Back in September 2011, when Festival Brides was still a baby in blogging land, we ran a post called Waving The Flag For Weddings where we featured Festiflags awesome festival flags. As a result, Stuart Mitchell (the brainchild behind Festiflags) got in touch to thank us for the post and to tell us about his amazing festival wedding to the lovely Rosy.
Well, Kel and I almost jumped out of our seats!!
Stuart & Rosy’s festival themed wedding is full of so much festival detail that I found myself smiling from ear to ear at their photos and wishing I had had a ticket!
The best part about it is they more or less did everything themselves with a little bit of help from family and friends, making their wedding even more personal.
The wedding photography was captured by Stuart’s cousin, Mark Badham, who did a grand job at captivating that festival vibe.
So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Rosy and Stu.
A festival proposal…..
Stu proposed to me on a beach under the stars. He got down on one knee and produced a beautiful ring and made me so happy! Incidentally, this was while we were camping in Richard and Judy’s back garden and helping record Chris Evans Radio Two breakfast show. We were also just round the corner from our favourite Cornish village of Polperro.
A festival wedding……
We got engaged in August 2010 and decided straight away that we wanted to do something a bit different for our wedding. We both felt that generally a lot of weddings can be a bit stuffy and dull, and that we wanted something that everyone would enjoy and hopefully leave at the end of the day thinking, ‘wow’!
We are both festival lovers and go to as many as we can, so the ‘festival themed’ wedding idea seemed the perfect option.
Finding a venue was the hardest part. We wanted somewhere that we could have a stage outside and most venues wouldn’t allow this, but eventually we visited Woodchester Mansion, near Stroud in Gloucestershire who were happy for us to do it. Woodchester Mansion is quite an unusual Wedding venue – it’s a half finished 19th Century Victorian Mansion house, that was abandoned in the 1870s.
The Mansion is in a very secluded location, down a mile of track set in a stunning valley. It was perfect.
We decorated the venue with lots of our festival flags. We had hay bales with cushions for people to sit on outside, hand painted signs everywhere, planted wellie boots and lots of great lighting for when it got dark. We also had a bouncy castle, bubble guns, large inflatable balls, glow sticks, neon face paints and a few other bits and bobs.
We had our ceremony at midday which was attended by about 70 family and friends. After the ceremony, we exited the mansion to an arch of poles with wellies on the ends.
After a few photos we had a buffet lunch for about an hour. We really didn’t want a sit down reception meal that went on for 3 hours or so and never ending speeches.
After lunch at about 2pm, the majority of our guests got changed into something more comfortable and got their wellies on!
The first thing we had arranged was an African Drumming Workshop. This went on for about an hour and half. During this time we had about another 130 guests arrive. The drumming was great fun and also good for getting people to mingle and chat.
As the drumming workshop came to an end, we had arranged a Flower Headband workshop which proved hugely popular and really got everyone into the festival mood.
Our first band Black Velvet came on stage at 4pm. They are a band which we have seen many times whilst on holiday in Cornwall and plays a lively mix of traditional Irish entertainment, playing songs, jigs, reels and comedy.
During their break we had our Tandem Space Hopper racing! This was one of the cheapest parts of the wedding but was possibly one of the most memorable. It really was hilarious! We had the song Bonanza Ska by Carlos Malcolm playing during this which proved perfect.
After the second half of Black Velvet we had a large barbeque for everyone followed by the ice cream van arriving. This also gave the sound and lighting crew time to change the stage for the next band.
We also had music playing constantly in between the bands – all tracks that we had carefully picked ourselves.
Before the next band we had the speeches. 12 minutes for 3 of us! We figured that everyone would rather listen to the music than us waffling on!
We then had our first dance to ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ on the grass in front of the stage and then straight on to our next band The Refinements.
The Refinements are a Ska covers band and were amazing. We both love Ska music and usually find that even the pint huggers over in the corner will always get up and dance to a bit of Madness!
And finally, to our ‘Headliners’ The Wurzels!
Everyone knows The Wurzels and they appeal to all ages. They were brilliant as always and also made their set personal to our wedding.
For our wedding cake we opted for cupcakes with wellies, ladybirds, bees and flowers and also had a big pair or wellies on the top!
There was also jars of sweets so everyone could have pic’n’mix and we had a large canvas for everyone to sign and doodle on instead of a guest book. We now have this hanging up at home to remind us of our special day.
We had set a time of 10.30pm for everything to finish. Even though we would have loved it to continue longer, we figured that as we started fairly early it would be better to have a definite finish time and by doing so everyone would stay until the end. We have been to so many weddings that just slowly fizzle out and end up with just a couple of people dancing. We wanted to finish on a high and we think that worked perfectly as so many guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been too.
And of course we think that too!
Rosy’s favourite moment – Everyone looking at her as she walked into the Ceremony room with her Dad.
Stuart’s favourite moment – Tommy Banner from The Wurzels asking me to drop my trousers with him on stage during their Combine Harvester set. Apart from that, the Space Hopper racing will always stick in my mind. Everyone enjoyed that bit as you can see in the photos and was a good ‘ice breaker’.
Oh, and seeing Rosy in her dress for the first time as she stood next to me in the ceremony – stunning, I almost cried!
Venue: Woodchester Mansion
Caterers: Buffet lunch was supplied by Rosy’s Parents and Grandparents
Evening BBQ: Arden Pig Company
Stage, Sound Equipment, Lighting and Sound Crew: www.igoepahire.co.uk
Bouncy Castle – Gloucester Bouncy Castles
Wellie Cake and Cup Cakes: The Sugar Craft Shop
Flowers and Internal Decoration: Sumptuous Occasions (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rosy’s Wedding Dress: Dressed To Impress Weddings
Bridesmaid Dresses – www.very.co.uk
Marquee/Party Tents – www.ebay.co.uk
Thank you so much to Stuart and Rosy for getting in touch and sharing your wedding with us today – you both rock!
Happy Wednesday Peeps
Festival Brides xx