Hannah and Tim had a major set back in the planning of their wedding when their original venue went into liquidation. But they overcame the hiccup when they started their search again and found their new reception venue, The Pavilion at Banks Farm, Staffordshire.
They aimed for a laid back fun wedding, with pink pretty touches and some eBay bargains.
Hannah wore an elegant Amanda Wyatt dress with flowers in her hair while Tim went for a grey suit, with baby pink tie and polka dot pocket square. So sweet.
Thanks so much to Adam Lowndes for sharing his lovely photography with us today.
The Proposal… I walked Hannah to our favourite countryside spot…in the rain and dark. She slipped on the mud into a dry stone wall and then fell onto an electric fence post. But as the sunset spread across the sky I got down on one knee, asked her to be my wife and even the mud and rain didn’t stop her saying yes.
The Vision for the Day… Our aim was for it to be relaxed, laid back and fun. We liked the whole shabby chic/vintage feel so went down that route for our theme.
The Planning Process… Hannah is very good at list writing and organising whereas I personally am better at ringing people and fetching things, so together we made a good team. We started by doing plenty of research on google images and pinterest, and browsing for ideas on Ebay. Once we had chosen our Church, reception venue and had a date to work towards, we made a timetable for what needed to be done, by what date.
Budget… We were aiming for a slightly cheaper wedding, and although we had a few setbacks that added expense, I don’t think we did too badly and didn’t go too much over our budget. From the start we created a ‘wedding expense list’ that every little thing we bought linked to the wedding went on – just to keep a record of what we were spending.
The Venue… We chose Holy Cross Church in Ilam, Dovedale to get married in. Dovedale has huge sentimental value for us as a couple, and the thought of getting married there was a given. We mainly looked at village halls and cricket clubs for our reception venue as they were cheaper, and eventually settled on a lovely hotel in Ashbourne that gave us a really good deal. Unfortunately 3 months before the wedding day they went into liquidation, we lost our deposit and had to begin venue hunting from scratch. Major panic! We really struggled, the only venues left at short notice were either really expensive or couldn’t provide what we had wanted for our day. We eventually found The Pavilion at Banks Farm in Oakamoor, which is a family run business where they hire out one of their fields for marquee functions. We had originally written marquee’s off as we thought they were too expensive, and were pleasantly surprised to find that it could be affordable. Tara + Anthony were fantastic, very understanding and couldn’t have done enough to help us out.
The Dress + Accessories… My dress was an Amanda Wyatt gown fitted at the bust and then floaty chiffon. It was Ivory, had lots of little beads and pearl details at the top. When I had it fitted and altered I had a sweetheart neckline cut in as I felt it was more flattering, and also some beautiful lace straps – I didn’t want to be constantly pulling my dress up on the day. I bought the majority of my accessories and my shoes on Ebay, I think you can find some real bargains if you know what you’re looking for, and I was so happy with everything I was wearing on the day. I wore pearl jewellery and wore 3 chiffon flowers in my hair, 2 ivory and 1 dusky pink to match my bridesmaids. My shoes were low heel, ivory and lace. Gorgeous!
Finding the Dress… I found the thought of trailing around endless bridal shops terrifying. I’m very shy and don’t like fuss. I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted so went into each shop knowing what I was looking for. It took me 2 trips, and I found it at Elle Louise Bridal in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. As soon as I tried it on I knew that it was ‘the dress’, and could see myself wearing it and being happy on the day.
Groom’s Attire… We got engaged in November, so good planning meant we bought the suits in the January sales making it much cheaper for really nice suits. I wanted normal fitted suits—no tails or frills—and no top/bowler hats. We all wore grey suits, but the ushers all had different shades of grey to be a little quirky (and save money, if they already had a grey suit there was no need to buy a new one!) and had a mixture of baby blue/pale pink ties, and polka dot hankies in the pockets.
The Readings + Music… One thing we wanted for our service was to have as many family/friends involved. We chose our favourite bible readings and hymns rather than the contemporary wedding poems/readings etc. A close family friend is a phenomenal piano player, and agreed to play through the whole service, from Hannah’s entrance to the hymns to some quirky wartime music during the signing of the register (Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, you are my sunshine, pack up your troubles etc).
Beautiful Bridesmaids… My bridesmaids were my best friend and my sister. They wore gorgeous chiffon pale pink dresses with an ivory sash around the middle. They had ivory shoes with a flower on the toe. I also had 2 flower girls who were both my cousins, and they both wore chiffon dresses with pink accessories and sashes.
The Flowers… We chose wildflowers in bright bold colours as all other colours in our theme were pastel, we thought they’d stand out more. We were SO happy with them.
The Cake… Our caterer doubled up as a fantastic wedding cake maker, and did us a really good deal as she happens to be my parents next door neighbour! We had an ivory and pink cake that was in the shape of a birdcage, with icing flowers draped up the sides. We had our wedding cake topper which was 2 birds with male/female hats on.
Your Photographer… Our photographer was Adam Lowndes who was fantastic. He is laid back, easy to get along with and genuinely a pleasure to work with all at a very affordable price. He is very good at capturing exactly the type of photos we wanted – more natural shots than posed. His commitment on the day was top notch, and he didn’t miss a single photo opportunity. Receiving the photographs after the wedding completely brought back the excitement that we felt on the day.
The Details + Decor… We wanted to do everything ourselves, we bought lots of bunting from EBay (£8.99 for 40ft!) bought some baby blue gingham to make our own table runners, we bought birdcages and lined them with artificial wildflowers for our centrepieces, and used small brown paper bags and gingham ribbon for our favour bags. We put a few old fashioned sweets , a little packet of seeds and a joke in the bags to reflect our personalities. For our wedding breakfast we had an afternoon tea, so the array of vintage crockery decorated the tables in themselves, and people helped themselves to tea/coffee and lots of scones and finger sandwiches.
The Honeymoon… We both love to travel all around the world, but opted for a tiny detached cottage in the Cornwall countryside. We just wanted a week to recover, to rest and to spend time together without having to rush out and sightsee. It was lovely.
Memorable Moments… Hannah: The speeches were lovely, as both my dad and Tim had written me a song unknowingly to each other, it was a lovely touch. Everyone said how relaxed the day was, which was exactly what we always wanted. All of my family and closest friends were involved in the day, so it was perfect.
Tim: It might sound clichéd, but the moment Hannah turned the corner in the church and began walking down the aisle was so emotional. Yes, I cried. I also really enjoyed the car ride to the reception as, even though it was only a short space of time, it was just us two—a moment when we could simply be together.
Advice for Other Couples… If something doesn’t go to plan, just relax and carry on. We had a real setback losing our original reception venue, but we managed it and the wedding we had was better than we ever imagined it being. Try and make your wedding full of your own personality, and do something different to make your guests think, “wow”. Someone told me a very helpful thing: take snapshot moments in your mind as the day goes on. It will go fast, so make sure you make memories of it as it passes.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
What a fantastic day, and proof that wedding planning issues can be ironed out with the day turning out to be even better than expected :-)
Thanks so much to Hannah and Tim for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou