P&P_LauraJames59Morning Lovely People.

We hope you had a fantastic weekend. I don’ know about you guys but it seemed to fly by in a blur for me – I can’t believe its Monday! It feels like a Sunday or is that just wishful thinking?

As always, we have another gorgeous wedding to share with you on this cold but sunny Monday morning.

Laura and James said ‘I Do’ on the 8th August 2013 at a gorgeous woodland New Forest venue hidden away in the woods appropriately named Weddings in the Woods. The venue comes equipped with a barn, marquee, fire pit and shepherds’ huts for guests to sleep in – sounds perfect right?

Their vision for the day was for it to be magical, dreamy, relaxed, natural and in the English countryside. They also wanted it to be fun and to mirror the vibe you find at a music festival.

Most of the decor and food was homemade or recycled and provided by the wedding party and friends. They wanted to keep as many aspects of the wedding as natural and eco-friendly as possible and this was reflected in almost everything they did from the bunting handmade by Laura from recycled scraps of material to the wedding picnic where they used recyclable paper plates, boxes and cutlery.

Caught on camera by the awesome Sam from Page and Picture – here is Laura and James’ story…

Out Of The Blue…….

James was moving to Pakistan for a year to work for the UN, an opportunity he couldn’t turned down although it was horrible being apart for so long. The proposal came out of the blue the day before he left the country. He got down on one knee in front of the fireplace and we both sobbed as he proposed.  My engagement ring is fair trade and fair mined from Cred Jewellery.

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Florence and The Machine and a Woodland Wedding….

I remember being inspired by the video for Florence and the Machine’s ‘Raise it Up’ and I just had an image in my head, which was difficult to explain sometimes but we got there in the end! I aimed for it to look like we had used what was around us and that we could have found a lot of it hiding among the trees! James and I love woodland and both agreed on what we wanted the day to be like.

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Just Been Picked….

My flowers were from a friend of a friend with a meadow! Sarah at Flower Field. I wanted them to look like they had just been picked and put together casually and they were so beautiful! She also delivered 3 buckets full which were put into jam jars for the tables.



Food from Waitrose, Recyclable Picnic Boxes and Handmade Chutneys…..

We wanted the meal to be casual and social, no sitting and waiting to be served while other tables were eating. We also wanted to keep the costs down so we had a picnic of Waitrose food that we did an online order for and had delivered at the venue the afternoon before the wedding.  Fresh bread was bought in the morning.  The food was packaged up in catering brown boxes made from recycled card, tied with string and served in a picnic basket, with other items wrapped in greaseproof paper also tied with string. Items were labelled using card that matched the invitations. Chutneys were made by my sister’s mother in law and my friend made her infamous tiffin.  We had bio degradable leaf plates for guests to eat from, which were popped in the compost after the meal!

We had a New Forest Ice Cream Bike as dessert and tea/coffee in vintage china.

We had a hog roast in the evening by Hog and Lamb Spit Roast. We would highly recommend both the hog roast and ice cream bike providers for their quality of food and service. 

In the morning for everyone that camped and stayed in the Shepherds Huts, we made bacon and egg sandwiches on a bbq for breakfast.

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A Gluten Free Wedding Cake

Made by a friend. It had to be gluten free as my sister has coeliac’s disease. 3 layers, one was chocolate, one was coffee and the other was strawberries and cream. It was decorated with wild flowers and ivy.

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Acoustic Guitar and Ivy Lane…

For our entertainment we had a friend of a friend, Tom Wilman, who played acoustic guitar and sat on a hay bale after the picnic, while everyone ate ice cream from the ice cream bike. He was incredible as he learnt a lot of songs that were our favourites and let us choose his set list.  One of my highlights of the day, was when he played ‘Cosmic Love’ by Florence and the Machine, which is my favourite song, so I danced around barefoot on the grass with my fellow Florence fan Helena.

We had a band in the evening, ‘Ivy Lane’, some friends of a friend who we had been to see before we were engaged. Listening to them together at this gig, James whispered in my ear that they would be perfect for our wedding, which made me melt into a puddle! So when we got engaged we set about booking them straight away! They were amazing and couldn’t have been more perfect! They learnt our first dance song, ‘Melancholy Hill’ by Gorillaz, and performed a beautiful version. We also put together an ipod wedding playlist consisting of our guests favourite songs to dance to.

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Favourite Moment…

It’s difficult to pick one but a highlight was sitting in the marquee when everyone had just started to tuck into the picnic baskets, chatting and sharing food. I took a few moments to just soak up how perfect it all was and that what I had envisioned was actually happening in front of me. I looked at James and just felt overwhelmed with contentment.

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Any Advice for Couples Planning Their Wedding Day?

James would say ‘leave the country and let your fiancee do it all’!  I would say make a spreadsheet to keep track of everything and be grateful for any help with the prep you receive from friends and family!

The Line Up

Photographer: Page and Picture
Venue: Wedding In The Woods 
Brides Dress: Stephanie Allin
Brides Shoes: Irregular Choice
Brides Hair and Make-Up: Brushed Hair and Beauty
Groom: Suit – Paul Smith
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy in Coronation pink
Flowers: Flower Field Hampshire
Decor and Styling: DIY
Catering: Waitrose & Hog and Lamb Spit Roast
Ice Cream Bike: Brock Ice
Cake: Made By A Friend 
Band: Ivy Lane
Acoustic Guitar: Tom Wilman

Thank you so much to Laura and James for sharing your quintessential English wedding with us today. Your cake looked immense and I love the fact that you cut it with an axe! Brilliant!

Laura and James first dance will be coming up on Independent Love Song later on today so don’t go too far.

Bob and I are heading off for a 4 day trip to Hay On Wye today to stay in this AMAZING cottage: The Bourbon. It’s going to be our last getaway before our baby is born (I’m 30 weeks now people – how the hell did that happen!?) so we are planning to chillax, eat lots of yummy food and go on some lovely walks in the Black Mountains – I can’t wait!!!

I will see you all next Monday.

Big Love

Festival Brides xxx

Ps Have you heard that Kate Bush is touring for the first time since 1979 this summer!!!! I am so excited! Tickets go on sale this Friday and are available from Ticketmaster. Fingers crossed we get some!

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