Sorry not sorry for the large number of images here this morning. I think you’ll forgive me when you see the immense beauty, love and scenic setting.
Kate and Joe tied the knot on the 25th June 2016 at Mitchelcroft B&B in Devon. The property is owned by Kate’s parents and the rolling countryside beyond made the perfect location to say I do al fresco. They were blessed with beautiful sunshine, which enabled their countryside fair party to be a huge hit. With a marvellous marquee hosting the guests, who then spilled out into the field for an array of fun and games, live music and street food. This is one celebration you wish you could have been a guest at, believe me.
Kate’s blush pink tulle gown was oh so dreamy teamed with a whimsical bouquet complete with feathers. The bridesmaids looked perfectly boho in their mismatched dresses, ‘bride tribe’ temporary tattoos and flower crowns, whilst the boys donned dapper navy suits. Enjoy every single moment lovelies.
Jenna Woodward Photography, thank you so very much for sharing these exquisite images with us here at WWW.
THE PROPOSAL | Joe and I went for an evening surf session, it had been a beautiful evening with a gorgeous sunset. However in the dropping light and just as we pulled out of the carpark Joe stopped me and said ‘actually let’s go for a quick walk’. ‘But it’s pretty dark now’ I said. ‘That’s OK, we’ll just go out to the cliffs’. I thought it was a bit weird but agreed. We made our way in the semi dark out to the cliffs, it wasn’t massively romantic as we stumbled our way over the rocks, I even went for a quick wee behind a bush. We got to a nice spot and Joe started saying some fairly soppy romantic stuff to which I said ‘ahh thanks very much, I feel the same. Anyway shall we head back?’ Then as I turned to leave I felt Joe tug on my wrist, I turned around to find him on the floor. ‘Did you just fall over?’ I laughed. ‘No’ he said, ‘will you marry me?’ In the dark I could just make him out on one knee holding out a silver ring. It took me a minute or so to get over the shock before I said yes. He has since said he wishes he could do it again, in the light, where I could see what was going on but I think it was pretty perfect.
THE VISION | We really wanted a simple wedding, spending money only the essentials so we didn’t have to compromise on the guest list. We weren’t fussed on all the traditional wedding details – as long as we had good food, good music, an open bar and all our favourite people around us. I had always dreamt of a country wedding, getting married outside, at my parents place in Devon, long summer evenings and waist high grass. We themed the day loosely around a traditional country fair, a marquee, simple fun games like welly wanging and three legged races, local street food and ales, a ceilidh and of course Devon cream tea!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | It took us roughly a year to plan the wedding but it went in waves, some months were very busy and others passed by without doing anything. The first things we organised were the marquee, photographer, food and band and everything else followed on from there. Because I had quite strong ideas of what I liked and didn’t like it was easy to make decisions. It’s safe to say that whilst Joe had his input, most of the planning was done by me and my mum (and pinterest). I couldn’t have done it without her and we did it all with only one small disagreement – how to print the order of service!
BUDGET | In total we spent approx £10,000 but I would say at least half of this went just on getting the venue fit for a wedding – the marquee, power and toilet facilities. I think for the day we had it worked out slightly cheaper doing it all ourselves at our own venue. It was a lot more work but it meant we got the really wanted with very little compromise.
THE VENUE | Joe and I are both Christian and so the ceremony was really important to us. However I really wanted an outdoor ceremony so we chose to get legally married the week before at our church (Christchurch) in Newport, just us and our parents. It was a really nice way to do it as it felt we were getting 2 weddings! My mum made me a beautiful little bouquet from flowers she picked from her garden but otherwise it was very un-ceremonial. Afterwards we all went for a delicious mean at the Priory in Carlen before spending the night at the West Usk Lighthouse B&B. We had the place to ourselves including the roof top hot tub! For the wedding day itself we held the ceremony and reception at Mitchelcroft Bed and Breakfast in South Devon. It is my parents house and we held the day in their field. The B&B is in a stunning location, tucked away in the peaceful and rolling Devon country side. We had an open air ceremony and for the reception we hired a large marquee to house our 150 guests should the heavens open. It was an incredible shape – different from the traditional design and was erected in an L-shape which made the inside really interesting; almost like their were different rooms. We also made a camp site over the road where a lot of our guest stumbled home to in the early hours.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I am afraid I do not know the designers name of the dress. It was a beautiful strapless, blush pink dress, with a corseted top and tulle bottom from ‘All About Eve’ in Newport, South Wales. Accessories – I didn’t really wear any – earrings from a market seller in Cardiff and a silver bangle that has ‘loved’ embossed on it which was a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday. Shoes were brought from Etsy and were simple thonged sandals with a bow detail – comfy for dancing!
FINDING THE DRESS | It was a very easy, stress – free process and really fun! I tried to do it on a budget and brought a couple online but none were right and all looked quite cheap. So I decided to invest a little more money. After a few initial try ons with my mum I took my 2 closest girlfriends out for the day and we tried on everything! I was keen to find a simple Grecian design but I also gave them both a wild card choice where they could pick the biggest, most outrageous dress they could find which was a real giggle – surprisingly I quite liked some, especially this one A-line design but it deserved a cathedral not a field. Then at the final store the assistant brought out this pink dress with lots of tulle. ‘Urgh’ was my initial thought but I agreed to try it on. When I came out from the curtain my friend who never cries burst into tears and I knew then it was the one. Despite my first thoughts it was beautiful – it was fun, whimsical and perfectly suited our day. It was double my budget but I knew I wouldn’t be happy with anything else after that!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Joe chose to go for a dark navy three piece suit – quite on trend for him! Joe does not usually do suits and in fact in the 4 years we have been together I have only seem him dress smart once. He didn’t want to wear one at all but his dad told him if he only wears a suit once in his life it should be on his wedding day! So he agreed. I think he got quite into it after that as he then also bought a pair of very smart brown brogues and topped it off with a dark red tie.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We wanted the readings to be very personal and not just our favourites from a google search. After a lot of research we asked one of oldest friends to read a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ which was lovely. My brother also did a reading but he wrote his own, which was incredibly touching. We decided to have a hymn as I love singing at weddings and we chose ‘Be Thou My Vision’. I walked into ‘Old Pine’ by Ben Howard. I love this song and I had picked this out before Joe and I had even met. I love music and I had the whole thing choreographed in my head, when we were waiting to enter the field I was stood their counting in my bridesmaids like some sort of wedding planner and when my dad tried to walk too early I had to hold him back and say ‘wait Dad, wait for my cue!’. To exit the ceremony Joe chose ‘Hooked on a Feeling’ by Blue Suede, which was awesome.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 5 amazing bridesmaids – my gorgeous cousins Ella and Millie, Joe’s sister Ruth and my two closest friends Sarah and LJ who was my maid of honour. Ruth, Sarah and LJ did so much during the planning and run up including making nearly 50 paper pompoms and organising an amazing hen do. I couldn’t afford to buy all their dresses though and I didn’t want them to then have to buy a matching dress they would never wear again so we went for a mismatched theme based around a loose colour scheme and all the girls got to buy a dress they actually liked! They all look incredible and I think ASOS did quite well out of it too!.
THE FLOWERS | My mum was in charge of this as she is incredibly green fingered! She grew all the flowers used at the wedding except for my bouquet, which was done as a gift by a close friend. We had gorgeous table centres, tubs of wild flowers around the marquee and little glass jars of hedgerow flowers, which lined the aisle hanging off shepherd crooks. She also made lots of confetti. We also had greenery on all the tables as centres. Mum fretted for weeks that things weren’t growing fast enough but on the day everything was perfect. She is amazing! We wanted everything very natural so got a lot of greenery from the hedges and then interspersed it with lots of gypsophila, which is quite cheap to buy and a myriad of other ‘wild flowers’ she had grown. Her and her friends then spend a day putting everything together. She also hand made all the boutonnières for the groomsmen and all the bridesmaids headdresses!
THE FOOD | Food is very important to me and I really wanted to avoid the traditional sit down meal. I have been to so many weddings where all everyone talks about is how hungry they are and then once they have eaten they are too full and sleepy to get up and dance. To avoid this we decided to plan things a little different. After the ceremony we served lots of nibbles before a full on Devonshire cream tea. My mum again made over 150 scones! Then for the main event we decided to put on a street food market and got local sellers to come. We served Paella and Pizza. It worked out quite a lot cheaper than a traditional three course and it created an awesome atmosphere. For later on the evening we then served wedding cake and lots of cheese, biscuits and fruit. Having an open bar for us was a must and so we budgeted a lot for this. We served champagne for after the ceremony, wine, local ales, cider and lager and for soft drinks we had kilner jars full of lemonade and water infused with mint and lemon. Not having the support of a venue we had to think about how would help man the bar and keep everything tidy and running smoothly. I had done this job at a friends wedding the previous year and she kindly offered to do the same for us, which was a Godsend! Her and her husband worked all afternoon and night putting out food, clearing away used plates, re-stocking the bar and washing up glasses! If you are going to run your own event make sure you have someone to do this as it meant we could all relax and not worry about all that stuff.
THE CAKE | I hate traditional wedding cake – fruit cake with lots of icing that no one eats. We wanted something gorgeous, simple and yummy so we chose a simple naked cake – a three tiered jam and cream sponge that instead of icing was covered in fruit and flowers. Our neighbour offered to make it and all we had to do was buy her the ingredients. For one main cake and a gluten free one I think it cost us £20 and it was incredible!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | My maid of honour is a photographer and after banning her from taking the photos I gave her her first task – finding me a photographer who was as good as she was. We wanted someone who focused a lot on the candid shots as Joe and I hate posed photos. Someone who saw the details. She found us Jenna Woodward and she couldn’t have been a better recommendation. Jenna and her husband Ewan gave us everything we wanted and more. I felt like they completely understood us a couple and what we wanted for our pictures. On the day that were amazing, I forgot they were there yet they covered everything including some beautiful shots of Joe and I, which I was worried about as we don’t really do ‘romance’ photos’!.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Because we were doing our own venue we had to do everything when it came to the details and decoration which was quite a daunting task especially when I had long pinterest board full of ideas. However it soon became apparent what we had time and money to do and what we didn’t. We ended up making everything ourselves and the result was wonderfully handmade. Inside the marquee Joe’s mum made 200m of incredible bunting, we made over 50 paper pompoms which hung from the ceiling and Joe’s brother made 100 origami butterflies, which we hung from branches around the marquee and then flowers everywhere. We also made slate signs for dance floor rules, the correct way to make a cream tea and for the bar. Outside Sally made more bunting but this time out of earthy hessian material which looked great. My Dad then made the most amazing wedding arch which was the centre piece for our ceremony and we laid out hay bails for seating. We also made a cool wooden sign post that directed guests to the various areas of the venue which we made and painted ourselves. One thing I’m glad we had dry weather for was our games. Throughout the day we had set up skittles, archery, giant connect four and welly wanging, it was so much fun and I loved seeing everyone enjoy it. Then after speeches we ran a Devonshire games hour where we had organised races – three legged, egg and spoon, wheelbarrow, wife carrying and an epic relay which went around the whole field. This was one of my favourite parts of the day as everyone was just falling about laughing
THE ENTERTAINMENT | Joe and I are very enthusiastic dancers even if we are not particularly skilled and so we knew we wanted to make this an event. If I had the budget I would have had music all day but sadly this wasn’t possible so during the afternoon evening I made a massive playlist which I still listen too. Then for the evening we chose to have a ceilidh but it took me a long time to find one that was truly foot stomping! We also wanted a rocking disco. In the end we went for a band called the ‘Paddy Whiskers’ and they were amazing! They did both the ceilidh and the disco and from 8-midnight the dance floor was constantly full! The Ceilidh was so much fun and got everyone together. I loved seeing Joe’s little Nana dancing with our friends. The disco was also brilliant. On our RSVP’s we asked people to choose a song which would make them get up and dance which was a really fun thing to do – so many weird and wonderful choices and I loved seeing the look on our guests faces their tune came on.
THE HONEYMOON | We have chosen to head to Bali for a month. We moved house straight after the wedding and so chose to book it for a few months later which meant we have something really great to look forward too. Joe and I both keen surfers and general adventurers and this seemed like the perfect place to go to get a bit of R&R whilst being able to get out and explore. A month might seem like a little excessive but this will be our first proper holiday together so we don’t feel too bad about it!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | So many! My dad seeing me for the first time in my dress and how tightly he held me as he walked me down the aisle. Seeing Joe stood under the arch looking incredibly handsome, my brothers reading, the amazing speeches, looking across the marquee and seeing all of our favourite people in one place, my aunty jumping around like a school girl when her disco tune came on, Joe and I being lifted up onto the shoulders of our two best friends during the disco. Dancing around like a lunatic with my mum. Standing in the field at 6am the next morning, still in my dress, surveying the damage – people asleep in the marquee, confetti everywhere – what looked like the best party.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy planning your wedding. Don’t stress about all the traditional details – if you don’t want them don’t have them, the simpler the wedding the less there is too go wrong! The day goes so quickly the planning process is a massive part of it so enjoy it. Take some time during the day to take a few steps back and soak it in – the people, the noise, the lights. It goes in a flash and you will remember those moments Ask for help – people usually want to give it and we couldn’t have had the day we had if it wasn’t for the generosity of others – the time they put in the run up, on the day and during the clean up – it was amazing
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Jenna Woodward Photography
Venue | Mitchelcroft B&B
Marquee | Devon Party Marquees
Rings | Chloe Obrien Jewellery
Band | The Paddy Whiskers
Flowers | Debbie Owen, Bouquet by Chloe Obrien
Dress | All About Eve
Make up | Willow De La Roche
Kate and Joe, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your wedding story here today xo Lou