This gorgeous pair had a relaxed and fun DIY wedding at Warborne Farm, full of homemade details, incredible food sourced from their deli and a party to end all parties under an electrical storm. The lovely Carrie Lavers was there to capture all the fun, and you might recognise these two from their engagement shoot as we featured it here on RMW.
Dan & Michael found one of their wedding readings on RMW, which is weirdly apt for today as the latest version of RMW The Podcast released this morning, is all about readings! Have a listen after you’ve enjoyed this feature…
Relaxed & Fun DIY Wedding
Michael & Daniel: We wanted a party for all our friends and family – That was at the root of everything we planned. Whenever things got stressful during the wedding planning – we remembered that as long as we had our family and friends with food, drink and music – everything would be fine.
We wanted our day to be unique to us, a wedding that represented who we are as a couple. We love a project so we planned and orchestrated the majority of it ourselves – from making the invites to sourcing the food to bringing our own bar – no wedding planners or coordinators – just us two. It was so much work – but so worth it.
The morning of the wedding was one of the most hectic mornings ever – from 8.30am we had a team of family and friends setting up the venue; hanging lights, setting up tables, arranging seating plans, organizing hay bales – the list goes on. Dan and I didn’t go and get changed until 30 minutes before the ceremony. We owe the success of our wedding day to everyone that morning – thanks team!
A brief note on weather – we got married at the end of a heatwave – checking the forecast (pretty much hourly) – thankfully the good weather held until 11pm when we had an almighty electric storm! Sure it wrecked a couple of gazebos and a couple of guests got drenched – but it was the perfect dramatic finale.
Vintage Suits For Grooms
We both wanted vintage suits. Nothing that was too matching or formal. Dan found his in a vintage shop in Southsea and Michael got his from Etsy. We had them altered by our good friend April Lovelace – who did an amazing job! However we only wore our suit jackets for the walk down the aisle – after that it was so hot that we didn’t wear them!
Warborne Farm Wedding Venue
We looked at a couple of venues before we found Warborne Farm, but were put off by all the rules and regulations. We then hunted for a venue that would allow us to do our own thing. When we went to visit Warborne – we fell in love with it. When we met the owners they were running a little behind schedule and asked us to help feed the lambs! From then we knew it was the one. It’s rustic, beautiful and full of character. It ticked all our boxes, then made it’s own boxes and ticked them.
Plus the accomodation around the barn is absolutely stunning – all our immediate family and best people got to stay for the whole long weekend – we live in Portsmouth and Dan’s family live in Bristol and Michael’s in Lancashire so it was lovely being able to spend time with them either side of the wedding. On Friday night we had a big family meal on the lawn and on Sunday we had a big picnic to use up any leftover food and booze (not that there was much of the latter…) We loved that some of our guests chose to camp in one of their fields (very brave and committed in the storm)!
Homemade Wedding Décor
The more colour the better really. To save money pretty much all the décor was homemade. Any junk mail that came through the door in the year leading up to the wedding was turned in to an origami boat (a little nod to our seaside hometown) and then hung from hula hoop chandeliers above the top table. Rather than bunting we bought bulk off cuts of ribbon from eBay and tied them to garden twine, which we hung from the barn roof with festoon lighting! We used hay bales from the barn as seating for the ceremony and covered the tables in hessian and calico. Our table names were all episodes from Fawlty Towers (one of our favourite TV shows) and our favours/placenames were Lego men – both of our favourite childhood toy.
Neither of us needed a bouquet and we weren’t keen on elaborate centerpieces – but we knew we wanted some flowers somewhere at our wedding. We met Ben from Crosslands Nursery at The Wondrous Wedding Fayre in Southsea – he was so laid back and got what we were going for so we ordered 300 stems of Alstroemeria. On Saturday morning we had a team of family and friends cutting and arranging them in to jam jars and tins that we had brought with us!
The Wedding Party Fashion
Our “best people” consisted of Dan’s friend Chez and Michael’s two friends Sarah and Tash – they were an absolute dream team, they planned amazing Stags and were stuck in getting everything set up on the Saturday Morning. Based on our suits we picked a colour scheme for the wedding party of navy and pink, and pretty much told them they had free reign as long as it was in those colours and within a certain budget. We were more concerned that they’d be comfortable and happy in what they were wearing than making them all match.
The Ceremony And Wedding Readings
We got married at Portsmouth registry office on the Friday – so on Saturday we didn’t have to follow any rules or traditions. We wanted someone we knew to lead the service and asked our friend Ben. Michael met Ben whilst working on a pantomime in Worcester – Michael was a dancer and Ben was the Dame. We knew he could handle a crowd he brought just the right mix of humour and sincerity and completely exceeded our expectations.
Michael’s nephew Alex read “In That Still and Settled Place” by Edward Monkton (which I found on Rock My Wedding) and Dan’s nieces Abi and Lucy read a poem we wrote called “Love Is…” – kind of like a modern day Corinthians.
In the daytime we had The Brass Junkies – they were amazing! They played as our guests arrived and played us down the aisle to All You Need is Love – then they played during the fizz and photos! In the evening we had Amba Goodwin Tremain who was phenomenal! We’ve heard her sing at a couple of events so we knew how good she was. She totally nailed it! We had hours of belting disco classics and a dance floor full of people loving her.
5 months before getting married Dan left his job in London opened a deli in our hometown of Southsea (because we really like doing everything at once and making lots of work for ourselves). All the food was sourced and provided through his contacts there. He also got a team together from his old job at Jamie Oliver to do the cooking for the wedding – those guys were superheroes. We began the day by handing out tins of gin and tonic – just to make sure nobody got thirsty during the service. Starters were British antipasti. Including cured meats, local cheeses and incredible olives.
Main course was slow cooked shoulder of grass-fed hogget served up with slow roasted potatoes and salads picked straight from the farm that morning. Dessert was salted chocolate brownies with New Forest strawberries and organic vanilla ice cream. Our cake was a present from one of Dan’s colleagues (@Rozzie_Roo_Cakes).
Looking for a photographer we trailed through 100’s of websites. We found lots we liked but were out of our budget or booked on that day, then we found Carrie Lavers – WHAT A DREAM! Her photography was so striking – we emailed expecting her to say she was booked – but she wasn’t! We booked her straight away. On the day she was just what you’d want a photographer to be – you didn’t realise she was there, she listened to what we wanted and she was super fun! The photos from our day are just phenomenal – It’s worth shelling out for a good photographer – they are the memories you have forever!
Be organized – have a plan – have a spreadsheet (we’d have been lost without ours) – know which jobs need doing and who is going to do them and when!
Delegate! You cannot do everything (no matter what you think…) we were lucky that our best people were amazing and willing to do any odd jobs that needed doing sometimes before we’d even asked!
But then on the day…just go with it and have fun – whatever happens happens. One of the best pieces of advice I got was ‘to make every second a silly and wonderful moment’ – so I’ll pass that on to you!