Small, intimate and oh so very pretty, Amber and Josh’s back garden DIY wedding has completely captured my heart this morning. Photographed so beautifully by Anna Pumer Photography and featuring some gorgeous handmade and DIY details, Amber’s dream since she was sixteen has always been to marry in her parents garden and on the 26th June 2016, that dream became a reality. Their beautiful wedding with it’s laid back vibe, green and white flowers, DIY vintage decor and personal touches, all organised on a budget of £4000, was exactly how she had imagined it. They also pretty much did everything themselves from the handmade wooden bars to arranging all of the flowers, making it all the more personal and unique to them….
We didn’t have a theme, we just wanted lots of greenery and flowers. We made the decorations ourselves, mostly lot of little jars decorated with lace and garden string. We wanted the bar (which Josh made himself!) to be rustic with lots of fun photos and funky ornaments in. He also had some of his artwork in there, which was fantastic.
Everything was so personal, because we did so much ourselves. It made the day so special knowing how much we had put into it – and it all worked out perfectly.
Anything they felt uncomfortable with, such as the speeches and first dance, they did away with and instead focused on having a great time with their family and friends – something we preach so much at Festival Brides. We also love that they held their couple photos before the wedding ceremony taking the pressure off of them whilst their guests were there. Doing it this way round allowed them to completely relax and enjoy being with their friends and family after the ceremony and they also got to share a special private moment before the craziness starts!
Look out for the gorgeous photos in the rain at the end of the feature. Proof that rain on your wedding day is no bad thing!
Amber and Josh talk us through their day and how it all began….
An Advent Calendar and One Knee….
It was in the lead up to Christmas – every morning we opened our Advent calendars with our son River – but on Christmas Eve, instead of finding a chocolate in my advent calendar, I found a ring! At first I didn’t notice it and was worried about why I didn’t have any chocolate but then I spotted it! Then Josh popped the question and I said yes!
An ASOS Maxi and Star Wars Pins….
My dress came from asos, which I bought about a year before the wedding. It wasn’t even part of their wedding range, it was just a normal maxi dress, £47.50 in the sale! I didn’t want a wedding dress, I wanted something that reflected who I am and something that I could be comfortable in.
Josh wore trousers and a shirt from River Island, a jacket from Next and his shoes were from Primark. It all worked really well together and he added some Star Wars pins to his jacket, which looked really cool.
Awesome Photos from An Awesome Photographer….
Our main expense was our lovely photographer Anna. Photography was the most important thing to us, so we were willing to spend as much as necessary to get the best photographer! We saw a wedding on a wedding blog that Anna had shot. We totally fell in love with the images and after looking at Anna’s website we knew she was the one for us. We didn’t want posed photos, we just wanted natural photos of everyone having a good time and Anna is amazing at this. She is also the queen of rain photos, so we were actually pretty happy when it rained. We got some awesome photos!
Jars, Chalk Boards and Grapevines….
We didn’t set a budget, we just knew we wanted to do a lot ourselves. Using my parents’ garden for the venue saved us a lot. I think the whole wedding cost under £4,000. We saved a lot of money by decorating the garden with things we found at a car boot sale.
We decorated the garden with little jars with flowers in. We also had huge vases of flowers inside the house. We had a few chalkboards too, which Josh wrote on – he’s great at arty things like that! My favourite part of the wedding decor was the area where we had the ceremony, under the grapevines in the garden – we had a vintage fireplace covered with flowers, with chandeliers hanging above. We even wired up the chandeliers so they would light up! In the garden we also had a vintage bike with a basket full of flowers, plus coloured lampshades hung from a tree.
We used all sorts of different white flowers: roses, stocks, lisianthus and gypsophila and two different types of eucalyptus to add some green. My mum and I went to a flower warehouse and bought huge bunches to arrange ourselves. We had so much fun spending the whole day arranging flowers – even my nan helped out.
An Intimate Ceremony of just 23….
For the ceremony we only had 23 guests, we are quite shy so saying our vows in front of loads of people would be terrifying. We kept it to immediate family and our closest friends. It was still scary but I’m so glad we did it in front of the people we love most. For the reception we had around 70 guests. We had our ceremony under the pergola in my parent’s back garden, with our best friend officiating.
A Sweet Sixteen Dream….
Since I was sixteen I have always dreamed of getting married in my parents’ garden, I guess I’ve just always known that’s what I wanted to do. It took a little convincing but once my mum and dad were on board they loved the idea. They were so helpful with the preparations and getting the garden ready and I’ll forever be grateful to them for making my dream come true.
Jenga, Limbo, Darts and Ring Toss….
For the entertainment, we had darts set up in the bar, giant Jenga, limbo and ring toss (which we made from wine bottles!). Jenga went down really well. Who doesn’t love Jenga? For the music, we created our own playlist, as we wanted music that we loved and songs that were important to us. We hooked an ipod up to speakers and were our own DJ!
M&S Catering & Cheese Cake….
We got our food from M&S Catering! We had vegetarian/vegan food and everyone really enjoyed it. We added lots of extra bit like olives, French bread etc. We had a cake made out of cheese, which was beautiful.
A Vegan Wedding Cake….
Our friend Karolina, who is a very talented chef, made our wedding cake! It was the best cake I have ever tasted and she even made the top layer vegan for Josh. It looked amazing too. We loved it!
One of the most special moments was one of our best friends coming back to the UK from Australia to officiate our ceremony.
Do what’s right for you, and don’t do anything just because you feel you have to. We didn’t have a first dance or any speeches because that’s not who we are, and we can’t dance or speak in public so doing those things would have just made us so nervous. Plan a day that you’ll enjoy and when the day comes, soak in every single moment and enjoy spending time with the people you love.
The Line Up
Photography: Anna Pumer Photography
Venue: Parents Garden
Bride’s Dress: ASOS
Bride’s Makeup: Shannon Belle Makeup
Groom: Trouser & Shirt – River Island; Jacket – Next; Shoes – Primark
Flowers: DIY from Dutch Masters Twyford Flowers
Catering: M&S Food To Order