Emelya and Alastair’s August wedding had a very specific inspiration – Lost Village Festival in Lincoln. They wanted to recreate a surrealism and intimacy of the yearly dance festival, holding their day in their own abandoned forest in Devon.
With a £13,000 budget, they also focused heavily on recycling and collaboration to create their day – all the props were upcycled by the groom, and friends and family stepped in to help out everything from officiating the ceremony to running the bar! It made for a personal, cooperative day full of community spirit – exactly what the couple wanted.
Their biggest expense was sound, staging and lighting – they had a high expectation of how they wanted the event to look. “People struggled to see our vision,” explained Emelya, “so it was important for us that it was incredible and blew their socks off.” They filled the woods with lights and disco balls, built a bar and stage backdrop from scratch and put together their own photo booth.
The worst thing about planning their dreading what the weather would do – finding a balance between being optimistic but realistic was hard! Thankfully, they had luck on their side, and it stopped raining with minutes to spare before their ceremony. Emelya walked down the aisle to Make Me Yours by Bettye Swan. Alastair’s dad took the ceremony, reading it from inside a newspaper. His brother read their proposal story, before Emelya’s sister sang an original song while her dad played guitar. They said I do, everyone cheered, and they walked back up the aisle to Frank Wilson’s Do I Love You (Indeed I Do).
Being a festival wedding, music obviously played a huge part in their day – with them having live bands during both the day and the evening, friends do guest DJ sets as wedding gifts, and Emelya even sang her speech, rewriting the lyrics to Hallelujah. A mobile street food kitchen provided catering, guests ran the bar, and they partied into the early hours in the woods in true festival style.
“Working together and finding our roles was the best part of the wedding planning”, the bride concluded. “Alastair was visionary and I was logistics. My advice to other brides would don’t rely on other people crying to know when you’ve got the right dress. It’s your day, you decide!”