Nova and Jack are here today and they will brighten your day for sure! They tied the knot on the 28th July 2018 in a field in Staffordshire, which was just perfect for their festival wedding vision. In fact they were married and held their reception in a beautiful stretch tent marquee, which they decorated with DIY décor galore. Sunflowers featured heavily, which added a touch of fun and a pop of colour, with sunflower flower crowns and a sunflower iced cake to name a few.
Their day really looked like a riot of colour and happiness, from the tractor transport to the bonfire and sparklers come evening and the rainbow at sunset. The images by Rachel Burt Photography are ever so lovely and capture the essence of their day just perfectly.
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for stylish attire, fun signage, ice cream, confetti and dancing to name a few. Brilliant!
Jack took me to Ireland, where his granny is from as a surprise anniversary holiday. We went to Sheen Falls Lodge, in Kenmare, which is the beautiful and peaceful antithesis to our normal, hectic lives here in London. Knowing him well, I definitely saw it coming and on the day before our anniversary, Jack even asked me how I’d propose to him and I jokingly told him that I’d pretend to tie my shoe lace and then produce a ring. The day of our anniversary came and we went for a walk around the hotel grounds and low and behold, as we were checking out the beautiful view, Jack had to “tie his laces” – the rest is history.
One of the reasons we decided to get married now, rather than wait, was because we both lost grandparents in 2015; something which hit both of our families pretty hard. Because of this, we just wanted our wedding to be a big celebration. Our friends and family are spread pretty far and wide and so we cooked up the idea of a “festival wedding” for the excuse to spend more time with everyone for the weekend. We envisioned bunting, colours and hay bales and decided to do away with any wedding traditions that didn’t celebrate us and the marriage we wanted to have.
The Planning Process
Somewhere about 1 week after Jack proposed, it dawned on us that we had to plan a wedding! Naturally, the first step was to create a WhatsApp group to include both of our mothers and used that as a sounding board for all big decisions/to tell us what to do. We initially were looking for fields to rent that were purpose built for weddings but when our family friend generously offered us his field, we could hardly refuse! From there, it was just a case of trying to pre-empt what we + 150 guests were going to need for a weekend. Thankfully, my family is very handy with that kind of thing and we had a lot of great advice. Some of the more difficult tasks were sending out our invites, which we hand made and which took us several weekends to complete.
To find most of our vendors, we used addtoevent, which was a really good resource and allows you to find different vendors and book them really easily.
As little as possible!
I think we ended up spending somewhere around £12,000.
A field, owned by a family friend in Tamworth. With beautiful stretch marquees from Smart Party Marquees to host our guests for the day, lovely bell tents from Tipi and Bell Hire for them to stay in if they chose, otherwise space for them to camp!
The Readings & Music
Ceremony entrance music “we’re going to the chapel” by the Dixie Chicks
Song sung in ceremony “Here comes the sun” Beatles (the sun actually came out!)
Reading 1: “Excerpts from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter” Read by Tiffany Carter
Song 2: “Happy” Pharrell Williams
Reading 2: “Re-imagined lyrics from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers song – Hard to Concentrate” Read by Shane Sweeney
Exit music: “I’m sticking with you” – Velvet Underground
Your Outfits & Accessories
I had a total of 4 wedding dresses. When we were first engaged, we were visiting India and I had a bright idea to get a wedding dress tailored, as I really wanted something a little different; I got it made express, in two days…and it was awful. Two Monsoon dress disasters later (The Klara Monsoon dress is gorgeous, but long and I got two separate dresses shortened…neither turned out right). In the end (5 days before the wedding) mum reminded me of the first dress I’d tried on with her in Phase Eight – unfortunately a discontinued line. Thankfully I found it on eBay and it was perfect!
I wore a beautiful, sunflower flower crown in my hair, which was made for me by Garlands in Tamworth, too.
My sisters were my bridesmaids and we had heard many horror stories about make-up, so we decided to have a benefit make up lesson instead, to learn how to do our make up ourselves – it was amazing, we loved the experience and on the day, it meant that it was much less stressful!
We had our hair done by Jade and Becky at Head to Toe in Tamworth and we had our nails done (mani/pedi) by the brilliant Megan Wells.
Our brothers were Jack’s groomsmen. Jack’s favourite colour is green so he chose a lovely dark green suit to wear on the day with a golden bow-tie. The groomsmen were simply dressed, wearing white shirts, navy chinos and matching dark green bow-ties. These worked really well with Jack’s suit and also represented some Northern Irish heritage. The bow ties were bought from BelfastBowCompany. They are handmade in Belfast using linen which is manufactured in Banbridge (the town where Jack grew up).
Our theme was sunflowers so I really wanted to find them green dresses, which I knew would suit them both beautifully – as they both are quite different. Unfortunately, green is not “in” in 2018 and as hard as we looked, we couldn’t find anything that was not either too bridesmaid-ey or not bridesmaid-ey enough. In the end, they chose their own dresses and shoes, which were from the high street and came to less than £30 each! They also had beautiful flower crowns from Garlands too.
Celebration Cakes in Tamworth.
We got our beautiful flower crowns made at Garlands florist but the rest of the sunflowers for the day were bought from supermarkets on the day before the wedding. Mark, my wonderful step-dad, also grew all of the pots of live flowers specially for the day.
We nearly didn’t have a photographer. We thought it would be intrusive on our day and neither of us are particularly good in front of a camera. Then we realised that we were spending all this time and effort and that it would mostly be for our guests and that a photographer would actually mean that we could keep the photos and memories forever. We decided that this would be our treat to ourselves and I am so so glad we decided to do this!
We found Rachel on Instagram, she takes these beautiful, candid, colourful pics that are so full of fun and light and that were so different from the other photographers we’d looked at that we loved her immediately. I applied on her website, heart hammering in absolute hopes that she wouldn’t be booked – thank god she wasn’t.
Rachel and Becky made our day so special. Rachel’s calm confidence in our day definitely helped me in the morning and their bubbly presence throughout the day was a huge highlight too. Not to mention the fact that we now definitely have the most gorgeous wedding album ever.
The Details & Décor
All home made. Mostly by mum, sisters and us in the garden!
The theme was: whatever you think you can face making loads of, with sunflowers.
Thankfully the fam is quite creative, so we did well!
We went to Thessaloniki in Greece straight after the wedding, which was a lovely reprieve of food and sunshine. But our main honeymoon will be to road trip down the pacific highway in summer 2019 – planning already under way.
The moment when my sisters and I were installed into the back of the tractor and were being driven (quite slowly) up the field. It was strangely serene and a lovely calm moment before we got thrown into the day.
Seeing Jack for the first time in his lovely green suit was also special (since I wouldn’t show him my dress, he didn’t let me see his suit either).
Advice For Other Couples
Have a joint email account for the planning process.
Invest in a photographer, really take the time to find someone you like, it will not only make your day but it will make the “wedding blues” post wedding much more bearable.
Ask for help, people actually love helping out and it’s a great excuse too.
100% enjoy every moment on the day, try not to let the stress of the week/months prior seep into your day. Everyone says it but it really is just one day and it’s so much fun that it will go very quickly.
Have something to look forward to after the wedding!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Rachel Burt Photography
Becky Payne Photography
Smart Party Marquees
What a wonderful celebration! Thanks so much Nova and Jack for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou