A Woodland Ceremony & A Pirate Themed Party: Jenny & Gary

July 18, 2012

I love love love Shell de Mar‘s wedding photography. Every single image is bright and fun and vibrant. They just make me feel so happy. I don’t know what it is… It’s probably a little to do with the amazing way she captures colour but more likely than not it’s a lot to do with the firecracker behind the lens. Shell is a cute as hell force to be reckoned with. She’s also one of my best friends and so it’s always an honour to share her work on my blog.

Today’s installment of sunshine comes in the form of Jenny & Gary’s woodland ceremony, hillside portraits and pirate themed reception. “Our ceremony was held at Wittenham Clumps (i.e. up a hill!), just next to the reception venue”, Jenny told me. “When we came to see the barn as a potential reception venue we fell in love with the view, the fresh air, abundance of wild flowers and birdsong (sounds cheesy but it truly was idyllic) and just had to have the wedding there.  Amazingly the sun shone on the day, although it had been raining for weeks before and after.  We were bloody lucky!  The only down side was there was no license so we had to have a small civil ceremony the week before (no great burden really – having an intimate day was also wonderful).”

The couple knew they wanted their wedding to be laid back, fun and colourful but they didn’t really know where to start. After being engaged for years they finally decided to start organising with the help of their amazing wedding planner Josie of Savoir Weddings. “I avoided DIY like the plague although I bought a strip of parrot fabric for our ceremony backdrop that I got the drycleaner to hem and my Dad to hang”, Jenny laughed. “I can honestly say that our wedding wouldn’t have happened without Josie.  We had been engaged for years with only the vaguest notion of what our wedding might be until I stumbled upon Josie’s website. She expertly teased out of us what mattered to us about our wedding and encouraged us to start making some decisions (like setting a date!) After that her expertise and support were truly invaluable every step of the way.”

“She told us what elements of a wedding were worth spending and saving on, kept us and our suppliers organised (a job not to be underestimated), kept us to budget and kept our spirits up when it all felt like too much.  She was non-judgemental about our small budget and happily worked within it. We worked together and came up with a unique and relaxed wedding that really reflected who were are and what mattered to us.  This was exactly the brief I gave Josie at the beginning and I have only praise for her that she managed to get us to that point.  Josie also found us the most beautiful venue, that all our guests raved about, even within our meagre budget.  On the day itself, having Josie and her team around made everything run like clockwork yet they were completely unobtrusive and sensitive.  This meant that we could just relax and enjoy every moment.  I loved every minute of my wedding and more than a little of that is down to Josie.  I can’t recommend her highly enough and couldn’t have done it without her.”

“We have been to lots of weddings that all blurred into one”, she continued. “We knew if we were going to do it it had to mean something to us and reflect who we were as people.  We both wanted it to be relaxed (as we just don’t feel comfortable with formality) and we wanted our sense of humour to come out (hence the touches of pirate which Gary was completely adamant about).  I also wanted the styling to reflect my own taste – this sounds obvious but normal bridal magazines and websites seemed to want to clone us into insipid over-groomed creatures surrounded by sparkles, ivory and bells. EUGH. This was completely alien to me so I hunted down a wedding planner that could help us figure out how to do it our way.”

“We also thought it was really important to give our guests a good time – the day was about us but also about them. We wanted to avoid any sort of hierarchy so we ruled out hanging around time for guests, gave them lots of games to keep them busy, made sure the food and wine was yummy, sat people with their favourite people and didn’t have a top table. It added up to a very happy atmosphere with feasting, laughing, silliness and lots of hugs. Just what we were after.”

Just gorgeous! Huge love and thanks to Jenny & Gary for sharing their wedding. Also big kudos to the fabulous Shell de Mar for the photos and Josie of Savoir Weddings for her organisational skillz!

Supporting Cast:

Photography Credit: Shell de Mar Photography
Wedding Planner: Savoir Weddings
Ceremony Venue: Wittenham Clumps
Reception Venue: The Earth Trust, Wittenham Clumps
Bride’s Dress: Sottero & Midgley, ‘Viola’
Bride’s Shoes: Carvela
Groom’s Outfit: Deschamps at Selfridges
Cake: DIY
Flowers: Pollen Nation
Make Up: Rachel Hearle
DJ: Sliding Vinyl
Stationery: DIY
Caterers: Truly Scrumptious
Colourful paper balls: Pearl and Earl
Paper fan bunting: Petra Boase
Lights: Lights 4 Fun
Bar: Pinnacle Bar Services