WWW readers Claire and Nico wed in the grounds of their local village pavilion on the 24th June 2017. Our pair didn’t want to spend too much money or have a day that was too formal and didn’t feel like it suited them. I’m a fan of their laid back style and it sounds like the planning was a labour of love, a real jar collecting, bunting making, crafting team effort. A word of warning to master bakers though, making your own wedding cake is not for the faint hearted! In this case, Claire’s efforts turned out simply stunningly.
Claire was delighted to find that ASOS has a wedding dress collection and I think her gown looks simply fabulous. Isn’t her bouquet made from painstakingly collected brooches so special? Nico kept things simple and stylish with a three piece navy suit from Next.
Everything else about their day was so colourful, it’s always a joy to see real weddings that don’t follow a strict colour scheme and there’s something so festive about the results. Claire and Nico were lucky enough to be able to hold their ceremony outside but Claire does have some wise words for others planning al fresco nuptials!
Claire and Nico actually came across their photographer, Sharron Gibson, on WWW! Thanks ever so much Sharron for sharing these wonderful colourful images of such a personal day.
THE PROPOSAL | We were travelling in Ghana for two weeks and were staying at a lovely little lodge by a lake for a few nights. The first morning we woke early and decided to go for a quick swim before breakfast. We were admiring the view across the lake when Nico got down on one knee…
THE VISION | Relaxed, colourful, homemade and fun, with a French twist!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | From the start we were keen to keep our wedding day informal and to make or collect what we could ourselves. We also tried to reuse materials where we could and use local suppliers. We wanted the day to be personal and not excessive. We also planned as much as possible around our guests having fun, being well fed and making sure there was plenty to drink!
BUDGET | Around £7,500.
THE VENUE | We knew we didn’t want a wedding venue as such, in order to keep the day more relaxed and informal. We chose the village pavilion round the corner from my parent’s house (very convenient for all the setting up!), which offered plenty of space and flexibility to make the day our own. The venue’s volunteers were unbelievably helpful and accommodating the whole way through.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was from ASOS and I wore an additional underskirt for a bit more volume. I kept the accessories very simple – my favourite pair of earrings and a simple bracelet borrowed from my mum.
FINDING THE DRESS | I didn’t fancy traditional wedding dress shopping and so started searching online to see what I could find. I was looking for a shorter length dress and something that I could sit on the grass in and dance in. I had no idea ASOS did wedding dresses and was amazed to find that they had just what I was looking for.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | A simple but lovely dark blue three piece suit from Next.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We asked my dad to lead our ceremony for us which we wrote ourselves. My sister read a beautiful extract from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s ‘Gift from the sea’ and Nico’s uncle read ‘On marriage’ by Khalil Gibran. We chose Tom Odell ‘Grow old with me’ as we arrived and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros ‘Home’ for the end of the ceremony.
Instead of a first dance we sang a first song, The Moldy Peaches ‘Anyone else but you’. We wrote the lyrics ourselves for a couple of cheeky verses for fun!
From the outset we both knew we wanted to have live music for the evening entertainment. Nico’s band from university reunited to play a few songs, followed by our friend’s band. During the day and for the rest of the night we put on a playlist that we had both compiled with all our favourite tunes.
THE FLOWERS | We found an amazing local florist who supply beautiful seasonal DIY flowers. We collected them a couple of days before the wedding and my mum, her friend and I arranged them all into jars and a couple of milk pails. Some of our guests commented on how they looked like a summer meadow. My mum picked a mixture of wildflowers the day before to put in jars on shepherd hooks for the ceremony. She also potted up tubs with brightly coloured garden flowers which we used to decorate outside the marquee.
I made my bouquet from around 50 brooches. My mum and I got so much enjoyment from scouring charity shops and receiving donations from kind family members. It was pretty labour intensive putting it all together but I absolutely loved the end result.
THE CAKE | The cake was made by myself and my mum. We opted for a rustic butter cream tiered cake decorated with some beautiful roses and a cute little heart bunting topper. Each layer was a different flavour – carrot, lemon and chocolate. I’d made a few of my friend’s wedding cakes so was keen to have a go at making mine. In hindsight I probably should have taken up the offer of a friend for this as I must admit it does add a lot of pressure to the timings of things when making your own!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The wonderful Sharron Gibson. I came across her on WWW and instantly loved her natural, artistic, documentary style of photography. We love how her photos truly capture the colour and the happy, relaxed atmosphere of our day. And lots of fabulous facial expressions! It was quite an emotional experience looking through the photos the first time and reliving the day. We especially loved finding out what was going on throughout the day when we were preoccupied elsewhere!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | My mum and I started off with making over 100m of bunting mostly from cuttings of old fabric. We then just got more creative as we went along! Other details (mostly handmade) included vibrant paper pom-poms, rag bunting, decorated jars for flowers and candles, tablecloths and runners, a pallet back-drop, colourful ribbons and fairy lights in the trees, dried rose petals and paper cones for confetti, and pallet order of the day and welcome signs. Everything was made by us and our wonderful family. The overall look was very colourful and eclectic. Thankfully it all worked and came together on the day. The venue took two days to assemble and would never have been possible without the help of our amazing family and friends.
We had an outdoor ceremony in a pretty sheltered corner of the field and then a drinks and nibbles reception at the pavilion. Our main meal was buffet style and we didn’t bother with a starter or a table plan. Instead our guests just sat where they wanted and mingled which worked out perfectly (we just put out a few extra chairs). We had ice cream and homemade brownies for dessert, served up by a couple of our very lovely and willing guests! For the evening we hired Vive la Crêpe to serve tasty sweet and savoury crepes. The weather was perfect for people milling around and chatting outside while eating crepes and it was a wonderful party atmosphere. We also had a fire pit and put out marshmallows for people to toast late into the evening.
Throughout the day our guests had heaps of fun playing ball games and boules in the field. Indoors we had table tennis and a pool table. We had a bucket list map for guests to suggest places to go/things to do to add to our bucket list. To keep the kids occupied we had a table with activity booklets and lots of colouring as well as a face painter for a couple of hours which went down a treat! The venue also allowed for camping in the field overnight which was a real bonus.
THE HONEYMOON | Just after the wedding we had a relaxing two day mini-moon with a wood-fired hot tub. A couple of months later we went to the Alps for our honeymoon for a week of walking, fresh air and beautiful scenery which was just perfect.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Setting up with family and friends in the lead up, feeling overwhelmingly emotional and then everyone cheering us as we arrived together for the ceremony, the amazing speeches, Nico playing with his band, seeing our guests enjoying themselves and having fun!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Try to have fun with the preparations and creativities. Do things your own way, the more personal the better. Have a go at writing your own vows, it’s worth it. And have wet weather alternatives – we really wanted an outdoor ceremony but had an indoor contingency plan in case it tipped it down (luckily we didn’t need it but better to be safe than sorry!).
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Sharron Gibson Photographer
Dress | ASOS
Groom’s Suit | Next
Flowers | Swan Cottage Flowers
Food | Anderson Catering
Crepes | Vive La Crêpe
Marquee | Be Upstanding
Wow, what fun it all looks! Thank you ever so much Claire and Nico for sharing your wonderful, creative and colourful big day with us. Rachel x