Kirsty and Tom’s village hall wedding is absolutely brimming with gorgeous vintage and handmade details, and there’s not a scrap of bunting in sight.
I’m particularly loving the table plan, which was created with an old door and some glass paint.
The flowers in soft pastel tones are also exquisite – the lovely couple are lucky enough to have a whizz florist as a friend.
These colours were reflected in the outfits for the wedding party, with the Bridesmaids looking fresh and pretty in dresses from the high street, and the boys totally nailing their self-proclaimed ‘English Country Gangster’ look.
The whole wedding was a proper family affair too, with Kirsty’s Mum and Dad helping to either grow, collect or make most of the decor.
Kirsty The Bride: I found my dress at Glory Days Vintage in York – it was first dress I tried on – a silk jacquard, 1940s dress with a beautiful leaf pattern and a bow at the back.
I loved the train and the fabric but the dress had long sleeves and didn’t feel summery enough. Hayley at Glory Days Vintage removed the sleeves and reworked the back to incorporate a stunning V back to meet the bow.
We wanted a blank canvas in a beautiful countryside location – therefore, village halls seemed a natural fit for our search. However, finding a village hall that can comfortably seat 125 people for dinner is no easy task.
Our google searches for ‘the largest village hall in England’ kept bringing up one result – Wistanstow Village Hall in South Shropshire.
On New Year’s Day we were driving to see my parents in Shropshire from London and decided to take a detour to see the village hall. The doors to the hall happened to be open so we walked in and knew instantly that we’d found our venue. The village setting was beautiful and it had its own field at the back (usually used by the local primary school for sports days).
When the wonderfully laid back and flexible caretaker, Carole, told us that hall could be hired for the days preceding and the entire weekend for a standard community rate (no increase when you mentioned the ‘w’ word) – and that the field would be thrown in for free – we were sold.
The decor for the outdoor part of the day was a village fete theme (but with bunting banned!) My dad grew about 20 types of herbs in terracotta pots which we scattered around the marquees. We made all the signage with reclaimed wood, blackboard paint and white paint pens.
Inside the village hall, it was a more formal look with rows of tables decorated with vintage crockery – sourced painstakingly by us and my Mum from charity shops. She also starched white sheets to use as tablecloths, helped me to make 125 napkins from old vintage tablecloths and made over 100 pom poms. We simply couldn’t have done it without her.
We used books with fun titles as our table names and our table plan was written with paint pens on an old glazed door that we found at a car boot sale. We wrote our guest’s names on wooden lolly sticks and placed them in the teacups.
Our lovely friend and brilliant florist Adam J Knights was the only choice. Adam is amazingly creative and has a passion for classic, antique designs.
Our assumption that it is possible to get legally married in a location of your own choosing proved to be wrong. It seemed that if we wanted to get married in a field, it would have to be a humanist ceremony with a legal service to take place later.
We began researching celebrants but soon decided that the best person to perform the ceremony would be someone who knew us both as a friend and who we knew would do a great job of conducting a special service. My university friend, Owen Glyndwr Parry, now a performance artist, sprang to mind immediately and were we proved so right.
Even though the threat of rain turned me into a meteorological obsessive in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I would have an outdoor wedding again in a heart beat. The location was so beautiful, it was a lovely sunny afternoon and it felt really special having the ceremony in such a unique setting in front of a huge tree.
We legally married four days later on our honeymoon at San Francisco City Hall with my Uncle and his family as our witnesses. The ceremony only took three minutes and was a bit of a formality but it was a lovely occasion and gave us another excuse to wear our outfits!
We knew we wanted an accordion player to play during the afternoon but finding one proved a bit of a hard task. In the end, we persuaded a local and very talented accordion tutor, Ed Moseley, to entertain our guests and he didn’t disappoint.
Tim at Shropshire Hog Roasts pulled out all the stops and laid on an afternoon tea with sandwiches and scones in the afternoon followed by a three course, sit down meal with a hog roast main (of course!)
In the evening, the remaining hog was barbecued alongside hot dogs and ribs. Mum and I made a cake of cheese and our M&S three-tier cake was decorated with fresh flowers.
Bethan Jones of Haywood Jones Photography was absolutely phenomenal. Her ability to capture natural moments so perfectly really bought our wedding to life.
One tip for beautiful, handmade programmes – don’t tie them with string, sew them down the centrefold using a sewing machine. It’s much quicker and they’ll look really neat. No danger of the pages falling out either!