Glastonbury’s back this year and we do love a festival inspired wedding. From sitting round fire pits outside, to bright colours, flower crowns and wild dancing, what a fun way to get married!
WWW readers Alistair and Sarah knew they wanted a tipi wedding and found the perfect spot for their outdoor reception at Ash Farm Barns in North Willingham, Lincolnshire. They married in a church and followed the ceremony with a fun, quirky festival reception, which all took place on the 14th October 2017.
Alistair and Sarah knew who they wanted to photograph their wedding before they even got engaged and it’s easy to see why when you take in these images. Thanks so much to James from Flawless Photography for sharing them with us today.
Our pair worked really hard on lots of DIY details, which you’re going to love. It’s not quite festival season just yet but enjoy being transported there today!
Without me knowing, Alistair had the ring hidden in his sock draw for over a month ready for our holiday to Iceland in October 2016. The ring travelled with Alistair during the whole trip waiting for the right moment. Originally his plan was to propose during a trip to the Northern Lights but he felt like it was too dark and that I wouldn’t be able to see him on his knee. Instead he saved his proposal for another trip to Gullfoss waterfall. He got down on one knee and read out a script made up of Foo Fighters lyrics (my favourite band). At first I was confused with what was happening and thought he was just joking, but since he had a ring and had written the script on paper, quickly realised he was being serious. It was absolutely perfect and everyone clapped and luckily for us there just happened to be a photographer nearby who captured the moment for us. There was even a rainbow over the waterfall during his proposal.
My bridesmaid dresses were real bargains from Lindy Bop costing just £11 each in the sale.
I then gave them all a handmade necklace with a sixpence flower as a gift.
Since we had some time to spare whilst waiting for the flight home, I was quick to start planning and booked a few visits to local venues.
After visiting a few, we quickly came to realise that they weren’t really us and wanted something where we had more freedom to plan and something that fitted our personalities.
We are both festival lovers, Glastonbury being our favourite so decided to host our very own festival, WEDFEST using tipis.
The Planning Process
As an event organiser for a charity, I was quick to start planning, creating many spreadsheets for our budget and suppliers.
The hardest part was finding a space for our tipis which was affordable, but lucky for us we found a farm not to far from our house which not only had a brilliant view of Lincolnshire (you could even see Lincoln Cathedral in the distance) but also had self catering barns for our guests.
To get inspiration I mainly used Pinterest but also read a lot of blogs (including Whimsical Wonderland Weddings) and magazines and visited a handful of wedding fairs. I took my time with picking suppliers but pretty much had the wedding planned within a year.
The last few weeks seemed to go really quickly and we used this time to finish all the DIY parts of the wedding which included our own version of the famous Glastonbury letters. Each letter was made with patchwork which took hours!
We started off with a low key budget, but in the end decided this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so found ways to get what we wanted.
We got married at St Thomas Church in Market Rasen and our WEDFEST reception was hosted at Ash Farm Barns in North Willingham, Lincolnshire.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Being a plus size bride I dreaded the idea of trying on wedding dresses and after a horrible first experience lost a lot of confidence in myself to go and try them on. I met Chrissy from Curvacious Bridal at a wedding fair who turned out to be my fairy god mother.
As soon as I walked into her shop, she made me feel welcome and comfortable and we tried a range of dresses to find out the right one for me. Although trying dresses on is fun, it gets tiring in the end and I had almost given up, but we tried on one more which ended up being my dress. I went for a Callista London dress in vanilla.
I am a huge Disney fan and at the time of planning our wedding Irregular Choice had bought out a new range of Cinderella shoes which I just had to have. I then had a pair of Vans hand painted with my favourite Disney princesses and princes.
For my jewellery I had a special necklace made by my favourite jewellery designer, Amanda Coleman which was a butterfly with our initials on the wings. I also had a bracelet made out of a sixpence flower for my something old.
Being born in Scotland, it only seemed right for Alistair to have a kilt and we took a special trip to Edinburgh for him to try some on. We had his kilt specially made in his clan colours. Originally we had planned to hire the rest of his outfit, but we found a bargain suit on ASOS which his mother then turned into an Argyll jacket. We then decided to buy the rest of the Scottish attire so Alistair could keep it as a memory and hopefully reuse for other events in the future.
As we were having a festival theme it only felt right to have a flower crown, my hair was then styled by a family friend who also did all my bridesmaids’ hair.
Mine and my bridesmaids’ make up was done by the lovely Kate Atkinson.
I knew before we were even engaged which photographer I wanted after seeing his work for a friend’s wedding. It was the one thing I wouldn’t let Alistair refuse and was prepared to spend a lot of our budget on. I loved his relaxed style and the way he captured moments rather than posed photos.
I really dreaded the idea of having my photo taken so we decided to have a pre-wedding photoshoot to get to know James and help us feel more comfortable.
On the day itself, he managed to capture the day perfectly without being invasive and in the end I forgot that he was there as a photographer and felt he was there more as a guest. He stayed right up until the end of the wedding and caught so many special moments on camera for us.
Our wedding photos are absolutely perfect and mean so much to us both and are something we will cherish forever. Thank you James!
In the lead up to our wedding I hand painted baby milk tins to represent the fabulous Glastonbury bins which were used for flowers in the tipi. Our flowers were one of the things we had to cut back on and to help us save money we collected flowers from Alistair’s Grandma’s garden and she also put them together for us on the day.
My bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets and button holes were then put together by the lovely Coco in the Country.
The cake was made by Alistair’s mum and was kept a surprise to us until the big day. We had so many ideas for the cake and Helen managed to perfectly put them all on the cake which included the Northern lights (to represent where we got engaged), rabbits (we have three pet rabbits) and a little bit of Disney! The castle on the top of the cake even lit up at night.
It had three different flavours of fruit cake, lemon cake and chocolate with a salted caramel filling.
The Details & Décor
This was the fun part of our wedding as it was the part we could really put our personalities and all the things we love into.
Our invitations made by our fantastic brother in law were festival tickets, which even included a tear off stub for guests to return. On the day, guests also received a lanyard which had the timings of the day, a special quote and information for local taxis.
To help us save money we decided not to decorate the church with flowers as we felt it was beautiful enough all on it’s own. We decided on confetti from Shropshire Petals for our exit from the church.
We then used the brilliant Sami Tipi as our main reception venue. They were absolutely brilliant to work with and made planning our wedding really easy and the tipis were stunning.
The tipis speak for themselves and we kept decoration inside simple using bunting and pom poms. We then brought in more of our love for Glastonbury by hand making the main stages and areas of the festival out of Lego as our centrepieces and hand painted tins which represented the colourful bins at the festival. Every guest then received their own Lego mini-figure ‘festival goer’ as a wedding favour.
Outside of the tipi’s we then had flags and festoon lighting and our main highlight of our wedding was the WEDFEST letters which were handmade by us both. Alistair cut each letter using MDF which was then painted with weatherproof paint and covered with handmade patchwork (made by me). Our guests absolutely loved these and provided the perfect photo prop. We also had cow shaped space hoppers and games outside to keep our guests entertained.
It wouldn’t be a festival without face painting and we found a fantastic lady who had transformed a horse box into a photo booth/ face painting area.
For our card postbox we made the Glastonbury ribbon tower and placed photos of us both around it. We decided against a traditional guestbook and asked guests to write on fabric squares which will eventually be turned into a patchwork quilt.
To transport us from the church to the tipis we used VW Campervans which is another love of the bride. Our entrance onto the tipi field is one to remember as the driver let us stand out of the sunroof as we entered the field.
For food we decided against the traditional sit down meal and opted for afternoon tea which was put together by our favourite local tea rooms and had crepes for the evening.
The suits were purchased from ASOS and the Groomslady’s dress was from Lindy Bop.
The Readings & Music
We chose to have two readings, one read by my Grandad and the other by Alistair’s sister.
The first reading was 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13 which we felt represented us the best. The second reading was ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ by Dr Seuss which is one of my favourite books and one of my favourite quotes.
We then had a surprise waiting for our guests at the tipi of a local ukulele band which not only was the cheapest thing we booked for our wedding, but also turned out to be most memorable part of our wedding. They were absolutely fantastic and really kick started the reception party.
For our evening music we had a fantastic band called The Nameless Three. We wanted something quirky and this band played covers in a stripped back folky style.
We took a long time deciding on our first dance song and in the end we chose ‘Stolen’ by Dashboard Confessional which was performed by the band. We then decided to use our other song choices to use during the signing of the register in the church.
Originally as we had thrown so much into the wedding itself, we were going to have a small honeymoon returning back to Iceland and save up for a big honeymoon, but luckily for us we were gifted some money from our parents to have a magical honeymoon to Disney World.
There are too many special moments to tell! The whole day was just perfect and went beyond our expectations.
For me one of my most memorable moment was seeing my Granny come into the barn whilst I was getting ready. I was worried she wasn’t going to be able to join us but she absolutely loved the whole day, especially the ukulele band. My nan and grandad using the photo booth was also pretty special.
Another special moment was seeing Alistair join in with the ukulele band.
For Alistair, his most memorable moment was just seeing all of our friends and family turn up and the struggle of the wind putting up the WEDFEST letters at the field.
Advice For Other Couples
Deciding on your budget is probably the hardest part of planning a wedding and chances are you’ll definitely have to let some things go but remember you only get to do this once and there’s always a way to make things happen. We managed to save quite a lot of money by doing some things ourselves and failing that, planning a wedding is a great way of encouraging you to have a de-clutter to make some much needed wedding funds!
On the day it self, make sure to take some time to yourself and just take everything in. It really is true when people say the whole day goes by with a blur and it’s over before you know it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Venue & Accommodation
Ash Farm Barns
Kate Atkinson Make Up
Curvacious Bridal, Sheffield
The Nameless Three
Thank you ever so much Sarah and Alistair for sharing your brilliant WEDFEST with us! What a super day you had and you must have worked so hard on all that DIY! Rachel x