Ever strolled through ancient woodland in May? It’s just pure magic and I think it’s perfect for wedding portraits.
WWW readers Sophie and Ashley were married on the 16th May 2015 at Berkhamsted Town Hall, before throwing a big festival inspired party in gorgeous tents by Tipis4hire. Having travelled together they really wanted to include some jet-setting details into their day, including the map seating plan and a quirky sign post with cities they have visited. They opted for a subtle vibrant orange colour scheme with gorgeous blooms, oodles of bunting and fun stripy straws.
With the festival feel, music and good food were high on Sophie and Ashley’s priorities. And didn’t they look utterly lovely? Sophie wore a lace gown with some killer Prada heels, while Ashley went for Moss Bros suit and check tie. Enough from me, I’ll let you get enjoy these amazing images and the romantic wedding film.
Huge thanks today to the fantastic Alexa Loy Photography for sharing these photographs with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Ashley proposed on a family skiing trip back in February 2014. He managed to persuade me to stay on the slopes a little longer than normal – we went to the top of one of the most amazing slopes in Montgenevre and got down on one knee there!
THE VISION | Right from the very beginning Ashley and I were really keen to have a festival wedding. We wanted something really informal that celebrated our love of festivals, music, good food and family and friends. We met in Melbourne Australia and have done a lot of travelling so we wanted to make sure that this was incorporated into the wedding as well.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Initially we started looking round a load of venues in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire – although we saw some absolutely beautiful venues, none of them really felt like us. My sister-in-law had been to a wedding in tipi tents so suggested that we have a look at them. We went to Tipis4hire’s open day and as soon as we went in the tipis we absolutely fell in love with them – I think this was one of the first things we booked and it really set the tone for the rest of the wedding. As we couldn’t get married in the tipis, we chose to have the ceremony in Berkhamsted Town Hall – it’s a beautiful old building and a lot of my family have got married there so it had a lot of sentimental value. After that we took each element of the planning one step at a time and ended up having most of the major stuff booked by October 2014. My Mum was a huge part of the planning process – she’s got an incredible eye for design and detail – she helped put together everything from mood boards to tasting sessions and the wedding would not have been anywhere near as good without her. From October to May we pulled together a lot of the design, decoration and details.
THE VENUE | Ceremony venue was Berkhamsted Town Hall. The reception venue we decided should be at my Mum and Dad’s. We had the drinks reception in their garden and our lovely neighbours kindly let us use their paddock to put the tipis on.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was a full lace strapless dress with a vintage style belt which had a bit of bling on. I really wanted to include a part of Mum’s dress so wore her veil – it’s a beautiful full length veil with a lace trim. It went perfectly with my dress but we did have to stain it with tea to make sure it wasn’t too white! The necklace was my ‘something blue’ and was my late Granny’s and Ashley bought me a Tiffany bracelet which I wore.
FINDING THE DRESS | After lots of visits to lots of shops (some good, some bad!) I picked 2 dresses which I loved. Once from Xquisitor in Leighton Buzzard and the other from The Bridal House in Aston Clinton. They are both absolutely fantastic shops with a lovely range of dresses. I ended up picking the lace dress from The Bridal House.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ashley wore a blue three piece suit from Moss Bros. We bought his tie from eBay actually as he had quite a specific idea of what he wanted. The pocket watch he wore was from his Best Man. His cufflinks I gave him as a wedding gift – they are vintage gold cufflinks which belonged to my late Grandpa.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Our three readings were read by my Auntie, Ashley’s brother and sister and my Mum. My Auntie Paula read ‘Blessings for a Marriage’ – I’ve always been close with Paula and missed her wedding because I was away travelling. I really wanted her to feel included in my special day. Ashley’s brother Jack and Sister Amy read ‘He Always Leaves the Seat Up’. Bless them they learnt the whole thing by heart! The last reading by my Mum was ‘A Parent’s Tribute’. Mum was such a huge part of the wedding – it really wouldn’t have been the fantastic day it was without her. I’m really close with my Mum and the reading really summed up the feelings on the day.
Walking Down the Aisle – I chose Clair de Lune by Debussy. My late Granny was an incredible pianist and my whole family is musical. She recorded this piece for my Grandpa before they got married and it meant a lot to me to include it in the wedding.
Walking up the Aisle – Settle Down by the 1975. Ashley and I love this band and we thought the song was fun to choose as whilst we were travelling all anyone would ask us is ‘when are you going to settle down’?
First Dance – we had originally picked another song but my sister played Warm Love by Van Morrison on my hen do and I thought it would be great to use for the first dance. Our second song was You and I by Crystal Fighters. Again it’s another song that Ashley and I love.
The band – my whole family is musical and Ashley and I wanted a really good band. We chose the Sensation Band who were insanely good.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Ellyn was my maid of honour. I’m really close with her and she did a fantastic job! She even did a rap on the wedding day about me and Ashley! Jen and Kirsty are my best friends – I originally went travelling with them before I met Ashely so we’re really close. Jen lives in Australia now so it meant so much to me that she was there on the day. I also had Ashley’s sisters Becki and Amy. They all wore a dove grey multi-way dress from In One Clothing.
THE FLOWERS | My Auntie Sarah did the flowers. She’s an incredible florist and helped me pick the kind of flowers that would suit the tone of the day. We used a lot of green foliage and cow slip as well as some pink hydrangeas. We punctuated the bouquets with orange flowers to tie in with the rest of the colours at the wedding. My sister-in-law’s Mum Joan did the buttonholes and did a fantastic job.
THE CAKE | My Gran Mary used to do wedding cakes so I asked her to do mine! We chose a naked cake as the wedding was quite informal. It was delicious!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Ashley and I really wanted to get the photographer right so did a lot of research before we met up with anyone. As soon as we met Alexa we both knew she would be great to have as our photographer. We got on so well with her and her photography style is exactly what we wanted – more documentary/reportage style. She and a second photographer Jess were incredible all day making sure that they captured everything from the morning to well after the first dance. They weren’t intrusive but made sure people were where they needed to be for some of the more formal photos. I could not be happier with the photos!!
I just want to mention The Mann Bros who did the video, they were also amazing and I would highly recommend!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Where to start with this! Our wedding was full of little details – from the 600 metres of bunting which my Mum painstakingly made to the sign with every city Ashley and I have visited which my Dad built. There are too many details to mention! What I will say is that everything had a purpose and a reason to be there. We wanted the wedding to really sum up mine and Ashley’s relationship and every little detail captured this.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Italy on the Sunday after the wedding – 3 days in Rome and then a week in Lake Como. Good wine, food and views – it was amazing!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Everything about the day was incredible – it actually was the best day of my life! There are three moments which stick in my mind, the first was when I came down the stairs to meet my Dad before we went to the ceremony venue. There were lots of tears! The second was seeing Ashley as I was walking down the aisle. I was so nervous but as soon as I saw him I couldn’t keep the smile from my face! The third was right at the end of the night when Ashley and I were up on the stage – the tent was filled with everyone I loved dancing and having a good time. Such an amazing moment which I will never forget!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Few key bits of advice:
Brides – don’t go on a diet!! You will look beautiful in your dress whatever size you are. If you diet it stresses you out and you definitely don’t need this with so many other things going on.
Spend the money on a photographer and videographer – it’s so worth it. Ashley and I have look over these millions of times since the wedding.
If you’ve got the money try and get as good a band as you can afford. It really makes the evening!
Don’t do things because you think you should – every couple is different and each wedding should celebrate this. If you don’t want a top table or seat covers or any of that stuff don’t have it. Don’t feel pressure to do things the ‘proper’ way.
Involve your friends and family – it made the whole wedding experience better because I had my favourite people around me.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Tipis | Tipis4hire
Ceremony Venue | Berkhamsted Town Hall
Toilets | Luxury Toilet Hire
Photographer | Alexa Loy Photography
Videographer | The Mann Bros
Photo Booth | Clara the Caravan
Hair | Red Carpet
Food | The Carpenters Arm Pub and My family!
Burger Van | The Little Gourmet Kitchen (Ivinghoe Aston)
Music | The Sensation Band
Wow wee. I just love this wedding.
Thanks so very much to Sophie and Ashley for sharing their love story today xo Lou