A Homemade, Wildflower, Family Wedding

Morning :-))

Let’s get to it shall we? When {www} reader Jessica got in touch with me to feature her wedding i was super excited :-) I so love seeing how this little blog helps you in your wedding planning.

Jessica and Michel had a fun filled family day, with Jessica’s grandmother conducting a humanist ceremony in a relatives garden. Everything was a real homemade project, with hand picked wildflower bouquets and hunting down china from car boot sales. This was a labour of love.

Thanks so much to their photographer, James Roberts Photography for letting me share his images today:


Names…. Jessica and Michael

Wedding Date…. 14th of May 20111

The Proposal…. Christmas Eve 2010, Michael had spent the whole afternoon preparing a variety of different curries (a new tradition he said while I wrap presents!)  he seemed quite distracted and a little grumpy , I was so excited that it was Christmas I figured he was just being a Grinch because our 1 year old daughter and I  were wrapping presents… we were having his parents and sister over for Christmas lunch the following day.  So once Sadie was all settled in bed and all the presents were wrapped he suggested I get out all the decorations for the next day as we may as well have a trial run, I was thrilled and really I should have twigged because candles and romance isn’t really his thing. So I happily set about getting as many candles and bits on the table, dinner was ready and I announced that there was only one table decoration that was upstairs for tomorrow but we could do without it tonight… he said no he would go get it – I thought that was weird… he then came back looking flustered and before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him… we both cried, it was so romantic, he put a beautiful perfect ring on my finger that he had chosen himself, it was the best Christmas present ever!!

The Vision for the day…. Our vision for the day was to do things our way, for us.  We wanted to have a ceremony we wrote in his parents gardens.  My grandfather was a minister and is no longer with us, so we asked my grandma to conduct a humanist ceremony.  It was so perfect, I walked down the isle to  “All I want is you” By Barry Louis Polisar.  We wanted to feel happy about spending such a lot of money, so we worked out what would ensure everyone had an awesome time.  We felt providing our friends and family with good quality alcohol and delicious food was important and some of the best weddings we have been to have been like this.  We also wanted it to be relaxed a bit like a street party Instead of having table plans we did Table groupings – which seemed to work very well!  We had our friends help serve the food and other friends made deserts.  We didn’t want people to feel like they were on their best behaviour.  We wanted a day that celebrated our union in marriage and all that it represented for us – love, happiness, fun, friends, family and our daughter.

The Planning process…. Once Michael’s parents had given us the go ahead on doing it at their house… Michael’s baby sister was getting married there 6 weeks later… so it has been a busy year for them.  We didn’t see the point in waiting to get married, as we wanted to try for another baby (I’m pregnant again now!!!).  With a small child and running my own business I was so hectic with everything.  I wish I had finished work a few weeks before the wedding rather than the week before as things would have been a lot less stressful.
We also sent invitations out via email rather than by mail and used gettingmarried.co.uk to create a free wedding website which worked very well as people could RSVP online, and most people did.
My dad is a singer so after dinner he got the party started with singing!  We also asked Michael’s uncle to be toastmaster, which we found was one of the best things we did as everybody knew what was happening all day.  We choose to still have all the traditional – cutting of the cake, first dance etc as it seems the many weddings I have photographed people seem to kind of wait for them at weddings!

Budget…. £7,000 and we stuck to budget!

The Venue… Michael’s’ parents house and property in the Suffolk country side. “The Clockhouse, near Framlingham”.  .  We encouraged people to camp in the field as his parent’s house is in the middle of nowhere.

The Dress + Accessories….. The dress was designed and hand made in Australia by Anastacia collection.  My shoes were super comfy and a bit more me and were from Clarks.  My nails were painted the same colour as my shoes as I hardly ever do my nails so I wanted something fun.

Michael decided he would rather have a watch to symbolise our marriage and I agreed that if he wasn’t going to wear a ring that cost so much then there was no point and funnily enough his dad has never had a ring.  My grandma told me that exchanging rings is a fairly new tradition and that when she and granddad got married she gave him a signet ring but it wasn’t a wedding ring.  I wanted a wedding ring so we both got we wanted!

I bought my bridesmaids and our mums hand strung long pearl necklaces which they could wear if they wanted to – all the bridesmaids choose to and they really looked lovely and tied the whole theme together nicely!

Finding the dress…. My dress is a lovely story.  In March 2010 we took my Sadie (my daughter to Australia) to meet all the relatives.  I stayed on a few weeks longer than Michael and after having lunch one day my mum and gran and I noticed a dress in the window of the boutique bridal shop next door.   It was decided that I should try it on as they wouldn’t be in the UK when Michael proposed (you know what girls are like!) I knew he was the one or else we wouldn’t have had Sadie – so use getting married was assumed.  I agreed and tried it on – I had always thought I would have something really simple and that my mum would make it.  As soon as I tried this dress on I was in love… in was in excess of $4000 – I knew I couldn’t buy it before we got engaged so I took all the details of the dress and shop.  After Michael proposed my mum said the shop had just closed down and I should contact the lady as soon as possible to see if she still had the dress – as the sample one fitted me!  I emailed her and she came back to say yes she still had it and offered it to me at a sample price.  I then went back and offered my maximum budget, which was almost half of what she said… she agreed and mum brought it over with her before the weeding!

Groom’s attire… Michael suit and shirt where bought at Coes a local department store.

The Readings + Music…. I walked down the isle to “All I want is you” By Barry Louis Polisar.  We had readings from one of my best friends, Michael’s parents and my mum blessed us (mothers blessing).

We didn’t choose the reading we let them choose and it was a complete surprise.  Each were unique my friend had written a poem like piece which made me shed a tear and Michael’s Parents read Edward Monkton “The dinosaur” with Michael’s dad speaking of the dinosaur and his mum speaking of the lovely other dinosaur.

Beautiful bridesmaids…. I had 5 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls.  My bridesmaids were all family my sister (maid of honour), Michael’s 3 sisters and my cousin, my daughter was a flower girl and my other cousins daughter was the other flower girl.   My bridesmaids where all allowed to choose their own dresses – the criteria was that it had to be one color and match a piece of patterned material which was my theme and of which I made material flower corsages for them and button holes and handkerchiefs for the ushers and best man and of course the groom.  The best men and ushers also wore their own suits and white shirts no ties.  The two flower girls wore tutu dresses.  More than anything I just wanted them to enjoy what they where wearing and wear them again.  I got them from an Australian facebook seller caller Princess Perfect.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Princess-Perfect/140233195999206

The Flowers… All picked the day before and the morning of the wedding by me and my sister.  They were a cross between flowers from the garden and wild flowers.  My sister did all the bouquets, button holes, table decoration she knew my vision and made it happen!

The Cake… Was perfect and made by my mums cousin (who I call aunty Lesley).  My aunty and my mum also made all the canapés.  When our guests arrived they were invited to have a drink and miniature scone with jam and cream.  After the ceremony there were loads of lovely canapés handed out by our friends, drink were offered by the ushers.

Your Photographer…. A good friend and amazing photographer James Roberts – being a photographer my photographer was a big decision and the most asked question but it really wasn’t a difficult decision I completely trusted him and I was very happy with the results.
My friend who is “pants on fire” did a video for us.

The Details + Decor…. We had a few key themes, we had Australian and British bunting (representing both our nationalities) we also had a touch of vintage mismatch, a friend who works for the red cross was able to lend us a whole lot of crockery, an urn and tea cups.  I bought a whole lot of crockery from car boot sales.  We also had lace dollies and we had photos of our little family strung up against the brickwork with pegs.

The Honeymoon…. We went to Spain – Seville for one night and then an amazing boutique bed and breakfast in Andalusia for 4 nights.  We used i-escape http://www.i-escape.com/finca-buen-vino/overview and that’s where we stayed.  It was our first time leaving our daughter we missed her but had an amazingly relaxing time and we knew she was happy with her aunt and grandma!

Memorable moments… Having our favourite Indian restaurant cater… the food was amazing.  Walking down the isle with my dad and seeing Michael for the first time in his smart suit.  The readings.  Saying our vowels.  Our first dance… it was so much fun.  Really the whole day was unforgettable!

Advice for other couples… Work out what’s important, set a budget stick to it.  Don’t be afraid to go off tradition, it is your day.  We also kept reminding our self that it is just one day and this helped us not get too carried away with extra things that weren’t important to us.  Give your ushers a job!  Write a detailed vision of the day way in advance and then on the day people can have something to refer to.

Credit where credit’s due…
Link to our video montage of the day http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtmeKlLvu44&feature=feedf
Dress: http://www.anastasiacollections.com/
Flowergirls tutu dressess: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Princess-Perfect/140233195999206
Marquee:  http://www.premiermarqueeandevents.co.uk/
Honeymoon booking site: http://www.i-escape.com/finca-buen-vino/overview
Photographer: http://jamesroberts.co.uk/
Videographer: Chris Shutt http://www.pantsonfirevideo.co.uk/

Thanks so much to Jessica and Michael for sharing their touching day with us today, sending love and congratulations xoxo

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