There is something so timeless and country feeling about a pole tent marquee wedding is there not? I just love a rustic countryside celebration, which is exactly what WWW readers Jess and Ed created for their wedding day which was held on the 8th September 2018 at a house they found on Airbnb. They firstly though held their ceremony in the village church and the transportation was a real feature of their wedding. With a vintage bus and car on hand plus three tractors to transport guests, how amazing is that?!
Jess and Ed had an enchanted garden meets rustic elegance wedding style, with a neutral colour palette and wooden touches all round. The flowers were a big part of the day and I think you will just love the cart complete with a wooden crate filled with blooms, which sat at the entrance of the marquee. There were also many fantastic signs dotted around, cute confetti cones, a brilliant seating plan and a fun nod to their initial meeting. Another fantastically personal touch was the sloe gin they made for favours with berries they picked after the proposal, so so lovely!
I could wax lyrical about their wedding, but instead I shall leave you with the fabulous images by Pickavance Weddings, we are just so grateful to be sharing them with you today.
Ed took me away for a surprise weekend to the Isle of Wight, which I thought was just going to be a nice mini break away from busy London life! We are both keen walkers and so he had planned a ten-mile walk along the sea front for our first day. When there was no one else around he suggested that we stop to eat our picnic and as we were perched on top of a beautiful cliff edge he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Ed had caught me completely off guard which was so special as I was absolutely over the moon- we immediately headed to the nearest pub to celebrate! We spent the rest of the day picking wild sloe berries that we could use to make our own favours for the wedding before heading out to dinner that evening.
The most important aspect of our wedding was for it to feel unique and personal to us. We spent a lot of time (with the help of some very special family members) designing and crafting bits for the day so that it reflected Ed and I as a couple. I think my favourite piece was the personalised animation that my brother-in-law designed for all of our wedding stationery. Ed and I met on a blind date in Brockwell Park in Brixton, he was waiting for me holding a yellow frisbee and this was the main inspiration behind his design.
The look and feel of the day incorporated as much of the beautiful Cotswolds surroundings as we could- enchanted garden was the inspiration behind our styling. Everything was kept to a palette of greys and whites with lots of natural woods which helped to keep the vibe simple yet elegant.
The Planning Process
We got engaged in October 2017 and we both agreed that we wanted to get married the following year, so we quickly got to work on securing our wedding date for the next September. This gave us 11 months to plan everything which for us was plenty of time and made it all very exciting from the start as we wouldn’t have to wait a long time! We are both very organised people and so stuck rigidly to a huge ‘wedmin’ spreadsheet with a month by month to do list which kept us in check.
Despite being an Events Manager, planning our own wedding was far more stressful than I anticipated. There are lots of compromises to make along the journey, dealing with hiccups that you hadn’t planned for! That said, it is a very special time between you and your fiancé as you learn even more about each other and how best you can work as a team. We also had a lot of help and support from our family and the bridesmaids, for which I will eternally be grateful.
When you tell your friends and family you plan to host your wedding in an Airbnb, it tends to raise a few eyebrows! From the get go, we had our hearts set on finding a venue with no restrictions that we could make our own for the weekend- that’s where the Airbnb idea began! This was the perfect solution for us as we could move in for the whole week and take over the property as if it were our own home. It also meant that we could work with any supplier we wanted and had total control over how the day ran.
The wedding ceremony was held in a small and quaint church in the local village and the reception took place in a traditional pole marquee in the garden of the house, overlooking the beautiful Cotswolds hills. The ten bed farmhouse had recently been totally renovated so it was stunning both inside and out- it also came with a smaller cottage within the grounds which meant that we could use both to house the main bridal party of 25 guests for the weekend which was super fun!
It was really important to me that the enchanted garden theme was reflected in the quirky arrangements of the flowers around the marquee and garden. Our florist, Abbie from ‘Your Cotswolds Florist’, totally nailed it. She had the brilliant idea of using lots of rustic props to create texture and interest which really brought the marquee to life. My favourite piece was an old farm cart that we had borrowed from the local farm shop to place as a centrepiece with lots of flowers hanging off it as guests walked into the marquee! I’m not really into bold colours so all the flowers were kept white with lots of foliage sprawled across the tables. The two Mums along with my bridesmaids were amazing and dressed all the tables themselves using various jam jars and milk bottles.
My bouquet was loosely tied with again lots of beautiful white flowers and green foliage to create a wild but elegant look. The bridesmaids bouquets were a slightly smaller version of mine. The groomsmen had simple white roses tucked into their buttonholes which tied the whole bridal party together nicely.
The Details & Décor
We spent a lot of time thinking about the décor and adding touches that were special to us. We wanted the overall feel to have a rustic but enchanted garden feel and all our decisions were made with this in mind.
My Dad and I arrived to the church in a classic grey car that we found at a car show at the summer fete in the village we were getting married in. The groomsmen and bridesmaids were driven in a wicked 1950’s vintage coach we had hired which really started the day off with a bang! We then needed some transport to take the 140 guests from the church back to the reception after the ceremony. Having got to know the locals in the village well after our 9 church visits before the wedding we were offered three tractor and trailers from the local farm shop to convey our guests back and forth. They were decorated in a pastel paint colours and lots of bunting to fit in with the beautiful countryside around us.
The marquee and garden were filled with homemade signs and crafts made by my very talented sister and brother-in-law. The table plan was made of an upcycled Ikea crate with bamboo sticks hanging out of it, there was an old wooden ladder covered in white flowers and foliage hanging from the tented ceiling and the entrance of the marquee had an old window, a farm cart and lots of vintage props to welcome guests in. The tables were kept simple with just a pale grey linen runner down the middle of them, wooden chairs, mismatched vases of flowers, copious candles of varying sizes and our homemade sloe gin bottles on each place setting as favours. As evening came, we filled the marquee with festoon lights, we had a large fire pit next to a tipi outside and a ‘LOVE’ sign lit up by the house. As we made our exit, we had lined the drive way with fire torches and a ‘Just Married’ sign.
One of the most important parts of the wedding for us was the food! I was really lucky to have one of my friends do the catering for us- Katie set up her own fabulous catering business in Devon several years ago called ‘Milkshed Catering’ and predominantly specialises in weddings. Not only could they offer the style of food we were looking for- rustic, sharing platters with creative styling but Katie is also a very talented Event Manager which meant she was able to help us through the planning process. On the day I felt completely at ease knowing Katie was in charge- she ran everything from meeting the suppliers, co-ordinating timings and even all the small details like lighting the fire pit and the hundreds of candles. I couldn’t have done it without her!
Your Outfits & Accessories
The experience of buying my wedding dress was really important to me and so I set up several appointments with my Mum and bridesmaids over two weekends where we enjoyed several glasses of prosecco and a nice lunch chatting about our favourite dresses. I had lots of fun trying on many different styles, even ones that I knew I wouldn’t wear but were really fun to see what they looked like on!
My sister had chosen her wedding dress from a lovely bridal shop called Mirror Mirror in north London so this was definitely on the list to visit- they provided a really fantastic personal service and made me feel completely at ease. In the end I went for a fitted, lace off-the-shoulder dress by Pronovias- I loved the three-quarter length sleeves and the striking neckline and we all agreed that this was ‘the one!’. I also chose to wear the veil my mum wore at her wedding (cut and simplified to one long length at the base of my neck), and was very happy – both with the final look and the sentiment of wearing something given to you by someone you love.
I knew I wanted my hair and make-up to be natural and slightly boho in style so I started searching for stylists who fit that vibe. As soon as I met Lauren I knew she was completely on my wavelength and having seen photos of the many brides she had worked with before I felt totally at ease with her. My hair was curled and then pinned up with rolls and plaits and my make up was what I would call ‘a better version of myself’. I was happy for my bridesmaids to choose whatever style they each wanted as long as it wasn’t too formal or slick and they each looked gorgeous!
Finding the bridesmaid dresses was one of the more trickier tasks as I wanted all the girls to feel happy and comfortable in what they were wearing. After several shopping trips we opted for a mid-length pale grey lace dress from Coast which tied in really well with my wedding dress. My gorgeous niece who was my flower girl wore a simple white A-line lace dress from Monsoon. All of the girls looked stunning and they all said how pleased they were with their outfits.
The Readings & Music
Having a traditional church ceremony, we wanted one religious reading and one more personal reading which were read by close friends of Ed and I. We chose
Love, actually 1 Corinthians as we had heard this at a previous wedding and really liked the words and an extract from “One Day” by David Nicholls which is Ed’s favourite book.
Your Photographer & Videographer
Our incredible photo and film duo were amazing from the very start. We had searched for a long time looking for a wedding film that wasn’t cheesy or too formal when we stumbled across Alice who had worked with one of our close friends at their wedding. Immediately she was in! She then recommended Rich to us who she works with regularly and after seeing his past wedding shoots and meeting him for a beer we were very happy to bring him on board.
Both the photos and video highlight the complete essence of the day in a very natural style- capturing the story of the day as it unfolded without fuss or formality.
They were both great on the day at finding a perfect balance of ensuring that they were directive enough to grab the shots they needed whilst giving us the privacy that we had explained was so important to us.
After spending 11 months planning for our wedding, all we wanted to do straight after was kick back and relax. We hired a black Mercedes convertible and toured around the South of France for a week and it was a perfect mini-moon- sunshine, beautiful hotels and lots of delicious food and wine. It was a really special time to enjoy life as newly weds and we spent most days laughing and chatting about all the details from the wedding weekend.
It was always our plan to go on a longer more adventurous honeymoon a few months after the wedding and for us it meant that we kept in our wedding bubble even longer as we had our trip of a lifetime to look forward to. After lots and lots of research we decided on Chile as our destination and we were able to get just under a month off work to enjoy it. The best thing about the honeymoon for us was the diversity we got to experience- from city to beach, to volcanoes to glaciers- it really had it all! We decided to go all out on the hotels and activities we chose which made it feel completely luxurious and to this day is by far the best trip I have ever been on!
There are so many it’s difficult to sum them up- but here are a few:
- Waking up on the morning of the wedding to read a love letter that Ed had given me
- Looking at Ed for the first time in the church as I walked down the aisle
- My Dad’s speech- I couldn’t help but cry!
- Ed and I taking some time out to walk around the garden after the wedding breakfast had finished and feeling completely overwhelmed seeing all our friends and family knowing that they were all here just for us!
- Dancing the night away and watching Ed perform a special song for me with his band!
- Once everyone had left, taking some time to sit around the fire pit drinking a glass of port and feeling like the happiest girl in the world!
Advice For Other Couples
Enjoy yourself as much as you can and do what you want when you want! If you don’t want to follow traditions then don’t. Ask for as much help as you can- we really enjoyed having so many of our friends and family help us through the planning process and it also made it a much more personal journey for us.
There will definitely be some compromises to make along the way and at some points you may feel like giving up- but don’t- as it really is the best day of your lives! It’s also really important to take some time out as a couple and remember that your wedding day is about the two of you and why you decided to get married 😊
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Wonderland Wedding Films
Dr Funtimes (Soul & Funk Band)
Your Cotswold Florist
Marquee and Décor
Ahh so beautiful. Didn’t Jess and Ed both look gorgeous in their chosen attire too?
Thanks so so much to Jess and Ed for sharing their wonderful wedding story with us xo Lou