This wedding is so pretty – I LOVE the bouquet and all the flowers, the stationery and the little handwritten signs for Sarah & Simon’s outdoor games. They’re a gorgeous couple, the images are lovely – it’s perfect! And you’ll find tons of inspiration here… DIY was a major part of today’s fabulous English wedding. Enjoy!
They had a relaxed outdoor wedding with lots of personal touches – both Simon and Sarah are ecologists and work in the great outdoors, so it had to be an outdoor nature themed wedding! “It was very important to use local suppliers. Most of them we found through word of mouth and recommendations from others.”
Images are by Hampshire wedding photographer Jenny Owens, who you can discover more from here:
I was really looking forward to this wedding as I knew from our initial meeting that Sarah and Simon’s day would be really well thought out, with many special, personal, natural and local touches from The New Forest, and a very relaxed wedding incorporating the outdooors as much as possible. I wasn’t wrong! Following their ceremony at Sarah’s local church, I followed the couple as they rode on a horse and carriage. We stopped in the middle of the forest for some newly wed pics, (and of course I had to take some of the local ponies wandering around) as well as stopping at the oldest oak tree in the forest. Then there were lots of fun and games to be ahd at their reception in a tipi. I loved it! ~ Jenny Owens Photography
“We really wanted to keep our wedding personal, so we DIY’d it to the max! We grew our own flowers, and did our own arrangments for the reception. Simon’s mum spent the whole summer making bunting! We created all our own stationery, including special wildlife themed table names. We borrowed handmade wooden games from my work including stocks, but we also designed our own games such as welly wanging and splat the mink! We also hand painted our own signs on bits of old pallets, and attached to various garden forks from our allotment, which were stuck in the ground.
The best homemade idea we had was our DIY photobooth! We made a frame from old pallets and suspended it from a tree in the field, and provided fancy dress (mostly sourced from charity shops). We then had our SLR camera set up so that people could take their own photos. This went down really well, especially with the kids!”
Wedding photographer’s website:
Jenny Owens- www.jennyowensphotography.com
How did you choose your photographer?
We spent a long time looking for a photographer. We came across Jenny’s website on a local suppliers website, and loved her images! As well as a digital camera, she uses a 1950’s film camera which creates beautiful soft images. We were having our wedding reception in a giant tipi in a field, and it was clear from Jenny’s blog that she had a real passion for outdoors weddings. After an initial meeting with Jenny, she was so lovely and made us feel at ease, so we realised so it had to be!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Jenny was absolutely fantastic thoughout the whole wedding process, from initial communication to the day itself, and even afterwards! We had an initial meeting to discuss what we wanted from the day- informal photographs capturing the day, with a few formal ones (for the parents!), and we both felt that Jenny listened and delivered exactly what we wanted. One of the big things that we wanted from our wedding photographer was somebody who would be discrete, and not over powering. Jenny was just that! During our church service, we were hardly aware that she was there, but she still managed to get fab shots throughout the service. For our couple shots, she was able to give us gentle direction (which we both needed!) and made us feel completely relaxed.
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
Jenny was very good and sent us a few sneak peaks the day after our wedding which was very exciting! We loved those, and couldn’t wait to see the rest of them! When we finally received our completed wedding album on line, we were thrilled to bits! It was especially great to see all the shots of our guests enjoying the day that Jenny had captured, as well as all the little details. We recieved a lovely little gift box from Jenny with our photos, some prints of our favourite photographs and some other little items to provide that extra personal touch! Really sweet.
We got married in St. Nicholas’ Church in Brockenhurst in the New Forest. It’s a church that I have quite strong family ties with, which made it extra special. For our reception, we had giant tipis set up in my friends field in Minstead.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
DIY! We made/ grew a lot of things ourselves. We were very lucky to have friends and family willing to lend a hand, which really helped cut costs. Before we started planning our wedding, we worked out a budget and stuck to it! We had a (massive!) spreadsheet, and religiously filled it in whenever we spent something. It’s so easy to get carried away with things, so prioritise, and decide which elements are important to you!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Our tipis! They were more expensive than a normal marquee, but they were fantastic and really were a beautiful backdrop, adding to our rustic outdoor theme.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made all of our wedding stationery ourselves, from the invites to the orders of service to the table names. We kept them quite rustic on brown card with lace and raffia, and designed our own meadow scene motif to use throughout.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
It took me ages to find a wedding dress, it actually became quite a chore! I had an image in my head of what I thought I wanted, but when I tried on those dresses, I really didnt like them! In the end, the dress I chose was completely different to what I thought i wanted, but I loved it.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My dress was quite intricate, so I didn’t want to detract from that with too much jewellery, so i wore simple pearl drop earrings and that was it! I didn’t have a veil either, so had fresh flowers in my hair instead.
And what did the groom wear?
Simon and his ushers wore dark grey suits from Slaters, with tan shoes. My wedding gift to Simon was an antique pocket watch, so once he figured out how to attach it, we wore that too!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had three bridesmaids who wore strapless pale green dresses from Debenhams. It was a little chilly, so they also had ivory pashminas.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We had our hair done by Anne Burge at Simply You in Lymington, and our hair was done by Alison Boulter at Beautiful You, also in Lymington. Neither myself or my bridesmaids normally wear much makeup, so we kept everything very natural and light so we’d feel comfortable.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Our bouquets and button holes were created by Corbins Florist in Brockenhurst. They were fantastic and really listened to what I wanted- a natural picked from the garden look! The flower ladies at the church kindly created wonderful arrangements for the service and around the door. They used all the same flowers as in the bouquets so they all matched. All the flowers at the reception were grown by me, and both the mums in our allotments and gardens! It was quite stressful making sure they were all going to flower at the right time, but it worked out really well! Our mums spent the day before arranging them all into jam jars for the tables.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We had to do a lot of decorating for our reception- but this is where our theme and homemade touches really came in to their own! The day before our wedding, it was all hands to the pump, and all our ushers, bridesmaids and parents helped us transform the field into an amazing venue! It was brilliant having everyone there helping out, and we couldn’t have done it without them!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We had a 3 tier fruit cake which my Aunty and Uncle made and iced. My Aunty is amazing at baking. We decorated it with hessian bands and raffia, topped off with sunflowers from my allotment.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a local band called Uncle Tom’s Cobbleys. We see them at gigs in local pubs and love their music. They play a fiddle and a guitar, but cover everything from Beyonce to the Pogues and everything in between! Brilliant for getting eveyone up dancing!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Decide a budget and stick to it! It will really help you prioritise what is important. Don’t sweat the small stuff! On the day, you’ll realise that all the little things you might have worried about before the wedding, you don’t even notice on the day!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Spending the rest of your life with your soulmate!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Venison Spit- wildbushcraft.co.uk