Wow. Do we have one hell of a DIY wedding to share with you lovely people today. Captured by Hannah of Rocksalt Photography, Ed and Jo’s Homemade Relaxed Farm Wedding takes Do It Yourself to whole nother level! Pretty much everything apart from the marquee, catering and music was put together by themselves. We’re talking about brewing their own beer, making their own sloe gin and elder flower champagne, growing their own flowers, designing their own stationery and building their own bar. But that is only half of the story of this incredibly creative and dedicated couple. The materials they used to make everything was from recycling or up cycling materials they already had. |Items such as old floor boards recovered from Ed’s granddads printing shed that they used to make their very cool bar. They then took the recycling idea even further by inviting their guests to write and draw pictures on the surface of the bar with the intention of making it into a desk for their studio. What a brilliant idea and such an awesome keepsake from their wedding. I wish I had thought of this for my wedding day!
If you are reading this on a train or on your sofa at home, take 5 minutes to take in Jo’s account of her and Ed’s wedding. Her laid back attitude to planning is endearing, her decor DIY ideas are fab and the advice she gives at the end is invaluable.
Make sure you check out the blog tomorrow as we will be sharing Ed and Jo’s alternative first dance love song and it is a gooden!
Over to Jo and their super chilled wedding on a farm….
Frost, Sloe Gin and One Knee….
Ed proposed in Nov 2014. I can’t remember the exact date but it was after the first frost! We make sloe gin every year. It’s my favourite drink – my grandpas too. It’s best to pick them after the first frost. Ed has always joked that we would get married once we had enough for our guests to drink. So we were picking sloes in the freezing cold, our bags were filled and Ed pulled out the ring and said this is for you! I guess he wasn’t joking! We had enough sloes to make 20 Litres!
I was in shock for about 6 months and decided to enjoy being engagement and not get bogged down with wedding planning straight away.
A Small Legal Ceremony at Chester Zoo….
We decided to split the wedding into two occasions, as small legal ceremony and a larger blessing/party. Looking through various locations that were licensed to conduct marriages I was surprised to find Chester zoo at the end of the list. It was perfect, we had 18 of our closest friends and family. It was very relaxed on a Thursday afternoon – also my 30th birthday. I wore flip flops and a summer dress. My mum made an amazing edding/birthday cake! She always makes me a birthday cake and this was her best one yet! A tiered frog themed lemon drizzle cake!!-my dad even got involved with the icing! It was lovely hot sunny day, after the ceremony we wandered around the zoo and had afternoon tea. Best birthday ever!
The Dress, Jewellery, Hair and Make-Up….
This was one element which I was dreading. My favourite attire is boiler suit and wellies! I decided to go to Wed2Be in Liverpool. There was no appointment needed, the dresses are affordable and you can buy off
the peg. I went with my mum and dad, my mum hates shopping so knew there would be no messing about! The staff were lovely. They sensed my fear and were really helpful. About an hour later we chose a dress – phew job done. A family friend Penny altered it and added on the belt and embroidered the zoo wedding date. I went for silver shoes so I could wear them again.
My sister very kindly let me borrow her necklace. It has big sentimental value to her as it was my granny’s. My mum wore it on her wedding day too. I knew my sister couldn’t make it so it was really comforting to wear this and have a little piece of her with me all day. She is amazing.
Daniella my hairdresser at Loose Ends in Whitchurch did my hair, she is lovely. She is getting married next May so we had lots of wedding chat. On the morning of the wedding I drove down with my bridesmaids and it felt like an normal appointment, which was ace.
I am not a big fan of make up so I did my own. Before I had even got ready my mum said ‘no more make up, I want to be able to see your freckles!’ So a bit of waterproof mascara and blusher and I was good to go!
Bradley Chapel, A Morris Minor and a Relaxed Blessing….
We planned to have the wedding blessing a month after the legal ceremony back at the farm on the 11th June 2016. There’s a chapel down the road that Ed’s family commissioned to be built 125 years ago and it’s anniversary was on the 11th of June. Jane the vicar, a family friend conducted the blessing. She’s brilliant and again it was very relaxed. As we were already married we drove down to the chapel in Ed’s Dad’s vintage Morris Minor and walked down the aisle together. The music was Pett Level by Keston Cobblers Club (My friend Jules’ band). They are incredible!!!
We decided against hymns and had 3 readings instead. Ed’s friend John (also the vicar’s son) did a great job with the last reading ‘That’s Life’. There was loads of ad libbing, it was brilliant! Lots of laughter and a great ending to the blessing.
A Marquee, Auto Cad and Canvas Table Plan….
We hired a marquee and borrowed a smaller one from a family friend. I am an auto cad geek and love space planning. The marquee was 9m x 18m so of course I drew this up and plotted in the tables and chairs. They
looked quite spread out, so instead of having them over the dance floor, I decided we would section off the back 6m where the dance floor would go using a curtain. The purpose of this would become apparent later! As I had created this drawing I added on our guest names on the tables. Ed printed in out on canvas and mounted it onto a frame. Table plan done!
A 4 Tiered Wedding Cake, Homemade Favours and Home Grown Flowers….
Sophie from We Heart Cake made our cake. She is local to us, we went over for a tasting and were amazed by her talents. We didn’t want a heavily iced cake and to make sure it didn’t dry out she baked it the night before the wedding. It looked ace and tasted beautiful, it was her husband’s birthday the day of our wedding so I was so grateful she could do it.
I bought some business card boxes made from recycled card. Using a dyno we created labels for the boxes and filled them with chocolates. They doubled up as the seating name placements.
Ed’s mum did the majority of the flowers which were all home grown. She did a fantastic job!! The day before/morning of the wedding our family & friends helped with the final arrangements…I think uncle Jim has found himself a new career!
A DIY Wooden Bar, Homemade Beer and Recycled Decor….
I didn’t go to any wedding fairs or read any magazines. I didn’t want to feel pressurised into what I should have or need. We also didn’t tie ourselves to a theme. On reflection our ‘theme’ was our hobbies and interests. We are both designers and love designing and making things. I don’t like waste, so everything we used either had a previous use or now has a new function. We made our own bar. The bar top was made from old flooring from Ed’s granddad’s printing shed. This is now our studio desktop! We asked our guest to write/draw on it. It’s great to see their drawings and messages everyday at work. We made a back section to the bar area, for additional storage in the marquee. It’s now in the studio and is used as display shelves and provides storage. 6 months ago we finished off our studio – Ed, his dad and myself refurbished the tired printing shed. There was lots of left over birch plywood from the interior cladding. I used this to make the cake stand and vases for the centre pieces. We have lots of Ed’s granddads type blocks and I love and admire the old traditions and craft of printing so I used them on our stationary. The ‘E&J’ blocks were used as the cake topper. Another set is used for handles on the cake table – which is our hall table.
Ed likes craft beer and has made his own for a number of years. He challenged himself to make all the beer for the wedding. He managed to make 7 types and designed, printed and stuck labels on 500 bottles! He did an amazing job and everyone enjoyed trying all the beers. The blood orange IPA seemed to be the favourite. We spent hours grating the blood oranges – only grown is Sicily and in season once a year. This one was a bit of risk but was amazing.
Homemade Gin and Elderflower Champagne….
We had sloe gin and tonic for our reception drinks which were all homemade. There was some vintage stuff from 2010! We also make Elder Flower Champagne every year so we had this as a reception drink too.
A Trio of Open Pies and Pizza Boxes….
Olive Tree did the catering. We went on about 5 tastings as we really wanted to get this right. Our favourite meal is pie and mash. Ed loves cooking and makes an excellent pie, so we wanted to find a caterer that could make them as good as him. Olive Tree suggested trio of opened topped pies and they were sooo tasty. For the evening we had pizza. They suggested serving them in pizza boxes. They were fab and understood the relaxed wedding we had in mind.
Beautiful Photos from An Amazing Photographer….
Lots of my friends back home suggested Rocksalt Photography. I could see from her website she takes beautiful pictures. When we met up she spoke about the couples in her pictures and it was amazing to see how she captured their personalities and happiness – an incredible talent. I knew she would be perfect, she also offered to film it too. I thought it would be a great to look back at and lovely for my sister to see. Despite doing both the photography and the filming Hannah was super-efficient, it felt like she was one of our guest who happened to have 2 cameras!
I have been to lots of wedding where the photographer has dictated the whole day but Hannah was really brilliant. We had done the legal bit earlier and wanted to spend us much time with our guests as possible. Hannah completely understood this and took lots of really natural and lovey pictures. For the smoke bombs and prisms we just let her do her thing! The film and pictures are brilliant and we are so pleased how she managed to capture the day so perfectly! Thanks Hannah!!!!!
There we lots of lovely moments. One of my favourite was when Ed did the worm!!! Ever since I met Ed his friends banged on about his being able to do the worm. He doesn’t like dancing so I assumed they were joking. Although for years I have been asking him about it. I was the other side of the marquee and I saw legs flailing in the air. It was my cousin Katie attempting to do it and next to her was Ed. He was amazing and I couldn’t breathe for laughter and amazement. He did have a bad back for a week and says he’s now in worm retirement! A little while after about 3am I realised I hadn’t thrown my bouquet! It was the hardcore partiers left, so the girls stood behind me, my cousins and Hannah. They are all very competitive there was lots of pushing and shoving – I could even here one of them panting like a dog in excitement! I went for a high launch and Hannah leapt like a gazelle and caught it! She is now my sister in law, their wedding was 6 weeks after ours so it was a lovely handover to them.
Remember it’s not a competition, not a performance but a celebration!
The Line Up
Photography: Rocksalt Photography
Ceremony Venue: Bradley Chapel
Reception Venue: Family Farm
Bride’s Dress: Wed2Be
Bride’s Hair: Loose Ends
Bar & Drinks: Homemade
Flowers: Home Grown
Catering: Olive Tree
Cake: We Heart Cake
Ceremony Band: Keston Cobblers Club
Reception Band: Juke Box