By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
I followed WWW and a couple other blogs on Instagram in the run up to the wedding. WWW was particularly inspirational with so many unusual weddings by super creative people.
Alice and Rhys
Well isn’t that just the loveliest way to start today’s real wedding feature? Thank you Alice and Rhys ☺️
I am over the moon to be sharing WWW readers Alice and Rhys’ wedding today, it’s just gorgeous from beginning to end. What’s more it’s just brilliant to see two of our treasured WWW wedding suppliers members featured; their lovely day was held at Hadsham Farm Weddings in Oxfordshire and the fab Event Flag Hire supplied the epic festival flags. Total festival vibes here with the festival flags, tipi reception, restored swing boats, live music and tipi reception! YAY!
I love so much about their wedding day, the boho style and eclectic décor for one. But mostly it has to be the fashion you guys. Alice had two frocks, the first is a customised 70s style gown by Spell and the Gypsy and the second a slinky ASOS number customised with feather shoulders, super gorgeous. I love Alice’s flower crown and bouquet too they looked so pretty. Rhys went for a custom made suit by Petriiski Fashion in emerald green teamed with a pink tie and handsome floral waistcoat, I am sure you will agree they both really looked the part.
I will let you discover for yourself even more about their gorgeous celebrations below thanks to these incredible images by Victoria Somerset-How Photography, thanks for sharing them Victoria.
The proposal was beautifully simple and private. I knew it was coming as it was something we had discussed a lot and I had basically chosen a ring (a beautiful 1940s number) but I had no idea when. I thought Rhys might wait until we were in Australia that Christmas. But one night after work before our regular Wednesday night dinner with friends I opened the door to find Rhys looking awfully sheepish and all spiffed up, with candles lit and our favourite summer song playing on a record player. He immediately dropped on one knee and asked me to marry him. I just cried and eventually said yes. I couldn’t wait to tell our friends Travis and David but when we arrived at their house they already knew and all our London friends were there waiting with a little congratulations party. It was perfect.
Right from the start we wanted to plan a wedding for other people as much as for ourselves. We wanted to throw a wedding that would bring everyone together and that our friends and family would love going to. It had to be easy going, no pressure and above all fun. We both had quite a strong idea of what we wanted from the get go. A beautiful hybrid of the best of English wilderness and Aussie outdoor living. We wanted to create something highly creative as we are both designers and come from creative families. I wanted to make EVERYTHING! My Pinterest was out of control.
I don’t think we had a process as such. We didn’t hire a planner as we didn’t have that kind of budget and we wanted to do a lot ourselves.
I had always wanted an outdoor tipi wedding, I used to work outdoors teaching bushcraft skills and spent a lot of time sleeping out in tipis so they bring back memories of idyllic warm summer days and Rhys being Australian it was kind of a no brainer. We looked at hiring tipis and a field but it started turning into a logistical nightmare. Eventually my parents found Hadsham Farm just 10 mins down the road. Hadsham had the perfect set up in the most secluded spot by a lake. The track down was just as magical and the scenery just breath taking all tucked away in a little valley.
They are extremely helpful and bent over backwards to help however they could.
Bride – I always knew I wanted something a bit different and I definitely want to be comfortable enough to dance and eat and generally have a great time. I knew I wanted something really boho and dreamy and so I started my search on pinterest.
I quickly found the exact dress I wanted. It was this incredible cotton wrap dress with huge 70s style sleeves and amazing embroidery and cut away appliqué. Turns out this dress was a Spell and the Gypsy dress and their flagship store is 30 mins down the road from where Rhys’s parents live in Australia. I could not believe my luck as we were going out there in just 3 months time and my parents were coming out with us. So I went to try the dress on with my Mum and my Mother-in-law to be and I loved it even more in person (and it was half price).
The dress was almost perfect but as we weren’t getting married on the beach I decided to ditch the slip dress that it came with and turned to my dear friends and talented tailor and dress makers Veronica and Vassile from Petriiski Fashion. They took this dress to a whole new level. They basically took the dress apart and put it back together to suit and fit my body perfectly and then made the most spectacular silk dress to go underneath which gave the dress form and made the whole thing really come together. They also made the dress in the most fabulous stretch silk so I could still eat what I wanted.
Bride outfit 2 – I had the boho day look nailed but I decided I wanted something really fun, sexy and with some mega festival vibes for the evening. I had some fun making these really cool feather shoulder pieces myself which turned out really well and so I started looking for a dress to go with them. I didn’t want to spend much so I turned to ASOS and found the perfect simple slinky dress for £80.
Accessories – I bought an amazing little sequin handbag from Accessorize and initially bought these incredible silver Dolce & Gabbana shoes from TKmaxx but I really quickly gave up on that idea after I couldn’t walk in them for more than 3 metres and ended up opting for super cute Dune sandals with a low heel which were totally covered in rainbow sparkles.
My god parents bought me the most stunning earrings from a local jeweller from my birth town, which they gave to me as a gift on the day.
Groom – We always wanted Rhys to stand out and feel just as amazing. Rhys cares about how he looks just as much as me so why should I have all the fun. So again we turned to Petriiski. They created a completely custom-made suit with the most incredible floral waistcoat that included colours similar to Australian Bottle brush and Wattle flowers.
In true DIY style My Maid of Honour did my make-up. She is super amazing at it and we went together to a Charlotte Tilbury wedding session before hand and bought lots of new products and had lunch which to me was so much nicer than paying someone I didn’t know.
My god-fathers wife did everyone’s hair which was really lovely as it meant having both her and my god-father around all morning which was a huge help as well as a friendly face.
As we couldn’t get legally married at the venue, we decided to have a family friend do our ceremony – John is my childhood friends dad who has known our family for 25 years and it was so personal and set the perfect tone for the day.
We had 2 of our best friends do readings but as it wasn’t a religious ceremony we sort of asked them to say whatever they liked. Our gorgeous friend Alex read a poem by Allen Ginsberg and my oldest best friend Poppy wrote something herself about friendship and what it teaches us about relationships. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.
We opted for a Cuban band for early evening as we love Cuban music and it always gives us those summer vibes and in the evening we did a Spotify playlist that we had spent a few months curating which worked really well.
Getting the flowers right was really important to me and I’m so glad we found Sophie at The Stow Flower Shop. She just got it straight away. We focused our spending on 3 key areas – the large flower hoop, a long top table floor runner and the bouquets, buttonholes and accessories. Sophie created really incredible displays that were wonderfully wild but also big bold and bright. She included wild English blooms as well as lots of Australian foliage.
My bouquet was insanely beautiful. I had explained to Sophie that if it was in bloom I wanted to get my Nana’s white rose into my bouquet and low and behold it was and the talented Sophie worked the roses into my bouquet on the morning of the wedding.
Sophie also made my flower crown as well as the flower crown for my MOH which were super comfy and lasted the whole day.
The rest of the flowers we did ourselves which included the wedding arch, tables and pew ends.
Wherever do I start? This is where we owe my parents so much for their tireless creativity. I think when me, my mum and dad work together on anything we egg each other on with hair-brain ideas and schemes. My parents are probably two of the most talented people I know and they did not disappoint.
Starting with our wedding arch. I had originally said to my Dad maybe a willow arch might be nice as they have a willow tree in their garden. A few months later I get a call from my Dad saying “I’ve started your arch… buts it’s not a willow arch. It’s hard to explain so maybe you had better come and see it” so we did and I cried (happy tears not sad). My dad is nuts and I have never seen such love, craft and creativity be put into one thing before. I still can’t explain it so you had better just see the pictures.
Next up my mum set to making these amazing huge macramé hangings which became part of the boho chandelier of dreams. She made 8 huge hangings (I didn’t even know she could do macramé). It was the first thing people saw as they came into the tipis and it was just stunning.
The third crazy thing my wonderfully bonkers parents did was buy some dilapidated swing boats and completely restore them. They happened to come by them whist visiting someone they used to buy antiques from and thought it would make the ultimate edition to the festival wedding we were aiming for. My dad rebuilt every boat and my mum repainted the whole thing to restore it back to its original glory. I might add that if this seems a little excessive, my parents are semi-retired, and they did sell them on for a profit!
For the table décor my parents spent about a year buying up every antique bottle they could find at car boot sales which we used in clusters on the tables with candles and flowers in them.
The day before, we had all of the Australians arrive and staying nearby at a large Airbnb house and they all came down to the site to get everything set up. It was a monumental task full of people from all over the world, and it served as a very unique bonding experience.
As I am a Graphic Designer, I designed all our invites and on the day stationery myself which included a massive fabric seating plan that ended up being quite a big feature. I also spent months buying vintage lampshades from eBay for our chill out tent and hours crafting and painting signs.
We tried to consider every detail from the tables to toilets and I loved every second of it.
We found Victoria through Instagram and knew straight away that she was the perfect person for us. We had actually already booked a different photography in a panic, who I had had doubts about from the moment we paid the deposit. When we found Victoria, we actually decided to sacrifice the deposit and cancel the other photographer (sorry other photographer – it was still a year before the wedding so I’m sure they filled the spot quickly) and wow I am so glad we did. Victoria was amazing. She was as excited about our wedding as we were. On the day we barely even noticed her. And the photos… just wow.
We actually had a friend and colleague do our wedding video for us. I had worked with Jess as a graphic designer for a year and knew she was a talented photographer and videographer but she blew us away with what she produced. It was just beautiful and captured the day perfectly.
We wanted the groomsmen to be totally different to Rhys so that he stood out and as it was a summer wedding we opted for cream linen suits from John Lewis. We also had 2 of our nephews as mini groomsmen/page boys and we found almost matching cream linen suits but with shorts also from John Lewis.
Bridesmaids – Our bridesmaid dresses were 100% made from scratch by my clever Mother. We spent a long time looking for dresses in all the usual places but nothing was quite right and would work for both a 3 year old and a 7 year old. So my mum who is a talented artist, designer and seamstress set to it, and made them.
Maid of Honour – I wanted something really boho for my maid of honour and found a really pretty floral dress from ASOS (also in the sale) the back of the dress was a bit too exposed and felt too ‘beachy’ so my super talented mum bought a second dress to hack up and remade the dress so the frills continued down the back of the dress. She then took the remainder of the dress and made sashes for the bridesmaid dresses and pocket squares for the page boys and Man of Honour.
Man of Honour – This was a tricky one as he was under strict instructions not to out-do the Bride or Groom. We eventually opted for a very pale pink suit from ASOS that matched the Maid of Honour almost perfectly
Enter another talented family member, Aunty Jill. My incredible Aunty Jill is the most talented cake maker. She makes and decorates cakes as a hobby and she is amazing at it. My clever uncle John does most of the baking and she does the decoration. She has made cakes for most family events including my Sisters and Brothers weddings. I gave her a loose brief and she really look it to the next level. I wanted something rustic just simply decorated with flowers but instead she created the most beautiful and realistic white roses based on my Nanas rose bush which my mum now has. It was spectacular!
We actually only just went on our honeymoon 7 months after the wedding. As we had so many friends and family here from Australia we didn’t want to go off straight away. We went to St Lucia for a week to a luxury all-inclusive resort, as we don’t usually do that kind of thing. It was great. We sun bathed and drank a lot of rum.
There were so so many but here are just a few.
Enjoy the planning process because it can be so fun.
Pull in every favour you can from anyone and everyone.
Don’t be afraid to DIY – even if things are a bit rough, you can’t even tell when it all comes together.
Don’t stress about guest lists or seating plans. Essentially everyone is there for you and no one would ever say anything if they are next to someone they don’t like.
If you don’t have a planner assign someone to be a Master of Ceremonies. We had our best friends Travis and David and I’m so glad we did. They were constantly busy behind the scenes and kept everything running smoothly.
Have a shot.
Enjoy the day and take a 10 min quiet stroll with you new husband/wife away from everyone (including your photographer) things will go wrong or be forgotten or missed and that’s OK at long as you dance your ass off, eat all the good food and laugh a lot with the one you love.
Victoria Somerset-How Photography
Chipping Norton Catering
Stow On The Wold Flower Shop
Oh my! So dreamy. I do love a festival wedding style.
Alice and Rhys thank you ever so much for sharing your divine wedding story here at WWW xo Lou
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