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Charlotte and Jay’s rustic DIY wedding by a lake, with White Stag Photography

If you ever needed proof that you can have a beautiful wedding, on a budget, and make it look even better than all the weddings you see on major wedding blogs – then beautiful bride Charlotte and her handsome groom Jay are here to show you a thing or two. Their wedding is sublime. The location is stunning, the details are gorgeous, and the images are out of this world…

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I always look at the guy’s suits when I’m choosing weddings for the blog – and in this case, Jay’s shoes are pretty fab as well! Charlotte told me “We always wanted the men in something a bit different and wool like (especially seeing as though it was a winter wedding) and we just couldn’t find anything like this to hire, and didn’t have the budget to have something made just for Jay. In the end we ended up finding the perfect suit in Next and luckily we could get them all in everyone’s size.” I think they look great.

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Charlotte was a crafty bride and made so much of the wedding stationery and decor herself.  “I found looking online to be too overwhelming and most blogs feature companies that are outside of the average budget for a wedding… Looking back now I’m glad I spent the time to make parts of the wedding myself as I got exactly what I wanted. I can’t lie – I was glad when I had finished I have so much time to myself now I’ve re kindled my love for doing up furniture!

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Images are by lovely Catherine and Andy from White Stag Wedding Photography in Kent. Find out more about them here:

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Pink DIY wedding style ideas White Stag Photography on the English Wedding Blog (54)

The English Wedding Blog interview: Charlotte and Jay

Wedding photographer’s website:

http://whitestagweddings.com

How did you choose your photographer?

We actually won our photography through a Facebook competition Whitestag was running.

Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!

Whitestag were absolutely brilliant, they made us both feel comfortable infront of the camera and got some beautiful pictures in such a small space of time as I was freezing outside. They blended into the background so easily and got some beautiful natural pictures because of that. Catherine and Andy were so friendly and we both felt as though we had known them forever by the end of the day.

Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?

The first photograph we saw was a sneak peek on Facebook a few days after the wedding. We were obviously still on the wedding high at this point but to see that first photograph and all the love they had captured in one photo was a really special moment for us. Then a few weeks later all the rest of the photos followed and they are the most beautiful pictures we have ever seen.

Wedding venue:

Ceremony was held at Saint Peters Church West Bromwich (the same place Jay’s parents and grandparents were married)
Reception was held at Patshull Park Hotel Pattingham

Wedding month:

January

Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?

A day full of love shared with friends and family.

Your wedding style or theme:

Rustic with hints of lace and hessian

What’s your top tip for saving money?

DIY! We saved money by making and creating lots of the decorations ourselves. All the centrepieces, church flowers and table plan were made by Charlotte. She also made all of the save the dates, invitations, order of service and children’s activity packs herself. A friend of the family made our wedding cake, and one of Jays mums friends made all of our bridal party flowers.

… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?

The flowers at the venue, because we really wanted to walk into the room to the smell of fresh flowers – there’s nothing better.
Also our wedding cars – because there was a long drive between the Church and the Hotel we wanted to arrive in cars that fitted into our theme.

Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?

Charlotte made all of the wedding stationery herself. It was long and at points seemed as though it would never end, but the end result was exactly what we wanted at half the price. We don’t know where we would have been without eBay!!

Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?

I remember going wedding dress shopping and being so overwhelmed with all of the choice, and the first dress I ever tried on felt so disappointing.
When I saw my wedding dress I knew it was the one before I even tried it on. It was everything I wanted and everything I thought I wouldn’t wear (I was so against a strapless dress) all rolled into one – but I just knew that was my dress.

Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:

Art Couture
Simones Bridal

Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!

My auntie bought me my main wedding jewellery as a gift as we have always had a close relationship, I had dainty pearl earrings and a silver necklace with a small pearl on. I also had a dainty silver bracelet from one of my bridesmaids – this was my something borrowed.

Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?

My bridesmaid dresses were eBay bargains! It was always a bit risky but having 5 bridesmaids and a small budget I took a leap of faith and when they arrived I fell in love. I’ve had so many people ask where they were from and how beautiful they looked.

Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?

All of our hair was styled by my hairdresser (I have been using the same one for years)! She came to my house of the morning and it was lovely having her part of it as she also is a few of my bridesmaids hairdresser as well. My makeup was done by my maid of honour – she knows so much about make up and who else knows me better and what I would and wouldn’t want than my best friend.

Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)

I always wanted a fresh just picked look for our wedding flowers, and really wanted a lovely fresh flower smell.
We had memory lane roses (which are a lovely dusky pink colour), gypsophilia (to make the church flowers I arranged myself), white freesia (for the smell) and some winter berries to tie in with the season. All of our bridal party flowers were arranged by one of Jays moms friends – Lynn.
For the reception flowers I used The Flower Shop at Home who matched up to my bridal party flowers.

General styling – did your venue need much decoration?

The venue was set on a lake so the outside itself spoke for itself in terms of beauty.
Inside our room overlooked the lake, so we only used small decorations to add to the beauty of our surroundings.

Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?

Our sweet table was one of my favourites in the end. All of the trays and jars were given to me by family and friends of the family and hunted out of local charity shops. The end result was something special.
I hand made activity packs for all the children, and printed vintage postcards as part of our centerpieces (each table was a different state that we visited in America as Jay and I went over there for 8 weeks)
Looking back now I’m glad I spent the time to make parts of the wedding myself as I got exactly what I wanted. I can’t lie – I was glad when I had finished I have so much time to myself now I’ve re kindled my love for doing up furniture.

The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?

Our wedding cake was one of my favourite parts – I’ll never forget when I went to collect it the night before with Jays mom we were truely blown away!
We had one layer of chocolate and another of lemon. The cake itself was all of our wedding theme rolled into one – rustic, pretty and little bit different. And it was made by a friend of my mums Gemma. I still can’t get over how much I loved it – it was a show stopper.

Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?

The music was the one part Jay really took an interest in. He created a lovely play list for the reception as people arrived of our favourite songs or songs that had meant something to us during the last 9 years we had spent together.
I had a lovely father daughter dance to my dads favourite song – English Rose by Paul Weller. He didn’t know anything about it until he was being called up on the dance floor.

Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:

Don’t worry about putting a wedding together to please everyone else – make sure it’s what you want. And please make sure you enjoy and cherish every moment because the day really is like a blip in time when you look back.

What’s the best thing about being married?

Being reminded about why you have chosen a person to share your life with. Your love really grows and intensifies and it’s nice just to enjoy that moment together before life takes over again and normality sets in.

Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:

I was part of a wedding group on Facebook – you can find endless advice and supplier information (and discounts) on there.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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