Tess and Ben’s brilliantly personal wedding near Bath, with Heather Birnie Photography
The more I look at this gorgeous couple’s photos, the more I love everything about their day. It’s wonderfully casual, massively fun and full of the best homemade touches by talented friends and family. Tess and Ben got married near Bath and well and truly demonstrate what can be done for a wedding on a high street budget. Tess looks stunning in a bridal jumpsuit from Anthropologie and goes barefoot with anklets from India for the ceremony until putting on her white Nike Air Max 90s later in the day. Her hair and makeup was provided by Faye O’Connell.
Tess and Ben’s ceremony was non-religious and borrowed from Humanist and Pagan Land Blessings, and was held in a marquee in Ben’s parent’s back garden in Colerne. Signs painted by Sarah-Jane Griffey led guests to the wedding and their order of service was designed by Donna Sarah. The marquee, chairs and fairy lights were provided by Bath Marquee Company and dressed with bunting from the Event Flag Hire Company and flowers (as well as bouquets and button holes) by Electric Daisy Flower Farm. In the evening, local company Rye Bakery cooked wood fired pizza on site and served to guests.
“We didn’t have a style or theme, it was just chilled and basically a love party with a ceremony tagged on the front.
My bouquet, the flower crown in my hair, all the bridesmaids bouquets, the button holes and most of the flowers we used for decorating were from my best mans mum, old family friend and all round amazing woman Fiona Haser Bizony and her company Electric Daisy Flower Farm- check her out because she is amazing!! She makes the most beautiful works of art with flowers that she grows on her own flower farm! All I really gave Fiona was a suggestion of colour and then we had a discussion about the feel of the day (mainly as I had no idea what I wanted) and she created the most incredibly beautiful bouquet!! It made me feel like an absolute queen all day. I cannot rate her highly enough!
Wedding photographer’s website:
Heather had shot my cousins wedding the year before and we had really hit it off, she was super friendly and relaxed during the day. Plus the fact that her pictures were amazing! We are so so happy with the pictures, they really capture the spirt and feel of our day perfectly.
Heather sent us a link to the photos on her website and my husband (it’s still exciting to say!) and I were just chilling in bed, got the email and proceeded to spend the next 30 minuets entranced by them. The day goes by so fast it was lush to look back over the pictures and remember little things we had forgotten.
We got married in a marque in Ben’s parents garden in Colerne, just outside Bath.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Filled with love and emotion, relaxed and utterly perfect.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
We didn’t use many different suppliers, all were local and most came from recommendations from friends/family.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Pull in favours!
When people ask if there’s anything they can do say yes!
If you have friends or their parents or family friends or neighbours that are good at something don’t be afraid to ask them to help with something
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Our most expensive thing was the marquee, which was supposed only be a back up in case the weather was wet and for the party, but as it turns out it was wet on and off all day so we ended up having the ceremony in there as well.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
A friend of Ben’s, Donna, designed the lush illustration for our invites and then with the help of one of the best men (and his photoshop wizard friend) we put it all together.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Of course, although it wasn’t a dress- I was wearing a wedding jumpsuit.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Although I went a to a few different places like classic bridal shops and vintage boutiques to try on dresses I ended up finding my beautiful wedding jumpsuit in the high street shop Anthropologie.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
From when Ben preposed to be I knew I wanted to wear White Nike Air Max 90’s on feet, more then anything as an excuse to buy myself a pair!
I was also barefoot for some on the day and wore the most amazing pair of silver anklets that one of my best mates had brought back from India, I had planned to be for all of the day and the trainers were just for the evening but because it was wet I got a bit cold.
I wore a small gold necklace that was my grandma’s that my sister, and amazing best woman, lent me.
And my earring were a bit of a last minute purchase from Otis Jaxon.
And what did the groom wear?
Ben wore a suit Moss Bros suit, a shirt from Carhartt and Clarks Wallabies on his feet
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had 8 bridesmaids and their dresses were from several different places, Mango, Zara, Hope and Ivy, Self Portrait, FCUK and vintage shops!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I hardly ever wear make up or do anything more then wash and go to my hair so I hired a lovely lady called Faye to help me out! She was ace, making me feel super special and beautiful without feeling too weird and unnatural
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
We decided to get the marquee unlined as I’m not a huge fan of the slightly corporate linings which meant we had to do all the decorating our selves.
We hired some bunting, hacked down some of my future parents in laws garden and put the best men and bridesmaids to work decorating.
My brother works as a lighting technician, so we borrowed lots of lights from him, borrowed some lights from one of the best mans brothers (who had used them for his wedding) and they helped set up the lights.
Some of it we planned and some we just came up with the day before!
We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of our parents, my brother and sister and our friends!
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
My mum made all the confetti herself by drying geranium petals and she really enjoyed her mini mission doing that in the weeks running up to the wedding.
Our parents made most the food the day before or the day of the weekend and although we saved money and it was tastier then shop brought it was a pretty stressful at points.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
A family friend and baker extraordinaire made our cake and we gave her lots of free rein!
All we said we wanted was a naked (not iced on the outside) carrot cake with lots of flowers and she did the rest!
As you can see from the pictures it was amazing- and sooo tasty!!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We had a friend of Ben’s and Professional DJ Asian Hawk provide our music.
He was fantastic, we chatted a bit before about the first dance and certain songs we wanted playing but left the rest up to him and he smashed it!! Cannot recommend him enough!
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
As cheesy as it sounds follow your heart- and have your wedding the way that you want it!
Even if this means other people being disappointed, just remind them that its your wedding not theirs.
Having said this, also be prepared to let go and not be 100% how you planned, things change and its important to remember what the day is really about- love!
What’s the best thing about being married?
When I asked Ben this he said “There’s no doubt now” and I feel the same.
Its just a next stage of commitment and we get to take our being-completely-in-love-ness to the next level.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Our fab photographer Heather – www.heatherbirniephotography.co.uk
Our beautiful florist Fiona – www.electricdaisyflowerfarm.co.uk
Best wedding DJ EVER Ollie – www.facebook.com/asianhawk001/
Amazing pizza by Amy and Owen – www.facebook.com/ryebakeryfrome
Invite illustrator Donna – www.donnasarah.com
Marquee – www.bathmarquees.co.uk
Chairs and glass ware – www.minesleisurehire.co.uk
Hair and Make up – www.facebook.com/Fayeoconnellmakeup