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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Rachel’s beautiful dress was from Jarlo, her scarf was from Etsy and she made her own flower crown. “We wanted to get married in Ally’s parents garden but legally we couldn’t do that, so a few days before the wedding we went to the registry office in Brighton. Then we went to the local pub and had burgers and champagne. We spent the afternoon sitting on the beach together and then went to a hotel. I’m really glad that we got the legalities out of the way beforehand as it took some off the pressure off the wedding.”

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“Ally being a musician, it was really important that the music was great and so it was lovely to have one of his old students sing at the reception”, she continued. “The song I came out to was Peter Gabriel’s ‘The Book of Love’ and the lyrics ‘I love it when you sing to me and you can sing me anything’ sum up how I feel about Ally. Every time I watch him perform I fall in love with him all over again.”

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“The South of France inspired the food and the lavender, we also got the wine from the local vineyard of the town we were going on honeymoon to. The food was really important to us so that was one area we didn’t want to scrimp on. We didn’t want a formal sit down meal though so our caterer helped us come up with a tasty buffet style meal.  She is a family friend and we always wanted her to be involved in the day. We didn’t have a cake either so she created two amazing meringues, one with fruit and the other with nuts and chocolate.”

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The couple chose not to have a wedding party, or formal photos, and the groom didn’t do a speech. “We are both relaxed and laid back people and we wanted a wedding that was the same, we asked guests not to buy new outfits for the day and come what they were comfortable in, if that was jeans then that was fine.”

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“We didn’t have best men or bridesmaids, we love all our friends and just wanted them there enjoying the day with us. I would l have liked Ally to do a speech but he wrote most of the ceremony and that was lovely. The reason we didn’t do speeches was because we didn’t want to put pressure on people to speak in public, not everyone is comfortable with it and we knew it would make some people anxious so left that part out.”

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