Hey lovelies! I have a real treat of a wedding in store for you today! James and Anna’s best day ever is just fabulous. It has everything – a venue that takes my breath away; stunning styling and of course the most wonderful fun couple you can imagine. Huge thanks to our lovely friend and sponsor Special Day Wedding Photos for the images, and to gorgeous Anna & James for completing my little interview – don’t miss their brilliant top tips below the images. The venue is Anran in Devon, with tents from Devon Belles bringing a true festival vibe to the day.
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We tried a range of methods, from googling and using wedding supplier websites but in the end it was searching #devonweddingphotographer on Instagram that led us to Anthony. We loved Anthony’s style and after exploring his website of work as well, we arranged to meet with him.
We were so impressed by Anthony. From the beginning, he was very professional and helped us understand what to be looking for in a wedding photographer. He was open to meeting with us at the venue prior to our day, and was so enthusiastic as we showed him the space. On the day itself, Anthony and his videographer arrived early and just got stuck in straight away. Anthony spent most of the day running about taking hundreds of shots. A few of our guests are photographers and all of them said how impressed they were with his energy and the hard work he put in. We are beyond grateful to Anthony for capturing the day so perfectly!
James was out when I first collected the USB with our photos on, and it took a lot for me not to just look at them straight away! But I’m glad I waited for him – we spent the next couple of hours scrolling through the hundreds of shots that Anthony had whittled down. Naturally, I cried as I began reliving the most amazing day!
Contact & Bookings: Special Day Wedding Photos, Devon
The venue definitely didn’t need decorating. Our general theme was along rustic lines and the venue offered lots of that. Also featuring in our theme was lots of botanical greenery and the Glasshouse at Anran was full of beautiful green plants and trees! We did of course add some touches though…
Myself and a friend made metres and metres of tropical print bunting. James and I spent many hours sifting through hundreds of photos to pick out the best ones of our nearest and dearest to hang in the courtyard for guests to peruse during cocktail hour. We asked our family to collect jars, so that we could spray paint geometric shapes on them in one of our wedding colours, and then fill them with citrus scented wax to make candles for the tables. We made all of the stationery ourselves, along with table games to keep our guests entertained while they ate. We also hand painted all of the signs we had around the venue, using wood from my mum’s garage. We really did love getting crafty and making things ourselves. As it got closer to the day the stress levels definitely ramped up but it was still very fun!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mainly online research, and lots of it. We trawled Google for local suppliers, and used a couple of recommendations from the venue. We got especially lucky with our amazing chef, Joe, who happens to be the brother of one of our good friends!
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Lots and lots of do-it-yourself, and use your friends’ talents!
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
Food and booze!
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
We made all of our stationery ourselves. We bought our invitation design from Etsy, and had it printed locally in Bristol on eco paper we sourced ourselves. We also used a stamp and heat gun to emboss our names on the front with one of our wedding colours! We did the same with our menus, order of ceremony, name cards and seating plan. Although hard work, it saved us a lot of money and was really quite fun once we got the hang of it!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Yes – but after some work. When I received my dress (details below) the bodice wasn’t quite as I expected it would be, so I asked a local seamstress to make some changes. She was incredible and when I went for my last fitting with her I was totally in love with it!
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
I visited one boutique in Bristol to try different styles. I already had a style in mind but wanted to make sure it looked right. I actually ordered my dress from Etsy and had it shipped to me. The Etsy maker was Vicky Mermaid Bridal.
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
My shoes were light pink crystal studded block heels by Carvela which I absolutely adore. Unfortunately I am not used to wearing heels so very shortly after the ceremony I changed into custom trainers I made myself which featured all of our wedding colours. I wore my mum’s blue stone necklace, given to her by my late father – my sister wore the same one on her wedding day. I also bought some pearl earrings in the shape of a cat – we have two cats of our own so it was my way of featuring them in our day! Myself and my bridesmaids also wore greenery garlands, again sourced from Etsy.
And what did the groom wear?
James and his (five!) best men wore light grey suits from Burton, along with green bow ties and grey suspenders. James had a green Liberty print bow tie to set him apart which looked especially dapper!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
The girls wore full length green dresses from Dorothy Perkins. I had expressed to them that I didn’t mind what style of dress they wore, I just wanted them to be comfortable and happy and for the colour to be green. One of them chose this dress, and it just happened that the other girls liked it too so decided to match.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I always wanted to get my make up professionally done because frankly I’m not very good at doing my own and thought it would be a nice treat for all of the girls! My make up artist was amazing and shares a similar mindset to me by using all cruelty free brands.
Initially, I was going to do my hair myself as I wanted to keep it fairly natural and easy anyway. However, as the day drew closer I decided to call in a professional and was so glad that I did! The girls and I felt truly pampered and relaxed by the time we were finished getting ready.
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
Very early on I decided I wanted to make my own crepe paper flowers – I just felt there was something special in creating the bouquets myself and being able to keep mine forever. It was a massive undertaking and was certainly not easy at times but I’m still glad I did it.
We did have some real flowers, including our ceremony arch. All of these were bought from an online wholesale store and delivered to the venue two days before. The wedding party helped pull all of the arrangements together and it looked exactly how I imagined!
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
We chose a Krispy Kreme doughnut board! Although we enjoy cake, it didn’t quite resonate with us to have one on our wedding day. We wanted something a bit light hearted and different – and who doesn’t like doughnuts anyway?!
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
We kept the musical side of things quite simple. Many hours of work went in to multiple playlists for various points in the day. We are also very lucky as my brother agreed early on to provide the DJ’ing for the evening dancing – and he did a fantastic job! He needed a break to do some dancing himself of course, so a couple of our friends also played for a while.
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Take time to enjoy yourselves, the day will disappear before you know it! But don’t get too drunk that you forget most of the day…. Also, take people up on their offers of help, especially if you’re DIY-ing your wedding – it can be a lot to take on.
What’s the best thing about being married?
Having our whole future to look forward to, knowing we will always be there for one another.
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Devon wedding photographer: Special Day Wedding Photos
Venue: Anran http://anran.co.uk/
Food: Joe Draper http://kitchenconsultantchef.co.uk/
Make up: Stephanie Malone https://www.theethicalmakeupartist.co.uk/
Hair: Tracie Gunningham http://www.envymyhair.co.uk/
The humanist ceremony was conducted by Karen Partridge.