DIY, Pretty, Real Weddings
An Eclectic English Country Wedding
15.01.2013

eclectic english wedding

Amy and Matt were married at their family Church, followed by a marquee reception in a paddock opposite. They wanted their wedding to be relaxed and fun full of the things they love. They homemade much of their day, with their own ipod play list for the evening, collecting lovely items for their reception decor and crafted bunting.

I so adore Amy’s beautiful Suzanne Neville dress and those Vivienne Westwood shoes go just perfectly. Matt went for a Ted Baker grey suit with brogues and a purple tie. They both look utterly gorgeous. Amy told me she read WWW; “It’s brilliant seeing what other couples have done and if an entry has details you were thinking about – it helps see what it’s like and if it works. Also having the supplier lists is so handy!” Yay, thanks Amy.

I love the handkerchief place settings, the woodland animal theme, the pretty blooms, the amazing cake table, gorgeous stationery and the Pieminister pies meal… yum. I could just go on and on…

Thanks so much to the super brilliant Emma Case Photography for sharing her images with us today.

 

marquee weddingwedding cake sweet tablenaked cake victoria sponge wedding

 

Names…. Amy & Matt

Wedding Date…. 24th August 2012

The Proposal…. Instead of buying each other Christmas gifts in 2010 we decided to put it towards a little city break to Venice the following February. We actually left on Valentine’s Day and as Matt works in print and design and I usually get lovely cards, I impatiently had to wait until we arrived in Venice to get my card as he had ‘packed it’ in his suitcase. I was then rather disgruntled when we got to Venice he had ‘left it at home’ and as the trusting, although some may say gullible person I am, I believed him. Little did I know the next day, over a Bellini in a Jazz Bar, Matt found my card and gave it to me. On the front was a photo of Charlene and Scott from Neighbours on their wedding day and inside it simply said ‘Will You Marry Me?’. Due to said Bellini’s, I didn’t quite believe him at first but once I did I said yes a lot, we spent the next four days in Venice feeling pretty smug! Matt had actually nearly proposed spontaneously at an Arcade Fire gig the November before but decided against it as he hadn’t asked my father’s permission.

The Vision for the day…. Fun and relaxed, bringing all the things we love together (including all the people we love!) and overall a massive party. We knew we wanted a Summer wedding and that it would be fairly big due to us both still remaining really close with school friends as well as having all the friends we have met during our seven years together. There were certain things we knew we wanted – a marquee, vintage/eclectic feel, Mr Whippy Ice Cream van (always wanted one!), lots of music which represents us, pies, Prosecco and the rest just fell into place around it and along the way. I also had a very certain idea of where I wanted the marquee to be and it was somewhat of a childhood dream which luckily came true. Our main vision was to have a day that represented us.

The Planning process…. I’m known as the organiser amongst friends and I work within events for my job so the planning was pretty easy for us! It was a complete joint effort between Matt and I and we had lots of fun. We made and sourced everything ourselves which was time consuming but completely worth all of the effort. From every bunting triangle sewn and moustache cut to selecting every single song on the four playlists and collecting and cleaning hundreds of jam jars – we did the lot. One of our loves is car booting and flea market hunting so wedding planning and purchasing actually fitted quite nicely into normal life!

With getting engaged in the Winter and knowing that we wanted a Summer wedding but also needing a little while to save, we had 18 months to plan the wedding. If I’m honest, as I was so desperate to be Matt’s wife, I would have preferred a shorter engagement however I don’t think we would have got it all done if we had got married the same year we got engaged.

As soon as we got engaged we did a few things – booked the church and photographer and then spent a few months researching marquee and catering companies and also gave me lots of time to negotiate prices! We also started sourcing things straight away – like the crockery and we are so glad we did as it took ages to get pieces at a reasonable price. We loved every minute of the planning and really miss it!

The Venue… We got married at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury. There was nowhere else I would consider getting married as this is our family church. It’s where my sister, niece and I were christened but also where my parents got married 34 years ago.

For the reception and evening do we had a marquee in the paddock opposite the church. This had been my childhood dream and still cannot believe we were lucky enough to get it! It’s always been a family joke about when are my parents going to befriend the owners of the cottage and paddock opposite the church so we could have our wedding reception there (even before we were engaged!). My Auntie and Uncle run a local taxi firm and had mentioned in passing to the owners it was a dream of mine and the owner had jokingly replied ‘I’m sure it can be arranged!’ Then when we got engaged I called and asked and they kindly said yes! I cried a lot both on the phone and then after as I couldn’t believe my dream was going to be a reality.
It was perfect, especially as we spent the whole day looking at the beautiful church we got married in. We purposely chosen a marquee with clear panoramic windows so the church was in full view the whole day and night (as the church is beautifully lit up at night).

The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was ‘Maiden’ in ivory and black by Suzanne Neville. A silk dress with a full Chantilly lace overlay which has black stitching to bring out the lace detail. My headpiece and earrings were made by a friend, who also made the bridesmaids bracelets and earrings. I kept everything quite simple as my dress so detailed – it did all the talking! I decided against a veil as I didn’t look like me and found it quite uncomfortable which is exactly what I didn’t want on my wedding day! I had Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes. I wasn’t sure if they would go but I didn’t care – I love them so much! They are also very practical for a marquee wedding – if you stick in mud – you simply wipe them clean!

Finding the dress…. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted for my wedding dress – simple, Grecian, with no bling or detail. Sadly when I tried it on I looked beige. It was on our first day of looking I found this out, but luckily I also found my dream dress at the end of that same day. Luckily in Bristol where we live there is the most gorgeous dress shop called The Mews and it was there, with the help of their amazing team, I found my dress. When on the hanger I actually wasn’t very keen on the dress, I believe the actual words ‘who would have a black and white wedding dress’ came out of my mouth. But when I tried it on, I totally understood why! As someone who isn’t particularly confident in the way I look, when I tried ‘Maiden’ by Suzanne Neville on, for the first time in my life I felt beautiful. It felt perfect and I just knew it was the one for me. It felt very me and I just felt so special.

Groom’s attire… Matt’s suit was from Ted Baker. Matt wanted a full tweed suit however due to it being a summer wedding and the hope of a warm Summers day – we thought tweed would be too thick and heavy. Matt’s Ted Baker suit had a tweed look but was much lighter. It was in taupe colour and matched the bridesmaid dresses perfectly. Matt accessories including a pair brogues, a dark purple tie, spare bunting fabric as a hanky and Badger cufflinks (to go with the woodland animal theme!).

The Readings + Music…. We had two readings – ‘On Your Wedding Day’ by Anon and Songs of Solomon. We also wrote our own prayer read by the vicar. Music was a very important and big part of our day. My bridesmaids and I walked down the aisle to ‘Wake Up’ by Arcade Fire (a surprise to Matt and in honour of him wanting to propose at an Arcade Fire gig). During the signing of the register a good friend of mine played the piano and sand ‘Us’ by Regina Spektor. We walked out of the church to ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ by Hall and Oates. Our first dance was ‘Bubble Toes’ by Jack Johnson due to one line in the song always reminding us of our relationship.

We also had four playlists for the day – Drinks receptions, Meal, Disco and Power Two Hour (for the last two hours of the evening do!). Over the 18 month engagement we compiled a mammoth list, which at one stage was 16 hours’ worth of music. The music was old and new, pretty diverse and just full of music we love. We had an iPod disco, borrowing the equipment from friends, and it was the best decision. We’ve had so many comments from friends about the playlist and how good it was – we were pretty pleased with this!

Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had four adult bridesmaids – Lucy (my sister and Maid of Honour) and Emma, Becky and Charlotte who are all old school friends. We all searched for a few months for high street dresses but struggled to find something that would suit all of them. We then tried the Two Birds dresses and were sold – not only were they the perfect colour, there was a style that suited each of them. I also didn’t want them all looking the same and regimented. Their gorgeous shoes were from Kurt Geiger. I also had my beautiful four year old niece Amelia as our flower girl. Amelia’s dress was from Monsoon which she loved as it was pink and glittery, along with her Marks & Spencer shoes.

The Flowers… Our flowers actually helped us get a colour scheme. We didn’t know what colours we really wanted until we realised what flowers we liked! We wanted a very natural, handpicked English country look and this meant flowers like sweet peas, David Austin roses sweet Williams amongst other things. This meant subtle pinks and purples as well as creamy colours. I originally wanted Peonies and Ranunculus however was quickly informed due to the season these were unlikely as we were keen to have seasonal flowers. The flowers turned out even better than we could have dreamed of – they finished off the look and feel perfectly. Maria at Sorori Design was simply amazing – she got exactly what we wanted. She even managed to sneak in some Ranunculus.

The Cake… To save a bit of money my sister made our cake (with a little help from me!). It was a simple sponge with a cream filling decorated with fresh fruit and roses. We also had a cake table as we served tea and cake as the dessert at our wedding breakfast.

Your Photographer…. The lovely Emma Case! Along with her equally lovely husband Pete. I stumbled upon Emma after she shot a wedding my friend had attended. After booking the church we booked Emma. To us the photos and getting the right photographer was one of the most important parts of the wedding and planning. Your wedding photos are your memories. We literally couldn’t be happier with our photos and they bring us so much joy looking through them. Emma and Pete were ace on the day – we loved having them as part of our wedding. We are also so pleased to have had them all day and also have the photobooth. When we watched the slideshow (which they put to music) with my family, we laughed and cried in equal amounts. They are the most beautiful reminder of our day.

The Details + Decor…. With a very English Country theme we had a lot of detail and décor to help create this. My sister runs a wedding stationery business (Lucy Loves Weddings) and so we were very lucky to have her to help us create the look and feel we wanted. It all came together beautifully and Lucy’s talent and attention to detail helped massively with them. Although I’m biased, she is rather good!

My lovely friend Adam drove me and Dad to the church in his VW campervan which helped with the feel and it was also lovely to be driven by a mate.

Our tables were named after woodland animals due to my love of owls and Matt’s love of everything else, in particular Badgers! We kept the vintage, country theme with vintage hankies for napkins, crockery (including cake stands made by my dad), drinks served in jam jars, scones served as canapés washed down with Babycham and Pimms, games like splat the rat and a coconut shy, lots of homemade bunting, a vintage till at the bar, hand stitched hessian table runners, stripey staws to help with the colour scheme, badges for each table, lips and moustaches for fun photos, glow sticks and indoor sparklers for the evening and many more things…

We also had Prosecco as our toast drink (due to our Venetian engagement) and then a very British meal of Pieminister pies and mash with mushy peas.

We also did a quiz which was lots of fun with the winners getting big bottles of Babycham.

The Honeymoon…. We’ve been very lucky. Some friends of ours got married the week after us and because we wanted to join them for their wedding we had a short break in Barcelona between the two weddings and then on Boxing Day we head off for a three week adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia. We. Cannot. Wait.

Memorable moments… There are many but two stick in our minds… Each table took it in turns raising their glass and toasting another table (of guests they don’t know) e.g. ‘the Rabbit table would like to take a drink with the Fox table, followed by ‘the Fox table taking a drink with Weasel table’ and so on – it was hilarious having each table stand up and host each other. But the other main one is during the evening do, Mumford and Sons came on and we danced together, jumping around (it looks like we are dancing in a Ceilidh in the photos) and pretty much all our guests are around us cheering and clapping. Was simply brilliant.

Advice for other couples… Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t take on too much and if you do, get all your friends and family to help – they will be delighted to. As soon as you get engaged it seems that everyone has an opinion about your day and how you should do things and remember as frustrating as it can be, you get to marry your best friend surround by everyone you love and it will be the most special day – so it’s totally worth it. Try and make it as personal as you can. It meant to be about the two of you and don’t forget that. Don’t get too bogged down in a theme – so what if things don’t match perfectly – if you want something – do it.

Credit where credit is due…

Brides and bridesmaid dresses – The Mews, Clifton – http://www.themewsclifton.co.uk/
Marquee – Elegant Marquees – http://www.elegantmarquees.co.uk/
Caterer – Berry Blue – http://www.berry-blue.co.uk
Photographer – Emma Case Photography – http://www.emmacasephotography.com/
Stationery – Lucy Loves Weddings – http://lucylovesweddings.blogspot.co.uk/
Florist – Sorori Designs – www.sororidesign.co.uk/

 

Oh my… such a gorgeous day!! Thanks so much to Amy and Matt for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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