Welcome back and consider today’s wedding your daily dose of sunshine. Perfect for planning week this bride created stunning DIY decor and the reception food, entertainment and vibe were exactly what they wanted. A real ‘their day their way‘ wedding mixing traditional elements with a relaxed bohemian reception.
Our photographer was Simon Carr.
We knew that Simon was the ideal photographer for us as soon as we sat down with him for a chat and saw some of his previous albums which were incredible. We loved his relaxed and natural style and his stunning photos really reflect the atmosphere of the day.
Neither Andrew or I like being in front of a camera, and he managed to put us both at ease. Needless to say, we absolutely love the results.
The chapel itself didn’t really need decorating, so we opted for a single large statement arrangement near the altar.
For the marquee, we used a mix of soft flowers in shades picked out from the fabric that we used for the napkins and bunting, all arranged in jam jars that we collected (or pinched from our neighbours’ recycling boxes) over the months leading up to the wedding.
Although I knew roughly what I wanted for the marquee, our florist, Jamie Aston, really brought those ideas to life and they surpassed my expectations on the day.
Andrew’s mum made our delicious cake, which was inspired by one we found in a book by Lindy Smith. The layers were lemon, carrot and chocolate sponge, so there was something for everyone.
The cake topper was custom made for us by Hillary from “Bunny With a Tool Belt” on Etsy, and is now a lovely memento of the day.
We were inspired by previous weddings that we’d been to to make a contribution to a charity as part of the day. We opted for Oxfam Unwrapped wedding favours which let us give each guest something worthwhile, and to some extent to match a gift to the guest.
One thing we realised about having a marquee is that it involves a lot of extra work. We were there for most of the day before and after the wedding, and only got everything ready with the help of our amazing friends, family and suppliers.
We opted for a traditional canvas marquee from Simpers, which set the tone for a more rustic style for the reception. We picked up on this by keeping the tables fairly plain, using plain muslin which we folded to create simple table runners – very affordable compared to hiring linen. We decided to use yellow alongside the green for the reception, and I found Heather Bailey’s ‘Pop Garden’ fabric range which I used to sew bunting and napkins for each guest using all of the different designs rather than trying to be too co-ordinated.
Our main decoration came from coloured paper lanterns and poms which we strung across the marquee. My thanks go to Rock My Wedding and Jung Lee’s fantastic book for those ideas. I’ve got our friends to thank for how well they turned out though, as we had to dash to our rehearsal and leave them to hang them!
As it was mid-summer, we didn’t need to worry too much about lighting, but for the evening we used a mix of mercurised glass candlesticks, tea lights and tiny LEDs in a few of the paper lanterns that we suspended from the ceiling to offset four uplights in each of the marquee corners. The path from the marquee to the gate was lit with candles in paper bags which looked so pretty after dark.
As a conversation starter we created mini play-doh games inspired by the board game Rapidough. We stuck a little sticker inside the lid of each pot of play-doh with a couple of modelling challenges written on each one. Unfortunately the pen rubbed off a few resulting in a “fetish penguin” among others! The best model of the day was an immaculately modelled computer with keyboard, mouse and all.
Instead of place cards, we made created tags which we hung from the chairs with ribbon. Our guests had a choice of meal, so we rubber-stamped a picture on each tag to remind our guests of their pie choice.
Food and Games
Instead of the standard wedding breakfast fare, our caterers were Pieminister Pies. Pieminister is an institution in Bristol, where we live, so it was great to have them come all of the way to Cambridge. We were able to give our guests the choice of four delicious pies which were served with mash, peas and ‘groovy’. We didn’t worry about starters, and instead opted for substantial canapes, which were all sourced from independent suppliers, including the amazing ‘bread egg boxes’. Pieminister’s team went above and beyond to make sure that the whole evening ran smoothly.
We set up a volleyball net which was incredibly popular after dinner and meant that lots of our guests could get involved in the same game.
We also booked the brilliant band Happy Hour, who got everyone on the dance floor once the sun had gone down. I can’t recommend them more highly.
They also learned “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love” for our first dance – Andrew and I went to some swing dance classes before the wedding so that we had a few moves, although I hadn’t really anticipated how difficult it would be to dance in such a full skirt!
Advice from a Bride
So, my only advice would be not to worry about keeping everything too themed or matching and simply do what feels right at the time. Also, enjoy planning all those little details – you’ll miss it when it’s all done!
Photographer – Simon Carr
Ceremony – Trinity College, Cambridge
Marquee – Simpers
Cake Topper – Bunny with a tool belt on Etsy.
Pies – Pieminster, Bristol.
Canape Boxes – The Thoughtful Bread Company
Band – Happy hour
Poms – DIY (Pom tutorial on Rock My Wedding here.)
Gorgeous, gorgeous marquee. I’ve got a real thing for hanging decor at weddings – it’s so effective and pretty and this zingy colour palette just makes summer jump of the page right at you.
Are you making poms or using hanging decor in your planning?