Hello there gorgeous people! Today on the blog we have a super cute wedding to inspire all you quintessential, festival-loving brides. Naomi and Ben’s celebration of love ranks way up high in the ‘get married at home’ wedding stakes, as it bursts with festival influence and style. The couple got married in St Luke’s Hodnet, Shropshire – the same church that Naomi’s parents and grandparents were married in, followed by a garden marquee reception in Granny’s garden. How perfect! Naomi and Ben took DIY to a whole new level, as they decorated the entire marquee themselves with help from friends and family. Flowers and vine from Granny’s garden provided an organic décor base, bunting was pieced together from old aprons, and festoon lighting created the wonderfully relaxed, rustic garden wedding vibe that the couple hoped for. With a vintage tractor as a photo booth, straw bales for seats and umbrella wedding favours, this delightful couple didn’t let the rain spoil their day. Captured by the effortlessly talented Florence Fox, this stunning back garden wedding has brought a smile to our faces this morning. Here’s Naomi to share more about her exquisite garden festival wedding…..
We love the outdoors and we love DIY so we knew we wanted to create pretty much everything ourselves. Go with your gut on what you want for the day. You get so many opinions from so many people. We found that many of ideas were questioned by people beforehand, but these were the ideas went down really well on the day!
Australian treasure hunt proposal
I like games so Ben planned a treasure hunt across Sydney – each clue led me to a different place and the last destination was on a secluded beach north of Sydney. Along with a bottle of champagne and some glasses which I dug up, I had to put all the clues together to spell out “will you marry me”. Just after Ben proposed, a pod of dolphins swam past, which was pretty cool!
We wanted an outdoorsy type wedding with a marquee and the majority to be DIY. Granny lives on an old farm house with large gardens, so it gave us the opportunity to do that and create the vibe that we wanted. We offered camping, but only one couple took up the offer. We just love the outdoors so much and would have loved to have the whole thing outside, but obviously you can’t guarantee the weather in England, so we tried to ‘bring the outdoors indoors’.
1920’s style dress
I wanted something free-flowing, that I could dance in. Ben and I have been living in Australia for the last few years and I was inspired by a lot of the dresses over here which are a lot more relaxed. I imagined I would buy something here, but we were home about 8 months before our wedding and I thought it would be nice to at least have the experience of trying on wedding dresses with my mum and my best friends, so we went to a wedding dress shop in Shrewsbury: Jessica’s Bridal, not necessarily expecting to buy that day. The lady there gave me about 10 dresses that she picked out for me. I tried each on and landed on one (“the one”) which everyone seemed to love. I tried on the last few and went back to it. It was relaxed and flowy, but still very pretty. It was from the Ellis Bridal collection, and is a 1920’s style, with sequins, a low back, and a tulle trail
I struggled with shoes. I wanted some that I could wear on the grass, but still wanted a bit of a heel. It’s hard to find chunky but still pretty and ‘bridal’. I ended up finding them randomly in a small boutique shop in the next suburb to us in Sydney. We went to a café and walked past this shop where they were in the window. They were the last pair and just happened to be my size! I bought a small hair piece a couple of days before the wedding from the bridal shop that I got my dress and I bought some earrings online. My maid of honour sorted me out with my old, new, borrowed, blue, which included a blue stone ring from Pandora that she lent me for the day.
Blue tweed, bowties and braces
Ben was looking at tweedy textured type suits, but these being pretty heavy and warm, he opted for a Blue textured Suit by MJ Bale. The floral pocket square and bowtie were bought from Mrs Bowtie and his white Shirt and tan brogues from Saba.
The bridesmaid’s dresses were difficult to get as I was oversees and the bridesmaids didn’t all know each-other. We looked at various things online and messaged ideas to each other. I really liked top and skirt combo’s as something a bit different to the classic dresses. Two of my bridesmaids went shopping together and tried on various outfits that we’d found. They landed on an ivory sequin top and navy skirt from Coast which looked amazing. They wore their own jewellery and shoes.
Etta James, Bob Marley and an abundance of flowers and candles
We had a Church of England ceremony and our Mum’s decorated the church with flowers and candles. The bride’s entrance was to ‘how long will I love you?’ by Ellie Goulding and the Hymn’s were ‘One more step along the world I go’ (because we love travelling together) and ‘Jerusalem’ (because it’s a classic!)
During the signing of the register, my old school friend Chloe sang Etta James’ “At Last” and then Ben’s cousin Clare sang her own version of Bob Marley’s “Is this Love?” with her guitar. We had a couple of readings: Ben’s mum read AA Milne’s, “Us Two” and a Cornish Blessing that she had written (again, lots of tears). My Uncle Paul (and Godfather) read a bible reading: Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, verses 10-13.
Festoon lighting, bunting and Granny’s flowers
We love DIY so tried to do a lot of it ourselves. Our friends and families all helped out a lot. We went for a marquee with clear panoramic windows to bring the outdoors indoors. Granny had been working on the garden for several months before to make sure all the flowers were in full bloom for the wedding, so the surroundings were beautiful. We hired rustic tables and chairs and set them up in a banqueting style – i.e. long table. We put up festoon lighting, to create a relaxed atmosphere. We decorated around the marquee with bunting and twine orbs. Ben’s mum and her friends had made loads of bunting from old aprons, and we’d made some bunting using Hessian with our names painted on. My mum had sourced the twine orbs from an old friend, which she decorated with small copper fairy light.
We decorated the tables with greenery (e.g. Ivy) through the middle, picked from the garden, and used candles in jars, which many of our family and friends had collected on the lead up to the wedding. The placeholders were little wooden blocks with a polaroid of each person in them. My dad chopped the blocks from an old tree and we sourced the photos.
We had a reception to the marquee which we decorated with various bits and pieces. We had an area for the guest book, cards etc. For the guest book we left out finger paints for people to leave a picture and words. Many of our friends and family had travelled across the world to be there so we put together a map with photos of friends / family who had travelled far. Ben wanted to create a DIY rustic bar, so we used hay stacks and an old door. We left flip flops for tired feet, and brolly’s for wet weather!
Straw bale seats and a vintage tractor photobooth!
We bought oversized Jenga for the reception area and kitted the garden out with 2 croquet sets. We used a vintage tractor we’d managed to borrow from a friend of Granny’s with various props as a “photobooth”. We were hoping lawn games would be a big part of our reception but unfortunately rain was predicted so we borrowed a marquee from Ben’s Aunt and Uncle and set up the local villages skittle set inside, borrowed from one of Granny’s friends, and straw bales as seats (again borrowed from one of Granny’s friends).
Stationary and favours
All stationary was DIY – we made the order of service, table plan, menu and printed photos found on Facebook onto polaroid style paper as place cards. We had craft beer glasses that we put chalk labels on which each guest could keep. There weren’t any formal wedding favours but we had various other bits that the guests could take away with them… their polaroid photos, flip flops and umbrellas!
Relaxed, documentary style photography
We were quite reluctant to go for a professional photographer as we didn’t want to be posing unnaturally throughout the day. We found Florence online – she offers a relaxed, documentary style of photography which was much more ‘us’. She just fit in, was not intrusive at all, and captured the day perfectly. Florence also did a video upgrade which included a second photographer, which we are so glad we went for. She just captured the day so Ignore
Here’s a link to the video! https://vimeo.com/222214717
Cornish cream teas and BBQ
We used Hammonds catering for the full day. Rather than have canapes after the ceremony, we served ‘Cornish cream tea’ with scones and finger sandwiches. This was at the same time as the lawn games, and tided guests over until the main meal later on
For the main meal, we didn’t want anything too formal, so we opted for a BBQ. Hammond’s provided an extensive BBQ buffet with loads of meat and veggie options, and loads of different salads etc. We then had a dessert table, where guests helped themselves to things like brownies, apple pies, cheesecake etc as well as the cheese board. At around midnight we brought out Cornish pasties!
Wild flowers and 4-tier naked cake
We had a delicious naked cake with 4 Tiers: Carrot (our fave), lemon (our other fave), chocolate (crowd pleaser), sponge (just another tier). Made by mum’s best friend, Anne.
We don’t know much about flowers but wanted natural, wildflower style flowers. We didn’t want a colour scheme, more just colourful flowers and lots of greenery. A lot of the flowers were a bit of a DIY effort from our mum’s. The local florist put together bouquets for bride and bridesmaids, button holes and a couple of the larger arrangements.
Our first dance was to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbours – ‘I’ve got you’. We actually heard this song for the first time on one of our photographers’ wedding video’s and it just made us smile. We made about 10 face masks of each of us and asked some other couples to join us in our first dance.
We wanted everyone to have fun. The Kickstarts (booked through Warble entertainment) were excellent. We had a full dancefloor so they just kept playing encore after encore. We had many comments about how good they were.
There were so many favourite moments, it would be impossible to pick just one. The whole day was amazing. It’s so great to have so many people you love in one place at one time!
Go with your gut on what you want for the day. You get so many opinions from so many people. We found many ideas that we had, people questioned beforehand, but these ideas went down really well on the day. Things will go wrong. Accept that and just brush it off on the day. We had small things go wrong at various stages but didn’t let them dampen our spirits and everyone still had an awesome day.
The line up
Photographer: Florence Fox
Dress: Ellis Bridal Collection
Bridal Shop: Jessica’s Bridal
Grooms Outfit: MJ Bale
Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast
Catering: Hammonds Catering
Marquee: JFT Marquees