Bethan and Matthew had a thoughtful and super sweet wedding back in the summer. They wanted their day to have a relaxed village fete feel. They chose to have a Church service followed by a marquee reception on the village green.
There were pretty touches throughout, from the natural blooms to the reams of bunting. Bethan looked gorgeous in her Monsoon wedding dress while Matthew donned some cool mustard boat shoes with his navy suit. Brilliant.
Thanks so much to To Have & To Hold Photography for sharing their lovely photographs with us today.
The Proposal… Well… I drove down from Manchester to spend Christmas with Matt’s family in Epsom, Surrey: it was the night before Christmas Eve. We were enjoying the Christmas tree lights and catching up (as we only saw each other every 4 weeks) and I noticed Matt was being a bit weird… clammy hands, I think I actually heard his heart beating! He asked what I’d like to do tomorrow… he suggested we go to Brighton for the day… and choose my engagement ring!? And then he quickly asked “Will you marry me?” I can’t remember the exact words, it’s all a Christmas romantic blur, but I said ‘yes’, and then apparently I didn’t speak for the next 20 minutes! We then did go to Brighton on Christmas Eve of 2010 and chose the most lovely vintage gold ring from a cute antique jewellers in the Lanes. It was a perfect start to a perfect Christmas.
The Vision for the Day… It’s funny, I was never one of those girls that dreamt about my dream day, but when Matt proposed, it was weird, I knew exactly what I wanted, and luckily Matt wanted the same. Our main priority was that we wanted everyone there, we didn’t want evening guests. We totally understand why people do that, for cost reasons, of course, but for us, we just wanted to open the day to everyone we loved! So that making it quite a large wedding, it had to be a marquee! We wanted a really relaxed, ‘village fete’ style, and with the help of so many creative people, and the generosity from our family, we did just that.
The Planning Process… While I was drinking champagne in Surrey with Matt and his family my mum and dad had already gone to the local church to see the availability in the summer. (Love them)! I originally wanted to get married outside, but I guess the unpredictability of our lovely English weather made me change my mind. Plus the vicar was very accommodating to how we wanted the service to go – friends did the music and the preach – and the church was beautiful, so the local church was booked. Research was internet based, but we also wanted to really bless local suppliers, so we found a lovely marquee company in Stockport who really got the vibe of our day, and helped us with finding more local suppliers. So very quickly the date and church, and marquee were booked – we just needed to find a field! I guess, because we knew the vibe of the day so well, it helped with the planning – I think vision for the overall picture really helps with the decision making. We were very blessed that our families were really accommodating to what we wanted, which I think makes the planning process a lot less stressful. Thanks mums and dads!
Budget… We really didn’t want to have an expensive wedding – its just one day – but things really do add up. One of my favourite weddings that I have ever been to, cost just over £1000, so it goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune. So I knew we didn’t want to spend a lot, but in the end I think it came to just over £10,000. The best thing I think we did was write down every cost as we went along but at the same time had an end figure in site. So all those little things that you pick up along the way, to decorate the marquee, we wrote it all down, so we knew exactly how much was being spent.
The Venue… The venue was a beautiful village green, and a gorgeous bunting filled, fairy light lit marquee. Hay bails in the field and croquet and a photo booth to capture our beautiful guests. The green was next to the village local club house, which was a lovely space where we served tea and coffee and where our older guests went when it got a bit chilly.
The Dress + Accessories… I have a very understated ‘dress story’. I felt really silly trying on these very expensive dresses in the bridal shops – I did a day of it with my mum. I felt like a little girl playing dress up. So I actually felt a bit deflated, as I didn’t find anything that grabbed my attention. Then we ended up going to the Trafford Centre a few days later, and just thought we’d pop into Monsoon. I found the one: by accident. It was simple, yet elegant, and I loved the gold embroidery detail around the neck line. I found some lovely gold sandals from office and then a beautiful handmade bespoke hair jewel that my friends at ‘malaya jewellery’ gave to me as a present for my hair. I tried on some of my mother in laws pearly earrings on the morning of the wedding, but I felt a bit too dressed up, so I just stuck with a simple vintage heart necklace to tie it altogether.
Groom’s Attire… Matt looked amazing! I remember walking down the aisle and seeing him at the front and thinking ‘wow’. We found his suit in Topman – It was a blue Ben Sherman suit, but we wanted to be quite relaxed, so we added some yellow Timberland suede boat shoes, which were the talk of the wedding! A simple tie that he already had and some stripy socks finished the look off perfectly. And his attire cost more than mine!
The Readings + Music… For us, the church ceremony was the most important and most exciting part of our day. And we were very excited about having our friends and family do the readings and music. We really wanted everyone to get our heart so we chose the music and readings that reflect us and the things that are most important to us. I walked down the aisle to Noah and the Whale’s ‘Love of an Orchestra’ and we worshipped to ‘Amazing Grace’ and Lou Fellingham’s ‘Promised Land’. Matt’s youngest sister, Rosie, read out Psalm 139 which is a beautiful chapter in the bible that declares gods closeness to us. It was great to hear those words at the beginning of our marriage. We had the most amazing privilege of also having two of our very talented friends sing a song called ‘beautiful’ whilst we were signing the register. The presence of God was very special on that day.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… I would not have made it to the church without my amazing Aman, Kate and Michele. These three amazingly beautiful talented women know me from different stages of my life and I knew as soon as I got engaged that I needed them with me! Aman did my hair, Michele did my make up and Kate, well she’s just brilliant and made me laugh when I was feeling nervous. They were with me through every emotional tear in the morning, and through every laugh on the day. They are my best friends and I’m so blessed to have them in my life. They looked beautiful in their different coloured dresses and I loved Aman’s mint sari – so elegant. We also had two of my second cousins as flower girls. One of Matt’s favourite parts of the wedding planning was going to Monsoon with the flower girls and their mum to pick out dresses. We let them choose their own dresses – It was super cute seeing them twirl around in the shop. Matt couldn’t believe that at such a young age girls got excited about dresses!
The Flowers… we chose a local florist, and just went with wild seasonal flowers including gypsophila and sweet pea. We had a big arrangement at the front of the church which I didn’t actually see, as my mind was on other things! We had collected random vases/tins which had small arrangements on each table and simple bouquets tied together with twine for me and my bridesmaids and flower girls.
The Cake… I don’t like wedding cake but mother insisted, so we compromised with layers of fruit cake and lemon sponge. I drew a picture and gave it to my mums friend who lovingly made the cake for us. I particularly liked the cute fondest icing bird cake toppers – I think they might still be in my mums freezer..?
Your Photographer… Our photographer was our lovely friend, Simon. I had been to a wedding where the guests were ordered about by the photographer and it was quite tiring posing for all these photos, so my wedding was the opposite. We got the group family/bridesmaid shots etc but I just wanted simon to catch the day with those little moments and he did! I love looking through our wedding photos. He captured the day perfectly.
The Details + Decor… At the beginning of the planning I think I was quite passionate about all the details, but by the end I just wanted to be married! I knew I wanted a vintage colourful relaxed feel, so bunting, fairy lights, ribbon in the church pews, a red bus, a tractor, an ice cream van all came together to create our perfect day! The main detail that me and Matt really were persistent with was the design – the invites/ menus etc – as designers we cared about those details but not so much maybe about the flowers, if that makes sense. It all came together with the help of both sets of parents who also had an eye for detail. I’ve since designed lots of my friends wedding stationery which has been great fun.
The Honeymoon… I think this was the first thing we booked before any wedding stuff! Italy! we wanted to go somewhere beautiful but somewhere not too far. We stayed a week in Sorento, with a rooftop swimming pool. Trips to Capri and eating out every night. Then we got the train to a little town in Tuscany where we stayed in a villa with a pool and relaxed even more. We did day trips to Florence and then ended our first holiday together in Pisa. It was amazing!
Memorable Moments… The speeches! Had me in tears, with laughter and sentiment. The first kiss in the church. Getting ready with my bridesmaids – Michele doing my make up and me trying not to cry. Walking to the church from my parents house, and the whole village stopping and waving. Yummy hog roast and local cider from the barrel. The first dance. Everything was amazing! I love remembering that day, our first day together as man and wife.
Advice for Other Couples…
– Set a budget and try and talk openly about money with family.
– Make sure you still have date nights with your fiancé where you don’t talk about the wedding.
– Choose bridesmaids that will really be there for you – I didn’t realise how much I would need them on the day.
– Planning your wedding can be quite emotional but listen to people’s ideas, doesn’t mean you have to go with them, but it helps keeping the peace.
– Make sure you and your partner are on the same page – set out your top priorities together for the day
– Don’t lose sight in the details and bunting, and champagne tasting, what it’s all about. The wedding is just the first day of your new lives together: We did a marriage course together which I would highly recommend. We were long distance until the week before we got married so we both read this book and when we met up we would go through the questions. It brought our feet back to ground in all the wedding madness! “the marriage book” by Nicky and Sila Lee (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Marquee – Heritage Marquees
Caterers – Riverside Party Productions
Photography – To Have & To Hold Photography
Bus – Routemaster Buses
Real ale – Tatton Brewery
Cider – Edisbury
Hog roast – Macclesfield Hog Roast
Church – St.Wilfrid’s Parish Church
Fridge – Fridge Trailers
Portable Loos – Blue Loos
Balloons and ribbons – Supa Dupa Cakes
Disposable glasses – Ascot Wholesale
Thanks so much to Bethan and Matthew for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou