I think you’re just going to love WWW readers Nathan and Esme’s fun and relaxed nuptials today. Our pair really wanted their personalities to come through in the style of their wedding and boy did they pull it off! They tied the knot on Wednesday 13th June 2018 with a traditional church ceremony and a reception afterwards in the grounds of Rivendell House, Cumbria. I just adore the couple’s transport from the wedding and all the nods to Nathan’s traveller heritage.
Esme designed her own dress with the help of a local dressmaker and isn’t it gorgeous? She didn’t want a veil which would have covered her beautiful long hair, so instead worked in a detachable cape, how marvellous is that? There was also some subtle colour in the dress which you have to look twice to see. The bridesmaids were all in different colours which fits the colourful theme just perfectly.
The florals are one of my favourite elements of this wedding. So many colourful blooms in a real meadow, wildflower style. They look brilliantly at home with the painted wagons and gorgeous homemade festival touches.
The excellent images come courtesy of Camilla Lucinda today, thank you ever so much for sharing them with us Camilla.
13th Feb 2016.
Nathan proposed over a game of Cluedo and my mum, sister and her husband we in on it too.
They swapped the ‘who done it’ cards to homemade ones with Miss Brame, in the living room with the ring.
We then played the game normally (the normal ‘who done it’ cards had been hidden out of the way.) when I guessed what it was and opened the cards to see, Nathan got down on one knee and proposed.
Relaxed and fun – from the beginning of planning we both knew we wanted a wedding where everyone had fun.
Nathan is colour blind so we chose a mismatched theme of different colours for the bridesmaids and groomsman, and a rustic, vintage, country theme for the flowers and reception décor.
Nathan’s family is from a travelling background and own horses so we wanted that heritage to be a part of the décor too, we used family friends gypsy caravans to decorate and a horse and cart as transport.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Nathan bought his suit from Master Debonair.
He wore his Grandma’s sovereign ring and his pocket watch (a 21st birthday present from me). He wore blue suede brogue shoes. I made him a grape soda ‘Ellie’ badge from Pixars UP as a wedding gift, which he opened on the morning of the wedding.
I designed my own wedding dress and had in made by a local dress maker over in Langwathy – Jacquie Kidd.
I had always imagined that princess wedding dress and so I created one just for me – it was a traditional A line silhouette, with a train on the back. Sweetheart plunge necklace with lace cap sleeves and a corset back. That is where traditional finished though – I added the colour of my bridesmaids into the train of the dress in silk painted lace applications, which were so subtle people had to look twice to see if there was colour on. I also decided not to have a veil as I wanted my very long hair to be a statement and therefore it needed to be seen. Instead I designed a cape that hooked and unhooked from my shoulders. This then created the long veil affect whilst attached, but easily detached later in the day. This had more colour on the lace. I also added a bustle onto the dress so the train disappeared too.
My accessories were ‘something old’, an antique gold bracelet with a gold horse shoe charm given to me by Nathan’s Grandma. ‘Something new’, a gold key pendant from a local preloved jewellery shop called Andessa’s. ‘Something borrowed’, gold pearl earrings from my mum. ‘Something blue’, my engagement ring. And I had a lucky sixpence in my blue suede shoes.
The Planning Process
We had a long engagement (almost 2.5 years) as Nathan was just finishing an apprenticeship at the time we got engaged, so we didn’t set a date until we knew he had passed. We also wanted to save up more money so we could have the wedding we wanted on an alright budget.
I did most of the planning, being the organised one, although what Nathan did input was all implemented into the day, Luchinis ice cream being one of them (I am lactose intolerant).
Tables took a lot of deciding, but turned out as one of the talking points of the day – we decided that as we both like films, and I like books, we would have the tables named after adventure stories – the top table was Lord of the Rings. We also had Pirates of the Caribbean, the Hobbit, Stardust, Harry Potter, Willy Wonka, Game of Thrones, Toy Story, Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast. Each of these tables were decorated with things from the films etc – styled by myself and one of my bridesmaids Claire. This added to the whole mismatched theme.
We were strict on budget with most things, but we spent money on the things that would be enjoyed by all – the band and food for example.
We had a lot of help from friends and family and we are both creative people, so most of the signs and décor were made and painted by us. This made it very personal to us.
Our lucky number is 13 (Nathan asked my out on my birthday, 13th April, asked me to marry him 13th February, and so we chose 13th June as the wedding day). We set our budget accordingly- £13k.
The festival site behind Rivendell House, Workington, west Cumbria.
A beautiful little festival site with lawns and woodland stages and a big top marquee with king poles – very much in keeping with our style of country and relaxed and fun.
They chose their own dresses. We matched the colours with each pair of groomsman and bridesmaid (pink, yellow, blue and green).
The groomsmen chose their own suits and wore waistcoats which matched the groom from Master Debonair.
Make up – Rebecca Jones, Beau Blushes. I don’t normally wear much makeup so I knew I wanted a natural look. The bridesmaids got what they felt comfortable in also.
Hair – Rachel Kendrick. As my hair is very long (28 inches), I decided to go for the tangled plait look with homemade beaded garlands running through it. The bridesmaids all had different hairstyles, but were all loose, messy bun-like styles, again with homemade pins I made to match my garland.
The Readings & Music
We had the ceremony in All Saints Church, Cockermouth. We opted for the traditional wedding readings and hymns – my sister read ‘Love is patient’ and Nathan’s brother and sister read a poem called ‘On your wedding day’.
We chose ‘Oil in my lamp’ and ‘One more step’ as the hymns.
I walked down the aisle to ‘Everything I do’ by Bryan Adams.
We walked back down the aisle to ‘When you say nothing at all’ by Ronan Keating.
Then traditional stopped – we had the reception at a festival site.
We had songs and scores from the films on the tables as the background music whilst eating.
Our first dance was to ‘Hero’ by Enrique Inglesias
We had two bands playing – a folk band in the afternoon playing in the woodland stage outside and a 1950’s rock and roll band in the evening at the main stage in the marquee
Camilla Lucinda Raven.
We chose her almost as soon as we had seen her work as we knew she was the photographer for us – Nathan isn’t keen on photos so we wanted a photographer who wouldn’t be in your face taking loads of photos of just us. We saw Camilla’s work and thought her eye for capturing the moment was exactly what we wanted – and she certainly did not disappoint.
Floral boutique, Cockermouth did a fantastic job of the bouquets and buttonholes and flowers for the church. I gave them the colours and a brief idea of country garden. Everybody commented on how beautiful they were. When they delivered the flowers to the hotel in the morning I started crying when I saw them as they were perfect.
The flowers at the venue on the tables etc were collected from friends and family’s gardens and along the wayside. Nathan and the best man Karl arranged them the night before the wedding.
We used Cath Prescott-Delving (CPD) filming. She was recommend to us by Camilla.
What a lovely couple they are. Although we have not yet seen the footage, we are so looking forward to watching our day over again and remembering all those moments that otherwise may be forgotten over time.
The Details & Décor
The church was simply decorated outside with a milk churn filled with flowers from floral boutique and a sign I painted welcoming everyone. Inside nathan hung handmade horseshoes on each pew end.
The venue was mostly decorated with handmade things.
We did hire outside fair games – coconut shy, tincan alley etc from Wilde and Romantic. They also gave us a vintage DIY photo booth, writing bureau with typewriter for the guest book, and mismatched tea cups, saucers and plates for the tables.
Signs were painted my myself and a family friend Ben.
Table decorations were created my me and one of my bridesmaids Claire.
We had gypsy bowtop caravans parked outside, as Nathan’s family has travellers’ blood in them.
Instead of giving favours out that would most likely not be used again, we decided to buy loads of glasses and tumblers from charity shops and use those as décor and favours. Mismatched napkins were made by my a family friend and they were gifts also. The flowers were put in bottles and old jam jars etc, and were there to take away if guests wanted. I also made homemade flavoured gins for the tables instead of your more traditional bottles of wine. The rhubarb one was the favourite.
My sister made the cake. It was a rustic naked Victoria sponge decorated with fresh flowers (floral boutique gave her the off cuts from the bouquets). Nathan made the cake stand out of horse shoes (he is a farrier by trade). And also made the sword that we cut the cake with.
We also had a Great British Bake Off style competition for the guests – they brought with them their bakes and we used these to feed the guests in the afternoon with cake and tea. The entrants were judged by the bridal party and rosettes were handed out – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. My sister got best in show for the wedding cake.
In our invites we asked people to put money towards our honeymoon if they wanted give us a gift. We are going to Australia for a month in November.
We did go up to Skye for a mini-moon the weekend after the wedding to get away for a little bit though.
So many of them!
We had Nathan’s horse Billy pick us up from the church on the flat bed cart and we drove down Main Street on that – it was a lovely experience being all dressed up and people waving and taking photos. After we got to Nathan’s Dad’s stables at the end of town we got off the cart (I was lifted off!) and we sat in the static caravan they have down there and ate a packet of crisps and a pork pie and relaxed together for a while before getting into the car and driving to the reception.
We untraditionally went in and sat down first at the top table, which meant we could watch everyone coming in and finding their tables. It was lovely to just sit and watch.
One of my family friends is a storyteller and he told a lovely tale for us that had been given to him from an old river gypsy. That was his gift to us for our wedding – everyone was very touched by the words he spoke.
The main band in the evening – absolutely fantastic! Everyone had such a great time, regardless of the storm blowing a gale and pouring rain outside (it was the night Storm Hector hit!).
Advice For Other Couples
Make sure you do what you both want to do and not what anyone else what to do – it is your day.
If you are doing your own DIY wedding remember it takes time to get everything organised. And it is a lot of effort. Especially if you go and decide to plan a mini festival too! But so worth it!
Take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on it all – it goes past so fast!
Remember to eat and drink – I didn’t really have a full drink or a full meal after my breakfast at the hotel in the morning as there was never time. But so long as you sip at drinks and nibble at food!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Beau Blushes, Rebecca Jones
Bride & Bridesmaids Hotel
Allerdale Court Hotel
Wedding Night Hotel
The Trout Hotel
CPD, Cath Prescott Delving
Ice Cream Van
Luchini’s Ice Cream
Vintage Prop Hire
Wilde and Romantic
Neil and Yvonne Reay-Bennett
The Striped Pig Company
1950s Rock n’ Roll Band
The Jukebox Jets
Also we would like to thank Ben and Amanda – family friends, for all their help with the setting up and organisation of the day.
What a truly special day you had Nathan and Esme. You stayed true to what you wanted and had such a wonderfully personal day as a result. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Rachel x