Afternoon Lovely Peeps,
Hope you all had a good weekend.
We have a gorgeous bohemian wedding to share with you on this misty Monday.
Lucie, of lifestyle and fashion blog Lucie Loves, and her husband Jon said I do on the 9th May 2015 in a beautiful converted barn called The Opera House at Halstead House Farm, Leicestershire. Their wedding was a beautiful amalgamation of all of the things they love, from comic books to vintage fancies, shared with all the people that mean the most to them in the world. It is full of so many cool and creative decor ideas, plenty of DIY detail, a gorgeous soft colour palette and a touch of eclectic vintage styling. They themselves describe their day as being a….
French bohemian country style wedding with a Northern pie and mash heart! Above all, a celebration of us with a soundtrack to get the party started.
With stunning photography by Amy Shore and some excellent tips and advice from Lucie, this is a wedding you are most definitely going to want to bookmark!
Amy tells us all about it.
The proposal was the best! He proposed at home after leading me upstairs following a line of tea light candles, which finally spelled out ‘Say Yes’ on the top of our dresser.
The Explosions in the Sky song – Your Hand in Mine was playing softly in the background and when I stepped into the room he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
It wasn’t until I said yes and we collapsed on the bed in a hug, that I noticed that the room was filled with a pale blue light, that I spotted Jon had a neon sign made for me with the words ‘your hand in mine’. It was perfect. I wrote about the proposal on my blog, and have a few photos too.
A Tale of 2 Vintage Wedding Dresses….
I actually had two wedding dresses. I must have tried almost twenty different ones on ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds, but in the end I never really got that feeling that everyone talks about, when you find on ‘The One’. I guess I felt a bit guilty about spending £2,000-£3,500 on a wedding dress that I would never wear again.
I found a fantastic vintage boutique online called Gossamer, and set up a Google alert to let me know whenever they had updated their ‘new arrivals’ page. It worked a treat! I bagged myself a gorgeous 1950s lace dress and a 1960s daisy crochet midi dress with scalloped hem for under £850 for the two, including alterations by my wonderful seamstress Lindsay, The Lady That Does, who specialises in vintage alterations. I worked with Lindsay over the course of 6-months or so, to update my 1950s dress in a way that made it feel more me.
The perfect blank canvas….
After much trawling over the internet for something to suit both our tastes and the size of our guest list, we knew that finding a venue with equal amounts of outdoor and indoor space was a must. We started looking at options around a year before our May 2015 date, and visited some truly stunning venues. Initially we had our hearts set on a midsummer’s date, but soon realised that venue prices sky rocket as the weather gets nicer.
We even went to the Dordogne in France, visiting four different chateaus in 3-days (exhausting work and over 15 hours of driving!), with Beth and her team at Marry Me in France. We also looked closer to home at Chiswick House, but the price of dry hire and then catering on top of that blew our budget.
Finally, when it came down to making the decision, we had to think about what was truly most important to us: celebrating our big day with as many of our loved ones as possible.
We must have looked at dozens of barn venues before discovering Halstead House Farm, not far from Jon’s family home in Leicestershire. It was a perfect blank canvas.
Mismatched Chairs, Handmade Bunting, Lace Table Runners and Eucalyptus Branches….
The thing that I enjoyed most when planning our wedding was the styling side it all. I love breathing life into interiors, using fabrics, patterns, and prints cleverly; choosing complementary typography, textures and lighting for a room to add atmosphere and warmth. I love it all! Jon’s mum and grandma spent over a year creating metres and metres of beautiful handmade bunting to dress the venue, and made over 140 beautiful French ticking striped linen napkins to complement the rustic theme, trestle tables and mismatched chairs that we hired from Poppy Trading Co.
We collected hundreds of glass jars and bottles. I even got some donated from one of the science lab clear outs at Kew Gardens. We also spoke to our local pub who collected lots of pretty whisky and spirits bottles to line the tables with and put flowers in. Jon’s mum that dripped candle wax down a few of them to add to the look. I didn’t want traditional white table cloths or linens as they lacked the personality I wanted to inject into the room. Instead, the wooden trestle tables were each lined along the centre with a lace table runner, made from a pair of extra-long Ikea curtains that we tore into strips and then were hemmed by Davina, Jon’s mum.
We were also given two or three large bin backs of Eucalyptus branches and used the leaves and smaller branches to line the centre of the tables, we placed church candles and taillights in between the foliage and the filled the spare bottles and jars with the remaining eucalyptus leaves and leftover flowers from the bouquets and headdresses. It created just the right informal, free-spirited dinner party.
140 Toy Animals….
I wasn’t bothered about doing traditional wedding favours, instead I wanted something fun that would make people laugh, look great on the tables and create a talking point for the guests. I collected about 140 toy animals and sprayed them all copper. My friend Sophie, is an amazing typographer and created 140 bespoke name cards, using hand drawn lettering and the first letter of the guests name on the front and their full name on the back, for the luggage labels which were looped around the toys animals. It was funny seeing people with their animals wondering whether they were given a particular one on purpose… A few people took them home as a memento of the day, and a couple of our friends have even framed their name cards–they loved them so much!
Other DIY touches included a multi-coloured ribbon curtain as a backdrop for the cake table, full of soft pastel pinks, white lace, metallic copper, velvet greens and warm bronze. Note: a ribbon curtain can turn into quite a costly affair… we opted for strips of fabric to fill the gaps between the more expensive looking ribbons.
We spent hours and hours decorating the venue, the Friday before the wedding on the Saturday afternoon. We must of started at around 11am and didn’t finish until about 7pm that night, fuelled only by cups of team, slices of Bakewell pudding and glasses of wine. We had help from lots of friends and family to get the room looking as wonderful as it did. There’s no way you can do a transformation like this without lots of people getting stuck in.
Comic Inspired Decor….
Jon is a big lover of comics and graphic novels and I wanted to incorporate this somehow into the big day. I picked up a couple of old comic books at a vintage fair in North London, and then bought a glue gun from Ryman’s and got to work creating paper cones for the confetti, a mix of hues to suit our colour scheme from Shropshire Petals, and then made a selection of paper rosettes in various sizes to create the backdrop for our top table. I also used paper from old vintage magazines and from a wrapping paper book that I picked up at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, that had some amazing pull out patterns, perfect for creating pops of colour.
The whole thing! Ok, ok… I’ve got a couple of favourite moments. Waking up and knowing there was no more planning to do! Getting ready in the hotel room with my mum, and seeing my little nephew practising carrying the rings. Being driven to the wedding by by Dad, and being sat in the back with my Step-Dad who was giving me away. Saying yes to my handsome husband and then seeing the surprise on everyones face a the New York Brass Band popped up and started playing Brooklyn as we walked back up the aisle after the ceremony. We’d kept them a surprise, so no one was expecting it! I’d heard them at Glastonbury and when I told Jon about them we decided that this would be our treat to ourselves. We all danced out of the venue and into the garden to enjoy drink on the terrace and listen to more of their brilliant tunes.
Going outside, after dinner, as the sun was setting over the rolling countryside and Jon and I both looking at one another with the biggest smiles on our faces. Amy and Liam captured some really beautiful shots during golden hour. It was wonderful, especially as the weather had been threatening to rain.
Dancing the night away with all of our friends and family and not wanting to leave! We also had a secret half hour planned by our good friend Marcos, which was amazing! It had a Wolf of Wall Street theme and everything got a bit crazy for 30-minutes at around 11pm. It made for some brilliant photos as the fun coupons were thrown in the air, people down shots of Patron tequila and a Piñata and a plate got smashed to bits!
Think about the things that really make you happy. For us, this was having a wedding day that we could invite as many of our family and friends to as possible.
Don’t start planning your wedding too soon. After 18-months of saving up and thinking of nothing other than wedmin, I was starting to feel a little crazy and a bit jaded with the whole thing. Enjoy being engaged, and then get your wedding planned in 6-12-months, and then you can enjoy married life together.
One of the nicest pieces of advice we got was to take 10-minutes out for yourselves, on your wedding day, after you’ve said your vows. Hold hands. Stand there. Look at the room. Look at each other and live in the moment. It’s amazing!
Don’t cheap out on photography. Being a photographer myself, I couldn’t imagine not investing in a beautiful record of our big day. I actually found my photographers, Amy and Liam, after seeing Amy Shore Photography featured on Festival Brides, when she captured Clare and Jack’s forest wedding.
If you have lots of family and friends with small children and don’t want any unnecessary interruptions during your big day, hire a wedding creche. It was quite possibly the best thing we invested in. It meant that parents could enjoy themselves during the key moments in the day and not worry about what their kids would get up to or the noise that they might make.
Our wedding creche suppliers were the Bulwell Community Toy Library, all of the funds they raise go back to the local community towards helping families in need. They cost around £485 and provided child-minding and activities for the kids, who were aged 6-months to 12 years, during the ceremony and speeches. It was brilliant.
We went away for a long weekend a month before the wedding (as recommended by our good friends Sarah and Fil) to enjoy some quality time together, away from it all. I’d thoroughly recommend this to any couple.
Our lifestyles are pretty hectic and with working full-time jobs, writing my blog and planning a wedding, things could get a little stressful. I reached out to a friend of mine who was setting up her own wedding and events planning business and she helped out a lot in the last 8-weeks to take away the stress of it all, deal with suppliers, create an itinerary for the day and then coordinate everything on the day for us. I would highly recommend having a wedding planner, even if you like to be involved in all of the details, it really does help you enjoy the day more.
Initially we’d budgeted for a wedding of around £15-18K, but then as soon as you start putting everything together and you realise that your guest list adds up to over 145 people, who realise that a small budget isn’t as realistic as you’d first hoped. We were very lucky to have been given about 2/3rds of the budget from our families, who all pooled in to help us out. We then paid the final 1/3rd ourselves, saving up about £500 a month between the two of us over 18-months and then finding a little extra when we could. Our total budget must have been between £26-28K. We probably could have done it much cheaper if we hadn’t of had things like such fantastic photographers, videographers, the band or a DJ, a creche to look after the 14 kids during the ceremony and speeches, or put on coaches to ferry guests to and from the wedding. But all of these elements added to the day and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
The Line Up
Venue: Halstead House Farm
Photographer: Amy Shore Photography
Wedding Coordinator: Claire Hyde
Bride’s Dresses: Gossamer Vintage with alterations by Lindsay at The Lady That Does
Bride’s Shoes: Sophia Webster at Net-A-Porter
Bride’s Veil: Liberty in Love
Vintage Headdresses: Maison Belle Époque eBay
Groom’s Suit & Shirt: Jon Kruger; Tie – Digby fallin’ print: Adam Waite
Groom’s Shoes: Grenson at Mr Porter
Flower Girl Dresses: BHS
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Bridesmaid Shoes: ALDO
Bridesmaid Headdresses: DIY at Zita Elze Design Academy
Hair: Barrie Stephen, Leicester
Make-up: Bobbi Brown
Festoon Lighting: Marklew Productions
Chair & Table Hire: Poppy Trading Co
Neon Sign: Bespoke Commission at Neon Creations
Videographers: Shutterbox Films
Catering: Mrs Bee’s Kitchen
Evening food: Duke of Pork
Flowers: DIY Covent Garden Flower Market with Zita Elze
Cake: Sarah Frost at Frost & Snow
Music: New York Brass Band