Yes yes yes! I can barely hold down the spring in my step, because thank goodness, (and we waited long enough), spring is here! What a difference a sunny morning makes. I’m so feeling the summer vibes today, daydreaming about Ibiza days, lying out in the park with friends, dancing at summer festivals and thinking about my own beautiful wedding, which took place on a July here in the UK at a baking 30 degrees – yes, sometimes taking the risk and having an outdoor wedding here at home really does pay off, just like today’s gorgeous real wedding. Brought to us by the amazing Amy at Amy Taylor Imaging Photography, Worcestershire based couple Nadia and Dan, were absolutely heart-set on creating a DIY wedding from scratch with an £8k budget – and they did it! Looking at this wedding you would never imagine that it cost way under half the national average wedding spend to achieve. I guess it helped that the talented, keen crafting bride Nadia runs Jam Jar Weddings and Events, which is her very own wedding stylist business. We’ve seen a whole bunch of beautiful DIY weddings here on the blog, all unique in their very own way, but Nadia steals the crown when it comes to traditional vintage, festival DIY and creative flair. She created absolutely everything, from the décor and stunning 3-tier cake to the table plan, stationary, games and wedding favours…..the style, detail and effort is beyond outstanding.
This wedding took place at Rock Village Hall, and despite the modest budget, it has really does have absolutely everything and more. We love the outdoor fete, Village Green style set-up – so perfect for an outdoor UK wedding. Oh and the netted, fairy-lit reception backdrop is just oh-so-pretty. Let the summer vibes roll as Nadia takes you through her budget, festival-inspired wedding….

I used Pinterest for literally everything whilst I was planning. As a keen crafter I was adamant that I would be able to recreate all of my favourite ideas – I had boards for everything from stationary to food to dresses and everything in between. Our day was all about fun, family and friends. It was very traditional and laid back.

School Sweethearts

Daniel and I went to school together. I was Dan’s crush but he was never brave enough to act on it (Dan was geek chic and I was very much a bad girl!). We parted ways and then 7 years later, he was early for his train to work and I was late for mine and we met on the platform. He vowed that day that he wasn’t going to miss his chance again, and just three months later he moved into my house and we’ve been living happily ever after since. Dan proposed at sunset at the side of Lake Windermere. We spent our three year engagement planning and crafting so that we could do almost all of our wedding ourselves. As parents we couldn’t justify spending tens of thousands on our wedding so we set ourselves an £8k budget to cover absolutely everything for the day (which we managed to keep to!).

From Church to Village Hall

We were married in St Peters and St Pauls Church followed by a reception at Rock Village Hall. The church and hall are a 5 minute walk from each other. We knew we wanted to DIY the whole day, so I researched local venues that would give us the freedom we needed to do that. We looked at a couple of places but when we saw Rock we both instantly fell in love with it. We loved our service so much. Daniel and I are not particularly religious people but we were both taken aback by how emotional we got during the ceremony. We decided to have the traditional marches played on the organ and the usual vows but we added our own touches too. I placed a demi-john of gyp and carnations at the foot of each pew with a card on the front which read “and they all lived happily ever after”….

Amy Taylor Imaging Photography captured the photos on the day. Amy was a LEGEND. She made everyone feel so at ease and our pictures are more than we every dreamed they would be. She felt more like a friend than a supplier and we couldn’t recommend her highly enough – she is utterly fantastic!

Vintage Fabrics, Hessian and Fairy-Lit Curtain

We created all of our decorations ourselves – I was determined to have everything we wanted and the only way to do that was to put the hours in and make it myself! I made hundreds of meters of bunting from hessian and vintage fabrics which we used to decorate the hall. We also put fairy lights everywhere outside so it was twinkly during the evening. I made a backdrop for the stage area from two pieces of net curtain and some organza – it looked great behind us during the speeches. I also made all of our table settings which included lots of games from paper aeroplanes to fortune tellers and a little puzzle book for everyone. Our photo booth was two of my ornate gold frames strung up to the decking area.

Homemade Cakes and DIY Blooms

I made our wedding cake! I made a three-tier naked lemon madeira cake and decorated (the day of the wedding!) it with fresh flowers. We also created a ‘bake-off’ table where we asked our guests to bring along a bake and everyone voted for the winner during the day. It was a fab way to get an amazing dessert table! We did all of our own flowers. We set a budget of £250 and brought gyp, carnations, roses and eucalyptus and it was enough to dress the entire venue, create 4 bouquets, 4 gyp crowns, 11 button holes and we still had leftovers! We arranged all of the flowers the day before the wedding and although it took a lot of time, it saved us a fortune and looked stunning. I also made all of our stationery, table numbers, place cards, orders of service, confetti cones, games and picnic menus (Jam Jar Weddings and Events).

Pinterest, DIY and Lawn Games

I used Pinterest for literally everything whilst I was planning. As a keen crafter I was adamant that I would be able to recreate all of my favourite ideas – I had boards for everything from stationary to food to dresses and everything in between.

We put picnic baskets on all of the tables and filled them with all of our fave picnic treats (from sausage rolls to cheese and chutney – we had a feast!). It was lovely to watch everyone digging in and literally breaking bread with us for our first meal as Mr and Mrs. After the meal and the speeches we put the green to use with out village fete games. I made all sorts of games from a tin can alley, hoopla, sack race, egg and spoon race and a welly wang. My fabulous Father-in-Law made us a coconut shy and we borrowed a set of pub skittles from a friend. Everyone enjoyed it so much!

£500 Monica Loretti Gown

After a few meltdowns Daniel persuaded me to go to a real bridal shop to choose my dress. My maid of honour found one and sent me a link – it was a Monica Loretti gown and from the minute I put it on I knew it was the one. My advice to anyone like me who didn’t think the dress was a big deal – please don’t do yourself out of the experience of your dream dress! Mine was £500 so much less than what most brides spent but I felt like a princess in it and I was so glad that Daniel made me buy a  “proper” one! My shoes were from New Look and I had my veil from the same outlet as my dress – it was a cathedral length and I loved it (although I took it straight off after the ceremony so I could have fun!). I had my hair put up for the day as I normally don’t do anything with it

Daniel chose his suit from a local suit hire company. He wanted to have a traditional suit, despite having a casual wedding, and he chose royal blue with tails and an ivory waistcoat and cravat. The rest of our groom squad were in peach. The bridesmaids dresses were from ASOS.

First Dance and Fave Moment

Our first dance was to Coldplay – ‘Us Against the World’. This song is really special to Dan and I. Our favourite moment was seeing each other for the first time at the alter, the speeches and beating Dan over the line in the sack race!

Any Advice?

Try and enjoy it! The run up is all part of it so don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by it all! I’m a big fan of long engagements as they give you plenty of time to plan and get everything done. Don’t get caught up in what you think you should be doing – make your day your own!

The Line Up

Venue: St Peters and St Pauls Church
Reception: Rock Village Hall
Photographer: Amy Taylor Imaging Photography
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS
Wedding Stylist: Jam Jar Weddings and Events
Bar: Archies Mobile Bar
DJ: Atomic Discos
Hair: Lauren Perry
Dress Designer: Monica Loretti
Brides Shoes: New Look
Hog Roast: Hog Roast Birmingham


Wedding beauty on its way!

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