Can I take a moment and just say how you guys are the absolute BEST? I really do have to pinch myself sometimes, your weddings are a total blast.
WWW readers Dan and Chantelle decided to tie the knot on the 1st August 2105 in a church service followed by a house party. Yes that’s right, the reception was held in Chantelle’s family home complete with a marquee in the garden. The whole do was a culmination of efforts from their family and friends all on a budget of £8500.
The décor was just splendid, think hessian and foliage, there were DIY blooms, maids in pastel frocks and a pallet style bar. WOW. Chantelle wore her mum’s beautiful gown and it looked incredible on her. Dan meanwhile looked very dashing in his navy suit and bow tie cycling to the church.
Thanks goes to the awesome Pete Cranston Photography for sharing these sensational shots.
THE PROPOSAL | Dan proposed to me at Primavera music festival in Barcelona in May 2014, it was lovely he took me somewhere quiet with the sea and a beautiful sunset in the background, I was very surprised and asked if he was joking! We celebrated by watching Arcade Fire and The National.
THE VISION | When we started looking to plan our wedding, we were taken aback by the prices of everything, we originally wanted a warm tipi down my parents garden in the middle of December but when my brother announced he would be sailing around the world for a year we had to fast track things, so made it a summer wedding instead. We then decided instead of having a tipi we would just ‘amend’ my parents house to accommodate our guests, and rope in every one of our friends amazing talents to bring costs right down and go on a big adventurous honeymoon instead! To be honest, although this was how this idea started it turned out to be the best thing we could of chosen to do, we came closer to our friends and our day was so much more special because of the incredible people involved in the whole process.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Being that this was a very DIY wedding we organised almost every tiny details ourselves. It amazed me how time went on how much was involved in planning a wedding, especially when you weren’t hiring a venue or caterers! Our friends bought a lot of ideas, we would sit down and brainstorm menu and decoration plans, it really was great fun and our whole group of friends became so involved in everything. We even arranged our own tasting of the food ideas that we had all come up with, and my hair trial
BUDGET | Approx. £10000 – think all in all it came to a bit less than this, around £8500.
THE VENUE | All Saints Church, Luddington and my family home.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I wore my mums dress, which was incredible, and where possible I would recommend trying to do this! Only needed a couple of small alterations. Veil from the (other) lovely Chantelle at Shakespeare in Love in Stratford on Avon. Shoes were my beautiful friends which my bridesmaids painted for me in chalk paint the day before as we decided last minute white would look better! Our super talented hair stylist friend, Harry, did my hair and I absolutely loved the result. On a very fun hair trial with him after trying out and deciding on a nice wavy look he said he wanted to try ‘one more thing’ that’s when he came up with idea of plaiting my hair all around my head and pinning it up, I loved it and received lots of compliments on the day too. Another friend, Rosie, did my make up, which I couldn’t of been more pleased with. Having all our friends there on the morning of the wedding was lots of fun.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nice and simple, suit from Moss! Dan and the bridesmaids made the buttonholes for all the men in the wedding party and Pete showed them all how to actually put them on!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had one bible passage read by one of Dan’s oldest friends and usher, and ‘I carry your heart with me’ by another close friend, Emily. They were both beautiful readings and it meant such a lot to us to see our friends up there speaking beautifully.
The music was really important to us. We found a jazz band on the internet and booked them after watching their YouTube videos. We booked a trio for the afternoon and a five piece band for 2 sets in the evening. I didn’t think much about the music until just before when I spoke to one of them to discuss details a couple of weeks before the wedding. They were from Manchester but travelled all over the UK for different events. I only realised when I spoke to them our price hadn’t included a vocalist and I was a bit panicked. I had absolutely no reason to be because Drum and Brass were incredible, they covered well-known songs so everyone in the room sang/shouted along anyway. I couldn’t recommend them more, worth every penny. They even played the Canteena theme from Star Wars after Dan hassled them non stop on the evening. Needless to say, this made him very happy.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My maid of hour and two bridesmaids were fantastic to have around for support and they all very hands-on in the days leading up to the wedding too. They wore different dresses, all from ASOS. I wanted them all to be comfortable and didn’t like a lot of the over priced formal bridesmaids dresses I came across. Two days before the wedding I was trying to ‘gently’ iron their dresses but as the night wore on and I become quite tired I put the iron down on one of the dresses and burnt a great big hole right through it. I was completely speechless!! Dan saved the day using the trusty Internet and next day delivery, thank goodness. Lucy, a talented make up artist who we were lucky enough to know, took charge of making the bridesmaids make up look fantastic and another friend, Paula did all of their hair in beautiful ‘half up-half down dos’. They all looked so lovely.
THE FLOWERS | We decided early on that we would tackle flowers ourselves, none of us had any experience but thought would could take the challenge on! Dan wanted to do my bouquet, which I loved the idea of. The day before me, Dan and all my bridesmaids went flower shopping in local supermarkets and spent the afternoon putting bouquets together. Our friends, Jess and Hannah, who did all the décor did the table flowers, some of which came from her colleagues garden.
THE CAKE | Our friend, Zoe, who did a lot of our catering also decided to do our cake for us, despite our protests that she was doing far too much for us! I’m not a fan of fruitcake and loved the idea of a simple ‘naked’ wedding cake. She gave us exactly this, it really was perfect and so tasty too. Even better the eggs came fresh from her chickens in her garden!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Dan works in photography and has always been very selective with his taste so we knew we had quite a task ahead of us. We came across Pete after searching through some pretty plain wedding photography. It was incredibly refreshing to see some work as natural as Pete’s. When we met with Pete we got on with him so well we knew we had nothing to worry about. On the day he helped us to relax and went above and beyond to help out, including helping with the catering! We loved the result of our photos and I think it’s important to remember that once the day is gone the best way you can look back at one of the most fun and exciting times in your life is through your photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our friend, Jess, works at the RSC Theatre in Stratford in the props department and she has an amazing creative head on her. All the ideas for décor came solely from her, she would wonder around the house quietly making sketches on her notepad. With the help of other friends she made signs, table decorations and designed and set up the whole wedding. My mum and dad were also amazing in the help the gave us, for months before the wedding they were working on getting things around the house and garden just right to host over 100 of our closest friends and family. My dad even took out a window in our lounge and we had a marquee outside which created a whole new ‘super room’. To be honest none of our day would have been possible without both our parents help and support. On the day itself we had a lovely wedding planner to see things went smoothly too, this was a must for the type of wedding we did!
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Berlin for a few nights immediately after the wedding which was lovely but we didn’t stop there! We decided to do a few weeks of travelling around different parts of America with the money we had saved by having a cheaper wedding. Our trip started in New York and from there we flew in San Francisco to explore California. We hired a car and drove into the breath-taking Yosemite National Park where we stayed in a canvas tent in the valley for two nights, this was one of our highlights of the whole trip. After this we headed to the Pacific One route and drove from Monterey to LA to San Diego, back inland to the incredibly beautiful and hot Palm Springs and ended our trip of a lifetime in shiny Las Vegas.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Dan loved cycling to the church with the wedding party and friends; they were lucky it didn’t rain too! My trip to the church was quite memorable too, Zoe’s dad very kindly lent us a Rolls Royce to ride in for the short journey to and from my parents house. I was having some photos taken with Pete just before we were due to go and my dad blurted out that the car had broken down outside the house! Pete went on to tell my dad that no one was meant to be telling me! I thought it was quite funny and of course I did get to the church OK, just half an hour fashionably late.
The speeches were all so heart warming and emotional and the party in the evening with the band and my brother DJing was so much fun, we danced the whole night away, far too quickly!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It’s hard to get into your head that although it is just ‘one day’ it will be one of the most memorable days of your life. I think you need to balance this and not spend a fortune on your wedding, but instead focus on the things that are important to both of you. For us the photography, the entertainment and the food was important and this is what we focused and put the largest part of our budget on. I would advise that planning a wedding can become very stressful at times but when it gets like this to just remember why you are planning a wedding at all. We wanted to share the most special event in our lives with our nearest and dearest, but really when it came down to as long as we were married by the end of day we had done something right. When we and our friends and family look back at our wedding we all just remember the relaxed feel, the beautiful look, the amazing party and the effort that went into every last little detail from all the people closest to us, it really was a very special day.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Band | Drum and Brass
Planner | Danielle Davies [email protected]
DJ | Stuart Skett [email protected]
And of course those aforementioned amazing friends!
Décor | Jess Buckley, Hannah Cammock
Catering | Zoe Lucock, Emily Buckler, Kate Wells
Make Up | Rosie Lester Instagram: @lestercheese and Lucy Saunders Instagram: @lucy3lizabeth
Hairstylist | Harry Goodfellow
After party DJ set | Sam Coleman
What a celebration. Amaze.
Thanks so much to Dan and Chantelle for sharing their wonderful story today xo Lou