Our florist made the button holes, cake topper and my bouquet, and the rest of the flowers we did ourselves, including 9 bouquets for the bridesmaids. Two of my bridesmaids were complete legends and got up at 6am the day before, to drive Covent Garden Flower market to pick up flowers, and Matt’s mum also helped me to snip some greenery from the garden that morning. Then we spent a couple of hours making up all the bouquets whilst my mum fed us tea and cake - actually quite a fun afternoon.
I designed the invites with the help of my Dad who’s a graphic designer, which is indeed handy. I downloaded fonts online, then created the invites on the super tech programme of Paint (a child of the 90’s). My Dad made them presentable and kindly printed them all for me; 3 times due to typos (FML). We also made festival lanyards with the ceremony information and timings of the day in.
We used a local Italian restaurant as Matt knew the owners; Charlotte and Mauro, really well. They were absolute heroes on the day - tackling the pizza ovens in the rain and keeping everyone constantly topped up with Prosecco. We had canapes such as calamari and bruschetta, followed by sharing boards of Antipasti, and then shared pizzas for the main.
I hate wasted food and feel that dessert often goes untouched at weddings. So I just asked a few friends to make cakes and we had a couple of homemade desserts that people could help themselves to, or have some wedding cake. A local cake maker made our amazing wedding cake. I sent her some pictures I’d found on Pinterest of gold dripping cakes and she recreated it beautifully, with two tiers of victoria sponge and red velvet. For the evening food our parents and a couple of friends all got together and very kindly prepared an amazing cold buffet.
I flirted with the idea of getting married near Lisbon for a few months in the early days. Whilst this distant dream didn’t quite work out and I had to make peace with rainy Sussex, it did lead me to the wonder of Jesus
. I found him on Instagram - a Portuguese photographer, but one who travels all over Europe it seemed. His photos had a dreamy vintage quality and as soon as we started messaging him we were converts. He was pretty much the star of our wedding -everyone knew his name. He stayed until past midnight and just completely got involved in the party. A lot of other photographers had a strict time frame that they’d be there for, whereas Jesus just had a set price and then was there the whole day with no extra charges for staying late. He also took us for an engagement shoot the day before, which we opted to just be a short walk in the woods near where we were staying. It was really helpful to have some time to get to know him, and work out what we wanted from the day.
Choosing the music is undoubtedly the funnest part of wedding planning. I walked down the aisle to Everlasting Love by the Black Keys, then we had David Bowie’s Let’s Dance as our entering the reception song, and Ho Hey by the Lumineers as our first dance. As Glasto-wannabees we went a bit OTT with the music and had 3 separate “acts”. Hockers
played an acoustic set in the afternoon during the drinks and canapes reception. My best woman and I discovered him in Brixton village a couple of years before, and I’d kept his card in my wallet as loved him so much. Finding the evening band took hours and hours of online searching (I never want to hear anyone sing “Valerie” ever again). But Jack to Jack
finally emerged on my browser and were perfect. We loved their versatility of having a male and female singer who alternated, and they played our first dance song wonderfully.
When the band ended at 11pm, we then had a silent disco
. It was really simple to set up and we had a lot of fun creating the playlists for the two channels; one for The Young eg. Rhianna, Vampire Weekend etc and another for The Elders; eg. Fleetwood Mac, Prince etc. I think the magic of a silent disco is switching between the channels and finding a lone fellow across the room who’s discovered the same song as you before anyone else has. The rain finally ceased in the evening and we all spilled outside. Dancing under the fairy lights with headphones on, to songs like Jubel and Champagne Supernova, surrounded by all our favourite people; was definitely up there in Life’s Best Bits.
Have two weddings.
Have a silent disco.
Always plan for rain.
Also try to just spend money on the things that will actually make the day more enjoyable. We forked out for the music, but scrapped favours and did the flowers and decor ourselves. We had temporary tattoos in the toilets, and glow sticks for the silent disco, both of which were really fun -I thought people would start emerging with them around 10ish, but there were several facial tattoos by 3pm...