Alternative Colourful Outdoor Humanist Village Hall Wedding

Alternative Colourful Outdoor Humanist Village Hall Wedding http://www.chebirchhayesphotography.com/

There is no doubt that this afternoon’s wedding will brighten up your day. Think colourful elements, an alternative style couple and an outdoor summer celebration.

WWW readers Tash and Dan were hitched on the 1st July 2017 after being together for 10 years. They opted to hold their day at Holme Lacy Village Hall in Herefordshire, making the most of the gardens with a humanist ceremony, before a chilled out party in the hall. The decorations were so fun! Tash made the whimsical ceremony arch with pinwheels and ribbons, with carpenter Dan tackling the wooden elements. It ensured a day that screamed personality and style.

The relaxed vibes spilled into the food and drink, with tapas served for guests, drinks served before the ceremony not to mention a live band to ensure a party to end all parties. I am also loving the pair’s chosen attire, with Tash rocking pink tresses with a strapless gown and statement necklace. Plus Dan chose a swish burgundy suit and floral tie. Amaze!

On hand to capture all the action was Che Birch Hayes Photography, thanks Che for sharing these remarkably gorgeous images.

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THE PROPOSAL | I bought Dan surprise tickets to see Fleetwood Mac for Christmas, Fleetwood Mac are one of our absolute favourite bands, we’re often caught driving round especially in the summer singing Big Love at the top of our voice with the windows down in the car! So we headed up to Birmingham with Dan’s sister and friend when we were sat having drinks only to read on the internet that … Fleetwood Mac had to cancel due to sickness! I was gutted, but not as much as Dan! (Dan tells me that in the cocktail bar later on whilst I was at the bar he and his sister were discussing how disappointed they were, Dan trying to hold in just HOW disappointed he was to Lucy only to show how much so by showing her the ring!)

SO! The gig was rearranged for the following month and once again we headed to Birmingham! Half way through the concert Dan nipped to the bar to get a couple of beers, just as I saw him heading up the stairs Lindsey Buckingham came on to do an acoustic version of Big Love, which was so special as like I said it’s our favourite song, Dan sat down, took my hand and told me to “hold that a sec” I didn’t even look at what I was holding until he told me to look! I asked what it was and he replied “It’s a ring Tash! I’m asking you to marry me!” much crying followed and sweaty hand holding (It was hot in the venue and my fingers had swollen! Dan worried the ring didn’t fit but that bad boy was going on whatever happens!). As it was a Thursday night not much was open so when we got home the next day we went to a little bistro Gilbies and ordered their nicest champagne and everything from their tapas menu! It was amazing, and perfect and I could not have asked for a more romantic proposal.

THE VISION | From the beginning we wanted the day to be relaxed and fun, more like a family BBQ than a formal event. We had visions of colour, beers, good food and our friends and family sat in the sun with their sunglasses on drinking an ale whilst watching the ceremony. We wanted somewhere where we could get married outside, and a day that was pretty laid back, personal and family centred.

We were looking for laid back food with delicious canapés and tapas for our wedding breakfast as that’s what we had for our engagement celebrations, a friend who is a chef very kindly offered his services and did all of our food for us! Which was delicious!

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Planning a wedding is hard! There is so much inspiration everywhere that I found myself getting pretty overwhelmed. When we didn’t know where to start we decided to make a list of everything that we would want in a wedding if we had all the money in the world, four common things that we both said was photography, food, drinks and entertainment, so that’s where we started, everything else would be a bonus! I enjoyed wedding fayres but found they weren’t quite to my taste but were brilliant for getting an idea of prices for the big things like photographers, catering and entertainment.

I did so much research and saved any website or blog on my excel spreadsheet to keep it all together, I found keeping an eye on the budget using a spreadsheet to be really helpful as the odd bits and pieces here and there really do add up!

THE VENUE | Our vision was to get married outside so we knew we needed outdoor space, we also didn’t want to spend a huge chunk of our budget on the venue as I believe you can make any space your own with the right attitude! From that we found that village halls seemed to be ticking the right boxes. We got married in Holme Lacy Village Hall, which I knew well as I grew up around that area. It is a lovely black and white building with the most gorgeous hall, high vaulted ceilings and beautiful wooden floors (and for £60 a day for hire was certainly in our budget!).

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from a bridal store in Hereford called Lily Oliver and was by designer Lillian West. My bridesmaids gave me some beautiful earrings from Mike Gell in Hereford and I wore a lovely little blue midi ring that my mum gave me on the morning of the wedding. The show stopper was my necklace, which I absolutely ADORE by a designer and friend Leoma Drew, I am in love with her pieces and went and tried on so many necklaces with her but decided on the necklace because surprisingly the green went best with my pink hair!

FINDING THE DRESS | I honestly didn’t want a traditional wedding dress, I wanted colour, or beaded or a jumpsuit! (Jumpsuit quickly banished by my mum!) but mum wanted the “Proper” wedding experience. So we organised a dress shopping day with mum, Helen my maid of Honour and Danni one of the bridesmaids (She’s basically my big sister and I know would give honest opinions!). We went along to Lily Oliver and she was so helpful! Between us we chose about 15 dresses to try on and my dress was the third. I didn’t have “That moment” but when I tried it on I felt like I already owned it! Every dress after that I just compared back to that beautiful little baby and so knew I needed to own it! It was reduced from £1,700 to £400 in the sale! I bought it the same day!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan wasn’t sure what he wanted to wear, he knew he wanted a three piece suit but that was it! I suggested a colour, perhaps green or burgundy and burgundy stuck! We had a very unsuccessful day shopping in Birmingham (we were told throughout the day that burgundy was a winter colour and we were shopping in June!) so it fell to trusty ASOS. We ordered every burgundy suit on there and Dan had a little fashion show! He didn’t tell me which he chose until I saw him on the wedding day so it was a little surprise for me too (And he looked so handsome!!!).

THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose a humanist wedding with a brilliant celebrant Alison who was so kind to us and supportive of our choices! We sat down the three of us and she asked for our full story from meeting until present day and she wrote the whole ceremony, it was like a beautiful story. We wrote our own version of vows together making “Promises” to each other, which had our friends and family in fits of laughter when our promises included keeping an eye on Dan’s thinning hair line and making sure we ALWAYS point out cute or weird dogs and cats in the street! They also included Dan giving in to slow dancing in the kitchen and always making time for burger and cinema date nights. Out friends Gen and Niki read “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton and my maid of honour Helen read ”Union” by Robert Fulghum.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Ah my bridal party, it ended up being quite extensive! I had a page boy, three flower girls, two bridesmen and four bridesmaids. My four cousins and I are very close having grown up together and so I knew I wanted all four of them in the bridal party, Danni and Charlene’s children were a flower girl and page boy and Denzil and Levi were too old to be page boys and so were named my bridesmen! My god daughter and one of my best friends daughters were my other flower girls (flower girls wearing tu-tu’s matching the bridesmaids dresses and little crowns with my page boy wearing a dickie bow and braces matching the bridesmen)

The bridemaids wore matching multiway dresses that ended up being from TU at Tesco at £25 each! I wanted my girls to feel comfortable to multi way seemed the best choice, which was ideal because two of my bridesmaids ended up pregnant! The bridesmen wore navy suits that they already owned and we bought them dickie bows with flamingos on that matched my wedding shoes! The groomsmen all wore suits they already owned and we bought them ties to match Dan’s and little wooden badges from Etsy.

THE FLOWERS | The flowers for the wedding were an absolute dream! A friend grew all of the beautiful flowers on her farm just outside of Hereford and we had a lot of fun choosing which ones would work well with our colour scheme on all the colours! Another friends mum put the arrangements together. She was a bit apprehensive as she hadn’t any experience but she did an AMAZING job, just look at that bouquet!! I’m sure she thought I was mad when I asked for there to be floor length ribbons but it was perfect! And when we added the pom-poms that one of my gorgeous friends made it just looked incredible! When she walked in on the morning of the wedding with that bouquet I could have cried I loved it so much!

We wanted no real scheme for the table so decided on brown beer bottles with flowers in as the centre pieces (which was a terrible job to get through all the bottles!).

THE CAKE | Our cake was dairy free (Tash can’t eat dairy) and made by a friend. It was white chocolate and raspberry, and we were having so much fun on the day that we forgot to cut it! Which actually didn’t turn out so bad as we took it to the restaurant after the registry office on the Monday and celebrated our “Legal bit” with wedding cake and champagne!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer, well what can we say! He is awesome! I met Che at the first wedding fayre that I had been to and knew straight away that I wanted him to capture the best day of our lives (especially when he totally understood Dan’s worry of being in front of the camera!). Cue at least a year of emails back and forth until we finally booked our venue and we could get our deposit in! We loved his style, and what better to ask from a photographer than to come to the venue the day before the wedding with beers offering help with set up! Che and his wife Becky from the beginning just felt like chatting to mates and so we knew we’d feel comfortable on the day with them. We wanted relaxed and fun photos and the majority being documentary style and I could not have asked for anything better.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | When guests arrived before the ceremony we had gin cocktails or pull your own pints so that everyone had a drink to watch the ceremony with!

I love colour (Hence dying my hair pink for the wedding day!) and so the very loose colour scheme was “all the colours!” we had paper fans and paper pompoms everywhere and I decorated the archway we got married under with bright colourful decorations. Our DIY walkway was colourful rugs bought from Tiger for £10 each! And when Dan and I walked down the aisle as man and wife we had confetti cannons and ribbon wands for everyone to wave about!

I wanted there to be nods to Dan and I throughout the décor and so Dan being a carpenter there were hints of wood here and there from the badges which the groomsmen, page boys and bridesmen wore to the wooden table risers for the food to be served on. A friend of my mums and my auntie crocheted all of the blankets that guests sat on for the ceremony that then were used to keep the chill off in the evening when we were sat round the fire pits.

The funniest detail was our temporary tattoo station, Dan and I have many big bright tattoos and so wanted to encourage guests to get involved too, the more the drinks were flowing the more tattoos went on!

THE HONEYMOON | Our honeymoon is in 2018 and we are planning on taking a campervan through new Zealand and ending in a fancy hotel in Fiji. We didn’t want to go straight on honeymoon and wanted to eek out the excitement a little longer!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Dan’s most memorable moment of the day was definitely his car! We had both agreed to not bother with wedding cars and our friends would just drive us, little did Dan know that for his wedding day present I had hired his dream car a Nissan GTR to come and pick him up and drive him about before dropping him off at the hall! My most memorable moment for sure was looking up whilst dancing like a crazy person to our epic band The English Country Gentlemen and the day hitting me, we were surrounded by our most dearest friends and family and we had just got married! I can’t even tell you the amount of love I felt at that moment

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | When you’re planning and its all getting a bit stressful and you’re feeling overwhelmed, put the magazines away, close the laptop and get out of the house together, go for dinner, grab a coffee and don’t say the W word all night.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Che Birch Hayes Photography

Jewellery | Leoma Drew

Band | The English Country Gentlemen

Flowers | Jenny Wren Flowers

 

I’m all for mutual weirdness too, so cool!

Tash and Dan, thank you both ever so much for sharing your epic celebration with us xo Lou

 

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