A DIY Devon Wedding: Beckie & Nick

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Beckie and Nick were married in Devon and wanted a day that focused on the things they loved the most. They had a limited budget but made sure they prioritised the things that mattered while putting their own stamp on everything. The bride’s mother made her dress and they handcrafted the majority of the decorations.

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“We focused our budget on the things that mattered to us most – a gorgeous venue, fantastic food and a free bar – and dispensed with the frivolous things that we didn’t particularly care about”, the bride began. “People never remember these things anyway, I mean is a fancy wedding car or elaborate flower arrangements really key ingredients for a great party? My main sources of inspiration were Rock n Roll Bride and Pinterest. I didn’t attend any wedding fairs or buy a single wedding magazine as I didn’t want to get sucked into buying personalised umbrellas!”

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“My mum (a retired seamstress) made my dress. Soon after getting engaged I asked her if she’d make my wedding dress. Although she seemed quite daunted at first she soon realised that I didn’t want an intricately embroidered gown with a full flowing train. I got my inspiration from the top half of Audrey Hepburn’s wedding dress in ‘Funny Face’ and the bottom half from a Vivienne Westwood design in her bridal collection. My sister and I spent a day in Soho searching for the perfect fabrics and we bought a vintage pattern for £15 in John Lewis. Mum improvised the silk organza handkerchief layers which took hours to make. All in all, it cost around £250 – although the labour costs were a gratefully received wedding present from my Mum. I did have a few wobbles in the preceding months, wondering how the dress would come together but I think it’s perfect. It’s now my most treasured family heirloom.”

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“The decorations were an epic task!” she laughed. “I got all my inspiration online and made 40 pompoms (which we opened and fluffed in a manic panic the day before). I also made and embroidered bunting, created speech bubble chalk boards and made lots of wool wrapped letters. I then bought a vintage suitcase from eBay and customised it for the wedding cards. We made personalised place names and chose a famous person for each guest, e.g. a lookalike or a personal hero. These went down really well and definitely got people nattering.”

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“I had a few favourite things about our wedding”, she continued, “our venue, our photographer Sassy, the food and my dress! Hiring the River Cottage meant that we had exclusive use of the whole 65 acre farm. Our guests could wander around the marquee, the cottage (inside and out), the kitchen garden, the fields, the bluebell wood and the yurt. It’s based in a hidden valley with no other houses in sight, which made it all the more personal and intimate.”

“I discovered Assassynation her on the pages of Rock n Roll Bride and was adamant that we had to have her shoot our wedding. I knew that the combination of Sassy and the River Cottage would result in some epic photography and we were happy to give her plenty of time and a free rein. She was a calm and reassuring presence for me and she captured the day perfectly. Looking at the photos I love the sheer variety of locations; from the beach huts to the bluebell wood – all of which Sassy found for us!”

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