After getting engaged at Wilderness Festival the year before, Emma and Sean wanted to recreate a similar festival vibe for their big day and to have the best party ever! They wanted their wedding day to be relaxed, fun, lively and colourful with aspects of their passion and personalities displayed through the decor and entertainment.

Held in the heart of The Cotswolds at one of Festival Brides exclusive wedding venues, Wildwood Bluebell, Emma and Sean used the laid back ambience and natural beauty of venue as their inspiration to do away with tradition and create a day that was entirely unique to them….

We loved the laid-back venue and the fact we had to sort everything – which meant we could really make it our own. We didn’t have a dress code. We didn’t have a first dance or a cutting of the cake. What we did have however was a Jeagarbomb Hobbit Hut, Musical Bingo, an outdoor ceremony and a ton of dancing!

Look out for the spray painted pineapples, their awesome game of Musical Bingo, some stunning flowers and of course, a ton of festival wedding inspiration. They also used some amazing festival wedding suppliers so be sure to look them up!

Lastly, if you are looking for a stunning bohemian wedding dress, Emma is selling her gorgeous Jenny Packham dress. Please contact Emma if you are interested.

A Festival Wedding in The Cotswolds….

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A Personal Ceremony In The Woods….

We held our personal ceremony in Bluebell Wood at WildWood Bluebell in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. I grew up in the Cotswolds and Sean also proposed to me the previous August at Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire so it seemed very fitting. We had a celebrant who our friends recommended called Sylvie Summer. We met with her and wrote our own vows. My mum and Sean’s sister did readings too. Misty (our dog) was the ring-bearer.

The music we had was ‘To Build A Home’ by The Cinematic Orchestra.

We originally found our venue whilst looking at the glamping venues on Canopy & Stars. They put me in touch with Georgie, the owner. directly. She had not had any weddings at the venue before and we viewed it on a very muddy and wet winter’s day, the barns hadn’t been cleared and the belle tents weren’t up. My mum said, “You certainly need to have vision” and luckily, we did!

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Stunning Flowers from an Amazing Florist….

The bouquets and button holes were by Cath Young from Rose & Grace. The flowers really were the most beautiful I have ever seen and were exactly spot on. I sent Cath a load of Pinterest pics and screenshots I loved, then we met up in Gloucestershire to chat face-to-face. I then sent her a few of my very favourite bouquet pics from Pinterest – I was very specific about which bit of each picture I liked as there was nothing similar on her website, but I could see she was skilled and adaptable. What she came up with for me, the bridesmaids and the buttonholes (for Sean, his ushers, the dads and the mums), was perfect. I didn’t want anything too traditional and tightly-bound, I needed something loose but colourful that would suit my beautiful, flowing dress. And we also wanted to complement the succulents we had picked for the favours. The button holes were unusual, and the bouquets just stunning.

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DIY Decor, Gold Pineapples and Turquoise Pots…..

The tipi was decorated in loads of multicoloured paper pompoms (bought online from Amazon), some long yellow marigold garlands (which were ex-window display from the shop East, bought for £5 each.) The amazing gold pineapples! I spray painted real pineapples as the centre piece for each of the tables (and raised them up on blocks of wood we happened to have lying around in the garden). The favours also acted as decorations. We picked up small succulents and plants from Covent Garden Flower Market and bought little turquoise pots from TIGER. Unfortunately the turquoise ones sold out, so we had to buy a load of random colours and spray painted them turquoise to match. Each plant pot had a little wooden plant label (also from Tiger Stores), on to which I stuck neon labels with peoples names.

The wooden tables in the tipi had neon pink, neon orange and turquoise ribbons running along the centre. We didn’t use table cloths. We displayed the name of the table and the menu on chipboard stands that Sean made. The table plans were mounted on a big piece of chipboard inside a huge, ornate, gold frame (which Sean picked up locally for £15-20 and removed the artwork inside). We also had some big metallic helium ‘S & E’ balloons which Musical Bingo provided as part of their set-up.

The styling/theme was a culmination of a ton of stuff we’ve loved and seen over the years. I saw painted pineapples years ago at a press event (I used to be a stylist/journalist) and I always thought I would eventually pinch the idea for something! The hints of neon and chipboard echo the bright colours and materials used in our Peckham Yoga Studio where we spend most of our time. We also didn’t want anything too twee and stereotypically ‘wedding’, which is another reason why we chose not to have any styling at all in the woodland for the ceremony – just the wooden benches and the natural beauty around us.

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Amazing Food and Cocctails from a Bus…..

For our food we had canapes provided by The Canababes for the drinks reception on the lawn (in front of the Barn) which were totally delicious. They also did our starters which were sharing platters followed by Pizza from Cotswold Pizza Company. Our pudding was strawberries and cream with mini Meringues from the Meringue Girls.

In the evening we had cocktails and Late night Falafel Wraps from The Cream Tease Bus. We met with Daisy and James in Bristol and opted for these three summer cocktails: gin+cloudy apple+elderflower, vodka+cucumber+mint+lime, Aperol+pink grapefruit. They went down a treat!

I can highly recommend The Canababes. The food was all homemade and totally delicious. The canapes and sharing platters were inventive and included lots of veggie options. They worked within the limits of the Barn kitchen, and they provided all the waiting staff for the champagne reception and the dinner.

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A Night of Musical Bingo….

We had Musical Bingo for our entertainment which included Host Ditzy Ritzy, Compere James Loveridge and DJ Darlo. After the speeches, the Musical Bingo gang came in, told everyone to grab a drink and then the games began! Musical Bingo meant that everyone could be involved and there was no lull. We didn’t even move any tables out of the way. Most people played a bit of bingo and jumped up for a boogie when a song they loved came on, some people danced and forgot the bingo, whereas others played the bingo (some with multiple bingo sheets!) until they won a prize. The bingo also included competitions, games, a dance-off (we had pre-chosen who it would be between and told the Musical Bingo guys) and general hilarity. Everyone joined in in some way and then eventually, the bingo ended and the DJ carried on. After that we had playlists on Spotify/Soundcloud that Sean had put together for the rest of the night.

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Favourite Moment….

The moment after the canapes on the lawn, when the guests had been directed to the tipi and Sean and I were left to ourselves, to walk down, through the sunlit field, knowing that we were married (which was amazing) but that the best bit was still to come! We were so excited as no one knew about the Musical Bingo entertainment, the festival makeup from Lisa, the Hobbit Hut for shots etc etc etc.

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Any Advice?

Work out what is really, truly important on the day. We wanted quality food (and plenty of canapes as there are never enough to soak up the champers!) plenty of decent booze (which we did a booze cruise for to France and picked up some great bargains), and a venue that didn’t mind us partying until late (hence the field in the middle of nowhere). We compromised on not having a band or flowers on the tables or a cake – but we didn’t miss any of them.

If you have done it all yourself, get a wedding manager or someone to be there to run around on the day. If a portaloo gets blocked, they sort it. Someone needs to leg it to Tesco to grab something, they go. A supplier is lost, they get that call. It’s definitely worth it.

If you are marrying on a farm or in a field, be sure to take your wellies, a waterproof and hire a 4X4. Our car would not have made it as the day before we had to drive forward and back hundreds of times from the car park to the field, in the pouring rain, in the thick mud. It’s not just about having a fancy vehicle to arrive in – you have to be practical too.

We didn’t have enough time the day before at the venue. I would recommend asking for earlier access (eg. early in the morning) so you and your friends aren’t there working on the wedding prep until 11pm (like we were), decorating tables by torch light because the generator wasn’t arriving until the day of the wedding.

Money Saving Tips….

There are lots of ways you can save money. It all depends on how much time you have and how much stress you could potentially save/take on.

We did the following to save on costs:

  • We bought our own plants from Covent Garden Flower Market which doubled up as table decorations as well as favours.
  • Spray paint stuff. The pineapples were a cheap and fun alternative to a traditional floral centre piece.
  • Do a booze run to France. The guy at Pidout gave great advice and we ended up with some amazing bottles of Champagne (for the toasts), a french sparkling wine (for the canapes), red, white, rose and beer. And, if you’re going to France, buy French wine.

The Line Up

Photography: Laura Ashman
Venue: Wildwood Bluebell
Celebrant: Sylvie Summer
Tipi: Stunning Tents
Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham ‘Venetia‘ SS16
Bride’s Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bride’s Headpiece: Jenny Packham
Bride’s Jewellery: Rings – Baroque Jewellery; Bracelet – Daisy Jewellery
Hair & Make-Up: Lisa Harris
Groom: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Bridesmaid Accessories: Pup Tart Handmade
Meringue: The Meringue Girls
Entertainment: Musical Bingo
Catering: The Canababes
Evening Food: The Cream Tease Bus
Flowers: Rose & Grace

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