Sam, a graphic designer and Rich who runs a skateboarding company chose to marry on 10th May 2014. They are one super creative couple who poured a lot of themselves into their day, from the skateboards to the amazing stationery; much of their day was home-made.
They had a vintage inspired wedding with Sam donning a beautiful vintage dress reworked by her mum, which she teamed with Rachel Simpson shoes. Rich chose a Reiss suit with bow tie and the girls looked wonderful in blue dresses and fur stoles.
There were two meaningful ceremonies and the most gorgeous orange flowers.
Thanks so much to Sophie Duckworth Photography for sharing her utterly lovely photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | We went on holiday to Namibia in Jan 2013, Rich had a a few failed attempts to propose due to a couple of holiday disasters, including getting stuck in the desert sand in a campsite miles away from civilisation with no one else there. So instead of a romantic desert setting underneath the stars with a bottle of champagne we were on our hands and knees digging ourselves out of a hole! He finally proposed on the last day of the holiday at the top of a sand dune in the beautiful Sossusvlei National Park. It was perfect!
THE VISION | Homemade vintage is probably the best description. We wanted it to be as personal as possible. I use to be a theatre/film designer and I now work as a graphic designer, so I had a lot of ideas, the hard bit was narrowing it down and getting a look that reflected our personalities and taste! Rich and I were keen to have the wedding in a village hall and spent quite a long time trying to find the right venue, which wasn’t also going to cost the earth. The village hall we found was beautiful and sat in an amazing setting in the village of Great Barrington in the Cotswolds, so it therefore it made sense to have a proper country wedding with lots of bunting and country flowers. I love anything vintage so we added this as an extra twist and asked all our guests to add a vintage accessory to their outfits. Our friends and family loved this and really went to town!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Once we’d got the venue, which was probably the hardest bit actually. It was then booking the photographer and band. The photographer was easy as I’d had one of my sister’s best friends in mind for a while as she is a beautiful photographer, so was thrilled when she was free. Our friend used the band we went for at their wedding and they absolutely rocked the wedding so even though they were a bit over budget we knew they would do a great job. We weren’t disappointed. They did an amazing job.
We looked at a few caters but decided on the Fox Inn who are the closest pub to the venue. We wanted something really relaxed and the pub is in a beautiful setting so it was the perfect place to do our reception drinks, as we needed to clear the hall after our humanist ceremony so they could turn it around for the dinner in the evening. Mel and her team were brilliant and really went out of their way to make it run smoothly. Mel was great in the run up and took on loads of things which I’m sure aren’t normally in a caterers remit! We had a lot of help from family and friends with sorting out the décor prior to the day and right up to the night before. I was literally addicted to Pintrest and eBay during the wedding build up. Pintrest is great for inspiration and eBay has literally everything you need. My PayPal account got quite a battering!
BUDGET | We ended up spending around £14-15K
THE VENUE | Village hall in Great Barrington in the Cotswolds
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress I originally bought on eBay for £50 and then it was re-built by mu Mum. I bought a fur shawl from a vintage flea market and the headpiece was from a vintage wedding fair. The shoes were Rachel Simpson.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t even try the dress on before buying it as it was in London and we live in Bristol. Luckily my sister lived close to the eBay seller and went and tried it on for me, as we are very similar sizes. The dress was made from beautiful lace, but the style was really old-fashioned with a high neck, long sleeves and this flouncy bit around the chest, hence why I was the only one to bid on it! Luckily for me my mum is an amazing seamstress so she pretty much took the whole dress apart and re-made it. It was a lot of work, but the end result was a completely unique dress, that was really vintage and most importantly looked absolutely beautiful!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We originally tried to get a vintage suit for Rich, but struggled to find one that was a good fit, so opted for a Reiss 3 piece suit which had a vintage style. The orange bow tie was from a shop on Oxford Street found by Rich’s sister Lucy and the shoes were River Island. The ushers just had suit trousers and tweed bow ties and waistcoats from eBay
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings one from my friend Lisa, which was a reading given to us by Rich’s grandfather called ‘The Promise’ by Eileen Rafter. It really summed up how we felt about marriage. The other was spoken by Rich’s grandfather who had found a poem from a distant family member, this was lovely to have something so personal.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had four bridesmaids (5 if you include the baby who was in my friend Sarah’s belly) I had my sister, Liz, Rich’s two sister’s Lucy and Alex and one of my best friends from school, Sarah. They wore vintage teal tea dresses from Warehouse and headpieces that Lucy made, which looked fantastic with teal feathers and gold lace. They wore gold T-bar shoes, which were sourced from eBay and M&S.
The girls were great on the run up to the day, throwing me an amazing hen do in Oxford and a mum’s lunch in London. They also helped loads with sourcing bits for the day and with the whole set-up of the hall. We also all stayed at Alex’s house the night before, which was close to the venue and were woken to a lovely cooked breakfast in the morning. My sister and Lucy also did my hair on the day, which I think was quite daunting! The end result was fantastic though. All the bridesmaids looked beautiful and it was great to have them by my side on the day, can’t thank them enough.
THE FLOWERS | Fiona Perry and our families did the flowers. Fiona was fantastic; I didn’t even bother getting a quote from anyone else because I knew from just talking to her that she would do a great job. She just understood exactly what I wanted and was really enthusiastic about the day. One of our theme colours was orange, so there were lots of orange and peach blooms. I also wanted a lot of texture so she put in a few unusual bits like a succulent, which I managed to plant after the wedding, so I still have a bit of my bouquet! She also had small succulents in the buttonholes tied with a striped orange ribbon. She provided us with a lot of flowers for decorating the hall, which we then put together in small bunches ourselves and placed in milk bottles. My parents are keen gardeners, so my mum planted loads of tulips in her garden, which we then cut along with a lot of other foliage and displayed them in large galvanised vases on the stage, they provided a real focal point. We had so many flowers so the hall looked and smelt amazing, but managed to keep the cost down by growing stuff ourselves. Rich’s mum even went and cut cow parsley from her local field on the Friday morning!
THE CAKE | We had a lot of cake… my mum cooked a three-tier carrot cake, which we cut up and handed out. We also had a two-tier traditional fruitcake, which we themed to the wedding with a Bean can and milk bottle on a skateboard. My nickname is Beane because of my old surname and Rich is pretty pale and loves dairy products so is nickname is Milky. Rich also runs a skateboard manufacturing company, Lush Longboards so that’s where the skateboard came from. We also had a cake of cheese in the evening that Rich’s mum provided. All the cakes looked stunning and were a great hit with all our guests.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Sophie Duckworth Photography. Sophie is an old friend of my sister’s and so I’ve been aware of Sophie’s career as a photographer for a while. I’ve always thought her photos were beautiful and I loved the way that she really captured the atmosphere of the day and got loads of great natural photos of our friends and family. It was lovely to have someone we knew doing the photos as it always makes you more relaxed. She got so involved in the day and was even helping us with setting up the hall the day before and driving people around on the day. She must have been exhausted from running around capturing all these amazing moments. I’ve had so many compliments about the photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We had a vintage country theme with hand-made bunting sewn by Rich’s gran, Olive. We decided to go with the milk bottle and bean can theme. We had herbs as favours, which we put in tin cans covered with hessian, lace and ribbon. These also provided decoration on the table. We had flowers in milk bottles on the tables and in the windowsills, along with candles. My friend Sarah sewed all our stripy aquamarine and white table runners that ran along our long banquet style tables covered in white tablecloths. Our table plans were on four skateboard decks and we set up an orange typewriter next to our guest book.
There was also a gallery space where we set up a photobooth ourselves using a camera on a tripod and I made a canvas backdrop with our names and wedding date at the top. My cousin works in film doing camera and lighting, so she hired lots of festoon lights, which hung between the beams, and we had fairy lights running up the beams. She also lit the stage for the band. I created all the graphics, signage and menus as well as the invites.
THE HONEYMOON | we went to Crete and stayed in my uncle’s holiday home. It was so relaxing, just what we needed.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Probably the ceremony was the most memorable. We got married in a registry office in Oxford in the morning with just family, bridesmaids and ushers. We then had a humanist ceremony at the village hall, which we wrote ourselves. We didn’t have a registrar to do the ceremony so we asked a few of our friends and family to do the ceremony each doing a small section each. It worked really well and made it very personal. We then cycled to the pub for our reception drinks with an escort of some of Rich’s mates on skateboards and a BMX. It was great fun. My Mum was very relieved that I didn’t get any oil on my dress!
The speeches were brilliant and I was particularly impressed with my Dad who doesn’t normally like public speaking, but did a fantastic job.
We did our first dance to Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny be good’ which was played live by our band. No slow dancing here! This was the start of a whole night of crazy dancing! The band got everyone going and I remember looking around at one point and realised that every single person was dancing! Ok so I’ve basically described my whole wedding there, it was all great!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you are looking to do a homemade wedding make sure you start well in advance, everything takes longer than you think. Friends and family want to help so let them and don’t take on too much yourself.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Sophie Duckworth Photography
Invites, graphics and styling | Design and Tonic
Flowers | Fiona Perry
Catering and reception drinks | Fox in Barrington
Venue | Barrington Park
Lighting | Sara Deane
Band | The Jay Beez
Oh wow. There is just so much to swoon over isn’t there?
Thanks so much to Sam and Rich for sharing their beautiful wedding story with us XOXO Lou