And I Married My Best Friend….Part 2

Now then, where to begin on the decor ideas-that-are-simple-inexpensive-and-lovely…

Floral fabrics underneath your centre “piece”, some raffia tied around your chair backs (a great alternative to bows if you’re having a more rustic affair), log place settings (possibly the greatest home-made place settings I’ve ever seen)….

You get the (pretty) picture.

And then of course there are Kelly and James’s portraits…

They are immense.

The Perfect Fit

John Day was our photographer, we had both said the most important things to use were the rings and the photographer as they were the two things that lasted forever. We saw he had done a wedding at Stanway before and just felt in love with his work. We both prefer natural shots rather than posed and so his style fitted perfectly with our wedding.

On the day he was so great, totally chilled out and really friendly and he fitted in well with James’ family when we sat him down for some food! They loved him!

Old Skool Baking

Being on such a budget, a cake was at the bottom of our list. We weren’t too fussed about having a cake but wanted something to celebrate the moment as it were. One of my best friends Mum was chatting to me about it one afternoon, and said she would happily make 100 scones for us! She is an old school Mum when it comes to her delicious cooking so I said yes without hesitation! She delivered them to the barn on the day and we had those with tea out of our vintage china that we had sought from car boots throughout the year.

It was perfect plus informal just like we wanted.

Country, Western and Classic

We had a band that James knew through a friend. They sing a variety of old and new stuff in a kind of country and western style which was brill. I also had Lizz Lipscombe as violinist in the daytime, I found her when shopping in town one day – I passed her playing and had to ask! She also played in the church. She was lovely and people commented on how fantastic she was.

Floral Favours

We made all the favours from scratch! My friend who wanted to help build up her wedding business ordered me some Forget-me-nots as James and I decided we wanted to give people seeds in keeping with our farm theme. I then spent a day making the packaging. I use brown post office paper and folded the back into a little envelope fixing it with double sided tape. I then punched a hold at the top and looped some sting though. I used small brown luggage labels to write James and Kelly 6.8.11 Stanway on and attached some floral fabric too. I then roped in the help of a friend from school and we stamped ‘FORGET-ME-NOT’ on each one. On the day I sat them in everyone’s teacup like a little vintage teabag.

Rustic Inspiration

With James being a farmer and use not having much of a budget we wanted to make the wedding as personal to us as possible. Right at the beginning we knew the style we wanted and brainstormed some ideas with our friend who had wanted to start her wedding planning business. From this we knew what we needed and it was a case of hitting every car boot throughout the year!

My favourite things about the tables was a brilliant idea James had. His cousin delivered logs to people for their wood burners and so on, and James thought about having placemats for everyone with the date branded on the top. This cost us nothing and added so much to the wedding tables. People took them home along with their seeds and their heart.

We sourced all of our vintage china ourselves which we laid on the tables straight away. The napkins were tied with rope and the chairs tied with raffia. We had fabric hearts hung from the raffia which were an idea Kat, who was getting some wedding experience had come up with. We sewed them ourselves and some people took them home as a little keepsake. Underneath the birdcages in the centre of the table, I bought some floral fabric from ebay, each table had different fabric and this gave the table a bit more of a country feel to it.

Our table names were baby farm animals, which I made using an embossing kit. Our table was called Old MacDonald. For our table plan we used a rustic bird cage I found in a shabby chic shop and attached luggage labels with the names on. We then hung pictures from the luggage labels of the baby animals so people had to work out which table they were on from the picture. Below the table plan I printed off lots of black and white pictures of James and I as kids. I placed these in little heart photo holders and lay them on a rustic brown table covered in buttons and doiles. Our name tags were vintage rusty old keys with a luggage label. (People took these home too!!)

I Married My Best Friend

I am a street dancer and was so keen to get the whole crew ie bridesmaids/ushers in for a routine, but as expected it went down like a lead balloon with the men! James and I talked about doing a secret routine ourselves and altough James said he would I could see it wasnt something he was doing for any other reason than to keep me happy. So we decided on ‘our song’ in the end which is ‘You’re my best friend‘ by Queen, and just for fun we added Only Fools and Horses to the end and had a silly boogie to that. It seems to live on our television! ha ha!

Clever Catering

Our caterers were fantastic. The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power were such amazing value. They did the bar, the toast drinks, the day food, the evening food, the tea and coffee and staffed the whole event. We had a hog roast with salad in the day and a BBQ in the evening.

Sticking To The B-Word

Practically the whole day was done by James and I, right down to laying the carpet, washing all the china and sourcing it in the first place, hand making all the invites, all the favours, making the photobooth, designing the logs and all the details in between and I can’t tell you how much it meant to us to be such a big part of our wedding. The whole day reflected who we are as a couple and everyone was able to relax and enjoy themselves.

We did our wedding on a budget of £9000. Slightly over what we had planned or could afford but the attention to detail was still there, it’s just about roping in all the favours you can and getting stuck in yourselves. We are so lucky to have such amazing family and friends. All our bridesmaids, and groomsmen helped throughout the process and spent the two days before setting up the barn with us.

Catering – The Hollow Bottom

Photographer – John Day

Reception Venue – Stanway Tithe Barn

Favours And Decor – The Bride And Groom!

See? LOTS of details for you to be inspired by.

And you can make the majority of them yourself….

I ruddy loved this wedding.

Big Budget Busting Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

36 thoughts on “And I Married My Best Friend….Part 2

  1. Wow whAt a beautiful wedding, every little detail is stunning- so many ideas to steal! Wishing you alll the happiness in the world xxx

  2. Part 2 was well worth the wait-so many delicious details!

    Loving the unusual guard of honour outside the church…


  3. It’s all just so beautiful- I love it and I cannot believe they did it for £9k. How many guests was that for? It all looks such fun and I’m a sucker for a farm/barn/hay bale country wedding as it’s just like ours!

  4. So much hard work and love obviously went into this wedding – it all looks beautiful! Congratulations. I love the whole rustic look, especially the log place settings and flowers.

  5. Loved it! What a smiley bride! And the hair was soooo l’oreal worthy!

    Amazing tables too…love all the personal touches x

  6. I’ve got hair envy!

    @Charlotte – you’re right, those portraits are the bomb, I would have every single one up on my walls if they were mine!

    mrs r x x x

  7. Morning lovelies!

    I just had 3 cookies for breakfast and am now on a bit of a sugar high. Note to self – must improve ones diet!

    If I were kelly and James I would have those portraits everywhere too – extra massive ones!

    Charlotte xxx

  8. I was welling up by the second photo! So pretty! And so many great ideas to steal, and I’m allowed to because:
    A) I also live near Cheltenham
    B) I have known the owners of the hollow bottom since I was 5 way before they opened the pub 🙂
    And C) you got married on my birthday so although it was your big day really it was an inspiration present for me 🙂

    Again, such gorgeous photos thankyou for sharing this with us!

  9. Oh and D) Queen “you’re my best friend” is also our song! It’s like we’re twins… Ok I’ll shut up now before I start to sound like a stalker!

  10. what a gorgeous wedding! Absolutely stunning couple! Where did you get the lovely birdcages from? I am looking to get some of these for my wedding, but am struggling for anything similar! xxxxx

  11. sooooo gorgeous and the pictures are immense! Congratulations on such a beautiful day- I wish I could have been a guest! x

  12. Hear Hear to the hair envy!

    THAT is some seriously stunning hair!!

    And if anyone knows where such a gorgeous table plan birdcage type thing came from I would LOVE to know.


  13. This is an awesome wedding – looks like amazing fun!!! And don’t even get me started on the hair…..just perfect!

    I was wondering if you would mind sharing details of the band – modern day hits in a country and western style sounds like hubby-to-be’s idea of heaven!! ;o)


  14. Oh my goodness! How delicious! I have stolen a lot of ideas from this one!
    I have been stitching farbic hearts, just becuase they are pretty, and have now found the perfect use for them! And the rafia instead of sashes, beautiful! And I want the place mats…and the hair…and the fabric under the centre pieces! There is just too much!


  15. I love this wedding. I am massive fan of daisies and gerberas and anything that looks like a daisy/gerbera. Big ones, teeny chamomile ones… just so pretty and summery.

    I love the hair band, its just so cute and the dress is just awesome…

    I love this girl, and she is a street dancer?? seriously I might be a teeny bit ‘life’ envy right now 😉 Fab Fab Fab (and I love rustic… I love how it can be a little less polished and little more whimsical…beautiful!!!)

  16. im welling up at all ur comments! bird cages were a cheapo ebay purchase and sprayed white. Gemma! What a coincidence! so wierd! steal all that u wish 🙂 we can help u with any bits ur need. The band were called ‘well preserved’
    Stuart is the main chap and is lovely….he drove me to the loo on the day when the rain was so heavy it was horizontal! The groom is grumbling that no1 is saying he has nice hair haha

  17. I love this wedding. Was gorgeous and it looked like a ‘big budget’ wedding. You would never know they managed to do it on a budget. All the hand made details are fabulous and they look sooooo happy xxxx

  18. What a beautiful wedding, so many gorgeous details all in one place. Just stumbled across it and noticed our birdcage table plan and happily ever after sign 🙂 So nice to see how brides style our products at their weddings. Love the old wall they have been set against.

    @Emily you can get the birdcage table plan from

  19. I agree that this wedding is truly gorgeous and I have to admit too that I would love to steal a few ideas for our wedding (in particular the chair decorations as we are having the same chairs – just gorgeous!!!) On that note, Kelly, if you happen to still be reading all these comments, I was just wondering how much raffia you needed for the chairs? xx

  20. Hi there! I’m actually getting married at this venue in 3 months and it is lovely to see such a beautiful wedding at the same place. Kelly if you are indeed still reading these posts, I would love to ask a “post Stanway Barn bride” a couple of questions/for some words of advice (and promise to be brief!). Please let me know! Fingers crossed x

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