This family friendly, camp out wedding is just so very lovely. It’s all about the love, family and friendship, a weekend of spending time together and having a ruddy good time. Surely that’s all that counts in the end folks? Not bells and whistles and details, but getting hitched and really making solid amazing memories together.
WWW readers Torz and Joshua were wed on the 27th May 2017 at Coombe Farm Woods in Devon. The venue ticked all of the couple’s boxes, from the woodland setting reminiscent of their proposal, to the camping facilities for guests and outdoor pool with hot tub for their day after celebrations. The day was blessed with glorious sunshine, which meant much of the day could be spent outside as well as congregating around the camp fire come evening. Isn’t it all so idyllic?
The bride, groom and their adorable son all looked perfect in their chosen attire. There was a bring your own cake table, pretty seasonal blooms and home made rustic décor to name a few. Loveliness all round then? And all captured beautifully by Emma Stoner, many thanks to Emma for sharing these shots with us.
THE PROPOSAL | It happened on 23rd August 2014. We woke up to lovely weather so decided to go for a walk in Savernake Forest. We wandered into a beautiful clearing and Josh said what a great setting this would be for a wedding. He said I should take a photo with my phone, which was in his pockt. When I reached in for my phone I actually found a ring instead! He had planned on doing it on holiday a few weeks later but brought it with him as a spur of the moment idea!
THE VISION | A relaxed, informal and fun weekend long celebration. We knew we wanted a venue where we could stay in one place for the entirety of the weekend so that nobody had to worry about travelling, having a drink or getting home at the end of the night. We also wanted a venue where we could continue the party the next day! We wanted something with a woodland vibe to reflect our engagement location.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We found and booked our venue with just under two years to go. In the first couple of months we researched and booked all the main things – caterer, music, hair and make up and photographer. My best friend and maid of honour got married a year before us so I was able to reuse a lot of her decorations as our tastes are near identical. Josh and I managed to space our planning quite well and didn’t ever feel stressed about it.
BUDGET | We set a loose budget and almost managed to stick to it!! There were some things that neither of us were overly bothered about that we saved money on (such as chair covers and a professional wedding cake) and spent money on the things that were important to our day (mainly food and alcohol!).
THE VENUE | Middle Coombe Farm in Uplowman, Devon. The most perfect, magical and idyllic venue imaginable for a wedding. It is family run and the owners are incredible – they really help with keeping everything organised and flowing during the planning process. The farmhouse sleeps 20+ so we were able to have our immediate family staying there with us from the Friday to the Monday. There is a cider barn, which is where our ceremony took place, a woodland clearing with benches and an ivy covered swing where we had our speeches and toasts and a large marquee where we had our meal. There is a camping pitch for guests, a log cabin for the newlyweds and an outdoor pool and hot tub for the Sunday party. I sobbed like a baby when we had to leave on the Monday!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | A flowy and lacy dress by True Bridal. I was adamant I didn’t want a veil but when I went to collect my dress I tried one on, for fun and changed my mind. I didn’t take the veil off until the very end of the wedding day as I loved wearing it! I also had a long diamanté headpiece from 16 Braunton.
FINDING THE DRESS | I took my maid of honour and my mum to try dresses on in one shop and didn’t like anything. I then spent some time researching and fell in love with a dress by the designer True Bridal and found the nearest supplier to me was a shop called The Bridal Lounge in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. When I tried on the dress I had gone there for I wasn’t overly enthused by it but found another one in their collection, which I fell in love with!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Josh left suit shopping to the latest possible date until I finally pressured him into going! He found a lovely navy suit at the Mcarthur Glen Designer Outlet in Swindon in Skopes. He was super happy as it was a one stop shop for everything he needed including shoes and belt – his kind of shopping trip!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’- I still get goose bumps every time it comes on! We left the ceremony dancing to Hall and Oates, You Make my Dreams Come True. Our first dance was an easy one for us. When we got in the car after getting engaged the first song that played was Otis Redding, “That’s How Strong my Love is”. We are both HUGE Otis fans and so this was a clear sign! We didn’t have any readings but I did take some inspiration from Pam Ayres and wrote Josh a poem about all of the reasons I wanted to marry him!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We had three bridesmaids. My best friend, Josh’s younger sister and my older sister who travelled all the way from Australia for the wedding! We had decided on a pale mint green colour for the dresses but I struggled to find something that went with the feel of the day. I typed ‘mint green dress’ into google shopping every week until finally some gorgeous chiffon dressed with a big bow at the neck came up. Very surprisingly they were from H&M – not your usual bridesmaid dress vendor!
THE FLOWERS | We used a florist local to the venue who were recommended to us. We chose not to use any flowers in our décor as the venue is so gorgeous it only needed minimal touches. I had a rustic hand tied bouquet made up of large daisies, gypsophila, cream sweet peas and lots of greenery including rosemary and dusty miller. My bridesmaids had the same in a posy and the groomsmen had buttonholes with a large daisy and some rosemary.
THE CAKE | We chose not to have one wedding cake and instead had a whole dessert buffet made up of home made offerings from friends and family. We had an amazing mixture of cupcakes, cookies, tarts, brownies and sponges. It looked like we had more than we could ever manage but surprisingly (or not!) there were barely any leftovers!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Emma Stoner was our photographer for the day. We also had a second shooter on the day too, which meant the boys had coverage of themselves getting ready in the morning too! Josh is an EXTREMELY camera shy groom but Emma managed to persuade him into a few posed shots on the day which all turned out beautifully! We had a few shots taken in the buttercup meadow with our 11 month old son, which are just gorgeous.
We also had a videographer for the day, Greg James. He was amazing and so easy to work with. He created a highlights video as well as a longer one of the whole day, such a special memento that we watch regularly.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We chose to use minimal décor in the cider barn and just hung some fairy lights and hessian and white lace bunting. The ancient beams and original cider press provided more than enough atmosphere. For favours and place names we bottled and labelled some homemade limoncello. Each setting had an individual menu so that our guests knew what was being served to them. We reused my maid of honours sanded log slices and a variety of jars to create centre pieces. We wanted an informal and relaxed wedding meal and chose to use Lucie at Feast Without Fuss, a caterer highly recommended by our wedding venue. She created a BBQ style selection that was placed in the centre of each table for guests to serve themselves. After our music stopped we took marshmallows and prosecco down to the fire pit to continue our celebrations (and drinking!).
THE HONEYMOON | Immediately after the wedding we drove a little further into Devon and spent five days in a cottage in Woolacoombe with our little boy, who took his first steps on Woolacoombe Beach! We are planning a longer and much delayed honeymoon to Lake Garda next summer.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The whole day was so magical. I loved having the entire wedding party walking up to the Old Oak Tree in procession for the speeches. One of the funniest moments was during our evening party when my dad and some of my uncles had a ‘bad dad’ dancing competition to Madness ‘Baggy Trousers’, complete with high knees! Finishing the night around the fire was the perfect end to the day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Decide what matters to you and what will make your day perfect for the two of you and prioritise that. Don’t have or do things just because you think you should. Make a plan for the day after the wedding to keep the celebrations going. Use Pinterest for inspiration but don’t take on something that is so tricky and complicated that it will stress you out! If you are stocking the bar yourself you will save loads by buying it from France. We did a wine tasting at a branch of Majestic local to us to choose what we wanted and then ordered them from a branch in Calais. Because our order was over £500 they paid for our Eurotunnel crossing and the wine worked out much cheaper too.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Emma Stoner
Videographer | Greg James
Dress Designer | True Bride
Bridal Shop | The Bridal Lounge
Hair and Make up | Sarah Case
Bridesmaid Dresses | H&M!!
Grooms Suit | Skopes
Venue | Coombe Farm Woods
Catering | Feast Without Fuss
Flowers | In Bloom Devon
Invitations | Vista Print
So very heavenly.
Huge thanks to Torz and Joshua for sharing all about their wonderfully loved up wedding xo Lou