Whimsical Wonderland Weddings http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com UK Wedding Blog Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:00:35 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 The Bride Diaries. Katy’s South London Engagement http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/the-bride-diaries-katys-south-london-engagement.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/the-bride-diaries-katys-south-london-engagement.html#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:00:35 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=128091 To finish the working week, WWW real bride Katy is here to share her wonderful engagement shoot with us. They decided to stay local in South London for their shoot and I just adore these loving happy images :-) Thanks so very much to the utterly brilliant Emma Case for sharing her photographs today XOXO Lou

 

South London Lido Engagement http://www.emmacasephotography.com/

 

We had our engagement shoot just 3 weeks before our wedding, on what ended up being an extremely sunny day, and it was so much fun.

Because we were having our wedding near our parents in a countryside setting, we wanted to have our engagement photos around where we live in South London, to capture a bit of us in our normal environment. So Emma and Pete came to our flat and we headed up to the Tooting Bec lido, which is not far from us and we love it.

We had some photos around the lido and then spent some time on the common nearby. It was very relaxed, Emma and Pete are so very lovely it felt like we’d known them for ages after about 5 minutes, and they somehow made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. They captured us being ‘us’ but made us look a lot better than normal while they were at it, and we really couldn’t be happier with the photos.

With just 3 weeks til the wedding it was great practice for the day – I would highly recommend any couple have an engagement shoot just to get used to being in front of the camera. And it was great to spend the time with Emma and Pete as we got to know each other better and they then had a real feel for us and the wedding day!

 

 

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Creative & Homespun Yellow Pom Pom Filled Outdoor Wedding http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/creative-homespun-yellow-pom-pom-filled-outdoor-wedding.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/creative-homespun-yellow-pom-pom-filled-outdoor-wedding.html#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:00:05 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=128043 Creative Pom Pom Outdoor Wedding http://www.milliebenbowphotography.com/

 

Bride Hazel is a set designer and prop maker so you can only imagine just how gorgeous their wedding day was.

Alex and Hazel tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony on the 19th July 2014 followed by a Parish hall reception. Using their creativity they crafted much of their wedding décor themselves, from the immense pom pom packed ceiling to the golden apples and blooms arranged by their loved ones. Just wait until you see the results.

Hazel donned a stunning vintage gown with her hair in a chic up do, while Alex wore blue suit with a yellow accessories. So much style.

Thanks goes to the amazing Millie Benbow for providing the imagery today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | {Alex}  I surprised Hazel with a trip to Vienna a couple of days before Christmas 2013. I had a work Christmas party in Bruges a couple of days before and texted Hazel from the Eurostar to tell her that I’d taped a cryptic invitation underneath the kitchen table.  She didn’t have a clue where we were going until we got to the boarding gate at the airport a few days later.

In Vienna, we visited the Nacht markets and drank plenty of gluhwein (mulled wine).  I hadn’t planned where to propose so I had to spend the whole day making sure Hazel didn’t discover the ring box when she hugged me! In the evening we had an amazing meal that made us feel like we were on Master Chef with all sorts of foams and infusions and pallet cleansers. After dessert the mood felt right so I got down on one knee and asked Hazel to marry me. Once she’s finished crying she said, “yes please”! She told me afterwards that she couldn’t even see the ring through her tears.

We had a lovely few days seeing the sights and enjoying our new commitment privately before calling friends and family to tell them the news.

THE VISION | We knew we wanted to make a lot of the elements for the day ourselves as we’re both creative and we wanted the day to have a very personal feel (plus we needed to keep the cost down). Hazel prepared some mood boards with pictures she’d found on Pinterest. We eventually decided that we wanted a Summer Fete feel to the day which seemed to fit with the countryside location we had chosen for the reception.

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  In January Hazel researched halls close to her home town of Tunbridge Wells and we found Goudhurst Parish Hall which is lovely and we saw had a lot of potential. Writing a plan for the day really helped us to think through all of the elements of the wedding and we used it to assemble a giant spreadsheet to help us keep track of things.

We also decided to get married in a registry office a couple of days before and have a small secular ceremony on the day in a nearby field (Goudhurst is so beautiful, it seemed a shame not to make use of the great views).

The mood boards Hazel created helped us to decide on the colours and decorations for the ceremony and reception. Fortunately Hazel is a set designer and prop maker so she had a pretty strong idea of what she wanted and how to make it happen. We’re also lucky enough to have lots of talented and generous friends and family who we knew wanted to help with the decoration and contribute things like flowers and cakes.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

As the big day drew nearer we started to but things in and the flat steadily filled up with stuff. We organised a pom-pom making afternoon with some of our friends and offered them lots of cake in return. I took the week off before the wedding to make last minute preparations, including driving all over London to pick up things we hadn’t thought about like carpet for the field.

BUDGET | The final cost came out at around £15k.

THE VENUE | Goudhurst Parish Hall.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Vintage dress from Alfie’s Antique Market, Marylebone. Alterations by Hillary Wili.

FINDING THE DRESS | Hazel visited lots of markets with a group of her most trusted friends until she found what she wanted. The dress wasn’t in a great condition so it needed significant repair and alteration and her mum had to make a slip to go underneath. The end result looked really breathtaking.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Suit: Banana Republic. Shirt, waistcoat and tie: Ted Baker. Shoes: Hudson.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | “Have you got a Biro I can borrow?” by Clive James read by groom’s friend Matthew. “Wedding” by Alice Oswald read by Bride’s friend Sophia.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We didn’t want our friends to have to go out and buy anything so we told them to pick something they already had that felt Summery. I think the end result looked really great and was more interesting than everybody wearing the same. I took the same approach with my groomsmen and simply send them a picture of what I was wearing in advance.

THE FLOWERS | The flowers from Tom Brown wholesalers were assembled by the bride’s mother and friends.

THE CAKE | The cake was made by the bride’s mother and the cheese was from a local delicatessen.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER |  I would highly recommend Millie and Jo – they are hugely talented and really lovely. We spoke to them using Skype a couple of times before the wedding to discuss what we were looking for and we really felt like we understood each other. Their rapport with our guests was fantastic and they coped extremely well in the heat!

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We assembled 150 yellow tissue paper pom-poms to suspend from the lighting gantry for the stage. This helped to hide the big lights and really gave the hall some character. For the place names we spray-painted apples gold and laser cut some leaves from brown card. We took down the curtains and hung some yellow horticultural fleece in strips (sounds weird but it was basically a super cheap yellow roll of material).  We made an ornate picture frame from cardboard for our seating plan, which we soaked in tea to make it look really old.

We sourced some cut pieces of wood to give a bit of height to the decorations and food on the table. We also sprayed the inside of some big jars yellow to hold all of the flowers. The day before the wedding we had an army of friends and family to help with the set up. It was a lot of work but well worth it in the end. Luckily we over catered on the alcohol and so were able to unload bottles of wine and boxes of beer on our friends to thank them for their hard work.

THE HONEYMOON | We stayed in a B&B owned by some friends of ours down in Cornwall: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview-g191280-d6205118-Cowshed_Bed_and_Breakfast-Bodmin_Cornwall_England.html

It was the perfect setting for relaxing and spending some quality time together after the busy wedding.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There had been a thunderstorm the night before the wedding and it was forecast to rain all day. Fortunately the clouds cleared for our ceremony and it was beautifully sunny. It was so great to see our original vision of the ceremony in the field realised and it worked out better that we could have imagined.

Our friend Justin called a barn dance for us and brought along some extra musicians as a surprise. It was incredibly hot and humid but everybody still got up and joined in.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES |  Try and do as much as you can yourselves and draw upon your friends’ and family’s talents if you can. It makes for a unique day that feels very personal to you.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Millie Benbow

Catering | Hel’s Angels. They were really fantastic – very professional and the food was simple and delicious.

Band |  All Covered Up. Very professional and loved by everyone (plus they had a saxophone).

Dress Alterations | Hillary Wili

Venue | Goudhurst Parish Hall

 

Wow wee. Such a beautiful setting.

Thanks so very much to Alex and Hazel for sharing their wonderful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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Pretty Homemade Country Garden Marquee Wedding http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/pretty-homemade-country-garden-marquee-wedding.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/pretty-homemade-country-garden-marquee-wedding.html#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=128002 Pretty Marquee Wedding http://www.victoriamitchellphotography.com/

 

Pretty, pretty, pretty overload this afternoon. Yay.

WWW readers Kelly and Alistair’s wedding is all fabulous florals and delicious cake. They decided to marry on the 3rd May 2014 with a gorgeous marquee reception at Burwash Weddings in Cambridgeshire.

One of my favourite parts of this wedding has to be the style. With Kelly wearing a romantic tulle gown and Alistair donning a quirky bow tie look. Perfect.

Thanks so very much to Victoria Mitchell Photography for sharing her lovely imagery today.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | A wonderful surprise, after anticipating a possible proposal on our third year anniversary, Christmas and then at New Year, I definitely wasn’t expecting it.  Alistair emailed me at work to ask if I could take a day off so that we could celebrate Valentine’s Day so I duly booked the time off work. On the day I received a romantic message in a bottle via the postman in the morning which instructed me to pack an overnight bag and be ready for a taxi pick up that afternoon.  I was impressed by the Valentines effort as usually we opted for an M&S Dine in Meal offer with a DVD, but I still didn’t suspect.

We had a wonderful afternoon in Cambridge with lunch and a Spa afternoon at the Varsity Hotel, where he had also booked us in for an overnight stay.  Dinner was booked at the Michelin stared restaurant Midsummer House, a venue we had always talked about going on a very special occasion…… Whilst getting ready for dinner I could tell that he was extremely nervous and was also very quiet on the walk to the restaurant. We arrived and ordered our meal.  Half way through the starters I noticed that he was still looking very nervous and starting to sweat slightly!  I remember asking him if he was OK but the rest is a slight blur… I think he simply said “right I have to do this now” to which I replied “Oh my god”.  He followed up with a very romantic speech and then produced the ring and proposed.  I was shocked, excited, and nervous all at once!!   It turned out that he actually wanted to propose before dinner on the walk through the park but we kept getting interrupted by Cambridge cyclists.

THE VISION | For about a year before the proposal I had an idea of what type of wedding I wanted, something relaxed, vintage styled where we could add our own personal touches for the day.  Luckily Alistair felt the same once we had started discussing what we wanted.   Neither of us wanted a big wedding, rather simply to have our close family and friends around us to help celebrate the day.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | We had a trip to Cuba already booked for shortly after the proposal so were able to discuss a few ideas.  I am super organised (some would say maybe a bit too organised!) so I was keen to get planning immediately.   Both of us decided that we didn’t really want a long engagement but in order to save enough money and the fact we wanted a spring wedding we decided to wait until the following year.  Alistair has a Catholic background so we chose to have our wedding at our local Church in Cambridge. Once we had decided this we looked at venues around Cambridgeshire that were close enough to the church.

Once we had the church and venue sorted everything fell into place.  I did get a bit carried away with various wedding blogs and Pinterest pages, which on one hand are a great help but also throw up so many ideas that I felt my brain was going to explode.

BUDGET | We had a fairly good expectation on what sort of budget we would need as we have been lucky enough to have been invited to a few weddings over the years, however the reality of how much it could cost still shocked us! However, we were able to manage our budget well by making a concerted effort to shop around and get the most for our money.

THE VENUE | Our wedding was a Catholic ceremony at Our Lady & The English Martyrs in central Cambridge.  The church is beautiful and has a Cathedral like feel to it inside.  After the service we had our wedding breakfast and reception at ‘The Secret Garden Wedding Marquee’ at Burwash Manor in Barton, Cambridgeshire.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was found online by designer Lou Lou bridal but purchased at The Tailors Cat bridal shop in Cambridge. My shoes were nine west.  I don’t wear a lot of accessories generally so I just had a silver bangle that was a 21st Birthday present from two of my bridesmaids and doubled as my something old.  Alistair surprised me on the morning of our wedding day by sending a gift of diamond earrings that matched my engagement ring, so I wore these as my something new. My hair tiara was a bargain from Glitzy secrets.

FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t find this stressful at all.  As I have previously mentioned I had spent quite a bit of time looking at various wedding bit and bobs online for about a year before the actual proposal and luckily some I had pinned to my trusty Pinterest page.

Looking at various wedding shop websites in Cambridge and Bedfordshire I came across ‘the dress’, and made a note of the designer ‘lou lou bridal’.  From images on the Internet it look amazing, traditional but with a vintage type feel. The price was also agreeable as I didn’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a dress.

As soon as we were engaged I tracked down the dress to a shop in Berkhamsted and went to try it on for the day with my Mum. It was the first dress I tried on and I knew instantly that this was the dress I wanted.  I did try on a few more and lots of different styles but none compared to this dress.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the bridal shop at all helpful or friendly, I had imagined them to be excited about my engagement and wedding plans but they were not really interested and didn’t even offer us a drink of water.  I decided not to buy the dress on this day but shopped around and found the lovely ladies at the Tailors Cat who also had the dress. I had one fitting with them and ordered it straight away.  They were amazing and made it a great experience, and I managed to get the dress £250 cheaper.  So it’s a good idea to shop around.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | This proved more an event than the wedding dress.

After a few purchases from the high street, Alistair still wasn’t happy.  The colours and fit didn’t seem the one for us or fit in with the look we wanted for the day.

So we opted for a tailor made suit, this was slightly more expensive but it meant he could choose the exact colour, fit and add some personal details.  The final suit fitted perfectly and really stood out and can of course be used for many more weddings etc. for the next few years.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | With a Catholic ceremony we were guided by the priest on the number of readings to have and what they should be.  With this we decided to have an equal number of friends take part in the readings, and gave them each a reading.

Our wedding music was mixture of traditional and non-traditional, I didn’t have the traditional bridal march but instead choose the song ‘Suddenly’, which featured in Neighbours when Scott and Charlene got married (a long time ago!). The organist at the wedding played a piano version of the song with was perfect.   Whilst signing the register we chose to have a soloist singing Ave Maria, which added a nice touch as she sang from the balcony and her voice beautifully echoed throughout the Church. It also helped keep the congregation entertained whilst we were doing the paperwork.

We deliberately chose hymns that were well known and ones that we all used to sing along with in school assemblies. We hoped this would help everyone feel comfortable as they would know the words and be able to sing along.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were all friends from school that have been my closest friends for over fifteen years.   They were all amazing in helping through the whole process and super excited to take part.

Finding the dresses was quite a difficult task, I had an image in my mind that a vintage floral type tea dress would look fantastic and on paper I think this was a good idea.

Once we all got together and hits the shops it was obvious that this wasn’t the best idea as not all the dresses suited all the bridesmaids.  In the end we opted for some navy (my favourite colour) Ted Baker dresses from John Lewis, this also meant that my male bridesmaid could easily purchase a navy suit that matched perfectly.

THE FLOWERS | These were not a high priority for either of us, we buy flowers every now and then for the house, usually supermarket bunches or daffodils, but neither of us have a love or eye for flowers so this was left until the last minute.

We decided that with the venue style, a fixed garden marquee in a country style garden, that we wanted something simple, ideally flowers that hopefully wouldn’t blow the budget!  I met with a couple of florists, one of which was super expensive, but thankfully the other seemed to offer exactly what we wanted.

We were conscious of the cost of having elaborate flowers for our guests’ tables and the fact that it was highly likely few would be taken by home by our guests and therefore most likely would be discarded the morning after.  Along with this we wanted some flower decoration in the church to add a personal touch.   Eventually we decided on some gypsophila pew ends for the church which we then took with us to the reception and used as table decorations. The simplicity of the gypsophila worked perfectly against the beauty of the Church as well as feel in keeping with how our venue looked.

For the bouquets and button holes again we wanted something ‘country garden handpicked flowers’, so I left this is the hands of the florist, who mixed together some foliage, gypsophila and garden daisies. And that was it, very basic but they fitted amazingly well with the venue and day itself.

THE CAKE | Neither of us are fans of traditional wedding fruit cake and I am not too keen on icing and marzipan.  One of our favourite cakes is Victoria sponge, so the decision was easy. I only contacted my wedding cake supplier who fortunately was booked up and would have charged £750.  After this and having looked at many images online and lots and lots of recipes I decided that I would make the cake myself!  Fortunately I changed my mind after my friend Natalie offered to make the cake for us, we made the sponges together at her house a few weeks in advance of the wedding and she added the final touches on the morning of the wedding.

We were so happy with the finished result and it tasted delicious, all for a cost of £25.   I’m very glad that I didn’t decide to go ahead with taking this task on myself but having helped a little bit the sponges I did help a little bit.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | During the first few months of our engagement we visited a lot of wedding fairs, taking in a lot of information on suppliers and different photographers.  We both agreed that we didn’t want a lot of traditional portrait photos of family members standing in a row, rather have more relaxed images of the two of us with our friends and family enjoying the day.

Cost and personality were a major factor, a lot of the photographers we initially spoke to were very expensive and although looked like good photographers, neither of us felt that we would be relaxed with any of them.   After trawling the internet for a very long time, I remembered a friends sisters’ wedding the previous year which had some wonderful pictures.   They put us in touch with Victoria, who was fantastic and after our first meeting the decision was made.  She made us feel completely at ease having our pictures taken and the final photos look better than we could have hoped for.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The wedding marquee that we hired for our wedding was a blank canvas, they supplied the venue and bar and we supplied everything else!  This meant that we could add a lot of personal touches and details that were all our ideas. Again Pinterest was a help and anything and everything on the internet that looked at all like what we wanted was pinned!

The location and setting meant that we leaned towards an English Afternoon Tea Party theme, which as it happened was something that we both liked and meant that the relaxed atmosphere we wanted was possible.   We didn’t really have a regimented colour scheme but opted to simple matching colours and styles that went together.

Our stationery throughout was very simple with a vintage feel; check out the supplier at the end.  I found them on ebay but ordered directly from their website. They are based in Sheffield and produced some truly lovely items for us, from our invitations right through to the menus and are very reasonably priced for the quality they supply.

Décor in the marquee was minimal, they provided plain white linens, chairs and fairy lights around the inside of the marquee.  I never knew the difference fairy lights could make to a venue until our wedding day!   As well as this, our table decorations were jam jars we had spent a year collecting (and eating the contents) which we filled with gypsophila bouquets.   We didn’t add anything else except individual menus and our favours.    Our favours were fudge hearts (from Etsy.com) in personalised ‘Alistair & Kelly’ brown sweet bags which I also found on ebay and were another bargain.

Dotted around the venue we added some vintage signs some personalised from ebay and some other generic signs.   In the garden the venue already had some tables and chairs set up so we just added some deck chairs and hay bales with blankets for extra seating.

We didn’t have a ‘disco’ as such but opted for a Spotify playlist on our laptop. This worked out great, we placed the laptop on a small ‘DJ’ table surrounded by fairy lights and some hired disco lighting for the dancefloor.

THE HONEYMOON | New York has always been top of our list of destinations for a break away, but cost and lack of beach/poolside time for me has always meant other destinations have won through and we have jetted off somewhere else. However, we decided straight away that New York was a must, but we would also tag on a sunshine destination afterwards.  We trawled the internet looking and different locations that we could fly to directly from NYC in a reasonable time.   Antigua and the Caribbean popped up, after investigating further this was the perfect option, we treated ourselves to an five star all inclusive resort ‘Galley Bay’ which exceeded our expectations and provided the much needed relaxation after the hustle and bustle of New York.

Our honeymoon was probably the only aspect of the wedding where the budget was forgotten!!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Wow this is quite difficult….. but we would say

Our journey from the church to the venue on a traditional routemaster bus, after the ceremony. It was great to catch up with friends and family over a large glass of fizz.

Getting ready in the morning with my bridesmaid, I was very relaxed with no nerves; this was surprise to everyone including myself!

Meeting each other at the aisle, it was lovely to see how excited we both were for the day.

Arriving at the reception venue, we had been in the day before to set up a few things but when we arrived all the final touches had been put in place and we it looked fantastic.

There are just too many things that stand out to choose only a few!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We would say that planning is key, it is surprising how much goes into organising a wedding, especially if like us our reception venue is a blank canvas meaning you have to source your own suppliers for almost everything.  Be clear on your budget, we were taken aback by our initial vision of what our wedding would cost and was in shock after the first venue we saw!  If you start with a clear understanding of how much you feel comfortable spending on your wedding and which parts of the day are most important to you both, this will help a lot with your planning.

We had a year to plan and lots of lists were made, there is so much information out there on the internet that if you take in too much you will find yourself overwhelmed and starting to panic.  I found that once a decision on something was made I avoided looking at anything to do with that again, as you’ll always find another blog/image that could be better or different.  You’ll end up going around in circles and questioning everything you’ve already agreed.

In the end we had the wedding we wanted, all our friends and family said it was the perfect day.   Remember, they don’t what isn’t there or you have missed, even if you do, so don’t panic.  We had a couple of minor mishaps on the day which were out of our hands, but we didn’t let it spoil our day and to be honest barely noticed.

Finally get on ebay, we found some lovely personalised touches on here from small signs to our wedding favours bags, these were a fantastic find and very reasonably priced.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Venue | Burwash Weddings

Photographer | Victoria Mitchell Photography

Wedding dress | Lou Lou Bridal + Cambridge Bridalwear

Florist | The Flowerhouse

Disco lighting | Pro Event

Caterer | Tom’s Kitchen

Groom suit | Tailormade London  

Bow tie | Mrs Bowtie

Stationery | The Vows

 

Oh the loveliness.

Thanks so very much to Kelly and Alistair for sharing their wedding story with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

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Country Rustic Summer Tipi Wedding http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/country-rustic-summer-tipi-wedding.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/country-rustic-summer-tipi-wedding.html#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:00:37 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127719 Country Rustic Tipi Wedding http://www.redonblonde.com/

 

WWW readers Wayne and Hannah were married on the 7th June 2014 opting for a fabulous cosy tipi party to celebrate. They hoped that their wedding would be relaxed, informal and fun. It was important to them that they had proper food, good beer and a busy dance floor. Love it!

Hannah looked so beautiful in her tea length Justin Alexander gown while the boys looked dapper in navy suits. Teamed with wild style blooms, rustic log details and sunshine – you have the perfect day.

Thanks goes to the utterly brilliant Red on Blonde Photography for sharing their imagery today.

 

 

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THE PROPOSAL | I thought we were going on a post-Christmas health-kick to Centre Parcs with a mystery secret stop off which turned out to be Low Wray Castle where we had been on our first holiday together. We went for a walk on the shores of Windermere, Wayne stopped and announced he had a late Christmas present to give to me, inside a wrapped up box was a ring box with a ring I’d inherited from my Godmother when I was a teenager. Wayne didn’t say anything and I didn’t want to assume amything so there was quite a long, slightly awkward silence before Wayne finally asked “…so will you then?!”

Obviously I said yes, weekend with more food and champagne than we have ever seen and had the most perfect weekend of our lives, despite the awful indigestion!!

THE VISION | We wanted everyone to have a relaxed and informal day that suited our personalities. We wanted “proper food”, good beer and a busy dance floor and most importantly wanted everyone to have fun.

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Right from the beginning of the planning process we thought we wanted a tipi but wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do. We viewed several wedding venues and realised they weren’t for us, my parents house is an amazing setting, the venues we saw just didn’t feel as special to us. We went to a PeakTipis open day which confirmed that we wanted a Tipi, it felt so special and cosy and even on a cold, windy day with no one in the tipi it still had a great atmosphere

Once we had a our minds set on a tipi we had quite a few discussions with my parents to decide whether it would work on their land and whether they’d let us have it there!

Wayne was great at planning the big things and is really organised, which meant l I was lucky enough to be able concentrate on the details and how it was going to look although I’m not quite as organised as Wayne so this part ended up a bit of a last minute panic!

The planning process wouldn’t have been complete without my dad who made sure the whole day would run smoothly and thought of everything including all the little things you woludn’t even think you would need to consider when planning a wedding.

THE VENUE | We got married at St Michael’s church in Wincle village. Neither of us our particularly religious, but after we had been for an honest chat with the vicar at the local church we both agreed that a church wedding felt right for us. The guidance we had from the vicar was great and we met some lovely people through our visits to the church, we felt like part of the community. We both helped out at the village fete the weekend before the wedding which helped us get to know lots of local people including the choir and organ player, it was amazing how many people were involved in our wedding in some way!

We didn’t want to sleep in my bedroom at my parents so we slept in an amazing bell tent, complete with bed, blankets, hot water bottle and champagne.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was Justin Alexander from 7th Heaven Bridal in Congleton and shoes were Rachel Simpson which I bought online.

FINDING THE DRESS | I thought I wanted a short dress as I’ve never felt right in long dresses and didn’t think a long white dress in a muddy field would be a great combination but I wanted to keep my mind open as I wasn’t sure what style would suit me. I went in a few shops with my mum and tried on lots of styles of dress, I couldn’t get used to myself in a long dress, I felt like I was dressed up as someone else. As soon as I tried on a short dress I felt much more comfortable and still looked like me.

Once I had my mind set on a short dress it was pretty easy as there wasn’t a massive choice in any bridal shop which was good for me as it made decision making much easier! I tried my dress on in the long length as 7th heaven didn’t stock the short version, I loved the top of the dress but it took me a while to try and picture it in short and be sure enough that I’d like it to go for it. The girls at 7th Heaven were brilliant at helping me picture it and giving me the confidence to buy a dress I’d never tried on.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | We wanted the men to look relaxed and not too formal so decided to go for a navy suit in a slim fit which looked a bit less formal than some of the more traditional styles. We hired the suits from Brigdens in Derby and bought the ties online to match the bridesmaids dresses. We wanted to add a bit of fun so all the groomsmen wore yellow socks to match the bridesmaids yellow shoes.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | We spent so long trying to find the right readings, we wanted a reading that meant something to us but wasn’t too cheesy. Our friend Buddug read Corinthians 13 and Wayne’s brother’s partner, Laura read Let’s Get Married by the Proclaimers. The words were perfect but made me cry my eyes out! We didn’t tell anyone where the words were from or who they were by, we played the song when the dance floor was full at the end of the night.

We had Pachebels Canon to walk in and Bridal March as we were leaving the church.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My amazing bridesmaids were my best friend Jenny and my sister Sarah, I had my beautiful niece Evie as my flower girl. The bridesmaids dresses were Dessy from 7th Heaven, Evie’s dress was from Monsoon.

THE FLOWERS | I knew I wanted wild, natural looking flowers, again I didn’t want anything too formal or “done” looking. We found Tracey Campbell at a wedding fair; I was drawn to her stand as it was full of wild flowers, exactly what we’d been looking for. She even managed to get Wayne excited about the flowers as she had loads of hops on her stand and promised he could have some in his buttonhole.

The bouquets included daisies, wax flower, lavender, rosemary, mint and hops so they smelled and looked incredible. Tracey wired some flowers to match for my hair and made our little flowergirl a crown of flowers (which didn’t stay on very long but looked amazing!)

THE CAKE | Wayne’s mum, Caroline made our fabulous cake. The bottom layer was fruit, then carrot cake, then lemon with a little chocolate cake on the top. It was iced with frosting with berries around each tier. She surprised us by making amazing cake toppers of us which looked just like us!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our brilliant photographers were Hannah and Toby from Red on Blonde photography. We found them on a wedding website and after meeting them once we knew they were the right people for us. We wanted fun photos that represented our day and showed everyone enjoying themselves, again nothing too formal or cheesy. Their portfolio was great and most importantly we got on with them so felt like we’d be able to relax with them around on the wedding day.

Hannah went to the hotel where the boys were getting ready and got some brilliant photos of them before the church, I loved seeing the photos of what they’d got up to in the morning! Toby came to my parents house to snap us getting ready. Having them both there meant they were able to capture the whole day without missing anything.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The florist provided mismatching vases of wild-looking flowers for the tables. My dad had cut circles of wood which we topped with my favourite candles which filled the tipis with my favourite smell (Bay and Rosemary), people took a candle home with them and everyone tells me that every time they smell the candle now it reminds them of our wedding.

We burnt the guests names into pieces of wood cut by my dad and made loads of grey, yellow and white pompoms to hang around the tipi. Mad Philomena made our wedding stationery and printed out our favourite album covers to use as our table names and on our seating plan.

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Santorini for a week of complete relaxation after a very hectic few weeks of planning.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | My Dad, Wayne and the ushers singing My Girl at the start of the speeches, they’d all learnt the words and my friend Matt had smuggled his guitar in to accompany them. I will never forget us both being lifted up on the dancefloor a la Dirty Dancing.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | You can’t plan a wedding on your own, its all about teamwork and using and understanding each others strengths and weaknesses. Remember why you are getting married in the first place and that if anything doesn’t work out exactly how you wanted it to it doesn’t really matter.

A word of advice for anyone who has an outdoor wedding is it will all be OK on the day and no matter what happens and what the weather you’ll make it work, if you are relaxed your guests will be too. If someone had told me that 3 days before the wedding (when we were setting the tipi up, wrapped up in a coat and wellies with rain pouring off the sides of the tipi and the field slowly becoming a mud bath, severe flood warning given out for the wedding day, the catering van getting stuck in the mud and 2 birds flying in the tipi) I wouldn’t have believed them but now we wouldn’t dream of doing anything differently.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photographer | Red on Blonde Photography

Bride and bridesmaid dresses  | By Justin Alexander from 7th heaven bridal in Congleton

Bride and bridesmaid hair and make up | Danielle Horan

Flowers | Campbell’s florist

Grooms suit hire  | Brigdens Derby

Musician and DJ both Darren Jones from DG music

Tipis | Peak Tipis

Bell tent | Tinkerbells 

Wedding stationery | Mad Philomena

Catering | Upper Crust Caterers

Beer and bar | Wincle Brewery

Last but not least Wayne’s mum Caroline for making the amazing cake | Caroline’s Cakery (on Facebook)

 

Such a wonderful day.

Thanks so very much to Wayne and Hannah for sharing their story with us today XOXO Lou

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DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/diy-dream-catcher-wedding-guest-book-tutorial.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/diy-dream-catcher-wedding-guest-book-tutorial.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:00:48 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127915 DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

Image by Carey Sheffield

 

For the WWW editorial shoot I really wanted to create something a little different for the guest book. The inspiration behind the shoot was nature, woodland and natural materials.

I felt this went hand in hand with a spiritual feel. So catching guests dreams for the married couple I thought would be a lovely sentiment.

Using natural materials I created this rustic dream catcher guest book, which can be used as a lovely keepsake post wedding too :-)

Here’s how to make it…

 

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

What You Need

 

Bendy branches/stems. I used Hazel foraged from the garden but you can try finding Willow too

Twine/string

Florist wire

Foraged dried seeds & blooms to decorate

Luggage tags or alternative for the notes

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Begin by bending your branch into shape.

I made 2 dream catchers one smaller than the other for a complimentary look. For a natural feel don’t worry about the shape being perfect.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Secure with florist wire.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Then cover with twine.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Next you need to make your dream catching centre.

Begin by tying your twine to your branch.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Then at intervals around the inside tie again to the branch.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book TutorialDIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Once you have completed one round of tying, tie knots with the same twine in the middle of each string from the first round. This pulls the first round of twine into a triangle shape.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Continue to do this until you reach the centre.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

And then tie off.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Now let’s make this catcher super pretty.

To go with the paired back look I used foraged dried blooms and seeds. You could add feathers, beads or any garlands of your choice.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Arrange into a layout you are happy with.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Then secure with florist wire and twine.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

To finish make a loop to hang your dream catcher using twine.

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

 

Now hang at your wedding and let your guests create their dreams for you.

Happy crafting lovelies XOXO Lou

 

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

Images by Carey Sheffield

DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial DIY Dream Catcher Wedding Guest Book Tutorial

Paper Flowers | Tissue Blossoms

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Wednesday Wedding Wonders. 26/11/2014 & The Winner of the Luxury Garter http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/wednesday-wedding-wonders-26112014-the-winner-of-the-luxury-garter.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/wednesday-wedding-wonders-26112014-the-winner-of-the-luxury-garter.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:00:01 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=128975 Fun Camping Country Outdoor Wedding http://www.frecklephotography.co.uk/

Image by Freckle Photography, full wedding here.

 

 

Hey there lovelies. How is it Wednesday again already? I have had a week of appointments, my yearly Coeliac check at hospital and the dentist. It’s all so fun hehe ;-) But on the up side, it’s less than a month until Christmas… woohooo. Christmas jumpers, fairy lights and mince pies at the ready. Who’s with me?

It’s time to share who the winner of that rather fabulous Luxury Wedding Garter from The Wedding Garter Co. is…

 

Michelle who said:

 

I’d really like ferret racing – what a giggle would that be and they’re so cute! Currently being vetoed by the other half…but there’s still time yet until June ’15 haha ;)

 

Hehe I just loved all of the answers, so much fun :-) Ferret racing should definitely be added to your day Michelle. Congratulations Michelle, keep an eye on your email inbox.

For those of you planning your weddings there is still so much inspiration out there right now, why not have a peek?

 

WWW”s Wedding of the Week

 

Bohemian Wedding with a Colorful Patterned Dress // Ahhh the dress!!

 

Classic Elegant London Wedding http://www.depict-photography.com/

Image by Depict Photography, full wedding here.

 

Intimate Wedding in the Woods

Vintage-Inspired Woodland Wedding

Brooklyn Wedding with Breathtaking Floral Design

A Wedding at an Old Power Station in Spain

Fun-Filled ‘Kids Party’ Wedding

Hannah & Jonny

 

Natural Beach Lavender Wedding http://hayleysavagephotography.co.uk/

Image by Hayley Savage Photography, full wedding here.

 

Mass Audubon Habitat & Wildlife Sanctuary Wedding

Vintage Springtime Northern California Wedding

All Natural Barn Wedding

Rustic Elegance at Holman Ranch

Melinda Bam & Adriaan Bergh’s forest, fairy-tale wedding

 

Happy wedding Wednesday XOXO Lou

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Quirky Vintage Campsite Outdoor Wedding http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/quirky-vintage-campsite-outdoor-wedding.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/quirky-vintage-campsite-outdoor-wedding.html#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 08:00:52 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127830 Quirky Campsite Outdoor Wedding http://www.lifelinephotography.co.uk/

 

Writing about a wedding I’d love to have been a guest at is always an utter pleasure. Great food, a charity bar plus plenty of fun and games and you are onto a winner.

Adam and Sarah tied the knot on the 21 June 2014 hosting their reception on a campsite, with a gorgeous marquee filled with pretty décor and camping for themselves and their guests.

Their whole day was about the relaxed atmosphere with so many lovely home made touches.

Sarah wore an original vintage 1950s dress while Adam went for a waistcoat and chinos with fun lego buttonholes. Eeekkk.

Thanks so very much to the wonderful Lifeline Photography for providing the photographs today.

 

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Adam once said a couple of years after we had been going out that 7 years of dating was the perfect time period for a proposal. I thought he was joking… he was however a man of his word! On our 7 year anniversary we were sat on the sofa and had just exchanged anniversary cards when he said ‘marry me?’. I said yes of course.

THE VISION | We are both very informal people and really wanted family and friends to come and celebrate our day in a relaxed way. The venue was a campsite and so this helped set the tone for the day, you can’t really do formal whilst camping!

We have a little boy who is 2 and a half, so the day also needed to be laid back so that he would enjoy the day as much as us. Food was also a major consideration for us, I always get hungry at weddings so I wanted a constant supply of food at ours!

THE PLANNING PROCESS | My brother and his family live in America so the wedding date was really set around them and my nieces school holidays. Once this was set we decided on the Church and found the venue. I spent a lot of my time on the internet looking at wedding blogs and Pinterest getting ideas which I would then run by Adam. The planning and researching was more time consuming than I thought it would be!

BUDGET | Ideally we wanted to keep the budget as low as possible but still achieve the look and day that we had dreamed about. We haven’t been brave enough to add it all up exactly but it cost approximately £10,000. It was crazy how it all adds up!! We were very lucky to have financial help from my parents and Aunty, without this we wouldn’t have had the day we did. We were sensible in what we spent and never broke our budget, we have had the wedding of our dreams but don’t have any debt from the day.

THE VENUE | We first found the Church which was my Mum’s suggestion. My Aunty had recently researched our family tree and had found a church that was linked to my maternal grandparents and their family. My great great grandparents were involved with the church and had paid for one of the stained glass windows, many of the family had tombs in the grounds. With this family link it seemed the perfect place to get married. And randomly enough it was about 10 miles away from where Adam grew up, he had actually attended a wedding there when he was younger.

We really wanted an outside reception, with a marquee. I one day thought ‘where has flat areas of grass?’ and I thought of campsites! I googled campsites in the area and a few options came up, I then saw the perfect place. It was a campsite in a wood, so beautiful a setting. It is owned by the girl guides and used for their camps. I rang the lady who runs the site and discussed if we could use it. It was a random request and not one that they would normally do but after some discussion with their committee (and some anxious few weeks waiting) they very kindly said yes! We then actually visited the site and saw it in person and it was more gorgeous than we could imagine. We knew it was perfect for our wedding day.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was vintage, we think from 1958. It was bought from Abigail’s vintage bridal, the most amazing place if you love vintage. Abigail tailored the dress to me and we made it a different length from the original. The veil was made by my Mum. My jewellery was loaned to me by my Mum too, the earrings were hers and the necklace was my Granny’s. My shoes were from Debenhams and were a bargain in their sale. I wanted shoes that I wouldn’t have to worry about ruining in the field! Later in the evening I changed to flip-flops so that I could dance in comfort.

FINDING THE DRESS | I had obsessively been ‘pinning’ dress ideas on Pinterest for a few months so had a good idea of the styles I liked. I always imagined myself in a vintage dress as I love to wear vintage usually when I dress up for occasions. I googled vintage bridal wear and found the wonderful Abigail’s vintage bridal. It was only an hour away from where I live and so I planned a trip with my Mum to see what there was.

I was in heaven going there and wanted to try on everything! Abigail was amazing at picking out dresses, I love the 50′s silhouette and so this was the look we tried. I think I tried on about 8 dresses and it came down to two dresses that caught our eye. Abigail was fab and let us take photo’s of me in the dresses. We couldn’t decide in the appointment and so went home to think about it. However, 10 minutes later once we were sat down for lunch we looked at the photo’s and knew that my dress was my dress! I phoned Abigail straight away and reserved it.

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Being that our wedding was going to be very informal once the Church service was completed Adam didn’t want a traditional suit but he still had to look smart. He had always said that he wanted to get married wearing converse trainers and so his look started there. His other obsession is Chino trousers from Gap so these were also incorporated. The look then just developed. Shirt and waistcoat’s were chosen. Adam found the waistcoats whilst on a work trip to Scotland, they were from the Edinburgh Wool Company. Ties were from ASOS and belts from H&M.

Adam wanted all his boys to be dressed the same. He had three best-men so they were all matching, same clothes as him but different colours. The two ushers were also dressed in the same but again a different colour.

People doubted our choice when we showed them pictures of what we were planning, but we stuck to ours guns and knew it would look good. We think people agreed with us on the day!! We were both really happy with the look we achieved and Adam felt smart but relaxed at the same time.

The boys button holes were mini Lego characters that we chose to match their personality or interests.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to ‘These arms of mine’ by Otis Reading. One of my favourite songs of all time. Definitely not traditional and the vicar had never heard of it before!

We had two readings, one read by a close friend which was Apache Wedding Blessing, and one by Adam’s dad, which was a Psalm about love.

Again we choose a non traditional song to leave the church to, it was from one of our favourite movies, 500 days of summer. ‘You make my dreams come true’ by Hall and Oates.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my best friend from school Kate and my niece Chloe. My lovely Mum used her talents here again and made their dresses. We went to Liberty for the fabric which was so pretty, they had the same print but each in a different colour. My Mum had a challenge as Kate lives 3 hours from her so they had one fitting before the dress was made, and Chloe’s fitting happened via skype as she lives in America! Luckily the dresses both fit perfectly, phew!!

THE FLOWERS | I had no idea where to start with flowers, so again Pinterest was my saviour. I looked for flowers that I liked and had a relaxed feel to them. The look that I wanted was that someone had picked them during a countryside walk, daisy’s were the main flower for this look. I ordered them from a local florist and some were also picked from the hedgerow the day before the wedding. We had a fun few hours arranging all the flowers ourselves into the bouquets and also the church and table flowers. We used tin cans with the labels removed for the vases, some lovely friends ate a lot of bean and tinned peaches for us to gather so many!

THE CAKE | Neither myself or Adam like traditional wedding fruit cake and our favourite cake is Victoria sponge, so this is how we chose the type of cake to eat. A local café catered for our afternoon tea and they made the most gorgeous Victoria sponge ever! We decided on a ‘naked’ cake, simply decorating with some little edible daisy’s I found whilst in Lakeland plastics.

We had a few people at the wedding that can’t eat dairy so my Mum and her friend made a dairy free smaller cake for the top so that everyone could enjoy the cake.

My lovely friend Lisa-Marie made our wedding toppers. She makes them out of little wooden pegs and was the only person I showed photo’s of my dress to so that she could make them to look just like us. She also used off cuts from my dress so that my mini-me really was dressed the same! They are now such a lovely memento of the day.

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Ah, the wonderful Hannah from Lifeline Photography and her fab assistant Jen.

Initially we weren’t going to have a photographer, and it wasn’t until we were at a friends wedding 2 months before ours that I changed my mind. We were watching our friends having their photo’s taken and I whispered to Adam that I thought we should have one too!

I didn’t know where to start to look for a photographer. I tried googling people but no one seemed to be right. I was then reading a wedding blog and saw some gorgeous photo’s. I emailed this photographer to ask if she as available. She was already booked but she kindly sent us some names of people she knew were free. Hannah was the person she recommended. I checked out Hannah’s website and knew she was the one! She had such an amazing style to her photo’s and said that she loves a quirky wedding (which we knew ours would be!). We then had a skype chat with her and arranged a date for a pre wedding shoot.

Hannah instantly made us both feel relaxed having our photo’s taken and we had such a laugh on the practise shoot we couldn’t wait to see her again for the big day.

On the day Hannah came to photo me getting ready and her assistant Jen photographed Adam and the boys. It was lovely to capture this side of the day too. They worked so hard the whole day and well into the night, and so many of our guests have told us how lovely they were.

I can’t describe how happy we are with the photo’s that they took, they captured the feeling of the day so well and we are now able to re-live the day again and again by looking at the photo’s.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The wedding really just formed it’s self with one plan leading to another until it all came together. We kept the day relaxed by inviting everyone to every part of the day, having no seating plan or formal sit down dinner and making the first dance one which everyone had to dance which got the party atmosphere started.

The church service was the most traditional part of the day, we had a slightly eccentric vicar, but this has added to the fun of the day and it was although it was definitely not like any wedding service we had attended before we wouldn’t change a thing!

We had a fabulous ‘capri marquee’ from a local company. Adam had always talked of having a separate dance floor and with this type of marquee we were able to achieve this dream. Adam did a fab job of decorating the dance tent with our collection of Christmas fairy lights, who knew we had so many!

We had no proper colour scheme initially but over time this developed into pale pink, blue, green and yellow’s. My Mum had some bunting that she had made for a friends daughters wedding so we used this. I then became obsessed with a pom-pom maker and for the couple of weeks leading up to the wedding this is how I spent my evenings. I wasn’t really too sure how I was going to use them until I got into the marquee and we suspended them between the poles on fishing line, they looked amazing. We also found some paper honeycomb decoration from Sainsbury’s, I learnt you have to keep your eyes open everywhere for ideas and buy things when you see them. I hired some festoon lights which were so pretty and these were strung between the trees.

We didn’t do wedding favours but on each table there were dishes containing dolly mix, marshmallows and flying saucers. Flowers were in tin cans and we also had tea lights in smaller tins cans drilled with holes.

Being that we have a little boy and there were lots of children coming to the day we had various garden games set up, a football net and bubble machine to keep the little ones happy. They also had the bouncy castle to keep them entertained, this was one of the best decisions we made, it kept the kids entertained as well as the adults. I forgot how tiring they are!

On arrival we had bubbles and afternoon tea, yummy sandwiches and scones. As there was no seating plan and people chose where to sit down, most people sat at the tables, but some sat on the grass or with the children as it was such a sunny day. We had 1940′s music in the background, and also my favourite Amelie soundtrack. We served tea and coffee in old china my Mum had collected from charity shops.

Afternoon tea led to the evening dinner which was a hog roast. This was delicious and there was so much that everyone could have seconds. We had some bottles of wine on the tables for people to help themselves to and we also had a charity bar. We had bought all the alcohol and sold it super-cheap with all the money going to a charity that our friends work for in Uganda. We over bought on alcohol but had a sale or return with Majestic wine, so could just take back what we didn’t use and get our money back.

We changed the background music to more upbeat tunes. Pudding was the arrival of the fabulous Betsy – a vintage ice-cream van. There was all you can eat ice cream and sweeties (a big hit with the kiddies).

We then had our first dance – ‘You never can tell’ by Chuck Berry from Pulp Fiction. We made everyone dance with us as we really didn’t want to do a first dance. It was so much fun and really got the party started. We then had made a playlist, covering all time periods and music styles, so everyone came onto the dance floor for at least a song. This disco went late into the night.

Later in the evening we cut the cake and also served cheese and biscuits. Not much of this got eaten as people had really filled up earlier in the day. I think that we did over order on the food but I really didn’t want to run out and have hungry guest, plus we had great leftovers for the next day to feed the hangovers!

Lots of friends camped on the site so when the night ended we could all roll into bed. We also had a fire-pit which we sat around chatting until the early hours. Adam and I stayed in our wonderful bell-tent on site, along with my niece as she had never camped before!

The next morning we all woke with birds and made cups of tea and ate cold hog roast rolls and left over cake. Mid morning my family arrived and cooked up a million bacon sarnies.. again the sun shone and it was a lovely start to married life. Friend and family were also so much help with the clear up process.

THE HONEYMOON | We are currently in the process of moving house and so to us this is the honeymoon.. moving to our new family home as a married couple is the best honeymoon I could wish for.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There are so many. Our wedding day was truly the best day ever and we both loved every minute of it. I really wish I could go back in time and do it all again. Only I would eat and drink more, I didn’t seem to do much of either!

Looking around and seeing the day we created and knowing it was exactly what we wanted was perfect, and seeing all our family and friends laughing and smiling made it even more wonderful.

I think my most favourite moment was on the dance floor late into the night, crazy dancing with friends and my cheeks hurting from smiling so much.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Stick to your ideas and have the day that you dreamed of. Don’t worry if people think your idea’s are a little strange or unusual, trust in your instincts.

Don’t worry about the weather. We had a rain plan but were very lucky not to have to use it. But I actually didn’t get stressed by the weather as it really is the one thing that you have no control over and worrying is not going to change it.

If you haven’t already, create a Pinterest account!!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Dress | Abigail’s Vintage Bridal

Photographer | Hannah at Lifeline Photography

Hair and Makeup | Liv Free

Cake and afternoon team | 28ploughhill

Hog roast | Saxby Rare Breeds

Ice cream van | Betsy Bedford (search for Betsy Bedford on Facebook).

Marquee | Undercover Agents

 

Stunning.

Huge thanks to Adam and Sarah for sharing their brilliant wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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Family Festival Wedding in the Welsh Countryside http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/family-festival-wedding-in-the-welsh-countryside.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/family-festival-wedding-in-the-welsh-countryside.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:00:51 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127785 Family Festival Wedding http://www.sarahjanesphotography.co.uk/

 

Having two children Sarah and Duncan wanted to involve their little ones and have a family friendly wedding day. They chose to marry on the 31st May 2014 at the Tower Hill Barns in Wales. With a love of festivals they decided to have a lovefest theme with an explosion of fun.

There were games for the guests, live music and home made touches galore.

Sarah donned a gorgeous Justin Alexander gown while Duncan wore a tartan waistcoat. I just adore this bride and groom :-)

Thanks so much to the amazing Sarah Janes Photography for sharing her imagery today.

 

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Well it took long enough-12 years to be precise! It finally happened at Dunham Massey (National Trust ) over a picnic. I knew something was up-he had been acting very suspicious for a couple of weeks and I said to my mother he is either going to propose or he is having an affair! I think I knew him a bit too well after 12 years and two children together lol. He did it all properly though -getting down on one knee e.t.c and he was actually very nervous! He proposed with an austerity ring (a toilet engaged sign to be precise which caused a lot of giggles when I sent everyone the photo!) because he knew I would want to choose my own.

THE VISION | Most importantly we have two gorgeous young boys so I knew I wanted it to involve them and be something in which they could feel fully part of mummy and daddy’s special day and remember forever. We have been together since University so we didn’t want anything too formal – and we have had lots of fun over the years attending festivals so the festival theme seemed to fit in perfectly with the relaxed, fun , family feel that we wanted. Gwyl O Gariad (Lovefest).

THE PLANNING PROCESS | Took quite a while! There is a very practical reason why people get married before children – they don’t leave you with much spare time! It took two years in-between work and them to plan, source, make things and save the money to fulfil the vision of the perfect family festival wedding for us.

BUDGET | We did not want to spend an extortionate amount of money-again because of the children and so we set a sensible budget of approximately £10,000. Our parents kindly paid for the hire of the barn and marquee and the food.

THE VENUE | Even now typing about it, it makes me feel quite emotional to think about the venue because it took my breath away when I first walked up to the barn. I felt such a connection with the building and the setting. I knew I wanted to get married in Wales and this was just the perfect Welsh festival venue, surrounded by views of the beautiful Welsh countryside and I knew it would create the most perfect atmosphere for our day. We hired the marquee just in case of rain and to give us that bit more space.

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My mum made my headpiece – it was exquisite and was a far superior and personal piece that cost a fraction of a really expensive one I liked in Chester (although of course the time she put in making it and the sentimental value it now has to me is now priceless). We also bought plain coffee coloured peep toe shoes from the highstreet and blinged them up ourselves with blue feathers, pearls and lace. My mum also made my garter to tie in with shoes. My necklace was a Clogau Welsh gold necklace which my chief bridesmaid gave to me on the morning of the wedding off Duncan. I wore my nan’s pearl earrings to remind me of her on the day.

FINDING THE DRESS | Was actually not that hard! I knew there might be mud (festival..Wales…) so I didn’t want a long dress. I wanted some colour rather than a white dress and after two kids the fifties style dress seemed to be the most flattering option! This Justin Alexander dress just seemed made for our wedding style and me!

GROOM’S ATTIRE | Where do I begin! The tartan you can see Dunc wearing is the family’s tartan and we actually went up to the Isle of Skye to get it! We also had flat caps made for the children and the men in the wedding party had skinny ties too. Duncan’s dad wore the real kilt!

THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked in to the ceremony to Romeo and Juliet’s ‘Kissing You’ by Desree – I first heard this when Dunc and I got together and put it on a mix tape when he went travelling for a month when he finished Uni. Following the ceremony we exited to Bruno Mars Marry You to kick off the festival feeling. My nephew read Purple Ronnie’s – How to be a good husband which caused lots of laughs, Wendy (my mother in law) read ‘The Day the Saucer’s Came’ by Neil Gaiman which was humorous but with a lovely serious ending. My mum read ‘Union’ by Robert Fulman which was emotional and my little sister read an excerpt from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin by Robert de Bernieres and was perfect for a couple that have already been together for so many years.

We asked the guests to list a song request on their invitation replies and we played these throughout the day (startrek featured on the playlist at some point…) in between the live music. We had an acoustic duo in the day for the chilled festival feel and the five piece band in the evening also got to play outside due to the amazing weather which really got the party started. We then partied late into the night to a live D.J in the barn.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My two sisters and my best friend Jade were my bridesmaids. My nieces and our god-daughter completed the entourage as our beautiful flower fairies.

THE FLOWERS | My mum made the table centre flower arrangement using meadow flowers and the bouquets and flower fairy wands were made in a little local shop near home – I wanted the flower arrangements to use wild flowers rather than hot house flowers and my bouquet also included some thistles.

THE CAKE | A cheese cake – we love cheese and red wine! My mum knitted the mice to go on top of the cake which I absolutely adore

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Sarah knew we wanted a relaxed approach to the wedding photography and she captured the feel of the wedding extremely well. Neither of us particularly like having our photo taken and even so she managed to capture some lovely candid shots of the two of us.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Wendy made all the bunting – bloomin masses of the stuff and it looked amazing hanging up everywhere on the day. We had an ice-cream bike in the afternoon (what’s a festival without ice-cream!). Instead of an order of service I made festival lanyards which outlined the events of the day in the different areas. The ladies had a welsh love spoon for their favours and the men had a Scottish hip flask complete with whisky! We collected stones from meaningful beaches to us all over the country for the stone balancing activity, the invites were made to look like tickets to a festival

THE HONEYMOON | We had two – the grown up version was to Glastonbury – what else would you expect for a festival wedding! Bloody awesome (glamping of course – no dodgy tents). The family honeymoon was with the kids to Feuterventura this summer holidays for two weeks – where we swam with sea lions and did a Jeep safari across a desert!) – equally awesome.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | So many! My eldest son walking me up the aisle, then reading an emotional and personal poem to us during the speeches, my youngest with a grin on his face and having the best day ever every time I looked at him, all the evening guests jumping up and down with us and rocking out when our friend Sam joined the band and sang the last song of the evening – bloody brilliant (Bon Jovi-Living on a Prayer ), taking moments in the day to look round and seeing kids on space hoppers, playing with bubbles and rolling down hills, the welly wanging competition, doing our first dance at sunset outside to Al Green sung by the band far too many… the whole day was memorable and I will always think of it as the best day of our lives after the birth’s of our children.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | I did not think after so many year’s together that getting married would feel much different, but on the day I felt really emotional and it really has completed our little family – the icing on the cake really! My advice would be to just do it, and do it in your own time, in your own way!

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Dress | Justin Alexander 4865 – I am actually selling this if anyone is interested

Venue | Tower Hill Barns, Trevor, LLangollen

Food | Cookin’good

Cake | Chester Cheese Shop

Band | Universal Exports Band

DJ | D.J Steveodee (facebook)

Flowers | Stems Florist Buckley

Photographer | Sarah Janes Photography

Ice Cream Bike | Isabelle’s Ices 

Music playlists | We used spotify and found all the weird and wonderful requests made by the guests and also our own favourite tunes to be played http://open.spotify.com/user/jdgm79/playlist/1YbyZSBEO6VnmIO4OYvcdX if you want a listen!

 

How gorgeous?! Love those space hoppers.

Thanks so very much to Sarah and Duncan for sharing their brilliant wedding with us here at WWW XOXO Lou

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Natural Beach & Boat Trip Lavender Filled Wedding http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/natural-beach-boat-trip-lavender-filled-wedding.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/natural-beach-boat-trip-lavender-filled-wedding.html#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:00:26 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127667 Natural Beach Lavender Wedding http://hayleysavagephotography.co.uk/

Katie and Ian were married back in the summer on Friday 27th June 2014 beside the sea in Dorset. The sun shone as they treated their guests to a boat trip and a visit to a special beach hut (be sure to read the full report below).

They wanted to create a really natural and simple day. They chose to have pretty florals including bunches of lavender for the bridesmaids who wore grey frocks; a total delight.

I adore this bride and groom’s stylish attire and the fun beach themed cake. Amazing.

Thanks so very much to the fabulous Hayley Savage Photography for sharing her photographs this morning.

 

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THE PROPOSAL | Ian proposed to me at Mudeford Beach (near Christchurch in Dorset), he knows it is my favourite place as my Grandma had lived nearby there while I was growing up and I have so many happy memories of the area. Ian booked a beach hut for the night (number 84) and proposed to me after a bbq with champagne while the sun went down over the harbour. It was the most romantic & perfect proposal (he did good!) We decided to take all of our friends over to Mudeford beach on our wedding day to show them our special place.

THE VISION | We wanted our wedding day to be very natural, I am not really into blingy things and I think that simple is sometimes far more beautiful. We wanted a day that everyone would remember that included all of our favourite places.

We were married in a church in New Milton and from there our guests were taken on a coach over to Mudeford Quay (10 minutes drive). To get across to Mudeford sandbank (the beach) we took our guests on a 2 minute ferry ride. At the beach we enjoyed celebratory drinks and a little snack for an hour (complimentary lunch bags provided by the bride and groom). From the beach we took our guests on a 20 minute boat ride over to Christchurch, where we saw swans and horses along the way, then we had a lovely river walk to get from the harbour to the hotel where our reception was being held. Cocktails and canapés were served on the lawn with the view of the beautiful castle ruins before being seated for a 3 course meal in The Kings Hotel.

THE PLANNING PROCESS |  We set the date for the wedding in Nov 2013 so I had 7 months to plan the day. It took a lot more time to do everything than I had first expected as I wanted to make a lot of things for the wedding myself (adding to the natural look). I really enjoyed the whole process – wish I could do it all over again!

BUDGET |  Our budget was around the 12k mark. We only had what we could save in the time during the planning period as we didn’t want to start married life with debt hanging over us and we had just bought our first home together (luckily had some help from the family too). We managed to do everything (apart from the honeymoon) within the budget. It just goes to show you can have an amazing day without spending 20k + which is what most people seem to be spending now.

THE VENUE |  We had our wedding reception at The Kings Hotel in Christchurch. This is a beautiful hotel that overlooks a lovely green with old castle ruins, a gorgeous church and a pavilion (very picturesque). This is the place my grandma used to take me to feed the ducks when I was little so again it has a wonderful sentimental attachment for me. I feel emotional every time I visit the area as it is such a special place. How funny that when I was a little girl I had no idea I would be walking down the same river path as a bride one day!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I fell in love with a slightly vintage style lace dress with a beautiful low back and a small train. I knew in my head that I didn’t want a typical strapless, corset top, princess style dress. I wanted something with straps that was classy and elegant and would also fit with the style of the day. My dream dress was so comfortable and light – perfect for the beach and the boat trips!

FINDING THE DRESS |  I hated every single part of dress shopping until I had found ‘the dress’. I knew in my head what I wanted but I just couldn’t find it anywhere! The first time I went dress shopping I left feeling so deflated and even went home with a migraine! I felt sure I was never going to find what I wanted. Most girls love this part of the wedding preparations but I was definite about what I didn’t want that I had to search through quite a few shops before I found anything I liked ….. It is so so worth it when you find the right one though!

GROOM’S ATTIRE |  Ian wanted to wear a blue suit for the wedding; he wanted something a little different from the usual navy, gray or black wedding suits you see. It was only fair that Ian should choose his own outfit (instead of the bride completely taking over). I was really pleased with what he chose and I thought he looked very handsome. The suits were from Next so they were really reasonably priced and now he can wear it again in the future whenever he has a fancy event to go to.

THE READINGS & MUSIC | As we had a catholic wedding we chose 2 readings from the bible which Ian’s sister Nicola and his best man Steve (1 of 4 best men) read. We also asked my bridesmaids Nicki and our niece Alexa to read some bidding prayers for us – Alexa really did us proud and she was so brave to stand up in front of 75 people to read for us!

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I asked my sister and my 3 best friends to be bridesmaids as well as my 3 nieces and our nephew as page boy. They all looked so beautiful on the day – I couldn’t have got through the day without them all there to support me! The little bridesmaids looked especially gorgeous!

THE FLOWERS | We ordered our flowers from ‘Beyond the Gate’ florists in Christchurch. We wanted very natural country style flowers – nothing too fancy, I just wanted them to look as though they had been swept up out of a meadow and gathered together (nothing to staged or stiff looking). The bridesmaids had a simple bunch of lavender (my favourite) and it looked so lovely with their pastel grey dresses. Alwyn at the florists listened to exactly what I wanted and prepared the flowers beautifully for us.

THE CAKE | Ian’s sister Nicola made our wedding cake for us (it was absolutely amazing). She themed it around the beach hut that Ian proposed in …. it couldn’t have been more perfect and it tasted fabulous too!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our Photographer (Hayley Savage) was absolutely fantastic. Hayley worked so so hard to ensure that we had all of the shots we wanted on the day. I am so impressed with the pictures we have received, it leaves us with such wonderful memories of the day! Every time I look through the pictures I feel like I am reliving the whole day all over again. Hayley captured the atmosphere so well! We ran massively over schedule but Hayley didn’t desert us, she stuck with it and stayed until she was sure she had all of the pictures we needed.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The décor for the church was pretty simple , we had small bunches of flowers (hung in pots) and white wicker hearts hung on the end of the aisles. All the flowers we bought from a garden centre and arranged by my mum and the hearts were about £6 each so you don’t need to spend a fortune to make your ceremony look beautiful. At the venue we had a beautiful bunch of flowers (prepared by the florist) on each table, handmade favours, bunting, a sweet table and a homemade photo booth for the guests to enjoy. I was really impressed with the way it all came together and the room looked so beautiful on the day!

THE HONEYMOON | We went to Santorini and Mykonos for our honeymoon and had the most amazing time. It was just as we planned, very relaxing, lots of greek food and a little bit of partying too (which resulted in Ian getting a drunken ‘Katie’ tattoo on his chest he he).

MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The most memorable moment for me was reaching the top of the aisle and seeing Ian’s teary eyes. It overwhelmed me with emotion! I had told him before hand that if he didn’t cry I would pinch him really hard but I didn’t need to … it turns out that seeing his bride was enough to set him off.

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t let anyone pressurise you into planning a day that is not right for you, you should have the day of your dreams in a place that is special to you both. Keep things simple and don’t blow your budget on unnecessary things. On the day all you actually care about is getting married to the person you love – all the other silly little bits and bobs that you think are important during the planning stage are so irrelevant when the day comes. Take a moment together whenever you can to step back and look at the day you have made, look at your guests enjoying themselves and soak it in. It goes so so fast you feel like you dreamt the whole thing!

Let your other half get involved if he/she wants to but if they are like my Ian then double check what they have done afterwards to avoid the risk of shock or heart failure at a later date.

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |

Photography | Hayley Savage Photography

Flowers | Beyond the Gate

Venue | The Kings Hotel 

 

Just perfect.

Thanks so very much to Katie and Ian for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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MurrayMe. Beautiful Hand Painted Wedding & Celebration Cakes. http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/murrayme-beautiful-hand-painted-wedding-celebration-cakes.html http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2014/11/murrayme-beautiful-hand-painted-wedding-celebration-cakes.html#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/?p=127651 Hand Painted Floral Peach White Wedding Cake MurrayMe

Image by Aphroditenet Photography 

 

If you are feeling a little peckish this afternoon then you are in for a real treat. It’s all about the cake.

I am thrilled to welcome the brilliant MurrayMe Cakes as one of WWW’s newest sponsors.

MurrayMe Cakes create the most striking pieces of art work painted straight onto scrumptious cake. Perfect for weddings and celebrations, their cakes make a huge impact. Whether you’d like to bake your own cake and get it decorated for you or let MurrayMe Cakes take over the whole bake and design; there is an option for every couple…

 

Hi Natalie, could you firstly tell WWW readers a little bit about you?

 

My name’s Natalie and I’m a 29 year old wedding obsessive who’s trained in graphic design and illustration. Alongside running MurrayMe where I design gorgeous hand painted wedding cakes, I continue to work as a freelance graphic designer. I am an all round creative person, and love nothing more than making beautiful things.

 

I am based near Brighton in Sussex, so spend much of my spare time wandering along the seafront with my lovely hubby and gorgeous new baby boy.

 

Bird Wedding Cake Painted MurrayMe

 

What do you love/dislike about your job?

 

I have the best job in the world. Not only do I work with cake (any girls dream), I also get to use my artistic skills on a daily basis. I simply love painting and drawing – I’m lucky enough to do this and bake as part of my job, so I can’t think of a better way to make my living. My favourite thing about working as a cake designer is seeing the look on a couples face when they see their cake for the first time. It’s a true honour to be able to create a part of someone’s wedding day. I feel so lucky to be doing that.

 

There really isn’t much I dislike about my job, except maybe missing human interaction every now and then. I can go for days without leaving my computer or kitchen, which probably isn’t too healthy.

 

Cath Kidston Cake Wedding Party Painted MurrayMe

 

How did you get into the wedding industry?

 

I got married a few years ago and being a designer and illustrator, I made practically everything for our big day. It was very much a DIY affair. Once the wedding was over, I was really sad that I would no longer be working on anything wedding-related. So, regardless of already being married, I continued to read the dozens of wedding blogs that had taken up my lunch breaks for the previous 2 years, and one day I came across an article on hand painted wedding cakes. I couldn’t believe that I had never seen these before! I was gutted that I hadn’t stumbled across it earlier as I could have painted my own wedding cake.

 

As soon as I read the article, I knew instantly that this was the perfect job for me. I’d get to continue working in the amazing world of weddings, creating dream wedding cakes for couples whilst using my creative skills in a completely unique way. I did a lot of research and found only a handful of people that were painting their cakes which didn’t surprise me. After all, it’s quite a specialist skill so I knew that I was onto a winner.

 

Swallow Rose Wedding Cake Painted MurrayMe

 

What do you aim to achieve for your clients?

 

Because I offer such a unique service, my number one aim is to create a ‘WOW’ moment when their guests first see the cake. All couples want is to impress their guests, and my cakes certainly provide a talking point at every wedding.

 

Hand Painted Wedding Cake MurrayMe

What style is your work?

 

Everything I do is either hand painted or hand drawn. I never use stencils or airbrushes. Vintage floral designs are the most popular and these are my favourite to design too.

 

 

Farm Tree Wedding Cake Painted MurrayMe

 

Could you tell us some information about your packages/prices?

 

I always price my cakes individually, and this is because every cake order is unique. My prices are not only based on the size and flavour of the cake, but also on the complexity of the design. If someone wants a very intricate design, then the cost will be higher than something very simple. It’s all down to the amount of time it takes me to paint, and I never overcharge my customers unnecessarily. As a rough guide, a price for a three tier wedding cake costs between £350 and £800.

 

Flower Painted Wedding Party Cake MurrayMe

 

Do you have any tips for couples in selecting their wedding cake?

 

I always tell people that when choosing your wedding cake, it’s really important that your personality shines through in the design. Long gone are the days where you had to have a traditional iced white cake covered with sugar paste roses. There are so many more options today, so don’t settle for a bog standard cake. Go for that real wow factor.

 

I often get contacted by couples having a small wedding who think they must have an equally small wedding cake. But you can still have a big show-stopping cake no matter what the size of your wedding. We offer to decorate ‘dummy’ tiers which are just blocks of polystyrene, iced and decorated as though they were real cake (you really wouldn’t know the difference!). You’d have these as your bottom tiers, and you can have a real cake as the top tier for cutting and eating. This keeps costs down and means you won’t have any wasted cake. Most importantly, you can still have a super impressive cake for your big day even if you’re having an intimate affair.

 

Hand Painted Cake Step by Step MurrayMe

 

How can we get in touch with you?

 

The best way to contact me is by email. This can be done through my website or contact me directly by emailing natalie@murrayme.co.uk.

When emailing me for a quote, it’s really handy to provide me with as much information about your cake as possible, such as the number of people it needs to feed, flavours and fillings, the date of your wedding, and any ideas you have for your painted design.

 

Hand Painted Rose Cupcake Wedding MurrayMe

 

How fascinating to see the painting in progress.

Thanks so much to Natalie for sharing all about her gorgeous cakes with us today. Do pop by her site to see even more of her wonderful designs XOXO Lou

 

Website: MurrayMe Cakes

Twitter: @murraymedesigns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/murraymedesigns

 

Vintage China Willow Pattern Wedding Cake Painted MurrayMe

 

* MurrayMe Cakes is a Whimsical Wonderland Weddings sponsor.

 

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