Is there anything happier and more summery than a sunflower? I do love a sunflower in a wedding, being bright, beautiful and punchy, they work so beautifully.
WWW readers Ollie and Hannah tied the knot on the 16th July 2016 at their village church, followed by a DIY marquee reception in Hannah’s parent’s paddock. The hand made decorations included bunting, music inspired details, photo booth tent, stationery and clay favours, plus much more. Their day really was a labour of love and it totally showed. The florals included a mix of sunflowers, thistles, daisies, roses and gypsophila, which really looked so very gorgeous. I especially adore Hannah’s pretty bouquet.
Hannah chose to wear Casablanca by Enzoani and it flattered her figure perfectly, she teamed her dress with a romantic cathedral veil and loose waves in her hair. Ollie chose a quirky blue tweed suit accessorised with a yellow tie from Mrs Bow Tie. Very dapper.
Maddie Waters, thank you so much for sharing these lovely images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | It was Ollie’s birthday and I’d taken him away for the weekend as a surprise, he knew we were going away but didn’t know where. His plan was to propose when I gave him his birthday presents but when we arrived at the B&B in Weymouth, Dorset I realised I had left them all at home! We were strolling along the beach that evening when suddenly I turned round to find him on one knee! It was unexpected and perfect. The prep he had put into it by including my family was extra special and I said yes without hesitation!
THE VISION | We always knew we wanted something fairly relaxed and didn’t want the restrictions on timings and numbers that some venues have. My parents have a paddock at the back of there house so a marquee seemed the obvious choice.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Marquees are wonderful but it does mean there’s a bit more to think about! Power, toilets, furniture hire etc. So we had a number of very large lists! The first thing was to secure the date by booking the church. It was a wonderful experience meeting the vicar in preparation, asking us all about marriage and our expectations, we were even given a “Mr and Mrs” style questionnaire to take away, which we completed and discussed with a bottle of wine!
Pinterest became a bit of an addiction and I went to a few wedding shows, which got me inspired too.
THE VENUE | We had the ceremony in St Marys church in Abbotts Ann, Hampshire. It’s the church in the village where my parents live and we always knew we’d like it to be there. The reception was held at my parents in the marquee.
There is so much choice out there with marquees but we settles for Maidman’s Marquees. The marquee itself was perfect and built to our specifications but they also sorted all the power, lighting, toilets, service areas and couldn’t have been more helpful throughout!
We married on the Saturday but the marquee started being put up on the Tuesday, which meant we could get in and start preparing it by Wednesday evening. It was there until the following Tuesday so we had a second party the day after the wedding with family which was brilliant.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Casablanca by Enzoani and a cathedral length veil with crystals dotted about on it.
FINDING THE DRESS | I saw a gorgeous dress at the National Wedding Show on the catwalk and thought “that’s the one”, it took me weeks to find a stockist where I could go and have a try and when I did … It wasn’t the one!
My mum and I went to quite a few places and I tried on loads of different styles. The final visit was to Mrs Jones Bridal Boutique in Newbury, Berkshire. I tried in loads of dresses there and really enjoyed myself, there was one I just didn’t want to take off though and when I asked how much it was, it was a sample I could buy for the fraction of its value. I really loved my dress, which was Casablanca by Enzoani.
I had a cathedral length veil with crystals dotted about which just added a touch of tradition to my outfit.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Ollie, his best man, ushers and our dads all wore matching 3 piece blue tweed style suits. They looked great and were complemented with yellow ties from Mrs Bow Tie, which is one of Ollie’s favourites.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had two readings in the church. Ryan, one of our friends who was also an usher, read Colossians 3.12-17, which is really beautiful. And my cousin Rachel did a wonderful reading which was a passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.
Music is really important to both of us, so it took a while to decide on what to have! I walked down the aisle to a slower version of “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon. During the signing of the register we had three songs – “Signed Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, “You and Me Song” by The Wannadies and “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters. We excited the church to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oats.
The first dance was to the beautiful “For Lovers” by Pete Doherty. By the second verse the dance floor was filled with family and friends slow dancing to this lovely song.
We had a DJ for the whole event, all of our tables was named after a band and a particular track so throughout dinner he played each of the songs, which was really special and personal.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I am so lucky to have quite a few best friends! We are incredibly close and have been since we we very young, along with my 4 beautiful friends I had my big sis who was maid of honour and also my new little sister, Ollie’s 13 year old sister. Joining us were 2 flower girls aged 3, our little niece Libby and my god-daughter Scarlett-Rose. They were wonderful!
My bridesmaids were a huge help in the planning of the day, helping set up things a few days before, helping me get ready on the morning and organising the best surprise hen do!
They wore cream dresses with a crochet insert on the waist by Jarlo, which they all looked so gorgeous in. The range had a few different styles so my sister had a button up cap sleeve cut and the others had the high neck variation.
My sister in law was a bit young for the adult dresses and bit old for the flower girl dresses but I managed to find a lace cream dress which complimented them on Tesco’s website, in their wedding range!
The flower girls dresses I found in TK Maxx, they looked so sweet and loved swishing around in them!
THE FLOWERS | We decided on sunflowers pretty early on, before Ollie proposed he had visited my mum to ask for permission and taken her a bunch of sunflowers, so it was a bit of a connection and we love the boldness of them.
Our florist “Flora Laura” was brilliant, I’d seen her other work and just loved her style. I sent a couple of ideas to her from Pinterest but pretty much let her have free rein and when the flowers arrived on the morning I was overjoyed. They were better than I could have imagined!
Laura did mine and the bridesmaid bouquets with a smaller variation for the little ones and also did all the button holes.
I ordered a load of sunflowers (about 60!) from the flower stall in Newbury market along with some bunches of gypsophila and did the centre pieces myself, each table had 3 jars or tin cans in the centre with a sunflower arrangement. I really enjoyed it and was pleased with the result.
In the church my mum and I did some baskets with greenery from the garden and carnations from the supermarket for the end of the pews.
The day before the wedding my mum and godmother decorated the church, they put two blue apple crates at either side of the altar, which my step-dad had made, one said “Hannah” and one said “Oliver” inside them were sunflowers my mum had grown! They also fixed ivy around the columns that are at the start of the aisle, it was beautiful and when I arrived to see it for the first time it was amazing.
THE CAKE | The Little Oak Bakery did our cake, which was 100 cupcakes and a top cake for us to cut. Like with the flowers we pretty much gave free rein and I was so impressed. The spectacle of the cake table was great and not only that they tasted delicious! A mix of carrot cake, vanilla and lemon flavours meant there was a cupcake for everyone!
I brought a wooden topper from eBay to tie in with the country style theme.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | After the big day, the photos are all you have left so we both felt this was one of the big decisions in the planning. When we met Maddie we loved her relaxed style of photography but also her personality! We got on really well and after meeting, I sent an email on the way home to secure her for our date!
Maddie has excellent skill, not just in taking photos but in helping you to manage getting them done and enjoying the day. It never felt taxing to go off and have photos and I’m so glad we spent time on the couple shots.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | A big shout out has to go to my Auntie Vonny! She sewed about 10 miles of bunting which looked great! As well as the main marquee we had a smaller marquee that was our DIY photo booth tent, the nappy changing tipi and the “Abbotts Ann Hilton” tent where we spent our wedding night!
My mum had grown sunflowers in the lead up to the wedding so these were dotted about the place with the signs that I had made from old bits of wood I found in the shed! We had a few pallets and used them in different ways, one as a chalkboard with the running order of the day. One to host the table plan and one as a table. I bought loads of paper pom-poms on eBay, a mix of cream blue and yellow and hung these from the ceiling of the marquee, they were so effective and really broke up the white! We were really fortunate with the weather, which meant we could have hay bales dotted about the place and Ollie even made a corner sofa out of them and some hessian!
A couple of months before the wedding we started to stress about how it would all get set up on the day and realised we would need some help! This is when we met Sarah (SJW Event Styling) she came the day before and helped me do some bits and on the morning of the wedding was there to lay the tables and finishing styling the wedding. Sarah has an real gift for styling and also has loads of lovely props such as suitcases and crates. She laid up the card and present table as well as all the dinner tables and it all looked great.
We billed the wedding as “Smithfest” so had some festival/ music themes throughout. Each of the tables was names after a band or artist and we stamped so the titles on records for the centre pieces and then had some lyrics on a canvas on easy table. It was a really nice was to include more of the music that means so much to us. My sister is an artist and made the coolest banner, which was hung at the opening of the paddock.
Ollie and I did a lot of the stuff ourselves, we made all the place settings and centre pieces and also designed the save the dates/invites/order of service ourselves using the design tool on welove2print.com. The biggest task was probably the handmade clay favours! They took a while! We both really like craft and so to be honest the work in the details that we did was so enjoyable and part of the whole experience.
THE HONEYMOON | IBIZA! We went backpacking for 7 months in 2012 and Ollie’s parents live overseas so we’ve been lucky to be able to travel a fair bit. We wanted to relax after the wedding and wanted sun but we do also like a bit of a party so Ibiza was the perfect choice!
We visited the island a couple of years ago when our friends got married there and couldn’t wait to get back. We stayed at the Ocean Beach Club hotel in San Antonio, which was great. We had tickets to a few things for whilst we were there including Craig David’s pool party at Ibiza rocks.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Ollie is in a band and surprised me in the evening when I was made to sit in a chair on the dance floor to be serenaded! The song was “Most Beautiful Girl In The Room” by Flight of the Conchords. I was in stitches as he adapted a few lines to be about us. It’s a hilarious song (look it up if you don’t know it) and everyone enjoyed it.
I can’t talk about the wedding without mentioning our maxing caterers, TVM Catering. Every step of the way Gary was helpful, not only in relation to food but the coordinator of the wedding. The canapés were to die for, We had a barbecue for the sit down meal, and then Fajitas in the evening from the big pan. People are still talking about the sausages and banoffe pie!
There was also a moment when Ollie and I were having some photos taken at the top of the paddock, we looked back down to see the wedding in full swing, it was great to see all of our family and friends enjoying themselves and gave us a chance to let it sink in, Maddie also captured this moment which was extra special and is one of our favourite shots from the day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Enjoy the planning and preparation! If there is part of it your not enjoying… delegate it!
Take some time to be just the two of you! You’ve just made the biggest vows of your lives to one another, it’s great to have some moments to talk and celebrate just the two of you.
We got married literally around the corner from the reception so going for a long drive felt silly. Instead we popped down to the village pub! We had a pint, just the two of us and had some time before heading to the reception to celebrate with everyone else. I’m so glad we took that time and it was great sitting there in our wedding outfits with a pint whilst the bells were ringing!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Maddie Waters
Marquee | Maidman’s
Catering | TVM Catering
Bar | Appetite for Adventure
Venue styling | SJW Event Styling
Flowers | Flora Laura
Cake | Little Oak Bakery
Dj (who was brilliant!) | Steve Caldwell
Hair | Verity Randall (Andover, Hampshire) 07827 326866
Make up | Beauty by Gemma
Stationery | welove2print
Table cloths, cutlery and crockery hire | Choices
Ohh I love that they popped to the pub for a pint and that Ollie serenaded Hannah, too romantic!
Ollie and Hannah, thank you both so much for sharing your nuptials with us here at WWW xo Lou