Rachel and Marcus were married in June at the beautiful Bartholomew Barn in Kirdford, West Sussex. They wanted a festival theme to their wedding to represent their love of music and fun, and aptly named their day ‘Wedfest 2012′.
They had the most beautifully crafty day, filled with pom poms, a wedding quiz and super fun wedding party badges. Rachel looks incredible in her Ian Stuart number, i love the gorgeous natrual flowers and the personal touches throughout.
Thanks so much to the wonderful Tino & Pip Photography for sharing their images with us today.
Names…. Rachel and Marcus
Wedding Date…. 30th June 2012
The Proposal…. December 21st 2010 – the winter solstice. Marcus proposed at home, and then we went to watch the Burning of the Clocks parade in Brighton before ice skating in the grounds of Brighton Pavilion and a lovely meal afterwards. It was fantastic – although I did make him wait eight hours before I actually said yes!
The Vision for the day…. Our philosophy right from the start was that we wouldn’t do anything ‘just because we should’ and that we would only include people and elements on the day that we wanted to. We wanted it to really feel like ‘us’ – the people and things we love. Quite early on, we joked about having a festival instead of a wedding, because we both love music and festival-going, and it just grew from there. Most of all we just wanted a day of celebration – not too serious, and an opportunity for a big knees-up. That’s how Wedfest 2012 was born.
The Planning process…. We started with the venue. We had originally wanted to get married in Brighton (where we live) but couldn’t find a venue that had the right feel. We were really keen on having outside space, and a place that could be totally ours for the day. Once we found the barn, we identified the other things that were really important to us – the music, the photographers…and the dress of course! In total we spent about a year seriously planning the day.
Budget…. Around £18,000
The Venue… The beautiful Bartholomew Barn in Kirdford, West Sussex. It is the most gorgeous location, with woods at the back, rolling fields in the front, a pretty courtyard garden, and the lovely old barn itself of course. We looked at lots of other barns, but none had the warm and romantic feel we were looking for. This has a lot to do with Frances who owns the barn – on our first visit she spoilt us with a pot of tea and cake…. we were sold! And it feels totally isolated from the rest of the world – afterwards one of our friends described the day as being ‘in a wedding bubble’ because it feels like there’s nothing else for miles around.
The Dress + Accessories….. I wore an Ian Stuart dress called Tiger Lily bought from The Ozone bridal shop in Brighton. I wore a rose gold antique heart-shaped necklace that was my grandmother’s and Marcus bought me a gold, Swarovski bracelet as a wedding gift which he had delivered to me on the morning of the wedding.
Finding the dress…. I never believed the stories about ‘the one’ dress – until I found it! My friends and I had visited a couple of shops and seen lots of lovely dresses, but none had stood out. I always knew I wanted a lace, fishtail dress, and the Ian Stuart was perfect. When I tried it on, both of my friends had tears in their eyes – all of a sudden the day went from a bit of fun to being really emotional – and that was it!
Groom’s attire… Marcus wore dark grey tails, also from The Ozone. He also wore cufflinks I had bought him a year before which had love heart sweets on them. This was in reference to how Marcus first told me he loved me – by leaving a love heart sweet saying ‘I love you’ on my desk at work (we work together!) after we’d been dating for a few weeks. I spent the whole afternoon wondering if it was a joke – until he said it again that evening. So ever since then, the love heart sweets have had a bit of extra meaning.
The Readings + Music…. We had three readings in the ceremony. Marcus’s dad Nick read ‘The Art of a Good Marriage’ by Wilfred Arlan Peterson, our friend Ed read ‘Partners’ by Patience Strong and Marcus read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Tea’. Marcus’s reading had people laughing at the start (it is really a poem about tea) but I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house by the end of it. It’s a beautiful poem about pouring tea for your lover – something he does for me (despite the fact he hates tea!)
Music is really important to us both, and was particularly important on the day with our festival theme! For the ceremony, I walked into At Last by Etta James and we had all of our guests sing-a-long to All You Need is Love by The Beatles. As part of our ceremony, we had our rings passed around all of our guests, to hold and bless individually, before we gave them to each other. For that, we had The White Stripes, Hotel Yorba (live from Hotel Yorba) and You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne. The first track we agreed on was the recessional- ‘One Way’ by the Levellers. We did our first dance to Make You Feel My Love by Adele.
Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had four absolutely beautiful bridesmaids – Georgina, Amanda, Hannah and Abigail – who wore gorgeous knee-length mauve dresses from Coast. Four proper stunners.
The Flowers… We wanted to keep with the theme of the day and have relaxed, unstructured, ‘just picked from the meadow on our way here’ flowers for the day. The venue already has beautiful gardens, so we only needed to dress the inside of the barn itself. During the lead up to the wedding, we collected mismatched bottles, vases and jars from charity shops and friends – we had everything from Hendricks Gin bottles to tiny crystal vases. We gave all of these to our florist who filled them with a mixture of white and pink avalanche roses, sweetpeas, hydrangeas, gypsophillia, lisianthus, delphiniums, larkspur, daisies and grasses.
My bouquet was a mixture of roses and sweetpeas with mint leaves (which smelt gorgeous!) Each of the bridesmaids wore a rose corsage, and the buttonholes were a mixture – each one a different flower from the day.
The Cake… Vanilla cupcakes made by the mother of the bride. There’s noone else we could have asked to make the cakes – my mum is a legendary maker of cakes! We decorated them with tiny flags saying things like ‘eat me’ and ‘delectable’ and of course, a love heart sweet. We served the cakes as our wedding breakfast desert – they went down a treat!
Your Photographer…. The fantastic Tino and Pip (Penny and Martin) who did a fantastic job. We met them at a wedding fair really early on in our planning, and although we did look at a few other photographers, I think we knew pretty quickly they were the right people for the job. They seemed genuinely excited by our ideas, and the photos speak for themselves – absolutely stunning.
The Details + Decor…. The venue was gorgeous to start with, so it was a case of a few finishing touches. We strung bunting up in the barn, along with paper pom poms in pastel colours from the main beam. My dad’s wife sourced lots of different hearts in natural colours and materials which we hung from the chairs along the aisle.
For our table plan, we named each of the tables after a band or musician we like, and placed a seven-inch single by that artist on the table. For the plan itself, I strung a piece of string along one wall of the barn, and clipped family photos (including our parents and grandparents weddings) along it. In between the photos, we clipped the names of the guests on each table. I also stamped guest’s names onto manilla luggage tags which were tied to their chairs as place settings.
As favours, we made ‘Wedfest 2012′ CDs which contained all of the music from the ceremony and the first dance.
One of my favourite details was the badges we had made. We had two sets of badges made for the ceremony – one saying ‘I’m with the bride’ and the other ‘I’m with the groom’ with embarrassing photos of each of us on them. On arrival, our ushers asked the traditional ‘bride or groom’ of our guests, and were told they could sit anywhere but must take a badge with the appropriate person on. Then, for additional favours, we had two more badges made for the meal – one saying ‘Wedfest 2012′ and one with another embarrassing photo of us both with ‘Team GB’ on it (our new surname is Griffith-Boyes). We didn’t know whether the badges would work out – but people loved them. In fact, our youngest guest (all of four years old) ended the night with eleven of them pinned to her dress – and even our much older guests were fighting over who had ‘the set’ of all four badges. We also had plectrums printed with ‘Wedfest 2012′ on them and scattered on the table for dinner.
We also decided to have a Humanist ceremony, so had popped to the registry office a couple of days before to do the legal bit. This meant that on the day we could have a totally unique ceremony, which included a handfasting. This was definitely one of the best decisions we made – every single detail was ours, with the help of our celebrant Croianna who designed the ceremony specifically for us.
The Honeymoon…. We had 11 nights in Mexico – the perfect choice after the stressful run up to the wedding, and a great way to start married life as Team GB!
Memorable moments… So many…. Walking in to the ceremony and seeing everyone for the first time. The barn was so warm and light – and there was a sea of smiling faces from all the people we love in the world. I can’t imagine there are many moments like that in a lifetime. Our friends and family, arms in the air, singing and dancing to ‘All You Need is Love’ during our ‘sing-a-long song’ in the ceremony. Marcus’ face when he realised his best man was going to tell ‘that story’. And seeing all our friends and family in one place – making new friends and new family.
Advice for other couples… Do it your way. Invite the people you love who make you happy. We had 78 guests – and each one of the brought something unique to the day and gave us a memory to cherish. Put your time and attention into the details you’ll enjoy on the day. The things we enjoyed the most cost the least, and were the bits we were most proud of. Be organised before and then hand it all over to your suppliers and wedding party on the day – don’t be the person answering the questions, be the people in the centre of it all having an amazing time. Keep some things a secret from your family and friends – we loved surprising our guests for the badges, a ‘Wedfest 2012 Quiz’ and the bride getting up and singing with the band. And most of all, find time for each other and remember why you’re there, because that person next to you is the best person you’ve ever met, who loves you as much as you love them, and who will be looking back on this day with you in years to come talking about how it really was the best wedding EVER.
Credit where credit is due…
Dress shop: http://www.
Band: The MP3s http://www.warble-
Badges and plectrums from Awesome Merchandise http://www.
Thanks so very much to Rachel and Marcus for sharing their amazing wedding with us today. I’m in love! XOXO Lou
Tags: Awesome Merchandise, Bartholomew Barn, Coast Bridesmaids, DIY Wedding, Festival Wedding, Humanist Wedding, Ian Stuart Wedding Dress, Meadow Wedding Flowers, Multicolour Wedding Ideas, Purple Bridesmaid Dresses, Real Weddings, Summer Wedding Ideas, Tino & Pip Photography, West Sussex Wedding
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