This laid-back outdoor shindig is bringing all the Aussie-cool wedding vibes to RMW this afternoon. Gina and Kelvin wanted to create a festival wedding in a tipi, with lots of good food and drink, and it's safe to say they totally nailed it. They even had a game of Prosecco pong, which meant that things got rather messy as night fell... like any good festival really! Gina wore three different headpieces for her big day, because why the hell not?! As well as sporting a dazzling fringed wedding dress which was just perfect for this boho luxe day. Images come from Jason Williams, who not only captured this incredible set of images, but also went above and beyond to capture their legal ceremony, which was brought forward at the last minute, and a special moment with Grandad on the day too.

Our Story

Gina & Kelvin: We met 5 years ago on a night out in Bournemouth that neither of us was meant to be on! He was dragged on a stag do by his best man and I’d been coerced into an Olly Murs gig by one of the bridesmaids – but in the words of Olly, it really did turn out to be right place, right time. We’re polar opposites in most respects - except that we are both complete weirdos and have each other in hysterics at least once a day. Even the proposal was hilarious! Kel had a romantic, moonlit, beach proposal planned out for my 30th birthday trip to Ibiza last year – which he managed to pull off after a very expensive locksmith call out and a walk around the supermarket with the ring box in his pants! Definitely a story for the grandkids!

Festival Wedding In A Tipi

My parents flew out to join us in Ibiza after the engagement and Mum and I wasted no time beginning the wedding search! We knew (Kel and I that is!) we wanted the wedding to be outdoors and all in one place, but it was also really important to us that it was somewhere we could make our own – no recommended supplier lists or early finishes! We started out by looking at alternatives to marquees for the reception and settled on tipis as it was love at first site for Kelvin - so much so that we even had little tipis for invites! From there I started searching for tipi hire companies and it was actually via the Beautiful World Tents site that we stumbled upon Decoy Ponds. I knew the minute Karen showed us into the field that it was our venue – the photo ops that the jetty over the water created were already running through my head! But Kel and my Mum took a little more convincing, as it was literally just an empty field to them. The fact that the site wasn’t licensed to hold legal ceremonies didn’t phase us as by this point we had already decided to have our legal ceremony in St Albans Registry Office a few days before the main event to try and ensure that my father-in-law who has Parkinson’s was able to share our wedding day with us. As it happened we were advised in late September last year that my grandfather wasn’t likely to be with us at Christmas so we made the decision to pull our legal ceremony forwards - managing to plan the day in just over two weeks. We had the perfect day with our immediate families and a few close friends – and Granddad was still with us for our second big day!

Fringed Wedding Dress

When it came to the dress I knew exactly what I didn’t want – but had basically no idea what I did and found it really hard to find boutiques I wanted to visit as a result. I stumbled upon Leonie Claire when a friend posted the most incredible Rue de Seine gown from a wedding she had shot and I got booked in. When Mum and I went for my appointment I was really nervous – I had this idea that sample sizes would all be designed for size 6s (they aren’t!) and had fallen in love with a dress on the site by Yolan Cris that looked like it had been shot for Vogue and would only suit supermodel brides! Mia at Leonie was amazing and put me at ease straight away. She was so genuine & honest with her feedback on each gown, which is so important. I tried on seven gowns in total and loved all but one. When I put on the penultimate gown Mum cried and I thought we might have it. I spent a while in the dress even trying on veils but it just didn’t feel quite right for our venue. The dress from the website was actually in a sample sale at the time of my appointment and was the last one I tried – before I even saw it on it felt like “the one” so I was SO relieved when I loved how it looked. We thought it would be a bit of a marmite dress but I was so in love with it that I didn’t care if literally all the guests hated it! It was SO fun to wear, I spent the whole day twirling and shimmying in all that fringing! I paired the dress with floral flats by Marques Almeida and then kept the accessories super simple with a casual three headpieces! For the daytime I wore a mother of pearl hair vine from Rachel Chaprunne, switched it up for a crystal crown from Honey & Ember for some of the pictures and first dance and then topped it off with a feather crown from Most Curious for party time! I fell in love with the feathers months back but they felt a bit too much for the ceremony and after a LOT of panic ordering couldn’t decide between the other two for daytime so wound up working them both into the day. My wedding day glam squad were the absolute dream team. My absolute babe of a sister-in-law stepped in to do my hair when my hairdresser was taken ill at the last minute – on top of the 9 other bridesmaids and 2 Mums she was already doing as well as getting herself ready. She’s an actual hero and luckily the most amazing hairdresser! Kate from Salt + Suli worked actual miracles with mine and Mum’s make-up – it was easily over 30 degrees and I washed a full face off at 1.30am after a night of dancing! Kate completely nailed the flawless, glowy look I wanted and paired it with the most incredible copper eyes to really bring out my natural green. Between that and my insane lash / brow combo courtesy of the lovely Zoe at Salon Secret Beauty I have never felt so beautiful in all my life. The girls were glammed by the girls from Kate Mitchell Make-up Studio who were so amazing, working with each of them to get a similar look that they were each comfortable with and even giving the flower girls a mini-glam!

Groom In Navy Tux

Kelvin fell in love with the idea of a navy tux from an image on Pinterest, so we had a pretty good idea of what he would be wearing from quite early on. I think that lulled him into a bit of a false sense of security and we actually ended up in a bit of a panic 3 weeks out from the big day when we still hadn’t actually got any further with suit shopping than a bit of a browse online! We popped to Moss Bros one evening after work and while he was looking at navy tuxes spotted a burgundy version. The way his face lit up when he came out in the burgundy I couldn’t even be mad that 3 weeks out from the wedding we had a rogue coloured grooms suit that didn’t match the other suits – I just kept saying it would work tonally and actually on the day it looked like it was meant to be and tied in so well with the tones of the flowers so it all worked out in the end!

Protea & Succulent Wedding Flowers

Although we never had a specific colour palette in mind blending the different bridesmaid dresses had given us a tonal starting point of pastels. I have quite strange taste in flowers – preferring either quite spiky, structured plants like succulents or really soft, pillowy flowers like peonies. I already knew we weren’t getting re-hitched in peony season so when Ellen our florist showed me the idea for the bridesmaid bouquets being just a single King Protea I was obsessed. Protea ended up providing the perfect focal point for all our flowers, even being worked into my giant, loosely tied bouquet – let me tell you holding that thing all day was like weight lifting! She incorporated my love of succulents into the men’s buttonholes – and even worked them into cover the weights supporting the floral arch and to the cutest floral collar for our dog Sandy.

The Ceremony

I walked down the aisle – lined with vintage rugs - to an acoustic version of Crazy in Love to be led in the most beautiful, intimate ceremony by our celebrant Emily. The ceremony started with a poem read by my goddaughter Lillie and I kid you not there was not a dry eye in the house. Emily was incredible from the minute we met her, clearly so interested in us as a couple and what made us “us” and that was so evident in the ceremony which was the perfect balance of romance and comedy. We wrote and exchanged our own personal vows and made a series of personal promises to one another in lieu of the traditional marriage vows and ended the ceremony with a honey ceremony in homage to A.A Milne who used to live at Decoy. It was the perfect ceremony to share with our friends & family.

Garden Games For Wedding Reception

We had the afternoon drinks reception planned solely for outside but with it being one of the hottest days of the year guests were taking full advantage of any shady spots they could find! Our caterers were serving the most delicious canapés, there were various lawn games dotted around from croquet to limbo, a bouncy castle for the kids (and bigger kids) and we had put together a really chilled play list on spotify to provide a backing track for the afternoon. We also put a kids games table in the centre of the tipis to keep them entertained later while we were eating and had a photo booth set up in the venues summer house. We wanted dinner to be super relaxed so opted for a hog roast served family style to the tables and the most insane desert trio – including After Eight cheesecake. Heavenly! We originally opted for speeches between courses so my Dad spoke between the starter and main and then Kelvin gave his speech after the main, which I followed up with a surprise few words of my own! We ended up letting the best men sneak in pre-dessert when nerves almost got the better of one of them and they were both hilarious – although I’m betting Kel’s brother regrets having everyone vote on who is the better looking brother!

The Entertainment

Party Dreams played in the evening who in keeping with the theme of all our wedding suppliers were absolute babes and had really gone for the festival vibe in their wardrobe choices. They kept the dance floor packed all night and provided DJ sets in-between their own that were great. They performed an acoustic version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by Lauryn Hill for our first dance which was beautiful. To clear the path between the dance floor and bar we had half the tables and benches / chairs moved outside for the evening which ended up creating a lovely pub garden effect just in front of the tents. We had hired a glitter make-up artist for the evening who went down a storm and gave us a sea of shimmering guests – the marshmallows we put out for toasting at the fire pit were also a hit! Our lovely caterers were back at it again and put on an absolute feast of the most delicious pizzas and cheeses that were MUCH needed by a lot of the guests. I blame prosecco pong for at least part of the messiness!

The Photography & Film

Photos are such a big part of a wedding and it was so important to us to get the perfect photographer who would deliver a set of images that we could be proud of. We wanted our pictures to be super laid back in keeping with the vibe of the day - not just a collection of posed group shots. I actually asked a photographer friend for some recommendations and as soon as we saw Jason’s work we knew we had found the one! Not only are his pictures incredible but it turns out he is also the nicest guy you will meet. We ended up meeting him for the first time at the official ceremony after the plans changed so suddenly - and he rearranged his life to be there with us on literally two weeks notice! Jason joined us for dinner that afternoon and it honestly felt like we had another of our friends with us that we had known forever, we didn’t even notice half the pictures he was taking! Leading up to the big day he was always available for any questions I had or bright ideas and was a great help when I was planning timings etc. Jason bought Katie along to shoot with him who is also an absolute babe - she and I were taking selfies long after the sun had gone down - and as a pair they were so incredible to work with and bought the images in my head to life. We were really lucky to be able to book Scott to be our videographer. He was another dream to work with making everything super relaxed and taking on board all our non-expert creative input! We both love the style of Scott’s videos and they way he uses the music from the day to recreate the atmosphere of the day brings back the most incredible memories. He and Jason have worked together previously which I think helps but we honestly had the absolute dream team of creatives and they were so fun to hang out with on the day and we now have images and videos to cherish. 

DIY Projects

I was so into the whole wedding process I would have taken on a million more DIY projects had I had the time – although I’m pretty certain Kelvin felt quite differently about all the DIY! We made a real variety of things ourselves from the copper dress rail I used in the morning, to the donut wall and the glitter hangers (largely because I was NOT paying £20 a hanger for those babies!). The project I am proudest of though has to be the Perspex signage. I wrote out place cards for all 140 guests on Perspex tiles, made various signs for use on the day and wrote out the table plan and am SO pleased with how it came out. I’m actually looking into starting my own little Etsy shop selling some of those bits!

Special Moments

Taking time out from our drinks reception to go and see my Granddad meant everything to me. I only found out moments before I walked down the aisle that he hadn’t made it to the wedding and just couldn’t imagine spending my day without seeing him. Jason went so far above and beyond bundling Kel, Mum and I into his car to whiz us across to see him and the pictures he got are some of my favourites from the day. All the suppliers were incredible at just rolling with the last minute schedule change and the guests definitely made the most of the extra hour drinking in the sun judging by some of the antics from later on! Being in a human pyramid is a pretty epic wedding memory too which I’m sure those extra drinks are at least partly responsible for!


I’m sure it’s been said before but the process really is as stressful as you make it. We had some real clangers both along the way and on the day – not least the band being delayed on the day due to a car crash (everyone was ok!) and me getting burnt by a dodgy smoke grenade (no brides were harmed in the making of this wedding!) – but it really is about how you handle it. Before the day there is always a way to overcome whatever obstacle you face, solutions can end up being better than the original they are subbed in for and if it’s on the day your guests have no idea that anything is other than exactly as you planned it! Just relax, enjoy every second of the whole journey and remember it’s YOUR day, whatever that might look like. Oh, and if it’s an option – always get married twice!
{Watch The Film}
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Second Shooter: Katie De Silva | Bride: Yolan Cris | Make Up: Salt + Suli | Hair: M E Hair and Make Up | Shoes: Marques Almeida | Pearl Headpiece: Rachel Chaprunne | Crystal Crown: Honey & Ember | Feather Crown: Curious Fair | Flowers: The Enchanted Florist | Venue: Decoy Ponds | Tipi: Beautiful World Tents | Chairs: The Little Chair Lending Co. | Aisle Rugs & Macrame: The Beautiful Day | Cake: Kasserina Cakes | Catering: Chichester Hog Squad | Bridesmaids & Groomsmen: ASOS | Junior Bridesmaids: Little Mistress | Flower Girls: Lilly + Bo | Groom: Moss Bros. | Band: Party Dreams via Alive Network

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