I do love it when a bride is a self confessed Whimsical Wonderland Weddings addict, it really makes me smile from ear to ear. I think you guys are really going to love their down to earth, crafty and happy real wedding too.
WWW readers Alistair and Deanne were married on the 1st June 2017 at the stunning tipi venue, Inkersall Grange Farm in Nottinghamshire. The grounds were really suited to their outdoor summer celebration, with plenty of love in the air. Just magical. Meanwhile WWW Supplier Love member Michael Mulholland Acoustic kept the atmosphere buzzing with his amazing tunes. Just wait until you see the tipi lit up come evening, what a sight to behold.
The pair along with their loved ones really worked so hard on all of the DIY decorations, it was so worth the effort. I mean the 1000 origami paper cranes alone looked so marvellous, let alone the hand arranged florals. The couple and their wedding party looked oh so stylish and the whole day was captured perfectly by Twig and Vine Photography, many thanks guys for sharing today.
THE PROPOSAL | Puglia, Italy, April 2016. Alistair had booked the holiday as a Christmas present in Dec 2015 and had planned everything including the most gorgeous hotel where we had our own trulli villa. On the first night, just before we went to dinner, Alistair asked me to be his wife and I cried with happiness for the next 45 minutes! We had the happiest week basking in the delight of being engaged, exploring Puglia in our Fiat 500 amongst the olive groves and vineyards, truly wonderful week! It was a complete surprise and we were so excited start to plans to celebrate our 16 year long relationship with our family and friends.
THE VISION | A relaxed and informal day filled with happiness and good food! We really wanted to use local suppliers as much as possible as well as involve our family and friends in helping us get crafty!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Deanne: I bought a wedding planning book, became a daily addict to WWW, ripped nice pictures out of a magazine subscription a friend had bought for me and started a pinterest obsession! I loved researching for our wedding. I would then show Alistair all of the pictures and ideas and we’d work through them together to reach decisions. As we didn’t have strong preferences, we were pretty open to ideas and changed things over the time we planned. Having a venue which is completely open to suppliers was fab but meant there were so many decisions to make!
BUDGET | We stuck roughly to what we wanted to spend and saved hard the year leading up to the wedding (which was tough as we also bought a house during that time!) in order that we pay for it ourselves and had no wedding debt. We kept a rather romantic (!) spreadsheet upon which we logged EVERYTHING and this helped us to keep to budget. We saved money by doing the flowers ourselves, by downloading a template for our invites and editing and printing ourselves and by enlisting the support of family and friends to hand craft decorations.
THE VENUE | Inkersall Grange Farm; a tipi venue on a farm on the edge of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. There are the most stunning views around the tipis. As the tipis are up from April-October each year, there are definitely some perks we wouldn’t have got by hiring tipis just for the weekend (lovely loos and wooden flooring for example). Linzi and the team were incredibly supportive and were open to all of our ideas. We loved that we got to completely personalise the space and the atmosphere in the tipis was just incredible.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | ‘Serena’ by Eddy K from Alice Rose Bridal. Gemma and Cherilyn were an absolute joy to plan with! I took a dress and changed it quite a lot by adding a bolero, which Cherilyn made from scratch for me, absolutely stunning!
Shoes were from Rainbow Club and oh so comfortable!! I would absolutely recommend. I only took them off at about 10.30pm so I could dance more easily!
Hair for myself and the bridesmaids was done by my super talented sister, Nikki. We had fun doing some trials with my wild mane! Thank you J
Make-up was by Jen and Sally, wonderful friends with mad brush skills and a lot of Body Shop products, they worked like a dream team, thank you J
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on A LOT of dresses. Like most brides to be, I had an idea of something in my head but the reality of trying dresses was completely different. I remained open minded and kept trying, eventually finding a dress I really liked, however it was way out of budget L I kept trying and found 2 dresses at Alice Rose and Gemma was fab at talking through my options in terms of bespoking the dress and getting a bolero made, it turned out wonderfully!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Alistair: I felt the relaxed venue called for a less formal wedding outfit and being 6 foot 7 inches tall, didn’t feel there was a need for a top hat. I also wanted to be able to wear the suit again so went for the Kin range in John Lewis. I also bought my best man’s suit from here in a slightly different shade of blue and we were lucky with the timing as some bits were in the sale. We bought the ties, bow ties and pocket squares from Mrs Bow Tie who had a great range of the blues/greens we wanted for our wedding and we received samples of the fabric first to help us decide.
Page boy outfits were from M&S. We wanted them to be comfy and opted for waistcoats rather than jackets.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | One of the hardest parts for us! We were officially married the day before in Coventry registry office however we wanted to write our own ceremony and vows for a humanist ceremony outside in front of the tipis. We had asked Alistair’s Auntie Claire to conduct the ceremony for us and we worked together on creating the words. It was so meaningful that A’s Auntie was doing this for us and that we got to completely personalise the ceremony.
Our friend Ellie, read a poem by Steven Curtis Chapman.
One of Deanne’ university friends from Iceland, Salka, read a piece by Rainer Maria Rilke.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Three of my oldest friends, Amy (schoolfriend), Lell and Ruth (Both uni friends), they were a tremendous support throughout and even though distance prevented us from meeting very often physically, our whatsapp group was active most days! As all three are married, I was able to gain some real insight and advice from them, thank you ladies!
Deanne’s niece was flowergirl, her dress was the first wedding decision, long before the venue was booked. It also gave us a deadline, so she didn’t grow out of it first!
THE FLOWERS | Deanne: I wanted the flowers to be in season and was leaning towards using more greenery than flowers. I came across Flowers From the Farm, which is not for profit network of small businesses, farmers, florists and gardeners. I found Caroline’s small business ‘Flowers to the People’, she lives in the next town along from us and grows flowers in her back garden and on her allotment, all in season. I looked at a few websites and YouTube videos about making bouquets and felt confident that we could do this the day before, this was a good decision as my bridesmaids and I spent time (not as much as you’d think, it was pretty easy as we were going for a natural look) putting together our bouquets whilst Alistair’s mum and Grandma helped to make the buttonholes, a lovely afternoon of family and friends supporting. It also meant Lell, Ruth and Amy had flowers, which were personal to them, they did a fantastic job!
We also bought lots of herbs from the National Herb Centre as the table flowers, which then doubled up as wedding favours.
THE CAKE + FOOD | We opted out of a traditional wedding cake as our food was all very informal. Instead friends and family baked chocolate brownies for us, which were stacked up in the evening with strawberries and raspberries for everyone to help themselves to!
Choosing the food was the best part! We opted for an Italian style picnic inside the tipi after our ceremony; sharing platters of breads, olives, veggies and meats, delicious!
We then had Pat join us with her ice cream cart, which was dessert and all our guests basked in the sunshine with their ice creams. We also got the kids involved by asking them to hand out ice cream tokensm, they felt very responsible for ensuring everyone was able to get one!
Around 5pm we had a coffee and crepe van join us, which went down well after a relaxed. The crepes were delicious and guests were able to choose their own toppings and didn’t have to wait long.
Around 7pm, the pizza van arrived, our evening food choice. Wood fired pizza with incredible toppings, this went down so well with our guests and not only was the pizza amazing, it just felt like the perfect choice for the venue.
Our friends Amy and James (Cheese Masters) prepared a cheese feast inside the tipi so guests had this choice alongside the pizza, people are still talking about the cheese! (Black Bomber Cheddar was a particular favourite)
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Mamad is an incredible photographer who captured our day beautifully. His style is documentary/reportage, which was perfect for us. We really wanted the essence, mood and atmosphere of the day capturing rather than formal photos. He includes an engagement shoot in his package, which meant we got some time to get to know him and get used to being in front of the camera. We LOVE our photos, thank you Mamad!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Where do we start?! Perhaps with the origami crane project, which started in 2016 when we’d seen some wonderful photos of origami hanging in a tipi and we fell in love with the idea. What started as something of a crazy idea (Let’s make 1000 of these for fun!) being a project involving so many family, friends and colleagues, we made origami in team meetings at work, with family when my dad was in hospital, with friends on wedding crafting days and my sister made 100s whist watching the Olympics! Stringing and hanging them was a whole new challenge, but one which we overcame together.
I made lots of felt flowers to fill the wooden letters, which were on the top table and Alistair’s mum helped in the days leading up to the wedding as well as making our table runners. So many people supported our crafting ideas, making clouds in the back garden, painting pots and chalkboards, writing names on leaves collected from a neighbour’s garden. My younger sister created stunning felt vines to wrap around the wooden beams in the tipi, she cut out each leaf and sewed it all together. The time and energy spent on crafting was just incredible and we are humbled at having some fantastic people in our lives.
THE HONEYMOON | Alistair: The day after the wedding, we spent the night at Sat Bain’s restaurant and hotel. The food was incredible, we had the tasting menu and the vegetarian dishes for Deanne were just as interesting and delicious as the rest of the menu. The peppermint tea just before bed was accompanied by a stack of homemade chocolate. Not very rock and roll but it was just the relaxation we needed after a busy couple of days.
I wanted to keep the honeymoon destination a surprise for Deanne. She had put an incredible amount of time and effort into planning our wedding day so I didn’t want her to have to worry about coordinating the honeymoon at all. We’d had such an amazing time on our holiday in Italy when we got engaged and I felt like there was so much more to see.
We spent time in Florence, Lake Garda and Venice and part of the fun was driving between the locations in the incredible Italian countryside. We stayed at Lido Palace in Lake Garda, which was pure luxury with a spa in the hotel.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Deanne: We had written our vows together but never spoken them out loud, it was beautiful and overwhelming and magical all at once. The other moment in my mind is late afternoon, guests sitting on the grass eating crepes and drinking tea and Michael Mulholland started playing his acoustic set outside the tipi, it was wonderful, the atmosphere was perfect!
Alistair: Deanne walking down the aisle of family and friends whilst ‘Fire in my Heart’ by the Super Furry Animals played. Sitting on the coach at the end of the night with Deanne’s head on my shoulder whilst our guests snoozed around us, knowing there was so much more to look forward to even though our day was over.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make a list of what’s most important to you both and keep coming back to this.
Our wedding website through theknot.com (website and guestlist host) was such a timesaver and allowed people to rsvp quickly. It also meant we could export a spreadsheet of guests and dietary requirements easily. Boring but useful!
We created a to-do list on a google doc, which meant we got everything out of our brains and it allowed friends and family to see what the plan was and to put their names next to jobs as it’s a live document, again, boring but useful!
Delegate! A tipi wedding is exactly what we wanted but it does involve a lot of coordination of suppliers, we created a supplier list, times they were arriving, where they needed to go and asked our brother in law to support. We didn’t have to worry about anything on the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Twig and Vine Photography
Venue | Inkersall Grange Farm
Coffee and Crepe Van | The Old Manor House Gift Shop
Pizza Van | Hidden Gem Pizza
Ice cream Cart | Derbyshire Icecream Bike
Canapés and Italian Picnic sharing platters | Saffron Outside Catering
Flowers | Flowers From The Farm
Wedding Dress | Serena by Eddy K Alice Rose Bridal, Ashby de la Zouch
Shoes | Harlow by Rainbow Club
Groom’s outfit | Kin range by John Lewis
Flower Girl dress | Monsoon
Pageboy outfits | M&S
Bridesmaid Dresses | Multiway Dresses by Inoneclothing
Free wedding website | The Knot
Invites | VineWedding
Ties | Mrs Bow Tie
Alistair and Deanne, thank you both so very much for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou