Reliving our wedding through writing this post to share with all you today has been so lovely. We really did have the most amazing time and I’m still on a high from it! For those of you who are planning your wedding, believe me when I say you are in for the biggest ride of your life! No matter how stressed you may feel at this very moment or what issues you may have experienced along the way, all of that pales into insignificance on your wedding day. Instead, you are left with this incredible feeling of total happiness where not even the weather can get to you.
Bob and I married on the 4th May 2013, the first bank holiday weekend of the year, at the beautiful Great Higham Barn in Doddington Kent. Surrounded by panoramic views of the countryside, the charming period cottage complex with it’s intimate woodland and peaceful setting was the perfect home for our laid back boho festival wedding! What I loved the most about our venue (apart from the fact that we could party until the early hours of the morning) was it accommodated our 140 guests but without compromising on the tranquility of the site. The owners were also fantastic. Nothing was ever too much trouble and Kim especially bent over backwards to ensure our wedding day was perfect. And it was.
One Big Party….
Bob and I had always envisioned our wedding as being one big party! Anyone who knows us will say that we are at our best when we’re either at a festival, gig, house party or event where music is involved in someway. I guess that’s because we fell in love to music and believe that good tunes always brings out the best in people as long as the atmosphere is right.
All we ever wanted for our wedding was to have our favourite family and friends all in one place laughing and celebrating with us and what better way to achieve that than by creating our own little festival!
She wore flowers in her hair….
All of the flowers for our wedding day were supplied by the amazing (and very patient) Katherine from Florist in The Forest. I have worked with Katherine on 2 of our styled shoots so already had first hand experience of how brilliant she was with flower design. Choosing Katherine to do my wedding flowers was my first and only choice and she did an amazing job.
I wanted the bridesmaids to all have a small collection of flowers interwoven into their hair and for Chloe, my god daughter, to have a flower garland. I loved the flowers Katherine used and they complimented all the girls dresses beautifully.
For mine and the bridesmaid bouquets I wanted the flowers to look like they had just been scooped up from a wild flower meadow so that is exactly what Katherine created! She used seasonal flowers in muted brights and tied them with different coloured ribbon and they all looked beautiful. The colours of the flowers complimented the bridesmaid dresses, my wedding dress and the venue perfectly.
Muted Brights and Mix Match Dresses….
Our colour theme for the wedding was muted brights and this was reflected in everything from the coloured glass we collected for the reception tables to our wedding flowers and the bridesmaid dresses.
My 6 beautiful adult bridesmaids wore a mix match or short and long dresses from Maids To Measure in 3 different colours: Vintage Green, Duck Egg and Dove Grey. The great thing about Maids To Measure is all of their dresses are made to measure so they fit your body shape perfectly. As each of my bridesmaids are all very different, finding a style that suits all of them was no mean feat so being able to chose a design and then tweak it to suit each bridesmaid was perfect.
Chloe, my god daughter, wore a gorgeous little number in sage green from ilovegorgeous. She looked like a little boho princess in her dress! I loved it!
A Wilden Bride Original….
Finding the ‘one’ dress for me was not a simple task. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My poor Mum and I visited bridal boutique after boutique searching for the dress that I knew in my heart existed but that we just couldn’t find. Eventually I came across the incredibly talented and equally lovely Charlotte of Wilden Bride. After one meeting in a London pub it was decided – Charlotte was going to make my wedding dress! Choosing to go down the bespoke route was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Charlotte created a dress that quite literally took my breath away. I loved everything about it. From the removable blouson chiffon jacket embroidered by hand with french lace to the blue crystal stones hand sewn into my french lace waistband. It was exactly what I had imagined I would wear and I loved being involved in the design of the dress and choosing all the material and lace. It was such a special experience and I couldn’t be more thankful to Charlotte.
Charlotte also made me a beautiful floor length juliet capped veil which was also embroidered with french lace to match my dress and encrusted with blue crystal stones. I loved it so much that I didn’t take it off all night!!
On my feet there was only one choice! I don’t do heels so I wore some gorgeous gold sandals from Dune that were sooooo comfy!
Subtle Make-Up and a Calming Word….
I don’t usually wear a lot of make-up so it was important for me on my wedding day to look as natural as possible but also to wear enough so I didn’t look washed out in wedding photos. MUA and now good friend, Sabrina Lily got the balance just right by using natural warm tones for my eye make up, a subtle pink shade for my cheeks and lips and a light foundation that managed to cover those few stress spots that had popped up that morning! She also managed to calm me down when the heavens opened and I almost called off the wedding ceremony in the woods. I only had one bridezilla moment and it was then!! Sabrina pulled me to one side and managed to talk me out of panicking and making a really bad decision – if it wasn’t for her I think we may have ended up getting married inside the tipi which would have been a nightmare for all the ushers as they would have had to move everything. I also would have regretted it so much as my dream was a woodland wedding and the rain did stop and the sun came out to play during our ceremony! Thank god she talked some sense into me!
If you haven’t got a wristband then you’re not coming in!
No festival wedding is complete without a wristband and festival lanyard guide! As our guests arrived, they were greeted by 2 of Bob’s ushers who fixed on their wristbands and handed out the lanyards. Both of these were designed by the awesome Katerina from Rhubka Design who honestly has the patience of a saint! It’s very hard for any designer to try and get into someone’s head – especially when that person is me! I have a lot of creative ideas and I know what I want but I’m not very good at explaining them! Katerina managed to design the perfect festival guides with everything included from our order of service, table plan and ‘sponsors’ to our very own festival map. All of our guests loved this element of our wedding and said it really did make then feel like they were entering a festival! Some of them (me included!) are still wearing their wristbands!
Katerina also designed our invitations which were in the style of festival tickets.
I will be doing a separate post on all our stationery in the next few weeks so watch this space!
Dressed 2 Kill…..
Bob had his suit tailored by Dress 2 Kill in London. He chose a single breasted navy blue 2 piece suit with a navy paisley lining and orange piping. As if that wasn’t enough Bob had our names and the date of our wedding stitched inside his suit jacket which he revealed to me during our ceremony!
His patterned shirt (which I loved) was a limited edition from 1 Like No Other. The best thing about his shirt was that it was different shades of blue and matched the crystal stones on my dress. This was completely unplanned but worked so well!
Windy nuptials, wooden frames and painted bottles………
Our personal ceremony was held in the quaint woodland situated behind the main thatched barn which overlooked countryside as far as the eye could see. 2 days before the wedding this area was all overgrown with weeds and shrubs but after a quick phone call to Kim this was quickly cleared by the gardener and replaced with hay bales which were also supplied, free of charge, by the venue. The venue also organised various sized tree trunks to be cut and delivered for us to use in the ceremony all done free of charge. Like I said, the venue was amazing!
Even though the rain stopped for our ceremony, the wind had other ideas! The wind speed picked up and up and up throughout our ceremony! My sister had to hold my veil as I walked down the aisle in case it blew off or got caught on the trees it was that bad! Our amazing celebrant, the lovely Christabel, did an amazing job at shouting over the wind so everyone could hear her!
Thankfully we had laid blankets down on each hay bale for guests to sit on so everyone made full use of these and wrapped up warm! It was cold.
For our ceremony we wanted to keep the decor really simple as we felt the woodland spoke for itself. Along with the hay bales we arranged clusters of 3 tree trunks, all varying in size, in different areas within the woodland. On these we placed wooden photo frames with pictures of Bob and I at various festival’s and quotes from our favourite poets, films and songs. Katherine from Florist in The Forest then arranged coloured jam jars and bottles (that we had sprayed the night before) around the frames and filled them with flowers. Because the wind was so bad she had such a nightmare keeping all the jam jars and bottles upright so unfortunately quite a few blew over along with all of our frames!
A Personal Ceremony on an Indian Rug…..
One of my highlights from our wedding (there were quite a few!) was our personal ceremony. Despite the weather I loved every single moment of it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Walking down the aisle with my Dad at my side and seeing Bob’s face for the first will forever be imprinted on my mind. It was just such a special moment and I felt so alive and so happy. Then during the ceremony when I was looking out at everyone and seeing them all sitting there between the trees all smiling at me – it was just lovely.
We really wanted our ceremony to be relaxed and fun and to tell the story of Bob and I. We didn’t want it to be too formal as that’s just not us so along with guidance from Christabel we wrote our own wedding ceremony and vows. This made our whole ceremony very intimate and Christabel was fantastic in the way she told our story.
During the ceremony we had two readings. One was a poem which was written by my best friend Laura and read by my 4 honorary bridesmaids, Hayley, Ren, Roxy and Lauren. The other was ‘Once In Your Life’ by Bob Marley read by our very good friend Lorna.
For the ‘alter’ we stood between two trees that acted like a window to the surrounding countryside. To mark the area we laid down our favourite rug that Bob had brought me for my 30th while we were in Hampi, India . If you follow Festival Brides you will know I have a bit of a thing for India! It’s my favourite country in the world so throughout our venue decor there were little nods to the amazing country!
Music to watch a bride go by…..
Being a festival wedding, music played a huge part in our wedding day. My Dad spent most of the day before the wedding rigging up the venue so we could have music in the ceremony area, outside the Tipi, and in the live lounge area. Bob, Dad and I then put together a playlist which played from the moment we said I do right up until and in between the bands.
As Muse is one of our favourite bands I walked down the aisle to Unintended – a beautiful song about falling in love after heartbreak. This song means a lot to both of us as I met Bob 6 months after coming out of a 3 year relationship and was in no state to settle down but the boy persevered and here we are 10 years later!
After the ceremony, to kick off our playlist we danced back down the aisle to Barry Poulisar’s All I Want Is You! We both love this song because it’s fun and pretty much sums us both up! We also wanted to start the reception off with a tune that would get everyone in the festival mood!
The Line UpPhotographer: Cotton Candy Weddings Venue: Great Higham Barn, Doddington, Kent Brides Dress & Veil: Bespoke Design – Wilden Bride Brides shoes: Head Over Heels for Dune Groom: Suit from Dressed 2 Kill; Shirt from 1 Like No Other Brides Jewellery: Earrings from BHLDN; Bracelet from Astley Clarke Bridesmaid Dresses: Maids To Measure Bridesmaid’s Jewellery: Fenwick, Tunbridge Wells Make Up: MUA Sabrina Lily Hair: Family Friend Flowers: Florist In The Forest Celebrant: Christabel Saunders Festival Flags: festiflags Wedding Signs: DIY
So there you go! Part 2 of our wedding complete! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Part 3 will be on our Festival pages on Thursday so please don’t be a stranger. Oh and if you missed Part 1 then just click here!
Big Wedding Love