By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Photos by Maddie Farris Photography
A very warm welcome to Jen and Pete who are sharing their joyous West Yorkshire hall wedding at Oakwell Hall. Amazingly their day came in at a budget-friendly £13000, thanks to their fantastic DIY efforts.
There were some brilliant touches such as the pork pie wedding cake alternative, the handmade wedding signs and the DIY wedding shoes. Ohh the shoes, the crocs and embellished velvet heels were a triumph! Jen and Pete looked stunning in their chosen attire and they were enhanced further by the most glorious blooms.
What a way to spend the last days of summer, so beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a smiley couple and so many emotions too.
Maddie Farris Photography I can’t thank you enough for sharing with us these utterly gorgeous photographs of their day in West Yorkshire.
Pete proposed at Happisburgh Lighthouse, a place in Norfolk that Jen’s mum’s family always visited, and which Jen had been going to since she was a baby.
Pete got down on one knee and got covered in gravel and sand. He’d also brought mini bottles of Prosecco and picnic glasses stashed in his backpack, and we toasted while being absolutely battered by the wind.
We didn’t have a concrete vision, except knew we wanted to be surrounded by greenery and for everyone to have a lovely time. When we found our incredible venue we were very inspired by the stunning barn and let that support our warm and rustic DIY approach.
The venue was just perfect. Oakwell Hall is run by the local council, so it’s staffed by just the most helpful, enthusiastic and wonderful people who were almost as excited about our day as we were.
The Tudor Hall was a unique and beautiful place for the ceremony, full of drama and local history. And the barn next door gave us the perfect place for a big, silly, DIY party. We were forecast a big thunderstorm, but at the last minute the sun came out, so we could also enjoy the glorious gardens and meadow around Oakwell.
We wrote our own vows, and without meaning to brag there wasn’t a dry eye in the house afterwards! Both our mums did a reading, a Bob Dylan song from Pete’s mum, and a bonkers mashup of our favourite childhood books from Jen’s mum.
Jen walked up the aisle to Chariot’s Rise by Lizzie West, we signed the register to A Little Lost by Arthur Russell and I’ll Be Here in the Morning by Townes Van Zandt, and then walked out to The Obvious Child by Paul Simon.
Jen’s dress was from Wed2B, and Pete’s suit was from Next, so we kept it on the cheaper side. But we made them our own with personal and homemade touches.
Jen’s shoes were DIY’d. A second-hand pair decorated with the help of some embellishments and a nifty glue gun.
After the ceremony, Jen changed into her wedding Crocs, bejewelled with the help of that same glue gun and a big bag of green gems.
Pete’s tie was from a little boutique where Jen’s sister used to work, and the moth motif was complemented by Jen’s moth-emblazoned pendant from Lana And Ivy on Etsy.
We owe so much to Maddie Farris, our photographer, who played such a huge part in making our day so perfect.
She managed to capture the roller-coaster of wild emotions we felt throughout the day and was a joy to be around. Putting two generally unphotogenic people at ease, coming up with inspired ideas for photos, and making us all look beautiful!
A few days after the wedding we escaped to our honeymoon, visiting the Greek islands of Santorini and Naxos.
Our flowers came from the lovely Janice of Yorkshire Petals, who provided Jen’s bouquet and several buckets of her local wildflowers for us to decorate with. She perfectly captured the last-days-of-summer tones we were going for: green, copper and lavender.
Everything in the styling and decoration was DIY. Jen handwrote and made the signage, place settings and table decorations. But nothing would have come together without the astonishing effort of our friends and family the day before.
One of Pete’s best friends brought us foliage and freshly cut wood for the decorations and centrepieces, and Jen’s friends worked tirelessly to transform the barn space into our rustic dream.
Instead of a cake, we had a giant pork pie from the legendary Wilsons Pies, topped with little versions of us made by Jen’s dad.
Transport – My Uncle Anthony and his Ford Prefect, Freddy.
Jen was very insistent that there be a bride’s speech, and one from both the Maid of Honour and the Head Bridesmaid (Jen’s sister) alongside any speeches from the men of the wedding party. This meant there were a lot of very funny speeches. The highlight of which was Jen’s sister presenting Pete with his very own pair of Crocs to celebrate him joining the family.
For our first dance we choreographed a routine to the Trixie Mattel and Orville Peck cover of ‘Jackson’ and from there danced the night away to our own curated playlist of bangers.
Speak to people around you who have recently planned a wedding. We found our stunning venue and our angel of a florist by speaking to a colleague planning her own wedding.
If you’re thinking of going DIY, play to your strengths and make what you can, and spend the money on things that will take the pressure off you.
Jen had grand plans of buying all the flowers from a wholesaler the day before and growing her own ivy. But you need to rely on help and the experts where you can get it. And for that matter, get as many hands on deck as possible for the setup. You’ll need them!
Finally, make a list of the things that are most important to you both to help guide your decision-making (and budgeting!) When you know what parts will make you happiest even if they’re only small it can give you confidence that your priorities are in hand and taken care of.
Oh how lovely!
Jen and Pete, thank you both ever so much for sharing your epic West Yorkshire hall wedding story.
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