This outdoor humanist ceremony is fun in every way. I have never in all my days seen a gumball food conveyor belt. It is certainly an innovative way to serve the wedding breakfast, plus it looks absolutely amazing and decorative too. Now we have to talk about Bride Rose and her fabulous red Valentino gown. What a stunner and did you see her bridal up do adorned with faux white flowers. All carefully created by List member Make-up by Jodie. Now I know you're probably dying to pore over the pictures by Ann-Kathrin Koch Photography so I'll say no more and let you enjoy.
CelebrantAsh the Groom: We could not have chosen a better celebrant to work with us to make such a meaningful and memorable ceremony. A humanist ceremony was perfect for us and Zena spent time and care in creating a ceremony which weaved in our 13-year relationship and beautifully merged our stories into one narrative. We spent a long time articulating what we were promising to each other in our vows, which we wrote together.
ReadingsRose the Bride: I searched for what seemed an eternity for readings that resonated with us both. Margaret Atwood- Habitation, and an excerpt from ‘Gift From The Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (which starts with “When you love someone”) were 2 of the most beautiful readings I found. We also used my favourite quote from a wonderful book: “We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.” ― Patti Smith, Just Kids.”
Bridal LookI never set out to search for a white dress. We only stuck to tradition when it felt right for us. A long search led me to a beautiful and romantic, red lace Valentino gown with stunning, intricate beadwork. I opted for a casual hand tied bunch of local tree foliage for my bouquet, and floral (faux) garland of white flowers in my hair and simple jewellery. The bouquet was tied with a Latvian ribbon in memory of my Grandparents. I had also spotted a pair of brown and gold felted Marni shoes online and knew instantaneously they would be my dancing comrades! The dress was so detailed; I didn’t feel it needed anything more adding.
BridesmaidsSearching for each individual piece of my Best women’s outfits took some time, but I put together 3 outfits which I felt all complimented each other, were suited to each of their individual taste and would be pieces they could wear time and time again. My flower girls wore beautiful embroidered outfits by Stella McCartney Kids and Silver Star shoes from M&S. They carried tiny bouquets of Sweet William flowers.
Grooms AttireAsh the Groom: Marc Wallace of Bath tailored my suit, I have never had a tailored suit before and the process of working with Marc was both collaborative and enjoyable. The fit of the suit was such that I felt immediately comfortable wearing it and it was a joy to wear. I bought a vintage Liberty tie and Mother of pearl cufflinks, which I paired with my deep grey-blue tweed 3-piece suit. I was kindly gifted a tailored shirt from my father-in-law (to be) which completed the outfit.
StationeryRose the Bride: Our stationery was so, so lovely and created by our friends at meticulous ink in Bath. The team designed and hand letter-pressed some stunning invites with neon edges, a gorgeous de-bossed map of our wedding and our menu cards.
CeremonyThe Guests met at the local Pub for sausage rolls and beers, then we all proceeded down the picturesque country walk. We decided to enter into the ceremony hand in hand to the sound of whoops, cheers and the ringing of hand bells from all our friends and family. It was such a wonderful sound they created! The ceremony was held in a beautiful alcove with views over the landscape. The ride from the ceremony was so memorable for me- we were in an incredible old Ford and bumbled along the country lanes with the wind in our faces and the sun beaming down over the countryside around us. My local childhood playing field was where we hosted the party afterwards where guests were devouring freshly shucked Oysters and champagne. We filled the marquee with an assortment of trees from the local nursery and gifted these to our parents after the wedding. My Great Aunt Joyce and my Best Women and I put together flowers and foliage from my parent’s garden. Corsages were made by Amy, one of my best women.
DecorThe decor inside the marquee was kept simple but we did have something a little different on the tables. I really love the novel way sushi is served on a conveyor belt in restaurants so upon searching for ideas I came across the wonderful website of Marije Vogelzang and her low tech gum ball conveyor belt. We are both creative and set about on the project of creating our own version together: hand making the long troughs, laser cutting the platters, painting and piecing together all the elements. As well as sourcing 120kgs of giant gum balls- which was a mission in itself! We really enjoyed making this together.
FoodOur guests could whizz food up and down the tables as well as getting competitive creating some colourful masterpieces with the gumballs. Focaccia breads, oils and olives were ushered down the ‘conveyor belts’. We feasted on locally reared spit roast lamb from Morgan Pell meats and salads and potatoes from the incredible Sam’s Kitchen all the way from Bath.
PhotographerWe wanted to partake in as much of the day as possible, eating drinking and socializing and spending our time outside on such a glorious sunny day. Our photographer Ann-Kathrin Koch did well to take us aside and sneak a quick few shots of us alone and I’m so glad she did this as we adore the photographs surrounded by such dense greenery. Ash the Groom: The mark of a great wedding photographer is their ability to become invisible and Ann’s way of working made everyone feel at ease and she was able to seemingly blend into the crowd and capture some wonderfully candid shots of the day.
EntertainmentRose the Bride: At the end of the day and after filling ourselves with the most delicious Pastel de Natas (which a friend had picked up fresh from London that morning) and a plethora of Cheese and crackers, we danced the night away to music from our good friend Charlie. Hiring Silent disco headsets meant we could party on well past midnight and dance outside around a giant bonfire before collapsing into our bell tents nearby
AdviceI’m not the most confident speaker, but I really enjoyed opening the speeches and personally thanking everyone for attending as well as sharing some lovely sentiments about my husband. If you can muster the courage, I encourage you to do this. I always think it’s so good to hear from the bride at their wedding!
Dress Designer: Valentino | Dress Boutique: The Outnet | Bridal Shoes: Marin from Net-a-Porter | Bridal Makeup: Makeup by Jodie | Wedding Ring: Mallroy | Grooms Suit: Marc Wallace | Tie & Cufflinks: Vintage to Vogue | Grooms Shoes: Common Projects | Venue: Cowpers Oak | Marquee: LPM Bohemia | Bell Tents: Rent Bell Tents | Catering: Sam's Kitchen | Galena | Morgan Pell Meats | Amazing Grains | Oystermeister | Wedding Planner: Bride & Glory | Stationery: Meticulous Ink | Trees: Acorn Nurseries | Entertainment: Silent Disco | Flower Girls Dress: Stella McCartney | Silver Star Shoes: Marks and Spencer | Bridesmaids: Self Portrait Sutdio | Nordstorm | Matches Fashion | Reiss | ASOS | Groomsmen: Topman | Humanist Celebrant: Zena Birch