The Cotswold marquee wedding of Jess and Gaz was just spectacular! They were married on the 11th May 2019 in an outdoor ceremony at Flagstone Farm Cottages, framed by a beautiful flower arch and rolling countryside views. Following their romantic ceremony, they partied the afternoon and night away in a glorious marquee. They decked out the space with fairy lights, delicate pink flowers and added pink vodka favours too. It looked so fabulous.
I really love the outfits too, with Jess wearing a stunning lace Justin Alexander gown and Jimmy Choo heels, meanwhile Gaz donned a pale grey jacket, navy chinos and tan shoes for a really modern smart casual style. Didn’t they both look incredible?
Be sure to look out for divine stationery, proteas everywhere and sunset portraits. Jessy Papasavva Photography thank you ever so much for sharing these utterly beautiful images with us.
Jess waited 8 years for the proposal so was hoping for something worthy of the wait. What she got was Gaz down on one knee in his pants in their living room in the middle of the afternoon.
Joking aside after he proposed they walked down to the local where all their best mates were gathered and celebrated all night. The proposal was not a shock, Gaz had taken Jess diamond shopping 2 months prior and arranged for his friend Lee (@shawsjewellery) to make the ring that Jess had designed.
We wanted a really relaxed wedding but still to incorporate all the tradition and good bits of an English wedding as well as some fab music. Firstly we wanted somewhere that had no restrictions on food or drinks. We also wanted somewhere that could accommodate all of our friends so we could party into the early hours and not have to worry about transport. We wanted it to span a whole weekend so we could have a Friday welcome party, Saturday wedding and Sunday BBQ and games day. Most of our guests were travelling from London, Oxford and Liverpool so we needed somewhere where the drive from these places wasn’t too far, which is why we settled on the Cotswolds. The venue was less important for us than the ability to have as many of our guests on site with us as possible. We also wanted to have a really relaxed dress code and for our bridal party to feel as comfortable as possible which is why we let the groomsmen wear their own jackets and the bridesmaid dresses were all different designs to suit the girls shapes. We both love music so it was also important for us to have a lot of live music, which is why we had a singer in the day and then a live band in the evening.
The Planning Process
First we found the venue, the place we chose only allows 2 weddings a year, so our date was decided by them. We knew we wanted May and the 11th weekend was the only one where all the cottages were free so that was booked first.
We knew we wanted to use family friends for the caterers so that was the next thing we checked off the list.
Once we had the date we asked our friend Emma (@ginny_and_i) to design us some Save the Dates and our beautiful wedding invite suite.
Next we booked the music, a photo booth and met with our friends mum Gail at @twigsandtwine to discuss flowers and place the order.
We wanted to save as much as we could and doing the flowers yourself as well as making your own bouquets and buttonholes is a great way to do that.
We purchased all our alcohol throughout the year whenever we saw a sale on at a supermarket. We got the white and prosecco in the Majestic January sale which was great because you can return all your unopened bottles if they don’t get drunk. We also hired all our glasses, ice and ice buckets from them, the glass hire is free as long as you don’t break any and return them clean.
We then finally built our wedding website and set up our gift list on Prezola. We went with a honeymoon gift list as we have lived together for 7 years and a traditional list wouldn’t have worked for us.
We tried to keep the spending to a minimum. I think in the end it ended up around £25,000.
We were lucky to have lots of friends and contacts that gave us great discounts and this helped keep the cost down.
Flagstone Farm Cottages, Stow on the Wold.
It is a beautiful cottage rental site with 5 rental cottages ranging from sleeping 2 – 18 people. Usually they just rent out the site for corporate retreats as they have a large conference room however they do allow 2 weddings a year.
They allowed us to set up a marquee on site for free which was another massive selling point for us.
We ordered our marquee and toilets from The Oxford Marquee Company. They were very reasonable and offered us a great discount as they knew our caterers.
Own jackets, we supplied the shirts from T M Lewin and the chinos were H&M. We cut the pocket squares out of a large roll of material and just folded them ourselves. Pocket squares on the high-street cost around £15 each but we managed to do everyone’s for under £10 just by doing this we saved £200.
Again so lucky to have 3 amazing glam girls in our squad.
Bridal Make-up: @laurenomakeup
Bridal Hair: @charlottejball & @lydiagrundycreative
Bridesmaid make-up: @laurenomakeup and @lydiagrundycreative
Bridesmaid Hair: @charlottejball and @lydiagrundycreative
Your Outfits & Accessories
Wedding Dress – Justin Alexander
Wedding Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Jacket – Riess
Groom’s Shirt – T M Lewin
Groom’s Trousers – H&M
Groom’s Shoes – Vintage Hugo Boss
The Readings & Music
We had 3 readings – “A Fable of Love and Time” “The Apache Marriage Blessing” and an extract from the Notebook.
Music down the aisle was Ellie Goulding’s “How long will I love you” sang by Pat Amos.
Music at the end of the ceremony was “ You can’t Hurry Love” by The Supremes.
Our band was “Black and Gold” from Ear Candy. We had been to 2 weddings that Ear Candy had provided the music and were very impressed. The singer we got was incredible and played an hour extra as she was having such a good time. It might have had something to do with the 2 bottles of wine we served the band before they went on! A lot of our guests said it was the best wedding band they had heard and everyone danced all night.
As half of my family live in South Africa I wanted to bring a touch of that to the wedding. So our main flowers were beautiful large pale pink Proteas, we used 6 to make my bouquet, which looked amazing but was so heavy!
My favourite flowers are Peonies and then we added other white and pink flowers along with some Eucalyptus to create our table décor and flower arch.
The bridesmaid bouquets were a Protea surrounded by Gypsophila and we made the buttonholes from Gyps.
Jessy Papasavva Photography
The Details & Décor
My bridesmaids were put to work and between the 6 of them on the morning of the wedding they built a flower arch for us to marry under and an incredible ploughman’s spread for the drinks reception. Both of which were such a huge hit on the day.
As we were in the most beautiful of settings on a hill in the Cotswolds we didn’t need much in the way of decorations outside.
We kept the table décor minimalistic, we set up a number of vases filled with our flowers on top of a sliced tree trunk. We had a few candles scattered around and our favours were a shot of pink vodka in a little bottle stamped with our names and the date of the wedding.
We had a couple of tall vases at the entrance of the marquee and we moved the flower arch to the entrance after the ceremony finished.
The dance floor was adorned with fairy lights so once the sun went down the marquee was very romantic.
We went to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We stayed at both the Unico 2087 and the Fairmont Mayakoba which we booked in the BA sale. Both hotels were incredible and we didn’t want to come home.
The most memorable part was probably the speeches. They were all so funny and completely inappropriate. As our photographer captured there wasn’t a dry eye in the whole room.
Advice For Other Couples
Our biggest advice to anyone planning a wedding is to remember that it is your day and everyone else is there to support you. Too many opinions and requests from guests will have you second guessing and accommodating ridiculous requests. This is a day you will look back on for the rest of your life and you want to remember it as perfect and exactly as you dreamt it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Jessy Papasavva Photography
Twigs and Twine Florists
Does it get any more romantic? Wow!
Thanks so very much to Jess and Gaz for sharing their super lovely wedding day with us xo Lou