I LOVE all the details of this wedding… the dried flowers, Thomas’s suit (I love it when a groom wears something different to the norm) and Danielle is just so beautiful – welcome to the wedding of a fabulous couple whose gorgeous wedding DIY and wonderful wedding planning advice will inspire you so, so much!
Wedding photographer’s website:
We were looking for a candid, informal approach to our photography. Someone who could capture all the emotion of the day as naturally as possible, someone that we felt comfortable to be around, and who was also affordable! After researching for many hours at countless websites and suppliers, we came across Damian. We liked the look of his work online and his portfolios, so we contacted him for further details. After meeting him at our home, we knew instantly he was our photographer!
To make us feel at ease, Damian organised a “pre-shoot”. Tom and I decided it would be nice to do this at home, seeing as this was our wedding venue, we would be able to get a feel for how things would run on the day. With subtle prompts, Damian encouraged us into certain positions and angles so he could capture us naturally. He also got us laughing and joking by whispering things into each other’s ears, and Damian would then snap away. Our photos turned out exactly as we’d hoped, lots of smiling, hugging, kissing, crying, and most importantly love conveyed through the pictures. When we first saw the photos we cried, it was everything and more we could have hoped for!
Our wedding style was very relaxed and informal. We opted for warming winter colours: the bridesmaids wore cranberry, and the best men/ushers wore check tweed jackets, with cranberry ties and pocket squares.
The flowers were all dried, continuing with the rustic theme. We chose warm reds, oranges, pinks and plums with pinecones, berries and feathers , handmade by myself into original Cockburn port boxes. The dining was long tables, banqueting style, which gave an informal feeling, and everyone was able to relax. We kept the tables simple, with cranberry coloured napkins, handtied ourselves with cinnamon sticks and fresh fern from the farm.
Our table decoration was hessian runners layed on the wooden tables, with mercury glass candle holders, tea lights, our handmade Cockburn flower boxes and original deer antlers from our farm for the top table.
Our stationery was all kraft card, and handwritten. Everything we used was handmade or sourced from the farm. The menu was simple, we had roast joints which guests carved at the table, and served our wedding cake as dessert, which was red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. We decided to do canapés and drinks on arrival instead of a starter, as we felt this was more sociable and suited to our guests. Our evening food was a cheese and pork pie tower with Cockburn port. Our marquee and grounds was decorated with warm fairy lights, and we hand made large ceiling wreaths to hang beneath the chandeliers. Above the top table, we had a large branch from the farm which we decorated with pinecones and foliage.
We used lots of dried flowers ordered online from Essentially Hops and arranged by myself. Centrepieces were made using oasis foam placed into a wooden Cockburn port box. I made ceiling wreaths with a large round metal frame and securing arrangements.
Our flowers included dark pink larkspur, nigella love in a mist, roses in red, white and orange, thistle, peonies, eucalyptus, baby’s breath, wheat, feathers, moss, pine cones and berries. Other flowers, bouquets and button holes, were ordered from artisan dried flower company. We chose the winter rustic theme, and added our own spin on their design.
The wedding venue was at my parents home, a deer park farm, in rural countryside Warwickshire. It’s ideal because there is plenty of land for a marquee, and 10 converted stables into b&b accommodation, which enabled us to accommodate guests on site travelling from afar. We had a winter wedding on 31st December 2016.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Brides dress : Warwickshire bridal boutique , Henley in Arden
Bridesmaids dresses: 1950’s Boutique -online
Men’s suits:Henley house, Henley in Arden
Flowers: (homemade centrepieces and ceiling decorations) – Dried Flowers ordered online from essentially hops
Bouquets and buttonholes :made by artisan dried flowers company
Tables and chairs :wooden bench hire company
Marquee-Paul Kearney – county marquees
Confetti cannons- Ian – confetti magic
Caterers:Louise flannigan – cater4me
Acoustic Music – George Simpson
Band – George Simpson & Maslow
Church – st Laurence church rowington
Photographer – Damian burcher
Bridal party Hair – Sammie fletcher-styles by sammie
Bridal Makeup-Salmar akhtar MUA
Calligraphy- Natasha grove-away with words
Venue/accommodation -the deer park farm, Warwickshire
What’s your top tip for saving money?
1-canapés instead of starters! It’s cheaper, it’s easier, it’s sociable, and we found most importantly people get fidgety when asked to sit for long periods of time, they want to chat&mingle! The main course,dessert and speeches is long enough sitting!
2-serve your wedding cake as dessert! Cakes often get cut and then forgotten about, don’t waste it!
3-design and make your own invitations, it’s fun to get all the bridesmaids together and help, it also saves a lot on costs
4-if your on a budget, consider buying some makeup from a professional beauty counter in a department store, you are then elegible to have your makeup applied professionally on the big day. Consultations and trials are complimentary!
5-confetti cannons to “release” during a special moment , such as first dance or for us, during the NYE count down! It’s an effective inexpensive way to get the party going and a nice little surprise for guests. We chose this instead of fireworks. Fireworks are costly, weather permitting, and you need someone responsible to manage them!
6-make any decorations you can yourself. We ordered bulk lots of dried flowers online, and then assembled the centrepieces and ceiling wreath decor ourselves!
7-if flowers are out of budget, lighting can be a really effective way of prettying up a venue. Lots of candles and fairy lights look lovely.
8-sparkler favours- we had sparklers as our favours, and got everyone to light them during our first dance. It’s cost effective, really pretty and makes great photos
9-ask around. Transport can be really expensive! Ask family and friends if they can help, lend a fancy car or know someone who might?
10-when booking suppliers, always check if VAT is included! Don’t get caught out!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
The videographer was our most expensive purchase, although still affordable. Mark Lenik is a cinematographer, and so makes a “film” rather than your big standard wedding video. He also has a secondary camera man to ensure all angles of the day are captured aswel as a drone for special effect.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Our invitations were handmade on kraft card, and lovingly designed/ printed at home.
Our wedding signs,table settings and table plan were created by Natasha grove, away with words
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
My dress was from the Warwickshire bridal boutique Henley in Arden. It’s an ivory essence of Australia satin A-line gown, sweetheart neckline, with button detail. It had a long swooping train, and structured bodice. This was teamed up with a lace jacket and waist belt, along with a soft lace cathedral style veil.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Essence of Australia
Warwickshire bridal boutique Henley in Arden
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
Accessories were a simple swarkofski bracket, with pearl and diamond drop earrings.
Shoes were ivory satin mesh, jimmy choo
And what did the groom wear?
Dark brown brogues
Brown/cranberry stitch tweed jacket
Cranberry tie&pocket square
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
Cranberry full length chiffon gowns with lace and crystal detail from 1950’s boutique online
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Hair – Sammie fletcher
Makeup – salmar akhtar MUA
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
Our marquee was at home on my parents farm, all decoration was done by ourselves. We used fairy lighting to dresss the ceilings and walls. We used lots of candles and tea lights on the tables, along with the centrepieces. We also placed antlers on the top table.
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
Almost everything! It’s very enjoyable and satisfying, although I will say with warning it can be very time consuming. It’s fun to get all the girls together and get stuck in, plus it saves a lot of money.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting . We chose this because it’s my favourite flavour! It’s also the perfect colour to go with our winter theme. We chose to have a “naked cake” without icing, and simply decorated with icing sugar and berries and holly.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had George Simpson who I would highly recommend. During church, instead of having the organ, we decided we wanted something abit different. George played our entrance music, our hymns, our music whilst signing the register and our exit music all on acoustic guitar! It was fun, different and really lovely to sing along to the guitar. George then played background music all afternoon during our reception and dinner.he did a mixture between guitar and piano, he then played our first dance. Later in the evening, George’s band “Maslow” came on and did a 2 hour set to get the party going, and finally George then DJ’d until the early hours. It was fantastic to have everything all by one supplier.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Take a breath and take it all in. The day is a complete whirl wind, it goes so quickly and before you know it, it’s over. Your being pulled left right and centre for hugs, kisses, photos and congratulations. I wish I had just taken a moment with my husband to take a step back and fully take it all in.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Being called a wife and knowing you’re together forever.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: