Summer loving courtesy of Craig and Eleni today, who were wed on the 29th June 2019 in a church ceremony followed by a marquee reception at Eggington House in Bedfordshire. They described their day to me as “travel inspired, wild and rustic with a focus on love, companionship, friendship and family.” Isn’t that just so lovely?
They wanted a DIY wedding, which also enabled them really encapsulate their personalities into the celebrations. There was a lot of really fab décor including signposts and confetti bags, with the vintage suitcases and travel table names giving a nod to their love of travel. I have to mention the florals too as the bouquets were out of this world beautiful and really tied the sage green and dusky pink colour scheme together.
Also keep an eye out for smoke bombs, super stylish attire, a striking semi naked wedding cake and cute transport. Huge thanks to October Willis Photography and Harris Weddings for sharing the beautiful photographs and film.
Craig and I have always been big travellers together and have been blessed to see so much of the world already. We are childhood sweethearts and been together since I was 14 and he was 16. It was our 10 year anniversary so we decided to go to Thailand for a month with some friends and this is where Craig popped the question. We had just been scuba diving and we rocked up on to a traditional Thai boat up onto a beach on Koh Phi Phi which was very secluded and the sun was setting stunningly! The sky lit up a bright pink and one of our friends asked to take a photo of me looking out to sea, I of course said yes as it was a bright and beautiful sky. When I turned around Craig was there on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was beautiful and I of course said yes!
The vision was to replicate us as much as possible into the big day. We straight away knew the venue needed to be in the country as we are country bumpkins and love nature! We then knew that travelling has to feature in the wedding due to the amount we had done together and we wanted to do as much DIY for it as we could.
The Planning Process
Well what can I say about this other than very time consuming! I am a very organised person (at least I try to be), so juggling planning a big wedding, working full time and trying to keep a life is not the easiest task in the world. I would be lying if I said it does not consume you. However of course such a big event is going to take time so anything you can do to take some of the stress of planning away do it! Some people will enjoy this side of it, however if you also highly value your spare time and also down time it can be challenging. So getting the planning process right is key to a smooth running I think, that and not letting the hiccups that occur affect you!
We used an app called bride book, this was a god send! It helped us manage our budget, organise what we needed to do at what stage and remind us of everything we needed!
We found our venue through my auntie, as soon as we went to view it we fell in love. Eggington House in Eggington, Leighton Buzzard. This is a large country manor house where the owners live, however the main focus here is the grounds, close by to a farm with a beautiful church a 3 minute walk down the road where we got married (St Michaels church). When you walk up the gravel driveway of the venue you are instantly hit by the view of the grand beautiful manor where we got ready the morning of the wedding. They have a coach house adjacent to the manor, this is where me and the bride tribe stayed the night before the wedding. The grounds are like something out of Jane Austin, traditional English beauty, fields upon fields, a stunning rose garden with hidden windows and seating, a grand entrance to an enchanting woodland and a beautiful wooden pole marquee where we had our reception right in the middle of paradise! It was a DIY wedding so it was a blank canvas, we had to source everything even the tables and chairs, but this helped to really make it our own!
We had a local florist who was amazing named Kate from Polly and Petal. She did a rustic, greenery/vintage theme for us. Kate did the pew ends (gypsophila) and the church archway which was an array of beautiful foliage, of which was taken from the church archway to the top table after the ceremony to reuse. The florist did all the running around as she also reused the gypsophila for our table decorations and added a few extra vintage roses to spice it up a bit for the tables, we tried to reuse as much as possible to minimise waste and save money. Kate also did the marquee poles for us and dressed with more foliage to add a bit of variety and break it up a bit. My bouquet was very wild and rustic with too much variety to list, but I had a balance between greenery and vintage flowers for a pop of pastel colour. My bridesmaids had very simple and while using a lot of pink astilbe to create the desired look.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I got my wedding dress from Wed2B, they have stores all over the UK!
It is not the experience every bride dreams of, but this is because of the cheaper wedding dress prices. I did not want to pay an arm and a leg for my dress as there were so many other things we wanted our money to go on. Although I did pick the most expensive dress in the shop, ooops! I chose my dress because it suited my style, it was a sheath ivory dress, with a lacy top half which came all the way down to the hips and a beautiful material which was plain Ivory on the bottom. I had a few alterations done as you can afford to do so when buying from here and this really makes it your own!
My shoes where from Debenhams which I got in the sale for £25, I was pleased with this purchase as they looked very unique, classy and expensive. My earrings were my something borrowed and my bracelet I had made by a local jeweller with something blue, I also had a broach as a gift from a dear friend which I had put on my bouquet, this had a blue heart on it, an old penny and was something new for me too!
Grooming was a tough one to decide, for me the dilemma was whether to fake tan or not, being an end of June wedding I had not built much of a tan up, so I had one booked in for a St tropez manual tan as they are meant to be good, but I bottled it on the day I was booked in and decided to go oh naturelle to avoid the tangoed bride look. I am pleased with my choice as when everything else is done it really does not matter! Speaking of everything else I had waxing, gel manicure and pedicure, hair cut and highlights and that was it for grooming!
Hair and makeup I was lucky enough to get through work which is a hair and beauty salon/shop so I managed to already know who to choose! Aletha was incredible she created the dream hair I had always wanted for my wedding, I went for a half hair up do with natural curls representing almost like a rose.
I kept my makeup natural but enhancing my features which was done by Lara who was incredible and really chose a look I was comfortable with as I am not a heavy makeup wearer.
The Readings & Music
We got married in a church and wanted traditional yet unique! We chose a reading from the bible for one of my bridesmaids to read which was ‘love is patient, love is kind’ – Corinthians 13:4-7. We also chose a reading for my maid of honour from Winnie the pooh ‘if you live to be a hundred’ this was very fitting to us personally. Music we chose ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Jerusalem’. We had a singer singing songs in the church for people of arrival and also she sung the hymns with us to help get the vibe up as hymns can sometimes be a bit dreary if no one joins in, we really recommend this.
The Details & Décor
We chose a DIY wedding which was incredible! However a lot of work, so some of which we did hire in the end rather than buy to make like a little easier. I was lucky enough to have a family business of my aunty and cousin who do prop hire throughout the UK, they supplied wood log slices, suitcases (as it was travel themed) card holders, glass water bottles, sign posts, crates to name a few! This saved time and also the hassle of selling after the wedding. Our theme was travel and our colour scheme was sage green and dusky pink, we tried to stick to this the best we could whilst adding a rustic twist.
We tried to keep it local and used a wonderful cake maker Sarah from ‘Sprinkle some magic events’ she was incredible and listened to everything we asked for – we had a rustic partially naked cake with handmade flowers made of icing sugar to work well with our sage green and dusty pink theme. We had 3 tiers bottom being vanilla, second chocolate and third banana, we had so many complements on our cake it was so delicious!
I found my dresses for the girls on ASOS it was actually an ASOS own brand, they were sage green and very flowy chiffon material, they suited every body and skin tone/hair colour, all of them were happy!
Craig went to Bicester Village for his suit, which he got from Charles Tyrwhitt, it was a lovely charcoal suit, he got a waistcoat also which added to the look. He got the same suit for his best men (he had 2) and groomsmen, the only difference was the tie, he has the same style but they had different colours. Salmon pink for the Groom, hot pink for the best men, royal blue for the groomsmen and turquoise for father of the bride, this actually tied in very well (excuse the pun).
October was our photographer and she was incredible, her moto is not to take up too much of your day with taking photos so you can be enjoying your wedding, so she does so many natural shots! She also does posed of course, she created the perfect balance and really captured those special moments we requested!
Ruth from Harris Weddings was so lovely and captured every moment of the day, she remained discreet and you were able to forget she was even filming, so this made the moments she captured even more relaxed and natural! I do not think she missed out on any moments!
Craig and I have always travelled long haul, so we initially thought we would want to follow the trend, however after thinking about how much planning we have done, the idea of luxurious short haul Europe trip was appealing! We chose Crete as Craig had never been to Greece and my name originates from there. It was incredible and I can 100% recommend rest and relaxation after a long time planning a wedding, as It can be testing at times and a beach and pool with a flexible 10 days is just the tonic!
The ceremony, this stands out so much to me as it is the time you tie the knot and make the commitment to each other, I really felt the words and meant what I said so much that I was totally in the moment and anytime you are that, it becomes a memorable moment! Speeches was also extremely memorable, this is again because I was totally immersed in the words of my husband, family and friends that at that moment nothing else mattered! Dancing was my third most memorable, we love to dance and the band was outstanding so it was such fun and totally what we had hoped for!
Advice For Other Couples
Live in the moment as much as you can on the day, try not to be overwhelmed by the amount going on as whenever your in the moment memories stick. Have faith the day with go as it is meant to and try to overlook a perfectionist mind as you are not in control of what everyone is doing, so just enjoy what is!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
October Willis Photography
Sarah at Sprinkle
Polly and Petal
How very pretty!
Craig and Eleni, thank you both so much for sharing your truly wonderful wedding with us xo Lou