Morning all :-) I hope you are enjoying the sunshine. This morning I have a wedding to share which is the epitome of a home made wedding day.
Emily and Andy held their wedding on the 31st August 2013 and wanted their celebration to be super personal. Family and friends all contributed to their day which made it all the more special.
Emily’s mum made her gorgeous dress from a vintage pattern, the flowers were home-grown and arranged by the wedding party and her best friend made that amazing heart cake. There was afternoon tea, woodland animals and of course a lot of love.
Thanks goes to the brilliant Viva Wedding Photography for sharing their photographs today.
THE PROPOSAL | We went to Jersey for 24 hours on 11th Dec 2012 to celebrate my birthday. We checked into our hotel then went for dinner. Little did I know that Andy had an engagement ring in his coat pocket & had the proposal all planned with the restaurant staff. They took his coat (and ring hidden in the pocket) when we arrived. We had a lovely meal & then when desert arrived with ‘Will you Marry Me’ written in chocolate on the plate & a ring box on the side, I was more than a little surprised & emotional! We carried on drinking into the night & then I had the worse hangover of my life the next day!
THE VISION |I wanted our wedding to be as personal to us as possible, the opposite of buying a wedding package from a hotel. I grew up in Dorchester, Dorset so it felt like the obvious choice for me to head back there to wed. I didnt want anything to be stylised. I picked & hand tied my own bouquet. My mum made my wedding dress. My best friend made my cake. My dad made the cake tiers. And had friends for my hair, make up, rings, photography, flowers, fridge trailer, wedding car, hay bale seating, DJ & band. It couldn’t have been more personal or perfect!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | I planned every inch of our wedding. I love planning! I didn’t want our wedding to be styled or designed by anyone else. It didn’t make sense if we wanted it to be personal having someone else plan it for us. Although I know this is a massive task & to do it in 8 months I wouldn’t have changed it. I got planning straight away. We got engaged just before Christmas so planning over the Christmas period was ideal to grab bargains in the sale. I do love a bargain & when I found our Champagne from M&S at £5 a bottle I couldn’t have been happier, I think we bought them out!
BUDGET | £11k
THE VENUE | We had three venues in total. We had a legal ceremony at Dorchester registry office. This was only our immediate family & bridesmaids. For our Ceremony venue we had looked at a few venues in & around Dorchester. There isn’t a huge amount of choice when you are on a budget & don’t want to buy a package. We then looked into the idea of having a humanist ceremony as we wouldn’t be limited to venue choice so much & it would be a more personal service given that neither Andy or I are religious. I then came up with the idea of having our ceremony at Dorchester County Museum. We both walked into the Victorian gallery & said yes immediately. It was the perfect venue on Dorchester High St. My parents house sits on the road directly behind the museum so the idea of being able to walk to my wedding venue down the High St with my Dad was a must. It was also the first wedding they have ever hosted so we were making history too! The museum often hold concerts so they are used to holding large numbers. We were able to hire the museum for just a few hours which was ideal & the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. The museum needed no decoration, in fact the only décor we had were 2 bay trees on the doorstep. The museum is filled with artefacts on Dorset history. Even the floor were walking on down the aisle was Roman mosaic It couldn’t have been more perfect.
Our reception venue was held in Charlton Down Village hall, 10 mins drive outside of Dorchester. The hall is a Victorian ballroom that was built as part of an old mental health hospital. Thankfully the villagers preserved the hall before the rest of the hospital was knocked down. The hall looks out onto the Dorset country side so it was perfect for us.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was made by my Mum using a Vera Wang for Vogue dress pattern from the early 90’s. My Mum has a lot of knowledge when it comes to sewing as her mum was a seamstress, but this was definitely her biggest project to date. We bought the material from underskirt material from Fabric Land and the bodice material from MacColloch & Wallis. My shoes were white ballet pumps £7.99 from Newlook. Visor headband I made myself with flowers bought from various high street stores. My hair & make up artist Sian Stone, is a close friend from school. I wouldn’t have had anyone else & it helped having a friend to relax me in the morning. I painted my own nails. The total cost of my wedding dress was £150. I now know why dresses are so expensive, it’s not necessarily the fabric but the definitely the hours & hours of labour!
FINDING THE DRESS | I went to a few dress shops & tried on some ‘traditional dresses’. None of them had that wow factor for me. I also couldn’t bring myself to pay over £1000 for a dress I would only wear once. The other factor I had to take into consideration was the length of my dress. I’m very tall at 6ft4 so having the right length dress was essential but trying to do it on a budget was proving difficult. I discussed this with my Mum & when she offered to make it for me I was over the moon! It meant I get to choose exactly what I want, have the perfect length dress & made by my Mum.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | I knew straight away that I wanted Andy to wear a 3 piece suit from Reiss. Andy fits the slim fit style of Reiss so well & as soon as he tried that suit on I knew it was perfect. He looked amazing.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose Bon Iver Skinny Love for me to walk down the aisle. Aside from the fact its a lovely song, Andy chose this song to put on the first mixtape he made me so it means a lot to me. For the signing of the vows we chose Eddie Veder, Hard Sun. We walked out the ceremony to Together Forver by 2 Wounded Birds. For our readings my close friend Clare read out a personalised & amended version or Edgar Allan Poes Annabel Lee. Andys sister Michelle read Nick Drakes lyrics from Northern Sky.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 3 bridesmaids. Caroline & Sally, my sisters & a close mutual friend of ours Maribel. Their dresses were £15 each from Primark & embellished by themselves. Shoes & accessories were their own choice. I hadn’t planned to buy their dresses from Primark! I was browsing in the store one day & saw the dresses. They fitted the bill perfectly, exactly what I wanted & the bridesmaids like them too!
THE FLOWERS | I wanted to make the most of Britishhomeg grown flowers & keep the informal, natural look of the wedding. Aside from making my wedding dress my Mum also offered to grow our flowers and she did an amazing job! We chose flowers we knew would in bloom in time. Amongst many others we had sweetpeas, sunflowers, cornflowers, hydrangeas, dahlias, snap dragons, gypsophlia & dianthas. In the summer together with my sisters, my mum and a few of her friends went on a afternoons bouquet & button hole making course. We then got together again 2 nights before the wedding sat in the garden making button holes, table arrangements & each of us with a bouquet, made our own. We bought some bunches of roses from supermarkets for extra colour & texture. My friend Sophie recently took a florestry course so I utilised her skills to make out top table swag arrangement. My flowers were amazing. Exactly what I wanted, colourful, personal & lots of them!
THE CAKE | The cake was made by my close friend Hannah. Not a cake maker by trade but her family enjoyed the trial & error process! I looked on Pinterest for inspiration. I knew I didn’t want a traditional iced fruit cake & in keeping with the English afternoon tea theme of our reception I chose a 3 tiered heart shaped Victoria sponge decorated with flowers. I tasted out of this world!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We used Adam Bronkhorst at Viva Wedding Photography. Aside from the fact Adam is very well skilled with the camera he is also a close friend of mine so it made sense to use someone who already knew me & my style. Adam was so great on the day and just made us feel totally comfortable in front of the camera. We couldn’t be more pleased with the photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We didn’t have any particular theme for our wedding. A little bit vintage English tea party with some woodland animals thrown in along side lots of flowers & balloons!
I wanted the tables to be full to the brim with decorations. To decorate the tables we used a lot of sweetpeas from Mums garden. I sourced all our crockery from Ebay, charity shops & car boots. It worked out cheaper to buy it all than hire. For the cake tiers I bought tier making kits of eBay then gave my dad a drill & lots of china plates which resulted in 22 cake tiers (and no smashed plates)! I bought champagne bottle party poppers from Poundland (and they worked)! I do like a woodland animal & wanted them to feature in our wedding. In the early stages of the planning it was Christmas time & I found glittery squirrels in the post Christmas sale. I knew straight away I wanted these on the tables. I made them some flag poles & they held the table names. I also hired some illuminated bunnies. I bought all our pom pom bunting from Gumtree, coincidently the seller had used them at the same venue.
Our caterer was local & I had tasted her creations previously at other friends weddings. We chose to have an afternoon tea. Sandwiches, cakes, tea & champagne followed by a curry buffet in the evening.
Our wedding was full of music. Apart from the speeches the music didn’t stop. We chose to have a harpist during our afternoon tea. After the sit down meal we played music from Andy’s iPod which he has spent a good day making a playlist for & it was perfect. In the evening we had a friends band & one of my friends DJing. My friend Cleo DJ’d and she knows how to throw a perfect party & keep everyone entertained. So much so that when she played my favourite D&B tunes it didn’t clear the dance floor. Everyone was loving a bit of rave amongst the disco. We used to rave a lot together so it was only right to play some classics!
For the outside space we hired an inflatable bar. It was genius, an inflatable village pub! We bought giant Jenga & Connect 4 & we made outside seating from haybales & blankets.
THE HONEYMOON | We flew to NYC the day after our wedding & stayed for 7 nights at The Trump Soho. We both love New York & we only had a weeks leave from our jobs after the wedding date. We decided NYC was an ideal choice for a 7 day honeymoon. To make up for the short holiday we have booked 2 weeks in April when we will be heading to Vegas then California for the Coachella music festival.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Knowing we were eating curry in the evening my mum had ironed a table cloth for me to use as a giant napkin to preserve my white dress.
We hired illuminated bunnies for table décor. Every single one of them got taken that night! Luckily most people realised when they woke the next day next to a bunny it needed to be returned!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy the build up to the big day. It should always be enjoyable & don’t be afraid to delegate!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Catering | Helen Furness 01300 342 128
Brides dress | Made by brides mother.
Brides head attire | Made by bride
Grooms attire | Reiss
Bridesmaid dresses | Primark
Brides shoes | New Look
Wedding car | A Line Taxis
Inflatable bar hire | Dorset Mobile Bar
Hair and make up | Sian Stone
DJ | Cleo Felstead
Band | Taste The Music
Harpist | [email protected]
Photographer | Adam Bronkhorst
Ceremony venue | Dorset County Museum
Reception venue | Charlton Down Village Hall
Lighting | Andy Martin Entertainments
Humanist celebrant | Emma Kimber
Flower arranging course | Highway Farm
Flower plants | Van Muewen
Cutlery hire | Me Event Hire
Ekkk amazing!! How gorgeous is the décor; the balloons and the flowers?!
Thanks so so much to Emily and Andy for sharing their fantastic wedding with us XOXO Lou