Gitta and Sim had the one of the most hand made wedding days I’ve ever featured. They crafted all the décor, made Gitta’s wedding dress, had DIY flowers and even their own home grown vegetables for the wedding breakfast. Amazing.
I just love the ribbon backdrop, felt bouquet and those red glitter shoes. Keep an eye out for the entertainment too. It was such a personal day.
Thanks so much to My Fabulous Life Photography for sharing their brilliant photography today.
The Vision for the Day… To have a lovely day (or 2) with friends and family in our own way, a celebration of joining our families together and of the next step in our life’s together.
The Planning Process… We started planning as soon as we got engaged, we explored the possibilities that were within our budget. We originally looked at just a registry office thing but soon realised that we couldn’t have everyone there and it wasn’t so personal and we really wanted everyone there for the ceremony and make it our own. I looked at churches but neither of us or our families are religious so this didn’t seem right to us. In this search I found a beautiful hand fasting ceremony which we re-wrote to make it ours.
We found a location and to free us up to do whatever we liked there we did our registry office ceremony with just the close family the following day to get the paperwork done after staying in an amazing castle (Bickleigh Castle) in the bridal suite after the first “real” wedding day. GREAT!
2nd day; Wake up in castle, nice breakfast, country walk, being picked up in vintage rolls Roy’s, drive to the registry office, see family again, have another meal with everyone (BBQ I the garden)
Budget… Our initial budget was £4000, but with some extra last-minute expenses it cost around £4500 pounds.
The Venue… We hired the local Village Hall for the day (from the afternoon before till mid-day after for set-up and tidy-up) and went between the Village Hall and Sim’s Mums house which was 6 doors down the road.
Ceremony at village hall 1:30pm, drinks at Sim’s mums house 2:15pm, dinner at village hall 4:30pm, cake at Sim’s mums house 7pm, evening at village hall 8pm. In between we transformed the room for the different parts of the day. (time are approximate, we kind of went with the flow a bit)
The Dress + Accessories… The dress was hand-made by my mum-in-law and me. I started out trying some things on and having a look around online at what I liked. After getting a good idea of what I wanted I found the right patterns (combining two different patterns) and explored available fabrics. We made a mock-up out of sheets over Christmas 2012 which worked out great so we went ahead with the final fabric and started putting it together. The Final finishing touches were some days before the wedding including making a shrug and bag to go with it. It was all rather lucky really how well it came together, the little sleeves were bits of lace I happened to find, I wasn’t sure they would be the right colour but worked out perfectly! I was so so happy with it I couldn’t have wished for anything better.
My sparkly red shoes I found online and the red ribbon was a bit of a mission, it took me quite a while to find the right thing. The petticoat we bought to go under the dress at a bridal shop and with this it brought the total for the dress to about £250.
Groom’s Attire… Very nice 3 piece navy blue suit bought at House of Fraser on Oxford Street, a bit of a 3rd time lucky because there were some attempts at buying a suit online which didn’t quite work out.
The Readings + Music… We wrote our own ceremony based on a Handfasting ceremony I found online. We re-wrote pretty much everything and wrote our own vows with the exchange of the rings. We had Sim’s dad do the ceremony with us as our “priest” (he helped us with the re-write too) and we had the mothers do a reading of their choice (3 mothers, Sims mother Fiona, my mother Edith and my Stepmother Corinne.)
All the music was compiled from our CD cupboard seeing we’re both musicians we have quite an extensive collection. We had Ella Fitzgerald for the walk down the aisle, the Andrew Sister and Nat King Cole during dinner, some Micheal Jackson, the Beatles, Beach Boys and all sorts of modern dance-y tunes for the evening and Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons for our first dance. A nice mix of old and new music.
In the evening we had live music performed by friends and family (so many musical people around us!) and I played a couple of songs myself too. Sim and I used to play together as a two piece band so we were planning to play together but due to some changes in the set-up in the last year plans changed.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… A bit of a project those, hehe. I chose peach dresses with darker peach and red ribbons and red shoes like mine, the girls all chose their own dresses but it was a little bit tricky to get the colours to match though it worked out perfectly in the end. I had my sister, Sim’s two sisters and a close friend as bridesmaids.
The Flowers… The bouquet and the button-hole flowers were all hand-made by my Stepmum, they were made out of felt. She made them so beautifully! The flowers for the centre pieces were grown by Sims mum on their allotment. Lovely wild flowers it looked great!
The Cake… Our amazing cake was made by Sim’s amazing Gran and put together on the morning by his mum and sister. I loved it and it tasted yummy!
Your Photographer… We couldn’t have been happier with Becky Joiner, she is just the most wonderful lady to have around and the photos are simply stunning. I found her in an online search for Wedding photographer Devon. Lots of blablabla boring standard photographers but she offered something different and with more personality, I fell in love with her photos instantly so it was just a matter of convincing her to come make some photos for us and voila!
The Details + Decor… Again all all all hand-made! Such a job!
We made bunting out of different fabrics and we bought a job-lot of music paper on ebay which we made into bunting too and we used the music paper for the centre pieces and the name tags (which people wrote messages on and hung on a hand-made flower circle, such a lovely memorabilia!). We bought cheap balls of lace on a market and bits of fabric which we ripped into strips and used as ribbon bows on the chairs and for our back-drop. We made loads of pompoms in different colours and sizes for which my mum spend days un-fluffing them, she got pretty bored of it.
For the centre pieces we collected jars all year round, cleaned them and put ribbons around them and found some nice 2nd hand saucers with flower prints for tea-lights.
For table cloths we bought cheap fabric on a roll only and cut it to size to go over the long table and the food tables. And the signs we put around were mad from scrap-wood for the fire place and hand-painted.
As favours we had home-made jam by Sim’s mum in little decorated jars with ribbons around it. They looked so cute on the tables!
Adding to this also the food was all made by us, we ordered some roast lamb to be delivered warm at the right time and all the salads we served with it (6 different salads) we made the day before and finished in the morning. This was CRAZY! But amazing, it all tasted so good. Sim’s mum grew a lot of the vegetables we used on the allotment too.
For desert we had beetroot brownies served with berries compote (from the garden) and thick cream.
The Honeymoon… We spend two whole weeks on Gozo (the smaller island of Malta) we walked around, rented a quad bike to drive around, went scuba diving, snorkelling and ate a ton of food and daily ice-creams very lovely! Best bit was just to get to spend two whole weeks together we had never been on holiday together for more than 3 days so that was great!
Memorable Moments… All of it! It was amazing and fantastic and perfect and so so personal. We had most the family there some days in advance and some friends from both London and Holland (I am from Holland, Sim from the UK) it was lovely having everyone around for so many days. Though doing everything ourselves was a crazy mission for which we had so incredibly much help from everyone I wouldn’t change a thing! (We owe quite some favours now…)
Advice for Other Couples… The only thing I would have considered changing was the food bit, this was such a big big job and very hard to pull off on the day with many favours needed. If we had a bit more budget we would have probably got someone to do the food for us but again, it was so personal this way it meant a lot to everyone and we had so many compliments on the food.
I say just have fun with it and be creative and prioritise what you find most important on the day. We had everyone including ourselves work their bums off around it and my husband and I both slept for about 3 hours the night before (not because we had no time to sleep but were just so excited), I guess if you don’t want that you’d have to get people in to do things for you. But a bit of DIY makes it so much more personal I think.
If this all scares you get someone to help you plan!!
Credit Where Credit is Due…
The only outside person involved was Becky Joiner the photographer www.myfabulouslife.co.uk
and the local farm shop near Tiverton Parkway for the meat.
What a day, and all on a budget of £4500. Wow.
Thanks so much to Gitta and Sim for sharing their lovely wedding with us today XOXO Lou