By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
What a wonderful way to while away a Tuesday, down in the woods at this super beautiful Cuffley Camp wedding, which was held on the 17th of August 2016.
WWW readers Daniel and Rhea are very kindly sharing their real wedding story today. Their day was really natural and a touch rustic too. They were married in a woodland wedding ceremony beneath the canopy of trees surrounded by their loved ones. It looked so very special. Following they had a wonderful celebration in the wedding venue‘s hall, complete with pretty flowers and calligraphy stationery, which was so simple and effective. I can’t believe how budget friendly their day was at under £6000, how inspiring is that?
Daniel and Rhea along with their wedding party looked ever so stylish in their chosen outfits and I just adore these woodland portraits by Heather Winstanley Photography. Many thanks to Heather for sharing them with us today.
A sunset picnic in Hyde park, after a walk we settled on a bench that was tucked away and overlooking the serpentine. Daniel pulled out a book where he had documented (in beautiful calligraphy) some milestones from our four years together. It included a map of our first date, first holiday and then he showed me a map of Hyde Park, a place we’d spent so much time together (it was a mid way point between our universities). He pulled out a quill and started to add proposal. It quickly dawned on me what was happening, and he was on one knee and said the sweetest things that concluded in will you marry me? It was an instant yes, we popped open a bottle of champagne.
We knew we wanted something in the woods, as a couple that enjoys the outdoors it felt very us. We wanted it to feel warm, minimalist and a bit undone. We quickly realised neither of us would have enjoyed a day that felt very formal. So it became really important for us to involve elements that allowed for informality. Hence the BBQ, the late afternoon start, and graze table to start which allowed everyone to mingle beforehand.
We got engaged in September, and wanted to get married on the same date as our first date 17th August. Despite having less than 12 months we were really keen to enjoy being engaged. And so didn’t start planning until December.
Pinterest was essential in figuring out what the aesthetic would be, and what could be done ourselves. We looked at hiring a small private wood, but then came across Cuffley YHA and it was perfect. The woodland backdrop we wanted, affordable and a large hall with fairly large windows that felt like you were still outdoors. We visited Cuffley in January, and as you can imagine all the trees we dead so it took a lot of imagination, but we started to scope out where we would hold the ceremony, the reception, and the kitchen facilities.
I don’t know that we delegated as well as we could have. I think we were both keen not to ask too much, and so did as much as possible ourselves. Our families were keen to help, but also didn’t want to overstep. Eventually Rhea’s sister became responsible for the music, a family friend made the cake, Daniel’s mum conditioned the flowers, Rhea’s parents coordinated the props, Daniel’s dad oversaw the graze table, Daniel’s sister coordinated on the day and other family and friends were roped into set up the day before. Honestly whenever we think of our wedding we don’t think much about the décor, food but how much our community showed up to dust away cob webs, arrange flowers, and dress tables. We’re forever grateful for their support and generosity.
£6000, which just spent under.
Daniel wore a slim fit Navy three piece from TM Lewin, a pocket watch which was a 21st birthday present from Rhea, shoes were black brogues from Clarkes.
Rhea wore an Essense of Australia dress, with shoes from H&M.
Was all done by us!
We did most of the flowers ourselves. Triangle Nurseries we’re so helpful in helping us decide what to buy and how much.
Was made by a family friend it was a three tiered lemon and elderflower cake with buttercream frosting. It was delicious.
We had a reading about love from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis ending – “being in love was the explosion that started it.”
Another reading from 1st Corinthians 13 about love, and a few favourite hymns including ‘Come thou Fount of Every Blessing’ lead by a friend with a particular talent at making our guests sing harmoniously.
Be sure to check out our wedding readings and wedding music resources for lots of inspiration too.
Darren’s suit was from H&M, it was chosen in a light grey to contrast with the Groom’s navy blue and paired with brown brogues.
Anastasia’s skirt was from Needle & Thread with a top from H&M.
The amazing Heather, who we have known for a while and immediately made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. A place neither of us would normally enjoy. She knew very well how to give us space to relax for more candid shots and also how to give excellent instruction for more posed photos.
Our beautiful name places and seating plan were both created by Daniel; calligraphy on top of pages from an old flora book ‘The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ we found in a charity shop with the most beautiful paintings of plants and flowers.
A trip to the Caribbean was cancelled at the last minute by the airline, so we took a trip to the Cotswolds.
The weather had been lovely all month, but it rained on the day and a beautiful rainbow appeared.
Everyone dancing to Candy, the last song of the night!
Our friend who set us up had the speech of the night.
Having so much anxiety melt away first moment we looked at each others faces that day as Rhea was walking down the green lit aisle in the partial shade of a huge oak on one of the few totally sunny moments of the whole day. It was raining moments before and Rhea had called to find out if it was raining at the site so we were both quite nervous, but the rain had stopped just before Rhea arrived and the sun shone dappled through the boughs for the rest of the service which was beautiful.
Our amazing guests, so many of who refused to going until they helped to clean up.
Photos were lovely because it nice to get a more quiet moment with each other for a little bit.
Don’t stress planning for everything or having a perfect wedding. Be prepared to enjoy what the day throws at you.
Be happy to delegate, and do so early in the process.
Trust you gut with the dress, it’s cheaper than changing your mind after purchase.
Heather Winstanley Photography
Chairs, Linens & Tableware
Essense of Australia
Wow, what a magical woodland wedding.
Daniel and Rhea thank you so very much for sharing your gorgeous wedding with us xo Lou
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