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Here Come The Brides.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress.

This morning folks, we bring you…drumroll please…WEDFEST! Or more specifically the fashion filled, floral bursting, DIY extravaganza that is the wedding of Sammy and Jess.

When this gorgeous wedding landed in my lap, courtesy of the blog queen O’Shea, I couldn’t help rubbing my hands together in glee because this big day is a corker folks. Sammy and Jess named their English summer wedding Wedfest and DIY’d and themed their day to festival inspired perfection.

There are tipis, a bountiful supply of beautiful florals, gorgeous fashion (check out the Miu’s) and some amazing cocktails.

So grab a cuppa folks, sit back and drink it all in; we think you’ll love it!

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0001




A West Country Wedding



Jess And Sammy The Brides:We looked at a few local venues in Wiltshire (manor houses, barns etc) and decided that wasn’t for us, our hearts were set on a West Country wedding and with a passion for music and a love of festivals we looked at Tipis. After a trip to Tipi Events in Bristol we were sold. 

Next we needed to find a suitable location, without hesitation Sammy’s Aunty kindly offered her field in the heart of the rural Wiltshire countryside. It meant the world to us to have our blessing in such a special location.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0002 



Hairdresser Extraordinaire


This was an easy one, we both are lucky to have a hairdresser extraordinaire and friend in Judith Rennie owner of Willitt and James in nearby Devizes. We trusted her implicitly to get our styles right and that she did, matching to our personalities and style perfectly and being a great comfort on the morning of our wedding! We did our own make-up – Sammy opting for Chanel, whilst I chose Chanel, Estee Lauder and Mac.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0003

Wedding Day Surprises

Being two brides with particular styles proved tricky on the dress front, we started looking together but quickly decided to view independently – that way we’d save the surprise for the wedding day! Sammy knew she wanted to find a vintage, lacy number and got her vintage inspired Bellini dress from Fur Coat No Knickers.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0004

Meanwhile Jess struggled to find anything for few months, deep down she had always had her heart set on a Jenny Packham dress – combining boho chic with hints of Art Deco. She fell in love with her Luna dress at a Jenny Packham day held at Ellie Sanderson in Oxford.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0005

To complete the look Sammy opted for Miu Miu shoes and vintage jewellery (earrings, watch and belt) and Jess complimented her look with a hand-crafted headpiece from Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe.

With no official bridesmaids we had our fathers and brothers in blue suits and matching ties from Liberty. The flower girls wore dresses from Monsoon and boys wore casual cool shirt and shorts teamed with a pair of cool grey Converse.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0006

WedFest

There was no set colour scheme, but we wanted to bring the outdoors in with wildflowers and bright zesty colours. We named the wedding ‘WedFest’ so everything hung of that as a theme – an English summer festival style wedding. It was the weekend before Glastonbury after all!

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0007

Flowers were an important part of the day and we selected our own from Bristol Flower Market – Brunel Flowers – in the early hours of Thursday before the wedding. We chose seasonal blooms which filled out table settings, jamjars and the flower girl bouquets. The brides bouquets matched and were done by Ammi in Devizes.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0008

A Blessed Feather

We had a humanist ceremony under canvas, which made for a truly intimate setting. Our celebrant Pamela Woodford was simply amazing and had everyone in tears (mostly the men)!

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0009

Our vows were written by both of us independently and were personal to us. We had two readings, one called Signs and the other a traditional blessing read at Apache Native Indian Weddings – our friend Olivia even wrote to the tribe about our same-sex marriage (this is held sacred within their tribe) and got a response which including a blessed feather which we held as she read the reading.

Diamonds

We had Disco Wed DJ at our wedding, they DJ’d from a shed so really fitted the WedFest theme! They did a 12 hour set from 1-1 they were amazing and the music throughout the day was brilliant, no direction required – they just got our taste straight away.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0010

Our first dance was a mix created by our DJ of 4 special songs from our relationship (After 10 years together there are many!!) – including Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ – Jess proposed in New York, and Rihanna ‘Diamonds’ – all our guests stormed the dancefloor!

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0011

Cedric, Janet And Jäger Moo

Our bar was a vintage Citroen van called Cedric and run by the wonderful Rhys from A Couple of Mugs. This was a real highlight of the day, guests could enjoy a mix of beverages, including what became infamous at Wedfest Janet’s Jungle Juice, the Gin and Elderflower fizz and Jäger Moo (Jägermeister and milk) special cocktails.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0012

After the ceremony we served Pimms in jam jars (collected by us) with canapés. Dinner was a rustic hog roast or cooked salmon with a choice of salads. Followed by tea (served in vintage china we collected) and cakes from the cake table – made by our wonderful guests. Later on in the evening we had a graze table that served local cheeses, meats, olives, crisps and snacks for those a little bit peckish after all the dancing.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0013

Finishing Touches

Jess works in the creative design industry so took up the challenge of doing the wedding stationery to give WedFest a consistent look and feel.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0014

All the finishing details were completed by us including the bunting – all 100 meters hand-made by Sammy – as well as Olive Oil favours from Jess’s parents house in Crete and bottled by the family in the UK, personalised ‘tie the knot’ name cards for each guest, suitcase for cards and gifts (a £2 steal at the car booty), china teacups and saucers (again a Sunday car boot challenge), tiered cake-stands – created by Sammy and ‘Here Come the Brides’ sign – and many more details which were lovingly made in the months leading up to the wedding.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0015

A Hidden Gem

Make sure you have some time to yourself during the day, ours was during our photos with photographer Guy and a cheeky bottle of bubbly. Guy was the perfect companion for our day, and of course photographer too. He settled our nerves on arrival and went above and beyond the whole day.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0016

We knew the pictures would be good but we didn’t anticipate just how good; when we saw them tears welled up and our breath was taken away all over again. The moments had truly been captured, over and over again. Guy managed to get key shots and do it without fuss. In fact there were so many shots taken where I didn’t realise he was even there.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0017

We would recommend Guy to anyone who loves the documentary style of photography, he was truly a hidden gem and has given us pictures we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives!! 

Take It From Us

Match your wedding to your personality – we made the day our own and tried not to follow convention unless it felt right.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0018

Don’t underestimate how much time handcrafted weddings take; most of our weekends were spent at car boot sales, doing research or making things!

Having our ceremony under canvas was magical – particularly as we were facing our guests the whole way through. It made the ceremony so emotional and intimate.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0019

Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous – after being embarrassed by our best girls’ speech about a rap Jess wrote about Sam at uni, Jess broke into rap and sang the Fresh Prince – along with the rest of the guests.

A little help from our friends – we ran a cake competition for the guests that made for a sumptuous top table full of delightful treats.

An English summer festival style wedding held in a Tipi with a humanist ceremony with a bride in a Jenny Packham Luna dress and a bride in Miu Miu shoes and a Fur Coat No Knickers Bellini dress._0020

Click here & view all images from this wedding

Tents – Tipi Events
Sammy’s Dress – Fur Coat No Knickers
Jess’ Dress – Jenny Packham ‘Luna’
Boutique – Ellie Sanderson
Headpiece – Silver Sixpence In Her Shoe
Hair – Willitt And James
Florist – Ammi Flowers
Bar – A Couple Of Mugs
Photography – Guy Collier Photography
DJ – Disco Wed

How cute do the flower girls and page boys look with their ‘Here Come The Brides’ banner. Like amazingly so, right?

And the Fresh Prince rap singalong? Blinking genius!

Altogether now…”now, this is a story all about how…”

All my love Lolly xxx

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Love On A Cliff Top.

We have got a rustic riot of a wedding for you today… We have some really delicious D.I.Y stationery, D.I.Y maids and colour-pop groomsmen. And to top it off we have a huge old London bus, some fantastic fashion and rustic mis-match blooms.

Talking of fashion, if you decide that you love Laura’s simple and elegant Stephanie Allin dress a little bit too much then never fear – it could actually be yours as it is currently for sale on Undress.

Something to think about while all that gorgeous imagery soaks in, which has been provided today by Source Images. They are a creative force to be reckoned with.

10 Years To The Day.

Gavin and I got married in August, on our 10th year ‘anniversary’. The wedding was held in a sweet little cliff top church (with two resident sheep who roam the graveyard). Our vicar did a wonderful job and it was a really lovely, personal service. After the ceremony our guests drank some champagne and ate some strawberries, while Gavin and I nipped down to the beach for some photographs. We then all headed off to our venue, Hales Hall in London – a la Will and Kate in Mum’s little car.

13 Dress Shops.

My dress was Marnie, by Stephanie Allin and took me ages to find. Mum and I went to London (thrice!) Birmingham, Liverpool, Norwich and I ended up getting it at in the thirteenth shop I went to – Ellie Sanderson in Oxford. Initially I was ready to buy a different Allin gown, Lilly, which was a lace version of the one I ended up with, but the girls in the shop made me put Marnie on just to be sure. I came out smiling and when I saw Mum she burst into tears. It was the first dress she’d cried for so I bought it there and then!

Overkill?

Although I struggled to find my dress I knew I wanted a veil. Every time I put one on I did the aaaah face and I really loved the romance of them. I was definitely a veil girl. So I can’t believe I forgot to wear it! My brothers, who gave me away, pointed it out just before we walked into the church. My first words to Gavin, into the microphone clipped on his collar were “I don’t have my veil!” He laughed, I relaxed and our wedding began.

I wore the Jenny Packham Acacia II band instead of a tiara and a gorgeous necklace from Stephanie Browne. I decided my relatively plain dress gave me some leeway to have a bit of extra sparkle. Although I know both were a bit of an overkill I absolutely adored them and couldn’t choose between them. So had both.

An Excuse To Shop.

I saw the wedding as the chance to buy my first pair of really amazing shoes, but I soon learnt that my fat feet do not squeeze into anything Net a Porter were able to offer me. I ended up with a blueish pair from LK Bennett, which I ruined seconds before I walked up the aisle by getting the heel stuck in the church drain!

Girl Talk.

Melissa Abel was my make up artist and she was absolutely wonderful. She was so sweet with my emotional Mum and joined in with the girl talk all morning long while my bridesmaids grilled her for make up tips. She even helped me assemble the origami-folding-card-type-thing Gavin made for me for the morning of the wedding and then quickly put it aside before any tears could ruin my make up! I felt a much prettier version of my normal self, but still like me which was exactly what I wanted and the make up didn’t budge a bit all day!

James Webber, my hairdresser was equally amazing. Not only did he supply much entertainment in the morning (keeping us all in fits of giggles) he managed to transform my 5 bridesmaids, my Mum and me in the space of a couple of hours with time for making cups of tea too! I absolutely loved his creation for my wedding day hair.

No Rhyme Or Reason.

I was adamant from the beginning that I wanted to do our flowers. We spent many months collecting jam jars (the amount of Nutella shaped jars became a running joke throughout the day – what wedding day diet?!) to which we tied different bits of pretty white lace around. Claire, our lovely florist, sourced the flowers for me and gave me tips on how to ‘assemble’ them.

As with everything else with the wedding, there was no rhyme or reason, colour or theme to guide our choice of flowers. It was just a case of saying what we liked and hoping it would all come together.

D.I.Y Dresses.

I designed the bridesmaid dresses for my wonderful Mum to make. She did all of them, including my niece’s stunning mass of tulle. Very proud of Mum and her many skills! For the page boys we opted for very casual blue linen shirts and grey linen chinos which we managed to pick up in H&M. Bargain!

Gavin took complete control over the groomsmen’s outfits. Neither of us are big fans of Morning Suits or overly formal wedding attire so Gavin bought his groomsmen grey trousers with matching waistcoats and got each of them a different brightly coloured tie with a matching pair of socks to wear. I wasn’t sure it would work, but knew I didn’t really care if it didn’t and since Gavin wanted it so much it was nice not to have a part in that bit of the planning.

Saville Row.

Gavin went to Mark Marengo on Saville Row for his three piece suit. They really impressed us with their wonderful service and Gavin enjoyed the whole experience; he had more fittings than I did! It was when we were alone together in the car on our way to the venue that I first properly looked at him and took in the fact he was my husband. He looked so happy, so proud and so incredibly handsome.

Sourcing Talent.

We chose Source Images as our photographers because we really loved their style. Having had an engagement shoot with them already, we knew we would love the pictures and we do! We are really looking forward to visiting their studio and selecting pictures for the album, but have no idea how we will choose which ones to include amongst all our favourite images.

Amazing Highlights.

Our videographer, Rupert Ward Lewis, was lovely. I’d only spoken to him on the phone until the day of the wedding, but felt completely at ease with him from the word go. We are so happy with the footage he captured of the day and are amazed at his skill in editing sections of the day into the film highlight that he makes.

14 Cakes.

As part of the afternoon tea we served, my auntie made 14 cakes the day before the wedding. Lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge, chocolate floral cakes, the list went on and they were absolutely delicious. I will never know how she found the time to do it!

We didn’t really need a wedding cake as well, especially as Gavin insisted we had a cake of cheese, but I still wanted one for the tradition. So we had a simple three tier cake of chocolate, sponge and fruitcake from M&S. It took me about 4 hours to make the wedding topper, using the same Laura Ashley wallpaper we used for all of the stationery.

School Prom Memories.

We booked the Lee Vasey Band for our evening entertainment and they were incredible. So so talented and they kept the dancefloor packed all night.

We really agonised over our first dance. Having been together for so long, we had so many songs we could have chosen and we were both conscious that ‘our’ song was a complete cheese fest. It appears near the top of every wedding song list and I can’t watch the video to it without squirming. But it was our song and it had been for 10 years, ever since we danced together to it at our school prom when we were 16. With hindsight I’m sure Gavin would like to go back to his 16 year old self and choose a slightly cooler song to request the DJ to play, but trying to re-write our history to make us seem that bit edgier to the people who love us the most would have been completely ridiculous.

So we proudly danced to Lonestar’s Amazed and it was one of my favourite bits of the day. Listening to Gavin whispering the words in my ear and looking up and seeing all of our friends smiling at us really got to me and I spent half the dance trying to hide in Gavin’s armpit so people didn’t realise I was crying! The cheese element was completely removed as it was played live by the band and they did an incredible job.

Anything But You.

The favours were another one of Gavin’s wedding ideas. One of my first birthday presents from him was a homemade mixtape of songs and he wanted to recreate that idea for the favours. So we had 15 songs on a CD, titled “Love is a Mix Tape” which spanned the significant songs of our relationship.

He cheekily added a ‘hidden track’ to the CD, a silly song we’d recorded on his iPhone (our own lyrics to the ‘Anything But You’ song by Juno). I can’t believe he put it on there, but it went down well with our guests, to my embarrassment!

Vintage Crockery And Laura Ashley.

Hales Hall is so beautiful it needs very little in terms of decoration. The mass of different colours from all of the vintage crockery I’d collected and the pretty flowers on the tables were more than enough to make it look beautiful. The stationery took more time than anything else as I did it all myself. I found it so hard to find invitations I liked and couldn’t find anyone to make them for me because I couldn’t really articulate what I wanted. It involved about 20 rolls of wallpaper from Laura Ashley, lots of scalpel cuts and a lot of love, but I think it was all worth it in the end.

Make Some Time.

In terms of advice I would say try to factor in to your day some time where you and your husband are able to spend some time alone – to take it all in and to say the things you want to say to each other without anyone else being around.

Oh and don’t forget your veil, don’t break your shoes, try on your garter before the day (mine fell down mid ceremony, leaving it for Gavin to wave around to everyone!) and remember your carefully packed, specially bought, overnight bag so your Mum doesn’t have to drive back to the venue in the middle of night after realising you’ve forgotten it. How incompetent do I sound?

In all seriousness, remember that NONE of the little tiny details you spend so long agonising over actually matter. Our wedding was the day I MARRIED my best friend, the man I adored, the best bit of me, in front of all the people I loved and THAT was all that could ever be important.

Venue Hales Hall

Dress Stephanie Allin

Boutique Ellie Sanderson

Make-up Melissa Abel

Hair James Webber

Tailor Mark Marengo

Photography Source Images

Band Lee Vasey Band

So, what do you think? I love the shots of Laura in the cardi – very casual chic (is that a thing?) And Gavin scrubs up pretty well too in his grey Mark Marengo number.

Lots a pieces of inspiration folks, some of which you could even own – remember the Stephanie Allin dress from today’s wedding could be yours, take a peek over on Undress for more details.

Adam.

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