James and Vicky have shared some of their best memories together at festivals and they wanted to share that feeling with everyone that they care about on their wedding day so Wedfest was born! Using mostly DIY elements and lots of help from their family and friends, they played on the festival theme and pulled together an awesome wedding that is full of bright and colourful decor, fun and quirky ideas and of course plenty of festival style entertainment (cue the music, bands and fancy dress!)
Captured beautifully by Sasha Weddings, whose photography style has added a very pretty and soft vintage edge to the photos, and featuring such a lovely combination of colours, James and Vicky’s gorgeous DIY festival wedding has most definitely ticked our pretty wedding boxes!
Look out for Vicky’s invaluable advice at the end of the post.
James and Vicky tell us how it all began…..
The Eiffel Tower, Sparkling Lights and One Knee….
After being together for 6 years we went on one of our European city breaks, this time to Paris. It was such a great trip – great food, wine and sights! I really had no idea James was thinking about proposing, he hid it really well and I even thought he had got bored of me because he was so quiet one evening. James proposed under the Eiffel Tower on our last night in Paris, just as the lights were sparkling. It was an amazing moment that I hope I didn’t manage to ruin by asking him if he was joking!
Proposals, Half Price Shoes and a Gold Locket….
The dress was from Proposals, a local shop located in Witney, who were great throughout the whole process. I had tried on lots of styles which I loved, but just didn’t feel like me. Mum and I popped into their New Year sample sale expecting the scene from Friends, but they were so helpful and ended up suggesting the dress that I fell in love with. It was perfect for our day and fit the theme really well.
I had originally ordered some gold glittery shoes from Miss KG and had been wearing them in around the house in the weeks before the wedding. I’d grown increasingly concerned that they were not getting anymore comfortable so in a stroke of fate I received an email about the Charlotte Mills sample sale and saw the shoes I hadn’t been able to justifying buying a few months before were in the sample sale at half the price. They were perfect and I managed to wear them for most of the day. However, I am one to prepare for all occasions and also brought a pair of gold Converse for the evening that were taken for a spin on the dance floor for the last hour or so!
Since I first envisioned our wedding I knew I wanted to wear a floral crown and our bridesmaid Faye created a floral crown of dreams made up of blue thistles, eucalyptus, craspedia and delphiniums. She understood exactly what I wanted and did an absolutely amazing job.
James gave me a gold locket the morning of the wedding, which had such sentimental value as my Nan always wore a locket that my Granddad had given her (this turned out to be my something new). I wore gold earrings that I already had and borrowed my Nan’s engagement ring from my mum as my something borrowed after the bracelet I was going to borrow broke the morning of the wedding!
Signed, Sealed, Delivered….
The ceremony was at Littleworth Holy Ascension Church – the village where my family live and where I grew up and lived until we bought our first place together a few years ago. The entrance music for when I walked down the isle was ‘Baby I’m Yours’ by Arctic Monkey as this is our favourite song from our favourite band and has been sang to each other on many drunken nights. There were two readings; one from my twin (and “chief bridesmaid”) Liz who read a passage from their favourite book trilogy ‘Northern Lights’.
As our pet dog Lola (an English Spinger Spaniel) is a huge part of our lives so we wanted to ensure she was part of the day so after the blessings we had her join us at the front (from where she watched the whole ceremony at the back) and then we walked out the church with her to ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder – it went much better than rehearsals the day before!
A Barn Built by the Village for the perfect Wedfest….
Littleworth Barn in the playing field, which was constructed by the village residents for the millennium. It consists of a corrugated roof supported by telegraph poles. The village sometimes host a barn dance and after attending one of these we saw the potential that this venue could be for a wedding. We used a fantastic company, Advanced Marquees, who installed the flooring, lights and a marquee to attach to the side of the barn to expand the space.
I’d never really been the type of girl to dream about her wedding day, so we didn’t have a vision at all when we first started planning the wedding. What we did figure out was what we didn’t want; a fancy hotel wedding didn’t feel like us and whilst we debated a destination wedding we were unsure about whether some family members would be able to make it. We really wanted a relaxed, fun and informal day that would hopefully turn into a great party to share with everyone who is important to us. A family friend suggested the barn to us as a joke, but we started to consider it seriously and realised it would be perfect for us. Being huge festival fans we decided on the festival theme and Wedfest was born.
Flowers by A Friend….
We are so lucky that our bridesmaid, Faye, is a really talented florist who did all the flowers herself, including the flower crown, bouquets, button holes, church flowers, milk churns and hanging hoops, in 2 days. The other bridesmaids and I helped with the jars for the reception the day before. The bouquets were made up of pink peonies and hydrangeas, blue thistles, eucalyptus, craspedia and delphiniums. They were truly beautiful and I am so grateful for her hard work.
A Labour of Love….
The barn décor was really a labour of love and we couldn’t have done it without our family and friends help. Pinterest definitely helped inspire our décor, James would often have to rail me back in after I’d seen some new idea to add to the growing list of wedding DIY. My Dad lined the barn with hessian, bunting was borrowed from local villagers, jars were decorated in my garden on sunny afternoons with the help of the bridesmaids, we even had to spend days clearing stinging nettles and making the place look presentable! The Love letters and all the signs were made by James’ Mum and step-dad Rob, Rob ended up turning into our Creative Director and was amazing at stringing up extra lights in the trees at the last minute (which were essential in a village with no street lights!). I made all table plan, place names, family photo display, bake off prizes and DIY photo booth. James did an amazing job with the favours, which were CD soundtracks of our day.
Banquet Style Food and The Great Wedding Bake Off….
We wanted an informal, family-style meal for the day, which a local caterer provided. We had a variety of Mediterranean meats, breads, pasta, salads and cheese served in the middle of the banquet tables for guests to help themselves. The food was exceptional and went down really well with the guests. We also invited guests to enter our ‘Great Wedding Bake Off!’ as I’m a huge fan of GBBO but also of cake in general! We had about 20 entries and our guests made such an effort that we were overwhelmed with cake for days! Although we caused uproar as it later emerged that the winner hadn’t actually baked his entry himself! For the evening we had a hog roast.
Informal, Natural Photos from a Fantastic Photographer….
Sasha was absolutely fantastic, she was so relaxed and accommodating. I found one of Sasha’s weddings on a blog and showed James straight away, as I loved the shots she took with great colours and tones with an informal, natural style. We decided we didn’t want many formal family shots outside the church so pretty much all the shots are informal, natural photos that have really captured the relaxed, fun of the day.
Also, top marks for her balance when standing on a moving trailer when the tractor took and returned us to a cornfield for some awesome shots!
The Royal Blue….
For the daytime music and until the band arrived we used James’ guitar amp with an iPod – with a custom made playlist with all our favourite indie, rock and motown tunes. We hired The Royal Blue for the evening, and although two of the band were replaced due to illness, they played some great sets and were accommodating to our requests.
Walking up the aisle to James was surreal whilst looking around at all the friendly faces. I think we both agreed that we had what we call an ‘allotment moment’ in the evening, we were both dancing and the dance floor was packed with everyone having a brilliant time, we just looked at each other and thought we actually did this, this is our day!
Don’t take it too seriously and plan a day that means something to you as a couple. I loved that our wedding really was a family affair; everyone got involved and offered to help where they could. Don’t conform to the expected and try to cut costs wherever you can, it is only one day after all! We saved a lot of money by choosing not to go with a typical venue or wedding party outfits and opting not to have a three-course meal. Our choices meant we worked much harder for the day, but I think it definitely made our wedding. Oh and on a more practical note, have a bottle of water hidden for the ceremony we were both so nervous that we had really dry mouths!
The Line Up
Photographer: Sasha Weddings
Ceremony Venue: Littleworth Holy Ascension Church
Reception Village: Littleworth Village Barn
Marquee: Advanced Marquees
Bride’s Dress: Proposals
Bride’s Shoes: Charlotte Mills
Bride’s Evening Shoes: Gold Converse
Flower Crown: Handmade by Bridesmaid
Hair: Michelle Uzell
Groom’s Suit: Moss Bros
Groom’s Brogues: Loake
Bridesmaid Dresses: Love via Zalando
Catering: Sadlers Catering
Band: The Royal Blue Band