Sometimes it’s really nice to forget all the stresses, strains and ‘stuff’ surrounding a wedding, a focus on the really important things. The love. The relationship. The reason you’re doing all this at all…
Casey & Haylie did just that. The couple live in LA and were only in Arizona, where they had their engagement session scheduled, for a short while so they wanted to keep things as simple as possible. What could be more beautiful, honest and unfussy that a shoot in the desert? No props, no stylists, just the two of them and their love.
What could be more ‘quirky-Brit’ than Morris Dancing? For my foreign friends, Morris Dancing is a traditional form of English folk dance dating back to the 15th Century. Dancers adorn their bodies with bells and whistles whilst wielding handkerchiefs, sticks and even swords… It’s certainly a niche form of fun, but one that that initially brought Bev & Ed together.
“I met Ed met when I joined the Border Morris Dancing Side Ryknild Rabble,” began the bride. “Our first dance was our favourite Morris dance which we danced on the cobbles outside our reception venue, the Kings Head in Lichfield. It was a fantastic moment to share our wedding dance with the all the Ryknild Rabble and the people of Lichfield who watched from the side.”
“We decided to have a day that would be relaxed based around the things we enjoyed – beer, live music, good friends, great traditional dance and honest basic grub. We wanted people to have the option to come and go as they pleased.”
The couple planned the entire wedding themselves, spending just £3000. “We loved our free flowing day and so many people have commented that they did too”, Bev continued. “Some of my friends from work are Muslim and they commented how much they enjoyed it too. We were so pleased to create a fantastic party that also crossed over cultural boundaries.”
“Arty & creative” replied Chris & Angela when I asked them to describe their wedding theme. “Lots of people on the day used words like ‘informal’ and ‘relaxed’ as well which was nice as it was what we kind of wanted. We were glad they picked up on it.”
The June wedding was held at Underley Grange Cottage in the Lake District. The couple homemade as much as possible, including all the reception decor. “Where do I begin with explaining the DIY?” laughed Angela. “Pretty much everything in the reception room was homemade. One of our favourite things was decorating parasols in the style of modern artists and hanging them from the ceiling. We made our own invitations – including hand making the actual paper! It turned out to be quite a saga; that and folding a hundred paper cranes for the RSVPs was quite a lot of work! On the plus side, as a milliner, the wedding was a great excuse to make lots of fun hats and fascinators for everyone.”
“I loved the parasols”, took over Chris. “The string chandeliers also looked great, but they consumed our kitchen and garage for about two months! I loved getting help from friends and family at each stage. Everyone saw little bits in the run up, but so many people said that on the day they couldn’t believe how it all fit together.”
“I don’t know that we ever thought we were doing our wedding ‘differently’,” the groom continued. “We just wanted to do it… ‘us’. We always knew we wanted more control over our wedding than the standard ‘here you go, Mr. Hotel…’ so we found a venue that could accommodate us doing our own catering and decorations. Once we saw Underley Grange, we just fell in love with the place and all the ideas seemed to flow naturally from there. The modern art idea was just so fun! We needed something to bring it all together and it just seemed right. Exploring all the artists to come up with the various designs was awesome!”