You may recognise lovely Bride Kerry from her post about having a Best Woman (if you missed, it check it out here). Today we’re sharing her and Matt’s rainy festival wedding, complete with silent disco, an Italian feast and some of the most mouth-watering homemade cakes I’ve ever seen.
Despite the rain, they partied hard Glasto style, with Kerry rocking a pair of boots and her bridesmaids looking totally festival ready in white dresses. Images come from Jesus Cabellero who shoots all over Europe, if you’d like to book him for your own big day.
Kerry the Bride: We got engaged on a hill at Glastonbury in 2016. I was wearing a child’s cap and a huge M&S woolen jumper I’d found in my house at Uni in 2007. Other than this, it was pretty convenient having loads of our friends there and a ready-made celebration that night. We wanted our wedding to be a massive party in the countryside, with nods to our engagement the summer before. We got what we wanted as in true Glastonbury form; it pretty much poured the entire day!
Having been to our fair share of weddings in the years preceding ours; we’d decided the recipe for success was good music and plenty of wine. So we were looking for a venue that we could pretty much take over; with no strict rules regarding timings and no corkage. We live in London but wanted somewhere in the countryside, so when a friend of Matt’s kindly offered us to use a field on his farm in East Sussex, we jumped at the chance. It was near the village where Matt grew up and was a really beautiful setting for a marquee.
Our Two Weddings
As we were going against the tradition of holding the wedding where the bride grew up, we decided to hold the legal ceremony in my home turf of East Yorkshire the week before – and here was born: “the northern wedding” and “the southern wedding”. This was the best decision we made. The northern wedding was really low key with just immediate family at the ceremony in Beverley Registry Office, followed by a pint in the oldest pub in the town, a barbeque at my parent’s house and a night out dancing. It was such a fun stress-free day (and really sunny!)
We both felt quite nervous for the ceremony in the registry office and it went by in a flash with both of us not really remembering what the hell we’d said to each other. Consequently we spent time writing our own vows for the ceremony at the southern wedding the week after. We’d asked my brother-in-law to officiate the ceremony, and so had completely free reign over the service. We wrote our vows in a format where we each repeated short promises to each other, as we weren’t comfortable with long individual passages. Writing them made us sit down and really think about what marriage meant to us and what we wanted to promise each other. At the ceremony we also got everyone to sing the hymn Jerusalem, had two readings, a friend singing “Kiss me” by Sixpence None the Richer, and two couples giving some advice based on their own marital experiences (of 3 and 45 years). I know everyone says it – and I never thought I’d be one of those people- but the ceremony really was my favourite part of the day.
For the northern wedding I wore a 60s style mini-dress from Monki and pink velvet platforms from Zara. I saw a girl wearing the dress on a night out and asked her where it was from, then promptly bought it on my phone. Finding my “proper” dress took a while and I probably tried on about 40 different ones. My best woman was living with me at the time and was kind enough to come to all the appointments with me. They were mostly prosecco-fuelled and fun experiences, but few of the dresses wowed me and I was really torn over spending so much money on one item of clothing. The Mews Bridal is such an amazing store with all French designers, and there were several dresses that I loved. They have a couple of sample sales a year and I was able to get the dress and lace top that I wanted at one of these. I decided to wear biker boots as liked the clash of them with the feminine silk of the dress, plus; we were in a wet field for the day. The first thing Matt said to me when I met him at the altar was: “Nice boots”.
Matt’s suit was actually a 30th Birthday present which he ended up saving for the wedding day. It was by Beggar’s Run which is an amazing independent tailors we found in the Timeout. They’re so good that they actually don’t advertise at all and just operate by word of mouth. Matt liked them as they do slightly more exciting fabrics and cuts. He wore some Dr Marten loafers which he already had, and his friends bought him a vintage pocket watch which he opened in the morning.
The Wedding Party
We had a large wedding party with 8 bridesmaids, 8 groomsmen and a flower girl, so didn’t want everyone to be really matchy-matchy. I asked my bridesmaids to just wear white dresses that weren’t floor length (although people still got confused us and congratulated my sister!). They chose dresses from various shops including Self Portrait, Sandro and ASOS, and looked bloody banging. Matt asked his groomsmen to wear whatever suit they wanted, but with a different coloured waistcoat, which I think worked really well.
We went for Capri-style tents instead of the traditional marquees. I liked that you could play about with the configurations and open as many sides as you like. I had visions of a heatwave and us opening all 4 sides up to have an amazing canopy with no walls, but alas the British weather did not support my plans. The vintage furniture was probably our biggest splurge in the name of aesthetics, but the vintage trestle tables looked great and we had no regrets. One of Matt’s ushers built us a wedding arch, and a bar which we decorated with random pictures from our house. We spread loose greenery like Eucalyptus on the tables and decorated the wedding arch with similar plants.
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…