Morning lovely! It’s real wedding time… and you’re going to love today’s venue idea as much as the gorgeous bride and groom and their brilliant snippets of advice! This is a wedding with simple, rustic and carefully considered details which all work together beautifully. The venue – an unusual but excellent choice: Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, in Worcestershire. It has a miniature train… what more could you need?! The venue is also a charity, which makes it a pretty special place to have your wedding.
Images are by lovely Dave Allen of Just Hitched Wedding Photography. When Dave first got in touch he’d said “These childhood sweethearts really do show what loving someone is all about. Along with their lovely friends and family, who made me feel truly welcomed and part of their fabulous wedding day” – isn’t that wonderful?
Find out more about Just Hitched Photography here:
The wedding itself is gorgeous: traditional styling with some contemporary touches, simple details and some lovely DIY ideas. I also love Nicola’s wedding report, written with honesty and lots of great advice for all of you: “Make sure someone else knows what is going on. You won’t be available to coordinate things or tell people where to go or where to find everything on the day. And you won’t want to! Enjoy yourselves… The day is about your relationship and celebrating it with the people you love.”
When I asked for the best thing about being married, Nicola said, “The security of knowing you are loved.” Best. Answer. Ever.
Our wedding story: Nicola and James
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
There are so many precious moments during a wedding day that it only makes sense to have someone there whose entire role is to capture them. We couldn’t have been happier with the beautiful photographs Dave produced or with the way he conducted himself. Remember that this is someone you will spend a lot of time with during your special day, who will be there from preparation to first dance: you have to like them! And Dave is very likeable; he is assertive enough to get people organized for those group shots, but not at all pushy. He blended in and our guests felt relaxed around him, which is great because people photograph better when they are relaxed! He is also a brilliant artist with a great feel for you as a couple, your venue, and his tools of the trade. A talented, friendly artist – what more could you want?
Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
28 June 2014
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Our wedding was a happy, simple, rustic, family affair.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We were delighted! We were back from honeymoon, back to work, diving head first into buying our first house, and it was just a magical hour or two of reliving our day together.
Your wedding style or theme:
Rustic country (ish)
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
We got engaged in March 2013 so had a little over a year to plan.
Best bit of budget advice?
Work out what is important to you. You could spend a fortune on every aspect of your wedding, but the trick with budgeting is to work out where the money makes a difference. We wanted to provide a nice meal and have some lovely photographs to remember the day but were happy to go for a less traditional venue and DIY a lot of elements. We were very fortunate that our wedding venue and suppliers were straightforward and honest. Watch out for venues quoting base prices that just escalate out of control – and then adding VAT!
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
We designed our own in Adobe Illustrator and printed them using printed.com’s wedding stationery service. They have some great textured art card options.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I made the mistake(?) of doing an initial trip to a lovely little boutique (in Bath – though they’ve closed that branch now) with my maid of honour. Just to work out what I liked and for the experience – that was the theory! But however many outlets, wedding fairs, etc., I visited after, I couldn’t find anything that felt as special as that dress I’d tried on there.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Pronovias at Rookery Bridal
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
The bracelet my grandfather gave my grandmother when they got engaged; my Tiffany heart necklace, which I’ve worn every day since my husband bought it as a first anniversary present for me nine years ago.
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Mid-grey suit from Austin Reed with matching waistcoat and a plum ruche to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. Personalised cufflinks from Etsy (saying groom and the wedding date – the rest of the men in the wedding party also had personalised cufflinks).
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Floor-length strapless plum dresses.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We went to Chapters in Bromsgrove for our hair but did the makeup ourselves. I was terrified I wouldn’t look like myself on the day, so went to a Clinique desk in a department store a couple of times to try out a couple of different looks and bought the relevant products, which I then got to keep and use on honeymoon too!
My husband’s cousin is a florist so we met a few times to discuss what to do. She was brilliant: www.helenflowers.co.uk We went for white rose, white freesia, white and dark purple sweet pea, rosemary and gypsophila for my bouquet and just white roses and gypsophila for the bridesmaids. We had jugs of the same flowers on the tables and lots of rosemary and lavender plants dotted on the tables and around the venue too.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Yes! It was blank canvas so we had to add everything. My dad is a very multi-talented man though, so he made special ‘Nicola & James’ apple crates in different sizes and bunting too. We bought strings of globe lights and hired different chairs.
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
My mother-in-law made the cake; my husband’s cousin did the flowers; my dad made the apple crates, the bunting and the confetti cones; my husband and I designed and printed the stationery and made place settings/wedding favours from dried lavender, luggage tags, ribbon and a Martha Stewart doily lace edge punch. We also did a DIY photo area with pictures of us when we were younger and wedding photos of our parents and grandparents.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Traditional but modern in all white. Three tiers with white sugarcraft roses and white petals falling down the sides – all handmade by my mother-in-law.
Garden games (boules, croquet); Avoncroft’s model trains; the museum itself was great for guests to wander around and kids to go off and play; DJ in the evening.
On the day tips and advice:
Make sure someone else knows what is going on. You won’t be available to coordinate things or tell people where to go or where to find everything on the day. And you won’t want to! Enjoy yourselves. Don’t worry about whether people are having a good time (they are if you are!) or whether you are circulating enough. It is your day and it will fly past so quickly. Take a few moments at a few points through the day to be together just the two of you. The day is about your relationship and celebrating it with the people you love.
What’s the best thing about being married?
The security of knowing you are loved.