One thing I am hoping and expecting to see more of in 2019 is a rise in eco friendly weddings. It’s been a hot topic the past couple of years and it is going to be really interesting and inspiring to see how couple’s can incorporate green credentials and sustainability into their celebrations. Introducing
I really admire their efforts to recycle and reuse as much as possible for their day. Loved ones all contributed to their celebrations in the most special of ways. It all enabled a very cool summer countryside festival style party. Think mustard yellow campervan transport, local seasonal blooms, ice cream and a Ceilidh band come evening.
The attire really is beautiful and a floral theme is evident, from the bridesmaids in floral adorned dresses to the groom and groomsmen in their floral print shirts. Then there wasin her Mother’s wedding outfit from the 70s which was perfectly altered and accessorised with a pretty flower crown. Stunning!
Huge thanks goes to The Stag and the Doe for sharing these remarkable images with us.
David had written ‘mystery weekend’ on our calendar and instructed me to take a day of annual leave…. I obviously had suspicions that the ‘mystery’ might involve a ring!
We went to the Isle of Eigg and stayed in ‘Sweeney’s Bothy’ that is entirely sustainably powered and has an outdoor shower and composting toilet. Eigg is roughly the same shape as the Calf of Man where we met – which is a small nature reserve island off the Isle of Man. (David is from the Isle of Man and we now live there together.) David proposed at the top of An Sgurr on Eigg with an Australian Black Opal ring. My mum is originally from Australia and opal is my birth stone.
Despite the fact that there was no one around for miles I was very embarrassed by him getting down on one knee and was concerned that his knee was getting wet!
The whole trip was absolutely incredible. David had even arranged ahead of time with the owner of the bothy to have chilled champagne waiting for us (and had an extra bottle in his bag too).
Very early on we decided we wanted to have the wedding at my parent’s house in Northumberland and for everyone (who wanted to!) to camp. We wanted to do as much ourselves as possible and to basically have a colourful, happy, relaxed, party with as little waste as possible.
The Planning Process
When we got engaged and at the start of the planning process we were living in Fife, Scotland so everything came from either Scotland or Northumberland. The first thing we organised was the food! After we left Eigg the owner of Sweeney’s Bothy got in touch and told us that we had reminded her of another couple that got engaged while staying in her bothy. She gave us their contact details and said she was pretty sure they had a catering business. We got in touch with them and it turned out they were based in Fife and their set up was a landrover and an army field cooker. David loves landrovers and has spent a lot of his time tinkering with his defender so that and the fact that they use locally sourced food was all incredible and we planned the rest of the wedding from there really. The food was absolutely incredible and they were so good about working with us to make a menu that I could enjoy that took all my various allergies and intolerances into account. Wild Rover Food! Absolutely the best food we’ve ever had.
The Readings & Music
Entrance of the Bride: Instrumental from Act 3 of Solomon “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” by G F Handel
We had 2 readings read by our very good friends who had been our neighbours when we lived in Scotland.
The Blessing of The Apaches and Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13
We sang 3 hymns: Love Devine, All Loves Excelling; Lord of The Dance; Have Your Heard the Raindrops (Water of Life)
While we signed the register David’s friend Thomas sang an incredible tenor solo.
Music as we left: Finale, Music for the Royal Fireworks by G F Handel
We had the ceremony in St Andrew’s Church, Bolam – an Anglo Saxon church approx 1 quarter of a mile from my parent’s house. My parents sing in the church choir and my Mum is one of the church wardens. I have been going to that church for the midnight service on Christmas eve with my family since I was about 6 years old.
After the ceremony we had local Northumbrian ice cream from Morwick Dairy in their vintage ice cream bicycle. The guests then walked across the fields to the reception at my parent’s house.
We had a marquee in the garden of my parent’s house. It was an absolutely stunning unique arched wedding tent by Curious Tent Hire, a Northumberland company that have designed and created unique beautiful tents. The tables and chairs were hired from Virginia’s Vintage Hire. Except for the top tables and chairs which were my parent’s furniture!
Guests camped in the field next to woods and David and I slept in one of my favourite spots in the woods in a bell tent. My Dad even made a shower block in the woods for the campers and my sibling Clair and their partner Carli turned my childhood shed den into a photo-booth!
D and I transformed the old horse trailer that had been for my pony Domino when I was tiny wee girl and has since been used by Dad as a wood store – into “Domino’s gin and tonic bar” and the stock trailer into “The Keg Inn” with a keg of Bushy’s Castletown Ale from the Isle of Man and a keg of Cumbrian Ale that D and his pals had on the stag do in the Lake District. The Keg Inn got its name from D’s middle name Keggin (his mother’s maiden name).
The 2 best ladies wore dresses from Needle & Thread.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I wore my Mother’s wedding outfit that we had beautifully altered by Glory Days Vintage and Couture Bridalwear in York. My Mum found out about Hayley (Glory Days) as she supervises Hayley’s best friend at work who recommended her.
Mum’s wedding outfit was an all lace Frank Usher evening suit (skirt and top) that has been kept carefully in her wardrobe since their wedding in 1976. Hayley managed to remake Mum’s dress into a dress for me that was exactly how I had imagined it! She made a new under dress and separate skirt and top for me out of Mum’s lace skirt and top. My chapel veil was also from Glory Days. I wore a flower crown of fresh Northumberland flowers made beautifully by Susan who did all our flowers.
I wore green heels I ordered online from Top Vintage Boutique and the pearl earrings my Mum had worn on her wedding day.
David wore a lightweight Donegal light blue tweed suit from Gibson London Vintage and a Liberty Mabelle shirt. He wore Oliver Sweeney shoes and he had jazzy socks from Seriously Silly Socks. The cufflinks were a gift from me – one with the date we met and the other with the date of the wedding.
We wanted to keep things as relaxed and simple as possible. We each did our own make up and Ella (one of my 2 best ladies and best friend since we were about 9) did my hair – she is amazingly talented! Bernadette (the other of my 2 best ladies) also painted my nails!
The 2 best men wore grey tweed suits from a tailor on the Isle of Man called “The Savile Row Tailor”. Their shirts were from Zara and jazzy socks like David’s from Seriously Silly Socks.
We had a local florist Susan from Bride and Bloom of Belsay, Northumberland do the flowers. I asked her to source colourful wild flowers but only flowers grown locally in Northumberland and she did an amazing job with a wide variety – the flowers were perfect. Susan and her husband were such a dream. She also managed to accommodate my desire to have the arch above the gate decorated but with no oasis due to its negative environmental impact.
The Stag and The Doe (Lindsey and her second camera Luke).
Neither of us particularly enjoy getting our photos taken but Lindsey managed to be so wonderfully unobtrusive and it genuinely felt like having one of our long time close pals as the photographer. We couldn’t recommend her more and are so pleased with how the photos have come out.
My wonderfully talented cousin Harriet made our wedding cake. It was a 3 tier beauty of our dreams: 1 tier lemon drizzle, 1 tier carrot cake and the top tier was a gluten and dairy free lemon drizzle MASTERPIECE. She lives in Brighton and somehow managed to bring the cake safely by plane to Newcastle! It was decorated with Northumbrian wildflowers from the florist.
The Details & Décor
We had so much help from friends and family setting up for the wedding and taking everything down and tidying up the next day.
The mum of a very close friend lent us the bunting and hessian bows that she had made for her 60th and her son’s wedding and helped us to decorate the tent and route down to the campsite. The same family also lent us straw bales to use as seating and to keep the kegs cool.
A local farmer moved his cows out and let us use the field for the wedding campers and neighbours let guests park in their field.
Bernadette (best lady) handmade the napkins from amazing fabric she bought in London which were also gifts to the guests.
John (1 half of the best man duo) had collected a load of sloes in Cornwall and we also had collected some in Northumberland and the Isle of Man and along with the other bast man Richard, David and I made 20 litres of sloe gin which we put into mini swing-top bottles and gave as favours. The children got apple and elderflower juice in theirs. Tom at Alexander Nurseries in Douglas, Isle of Man grew and potted up into little terracotta pots 135 succulents for favours and extra decorations.
The table names were all places on the Calf of Man. We had scanned a map of thew Calf and used this to make our seating plan for guests as they entered the wedding tent.
We had quite a lot of children at the wedding so set up tents and toys in a “kids area/play paddock”. My sibling Clair did an amazing job making signs and a map in a sort of festival style.
While we were mingling, enjoying the sun and the amazing canapés our super talented friend Lee Brooks was serenading everyone with his gravelly voice and guitar skills.
Clair and their partner Carli also have a band together called Lunatraktors who played for us and I joined in for “Maggie May” (the old folk song not the Rod Stewart number!) as I sang that song to David the night we met on the Calf.
We then had an amazing ceilidh and our ceilidh band was recommended to us by my parent’s neighbours.
We went for a 2 week road-trip in “Francois” a campervan borrowed from a friend of my Mum. We drove up to the north coast of Scotland and then went across to the Outer Hebrides. We camped on the beach and had champagne and late night sea swims – it was heaven.
David’s cousin Jeremy absolutely stacking it during the ceilidh was pretty hilarious!
We also disappeared down to Bolam Lake Country Park after the church with the best men and ladies and some extra amazing friends Sam and George, and our 2 dogs Max and Gus to have photographs on a pontoon at the lake. The best ladies and best men hopped into my Dad’s fold up wooden rowing boat and rowed out into the lake! Max and Gus wore Manx tartan bandanas.
Having Lunatraktors play was amazing and added to the festival feel of it all.
The next day we also had a yoga session with everyone who had camped run by our wonderful friend Aga which was a perfect start to the morning after the big party!
Advice For Other Couples
The whole thing zooms by at a million miles an hour so try to steal some moments to sit back and take it all in. The run up can get a bit stressful but that all melts away on the day and it all works out amazingly. Also don’t feel you have to do anything you don’t want to. I did a speech instead of David as he hates public speaking and we had best men and ladies giving speeches and my Dad also did one. Short but sweet was our approach to speeches!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
The Stag and the Doe
Luke Bennett Photography
Wild Rover Food
Curious Tent Hire
So inspirational! And very beautiful to boot.
, thank you ever so much for sharing your wedding with us xo Lou