The love, fun, laughter and sentimental nature of this ‘at home’ tipi wedding literally fills your soul it is so beautifully captured by Barney Walters Photography.
There’s homemade cakes, stunning floristry from the bride and her mum, and some truly amazing outdoor sets ups, including hanging gin bottles, grand pianos and wooden dressers.
The evening culminates in the bride and groom challenging one another on the dance floor to beer pong and the bridal party taking to the neighbouring fields for some serious squad goal snaps.
You ready to have your mind blown? Thought so.
Freya the Bride : I could have drawn my dress before I started shopping. I knew I wanted a halter neck, with flowing material from the waist. When a friend suggested I tried Catherine Deane and I clapped eyes on the Carly dress I was head over heels. As the dress was backless I worried about being cold so found the most glorious bright floral bomber jacket from Zara. It was so jazzy that when I put it on for the first time during dinner I got a round of applause from our guests!
I wanted flowers in my hair but as my dress was beaded at the front I felt a crown would have been too much. The lovely Amber from Little Thatch Florist created a half crown that sat at the back of my head, I wore my hair down and curly, pinned simply under the flowers. I chose maroon Kurt Geiger heels as well as some blue sparkly trainers from White Stuff to change into after the ceremony.
Hair and Make Up
I was thrilled with my make by Carly at Another Little World who also helped clear up my skin before the big day. My hair was done by Evie Smith who did a fab job!
The Grooms Fashion & accessories
Nick has always loved wearing a three piece so this was essential for the big day. Due to the chilled outdoor nature of our wedding a slightly thicker, textured material felt right and incredibly the first suit he tried on was the one. Choosing a deep aubergine coloured three piece he paired it with some tan brouges all from Ted Baker. After a long search, we found a light blue tie with a pattern of tiny sycamore seeds matching the theme of our stationery perfectly. He also wore the pocket watch that has been passed down through his family to complete his wedding outfit.
Nick and I married in St Mary Magdalene nestled within the trees below Sherborne’s old castle. We were free to decorate the church as we pleased so created a woodland feel by laying artificial grass down the aisle, adding trees to create an archway and flowers from Mum and Dad’s garden at the foot of alternate pew ends.
Carrying on with the woodland feel we were lucky enough to be able to use the paddock of Nick’s Grandmothers farm. We hired tipis from the wonderful Coastal Tents and my Dad spent 15 months creating a circular space around a central tree in the adjacent woodland by hacking down waist high nettles, sewing grass seed and managing sneaky moles who insisted on damaging his new lawn!
Because of the foresty feel, green was a key colour for our day, with additional touches of copper. Our decoration was made up of flowers, the greenery from the surrounding trees, festoon and fairy lights and the incredible giant lyrics our clever friend Jason laser cut for us. We chose songs that meant something to us and hung them in the trees. We wanted to create an outdoor living room in the woods for our guests to chill in so with the help of Nick’s mum we collected beautiful furniture to place within the trees including a wardrobe to walk through, a piano adorned with flowers and a beautiful set of drawers with ivy growing out of the drawers. Plus our luxurious velvet red sofa!
Mum and I decided we could do the flowers ourselves which was big undertaking, but totally worth it. The garden had never looked so full and luscious. I told mum the colours I had in mind; deep pinks, greens and whites and then let her green fingers go wild! She created individual button holes with a different key flower in each, wrapped in copper wire. Three delicate light pink and green bouquets for the bridesmaids and my absolutely stunning bouquet filled with rich, deep colours, tied with navy fabric. Mum made a whole host of arrangements for the church, the woodland living room, and for inside the tipis. We made table runners for the banquet tables out of plastic tubing filled with oasis, moss and white handkerchief flowers from Nick’s grandmothers garden.
Nick and I collected different gin bottles throughout our engagement so that we could create a gin bar, the bottles hung from a frame Dad made with more of Mums flowers poking out. I made giant painted wooden flowers inspired by Glastonbury Festival to have in the field and Dad created a colourful flock of sheep which we named Buster’s Flock to thank Nick’s uncle who farms the land and helped us so much through out the build up. Dad also created 6ft copper light up letters which looked so effective until the rain got into the electrics and blew the power right in the middle of our meal! The big surprise of the décor was the huge painted mural Dad created for Nick and I that depicted important elements of our lives. It was so special!
The Wedding Party Fashion
Probably the hardest job of all, finding bridesmaid dresses! I had originally wanted each bridesmaid in a different colour and different style dress but soon realized this was much harder than expected. Finally I came across the beautiful Alice maxi dress from Miss Selfridge which suited the leafy, woodland theme perfectly. We supplied the boys with oatmeal coloured waistcoats and asked each of them to wear their own dark blue suit.
Neither Nick or I are particularly religious but wanted a church ceremony. We were so fortunate to know our vicar who used to be my school RE teacher. Rev McCreadie made our ceremony so personal and after hearing my brothers reading; Edward Monkton’s Love Monkey, in the rehearsal she went out and bought a toy monkey to give to us during the ceremony. Hearing my brother read this story was one of my highlights of the day.
Nick’s brother Archie learnt Mark Knopfler’s Wild Theme for me to walk down the aisle to and we left to Living the Dream by Crystal Fighters – it was such a joy to dance out of the church with so many smiling faces around us.
Nick and I are big on games so we made giant Perudo (or Liars Dice) for the reception as well as having the ultimate game of beer pong on the dance floor. It was incredible, all of our guests surrounded the table as we went head to head for the win. It was tense, going to sudden death, but I didn’t miss a shot and made sure Nick knew he was in for a lifetime of losing!! Music was a big part of our day, playing at all times. Nick is an excellent guitar player and after 9 years together Dad has always teased Nick for having never played Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird for him. Nick proved him wrong by getting up and performing the song right in the middle of the speeches!
We had an epic band Dysfunktional who played an excellent rendition of our first dance, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and then proceeded to keep everyone dancing all night!
Mum made our cake which was adorned with flowers and two metallic dinosaurs. Our delicious food was created and served by The Tickled Pig. We had a delicious fig and walnut salad, followed by a generous serving of succulent duck breast, rosti potatoes and a pea and mint salad finished off with lemon tart and fresh raspberries. Nick’s mum created the most glorious cheese table for the evening with a leg of cured ham and homemade chutneys and my girlfriends made a selection of sweet snacks for evening guests to indulge in.
Our photography Barney Walters was the pièce de résistance – after searching for what felt like months for the perfect photographer I would have moved the date of our wedding to have him. He captured our day perfectly, listening to our brief, fading into the background but capturing the essence of what made our day perfect – the fun. The joy that oozes out of his beautifully edited photos makes me want to look at them every day.
Do what you want and don’t let it stress you out because whatever happens it will be the best day of your life.