Vegan and Eco-Friendly Wedding with Fire!

Enchanted Brides

January 24, 2017

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Sarah and Ben hired a small farm in North Wales as their venue. As vegans, serving a vegan menu was of the utmost importance, so they self-catered the whole event! They wanted to do things as eco-friendly as possible too so collected decor items from charity shops, utilised things that already owned, and DIYed practically everything.

“We wanted our wedding to reflect our interests and personalities, and to feel relaxed and comfortable for our guests” said Sarah. “In doing so the end result was an aesthetic that felt very much like our home. We chose colours and textures that we liked, used the wedding as an opportunity to regularly trawl our favourite charity shops for vintage glassware to decorate the tables, and made as much as possible ourselves. We tried to source everything as ethically as we could and spent our money with small independent businesses via websites such as Etsy and by sourcing our bread from a local bakery.”

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“We’ve been following Rock n Roll Bride for years and have always been inspired by other couples who have gone against the grain and had their weddings exactly how they wanted. We felt that our wedding should be a true reflection of ourselves. We’re not big fancy people so we didn’t want a big fancy wedding. We were (and continue to be) inspired by mismatched colour and print, 70s boho vibes and quirky DIY touches. We also wanted to include some Chinese décor and traditions to pay tribute to Ben’s family heritage.”

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They used the talents of their friends wherever they could, to not only save cash, but make things extra special. “Our friends, Charlotte and Austin, performed a beautiful acoustic set for us, Graeham DJ’d, Karl and Shell from Ursa Minor Tattoos helped us out with artwork and signage, and Bring The Fire Project put on an incredible fire show in the evening. We also had most of our guests camping with us on site the night before and the night of the wedding, which meant that everyone was around during set up and everybody pitched in. This was so good because it really felt like everyone had a part in the wedding and the day felt like a celebration not just of our relationship with each other but also of our relationship with everyone there. It gave the feeling of inclusion, as our guests had been such an integral part in the success of the day.”

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“We planned and arranged everything ourselves” she continued. “Everything was very hands on with lots of DIY projects. Ben designed and cooked the entire buffet and the cake and I planned and executed the overall ‘look’ of the wedding, including arranging all the flowers. We participated in some wedding traditions and not others. We included a Chinese Tea Ceremony after our official wedding ceremony, which was one of our favourite parts of the day, as we got chance to speak to all of our family individually and share a cup of tea with them.”

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“The biggest DIY was the 1000 origami paper cranes which we made and strung up. This is a Japanese tradition that grants the folder one wish and is often associated with weddings. We loved the sentiment behind it and it gave us focus and drive. The cranes looked beautiful hung up behind us during the Tea Ceremony and we plan on getting them framed so that we can keep them for years to come. We also made our own blend of wedding tea to use during the Tea Ceremony and put individual bags of tea with lucky coins inside lucky Chinese red packets as place settings and favours for our guests.”

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“I also spent the months prior to our wedding getting my backpiece tattoo completed by our good friend and my tattooing mentor, Karl Atkins. Because I’ve always struggled with my own body image I knew that I needed to be proactive in order not to allow the pressure of the wedding photos etc to send me into a spiral of yoyo dieting and self-doubt. For me being tattooed makes me feel strong and beautiful and it has done wonders for my self-confidence over the years. I already had a large back tattoo and I knew that I wanted to showcase this with my wedding dress, as people would be looking at the back of me when I walked down the aisle. I talked to Karl and we came up with a concept for a design that would make me feel adorned and powerful. I’m currently working on a piece of writing about the whole experience of getting tattooed in the run up to our wedding, which be featured in the next issue of Rock n Roll Bride magazine!”

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Apart from the ceremony, one of their highlights of the day was the performance from Bring The Fire Project. “We had always planned for Bring The Fire Project (which Ben is a part of) to perform in the evening. However, I had absolutely no idea that Ben had put together a surprise fire dance especially for me. He had managed to keep it secret to all but a handful of people. He performed to Hometown Glory by Adele, one of my favourite songs (including an impromptu speech over the long intro to the song!) and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!”

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With a budget of just £4000, the couple spent the biggest chunk of that on their photographer. “We had Jo from Enchanted Brides and having her was the best decision we could have possibly made. We knew that the photos would be really important to us, so we wanted to spend some time and money making sure we got the best person for the job. Jo was fantastic and worth every penny! We had an engagement shoot with Jo before the wedding, which was a great opportunity to meet and get to know her and to see how she photographed us. We had so much fun and trusted her 100%. She worked so hard and seemed to be everywhere and nowhere all at once. All of our guests commented on how lovely she was and the photos are exactly what we wanted.”

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“However we saved a lot on our outfits. My dress was from ASOS and Ben’s outfit was pieced together from high street items, as were the bridesmaid and groomsmen’s clothes. We also saved a lot of money by making our own food and cake instead of paying for catering. This meant that we could ensure that our menu was 100% vegan and to our taste. Plus camping, rather than having to pay for overnight accommodation saved us cash too.”

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“Our advice to other couples would be don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends or family” she concluded. “Our guests said they really enjoyed helping out with our day. Also, spend money on the things that are important to you. If you want good pictures spend money on a good photographer! Finally, just do what makes you both happy. We chose to include some traditions and not others, to mix and match and add in some of our own. We were overwhelmed by how supportive and open minded our guests were. Remember too that, ultimately, everyone is there because they love you.”

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