Morning Lovely People,

Hope you all had a good weekend.

We’ve had a bit of an intense one here at Festival Brides HQ! As I’m sure most of you are aware, Kelly is now heavily pregnant and due any day. Her actual due date was last Thursday but her little baby seems to be a bit too snug where she is at the moment and there’s been no signs of her coming yet! I’ve been on tender hooks all weekend waiting for the call to tell me she’s gone into labour. Kelly in the meantime has spent most of the weekend hardly sleeping and becoming increasingly more irritated and fed up as each hour passes! Bless her.

I have a feeling today’s the day though so we will keep you posted if it is!

In between phone calls to Kelly, I’m pleased to say I have been busy working away all weekend on our wedding post and……………’s almost ready!

Before I share our full wedding, I thought I would tease you all with some behind the scenes shots from our legal ceremony and the 2 days leading up to the big day where Bob and I along with family and friends set up the venue. Almost everything about our wedding was DIY from the decor to the amazing sound system my Dad put together so we could have music playing all around the venue throughout the day – just like a festival! On the Thursday and Friday before the wedding it was all hands on deck dressing the venue and doing all those last minute things that you don’t think about until the last minute! We also spent a lot of that time drinking, basking in the sun, eating and having a ball with our closest family and friends.

The 2 days leading up to the wedding became just as much a part of the whole experience as the actual wedding day itself. We wanted to choose a venue that we could hire over the bank holiday weekend so 40 of our closest friends and family could stay with us onsite and, in between helping us set up, have a little holiday! It also meant that on the Sunday after the wedding we could continue the celebrations by having a BBQ which was open to anyone who wanted to come!

All the accommodation was self catering so people could relax and have a little home from home and with a heated swimming pool and hot tub in the woods – you couldn’t really go wrong! The venue was also surrounded by countryside as far as the eye could see which provided the perfect backdrop for our ceremony, tipi and of course wedding photos!

More details on our venue, which was the stunning Great Higham Barn in Doddington, Kent will be on the blog in the next few weeks as it deserves it’s own post! I will also be providing details of all the DIY elements and decor inspiration when I post our wedding – for now, I will just leave you with these behind the scenes images!

The Legal Bit…..

When we first got engaged in 2011 and started looking for venues, we quickly realised that the chances of finding somewhere that was suited to a festival wedding close to our home in Kent and licensed for legal ceremonies was very slim. It took us quite a long time to accept that if we wanted to have the wedding we dreamed off (getting married outside either in a woodland or surrounded by countryside) we would have to legally marry at a registry office a few days before. At first we both struggled with this idea. We were worried that getting married before might detract from the actual wedding day itself as we would already be technically married. To avoid this happening we decided to have a really informal ceremony with no rings, we wouldn’t dress up and only our parents would be present.

So for £40 on the Thursday before our wedding, Bob and I rocked up at The Archbishops Palace in Maidstone and said I do in a smallish office like room in front of our parents! I think the whole ceremony including signing the register took less than 15 minutes!


What surprised me the most about the ‘legal ceremony’ is how emotional I became when we started to say those official words! On the day of the ceremony both Bob and I just treated it like any normal day. We got ready together, arrived together and even when we were waiting to go in I still didn’t feel like we were getting married. However, when I said those words…..I Laura take thee Bob…..I was a blubbing mess! There is something so special about those words that I didn’t really appreciate until I said them. I have always been a huge advocate for personal and humanist ceremonies, and still am, but those words are what I have associated with marriage ever since I was a child and actually saying them meant more to me than I realised.

Despite our initial feelings towards having two wedding ceremonies, looking back now I am so glad we did! We got the best of both worlds! We had a really intimate official ceremony shared with just our parents which was such a special moment. Then 2 days later we got to do it all again and this time it was in our own unique way and with everyone we loved.

Did we feel married on the day of our wedding? No……….getting married isn’t just about the ceremony….it’s about the dress, the suit, the bridesmaids, the best man, the mother of the bride, the father of the bride, all your closest family and friends together, the cake, the speeches…………I could go on! Having the legal bit didn’t detract from our wedding day at all – in fact it kick started it!


The Day Before……







The Morning of The Wedding….





So there you go! A little sneak peek into what’s coming up in our full wedding post tomorrow!

I had to include that last picture of me checking the weather on my phone as that was probably the 10th time I’d checked it in an hour! Despite having stunning sunshine on Thursday and Friday, on the Saturday of the wedding the heavens opened and unleashed rain and gale force winds! It was so bad that we almost had to move our ceremony inside which I was gutted about. But, lucky for us the rain did stop long enough for us to get married as planned. The wind, however was a different story but I will tell you more about that tomorrow!

Until then!

Big Love

Festival Brides xx

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