There is so much love and colour filling this outdoor festival wedding it is guaranteed to brighten your day.
Starting with the bridal party’s flower crowns popping against their crisp white dresses and following through to the outdoor ceremony arbour and hanging installation in the tipi. If you don’t pin at least one of these immense set ups I’d be very surprised.
As you’d expect from a festival wedding, there are smiles and laughter ‘a-‘plenty, all captured beautifully by RMW favourite Maryanne Weddings, and none more so than from the bride and groom themselves who enjoy every minute of their unique day.
Sarah the Bride: The venue was one of the first things we decided on…we knew we wanted a blank, but albeit pretty canvas, on which we could create the bohemian, festival feel we really wanted. It was important that we were able to choose our own suppliers and have somewhere our guests could camp for the night so we could continue into the early hours and all enjoy a hearty breakfast together. We also wanted to have the venue for a few days so we didn’t feel rushed when setting up. After visiting a few venues we fell in love with Hadsham due to its secluded nature and wonderful lake… it was so picturesque and provided the perfect backdrop for our day. The owners Charlie and Fiona were more than helpful but not intrusive and during the three day setup (mostly in the rain) the onsite farmer was indispensable, helping us with whatever task we asked of him, when it started to rain he even bolted down in his tractor and covered all our hay bails with a massive tarpaulin to prevent them being soaked. Hadsham farm was relaxed, stylish and fun and that was really what we wanted for the whole wedding.
Bride and Bridesmaids
I knew exactly what I wanted from “the dress”, so after lots of research and a long drive I tried on various carefully selected models only to discover they really didn’t suit me. The second dress shop though was an absolute success as I was open to other styles and ideas. I hadn’t even looked at dresses by the designer Watters but when I saw this one hanging up I knew I had to try it on! It was different to my initial choices but when I tried it on I absolutely loved it and felt like it was made for me. My boho style two piece requirements were adjusted and I had a lovely mixture of that and a more traditional wedding dress. I wasn’t going to have a veil either but after trying one on I decided a definite yes as it really added something to the look. The shoes were a bit more tricky as I didn’t want traditional wedding shoes. In the end I found a bright, flowery pair of heeled sandals in OFFICE and they were perfect. I’m not really a big jewellery person and the only jewellery I wore on the day were my great nan’s pearls which my sister lent to me as my something borrowed, I wore them on my hand and wrist and loved the way they looked.
When it came to bridesmaids dresses the only criteria I had was that the dresses were white and comfortable. The bridesmaids chose their own dresses which were all high street brands and each had a different one which I really loved as they all suited them perfectly and made them feel relaxed and comfortable which suited the theme of the day.
Groom and Groomsmen
Andy had complete free reign on the mens clothes, which was a bit of a gamble, but worked out well in the end! We went with suits from Marc Darcy, which we ordered online. We matched them with some bright floral ties and pocket squares, which were perfect. The main event was the footwear, as all the ushers had different variations of Vans Shoes, which helped to make the suits less formal and brought some colour to the party! Andy was the star of the show and had limited edition Nintendo SNES vans, which he was very happy about.
Judy, our celebrant, had already performed a ceremony at Hadsham Farm and so she had lots of great ideas to help us. We already knew Judy on a bit of a personal note but even if we hadn’t I think we still would of felt as if we did. She treated us so personally, taking all we said into consideration and creating such individualised touches for our big day, all the guests commented on how different and interesting the ceremony was and that was a great achievement for us as we wanted everyone to enjoy it as much as we knew we would.
Highlights included passing the rings around for everyone to give a small blessing to, we also had a hand fasting ritual with lovely ribbons that matched our flowers. One of my favourite moments was the exchanging of “words” we had chosen for each other, Judy set us the task to chose a word that would sum up the other person and they were revealed during the ceremony, this was a really lovely moment and it gave all the guests something to talk about when they were deciding what words they would have chosen. We had one reading which Andys sister Josie chose and personalised for us which was about travelling which is something we all enjoy. The ceremony throughout was perfect and we had some great audience participation which made us really happy. We would definitely advise couples to make sure they have exactly the ceremony that they want, ours was non religious, and every part of it was specifically chosen and customised by us.
From the moment we saw the TeePees we knew we had to have them. We chose the Natural Tent Company who were on hand at every phone call and even travelled back down on the morning of the wedding to make sure everything was in check. No task was too big for them and they met all our crazy demands with precision and confidence.
A Family and Friends affair…
We were extremely lucky in that we had a wedding dream team to help us with every aspect of beautifying the wedding! All we knew was we wanted big and bright…we wanted lots and lots of flowers and we wanted bright colours, other than that we needed a lot of help. Luckily my sister and bridesmaid, Rosie, is owner and florist of ‘A Vintage Wedding‘, Essex wedding florist of the year 2015, so she was clearly number one choice when it came to flowers. Rosie was amazing at advising on all things floral… We had a giant custom-made floral chandelier which hung over the top table which looked absolutely amazing, and the floral arch we got married under was such a beautiful creation. We knew we had asked a lot with the amount of flowers we had requested- along with the floral chandelier and floral arch, myself and my five bridesmaids and two flower girls each had a flower crown. This was in addition to the centrepieces, bouquets, button holes, pew ends…the list goes on. Luckily Rosie was able to pull out all the stops, and with some careful guidance my mum and two of my bridesmaids Sarah and Jemma were able to assist, giving us all the floral delights we wished for.
All of our stationery was designed by Rosie’s husband Steve from SVELTE Design, we gave him some vague ideas and he created fun, quirky invites, name places and table plans which set the feel of the wedding perfectly.
Steve was also on hand to help with all things style as he has such a keen eye for design! On top of all the wonderful flowers, styling and stationery our best man Tom created some absolute master pieces…he handmade all the signs, crates, wooden games and even produced a giant “Wallerfest” banner which hung in the trees on the drive down to the main venue. His speech also consisted of some wonderful handmade props! We felt very, very lucky to have such talented people to help us with all of the planning.
Cake and Favours
My bridesmaid Nicky made the tasty cakes for us. We wanted a few different flavours and we wanted naked cakes. Nicky laid them all out beautifully for us and the cake display really did look amazing with lots of fresh fruit draped over. We had chocolates for favours which were made by two of our best friends Mark and Arwel, and we also made hangover packs for everyone which came in handy after the open bar.
We had two wonderful bands, my friend and colleague Joe performed in the day with his band “Just For Tonight“. Their acoustic set was played throughout the ceremony and meal and it created such a nice atmosphere for the whole day. We knew we wanted to provide a range of drinks for people and Andys mum arranged this all for us and provided her outside bar from Penworth Pub Co. We had a variety of drinks on the tables including bottles of lemon vodka which we used for the toast which really set the reception off. In the evening we had a different band to give Joe the night off…”The Party Starters” were great and the dance floor was full all night! They even did a rendition of my favourite song Chandelier by Sia which was the one of my memorable moments.
We had Saffron Catering for the Wedding Breakfast, and they did a completely bespoke menu for us, which was very unusual and involved some lovely Beef Brisket for main course, and a a selection of our favourite desserts. They were amazing and helped us create the less formal, more casual vibe, without taking away from the quality of the food. On the day they volunteered themselves to helping us with anything that we needed, despite that not being prearranged, they just went beyond the call of duty at every opportunity.
In the evening we had Goujon Monkey and Monday Night Eating Club, both of whom operate out of their own vintage Citroen Vans which matched well with our theme, and they did a selection of amazing fresh food. Goujon Monkey provided the best fish and chips we have ever had, along with deep fried brie and chicken, and Monday Night Eating Club with some amazing premium grilled cheese sandwiches- which was perfect for our ravenous guests.
The best bit of advice we had for the wedding was to choose the photographer carefully as the photos are the thing that will showcase the day forever. We listened, and we have THE BEST photographs. Mary-Anne had worked with my sister on another wedding and so Rosie recommended her to us. We first talked to Mary-Anne through Skype, and we got on really well and she was very likable. When she arrived early on the day she scoped everything out and knew where and when to get some amazing shots, and it was actually great fun having her there. She was great at organising people for the formal shots, and also decided on a perfect balance between some lovely family group photos and the natural ones. We have had so many compliments on the photos, and they are all up on the website for the whole world to see! Can’t recommend her enough!
Framed Beauty did our wedding video, and their team were on site all day and they captured loads of footage- they seemed to be everywhere all the time! After we got back the finished videos, we were amazed with what they had produced and so very happy- our venue has even hired them to do a promotional video for themselves, based on our video.
Hair and Makeup
I find it really difficult to let other people do my makeup and so I knew I was going to struggle with this. I considered doing my makeup myself but I am so glad that I found Sam and changed my mind. She was knowledgeable and patient and willing to try multiple things until we found the right look and makeup that didn’t slip off my face. Tracey Anna was equally brilliant with hair and even with seven people and seven different styles they both managed to pull it off and make us look fully wedding worthy!
Our friends and family were fully involved in the making of this wedding and this is our favourite thing about our big day. Everything seemed more special to us because it was created by someone close to us, even down to chopping a million strawberries for the welcome drinks and I think people really loved being part of that.