WWW readers Rebecca and Matt decided that no venue could compare to Rebecca’s family home and so followed their church wedding with a reception there on the 4th June 2016. The whole day sounds idyllic, including the fact that Jonathan Creek’s windmill was just down the road! I love a DIY wedding at home and how much scope it gives a couple to put their own mark on proceedings.
Rebecca is a graphic designer and it certainly shows in all the pretty details, the signage is simply fabulous and the table settings with dreamy petals scattered over are just gorgeous. I love the home made favours of sloe gin and local honey and what about the fantastic “Pimp Your Fizz” stand in an old fashioned school desk? Rebecca isn’t the only talented person involved, as her clever Mum put together the beautiful flower arrangements for the tables and a family friend assembled the bouquets and buttonholes.
Rebecca looked wonderful in her bespoke dress from Whiteleaf Boutique and Matt looks rather dapper in his three piece Hugo Boss suit. Monsoon dresses were chosen for the beautiful bridesmaids and the groomsmen were suited and booted by Moss Bros.
Thanks ever so much to Kate Gray Photography for the fantastic photos. Now to sit back and enjoy all the pretty.
THE PROPOSAL | Matt proposed in Bruges at the end of November 2014 – where we were celebrating his 30th Birthday and our 10th anniversary. He picked a spot on the oldest bridge in the City one night after dinner. It was perfect.
THE VISION | It was really important to us that our wedding day was intimate and relaxed, with lots of laughter, good food and dancing.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We enjoyed a few weeks celebrating our engagement before getting stuck into our planning – with a year and a half to go before the big day.
Although it had always been my dream to get married at my family home in West Sussex, we visited a few nearby wedding venues – just to make sure nothing else stood out for us. We knew that planning a DIY wedding at home would have its challenges – with the chance of bad weather and all the logistics of loos and generators to contend with. However, very quickly we realised an at-home wedding would be worth it and set about finding shelter! Very soon we discovered Beautiful World Tents, based just 10 minutes drive from my Mums’s house, and fell in love with their gorgeous tipis.
From there everything started to come together – with the help of many Pinterest boards, our amazing local suppliers, friends and family.
THE VENUE | We chose to have our wedding ceremony at my local church in the village of Shipley. It’s a beautiful setting with sheep grazing all around it, and Jonathan Creek’s windmill just next door. We loved every minute of our wedding service. The sun even came out just as we were leaving the church.
After the ceremony, Matt and I joined our guests for our reception, travelling back to the house in a beautiful white Morgan kindly organised by his Uncle Mike. So fortunate with the weather (which had been miserable all week), we had drinks and hearty canapés on the lawn, accompanied by Jon our Spanish guitarist.
We then headed into our tipis for speeches and wedding breakfast – roast pork loin with root vegetable mash and rhubarb compote, followed by eton mess.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Despite eventually picking one of the first dresses I had seen, I visited about 4 boutiques in London and Sussex before making my decision. In the end I shortlisted 2 dresses – one bespoke, light and floaty with straps, the other designed by Jesus Piero, with a very full skirt and no straps! I loved both, but in the end chose the one i knew I would be most comfortable wearing in the garden on the day. It was from Whiteleaf Boutique in the North Laines, Brighton. Blanka and her lovely team customise all of their dresses for their brides, meaning it was entirely unique to me.
I accessorised my dress with a natural pearl headpiece from BHLDN, ivory lace stilettos (a gift from my Grandmother-in-law-to-be) and Swarovski earrings from my Mum.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Matt chose a navy 3-piece suit from Hugo Boss, with a pale blue tie to compliment our wedding colour palette, and dark brown shoes. He looked gorgeous.
We hired suits from Moss Bros for our ushers, Andy, Bennet, Ben and Joe and Matt’s Best Man Keith, to match Matt’s suit.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose 3 hymns for our wedding service, Jerusalem, One More Step and Lord of the Dance, and 2 readings, Corinthians 13:4-7 and A Perfect Wedding Cake, read by Matt’s Auntie and my Uncle.
Jon, our amazing guitarist played classic guitar as our guests arrived at the church, and Spanish guitar during our drinks reception. Our super-talented band, The Soundcasters, then entertained us all in the evening, from our first dance (Morecambe and Wise’s Bring Me Sunshine) right through to the end of the night.
THE FLOWERS | My talented Mum ordered all of the flowers from Brighton flower market, and took care of the arrangements at our reception. We had big table vases filled with white hydrangeas and pussy willow.
A family friend Pat kindly offered to help with all the bouquets and button holes. My bouquet was a mixture of peonies, stocks, Anemones, roses and leafy greens. My bridesmaids had bunches of stunning white astilbes.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had 7 bridesmaids – my 4 best friends from school Charlie, Jen, Katherine and Sadie, and my 3 younger cousins Ella, Issy and Evie. The oldest 6 wore stunning floral dresses from Monsoon, and Evie wore a beautiful crochet and tulle dress, also from Monsoon.
THE CAKE | We ordered a 3-tiered sponge cake from nudecakes.co.uk – which arrived a few days before our big day via Royal Mail! Really amazing value, they were recommended by my bridesmaid Sadie. We assembled the sponges with their fillings the night before and our caterer kindly took care of the decoration on the day. It was delicious and we had many compliments about the cake.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | After lots of research and blog-searching, we chose Kate Gray and her husband Jon as our photographers. Kate’s portfolio was exactly what we were looking for – natural, creative and full of personality. We met for a pre-wed shoot a few months before our wedding and instantly clicked. We are delighted with how they captured our day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As a graphic designer, the details for our wedding were a labour of love! From our save the dates and invites, to our order of services and menus, our wedding stationery featured a hand drawn calligraphic monogram of our names and complimented our blush and navy colour palette. I also designed a simple website to give our guests all the details about our day and to RSVP.
We chose homemade slow gin and local honey for our wedding favours, and decorated our tipis and the garden with navy and blush lanterns and fairy lights.
THE HONEYMOON | We headed off to the beautiful Greek island of Skiathos a few days after our wedding. It was magical.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I will never forget our ceremony – it was without doubt the most special part of our day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Everyone says it, but trust your gut and don’t let other people’s opinions stand in your way. It’s amazing how none of it matters on the day.
For those organising a DIY wedding, get your essentials, including a generator, loos and plans for parking, organised early. You’ll have so many other things to organise as you get closer to the day that you’ll be thankful these were ticked off the list early.
I would also recommend an on-the-day co-ordinator. Someone to help take care of all your suppliers as they arrive and throughout the day (along with any unforeseen issues!) – so you can relax. We couldn’t have done it without Nicky – she was a superstar.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Kate Gray Photography
Wedding dress | White Leaf Bridal
Tipis | Beautiful World Tents
Loos | Sweetpea Toilets
Generator | Sparks Power
Lanterns | To Have to Hire Events
Prop hire | Co-ordination Catering Hire
Wedding Co-ordinator | Nicola Austin
Guitarist | Jon Pickard
Band | The Soundcasters
Caterer | Champion Caterers
Cake | Nude Cakes
Thanks so much Rebecca and Matt for sharing your wonderfully personal wedding, such a lovely day. Rachel x