Becky Male Photography

Well what a weekend it has been for Team GB! Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford all winning medals on Saturday and then Super Sunday with 5 Gold Medals, 4 of which were in the space of an hour! History has been made and records have been broken and we are now 2nd place in the medal table! I know so many people have referred to 2016 as being a dark year for the UK but I tell you what, our amazing athletes have most definitely lifted the clouds for me and the sun is shining on Great Britain today! We should all be so proud of what they have achieved.

Following on from the amazing weekend, we have an equally amazing wedding to share with you all which also comes with it’s fair share of games and gold!

Held in their  back garden after a ceremony at their local church, Hannah and Conrad wanted to create their very own village fete/folk circus for their wedding with plenty of themed games, entertainment, carnival style food and fun! They wanted the overall vibe to be friendly, unique and to reflect their fun personalities…..

Both Conrad and I are quite fun loving, easy going people. Whilst we can certainly enjoy more formal and smarter occasions, we felt that something casual and fun was more “us”. We’ve enjoyed visiting our local circus and village fetes over the years, and we wanted to mimic their friendly, unique and entertaining atmospheres.

With so many unique DIY details and clever entertainment ideas that had their guests searching for a golden ticket or inserting handmade gold coins into the ‘favour machine,’ Hannah and Conrad most definitely achieved that unique and entertaining atmosphere they were hoping for. So much thought and planning went into the entertainment for their guests and you can see from the images below how much fun everyone is having.

This is a DIY wedding at is best and is certainly not short of a good idea or two. Hannah and Conrad had some brilliant ideas and did pretty much everything themselves so, make yourself a brew, pull up a chair and have a good read about how they pulled together this fabulous village fete meets folk circus wedding….

Images captured by Becky Male Photography.

Meganisi, A Quad Bike and One Knee….

We went on a very last minute holiday to the Greek island of Meganisi in October last year. We booked, and four days later we were there. During the few days between booking and flying, Conrad slipped away unnoticed to search for and a buy an engagement ring. On the fourth day of our holiday, we hired a quad bike and set off to reach the very tip of the small island. We were warned that the roads were unfinished and that the quad might not make it, but we carried on regardless. On reaching the tip of the island, Conrad very unexpectedly got down on one knee. As we hugged and kissed, a giant thunderstorm broke out and we spent the rest of the afternoon racing back to our house through a hot and heavy storm. Definitely a day to remember.

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Simple Lines, Elegant Shape and A Lace Bolero…..

My dress was by Suzanne Neville. The lovely ladies at The White Room in Minchinhampton take all the credit for this one! They picked it out for me straightaway and it was amazing. All of the dresses I had picked out were either too old for me or too heavy looking.

The simple lines and elegant shape of the dress were just perfect. I loved the little lace bolero that I wore during the day, then in the evening I swapped the bolero for a beautiful belt by Emmy London for an evening look. The train was also tied up into a tired back for the evening, which gave the dress a completely new look and gave me much more room for dancing!

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A Church Ceremony, Our Back garden and Some Bird Seed…..

We married at our local village church, and guests walked back to our garden for the reception, just a few minutes walk across some fields. I’ve always been entranced by the idea of marrying at home. It feels so personal, and I like the idea of perhaps my own children marrying here too one day. A few guests camped in our lower field next to a stream. Conrad kindly mowed a suitable patch amongst the wild, tall grass, and he also cut a little pathway for them.

The church was literally a few minutes walk from our home. The church florists were incredibly kind and decorated the church with some beautiful displays. Our wedding florist also created two crates of incredibly fun and colourful flowers to sit inside the church. As a gift list, we had suggested that guests could contribute to our future garden plans by purchasing flowers, plants or trees.

As a continuation of the garden theme, I chose “A Little Chaos” by Peter Gregson as the song to play as we walked down the isle. My sister (Elle) read an extract from Richard Bach’s “The Bridge Across Forever”, and my Father-in-Law (Richard) read Romans 12:9-18. During the signing of the register, a selection of classical music was played. For our exit, we chose “Hummel – Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat Major: III. Rondo” by Alison Balsom & Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. We chose this because Conrad played the trumpet as a child.

We gave guests little packets of bird seed to use as confetti as we left the church. Following the ceremony, a brass band lead guests back across the field to our house for our wedding reception.

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400 meters of handmade bunting, garden games and a golden ticket….

As we liked the village fete/circus theme, bunting was of course a must. 400 metres of it to be exact! In order to keep costs down, I bought a gigantic roll of budget hessian from a builder’s merchant and a mega roll of gold ribbon. For speed, I cut the pennants using a rotary blade and a cardboard template, and sewed it all together by folding the ribbon and trapping each pennant inside before sewing. The bunting filled our marque and also decorated the garden and field, creating little walkways to guide guests to different sections.

We also made a selection of homemade garden games including a giant buzz wire made from a length of copper and a little buzzer kit, hook a duck in a paddling pool and hoopla using some old jars spray painting gold and some sewing hoops. To lead guests between games, we painted some scraps of wood with chalk paint and decorated them with names for each of the games.

Inside the marquee, old tin cans that were spray painted in copper and gold and were filled with bright and cheery flowers, and each place setting had a small wooden placemat with a gold coin set inside. The placemats were made from a tree that had fallen in our field two years earlier, and the gold coins were embossed with a thank you message to our guests. The gold coins could then be spent in our very our Travelling Favour Machine. Keeping with the circus theme, my Dad and I went about designing and building a vintage fair coin machine. My Dad runs his own vending machine business, so we worked with one of his electronic machines and built a wooden cabinet around it using an old cocktail cabinet. Guests could choose either ‘Something Pretty’ ‘Something Useful’ or ‘Something Funny’. After inserting their gold coin and selecting their choice, a little box would appear with their surprise gift inside. Gifts included Mini Hangover Kits, Kissable Mints, Temporary Tattoos, Brooches, Pocket Mirrors, Lego and Bottle Openers.

Hidden inside one of the favour boxes was a Golden Ticket! As part of our wedding invitations, we’d told our guests to be on the look out for a Golden Ticket that would be hidden somewhere at our wedding reception. We had lots of fun watching everyone peep under tablecloths and in flower beds trying to find it on the day. Finally our niece found the Golden Ticket inside the machine and excitedly claimed her prize.

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Lovely Memories Captured Beautifully….

Becky of Becky Male Photography took some wonderful photos for us and was lovely to have around during the day. She captured all the little details we were hoping she would, as well as some lovely natural shots of everyone enjoying themselves. Some lovely memories captured beautifully.

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DIY Stationery, Lavender and A Pair of Old Wooden Ladders….

Being a passionately creative person and having worked in the design industry for almost a decade, it was an absolute given that I’d design and create my own wedding stationery. Having spent many hours beavering away on designs for clients, I now had the chance to make something a little more personal. I had hours of fun designing our invitations, order of service, menus, place cards, golden ticket and favours.

Keeping with our wedding gift idea of growing our garden, our table plan was made from a pair of old wooden ladders, with pots of lavender sat on each step. Each pot represented a table, and guests names were written on plant markers.

Following our wedding, I wanted to continue the feel good feeling of being a part of someone’s journey towards marriage, and so Hitched by Hand was born and I now design and create wedding stationery and gifts from my little studio in Gloucestershire.

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Favourite Moment….

This is most definitely the hardest question to answer! Really difficult to choose just one…

Arriving at the church for the first time, seeing our guests through the doorway and anticipating seeing Conrad inside was a really lovely moment. Being driven from the church by Conrad’s uncle and sharing our first private moment as husband and wife was also very special.

Spending the day with so many good friends and a loving family is a feeling that I’ll never forget.

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Any Advice?

Spreadsheets. It sounds really dull and regimented, but spreadsheets were my saviour when planning our wedding. From guest lists, the wedding budget, a schedule for the day, parking plans and minibus routes, almost every element had Excel at its core. I’m a list maker at heart and have always needed to know what’s left to do, how long I’ve got to do it and what I need to achieve it. With so many things to organise, having everything in one place such a list of your suppliers, their contact details and the status of a booking is a real timesaver.

Make it personal. This was really key for us. We wanted the day to reflect us as couple, and for it to have a home grown/ homemade feel.

Don’t fixate on every detail. It’s easy to feel that absolutely everything has to be perfect however, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to achieve everything exactly as you visualised it. However the truth is, you won’t give these things a second thought on the day. Let some things be imperfect, and focus on enjoying your time together.

Relax. The night before the wedding I was still working through the final few jobs on my list. My sister however, promptly ordered me to take a bath and go to bed at 10pm. I’d pictured myself working into the night to finish everything, but when I saw the lovely bath salts she’d bought especially for me, I hopped straight in. I’m so thankful that she did this for me. I woke feeling bright, excited and ready to celebrate – a much better alternative to overworked, tired and in need of more sleep!

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The Line Up

Photographer: Becky Male Photography
Ceremony Venue: Local Church
Reception Venue: Their Home
Marquee and Furniture: Space Intense
Bride’s Dress: Suzanne Neville
Bride’s Shoes: Paradox London
Groom’s Outfit: TM Lewin
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Kate Lace Midi Dress, ASOS
Hair: Abi Andrews Hair & Make Up
Make Up: Perfection Health & Beauty 
Photographer: Becky Male Photography 
Florist: Peppermint Rose Flowers 
Table Flowers: Cathedral Wholesale Florists 
DJ: Unique Wedding Disco 
Stationery: Hitched by Hand
Canapes: Ross & Ross
Pizza: Pizza Monkey
Curry: Gopal’s Curry Shack
Fish & Chips: Simpsons Fish & Chips 
Bar: Big Red Bus Bar 
Ice Cream VW Camper: Vee Double Moo 
Ferret Racing: Fert Racing Team
Toilets and Generator: Bisley Leisure Hire

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