Happy Sunday lovelies! Does anyone have sunshine this morning? It’s peeking through the clouds as I write… there’s nothing lovelier than driving back to the Lakes and seeing the sun on the mountains 🙂 Oh! Apart from Kayleigh and Dan’s wedding on the blog today of course! They were so lucky with the weather for their outdoor wedding in beautiful woodlands at Bodenham Arboretum. Their humanist ceremony was touching, beautiful and intimate: they invited friends and family who they see often and will see after the wedding, rather than feeling pressured to invite people they don’t know well – and for me this always makes a wedding much more relaxed and happy.
Images were captured by lovely Birmingham wedding photographer Clive Blair Photography, and have been featured already in West Midland Your Wedding Magazine – but I couldn’t resist sharing them with you again – this truly is a beautiful celebration with lovely touches and Kayleigh has kindly shared their wedding planning story with us all (below the images). Don’t miss it!
The great thing about tipis is they are literally a blank canvas, you can style it however you like. We chose to style it all ourselves.
That was one of the things that i liked about having a tipi wedding, there wouldn’t be another wedding in it the next day exactly the same with a different colour scheme, we could make it as personal to us as we liked.
We made so much ourselves, we were crafting away for about 4 months before the big day.
I spent hours on Pinterest getting ideas and inspiration for every element of our wedding. We saw inspiration and put a twist on it to make it our own.
We sourced or made so much!
All of the table decorations, place names, table runners, napkin holders, tiered cake stand, table plan, hearts that hung around the tipi, marsh mellow trees for the fire, decorations on the way to the venue, favours (box of scones with clotted cream and jam or a box of cheese, pickle and crackers).
We even did the bar ourselves, everything was £1. It was a massive trip to the cash and carry but saved us hiring a full bar and we just paid a couple of staff from the arboretum to run it for us.
Wedding photographer’s website:
Clive Blair www.cliveblair.co.uk
We saw numerous photographers online and at wedding fairs. I was drawn to Clives style of photography, especially his backlit pictures. When we started chatting he was such a normal, unobtrusive, down to earth guy. He made me feel relaxed straight away.
You spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day it’s really important you like them, Clive was a total professional from the start.
Before the wedding he was quick to respond to any questions we had. We went to visit the venue together for a practice shoot so he could see where to take the best photos on the day, to make sure we had fabulous pictures but weren’t taken away from our guests for too long.
On the wedding day he was here, there and everywhere taking snaps, but managing not to disturb anyone. Some of our guests even said he was like a ninja. When it was time for group shots Clive was efficient, with just the right amount of authority to keep our families in line.
Clive sent us a little preview when we were on our honeymoon, we were so excited, they were great! We first looked at all our of our pictures at home with no distraction, i won’t dress it up, i cried i was so happy. We could not have been happier with our photos! We also loved our pre wedding shoot pictures too.
Contact & bookings: Clive Blair Photography
We had a tipi wedding at Bodenham Arboretum, with a non-religious humanist ceremony.
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
Best day of our lives!
Your wedding style or theme:
We wanted a really personal, relaxed, rustic wedding to share with our closest family and friends.
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Numerous places, wedding fairs, recommendations and online.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Plan your own, make what you can, make use of tools such as Pinterest for inspiration. Know where you are happy to compromise.
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We were not wiling to compromise on a photographer to save a bit of cash. Getting the photographer right was top of the list for us.
Feeding our guests. We wanted a quality relaxed meal, without our guests having to serve themselves. We worked with Dave from choc and hog catering. We had BBQ bites for starters, Gourmet Burgers for mains and family and friends bought desserts for pudding.
For us because we organised the majority of it ourselves we spent money on things lots of couples wouldn’t, fancy portable toilets, hay bales and a portable chiller to store flowers, drinks, puddings. Lots of these little extras added up but i feel we didn’t go too over the top on many elements.
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
I found a company on ebay, then went through their website directly.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I like to think on most big decisions (such as this), but i knew it was the one when i woke up the next morning.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
My dress was from Solihull Brides. It was by Morilee, but i made several alterations to it, adding cap sleeves and lace drapes to the back.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I had no intention of wearing big cream shoes on grass all day so i bought a pair from monsoon.
My earrings and bracelet was Thomas Sabo and get worn fairly often . I had my veil made in America, it was silk chiffon, so really floaty and very very long!
And what did the groom wear?
Ted Baker suit
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I could not find what i wanted anywhere!
The girls all like different styles and i wanted them to like their dresses. I didn’t want traditional bridesmaid dresses, i really wanted a printed fabric. In the end we went to a huge fabric shop and had 3 dresses made by a local seamstress.
The seamstress mixed and matched patterns to give the girls the dresses they were happy with and looked great.
They were also much cheaper than any bridesmaid dress we saw in the dress shops
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I am beyond hopeless with make up and not much better with hair so i sought help from the professionals. I had trials with a fabulous make up lady who used MAC make up and a couple of trials with my usual hairdresser.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The bouquets and the top table arrangement i used a florist (Whoops a Daisy). I don;t know much about flowers but knew i wanted small, delicate flowers with not too much green, foliage i think is the correct term, ha.
The rest of the table and venue decorations we did ourselves. We had advice from a wholesaler at Birmingham flower market, (that was an early morning) and had a test run. Then we ordered all of the flowers from the flower market and left a couple of trusted family members to it whilst we set up the rest of the venue the day before the wedding.
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
You can get so carried away on a wedding cake and we didn’t want to spend that much on a cake, so this was one of the areas we were definitely happy to compromise on.
We asked a friend to make a single tier iced cake with some small flowers just for us to cut on the day and a family member make cupcakes for everyone to have instead of a piece of wedding cake each. It was perfect for us.
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
When i walked down the aisle and for our drinks reception we had Jamie Knight play his acoustic guitar. He has a wicked voice and really set the tone for the entire day. He created exactly the right atmosphere.
Also during the drinks reception i surprised Dan by booking a magician. He went around groups of people performing close hand card and other sleight of hand tricks. He got people mingling with each other and was a great ice breaker. It was astonishing and frequently gets brought up in conversation with family, ‘remember that magician at your wedding…’
I was keen on having live music, so we hired a brilliant band from Worcester, junction 7, for our evening entertainment. We’d seen them a perform a couple of times before we booked, so we know they would be just right for us. They sent us a song list and avoided songs we didn’t like. The dance floor was full all evening and the band were better than i’d seen them before.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
I reckon i could write a book, but the main ones are,
Don’t be a sheep, make the day your own by making it as personal as you can.
Make a decision and stick with it.
If there is something you feel strongly about don’t let family try to persuade you. I was adamant on the guest list. I only wanted family and friends we actually see and will continue to always see. I did not invite people because i felt i had to to please people.
Something will go wrong, however small not everything will go perfectly. Breathe and try not to let it ruin your day.
If you are thinking of having a tipi or yurt type wedding you plan so much yourself. We wanted to let go of the reins on the day, so we had a lady provided by the catering company to act almost as a master of ceremony for the day. She was in the background but made sure all of the guests were seated at the right time, the wine was on the tables, gave the best man a nudge with starting the speeches and dealt with the numerous suppliers on the day so we could relax and enjoy it, she was a godsend.
What’s the best thing about being married?
I love being married. Me and Dan had been together for 10 years before we got married but it has made us feel like more of a team than ever.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms: