WWW readers Naomi and Jack had a wedding ethos to admire. They wanted to create a down to earth wedding full of joy for all of their nearest and dearest. They focused on feelings rather than the details and their loved ones all came together to craft their colourful celebrations.
They tied the knot on the 18th July 2015 and held their lunch at Scoozi (where Naomi worked part time) and their evening reception at Cleeve Village Hall. I adore the hand arranged natural blooms, giant lantern top table backdrop and the fete games to entertain guests.
Naomi chose to wear Gemena by Enzoani which looked incredible teamed with natural waves in her hair, meanwhile Jack went for a grey suit and cool desert boots. So much style.
Samantha Gilraine Photography, thanks so much for sharing these super happy shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Jack and I have known each other for a long time and so Jack’s proposal to me was something that really reflected our friendship and love for each other. It was a grand gesture, but not one you’d see in films. It was so perfect because it was a special day from him to me, and that day couldn’t work for any other couple but us, it was totally personal. We ate, we went to an Art Gallery and he proposed at his student house – with lots of laughter in between, it was one of the most memorable days of our lives! My ring was beyond beautiful from British company called Rust Jewellery, based in Hatton Garden London.
THE VISION | Our vision for the wedding changed so many times, if I looked at our first plans and compared it to the end result they would be completely different, and, if I’m completely honest I had been scheming ideas a year or so before he proposed (only for fun!). We didn’t want a theme (though my dad suggested multiple quirky ideas), or a colour scheme and we didn’t want anything grand or too traditional. We wanted a down to earth day of joy for all our friends and family to have a great time. And so, I suppose this is where things like outdoor games, hay bales and a fire pit came into play. The vision was to have fun, eat well, and love one another as one big family. I think it worked, and there were tears of joy all round! Aesthetically we waned it to be friendly and warm with a rustic feel. It was definitely a DIY project, but that’s exactly how we wanted it. Obviously Pinterest was a great help!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The wedding was planned and organised solely by us. We had help from our close relatives and friends, and so, here would be the best place to give a major shout out to Jack’s mum who was the unsung hero of our wedding. She did so much research, she drove us to so many places to pick up odds and ends and she was ALWAYS happily available to help us out. With no wedding planner or wedding company, really, the pressure to get things done was on our shoulders. I was the ‘thinker’ and Jack was the ‘doer’ and we both managed to work really well as a team. Making decisions was stressful (especially when they were financial) and managing to book who and what we wanted in time felt like we were cutting it fine sometimes. We roped in favours here and there, but that gave the whole process a personal touch and made us really grateful for the people we have around us.
BUDGET | We planned to spend £7000 and with nearly all our own money we managed it… well, we spent £8000, but, there’s really no difference.
THE VENUE | We surprisingly had a number of venues.
Before the Ceremony: I got ready with my bridesmaids at a local and beautiful Bed and Breakfast and Jack got ready with his groomsmen in the home he had been bought up in.
The Ceremony: We first met in our local Church, Horsecastle Chapel. We spent many fond years there before moving to Cardiff and so, it was an obvious choice to get married in a special building in which we have so much history. The church itself isn’t too beautiful; with a strange 70’s vibe I was a little nervous about how I could transform it into something stunning.
The Lunch (Wedding breakfast): This was at a restaurant called Scoozi in a nearby town (Clevedon). It was special because, not only is it a beautiful place with incredible authentic Italian food, I have also worked there part-time for many years. I am very fond of my boss and after twisting his arm for a few months he was happy for us to crash the whole place for the day. We had full reign of the menu and I was free to do whatever I wanted with the place. Everyone said the food was incredible and it was great for all ages.
The Evening Reception: We held the final celebrations in a venue called Cleeve Village Hall, mostly chosen as a budget compromise, although we very quickly fell in love with it. It was humble and small, but a blank canvas meant we could do whatever we wanted. We had no restrictions and full creative control of the place, and, at an incredibly cheap price of £250 we had plenty of money left to make it look great.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was made by Enzoani from a collection called Blue and it was called Gemena. As for accessories, I just bought tonnes of fairly cheap jewellery so I could pick whatever I fancied on the day. (Always good to have options).
FINDING THE DRESS | At the time I was looking for my dress I was based as a student in Cardiff. Local to me was a lovely little shop called Laura May Bridal. They are so wonderful in there and the shop is beautiful and intimate I would highly recommend it. I rallied up my mum and sister and we went for the first time to try on dresses. At the time I thought there were some potential options but none of them really took my breath away. During the summer before the wedding I was on the Laura May’s facebook page, they post pictures of new dress arrivals regularly. I know it sounds cliché, and I really wasn’t expecting it but I saw ‘Gemena’ by Enzoani and I knew it was ‘the one’. I’m sure that doesn’t happen to everyone but from that moment I was set. I was going to France for two weeks and it was a while till I could get an appointment at the shop and so I was obsessively staring at in on my phone screen for weeks. When I came to try it on It was exactly how I thought it would be, I was so happy, and slightly relieved.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | My husband has great style, even when I’m not sure, he knows far better than me. I suppose this was the story of Jack’s journey to finding his wedding attire. I was mostly unsure about his thoughts on what he should wear but on the day he really did pull it all off. His suit was called ‘Hudson’ from Suit Supply, his tie was Vivienne Westood and his shoes where off his shoe rack after a change of heart on the morning of the wedding (they were Desert boots from Clarks).
THE READINGS & MUSIC | For Jack and I the music and readings were really important to us, they said a lot about us and it meant a lot for out friends and family to hear them. We wanted to talk about the importance of love and the great gift that marriage is. As for music I came in to Kisses and Cake by John Powell (from P.S I Love You). I had always been moved by this piece of music and secretly in the back of my mind it had been ‘the aisle song’ long before we’d even got engaged. Jack’s best man Campbell played beautifully, a song called Manchester by Kishi Bashi whilst we were signing the register and we went out to ‘Best Day of my Life’ by American Authors. There was lots more music throughout the day, all of which were songs we both love.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I see why having a team of bridesmaids is so important. Not only do they help you get down the aisle on the day, but they are there for every step before that. I am thankful to have had the sassiest most annoying bridesmaids possible, because, with that, came the happiest funniest memories of my life. I almost feel like I had the perfect mix of personalities and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Getting dresses was quite hard and I mostly wanted them all to feel 100% comfortable in them which is why I think it took quite a while. In the end we went bold and perhaps quite alternative and they wore beautiful short white dresses from ASOS. We got the taken in and up and I personally think they all rocked them. Hair and accessories were DIY which was a money saver but also meant they could put their own spin on it.
THE FLOWERS | We bought the flowers from Brunel Fruit Market in Bristol. I chose the colours and flowers I wanted and an incredible man called Steve put them all on a trolley the day before the wedding. My vision was a kind of hand picked from a French meadow look, and thankfully Steve knew exactly what I was talking about. We got so many flowers for an incredible price. The arrangement of them was all done by us, and a great friend of ours arranged all the flowers for the ceremony. I really wanted her to enjoy it so my brief to her was “just do anything but make sure you love doing it”. I didn’t want her to feel any kind of stress because it is something she loves so much. I put my bouquet together in literally 10 minutes. As I have said earlier, the vision was not to be made to perfection but to be made with love, and, as I chatted with one of my friends we created 4 lovely bridesmaid bouquets in less than an hour. We recycled all the ceremony flowers by using them at the evening venue this was a great thing to do and saved us tonnes of money.
THE CAKE | We went from a cheesecake, to a ‘naked’ cake, to just fruit, to macaroons. It was hard to decide and we knew there were some real cake loving guests to keep happy. In the end, instead of having on big cake costing £300+ we went to Jack’s friends bakery Pullins and ordered a massive assortment of fruit tarts, macaroons, cakes, muffins. They were made beautifully with bright colours and fresh ingredients.. we got this for about a third of the price of what a cake might have cost and the guests got so much more choice. We also bought lots of colourful sweets including a chupa chup stand which went down very well.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I can’t say enough about our amazing photographer Samantha Gilraine. She is the epitome of the perfect wedding photographer. On our first meeting at her house, cup of tea in hand, we had a great meeting about what we wanted out of our photographs. We started to realise how important it was to have photographs of this day and we were so happy that Sam had agreed to do ours. She really felt a big part of the process over the months of planning and by time it came to the ‘big day’, really, she could have just come as a friend and guest. She was so laid back and friendly yet maintained such brilliant professionalism. You could tell she genuinely cared about our day. I imagined it must get pretty boring taking photographs of so many weddings, but she was constantly inspired and encouraging through out the day. Jack and I are not that great with photos and so the idea of doing a ‘couples’ shoot was a little daunting, we went to the pier in Clevedon and honestly she just made us feel so happy and relaxed and reminded us that this was such a special time in our day where we could just have a little breather with each other. The amount of comments I have had about the photographs has been a confirmation that she was possibly one of the best decisions we made for our wedding.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Because we had 3 venues there was a lot to think about in terms of details and décor. It helped that we didn’t have a theme so we could just find things that we liked the look of and fit them in somewhere. We had a lot of personal touches, and wanted to have lots of things for the quests to interact with. We sourced all our ‘bits and bobs’ from multiple companies and we were lucky to have a brilliant experience with all of the providers we used. We bought a lot from charity shops, which gave the day real authenticity and character. There was a lot of colour, tones of mismatching and lots and lots of flowers.
THE HONEYMOON | We kept the honeymoon simple because we wanted to be able to fully and comfortably relax after such a hectic and emotionally draining time. We stayed in the incredible Hotel Du Vin in Bristol for two nights. We went to the Lido for a spa day, the morning after the wedding which was the perfect opportunity for us to just relax after all the business from the day before. We then stayed in a log cabin for three nights on the border of England and Scotland. It was very, very remote, beautiful but very remote. We didn’t have a car, which was a bit of a nightmare so we spent most of our time in our hot tub on our the veranda looking out onto a lake (not too bad). Finally we stayed in an incredible apartment in Edinburgh on the Royal Mile. We used Air BnB and I couldn’t recommend it more. We woke up and fell asleep to the sound of bagpipes. It was a really special time for us and we were really happy we had done a bit of everything.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole time was memorable from the day we got engaged to the evening we came back to our new flat from the honeymoon. I think seeing other people have fun at the reception was so nice. It was the perfect summers evening and I looked across the field and everyone was mixing and having great conversations with each other, eating, drinking and laughing around the fire pit. I loved the idea that we were sharing in a special day altogether and seeing that happen was a great memory. All of it was memorable and thank goodness we have the photographs to remind us of everything.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | One thing I would say is that it’s okay to spend a lot on something’s and a little on others. If you’re working with a small budget, it doesn’t all have to be cheap. There are so many things you can get really that are really well priced which mean you can splash out on other things. For us, because the venue was so cheap we could use a bit more money than we thought on expensive lights and lanterns. Don’t think if you’ve only got £5000 to put on a wedding it means guests will be eating cold sausage rolls and cheese and pineapple on sticks. There are great ways of compromising so that you can have a fabulous wedding for a small budget.
Focus on the fact that this day is a day of love for you and your future husband/wife. Then extend that love to all your friends and family and create a day that’s special for everybody. And, remember that your friends and family love you just as much as you love them so don’t get bogged down by trying to cater for everyone’s needs.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Cakes & Pastries | Pullins Bakers
Ice Cream | Ice Cream Bristol
Getting Ready Venue | Holly Bank B&B
Village Hall | Cleeve Village Hall
Dress Shop | Laura May Bridal
Dress | Enzoani
Suit | Suit Supply
Tie | Vivienne Westwood
Flowers | Brunel Flowers
Photographer | Samantha Gilraine Photography
Lights | Cinemattag
Décor | Party Ark
Oh so wonderful.
Thanks so much to Naomi and Jack for sharing their bright, happy wedding story xo Lou