Pete + Mog ~ A Whimsical Woodland Wedding Blessing {2}

So are you ready for most amazing whimsy, outdoor, woodland wedding blessing??

Pete and Mog wanted a celebration that was relaxed and reflected their love for camping…. which they achieved perfectly, whist making everything oh so beautiful. The woodland setting is the most gorgeous base, i just so wish the UK laws would allow legal ceremonies to take place in such venues. Never the less, this ceremony was meaningful, and special to them. Their legal ceremony will be live this afternoon :-))

Thanks so much to the brilliant Brighton based weddding photographer, Sue Kwiatkowska Photography for submitting these images to me, here is what she had to say about the wedding;

“August 13th broke wet and gloomy, but as I jumped in the car to meet Mog as she got ready on the morning of her wedding the clouds parted and the sun made a determined effort to shine through. I arrived  at the house amidst the usual hustle and bustle of final preparations to find Mog and her seven (yes seven!) bridesmaids – the younger three being hers and Pete’s own lovely daughters –  in the throws of having their hair and make up done and last minute adjustments being made to the bouquets in the kitchen. Mog’s incredible organisational skills meant that every last one of the seven bridesmaids and herself –  looking stunning in a dress she had designed –  were ready to leave bang on time for the journey from Brighton to the Wise Wedding Venue in Kent for the ceremony and reception. This theme of  spot on organisation and attention to detail ran brilliantly throughout the day!

Hurrying on ahead of the wedding party, I found Pete dressed in Gresham Blake’s finest, and his best man Armin, meeting and greeting the guests under the boughs of an enormous oak and it was here that the outdoor ceremony was about to take place, with Pete’s own father, Reverend John, officiating! A hush descended over the guests as Mog made her way through the woods towards Pete, flags hung from tree branches fluttering in the wind above. Readings were read and songs were sung by friends and family and as Mog and Pete took their vows in the shade of that old and enormous oak, it became clear just how very much in love they were and that after 10 years together already they were finally about to make this commitment to one another.

A celebratory glass of Pimms followed as the wedding breakfast was cooked on the barbecue and after working up an appetite swinging from sofas hanging from trees, climbing tree houses and charging round the woods (and that was just the grown ups! ) the guests sat down to a wedding banquet fit for a king followed by chocolate brownies and strawberries and ice cream cornets for the children.

After the speeches and as dusk fell Pete and Mog’s friends, including best man Armin (and later on Pete himself) got the evening party started with a spot of DJing and the day ended quite literally with a bang as the couple’s friend and neighbour organised the most fantastic firework display (don’t this couple just know the best people?!)”

Names…. Mary Rose (Mog) and Pete

Wedding Date…. 13.8.11 Woods and 15.8.11 Civil

The Proposal…. 10 years ago on Paradise Beach, Corfu. We were on a romantic holiday after finding out we were expecting our first child and took a boat trip to a secluded part of the beach where Pete took me completely by surprise by proposing.

The Vision for the day…. We wanted a celebration with our friends and family that was relaxed and where we felt comfortable. We love camping and partying so a wood was perfect.

The Planning process… I spent a good few months searching for the right location as the Wise Wedding Venue was originally fully booked but then had a cancellation.

Catering …  The Secret Restaurant was run by a friend of a friend so we booked our valentines meal there to see if the food would be right for our day – it was perfect! We went for a BBQ with platters brought out to the individual tables and guests could choose what the wanted. Chocolate brownies with strawberries followed for pudding. The kids had ice cream cornets. Little lunch boxes were made up for the very youngest children.

Everything else fell into place with the help of friends and family who took on the carpen- try, flowers, bunting, table decorations and DJing.

Hair and makeup… A friend of a friend, Osman Mos, did my hair and makeup. He works at Glyndebourne, amongst other venues, so knew what he was doing.

The Venue….. The Wise Wedding Venue in Tonbridge, Kent. Perfect for our outdoor family party theme. We also wanted a venue that would accommodate fireworks and the Wise Wedding Venue could. We were officially married in a short ceremony on the following Monday at Brighton Register Office.

The Dress + Accessories….. Pete’s Mum was going to make the dress but because I knew what I wanted, the cost of the lace turned it into a very expensive undertaking so I went to the Whiteleaf Boutique in Brighton who let me design my own dress that they then made for a reasonable price. The pearl choker I wore was a family heirloom and I borrowed it from my sister for the day.

Groom’s attire…  A Gresham Blake suit. Pete wasn’t going to get anything fancy but after a fitting with the man himself, Pete’s mind was made up there and then to go for a bespoke three piece!

The Readings + Music…. I walked down the ‘aisle’ to Massive Attack’s Teardrop. We picked this because it evokes memories of our time living in Bristol which is where our children were born. We left the ceremony to Johnny Cash Ring Of Fire. We always pop this on in the car for a a bit of a family sing along!

Pete’s dad is a vicar and conducted the whole ceremony, reading passages from the Bible on Christian Marriage. My sister also read a passage from the Bible about love. Our friends Andy and Dave read a Muslim love prayer and a Sufi love poem.

Beautiful bridesmaids… Our three daughters were bridesmaids and all wore dresses from Monsoon. My four adult bridesmaids are all good friends, two dating back to my university days.They picked their own dresses (with a little bit of supervision from me!) to tie in with  the colour theme.

The Flowers… Pete’s mum, being a vicar’s wife, is a dab hand at flower arranging and made all of the bouquets herself. She used hundreds of white roses from a London flower market, bunches of gypsophila, and trailing ivy collected from the local woods to tie the bouquets  together. She used the remaining roses to make the table centrepieces and to decorate the arches.

The Cake… A tiered cheese cake made for us by The Secret Restaurant.

Your Photographer…. Our photographer Sue Kwiatkowska proved invaluable in the weeks before the wedding and helped us to put together a running order for the day. As well as making sure we’d covered all of those important not to be missed shots, she scouted out the venue beforehand to ensure precious time was not wasted on the day searching out good locations for group and couples shots. On the day itself she was efficient, organised and knew exactly what she was doing, including managing my rather large and high spirited family during the group shots whilst remaining polite and cheerful throughout!  Our photos capture everything beautifully.

After the fireworks our friend Sam Wadman took over the photography and got some great shots of Pete Djing as the party really got started.

Sue also photographed our civil ceremony on the following Monday and took us down on to Brighton seafront afterwards for some fun photos on the carousel and at the Bandstand.

The Details + Decor…. As mentioned before Pete’s mum made all of the table centrepieces. The flowers were placed in kilner style jars and stood on roof slates form a local builders merchant. The table names were written on the slate and followed a shipping theme. This ties in with my name! I collected pebbles from the beach  and use them as place holders with all of our guests names written on them. The arches were made by our friend Andy and were decorated by Pete’s Mum. The fireworks were organised by our neighbour Pete Barker and began with a firework trail through the woods and ended with a waterfall finale over the lake. Amazing!

The Honeymoon…. We honeymooned in Bali at the Alila Ubud hotel, a hillside retreat in Bali’s central foothills and at the Spa Village Tembok.

Memorable moments… arriving at the venue and seeing all of our friends and family waiting for us as well as everything set up for the outdoor ceremony which I had not seen before. The heartfelt, emotional speeches and the emotion of the whole day in general.

Advice for other couples… Don’t listen to your parents! Stay 100% true to what you want for your day.

Credit where credit’s due…

Catering and Cake –

Hair and Makeup – Osman Mos [email protected]

Venue – (

Dress – (

Groom – (

Photography – Sue Kwiatkowska

Sam Wadman

Bridesmaids – Monsoon

Honeymoon – Alila Ubud Hotel and Spa Village Tembok

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