How lovely it is to be joined by WWW readers Lily and Josh who were wed on the 25th May 2019 at Deer Park Hall in Worcestershire. The date they chose turned out to be a beautiful Spring day, which enabled them to hold their dream outdoor ceremony beneath the wooden pavilion in the stunning setting. They then headed to the modern style barn for their reception, which was relaxed and rustic in equal measure.
They had some really wonderful touches, I especially love all the outfits. Lily wore bridal separates by Charlie Brear, so chic, meanwhile Josh chose a navy suit with floral bow tie and braces, they both looked amazing! Another element to their day that had me swooning were their flowers, the bouquets in particular were just dreamy, hello pink peonies!
Curious Rose Photography captured some truly beautiful captures of their day, filled with love and vibrancy, which we are so thankful to be sharing with you. What a treat!
Greece is one of mine and Josh’s favourite places. We had our first holiday together in Skiathos and it was in Kefalonia that Josh proposed. Josh had been a tad strange on the journey to Greece (I later found out that the ring was in his hand luggage and he watched on anxiously as the security trainee thoroughly scanned each bag). We were delayed and arrived late to our hotel. Knowing Josh would be hungry, I dropped my bags and headed back out. As Josh jumped in the shower and pulled on a shirt, I felt I should probably make a bit more effort. The first restaurant I saw I said that ‘it will do for night 1’ but Josh requested we walked along the seafront for a bit, again strange as I heard his stomach rumble. As he steered us towards the seafront, I suddenly clocked and he got down on one knee, dropped the ring in the sand and proposed. It was such a surprise! The ring was gorgeous, I couldn’t have chosen better myself.
Josh and I always wanted a relaxed wedding and to be surrounded by as much of our family and friends as possible. We had both grown up in the countryside so an outdoor wedding was high up on our priority list when looking at venues. The size of the venue was also important both having big families and large friendship groups. To be able to create the relaxed and rustic vibe, we were happy to do some level of DIY that would also help with the budget.
The Planning Process
We had a 20 month engagement which meant we didn’t need to rush any decisions. We made decisions on venue, date, caterer and photographer very quickly but then didn’t plan for a good 12 months before deciding on final touches in the few months run up to the big day. Josh was heavily involved in the planning process. I mainly did the research but he had a significant input into the final choices.
I let the girls choose their dresses. My only requests were full maxi length. They found some gorgeous Issa dresses in a pewter colour from Debenhams that were extremely flattering. Despite not having a colour theme, the bridesmaids and ushers outfits and décor of the wedding just seemed to come together nicely.
Our original budget of £18k changed to £20k and then we overspent by £3k. Doesn’t everyone go over budget?
As soon as we saw Deer Park Hall in Eckington, we knew it was where we wanted to tie the knot. The outdoor facilities, capacity and relaxed feeling that the staff gave us really made the place stand out from the rest. The staff were so organised and reassured us that they would manage the day from start to finish, meaning absolutely minimal stress for us on our big day. They truly lived up to their sales pitch and made the entire day flow seamlessly.
The Readings & Music
My childhood friend delivered the reading ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ by Dr Seuss. Josh’s sister read a beautiful reading called ‘the one’. It was perfect for us as it was romantic but not too cheesy.
Josh had an idea in mind regarding his suits and wedding look so he set about ordering online to try various potential options. He eventually settled on a Navy Blue tweed like suit from wedding suits direct. They had a nice small splash of burgundy and orange across the pockets and buttonholes. He had also decided on a bow tie and braces look. I had never been very keen on bow ties originally. The whole outfit came together fantastically though and really fit in well with the relaxed rustic theme of the wedding. I can honestly say I did not have to get involved much at all with the suit process.
One of my bridesmaid’s cousins was starting up as a florist. She gave me a great price for my bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, buttonholes and 2 features. Again not really having a colour theme I let her work her magic and I’m glad that I did! She added in green foliage to keep the price down but selected some stunning flowers to make them pop!
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress decision was a tad stressful when I started to have dress doubts 9 months after the purchase. In hindsight I had unnecessarily rushed into a dress decision. The amazing girls at Cicily Bridal in Ashby were so understanding and let me exchange my original choice. They were also so helpful in achieving my desired look. When I thought I had exhausted all choices, one of the ladies brought out a Charlie Brear skirt and top combo for me to try which wasn’t something I had even considered. It was perfect – casual, relaxed, simple and just a bit different than a standard wedding outfit choice. I kept accessories simple too opting just for flowers in my hair.
My make up was done by the very talented Amy Hickey based near home for me. I was totally overwhelmed with the amount of choice in the area but chose Amy as we had school connections and mutual friends. She achieved the natural look I wanted for the day and helped calm my nerves. My hair was done by Claire Benson, a local mobile hairdresser. She nailed the tousled up do in the trial and I booked her in immediately. She really listened to my bridesmaids to achieve their desired looks too.
The Details & Décor
Some of my friends have recently been married so passed down some decorations which were put to use. One of my favourite decorations were Polaroid pictures of us with all our guests scattered around the dining room. I had seen it at a friends wedding and thought it added a lovely personal touch. The showstopper was the seating plan. Each table were a different gin in which each guest received a shot of that gin. Josh’s step dad who is a talented artist had oil painted each gin for the seating plan.
Krispy Kreme doughnuts! A favourite of many and an easy pick up! I didn’t want to be eating cake for weeks after the wedding!
Laura Rhodes at Curious Rose photography was absolutely brilliant. For our 3rd wheel photo shoot, she greeted us with big hugs and instantly put us at ease. With her informal yet professional approach she fitted in amazingly with the guests and captured some great ‘in the moment’ / natural photos. The photos have totally exceeded our expectations and captured our day perfectly.
The videographer company we used unfortunately went bust not long after the wedding but Mervyn who videoed our day has still agreed to work with the content and put together our video for us. We hope to receive this on return from our honeymoon.
I am writing this from Japan. We are 3 months into our 6 month ‘maximoon’. We have travelled round Canada, New Zealand, Fiji, SE Asia and into Japan. We finish the trip with a safari starting in Kenya. Not the cheapest year but totally worth it for the amazing memories we have created!
Our favourite moment was walking as newly announced husband and wife into the dining hall where all of our friends and family were waving their napkins above their heads and wooping! Such an amazing feeling! Other great moments were the ceremony itself. We were so lucky with the weather for our outdoor ceremony and were able to say our vows overlooking the Malvern hills. All the speeches were great, so much thought had gone into them. Finally, the first dance was a success. Me and Josh has practiced a few steps to our song ‘Everything’ by Michael Buble. I thought it would be a disaster after the amount of drink consumed by this point but our practice paid off!
Advice For Other Couples
Try not to stress too much, it will all come together in the end.
Try to take as much as you can in on the day. Take a moment to take a breath and stand to one side to appreciate what is happening in front of you. It all goes by too quickly otherwise.
Put some food to one side that you can take home at the end of the day. No one wants to miss out on a Krispy Kreme especially not the bride and groom.
A wedding planner/ organiser is a great addition to the day. Making sure timings run smoothly and they can manage all suppliers so you can simply enjoy yourself.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Curious Rose Photography
Deer Park Hall
How very gorgeous!
Lily and Josh, thank you both ever so much for sharing with us your pretty countryside celebration xo Lou