Afternoon Lovely People,
Flo and Ollie held their beautiful festival style wedding at the very same pub where they shared their first kiss, Lower Lode Inn in Gloucestershire. Flo arrived to the ceremony by boat wearing a stunning bespoke wedding dress, Ollie was waiting for her by an incredible arch of twigs and their decor consisted of 200 meters of homemade bunting, a dream catcher table plan and jars and vases filled with flowers that had been grown at their parents allotment. They had an open mic session for their entertainment, face painting for the kids (and adults!) and plenty of camping. This is a wedding that had DIY hands, a bohemian heart and a festival soul…..all achieved with a budget of £7500, and that included the honeymoon!
Captured perfectly by Scuffins Photography, Flo and Ollie talk us through their amazing country meets festival style wedding.
A House Filled with Candles and Bouquets….
Ollie decided on a whim one evening I was out that the time was right. My Nana had given him my great grandmother’s engagement ring before she passed away so that was in place. I had the car so he rode his bike to our local Morrison’s and bought ALL of their flowers (including the ones from the garage!) A very kind lady saw him struggling with his bike so gave him and the flowers a lift home. I returned home to a house filled with candles and bouquets. As I took in this amazing scene, Ollie got down on one knee and revealed the ring on our dog, Luna’s collar.
An Elfin Queen….
My dress was desgined and made by Lucinda Holbrook-Hase. She’s an independent designer who I met through my cousin’s girlfriend. We met after a bad experience in a dress shop. I was forced into a succession of meringue dresses and told I was a ‘princess’, like it or not! I had some basic ideas about the shape and some embroidery, and Lucinda made it come to life. She incorporated pansies into the bodice for Ollie’s late Grandad, and bluebells for my late Nana. She also made my gorgeous veil, and paired with my flower crown, I felt like an elfin queen (not a flouncy princess!)
A Humanist Ceremony, A Boat and A Flowering Tree…..
We held our humanist ceremony and reception at The Lower Lode Inn. We’ve been going to the pub for years, and actually had our first kiss at a party there! We love it as they allow dogs in every area, even the guest rooms, so not only could we have our beloved labradoodle, Luna with us, our guests could bring their dogs along. We knew we could make it our own as well. Sam, the owner, works so hard and will do her best to make anything possible. She said yes to everything and we felt like she was just as excited about our day as we were. Another plus was that I could arrive at the ceremony by the little ferry the pub runs – what an entrance! (Ollie arrived in his brother’s VW camper ‘Ronnie’).
The day after we got engaged we went to the pub and made joint decisions on what we wanted our day to be like. We wanted all the people we love (we both have big families- we had 110 day guests and 160 evening guests) to share in a relaxed, fun, and natural day. We definitely feel like we achieved it!
The entrance music for our ceremony was ‘In Dreams’ from Lord of the Rings, beautifully played by Ollie’s brother, Lee on Violin and our friend Martin, on clarinet. We had a humanist, hand fasting ceremony conducted by a Humanist celebrant, Chris Edwards. We chose a humanist ceremony mainly so we could have it outside, but also because we could create a personal and meaningful ceremony without the religious content. We were able to incorporate so many lovely ideas. Both of our mums did a reading, we had a ring blessing (the rings were passed around all of the guests for them to hold and send us their good wishes), a hand fasting (Ollie’s 2 sisters wrapped our hands in five ribbons), we planted a beautiful flowering tree as part of a planting ceremony, and wrote our own vows. It was so emotional and perfectly ‘us’!
Boho Inspiration, DIY Decor and 20 Meters of bunting….
I used pinterest and boho/festival wedding blogs (including Festival Brides!) as inspiration. Ollie had lots of original ideas, and encouraged me to have a go at DIY-ing as much as we could. I’m so glad we did, as it made it so much more personal and meaningful to us. It’s also given me more confidence to get creative as I used to think I wasn’t good at anything crafty.
Our amazing family and friends helped us so much! Ollie’s parents’ dining table became a sewing factory as we made 200 meters of bunting (with twice as many flags to spare!), all sewn onto the ribbon by Ollie’s dad, Tim. We also collected and painted hundreds of jam jars and filled them with flowers and tea lights. Ollie, his dad, brother, and cousin made the incredible willow wedding arch which is now standing proudly in our back garden. We bought vintage saris from eBay, which we used as table runners. Ollie turned out 100 wooden ‘gnomes’ which we hand painted and used for the favours/place settings. We created our own ‘drop box’ guestbook- I painted up an old picture frame and Ollie made the wooden hearts to drop in. I also lined a vintage suitcase for the cards, and created a huge dreamcatcher for the table plan using a wooden hula hoop and A LOT of twine. I’m the deputy manager of a day nursery, so I had great fun putting party bags together for all of the kids. We also had an amazingly talented face painter in the evening who was just as popular with the adults!
Home Grown Flowers…..
Most of our flowers were grown by Ollie’s parents on their allotment. Ollie’s brother and sister-in-law, Lee and Jules then arranged them all in our decorated jam jars. They looked stunning! Jules even made flower crowns for me and the flower girls.
Afternoon Tea with Vintage China….
Food was provided by Lower Lode Inn. We had an afternoon tea as the wedding breakfast, with vintage china from Ruby with Roses. My mum, Nicki baked all of the cakes and Lower Lode did the sandwiches. We had a delicious barbeque with a selection of salads for the evening.
A naked Cake with Ceramic Pigs….
Made by Ollie’s mum, Rose. We chose a naked cake with blueberry jam and fresh fruit to decorate. We also had a cheese wheel cake from The Cheeseworks, Cheltenham. Ollie’s sister-in-law, Jules made our gorgeous ceramic piggy cake toppers
The Best Decision We Made….
Our photographers, Scuffins Photography, were the best decision we made! The moment I saw their website I knew their style would suit our day. Chris and Helen were amazing from the very first email, they’re both so warm and friendly. They gave us loads of helpful advice, and managed to be both extremely organised and incredibly relaxed at the same time. We’re overjoyed with the photographs, they’re absolutely breath-taking.
Lots of our guests camped and we stayed in a luxury honeymoon bell tent provided by Canvas Cottage Company. We all met in the pub for breakfast the next morning, which was a lovely way to end it.
An Open Mic….
We held an open mic night, as we have so many talented friends and family. I sang a few songs with my sister, Polly. Our good friends The Hawthornes were the headline act. We created a playlist for the disco and Ollie’s friends, Tom and Mike, kindly stepped up to DJ for us!
It’s nearly impossible to choose as the whole day was so perfect. Highlights definitely include the ceremony- it was pelting it down with rain in the days leading up to it so we had resigned ourselves to an indoor ceremony. Saying our vows in the glorious sunshine was simply unforgettable.
Another was Ollie’s speech- never one to go with tradition he wrote a 20 minute letter to the future members of our family. Needless to say he had the whole room in floods of tears and laughter!
Finally was the surprise performance of ‘all you need is love’ by a big group of our friends- and my stepdad Stu on the triangle!
Just do things your way! We raised a few eyebrows with our unorthodox ceremony and pub setting, but so many people said how emotional and beautiful they found the day. There also comes a point on the day before your wedding when you have to realise that the little details that aren’t finished don’t matter. If you’re crying over a jam jar then it’s time to go to bed. (I speak from experience!)
We had a relatively small budget of £7500 (including the honeymoon). We managed to stick to this, mainly because of the very reasonable price of the venue and food. Also, because of our amazing friends and family who were willing to give up their time and skills to make our day special- we are so grateful to them. You don’t realise how loved you are until you get married!
The Line Up
Venue: Lower Lode Inn, Forthampton
Photographer: Scuffins Photography
Celebrant: Chris Edwards
Videographer: Offbeat Films
Brides Dress: Lucinda Holbrook-Hase
Bride’s Hair: Updoo
Bride’s Make Up: Samantha Davis
Groom: Suit Jacket – Gabicci; Trousers & Shirt – White Stuff
Vintage china: Ruby with Roses
Cheese Wheel Cake: The Cheeseworks, Cheltenham
Bell tent: The Canvas Cottage Company
Trestle Tables: CB Hire
Confetti: The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company
Band: The Hawthornes
Face Painting: Cheltenham Face Painting