Claire and Simon said I do on the 10th September 2016 at the beautiful All Saints Church in Holme on Spalding Moor followed by an epic festival themed wedding in their back garden. Their day was the perfect blend of chilled festival vibes, good music, festival style entertainment and unique individual touches which reflected their fun personalities and the things they love to do. Touches such as reflecting Simon’s love for rally racing by capturing some of their couple photos in a rally car and Claire’s passion for unique shoes reflected in her AMAZING angel winged Sophia Webster stilettos (I want a pair!).
We knew that we didn’t want anything too over the top or structured. We wanted a very relaxed, casual wedding that people wouldn’t forget. We wanted there to be things to do and for everyone to just have a great time and not worry about anything. Simon and I love festivals and try to go to one every year and we see as many bands as we can a year as well, so we wanted to share the festival feel with the rest of our families.
Captured by the awesome Jackson & Co Photography and featuring an amazing Watters blush wedding dress from London Bride Couture (which I have fallen completely in love with and Claire looks so stunning in) this is a wedding that most definitely does the festival wedding theme proud! And did I mention ALL of the decor is DIY?
Claire shares with us how it all came together…..
Ireland, A Rally, And A Massive Engagement Buzz….
About September last year I asked Simon if we could plan a trip away somewhere just to get through the lull between summer and Christmas, he suggested Ireland as there was a rally on he wanted to watch there and its always been a place we wanted to go, so we booked the ferry for early November. We woke up the morning of the rally in Ireland and set off to find a good place to watch, after driving round for a good hour or so (we got a bit lost) we found a nice place in the forest. By this time it was raining so coats and boots on we walked into the forest to find a good place to stand and get a good view of the cars racing past. We found a spot and the heavens opened and we stood in heavy rain waiting for the rally to start. Simon then got my attention and said ‘Claire…’ and I thought a rotten log had collapsed and he’d fallen over, turns out he was on one knee! It was totally perfect and unpredicted as it was my idea to take a trip away! I never wanted a proposal in front of loads of people, just the two of us somewhere private and personal. I was so excited and I really wanted to ring my parents and friends, but in the middle of the forest I had no signal. Then the rally started and Simon watched that while I was just in a massive engagement buzz.
A Gorgeous Blush Wedding Dress & Epic Shoes….
My dress was Edlin by Watters in the Oatmeal colour. I saw Watters designer online and wanted to try one of their other dresses on so made an appointment to try it on at London Bride Couture while I was visiting my brother who lives in London. While I was there I thought I’d try a few more on and the Edlin was one of their latest dresses and I’d seen it on their website, so thought ‘why not?’ but as soon as I put it on I loved it. The colour suited my skintone so much better than any white dresses had done and the pattern on the skirt was stunning. I never wanted a strapless dress but I felt so comfortable in it I didn’t even think about it once I had it on, so I put the deposit down on the dress there and then. I thought it suited the festival theme really well as it was light, didn’t crease, had great movement and easy to dance in.
My shoes were ridiculous but in the best way possible. Everyone who knows me knows about my shoe obsession, so I knew I wanted something pretty special for my wedding shoes. I’d seen Sophia Websters shoes before and thought they were so pretty but never even dreamed of owning a pair. But once we got engaged I knew I wanted these as my wedding shoes and saved and saved for them. I was shopping with my mum and brother when I got them and I kept them a secret from Simon as well so he didn’t see them till the big-day, he thought they were ‘pretty epic’.
A Church On A Hill….
We had the ceremony at All Saints Church in Holme on Spalding Moor, the village where Simon and I have lived all our lives (we went to the same primary school). It’s a beautiful church on top of the only hill for miles so as you can imagine the views from the top of there are amazing, we’re lucky enough to be able to walk up and look at the views every evening.
The music didn’t go to plan, it’s been a good 10 years since I burnt a CD and apparently I’m not very good at it so the music we had planned (the themes from Up – Married Life by Michael Giacchino) went out the window and a last minute decision for the Bridal March was made. But nevermind, that was the only thing to go wrong on the day and I shouldn’t have trusted my technology skills!
We had a bible reading from Simon’s sister Kirsty and another poem read by my brother Jonny.
A nice surprise was our German Shepherd puppy Forrest making an appearance! As far as I knew he was at the kennels for the weekend so to see him sat in the isle while the vicar read his sermon was amazing! My dad had organised the whole thing and had taken him home instead of taking him to the kennels. He was only 10 months old but he was very well behaved and even barked when we kissed, so cute.
Bright, Colourful and Fun Wedding Photos….
Jackson & Co. Photography (both Michael and Hannah) were our photographers. They were absolutely perfect and really got the feel for the whole day. We wanted photographs that were bright and colourful and fun and they definitely did that and they’re also really great people! Simon and I aren’t big fans of having our photo taken but they kept it fun and made the photos look nice and natural. I couldn’t recommend them more. They took all the photos we wanted and some great reaction pictures from the speeches. Such fast service aswell! We got 40 preview pictures the day after the wedding then had over 550 pictures back within 3 weeks. Absolutely amazing and me and Simon are so grateful. Also big thanks to Michael for going above and beyond for tying all the groomsmen’s ties and sorting their pocket squares out. They would have all come half-dressed without his help!
A Festival In Our Back Garden….
The reception was held in a tent in our back garden, which is also where we got the festival name from, because our house is called Fairview. We only moved into our house the year before but having such a large garden we knew we wanted to have it there. The house is also just at the bottom of the hill that the church is on, (you can see the church from our driveway) so it was a perfect venue logistically as well. We knew we wanted it at home as soon as we moved here. We have lived in the village all our lives and it didn’t make sense to have our reception anywhere else. Having it in our garden also gave us free reign to do whatever we wanted! The preparation of the garden took a bit more effort than we thought, having to move 500 tonnes of clay to make the ground flat. Definitely worth the headaches though.
We got our sperry tent from Papakata. I originally went on their website about a Teepee tent but when I saw the Sperrys I thought they were perfect. With the clear sides all the way round it meant you’d be able to see the view from every angle, and the big-top style roof was very similar to the tents you get at festivals, there was even flags at the top of every pole. It was so light and airy and the perfect size for our guests and garden.
I took inspiration from different festivals and events we’d been to and tried to give it that feel. I looked at other festival weddings on Festival Brides and Pinterest and my head went crazy with ideas, which I tried to tone down a bit. Some things I didn’t include were Pickard/Eveson tug of war, bouncy castle (not enough room, gutted), oxygen tent, big wheel, mashed potato bar, mac and cheese truck, basically my head and Pinterest board went a bit mad. I took my favourite parts of festivals and scaled them down a bit to make the wedding day just fun for everyone.
Bright and Colourful DIY Decor…..
The decorating was mainly down to my mum and me. I know that I wanted really bright colours everywhere. The first bit of decorating I did was paint the back wall of my house to bright colours so I knew which colours to base everything else off, then my mum bought all the material and cracked on making the bunting, in the end I think it was about 5 miles of bunting! She loved doing it and is going to start her own business, Buddy Bunting. Papakata provided all the lights in the tent and the festoon lights outside which looked amazing on the evening.
The tables each had a flag for the place names which my mum made out of card and then stuck around a piece of dowel, all different colours. My mum also folded all the napkins into a flag shape each, made 6 large centre pieces for the tables out of twigs from her garden, flowers and bamboo, and she cut all the ribbons for the backs of the chairs. I loved the ribbon on the chairs, it took a while to get them all on but it was a great way to add more colour to the tent without seat covers. She’s been an absolute hero in terms of decorating, she’s a teacher so she spent all of her summer doing things for our wedding and we’re so grateful.
The favours were a mug each that I painted individually. It started as a little project to keep my occupied when thing died down planning wise, but then it was a bigger job than I thought and I only finished them the night before! Then last minute I decided to paint the teapots that were on the tables aswell (tea had to feature somewhere, me and Simon are massive tea addicts)
Another feature which worked really well and which I’m pretty proud of were the big PICKARD letters we had on the hill behind the tent. I got inspiration from the Glastonbury sign they have however instead of the patchwork pattern I kept it simple and just painted them bright colours. Everyone loved it and some people went up the hill to get a photo with it, which we did aswell. The letters were 9’x 4’ each which I painted in our shed in the same colours which I’d painted the back of the house with. A lot of people thought I was crazy, but when they saw it on the day they loved it. You could see it from the road as you came into the venue and it really added to the festival theme I think.
Because the venue was in the garden, we didn’t have a lot of seating outside for After Party guests other than a couple of deck chairs, so we got in a few straw bales and placed them all around, we then added some blankets all over the place and on the bails so on an evening if people started getting chilly they could use them and we tied them with the same ribbon as on the chairs.
My mum added loads of bright coloured flowers around the entrance which really finished it off and was a great touch.
A Tiered Wedding Cake with a Church, Rally Car and Dog….
The cake was made by a family friend Ellie Jarred who makes some amazing cakes. My mum and I went to go and see her with the invites to show her the theme and she took our ideas and made a quick sketch. The idea was having the church on the hill with the Rally car on it and the tent at the bottom, and she did a really amazing job. It looked absolutely stunning and had bunting all around it, flags on the bottom and even a little Forrest (the dog) made out of icing. It was perfect and it tasted absolutely amazing!
Bright Flowers for A Festival Wedding….
The flowers were by All Occasions in Howden, a town close to where we live. I have no idea about flowers or where to even begin but they were really amazing in helping me choose colours, what flowers I would need, what flowers would be in season, what to do for centrepieces etc. They said they loved doing bright colours for a change! They also decorated the church with pew ends and a beautiful arrangement over the archway.
A Posh Picnic and Stone Baked Pizza….
Our caterers were a local company called Tastes Divine. We had a first meeting with them early in the year and we told them about our festival theme and how we wanted something really laid back, no silver service or anything like that. She said she had exactly what we were after, which was the Posh Picnics. They were these massive hampers jam packed with food which was more than enough to feed a table of 10. In each hamper were crisps, loads of different meats, coleslaw, salmon, potatoes, pork pies, couscous, literally everything you could ever want. No-one went hungry and I had loads of great comments about how they really enjoyed the meal. We didn’t have a starter, but we had extra canapes going round before the meal so that people weren’t going hungry.
The hampers came out after the speeches, one for each table, and everyone helped themselves. I think it was a great conversation starter for each table and got everyone talk to each other, even if it was just to pass the salmon to them. For dessert we had a large lemon cheesecake and a chocolate torte for each table and you just helped yourself to whichever you wanted. All very casual and very relaxed.
For the evening food we hired Yorkshire Pizza to made proper stone-baked takeaway pizzas. I love food trucks at festivals and I thought pizza was a good neutral food that everyone loved. I never got chance to eat one, but I heard they tasted amazing and they were clearing up pizza boxes everywhere so I think they went down really well. I had people coming up to me all night telling me the pizzas were a great idea and they tasted delicious. Again, it’s a sharing food so it got people talking and I think everyone loved it!
Live Bands, A DJ, A Silent Disco, Rally Racing and A Tattoo Station…..
I knew with a festival wedding that our entertainment had to be fun, so with that in mind I tried to find as much entertainment as I could fit in. We had a live band called Legends who we found online from Warble Entertainment. They were brilliant and had a huge repertoire and kept everyone on the dance floor all night. They kept to our request of classic rock, but made sure that everyone was happy. We had a DJ that played music from when we arrived to the church to when the band arrived at 8, then again between the bands sets. I requested a few weeks earlier if they could play live tracks of songs, like Queen at Wembley, Kings of Leon at O2 etc, which they did and they found so many more! I wanted people to feel like they were at a festival, so having the live tracks which included applause and whistling really helped!
We had a Silent Disco with 30 headphones. We also had a photobooth from Vintagebooth.me which was fantastic, they were really relaxed with how many people went in, props, and they gave us a memory stick with all the pictures on before they left that night which were great to look at the next day.
We also had a temporary tattoo station set up, with a bowl of water, sponges and a selection of tattoos to choose from. I got the kit from Doris Loves and they supplied everything we needed, including instruction boards, a banner that said ‘Please Help Yourself’ and the bowl, sponges and tattoos. I saw so many tattoos on everybody and everyone seemed to be having a great laugh around there.
Simon and his dad do rally driving, (his dad driving, Simon navigating) so that had to feature on the day somewhere. As well as coming down from the church in the rally car and having it parked up for people to see, I also got an in-car video of one of their stages and projected it onto the kitchen window so at night everyone could watch them race around a forest. It was great for my side of the family to see this and it played on a loop all night. We just hung a sheet up on the kitchen window and projected from the inside, it was a good way of keeping our messy kitchen hidden aswell!
There’s so many! Seeing Simon at the end of the aisle, our first dance and just laughing our way through it, my Dad and my bridesmaids seeing my dress for the first time. One of my favourite part of the days was Simon helping me (and my dress) get into the rally car and driving around in it Getting into it wasn’t very graceful but it was a good laugh. He’s had the Subaru for years but I’ve never actually had a ride in it so getting into it and Simon doing handbrake-turns in the field and us going down the road together was great, and it was the only moment of the whole day it was just the two of us, then Simon lifted me out the car which was a lot more graceful than how I got in.
My biggest bit of advice would be to stick to what you want. Some of the things we planned for our wedding got a lot of raised eyebrows and ‘But, why?’ was asked a lot, but some of those things turned out to be the things that people remember. No-one was on board with my PICKARD sign and thought it was a waste of time, however it turned out to be one of the best decorations of the day.
Another idea that got raised eyebrows was the pizza van but that was a massive hit. Everyone thought I was joking when I said one of my bridesmaids would be a cardboard cut-out (she had already booked a big holiday to India so couldn’t make it) but I’m so glad I did because she’s still in my pictures even though she was all the way around the world.
So I would definitely recommend you to go with your gut, do exactly what it is you want because you’ll regret at least not trying it.
Also add as many personal touches as you can!
And get your bridesmaids to tell you when your fringe needs brushing!
The Line Up
Photography: Jackson & Co Photography
Ceremony Venue: All Saints Church, Holme
Reception Venue: Couples Garden
Sperry Tent: Papakata
Bride’s Dress: Edlin by Watters via London Bride Couture
Bride Shoes: Evangeline angel-wing sandals by Sophia Webster
Groom’s Suit: Next
Bridesmaids Dresses: Ted Baker
Makeup: Chanelle Brewins
Pizza Van: Yorkshire Pizza
Cake: Ellen Jarred
Flowers: All Occasions
Shuttle Bus Hire: Selby Mini Coaches
Band: Legends via Warble Entertainment
Temporary Tattoos: Doris Loves
Toilets: Elite Hire