WWW readers Helen and Mark tied the knot in a humanist ceremony on the 9th August 2014. They are one super sweet and loved up pair who wanted an outdoorsy wedding with a natural feel.
They opted for a tipi wedding held on a farm, a wonderful countryside setting which lent itself perfectly to some gorgeous portraits. The whole day was a team effort, from the home grown flowers to the pretty cake and planning.
Helen was enchanting in her romantic swishy frock with long veil and curled hair while Mark looked dashing in a three piece suit.
Thanks so very much to 83Photography for sharing these wonderful photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | In a beautiful hotel in Florence, nearly ruined by the hotel writing Mr and Mrs Maycock on the Roses Mark had ordered, but perfect!! Mark proposed with a wooden ring as I had a dream a year earlier that he did this and I hated it! After the proposal we spent a fabulous few days in Florence and then returned to London to buy an engagement ring in Hatton Gardens.
THE VISION | Something really different from all of the weddings we had been to with some traditional aspects but as relaxed and natural as possible. Neither of us are religious, but we wanted more than just a registry office ceremony so we had a humanist ceremony. I wanted the day to be as outdoorsy as possible as I grew up just next to the Peak District and miss the outdoors when we work in London!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Some of it was fun, some was just plain stressful as we both work long hours but it was all worth it. We were married in Sheffield which as we live in St Albans did pose some logistical problems but my parents were amazing and spent a lot of time on ‘project wedding’.
THE VENUE | Whirlow Hall Farm Sheffield, this is a farm I have visited since I was a child and my Mum now works at showing school children round and teaching them about farming. We hired a field which was on a bit of a hill but had amazing views and we planned the whole day around everything happening in the field, including the ceremony. We hired tipis for the field and set up a ceremony area with hay bales.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I initially chose a floaty strapless maxi dress to match the relaxed farm theme but after trying it a couple of times I did not feel ‘special’ enough and I then fell in love with a dress I completely couldn’t afford. This triggered a new search and I finally found a dress at Clifford Bur in Ware near St Albans which was floaty but also had a beautiful lace back with amazing beading and a beaded belt. I also chose a long veil, even though I never said I would have a veil and a beautiful head slide with lace and beading which matched the dress.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Mark chose to have a suit tailored as he always wanted to have a suit made to measure specially for him. We decided we just wanted the men to wear suits rather than tails as it was more relaxed. Mark spent ages researching tailors and eventually chose one that came to the house and him and his best man spent a happy afternoon choosing fabrics and cuts!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a humanist ceremony as neither of us are religious, but we wanted a very personal ceremony. We chose to have a reading from Mark’s sisters and also asked my friend Clare to sing, we let them choose their own reading and song as we wanted it to be a surprise. Mark’s sisters wrote a really funny poem and Claire sang ‘Love Song’ by Adele. We also chose to have everyone sing a song as I love that bit in church weddings, but we didn’t want any religion in our wedding. We chose ‘I am a believer’ by the Monkees which was amazing to hear everyone sing in the middle of a field in the sunshine.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister and my two best friends from University were my bridesmaids. It was a bit of a challenge as my sister lives in Sheffield, Beth lives in Germany and Laura in Poole! This meant my Mum and I ended up choosing the bridesmaid dresses from House of Fraser, but luckily they loved them (or they said so anyhow!)
THE FLOWERS | A lovely lady in Sheffield who did the flowers for my sisters wedding did my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets and the button holes. We chose to have very natural wild flowers to keep with the countryside theme so my Mum actually grew the flowers for the tables and they looked amazing!
THE CAKE | My Mum made the cake and it was two round fruit cakes and one round sponge. The florist did the flowers which my Mum and Josh (our wedding planner for the day) arranged on the morning of the wedding,
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | I found Robin on a Sheffield photographer website and our first meeting was via Skype as he was I Leeds and we were in St Albans. We got on great and had an engagement shoot up at the farm just as lambing had taken place so it was lots of fun.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We wanted to make it feel like a countryside wedding with classic simple pieces. We live in a little terraced house in St Albans and we love traditional but colourful and funky décor and so we wanted our wedding to reflect this taste. We chose two large tipis from Peak Tipis as they were different and so amazing inside especially with twinkling fairy lights. We had the whole family collect jam jars and I then decorated them with lace and ribbon and then bought lots of tea lights and also used them for flowers. I work in advertising and my studio team designed our invites which showed tipi’s and animals in the style of a festival ticket, we then used parts of this design on the table names, order of service and my Mum made 100 animal shaped biscuits as favours. The florist was great and lent us some hand-made bunting, hooks for lanterns and heart shaped metal decorations. The biggest thing I wanted was to get married outside and we hired hay bales from the farm and my Dad made a beautiful wooden arch which we got married under! Having sunshine on the day meant I got my dream and married outside looking out over the countryside.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Bali and Lmobok as we wanted a bit of adventure as well as luxury. We stayed in a 5 star spa resort in Bali (Uma Como) and had a LOT of massages and then moved to a 5 start beach resort in Lombox (Tugu Lombok) where we could have our meals on the beach, the temple, you name it they would do it! It was amazing to get away after all of the planning and to have some time together sun bathing, diving and exploring Bali.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing my bridesmaids walk down the aisle in front of me with my little niece was just wonderful and our humanist ceremony was amazing especially as it was outside, everyone had so much fun and the ceremony was really personal. Having everyone sing ‘I’m a believer’ in the middle of a field was a very memorable moment! We also had a buffet BBQ and it was fab seeing everyone tucking in and especially funny that when Mark went up to get his food he asked to have one of each of the burgers, but was told by the waitress that he could only have one until her reminded her he was the groom! Our first dance was to ‘Your song’ and Mark’s friend’s band played it and it was fabulous to see all of our friends watching us spin around the dance floor. At the end of the night the band also played Oasis and all our friends surrounded us, it was such a lovely moment!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | We perhaps bit of a little more than we could chew by arranging almost every detail ourselves as we only had a field, but it was really really worth it in the end. Our relatives and friends really chipped in and so many of the details were handmade or a result of people doing things for us which made all the difference. I didn’t really have a colour theme as it’s not really me, but by choosing details we liked seemed to come together to give an eclectic country feel. We also booked a wedding planner for the day as I realised that I did not want to be in charge of all of the suppliers or have to deal with any issues that arrived on the actual day, this was the BEST decision as we were able to fully relax and enjoy! Overall despite some of the arrangements being a bit stressful the day itself was unbelievable and one of the best days of my life!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Tipi | Peak tipi
Caterer | PJ taste
Photographer | 83Photography
Band | Kid at the back
Flowers | Joanna Price
Humanist ceremony | Matthew Simpson
Wedding planner | Unique wedding planers (we had Josh as Joy had another event, but Josh did her proud)
Toilets | Luxury loos
Generator | Blue Sky Events
Perfection. Such a sunny happy day.
Thanks so much to Helen and Mark for sharing their wedding story with us XOXO Lou