A Woodland, DIY Bohemian Wedding

Bohemian Wedding

“EEEkkkkkkk” i squealed to photographer Claire when she sent over this beautiful wedding to me, and i am super duper excited to share it with you guys today.

Anika and Dave were married in May at the amazing Cornish Tipi Weddings in St Kew, Cornwall. Which is the most stunning riverside location, set in the woodland with tipis galore… wow.

They wanted their wedding to be different, with a party reception. Anika and Dave DIY’d their day, doing the flowers themselves, decorating the straw bales, creating bunting, crafting hessian table runners, and a whole photo booth themselves.

I love the mismatched bridesmaids, Anika’s gorgeous wedding day look, especially her cute crown and those wildflowers.

Thanks so much to the super lovely Blue Daisy Photography for sharing her imagery with us today, here is what she had to say about the day;

“When I met Dave and Anika to talk about their wedding we got on really well straight away. Everything they told me about their wedding day just made me more excited about shooting it! The main thing was the venue,   http://www.cornishtipiweddings.co.uk It’s a Tipi campsite in Cornwall, and is just amazing! We did their engagement shoot at a little pebble beach where Dave proposed. The sun was shining that day and we got some lovely shots. After a week of rain, the actual wedding day turned out to be super warm and sunny, the groom even got sunburn setting up the site the day before! The ceremony took place in a gazebo next to a river, with a tipi opposite filled with Pimms and strawberries for the guests. After some mingling and a few photos everyone set off to the reception (a short walk from the ceremony to their tipi camp with a marquee). The bride was given a lift on a quad bike (the staff at the campsite were super friendly and helpful!).

The reception decoration was entirely DIY. Anika and her family had made bunting, cushions, tablecloths etc. The seating was hay bales covered with cushions, and the bar had been made by the owners of the tipi site especially for them! The thing that amazed me most was the wonderful photo booth Anika had made! She had an old suitcase full of wigs, glasses, mustaches etc. I spent some time in there later in the evening taking fun shots of all the guests, but it was open all day to anyone who wanted to pop in and take their own photos. While the guests had drinks and enjoyed the sunshine, the tipi site owners whisked myself and the bride and groom on a whistle-stop tour of the most beautiful parts of the site. We went to the lake first, the view was breathtaking and the light was just right. Dave and Anika went out on a boat, and I was taken out on another boat to get some shots out on the water. This shows my dedication as I am petrified of water and can’t swim! ;)  We then went to find some bluebells and an old railway bridge. We could have spent hours finding beautiful spots but the hog roast was calling! The whole feeling of the day was relaxed and fun, there was no stress and everyone had a ball! I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was editing it :)”


baby breath bouquetquad bike wedding transportrustic wedding tables wildflowersflower crown headdress bride wedding

Names…. Anika and Dave

Wedding Date…. 12th May 2012

The Proposal…. Dave proposed to me on a little hidden pebble beach close to where we live. He made me trek over huge rocks until we were at the top of a cliff over looking the sea. I looked down and realised that he’d spelled out ‘marry me?’ using stones from the beach.

The Vision for the day…. We both knew from the start that we wanted something a little bit different. We definitely didn’t want a huge traditional church wedding! Our vision was for a relaxed informal ceremony followed by a party under the stars and a weekend camping with our two children and close friends and family.

The Planning process…. I did most of the planning myself and although it was quite stressful at times I actually really enjoyed that part of it. I started by looking through images of different weddings online and found lots of inspiration from wedding blogs. I did a brainstorm of all the different ideas that I liked and then we both sat down and narrowed it down to our favourites.

In the end we decided on a simple rustic style wedding with straw bale seating for the ceremony, a hog roast instead of a sit down meal, decorated wooden picnic benches in the marquee, rounds of cheese for our wedding cake and ice cream from a vintage truck for dessert. I left a lot of my ‘to do’ list until the last minute and then suddenly started panicking a few weeks before. In the end one of my bridesmaids came over and made me write a list of everything that still needed doing so we could start working our way through it. Our wedding was very DIY so the hardest thing was finding the time to make everything.

After a lot of worrying about how it would all work on the actual day, it somehow all came together. On the morning of the wedding I had a friend pick up 15 punnets of strawberries and chop up all of the fruit to go with the pimms, some of our other guests poured out all of the post ceremony drinks just before we arrived and another friend set up the cheese cake and decorated it with the grapes and flowers. Everyone helped out and did their bit to make the day what it was!

Budget…. We didn’t really have a set budget but aimed to spend as little as possible. We kept costs down by having a small guest list and only invited our close friends and family. We cut out the things that weren’t important to us and made pretty much everything we could ourselves. We didn’t have a DJ or do wedding favours, we all did our own hair and make-up and we made the bouquets and buttonholes ourselves.

The Venue… Initially we planned on having a beach wedding abroad as we really liked the idea of having an outdoor ceremony but couldn’t find anywhere in the UK where this seemed like a feasible option. We had already put a deposit down on a wedding in Turkey when Dave happened to stumble across a photograph of a wedding at Cornish Tipi Weddings in St Kew. As soon as he showed me the picture I knew I wanted to get married there. The site feels like a secret woodland with tipis dotted amongst the trees and the most amazing green lake hidden in the middle of it all. We were lucky enough to visit on a gorgeous sunny day and after being shown around we took a boat out on the lake and Dave even had a quick swim. We didn’t want to leave and booked our wedding then and there.

We were married under a pretty pavilion in the woods followed by pimms and lemonade for our guests served from a huge tipi opposite. A marquee was set up in another field for the reception and was surrounded by a number of tipis for our guests to stay in. The hog roast worked perfectly for our style of wedding and everyone kept raving about the food. Especially the crackling! We didn’t have a top table or seating plan as we wanted people to relax and chat to who ever they liked while eating their food. They could sit and eat at the picnic benches or on bales that we’d made in to comfy lounge areas. We decided not to hire in a bar and instead put on our invite that guests were welcome to bring their own alcohol. We supplied a selection of drinks and placed them in oak barrels filled with ice from the local fishmonger. The staff at Cornish Tipi’s were excellent and couldn’t do enough for us. They even built us a rustic looking bar for the marquee complete with an old beer pump that they sourced from a local pub.

Guests had the option to stay onsite with us and make a weekend of it. A group of us spent the next day around the lake and even caught some fish that we cooked over the fire pit the next evening. The whole weekend was amazing and I’m so glad that we got to spend longer with our guests.

The Dress + Accessories….. My dress was ‘Anna’ by Jenny Packham and suited the venue perfectly. It’s a silk chiffon gown with a simple silhouette and embellished with delicate beaded detail that sparkled in the sunlight. My shoes were by irregular choice in a style called ‘can’t touch this’. The flower crown I wore in my hair was custom made by Sophie from crown and glory who makes gorgeous hair accessories by hand. The cameo necklace and ring that I wore were both borrowed from my gran and my earrings were my mum’s.

Finding the dress…. While searching for my perfect dress I fell in love with the style of Jenny Packham’s wedding gowns but realized that they were a lot more than we could afford to spend. I ended up travelling to Reading with my mum, sister and bridesmaids to a bridal shop that sold sample and pre-loved designer dresses. They had a number of JP dresses that I could try on and were all a fraction of their original prices. My dress was one of the first I tried on and although it didn’t look anything special on the hanger the second I put it on we all knew it was the one.

Groom’s attire… Dave wore a dark grey suit and a charcoal grey wool tie, both from Marks & Spencer. Our son’s suit was very similar to Dave’s and was also from M&S. The men were given pocket watches as gifts and wore them on the day with their suits. My dad’s pocket watch was previously my grandfather’s and was passed on to him by my Nan just before the wedding.

The Readings + Music…. We had a civil ceremony and decided to personalise the readings by writing our own vows. We kept them very simple but they were more us than the sample ones suggested by the registrars. I walked down the aisle (across the grass) to Skinny Love by Bon Iver and we chose Bruno Mars’ Just the way you are for directly after the ceremony. We hired a musician to sing and play the guitar. He sat just outside the wedding pavilion and played while guest’s arrived and for a little while after the ceremony.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had my sister and two of my best friends that I’ve known since school as my bridesmaids. I didn’t want them in traditional bridesmaids dresses so instead they wore mismatched dresses but all in a similar colour. All the dresses were from high street stores, one was from Lipsy, another from next and the other from Jones and Jones. They all pretty much chose their own dresses as it was important that they felt comfortable in what they were wearing and I didn’t want to force them to wear something that they hated. Our daughter was a flower girl and her dress and shoes were both from monsoon. The flowers in their hair and the matching flower crown my daughter wore were again from crown and glory.

The Flowers… I didn’t want to spend a fortune on flowers so I experimented with doing them myself. I chose to use just gypsophila for all the bouquets and after a few trials decided to wrap the stems with brown string for a just picked rustic look. I ordered 20 packs of gypsophila from Morrisons at a cost of £30 and picked them up a couple of days before the wedding. In the end me, my mum, sister and bridesmaids made all the bouquets and buttonholes on the floor of the bed & breakfast the night before the wedding. Lizzie the site owner agreed to let us pick some of the wild flowers from their grounds to put in our glass jars and use as table decorations. It worked out really well as we were lucky enough to have our wedding during the 2 weeks of the year that bluebells are in flower! We mixed them in amongst the left over gypsophila and they looked so pretty on the tables.

The Cake… Our cake was from M&S and instead of the traditional wedding cake it was huge rounds of cheese layered on top of a log and decorated with grapes and flowers. It was great with the crackers and fruit for guests to pick at later in the evening.

Your Photographer…. Because our wedding was so small and intimate I was a bit reluctant at first about letting someone else be part of our day. But then I found our photographer Claire from Blue Daisy Photography and I completely changed my mind. She fitted in perfectly at the wedding and took photographs of us getting ready and throughout the whole day without being too intrusive. I wanted fun and informal photographs showing the day just as it happened, with one group shot of us with all of our guests. Claire did it all perfectly and managed to capture lots of the little details along the way. She did an amazing job and our final photographs are incredible!

The Details + Decor… As our venue was so unique it was pretty easy to decide how we wanted it to look on the day. We went for a simple rustic feel with lots of pretty details. We bought 50 straw bales from a farmer and covered them with mismatched material for our guests to sit on during the ceremony. My mum and one of my bridesmaids made about 100 metres of bunting between them and we covered around 40 cushions with pretty material. We made areas of comfy seating from straw bales, throws and cushions. Nearly every bit of material that we used my mum found in her loft or hidden somewhere else in the house.

Our friends and family had been collecting glass jars for months and by the time the wedding came around we had hundreds. We put wild flowers in some of them to use as table decorations and placed tea lights and fairy lights in the others to hang in the tress as lanterns. I bought a load of hessian fabric to make into tables runners for the wooden picnic benches. They were so simple to make as we just cut the fabric and frayed the edges for a rustic look.

One of my favourite parts of the wedding was our DIY photo booth. We hung vintage style fabric from a backdrop stand and collected lots of props for people to use for some fun photographs. We had hats, wigs, fake teeth, masks and I made lips and mustaches from felt and stuck them on to sticks. I found a vintage suitcase at a car boot and relined it with pretty fabric to put all the props in. Our guests loved it and the photo booth photographs turned out to be some of my favourites from the whole day.

The Honeymoon…. We already had a 2 week holiday booked in turkey for a couple of weeks after the wedding so that was our honeymoon / family holiday. We’re also planning on getting away somewhere for a short break without the kids as soon as we can.

Memorable moments…  There are so many memorable moments from the day but one that really sticks in my mind was when our daughter wanted me to pick her up for a cuddle during the ceremony. It was just as I was about to say my vows to Dave. Everyone thought it was very cute.

Advice for other couples… Do things the way that you want to do them. It’s your day! And do some research to find a photographer whose work suits you and your wedding. Your wedding photographs are so important, it will all go so quickly and they’re a lasting reminder of the day.

Credit where credit is due…

Photographer: Blue Daisy Photography – www.bluedaisyphotography.co.uk

Venue: Cornish Tipi Weddings – www.cornishtipiweddings.co.uk

Dress: Berkshire Brides – www.berkshire-brides.co.uk

Caterer: Cornwall Hog Roast Co. – www.cornwallhogroast.co.uk

Hair accessories: Crown and Glory – www.crownandgloryaccessories.co.uk



Thanks so very much to Anika and Dave for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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