Afternoon Lovely Peeps!
Anyone else struggle to dust the Christmas and New Year cobwebs off and get up this morning? If it wasn’t for my 19 month old, I think I would still be in bed!
I hope you all had a brilliant break and a lovely Christmas and New Year with family and friends.
We have an absolutely beautiful bohemian woodland renewal of vows to share with you today. It is the perfect way to kick start 2016’s real weddings with it’s whimsical woodland setting, pretty DIY details, beautiful home grown flowers, stunning bohemian bride and groom and relaxed informal vibe.
I LOVE IT!
After saying I do with just the two of them in Cuba in 2005, Victoria and Jason decided to celebrate their 10 year anniversary by renewing their vows and having the wedding they had always dreamed off with family and friends.
Focusing on everything they love, they created a day that was not only reflective on their past 10 years of marriage but also on their values and beliefs on what a wedding ceremony should really be about; the love and respect you have for each other and not necessarily ‘the script’ that tradition dictates.
With a unique and bespoke ceremony put together by the fantastic Jan Shillito of Celebration Ceremonies and Weddings and truly beautiful photography by Lissa Alexandra Photography, this is a wedding that you are most definitely going to want to bookmark for inspiration and advice.
Victoria and Jason tell us all about it….
A Renewal of Vows….
After Jason’s proposal in 2004, we decided to have a very simple and informal wedding in Cuba way back on the 23rd August 2005, just us two. We didn’t have any family there – just two strangers as our witnesses and at the time it was just want we wanted.
Over the years, we had talked about the aspect of not having any family there and how it felt as though they had missed out in some way. Along with this came the feelings of how we felt we were reading from a script and how impersonal it felt.
8 ½ years later we began talking of how we would celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and a renewal of vows seemed like the perfect opportunity to relive the wedding and say what we want to say to each other and not what we felt we had to. We also wanted to have our family around us to celebrate such a special day. Because of this the ceremony was the most important part of the day, and Jan helped to create the perfect unique ceremony we had dreamt of.
My Flower Dreams Made True…..
From the very start of us deciding that we were renewing our vows, I knew I wanted a flower crown. I spent hours upon hours on Pinterest, trying to decide upon colours and themes. The amazing Susan Dobson from The Yorkshire Dales Flower Company made all my flower dreams come true. She listened intently on what I envisioned, and brought my ideas to life. On the morning of the renewal, Susan came to the Bivouac to deliver my flower crown, the button holes and 5 DIY buckets of wild flowers, so that we could decant them into the oodles of jam jars that we had collected, and decorated in lace and hessian.
Susan was truly amazing. Shes a very calming lady and was also extremely easy to get along with. Susan brought all of my flower dreams to life, and I absolutely loved the fact that she grows her own flowers in her walled garden.
For the evening I changed my flower crown for a very simple hair vine that went perfectly for a little bit of sparkle but nothing too much.
A Groom in Blue….
With Pinterest as my ideas board, I knew a blue suit of some description would really work in the woodland setting. We found the perfect one in Reiss, with Jason picking out a 3 piece suit and matching with brown shoes from Office, and a white shirt and silver tie.
A Touch of Grace….
From the beginning, I knew in my mind what I wanted for my wedding dress and what I didn’t! I recall worrying that I would never find what I wanted, but having spent a lot of time on Pinterest, and researching designers I quickly became obsessed with Claire Pettibone’s designs and knew that I had to try some on.
My mum and I took a trip to The White Closet in Manchester back in September 2014, and there I found Grace. The whole experience was just want I wanted. The boutique is gorgeous, the ladies were really lovely and made me feel at ease. Grace was the perfect dress for what I wanted, simple with a boho feel and amazing detail and lace – perfect!
To continue with my boho theme I knew I wanted wedges for my shoes (much to my mum’s disgust!) I trawled high and low for some nude mid height wedges and finally came across some in Next. Because Im so indecisive, I also picked up a brown wooden pair which I changed into for the evening.
A Connection to a Beautiful Place…..
The Bivouac is a place that we have both felt a real connection with since our discovery of the place after moving to Harrogate. When we discovered that you can hold ceremonies there it just seemed the ideal place for us. The site has Woodland Shacks and a Yurt Field. We stayed in a Woodland shack as did the guests that chose to stay onsite. Others chose to stay in B&Bs in Masham (which all have electricity!)
Boho Themed Inspiration….
I used Pinterest, Festival Brides, Grace Loves Lace, Free People websites and a whole host of other boho themed, inspired places to pull together some initial ideas, along with our Icelandic travels, our love of nature and the values and beliefs that we hold as a couple.
A Renewal of Vows, A Love for Iceland and A Ceremony that was ‘Us.’
For us, the ceremony was the main reason for choosing to renew our vows. We both wanted a relaxed, non traditional ceremony that felt “like us”. It was our 10th wedding anniversary on the 23rd August 2015, and we had talked about how we wanted to renew our vows so that we could celebrate a milestone of 10 years of marriage, and to use it as an opportunity to say what we really wanted to say to each other, as opposed to saying what we felt we had to like you do in a traditional church wedding – we’re both atheists!
Jan from Celebration Ceremonies and Weddings wrote our ceremony. Before we met Jan we both had a vague idea of what we wanted the ceremony to feel like but neither of us could see how it would all be pulled together, or really how any of the details would look like. Jan brought our dreams to life!
We had a whole afternoon where Jan listened to what we wanted, and really got to know us as a couple, and how we tick. She came up with some brilliant ideas including the cord for the handfasting that we wanted. We used a coloured length of wool to represent each year of our marriage so far. I plaited all ten pieces together and I was really happy how it turned out.
We had 4 readings in total. Both of our absolute favourites was “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton. It made us and our guests, smile and myself personally cry! Its such a lovely reading and felt like it had been written for us, my little sister Katie read it out for us. The other readings were “These are the Hands” By Unknown, “Winnie the Pooh” by AA Milne and Extract from “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres
It also incorporated some science based quotes from Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawkings for Jason.
Over the past couple of years we had both fallen in love with Iceland, having spent an initial week there in December for the Northern Lights we knew we had to go back. This resulted in a road trip, where we travelled around the island experiencing the culture and stunning scenery. We wanted to incorporate some of this in the ceremony so had a sign saying ‘I love you’ written in Icelandic on the alter and we had a toast at the end of the ceremony with a traditional icelandic wedding drink “mead”.
Jan’s ability to incorporate our love of Iceland and for each other really was fab. We were both a little nervous about how people might take the ceremony, however we didn’t need to worry as everyone said how different and amazing it was! Rebecca our celebrant on the day was brilliant and we loved how she blended in with our boho theme. It was so thoughtful and meant a lot.
A Ceremony of Music….
We wanted to incorporate our love of Iceland so had Yellow Light by Monsters of Men to walk into. Along the path to the ceremony we placed the lyrics to Yellow Light along with some DIY yellow lanterns so that our guests could see the link.
We chose to have Hoppipolla by Sigue Ros as our exit song.
For us, both songs have such special meaning and worked so well with our vision of the ceremony.
An Icelandic Theme, Wine Bottles, Jam Jars and a DIY Photobooth….
It was important that we added to the amazing woodland, and wanted to ensure that everything was inkeeping with the day. Décor was inspired by our Icelandic theme in the ceremony so we made yellow glass lanterns, staining the inside of the jars and placing tealights in them, ooldes of wine bottles and jam jars were collected and we decorated them with lace and hessian for the flowers.
We also started collecting vintage tea cups and saucers for the tealights and flowers.
All the signs were completely handmade, and I have to give a massive thank you to Jason for bringing these to life. They were a mixture of directional signs, Icelandic themed and other important messages.
Jason also made a DIY photobooth which was absolutely fab, and definitely made our guests smile! I also took with us a couple of photo frames of us on our wedding day back in 2005 mainly for us to remember how far since then we have grown together.
Overall the décor was unique to us, DIY style and perfect for what we wanted.
The Perfect Woodland Themed Stationery….
We both agreed that the invitations were a really important part of the lead up to the day. Because it was a renewal of vows we couldn’t just pick up an off the shelf invite, plus we wanted to make sure that the woodland theme came through.
We turned to Not On The High Street and there found Holly Hock Lane, who specialise in creating hand drawn bespoke wedding invitations. Julie is truly talented and created for us a woodland themed invite which was everything we were looking for.
A Tower of Pastel Macaroons….
We knew we didn’t want anything formal, like a 3 tiered cake so set about coming up with some alternatives. We settled on having a macaroon tower and having both tried a fair amount of macaroons decided to go with Betty’s Taylors of Harrogate as our supplier.
We ordered a very simple acrylic tower that was really easily put together and Jasons dad managed to find us a tree stump for the tower to sit on (which now sits in our living room, all the way from Scotland!)
Victoria: this is a hard one but for me, the ceremony was the biggest part of the day, as without this everything we had hoped for it wouldn’t have been right. The day gave us both the chance to really say what we wanted. I really loved the fact that we both had to write 5 promises to each other and didn’t know what each other was going to say until the day came – it was a special moment.
I was also absolutely blown away with Jason’s speech, the words that he used to convey what he was saying was really special and will be a moment that I will forever remember.
Jason: hearing the promises that Victoria had written and looking at the view as we were having the photos taken. Seeing Victoria in the dress I had heard about for such a long time was great – she looked amazing!
A 5 piece band with a Whole Lot of Heart….
Having searched for quite a while and not finding anything that we felt suited the venue and our day, we finally came across Sweetpea Music and we were both so pleased we did. They were incredible!
They are a 5 piece band with a whole lot of heart and having met them for the first time on the day (we had been in communication over the phone in the lead up) we both absolutely loved them as people. So warm and genuinely lovely people.
Sweetpea played all night until our sound curfew around 11pm. Brilliant band, and an absolute must hear!
To always keep in mind the reason that you are doing it, just like planning a wedding I guess! There was definitely a few moments where we both felt a bit frazzled and couldn’t see what we needed to organise next but in the end, laughed it off and carried on.
I recall my mum in law, Lyndis saying to me on the day, that no one knows how we envisioned it to be, so if something doesn’t quite go to plan, no one will ever know – and do you know what, she was absolutely right!
The Line Up
Photographer: Lissa Alexandra Photography
Venue: The Bivouac, Masham
Ceremony & Bespoke Wedding Certificate Design: Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings
Bride’s Dress: Claire Pettibone, Grace from The White Closet Manchester
Bride’s Shoes: Next
Hair & Make-Up: Megan Green Hair and Make Up Agency
Groom: Suit – Reiss; Shoes – Next
Flowers :The Yorkshire Dales Flower Company
Catering: The Bivouac, Masham
Macaroon Tower: Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate
Stationary: HollyHock Lane
Band: Sweetpea Music