Quirky DIY Budget Friendly Castle Wedding

Bride Bridal V Neck Embellished Tweed Suit Groom Hat Lympne Castle Wedding Kev Elkins Photography

DIY fans, you’re in for an absolute treat today! Remy and Sam tied the knot at Lympne Castle in Kent on 25th March 2o18 and did everything their own way. Our pair wanted to avoid anything too ‘weddingy’ and certainly didn’t want to include anything that they didn’t like just because it is traditional. They did lots of making and I think you’re really going to love all the little touches.

I love that Remy and Sam had some really personal details, Sam wore a suit which had been made for his grandfather and re-tailored for him, and Remy wore her late father’s ring, what a beautiful idea. Amongst the other incredible images, Kev Elkins has captured a shot of the ring during the ceremony which is very dear to Remy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful photography with us Kev.

Can you believe that our couple put together all the florals themselves after a trip to Covent Garden market? They certainly put their heart and soul into handwritten signs, collecting bottles and I absolutely love that they named the tables after restaurants around the world that they visited, even taking a picture and keeping a menu from each one. Enjoy every last detail WWWers!

Lympne Castle Wedding Kev Elkins Photography

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THE PROPOSAL

The proposal happened in a snowy Berlin at Christmas in 2016. Sam got down on one knee but we ended up at eye level as I (Remy) had managed to slip over a few days before the trip and had ended up in a wheelchair for a few weeks! It meant that I got pushed around the snowy german christmas markets and didn’t have to lift a finger all christmas – so it wasn’t all bad!

THE VISION

Once we chose our venue, which was quite traditional in its style – we wanted to play against that as much as possible. We didn’t want our day to be particularly “Wedding-y” so we decided against chair covers, ribbons, traditional floral arrangements and bridesmaid dresses – among other things. We wrote our own ceremony, we did the flowers ourselves, and chose an aesthetic that suited us – not too over the top, but with a modern country house feel. We decided we wanted every part of the day to reflect us and our style.

THE PLANNING PROCESS

I (Remy) did most of the planning, with everything from scrapbooking to Pinterest boards – but we were very kindly assisted by the team at Lympne Castle – with food and preparations. We did the fun bits together, like choosing (and tasting!) the cheese for the cake, tasting the wine and making decorations/place settings.

BUDGET

£7,500

THE VENUE

Lympne Castle – set above the Romney Marsh, this medieval castle is an incredible venue with beautiful rooms and a terrace overlooking the English Channel, on a clear day you can even spot France!

THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES

My dress was by Mark Lesley and was bought from Bromley Brides. I knew I wanted an element of colour to my outfit so I searched for months for the material to make my veil from. I finally found the perfect one on Etsy, and my mum and I designed the drape styling and cut and sewed it together. My mum also replaced the cream ribbons in my wedding shoes with pale blue ones (so they could be my something blue) and sewed the sixpence from her own wedding into the shoe. My something old was my Father’s wedding ring – he passed away almost two years before the wedding but I made sure he was included in plenty of elements on the day, from playing his favourite songs to drinking his favourite rosé wine with the meal. I wore his ring on my ring finger on my right hand, and one of my favourite photos our photographer Kev took on the day is one where we’ve just kissed at the end of the ceremony and my arms are around Sam’s neck – you can see both mine and my father’s wedding rings right next to each other and I think it’s really special.

FINDING THE DRESS

I found the dress on a sale rack at Bromley Brides – I had no clue what I wanted at the time and tried it on on a whim. I fell in love with it straight away, the price only made it even better!

GROOM’S ATTIRE

Sam’s suit was given to him by his grandmother, it was made for his grandfather. He had it re-tailored to his size. Green Irish tweed, in semi-Edwardian formal style, with lapels on both waistcoat and jacket and a bright yellow silk lining.

THE READINGS & MUSIC

We wrote the ceremony ourselves, with our best friend Rich – who also performed the ceremony/blessing for us and acted as a wonderful master of ceremonies throughout the day. We were legally married at our local registry office a few days before the wedding day. This way we were able to completely personalise our day and as part of the ceremony we had Shakespeare, readings from the novel Cloud Atlas and quotes from Ru Paul and Sex and the City. We put our hearts into every word spoken on the day, and it felt a lot more personal than any sort of formalised ceremony could have been. A lot of people have asked us if Rich is for hire for other ceremonies – I’ve told him he should start a business! Our close friend George sang our first dance live for us – “A Million Dreams’” from The Greatest Showman – we are both actors and we are so lucky to have such incredibly talented friends to help us out – we had quite a few other friends sing throughout the night! The best wedding present we could ever ask for.

BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS

We didn’t have formalised bridesmaids, but close friends and family were told the colour theme of the wedding, and the feel – and were therefore free to choose something they felt comfortable in for the day.

THE FLOWERS

Two mornings before the wedding we visited New Covent Garden Flower Market and bought every single flower we used on the day. In addition to this we foraged for rosemary and greenery from our garden and some of our guests very kindly brought ivy from their own gardens to help out as well. We wanted all of the arrangements to feel relaxed and natural, and a wonderful job was done by Sam’s family on the morning of the wedding, decorating tables and surfaces all over the venue.

THE CAKE

We had two different cakes – a cheese cake which we chose each individual cheese for, from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, and an arrangement of 85 Krispy Kreme donuts for those with a sweeter tooth!

YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Kev Elkins – an incredible photographer based in the North, who was so generous with his time and took some beautiful and stylish shots of the day. We couldn’t have been happier with the results.

THE DETAILS & DÉCOR

We saved and collected hundreds of unique bottles over the last year, with the help of friends and family, and used them to decorate the venue as vases. (It was a relief to finally have them out of our flat after months of taking up every surface space!) Along with home made signs, personal touches and photos, we also named each table after our favourite restaurants from all over the world – each had a little story from when we had visited, along with a photo of us there and a menu from the restaurant. We tried to place people on a table named after a restaurant we had visited with them if we could!

THE HONEYMOON

We had what we like to call a “funnymoon” with our two closest friends from Australia (because we never get to see them) – in Umbria at a family friend’s farm house – but we hope to do a road trip across the USA at some point soon just us two (when we can afford it!) which will be our real honeymoon!

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Dancing into the night with our INCREDIBLE band – ‘The LDN Party Band’, eating Neal’s Yard Cheese and drinking rosé, photos on the beautiful terrace overlooking the Channel, the ceremony itself and hearing what we’d written come to life, having everyone we love in one room (a lot of them had travelled a long way from Australia, Hong Kong and America..) – there are too many to name!

ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES

Don’t get hung up on what people traditionally do! It’s your day, it should be whatever you want it to be – it doesn’t have to be a certain way because that’s the way you’ve read or seen it done before. It’s important that you are doing everything for your reasons, not someone else’s.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Remy and Sam, thank you ever so much for sharing your marvellous day with us. What an absolute treat! Rachel x

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