Claire & Rufus By Shutter Go Click Photography for Festival Brides-71

Morning Lovely People,

I hope you all had a good weekend.

We have a fantastic wedding to share with you today.

Captured so brilliantly by one of my favourite photographers, Shutter Go Click, and featuring a very unique personal wedding ceremony by Jan Shillito of Celebration Ceremonies and Weddings; Rufus and Claire’s Secret Garden Festival is a wedding after my own heart. It is fun, relaxed, beautiful and, above all, a true reflection on all the things that make them tick as a couple and to me, that is exactly how a wedding should be.

We absolutely love live music and regularly watch bands and attend festivals. Rufus performs in two bands in his spare time so it was really important for us to include lots of live music throughout the day and evening. It was also important to keep our guests entertained too; I didn’t want anyone to feel bored so we made sure we had lots going on throughout the day. 

With two amazing bands, a DJ and a personal ceremony completely inspired by the music they love, Claire and Rufus’ wedding certainly had their love for music at the heart of their day.

Look out for a very quirky cake, a man on stilts, lots of pretty pastels and Claire’s fantastic advice throughout.

Rufus and Claire tell us all about it….

Christmas Day, Norfolk and One Knee…

Rufus proposed on Christmas Day 2012 back at my mum’s house in Blakeney, North Norfolk. Norfolk is a special place to us both so it was only fitting that Rufus chose here to propose. The ring was his great granny’s too.

Rufus had originally planned to propose earlier in the year whilst we were on holiday in New York, unbeknown to me he had been researching vintage wedding ring shops and found the perfect place in Brooklyn, although the one week we were there on holiday the place was closed…therefore he changed plans for a Christmas day proposal instead.

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ASOS Mix-Match Bridesmaid Dresses….

Having 6 bridesmaids this was probably the trickiest thing I had to find!

I wanted the girls to feel comfortable in what they were wearing and as I wanted a mix matched theme (definitely no matching!) it made it a little harder. I fortunately came across this selection on ASOS which had a couple of variations of style (maxi and short) which meant I was able to give the girls some options. They also came in two colours matching our colour scheme so I was really happy.

Luckily the girls picked their preference and fingers crossed it all came together perfectly. As all the girls live round the country and oversees I was never going to get the chance to have them all together before the wedding so the first time I actually saw them all in their dresses was on the wedding morning. They all looked beautiful.

A Love for Peonies and Pink Shoes….

Our flowers were by Katie Laura Flowers. Katie was brilliant, I couldn’t have been happier with the flowers when she delivered them on my wedding morning, they were beautiful.

From our first initial meeting where I had told Katie my love for peonies she really delivered. Unfortunately for Katie the week leading up to our wedding was also one of the hottest weeks of the years but she worked her magic and was able to provide me peonies in my bouquet and they survived the heat!

I had also mentioned to Katie about my pink shoes and she made sure my bouquet complimented my shoes. For the bridesmaids they had gypsophila bouquets and my two flower girls had little flower crowns made.

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A Secret Garden Ceremony, Balloons and an Acoustic Guitar….

One of the first things we decided on when we began planning our wedding was that we wanted to use the garden at Croft Cottage. It is such a beautiful setting and fitted perfectly with our theme.

The only issue we faced once we decided that we would hold the ceremony here was how it would be conducted. After trawling the internet for various types of non-religious weddings and starting to despair (one offered to drink from a special goblet at an extra price…!) I came across Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings.

A call was booked in with Jan and over an hour of chatting we had found our celebrant. Jan had her own wedding ceremony in her garden so she completely understood the direction that we wanted with our wedding. For us we wanted it to be more of a celebration of our relationship, Rufus and I have been together a long time and many had joked the wedding was a long time coming, so we wanted our family and friends to enjoy a more personal ceremony about us.

At our first meeting back in March, Jan came and visited us at the ceremony venue and helped visualise the setting for the day including the idea that I would make my entrance walking down the spiral staircase and the best ways of utilising areas of the garden.

Jan was great; she understood our vision and produced the whole script, from choosing my entrance song to the readings and the songs. We were really impressed by it all. On the day it all flowed together with live music and singing from everyone. We had said all along we wanted a unique ceremony that everyone would remember and I think this was achieved, many said afterwards that this was one of the best ceremonies they had ever attended and also it was so nice to actually sit and listen to something a little more personal.

For seating during the ceremony we had hay bales for the guests and balloons lined the aisle. We had a backup if the weather was bad (the ceremony would be moved to the village hall) but we were very fortunate that it was a glorious sunny day.

Seth Moshowitz from the band Fold played acoustic guitar as guests arrived at the ceremony.  This really added some extra ambiance as guests were getting ready to be seated.

The bride made her entrance down the spiral staircase to Civil Wars- ‘Dance me to the end of love’. This is such a beautiful song and went well with our theme.

Groom’s sister read- ‘Falling in love is like owning a dog’ by Taylor Mali. As we have a 5 year old Cockapoo Molly who is like our own little baby it was only fitting to have a poem like this!

Joe Flanagan (member of grooms band the Four 45’s) played two Beatles tracks ‘I’ve just seen a face’ and to close the ceremony and get everyone singing along ‘I get by with a little help from my friends’. For us we wanted live music to be a focal point as part of our ceremony and Joe did a great job.

A lot of people were surprised too that this type of service exists; only thinking that you can hold a ceremony in a licensed venue. I would definitely recommend this option if any brides were thinking about this for their big day, it’s a great way to put your own individual stamp on your wedding day.

Extra special thanks must go to Rufus’ Auntie and Uncle who allowed us to use their garden at Croft Cottage, Green Hammerton to host the ceremony. They both worked so tirelessly in the weeks leading up to our wedding to get their garden looking so beautiful and growing specific flowers to blend in with the colour scheme.  Everyone commented on how amazing it looked and it really did feel like a secret garden. We were very lucky.

For seating during the ceremony we had hay bales for the guests and balloons lined the aisle. We had a backup if the weather was bad (the ceremony would be moved to the village hall) but we were very fortunate that it was a glorious sunny day.

 

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A Bespoke and Original Wedding Dress….

I ended up designing my dress and getting it made by a very talented dress maker. jeanettepurday@hotmail.com

I wanted something a little different and wedding dress shops intimate me as well as charging some ridiculous prices for dresses. After searching Pinterest for ideas I decided on separates, top and skirt. I love what Jeanette created and it’s something that I could wear again.

Any brides that might be considering spending a small fortune on a dress I would say have a look at getting one made, it is definitely an enjoyable experience to know you are getting something bespoke and original.

To Veil or Not To Veil….

After debating for a long time on what to wear in my hair, to veil or not to veil, I discovered this little gem of a place in the Corn Exchange in Leeds. The girls were really helpful and made a bespoke hair comb for me that had pink crystal stones to match my shoes. 

Hair piece by accessory and millinery boutique Lou Lou Puchalka

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Amazing and Alternative Photography…..

We chose Ryan as we loved his alternative style and approach to wedding photography.  When we initially met Ryan we just clicked and I knew he was the right man for the job.

Ryan was brilliant on the day, made us both totally feel at ease and our guests loved him too. He was such a lovely guy. We really felt like he was part of the wedding and not just someone taking pictures!

We wanted to break away from the typical ‘cheesy’ posed style of wedding photos and he captured everything so brilliantly, everyone has commented on how amazing and different (in a good way) our photos are. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

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DIY Decor, Pastel Colour Scheme and Festival Vibes….

For the reception and in the marquee I wanted to keep it to pastels, dusty pinks, mint, sage etc so we had hanging lanterns and honeycomb balls decorating the marquee. We used the Hanging Lantern Company for the lanterns and honeycombs who were really helpful in advising how many to order and colours etc –would definitely recommend them.

We also had use of the village hall for the evening, this is where the DJ and bands played and I decided to break the theme up and have multicoloured lanterns instead hanging from the beams.

We set up our own make shift bar in the hall along with our own DIY sweetie stand. This was a last minute idea but I bought a kit from amazon along with tongs, paper bags and loads of sweets.

For outside the marquee we had hay bales for seating and in the evening everyone sat on here round the fire with guitars, full on festival vibes.

I did all the chalkboards myself, and we used one for the seating plan, a wedding set list with a running order for events and a bar menu.

The table flowers were beautifully put together my mother in law and her friends, jam jars were filled with cuttings from the garden and left over gysophila and they looked so pretty on the tables in the marquee.

In the evening candles were lit inside the jam jars and it just looked amazing as the sun was setting and everyone sat around on the haybales. 

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Pink for the girls and green for the boys….

I handmade all the table numbers with some help from my bridesmaids.

For the name cards I used luggage tags and stuck personalised stickers (these had our initials and wedding date on there) that I had made from Not on The High Street. I then had personalised name badges made by Wedding In A Tea Cup and attached these to the luggage tags too. We had pink for the girls and green for the boys. These were definitely a big hit with guests and it was lovely to see people actually wearing the badges for the rest of the day and a great ice breaker.

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A Man on Stilts, A DJ, Two Bands and a Photobooth….

 

Nat Lunatrick from Luna Tricks provided the entertainment during the day for the children, making balloons and performing tricks. Even though he was primarily booked for the children, the adults got involved too!

We then had Rory Hoy DJ who played an amazing set and did some brilliant mixes. Guests were commenting that he was up there with some of the world’s top DJs and definitely had everyone on the dance floor. We also had a great band called Citizen Smith. They played a range of covers but for us this was good as we wanted everyone to enjoy the music. 

At the last minute Rufus’s band The Four 45’s played a little set. Even though this wasn’t planned it was a great addition as it was the first time a lot of our friends and family had seen them perform. 

We also booked a Photobooth from Booth Revolution for the evening. This was one of the first things I booked when we started planning as they are so much fun. It was a great way of capturing drunken antics from guests as part of the evening celebrations. Would definitely recommend one!

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Cockapoo Meringue and 8 Slices….

We had our cake made and designed by Kate Taylor. Kate did an amazing job; she was in regular contact with us before our wedding to discuss certain details and even provided taste samples along the way! She created us a pinterest board so we were able to share ideas etc.

We were so happy with the end result, Kate had even made a meringue version of our Cockapoo Molly that sat at the top of the cake!  Everyone commented on how delicious the cake was, it was even a big talking point the next day as to how many slices people had eaten, I think the record was 8!

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Favourite Moment….

It would have to be during the speeches, I know Rufus was really nervous about getting up and talking in front of everyone but he did an amazing job and had even written and performed a song especially for me. I was so touched and there were quite a few tissues being used during his performance. I had no idea that Rufus was going to do  this, he had been planning it and performing it in secret for months prior to our wedding day.

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Any Advice?

I would say try to not to get stressed out too much with it, I wasn’t the typical bridezilla and it was more other peoples reactions and suggestions that would get me down and almost make me feel like I was the inadequate one/not a normal bride. It will all come together on the day, don’t let it take over your life and enjoy the days leading up to it! Some of the best moments were the couple of days leading up to the wedding with all our friends around us helping to decorate the marquee and hall.

Having all your friends and family, some you have not seen in forever in one place is truly an amazing feeling.

Another thing I would say is stick to your guns, if you want to do something that someone else doesn’t agree with listen to your own instincts. It is your special day and you only (hopefully) get to do it once.

The Line Up

Photographer: Shutter Go Click Photography
Ceremony Venue: Family Garden
Reception Venue: Whixley Village Hall, North Yorkshire
Marquee: Wills Marquee
Bride’s Dress: Jeanette Purday
Bride’s Hairpiece: Lou Lou Puchalka
Bride’s Jewellery: Estella Bartlett 
Bride’s Make-Up: Cat Johnson
Groom’s Suit: Moss Bros
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Celebrant: Celebration Ceremonies and Weddings
Florist: Katie Laura Flowers
Cake: Kate Taylor
Children’s Entertainment: Luna Tricks
Bands: Citizen Smith Band and Four 45’s
DJ: Rory Hoy
Afternoon Tea: Pinnies and Pearls 
BBQ: Piccalilli
Photobooth: Booth Revolution
Lanterns: The Hanging Lantern Company
Name Tags: Wedding in a Teacup
Stationery: DIY by the Bride using Not On The High Street

Big Shout out to Rufus whose birthday it is today!!! Happy Birthday!

Big Love

Laura xxx

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