Your Wednesday just got a whole lot more AMAZING… because we have the most beautiful boho wedding for you to get all inspired by this morning. I love everything – Abigail’s dress and her stunning plait, Mark’s super cool look (and his first dance story!), the flowers, the tipi, the wedding bake-off… and I very much think you will be as bowled over by this stunning wedding as I was!
“We aren’t a particularly traditional couple, so we knew from the off that a castle or a fancy hotel wasn’t for us. We knew we wanted a real earthy, bohemian feel so after seeing an advertisement on a magazine we just knew we had to have a tipi. Pitching it at our local cricket club was the ideal place.
“Over the year of planning, my initial earthy theme started to morph into a more Country Garden feel. I sourced some great watering cans and Mark painstakingly cut wood slices for my centerpieces. My florist then filled these with a beautiful arrangement of garden flowers.
The tipi was filled with an abundance of flowers, most of which had been picked by my family from their own gardens and presented in jam jars and tins. Wedding magazines and blogs gave me some great inspiration when it came down to venues, dresses and stationery. Pinterest was like my own personal wedding planner too!
“One bit of advice I absoultely swear by is to try and have the best start to your day as possible. I loved the morning of my wedding as it was so relaxed. We took our time getting ready, had a huge breakfast fry up and just generally chilled out all morning. We shocked both the photographer and driver by how laid back we all were. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my day and it definitely set me up for the emotional turmoil that was to come.”
Images are by Chris from Chocolate Chip Photography, based in Newcastle. Discover them here:
The English Wedding Blog interview: Abigail & Mark
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
Before looking for photographers we first sat down and talked about what we wanted from our photographs. Neither of us particularly like getting our photograph taken and we were very clear that we didn’t want any staged, boring static photographs, but more of a natural reflection of moments from our day.
We first met Chris from Chocolate Chip Photography at wedding fair. That day we had already seen so many other photographers, all with a similar generic ‘static wedding’ styles. Chris was different, his relaxed and natural photographs immediately drew us in and after a quick conversation with Chris we were pretty sure we had found the one!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We could not have asked for better!! From the start Chris was brilliant. He really took time to listen to what we wanted from our photographs of the day and kept in regular contact with us right up until the wedding (and now even a whole year after!!!). On the day he was amazing, we barely even noticed him taking pictures. He had so many great ideas and would go to any length to get a great shot, even scaling a huge wall much to the guests amusement. Many of our guests had no idea he was our photographer, thinking he was good friend of ours who just happened to have a camera. He fit in seemlessly to our day and really was just one of the lads.
This Christmas we’ve got the arrival of baby Cooper and wont hesitate to get in touch with Chris and his team for some amazing newborn shots. Chris will definitely become the official Cooper family photographer!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We saw the first ever sneak peek shot from the day whilst lounging around the pool in Mexico on our honeymoon. I even remember letting out a little squeal, followed by some funny looks from other hotel guests. As soon as we returned home i planned a girly night in for family and friends (basically a slightly quieter hen do) to show off our photographs. The night before Mark and I sat and looked at them together. It was like reliving the day all over again. We laughed, cried and cringed our way through them. I just knew the rest of our family and friends were going to love them as much as we did!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
It was the best day of our lives…..so far.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
My top money saving tip is simple….DIY! I wanted to DIY as much of my wedding as possible, not just because i had a very clear vision but because i knew how cost effective it was going to be. I have an extremely creative family and it just felt much more personal that all the little touches were created by us.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We were always determined to set aside the biggest budget for the things that were most important to us….FOOD!!! In keeping with the garden theme we opted for a picnic during the day. I found some cute picnic baskets which we had filled with delicious sandwiches, pies and quiches by Humbles cafe in Seaham. For the evening we knew that a BBQ was a must have. Our guests couldnt believe that we had managed to get Longhorns Smokehouse to cater for the evening, with their unreal brisket, ribs and pork. I had to pop a button or two on my dress to make sure i got my fill.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
All of our stationery, from invites, table plan and guestbook signs were all made by me. Pinterest gave me some great ideas and because we are already a pretty creative family it was a no brainer to DIY. My save the dates were my favourites! Mark cut come mini wood slices which i then stamped on the date and decorated with a cute little tipi.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
From the moment I got engaged i knew exactly what style of dress I wanted. How wrong was I! I just did not suit the style I had in mind. Thankfully i ended up falling for a beautiful fitted Lillian West dress. The beautiful lace train and ivory tones fitted so well with my theme, especially when teamed with my wild garden flower crown and long stemed bouquet.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Lillian West. Just Perfect Shotton Colliery, County Durham.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Other than my amazing flower crown, I didn’t really have any accessories. However on the morning of the wedding my Mam and sister surprised me with a delicate swarovski bracelet.
And what did the groom wear?
Mark and his 6 groomsmen picked their own bright blue Ted Baker suits, with sage coloured ties to match the maid of honour. They looked very handsome and my gamble to hand over all control payed off.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I only had the one bridesmaid/Maid of Honour, my sister Katie, who immediately fell in love with a long, sage green dress with lace. She looked stunning and the colour matched my theme perfectly.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Again it was a definite DIY job. As i have such long hair and so much of it, I knew i could only really trust my sister to get it right. After a lot of trails (and many arguments) i opted for a fishtail braid. I invested in some great Chanel and Estee Lauder make up which my sister nervously yet beautifully applied.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
As I was going for garden theme, one thing i knew that had to perfect was my flowers. I wanted a wild, ‘just picked’ look from all my flower arrangements, from the jam jars to the centrepieces. Most of this was done by some amazing family and friends, who even picked flowers from their own garden to fill my tipi.
I did however find a great florist (Nicos Secret Garden in Seaham) to do my bouquet, crown and centrepieces. My bouquet and flower crown were one of my favourite things from our day. My florist really understood the wild garden style i was after and I never wanted to take the crown off!
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
One of the biggest benefits of the tipi was that it was virtually a blank canvas. Exactly what i wanted to make my wedding vision become a reality. Aswell as the multitude of flowers that dressed the tables and almost every possible flat surface, I also continued my theme thoughout all my wedding details. We wrapped ivy garlands and fairylights around poles, hung handmade origami cranes above the dance floor and filled jars and mini plant pots with moss and tealights. We dressed a pair of old wooden ladders with jars, plant pots and candles for my table plan. Outside of the tipi we had some great garden games, including a coconut shy, limbo and giant jenga, which was a huge hit with the guest and resulted in some very tense moments. Since our wedding we have established our own business, hiring and selling garden games and unique decorations and accessories. www.facebook.com/ThePartyCoopers .
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
All of our stationery, from invites, table plan and guestbook signs were all made by me. Having family and friends help out with decorating the day before also added a great personal touch. One of the best parts of our day was The Wedding Bake Off. We asked our guest to bring along their homebakes and enter them into our bake off competition. We had a great turn out of cakes (the tipi one was amazing!) and our guests got very competitive with the voting. It was a great way to make our guests feel even more involved in the day.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
My delicious 3 tiered naked wedding cake was made by a family friend who dressed it with some beautiful handfuls of gypsophila. We knew we wanted to keep the cake simple and i loved the idea of the naked cake!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a great DJ who did a brilliant job at getting the party going. In fact we were the talk of the town after so many people complained about the ‘loudest party ever!’.
As secretly requested by Mark he even abruptly cut our first dance short by mixing in ‘Gangnam Style’ which Mark then pulled some serious shapes to. Much to my horror and the guests’ delight. We also had a magician, a young guy who had also been at a friends wedding.
What’s the best thing about being married?
The best thing about being married (other than experiencing the best day of our lives ever!) is the feeling of becoming a family. And now especially as two is soon to be come three, we wouldnt want it any other way.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Chris from Chocolate Chip Photography – http://www.chocolate-chip.co.uk
Please check out our facebook page, www.facebook.com/ThePartyCoopers, where we hire great garden games and unique decorations to the North East area.