At home weddings are so special on so many levels. Not only do you get to celebrate in the place that you are probably most at ease, but you also get do things your way.
Freya & Harry’s intimate marquee reception in her parents garden was inspired by their wedding two years previous. Shying away from a larger scale venue and being the centre of attention and opting for a budget friendly, low key and down to earth approach full of fun, family, friends and DIY.
I love that every last detail was crafted and put together by the Bride & Groom themselves. Even handpicking flowers for the collected jam jars as table centrepieces and cleverly sourcing a sample Mori Lee wedding dress off eBay, which Freya looks utterly divine wearing.
Although some very clever money saving decisions were made in the run up to this wedding, the out come is simply priceless…..
I literally ooh-ed and ahh-ed my way through these adorable pictures captured by Mike & Tom of Emma & Toms wedding.
Each one displays SO much love, affection and utter delight as they tenderly hold hands, embrace and enjoy every single minute of their wedding day surrounded by their loved ones.
The marquee reception was held at their local cricket club (as the Groom is a major cricket fan) looked absolutely beautiful. Family & friends all helped to collect jam jars and vintage china so a wonderful afternoon tea wedding breakfast could be served, surrounded by the vases and jam jars filled with flowers as centrepieces.
This certainly is a fine example of a beautiful wedding on a budget with priceless moments.
What an elegant and sophisticated affair – but then the Groom wore his military uniform and the bride wore “Gracie” by Suzanne Neville so as far as the fashion is concerned, you’re on to a sure fire timeless winner.
I love the soft colour palette, pretty blooms and the abundance of lights in the marquee. And you can’t get more personal than having your reception in your parents back garden can you? Make sure you have a read of Emily and Jack’s choice of menu, I guarantee you’ll be reaching for the nearest available biscuit/cake/kitkat (delete as appropriate) afterwards.
Imagine having the love of your life writing and performing an original song just for you on your wedding day? Well that’s exactly what Groom Nick did for his gorgeous Bride Joanna on their wedding day; oh how I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that performance, I bet there wasn’t a dry eye in the house *swoon*
That’s not the only romantic musical reference at this fabulous rustic wedding. Joanna and Nick also included the most adorable song lyrics as table names, all loving crafted by their Bridesmaid. Which leads me onto Joanna’s talented Mum who hand sewed all the Bridesmaids gowns! Honestly everybody is SO clever and couldn’t do enough for this fabulous couple. Joanna even turned her hand to a spot of baking and made a delicious cupcake tower!
Full to bursting with love, family, close friends and SO many personal and homemade touches, you’re going to LOVE it!
For the final contender for our Budget/DIY Real Bride Blogger role, we have Abi and Mike…
Voting is now open – please think about the entry who’s writing you most enjoyed and who’s wedding you would most like to see after all the planning then cast your vote!
On the 8th June 2012 I will marry my best friend. He makes me laugh every single day and I literally cannot imagine my life without him.
Shortly after our 8 year anniversary we were staying in Bath for a long weekend and when I got engaged I didn’t have any clothes on….not a single shred….. Yes I was nahhhked (Just to set the scene, I was getting ready to go out for dinner, we are not naturists or anything exciting like that ;o)
So we were getting ready to go out:
Him: Can you get that hat out of the bag for me?
Me: ‘Don’t be stupid you can’t wear that out…’ (a red and white stripey WALES hat)
Him: ‘Its freezing out…. please’
I was thinking ‘I bloody hate that hat’…
Him: ‘Put it on…’
Me: (laughing) why? *remember I’m naked with a Wheres Wally hat in hand…..
Wrapped inside the hat is a small white box.
Me: (laughing crying) Is this what I think it is?’
And he proved he could still surprise me, even after 8 years……
The wedding will hopefully be a fully clothed affair. We are getting married and having our reception in a converted barn not far from Bath.
So other than the barn and a photographer… everything else is pretty flexible at the moment. But the key thing for us will be to save money where we can so although I don’t consider myself to be particularly DIY savvy: I’ll have to learn and get help from friends!
Things that might/will/hopefully be DIY; Invites, Menu, Table Plan, Table and Place names, Favours, Cakes, Centrepieces.
Fortunately, getting married in a Barn means that any shabby looking DIY can be passed off as as rustic!
We hope we can have:
A fantastic barbeque, an unforgettable celebration, vodka jelly shots, a cake table, a variety of music, silliness, having an amazing time with friends and family, dancing until the music stops, funny little details, LOVE letters, rustic details such as jars with wild flowers and wicker hearts, table names to make people smile, speeches that make people laugh, a ceremony that represents us, bright nail varnish, a large plastic daisy ring, flowers in my hair, beer, wine, pimms, Mikes made up cocktails, motown, music from across the decades, everyone dancing and singing along and oh and urm 2 honeymoons….
Dislikes so far:
I really don’t want a dress that’s too tight or that I cannot dance in, I don’t really want too much time spent taking pictures. I don’t want to worry too much about perfection (although easier said than done!) and I hope that I can still be easy going and try and laugh off any minor issues….
I am also very very concerned about Mikes orange suit threats….
If I became a real RMW bride I promise to share the funny stories and situations that arise during planning, I will ask for your advice (probably on more than one occasion) and hopefully as I learn new DIY skills and tips for wedding planning, I will pass it on to other brides to be.
Abi ‘lady harhar’ & Mike
This is the final entry in this category. Voting is now OPEN! Vote by writing VOTE (or commenting) in the comment box of the bride you want to vote for. Please vote only once per category (ie Modern Elegance, DIY etc.) If you wish to vote in secret send the name of your chosen couple to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Voting will close at 12pm on Friday 1st July.
For our third DIY/Budget entry, we have Laura and Pete and their festival inspired wedding…
Hello there. I’m Laura and I’d love to write for RMW.
I’ve been engaged for a grand total of three weeks.
Pete (The Fiancée) and I live in a high-rise block with a balcony over looking London. As we’re on the top floor we also have access to the roof.
On the evening of my birthday I was sitting on the sofa minding my own business, while Pete was making dinner in the kitchen. Or so I thought. My phone rang. It was Pete and he asked me to come up to the roof. My heart was in my mouth as I climbed up – not because it’s dangerous but because I kind of wondered if what I thought was going to happen actually was going to happen.
I found Pete waiting with a picnic blanket and a bottle of champagne. He told me that he loves me more than anything in the world and that he wants to grow old with me. And then he got down on one knee… It was wonderful and perfect and I said YES! So now I’m engaged, excited and more than a little bit nervous about having a wedding to plan, if the truth be known.
The type of wedding that Pete and I want is pretty eclectic and non-traditional. I suppose out of all the categories suggested by RMW, we fit into DIY the best but we’re also aiming for vintage inspired-eco-friendly-festival-fun with bright colours and splash of 50s styling.
Pete and I go to the Secret Garden Party festival every year so we wanted our wedding to take a bit of inspiration from that. We’ll do the legal bit the day before and then we’ll have an out doors ceremony, (humanist in origin but conducted by our Wiccan friend) followed by a festival style party in marquee, with bands, power ballads and all of our friends camping on site.
We’re both photography junkies – I have just started shooting weddings myself, so there’s even more reason for me to be obsessed with RMW – and we’re thinking about doing some of the photography ourselves on Lomography Fisheye cameras. I’d quite like Pete and I both to take a picture of the look on each other’s faces as I walk up the aisle!
We want everyone who’s coming to celebrate with us to be involved as much as possible and I’m planning to hold crafting parties where my friends and make bunting, fabric flowers, tissue paper pom-poms and pinwheels to decorate the venue.
Most of all we want to the day to be laid back, fun and to reflect our personalities and how much we love each other (I make no apology for the gushing sentiment because I’m very HAPPY). We also want to throw a brilliant party for our friends and family to enjoy.
It would be great to be able to share our planning experiences on RMW, as well as having a record of the highs and the lows (not too many of those, please!).
Thanks for reading.
This is the third of four entries in this category. Voting will not open until all four entries have been posted. Vote by writing VOTE (or commenting) in the comment box of the bride you want to vote for. Please vote only once per category (ie Modern Elegance, DIY etc.) If you wish to vote in secret send the name of your chosen couple to: email@example.com. Voting will close at 12pm on Friday 1st July.
Please welcome the second of our DIY/Budget brides, Amanda and her fiance Darren…
Once again, voting will not open until all 4 entries have been posted, please then come back and cast your vote for your favourite!
The risk of April showers, a ceremony in an Art Gallery and a reception in a deconsecrated gothic Chapel… now do you want to read more?
Darren and I met on a practice blind date…
The first I saw of Darren was in a photo, looking like David Tennant: thin and holding a sonic screwdriver. I was NOT impressed but needed to get back on the dating scene. So after a bit of encouragement I went. Now it’s 1½ years later and we’ve been engaged for six months already. So yes I guess you could say it’s been a bit of a whirlwind romance…
But I hear you say, how did he propose… well first I should say Darren is an Architectural Technician and runs his own company. I’m an Artist and Graphic Design teacher, so both creative!
Anyway back to the point… Darren and I had known quite early on how we felt; we’d named our kids about two months in. We were talking more and more about getting married, our friends and parents knew. I was by this point on RMW every week (It is of course now DAILY) but had no ring!! He’d convinced me that the ring would appear in the future…
On my birthday morning, as soon as I’m awake I demand my present. So with morning breath, bad hair and PJ’s all still in place, in comes a large box. Darren plugs it in and I start unwrapping, it’s an optician’s light box but I’m dyslexic, so it takes a little while for me to see my name ‘Darren it says my name, Darren why does it say my name?’. Yes that’s right it reads: ‘Will you Marry Me Amanda Champness Nov Ten Twenty Ten’… And you think that’s good, ten minutes later once I’d stopped wailing enough to see again, I see my ring! It’s been designed by Darren and made by my jewellery designer friend. A complete one off!
So now for the wedding, the date is set 14th April 2012, the budget is set: £5000 because we’re not wealthy and we didn’t want to borrow, the venues booked, menu selected (Bangers and Mash!) and that’s it! So SO much more to do!!! As for scale, it’s big: 80+ for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and an extra 80+ for the evening.
And for this we want a beautiful hand crafted completely ‘Our Day Our Way’ affair… A no colour scheme, floral wonderland of mis-matched wonders and DIY. Homemade just about everything, pies, cake, vases, bouquets, decorations, invites, entertainment…. with everyone being a part of the affair!!! Oh and the ceremony set-up/decoration is totally unseen before!!!
As an artist/graphic teacher marrying an architectural technician there our BIG expectations especially as I can’t stop telling EVERYONE just how great it’s going to be!!! So I’d really cherish the chance to share my details and DIY plans with you all… Plus to be on RMW would really ROCK MY WORLD!!!
This is the second of four entries in this category. Voting will not open until all four entries have been posted. Vote by writing VOTE (or commenting) in the comment box of the bride you want to vote for. Please vote only once per category (ie Modern Elegance, DIY etc.) If you wish to vote in secret send the name of your chosen couple to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Voting will close at 12pm on Friday 1st July.
Yay! It’s time to meet more of your potential future Real Bride Bloggers! Todays category is DIY and Budget and we have got some corkers for you! They are all very different and once again, voting will not open until all four entries have been posted. So please think carefully about who’s writing you enjoy reading and who’s wedding you would like to see in all it’s glory at the end of their planning.
First up, please welcome Jade and Alex…
Let me introduce us- I’m Jade Hardy, and my awesome hubby-to-be is Alex Boekestijn (I know, right? That surname’s gonna earn me a lifetime of ‘and how do you spell that?’ joy…) We got engaged this January after 2 years together, and we’re planning on getting spliced next August, in a super-laid-back-wedding-in-a-field!
Now, my fella’s a complete sweetie, but a little bit…socially awkward, shall we say? He’s more than a little shy, and most definitely not the sort to do anything to draw attention to himself- yet he put this all to one side to blow my socks off with his proposal. It’s my favourite story to tell, but I’ll keep it brief for now- suffice to say, my ring was couriered to our table in our favourite pie pub by a pug wearing a flashing bow-tie. ‘Nuff said!
Even before we got engaged, I loved reading wedding blogs and websites. So much pretty! Having only been to a few weddings, I’ve only known the standard church ceremony/hotel after party formula. And although I’ve loved my buddies weddings, that style just isn’t for me. I couldn’t imagine standing in a receiving line (Alex isn’t the only one who doesn’t like drawing attention to himself!), having the usual soup/chicken in sauce/profiteroles dinner, dancing to a cheesier than cheese on toast DJ- none of it is stuff we’d do normally, so why do it on our wedding day? Luckily Alex feels the same- and finding alternative wedding sites like RMW, Ruffled and Any Other Wedding has been such an eye opener! Cue lots of ‘Dude, come look at this!’ ‘Aaaaaaaalex- Pimms in jam jars- genius!!’ and ‘I like this- but we can make it ourselves, right?’
So we’re doing it ‘our way’- with a little help from our friends (insert Marti Pellow crooning here) We’ve already found our venue, an amazing find through a friend of a friend- a local heavy horse sanctuary, which houses several of Britain’s biggest Shire horses, and several diddy Shetland ponies with attitude problems- ASBO ponies at our wedding, effing awesome, right?! They’re being ace enough to let us use their fields- the ‘catch’ being we have to do everything else ourselves. Right from the outdoor hay-bale-seating ceremony, to the afternoon-tea-party style dinner, to the barn dance at the end. And we’re so excited about it!
So please consider us if you’d like to hear more ramblings about finding the perfect (read: cheapest!) marquee, finding wedding shoes that will withstand stomping around in a field all day, getting RSI from sewing a million miles worth of bunting, and buying the local charity shops out of china!
Oh, and did I mention? There will be a PUG BRIDESMAID. Yes, you read that right.
This is the first of four entries in this category. Voting will not open until all four entries have been posted. Vote by writing VOTE (or commenting) in the comment box of the bride you want to vote for. Please vote only once per category (ie Modern Elegance, DIY etc.) If you wish to vote in secret send the name of your chosen couple to: email@example.com. Voting will close at 12pm on Friday 1st July.
See, we’re not making you wait long for part 2 this week are we lovelies?
And it’s a good job too because Diana and Harry’s Mad Men inspired W-day is too gorgeous to be kept a whole 24 hours away frankly.
Make sure you check out the clever use of knitwear by the bride, keeping you cosy AND looking mighty fabulous.
Our Favourite Part
The ceremony was our favourite part of the day; we loved planning this more than any other part of the whole wedding. We involved everyone important to us and made it FUN. We had the bridal party walk down to the theme tune of the American TV Series ‘The Office’ played by my cousin on piano. The best part of this is that now when we watch the TV programme we always smile and think back at the wedding. I then walked down the aisle with both of my parents to Cat Steven’s ‘Don’t be shy’. This song was important to me especially because I knew I would be nervous and it helped to relax me.
For our readings, one of my closest friends who flew to London from South Korea gave a reading from when the state of Massachusetts legalised gay marriage. It’s an important issue for us and meant a lot to have it incorporated in the ceremony. We asked Harry’s dad to play guitar and a friend of ours, Orakle, gave an incredible rendition of Paul McCartney’s Calico Skies. A lovely couple that we adore did our final reading. We sent them a number of our emails spanning 5 years. As Harry and I spent a lot of time apart the long distance love letters were a special reading. The specific emails they chose to read were left a surprise and it was truly special! When it was time to sign the marriage certificate, Harry and I asked our Grandmas to be our witnesses. This was one of the best decisions we made.
Finally we walked down the aisle to the music from Up on piano, played by my cousin.
We knew we wanted cupcakes and were originally set on making our own. We realised though that with the stress of the wedding and the small space of our kitchen icing the cakes in the run up to the big day would not be very practical. Instead, we found Cat and the Cream cupcakes. Cat met us a few times in our local pub to get an idea of what we wanted. We told her about things we liked, including the film Up and that we loved the style of Mad Men.
The end result was an Up styled house surrounded by balloons as a top tier and delicious cupcakes. Cat was flexible with dietary needs, baking gluten free cakes for some of our guests. We indulged in Red Velvet, Pumpkin, Cinnamon and Ginger, White Chocolate and Cranberry and Dark Chocolate and Cherry. Cat specialises is unique flavours, amazing designs and utilises local and organic ingredients.
Capturing The Day
Our photographer is a PhD student at the university that I work at. I’d seen his photos for our student handbook and found out that he’d also done a few weddings. We met a few times to discuss what we wanted and agreed a very reasonable rate. I’d heard horror stories of brides hiring ‘student photographers’ but having looked through his portfolio I felt more relaxed. And, he did not disappoint. He was amazing on the day, capturing the atmosphere perfectly and blending well with our guests. In the end we were completely satisfied and would happily recommend Dan Werdlow.
Up Up And Away
We went back and forth between hiring a photobooth and not spending a large sum of money on something some guests might not take to… so after finding some examples online we decided to go with a polaroid styled guestbook. We bought a Fuji Instax camera, which is basically a polariod with slightly different dimensions. The camera and the film were much cheaper, however! We bought some props for our guests, themed around Mad Men (a trilby, thick rimmed glasses, gloves, etc) but we all got too caught up in the day that we forgot to bring them out from under the table!
Still, our guests loved taking photos and signing the book. I knew also that we didn’t just want our guests’ signatures so we prompted some of the pages with questions ‘What is your favourite memory of the couple’ and ‘Love means…’ We got lots of thoughtful and fun responses from our guests and included photo mounts so they could put the polaroid straight into the book.
The guestbook itself was purchased off of Etsy and is a take on Ellie’s Adventure book from Up. Since coming back from our honeymoon we have been adding photos to it and do plan on using it as our ‘adventure book’ for the rest of our lives. We also wanted something fun as a cardbox and in keeping with the Up theme asked a friend to bring over a US mailbox. He managed to fit into his luggage luckily and we had fun painting our names and handprints.
We found the venue was actually so beautiful that Harry and I felt like we didn’t need to dress it up much… in fact, we did what we could do make it feel less ornate and more homely. We recruited my best friend and her mum to make some bunting, which hung in the ceremony room and along the head table. We also recruited some friends to help with decorating some tea lights. We bought plain tea light holders and glued tissue paper over them. The result was subtle but the glow was soft and beautiful.
We also ordered tea-stained American flag bunting which hung around a framed Union Jack that the venue had on their wall.
Long Distance Love
Our first date was at a gig and Harry and I both love music. As a result, we have a number of special songs but none seemed suitable for a first dance. It was actually when Harry was playing Bioshock on Xbox that he suggested ‘Somewhere Beyond the Sea’ by Bobby Darin. The game actually does have a great soundtrack. The song also seemed to represent our long distance love story and is beautiful as well.
We loved having the wedding in the Autumn, which for me meant a dream drinks reception. My favourite winter drink is mulled wine and my favourite summer drink is Pimms… so we decided to do both, justified entirely on the fact that Autumn lies between Winter and Summer. The venue didn’t question us and the guests loved both drinks, especially the American guests who hadn’t had Pimms before. And yes, I had both!
Don’t be afraid to put your trust in people. It was sometimes hard to let go of control! Also, have fun planning and make sure both of you are equally involved. Harry started out a bit disengaged from the process but got excited about his suit, choosing the music and by the end was fully involved with all details, including bunting and especially cake!!
It just goes to show ANYTHING goes when it comes to including in your wedding day whatever it is you love the most, be it a certain colour, a particular bloom or your favourite TV show.
With HUGE Thanks to Diana and Harry for sharing the thought provoking words and general loveliness.