Today’s lovely bride Ruth got in touch with me to show me her wonderfully creative woodland wedding to Stolly. They married this summer, celebrating in a woodland clearing – the space had nothing; they hired tipis and decorated the space themselves (along with lots of help from friends and family). I love how the woodland setting comes into its own in the evening, with fabulous lighting and areas for everyone to chat, dance and toast marshmallows around the fire! This is beautiful, free and goes to show there are no rules when it comes to wedding planning!
“I made all of our stationery, from detail on the name places to table name centrepieces and the mirror table plan and drinks list. I also painted signs on wood to decorate the trees – I love arts and crafts. I’m an interior designer so wanted a wedding that was a blank canvas that we could put our own stamp on. We love visiting Stolly’s family in the Cotswolds and wanted an outdoor wedding. We found the perfect woods near them but there was nothing there so we made everything beforehand: both families and my incredible bridesmaids helped us basically build a festival.
For the dance area in the woods, I made a hanging picture frame area as a fun alternative to a photo-booth with a sign with our names and wedding date on. We also had fire pits in the clearing, surrounded by hay bales with marshmallows ready to roast, a pizza oven, coffee cart and bar. Our friends are DJs so we built them an amazing DJ area in the trees surrounded by beautiful lights and danced until the sun came up.
Images are by P&W Images, who photograph weddings throughout the south west of England. Discover more from them here:
I did fall in love with my wedding dress! I had never pictured myself in a traditional gown so when I found this beautiful dress I couldn’t believe it. I’m going to cut the bottom off so it looks less like a wedding dress so I can wear it again! It was by Anna Campbell, bought at Coco and Kate
Your (first) names
Ruth and Stolly
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We wanted colourful, vibrant photos as our guests were wearing ‘Jazzy Suits’ and ‘Festival Fancy.’ We both love colour and our friends were all excited about wearing fun outfits at a festival wedding in the woods – so we needed photographers who would capture the madness.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
We couldn’t have been happier. Peter and Neil talked with us a lot before the day and couldn’t have been more helpful on our wedding day. We have had so many compliments on the photos and they rose to every challenge, particularly the coloured smoke bombs we kept setting off!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
We were just so happy with them, they were artistic and captured the day beautifully and were unlike any other wedding photos we have seen before.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Magical just sums it up perfectly.
Your wedding style or theme:
Festival style woodland wedding – with a lot of colour
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
All online, I did lot of searching but we knew what we wanted and so were able to make quick decisions
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Make as much as you can yourself, it means your wedding is unique and it’s lots of fun.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The tipis, sound system and lighting in the trees. They made the woods come to life and were completely enchanting.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I didn’t want traditional wedding shoes, not just because they wouldn’t have suited the day but also because I needed something with a thicker heal so I wouldn’t sink in to the mud. Finding something elegant and thick healed was so hard that I ended up buying reasonable, simple shoes and embellishing them myself.
I then bought earrings that mirrored the shape of the embellishments on the dress that I had also echoed in the shoes. No-one would have noticed this I’m sure but I’m an interior designer so I can’t help but bring everything together.
And what did the groom wear?
His wonderful sister works for Aquascutum so we were so lucky that they custom made a suit for him. He went for a lovely Indigo blue with a patterned, colourful tie and pocket square. He looked amazing.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My bridesmaids all have different figures and styles so I thought it would be best if they were all in different dresses and one jump suit for my younger sister. I put together a long list of ones I liked and they picked their favourites. I wanted them to all leave with a dress they love and would wear again. It was also really important to me that they were comfortable on the day.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Lucy Lockwood did our hair: www.lucylockwoodhair.weebly.com
Clare Bryce did our make-up: www.purepampering.co.uk
They were both amazing, I don’t wear much make-up and didn’t want to give Stolly a fright on the day so everything was really natural and beautiful. They did my Mum’s and my bridesmaids hair and make-up too as I wanted them all to feel pampered.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
I did the flowers on the table with my wonderful bridesmaids but for the bouquets, the cold summer meant we didn’t have enough so we went here last minute and they were amazing: www.alliumflorist.co.uk
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We didn’t have a cake as neither of us are huge fans, we did have an amazing lemon merengue pie for pudding though.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We didn’t have a band, only DJs in the woods which meant there was a real party/festival atmosphere.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Enjoy every minute, don’t worry about the small things because no-one will notice them.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Everything, we have known each other since we were 2 years old so nothing should have changed being married but it feels completely different. It’s amazing being able to properly plan the future together.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
As well as the ones in the text, our Tipi company were really great and ended up suggesting the lighting and sound people as well which was really useful http://www.elitetents.co.uk/
My interior design website is at www.ruthstolerman.com