Arranging a DIY filled, tipi, at home wedding is no mean feat, let alone when you are seven months pregnant. But beautiful Bride Jane and her Groom Keith took it all in their stride, with everything made easier by helpful family and friends. There are hay bales, fire pits, pom poms, and a fabulous polaroid picture table plan featuring every guests picture. Every detail adds charm to this sentimental venue and is bursting with love. Despite the 30 degree Suffolk heat, Bride Jane (and bump!) looks an absolute vision in her Lucille Eliza Jane Howell embellished gown, as does Groom Keith in his bespoke Cad & The Dandy suit. Together they enjoy every moment of their wedding day, and are the last to leave the dance floor in the early hours of the morning. Jane you are an absolute legend, and simply stunning to boot.

The Dress

Jane the Bride: I fell pregnant about 7 months before the wedding so a few of the plans had to change – notably my dress!  Bridal Rogue Gallery were excellent at giving suggestions and found me a beautiful dress by the same designer that I had originally chosen but it had a little more give around the tummy (!).  I had to try on the dress with a cushion stuffed up the front so that I could get an idea of what it might look like! It was absolutely stunning, and I felt very special wearing it.  Perfect for a hot day.  The only accessory was a lace fan to cool me down in the 30 degree heat!

Grooms Fashion

Keith had a beautiful blue suit and white shirt made for him at Cad & The Dandy on saville Row.

The Venue

Our venue was my uncle’s house just outside lavenham, Suffolk. We got married in the church opposite his house which was very special to our family and had many ties. We moved to his garden for the reception drinks and then into the tipis for the wedding breakfast. We were incredibly lucky with the weather. It was a beautiful, hot day without a cloud in the sky. A big relief given there were torrential downpours and storms the night before. I was so worried the tipis were going to blow away the night before!

Colour Scheme/Decor

I wanted the colour scheme to be very simple and natural. The tipi decorations were all white and gold. The flowers on the tables were in old tins that friends and family had collected over the prior months. My mother in law had painstakingly glued hessian around the middle and tied a ribbon. Very simple but effective. The bridesmaids dresses and the flowers were a white, peach and gold palette.   Overall we wanted the wedding to have a festival feel to it but with some traditional wedding formalities. We had both been to lots of marquee weddings so wanted something a little different, that’s why we went for the tipis.  We also had a campfire with hay bales for people to relax around during the evening. Guests had the option to camp over in the paddock so there were a few bell tents and campervans parked up which added to the festival vibe!


Very simple. The flowers on the tables and for the bridesmaids were white with lots of greenery. My bouquet and the flowers in the church were white and peach also with lots of greenery. Sarah at Hiding in the City flowers was really excellent at suggesting British flowers that were in season but also listening very carefully to what I had in mind and making it work. I had quite a specific idea for my bouquet which Sarah captured perfectly. On the day of the wedding my bouquet turned up in a gorgeous box and she’d also made some small flower headpieces which I had mentioned in passing to her. They were just perfect! My mum also worked very hard at the flowers and had arranged many of the plants in pots around the garden and in the church.

The Wedding Party Fashion

I had 8 bridesmaids of all different shapes, sizes and races so I didn’t want to force them all into the same dress. Instead I gave them a palette of what I had in mind and then they chose their own dress and ran it past me. I think the final look works really well which was a big relief as we hadn’t had a chance to try them all on together before the big day!   The two flower girls were in dresses from Marks and Spencer. The two page boys wore bowties to match the ushers.   The ushers wore their own blue suits but we gave them matching pocket squares and bow ties as a gift from Mrs Bow Tie. They all had fun in the pub before the ceremony trying to tie all the bows!


One of my bridesmaids did a reading for us which was very special as it was her that introduced me and Keith. The other reading was by Keith’s sister.   A very memorable moment for us was the huge cheer from the congregation as we walked back down the aisle. Was so special to have all of our friends and family with us


Our friends Katie and Rama sang 2 songs and played the guitar for us in church – English Rose by Paul Weller and Here Comes the Sun - nina Simone version. Songs that meant a lot to us – very emotional!   First dance was ‘Talking Heads – This must be the place’ which we love. We didn’t want anything too soppy but had some meaning and nice words. Everyone lit sparklers as we danced which was really fun.  Made for some good photos!   We had an excellent Motown band in the evening (Motor City Revue) which I would highly recommend. They seemed to cater for all tastes as the dance floor was packed all night. A couple of our friends then DJ’d for us until 2am.  Despite being 7 months pregnant, I was up on the stage dancing until the very end!


Both keith and I are real foodies so the food had to be just right! Crown Caterers were really excellent. The canapés were delicious and they made sure that the two of us tried them all despite being photographed for much of the reception drinks. Everyone was then served individual poussins with hot potatoes and salads followed by a trio of desserts. All delicious. As the wedding was at my uncle’s house there wasn’t an on site planner to help with the running of the day but James from the caterers really took this role upon himself which was a great help. He even made sure that the children were entertained during the speeches so that the parents could stay and listen. The caterers really went beyond what was expected and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.


We chose Sara Dalrymple to be our photographer as we wanted someone friendly and natural to capture our day. She made us feel so at ease throughout, making us laugh and feel so relaxed. She was inconspicuous and unobtrusive which was really important to us; we didn’t want our guests to feel like they were being constantly papped.  Sara managed to find the perfect balance: capturing shots of everyone having fun and the more formal shots that our parents were after. Nothing was too much trouble and she didn’t make me feel bad that at the last minute we decided we wanted a group shot of everyone – she ran up to the top of the house immediately to get a good aerial shot of all 150 of us. We were so pleased with the photos, Sara managed to capture so many moments of us that we didn’t see on the day and they are such a great reminder of how much fun we had – we have lots printed all over the house! The best piece of advice Sara gave us before we booked her was to find a photographer that we felt like we could be friends with, as they are the one supplier who is there for the entire wedding day, so it’s so important to find someone you get on well with, you can trust to capture the day as you would like it captured, and Sara really fit the bill. I can’t recommend her enough!


Keith and I couldn’t agree on whether we needed to have a video done of the day but we’re both so pleased that we did. Sian did such a great job of shooting the day and captured many moments that could easily have been forgotten. I loved the different styles that she used giving the film a vintage but modern feel to it. It was great to have the have the speeches recorded and other bits of audio throughout the day. We were really really pleased with the end result especially as it was all set to some of our favourite songs. I’ve watched it many times over!


Keith spent a long time making the table plan which was Polaroid style photos of each of the 170 guests pinned on to a board.  It was a lengthy process to find suitable photos of everyone but the end result was really effective and got everyone talking as lots of the photos were of guests when they were much younger or in compromising positions. Lots of fun.


My only advice would be don't be afraid to delegate. As I was so pregnant, I was keen to minimise stress (we didnt want an early arrival!) so asked family and the bridal party to help out with some of the DIY jobs. I found quickly that people dont mind helping and actually feel pleased to be able to contribute to the day. Also don't get caught up in all the smaller details – it will stress you out too much and most guests will be too busy enjoying the wine to notice minute details!
Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Eliza Jane Howell - Lucille | Bridal Boutique: Bridal Rogue Gallery | Bridal Shoes: Rachel Simpson | Grooms Suit: Cad & The Dandy | Catering: Crown Catering | Florist: Hiding in The City | Entertainment: Motor City Revue Motown Band | Videographer: Insta Wedding

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