Hazel The Bride:
We got married at Packington Moor
, Lichfield. We both love a rustic wedding and so quickly agreed on a style of venue. Hazel wanted to get ready at home, in our first house together if possible so finding a venue close to home was also important. We narrowed it down to 2 venues and visited
both, luckily we agreed without any doubt what our favourite venue was. It had the rustic vibe, a beautiful ceremony room and perfect courtyard and gardens. Sealing the deal was a little wood on the grounds, with Charles being a forestry consultant he was sold.
I don’t wear any makeup on a day to day basis and on the odd weekend when do, my skills are somewhat lacking and rudimentary. Due to not often wearing much makeup it was important that I still looked liked me and it all looked very natural. I explained this to Ali
who nailed the look on the first trial, no alterations needed. She really understood what I was after and as a result I could just relax and enjoy being
pampered on the big day.
The Photography & Videography
Finding the right photographer was so important to us, the photos afterwards are the perfect memento of the big day and something that will last forever. Two friends who had previously got married both gave us the same advice when organising the wedding – don’t scrimp on the photographer. Our search started with the wedding industry awards website, we worked our way thought the list looking at all the different styles. We quickly found Anna Clarke
, we loved the natural feel and effortless look of her photos.
A videographer was also something we were keen to have, giving completely different feel and reminder of the day. As luck would have it Anna’s husband Simon
happened to be a videographer and also brilliant. They both had the same style of work and we loved the idea of a husband and wife team to capture our day. We met with them for an engagement photo shoot, they were both so lovely and made us feel so relaxed and comfortable which shines through in the photos. We met up for dinner closer to the wedding to finalise details and by the time the day came they felt more like guests.
One of the best decisions we made for the wedding could not recommend these two enough.
I bought my dress from a local bridal boutique, Cicily Bridal
. I wanted a dress which was romantic, timeless and elegant. I had seen the designer I eventually wore in magazines and loved her dresses but they were above my budget. Thankfully my local boutique not only stocked the dresses but also had a sample sale. I had tried on what felt like hundreds of dresses by the time I went and was starting to lose hope, until I tried on Naomi Neoh Snowdrop
. It was perfect, it was so simple, no fancy bling or lace needed to make me feel wow. I removed the little sleeves as I felt they would inhibit my ability to boogie and 3 sizes too big some alterations were needed but I got the dream dress in my budget.
I have never been a big jewellery person so didn’t want go crazy, I have always loved pearls and felt the simplicity would compliment the dress perfectly. I bought a drop pearl pendent, stud earrings and bracelet which all looked perfect. I also have a bracelet that was a present from my mums side of the family that myself, sister and cousins all received when we turned 18. I loved the idea of us all wearing it on the day and what it symbolised, family has always been so important so us both. My veil was made by a family friend especially for me, she gave it to me as a wedding present and it just completed the outfit, that added wow factor that only a cathedral veil can.
The Wedding Party
I always knew who would be my bridesmaids ever since I was little, my sisters. They have been there for me through thick and thin and I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather have by my side on my big day than them. I have a lot of close friends who would have been amazing bridesmaids but I always loved the idea of just my sisters and me. They wore a floor length navy chiffron gown with lace back and cap sleeves from ASOS
, which they both looked incredible in. We had three groomsman. 1 best man and 2 ushers. The whole male party wore the same dark grey tails with ivory pattern waistcoats with navy cravats ties to tie in with the bridesmaids. The suits were hired from The Wedding Hire Company
As mentioned previously we loved the rustic look. To keep costs down we made as much as of the décor as we possibly could. From the log slice centre pieces Charles cut from a fallen tree in his dads garden to the garden twine hand glued onto wine bottles for flowers. Pinterest was a great place for inspiration. Our tables were names after different types of trees, which Charles chose.
My favourite flowers have always been sunflowers so I knew I wanted these to feature however I didn’t want them to be overpowering. I also love the classic creams and whites of traditional wedding flowers. I discussed the rustic theme and floral ideas to our florist
alongside a Pinterest bouquet I loved and left her to it. She made an amazing archway for the end of the aisle alongside dressing some of the beams in the venues and table centre pieces. The place looked amazing and the bouquets were perfect.
My favourite part of the ceremony had to be vows and first kiss. It was the whole reason we were there and it meant so much to us both. It was the moment we had been waiting for since the moment he proposed (a little longer for me) and we were finally married. We had 4 short readings read by my sisters, Charles’ sister and 2 of our closest friends. A great way to get people involved who meant a lot to us. They all did a great job and it meant a lot that they took part in our day.
For our first dance we decided to do something a little different, neither of us were into the stand and sway routine so decided to do a choreographed fun dance to a mix of songs we put together, to add a little additional surprise we roped in the bridesmaids, best man and their partners to join us flash mob style mid way through. It went down so well and we had an absolute blast doing it. This was then followed by a good old fashioned barn dance, it’s a great way to get people up onto the dance floor and also to meet each other. A local DJ who did a great job of keeping everyone on the dance floor following this, we literally danced the night away and were gutted when it all finished.
Favours were one our favourite features. As mentioned our tables were named after different trees, keen to do something a little different we decided to grow all of our guests a tree of whatever table they were sitting on. We bought some little terracotta pots from a craft store and decorated them ourselves. They looked great on the tables and so many of our guests still have them growing at home, a great reminder of our day.
Our cake was made by one of our close friends who did an amazing job. We didn’t make her life easy either being indecisive on flavours each tier was different; chocolate, vanilla and fruit. We made our cake toppers, using pine cones from the venue and using some netting from my veil and a top hat off eBay to complete the look. Our menu was easy, having no vegetarians or special dietary requirements we could have the one menu for all. Canapés to start, chicken main and a fruit crumble to finish. Everyone loved the food and the portions were very generous. We finished off the night with a delicious hog roast.
To keep costs down we decided to make all our own invites. For save the dates we got Anna & Simon to take a picture of us and the dogs, the dogs wore chalk boards which had the date on. We send these as fridge magnets which we bought for next to nothing on ebay. For our main invites we bought some kraft card and ivory paper and printed a design we did on the computer and glued each invite together by hand. All our stationery including menu, order or service, table names etc were all made to match to tie in the whole day and at a fraction of the cost of getting someone else to do it. Charles is very good with woodwork and hand made the frame for our amazing table plan and menu, which looked amazing on the day and now hang in our house to show off our wedding pictures.
Advice we would give is stay together on the day, it’s so easy to drift and be busy saying hello to all your loved ones and guests and reach the end of the day having hardly seen each other. Stay together and enjoy the day with your new husband and wife.
Always remember that at the end of the day, if it ends with you being married and having a blast, it was a success. Relax and enjoy it!