Afternoon Lovely Peeps,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

We have such a gorgeous wedding to share with you today captured brilliantly by Steve Fuller Photography and featuring some of my favourite South East suppliers such as Florist In The Forest (she did my wedding don’t you know!), LPM Bohemia and Loveabell.

James and Kathy held their garden festival wedding on the 1st August 2015 at Kathy’s parents house and garden in a picturesque part of Kent. Initially, James wanted a big traditional affair but Kathy craved for something a bit more relaxed and informal. A compromise was made by holding a garden wedding that still kept the traditions James loved but in a setting that was very relaxed and familiar. The result is a beautiful outdoor wedding that juxtaposed traditional elements with alternative style inspiration perfectly.

Look out for their gorgeous ceremony arch put together by Florist In The Forest, the cute stationery illustrations by Rebecca McMillan and their amazing ‘green house’ style marquee used during their ceremony.

Kathy and James talk us through their relaxed and fun garden festival wedding.

The Summer of 2014….

James proposed in Green Park over a Carluccio’s picnic on a Wednesday evening in the summer of 2014.  Despite my first response being ‘but it’s a Wednesday’ (I’d always thought a proposal was a weekend kind of activity!), it was an immediate yes!

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A Dress That Ticked The Bridal Box….

The key factor for me when I was searching for my wedding dress was that I wouldn’t feel restricted and could happily throw some serious shapes on the dance floor. I also had to make sure it ticked the ‘bridal’ box for James who made me promise I would go and buy a wedding dress rather than a ‘dress that just happened to be worn at a wedding’. My dress from Pronovias was perfectly and definitely ticked all of the boxes.

For my jewellery I wore lots of sentimental pieces, including gorgeous diamond earrings James gave me the morning of the wedding; a silver bangle from my parents; and my late Grandma’s engagement ring. On my feet I wore a sparkly pair of Jimmy Choos!

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A Picture Perfect Setting for a Humanist Ceremony….

We held our wedding at my parents house, in a picture perfect Kent setting. W e knew that doing it in the garden meant we could do it our way without any restrictions.  We could party as long as we wanted to, have friends to stay in teepees in the garden and also host a BBQ breakfast the following day. We also loved that it would be totally unique and we’d be back at the venue time and time again in the future!

We had a humanist wedding conducted by Pat Jay, under an arch that Katherine from Florist in the Forest decorated with stunning flowers. We were keen to have in-season and locally-sourced flowers that complemented the natural surroundings and Katherine was absolutely instrumental in transforming the garden into our perfect wedding venue.  As soon as we met, Katherine knew exactly what we were after and worked to create the most stunning arrangements of natural, summery flowers.

Pat worked with us beforehand to create a totally personalised ceremony that told the story of how we met and why we considered marriage to be important. She was amazing and made the ceremony the perfect blend between tradition and personal that we were looking for. I walked in to Canon in D and we included an eclectic mix of music incorporating Einaudi, Jerusalem and Coldplay in the ceremony. Niche, our string quartet, were brilliant. We decided to get the marquee from Academy Marquees in case it rained but then loved it so much that we had it up even though it was a beautiful, sunny day.

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Garden Games, A Compromise and A Relaxed Day….

After the ceremony we held an outside drinks reception in the garden with a range of garden games and picnic rugs, followed by speeches, dinner and dancing in an LPM Bohemia marquee.  We sourced all the different bits to make it look just the way we’d envisaged.

James is a real traditionalist (and comes from a very big family!) whereas I had always envisaged a tiny, fuss-free wedding away from the spotlight.  So we had to find a compromise! Having the wedding at home kept it all so relaxed and meant that a big wedding felt a lot less daunting.  It also meant we could keep the traditions we wanted whilst making it really personal.  Whilst, ironically, there was a lot more ‘fuss’ in transforming a garden into a wedding venue, I loved it and felt that every single thing was ‘us’ on our wedding day.

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Black boards, slate tags, illustrations and step ladders….

We had a totally blank canvas when it came to the marquee and we got most of the ‘big things’ like tables and chairs, crockery, glassware and blackboards from Classic Crockery.  I sourced most of the ‘bits and pieces’ from Not On The High Street and Wedding of My Dreams.  Our table names were based on places we’d visited on holiday and we clipped polaroid photos of us in each of the various places on to slate tags.

Rebecca McMillan, who I found via notonthehighstreet, did our stationery. She was actually travelling round the world when I contact her so her Mum, Pat, dealt with all our enquiries (save the dates, invites, orders of service, table plan cards, place names, thank you cards…!).  She was fantastic and the stationery fit in perfectly with our low-key country look. The illustrated order of the day was one of our favourite things on the day and is now hanging on our bedroom wall as a constant reminder of our brilliant day!

Our table plan was hand-written on Rebecca McMillan cards and then clipped on to twine on one of Katherine’s antique wooden stepladders.  My Dad did an amazing job creating blackboard signs for us which I then wrote on with a chalk pen. They were put up all round the garden directing people and we also used these to show who was staying in which tepee.  It was a lovely project to do together and another personal touch.

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Favourite Moment…

We both said the same thing! Both of us loved walking through the confetti after the ceremony. The nerve-wracking bit was over and it was just so lovely walking through everyone we loved and hearing all the laughter and screeching! I also had a moment on the dance floor when the band were playing a really epic song and I just felt SO happy.  The happiest I’d ever been! It was a really weird but amazing feeling.

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Any Advice….

It’s so important to have the slightly tense conversations where you have different views and then figure out what really matters to both of you. Our wedding really reflected what both of us wanted. We also worked with a lot of smaller, independent suppliers who genuinely cared about our wedding day.

The Line Up

Photography: Steve Fuller
Venue: Bride’s Family Home
Celebrant: Pat Jay
Ceremony Marquee: Academy Marquees
Reception Marquee: LPM Bohemia
Bride’s Dress: Pronovias
Bridesmaid Dresses: Maids To Measure
Flowers: Florist In The Forest
Bell Tents: Loveabell
Catering: Vaults and Garden
Cake: Basil
Videographer: Andrew Collin
Stationery: Rebecca McMillan
String Quartet: Niche
Band: Motown Gold

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Wedding beauty on its way!