Afternoon Lovely People,

I hope you all had a good weekend.

Last week we shared with you Charlotte and Andrew’s gorgeous pre wedding shoot which took place at our stunning woodland wedding venue in Kent. Today I am so excited to be sharing their equally gorgeous wedding which is full of so much colour, rustic charm and vintage style. I. LOVE. IT.

Captured perfectly by Joe Burford Photography and featuring cool details such as pom pom shoes, amazing peony flower garlands, a beautiful E&W Couture dress, hand poke tattoos and some fabulous personalised marquee lights by Doris Loves, Charlotte and Andrew’s wedding will certainly leave you inspired…..

We wanted the day to be quite bright and colourful and we wanted to incorporate things we love. I’m obsessed with flamingos, pineapples and pom poms so made sure they were there in abundance! We also wanted a rustic, vintage feel to the day so used lots of apple crates, vintage table cloths and arranged pretty seating areas outside using vintage rugs.

Look out for the beer ping pong (love this idea) and the retro styling.

Charlotte and Andrew tell us all about it…..

The Pink Hut, A BBQ and One Knee….

We’d been together for just over 8 years when Andrew proposed. His mum has an apartment in the New Forest that we love spending time at. Anytime we go there we totally chill and are usually really lucky with the weather so we normally have a BBQ on the beach nearby. Last September we were there for a week and were fortunate enough to have the use of a friends beach hut at nearby Milford-On-Sea, ‘The Pink Hut’ it’s called…very masculine! We spent some of our days there and decided that would be where we had our BBQ one evening. On the evening we went down, Andrew was dithering about what to wear and was making me nervous…..I could tell something was up! We had some wine and beers whilst enjoying our food and then as it got darker I started to feel more nervous so I went to the toilets at the top of the beach, when I came back Andrew had lit loads of beautiful candles and tea lights and the stars were shining above us, it was a very romantic setting and I love the stars so being beneath a canopy of beautiful, shining stars was the perfect setting! It still took him ages of getting up and down and pacing the beach before he finally got down on one knee and proposed with my late great Aunt’s sapphire and diamond ring! Of course I cried my eyes out whist saying yes and we celebrated with more drinks before heading back to the flat to drink tea and ring our family and friends! The next few days there we were completely on cloud 9!

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A Venue That Was Meant To Be….

After our original venue fell through and with just 3 months to go until ‘D day’ (literally as our wedding date, the 6th of June, is D day!) I came across the venues on the Festival Brides website and after emailing Laura to enquire about the Field Shelter, we were ecstatic to find out the venue was available! The second we visited we knew it was perfect for us and had such a great feeling about the whole place, Jackie and Dave were so warm and friendly from the offset and we really felt that everything was meant to be!

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Herringbone, Tweed and Jade….

Andrew wore a very dapper navy blue herringbone tweed suit and waistcoat from Victor Valentine with a jade herringbone bow tie and pocket square from Mrs Bow Tie. I found Victor Valentine through Instagram and thankfully Andrew loved their suits too. I knew which colour he’d chosen but didn’t want to see him in his suit until the big day and he looked incredible when I finally got to see him at the end of the aisle! We asked the groomsmen to wear their own navy suits and bought them all matching bow ties. We wanted the overall look of the day to be quite relaxed and to blend but not be too matchy matchy.

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Floral Heels and Pom Poms….

My shoes were a pair of floral heels from ASOS with custom wool pom poms handmade by me! I live for pom poms and wanted to make pom pom garlands and a headdress to wear in the evening too but unfortunately ran out of time!

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A Tulle Skirt, A Crop Top, Intricate Daisies and A Disabled Toilet!

My dress was by the amazing Sophie at E&W Couture. I wore her ‘Fleur’ crop and ‘Scarlett’ tulle skirt over the ‘Tillie’ slip from the separates collection. My something new. I found Sophie at the Chosen Vintage Wedding Fair in Islington. I saw her beautiful slip and tulle skirt paired with a lace crop, I loved it but said the top wasn’t quite what I was looking for. She then pulled out the Fleur crop which was covered in hundreds of intricate daisies, it was the most beautiful and delicate thing I’d ever seen…true love at first sight! We then spent ages trying to find the changing rooms which were meant to be somewhere backstage at Islington Town Hall. After failing we settled on the disabled toilet, I was still wearing my jeans underneath and couldn’t see myself properly in the tiny toilet mirror but I knew I didn’t want to take the dress off! It felt so me. I’m not the most conventional of girls, let alone of brides, so falling in love with my wedding dress in the disabled toilet of a town hall was so me and so un-bridal that it was perfect in its own way! After taking Sophie’s card I walked away and cried like an absolute baby, then I knew for sure it was the one!

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A Huge Pink Peony Crown….

My headpiece was a huge pink peony crown by Lock Cottage Flowers. I was so unsure about whether to wear a veil or not, it’s the only time I’d ever get the chance to wear one but at the same time I wanted to feel relaxed and wear my hair down and didn’t want to be paranoid about a veil falling out. I think there was enough going on with the daisies on my dress and the huge peonies in my hair anyway!

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Mint Green Bridesmaid Dresses….

My sister Molly and my best friend Kate wore gorgeous mint green dresses with sweetheart necklines and full skirts from ASOS. I’ll definitely be borrowing them sometime! My flower girl Willow wore the Estella dress from Monsoon which is the prettiest little crochet and tulle dress. The girls also wore gold initial disc necklaces from Minetta that I bought for them as gifts on the day, nude heels and white peony flower crowns.

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A Gorgeous Ceremony in a Wooden Barn….

We had our ceremony in the beautiful wooden barn at the Field Shelter in Kent. Everybody sat outside on hay bales covered in sheepskins and luckily the weather was beautiful! My bridal party and I walked up the aisle to ‘Angels’ by XX, we then had two readings, the first being ‘How falling in love is like owning a dog’ by Taylor Mali and ‘He’s not perfect’ by Bob Marley which were read by my godfather and Andrew’s step-father. Whilst signing the register we played ‘Slow it down’ by The Lumineers and we walked out together to ‘All I want is you’ by Barry Louis Polisar.

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Lightboxes, Festoon Lighting, Bunting and Flamimgos….

We wanted a cosy relaxed feel to the whole day so hired trestle tables for the marquee and kept the main décor simple with hessian table runners, bunting and festoon lighting. We mainly used props we have from around our house and garden to decorate the venue. We have an amazing lightbox in our dining room from Goodwin & Goodwin that we wrote ‘CHUCK &  BEZ 6.6.15’ on and put on the welcome table in the marquee. We also have a small ‘Love’ marquee light that was on the cake table. We have a retro pin board that we used to write the menu on and all of the other props, flamingos and trinkets were bits from around the house. I spent hours (with the help of my bridesmaids) making the bunting for the marquee…I wanted something colourful that was a mixture of brights, pastels, patterns and florals and couldn’t find anything so resigned to doing it myself, although I left it all to do at the last minute and it was quite time consuming!

Polaroid Favours, Pimms and Wheelbarrows filled with beer….

For the tables I sprayed jars with gold paint for the flowers and sprayed pineapples for the table names. Our favours doubled up as table place settings as we had Polaroid’s made of each of our guests. Often favours get left behind as they’re too big to go inside suit jacket pockets or small clutch bags so these worked perfectly and most of the guys had theirs proudly on display, poking out of their front suit pocket! They were really cost effective too. Outside we used loads of my mums’ tubs of plants and her vintage style bicycle to decorate. We also had trestle tables with kilner jars of pimms and cloudy lemonade, and tin baths and wheelbarrows full of bottled beers. We were lucky that some family members helped keep the drinks topped up so guests could help themselves. We hired amazing ‘A+C’ marquee lights from Doris Loves. These were portable so we had them in the background of the ceremony barn during the ceremony and the day and then in the evening we moved them to the edge of the barn so at night there was an amazing view of them glowing from the barn. We hired bright rainbow tassel balloons for inside the marquee but unfortunately these mostly deflated the night before!

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Retro Postcards and Gold Pineapples….

My incredibly talented friend Amie created all of the stationary for us, from the invitations to all of the signage and the table plan. I gave her guidance as to some of the wording and style we liked and she ran with it and had some amazing ideas, including printing our order of the day on paper bags which we used as confetti bags and doubled up as sweet table bags, this was particularly handy when I realised the day before that I hadn’t actually bought any sweetie bags! For our table plan we wanted to name the tables after the places we were going on our honeymoon, we started in Las Vegas and then road tripped around California, ending with a weekend in New York before home. We wanted the table names to be a retro postcard of each place we were due to visit and she found some amazing imagery for these. I then attached each postcard to pineapples I’d sprayed gold!

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A Raspberry, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Chocolate 3 Tiered Sponge Cake…..

My Bridesmaid Kate’s mum Maggie made us a three tier sponge cake, one raspberry layer, one sticky toffee pudding and one chocolate layer covered in mint green icing and speckles of gold leaf. Growing up Maggie made lots of my birthday cakes so we knew she was the only person to ask! My mother in law Dilys also made a huge selection of cakes and treats so for pudding we had two whole trestle tables full of delicious cakes and sweets!

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A Couple of Hand Poke Tattoos….

One of our friends coming to the wedding was our tattooist and he offered to hand poke tattoos for us on the day. This is where he uses the needle from the gun and dips it in ink before literally poking it in to your skin to create the tattoo! We decided to have each other’s initials tattooed on our wrists so whilst our guests were eating we snuck away to the ceremony barn and had these done. It was so nice to just have a little time to sit together away from everything and reflect on our day so far…we were married!! The tattoos are such a nice reminder of our day.

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The Party Crashers….

We created playlists for the ceremony, drinks and canapés and meal and hired The Party Crashers band for the evening who played two sets and DJ’d in between. They were amazing and got the whole crowd on the dancefloor, they were even obliging when a friend of ours and our brother in law both decided to play at being the lead singer for a couple of songs each!!

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Favourite Moment….

Without doubt it was the ceremony. Our original venue was an unlicensed barn where we were going to create an outdoor ceremony but would have had to have met at a registry office that morning with our immediate family to make the marriage official. That all seemed like it was just something we had to do to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, and to me I thought it was all about the party later on. When we found the Field Shelter and found out that the barn was licensed it was a huge added bonus that we could get legally married in front of all of our friends and family but we still wanted to keep the ceremony short and sweet. In the end Jackie at the venue helped us to make the ceremony barn look so stunning and completely helped us to create the look we had dreamt of that there couldn’t have been a more magical place to have exchanged our vows. I was so nervous about falling as I walked up the aisle as my dress was so long and I was walking on uneven grass but actually I loved it. I was the most ungraceful bride ever, my dad and I spoke most of the way, I waved at the crowd like a child in a school play and my dad stood on my dress more than once, not to mention I carried half of the forest with me in my tulle dress but it made everybody laugh and it made me feel completely at ease! Andrew and I always decided we wanted to kiss as soon as we were stood together as we feel it can be awkward at times if the bride arrives and just has to stand next to her groom. As we stood in front of our loved ones and exchanged vows knowing that at that very moment we were becoming husband and wife, it was just the most amazing and special feeling, I want to relive that moment again and again! And of course I cried, I’m beginning a pattern here right?!

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Important Advice….

Just be yourselves. We sifted through so many venues trying to find one that would let us do what we wanted. We didn’t want to have to use a venues own caterers or even tables and chairs and although it took a while to find the one we couldn’t have been happier! Do what makes you happy and don’t feel like you have to conform to certain stereotypes just to suit others. If you have to remind your parents that they once had their day and now it’s your day then do that. Your guests will want to be a part of your day because they love you so make your day all about you and they will love it no matter what. Try and take a little time out on the day with just the two of you if possible as the day goes so quickly and you barely have time to talk to anyone so make each other a priority.

With regards to budget just a note to anyone thinking of having a DIY wedding like we did, DIY doesn’t always make it cheaper. We still haven’t added up the total cost of our wedding but we know we definitely spent more than we’d hoped too. Andrew had to reign me in a few times and stop me from blowing the budget even further but at the end of the day we had an incredible day, surrounded by all of our friends and family, we have some amazing pictures and memories (and a video to come) and we’re married!! So really, nothing else matters x

The Line Up

Photographer: Joe Burford Photography
Venue: Field Shelter & Woodland
Marquee: Maypole Marquees
Bride’s Dress: E&W Couture
Bride’s Shoes: ASOS with DIY Pom Poms
Bride’s Flower Crown: The Pottery Gift House
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Flower Girl Dress: Monsoon 
Groom’s Suit: Victor Valentine
Groom’s Bow Tie and Pocket Square: Mrs Bow Tie
A & C Marquee Lights: Doris Loves
Florist: Lock Cottage Flowers
Cake: Handmade
Band: The Party Crashers
Videographer: Costa Sister Productions
Festoon lighting: Cinemattag 
Caterers: El Kantina
Stationary: Amie Herriott
Trestle table, chair & apple crate hire: Classic Crockery Hire 
Glasses, cutlery & crockery hire: AB Hire 
Photobooth: Instabox

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