This gorgeous pair held their wedding in Italy with just family, so they also wanted to have a big celebration in the UK with friends too. They chose to have a second wedding at Mat's parents home under a stretch tent. Everyone sat on hay bales for their ceremony, then played with garden games and a giant bouncy castle until dusk, at which point the tent became like a mini festival, with live music, twinkling lights and lots of fun had by all. The atmosphere really did look electric and I'm loving how relaxed and happy everyone looks. I've said it before, but house parties (or garden parties for that matter) often make the most comfortable surroundings for everyone. Please make sure you enjoy the film, as well as the images, by Wagtail Productions, it's a cracker and really brings this joyful wedding to life before your eyes.
{Watch The Film}

Our Wedding

Tracey the Bride: From the moment we got engaged on Christmas day 2015 we both knew what we wanted - a really small intimate wedding with just immediate family followed by a big party with all our friends and family. We got married in Italy in May 2016 on the Almafi coast in Ravello. It was just our parents, siblings plus partners and our two sons. It was perfect - no fuss, small and personal. Our wedding party was then planned for a later date that year in September 2016. Mat is from a small village in Hertfordshire. His parents have the most beautiful garden which I have always admired and we both thought would be great for a party. We asked them if they would mind us hosting our wedding party there and they very kindly said yes! We both wanted the wedding party to be informal, fun and to create an informal festival atmosphere (something both Mat and I always enjoyed going to). As we were in a small village we decided to have the theme of a village fete/festival vibe with stretch tent marquees from The Stretch Tent Company, lots of hay bails which we bought from the local farm, festoon and fairy lights from Stage Struck. We added personal touches such as colourful ribbon, lanterns, candles and wooden shaped hearts. At the end of Mat's parents garden is a field which we wanted to use to host lots of village fete games from a big bouncy castle through to crazy golf, coconut shy and an amazing disco themed photo booth caravan by our friend Dean Brennan at Confetti Booth. We asked the farmer if we could borrow the land for the day as he has known Mat since he was a young boy, we were lucky enough for him to say yes. We got all fete games from various companies at Prop Factory, Ever So Vintage Party Hire and Vintage Garden Games.

The Ceremony

We are not religious and our wedding in Italy reflected this with a civil ceremony. We also wanted a similar service for our garden party to ensure our guests felt they were at a wedding and so recreated something similar albeit less formal. As we were already technically married, we asked Mat's sister if she would like to do the ceremony for us. We decided to exchange the vows under an ancient but beautiful fir tree which we decorated with colourful ribbon. I chose two of my sisters to do a reading each which was personal to us. I chose my flowers from the local florists in Royston - September Flowers and had my eldest sister make my bouquet and the boys button holes. I chose flowers that were in season going for a rustic look which went well with our garden festival theme. 

The Wedding Party

We had our two boys for our page boys both wearing navy blue suits from M&S, white shirts with blue waist coats and matching trousers with blue and white polka dot bow ties from Amazon. Mat chose a blue suit from Reiss with a gold waist coat and blue and gold polka dot bow tie matching the boys. The search for my wedding dress was easier than expected, I knew exactly what I wanted in regards to style and was very lucky to find what I wanted in the first bridal shop I went to. I booked an appointment to go to Angelica Bridal in Islington, London. The dress I chose was made by an Australian designer Karen Willis Holmes. I loved the simplicity of the style and thin spaghetti straps yet the sequins on the dress gave it that wow factor. I knew I wanted a dress that was slightly different to your more traditional style wedding dress and opted for the dress to be altered to have a sexy backless dress, which gave it that Hollywood glamour look. For my make up I had Kate Balding, I met her at my best friend's wedding where I was a bridesmaid for and she did our make up. I loved her style and was really impressed with her work. So I wanted her to do my make up for the day, luckily she was available and she definitely gave me that professional look. I wanted something that was natural looking and not too over the top and she did a great job. For my hair I went to a local hairdressers in Royston - Anderson and had a hair trial with Hayley who was recommended by a friend of my mother in law. She did a brilliant job and knew exactly what I wanted without charging a ridiculous price. I booked her for the day and she came over to the house to help me get ready for the party. 

The Food

All our catering was done by one of Mat's best friend's - Big Day. They were really efficient, professional and very compliant to what we wanted on the day. We had a buffet style sit down as we wanted everything to be really causal and laid back - no formal sit down as that was something we both didn't want. Mat's mum homemade all five desserts as she is famous for her amazing puddings and she didn't let us down. I made my own wedding cake as this is something I love doing which gave it that personal touch.

The Entertainment

For our entertainment we really wanted something different and original, because of our love for festivals and gigs we looked for a live band that would get everyone on their feet for a good old dance. Mat has always loved the Hackney Colliery Band, who are a brass collective playing their own compositions but also amazing covers of various artists from the Prodigy to Aretha Franklin. They played a 90 minute set which really made us feel like we were at a festival. We also had a fantasticly talented singer songwriter who we came across while at a food festival earlier that year in London - Pembroke Tennyson. He also plays his own as well as other people's music and he played at the beginning of the party just after the ceremony, which was perfect while everyone mingled having a drink. As the evening went into the night we had a couple of our friends DJ for us which was perfect to keep the party going. We used Stage Struck to provide all the PA, sound system, DJ kit etc.

The Photography & Film

For our photographer and videographer it was important for us to work with someone whose style matched ours. I searched the internet long and hard for a photographer/videographer that suited our style and were available for our day. I came across Wagtail Productions and immediately loved their work. Watching other wedding videos that they had previously done I knew they were the one for us. The videographer, Ayla Akdemir, captured the day perfectly. The first time we viewed our video it brought tears to our eyes looking back on this great day. The photography was also from Wagtail Productions, shot by Pedro Portela. Together they made a great pair. We loved Pedro's style of photography which was natural, candid photos - nothing too posed or 'weddingy'. It was important for us to have this style portrayed in our photos. This was one of the reasons we chose him to take our pictures for the day and he did an amazing job. They both made us feel at ease on the day, they made it fun and enjoyable which was the main thing for us and were both super chilled making it a non stressful event.


Advice I would give would be to definitely have someone that can help oversee things on the day to help make sure things run smoothly so you don't have to. Don't over think things, have fun and enjoy every moment. It's amazing how fast the day goes and before you know it you want to do it all over again. Enjoy the day and go with the flow. 
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Videography: Wagtail Productions | Marquee: The Stretch Tent Co. | Photo Booth: Confetti Booth | Flower: September Flowers | Bride: Karen Willis Holmes | Boutique: Angelica Bridal | Make Up: Kate Balding | Hair: Andersons | Food: Portfolio Events | Band: Hackney Colliery Band | Acoustic Set: Pembroke Tenneson | Head Piece: Lily Bella | Page Boys: M&S | Groom: Reiss | Staging: Stage Struck | Garden Games: Prop Factory | Ever So Vintage: Ever So Vintage Party Hire | Vintage Garden Games

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