This morning folks, we bring you…drumroll please…WEDFEST! Or more specifically the fashion filled, floral bursting, DIY extravaganza that is the wedding of Sammy and Jess.
When this gorgeous wedding landed in my lap, courtesy of the blog queen O’Shea, I couldn’t help rubbing my hands together in glee because this big day is a corker folks. Sammy and Jess named their English summer wedding Wedfest and DIY’d and themed their day to festival inspired perfection.
There are tipis, a bountiful supply of beautiful florals, gorgeous fashion (check out the Miu’s) and some amazing cocktails.
So grab a cuppa folks, sit back and drink it all in; we think you’ll love it!
A West Country Wedding
Jess And Sammy The Brides:We looked at a few local venues in Wiltshire (manor houses, barns etc) and decided that wasn’t for us, our hearts were set on a West Country wedding and with a passion for music and a love of festivals we looked at Tipis. After a trip to Tipi Events in Bristol we were sold. Next we needed to find a suitable location, without hesitation Sammy’s Aunty kindly offered her field in the heart of the rural Wiltshire countryside. It meant the world to us to have our blessing in such a special location.
This was an easy one, we both are lucky to have a hairdresser extraordinaire and friend in Judith Rennie owner of Willitt and James in nearby Devizes. We trusted her implicitly to get our styles right and that she did, matching to our personalities and style perfectly and being a great comfort on the morning of our wedding! We did our own make-up – Sammy opting for Chanel, whilst I chose Chanel, Estee Lauder and Mac.
Wedding Day Surprises
Being two brides with particular styles proved tricky on the dress front, we started looking together but quickly decided to view independently – that way we’d save the surprise for the wedding day! Sammy knew she wanted to find a vintage, lacy number and got her vintage inspired Bellini dress from Fur Coat No Knickers.
Meanwhile Jess struggled to find anything for few months, deep down she had always had her heart set on a Jenny Packham dress – combining boho chic with hints of Art Deco. She fell in love with her Luna dress at a Jenny Packham day held at Ellie Sanderson in Oxford.
To complete the look Sammy opted for Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery (earrings, watch and belt) and Jess complimented her look with a hand-crafted headpiece from Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe.
With no official bridesmaids we had our fathers and brothers in blue suits and matching ties from Liberty. The flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon and boys wore casual cool shirt and shorts teamed with a pair of cool grey Converse.
There was no set colour scheme, but we wanted to bring the outdoors in with wildflowers and bright zesty colours. We named the wedding ‘WedFest’ so everything hung of that as a theme – an English summer festival style wedding. It was the weekend before Glastonbury after all!
Flowers were an important part of the day and we selected our own from Bristol Flower Market – Brunel Flowers – in the early hours of Thursday before the wedding. We chose seasonal blooms which filled out table settings, jamjars and the flower girl bouquets. The brides bouquets matched and were done by Ammi in Devizes.
A Blessed Feather
We had a humanist ceremony under canvas, which made for a truly intimate setting. Our celebrant Pamela Woodford was simply amazing and had everyone in tears (mostly the men)!
Our vows were written by both of us independently and were personal to us. We had two readings, one called Signs and the other a traditional blessing read at Apache Native Indian Weddings – our friend Olivia even wrote to the tribe about our same-sex marriage (this is held sacred within their tribe) and got a response which including a blessed feather which we held as she read the reading.
We had Disco Wed DJ at our wedding, they DJ’d from a shed so really fitted the WedFest theme! They did a 12 hour set from 1-1 they were amazing and the music throughout the day was brilliant, no direction required – they just got our taste straight away.
Our first dance was a mix created by our DJ of 4 special songs from our relationship (After 10 years together there are many!!) – including Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ – Jess proposed in New York, and Rihanna ‘Diamonds’ – all our guests stormed the dancefloor!
Cedric, Janet And Jäger Moo
Our bar was a vintage Citroen van called Cedric and run by the wonderful Rhys from A Couple of Mugs. This was a real highlight of the day, guests could enjoy a mix of beverages, including what became infamous at Wedfest Janet’s Jungle Juice, the Gin and Elderflower fizz and Jäger Moo (Jägermeister and milk) special cocktails.
After the ceremony we served Pimms in jam jars (collected by us) with canapés. Dinner was a rustic hog roast or cooked salmon with a choice of salads. Followed by tea (served in vintage china we collected) and cakes from the cake table – made by our wonderful guests. Later on in the evening we had a graze table that served local cheeses, meats, olives, crisps and snacks for those a little bit peckish after all the dancing.
Jess works in the creative design industry so took up the challenge of doing the wedding stationery to give WedFest a consistent look and feel.
All the finishing details were completed by us including the bunting – all 100 meters hand-made by Sammy – as well as Olive Oil favours from Jess’s parents house in Crete and bottled by the family in the UK, personalised ‘tie the knot’ name cards for each guest, suitcase for cards and gifts (a £2 steal at the car booty), china teacups and saucers (again a Sunday car boot challenge), tiered cake-stands – created by Sammy and ‘Here Come the Brides’ sign – and many more details which were lovingly made in the months leading up to the wedding.
A Hidden Gem
Make sure you have some time to yourself during the day, ours was during our photos with photographer Guy and a cheeky bottle of bubbly. Guy was the perfect companion for our day, and of course photographer too. He settled our nerves on arrival and went above and beyond the whole day.
We knew the pictures would be good but we didn’t anticipate just how good; when we saw them tears welled up and our breath was taken away all over again. The moments had truly been captured, over and over again. Guy managed to get key shots and do it without fuss. In fact there were so many shots taken where I didn’t realise he was even there.
We would recommend Guy to anyone who loves the documentary style of photography, he was truly a hidden gem and has given us pictures we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives!!
Take It From Us
Match your wedding to your personality – we made the day our own and tried not to follow convention unless it felt right.
Don’t underestimate how much time handcrafted weddings take; most of our weekends were spent at car boot sales, doing research or making things!
Having our ceremony under canvas was magical – particularly as we were facing our guests the whole way through. It made the ceremony so emotional and intimate.
Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous – after being embarrassed by our best girls’ speech about a rap Jess wrote about Sam at uni, Jess broke into rap and sang the Fresh Prince – along with the rest of the guests.
A little help from our friends – we ran a cake competition for the guests that made for a sumptuous top table full of delightful treats.
Tents – Tipi Events
Sammy’s Dress – Fur Coat No Knickers
Jess’ Dress – Jenny Packham ‘Luna’
Boutique – Ellie Sanderson
Headpiece – Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe
Hair – Willitt And James
Florist – Ammi Flowers
Bar – A Couple Of Mugs
Photography – Guy Collier Photography
DJ – Disco Wed
How cute do the flower girls and page boys look with their ‘Here Come The Brides’ banner. Like amazingly so, right?
And the Fresh Prince rap singalong? Blinking genius!
Altogether now…”now, this is a story all about how…”
All my love Lolly xxx