How cute are Hannah and Tom? They just look happy and ridiculously in love, the joy radiates from these images by Kristian Lissimore. The sensible pair stuck firmly to their budget and did lots of DIY projects to ensure that one day they get to fulfil their dream – travelling the world together as a couple.
When all is said and done, it’s your wedding – so if you want to blow your budget go right ahead, but equally, having a modest wedding so that you can buy a house or travel the world together is a really lovely idea. And Hannah and Tom’s big day shows that you don’t have to compromise on style, it’s about choosing which areas to spend your budget on…
Hannah The Bride: After spending a lot of time looking at various wedding dress styles and wedding blogs, I knew I wanted something unique. I chose to have my wedding dress handmade by Sarah Day because I wanted a personal service and for it to fit just right. I ended up choosing a two-piece dress that was different, but was both flattering and comfortable! I very rarely wear jewellery, so I kept it simple with some pearl earrings borrowed from my Mum! For shoes, again I went for comfort, knowing the wedding was outside (and the shoes would hardly be seen due to my dress) I choose some nice sandals from ASOS.
Tom had a charcoal Red Herring suit, complimenting his unique (and natural) grey hair perfectly! This was paired with Base London tan county wing gibson shoes and a sky blue tie & pocket square from Moss Bros.
We wanted a beautiful venue, that allowed us to custom build our day without being tied to a package (much harder to find than you’d expect!) Wantisden Valley was exactly that, and being 5 minutes away from my Mum’s house was a bonus! The owners were lovely and so flexible, allowing us to make the wedding extra personal. Such a beautiful location that really make the photos something special!
Triangle Nursery in Martlesham, Suffolk, designed our beautiful bouquets, and made the corsages & button holes. Mary gave us such a fantastic service without any pressure, and really ensured we were happy with all the details. We ordered extra flower stems to simply decorate the tables and cottage windows with, which really added to the beauty of the venue. She even made our ‘Thank you Bouquets’ – which our Mums loved!
The Wedding Party
Groomsmen had matching ties, and the best man & father-of-the-bride had suits and pocket squares to match the groom. Bridesmaids had beautiful pale blue dresses from David’s Bridal – we visited their store in Westfield’s London and were given great service which made us all so excited for the big day. They also had matching sandals from ASOS.
My elder sister and bridesmaid Victoria did a reading, alongside one of our closest friends Emma. They kept the readings a secret so we had a lovely surprise on the day! We also chose a venue where the ceremony and reception were in the same place – less time travelling and more time having fun!
We are exceptionally lucky to have such talented friends and family to provide the entertainment! My dad is in a band called Lightbody – who provided a live set of well-known covers alongside some original material. My dad also played and sung the song for our first dance – which was extra special! Our friend Steve Nolan is an amazing DJ, who carried on the entertainment into the night!
We were really keen to have a casual (yet filling and delicious) meal for the big day! We wanted to give our guests a chance to mingle as much as possible without being restricted to a set seating plan. We went for a hog roast through Suffolk n’Good Hog Roast which was both delicious (munching on crackling in my wedding dress was a personal highlight) and reasonably priced! The staff were really friendly in the build-up and throughout the day. They catered for all food allergies we asked them too. My Mum also made quiches and delicious side dishes and salads to accompany the hog-roast and to give a veggie alternative! It all went down a treat, with nothing left!
My cousin is a fantastic baker and offered to make a selection of rustic looking muffins for our dessert, and she really delivered with 8 different flavours, pear & ginger, chocolate, orange & cinnamon and banana & butterscotch to name but a few! Another fantastic baker is Tom’s mum – so who better than her to make our wedding cakes! Neither of us like hard royal icing, or fruit cake, so we wanted something untraditional that we both love. We ended up with three different cakes: chocolate, lemon drizzle & carrot cake – something for everyone! We wanted a rustic feel to them, so our cake stand was make of tree stumps and logs, to fit in with our venue in the forest!
Having such an intimate and personal wedding, we really wanted to find a photographer who could capture the feeling of this well! We already knew Kris after meeting/working with him at an old job, and I was so excited to have someone we already knew to photograph our special day. This just meant we could be even more relaxed throughout the day, which I think really shines through in our photos. He was happy to meet us before, and answered all our questions, making us feel so confident that he would do a great job. All of our guests commented on how friendly he was throughout the day, and our friends and family have been loving our photos!
We actually planned our wedding in 3 months, and wanted to keep costs low, DIY is a great way to do this! With a beautiful forest venue, DIY really added to the rustic and personal feel. Our brother-in-law David, handmade our card-box from scratch and hand painted on our chosen quote. My dad made a wooden box for us to store sparklers in for our guests, and a wooden step that we displayed our favours on, Tiptree Jam’s, for our guests to help themselves to! Our bunting was re-cycled handmade bunting from my sister’s wedding – and we also made personalised bunting with photos of us pegged onto twine!
Keeping Costs Down
Our dream is to travel the world together, and so having an intimate and personal wedding while keeping costs low was important to us. Weddings don’t have to cost a fortune, and I think we have really proved that to so many of our friends and family – everyone is still messaging us to say what a fantastic day they had, and of course we did too!