I just love this sweet wedding for so many reasons.
The reception was held in a back garden in a delightful marquee, which enabled a super relaxed vibe.
The mother of the bride hand made not only the delicious wedding cake but the pretty bridal bouquet too.
And there was a Land Rover wedding car. Amazing right?
Zoe and Mark were married on the 6th September 2014 and wanted a fun wedding day, which wasn’t too expensive. Zoe found her delightful gown at Damsel in a Dress, which she teamed with colour pop red heels while Mark donned a dark blue suit. This lovely day sure will make you want to host a garden party for your loved ones this summer.
Thanks so much to the fantastic Rabbit and Pork Photography for sharing such wonderful imagery.
THE PROPOSAL | Mark knew I would hate something in public so he popped home unexpectedly during his lunch break and proposed in our living room – the place I feel most at home. I have always been unsure about marriage, so my response was ‘I think so!’.
THE VISION | Not too wedding-y! We didn’t fancy the drama of a big formal wedding, and wanted something relaxed and fun, where we, and our friends and family could enjoy themselves as much as possible.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We started planning about 10 months before hand. Our first task was to find a venue… we both instantly decided we wanted it somewhere quiet, and personal and after a chat with my parents they happily allowed us to put a marquee up in their back garden. Once that, the church and food were organised, planning was given a rest for a few months. We were determined not to let the planning process rule us so created a list of things that needed to be done, and put ‘to do’ dates next to them, so it was all planned sensibly. We even managed to follow this plan reasonably well!
THE BUDGET | Nothing too expensive. We were determined not to spend ‘silly’ money on just one day of our lives. We were sensible and if there was something to expensive, we looked for alternatives instead.
THE VENUE | The ceremony was held in the local church, and this was followed by the reception in a marquee in the family garden. Quality Marquees were fantastic – measured the area and we spoke about designs, space and layout. They found the perfect layout that would work for us. In addition to the main marquee, we had a side Oriental Tent attached which housed the bar and a few sofas. This offered some space away from the music and a place where people could chat. When it came to erecting the tent, the team were hard working and efficient. The marquee was in excellent condition on arrival and the guys were even happy to hang hundreds of fairy lights and bunting across the roof of the marquee.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Despite many dress hunting sessions, I was unable to find anything that felt right. They all seemed to big and wedding-y which just wasn’t me. I was also determined not to have a dress that cost a fortune yet I would only wear for a few hours. After exhausting many shops with no success, I turned to the internet and stumbled across a high street name, ‘Damsel in a Dress’ that also did wedding dresses. I ordered one and it arrived boxed up in perfect condition. The dress was under £400 – bargain! It needed some minor alterations (in length mainly) but I took it to a local seamstress, who charged a very reasonable price.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Mark’s attire was also very easy to sort. He went shopping one night after work and came across a suit he liked. Very easy!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We are not regular church attenders, so readings were slightly daunting for us. Google came in handy and I found a range of typical wedding readings. Between us we read them through and chose the ones that we felt meant most to us.
Again music was difficult. To start with I didn’t want anything too traditional but I then I decided I wanted to people to recognise the music and hymns. We have the traditional wedding march to enter, and then three hymns for our childhood – Jerusalem, Give Me Joy in My Lamp Keep Me Burning, and All Things Bright and Beautiful. Everyone knew the words to these hymns so could join in on the day.
THE FLOWERS | One of my mother’s hobbies is flowers, and she kindly agreed to do all the table decorations and my bouquet. I let her have free range on what she did, so together we went to the local florist, I hinted at some colours and mum did the rest. Table decorations needed to be simple and easy so we used recycled jam jars that we had collected over the preceding months and ties multiple colour ribbons in bows around their necks. These were then filled with flowers and grouped in the centre of the table. Mum chose flowers such as Spray roses, Bouvardia, Limonium, Lisianthus, Spray Chrysanthmums, Gypsophillia, and Veronica. Mum also made my bouquet out of the same variety of flowers which was beautiful.
THE CAKE | Another home made element from the brides’ Mother. We were discussing cakes around Easter when Mum had just made us an Easter Simnel cake. We fell in love with the idea of marzipan running through the cake so decided on a Simnel based cake for the wedding (light fruit cake, with marzipan layer, covered in marzipan and icing). It was two tiers, with the top tier being gluten free. The decoration consisted of fresh flowers to match the table decorations. The cake also formed part of the desert, and was received well by the guests.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | What a wonderful find our photographer was! She was a friend of a friend and we liked her style from the website, Rabbit and Pork Photography. Verity is one of a kind and we couldn’t have asked for a more fantastic photographer. We met in the summer and discussed our ideas, thoughts and likes/dislikes. We then met for a love-shoot. Sounds cheesy but it allowed Mark and I to get used to being in front of a camera – something we were both dreading. Verity made us feel very at ease and when she showed us the shots we were very impressed! On the day it felt like having a friend taking the photos, she was great with the guests and us, keeping us calm and relaxed. She happily followed us down to the beach for additional pictures and mingled well to get some great pictures.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Simple décor was the plan. We managed to borrow some handmade bunting from a friend which was in pastel colours. We also hired floral and polka dot napkins from ‘Show Me The Pretty’ to add a little colour to our tables. Mark and I love Tunnocks Tea Cakes, so despite some questioning faces from family, we chose these to be our favours. They were well received by the guests, with very few left over the day after.
Wessex Cater Hire provided us with all the furniture as well as a bar, which we stocked ourselves with white and red wine, and keg beer from Donnington Brewery. The catering company provided bar staff. Whilst guests didn’t officially pay for their drinks, we didn’t want a completely free bar. Therefore we requested a donation to charity and had pot available to money to place in. Charites were RNLI and Cancer Research. The RNLI sent us some fund raising bits (money collecting boats and flags) which we put on the bar to encourage donations.
The bride has Cornish roots so instead of a starter we had bigger canapés in the form of cocktail Cornish pasties. Barnett Fayre are a Cornish company and we arranged for the pasties to be sent by post. They do a range of flavours, but we stuck to traditional, as well as a vegetarian options.
Courthouse Catering provided our main meal, and once everyone was seated, a delicious hog roast was served to the table. There was plenty of food to keep guests happy. The Catering team were brilliant and very efficient.
For dessert, we wanted something a bit different so hired two hawking trays and purchased mini pots of ice cream from the local New Forest Ice Cream Company. Guests could choose their flavour and it also gave them the opportunity to move around and mingle in the marquee at the same time.
THE HONEYMOON | We wanted to get on the honeymoon as soon as possible so that we didn’t suffer from jet lag or spend ages travelling. Therefore we found an amazing boutique gité in the south of Brittany, France run by French Berry. It was a fantastic location and the gité was more than we could ask for and the English owners were very accommodating.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | We decided to use Mark’s 1955 Series 1 LandRover as our wedding car. After getting it back on the road and driving it down from Gloucestershire to Hampshire, all was well. However, on the day of the wedding Mark came to collect it from the house whilst I hid upstairs so not to see him. Unfortunately the LandRover did not start. So Mark in his wedding attire, and my Father in the middle of changing were trying to get it started. Half an hour later Mark is off to the Church but ends up having a risky journey down there and only just making it.
After the ceremony we cautiously make our way to the beach in the LandRover with a few coughs and splutters! The thought of breaking down certainly added a little anxiety to our day!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Keep it simple and don’t panic if something isn’t perfect, you probably won’t notice on the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Marquee | Quality Marquee Hire
Dress | Damsel in a Dress
Photography | Rabbit and Pork Photography
Napkins | Show Me The Pretty
Furniture | Wessex Cater Hire
Drinks | Donnington Brewery
Pasties | Barnett Fare
Food | Courthouse Catering
Ice Cream | New Forest Ice Cream
Honeymoon | French Berry
Tie | Mrs Bow Tie
Zoe and Mark thank you both so so much for sharing your wedding story with us xo Lou