By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
Be prepared to be transported to the beautiful woods today, with WWW readers Paul and Jessica and their 1st October 2016 wedding. It was sublime, I mean what’s not to love about picturesque forest views, thoughtful touches and gorgeous home grown blooms?
Their vision was simple, a whimsical woodland wedding, set in High Wood Belper in Derberyshire. After a woodland proposal, it suited them down to the ground and they really made the day their own. From the romantic story walk to the ceremony, to the fun signage and individual crystal favours, I love it all. The rich Autumnal dahlias were an utter delight and looked amazing nestled in the floral arrangements. Jessica’s flower crown and bouquet in particular were splendid and really went well with her princess gown. Paul chose to wear a deep green suit and hunter wellies, the perfect attire for an outdoorsy groom.
They gave a nod to their first kiss, kitted out in fancy dress at the time, by naming the tables after the characters. It’s touches like those that make a day so very touching and memorable.
Many thanks goes to Rebecca Wedding Photography for sharing these divine shots.
THE PROPOSAL | 12th December 2015 – he proposed in a wood on our local dog walk with a Welsh loves poon and a beautiful London blue topaz ring. We then carved out initials in the tree where he proposed.
THE VISION | Whimsical woodland wedding.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were set on the location – Paul’s Dad Guy, owns a wood in Belper in Derbyshire. We wanted to have our ceremony in the wood as we thought this was really personal and unique, we then wanted the marquee in the field next to the wood with relaxed BBQ food.
BUDGET | 10K
THE VENUE | High Wood Belper, Derberyshire.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Princess style dress, flower head dress, flower shoes and veil.
FINDING THE DRESS | I tried on so many different styles with my mum and sister. Dragged them in and out of shops searching for the perfect dress. I thought my body shape looked good in a mermaid style but I couldn’t walk in that style and felt uncomfortable. As soon as I tried on the Princess style I felt floaty, relaxed and I felt like a fairy. A dress maker wanted to design my dress for me but after going through designs with her it got a little too pricey . My sister and I drew my dream dress on a child white board with a corset back, princess style and lace around the bottom, you wouldn’t believe it but the next day I ended up finding my dream dress in a tiny shop near where I was living at the time (small business from her house). I spent £500 on my dress, I was so lucky to have found my perfect dress for such a good price, as I knew it was going to get trashed in the wood, and it really did. I had brambles and twigs and leaves and mud, it was from Brides and Maids.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Green suit with Hunter wellies. Paul had his suit custom made for him, he left it very late to get designed but fingers crossed it was ready in time, his suit was more expensive than my dress haha!!!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We have been together for 10 years and we used to listen to about 15 songs on repeat before falling asleep in his bed. The aisle song was a Japanese song called My Sanctuary. I never knew what the song was about but I had always said to my friends I was going to walk down the aisle to that song and it happened yey!!! I then thought I should probably look into what the lyrics mean, they were perfect for us.
I also had a song Calon Lan “A pure heart” a traditional welsh hymn, this was my nan’s favourite song and I used to sing it in school.
For our readings we had both asked our mums to choose a reading a reading and read for us. Paul’s mum chose a perfect poem. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Fairies. This really sums up our relationship, such perfect words.
GrandAl- Paul’s Grandad who married us, although not ordained, we thought it would be special for him to conduct the ceremony.
We had what Paul calls ‘sexy BBQ music’ for our dinner, which is kind of like ambient dance music, then in the evening it was again our favourite dance tracks.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Maid of honour-Sister – Shonna , Bridesmaids Calley, Jodi and Holly. Flower girls – Ayla, Tilly and Anna. I need to thank all of them so much for all the work they put into helping me.
THE FLOWERS | Luckily Paul’s dad is a fantastic gardener and planted 100’s of Dahlias, which is a flower that blooms beautifully in October. My Aunty and cousin used to own a florist shop, Yvonne Sparey and Sammy Sparey. Along with Sammy’s little girl Rori they all came to Guy’s (Paul’s dads) garden and gathered all the flowers with extras from a local market. She sprinkled lots of love and creativity all over the flower arranging, they were working on site for 3 days sorting them out for me, I even had a real flower headband and real flowers on my shoes. They are all amazing. I just wanted lots of colour with no theme and to look quite wild and the vision came true!!!
THE CAKE | I was going to go with a white 3 tiered cake with real flowers, but a couple of weeks before the wedding they said they couldn’t make it. We then had a tree trunk cake made by Beaurepaire and cut the cake with an axe, it was so much fun!!! And really went with the theme!! It was delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The beautifully talented Rebecca Wedding Photography, I knew as soon as I saw Rebecca’s photos online she was the one, they had such a relaxed and cool feel. We met up with Rebecca and both got along with her so well she made us feel at ease and very special.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Colours of the bridesmaid dresses were a dusky blue and lilac, I really thought it would look striking against the green of the woods and it was perfect. The flowers I wanted no theme just a lot of colour and my aunt and cousin gave me that. With bouquet and shoes and headband I wanted deep purples/reds.
I wanted to go wild in the woods and have a lot of tree trunks and candles and flowers dotted around the wood walk, I took my mum, sister and Paul into the woods and gave them orders (bridezilla moment), we then had to tone everything down as transferring tree trunks from one end of the wood to another was backbreaking – the moss stones (for the aisle) were even heavier – it was a mission. I then had to listen to Paul and have less sections throughout the wood walk ha!!! Our aisle looked perfect – Paul and his dad made our archway with a fallen down branch and my aunty decorated with flowers and our love spoon (welsh tradition when getting proposed too). We had our 10 year photo tree, and our love story on heart shaped chalk boards throughout the walk – very romantic and personal.
I must say that putting up the signs and the photos was hard work mainly on my sister’s shoulders – fun times!!
I wanted to bring the wood into the marquee so my mum, myself, sister and Paul went to the wood and literally dragged huge branches out of the wood to put in pots my aunty decorated with moss and oak leaves and fairy lights, looked so magical.
I am a little bit spiritual and went to Glastonbury to get everyone’s favours – these were crystal gems. I believe that they all have different meanings and purposes. My bridesmaid Calley by hand wrote all of the favour cards, which had all different meanings – whatever stone landed on the guests place setting was meant to be for them. Paul thought I was on another planet, he does not believe in magic he is on the science side. Ha! We also had welsh cakes made by my mum’s friend Penny they were delicious!
Our first kiss I was dressed up as Jasmine (from Aladdin) and Paul was Robin Hood. We named our tables after the characters in Robin Hood, which again went with the woodland theme.
THE HONEYMOON | Peak district camper van with our dog Mr Barkley and South Africa in the mountains with Safari. No rest for us, lots of hiking and many adventures.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Having Paul’s Grandad GrandAl marry us, he is not ordained but we wanted him to conduct the ceremony, it was such a wonderful and memorable moment. GrandAl was the perfect person to marry us.
Having my mum walk me down the aisle, very special.
Planting an oak tree in the wood just after our ceremony, the speeches were absolutely amazing especially Alan – Paul’s twin and Guy – Paul’s dad – actually amazing, all the guests were in stitches. Being with all our friends and family at the same time was pretty spectacular.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Make your day your own and personal for you.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Rebecca Wedding Photography
Dress | Brides and Maides
Cake | Beaurepaire Patisserie
Oh so wonderful. I love the tree planting and Jessica’s real flower shoes too… amaze!
Thanks so very much to Paul and Jessica for sharing their gorgeous day with us xo Lou
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