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Happy Monday lovely people!

So I finally put my flip flops to bed at the weekend after getting caught in what I can only describe as a torrential downpour perfectly timed to when I was leaving the car. With a baby in one arm and shopping in the other, I ‘slipped’ my way to my house and almost fell over twice so decided it was time to put my haviannas away for another year and dust off those uggs. Summer is officially over peeps but what a good one it was!

It might be over cast and wet outside but on Festival Brides we’re still all sunshine and smiles with today’s gorgeous art deco festival wedding.

Inspired by The Great Gatsby and a boho festival vibe, Tracy and James wanted their ‘Gatsbofest’ wedding to be all about having fun without the usual formalities so they ditched the speeches and cake and instead focused on having good company, food, music, games and cocktails! Sounds like the perfect wedding to me.

Held at the beautiful House Meadow in Kent and filled to the brim with art deco inspiration, Tracy and James’ wedding is going to most certainly leave you channeling your inner Daisy Buchanan!

Look out for the amazing flower arrangements from hair pins to chairs – they are stunning.

Over to Tracy….

Fill Her Up…

James’ proposal was not very romantic I’m afraid. He asked me in the car on the way home from the petrol station! It was about time after being together for 14 years and having 2 sons.

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A Ceremony in a Meadow…..

Our ceremony was held at The Gazebo, The House Meadow in Biddenden, Kent. Clare Passmore, wedding co-ordinator at the House Meadow deserves a huge amount of credit for making our dream wedding come true. Clare’s friendliness and relaxed manner made us feel at ease from the first time we met her, throughout the planning process, and ensuring the day ran smoothly. She was always there for us to run ideas pass and gave us invaluable views and suggestions. Her excitement and passion really made us feel special. And she happens to have an amazing venue that has everything you could possibly want. And also a wonderful friendly family who not only run the farm but help with the wedding too. And also Clare’s assistants (including Sophie) deserve a shout out too for all their efforts on the day.

We hired a Pergola and café style tables and chairs for the meadows and would like to mention Clare’s recommended suppliers Four Jays and Events for their services.

We hired Horseshoes Barn where our evening entertainment took place, in addition to having full access to the surrounding grounds of the House Meadow, which was wonderful.

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A Charismatic Photographer….

Photography was an important part of our wedding and we wanted arty photos that were special and different. We found Sandra of Divine Day Photography on the internet and we made a perfect choice. Sandra was wonderful, such a charismatic person, and so many of our wedding guests spoke highly of her. How often do guests get to know the photographer?! She was very professional and knew exactly what shots she wanted. She really did make us feel at ease and has captured so many amazing photos for us.

We were also lucky enough to have our friend Tom Jeavons as our guest photographer. He is passionate about photography and his work is amazing considering he only started it as a hobby a year ago. He has won and been featured several times by the Institute of Photography and is now taking bookings for weddings.

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A Carpenter, some DIY and A Boat….

One of the many advantages of our venue was that it comes as a blank canvass. So, we could really put our personal stamp on it. However, that did mean a lot of planning and hard work. But it was all worthwhile.

James runs his own carpentry business and used his woodwork skills to make a candy cart, a sign post and an Alice in Wonderland croquet set. He also used his artistic skills to hand paint wine glasses for hoop games. He is now taking orders in addition to his normal carpentry services!

I did my part too by recycling and decorating used jars and bottles with lace and keys for wildflowers and candles. I also made mirrored/glitter feather sun catchers for the tree and barn to accompany mirror balls purchased from The Glow Company. I used mini slates and blackboards for signage and chalk pens were another good buy (Amazon).

I love candles but being a barn we were restricted with real flames – so another wonderful purchase was led candles (Amazon). And a large pillar candle (from the Glow Company) was very convincing.

We had haystack seating, a boat (for drinks), a firepit for the evening, and extra lighting inside/outside the barn, all of which were hired from The house Meadow’s sister company Lets Enjoy The Little Things.

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Afternoon Booze, A Candy Cart and Gift Trips….

I really struggled on favours as I couldn’t think of one item that every guest would equally like. So instead of having 65 favours, we provided gifts in the form of afternoon booze for those who like a tipple, a candy cart loaded with sweets for the younger guests (and a few older guests too!), blankets and flip-flops that went down a storm in the evening. We also really enjoyed our ‘gift trips’ over the following days after the wedding, where we handed out flowers and decor that had been used around our wedding venue.

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The Secret Restaurant…

I like quality food, but I found it incredibly difficult to source a caterer who provided quality food in an informal environment. Then I came across The Secret Restaurant. Nicola could not have been more accommodating. The food was outstanding and the staff were excellent. Here is what we had:

Ceremony drinks: Prosecco with lavender and raspberry.
Canapés : Focaccia with burata and lemon rocket oil; beetroot arancini with Pont L’Eveqe camembert; pea and lemon arancini with aged gouda, Cumberland sausage and mustard mash, sweet onion and cheddar, ginger crusted scampi with a wasabi mayo.
Traditional High tea, sandwiches, wraps & cake
Diy candy cart with sweets
BBQ: salmon, halloumi, homemade beef burgers, chicken and chorizo skewers, new potatoes, corn, various salad and rice dishes.
Dessert – crème brulee and strawberry meringue and shortbread and cream.

 

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Jazz, Blues, Folk and Rock…..

For our entertainment in the afternoon we had an Acoustic singer – Jo Williams. We were truly blessed to have Jo play at our wedding as she is such an outstanding musician. She played a variety of her own songs and some covers. We will never forget her rendition of Woodstock by Joni Mitchell. Jazz, blues, folk, perfect for festival weddings.

For the evening we had The Jukeboxes from Alive Network who were very professional and it was extremely easy to make the band booking. The Jukeboxes were our dream rock band, dressed very smartly in vintage style suits and waistcoats.

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Favourite Moment…..

Well every second of the day was special. But as so much of our wedding was planned around enjoying the meadow and outside space, the weather was a major factor. We were fanatic weather watchers for months beforehand, despite everyone telling us, what will be, will be!

The wedding morning gave us no clues – it was slightly foggy and overcast. However, just as I arrived at the venue and started to walk down towards the Gazebo, the sun came out. It was such a special moment, that and seeing Jim, and our friends and family. It felt like someone was watching over us, maybe all our ancestors giving us their approval. It felt surreal. The trusted hanky that I bought specially, knowing that I would blubber without a doubt was forgotten, and neither of us could stop grinning.

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Any Advice?

Research: Pinterest! Pinterest! And more Pinterest! And wedding blogs such as Festival Brides!

Good buys: Charity shops, DIY, Recycling, Etsy, TK Maxx, pound shops.

I always tried to purchase/make décor and accessories that could be used again and I have now filled my home with lots of living memories e.g. vintage candleabras, diy jars for tealights, diy sun-catchers in the garden, blankets to take on picnics or for snuggling, and the side tables that we used on the meadow have really come in handy inside and outside the home.

The Line Up

Photographer: Divine Day Photography
Venue: The House Meadow
Brides Dress: Lillian West purchased from Bellamore, Bexleyheath, Kent
Brides Flower Headpiece: Tracy Hollands at Broadway Flowers
Bride’s Jewellery: Vintage 1920s Filagree bracelet from Etsy; Sapphire/diamond necklace from Fraser Hart
Bride’s Hair & Make-Up: Tanya King
Groom: Suit – Topman; Shirt, Tie & Shoes – Next
Adult Bridesmaid Dress: Miss Selfridge
Little Bridesmaid: Jigsaw
Flowers: Broadway Flowers
Caterers: The Secret Restuarant
Acoustic Singer: Jo Williams
Evening Music: The Jukeboxes

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