A Pretty Nature + Eco Friendly Wedding

Eco Friendly Wedding

Siobhan and Ben you may recognise from their gorgeous museum engagement shoot i featured back in May. They used their love of ecology and nature in their wedding too, with some stunning results.

Siobhan and Ben were married in June at the beautiful The Walled Gardens at Cowdray, West Sussex. As well as being focused on their love of ecology and nature, they wanted their wedding to be fun and relaxed. With as much of their wedding being sourced locally and being environmentally friendly too.

Siobhan looks so so divine in her Justin Alexander number, and i adore her coiffed hair while Ben looks dapper in his bespoke suit. I am head-over-heels for the pretty blooms in their wedding, the kraft paper details, the cake which sounds utterly delicious and the personal touches such as the table names.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Devlin Photos for sharing her beautiful photography with us today.


justin alexander bride dress

Names…. Siobhan & Ben

Wedding Date…. 03/06/12

The Proposal…. Ben proposed on my birthday in August last year.  We had a fabulous day – Ben packed a picnic, we went for a stroll on the Downs, lots of sparkling wine and strawberries, followed by being taken out to dinner in a beautiful restaurant. Ben proposed in the restaurant that evening.  It was a perfect day from start to finish, ending in the best birthday present ever!!

The Vision for the day…. We wanted a good fun, relaxed day with all our friends and family, to express our personalities in our choices for the day, to source as much as we could locally, and try to be as environmentally friendly as practically possible.

The Planning process…. We started by choosing the venue and setting the date. From there ideas for my dress, colour schemes, bridesmaid’s dresses, Ben’s suit, flowers, table settings etc came together. For inspiration we did a lot of browsing on the internet, blogs, etc, and I picked up a few Your Sussex Wedding magazines also for ideas from local weddings and local suppliers/stockists. We had a lot of brainstorming sessions ourselves also to inject some of our own ideas into the day.

The Venue… The Walled Gardens at Cowdray, Midhurst, West Sussex

The Dress + Accessories….. Dress-Justin Alexander. I fell in love with this 50’s style dress as soon as I saw it. I love the detail at the back and the shorter length. It was so comfortable and easy to wear. Accessories- Side tiara and brooch by Polly Edwards, earrings-Flo & Percy

Finding the dress…. I went to a few shops but fell in love with my dress in Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique in Brighton. The girls there are so helpful and friendly on all my visits, it was a great experience. Initially I went dress shopping on my own, but I had my sister with me for my second appointment, before making a final decision.

Groom’s attire… Ben had his suit made in Gresham Blake in Brighton. He chose an original Victorian print design for the lining of the suit with butterflies, which reflected his passion for the natural world.

The Readings + Music…. Readings – For you both, read by my brother. Today, read by Ben’s sister. Music-For the ceremony and drinks reception we had a string Quartet- Brighton String Quartet. They played a good mix of classic and modern songs. In the evening Ben and a few of our friends took to the decks! We hired the sound equipment from Dance 2 in Brighton, including a glitter ball.

Beautiful bridesmaids….. I had my two sisters Oonagh and Elaine, and my best friend Claire as my bridesmaids. We also had Claire’s son Eoghan as my super-duper pageboy.

The Flowers… Our flowers were by Kate Langdale in Brighton. For the bridesmaids and the ceremony room we wanted a pink, purple & cream colour scheme. Our inspiration for the girls dress colour came from the flowers that would be out in the gardens at this time of year. We wanted their bouquets  to reflect this also. In the reception room we wanted a vibrant summery mixture of colours and different types of flowers, incorporating seasonal flowers, herbs and wildflowers where possible. We loved the arrangements that Kate did.

The Cake… Our Cake was by Melody Razak, Treacle & Co., Hove. I often make a carrot and courgette cake at home, and for Ben’s 30th he wanted a chocolate and beetroot cake, so we took our inspiration for our cake from this. The base layer was carrot cake, middle layer was beetroot and chocolate, and the top layer was courgette. Melody finished it with cream cheese icing and fresh berries. It was DELICIOUS!!!

Your Photographer…. Lisa Devlin. We found Lisa online while searching for photographers. We loved her style, so contacted her and luckily she was available for our wedding date. Lisa is lovely to work with, good fun and relaxed. We love how Lisa has captured the day with her photos.

The Details + Decor…. We chose VW Campers for our transport. I had a chauffeured one with my Dad and my three Bridesmaids. Ben had a self-drive one for him and the boys. We spent 10 weeks travelling around Australia and New Zealand in a camper van last year and absolutely loved it; this inspired our choice of transport.

Invites & order of service: Our very talented friends Matt and Amy Robertson designed our invites. We hadn’t been very specific in our brief but they came up with a beautiful dragonfly motif that incorporated our names. (Ben is big into dragonflies too!)

Table names: We chose locations in Sussex for our table names. We found old Sussex postcards in Snoopers Paradise in the lanes in Brighton. We mounted these on cards and Ben made some wooden holders for them from some old recycled hard wood that he lying around.

We had our engagement shoot in the Booth Museum in Brighton, a natural history museum. While we were there Ben bought some old specimen boxes. He spruced these up to use as boxes for cards on the day. We mounted some old pictures of our parents and grandparents weddings in them.

Continuing on the DIY theme, we served some of Ben’s homemade tomato chutney and quince jelly with the cheese table in the evening, which went down a treat.

The Honeymoon…. We went to Thailand for our honeymoon. The first few days were spent in Elephant Hills, Khao Sok National Park, in Elephant Hills Luxury tented camp, where we did Jungle trekking, canoeing, mangrove exploration amongst other activities. This was follow by a few days on the coast in Krabi. We then slowed down the pace and went to beautiful, relaxed island of Ko Lanta for a few days. We loved Thailand, the scenery was amazing, the food delicious and the people so welcoming and friendly.

Memorable moments… We have MANY memorable moments from the day, but I will never forget the moments before going into the ceremony room, seeing Ben, (Ben says ’seeing Siobhan coming down the aisle for the first time’) and making our declarations in front of all our family and friends. It was a wonderful mixture of nervousness, excitement and pure happiness.

Advice for other couples… Have fun the planning, it can be really enjoyable. We did most of the planning together, which was great support for each other and took the stress out of it. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help, they’re normally very willing and its makes the journey all the more special and memorable to get others involved. Enjoy every second of the day as it goes very fast!

Credit where credit is due…
Photographer: Lisa Devlin http://devlinphotos.co.uk/

Make up & Hair: Jeni Dodson www.jenidodson.com

Siobhan VW Camper: Vintage Wedding Day www.vintageweddingday.com

Ben VW Camper: Vanilla Splits www.vanillasplits.com

Caterers: Buns to Banquets www.buns-to-banquets.co.uk

Cake:  Treacle & Co. www.treacleandco.co.uk

Flowers: Kate Langdale www.katelangdale.com

Bridal shop: Leonie Claire www.leonieclaire.com

Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy www.dessy.com

Bens suit: Gresham Blake http://www.greshamblake.com

String Quartet: Brighton String Quartet www.brightonstringquartet.co.uk

Sound Equipment hire: Dance 2.  www.dance2.co.uk



Thanks so so much to Siobhan and Ben for sharing their beautiful wedding story with us. I am just dying over this wedding… swoon!!


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