Hello everyone! Hopefully you are sitting comfortably and feeling warm with a nice brew in hand, possibly recovering from some early festive cheer over the weekend? Let’s welcome December with open arms by sharing our first real wedding of the month, brought to us by the beautifully brilliant Paloma. Her work is natural and creative with a relaxed and happy vibe, so she was perfect to capture the joy of Angela and John’s rustic countryside wedding. Vintage adorned, organic and free, this wedding took place in a ‘secret’ barn in West Sussex. Bride Angela is so super-creative and her talents were really put to work with this gorgeous DIY, festival wedding. She made most things herself, from the cake to the stationary to the wedding favours, her artistic flare is demonstrated effortlessly throughout these photographs. Bell tents, orchard themed, rag bunting and old fashioned lawn games give this wedding an authentically stamped vintage festival style. We just love it! Here’s bride Angela to share more…
Enjoy every moment. Relax, have fun and don’t stress about anything. Make it personal and do the things that make you happy. It’s the first day of your future and something to build on.
Christmas Eve proposal with friends
John proposed on Christmas Eve at our friends Home in Lewis. I was running late from a particularly busy day at work and almost declined to go! I still had festive preparations to complete! John convinced me that we had a relaxing and cosy evening in store and that he was going to give me my Christmas present a little early as it involved my lovely friend Jane. We had bought our friends Champagne flutes as they had mentioned they needed some. Little did I know that we would be toasting our engagement in them later that evening. We were having pre- supper drinks and nibbles in front of their fire and john produced a red envelope. A beautiful card with ‘To My Wife’ words, I had no clue that he had gone on to write his feelings for me in the card and that he had written ‘will you do me the honour of becoming my wife’ on the reverse of the card. He then presented a beautiful platinum and solitaire diamond ring that was perfect…. If not a little too small.
Tea length silk chiffon and organza ivory gown with pale vintage blue petticoat. Bespoke design from the Velvet Birdcage in Goring West Sussex. It was my perfect dress! The vintage ivory lace parasol was given me by my mother who bought it in a local charity shop and re trimmed with pleated vintage ribbon and lace. The shoes were from Irregular Choice in Brighton. My hair and make-up was done by Pazazz in Broad Water. I opted for soft vintage waves and a vintage hair slide. My granny’s Mother of Pearl 1920’s hair slide upcycled with added fresh water pearls and pale blue glass crystal beads and copper wire. Hand made by me with a flower crown and vintage basket filled with real petals belongs to my mother which is 70 years old! I also wore matching vintage rose gold and pearl ‘Acorn’ drop necklace and earrings. John wore ‘mix and match’ vintage styled white shirt with pale blue and floral collar and cuff revers. Blue tweed waistcoat and cashmere blend trousers tan brogue boots with custom lavender laces. And the bridesmaid’s dresses were full length Lavender chiffon gown by the Velvet Birdcage ,Goring. Our flower girls wore ivory and floral dresses from TK Maxx which I altered myself.
The Secret Barn with Bell Tents
Our venue was The Secret Barn Wiston, West Sussex, Petal and Feast. We found it on the internet and it was everything we wanted and nothing would have suited us any better. We had bell tents in the field on the farm. John is a landscape Gardener, we both love the country side and anything vintage. We wanted a relaxed outdoor celebration that reflected our personalities. John has a chronic blood cancer and the year prior to our wedding was very difficult with numerous hospital appointments and admissions. I was diagnosed with a tumour in my leg and had surgery prior to our wedding. Our family and friends have been very supportive and our day was not only a celebration of our love for each other but a way of thanking our nearest and dearest for their love and continuing support.
‘Celebrate life’ lies in the middle ground between Humanist and formal church services. Our ceremony was conducted by Father John at Human Rites. We had personal vows and readings by two friends about love and commitment. Music was ‘A thousand years’ instrumental played by the piano Guys, Labi Siffre ‘It must be Love’ and a compilation of acoustic songs personal to us played during arrival of the guests and after the ceremony.
Rag bunting and orchard themed reception
We had metres and metres of rag bunting made by me and our ten-year-old son from floral vintage fabric sourced from charity shops. We had real apples to reflect the orchard theme and hand-painted signs made from an old wooden gate that John had replaced for a customer. Old garden implements, spades and forks were used as ‘pew ends’ in the orchard to hang floral filled jars on the handles. An arch made from two chalk painted wooden ladders and garden canes tied with ripped rag bunting to form a back drop in the orchard. The ladders then displayed flower filled pots. Watering cans and milk churns filled with natural farm style flowers filled the space and were all hand made and arranged by me! I also made the place settings: real mini green apples tied with leaf shape names cards. Napkins hand made from upcycled vintage fabric scored from charity shops and tied with lilac raffia and fresh lavender from our garden. I made the table plan from a vintage steamer trunk with hand written cards and decoupage filled with blanks to keep the guest cosy in the evening and fresh lavender just to smell divine.
Fun and games
We had a brilliant band called The New-fangled Jesters who are a three-piece folk ‘ Mumford and Sons’ style band that get everyone up and toe tapping. Perfect for our rustic barn venue. Our first dance was to the band playing Scouting for Girls song ‘take a chance’. We had welling wanging, wheelbarrow racing, mini tractor rides and lots of hay bale seating.
Our wonderful caterers were Petal and Feast (purveyors of wedding goodness). We greeted everyone with Canapés and Pimm’s followed by Superior Sussex BBQ, big bowels of rustic salads made of locally sourced ingredients and local butchered meats and vegetarian options. Fresh and totally delicious. It certainly filled and satisfied or hungry guests.
We had a Vintage Ice cream bike serving locally made Sussex ice-cream and bacon butties in the evening.
We recycled mini Jam jars that our local garden centre café saved for us. I spent ages soaking off the sticky labels and then filled them with Love Heart sweets and floral fabric sourced from charity shops as jam top covers tied with lilac raffia.
Wild flowers, lavender and fresh apples
We used Nell’s Flowers and Sussex Farm Flowers. All locally sourced and handpicked wild, cottage style flowers. We watched them grow and selected them with the expert grower Shelly the week before our special day. Fantastic personal service from a lovely lady. Nells florist ‘Blossoms’ is in Worthing. Nell and her friendly team were our perfect and only choice. The flowers and arrangements/ bouquets were beautiful and looked so natural. Just perfect.
I made the cake myself! We had three cakes decorated with lavender and fresh apples, iced and hand painted to look like fruit crates. Carrot, lemon drizzle and rich chocolate sponge.
First dance and favourite moment
Scouting for Girls ‘take a chance’. This is our song as we were friends before we had a relationship and we certainly took a chance on love as we both sadly had failed marriages before. We have been together 6 and a half years and although we have had many tough times it has made our relationship and love for each other stronger.
Our favourite moment was walking up the field with my boys by my side towards john and standing by each other in front of our loved ones and feeling the sunshine on us while we made our vows. The whole day was all we ever dreamed of and perfect from beginning to end. We also loved seeing everyone smiling and having fun and having our dog Hattie as ring bearer.
Enjoy every moment. Relax, have fun and don’t stress about anything. Make it personal and do the things that make you happy. It’s the first day of your future and something to build on. Make sure you have a photographer that helps you and your guests feel relaxed. You can save a lot of money by doing things yourself. Ask friends to help. Plan well but don’t be obsessive! The most important thing is your relationship and vows and commitment to each other not that the silk bows on backs of chairs exactly match your grooms eye colour!
The Line Up
Photographer: Photography by Paloma
Caterers: Petal and Feast
Flowers: Nell’s Flowers and Sussex Farm Flowers
Celebrant: Human Rites
Dress: Velvet Birdcage
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Wedding Cake: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wedding Favours: email@example.com