By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Today we’re all about boho, festival and alternative wedding vibes, with WWW readers Stef and Connor who were hitched on the 20th October 2018. Their wedding story began with an epic proposal at Glastonbury and their love of music and gigs filtered through into their wedding celebrations also. It’s so important to include your personality and loves into your wedding, just as this wedding showcases today.
They found the perfect venue in which to hold their wedding party, a pub in North Yorkshire called The Spotted Ox. The space was transformed beautifully with DIY touches, which included rustic signage, a log cake, stationery and the sublime seating plan. Not to mention wonderful props and florals galore! They achieved everything on a budget thanks to their brilliant planning and assigning their top priorities to be the focus of their spending.
How much do I love Stef’s beautiful gown? It’s called Inca and is designed by WWW faves Grace Loves Lace. She looked just stunning. Connor was very dapper in a burgundy suit, bow tie and converse combo, a colour-way which really tied in with the rich hues of the wild bouquet.
Huge thanks goes to Shutter Go Click Photography for sharing with us these remarkable images today, those smoke bomb portraits are just everything. Enjoy it all folks!
This was at Glastonbury in 2017 during one of our favourite bands set, the Foo Fighters. The crowd was huge so there was no room to get down on one knee and it was loud, so a truly shouty proposal!
Neither of us are fans of being centre of attention so it was important that the day was an overall relaxed event not only for us but for our families and guests too. With a casual dress code for all, we wanted everyone attending just to see it as a gathering of people, a celebration of our lives intertwining and joining together.
We wanted as few traditions as possible so it was a less ‘traditional wedding’ and more of a party, although some did creep in throughout the planning due to requests from others.
My mum bought us a Busy B Wedding Planner after engagement, which was really useful. It had all the right checklists to get us started and prioritised things based on your countdown to the big day. It even had extra pockets to keep all your invoices and cut-outs in. Great to have everything in one place and to hand.
As little as possible! We made sure we scrapped a few traditions that we felt weren’t important to us and in turn saved us some pennies here and there.
For instance, low on our budget priority was transport. We caught a taxi with family to the registry office and then hopped on the coach we arranged to transport our guests to and from the venue. After all, the day was all about spending time with our loved ones.
We made sure we prioritised our budget and spent the larger chunks on things that were important to us – the food, the photography and the music.
An absolute gem of a find! It’s hard to find a venue when you’re on a budget and you mention ‘Wedding’. Tucked behind a pub in Tockwith, this beautiful rustic room to hire used to be an old forge but didn’t come with the wedding price tag. Both being artistic types and with massive help from Jaymie (Forge Events), we tweaked this venue to be photo shoot ready.
Not only did Jaymie at Forge Events do the bouquets and button holes but she also did some bohemian floral displays which completely transformed the venue.
Jaymie was a dream to work with. After a few minutes on our initial meeting she knew exactly what our vision was and suggested some lovely additions to the day. Along with her prop hire, together we managed to radically convert a blank canvas into something that was bespoke to us. Why pay for a wedding venue that isn’t tailored to you when you can transform one for a fraction of the cost?
We’re both designers by day and mad DIY-ers by night. So, it was only right that we did the majority of the design elements and some of the styling ourselves. Invites, the cake, table plan and numbers, backdrops and the signage were all crafted at home on a budget to ensure the day fully reflected us. We’ve even been asked to create items for others since, offering services through our company Studio Kuma.
Connor and myself met at work in 2011. It was a quiet office but we always found ourselves humming the Jurassic park theme tune together on numerous occasions – much to our colleagues annoyance. Being one of our early memories as a couple, we chose to walk down the aisle to it. Turns out it’s a beautifully classical piece by John Williams that fit the bill perfectly. Connor then thoughtfully chose the rest of our ceremony playlist with some lyrically appropriate rock songs. The Foo Fighters featured, of course.
Music is a huge part of our lives and we are massive gig goers, hence the proposal. We chose the York based pop punk band ‘5K!’ to play some classics from our youth at our after party. From the first chord some of the ‘oldies’ were up, and they even managed to get those that you never see strut their stuff dancing.
We then played out the night with a playlist Connor had put together with all our favourite tunes on. We asked for any song requests on the invites that we sent out to ensure that there was something for everyone to have a moment too.
Before we were even engaged I knew what dress I would love to wear when it had previously popped up on my pinterest feed. It was Grace Loves Lace’s famous Inca. I knew it was the one immediately and it was the first of their dresses I tried on when visiting their showroom.
Quite an elegant and relaxed piece, it was accessorised with simple pearl earrings and a floral head piece made by Jaymie our florist – this added to the boho look I was going for.
I also custom decorated my own leather jacket by creating a simple ‘Just Married’ vinyl which was worn for some of the photos. This was also adorned with my ‘Til Death We Do Art” enamel pin that I had bought to match the one I had gifted Connor on the wedding morning. We are both arty types so this phrase made perfect sense!
Neither of us have ever been fans of dressing up and would prefer a casual night out in the pub over a glitzy event. So it was a nice surprise when Connor set his heart on an end of line ‘Rust’ coloured suit from Next. Purchasing the suit jacket and trousers, he then struggled to find the matching waistcoat with it being end of season and sold out. In the end, the only one we could find was imported from Next Ireland in two sizes too big, which luckily my mum tailored down to fit him.
Connor made his look his own by teaming it with a blue pinstripe shirt from Burton and a navy bow tie, he then swapped out his suit trousers for maroon chinos. It was only right that he then bought a ‘posh’ pair of converse to team with his look. Another pair to add to his collection and to bring his comfort level on the day up. After all, comfort was important on what we hoped would be a relaxed day.
Just the one – she was crowned my maid of honour. Lucy was my best friend, born a month after me and lived next door to me until we both ventured to uni. You know its true friendship when you have been friends since birth! It was important to me that she was just as comfy as us and therefore given free reign to wear what she wished. She picked a simple skater style dress from Coast in maroon, which ended up tying in with our flowers.
Connors brother from another mother, Rob, took the role of his best man. They had been friends since school and had supported each other through life’s ups and downs. Rob was also given free reign, he chose to match Connor but luckily for him, being a super tall chap, it was no problem to get hold of the end of line Next suit in his size. He accessorised with his own tie and shirt and sported some converse that Connor had picked out for him.
Being massive foodies this was an important part of our day. We searched high and low for a caterer to serve one of our favourite Asian dishes – Chicken Katsu curry. Street Cleaver, the man behind Born To Lose Burger in York, was the only caterer we stumbled across that would do so. My word are we glad we stumbled! Mark tailor made an Asian inspired street food menu like nothing you have ever tasted.
I attended a wedding fair with my mum just after we got engaged and was drawn to Jaymies stand (Forge Events) as it wasn’t poker straight and boring like most of the others. It was wild, elegant and natural – flowing around the rustic props she had on display. What she created fit perfectly with our non-traditional wed-stival.
My mother is an incredible self-taught baker, so it was only right that we teamed together and took on this challenge ourselves. Made to look like three stacked tree logs with our initials carved into tier two. Perfect for the bohemian festival look.
Cerys at Blood Moon Hair – York. I’ve had few hair dressers in my adult life as I’m loyal down to a tee. Cerys had been doing my hair for a couple of years. We started the transformation just after I got engaged as it was important to grow my hair as long as possible and change to a natural colour over the course of this time to leave all options open. The style she did on the day was exactly how I had pictured it and made all those months prepping worth it. A loose up-down doo showcasing a floral piece, Jaymie, our florist made.
Sonia Schofield Make Up. I chose Sonia on a recommendation from a school friend. She made the process very relaxed and we were able to trial the look prior to the day. I’m not a massive make up wearer so I was nervous prior to meeting her but she put me at ease and created a look that reflected me. It stayed put all day too – an added bonus!
Shutter Go Clicks Ryan Learoyd. We always knew that when we got married this was the chap we wanted to hire. Both having an arty nature, he was the perfect style for us not being your usual point and click. We had planned to get married on our original anniversary date of the 7th October. Unfortunately, Ryan had filled that slot only an hour before on enquiry! We then moved the wedding a whole two weeks later – just to ensure he could photograph it. Best. Decision. Ever!
Top of both of our bucket lists was Japan so we booked to head there for the following Cherry Blossom season. We are both fans of the Eastern Asian culture with some of the wedding details taking a nod to this, even my dress was made from Japanese lace, the food menu was Asian inspired and our cake was topped with Japanese characters.
Walking down the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme tune.
Walking the back fields with Ryan for some couples shots as the sun set – grabbing five minutes together away from the hustle of the party.
On initial thoughts we were under the impression planning the wedding would be easy and stress free. Being quite an anxious person, I promised Connor after we got engaged that I wouldn’t get stressed during the process. Unfortunately, it was hands down the most stressful thing we have done in my life.
Every man and his dog will have opinions on everything you do through the planning but its important you go with what you originally planned and feel comfortable with. Its your day after all.
Along the way, we also found it hard to stop branching off onto silly things that on the day you realise just aren’t worth the effort or the money as the day just flies by.
Stick to your first instincts, your original plan and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Shutter Go Click Photography
Blood Moon Hair
Florist & Event Styling
Sonia Schofield Makeup
Wow wee! What a fantastic party.
Stef and Connor, thank you both ever so much for sharing your awesome wedding story with us xo Lou
Want In On My Happy Wedding Letter?
Join over a thousand engaged couples (and counting) who have snagged my fun no-nonsense regular wedding advice and inspo straight to their inbox. Plus you'll get planning checklists & spreadsheets for absolutely nada.