By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Goodness, how lucky we are to revel in the gloriousness that is Suzi and Liam’s wedding today. There is something so special about a woodland real wedding feature, they always feels so peaceful, so at one with nature and just plain magical.
WWW readers Suzi and Liam were married on the 28th July 2016 at WWW Supplier Love members Camp Katur in North Yorkshire. It’s easy to see why the couple chose the venue, it’s beautiful woodland glade made for the most special of wedding ceremonies and the accompanying barn is resplendent. They decked the barn in colourful décor which included, festoon lighting, fun touches and bright blooms. Perfect!
The bridal party looked effortlessly cool in their gorgeous outfits. There were sweet flower girls in white, bridesmaids in sequins and groomsmen in braces. Bride Suzi chose to wear the romantic Lita dress by Catherine Deane and boy oh boy did she look amazing. Liam opted for a navy suit, a subtle nod to his favourite football team, Everton. It’s all about those personal references and influences that make a wedding yours.
Emily Hannah, I cannot thank you enough for sharing these incredible shots.
THE PROPOSAL | We were away for a few days, staying in a little wooden lodge on the Yorkshire coast. Liam insisted on packing a picnic complete with prosecco and going for a walk along the beach. It was a beautiful August day and the beach was deserted bar us. When we had found a little spot on the beach to enjoy our picnic, Liam presented me with a handmade book full of photos, song quotes and memories of our 8 years together. At the end of the book he got down on one knee (in the sand) and asked me if we could spend the rest of our lives together. I later found out that he had taken my sister, baby nephew, his two brothers and two of his friends to help him choose the ring!
THE VISION | From the beginning we knew that we wanted a relaxed and fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. A lot of our family and friends have small children so we wanted it to be as family friendly as possible. A good friend of mine told me to imagine it as our ‘favourite day ever’ to spend with our favourite people. Holding this in mind helped us make decisions about where we would be and what we would do and meant that our day felt personal and reflected us as a couple.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We paid for the wedding ourselves so needed a bit of time to save up! It was almost 3 years between our engagement and wedding day, but this gave us lots of time to enjoy the process and on the whole it was pretty stress free. We had lots of lovely weekends travelling around looking at venues and getting excited, and booking things a couple of years in advance meant that we paid a little less than if we would have booked later.
BUDGET | We wanted to keep things as cheap as we could so we prioritised the things we wanted to spend more money on (like the band) and saved money by having a DIY feel. Our amazing family and friends helped out with things like the cake, bunting and favours to help keep costs down.
THE VENUE | We had our hearts set on an outdoors festival-style wedding but struggled to find anything near our home in Manchester. My sister sent me a link to Camp Katur in North Yorkshire and we instantly loved it. Although a little further from home it meant that our family and friends could stay with us for a couple of nights in the glamping accommodation to extend the celebrations…it was perfect! The night before the wedding everyone brought a plate of something and we had a buffet, drinks and games.
Our ceremony took place in a glade in the woodland and our guests sat on log benches with blankets. Despite it being the middle of summer it rained for most of the day but held off just enough so we could get married outdoors. The reception was in the rustic barn and looked perfect with lots of bunting and fairy lights. We chose to have a BBQ rather than a three-course meal to keep it relaxed and informal. In the evening we had a fantastic festival-style pizza van provided by the venue and danced the night away to our band Festival Sons.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore the ‘Lita’ dress by Catherine Deane from Agape in Bowden. My floor-length veil was also from Agape and I got my Rachel Simpson shoes in a sample sale costing just £40!
FINDING THE DRESS | I wanted a dress with a bit of a boho feel and something I would be comfortable in all day. Agape was the first bridal shop I visited and they made me feel so comfortable and special. Lita was one of the first dresses I tried on and I compared everything else I tried on to it. The girls at Agape were fantastic throughout and all alterations were included. I would definitely recommend them.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Liam decided he wanted to keep his and the groomsmen’s look quite casual and they were always going to be in blue because of his beloved Everton football team. Rather than a full suit the boys wore navy trousers, a white shirt, tie and braces from Next. Liam wore a navy woollen suit (and waistcoat) also from Next. Our page boys (our nephews Liam and Aiden) wore matching outfits to the groomsmen. Their shirts and trousers were from Debenhams and braces from John Lewis.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | Because our outdoor wedding was not legally binding it meant we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and make it really personal. My brother Adrian conducted the ceremony for us, which we had written ourselves (along with our vows). Liam, the groomsmen and his sister Franki had their own entrance, to the Everton theme tune ‘Z-cars’, before I arrived. Music is really important to Liam and I and we love going to gigs and have lots of songs that are very special to us, it was really hard to pick just a few to include in the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘Elysium’ by Bears Den and we walked out together to ‘Grow Old with Me’ by Tom O’Dell. Liam’s dad Terry did a personalised reading of ‘The Lovely Dinosaur Story’ by Edward Monkton; there were lots of giggles and everyone loved it. Liam’s sister Franki read ‘I will be here’ by Steven Curtis Chapman. I come from a big Irish family so my sister-in-law Elaine closed our ceremony with a traditional Irish blessing.
We made a playlist of all the other songs that are special to us and played this during the drinks reception and the meal. We also included the first-dance songs of all our guests who were already married so they could re-live some of the magic of their own wedding day. Our band Festival Sons played indie and rock and roll classics and had everyone up dancing all night long!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my sister Louise and best friends Laura and Anne Marie. They wore a nude dress with gold sparkles all over the top from ASOS. Our flower girls (my nieces Caoimhe, Triona and Georgie and goddaughter Orla) wore dresses and flower crowns from Monsoon.
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were created by Jane from Blooming Yorkshire. She totally understood our vision for a relaxed brightly-coloured festival style wedding so we gave her a general idea but left the specific choices up to her. She arrived the evening before and the wildflower blooms were absolutely perfect. Each of mine and the bridesmaid bouquets were slightly different and she even provided some flowers for the top of the cake. Our family and friends had very kindly saved up jam jars for us for a year before the wedding and Jane filled these with beautiful wildflowers on every table. We had so many flowers that we were able to give our guests a jar to take home at the end of the night.
THE CAKE | Liam’s sister Franki made us a beautiful naked cake, which she decorated with my sister on the morning of the wedding.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We found Emily Hannah through an internet search. We really wanted a reportage style photographer and absolutely loved the photos on her website. When we met up with her it was as if we had known her for ages. She made us feel so at ease and totally understood what we wanted. On the day of the wedding she slipped into the background and took such beautiful photos. We would highly recommend her.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We had the most fun thinking about the small details and décor. My mum and sister made reams of bunting for us; in an array of bright colours using old clothes and bits of fabric (my mum even used some of my late dad’s old shirts; which was a lovely personal touch). We used the bunting alongside the flowers in jam jars for the woodland ceremony and the barn. The tables were numbered and each one had a picture of me and Liam at that age. Tables 17 and 18 had pictures of us as a couple (as we first got together when we were 17). Liam had made a CD of the music from the wedding as a favour, alongside some of my mum’s home-made jam (cue even more jam jars)! Place names were written out on brown paper tags and on the reverse side we wrote a personal message to every guest to thank them for coming. This took a little while to do but so many of our guests came up to us to say how personal it was. We created a glitter station in the barn; it went down a storm and everyone from the kids to aunties was adorned in glitter all night.
THE HONEYMOON | Our guests contributed to our honeymoon and we were able to spend three amazing weeks in Bali and Lombok. We stayed at Uma by Como in Ubud, Bali. The staff were wonderful and treated us like royalty and we had the most amazing spa treatments. We stayed at Qunci Villas in Lombok and The Pavilions in Sanur (where we had a private pool!). We couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Walking down the woodland aisle to find that Liam had made a remembrance table with photos and wildflower seeds, to remember loved ones who were no longer with us, including my dad. The speeches, especially the best man’s ‘wheel of misfortune’. Seeing all our guests covered in glitter dancing the night away and crowd lifting me and Liam!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Go with what you want rather than what you think you should have. It’s OK to break tradition and people will love it if it is personal to you both. Most of all enjoy every minute!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Emily Hannah
Videographer | Quaint Weddings
Florist | Blooming Yorkshire
Dress | Agape Bridal Boutique
Designer | Catherine Deane
Bridesmaids | ASOS
Flowergirls | Monsoon
Suits | Next
Make up | Alexa Van Pagh
I love that Liam crafted a surprise remembrance table for his bride, so touching. Let’s also mention the glitter station – it sounds blooming brilliant!
Many thanks to Suzi and Liam for sharing their epic real wedding with us here at WWW xo Lou
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