We have a real autumn treat with today’s wedding! WWW readers Chris and Becca organised a rustic, autumnal wedding with plenty of crafty touches and nods to literary fantasy. Their day took place on the 25th November 2017 at Cubley Hall in an intimate setting with their closest family and friends.
There are a few hidden gems for Harry Potter fans and can you believe that Becca learned pyrography specially so that she could make the incredible signage for their nuptials? Talented Becca also crafted the amazing cake and I’m loving that they cut it with an axe.
Charli of Photography by Charli has produced a beautiful set of images from the day. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.
You’re sure to love the deep hues of the autumnal florals and the magical lighting, I’m feeling all cosy just looking through the images!
Chris proposed on our trip to America in July 2016. We were staying with a friend for Independence Day celebrations and for the usual tourist stops, being in Florida. We got to Universal Studios early to avoid the crowds and came up to Hogwarts castle baked in sunlight, with very few other park goers around, the perfect photo opportunity. As we posed with the castle behind us, Chris dropped to one knee; he had planned the photo op with our friend the whole time, knowing how much of a Harry Potter fan I am and how great it would be to capture the moment.
We are both very wintery people and knew we’d want an autumnal/winter wedding from the outset, along with a very natural feel. Antlers, furs and wood were mandatory! We also wanted to incorporate a literary theme, especially with references to the fantasy book series’ we first bonded over when we met, but it’s very difficult to subtly include elves and dwarves in a wedding.
The Planning Process
Our planning included many hours trawling Pinterest! We had a lot of ideas ourselves for table decorations, seating plan and guestbook especially, which Becca did a great job of creating, learning pyrography skills to make them a reality. Visiting wedding fairs helped massively to focus what we did and didn’t want from our wedding, picking up ideas from them and meeting a few of our eventual suppliers there. The whole plan itself never really had to change much, it just evolved as we started including more and more decorative ideas, but the core of what we imagined and what we wanted came through, and we were able to do a lot of it ourselves which was the most important thing for those personal touches.
We never really set a specific budget, we just wanted to make everything as thrifty as possible!
We viewed a few venues in the Sheffield area but Cubley Hall had everything we were looking for. The ceremony and reception was held in a lovely converted barn with big oak beams and lots of fairy lights. It was small but perfectly cosy and just right for us. There was plenty of room to dance but also a quieter area near the bar, where we had Arcade games – which went down very well! On the day we were lucky enough to have some snow, which made the hall look even more special. The food was fantastic, with a roast dinner for the wedding breakfast and then hot roast pork sandwiches for the evening buffet. We had some American guests who had never tried roast pork sandwiches before and I think this was their favourite part of the wedding!
Your Outfits & Accessories
I had always planned on getting my dress from Wed2B as I didn’t want to spend too much. After visiting a few bridal shops I had an idea of what I was looking for so I found my dress quite easily, it just needed altering. My fur shrug was from eBay and I was very glad to have that on the day! I chose navy suede shoes to fit with our colours and for something a little different, which I got from Clarks. I’m not normally a heel wearer but they are the comfiest shoes I own! My jewellery was from Etsy and the lace veil from Liberty in Love.
The groomsmen’s suits were navy three piece affairs from Debenhams suit hire, who rescued us after our initial suit hire service went in to administration. We accessorised them with burnt orange woollen ties to fit the rustic feel of the wedding.
Hair and make-up was done by a lovely lady from Beau Hair Bridal Hair. She did a fab job of working to the brief of “not too much make up”, despite being 38 weeks pregnant! It stayed on perfectly all day and it gave my mum a bit of confidence for walking me down the aisle, so I was very happy.
We had three bridesmaids, and we chose full length navy multiway dresses for them. They all have very different styles and these suited them all well as they could wear them slightly differently. One of our bridesmaids lives in America and thankfully as they weren’t fitted dresses this was one less thing to worry about! They wore burnt orange shawls to match the groomsmen, which we got online.
All three did a great job of keeping me calm when I was so nervous on the day, helped set up the venue for us and were overall wonderful!
We had to go down the non-traditional route of having not one, but three best men. Chris couldn’t decide between his best friend Alex or his two cousins Dan and Alex, who are essentially brothers. Having three best men means delegating the usual responsibilities, with Dan drawing the short straw and getting the speech, which he delivered with a perfect balance of humour and heart.
The Readings & Music
Our good friend Cath did a reading of a poem called “Falling in love is like owning a dog”. This was especially close to our hearts as dog lovers and owners, and our own little dog Monty was in the second row at the wedding, looking dapper in his matching bow tie.
Music wise, we decided against a DJ and went down the home made route again, handing the huge responsibility of creating the playlist to best man Alex. In the evening we hired a local musician named Anya Lace. We had seen her play at our local pub, and loved her acoustic style. She played a cover of “February Stars” by the Foo Fighters for our first dance, and made the evening feel very intimate.
Before any concept of the cake was decided, we knew we had to have one thing: an axe to cut it with! After that crucial component was sorted, Becca started to design it. Becca’s an accomplished baker, famous amongst friends and family for her creations and had even done wedding cakes for other people. Using the axe as inspiration, we created a wood-effect cake, the bottom tier mimicking a log round, the middle tier the bark of a birch tree with our initials carved in and the top a simple naked sponge. The cake topper was the word “Always”, a nod to the Harry Potter parts of our fantasy literary theme.
Alongside the cake, we had a three tiered tower of cheese, supplied by the fantastic Bawtry Cheese Cave. We’d had a romantic afternoon at their shop, filtering through a wide selection of cheese until they created the best blend for our wedding. The guests loved the cheese tower, so much so that someone took half a wheel home!
The flowers were an important part of our decoration and something we wanted to get sorted early on. We met Sarah from Botanicals at a wedding fair, and a couple of weeks later she visited us at our house to discuss ideas and we pretty much booked her straight away! She was so friendly and approachable and did an amazing job with the flowers. We had originally wanted gypsophilia for the bridesmaid bouquets, but Sarah offered an alternative of wax flower, which were absolutely perfect for our rustic theme. The table decorations were made of two jars of flowers on a log round, and a few other personalised touches. They really filled out the room and looked so beautiful with the twinkly lights. We have said since that the flowers were one of our favourite parts of our wedding so we are eternally grateful for Sarah and her hard work!
For us the photographer was the most important thing to get right. We saw lots of “advice” on wedding blogs/social media pages that say to go with the cheapest option and not to bother with a videographer as it’s a waste of money. And they were all wrong! The photos/video is the only thing you have at the end of it all and it was so important to us to have those memories in the most beautiful way. And it was also important to find someone who we felt comfortable around, as we are both not very natural in front of a camera. After a lot of research we contacted Charli and she came to our house for a chat about what we wanted. We clicked with her straight away and loved her relaxed documentary style of photography. A month before the wedding we had a mini shoot in our local woods with our dog Monty, and we felt very at ease with Charli and she got some lovely photos. Before the big day she asked us if we had specific group shots we wanted or any special guests to focus on, which was great as we didn’t want to spend hours posing for photos making everyone wait for food. And as it turned out it was freezing and snowing on the day so we were very grateful for this! She gave us our photos in instalments after the wedding, which was really nice to have little snippets after a few days and weeks before receiving all of them. We love our photos and could not be happier. We barely noticed on the day but she was also taking little video clips and put them together as a highlight video which was a lovely treat and the best representation of our day we could have hoped for!
The Details & Décor
Our additions only added to the already rustic ambience of Cubley Hall and in all the extra decorations we made for the day, we included something natural and robust. Becca used a lot of pyrography to make an alternative guestbook, burning a tree on to a log round and asking guests to populate the branches. Our seating plan was a nod to our love for fantasy, a signpost guiding guests to lands from various books and then on their tables, a corresponding sepia toned map.
Log rounds, small antlers and autumnal flowers were on each table and a back drop of tea lights and hessian hung behind us during the ceremony.
Our honeymoon was split in to two: we had an immediate long weekend in Conwy in North Wales, followed by the big honeymoon in Iceland between Christmas and New Year. We hired a car and visited all the incredible scenery of south Iceland. Our favourite bits were spending New Year’s Day relaxing in the Blue lagoon, hiking up a glacier and riding Icelandic horses. The highest temperature was -10 degrees but we didn’t mind with so much stunning natural beauty around us, and it felt very romantic.
There are so many! Our dog Monty chasing his tail in excitement when we said I do. The little flurries of snow at just the right moments. The best man’s speech. Our guests being very competitive on the arcade games. When everyone joined in towards the end of our first dance. And most importantly, the look of joy on our American friend’s face when he took that first bite of a hot roast pork sandwich!
Advice For Other Couples
Take time out during the day to step back together and watch it all happen! So many people said this to us and how quickly it would go, and they were right! There is so much build up and the day itself flashes by, so having a few moments to see how it all came together and all your family and friends having a good time was very special.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Thank you Becca and Chris, what a joy to share the cosiness of your gorgeous day! Rachel x