D.I.Y Backgarden Glam.

Rock My Wedding readers Helen and James have had a wedding they can be proud of. Not Just becasue they pretty much did it all themselves.. but because it is so clear to see that everyone they invited had the time of their lives.

They married on September 24th 2011. The ceremony was at St James the Less Church in Dorney and the reception was in a field at the back of Helen’s parents house. The eye candy today is the fine work of Assassynation.

The Biggest In The Shop.

My dress was Benjamin Roberts 2058a, I knew I wanted a lace dress but thought I’d have a smaller dress due to my reception being in a field however I ended up falling in love with the biggest dress in the shop! That’s probably why the bottom is all black and torn now!! I ended up buying it from another bride off Ebay who had fallen pregnant so wouldn’t be able to wear it for their day.

I also wore a lace shrug which I bought very last minute from The Wedding Warehouse in Ascot which went perfectly with the dress.

As Pretty As A Princess.

I didn’t think I’d have a veil but the girl I bought my dress off gave me a veil with it as it matched the dress and I’m so glad I did as I felt like a princess! I wore the Tiffany necklace James bought us for our 1 year anniversary and a bracelet of his Mum’s which was my something borrowed!

Dancing Shoes.

I don’t do heels and as my reception was also in a field I wasn’t about to start! I ended up buying embellished ivory pumps from Barrats of all places! They were so comfy and perfect for dancing the night away.

Keeping It Simple.

I decided early on I would do my own hair and make-up not only to keep costs down so we could spend on more important things (alcohol and food!) I knew I wanted to keep it simple as our day was quite relaxed and simple. My bridesmaids and flower girl were on hand to make sure I looked my best.

Sprigs And Plumes.

Our colours were sage and lavender so I decided I wanted a bridal bouquet purely of lavender sprigs and I wanted the bridesmaids to have plumes of babies breath as it looks so romantic and simple. The buttonholes were sprigs of lavender and babies breath and looked so natural like everyone had just picked them fresh out of the ground on the way in! The bouquets and buttonholes were made by Simply Flowers a mobile florist.

The pew ends were just plumes of babies breath tied with sage ribbon that I made myself the day before. My mum cut some fresh lavender sprigs from her garden and we added one to each plume. There were fresh hops hanging from the balcony in the church which added to the relaxed feel to our ceremony.

I made the table centres myself, I didn’t want massive fussy floral displays as that’s not our style so I filled some cream planters from Ikea with some purple bedding plants.

Searching For Sage.

From the word go I wanted my Bridesmaids in sage green, finding suitable dresses in this colour ended up being a nightmare! Coast did a full length and short length sage dress but they were just out of my price range. I very nearly gave up on my colour choice when I found the perfect dresses in Linea at House of Fraser. The little shrugs were in Wallis. The flower girl dress was from Next and her headband from Monsoon, I wanted her dress to be similar to my own and it was perfect with the tulle and flower belt.

The Grooms choice.

I left the Groomsmen completely up to James. He wanted to be reasonably casual, vintage style and decided early on not to have a jacket. He found the prefect grey waistcoat and matching trousers in Topman which he bought for himself and his two best men. The best men wore them with a pale blue shirt and lavender skinny tie. The page boys wore similar waistcoat and trousers from Next.

Relaxed and Unfussy.

James wore the same waistcoat and trousers as the best men but with a lavender coloured cravat. James finished his outfit off with wrist accessories and a pocket watch. I loved how casual yet smart he looked, the entire outfit was so his style, especially the rolled sleeves and wrist accessories! I loved how unfussy our outfits were as we’re such relaxed people anyway.

Beautifully Captured.

Our photographer was Assassynation and I found her through another bride’s wedding report, the style was exactly what were were looking for, relaxed, fun and incredibly arty. We knew she’d be able to perfectly capture the relaxed feel of our day and of us as a couple. I also knew she had a great eye for details and as I was making a lot of things myself I knew she’s capture them beautifully!

We had massively high hopes for the photos as sassy is super talented and we were not disappointed. Her photos are beautifully shot and really show what a beautiful day it was emotionally as well as aesthetically.

Unfussy And Delicious.

I think I’ve mentioned a few times that we are a relaxed couple! Well for that reason we wanted a cake that was unfussy and delicious but still a little different. We decided on a 3 tier Victoria Sponge as it ticked every box and it fitted perfectly in with the style of our day. It was also absolutely divine! It was made by a local cake maker Ann from Cakes Unlimited.

Talented Friends.

All our entertainment was provided for us by our friends. We had one of our friends play guitar and sing in the church whilst we signed the register, two more of our friends played guitar and sang songs for us to dance too including our impromptu ‘First Dance’ We were adamant we wouldn’t do a first dance, it just wasn’t our thing to slow dance to love songs however we ended up having a first dance purely as we were the first ones up on the dance floor when our friends started playing! It was the White Stripes’ song Hotel Yorba!. Then we had a friend who DJ’s finish the night off and get everyone up on the dance floor.

Pins For Favours.

Our favours were so personal to us. James battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year which is a cancer of the lymphatic system. We decided to buy their charity pins for each of our guests to help fund research into the disease. I made up little cards to go with them all explaining the charity, what they do and a bit of information about the disease such as it’s the most common cancer in under 30’s.

For the children we did goody bags with colouring books, bubbles and curly straws to keep them happy!

A Mix Of Influence.

Our décor was a mix of country garden party with a little Indian theme running through as we love India and got engaged in Udaipur in Rajasthan and honeymooned in Kerala and Mumbai. The country garden theme was in the ivy running up the marquee, the bunting, haystack seating areas and the location right in the middle of a farmer’s field! The Indian theme was in the table names and signs and the table plan.

I wanted hessian runners on the tables to keep the look rustic and casual and they looked perfect with the ivory linen and white washed chiavari chairs. I bought the hessian from ebay and my mother in law kindly hemmed the hessian for me for all the tables.

We Did It All!

Our wedding was so special to us because we did it all ourselves. As we were holding the reception in a farmer’s field at my parents house we had to sort out every aspect of the day from food and alcohol to toilets! The run up to the wedding was stressful trying to organise delivery and installation of all aspects and at times we wished we’d just gone to a hotel but on the day when it all came together and watching our guests having fun and relaxing on our hale bales we knew we’d made the right decision.

My parents have had their house since the 60’s so I grew up there and it was such a lovely feeling to have my reception there with all my and my families past happy memories mixing in with the ones being made and had right there.


My advice to other brides particularly those who are doing it all themselves is delegate on the run up to the wedding so you’re not doing it all yourself and then on the day if anything happens or comes up assign someone else to deal with it and then forget about it. The toilets stopped working halfway through the meal and were starting to block up, there is no way we were going to be sorting out blocked toilets on our wedding day so we asked my dad to sort it out and then we got back to socialising with our friends and enjoying the evening and the toilets were sorted out in 10 minutes.

Dress Benjamin Roberts

Lace shrug The Wedding Warehouse

Necklace Tiffany

Shoes Barrats

Maids Linea at House of Fraser

Photography Assassynation

Cake Cakes Unlimited

It. Just. Looks. Like. FUN.

Clearly they didn’t spend a million pounds on it, we have here a dress bought off of ebay, high street fashion galore and a wedding reception based at home (ok a ruddy great field near home). But it looks a million dollars.

I’m not sure what the exchange rate is at the moment but I reckon that’s pretty good going.


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

15 thoughts on “D.I.Y Backgarden Glam.

  1. Just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a lot to have a fabulous looking wedding. The groomsmen look so casually cool, the bouquets are simple and elegant, the food looks amazing, the cake is divine …. I’m sure the logistics were a nightmare in the week before the wedding and I can just imagine the frantic pace, but you pulled it off and it looks like you had an absolutely fabulous day. Congratulations x

  2. What a lovely relaxed day….. I am very tempted to have a cake just like yours, it just looks so yummy (I would quite like a piece now if I wasn’t on yet another diet) X

  3. This is gorgeous, like claire, I think the groomsmen look totally cool as does the bride obvs. The parents house is amazing! and all the details worked together beautifully. Congrats xxxx

  4. I need to know where I can get one of those planters with hearts on! love it!

    Also those shoes are the nicest flats I have seen for a wedding, must make a trip to Barratts (I don’t think I have ever been?!)

  5. I was at this wedding and I can truly say it was the best wedding I have been to. The details were so lovely and they created such a relaxed and happy vibe. Congrats to both on a stellar day x

  6. Gorgeous! I have chosen the same wedding dress and had been secretly panicking that it was going to be too OTT for our relaxed country wedding but your beautiful pics have reassured me that I can pull it off, thanks!

    Also love the heart planters, have got cream jugs for table centres but been looking for something different for the top table and those are perfect! Must get down to Ikea asap…

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