Bride Becki says she is a P.E. teacher. I think she’s telling porky pies. I think she’s a wedding stylist in disguise. Her and Ben’s festival themed wedding took place at Sherbourne Park in Warwickshire and looks like such a joyous occasion. She spent 10 months curating vintage bits and pieces to create their perfect day. The flowers are diviiiine and our bride and groom have serious style. You enjoy whilst I go and listen to Oasis in my flower crown. P.s. There is a horse!
Becki The Bride: Ben and I are both big festival-goers and love live music, so we both knew instantly that we wanted this to be our wedding ‘theme’. We are also big lovers of all things vintage, quirky and eclectic, so this also formed the basis of our ideas for the big day… so we got to work instantly!!
The first thing I did was begin to source all my own vintage crockery (plates, bowls, teapots, trios, milk jugs, sugar bowls, bone cutlery…the lot!!) as well as source crystal cut glasses and Babycham glasses. This in total took me 10 months but was worth it as the final effect when the tables were all laid was perfect and exactly was I had always had as a vision.
I knew from the start that I wanted something vintage, relaxed, and romantic to fit in with the outdoors, festival theme. I actually found my dream dress in the first shop I went in to! Lisa and her staff at Serendipity were amazing – I literally tried on half of the shop (!!) but couldn’t quite find the dress for me. Lisa then suggested I tried on the Claire Pettibone Kristene dress. I wasn’t too keen – I crazily didn’t like the look of it on the hanger – but she persuaded me to give it a go and boy-oh-boy am I glad that I did! It was absolute perfection! I wanted to customise it and make it ‘mine’ so we designed little cap sleeves and sent the design off to Claire Pettibone in the USA to be created…..and voila, back it came 9 months later and I was in love!
I purchased my shoes early on – at the Birmingham Vintage Wedding Fair. I had always known I would wear a Rachel Simpson pair as they are so stunning, and low and behold there were my perfect pair – Mimosa in pale peach.
Ben, also being a big vintage fan, knew he didn’t want anything formal and fussy. He also wanted something relaxed. He decided upon chinos (and he also had a matching pair of shorts that he adorned after the ceremony!) a pale blue and white gingham shirt, pink bow ties for the ushers/best man and a yellow and blue bowtie for him (all vintage) as well as vintage button braces. He also wore vintage-style Office loafers but slipped in to some blue Vans pumps for the evening do!
It took a lot of searching to find this beauty!! We searched high and low for our ideal venue; in fact we looked at 15 different venues but couldn’t quite find ‘the one’. We knew it existed out there! And it did – we came across Sherbourne Park in Warwickshire which was only 30 mins away from where we live in Rugby. It was perfect. A grand, extremely historical manor house surrounded by acres and acres of land and a river. The owner, Robin Smith-Ryland, was enchanting as he took us on a tour of his estate and relived the history of it. To top it off, we were then taken to the stunning All Saints Church which was a stroll through his wild-flower gardens and through a little gate. Everything felt so right we booked it then and there.
Ben proposed under a lampshade-lit little area at The Y Not Festival, so this was one of my influences and I recreated this scene within the marquee décor. Not wanting anything traditional or fussy, we bought our own picnic benches, painted them and hand-assembled them (well, Ben and his dad did!) Everything else décor wise was hand-made/produced by my fair hands. The poms, the hessian and lace bunting, the lampshades, the pictures; I hand-painted every single sign with our favourite love quotes (from Shakespeare to Pooh and Piglet!!), I sourced all the vintage lace and table cloths, crockery cutlery and crystal glassware, Babycham glasses and accessories, props, guitar for guests to sign, I covered over 100 old jam jars with lace and hessian, and ordered 30 straw bales to create settees and seating areas. It truly was a handmade, personal affair and this is the main thing our guests commented upon so much – the fact that everything truly represented Ben and I and was so personal to us.
Our stationers were absolutely fantastic! They created stunning festival lanyard invites, which featured caricatures of Ben and I alongside our two beautiful cats Tilly & Dolly! We also had evening ticket-style invites, paddle fan orders of service and a huge A1 poster designed for us. Love love love Something Kinda Cute.
I met Clair, owner of Bella Lily Flowers, at the Birmingham Vintage Fair and we hit it off immediately. Her display there was gorgeous, and I knew instantly that Clair was the one for me. We met up and went through my likes – wild flowers, pastels, lavender, corn, and something blue! I also knew from day one that I wanted to be wed in a floral crown…and not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have one so so perfectly amazing! When Clair came in to the bedroom on the morning of the wedding and showed me the flowers I cried with delight – they were better than I ever could have imagined and absolutely blew me away with their beauty.
We were very clear on our invites that our wedding party dress code was casual – we wanted people to be comfortable; to have fun; to be able to play the lawn games and sit on straw bales and picnic benches in comfort! The bridesmaid dresses were stunning maxi dresses from Coast. The girls wore flowers in their hair and had wild flower bouquets. The best man and ushers wore the same style as Ben.
The ceremony was beautiful. A romantic stroll through the Sherbourne gardens took us to the church, which was adorned in lavender and wild flowers. The church itself was spectacular – art deco in style and filled with cream marble. As I walked down the aisle I struggled to hold back the tears, and myself, my dad and the bridesmaids shared quite a few as we awaited outside for ‘Here comes the bride’ to pipe out of the organ. The readings were really moving – Lisa read ‘The Song of Solomon’, Laura read ‘The Lovely Love Story’ and Ben’s mum Caroline read ‘Love is a special way of feeling’. Lots of tears were shed, as well as lots of shared laughter! (in particular for the ‘Lovely Love Story’ reading as it was as if it was written especially for Ben and I!) We also had each of the two books that were read on every picnic bench in the marquee.
We wanted a relaxed, all-inclusive affair so we had a coconut shy running (this was loved by all, especially my PE teacher colleagues!!), croquet on the lawn (we couldn’t believe how popular this was!), and Penny Lane’s vintage caravan photo booth. We also had straw bale settee chill-out areas with giant jenga and hoopla games and picnic blankets on the lawn. There was a ‘Pimms Patio’ area with big drinks dispensers of pimms, gin and tonic and Old Rosie cider. Afternoon tea was served in the house dining room, consisting of finger sandwiches, macaroons and teas (all served in my vintage china crocks!) and we had old 30’s and 40’s vintage tunes playing around the house and patio all afternoon – the sun was shining people were drinking and having fun and we were all having a good time!
The first thing we did (yes, even before venue and dress!) was hire the band for the evening. We had watched them before and knew that they would be perfect for our big day. We hired an Oasis (Definitely Mightbe) and Stone Roses (Adored) tribute band (THE BEST tribute band!) and they were incredible! Ben and I, alongside many of our friends and family, love these two bands so having them there just felt so right. We kept it a big surprise up until the moment they had the ‘grand unveil’ and the sheer enjoyment on everyone’s faces throughout the sets was priceless!
Saffron Catering were fantastic. From the moment we met them we knew they were right for us – relaxed yet professional. We decided upon quintessential English afternoon tea after the church service, followed by a pie and mash dinner and our own homemade cakes for the wedding breakfast, followed by a BBQ in the evening. They allowed us to buy in our own pies from Pieminister (our fave festival food!!) so we went for Moo, Chicken of Aragon and Wild Shroom alongside their homemade mash, peas and gravy. Yummy!
We are lucky to have some amazing cake-bakers within our family, and they all chipped in to bake us 8 absolutely incredible cakes for the big day! I decorated them all with hand-made cake toppers and bunting.
We were incredibly lucky enough to WIN Marie! Yes, we entered a competition featured in a wedding blog whereby we had to describe the proposal and our wedding plans… And low and behold we won!! We met Marie in Camden a month before the wedding and had an amazing engagement shoot with her – the pictures were incredible and we knew from that moment how incredibly lucky we were to have found her. Her style was just totally ‘us’ – relaxed, eclectic, quirky, romantic, unique. The vibrancy of her pictures was incredible. Marie then came over to the wedding venue to see us again the day before and she was so friendly and relaxed it made us both feel at ease. She was equally as incredible on the day, capturing every moment in her relaxed, vibrant style. The photos truly do represent Ben and I and we will treasure them forever.
Don’t be afraid to have a go yourself! I’m a PE teacher and never in a million years thought I would be able to produce ‘arty’ things but I totally shocked myself with what I achieved! With a little guidance from my buddies in the art department, I was painting, drawing, sticking, sawing, sewing and stitching my way to wedding bliss! And I am so glad that I put so much time and effort in to it all, as it paid off and was reflected in such a personal, heart-warming day that was loved by all.