Ella and Liam’s big day puts the bohemian into ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’…hell it puts the ‘Rhapsody’ in to boot when you see how harmoniously every single detail combines together to make up this glorious wedding.
There are pretty bouquets and delicately clad maids with deliciously pink shoes along with an elegant floral crown nestled on Ella’s mane of curls. Hay bales and tipis and a totally rad mobile bar all helped to keep guests fed, watered and completely blissed out and a game of cricket ensured that groom Liam was on cloud nine.
There’s also some really beautiful portrait shots in this morning’s wedding, amongst the trees and leaves which I’m especially entranced by…just like Liam so clearly is by his new wife Ella.
I loved the Jenny Packham gowns but had always thought they wouldn’t suit me. There were a few in the shop that I liked but they weren’t “the one.” I came across the Jenny Packham ‘Dentelle’ dress whilst browsing online; it looked perfect, exactly what I was looking for. White Mischief kindly ordered the dress for me. My Mum and Dad were with me when I tried it on and my Dad said “That’s it” as soon as he saw me and he was right! I loved my wedding dress it was absolutely perfect and I hope I can adjust it in the future so I can wear it again.
I wore a vintage pair of drop earrings and matching bracelet from a shop in the Lanes in Brighton. I also wore my Nan’s engagement ring as my something borrowed. My shoes were a lucky Kurt Geiger sale find and I will definitely be wearing them again – I loved the extra bit of sparkle they brought to the dress.
I rarely wear my hair up, so despite the detail on the back of my dress, I wanted to wear my hair down. My hairdresser, Aimi, who did my first haircut age 2, curled and styled it for me – a somewhat emotional moment for her too! The lovely Anna Kate did my make up for the day. From our trial a few months before she completely put me at ease and automatically understood the kind of look I wanted and what suited me.
I had five beautiful bridesmaids – I had seen the dress they wore on the Reiss website but dismissed it initially as I thought it was too expensive. However, whilst procrastinating at Christmas (when I should have been revising) I noticed it had gone into the sale. Cue frantic email to bridesmaids to see if they liked it! Thankfully they did, so we went ahead with the order. I think they all looked stunning on the day and I know some of them have worn it again since!
Being an Essex boy Liam wanted something that looked sharp. After a few failed trips to various high street shops he stumbled across this skinny fit blue pin stripe suit from Next. He has always loved brogues so the groomsmen each bought their own pair. The ties were a floral design that we found in Debenhams. I think they all look pretty dapper in the photos, even if I do say so myself!
When we were discussing what wedding we wanted, we knew it had to be something outdoors, in the country where we could simply have an epic party. We knew we would be asking a lot of friends and family to travel to the West Country so a weekend celebration seemed fitting (or maybe we were just milking it??!!) A festival wedding seemed to suit my love of the outdoors and Liam’s love of music. We stumbled across The Old Pavilion’s website by accident – it had acres of land where we could have tipi’s for the celebrations and bell tents for friends and family to camp for the weekend. It even had an old cricket pavilion complete with cricket pitch to suit Liam’s love of this English sport!
Mary-Ann, the owner was a dream. She was so accommodating and helpful with everything we needed, from extra haybales to providing unlimited supplies of wood for fire pits. The site was ours for the entire weekend and we were able to do whatever we wanted, a rarity when it comes to wedding venues.
After some research we hired tipis from World Inspired Tents. We loved the look of the tipis, which fitted with our festival theme. World Inspired Tents were brilliant throughout the whole process, helping us every step of the way. In addition to the tipis, we hired The Red Sky Tent Company. Our friends and family all hired tents so they could camp on site for the whole weekend. Brendan and his team set up the festival site on the Friday morning – it added a real sense of excitement watching all the tents and flags go up. A proportion of the profits go directly to The Malawi Education project, which made hiring these guys a no brainer.
We wanted a rustic, country feel to the wedding so a lot of the decoration was made at home. Metres and metres of beautiful bunting was sewn by Liam’s mum and used to decorate the tipis. My parents painted and decorated numerous jam jars and tin cans which we used for flowers and tealights on the tables and to line the aisle (I don’t think they’ve looked at a tin can since!) Liam’s Dad made some incredible signs which we dotted around the site, he also bought his Pashley bike to fit the country theme. It was a lot of work and effort by everyone, but it looked fantastic when it all came together.
We also made all the invitations, orders of service and table plans. There were a lot of late nights cutting out tiny pieces of bunting!
The flowers on the tables and lining the aisle were put together by a family friend, who very kindly offered to help us. The arrangements were even better than we had imagined – they really helped to tie everything together by bringing the different areas to life.
The bouquets, buttonholes and the milk churn arrangements were by Lin and Lesley at The Garden Room. I had emailed them various pins from my pinterest board and I have to say they completely understood what I wanted – I’m not sure how, as my description was something along the lines of “country, rustic feel with some hints of pink and green!” They were absolutely stunning. I selfishly didn’t throw my bouquet because I wanted to keep it to look at for as long as possible! Lin and Lesley also did a circlette for me – I didn’t want to wear a veil, as it seemed too formal for our style of wedding. I’ll confess I was in two minds whether I should wear it or not on the morning of the wedding, but I’m so glad I did.
We always wanted to have a humanist ceremony as it allowed us to have a wedding ceremony that truly reflected us and commitment to one another. This meant that we had a small legal ceremony earlier in the day, with just our family and bridal party.
The humanist ceremony took place outside (somehow the rain held off!) on hay bales and was led by our celebrant Julie, who was amazing. Our friends performed “To Build A Home,” by The Cinematic Orchestra as I walked up the aisle, and everyone sang “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor later in the ceremony. Watching the video still gives me goosebumps!
We asked friends to pick readings for the ceremony, which we didn’t hear until the day. Ironically, they initially all chose Edward Monkton’s “A Lovely Love Story,” which was actually one of the first presents Liam ever gave me, many years ago!
In keeping with Liam’s love of cricket, Mary-Ann’s husband Geoffrey, prepared a wicket for the guest to play on. Unfortunately for Liam he was bowled for a duck and when he tried to redeem himself bowling, I hit several fours.
We both have a passion for Jazz music. When we were both at university many a night was spent in Casablanca’s in Brighton watching live bands. One of these bands, Soul City, played at the wedding and had all the guests dancing the night away from start to finish!
I’m rather obsessed with baking and therefore The Great British Bake off, so we decided to have “The Great Wedding Bake Off” where guests entered their own baking into a competition. We were amazed by the number of entries and the standard of baking – watch out Mary Berry!! To tie in with the baking theme, we had a cream tea in the afternoon, which guests sat and ate whilst watching the cricket.
We wanted to have a relaxed, informal BBQ as the main meal. Food 4 You were recommended to us by another family friend, they did not disappoint. From the moment Dawn turned up at our house with a tray of goodies, we knew we were on to a winner! The BBQ food was incredible, with lots of people complimenting us. Dawn and her team were fabulous, from start to finish and also organised for us to have a wedding “cheese” cake, which went down a storm.
The wonderful Couple of Mugs were our mobile bar for the day. Cedric, their vintage tea van fitted in perfectly with our festival vibe. We had a cider punch instead of a champagne reception – it was a Westcountry wedding after all!!
We had looked at various photography websites and came across Toby and Han of Red On Blonde Photography. Their photos looked fun and seemed to capture beautiful moments. The fact that Toby was also a red head was an added bonus (!)
For two people who are nervous in front of the camera they really put us at ease – to the point where we really enjoyed having our photos taken. We adore our wedding photos. We have no recollection of them even being present for some of the photos – a true testament to their professionalism and talents. Toby and Han managed to capture so many treasured moments and the atmosphere of our wedding. Everytime we look at the photos they evoke so many wonderful memories. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Although it sounds cliché we couldn’t believe how quickly the day went. However whenever we talk about the wedding it always brings back a feeling of warmth and happiness – a true celebration with all of our family and friends. It was a truly magical day.