Lucy the Bride:
Both Craig and I really wanted the day to feel as personal to us as possible whilst being relaxed and lots of fun. We incorporated as much as we could from our creative friends and family, such as Lucy's brother making our rings, Craig's sister singing and Lucy's dad making the stationery and photo boards. We chose readings that we felt really reflected us as a couple and having grown up in fun loving, music filled households where dancing around the living room has always been, and still is encouraged we wanted to plan a really good party!
I had no preconceptions or ideas about what I'd choose for my dress before I started looking but very quickly realised that something formal and structured just wasn't for me. I had a day trying on dresses with my Mum and bridesmaids and while I had fun trying on some amazing big dresses and one pink one (which I almost picked) I just knew I wanted something more vintage, with lots of sparkle! So when I visited Jenny Packham
with just my Mum I knew I would find what I wanted! The whole experience was so exciting and I genuinely struggled to choose one because they are all so beautiful. But, when I put the Leila dress on again for a second time, I knew it was what I wanted - a vintage style with muted sparkles all over that felt much more me than anything I'd tried. I had always planned to wear the shoes my mum got married in on my wedding day and I knew they would go perfectly with the dress. I decided not to show the bridesmaids my dress and it made the best surprise for them on the day and going for fittings (followed by lunch and bubbles) with my mum each time was really special for me. I had never wanted a veil so I chose a sparkly (of course) Jenny Packham headband too.
Craig chose a slim fitting suit from Marks and Spencer
and Ted Baker
brogues. The boys all had ties to match the girls dresses and Bethan at Farmyard Flowers
managed to find THE biggest soft pink roses for the boys to wear as buttonholes. All of the groomsmen and Craig, wore socks with eggs on...while not massively obvious to others, eggs featured in our day quite a lot as Craig and I call each other egg or eggy so the socks were another nod to this.
We chose Grittenham Barn
because it was a beautiful setting and the barn gave us everything we really wanted from the day. A space that wasn't too big so we could have an intimate ceremony, plenty of space for the reception and of course, perfect for a big party in the evening.
The barn itself was so pretty that we didn't feel the need to dress it too much. Because we wanted it to be informal, we just spent the year or so before the wedding collecting everything that was used on the big day. I spent many an hour looking for and buying tea chests to be used a tables outside for the drinks reception, crates to add height for flowers and jars, lanterns and tea light holders to give a rustic, vintage feel for the day. The main decoration though was the flowers. We really wanted them to form most of the decoration and Bethan at Farmyard Flowers
did the MOST amazing job. Peonies are my favourite flowers so we started there and then chose roses and foliage in soft pinks, cream and silvery greens and lots of wild flowers to make it all feel as natural as possible. Bethan filled my old tea box for the ceremony table with an arrangement which looked beautiful and also an old apple crate that I bought to make the most fabulous feature in the big barn window. We stood this on some up-cycled crates that I'd painted.
Lucy's dad hand painted 2 photo booths. We had a beach theme outside with the traditional fat lady, a little nod to us living near the sea side along with deck chairs and another one for the evening, complete with Betty the cat! We wanted to do something fun with the photo booths but not spend a fortune and have something that was more personal to us.
Lucy hand stamped all of the place settings as well as creating the table plan. We also sourced some great wooden palettes which Craig built the bar with for the evening which suited the barn setting and laid back vibe of the day. Lucy's dad also created all of the wedding stationary, Save the Dates, Invites and Menus.
The Wedding Party
I wanted the bridesmaids to feel really special and beautiful on the day so straight away I started looking for long dresses. After all, how often do you get the chance to wear something long? I initially started looking for a vintagey rose/pale pink dress and changed my mind when I found the dresses in a pale grey. I knew it would look lovely against the soft pinks and creams of the flowers. The dresses were nipped in at the waist and flattering with lace detailing at the back which I loved. Emily, one of my bridesmaids had her second gorgeous little boy in January so I really wanted her to feel comfortable and beautiful on the day and the Coast
dresses looked amazing on them all.
I think its fair to say, when your planning a wedding, it's so easy to get caught up in the details of what colour the flowers are, will it all go, where shall we sit that awkward guest that you forget about what your going to do. Get married. We chose vows that we thought suited how we felt about each other and what it is to get married and spent a really long time looking for readings that reflected us a couple. We chose 'I Like You' by Sandol Stoddard Walberg because it made us laugh and represented the fact that Craig and I are such good friends and also 'Always Love Each Other' which is very close to how we feel about us a couple and about being married.
Always Love Each Other
If you can always be as close
And as happy as today,
Yet be secure enough to grow
And change along the way.
If you can keep for you alone
Your love as man and wife,
Yet find the time to share your joy
With others in your life.
If you can be as one
And walk through marriage hand in hand,
Yet still support the goals and dreams
That each of you have planned.
If you can dare to always go
Your separate ways together,
Then all the wonder of today
Will stay with you forever.
A colleague recommended Camilla
to us and as soon as I looked at her photos I knew we would like her to photograph our wedding - I absolutely love her natural style and every image we saw seemed to capture the wedding so beautifully. We booked Camilla as soon as we had our date and it was one of the best decisions we made. On the morning of the wedding, Camilla just slotted in with us all getting ready and made me feel completely comfortable having my photo taken - both Craig and I wanted really natural pictures that were un-posed and informal and Camilla did an amazing job of making us feel at ease. She also captured every single one of our guests throughout the day so we have wonderful memories to keep of all of our friends and family on the day.
Craig was in charge of drinks and entertainment because when it comes to arranging a party, he really comes into his own! We choose playlists throughout the day so there was music for the meal, as well as the reception all building up to our evening entertainment. Craig's hugely talented sister, Adele sang for us after the first dance, we made sure everyone had a jagar bomb in hand as we then surprised our guests with a band made up of our friends and Craig playing of the drums. One thing that we really wanted from our day was for everyone to dance and enjoy themselves and the band got everybody on their feet. So much so that Lucy actually crowd surfed while the band rocked out!
We chose hearty, filling pie, mash and gravy for our main course as its our favourite meal and again, we didn't want anything too formal. We both felt that the cake cutting was such a small part of the day so didn't chose anything traditional or elaborate - nonetheless, Lucy's mum made a delicious chocolate espresso cake which the caterers put together on the day.
After the ceremony, Craig and I had 5 minutes to ourselves before we walked out and greeted everyone with an amazing flurry of confetti. I had been so excited to see Craig all morning whilst getting ready and we'd managed to hold it together for the ceremony - we both just cried (extremely happy tears) and celebrated that we had just got married.
Everyone says 'it's your day' but it's so easy for the wedding to become about all of the things you think make up a wedding...the flowers, the decoration, the seating plan...so, our advice would be, stick to what feels right and reflects you as a couple. Have fun and make it a huge celebration - it's not often all of your friends and family are in one place together. I felt hugely overwhelmed about that, but actually, it's a wonderfully happy occasion that should be enjoyed as much in the planning as the big day itself.