Relaxed, DIY Midsummer Night’s Dream Woodland Wedding

Jess Hazlehurst Photography

April 13, 2022

Inspired by the people and places they love, Ella and Ben chose a woodland glade to say their vows, surrounded by their friends and family. Ella explained, “We wanted to make everyone feel they were part of something special, exclusive, intimate and family orientated.”

Planning to marry in 2020, their plans were derailed and changed many times. Ella told us “I’ve learned that you cannot control every little thing and as long as you have good music, speeches and enough food and drink for everyone – nothing else really matters. Oh and that a global pandemic can happen at anytime so be prepared adapt your plans!”

With a £20,000 budget, there was plenty of DIY projects to save money, and the whole family got involved with lending a hand, as Ella explained, “Pretty much everything was DIY – the name placements were Brighton pebbles from my home town. These were painstakingly written on by my mum along with all signage. The cake was made by my aunt and we also had a Brighton Pier themed ‘Hole in The Face’ made by an artist friend of ours. We saved a lot of money by asking friends and family to help with the DIY. We also had friends DJ and anything we saved went into the free bar – the most important thing of all!”

An outdoor ceremony in England always has the risk of rain, but the brave couple went for it, with a dreamy woodland venue, The Dreys in Kent, hosting their celebration. Ella told us, “The ceremony was in a clearing in the woods surrounding the Dreys. We both wrote our own vows and made sure they were personal so we could share our feelings for each other with our closest.”

“I walked down the aisle to Purple Rain – played on strings by local Kent music students. Before the ceremony the rain was coming down hard, but just as the ceremony was about to begin it stopped and as we said our vows  we could hear the sprinkle of rain at the tops of the trees – it was beautiful.”

Although it may have been different to their initial plans for a 2020 wedding, Ella told us, “It felt like it was just the way it needed to be. Although the build up during the pandemic was stressful, when we finally got to the day it made everyone a lot more emotionally involved in the day and ready to party!”

She added some advice for future couples, “There are a lot of photographers and other suppliers out there telling couples what is ‘cool’ and ‘what not to have’ at their weddings. We would both say the most important thing is to make the day feel personal to you – so whatever you want to include you should include! Don’t listen to any noise that isn’t helpful. Shop around or think about if you could do something yourself, don’t accept anything overpriced that isn’t essential, you can make something feel unique on a budget!”