Kelly and Joe got married on my birthday back in May, and celebrated in style (as did I!) – they chose to hire Alston Hall for a 5 day festival-inspired celebration with friends and family. Kelly is beautiful – I love how she describes buying her wedding dress and the resulting snow blindness… don’t skip on the English Wedding Blog interview [at the end of today’s feature] for that one!
The gorgeous couple found their wedding suppliers online, and through friends and local businesses too. Many details are home made too: the stationery was a labour of love; the pompoms, lanterns and fairy lights were all done by friends and family.
The most impressive DIY aspect of today’s wedding blog is the food though: Kelly’s friend Kirsty runs her own catering business and helped design the menu for the wedding. Kelly told me, “we hired her sister and a friend to work as the chefs. Our poor friends then helped with all the prep for the day to serve 150 people!”
Images are by lovely Mark at Evolve Photography in Devon. Find out more here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Joe & Kelly
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Yes absolutely. He went the extra mile from driving us to see some dear friends for 5 mins who couldn’t attend to staying late as things ran over. He was about all day but I literally didn’t notice him at all.
Alston Hall – South Devon. A private house not a venue per se
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
DIY community festival in lavish surroundings lasting 5 days.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We loved our photos as we normally take a bad photo most of the time and we look very respectable in all of them.
Your wedding style or theme:
DIY with only family and friends present. Relaxed festival feel spread over 4 days with lots of pig and plentiful drink. Only people who were not friends were waiting staff for a few hours
Where did you find your suppliers?
Locals in Newton Ferrers, friends and online
Best bit of budget advice?
Work out the most important aspects of your wedding and costs for these. Then increase your budget to include everything else. You don’t need to do everything. We didn’t hire cars as our venue was a 5 min drive away and we just wouldn’t get the enjoyment out of hiring a car for such a short drive.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
We made our own invitations from pictures we took ourselves in the local area on Mothercombe beach and the River Yealm. We also made our own order of services.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
No. I almost got snow blindness from looking at so many but time was ticking on. I am a bit of a boy girl so this wasn’t the most important thing.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Intuzuri – Bomare – Alison Jayne in Bristol. Of all the dress shops I visited this was the most friendly, relaxed and helpful.
Glitz and sparkle – the bride’s accessories:
House of Fraser – Mike
Suited and booted – the groom wore:
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Emerald Green maxi dresses & pearl accessories with dark pink bouquets and spray dark pink roses in there hair
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Professional who is also a friend – Sophie Beije works independently in the South Hams area after relocating here from London
Bouquets – a friend, Caroline Hodges who runs a boutique style floristry business in South Devon
Church and house – local ladies and friends mums
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
The house and grounds were pretty impressive but we decided to have a marque in the grounds.
We went for an old style marque which we decorated ourselves with pom poms, lanterns, fairy lights, candles. One of my bridesmaids mum’s made beautiful flower arrangements on the tables and pebbles from the local beach with small wooden love hearts.
We had a bar marquee which had a boating theme with more lanterns and lights and bouys. We filled a small rowing boat with ice, beer and Prosecco.
My mum potted up loads of flowers and placed them up the walkway to the tent, entrance to house and on the tables outside.
Inside the hall we had fairly lights, loads of pictures from both our families (a lot of embarrassing ones!)
DIY – tell us about any handcrafted elements of your wedding…
Invitations and thank you cards. We combined pictures from our favourite beach & on the river yealm where I grew up and designed them ourselves
Order of service. Joe designed these all on his own
Table & flower arrangements
Pictures around the hall
All the food (starters/ mains/ desserts) My friend Kirsty runs her own catering business. She helped us design our menu and then we hired her sister and a friend to work as the chefs. Our poor friends then helped with all the prep for the day to serve 150 people. Joe’s mum also made 19 pavlova bases with a very old electric whisk.. Quite a task in 1 day. We did manage to over order and ended up feeding everyone for the 5 days.. With left overs.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Traditional fruit cake. 3 tiered made by a friends mum in the village. It was beautiful and was devoured very quickly.
All of our friends DJ’d throughout the day and night
On the day tips and advice:
Once you have everything sorted, (hopefully the day before) just relax and enjoy it. All the little things you organised and seemed important will not be noticed by all so don’t get bogged down in the details.
Oh and drink water
What’s the best thing about being married?
Just cant wait to enjoy the next 50 years. Knowing that we can rely on each other for ever and make life an easier, happier place for each other. Cant wait for all the fun we are going to have and hopefully start a family soon.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Food: Food for thought. Kirstie Amos [contact details on request] – will work throughout the South West providing canapes, picnics, meals for private dining, meals for your freezer to large functions. They also provide retreats for pregnant ladies or new mums [I can’t publish phone numbers on the English Wedding Blog so drop me an email if you’d like to contact Kirstie!]
Photographer : www.evolvephoto.co.uk