Happy New Year! I hope you had the very best Christmas and a very cheery New Year celebration. After a wonderful couple of weeks downtime with my loved ones, the blog schedule is back, although I am not in the office just yet as my little ones are not yet back to school! If you are newly engaged, then many congratulations to you, I do hope you find our blog and wedding directory really useful during your wedding planning journey.
We are starting 2020 with a bang, thanks to the autumnal rustic wedding celebrations of WWW followers Katherine and Matt. They were hitched on the 27th October 2018 at Highview House in the Cotswolds, with a tipi providing the perfect setting for their magical wedding day. They described their day to me as; “Autumnal, twinkly, rustic, homemade, intimate and personal. With an added battle against the elements!“. It just goes to show that even when hosting an outdoor tipi wedding, rainy weather can actually enhance a wedding and add additional atmosphere, as mentioned by Katherine and Matt in their real wedding report below.
So onto their joyful celebrations, because quite frankly they were just gorgeous. Katherine is a florist at Haze Lea Floral Designs and so her floral vision was always going to be important. Using dried flowers meant that she could create her own flower arrangements and they were stunning. Hello pampas grass, dried hydrangeas and hops all round. What else do I love? The attire; with Matt and the gents in waistcoats and bow ties, the bridesmaids in teal velvet and Katherine in beaded lace. Wow.
Mark Tattersall Photography, I cannot thank you enough for sharing these exquisite and very atmospheric images with us.
Matt and I are keen skiers and we were living in the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Canada at the time. One fresh snowy morning in January we headed out skiing. The clouds were low and visibility was pretty poor. At the top of the ski lift Matt had the idea of us making the extra effort of taking our skis off, slinging them on our backs and doing the 20 min hike up to the very top of the mountain to see if we could get above the cloud cover and get a 360 view of the mountain tops. Matt made it up the top much quicker than me, and when I finally crawled over the brow, through the cloud and out into the beautiful clear blue sky, and glittering fresh snow, I found Matt there waiting for me on one knee. Safe to say I cried happy tears (which froze!) and obviously it was a YES!
We both love Autumn and the outdoors and wanted to replicate the chilled, informal vibes of previous camping adventures and evenings around the firepit. I also work in the wedding industry as a florist and therefore was very keen to host our own celebration away from a typical wedding venue and package. This way we could have more control over shaping our day, how we use the space and really make it truly personal.
We wanted to keep it less that £20,000 which we did…just!
By myself (Haze Lea Floral Designs). I didn’t intend to do my own wedding flowers, but I also found it difficult to let go of this element and in the end just decided to go for dried flowers so that I could prep them early and not have to worry about them on the day. I spent the summer drying and storing flowers and hop vines, with large dried allium and hydrangea blooms from my parents garden. The day before the wedding was spent decorating, to be honest without a clear plan of what I wanted to create! But it came together well and the muted tones looked very effective amongst all the twinkling fairy lights and candles. The bouquets however were fresh flower paired with some dried elements to remain in keeping with the rest.
We contacted multiple large country houses on Airbnb to see if any owner would be open to letting us hold our wedding on their land. After visiting a few we settled on Stephanie Parsons beautiful Highview House, which was positioned on top of a hill in Ebrington, just outside Chipping Campden in the heart of the Cotswolds. We booked it for the week, allowing the whole wedding party to stay for 5 days if they wanted rather than just one night. A teepee marquee complete with firepit was erected in the garden where the actual wedding would be held. Teepee sourced through Teepees Tents and their sister company Narrissa Eve Weddings for the larger hire items like festoon lighting, a rustic wine barrel bar and comfortable seating.
Our friends at Native Feasts were our caterers who were fantastic.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I LOVED my dress and it was perfect for our day! The Lenora (Beaded) by W.Too purchased from Mai Bridal in Witney (where we live). I chose the dress as the lace patterns were unusual and beautifully detailed with a hint of delicate sequins for a little simmer that catches the light as you move but otherwise unnoticeable. The low back was also gorgeous. It had a small train also which made it much more practical for an informal outdoor wedding. I paired with a velvet green jacket which I wore later in the evening as it was freezing cold day! For my shoes I chose light blue/ grey boots for a peep of colour to tie in with the bridesmaids dresses and gents waistcoats.
My earrings were ‘eternal love’ Celtic hearts from Clogau as a little nod to my welsh family heritage.
My veil was second hand from Ebay.
I opted to do my own makeup, so we had a day out having makeup consultations with my sister at John Lewis and came away with one or two expensive upgrades from my usual choice, with mascara, foundation and eye liner from Chanel and blusher, eyeshadow and lip gloss from Charlotte Tilbury. Which I was then able to keep afterwards, many of which are still going strong one year later!
Our hairdresser was a family friend, who came down from Bristol who did a fantastic job. My hair was a loose simple long plait and my bridesmaids had half up half down styles.
Bridesmaids wore a teal velvet wrap dress from Anthropologie with rust orange shoes and necklaces from Muru Jewelry. The wrap dress worked perfectly for my 3 bridesmaids very different body shapes and heights, one of which had just had a baby one month beforehand!
Matt and his best man and ushers chose to wear blue herringbone tweed waistcoats with a brown tweet bow tie, white shirt and different colour chino’s and brown shoes. Our dog Ernie also had a tweed collar with bow tie to match!
Our music was just a Spotify playlist we had put together throughout the planning stage and our evening band was The New Fangled Jesters who were incredible. They learnt our first dance song ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Old Crow Medicine Show and put their own twist on it which went down a storm!
The Details & Décor
A loose theme of rust orange and teal. The venue didn’t need much to decorate it as the inside of the teepees are just beautiful in themselves. We added a pop of colour to the natural hues with brightly coloured floral napkins. A cosy feel added with homemade concrete block candle stick holders and blankets on each bench. Our wedding favours were miniature succulent plants which doubled up as our table centres and place names. Our table numbers were based on numbers with meanings to us. The table plan was a vintage window frame mirror which we now have hung on our lounge wall.
We wanted the fire pit and candles to be the main focus of our décor. The cold weather actually was a strange blessing, as all our guests chatted and mingled together easily whilst huddled around the fire. Because of this there didn’t seem to be those usual splits between different groups of people. Quite a unique thing which made for an amazing atmosphere!
Mark Tattersall Photography.
We first met Mark at a friends’ wedding where I was also doing the flowers and I just fell in love with his style of photography. He is the king of dark and moody photography that focuses on where the light falls…just perfect for a late Autumn wedding. Mark also has a lovely way of directing people without being pushy, and allowing situations to just form organically for those all important natural shots. He was also able to make the most of what was (unfortunately) the worst weather conditions possible for an outdoor wedding, getting us some beautiful pictures, despite him wearing 4 layers, scarf, hat and gloves!
We didn’t manage to organise anything in time so we hopped in our van and did a road trip with our dog along the west coast of Scotland. No itinerary or bookings made, just a map and B&B’s. Perfect way to escape as phone signal was pretty poor too!
We had two!! A 3 tier pork pie cake because it’s Matt’s favourite (which then became the evening buffet food) and a carrot cake made my mum, because it’s my favourite.
The ceremony was my favourite part of the whole day. Full of laughter and smiles. We were unable to officially get married on the day itself due to it not being a registered wedding venue, therefore we married at a registry office a few days beforehand in Bristol. This allowed us to ask our friend to act as our wedding officiate which was the best decision we made. He did an amazing job, giving a great speech which was both fun and serious when it needed to be and such a personal addition to our day making it extra special.
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the ‘advice’ you will receive on what you should be doing, or what is traditional or what everyone else has done. Write down at the beginning what is most important for you, regardless of how big or small that thing may seem and remind yourselves of it every few months or before a new big decisions to make sure those things don’t get lost in the confusion of wedding planning. Remember, it is your day and it is about celebrating you and your partner, everything else is just detail. And most importantly, don’t worry if things don’t go quite to plan on the day, relax and enjoy, it goes past too quickly not too!!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Mark Tattersall Photography
Highview House, Ebrington, Chipping Campden Cotswolds – Airbnb
Aren’t autumn weddings just so special? How gorgeous!
Katherine and Matt, thank you ever so much for sharing your beautiful celebrations with us xo Lou