Amy and Chris’s amazing festival wedding at Colehayes Park in Devon, with Howell Jones Photography
Happy Monday lovelies! How was your weekend? We were at a wedding in beautiful Derbyshire, so I’m still over the moon feeling happy for my amazing friend Beth and new hubby Peter – we had the absolute best weekend ever. So I was so excited to stay in the wedding mood and share another gorgeous day with you all today – we’re sharing gorgeous bride and groom Amy and Chris’s wedding all the way from sunny Devon, with our friends Devon wedding photographers Howell Jones Photography behind the camera lens!
Amy and Chris were married in August at Colehayes Park near Newton Abbott in Devon. Amy told me their wedding was “The most fun party I’ve ever been to!” and you know what, it really does look that way! They called the wedding ‘Lonkerfest’ – the festival vibe was because Colehayes Park was theirs for over a week so lots of wedding guests stayed over and hung out and partied throughout the week! Amy’s surname is Lonnen and Chris’s is Straker – “together our friends know us as The Lonkers – hence Lonkerfest! It was full of colour and silly-ness – there was no real theme – just to PARTY and have fun!”
Wedding photographer’s website:
I did a google search of photographers located in the area we were getting married and came across Warren’s site and just absolutely loved his reportage (fly on the wall) style, he just captures such beautiful moments, not staged or forced shots which is exactly what we wanted. His composition and colour were bang on for the look we wanted.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Ab-so-lutely! We absolutely love Warren. He couldn’t have been more helpful and friendly, helping us work out what kind of pictures we like and what we don’t before the day so we didn’t end up with one shot we didn’t love. On the day he was everywhere, (I don’t know how he does it!), and captured every moment but was never intrusive or in your face or in the way. All the wedding guests loved him – we think he had fun too! And then when we got the pictures back my god, we couldn’t love them more!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
My husband and I made a night of it, cooked ourselves a nice meal, opened a good bottle of red and went through them – it took us hours because we laughed, we cried, we remembered the special moments, saw pictures of moments we hadn’t been present for or seen. We looked at them over and over – we were so happy that he had done such an incredible job.
Colehayes Park is one of the only full DIY self style wedding venues in the UK, which is exactly what we wanted, we wanted to do everything ourselves and not be beholden to existing decoration or have any restrictions. They are AMAZING at Colehayes, they literally let you do whatever you want! I ordered all my own decorations online and over the week leading up to the wedding all our guests helped us bring everything together. We made everything! As mentioned we had our guests staying with us for a week so we got our arts and crafts on. To be honest in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have asked our guests to do so much – everything always just takes so much longer than you think it will and we were still working away until 10pm the night before the wedding. Do AS MUCH as you can in advance!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mostly recommendations through our venue – preferred suppliers and people that knew the venue already, as well as word of mouth recommendations through friends that are in the area.
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Do your research, work out roughly what things should cost and then you’ll know where your sliding scale is and what you’re willing to compromise on. I had a spreadsheet initially where I laid out everything we wanted/would have to pay for and estimated a figure against each item – that way you have a good idea from the offset on how much you’re potentially in or and where you need to save/be clever/thrifty.
Also, anywhere you can buy anything to decorate etc that isn’t wedding related you’ll find it’s much cheaper – as soon as you say it’s for a wedding the price triples!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Photographer 100%. We looked at getting a friend to do it, as well as a friend of a friend who were going to be super cheap but when we look at the pictures we ended up with I am SO GLAD we got a professional to do it, the moments he captured and the way the pictures look are just stunning. The band were worth every penny as well, we originally thought about just having a Spotify playlist playing but boy am I glad we didn’t, the band absolutely made the atmosphere/party!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
Making it was a labour of love. A friend designed a logo and a look and feel for us and then we begged, stole and borrowed any designer friends we haves time to help us make up the stationery including our invites, RSVP slips, Menus, order of service – the lot. I then got a friend who owns a printing company to do all the printing for me at cost!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Initially no actually. I tried on so many dresses and knew that I wanted a tea length dress but was just struggling to find the right thing, then I remembered a dress I’d tried on in the very first dress trying session I’d been to – I’d loved the bodice but it was a full length dress with a huge train so had discounted it. I decided to go back and try it on again as there was something niggling in my mind about seeing it again so, I went back to try it on and the dress itself was perfect – so I got a seamstress to chop the bottom of the dress off to make it tea length for me!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I went to a lovely lady who runs her own seconds bridal shop from her converted loft http://www.dreamsecondhandweddingdress.co.uk/wedding_dress_collection.php
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My earrings were my something old item – they were my mothers.
My shoes were AWESOME! Bright blue for my something blue and for a splash of colour – they looked great. I bought them on ETSY from Walkinonair
I had an awesome fun feather shawl from Jenny Packham at Debenhams – I love it so much I still wear it out!
My husband commissioned my engagement ring from the most lovely lady who custom makes all her jewellery, her name is Jo Hayes. We ended up getting her to make both our wedding rings as well as earrings for both of our mothers. Her stuff is different/unusual – we didn’t want standard rings! https://www.johayesward.com/
And what did the groom wear?
He wore a beautiful light blue suit from Ted Baker.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I only had one bridesmaid and we ordered a dress for her off of the internet from China!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
My bouquet was stunning – I knew I wanted something simple full of wildflowers and natural colours. All of the table flowers were exactly what we wanted as well, Karen did an incredible job https://www.2020flowers.com/
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We decided against a wedding cake because we didn’t have a traditional wedding in any way – and we think the idea of a cake is quite antiquated plus they are soooo expensive so instead we had a cheese wheel cake! Multiple layers of cheese all stacked to look like a cake – it was brilliant and went down a storm, our guests demolished it in minutes they loved it!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Oh my god our wedding band were the BOMB. They are SO good. Everyone absolutely loved them. They are called TFI Britpop and as the name suggest they play mostly BritPop hits but they have a huge repertoire of other stuff they can play. They asked us if we had any specific songs we’d like them to play and even learnt and did a banging rendition of Born this way by Lady Gaga for us – the place went off they are awesome! https://www.tfibritpop.com/
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Write a proper speech and start writing it long before the wedding so you have plenty of time to perfect it. I was so busy running around organising everything that I thought I’d just wing it on the day and it is hands down my biggest regret of the day, I forgot so many things I wanted to say.
If you end up wearing something as part of your outfit that wasn’t intended to go together beware. I was given a petticoat that didn’t go with my dress and I decided to wear it to fluff my skirt out but I regret wearing it so much because the dress looked MUCH better without it, it was also sticking out of the bottom of my dress for most of the day and no one noticed. I know it sounds extreme but for me that ruined a lot of my formal pictures because it just looked terrible.
Do as much prep work as you can before the week of the wedding, you want to enjoy all of your family and friends not be running around stressed out making sure everything looks perfect.
What’s the best thing about being married?
For me being married is the icing on the cake of our relationship. It makes you feel extra warm and fuzzy. And I absolutely love calling my husband my HUSBAND! 🙂
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
All my supplier links are above, the only one missing is our caterers who were brilliant http://www.astridges.co.uk/
Contact & Bookings – Colehayes Park wedding photographer Howell Jones Photography