This feature is chock full of creative and inspirational wedding ideas, I warn you, you will be filling your pinterest boards imminently.
Toni and Hazel were married on the 21st May 2016 in back garden affair complete with a gorgeous pole tent marquee. They used their creativity to DIY much of their wedding, including the paper aeroplane bunting, brooch bouquets and even the food. The signage really stood out to me, with oodles of fun quotes and messages dotted around to pack in the personality. One of the sweetest moments has to be the baby page boy and flower girl being walked down the aisle in a wagon, so adorable.
Toni and Hazel looked utterly stunning in their chosen dresses, with Toni adding a pop of pink beneath her Phase Eight gown for a dash of colour! You’re going to love this set of images folks.
Brook Rose Photography, thank you so much for sharing these really gorgeous shots.
THE PROPOSAL | I stole shamelessly from Love Actually to propose to Toni. Holding up large boards with pictures and writing that she had to read out loud. The boards explained that I had a question to ask , and it involved sticking together like glue, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health etc. On the last board she had to pick from a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ envelope. Luckily she picked the ‘yes’ envelope which contained the engagement rings.
It didn’t go quite to plan. We had already arranged to go to a wine tasting event and afternoon tea that day, so we should have been all dressed up, but last minute Toni stated that she wanted to go with her mum first to watch her nephew play in a rugby match. I’d asked for her mum’s blessing the night before, and knew that she’d let slip, so I had to do it whilst Toni was in her scruffs!
THE VISION | Our main focus was to have a relaxed, informal event, where everyone had fun and danced the night away. A lot of our family and friends have young children, and we wanted them to be a part of the day, so knew it would need to be child-friendly. We also wanted something that was very personal to us and allowed us to get our creative juices flowing.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Neither of us had ever wanted a long engagement, so having been together for 8 years, it was a case of lets crack on with it. I proposed in the August and we married the following May, so we had to get everything sorted pretty quickly. At times it felt like every waking hour was spent cutting, sticking, sewing or gluing.
BUDGET | As little as possible!
THE VENUE | We got married in my parents’ garden. Our friend was our ‘officially unofficial registrar’ and led the ceremony, so as we weren’t confined to any legal requirements it meant that we had free rein over our vows, which was lovely. We legally got married a few days before, with three friends as our witnesses, but didn’t exchange rings at that ceremony and kept the vows to a bare minimum. We count our garden wedding as our real wedding, and only wish we could have that date on our marriage certificate. Another bonus of our venue was that we could make it a ‘bring your own booze’ affair, which meant that the alcohol was well and truly flowing all night.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Toni’s dress was Phase Eight, she had it slightly modified, with the train being cut off and turned into a bolero. She and her mum made the pink underskirt themselves to wear with it. I’m afraid I don’t even know the make of my dress and cut the label out on the day! It was an ‘off the peg’ one and fit perfectly. We didn’t see each other’s dresses before the big day, and relied on friends telling us that they wouldn’t look odd next to each. It turned out they complimented each other perfectly.
FINDING THE DRESSES | The fact that I don’t even know the make of my dress, probably hints at the fact that the whole dress shopping was not a main event for us. Toni spotted her dress online, found a shop with it in on sale, and went with her mum and sister to buy it. Job done! I kept putting off looking for my dress, and in the end my despairing friends took over and booked appointments with three different bridal shops. Although I’d been dreading it, I actually had such a giggle. The dress I bought was from the last shop, my friends got all misty eyed when they saw me in it, and I knew then it was the one.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | During the ceremony we had two readings, a poem called ‘I Will Be Here’ by Steven Curtis-Chapman, and a short children’s story called ‘The Little Yellow Leaf’ by Carin Berger. Our first dance was to a song called ‘The Way I Am’ by Ingrid Michaelson performed live by two of our close friends. A band called ‘The Kickstarts’ kept the guests dancing all night long, and were very accommodating to our unusual requests, including a twenty minute Mariah Carey mash-up!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Being two brides, we played around with roles, and had our closest friends, Nic , Harri and Sam as our ‘best-man girl’ and two ‘best-girls’. They all have quite different personalities, so we didn’t like the idea of dressing them in matching outfits, and asked them to choose their own, as long as it was some kind of blue in colour. All our beautiful nephews and nieces were our page boys and flower girls and Toni’s younger brother was our handsome ring bearer.
THE FLOWERS | My mum bought the flowers wholesale and arranged them herself the night before the wedding.
THE CAKE | Our close friend (and best girl) Harri made and decorated the cake. She is a talented lady.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Toni enjoys photography and so finding a photographer she was happy with was a bit of an ordeal. We knew Brook Rose was perfect when we saw her portfolio. She does natural and relaxed shots which was just what we were looking for. we absolutely love the photos and feel she captured the day perfectly. such a star, The photos are stunning!! A true artist.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Pinterest became our bible and we went for a rustic/vintage theme. As we were trying to keep the budget as low as possible, we made all of the decorations ourselves and scoured charity shops and car boot sales for bargains. We upcycled a dilapidated festival wagon to allow our very cute baby nephew and niece to steal the show as they were wheeled down the aisle. We wanted it to be personal to us, and although it was time-consuming, focused on a lot of ‘little touches’ such as paper airplane bunting made out of pages from ‘Pride and Prejudice’.
We’d seen photos of vintage brooch bouquets and paper rose bouquets, and loved them, but were shocked at how much they cost. We figured it couldn’t be that hard so set about making them ourselves. The glue gun scars were worth it in the end!
Keeping it child-friendly, we had plenty of garden games (though it ended up being the adults who played more) and luckily the sun shone so we could use them
The budget meant we had to self-cater, and we went for a sandwich station. Lots of bread, meats, cheeses etc for guests to pile up in whatever combination they desired, plus the obligatory cocktail sausages for the kids. For supper, a local bakery delivered pies in insulated boxes so they stayed warm, and guests made their own gravy using granules and a water boiler!
THE HONEYMOON | 11 days split between Bali and the Gili Islands. Absolute paradise, did not want to come home!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Too many to choose from! The day went without a hitch due to the help from our fantastic friends and family, and we realised just how lucky we are to have these amazing people in our lives. After a morning of torrential rain, it was also a huge relief when the sun suddenly came out an hour before the guests arrived, and shone brightly for the rest of the day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Firstly, enjoy yourselves! What’s the point otherwise?! The day itself goes so quickly so it’s really important that you relax and have fun, rather than worrying about whether everything is going to plan. Secondly, decide what’s really important to you and then accommodate your budget around that. For us, it was to have a live band and a photographer, and that meant that we had to say bye-bye professional catering and hello DIY.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Brook Rose Photography
Marquee | Evans Marquee Hire
Make Up | Bee Wedding Make Up
Thanks so much to Toni and Hazel for sharing their utterly wonderful wedding day with us xo Lou