Well today I have a really rather special celebration to share.
Photographers Sara and Peter married on mid-summers day on the 21st June 2014. They wanted a camping weekend with a country fair feel, think beautiful field; tents, acoustic music, morris dancers and an epic bake off. Doesn’t it all sound amazing?!
There were multi coloured blooms, quirky gorgeous attire, camp-fires and DIY decor. There is sooo much I could talk about but I think the images share this story perfectly. Ekkkk!!
Thanks so very much to Sara and Peter at Pixies in the Cellar for sharing their amazing photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | We’ve been together nearly 21 years, so we just kinda decided to do it.
THE VISION | Camping weekend with country fair feel, relaxed chilled out and multicoloured, with sheep!!!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We didn’t start planning until Feb this year, so quite quick really. We’re wedding photographers ourselves so we had a lot of ideas of what we wanted and didn’t want already.
BUDGET | around 6-8k
THE VENUE | Ceremony was at The Red Lion, Wirksworth, we wanted somewhere non-pretentious, with a real feel too it and friendly staff too, and they had a wood fired pizza oven – bonus :)
We would have liked just to do the Dastardly Deed (as we named it!) in a field but as it’s not legal in England, we had to find somewhere close to the field, it was really tricky, but The Red Lion ended up being the perfect location.
All weekend at Spout Barn Holiday Cottages, near Alport Heights. In the years before we’d always been on the look out for a venue where we might tie the knot one day…. actually we have a whole blog page dedicated to rustic wedding venues, mostly in Derbyshire, but also further afield. However as we definitely wanted to camp, as most of our friends love camping too, then I ended up contacting a lot of holiday lets to see if they had an adjoining field for festivities. We ended up talking to Jo at Spout Barn cottages, who is the most lovely friendly helpful person ever! She’s never done anything like this before, but was happy to evict her horse for the weekend and give it a go…. she might just do it again once the dust settles….
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Etsy shop Anna at Cutrag. Bangles: one previously a present from Peter, one from Equatorial (a dangerous shop, where I could buy everything!) and two from Highland Fairy again on Etsy. Necklace: one I wear all the time, with Blue John pendant, as we really love walking in Castleton, in the Peak District. Shoes, these were my first purchase, made in England, vegetarian and with steel toe caps!!! from Vegetarian shoes.
FINDING THE DRESS | Just looked for recycled alternative wedding dresses and the cutrag etsy shop popped up, so I just sent off my measurements and a few design tweaks to add a bit of colour… then waited! (It did only arrive two weeks before, but I’m quite chilled out, so wasn’t too stressed, not recommended for those of a less chilled mind!)
GROOM’S ATTIRE | This took much longer to find than my dress! Peter wanted a country, Dickensian look, but without looking Pantomime outfit! In the end and finalised about a week before the day!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Having been to so many weddings ourselves, we have literally heard nearly all the ‘normal’ readings so many times, so we wanted to make it a little personal and non-cheesy. But we definitely wanted readings, as having seen ceremonies without readings they’re over far too quick, so it was quite important to have them.
My dad read the welcome paragraph, usually read by the registrar, but as it didn’t seem right to be walked down the aisle and given away 21 years later, but I wanted my dad to have a role and he does love to speak!
Our first reading was a poem about all the things we both like, read by a university friend, very personal and I nearly shed a tear!
Our second reading was An excerpt from “True Love: Stories Told To and By Robert Fulghum” followed by an adaptation of Personal Penguin, by Sandra Boynton, to Special Sheep (as I love sheep), read in comic co-ordination by both my brother and Peter’s eldest brother.
Music: Walking down the aisle: The Holly Bush version by Last Nights Fun. My absolute favourite piece of music ever!! The best concertina player in the world, in a band that no longer plays together (all good things come to an end I guess!).
Signing the register: Peter had been thinking this tune would be ideal for a June wedding for some time, so it was very apt, although a little sad if you listen tot he words! ‘Her mantle so green’ by Sinead O’Connor. Walking out: Orchestral theme from Pirates of the Caribbean :)
An hours playlist for the time in the pub: a mix of folk (including Oysterband’s ‘Blood Wedding’ which I’d always wanted played should I ever take the plunge!), pop, flamenco, electronica quite a mix as we have quite eclectic tastes! It’s great to have this now, as a reminder of the day :) Back in the field: All acoustic, we wanted a completely unplugged wedding :)
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We just wanted tiny bridesmaids, or flowergirls. So we had 6 girls between 18 months and 9 years, three sets of sisters (my two English nieces, two Anglo-French sisters and two Anglo-Columbian sisters!), all in patchwork style dresses from Next, with a tutu skirt underneath for volume (made by me!) and head-dresses, with extra fresh flowers in and ribbons on the back, to match my head-dress :) They all looked very cute! And they also had chunky Ecuadorian cardigans for later in the day, from Equatorial.
THE FLOWERS | We were very very lucky in that a florist whom we work with regularly and share our photographs with offered to do our flowers for free! :))) Kelly Louise, normally does quite blingy, classy, huge arrangements, which suit the venues where she often works, but with a quick pinterest sharing exercise she was off and did an amazing job of creating a million squillion jam jars and buckets of gorgeous rustic flowers. The flowers really made everything look the part and we can’t thank Kelly Louise enough!
THE CAKE | We stole the idea from a couple of weddings we’ve shot at and had a Bake-off contest :) We ended up with tons of cake, loads of flavours and even a crazy friend (who just had to win) who’d made a three tier curly whirly cake, complete with lego bride and groom – 10 hours of baking!!!! We had personalised rosettes made from 1st to 6th from Rosettes and ribbon on ebay and a Mary Berry apron for the winner too :) We’re still eating cake now!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Hmmmm what a journey we’ve been on!!! Well as you know we’re pro wedding photographers (Pixies in the Cellar) and you’d think we’d be a little wiser, but I think it all comes from experience and hindsight. We did half heartedly ask a few pro photographer friends (we weren’t really sure we wanted one at this stage, we’re very humble!) but as we’d started planning so late they were already booked up :/
So, we asked a friend (Tom Jowitt) who’s an excellent photographer (and loves pressure) to take some pics, we also took our own cameras with us, a kind of joint venture. Our friend did an amazing job, as he’s a keen wildlife photographer with all the right equipment (and lots of advice on hand from the Pixies :). We’re also shooting his wedding in France in August this year (can’t wait!!!!).
In the end our collaboration turned out great, albeit with a slightly stressed-out friend! There were a few gaps (not many) so when we arrived home on the Monday we set up a few detail and family shots which were missed… a good excuse to wear my dress again too! :)
Honestly, this isn’t a plug for the wedding photography world but my advice is hire a photographer with a style you love, and simply leave them to it. You’ll have far less stress and loads more fun on your special day :)
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | 150 metres of homemade bunting, on an antique Singer treadle sewing machine I bought especially, this was great fun and very satisfying :) Pom poms, home made and patiently unfurled by my dad. Ikea lanterns, lots of flea market buys :) We collected about 20 tankards so the real ale’s and cider’s could be drunk from vessels that befitted them :) Mis-match tables and chairs from Oliver at Poppy Trading Company, adorned with multicoloured ribbons. Chill-out tent with vintage deckchairs and lloyd loom chairs, with a little brewing up station too, with loads of tea-pigs teas :)
THE HONEYMOON | Mid-summers day was the only weekend we have free until November! So maybe we’ll get away then!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Everything! It was just unbelievably ace! The weather was outstanding, how we managed to pull that off with the weather gods, I will never know!
Peter giving me a huge cuddle and lifting me up in the ceremony once we were officially married, set everyone racing for their hanki’s
My brother (best chief bridesmaid ) helping me get ready in our tent, pitched in the buttercup filled bridal paddock!
Dancing with the morris men and other guests joining in too – Black Pig Border Morris, I think I shocked them with the vigour of my sticking! They were fantastic and enjoyed by everyone, highly recommended.
Chilling out listening to Paul our music man, on Hurdy Gurdy and hypnotic hammer dulcimer.
The stretch tent/marquee still being in Cape Town, yes South Africa, on the Thursday morning… arrived in Heathrow was then couriered to the marquee company and erected the same evening – little bit stressful!!!! There was a fair bit of head scratching, it being the first time they’d erected it!!! but in the end it looked absolutely epic!
Picking up a £225 fish n chip order, on the Friday night not a common occurrence! The faces of everyone in the chippy queue were a picture as we kept coming in and out with box after box!
Seeing my bunting up, the sack race, kids playing, everyone being relaxed, eating lots of pizza!
The sheep Peter made for me to put in the field! :)))
Most guests camping, we were quite surprised how many camped, yeah!!!!
Just being Mr & Mrs Peter & Sara :)
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Get a photographer! We feel so stupid, but really really we would have never in a million years thought we wanted one until we’d already done the event!
Do it your own way, the more personalised the better :)
Have wet weather alternatives, we had a lot of board games, a guest quiz, a few different gazebos so people didn’t feel stuck in one place. In the end we didn’t need to use all of our plan B stuff, but best to be safe than sorry!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
There’s lots, absolutely everyone throughout was so smiley and friendly, we just want to say a HUGE thank you to all involved :)))
Ceremony | Red Lion Wirksworth
Venue | Jo at Spout Barn Holiday Cottages – modern fab barn conversions in stunning countryside and the nicest person to work with too :)
Stretch Tent | Stretch Tent Events, from Top Marques – I’m sure, now the tent is in the UK, these stretch tents will become über popular, looks like a mini-fest tent :)
Tables and Chairs | Poppy Trading Company, awesome service for our very last minute booking (I think we booked a week before, we were lucky as they’d not taken any bookings due to imminent baby arrival!!)
Photography | Us (Pixies in the Cellar), Tom Jowitt (sorry if we stressed you out Tom) and other guests (all processed by us!)
Food & drink | we tried to keep this all either local to the venue or to the general Manchester area, where we live.
Friday night chippy run | Wirksworth Fish Bar
Nibbles and Pizza | Peter and Christine at The Red Lion Hotel, Wirksworth – gorgeous pizza’s thanks to the chef :)
Pies | Lindsay at Lord of the Pies, Stockport – best pies ever and a giant pork pie! Heated up on site by my mum, Karine, Jess, Anna and Tammy, thanks everyone :)
Cheese and Bread | Andre at Waterhouse Delights, Wirksworth – passionate about his food, gorgeous!
Evening wood fired pizza | Mark and Jan at Italiano Forni, again more gorgeous pizza (no one went hungry!)
Beer | Howard Town Brewery (a great selection of beers from my home town and very friendly service)
Cider | Pure North Cider (Real cider from Yorkshire, they have a cute cafe too)
Accordion | Rob Howard, a friend who’s Mr.Accordion, he just can’t resist the call of those keys!
Morris Dancers | Black Pig Border Morris (Alternative, friendly, fun morris book them now!)
Music and a bit of magic too | Wynndebagge (Paul Saunders) – chilled out slightly medieval vibe and a great entertainer too :)
Flowers | Kelly Louise – Thanks Kelly, awesome rusticness abound! 0161 370 9681 / 07967 209037
Car \ Landrover (driven by Sandi and Anthony of The Saddleworth Hotel, they insisted they do something for us as we shoot so many weddings at their venue (very different to our wedding!))
Shuttle Bus | Slacks Coaches
Rings | Eve at Divinity, in The Manchester Craft Centre, Northern Quarter
Dress | Etsy – cutrag
Flower girl cardigans, my evening campfire bridal cardigan and bangle | Equatorial
Wool bangles and day after wedding dress | Etsy – Highland Fairy
Shoes | Vegetarian Shoes Ltd, laces by me!
Flower girl dresses and groom trousers | Next
Groom Jacket | Slaters
Waistcoat | Classic Menswear
Shirt | Rocha John Rocha at Debenhams
Tie | Woods of Shropshire
Top Hat and Bowler hat | V.I.Z shop, ebay
Rosettes for bake-off | Rosettes and Ribbon, ebay
What did I tell you?! Totally amazing. What an incredible day it must have been for everyone.
Thanks so so much to Sara and Peter for sharing their images and wedding story with us today XOXO Lou