WWW readers Mav and Jess’ autumn country wedding took place on 30th September 2017. They had the most wonderfully relaxed day at the farm which Mav grew up on. Now you might not believe it but this incredible day was planned in just seven weeks!
Of course pulling a wedding like this together with such a short amount of time to plan didn’t happen without a little bit of help from friends. Jess and Mav were very lucky to have lots of supportive (not to mention talented) family and friends who pitched in to make their day ever so special.
Jess fell in love with this gorgeous Sanyukta Shrestha gown, but not before trying on what sounds like half the shop! You have to make sure right?! The beautiful bridesmaids look almost ethereal in their pastel Maids to Measure dresses and gypsophila crowns, and we mustn’t forget Mav who looks ever so dapper in his Suit Supply jacket and M&S trousers.
Nataly J has captured Jess and Mav’s day just beautifully don’t you think? Thank you ever so much Nataly for sharing these wonderful images with us today.
THE PROPOSAL | Mav proposed during a surprise 30th birthday trip to Rome at a beautifully old fashioned rooftop bar overlooking the colleseum. It had been really busy but just as the sun was setting it emptied out leaving just us and of course I said yes (actually I think I forgot to say yes and put the ring on), the waiters were in on the act and turned up the music so we could dance!
THE VISION | We wanted something that was all about us, for Mav it was a free bar, lots of good food and plenty of dancing with as many of our friends as we could manage all on the farm where he grew up. For me I wanted a rustic and country theme but more importantly I wanted it to feel totally relaxed and most importantly fun (the bouncy castle was a total non-negotiable in the budget). For both of us the service was super important, we wanted the traditional church wedding with a modern service that was relational and welcoming for everyone.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Sometimes life throws things at you that mean if you want everyone to be there you’re going to have to do it quickly. So we looked at the latest date we thought we could “rely” on the English weather for with a marquee wedding on the farm and that gave us just 7 weeks! Crazy is probably an understatement, but it was all hands to the deck and decisions just had to be made quickly (which probably stopped me driving everyone else mad and really just meant I couldn’t obsess over little things which probably in the scheme of things really don’t matter).
THE VENUE | The venue was the easy bit, Mavericks family farm on the lawn down by the lake was the perfect setting but then we started looking at all the options for marques, I had my heart set on tipis but Maverick was all about the practicality and space. In the end I have to admit his choice was perfect, we went for a marquee with large window panels looking out to the lake and framing the fields and a clear roof over the dance floor. On the day it rained a little in the evening but scattered raindrops on the clear roof with fairy lights was totally magical.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | The dress, bolero and belt were all Sanyukta Shrestha, the earrings were borrowed from one of my bridesmaids, the shoes were Rachel Simpson and the all pearl veil was a gift. The hair up-do and flawlessly airbrushed makeup were by Louise.
FINDING THE DRESS | I was really blessed as I have a lovely friend who owns the most gorgeous bridal boutique, FrouFrou in Tunbridge Wells. In seven weeks they totally saved the day and found me the most perfect dress. I’d love to tell you when I tried it on I just knew it was the one but I actually went back five times and tried on half the dresses in the shop, sorry girls!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | The groom wore a pale blue jacket from Suit Supply, M&S trousers and waistcoat to match the groomsmen and some Barker shoes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The entrance of the bride was Pachelbel’s Canon and the songs were a mix of old and new lead by our worship team from church, we had “How Great Thou Art,” “10,000 Reasons,” and “O Praise the Name.” The service was lead by one of our friend’s dads who is a vicar in a local parish and the address was by our Pastor from Hillsong.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My bridesmaids were my two sisters and a couple of my oldest friends. We also had 7 gorgeous flower girls! Dresses were probably my biggest challenge, I wanted them to all feel comfortable in something for the whole day. The bridal boutique had suggested Maids to Measure in London and it was an absolute dream! They had so many styles in so many colours to choose from we managed to find one that they all liked in a pallet of pastels which suited them all. The little ones wore Rose in White by Lilly and Bo with white ballet shoes and they all had gypsophila flower crowns and simple white bouquets. One of my bridesmaids owns a jewellery business and helped me to make the flower girls little pink bracelets with silver disks with their initials on them. The girls also surprised me with personalised trainers for all of us on the day!
THE FLOWERS | Flowers were by a lovely friend from church. I had given her a couple of screen grabs from pintrest but the rest was all her own work. My bouquet picked out all the colours from the girls dresses and the button holes tied all the colours together.
The church was decorated by ladies from the village for harvest festival so was full of autumnal flowers, they even added some pinks and pastels to the centre pieces to match my colour scheme!
THE CAKE | Homemade, I bake a lot of cakes so mistakingly thought it would be a great idea to do my own but we totally ran out of time (and I completely forgot that you can’t ice a cake the night you get a hand applied tan). This actually turned out to be a massive blessing as it was two days before the wedding and I got a full night’s sleep while my brothers and sisters gave it a rustic coating of meringue buttercream icing. The cake itself was three tiers, chocolate fudge for the base, vanilla for the middle and lemon for the top and one of my gorgeous bridesmaids added some home grown edible petals on the day, she even surprised me with the cute homemade bunting to match.
I mentioned that it was all super quick and the day after my youngest sister landed home from Australia I packed her off to France to help fill my estate car with wine and fizz for the wedding! We had about an hour to spare and had popped into a local supermarket when we realised we could do a cheese cake too. After a hysterical conversation with the lovely ladies on the cheese counter in Calais in broken French with a few pintrest images (who clearly thought we were a little crackers) we collected all our cheese rounds and even found a cute heart shaped brie for the top! It was all assembled on the day with the addition of grapes and figs by some of the bridesmaids and went down a storm in the evening!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Nataly agreed to shoot the wedding just two weeks before the day! The photos are just gorgeous and really natural but mostly because she had everyone at ease, particularally a groom who hates having his photo taken. Nataly was so much fun in the morning and totally at ease with the slightly disorganised chaos of it all. She was an absolute gem in the day too, helping me with my veil, finding me mints and generally going way above and beyond what you’d ask from your photographer!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I love wedding blogs, Pinterest and all the gorgeous images of weddings and had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted it to look like but as I said before we definitely couldn’t have pulled off this wedding without an army of friends and family!
When we started planning word spread round church quickly that we needed some help and we were blown away by the generosity and willingness of everyone to do so. The lovely Karen lent us more wedding accessories than I could have dreamed off, she had everything from signs and bunting to a pallet bar and a barrel for the cake to sit on. The rest of the décor was mostly borrowed and whatever I could find from round the farm, we had upturned water troughs as tables, buckets pails filled with flowers and old frames with signs and hung from trees.
Then there was my hen. It was just a mini do with the timing but the girls all helped to make heaps of decor including personalised hessian bunting.
The field entrance was lined with jam jars filled with candles and flowers hung on shepherds’ hooks. We had festoon lights and jars of candles hung from the trees and miles of bunting too. Inside the marquee we had long tables to keep a less formal feel with crisp white linen table cloths and hessian runners. They were decorated with wood slices, scattered tea lights and cut glass vases filled with roses and gypsophila. Another friend made us the most gorgeous wedding favours that doubled up as place settings, homemade lollypops with edible flowers and personalised tags from Willow and Bo!
Food food food, and a little more food! I mentioned Mav was big on the food. A friend I have known for years did all our catering which was a massive weight off my shoulders in just knowing whatever he suggested would be on point and there would be plenty of it! Mav’s friends at Nortrade supplied the most outstanding seafood platters as starters and it was all served by some girls from church as our waitresses.
THE HONEYMOON | When you plan in 7 weeks something has to slip a little and for us that was planning the honeymoon. On the morning of the wedding we still didn’t have a mini-moon booked so at 9.30 just before hair and makeup I booked a last minute escape to Italy. I wouldn’t recommend it but it a few days of eating far too much food in the sun was definitely a great idea.
We then booked our real honeymoon and were totally blessed to head off to Barbados for some well earned down time before Christmas!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | There were a few times when I was totally overwhelmed at seeing the things people had done for us and all the little surprises in it! From finding the huge box of homemade lollypops in with all the marquee deliveries to the perfect flowers arriving in huge crates with way more than I had asked for in the morning. I loved the hustle and bustle and nervous excitement in our borrowed farm house in the morning with all the girls, flower girls and their mums getting ready. Walking down the aisle and not being able to look at anyone other than Mav for fear I might cry and then standing at the altar and suddenly remembering that we had completely forgotten to give our musicians any exit music (they somehow found something on someone’s iPad!).
One of the biggest surprises was the car. We had completely run out of budget but one of Mav’s best friends had an old fashioned BMW convertible which was perfect. I vaguely remember mentioning to Mav that I loved traditionally dressed up old cars but hadn’t thought anything more of it. When we left the church the car was decorated completed with tin cans and streamers on the back!
I actually really loved taking time out for photos, there’s a woodland walk round the lake and we snuck off between courses it was so nice just having 15 minutes down time! Nataly was a heap of fun and had us both in fits of laughter! Oh and I can’t forget Maverick picking me up and spinning me round in the first dance! Of all the moments some of my favourite bits were just stepping back and taking a moment to take it all in or getting lost in conversation with some of my oldest friends. Totally overwhelming and all a bit of a daze, it was a perfect happy day.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The best piece of advice I was given was to make sure you sit back on the day and take it all in a little, its all a bit of a blur!
More than that I think I’d just say to people in our position that if you have to do something quickly then do, its more than worth it.
Oh and let other people help you, I think the biggest thing I learnt was to let go of control (okay only a little) but this is where the best surprises come from!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Nataly J
Dress | Froufrou
Hair and Makeup | Louise Hair and Makeup
Bridesmaids | Maids to Measure
Flower Girls | Lilly and Bo
Flowers | Flowers at Furtherfields
Décor | The Nutty Fox
Lollypop Favours | Willow and Boo
Marquee | Ambassador Marquees
Band | The Cartoon Heroes
Wow! Jess and Mav, you really pulled off something very special with such a short wedding planning period. Thank you for sharing. Rachel x