This wedding is all FUN FUN FUN. If you ever wanted to attend a wedding, this would be the one for sure.
Designers Robert and Sophie were hitched on the 10th June 2017 at Wingfield Barns in Suffolk. Their priority was to entertain and delight guests in equal measure. They put on a rodeo bull, two live bands, incredible cuisine, bouncy castle and casino. Wowzer! There was non stop entertainment and no boring moments, with candid and relaxed, un-staged images by the brilliant Luis Holden (thanks Luis).
I love this pair’s super cool style, they really thought outside of the box and went for alternative choices. Their outfits were awesome. Sophie chose a tulle skirt (which she later cut to make shorter) and a black lace crop top, while Robert went for a check shirt, waistcoat and open collar. In fact there was a strict no tie policy for all. I love the bridesmaids in their denim jackets too, just fab.
There were brighter than bright florals, white streamers for the ceremony room and multicoloured DIY décor for the barn reception. It all worked perfectly.
THE PROPOSAL | Christmas day 2015.
We were living in a tiny flat, temporarily, above mum’s shop whilst renovating our first home.
We had lived there 6 years previous when we first met and started dating. Rob drove a 1968 Matt black VW Beetle and for our first date, drove to the flat, pulled up outside, opened the sunroof, sat on top of his car and gave me a cheeky wave :) after a many dates and a new rented home together Rob had to sell the Beetle to fund his dream car – VW Campervan! It was hard parting with the “ love bug” but needs must!
Christmas morning 2015 was a low key one. We got up opened our presents and ate breakfast. Rob set off to go pick his mum up whilst I got washed and dressed. 20 minutes later Rob called me asking me to look outside. I went to the window and there he was, pulled up in a Matt black, VW Beetle, sunroof open, giving me that cheeky wave. I dashed downstairs to be greeted with the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of red roses. Putting those aside I ran around the car in my slippers like an excited child asking Rob all the questions about the car waiting for him to tell me that it was our old one – and it was!!! He’d bought it back. He beckoned me to get into the car to take a look. As I looked round and turned back to him, he was on the pavement on one knee with a box in his hand, open with a ring inside.
THE VISION | We didn’t want a theme, we didn’t want a princess bride wedding, we didn’t want to compete with the last wedding we went to.
We wanted the best party we had ever held. Something that represented us and all the things we love; great food, great beer and great entertainment.
We wanted everyone to just have a bloody good time. Regardless of age, family or friend, if you only knew us or a whole group of people, we didn’t want people just ending up by the bar watching the dancefloor looking bored.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | As an account director in a busy design agency (the bride) organisation is my middle name. After researching everything online, we had a small selection of venues to view, we organised visits to them all in one day and we had chosen our venue by the end of that day. There was only one caterer and one photographer we wanted and we got them both! Bands were a little more tricky but still had them booked 9 months in advance.
Everything else just went on the list and we found it, bought it, stored it a room till the day. Boom.
It was actually pretty easy. I think I am one of very few brides a week before the wedding was as cool as a cucumber with nothing to do but get there and get on with it.
The secret was we made hard and fast decisions based on informed research. We didn’t get everyone else’s opinions or sit on anything for ages before booking; we knew we loved it, we could afford it so we would get it. Done, ticked off the list.
BUDGET | This is a funny one. Costs for weddings can easily spiral out of control but you do just have to get what you can afford. My best advice would be to make a list of what’s important and don’t compromise on the top two or three items on that list and the rest will have to be to suit budget.
For me the things not to compromise on were the photographer; the photos are the only thing you take away from that day (other than memories and a husband or wife!!!). Make sure they are the best! And also the food. We are foodies and I was not going to have the standard same old wedding caterers set menus of chicken wrapped in bacon or roast dinners. It needed to be something everyone would rave about.
THE VENUE | Wingfield Barns is a beautiful collection of barns in the Suffolk countryside. They sit together like a little village with a great central area to hold an outdoor party.
These barns are not just a wedding venue, they are community owned and more frequently used as a community centre for art exhibitions, concerts and theatre, so there is a cool vibe about them too with sculptures dotted around the grounds and clean white interiors ready for an exhibition. This was a perfect blank canvas for us as designers.
We didn’t need to do much to the venue as it is so beautiful just added our party decorations and it was perfect! Filled with homemade bunting, miles of fairy lights, our own designed posters and all the fun accessories from our home (old shop signage letters, 50s coke coolers, radio flyers, light up retro signs, American memorabilia) it became a bit of our world for the day.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | This was not really important to me as a bride and I spent very little on what I was wearing.
I did go to the bridal shop and try on all the typical gowns on but nothing felt like me. I wanted to feel special but comfortable. From the start I wanted separates and I knew I wanted some kind of colour in my outfit, all white was not for me. I bought loads and took loads back. In the end I settled for a Chinese eBay special, tulle skirt, which was simple and bridal and a navy lace top from Coast.
I splashed out on a pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes for the ceremony and a custom pair of Adidas superstar trainers with our wedding date engraved on the back, ready for dancing!
The necklace I bought from Etsy and got the maker to create necklaces for each of my bridesmaids too.
I did also have a light grey leather biker jacket in case it was cold but never needed to wear it!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Rob is not a suit man. He finds them uncomfortable and restrictive; the last thing we wanted on his wedding day. Smart jeans were always on the cards and fit in perfectly with the fun laid back feel of our wedding.
Ever since we had met Rob has always worn one brand and style of trainers (it’s a running joke) so there was no other option for his footwear!
A fun large check gingham shirt and tweed jacket and waistcoat set made him wedding formal without being too stuffy.
There was a strict no ties rule as no one likes wearing a tie, right???
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a short poem called “what is marriage” emotionally read by my best friend Tanya to break up the ceremony.
For music, I walked down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme tune, not only because it is a great piece of classical music from one of our favourite movies but Rob had changed his name before the wedding to his mother’s maiden name, and gave himself the new middle name of Osaurus!
The register was signed to a ghetto swing track (20’s music mashed up with a modern beat) to keep things lively and entertaining.
And we walked out to Howlin’ for you from the Hangover.
Our first dance was to Sha Boom by the Chords. A key song from the film Cars.
Our day band, Owl and Wolves were a very cool red neck, busking blues style music for casual laid back vibe whilst enjoying our first meal.
Our evening band, the Collective were unreal! Such an amazing band complete with a sax player, the epitome of cool! Doing funky twists on modern tunes. They danced on tables, sung in campervans, entered the dancefloor and got us to sing with them. These were truly one of the most talented bands I have ever seen!
None of this soppy stuff, again something everyone could enjoy and be entertained by.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My older sister Abby accompanied by her beautiful son and my nephew Mason, as our page boy.
My best mate Tanya.
My other, very pregnant!, Best mate Rachel with her beautiful daughter, and my god daughter as flower girl, Matilda.
THE FLOWERS | A beautiful selection of the most unusual flowers, designed by Libby Ferris Flowers in Norwich.
This is where I wanted the colour and they delivered. Each bouquet popped full of blues, pinks, a touch of orange in a selection of spectacular blooms and succulents.
The gloriosa button holes were to die for!
THE CAKE | Our cake was a tower of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, which all stems from memories of our first road trip in America. All 130 doughnuts topped with a doughnut shaped cake (gluten free).
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We chose Luis as his style was perfect for us. No formal stuffy line ups but beautiful capturing of moments. His shots had more real life to them than any other photographers we had seen. His composition of shots were perfect despite not being staged or using professional models!
He was on it from the moment I arrived to the time the music went off and the lights went on at the end of the night.
The results were spectacular, capturing every moment just like I saw it through my own eyes. I cannot say thank you enough for the record of the most amazing day of my life.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | These were very important to us being designers. Starting with the save the date (a 3D campervan) and invitations, the theme had to run through the day. We created and printed a series of A1 posters, all typographical design, all decorations were handmade (I’m quite crafty!), We filled the barns with 100s of fairy lights, paper lanterns and all of our favourite things from home, including our much loved VW Campervan and beetle!
We hired a bouncy castle, a rodeo bull, (both for all the fun and all the laughs), a mini Vegas with roulette and blackjack (because our love of Vegas) and a Campervan photo booth.
We wanted to make sure everyone was entertained at all times, having fun together, creating their own memories as well as ours!
THE HONEYMOON | No lazy trips to the Maldives for us, the Monday following the wedding we set off to San Francisco to start our two week road trip along the Californian coast down to San Diego along the big Sur, finishing up in Las Vegas for a few final luxurious days.
Each day was jam packed, we went to an aquarium, a zoo, a brewery, Disneyland, Universal Studios, two car museums, watched a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, danced in the Griffiths Observatory like La La Land, went to a castle, did push ups on muscle beach, drank cocktails for breakfast!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was memorable, full of all our favourite things! But If I had to choose I loved exploring with Luis through forest areas and climbing hay bales for the perfect shots!
Chopping off the bottom of my bridal skirt to make dancing easier and watching the look on everyone’s faces as we hacked at it with a pair of scissors!
How my dad was always by my side looking like he was having the time of his life.
And finally and most importantly the moment just after the ceremony had finished, we had walked out and embraced for the first time as husband and wife, it was that moment where everything and everyone around us just disappeared and it was just me and Rob and our moment. My heart nearly burst.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Be true to who you are and do what you want to do. You can get bogged down by trying to keep everyone happy but is your day so do what you want.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Luis Holden
Caterer | Bite the Bullitt
Day band | Owl and Wolves
Evening band | The Collective
Bouncy Castle | Ace Bouncy Castles
Photo Booth | VW Photo Booths
Casino | Anglia Fun Casino
So rad! And that honeymoon sounded just incredible. Woah.
Robert and Sophie, thanks so much to you both for sharing your epic wedding celebrations with us xo Lou