I really love how this gorgeous pair approached their wedding planning; from the heart of their relationship and the things that mean the most to them. They wanted to achieve their wedding as cheaply as possible and looked into alternative ideas and suggestions for their day.
WWW readers Jennifer and Reuben were hitched on the 3rd June 2017 – their 9 year anniversary. They chose the stunning Ilam Hall Youth Hostel in Derbyshire, a place both local and personal to the couple. Jennifer had been on a Brownie camp there and Reuben a childhood holiday, so it must have been super lovely to head back to the venue to get wed. It was also just perfect for their laid back DIY vision, the couple really crafted up a storm alongside their loved ones. Think ribbon curtain backdrops, pom poms for days and painted jars for flowers. It was a delight!
Let’s not forget just how gorgeous they both looked. Jennifer chose a flowing high neckline gown and a divine up do, while Reuben donned a sharp suit and floral tie. The rose and thistle bouquet also stole my heart, so pretty!
These sensational images by Pear & Bear Photography gave me all the feels. Thanks so much Anna.
THE PROPOSAL | For our 5 year anniversary we went to buy a ring together and I fell in love with a £50 second hand ring. Unfortunately it broke whilst we were travelling. Reuben secretly got it fixed and used it as a placeholder ring to propose with. I decided to keep it because that will always be our ring. He proposed during sunset at the Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia. He asked me to tell him a story about us, and then interrupted with the ending: ‘…and then Reuben asked Jenny to marry him’ as he got down on one knee.
THE VISION | We wanted the wedding to be laid back and fun with a festival feel. I especially wanted to create lots of crafty decorations and use as many local suppliers as possible.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | So so many google sheets.
BUDGET | As cheap as possible! We spent a lot of time looking around and managed to get the usual big expenses cheaply. My dress, Ru’s suit, my engagement ring and the bridesmaid dress totalled just £410.
THE VENUE | Ilam Hall Youth Hostel, Derbyshire. We wanted something quirky, laid back and fun. I discovered that a few Youth Hotels have wedding licenses and Ilam Hall sprung to mind. I grew up in Leek nearby and had been on a Brownie Guide holiday when I was little.
At around the same time Reuben’s Auntie reminded Reuben of his ‘scary’ holiday he went on with her when he was about the same age, and suggested that he look into it as a venue. Unfortunately the date had already been enquired about… by me! We visited together and fell in love with it instantly. The outside grounds were stunning and the inside was like a blank canvas ready to be filled with DIY decorations. We had the entire youth hostel from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning and did a pub quiz on the Friday night – it was lots of fun!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress was from a supplier in my local town, Leek, called Joan Brown Vintage Bridal. They specialise in bespoke vintage inspired bridal wear and accessories. My headpiece was from Princess Mimi on Etsy and my sparkly heels were from Pink by Paradox.
FINDING THE DRESS | I wanted something casual so that I could still have fun on the big day and walk around the grounds. I fell in love with the dress as soon as I put it on.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Shirt and Blue Donegal three-piece suit from the sale at Moss Bros. Cufflinks from Etsy and Chapman and Moore Shoes from TKMaxx.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Music at the ceremony was all live instrumentation from family and friends. We walked in to our friend Ben playing a cover of Sunday Smile by Beirut using looped violin.
During the ceremony Reuben’s mum and her partner played an accordion and guitar duo of Norwegian Wood by the Beatles. Later they played on the grass whilst we drank Pimms.
My mum’s reading was all about her little girl growing up and getting married, it had everyone, including me in tears.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I asked my younger cousin Maisie to be my bridesmaid, and my friends Matt and Tom to be my ‘Deluxe Bridesmaids in trousers’.
THE FLOWERS | My bouquets, buttonholes and the lavender were from Blossoms in Leek and Lucy did an amazing job of making my ideas come to life. Reuben’s step mum Jane made the glass jars on the seats down the aisle with painted and sanded mason jars, and filled them with flowers from a local supermarket.
THE CAKE | We aren’t sweet tooths so we got a cheese wedding cake from a local cheese shop. We are “savoury-tooths”! We cut the cake holding either side of cheese wire. We decorated the cake with fruit, map flowers, scrabble letters, a tree slice and I painted the mini bride and groom cake toppers from wooden pegs.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The amazing Anna Dunleavy at Pear & Bear Photography. We especially enjoyed exploring the grounds for our couple portraits.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted the wedding to be laid back and fun with lots of crafty decorations. We’d been collecting glass jars, corks and tin cans for the last year to make various handmade decorations and I sewed 40m of bunting with the countless fabrics I’ve collected over the years.
My Nanna and Reuben’s Auntie grew and collected lots of herbs, small plants and flowers for us and I arranged them in hand painted tin cans around the venue. There was 100 of them (it’s a good thing we eat so many chopped tomatoes and beans!) I hid them all around the venue in all of the nooks and crannies the old stately home had to offer. The guests then got to choose one to take home with lollypop sticks that are also being used for table numbers.
The table plan was made out of an old frame that we saved from Reuben’s mum’s fire (it was in the log pile!). Then I used some of the fabric from the bunting to make the name cards. My dad found the bike on eBay and the step ladder in my Nanna’s garage and my dad spray-painted them to bring them back to life and added the baskets from Wilko.
There’s a travel theme throughout with map flowers, map cones for the confetti and a light up globe we found in a charity shop. Instead of a guest book I collected old postcards that people wrote and put in the postbox.
THE HONEYMOON | We re-visited our travelling days and stayed on three islands in South Thailand and then went to Bangkok.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Reuben had a surprise when the registrar accidentally got his name wrong and called him ‘Reubens’, which was met with a fit of giggles.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t stress about the little things, enjoy planning your big day and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Pear & Bear Photography
Dress | Joan Brown Vintage
Hair and Make Up | Jane Bridal Beauty
Cheese Wedding Cake | Hartington Cheese Shop
DJ | The Hi Life
Dress Alterations | Victoria Anthony
Jennifer and Reuben, thank you both for sharing your divine day with us xo Lou