No Knickers founders and designers Emma and Laura, I read every single entry, eventually picking the gorgeous Diana as our winner. Her story touched our hearts and we were all so honoured to be able to fulfil her dream to feel beautiful on her wedding day.
I am utterly thrilled to be sharing that wedding with you all today! It was held at Chester Zoo.
“Our wedding was us. It was just us”, Diana began. “It was the most laidback, chilled out event ever. Everyone commented on how impressed they were that we’d managed to instil a sense of ourselves through proceedings. Neither of us wanted a big fancy event. We just wanted to get married and have a kickass party and that’s what we did. The Doctor Who stuff was more me than Ben but I loved it and so did the kids.”
Do you watch the BBC Three show Don’t Tell the Bride? When I was engaged I was pretty obsessed. Gareth and I would sit together to watch it every week and my favourite game was quizzing him over what he’d do if he had to plan our whole wedding himself.
Like many of you, I always wondered what everyone got up to behind the scenes – Did the bride really not have anything to do with it? (SURELY you’d be dropping hints like mad before you signed the contract?!) How much influence do the production crew have? And why do the boys always pick the wrong dress?!
This is not the first time I’ve featured a DTTB wedding. Mike and Becky’s wrestling wedding has graced these pages previously but by their own admission they didn’t really enjoy the process. However when I saw Lauren and Perry’s big day, and read that they really did enjoy doing it, I was keen to speak to them about it. Plus what could be more Rock n Roll than a gig themed wedding at one of the most iconic music venues in London!?
“We knew that we wanted to get married but that after having a baby and buying a flat there was never going to be a time when it was financially possible”, Perry began when I asked what made them want to go on the show. “Lauren was going to apply for The Great British Bake Off but saw the application for Don’t Tell The Bride and decided to do that instead. I didn’t think we had much chance of being picked but when she read me her entry email I started to get really nervous. It was GOOD!”
Natalie and Katie were married at the Priory Cottages in North Yorkshire. They chose it as they wanted a place that they could be for the whole weekend and that all their family and close friends could stay there too. The wedding was a real team effort, with lots of people pitching in to make it perfect. One of Natalie’s friends, Hayley Neil of Glory Days Vintage, made both dresses, another friend did the flowers, another the cake, and they hand crafted the stationery themselves.
“We wanted a very casual wedding with an outdoorsy feel where everybody could feel very relaxed”, wrote Natalie, “In fact it was so relaxed that Katie’s dad, Kev, had his shorts on within an hour of the ceremony! The casual theme was reflected in everything from the style of the meal to the photography and the camping guests!”
Sara and Dave were married in November. They had been together for 14 years and have 5 children so having a wedding had never really taken priority, but after visiting the amazing Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza Wedding Show in Birmingham, that all changed!
“We met when I visited the local tattoo studio where Dave worked”, began the bride. “We got chatting and basically things progressed pretty quickly. We both shared similar interests including, of course, tattoos and body piercing. We definitely live life to the full and how we want to. We have 5 super kids, 3 boys and 2 girls. Again they are very original in their own ways and are certainly free spirited.”
“Marriage was mentioned in the past but, with having the kiddies we always put their wants and needs first,”, she continued. “The eldest and youngest boys are disabled so they take up quite a bit of our time and energy.”
“But we decided at the beginning of 2013 to do something that celebrated us as a big happy family and that was to get married. To celebrate it along with the kids was very exciting. Everyone had a say as to how they thought it should be as well as what they wanted to wear. I decided to visit the EWE event as everything I kept seeing just wasn’t us. I could not believe my luck, at last I had found what I was looking for under one roof.”