I’ve been looking forward to blogging Daisy and Jon’s wedding for a very long time…
When photographer Lucy Turnbull showed me the images from their Bristol ceremony – I just knew their three day wedding extravaganza would be seriously fun…it’s just exactly how I want my wedding to be – relaxed, full of fun and as looooong as possible!!
It began with Daisy and Jon looking fabulous for an intimate ceremony at the registry office in Bristol, followed by a boat trip and a delicious looking dinner at The Olive Shed.
The next day, family and friends gathered at Daisy’s Mum’s house for a huge party in a Yurt – filled with colourful fabrics, candle light and all sorts of wonderful decor. And for the Sunday – a hog roast and a football match were the order of the day.
I’m going to pass you over to Daisy, as she has written (by her own admission) a dissertation on her wedding…
So grab a cup of tea, settle down and enjoy the beautiful photography from Lucy and the infectiously fun words from Daisy.
I also snuck off to Atelier hairdressers in Clifton for a quick wash and blow dry as I am super rubbish at making it look all nice and swishy myself – swishy seems to be the key word for the Bristol wedding look!
Jon chose to wear a much loved pair of jeans with a lovely linen shirt and new blazer from Maze in Clifton. He topped it off with a snazzy little handkerchief detail that matched my skirt – super smooth Mr Bass!
For the Devon wedding I needed to be able to pick up my skirts and run through the woods in a Lydia Bennet style as is my way, so it was pretty clear from very early on that this would be a wellie led dress. My first purchase needless to say was some Gold Hunters! Then came a a bit of a hunt on line before I visited The Mews to see if they had any floaty french numbers as these had really caught my eye on my endless pinterest searches!
The Ruiz dress by Laure de Sagazan felt amazing straight away so I blew my budget and just went for it! Best decision ever, it felt effortless and lovely as did my little indian slippers I found for £8 (smug bargain finding face!)
One of my best memories was following a little trail of tea lights through the woods to our wedding night yurt in the gold wellies with my dress floating behind me – safe to say it is now COVERED in mud nearly up to the waist – a sign of a fun wedding me thinks!
I also wore an awesome cape that belonged to my Mum’s Aunt and that Mum and rather a few of her friends and relatives lined with red silk, finishing it on the morning of the wedding day as it had been eaten by moths!
Our friend Fiona from Beehive Brides did my hair – it was lovely and natural, she is a real creative when it comes to hair and makeup and specialises in vintage looks but for me it was all about looking natural and feeling myself wit a bit of a bohemian/period drame esqe twist (no pressure then…)
Jon left his suit buying to about a month before the wedding! But he was always going to get a lovely casual number from Hoko in Clifton village. He wore a blue Our Legacy suit with Grenson Derby shoes and an open white Oliver Spencer Shirt (after a tiny nudge from me!- hate ties!) and looked – if I don’t say so myself – pretty damn hunky despite the onion bahji mark on the back of his trousers all through the ceremony and the fact that he left his trousers in the road and mixed up the shoes so that he arrived at the place he was getting ready with one brown shoe and one black one and no trousers! (I hope you are picking up on the clear signs of an ultra calm groom here!)
We went for the registry office in The Old Council House in Bristol because we wanted to keep the Thursday low key and save the big ceremony for the Saturday wedding. For us Thursday was about having our real nearest and dearest watch us do the legal bit and all have a delicious meal together and just take some time to prepare ourselves for what we were about to do.
We walked to the Old Council House with our photographer taking a few pics on the way in some of our favourite Bristol haunts with an important stop off for a sneaky bacon sarnie (essential pre wedding fodder for a Bride!) and then afterwards we all took a little ferry to The Olive Shed for an amazing tapas feast. It was perfect and was in some ways my favourite day as it was just so relaxed and unstressful.
For the weekend at my Mum’s home, it was always about colour, colour, colour. Jon loves all things bright and colourful and we had been living in a red and yellow shed for two years by then so we had got very attached to the primary colour thing! There was also a real festival feel about the wedding with a bit of a flavour of India, both of which have been big parts of my life and so naturally an indian/festival/colourful wedding was on the cards…We basically wanted our wedding to feel like a great big happy, colourful, relaxed celebration from the heart.
So…we knew we were having Indian food and that we had the amazing Hooes Yurts and my Mum’s home as a backdrop where there were compost loos, a little under cover stage and an old Engine House ruin. The rest was up to us to get creative and as this is so very much my thing, I have to say I probably went just a tad overboard!
Going up in a hot air balloon was part of the proposal and is a big part of being from Bristol so I made red, yellow, orange and pink hot air balloons from lamp shades with my friend Hanelle which we hung in the yurt and lit up with little hanging battery powered fairy lights at night, they looked amazing and were great prezzies for all the little flower girls and page boys afterwards.
We had multi coloured Sari ribbon (very cheap from ebay) wrapped around the poles in the yurt, I wanted something like bunting to brighten up the place, but wanted something a bit different and as we were having Indian food and going for colour colour colour, it seemed fitting to have reams of prayer flags – about 1000 metres of them hanging from every branch, (another ebay bargain).
We also had huge sailing flags lent by my uncle which were only a small challenge to hang on a 20 metre high branch!!! It’s fair to say my Mum and I nearly smashed a window of my brother-in-law to be’s camper in the process…
We did try to keep hiring things down to minimum, choosing to buy things we’d need again or make stuff – nearly everything from the wedding has been given out to friends, reused at other weddings or is lining the walls of our house! Another big decor focus for me was light, so we had fairy lights everywhere, lanterns hanging all over the place, indian star lanterns with little lights in and little Kilner bottles with glow sticks cracked in to them so that the liquid goes in to them and gets shaken about which gives them lava lamp effect and they were hung in secret little spots for people to come across during the night and I found some colourful eco lanterns for us to let off after the band which looked beautiful- if a little hair raising due to wind direction.
I created a chai cafe area up on a covered stage area with one of my Bridesmaids where we had fire woks and marshmallows in big jars, lots of sofas and cushions and a record player with old records we collected from charity shops in the run up to the wedding. There was also a photo booth that my friend Ed set up with a big fancy dress box and an old school last days of Raj style tented area for people to pose in!
One of the main things I wanted achieve with decor was to have lots of things to catch people’s eye which were fun and bright and also lots of things and places for people to interact with during the day – we had books dotted about with poems and stories in, bags of retro sweets and chocolate eggs mixed in with the birds in the nests, there was a step ladder with ribbons set up for polaroids to be hung (but we lost most of the films and found it the next day!!!) I also set up a Mandala making station the next day where everyone (especially the little ones) were given seeds and petals and lentils and shells and things that friends had gathered and then I made a big template where everyone got creative and made a big petal/nature mandala which Jon and I threw over the cliff the next day with a little nod at the impermanence of things and the importance of non attachment – deep stuff like that!
Jane my cousin gave us the flowers as a present which was so amazing, all I said to her was think wild, natural and colourful and if poss could we have chillies or sunflowers as centre pieces that I could then give as presents to helpers afterwards?! She went so very much to town with wild flowers everywhere, sunflowers for all the Groomsmen, a gorgeous wild bouquet for me and little natural wild flower splashes everywhere! She even made nests for the birds I had!
For table numbers we used our street in Bristol- I made 11 colourful houses out of card for my brother in law to make this amazing table plan from – he mounted the houses on a 3D street scene which he made its own stand for and everything, the names were then put onto little fly posters and posted below each house- it was genius! Then I made little lantern houses out of the corresponding colour card and put them on top of bobbin pins on the tables so that they were raised up and lit up the table – (this was most definitely a labour of love, sweat and tears but the houses looked really fun and made great gifts for the little ones at the wedding and I have the whole street of lanterns in my kitchen and my pans are hanging from the bobbin pins at home so it was worth it!)
I also bought some amazing spiced scented candles for each table called Inspiritus from St Eval to give a bit of an Indian and warming scent to everything – this is where I think Jon thought I had gone stir crazy with over researching and attention to detail!! Not sure if it really made a massive difference at the wedding but our house smells nice now as we had loads left over!
For the name places we stole an idea from a friend, every person had a tile with their name on and we put porcelain pens on the table and people were asked to write or draw us a message and now we have 120 tiles with lovely (mostly!) messages and pictures on ready for us to make a splash back with so we always have those memories in our life.
We did not have favours as such but we had a section in the invite that said ‘do yourself a favour’ (bring a little gift for under a fiver for someone else at the wedding- the more DIY the better’ and then all the little gifts everyone brought were put into a big lucky dip barrel- with a put something in, take something out sign! This came from going to a festival where you were asked to bring a little something for other festival goers – and I always thought that was a really cool idea.
We let the wedding party do their own thing…the boys did have a sunflower each in their buttonhole though and my girls were all given colourful as a guide because I wanted them to feel really comfortable and themselves (especially as one was 6 months pregnant at the time). They looked lovely and bright and each had a matching flower which they gave to each other which was super cute I thought.
I did go to town with the little ones though, with their own little handmade dungies and dresses from Chile – at Wilderness Festival a couple of years back (before I was engaged!) I spotted these gorgeous little organic cotton dresses with little cherries on and I remember thinking if I ever get married I’d have those as flower girl dresses – and I took a card and hid it away for a rainy day and somehow I managed not to loose it. They were great and we matched them up with some super cool red and yellow converse boots. I went for converse because when I was about eight I had to be a flower girl and I remember having these horrid silk slippers that I had to wear and just before the photos I hid them in a bush and put on my converse baseball boots! So I figured our little elves should have free reign to be little terrors from the off!
Our Bristol wedding ceremony was very simple – just a 10 min legal ceremony with no music choices, no flowers, no readings. We saved it all for the Devon wedding but it was still surprisingly moving and lovely and it was rather wonderful to have a part of the wedding that involved no choices at all!
Everything about the Devon ceremony was so so special. We had the most amazing priest leading the ceremony and we spent a long time making sure the ceremony was the real heart and centre of the wedding and that we did not get too lost in jam jars and prayer flags and peacocks logistics! We did at one point think about having a wedding in a church but it did not feel right as we are not church goers and I really wanted to get married outside, then we went down the humanist route for a bit but we really wanted a spiritual content to the day so that didn’t feel quite right either, then a friend who was training to be a priest was going to lead the ceremony but in the end he decided he couldn’t so suddenly a month before the wedding, we needed someone to take our service!
We wrote it together by looking at lots of different ceremony order of services from weddings we’d been too and from looking at some humanist ones and from writing down what we really felt we wanted to say to each other and eventually we came up with a pretty traditional anglican service with a few of our own bits added in. We found the words beautiful and we made sure we believed everything that was said, that was a really important thing for us both but especially Jon who painstakingly wrote out the whole order of service by hand with all our poems and gyms and the cast! We did the order of service like a play programme (I come from a background in theatre) and it was quite a light and colourful little booklet filled with poems we loved and little dried flowers and pictures of the cast and crew and was made to be something we hoped the guests would treasure.
We chose my amazing actress friend Keri to read The Monkey story by Edward Monkton but changed the words around to make it really fit to us and it was PERFECT and Keri read so beautifully, she practically learned it by heart and it was a real high point for me. We also had a beautiful version of Amazing Grace sung by our friend Hanelle, about a year earlier we had been sitting on a barge/restaurant in Bristol and she sang Amazing Grace when we were sitting on the deck, I can’t remember how it came about but it was so lovely that when it came to choosing a song to be sung she was the clear choice.
Rev Mark Aitken led the ceremony in the end, his wife had been my french teacher at primary school and I had dated their son for about 3 weeks when I was 15 back in the days when holding hands was a long term relationship! He is an awe inspiring priest who I have seen lead friends weddings before and I rang him up for advice when our friend was no longer able to lead the wedding and he stepped in. This was the best thing that could ever have happened and I recommend having a really positive relationship and a deep respect for whoever runs your ceremony because we felt so loved, so safe and so honoured to be married by this man.
My favourite moment was when Jon and I read the poem An Invitation to each other, it was scary to read to each other, especially with such strong words in such close proximity to everyone but it was beautiful. So very beautiful. I loved it all!
Jon used to be a footballer back in the day so we set up a footie game on the sunday for everyone to join in – complete with red and yellow umbrella goals, half time oranges and a best man in a wig. (the Bride scored 2 goals in her gold wells! Just thought I’d add that in!)
For our Bristol wedding, having a meal at The Olive Shed was our first and only choice, it is really relaxed, a ferry ride from the registry office and an amazing setting with a really colourful laid-back feel. It was perfect!
For Devon we chose The Thali Cafe (where Jon too me for our first date) as they really suited the type of day we were going for. They also ran the bar and did a special pre-ceremony chai and onion bargi round for people arriving all wet and wind swept which went down really well. On the Sunday we had Astridges Hog Roasts from Devon. Paul was lovely, he made all his own bread and sauces and he was there from 5am and even helped me and my new husband clear up the debris of the night before at 8am!!!!
Our photographer, Lucy Turnbull, was SUCH A FIND!!! We chose her because she writes about weddings as if she really loves them (which she does!) and because her pictures are like she is peeping through the curtains into the life that is going on through the window.
I feel like I have been writing a dissertation on our wedding here, but I guess I rather loved it and all the people that helped make it happen. All I will add here is that having a weekend wedding is really fun and having all your friends involved in the set up makes it really special and if you do this, I can not recommend enough getting someone to come and help feed everyone for a few days – it sounds excessive but we fed 10 people for 4 days and it made a huge difference as when we were all building the wedding we did not have to worry about washing up, cooking and the like and there was lots of great food for all the helpers!
And lastly I would say that you should always try and keep a few friends around afterwards to to do the pack down! We may have slightly misread on that one!
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