Village Hall weddings seem to be all the rage at the moment, and when you can hire a venue like Rotherwick Hall, I can completely see why. Not only is it a gorgeous building, but with free reign over supplier choice, decor and exclusive hire too? It sounds like a winning combination to me.
Shelley and Steve’s village hall wedding looks like it was full of fun – the feeling of joy & warmth just radiates from the images.
Shelley was lucky enough to find the much coveted Marianne by Naomi Neoh in a sample sale, she also created all of the floral arrangements herself, including the bouquets (!) and she and Steve made the stationery – using this wonderful stamp found on Rock My Wedding.
All in all, this meant that Shelley and Steve could create a very beautiful wedding on a modest budget. And it also meant that Shelley could have a dress from Zara for the evening and some gold Rachel Simpson shoes too…well, it was her wedding day after all!
Shelley The Bride: At first, my dress was probably the one thing I was least worried about – from the start I knew I wanted to set aside a very small budget for this, as it didn’t seem like a hugely important thing about the wedding to me. I had originally found the very pretty and budget friendly Chelsea Dress by Ghost. I went to Oxford Street to try it on and was really happy with the fit.
Halfway through the wedding planning process I saw an absolutely stunning gown on a real wedding submission and I just had to have it – or at least try it on. I googled the dress and found out that it was Marianne by Naomi Neoh.
I did a bit of research online and found a sample of the dress at a gorgeous little boutique in Kent called Victoria Allinson Couture. Victoria was clearing her old samples, so I was able to get it at nearly half the original price! Later on in the evening when our band came on, I decided to change into a Zara dress – so I was able to dance the night away without worrying about getting anything down my Naomi Neoh!
Steve spent many days searching for the perfect suit and came across an Ermenegildo Zegna suit from Moss – he had it tailored to fit perfectly and then went about buying some shiny, smart Barker brogues from John Lewis and tailored shirt from Thomas Pink – he looked lush!
With all our family based in the South West, we wanted to find a suitable venue that was easy for everyone to travel to. The weekend we got engaged, we scoured hotels in the Hampshire area to find something we liked – although we saw many beautiful places, there was always something not quite right or meant we needed to compromise on something due to budget…
So in the end we decided to find a venue where we could literally do EVERYTHING ourselves – I had seen on many wedding blogs that some couples had hosted their day at village hall, so this prompted me to search the area for something similar.
We finally came across Rotherwick Village Hall via our caterer. All our research was done online and I found our wonderful caterer through Google – she had catered weddings at the hall before and said how beautiful it was and had all the facilities we needed.
We told everyone to meet at the Coach & Horses pub opposite and then walk over to the church, then just walk to the village hall after the ceremony – everything was in such close proximately, which was great as we didn’t have to organise any transport.
Steve is a huge rugby fan, so we incorporated this into the day by naming the tables rugby clubs and our cake topper was a Bride rugby tackling the Groom. We wanted the day to be very informal and for people to have fun and be relaxed, so we included lots of little touches such as kids toy boxes, freshen up stations in loos, flip-flops and pashminas.
The favours were particularly special for us as they were made by my parents. They run a tea and coffee merchants in Richmond called Rosie & Java – and they blended a special tea for our wedding favours and had them made into teabags. They also supplied us with rose petals, which I packed into red striped bags for guests to use as confetti.
We were quickly running out of money and I had been in touch with a few florists, which were unfortunately out of our price range. So, I took an early morning trip to New Covent Garden Market to see what the cost of flowers were – I met a really nice man called Ronny from Bloomfields, who was so helpful and after months of flower name research and You Tube tutorials, I decided to do all the flowers myself (including the bouquets) – I sent Ronny my order the week before the wedding and did another early morning trip with Steve two days before to collect all the flowers – we spent just over £200 on flowers.
We tried to create a ‘rustic, English countryside’ look with the flowers – beautiful avalanche roses, crespedia, daisies, gyp and eucalyptus – we kept it very simple and all the family collected jam jars and interesting glasses for us to display them in.
Steve’s Mum, Rosina, is part of the Basingstoke Choral Society, so we were very lucky that she arranged a group to sing at our wedding ceremony. Steve’s brother Mike had also travelled all the way from Australia for the wedding and it meant so much to us that he did a beautiful reading. Another real highlight was when the organist played the Beatles ‘All You Need is Love’ during our certificate signing.
We had recently visited Mexico and loved a Mariachi band we saw there, so we thought it would be fun to include this in the day. When everyone walked from the church to the village hall, a 3-piece mariachi band were there to greet our guests – playing a mixture of traditional music and well known tunes.
Our main band – The Cover Up Band – was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E and we would highly recommend them to everyone. They really got the party started and even learnt a slowed down version of Bob Marley’s ‘Is This Love’ for our first dance.
I had my heart set on a cake table, so I enlisted the help of my sister Tuesday to fulfil that dream. Tuesday is an amazing cake baker and she kindly made a Victoria sponge for us with alternate layers of strawberry jam and salted caramel. She also baked lavender & earl grey and lemon curd cupcakes. I made a selection of cakes for the table – carrot cake, coffee and walnut, rocky road, brownies, flap jacks… We were both icing them on the morning of the wedding!
Our caterer Vicki May was so great and very laid back, which we loved – her canapés tasted divine and we opted for locally sourced bangers and mash for the main course, which went down a treat – my brother still goes on about how tasty the sausages were. The veggie option was spiced pumpkin strudel – this was also delish.
My friend got married a couple of years ago and she had THE best photographer ever – so we just had to steal her for our big day. Gemma at Betti Confetti did such a great job and captured every tiny detail of the day. She had such a relaxed manner and it was just so great to work with her.
There were times when we thought we had bitten off more than we could chew, but it really paid off in the end…from packing up hundreds of bags of confetti, constructing all our order of services to icing the cakes, making all the flower arrangements and setting up the venue the day before – the whole day was amazing – the best day of our lives and we would not have changed a single thing!
It was so personal to both of us and because we were so involved in every tiny detail, this really reflected in the day. We were also able to have everything we wanted within our budget, as we did a lot of it ourselves. I absolutely LOVE looking through all the pictures – Gemma captured everything beautifully and we cannot thank her enough.