A Quirky & Budget Red Wedding

quirky red wedding


Matthew and Caroline tied the knot in April at Horwood House, Buckinghamshire. They wanted their wedding day to be quirky and vintage inspired keeping to a £5000 budget.

They went for some fun touches, with flashes of vibrant red through their accessories and the beautiful rose bouquet.

Caroline looked stunning in a tea length dress with her Irregular Choice shoes and birdcage veil, while Matthew opted for a dapper two piece suit. They looked amazing!

Thanks so much to Eneka Stewart for sharing her photography with us today.


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The Proposal… We went up in a hot air balloon, I was hoping it was a proposal and soon realised we had champagne on board, Matt drank down both our glasses (dutch courage) and my hope was gone. Matt suddenly thought we were decending and quickly got down on one knee and asked. All the other people on the balloon clapped and cheered.

The Vision for the Day… We went to see the invention of lying, I hated the film but suddenly had inspiration when I saw Jennifer Garner in a knee high dress. It reminded me that my mother had a knee high dress and although it was years before we got married I knew I wanted that kind of dress. I did not want to be the average bride. I have a love for vintage too so that had to play a part within the wedding.

The Planning Process… We had entered a competition to win a free wedding at Horwood House, we got into the final 12 and lost, I was heartbroken. I than said to Matt that I didn’t want to get married there anyway. We got engaged two years later and Matt finally convinced me to revisit this venue and we knew as soon as we stepped in it had to be the venue, we just fell in love with it.

Looking through wedding magazines gave me inspirations for favours and table decor. My family and I spent an afternoon putting favours together, otherwise we left everything else as a surprise for our guests and also found some quirky bits to make people smile.  I knew from the start that I wanted to wear my heart irregular choice heels, a gift Matt had got me for valentine’s day a few years back. I also knew that I wanted to wear some funky trainers in the evening too, Matt found me some beautiful red vans which had ‘love me’ embroided all over them.

Budget… £5000

The Venue… Horwood House, it is such a beautiful venue with an amazing garden. The staff are fabulous, food divine and once you saw this venue you could not imagine getting married anywhere else.

The Dress + Accessories… My dress was designed by Donna Lee and is from the fairy tale range and is called ‘Alice’.

Finding the Dress… I phoned several bridal wear shops, I was filled with disappointment as each shop mentioned that they did not sell a knee high wedding dress. I was not going to give up I knew what I wanted and I was going to find it. I eventually called a shop in Aylesbury, they told me they one stocked one knee high dress and gave me a link to look at it online. I hung up the phone dashed online saw it and phoned straight back saying I will be there tomorrow to get it. We pitched up and as soon as I saw it I loved it, I tried it on and just looked in the mirror saying this is the one. The first and only dress I tried on. My family suggested I try on a few just incase but I refused.

Groom’s Attire… I went with Matt to find his suit as I wanted it to have a vintage feel to it, again as soon as we set eyes on this suit we knew it was right. We had a red theme and therefore we decided on a red tie to go with the suit. He looked amazing!

The Readings + Music… My dad passed a few years back, one song I remember he loved was John Denver’s Annie’s song. Matt also loved this song and so the aisle song was chosen very quickly. Other songs were difficult to choose but eventually we had Sam Cook- Wonderful world and Jackie Wilson-Higher and higher, My dress was 50’s style so we wanted old songs that fitted.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… My little niece Poppy was my bridesmaid. We spent so long shopping to find her a dress. My sister asked me to define bridesmaid and a light bulb switched and we just looked for an average dress. Eventually we hit river island and there we found a gorgeous Chelsea girl dress, I made sure Poppy had trainers to wear…nothing worse than uncomfortable shoes.

Poppy looked amazing and did a fabulous job of walking down the aisle at the perfect time…unlike me who rushed down. Again, we didn’t want the average bridesmaid holding flowers. We ebayed a vintage basket and filled it with confetti cones for Poppy to hand out.

The Flowers… I booked an appointment with a florist, I than saw them at a wedding show and went to speak to them without them knowing I had booked to see them the following week. They were not very friendly! I walked off feeling a bit disgruntled and went to another stall with a lady who ran her own business. I ended up accidently destroying her display as I knocked everything over and she was just lovely. I walked off and went back 5 minutes later and hired her. We went in saying we were not going to spend too much and walked out and decided on roses..eeekk!!. As soon as we left I said wow we just picked the most expensive flower but Charlotte made sure she kept to a budget and still provided beautiful flowers. She was awesome.

The Cake… I saw the cake on a website, it had a vintage look to it and it was a bargain price. Matt also loved the cake, it was so different to what we had ever seen. We are really into our board games so we hunted round for a cake topper which had reference to games. On my google search I found a topper where Darth Vader had cut off the grooms head, Matt loves Star Wars and I showed him this topper which was very unique and quirky. We knew it would make everyone smile and we did not want anything at the wedding which was normal. We have been described as a quirky couple and quirky is what we wanted.

Your Photographer… I was worried about the photographer as you hear all these horror stories of terrible photographers and crap photos. My sister in law said she had a friend- I always go with recommendations! I had a nosey on Eneka’s  facebook page and loved what I saw. We met Eneka and she was so welcoming and lovely and we went home from the engagement shoot feeling very happy and more excited and relaxed. Eneka was amazing throughout the day, very calm and friendly and it did not feel we had invited a photographer it felt like we had invited a friend we had known for years. Eneka went the whole way- moving heavy furniture and standing on stools to make sure she got the perfect picture from every angle. I cried when I saw the photos, my family also cried- they were just beautiful. I have seen photos where I think…that is so posed or that feels fake as it does not show me the person I know. My photos were full of personality…they were Matt and I..they were not a bride and groom posing- Eneka bought us out in those photos.  Photos of our friends dancing- we would say ‘oh that is typical David pulling that pose’, it was our friends personalities that shone through those photos and not some stuffy boring pose which says nothing.

The Details + Decor… We did not have a huge amount of décor, less is more. We had tea cups full of sweets, jars full of sweets and I spent some time wrapping up books in parcel paper to get that vintage feel. We used a lot of photo as well from different eras and different adventures we had had. The favours I wanted to give a personal touch to and spent an afternoon with alphabet rubber stamps and an ink pad. I sat and stamped out 55 names onto luggage tags to tie to each favour. We found cardboard moustaches, hats and different style glasses on sticks which put a little fun into photos too.

The Honeymoon… One week in the Maldives, it was paradise. We saw dolphins for the first time, we swam with tropical fish and Matt got drunk on two cocktails and tried to persuade a waiter to take a photo of his foot as it was identical to Brad Pitt’s. Matt told the waiter’ take a photo of my foot, you can tell everyone you met Brad Pitt’. What a numpty!

Memorable Moments… Matt pretending he had fallen into the well, everybody cheering as we entered into the room for the wedding breakfast. Seeing Matt for the first time. Hearing our guest Katie eating the extra loud popping candy from the other side of the room, dancing to the birdie song and gangam style. Saying I do.

Advice for Other Couples… Best thing we did was tell everyone everything was a surprise. I knew if people knew what we were having they would have an opinion on it and I did not want any negative comments so I told everyone to wait and see. It was our day and we wanted it our way. Ebay and amazon are amazing for cheap sweets. Enjoy- it goes way to fast!!

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Photographer is from www.enekastewart.com

The venue is http://www.principal-hayley.com/ph-hotels/horwood-house.aspx

The dress is from http://www.adorebridal.co.uk/

The cake is from http://www.lisasicedgems.co.uk/

The Florist is from http://www.charlotteayrefloraldesign.co.uk/


Well that certainly looked like a fun day :-) Thanks so much to Matthew and Caroline for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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