I love featuring weddings from village halls because it's always seriously impressive how gorgeous you can make them look! To be fair, Maribel and Rob did have a lovely blank canvas, Sapperton Village Hall is a far cry from the average, but still the trestle table, balloon and bunting combo is utterly charming. Family weddings always strike a note with me, as I love the thought of having your kids with you on your wedding day. Maribel and Rob's daughter is a total cutie and the fact that her cake took centre stage of the cake table is just adorable. It's also lovely to hear that readers have found their wedding suppliers via Rock My Wedding and Maribel found her photographer Matt Penberthy from looking at real wedding features, and her hair and make up artist Evie Smith via our recommended supplier directory, The List.

The Photography

Maribel The Bride: We looked at Matt's website portfolios and absolutely loved his photographic style and were delighted to find out he was available. We are so happy with his shots of our day. He captured it perfectly and had so many comments from guests about how nice he was and they occasionally noticed him taking shots at us all from behind trees and bushes! He is clearly a master of unobtrusive photo taking which is ideal when you’re keen on having a mainly candid selection of images from the day.

The Invitations

Rob designed the invitations and all the stationery that we sent out from scratch. I wanted to have fairly classic early C20th feel, the simplicity of say, Penguin Books with the common theme of gardens, seed packets and to tie it in with the Village Hall. We used Printed - a good option at a ridiculously reasonable price, though ask for samples as the textured paper we used is far better than other choices.

The Bride

I always pictured myself getting a handmade bespoke gown in vintage silks and lace, but ultimately I had to recognise that I didn’t have the budget for that at all! So I went hunting for the ‘one’ on a seriously tight budget of £500 max! I didn’t think I’d find it so quickly, but when I tried on my 1950’s style tea dress with the skirt part made up of several layers of lace I felt instantly amazing, pretty and confident. I’m usually in my mum uniform of comfy trousers and slouchy top so this dress made me feel very ladylike for the first time in ages! My 3.5 year old daughter and her two older cousins had a beautiful dress from John Lewis which fitted their slender frames perfectly. They all really enjoyed getting dressed up for the day and having their hair done. I wore an Alex Monroe Needle & Thread necklace because it reminded me very much of my mum, who was a seamstress and pearl earrings for their understated beautiful simplicity from Jackson’s jewellers in Watford, because that’s where I grew up and the shop was where my parents and I would buy pieces of jewellery as special gifts for each other. We bought my engagement ring together at the Antique Jewellery Company in the New Bond Street Antiques Market, which is where Rob returned earlier this year to have his wedding ring made for him at Grays Antiques. My wedding ring is another antique and I inherited it from my paternal grandmother who in turn inherited it from her mother. Rob’s 18ct gold ring was made to look as similar to mine as possible, with our wedding date inscribed on the inside. My shoes were designed by me at Shoes of Prey, because I could not find anything that was just right in the shops no matter how hard I looked and it also gave me the excuse to have something truly bespoke and embossed with an inscription of our names and wedding date.

The Beauty

I am not someone who knows what to do with my hair really - it’s usually up in a ponytail. I also hardly ever wear makeup, but I knew that I wanted to have a hair and makeup artist help me with this. Luckily I found the talented Evie Smith also via the List. She came to my house a few weeks before the wedding to do a trial and then after I realised a few days beforehand that I’d told her the wrong date for my wedding (cue horror and panic!) she very kindly accommodated me by changing things with another very understanding bride who was due to have her trial on my wedding day. She helped me and my flower girls look lovely on the day and really put me at ease too.

The Groom

Rob was very lucky with his suit. Through his work as a photographer he met the most amazing tailor in Victoria last year. Adrian at Volpe is a fantastically unique operation running in Denbigh Street. He offered to design and make the suit in exchange for use of some of Rob’s work and created a beautiful bespoke Navy suit (and a bespoke shirt thrown in!) We couldn’t afford to kit everyone out in matching suits so we asked all the main members of the party to wear navy suits with white shirts. Rob then could at least buy matching deep red ties from T.M. Lewin on Jermyn Street for himself and the two Best Men, and pale blue ties from John Lewis for his father, Rob’s Dad and Step-Father. Shoes were from Jones the Bootmaker and he treated himself to an expensive pair of Falke socks too. Grooming was done by Champs Barbers in Riding House Street in W1.

The Flowers

Flowers and plants - In my hair I wore a beautifully sweet smelling ‘Rosa mundi’ deep pink rose kindly donated by the owners of the cottage we were staying in from their beautiful gardens. I chose the ‘Goddess’ bouquet from Appleyard London, for it’s beautifully rich coloured roses and scented fresias, and had it delivered to the door of our holiday cottage. I love plants and flowers very much and wanted them everywhere, but couldn’t afford to spend a fortune on cut flowers to fill the venue and church. Luckily the lovely ladies who do the flowers for the church every weekend kindly asked me what our colour theme was and when we arrived for the rehearsal on Friday evening we found that they had prepared a stunning arrangement in keeping with our bright and light summer colours. The main person I need to mention is my mother-in-law, Chris, who has immense plant knowledge and was an incredible help to us. She actually grew a huge amount of our flowers herself. We had a bit of a sweet pea theme going on so the flower girls had scented sweet peas in their bouquets that had been grown from seed in Chris’ garden and we followed in that vein by putting out packets of sweet pea seeds onto our guests place settings as favours. Between Chris and I, we filled the venue with home grown or specially selected potted plants and flowers in the colours we loved (blues, reds, pinks, whites). That was such an important element for me as I’m becoming a very keen gardener and I also love the fact that Rob and I can continue to enjoy most of the plants that were at our wedding, possibly for years to come!

The Venues

This was the local village church where Rob grew up and we were honoured to have my dear friend Claire marry us in the most beautifully personal way possible. It was exactly what I’d always pictured as my ideal wedding scenario so I feel incredibly lucky that Claire, who is the lead hospital chaplain at St George’s University Hospital, accepted our request to marry us. During the ceremony we had two readings given by my friend Elizabeth and Rob’s friend Phil. Both readings were slightly unconventional and therefore pretty great for us. One of them was ‘I Wanna Be Yours...’ by John Cooper Clarke. Our daughter was up front with us for parts of the ceremony. It was very special to be able to share it all with her by our side. We were pretty keen on having a village hall almost from the beginning of planning, partly because we wanted a summer fete feeling and also they are so much cheaper than a more traditional wedding venue. Sapperton Village Hall came up in a search of halls in and around the Cirencester area and it looked beautiful. We just about managed to cram in all of our 70 guests although it’s a small hall so it was a bit of a squeeze. So many people commented on how beautiful it was and it really is quite lovely. It dates back to the arts and crafts movement and, possibly because it doesn’t get much funding sadly, it does have a very rustic feel to it.

The Decor

We both agreed from the beginning that we wanted a bit of a summer village fete type of affair with an Anglo/Spanish mix, due to my heritage (mother was Spanish) and because we had a village hall as our venue we knew we had to have bunting. Rob’s mum Chris was a champion bunting maker and it all looked gorgeous when we put it up in the hall. I had bought as many fairy lights as I could get my hands on in the post Christmas sales a few months beforehand and we hired the rest so that we could wrap them around the beautiful dark beams in the ceiling of the hall. We wanted long trestle tables for a more informal seating arrangement and the caterers styled them really well for us with white linen tablecloths. A friend had given me the idea of doing a picnic for our meal and we hired the apple crates and had them filled with pies, hams, tartlets, cheeses and Rob wrote all of the labels on brown luggage tags to show what was in each crate. We put out picnic blankets on the lawn outside and hired a few colourful bean bags for the kids mainly.

The Food

Although we had very strong ideas on the style of catering, and wanted to create a feeling of sharing and less formal eating, it still needed quite a lot of planning and was no less relaxed in the lead up. We chose a local caterer who made some fantastic Chicken and Ham pies, and created some delicious pâtes and salads and they helped us shape the menu to provide a mix of British and Spanish without it becoming too much of a mish mash. We ended the meal with a DIY Eton Mess, which was a light and summery way to finish our meal. Orchard provided us with classic white crockery on the tables for the main meal then a mix of vintage crockery for hot drinks and cakes afterwards. They were excellent in advising on quantities and how to work out timings (everything takes a lot longer than you’d think, doesn’t it?) For drinks we plumped for Majestic and were assisted brilliantly by the Cirencester branch in choosing a selection of Spanish and British wines and gins.

The Cake

We opted for a few cakes rather than just one. Laid out on a table at one end of the hall it resembled a pretty flash WI spread, Rob’s Aunt and his Mum both made fantastic cakes (classic fruitcake decorated by our daughter, and a highly complimented Victoria Sponge) supplementing the Bakewell Tart and Lemon Drizzle we bought from Jacks in Cirencester.

The Entertainment

Rob spent a ridiculously long time over several playlists on both iTunes and Spotify...It is worth bearing in mind, most people don’t hear, remember or care about your clever segway from rare Disco gem to romping Indie Classic, but we had requested 3 songs from each person so we could at least try and provide something people would enjoy. Most of the music was played during the meal but after we’d cleared half the hall we turned up the volume. He spent almost as long doing a jokier playlist for hidden speakers in the bathrooms.

The Transport

We were very lucky to have friends pay for a Rolls Royce for the day, and my family hired a coach to ferry all the guests from the Church to the venue and back to centre of Cirencester in the evening - Sapperton is a very small village so parking would have been quite difficult.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Featured suppliers

Invitations: Printed | Bride: David's Bridal | Flower Girls: John Lewis | Shoes: Shoes of Prey | Hair & Make Up: Evie Smith | Groom: Volpe | Bouquet: Appleyard Flowers | Venue: Sapperton Village Hall | Bean Bags: Bisley Leisure | Catering: Orchard Catering

Inspirational articles you may also find useful