Strolling hand in hand, newly married and about to party the night away has to be one of the best feelings ever. Fact. This lovely pair had mega watt smiles all day and it’s no wonder. They married in the most beautiful woodland, beneath the canopy of trees in a hand fasting ceremony surrounded by their nearest and dearest. The ceremony was super personal and surely that’s what it’s all about guys?
WWW readers Heidi and Dave tied the knot on the 13th August 2016 at Yew Tree Lakes in East Sussex. The venue was perfect for their informal woodland wedding vision, with a gorgeous field available for their tipi reception too. Plus their guests were able to camp over for extended celebrations and breakfast the following day. Their style was relaxed, rustic and vintage. Dave encapsulated the Peaky Blinders look with braces and a bow tie, while Heidi chose a beaded Jenny Packham number with flowers in her hair.
I so love the florals used throughout, mismatched bridesmaid frocks, live music and the festoon lights by WWW fave Fleur De Lace, which lit up the evening in style.
Many thanks to Steven Anthony Photography for sharing these really rather splendid shots.
THE PROPOSAL | I thought we were just having a weekend away as we had both been busy at work. Dave hired a yurt and we went for a walk to Poohsticks bridge. Something nobody tells you, there are no sticks near Poohsticks bridge. It has been ravaged. After 20 minutes of looking for a stick I was fully engrossed in a game, then I turned round and Dave was on one knee! I swore, then cried, said yes, then found some whisky.
THE VISION | We wanted an informal woodland wedding, with all the people we love having fun. We both love festivals and wanted to create that feel for the evening. Another key part was having free camping for the guests so that attending wouldn’t break the bank, but also so we could all meet up in the morning.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I work well in chaos. We did it all in 4 months from finding the venue and it was a whirlwind, but it helped us to make decisions quickly, and not dwell on little things. The main important things were loved ones, food and booze. Dave kept saying ‘it doesn’t matter, as long as we get married’ and you can’t really argue with that.
BUDGET | We are normally so good at cost-cutting, but it’s really hard when you are wedding planning. You have to decide what’s important to you. We did a lot ourselves and friends and family helped a lot by making things.
THE VENUE | Finding a field with a bit of woodland took some time, but when we found Yew Tree Lakes we knew it was the right place. There were deer running around, bees living in the meadow and the view of the lake from the top of the hill was stunning. We went to see a tipi at an open day and I just really loved the space. TIPI COMPANY were awesome, they include everything at a set price and helped with so many extras.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was by Jenny Packham. I wanted flowers in my hair, so our florist made them for me and the bridesmaids. I wore a vintage necklace that my mum gave me. My shoes were flat sandals from Office, I was slightly terrified of tripping in the woods.
FINDING THE DRESS | I love clothes shopping, but found it really hard to find my dress. As I was limited on time, this meant I was shopping for samples, but this actually helped to cut down the choices! I tried on a fair few and White Mischief in Henfield were so patient with me, it was a lovely experience to buy my dress there. When I tried it on, I just loved the way it felt and moved, and to top it off it had a bit of bling on it! The seamstress was amazing, moving all the beading and taking it down to my size. I still love that dress and the way I felt in it. My veil was from Leonie Claire Bridal who were also so friendly and let me be my indecisive self.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dave’s three-piece suit was from Topman. He’d been watching a lot of Peaky Blinders so it was vintage themed, with braces for him and all the ushers!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Karlina our celebrant met us in a Brighton pub and talked us through different things we could do. She came to our flat and listened to our stories and then wrote a very moving ceremony for us, that felt so personal to us. She was brilliant. We asked Dave’s sister and Dad to do readings as it was important to us that they played a part in the wedding. I walked down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by George Harrison and frightened my friend Tom by asking him to press play! Tom later turned into DJ TPAT and delivered a fine set of songs for the evening. We also had a Ceilidh which was great fun!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I asked my sisters Saffa and Zara, and my friend Catherine to be my bridesmaids. I wanted them to pick their own dresses but kind of match in colour palette. Catherine and I were shopping in Bristol and went in Harvey Nichols for a laugh as we knew we couldn’t afford any of it, but both like looking at beautiful things. Catherine found her Samsoe & Samsoe dress in there and it looked amazing. I never thought I would buy anything in Harvey Nicks! They had one other left in the shop that was Zara’s size and she liked it too so it felt like it was meant to be. Saffa found her dress in Monsoon and she looked so beautiful. My brother Benji was like a ‘Best Brother’ as well as being an usher, he drove me around the day before and came to get my nails done, and didn’t complain once.
THE FLOWERS | The lady in Highgate Florists saved me! I had sent a few pictures of the top table display, buttonholes and hair flowers, but wandered in there the day before the wedding stressed, sweaty and confused. She gave me loads of gyp for the jam jars on the table, took the lavender off her wall décor for the table settings and totally calmed me down! She had two beautiful dogs in the shop which definitely helped.
THE CAKE | Dave’s brother is a chef at Tilney Hall, he offered to make a cake and I knew I wanted a naked cake. It was half naked, so it would keep for a bit longer, but it was gone within the hour! We asked Dave’s mum to do a small vegan cake, and she baked 5 cakes! They were all beautiful though.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Steve, from Steven Anthony Photography was amazing. From the moment we first talked to him, he puts your mind at rest as he’s so professional. He was a true pro, in the run up and on the big day itself. His calm, methodical and friendly approach really helped ease our nerves. And the main thing… his photos are phenomenal! We couldn’t be happier with them. Looking through them made us relive the amazingness of the day. The special moments he captured of our family and friends will be cherished for many years to come. Highly recommended!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My sister Saffa and I made giant pom poms and my friend Becky made a lot of leaves. These turned into giant vines to hang from the top of the tipi. Saffa also designed beautiful bee themed wedding invites and Cat made a giant H and a giant D and covered them in fairy lights. I had jokingly asked her for some, but never thought she’s be able to make them! The rest was fairly simple as I loved the tipi’s any way, so lots of fairy lights. We made orangutan cookies as when we went to Borneo we visited a place funded by the Sumatran Orangutan Society and so our favour money was donated to them. A lot of our friends decorated the day before and I was well impressed at how Cat took one pinterest photo I had shown her and decorated the tables without me there. It was like she had looked in my head.
THE HONEYMOON | We are off to Sri Lanka on Tuesday! Turtles and tea!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | ‘Gardening the forest’ with Tom and Cat the day before, we pruned nettles while Tom swept the forest floor. Meeting Dave and giving him the biggest hug in the woods. All of the speeches were amazing, Dave brought trout hats for us to wear as we got married in a trout fishery! My dad kept saying to me, we have eggs for breakfast. I have 100 eggs. I left him to it and thought he was mad. Sure enough, he cooked 100 eggs on an tray in a fire pit the next day. That man knows no bounds. Legend.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The most important thing is to have fun and show each other your love. Everyone’s having such a nice time, they don’t notice the small stuff.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Steven Anthony Photography
Grooms Suit | Topman
Wedding Dress | Jenny Packham purchased at White Mischeif
Veil | Leonie Claire Bridal
Celebrant | Karlina at Blessings and Ceremonies
Invites | Saffa Barkhordar
Florist | Highgate Florist
Venue | Yew Tree Lakes
Tipi | The Natural Tent Company
Décor/Styling | Friends and family
Cake | Michael Lloyd (Dave’s brother)
Caterer | La Maison Professional Chef Hire
Bridesmaids Dresses | Samsoe & Samsoe from Harvey Nichols and Monsoon
Groomsmen suits | Their own
DJ | DJ TPAT (friend)
Wow, what a wonderful day.
Heidi and Dave, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou