Cotswold Woodland Glamping Wedding
Tianne: woodland, family, friends, love, DIY.
Carina: magical, joy, emotion, fun.
I am so thrilled to be sharing Carina and Tianne’s utterly magical Cotswold Woodland Glamping in the Cotswolds today, which was held on the 8th September 2018. Their day was so heart-warming and special, with their loved ones coming together to celebrate in the middle of the woodland with them. Together with many of their guests they glamped on site (hello shepherds hut with hot tub!), they had a beautiful first look and they were married in a humanist ceremony before partying in fairy lit tipis. There was live music supplied by WWW fave and Supplier Love member Warble Entertainment as well as a sing song around the camp fire in the evening. Whoa.
Carina and Tianne both looked really gorgeous in their stylish attire, there were really pretty flowers, rustic signs and special personalised stationery too. What a spectacular day indeed.
Elaine Williams Photography I cannot thank you enough for sending me these super stunning images. Enjoy folks!
C: A weekend away at my Tianne’s Auntie Philippa and Uncle Kevin’s cottage in the New Forest, we had planned on a long walk. Tianne doesn’t tie her walking boot laces up tight enough and on the day I knew I would propose I had planned to ask – her when a lace would inevitably come undone, as I would usually help her to do it back up… but she walked out wearing her new wellies instead!
T: I thought something was wrong as Carina asked me ‘what are you wearing those for’ and looked absolutely horrified, she was acting so strangely during our walk then after while I heard her say my name and when I turned around she was on one knee and said ‘you know I have always loved you’… I said yes, straight away (of course) I don’t think she ever actually said ‘will you marry me?’ It was perfect for us – relaxed, romantic, surrounded by nature.
T: On a family holiday to India everyone was saying how much they loved Carina (she was back in London) and were asking about our future together and the ‘perfect wedding for us’. Whilst lounging by the pool we decided it should be ‘a celebration of love, family and friends’ and most definitely must be held outdoors and include; live music, an outdoor fire, a BBQ and pickled gerkins. So when I got home and told Carina about the plans she was quite surprised – since she has not yet proposed!
C: It was important to us, for our friends and family to also have a memorable experience – they mean such a lot to us we wanted them to feel included on our wedding day.
The Planning Process
C: We would not have managed to plan any of it without the guidance of Tianne’s mom Belinda – helping to remind us of what we needed to book or choose, she hosts great summer parties which helped as she is a bit of an expert at planning and organization!
T: Both our parents and families were very generous in their support and we could not have done it without them, they really made our dream wedding come true.
Since ours was a same-sex wedding it meant that we were able to consider what traditional parts of a wedding were important to us, and what were not. There seemed to be so many traditions that surrounded weddings, so it seemed easier to create what felt right for us.
Both: Blown. But what great fun we had.
Thanks to both our parents, the Browns’, The Stuarts’, stepdad Steve, Jody and Sophie for all of your loving and thoughtful contributions and to the bridal party and friends for helping to decorate the venue and all the other little touches throughout the weekend. We could not have don’t it without you!
T: The bridesmaids were my sister Beth and best friend Becky. I found their dresses on Ebay, they were exactly what we wanted – simple but elegant and suited both our bridesmaids and our best woman Jody, it was important to find a colour and cut that suited their different hair colour and skin tones – we wanted the girls to feel good. We paired it with a delicate flower crown which we found on Etsy – (BDaccesoriesco). Our Niece Faith wore a white tulle dress with forest green belt from Matchimony.
C: Best man Steve, nephew Jackson and ushers: our brothers Oliver and Leroy wore their own clothes, they each have their own styles and it made sense to give them an outline and leave the rest to them.
We wanted to be able to choose our own caterers and make our own decorations. Manor Farm Glamping which is now Cotswold Woodland Glamping, near Broadway had glamping and cottage facilities on the edge of a stunning woodland setting. The day we viewed the venue it was overcast and raining – but it meant we knew that even if it rained on our day we would still be happy. The vibe was ‘us’ we loved being surrounded by woodland and fields.
We planned to hold a ceremony in a small cleaning in the woods which was accessed along a tree lines avenue, then move to the tipi in the main field for the BBQ, campfire singalong, speeches and lots of dancing to the band.
Our Humanist Hannah was recommended by Manor Farm, she came highly recommended and when we met her we knew why – she is warm, inclusive and sincere. She spent a long time discussing exactly what we wanted for our wedding ceremony it felt so personable on the day.
Buffalo Tipi were also recommended by the venue owners we travelled to their open day in Bath to view their tipis and it was well worth a visit – 2 tipis fitted our 80 guests with space for an indoor bar, a dance floor and an indoor log fire – too which was a lovely touch, and kept everyone warm in the evening.
The Watering Hole supplied us with drinks and a beautiful rustic bar which looked great! The whole process from booking through to them clearing away at the end of the evening was really easy, they were professional, polite and friendly.
We were able to access the venue two days prior to the wedding and did the decorating ourselves with the help of our friends and family the day before: from the ivy wrapped around the poles of the tipi, the table decorations and the wooden pallets, my friends even wrapped twine around the salad dressing bottles, which was an excellent touch. The venue provided us with a wooden arch which my friends decorated beautifully. Once the venue was decorated we all had time to relax across the range of accommodations – I spent hours in the hot tub at Carina’s mom Tina’s shephards hut – listening to Reggae with her family whilst Carina made sure all our guests had arrived and were comfortable.
Our guests stayed on site in the range of accommodation from shepards huts, pods, cottages, or in a local hotel. It was fun to have people staying with us and it was lovely to tuck into breakfast together the morning after.
The Readings & Music
T : I spent about 4 months creating the ‘perfect’ pre-ceremony playlist for people to listen to whilst they arrived and were served a Prosecco before the ceremony and during our BBQ. It was important to have songs which were representative of our same sex marriage. Our playlist is on Spotify if anyone would like to listen to it!
C: To get to the ceremony site there was as short walk through a tree lined path, I led the guests down to the cleaning as XO by John Mayer played, as everyone was getting comfortable we played I Get To Love You by Ruelle, and our bridal parties walked in to ‘A Thousand Years’ by Elise Lieberth.
T: My dad and I walked to Train Marry Me. I tripped over my own feet which is typically me – it wasn’t in front of our guests – the moment was caught on camera by our photographer Elaine and it always makes me smile. Despite the near miss I was calm walking towards my future wife – surrounded by our closest family and friends – I felt an abundance of love.
C: We chose one reading ‘Love – by Roy Croft’ which was read by Tianne’s Auntie Philippa. My mom Tina helped us find the perfect reading we must have read about 50 out to her over one weekend, lucky for us she is very tolerant! We exited to Grow Old With Me by Tom O’dell and walked through the trees again to have our guests throw confetti.
After the BBQ, both our dads, brothers and best woman gave speeches – they were all heartfelt and greatly amusing.
Your Outfits & Accessories
T: I ordered a simple wedding dress online – from a website which has since closed and disappeared – It felt like ‘me’ as soon as I tried it on, it cost under £100. I didn’t try on any other dresses! Because my dress was simple I did want a little something ‘snazzy’! My off white floor length veil was from Britten Weddings they sent me swatches to choose from which helped me to colour match to my dress. I competed my outfit with Silver Emerald earrings from TheHirstCollection on Etsy and a silver bracelet that my dad had made for me a few years before.
C: My suit was from River Island and Tianne’s dad Tim handmade me silver buttons for my waistcoat with butterflies and foxes on which matched the theme of our wedding, my best woman Jody had a pin made for me with a photo of my late grandparents in which was a thoughtful touch. My waistcoat was from Next which I wore over a Ralph Lauren shirt.
T: Our make-up artist Kari was brilliant, we live in London and it was quite difficult to find dates for a trial especially around my nursing shifts but Kari made time to meet me in London during one of her social trips to see her friends – I instantly warmed to her and felt comfortable discussing what I wanted. She gave me some great tips for pre-wedding hair care which I still use today (Philip Kingsley elasticiser). Kari was in high demand on the day as a lot of the bridal party wanted either hair, make up or both! We gave her with a list of who wanted what and she expertly created time slots for us all, which helped reduce and anxiety I had on the morning. She made me feel glamorous but also look and feel like myself.
Carina and I wanted to create our own signature wedding scent – we attended a free wedding consultation at Jo Malone and we chose to wear the same fragrance to compliment one another and combined Wood Sage and Sea Salt with English Pear and Freesia. Whenever I wear that combination it takes me m back to our special day and instantly fills me with love and joy.
T: As our florist Beth was based in Warwickshire I went to a local florist and picked what I liked, I sent this over to Beth who then put together some of my ideas, and made some great recommendations based on what would look good and also be available at the time to create just what we wanted. Beth made the bridal party bouquets, buttonholes, table decorations and also some flowers for the ceremony site which were placed in glass jam jars, which we had collected for the past year!
Beth also kindly catered to my request for a small bouquet of yellow roses to honour my late biological mom who has passed away when I was younger. We put them in front of a photo as a special way to remember her.
T: Originally we had not planned to have a photographer as we wanted to keep costs down. We thought our friends and family could capture the day on their phones and then share them online but a photographer I met at work said it was a huge mistake and we would regret it. So I did some research and found Elaine, her photography represented a story, I could sense the personality and the emotion of each of the weddings in her portfolio and yet they also felt natural. That was it for me: I was sold! Turns out that not only is Elaine extremely talented but she is also a lovely person too!
C: Elaine recommended a ‘first look’ – which I had never even heard of before. I am glad we took her advice. Not only did we manage to have some great photographs prior to getting married, in addition to settling some of our pre-ceremony nerves (I had been awake since 4am: thanks to my dad and friends Chip, Jon and Tianne’s uncle Mike for keeping me so calm). It also meant that we had another moment to capture memories of just the two of us but meant we were not away from our guests for too long.
T: The first look was a great idea and I was able to give Carina a pocket-watch as a wedding gift. Elaine captured our day perfectly, with so many moments which I thought had gone unnoticed captured by her. Another positive of a photographer was that it meant we were able to ask our guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony so they would not feel they missed anything. I 100% recommend a photographer to anyone who is getting married now, our photos are beautiful lasting memories.
The Details & Décor
T: My mom has a keen eye for design and we used to share ideas from Pinterest, she did a great job of bringing all my ideas together and making sense of what I meant. For about a year my parents’ house was full of all our wedding decorations; huge bundles of ivy, jugs and wooden crates. We had many compliments on the decorations and some of our guests ended up taking the jugs with flowers home with them, it’s nice to know that pieces of our special day are still treasured.
T: My auntie Maria is an illustrator and created our stunning invitations, table plan, table place cards and thank you letters which were woodland themed, she is really talented. Having something personally designed for us, with love, was so special. Our rabbit Bun even made an appearance!
Our best woman Jody made some gorgeous heart shaped plaques with lovely quotes which we hung in the trees, on the path to the ceremony site it was a special touch. Along with cut outs of Piglet which is a long running joke between my parents and I. Our friend Sophie made us a stunning wedding guest book; she handmade the paper too, we treasure it.
T: My grandma Cynthia was in hospital so we took a cake to cut with her the day after, we got back into our wedding outfits including bouquet! It was a special moment. Sadly, she passed away a few months after and we treasure that moment with her.
C: We had crepes for desert with so many different toppings provided by the same company who provided our BBQ, hands down the Baileys won! In the evening we served wood fire pizzas to keep everyone’s energy up, it was much needed after all the dancing to the live band!
C: We searched for weeks for the right band – turns out we are both quite picky! We finally agreed upon a 5-piece band called ‘live on stage’ booked through Warble Entertainment, they were incredible, everyone was dancing at one point no one was sat down! They have such an energetic vibe and are truly talented musicians. We had many compliments about them. They offered us a wide selection of songs to choose from, from a range of eras, so the set was felt like it was all tailor made for us. They even did a fantastic cover for our first dance, Taurus Riley ‘She’s Royal’. We wish we had got this recorded!
T: My cousin Tom filmed our wedding – he did an amazing job! He studied film at university and now works for ITV!
C: We went back to The New Forest for our honeymoon; it was really wonderful to relax as Mrs and Mrs! We visited SenSpa for the day to unwind and had an incredible couples massage it was great, we loved being pampered and the Rhassoul mud treatment was pure luxury! It was our first spa day together and we left feeling refreshed and soothed, it was a lovely way to unwind after the excitement of the wedding.
T: We also went along to the New Forest Wildlife Park to see the Otters, which was great fun, they briefly explained that Otters are like rabbits and shouldn’t be single, so now we have a second rabbit Pip!
Our first look – I wish I could do this again and again and again. Elaine said ‘just say whatever comes to mind’ when I walked up behind Carina… so I asked her ‘do you come here often’. I had no idea why I said it but it made us both laugh! That moment between just us two, was wonderful.
Grandad Geoff’s impromptu speech, he quoted ‘Whatever you give a woman’ By Erick S. Gray, our friends still talk about this now. It was a very special moment.
Floating around in our private hot tub outside our shepards hut at 4am with my ‘new wife’, eating crisps and giggling at our adventure of a day! The stars were out and it felt magical.
During our ‘promises’ which we had written ourselves, our guests were invited to hold our wedding rings for a few moments and fill them with their love and good wishes, before passing them to the next person. I really loved this idea and now when we look at our wedding rings we think of all of our friends and family who care so much for us.
The sing-a-long around the fire pit was fantastic. We had printed off the lyrics to some songs and everyone joined in.
Advice For Other Couples
Our Humanist Hannah Hart kindly told us that usually ‘one thing will go wrong‘, so when it does just let it go, it all works out. When we noticed something not going to plan on the day we giggled to ourselves and though ‘Hannah was right’ it didn’t make any difference and even to this day no one noticed but us (and Hannah!) in fact the change added to our day and made it even more special.
We made sure we held hands and greeted our guests together the time goes so quickly and we didn’t want to spent it apart, it’s your day and your friends and family will understand if you want to spent it with each other.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Elaine Williams Photography
Hair and Makeup by Kari
Well wasn’t that just oh so special?!
Carina and Tianne thank you ever so much for sharing your super loved up and joyful wedding celebration with us xo Lou