Goodness me, what a brilliant real wedding we have for you guys today! WWWers, be prepared to feel inspired by WWW readers Sarah and Sid who had a seriously cool wedding extravaganza. They held their celebrations at Rock Village Hall in Worcestershire on the 11th August 2018, which turned out to be a colourful and quirky party. LOVE!
Let’s start with the photographs we are featuring by the brilliant Lucie Hamilton Photography because I just love the smoke bomb portraits she captured, you really can see the joy all round. We are just so thankful to be sharing them with you today.
What I love most about their wedding, is that our couple didn’t stick to traditions and really made their wedding their own. Part in thanks to Sarah (Peach Wolfe) who crafted their day of dreams with every little beautiful detail you can think of. You are going to be bowled over by all of the wonderfully bright and pretty decorations.
Keep your eyes peeled for amazing attire, a stunning naked cake, pretty blooms and awesome signage. Wow.
Our proposal story doesn’t include any big romantic gestures or pretty locations, I don’t even think he got down on one knee, but it was none the less super special and I don’t think I would have wanted it any other way. I’d been having a pretty rubbish day and hadn’t even bothered to get dressed so was sitting in bed wearing a onesie with my hair scraped up into a miss trunchbull style bun and not a scrap of makeup on my face. Sid came home from work to find me in this state and just blurted out “will you marry me?” I was a bit taken aback but said yes straight away and burst into tears. I still don’t know what made him choose that moment specifically to ask me but the way I look at it….if he wants to marry me when I look and feel so awful then he’s definitely a keeper. It was so impromptu that he didn’t even have a ring so I drew on a temporary one!
We both knew that we wanted to have a relatively small and informal wedding that would be an honest reflection of us as a couple. Traditional wedding formalities didn’t feel right for us and neither of us particularly enjoy being the centre of attention so we wanted the main focus to be on everyone else having a great time and for it to be a relaxed non formal party.
As for the styling we both love bright colours and our house is full of quirky colourful art so it would have been impossible to choose only 1 or 2 colours, so instead I picked 5 or 6. We’re also huge lovers of nature and being outdoors and have spent a lot of time walking in the forest together over the last 10 years so wanted to incorporate a little rustic charm into our theme too.
I knew that 90% of our wedding was going to be DIY because I was pretty determined that we would be able to make or do most things ourselves, my mum is super creative and I was brought up with the notion that you didn’t always have to buy things you could make them yourself. Plus I run a creative business so it would feel wrong to let anyone else do any of the creative bits (wedding planning revealed my inner control freak).
The Planning Process
I took me 2 years to pluck up the courage to officially start the planning process, mainly because while working in the wedding industry I have seen first hand the stress that planning a wedding causes and was apprehensive to put myself through it!
I’d started making pinterest boards pretty much straight away but hadn’t thought about dates or venues or any of the important stuff!
So 2 years after we got engaged we decided on a date and I started looking for local wedding venues. We gave ourselves 2 years to plan everything because it was going to take a while to save up enough to be able to afford everything, our first couple of initial outlays were very kindly paid for by my mom and dad which was a huge help!
Everything else seemed to fall into place after that, the bar and caterers were both local and came on recommendation from friends.
I had always said that I wanted to plan everything with a super tight budget of £5,000 but quickly realised that this was going to be really difficult even with all the bits we were going to be doing ourselves. I think the venue, food, photographer and bar cost more than £5,000 altogether so I think our final budget pretty much doubled in the end! I had booked a really awesome pink Cadillac to drive me to the venue but sadly had to cancel it because it was just more than we could afford. One day…one day I will get to ride in a pink Cadillac!
Rock Village Hall
I think my mom and dad actually found this venue for us, it was 20 minutes from our house, set in a beautiful rural location and had the most gorgeous view of the Worcestershire countryside. We went for a visit and I absolutely fell in love, it had high ceilings, loads of light and loads of space. The perfect blank canvas for what I was visualising.
The Details & Décor
I tried to make almost all of our details and décor myself, I make wedding stationery for a living so its only right that I hand make a lot of the décor and put a lot of pressure on myself to pull something amazing and creative out of the bag! Despite the pressure I put on myself I did absolutely love every single minute of making all the little details and personalised elements.
Our wedding tables were named after some of our favourite musicians and so I made our table names from old 12 inch vinyls that I picked up from a charity shop for 50p each and personalised them with our table names. I made our table plan from a huge mirror my mom and dad found at a charity shop for £5, I sprayed the frame and then designed the plan and programmed my plotter cutter to cut out all of the wording onto white vinyl which I then transferred onto the mirror using transfer tape, I finished it off by making a little silk flower arrangement in the top corner with the help of my glue gun!
Each place setting had a dip dyed napkin that was lovingly hand dyed with the help of my step son Seb, on top of the napkins sat a menu card that matched our wedding stationery and it was all tied together with candy stripe twine and finished with a little name tag that I made using my plotter cutter and some white vinyl.
Our wedding favours were tiny little vials filled with poppy seeds from the most gorgeous purple poppies grown by my mother in law. I finished them off with tiny little personalised tags.
We covered the ceiling of the hall in paper pom poms which I bought from Aliexpress (my favourite place to shop for wedding supplies) and I decorated some of the chairs with coloured ribbons from Aliexpress too. I also made a huge banner using my paper cutter to go up on the wall behind the band that read “TIL DEATH DO US PARTY” and I think it finished off the décor perfectly!
I could go on and on about the details but I am positive that your readers will be bored to tears if I did!
I was super excited about the flowers, I am so inspired by florals and was determined to create all our flowers from scratch with the help of my mom and mother in law.
My mother in law is a fantastic gardener and planted some of the most beautiful dahlias for me to use in my bouquets and also let me have free range in her whole garden to use whatever I wanted to.
So 2 days before the wedding I ordered 4 bouquets from Bloom and Wild and also picked up a few bunches from Waitrose and Aldi. The day before our wedding I laid them all out on the floor and in the midst of all the chaos of moving the entire contents of our cellar into a van my brother had borrowed to transport everything I attempted to build our bouquets and table decorations.
It was frantic and messy but I think it really allowed me squeeze out all of the creative juices I had left and create some really gorgeous bouquets that I was so proud of.
I finished them all off the morning of our wedding with coloured ribbons to stand out against the muted colours of my bridesmaid dresses.
I did my makeup myself, I had a trial with the most wonderful makeup artist (who ended up staying at my house for 5 hours while we chatted) who’s work is fantastic but I realised afterwards that I actually wanted to do my own makeup on the day because it made me feel more like me, plus I actually really love doing my own makeup and as weird as it sounds I feel like having someone else do it for me may have caused me to feel more stressed.
My maid of honour Ellie recommended a lovely lady who did her hair on her wedding day and so I booked her for a trial. As soon as she arrived with a victory roll in her hair I knew that she was the woman for the job! She did a fab job of making me feel like I was straight off the set of a black and white movie.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I had a few conflicting ideas of the kind of dress I wanted, one minute I thought I wanted a short polka dot dress and the next I wanted a full length flowing gown but I don’t think you ever know what you truly want until you’re standing in front of the mirror in it!
So one day I booked a last minute impromptu dress shopping appointment at a local wedding dress shop that had been recommended by my maid of honour and literally the second dress I tried on I knew I wanted to wear on my wedding day. I looked in the mirror and felt like the best version of myself was looking back at me. I always thought it was a huge cliché when people say that you know when you’ve found THE dress because you get a feeling but it was totally true. My dress turned out to be nothing like anything I had visualised previously but it just made me feel awesome.
Around a week before the wedding I decided that I wanted to add some little tulle straps to the dress too, so we bought some tulle from ebay and my mom whipped some up for me in less than 20 mins, I’m so glad I added these straps as I feel they balanced out the top of my dress perfectly.
I found my Irregular Choice shoes in the sale at Schuh which was fab because I’d had my eye on them for a while. My hair accessory was from Crown and Glory and I found a matching necklace online from a shop called Sour Cherry!
Sid’s outfit was a little more tricky, he didn’t want to wear a suit because it isn’t his style and I was worried that if his outfit was too casual that I’d feel really overdressed and self–conscious! But the main thing was that he was comfortable and still felt like himself.
He found an awesome shirt that had felix the cat and red cherries all over it which also co-ordinated with my red accessories and he wore it with some black skinny jeans, a studded belt and some boots. When I walked down the aisle and saw him there waiting for me it was so good to see him dressed as himself and not looking uncomfortable trussed up in a suit.
We both put together a playlist that we played through my laptop into the hall with the help of my brother! We made a playlist for while our guests were all arriving and then another playlist for while everyone was eating as a prelude to the party!
For the reception we are lucky enough to have 2 really good friends who play in an awesome 6 piece covers band called Gene Genie & the lemon squeezers so we asked them to play for us and they smashed it! They played a range of music from 60’s to modern day which suited us and all our guests.
Our wonderful best men, my partner’s sons and my now official step sons, Henry and Seb. They are both the polar opposites of each other so there was no way we could get them into matching outfits. Seb likes to be a bit flamboyant and so I found him a scorpion print shirt from Zara and he insisted on pairing it with some black braces which was a great idea. Henry wanted to be a bit more low key so he wore a smart white shirt and black trousers.
We were both so proud to have them as our best men, I have been in their lives for almost 10 years and I saw our wedding as a joining of 4 people not just 2, so it was only right for them to be right up there with us. They both had the job of looking after and delivering our rings which they did an amazing job of. We couldn’t have asked for better best men and I couldn’t ask for better step sons.
I had 3 beautiful bridesmaids, Clare and Emma who are both my cousins, my husband’s niece Elodie and an amazing maid of honour Ellie who was my absolute rock on the day. She let me share her brain because mine was completely burnt out and I would have lost the plot without her.
I found 2 of my bridesmaid dresses online in the ASOS sale which was awesome because I love a good bargain and Ellie’s dress was Jenny Packham in the Debenhams sale. Elodie lives in Bermuda so we had a lovely shopping trip to Worcester to find her a dress which we found pretty quickly in House of Fraser by Lace and Beads.
I bought them all matching bumble bee necklaces from a brand called Hurleyburley and had them personalised with their names and our wedding date as a little keepsake from the day.
One of the main things on my list to research and book was a photographer, photography has been a huge passion of mine since I was 13 and I had worked as a wedding photographer for 2 years and still assist my friend Jude Evans Photography regularly so it was hugely important to me to find a photographer who’s style I liked and who I had a connection with. I met with a couple of photographers but it didn’t feel right and it was actually my photo buddy Jude who found Lucie Hamilton on instagram and sent me her details. I loved her style and knew from our first email exchange that she was the woman for the job!
She turned up the morning of our wedding while we were still setting up and I was in the midst of losing my head and she immediately made me feel a sense of calm, she is super laid back and fortunately it rubbed off on me a little! So many of our wedding guests asked if she was a friend of ours because that’s certainly how it felt all day long. I am absolutely thrilled to bits with the images she captured from our day.
For our honeymoon we spent a few days exploring Amsterdam, neither of us had been before and had always wanted to go so it seemed like the perfect little city break as newlyweds! We walked miles, ate too many waffles and saw some gorgeous architecture.
My mom single–handedly made the whole wedding cake, she is amazing and has been able to turn her hand to almost anything her whole life so it was no surprise to me that she pulled it off but I was none the less absolutely in awe of it when I saw it on display.
I had told her that I wanted a naked wedding cake covered in fruit and flowers and she did her research, bought lots of books on wedding cakes and set to it!
She was still assembling the cake the afternoon of our wedding day and ended up having to get ready in record time because the cake had taken up so much of her time. Its fairly typical of my mom to sacrifice time getting herself ready to finish the cake so I am forever grateful to her for being so selfless.
I made the cake topper myself using little toy animals which I made tiny party hats for, the addition of shrek is thanks to my step-son who snuck it on the cake without anyone noticing!!
A very memorable moment but for all the wrong reasons was when my shoe broke literally moments before putting my dress on, we were already running a little late in true bridal fashion! Luckily my mom had a needle and thread with her to sew in my straps which my maid of honour then had to use to sew the Velcro back onto my shoe so that I could actually wear it!
Advice For Other Couples
If you’re planning a DIY wedding and decorating the venue yourself make a folder with lists of all of the jobs you will need to get done and make sure to delegate. Once each job has been completed make sure it gets ticked off. Also its great to have a sketch or a plan of how you visualise everything set up so that you don’t lose sight of where everything needs to be, its easy to lose your head in the rush of it all.
Also I know its easy to say but just relax, you’ve spent so long planning that its easy to get caught up in the idea that everything has to be perfect and it really doesn’t. At the end of the day as long as you’re married and everyone has had a good time (especially you) then your work here is done!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Photographer Venue Wedding Stationery, Menu Cards, Personalised Details etc. Flowers Dress Glitter Heart Hair Slides Bridal Hair Glitter Heart Necklace Groom Shirt Bridesmaid Necklaces Food Bar Baby Bib
Lucie Hamilton Photography
Rock Village Hall
Me! Peach Wolfe
Bloom & Wild, Aldi & Waitrose.
Christina Wu Love Collection from Tamsin’s Bridal Boutique
Crown and Glory
Oscars Bar Hire
Dainty Designs by Elliepie
Wedding Stationery, Menu Cards, Personalised Details etc.
Glitter Heart Hair Slides
Glitter Heart Necklace
Sarah and Sid, you both looked gorgeous and so loved up all day long. Thank you both so much for sharing with us your epic wedding story xo Lou