DIY Seaside Inspired Purple Farm Wedding

DIY Devon Inspired Farm Wedding http://benjaminstuart.co.uk/

 

WWW readers Roxy and Scott were engaged in beautiful Devon and their adorable seaside wedding theme stemmed from there. They tied the knot at Herons Barn followed by a barn reception at Hillfield Farm in Berkshire. Think beach hut references, a sand wedding cake (oh yes really), sticks of rock and a boat drinks bar. The shed brought on eBay which they dismantled to use for their wooden signage was a stroke of genius too.

Roxy and Scott both looked amazing in their chosen attire plus I adore the mismatched maids in purple, it worked SO well. The blooms looked divine and must have smelt heavenly. Gorgeous.

Thanks so much to Benjamin Stuart Photography for sending over these stunning photographs.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Scott surprised me with a weekend away at our favourite place in North Devon to celebrate our 3 year anniversary and me passing my teacher training. He made a picnic and we went for a walk along Croyde Beach where he got down on one knee and proposed – such a lovely surprise and in a perfect place!

THE VISION | We knew we wanted a home-made, DIY wedding and didn’t want to get married at a big, posh venue. We also wanted to incorporate the engagement and decided on a Devon theme – scones, ice cream and rock. I dislike anything too matchy matchy so we purposely went for a mismatched look and once we had decided on purple as the main colour it all started to work out from then onwards. The Range is fantastic for beach-themed decorations!

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had a long 3 year engagement in order to save money for the wedding and make the majority of the things we wanted ourselves. I loved being engaged, it was such an exciting time when we could plan together and we both really enjoyed planning the wedding together. I used my school holidays to make the invitations (which took a very long time) and paint the outdoor decorations.

BUDGET | We both decided that we wanted to have a cheaper wedding but have all of our friends and family rather than a more expensive wedding with less people. I did a lot of research about the cost of everything (my budget spreadsheet was my best friend!) and I kept costs down wherever possible. We originally planned to spend £10,000 but we ended up going slightly over that. We wouldn’t have been able to keep the cost down if we hadn’t made the majority of our decorations, definitely worth it!

THE VENUE | We found 2 perfect venues within 15 minutes from our house, in gorgeous countryside locations. We had our ceremony at Herons Barn, Pangbourne which is a beautiful, rustic barn within a working riding school. We then had our reception at Hillfield Farm, Lower Basildon. It is an absolutely stunning location with views over rolling hills with horses in the paddocks and beautiful gardens. The barn was split in two, with an area for the reception meal and then an evening barn with a dance floor, sunken seating area and quirky décor including stag antlers, a stone fireplace and a tartan carpet. We fell in love with the venue as soon as we saw it and it was the most perfect place for our wedding.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I originally wanted a short, simple dress with capped sleeves but my mum wanted me to go more traditional. I wasn’t as fussed about getting a dress as I was about all of the extra details and decorations but when I went dress shopping I got swept away with all of the different dresses. I bought my dress from Confetti Bridal, in Wokingham and the assistant was fantastic at bringing me a variety of dresses to try on. I hadn’t seen a picture of the dress that I wanted but I had drawn a version of what I was looking for. I tried on a champagne and ivory full lace dress with a scalloped hem and loved it – but when the assistant brought out a sheer lace off the shoulder jacket with scalloped detail it became my perfect dress, just like my design! Once I had the dress I quickly found a beautiful veil with a detailed edge and lace kitten heels from Rainbow at John Lewis. I knew that I didn’t want to wear any jewellery because my dress was so detailed but I wanted an unusual headpiece. Lots of bridal headpieces were tiaras or metal and silver and that wasn’t my style. After several months of searching I found a hand-made lace hair piece from Etsy and it was perfect. It is definitely one of my favourite things from the wedding.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Scott wore a grey 3 piece suit with a purple lining and brown shoes. He wanted to wear a nice suit but wasn’t struck with full tails and traditional groom suits. The groomsmen all wore the same suit and brown shoes and to fit in with my mismatched theme they all had different buttonholes to match the flowers in my bouquet. One had lavender, one had lisianthus, one had veronica, another had lavender etc. and Scott had a mixture of all of them. I bought him some hand-made anchor cufflinks from Etsy and he wore his brown leather skeleton watch that I bought him for his birthday a few years ago.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | I spent a long time searching for the perfect music for our wedding as  I wanted something that we loved but not something that was typical or overly soppy. We decided to have Ingrid Michaelson’s cover of “Can’t help falling in love” for when I walked down the aisle, the words of the song are perfect and we both loved it. We chose to have Beyonce “Love on top” as we walked back down the aisle, again because the words were just right and it is a lovely, upbeat song. One of my best friends Phil read our first reading, a poem that I wrote about advice from one friend to another on their wedding day. My youngest sister, Saffron (age 8) wanted to do a reading and we chose “Getting married means you’ll have” by Nicholas Gordon. She practised reading it so much and was really brave doing her reading in front of 100 people. She was fantastic and so confident.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were beautiful – all 9 of them! I chose my 2 sisters and my 7 best friends as I couldn’t imagine not having them all as bridesmaids. I made a controversial decision to have the girls in 9 completely different dresses, in varying shades of purple as I didn’t want 9 girls in the same dress and they are all so different that I would have been a nightmare trying to find one dress that suited them all. I bought their dresses from a range of places, House of Fraser, ASOS, Coast, Debenhams and eBay – I knew that it would all come together and they would look great, even though some people thought I was mad. But it worked out great and the girls looked amazing!

THE FLOWERS | We had a fantastic florist, Croppers in Bloom in Theale. Helen was really easy to talk to and was happy to just make our bouquets and button holes as we did the venue flowers ourselves. She knew exactly what I wanted and when the flowers arrived on the wedding morning I was so happy! They were better than I expected and looked stunning all day. The venue flowers we did ourselves by buying pot plants and cut flowers to decorate the ceremony and ordering £200 worth of cut flowers for the reception venue. The day before the wedding me and a team of girls filled over 100 jam jars and scattered them around the venue, they looked just right and as nothing had to match each one was different.

THE CAKE | Our cake was definitely a bit different. I didn’t want a standard wedding cake and toyed with the idea of cupcakes. We decided on a beach themed cake and asked a friend of a friend to make it. I was gob smacked when I saw the cake on the wedding day – it was just what I had asked for but didn’t imagine it could be made. It was an ivory cake covered in sea shells and surrounded my “sand” – each tier was of course a different flavour and it tasted amazing. I topped the cake with a cursive cake topper from Etsy that said “best day ever” and it really was.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | My photographer was Ben (Benjamin Stuart photography) who is my cousin and had photographed my auntie’s (his mum’s) wedding. When we went round and saw the photos we knew that we would love him to do our photos too. We loved that his style of photography is storytelling and that we wouldn’t have to have the boring, traditional wedding photos. On the day we were adamant that we wanted to spend the majority of the day enjoying ourselves with our friends and family so we asked for just a few posed photographs. The results were fantastic, we had some amazing posed and natural photographs, lots of things we would have missed and several of the details that we had made and meant so much to us. All of our guests loved the photographs and said that Ben and his wife Zoe were really helpful and friendly throughout the day. They did get to enjoy themselves too, as they were our guests!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The details of the wedding became so important to us because we wanted a really unique day and we had a complete blank canvas a venue. They best thing we made was our drinks boat. We bought an old rowing boat for £50 from gumtree, Scott fixed it and we sanded it and painted it. I even painted “Quinn” on the side and we added some rope and buoys to decorate it. It was then filled with ice, beers and soft drinks for our guests to enjoy when they got to our reception. We had an ice cream topping station with home-made signs and ice cream bunting for when our ice cream van arrived and guests could help themselves. We bought an old shed on eBay and took the back panel off to make a beach hut seating plan display, with each table’s names displayed in mismatched vintage photo frames that we bought from charity shops. We then used to the rest of the shed to make signs to put all around the garden. The reception venue had plenty of little details around including light houses, driftwood and wicker hearts, sail boats, buoys and hand-made bunting (made by the best man’s fiancé). The bunting was made from a variety of different fabrics and suited the venue perfectly. Each table had a pail of flowers in the middle with hand-painted signs of different places Scott and I have visited in Devon, along with hand-painted pebbles for name places, my bridesmaid Kate’s home made fudge and sticks of rock as favours. The evening barn was perfect as it was so we just added tonnes of candles to the fireplace and put the fairy lights on, magical!

THE HONEYMOON | We stayed at the Secrets Maroma beach hotel in Mexico, which is a luxury 5 star adults only hotel. It was absolutely amazing and definitely the nicest place we have ever stayed in. We were pampered throughout our holiday and enjoyed every part of it. The highlights were the day we spent snorkelling and zip-wiring at the eco park Xel-Ha and a day trip to the Mayan ruins Chichen Itza. Amazing!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I loved getting ready in the morning because we were all so excited but calm at the same time, plus the weather was beautiful which made me very happy. Seeing Scott when I walked down the aisle was lovely because he looked so happy. The ice cream man arriving and playing his music and me running to the front of the queue was also great. But the most memorable moment was definitely our first dance because even though there were 150 people around us and everyone was looking at us it genuinely felt like we were on our own and I felt so happy at that point. We knew that everything we had planned had come together and we had the evening to look forward to. We also spontaneously cracked out a dance routine without any practice, which people thought we had planned when we hadn’t! Just shows how happy we must have been. BEST DAY EVER.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make as much as you can yourself, you can save so much money. Particularly on name places and invitations! Also, ask for help – you will be surprised how many of your friends have secret talents as seamstresses, bakers, florists etc. Keep looking online as there are so many bargains to be had on eBay and gumtree, but my most favourite place to find unique things was definitely Etsy. Have a look, you will be hooked!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Florist | Croppers in Bloom, Theale

Photographer | Benjamin Stuart Photography

Dress | Confetti Bridal, Wokingham

Venue | Herons Barn, Pangbourne

Caterers | To-Go Catering

 

Absolutely amazing, I love a creative wedding.

Roxy and Scott, many thanks to you both for sharing your vibrant nuptials today xo Lou

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