What I love the most about good wedding photography is its ability to portray so much emotion and personality through a single photo. I love it when I view a wedding and not only do the photos leave me smiling from ear to ear but the couples awesome personalities shine through every single shot. It takes a lot of skill to be able to capture this so well, a skill that (and I quote) ‘the amazing’ Shell De Mar has.

“We absolutely love our wedding photos, and genuinely couldn’t be happier with them.” Say’s Rhian “We had a very tight budget for everything, but photography was the one thing I wouldn’t skimp on as I love it so much in my day to day life and knew the value of getting good ones done for the big day. When I saw Shella’s portfolio you can see straight away that she has a beautiful eye for detail and lots of talent. We like to think that we found an excellent photographer who happened to do weddings, rather than a ‘wedding photographer’.”

Rhian and Toan’s wedding is full of so many smiles that it is literally infectious! I couldn’t help but beam right back at them whilst I was writing this post and I reckon you will be doing the exact same thing!

Full of colour, laughter, games, haybales and a few frisky cows – this DIY festival wedding is definitely one for the Festival Brides real wedding highlights tin! Over to Rhian and Toan……….

“We met at uni and have been together ever since. We have been through a lot together, and the year in which we were married was one of the biggest challenges yet as I went back to uni for a year (which took the majority of the meagre savings I had) and also ran a marathon. Toan has been, since day one, a constant source of encouragement and unfailing support. We couldn’t spend much on the wedding, but what we didn’t have in money we made up for with time, effort and by roping in our friends and family.

Things are a lot easier together, and we wanted the wedding day to reflect this. We feel pretty lucky to have found each other, and to be surrounded by such good friends so thought we’d have a little party to celebrate!”

Rhian and Toan got married at St Wulstan’s Church in Little Malvern, Worcestershire and the reception was held in Toan’s parents back field.

“The inspiration for our wedding just came from being on a tight budget; necessity is the mother of all invention after all – and also from just wanting to have a good old celebration with our favourite people. We wanted it to be bright and colourful and full of positive energy.  Neither of us believes in chucking money at things without thinking about it, everything you do should be done with passion.”

Due to being on such a tight budget, Rhian and Toan more or less DIY’ed their entire wedding! From the invites, which were designed by Toan and printed by the best man’s brother to the their very own wedding cake which was made by Rhian and Toan’s 16 year old nephew the day before – every little detail was a result of their passion for having the best day possible without spending an arm and a leg…….

“Around the field we hung bunting in the hedge (made by my bridesmaid’s using tropical print fabric) hay bales and hand stencilled wooden signs that Toan’s sister and I made. I also made the menu sign for the BBQ using a stencil and a piece of aluminium I found in Toan’s garden.

We filled jam jars with candles and flowers and we also had an old Triumph that Toan’s parents had in the garage that his Dad cleaned up for us and set up, with a skittle alley borrowed from someone else in the village.

The reception drinks were served on top of ice piled into a trough that was used when Toan’s sister had a pony! We borrowed trestle tables from the village hall too.

Toan’s dad knocked us up a backdrop for a photobooth using some fabric I found in a prop sale and yet more wood from the woodshed. ”

“I made all the stationery around the marquee, like the place names, table plan, signs and flags on the cakes. It was all on thick brown card, in Budmo Jiggler font and Gill Sans.

The flowers were made by me, after a big trip to New Covent Garden flower market on the Thursday morning with Toan and my Mum. We chose them all, mostly white with a flash of yellow from the craspedia – to offset all the colour in the marquee. The bridesmaids, Toan’s mum, my sisters and another friend all sat round in the field the day before making the bouquets and filling all the various collected bits for the tables. I made my bouquet using peonies and baby’s breath. The bridesmaids contained baby’s breath, craspedia and ping pong chrysanths.

The flowers on the tables were contained in assorted charity shop decanters, vases, jam jars and morrison’s passata jars (they look like old milk bottles!). There were a few more dotted around the marquee in jugs, jam jars and big silver containers (all donated by friends or found in Toan’s parents’ house already!). ”

“To decorate the marquee, we held a craft factory weekend at Toan’s parents house with my Mum, the bridesmaids and Toan’s Mum and sisters! We made rectangular bunting which went round the edges and giant multicolour tissue paper pom poms which hung from the ceiling.

The reception tables were covered with plain white tablecloths and my sister spray painted the bottles of champagne (or cava) that we celebrated our engagement with, with white paint and we used these as candle holders. The corks were used to hold up the tablenames and my bridesmaids helped make some homemade candles in teeny sherry glasses to dot around the table. The table names were photos of various London streets that mean a lot to us, largely in and around Camden. The table plan was displayed on an old door we found in Toan’s dad’s woodshed.

We also had a little tent off to the side with the bar in. We decorated this to look like an old fashioned pub, using pictures I found in a charity shop (and some of Toan’s mum’s pictures and various paraphernalia). We used my sister’s old sofa, a chair another sister found on the street and one donated by a friend and a £5 coffee table for the furniture. Toan stencilled a sign saying ‘Ravenscroft Arms’ and the pub opened for business for it’s first and only rather epic night.”

“For the reception we had a BBQ and cakes and deserts were from various assortment of friends who brought cakes on the day. For starters we bought loads of scotch eggs and pork pies and served them at the entrance to the marquee in crates (chucked out by Fresh and Wild and liberated on my route home! We spray painted them then stencilled) and my nanny supplied pots of chutney for the tables.”


“Toan and I met at uni, and we always used to be the last two on the dancefloor and running amok until the early hours which is how we became such good friends AT the very start. From the day we started planning the wedding, the most important thing was that we were the last two standing and that we saw the sun come up the next morning. When still up running around the field and rolling in the hay bales at 5am the next morning with some of our favourite friends we knew it had been everything we wanted. Best. Day. Ever.”

I think Rhian and Toan are living proof that you don’t have to spend a million to have an amazing wedding. All you need is to be a little creative and to start looking at what ‘junk’ you have around the house/garden/shed that could be reused and transformed into something else……

Thank you so much to Rhian and Toan for sharing all your wedding day secrets with us! All the DIY elements were awesome and 100% made your wedding.

Big shout out to the lovely Shell De Mar – I think you will all agree that her photography rocks!

Photographer – Shell de Mar Photography

Ceremony Venue – St Wulstan’s Church, Little Malvern, Worcestershire

Reception Venue – Family Field

Reception Marquee – Space Intense

Brides Dress – Vintage Shop in Stables Market, Camden

Bride’s Shoes – Kurt Geiger

Bride’s Headpiece: Commissioned from Ella Gajewska on Etsy

Groom’s Suit – Reiss

Bridesmaids Dresses – ASOS

Bridesmaids Belts – DIY

Cake – DIY

Flowers – New Covent Garden Flower Market

Stationery and Décor – DIY

Guitarist – Andy Cherry via Alive Network

DJ – Dizzy Feet

Caterers – Arden Pig Company

Coffee Van – Camper Café

Bar and Drinks – The Venue Business

Is it just me or do you really fancy a scotch egg right now? They looked delish!

Happy Thursday Peeps,

Big Love

Festival Brides xx


Wedding beauty on its way!

Pin It on Pinterest