Occasionally a wedding drops into the RMW mailbox of dreams that is so perfect that I want it for my own… Claire and Loz had one such wedding.
Check out the tweed clad groomsmen, the outdoor ceremony, the stylish use of chalkboard graphics, the vintage automobiles, the band… This is a truly magnificent big day and the single best thing about it? That a wedding this good was done on a minuscule budget… Minuscule in wedding terms anyway! The reception venue for example… Hackness village hall – hired for a few hundred pounds but then decked out by friends and family to look a million dollars. If you are looking for ways to have a fantastic wedding on a shoestring then you can learn a lot from Claire & Loz…
Claire The Bride: We chose a beautiful little place called Hazel Head for our ceremony. It is basically just a pretty bit of woodland which we thought would make the perfect setting. We kept it very simple just hiring some chairs, an arch as a backdrop and adding a few rustic lanterns and a bit of off cut carpet as our aisle runner. The reception was held at Hackness Village Hall, which is lovely and has amazing surrounding scenery. I love dove grey and white. I thought it would go well with the green of the trees and our beautiful countryside to achieve a clean fresh look. The village hall was a blank canvas. We decorated the tables with plain white tablecloths; napkins and runners were hand made with the bridesmaids’ dresses etc. I then added fresh roses to each of the napkins with a name tag.
I had an idea of what I wanted but couldn’t find what I was looking for in various dress shops. I went to Bridal Rogue Gallery in York and saw that they made dresses. I saw a dress in a fabric that I liked, asked if I could draw a picture of a dress and if they could make it in that fabric… They said yes, so I drew what I wanted and they made it! I just wore my regular every day jewellery and some pearl earrings that my sister had bought me for the day. The shoes I bought from an eBay shop… I knew they would end up muddy, and they did. I borrowed my veil from my mother-in-law. It was the one she wore for her wedding.
We bought lots of various white flowers from Morrisons and my bridesmaids and I put the centrepieces, bouquets and buttonholes together. We wanted a very fresh, clean kind of look with a rustic touch. I picked up bits and bobs from various shops/friends and a lot of bits we already had. My Dad and I made up and wrote chalkboard props… The arch, the bar signs, Post Box and wall décor. Myself, Loz and his friend Jim made the bar by adding some rustic wood to the front of an existing bar setup, which Jim already had from his business, The Scarborough Brewery, who also supplied us with various real ales from his brewery as well as other beers and alcohol for the event. A friend from school helped with some of the lighting. The marquee’s were from eBay and put up by Loz and his best man Lewis. After spending the day before setting the outside up the boys realised there was hundreds of pounds worth of alcohol unsupervised not to mention the lighting in the marquees, so set up camp next to the fire pit and made a night of it.
The cake maker was my best Friends mum Carol… She makes the best chocolate sponge! Again, for a clean crisp look I opted for plain white icing and I just added some fresh flowers. Our caterer A&G Catering provided a lovely menu, the catering staff were excellent and managed to cook an amazing three-course feast for 70 guests in a kitchen the size of a large washing machine. Scarborough Brewery gifted us two hundred bottles of their award winning Citra for welcome drinks and the bar. We designed our own stickers for the bottles with our name, date of the wedding and a Bouncing Souls logo that corresponded with the music for our first dance “Coin Toss Girl”. It was a lovely touch and well worth the weeks of bottle stickering we endured. For the evening we had a hog roast with a pig that was given to us by a local farmer/family friend. Bread buns etc. were bought from Bookers, along with wine for the tables.
The same as with my dress I knew what I wanted but couldn’t find it in shops so I asked my friends sister Josanne, who happens to be a dress maker, if I could show her what I wanted and her make it… She said yes. I bought the fabric and she took it from there. For the groomsmen We put together the outfits from various high-street shops, Jackets from Burtons, Trousers and Waistcoats from Topman and Shirts from Next. They all wore their own shoes. A tailor altered the jackets, as we wanted a slimmer fit. The ties and pocket squares were hand made from the same fabric as the Bridesmaid dresses.
I made the order of services, family tree, and table plan. My sister Harriet made the Name places and table numbers to help me out. Invitations were written by a friend Laura, I used a local printer, and then added a few rustic touches.
For the ceremony we had “No Strings Attached” a young local string quartet. Then for the evening we had a band “Grand Theft Audio”, and a special appearance from our very own “God Damn Saints”. Loz is the singer in this band so it was a really nice surprise for me, even if Hardcore Punk isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
The pick up truck is a friend’s vehicle. It was a barn find that he had lovingly restored just in time for our wedding and he was good enough to be a chauffer for the day as well as let us use his beautiful vehicle. The bus was hired from East Coast Buses. We wanted a vintage bus to add a rustic touch rather than a modern coach. Order of services were put on each of the seats, the guest were taken to the ceremony site, and then on to the village hall.
We used Vows Wedding Videos. I found them online and they were happy to travel to capture our day. It was all very laid back and natural, which is what we wanted. My husband was reluctant to have a videographer but after seeing the final video and how it captured moments that might have otherwise been forgotten he was happy he gave in to my begging. We were both really glad after a whirlwind day that we are able to piece it back together with the video and photographs.
Neither of us were particularly thrilled by the thought of a camera in our faces and I have to say we hardly noticed Tony from photographer34 at all throughout the whole day. He was very un-intrusive and managed to capture some amazing moments. We had a few slots through out the day where we had some taken of just the two of us, I loved these times as it was nice to spend time just as a couple. The photographs are stunning and we are absolutely thrilled with the finished product.
Regards DIY, there isn’t much of this wedding that wasn’t DIY. I would recommend that you get as many people to help as possible. It was hard as all of the ideas were in my head so I felt I had to do a lot of it myself. We are lucky to be surrounded by a lot of very talented and creative people, who we couldn’t have done it without. By doing things yourself you can get exactly what you want and of course it keeps costs down. We were able to spend money on luxury items in places where we had saved by doing things ourselves.