It’s Friday! I don’t know about you but we have been counting down the days to this weekend. It’s been a long week and I for one can’t wait to switch off, spend some time with my gorgeous little girl and just be in the moment. I hope you all have something good planned whether it be wedding related or not. I am pretty sure there will be some of you that will be venue hunting or wedding dress shopping – good luck if you are and remember to enjoy it!

We have an awesome festival wedding to share with you today, captured by Flash Charlie Photography and featuring some fabulous decor, drinks and food ideas.

Not being one to follow tradition, Helen and Tom wanted to do something a bit different for their wedding and to create a day that would be both fun and memorable for their friends and family. They decided to put on their own music festival with all the trimmings (flags, bunting, wooden signs, tipis, bands, wellies) and to keep it as informal and relaxed as possible…

We wanted it to feel like a festival as we love going to music festivals (Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, V). We wanted a massive party for our friends and family and we wanted it to be really different. We appreciate everyone likes different things but we feel like we’ve been to lots of weddings that were similar so really wanted ours to be a bit different and memorable.

We love the mismatched bridesmaid dresses in grey coupled with the simple yet effective bouquets of gypsophila handmade by Helen. We also love that Helen and Tom were all smiles despite the fact that it rained on their wedding day. Rain is always a risk for an outdoor wedding but it really doesn’t have to be a negative thing if you are well prepared. Helen and Tom grabbed their wellies and umbrella and still headed out for their couple shots which we think are just as beautiful as they would have been if the sun had been shining.

Helen and Tom talk us through their day and how it all began with a trek in Peru.

Peru, A Dangling Ring and A 4 Day Trek….

We were in Peru doing the Salkantay Trek to Machu Pichu. It was day one and we reached our first base at about 2pm. There was an option to walk up a small mountain to see a lake at the top so we chose to do this by ourselves as the rest of our group didn’t want to. We got to the top and tom tried to get us to take a selfie with the digital camera. I was being awkward and wouldn’t sit down as wanted to look at the view, so he came over the held out the camera, and forced me to have a picture, and as he pressed the button he dropped a ring off the strap of the camera so it was dangling and then took the picture – so there is a genuinely shocked face picture of me as I realised what it was!!! I then cried a lot and was very shocked and then we continued trekking for 4 days planning the whole festival style wedding at our leisure!

Festival Decor, Rustic Vibe and Eastival Sign….

Festival style flags in yellow and purple silk, bunting in grey, yellow, lavender and purple, everywhere, festival-style signs. Jam jars wrapped with lace or hessian or brown twine, dotted around everywhere with flowers in or tea lights. We had shepherds crooks with lanterns on them from Ikea lining the edge of the lake, and also paper bag lanterns.

On the ceiling of the tipi in one half we had different coloured paper lanterns (spherical) hanging at different lengths on fishing wire. Centre pieces of each table were different gin bottles with flowers in. There were hay bales dotted about and children’s games. There was patio furniture (wooden only, not plastic) for people to sit on, along with the bales. We mowed pathways the day before, and the grass was already short, but this just marked out more clearly where to walk. We lined the pathways with coloured ribbon on sticks. There was a walkway lined with fairy lights too. We planted some flowers at the entrance to the tipi. There were some wooden crates dotted about to go with the rustic vibe.

We had pictures up by the card table of every year we have been together (so 10 in total); these were hanging off wire with pegs. The card table and drinks table and cheese table was decorated with hessian and lace. The tables where guests sat had handmade lace table runners on (made by me) and this was just purchased from Ebay. Tables were in 8’s and 10’s and were long benches. We also had large letters like the Hollywood sign or the Glastonbury sign saying EASTIVAL – Tom’s surname is Eastup (and now mine) so we named the whole thing EASTIVAL.

A Cheese Tower and DIY Bouquets….

Our cheese tower from M&S – £150 roughly. We decorated it ourselves with figs, grapes and flowers. Served with crackers, chutneys and butter.

For our flowers we had Gypsophila and Lavender throughout the whole of the venue. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were all gypsophila and my bouquet was gypsophila, lavender and yellow freesias. I made these all myself, along with the buttonholes. All of the flowers were wrapped with brown twine.

Infused Gin and Vodka Welcome Drinks….

Welcome drinks were done by my sister who runs a bar. She infused gin and vodkas with different fruits and spice and these were served in big glass kilner jars with taps on. Guests helped themselves and then added their own mixers which were little cans of tonic or lemonade. These were served in random jam jar and yellow/white and purple/white stripy straws to match the colour theme. There was a cask of ale too and half pint glasses. There was pink lemonade with strawberries for non-drinkers and children. Nibbles were little pots of olives or bags of various savoury snacks, all hand-packaged into little clear bags and tied with twine.

Unique Gin Bottles & Festival Style Stationery….

A friend did all of the graphics on the invites and it was done in the style of a festival ticket. The day guests had a light-coloured ticket with a sun on and the evening guests had a darker ticket with the moon and stars and night sky on. The table plan was done in the same style like a line-up for a festival. We also had lanyards for guests that acted as name places on the tables before they put them on; also in same style. Table names were individual unique (empty) bottles of gin as we are massive gin fans.

Mismatched Waistcoats & Mismatched Dresses….

Tom wore a brown waistcoat, white shirt, blue trousers, brown belt and brown shoes with a white and yellow flowery bow tie. Groomsmen all in similar attire but they all chose their own waistcoats so they all differed slightly and they all wore slim yellow ties instead of a bow tie in the floral material. My dad and father in law wore blue suits and white shirts and slim ties in the same material as Tom’s bow tie.

My 6 bridesmaids all chose their own dress in a shade of grey and I paid. Some wore short dresses, some long, some strapless and some strappy.

A Field, Fishing Lakes and Tipis….

Our ceremony and wedding was held on Parkside Farm, Gayton, Staffordshire. My parents approached a local farmer when they were out walking and he happened to say yes to the use of his field, along with a hog roast (for a reasonable fee)! The field had some fishing lakes in it so the tipis were erected beside the water. The tipis were as follows: 2 x giant hat tipis adjoining, with a pagoda tent added onto the side as a bar area. Tips supplied by All About Me Tipis, Ellsmere Port.

We got married in a registry office a few days before with just our parents and siblings – it was really casual. We then had a Humanist service in the tipi under an arch that we had decorated with greenery and flowers. It was a short service and we made up our own vows.

A BBQ Rustic Feast….

The main meal was a sit-down meal and was a BBQ/rustic style feast. Provided by Herb & Spice Catering from Bowden, Manchester. The food comprised of platters of meat, fish and veggie stuff brought round to the tables for guests by waiting on staff, and mixed salads and breads in the middle of each table for guests to help themselves to.

Desserts were made by 3 different aunties, served in ramekins which we collected from charity shops for 6 months before the wedding.

Evening food was a hog roast provided by the farmers.

Favourite Moment….

Walking in with my dad and seeing Tom in front of me – really emotional, and also being outside when the sun was going down and taking daft photos.

Any Advice?

Do it exactly how you want and ignore tradition. Take as much help from people as you can get – we found there were so many lovely people so keen to have some involvement and to help us out, we couldn’t have done it without them all. It was so fun setting it all up for the few days before, we would say to anyone just try and enjoy that part and savour it! Once it’s over it’s a bit sad!

We planned for every eventuality with the weather – definitely do this. Despite trying so hard to not get bothered by the rain I still cried fleetingly about it – just prepare for rain so you’re not disappointed!!!!!

The Line Up

Photography: Flash Charlie Photography
Venue: Local Farmers Field
Tipis: All About Me
Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridals
Bride’s Shoes: Marks & Spencers
Hair: Selina Styles
Toilets: Blue Loos
Catering: Herb and Spice
Band: Gran Reserva via Last Minute Musicians


Wedding beauty on its way!

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