I have to say the garden and tree in which Angela & Jim had their humanist ceremony under is one of the most fabulously decked out alter’s I’ve seen. I love the brightly coloured windmills, bunting around the tree and the hanging LOVE sign from the branches and the place for this lovely setting is Jim’s parent’s home – ahh.
This wedding is a fabulous but uncontrived festival themed celebration with friends DJ-ing through to the early hours of the morning and then guests camping in the field afterwards! Complete with an über chic bridal cape (which I want to steal), brightly coloured crafty DIY decor and a fire pit for everybody to congregate around outside. So much Pin-spiration!
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
Ange The Bride: Choosing my wedding dress wasn’t quite what I expected it to be! There’s such a lot of pressure to find ‘THE’ perfect dress. I went on a few trips to bridal boutiques with my Mum and bridesmaid Sarah. The dresses were all lovely, lots of lace, plenty of choice with shapes and styles but I just didn’t feel like myself in any of them. Because we were having an outdoor wedding in a field, I wanted my dress to feel like it was in keeping with the rest of our wedding vision. I wanted a dress that was beautiful but comfortable – I wanted to be able dance, enjoy our delicious food and even wear wellies if the weather wasn’t kind to us (thankfully, I didn’t need the wellies but bought some bright red Hunters just in case!). I ended up choosing a simple vintage dress in a 1930’s style. I also wore a gorgeous hand-made lace trimmed cape/poncho over my dress for a bit of boho chic-ness. Margaret at Dream Veils was so patient, friendly and kind with my bridey needs! My feet were adorned in delicious, bubble gum smelling Vivienne Westwood shoes. They had a red heart on the front which you could see peeping out from underneath my dress.
I wore a pearl necklace – a family heirloom that was handed down from Jim’s gran and a Swarovski bracelet which was a gift given to me by my bridesmaid on our wedding morning. I decided to wear fresh flowers in my hair that were provided by our florist Lily.
Jim looked incredibly handsome and dapper in his blue Reiss three piece suit, crisp white shirt, burgundy woollen tie and ox blood red brogues.
As neither of us is particularly religious we had a simple registry office service earlier in the week to get the legal stuff out of the way. That enabled us to have a humanist service at Jim’s parents’ house, where they have a couple of acres and a paddock big enough to put up a marquee. This meant that we could have the service and the party all in one location. We invited our guests to camp in the field at the end of the night. Jim’s Mum & Dad spent ages getting the gardens looking amazing and for 2 days up to the ceremony it was all hands-on deck to lug bales around, dig fire pits and drape endless lengths of bunting and fairy lights over every available tree.
Jim The Groom: We both agreed at the outset that we wanted a wedding that felt like a cross between a village fete and a music festival. Definitely not to formal and something that made the most of the space that was available to us. Angela spent months sewing napkins, gluing paper hearts on to sticks and choosing just the right type of bunting. My woodworking skills were tested to the limit with various requests for signs and decorations, including a giant J & A that lit up in the evening!
Hoping for great weather we planned to have the wedding ceremony outside under a large tree by the side of the house, with the guests seated on straw bales. One brilliant find was some old coffee bean sacks that a coffee shop owning friend procured for us from her coffee supplier. These were perfect for covering the bales with to make them slightly less prickly.
Probably the biggest success was the firepit. We debated whether to have one as we worried about people’s fancy threads smelling of smoke but at the last moment decided to dig one. As the night drew in this proved to be an inspired choice as, unsurprisingly, people were drawn to it when needing a rest from the dancing and numerous people have commented to us how they enjoyed meeting new people whilst staring in to the flames.
Ange The Bride: To match our theme we wanted flowers that didn’t look too structured or formal, almost like somebody had just gathered up a handful from a field of wild flowers. Luckily for us, Jim’s Gran, Unity, has been arranging flowers for years and offered to do our flowers as her gift to us. Not wanting to have any two flower vases the same, we spent weeks trawling junk shops to find a motley collection of various different jugs, teapots and vases. Unity did us proud and arranged 30+ table flower arrangements as well as two large displays at the entrance to the marquee. We were delighted with how these turned out, all the more impressive when you consider that Unity has almost entirely lost her sight! Who would have thought that asking a partially sighted lady to do your wedding flowers would turn out to be such an inspired decision!
Jim The Groom: Not wishing to work my 88 year old Gran too hard, we used a different supplier for Angela’s bouquet, the button holes, and some flowers to line the aisle. Lily Violet May has a stall outside Bristol Temple Meads station and I often bought flowers for Angela from there whilst passing through for work. The flowers looked gorgeous and fitted the theme perfectly.
The Wedding Party Fashion
Ange The Bride: My bridesmaid Sarah’s dress was in the sale at Oliver Bonas, I saw it even before we’d started looking for my dress and thought it would be perfect for Sarah and bought it on the spot without her even trying it on! We are exactly the same size and body shape so I knew it would work on her. She looked stunning on the day as you can see from the pictures. The groomsmen scrubbed up pretty well too. They wore their own grey suits, along with navy polka dot ties provided by us.
Having chosen our celebrant, he came and met with us for a couple of hours, asking us loads of questions about our back story, how we met etc. He then went away and wrote us a ceremony that we could amend as we wanted, which made it really personal.
On the day he was brilliant, there was an equal mix of pathos and comedy and we were delighted with the fact that it felt like our wedding, rather than just the same old words read a million times before.
Leading up to the day the weather had been pretty rainy but Saturday proved to be a lone beacon of sunshine in a week long downpour and we thanked our luck stars as we stood under the big tree with the sun beaming down us. Maybe the sun does shine on the righteous?
Jim The Groom: Angela scoured the internet for hours and hours looking for the perfect readings. Eventually we found a poem that was light hearted and funny that fitted the bill. We asked one of friends Fran to read it on the day. She is possibly the fastest talker in the West Country; however she read the poem beautifully, at exactly the right speed for everyone to listen, enjoy and laugh! We also asked a friend who is a writer to come up with something of her own. We’d not heard or seen any preview of what she’d written before the day so it was completely new to us. She’d written a poem called ‘Honour’ that told the story of our meeting up to modern day. It was moving, hilarious and simply brilliant. Both bride and groom struggled to keep the tears at bay!
Ange The Bride: Being passionate fans of dance music and having a few friends that know their way around a set of decks we decided to ask them to play as the evening entertainment. This meant we knew we were going to get exactly what we wanted and they wouldn’t want to disappear at midnight! Conscious that we had a varied crowd to play to we had some more mainstream, typical wedding disco type music to start with before moving a little more Housey around 11pm. That seemed to work well and, as we had no limit to when we had to be done by, the music went on long into the night, with Jim and his best man finally calling it a night at 4am. If you’ve paid for a party, you may as well get your money’s worth!
Staying with the theme of village fete, we decide we wanted to have hog roast with various different salads and for people to serve themselves rather than be served at the tables. For dessert we had big trays of chocolate Brownie, berries and a hot caramel sauce. These were brought out to the centre of the table for people to dig in to and serve each other. Having worked in catering for many years, Jim arranged for a friend that owns his own catering staff company to supply us with all the staff, including a chef and this really helped us keep the costs down and the team did a fantastic job, including taking around trays of bacon sarnies just as people were starting to flag later on in the night!
We were both unanimous that we wanted a reportage style of photography, as is the current fashion, and Mister Phill’s shots were by far and away our favourites from the numerous that we looked at. He captures the mood in each photo and we were delighted with the finished set. He’s also super quick to respond to emails and has loads of information about how he catalogues your day on his website. V reassuring when you are selecting a wedding photographer. We couldn’t recommend him enough.
Photography by Mister Phill
- Bridal Dress Vintage Dresses
- Handmade Cape Dream Veils
- Bridal Shoes Vivienne Westwood
- Grooms Suit Reiss
- Bridesmaid Dresses Oliver Bonas
- Celebrant Chris Edwards
- Marquee Space Intense
- Catering & Staff Back To Front
- Catering Suppliers Gloucester Event Hire
- Bread Rolls Hobbs House Bakery
- Florist Lily Violet May