By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
There is nothing I love more than seeing creativity within weddings, in all forms. Whether that be with a venue, such as today’s real wedding with the church reception, the same church where the ceremony also took place, or with style or personal choices. WWW readers Luke and Ruth’s church wedding had it all, natural vibes, greenery everywhere and romantic candles.
They were married on the 26th September 2020 after cutting their guest list and opting for a two-part wedding. With a budget of £3000, they created a celebration that oozed love, style and warmth. With DIY elements, such as Ruth’s stunning homemade dress, pretty DIY flower arrangements and loved ones contributing decor, cakes and foliage. It was a real collaborative effort. Does it get any better than that?
A big thank you goes to Hannah K Photography for sharing these joyful images of a very special day.
We had planned a picnic and a walk in the Cotswolds along the Cotswold way just outside Broadway/Broadway Tower. We made quiche for the picnic the night before, indulged in a cream tea at Broadway Tower, and walking back down to Broadway the question was popped, to an initial “are you serious???”. A ring was produced and Ruth eventually remembered to say yes.
We wanted a big wedding, with all our friends and family, lots of natural tones and textures, fairy lights, plants and greenery. We share a mutual love of gin so knew that had to be featured somehow! Overall, we wanted it to be a relaxed affair around food, drinks and good music to dance the night away to. COVID definitely scaled down our plans but the vision didn’t change!
We scaled back from our original budget of £13,000 but used things we had already collected/bought for the original wedding. We’re planning to re-use all the décor when we get to celebrate with our original guest list (shout out to our parents for storing it all for us). The budget was adapted from the original budget but probably added about £1500 with additional food and photography costs.
St John’s Church, Kenilworth
The groom’s suit was a sale find from Moss Bros, he wore his normal work shoes.
The bride’s dress was lovingly and painstaking made by Ruth’s mum. It had pockets! Ruth’s shoes were a £5 bargain from Cancer Research.
Our Christian faith is a huge part of our lives and our relationship, and we wanted this to be reflected in our service. Our vicar, Andrew took the service for us, our parents did the readings and siblings signed the register/did the prayers. While we would have loved to have more songs and hymns in it, we didn’t want to put anyone at risk with singing.
Entrance: I get to love you – Ruelle
Signing the register: Highlands (Acoustic) – Hillsong United
Exit: This will be (an everlasting love) – Natalie Cole
Ruth was set on Hannah K Photography (@HannahKPhotography) from before we got engaged, having seen her photographs of Luke’s sister’s wedding. It was a joy to work with her from start to finish and we love the photos we have of the day.
One of Luke’s friends (Viren Ahluwalia – @Viren_A113) very generously captured some of our day on video and cut a highlight video together for us.
The styling of the church was a huge family effort the days before – with people dispatched around town to scavenge ivy and greenery and bringing in their house plants. We were very grateful that our friends and family were so generous with the contents of their gardens and houseplants!
We created ‘party bags’ for all our guests containing sanitiser, a facemask, tissues and some snacks.
Luke’s dad took some old fence panels to recreate a screen that Ruth had fallen in love with on Instagram, Luke’s sister (@RebekahOliverDesign) hand-lettered mirrors and signs for us with bible passages and poems and we had fairy lights and natural muslin strung around. Ruth had been picking up mirrors from charity shops for the previous year, so had quite a collection! We used scented candles to create a floral smell throughout the building and more candles anywhere Ruth could fit them. A diffuser was decanted into gin bottles and placed in the toilets to carry the theme.
The tables were named after some of our favourite gins, to put to use a small number of the empty bottles we had been persuading our friends and family to drink/collect for us. We splashed out on coupe glasses and coloured water glasses (albeit only from Ikea), to add some colour and variety – we would not have been able to afford it for 200 so it was a nice upside of the smaller wedding.
We got flowers from a wholesaler in Coventry. We created the arrangements for the church the day before, using tonic bottles for bud vases on the tables and then Ruth and her mum put together the bouquet and buttonholes.
Luke’s dad created a delicious slow matured fruitcake and Luke’s sister made us a Lemon Drizzle and decorated them both for us.
We escaped for a few days to explore the Cotswolds – a delicious night in the very beautiful Ellenborough Park, and then a few more in a gorgeous rural AirBnB.
There was a gap in timing between the photographs and dinner – we were first back to the church which had been turned around for dinner by some wonderful family/church friends. It was a wonderful 30 minutes to sit in the space, enjoying the atmosphere we had dreamt up and enjoy a brew together, on our own.
We then snuck out the back as everyone arrived and came back in the front for our entrance!
We chose to get photos in front of Kenilworth’s beautiful castle, it made for a wonderful backdrop and the biting wind added a flair to the photos! Everyone was freezing but laughing through it. Our confetti shot is one of my favourite photos from the day, it’s exceptional!
Don’t feel you have to do things for the sake of it – for example, we were not at all bothered about the cars, one of Ruth’s bridesmaids drove us to the church and Luke’s parents lent their car for the drive to the castle. If a tradition doesn’t work for you, don’t do it!
Hannah K Photography
The Bride via All Seasons Floral Supplies Ltd, Coventry
Luke’s Father & Sister
Love wins again!
Luke and Ruth I cannot thank you enough for sharing your beautiful church wedding reception, I hope you have the most amazing sequel wedding very soon too.
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