Lexi & Chris’s joyful festival wedding, with JS Coates Photography
Hey gorgeous! Are you feeling refreshed after the sunny weekend? I have some treats in store for you this week… and we’re starting today with a beautiful reminder that things WILL go back to normal and we WILL have parties and hugs and proper weddings again. I’m desperately hoping it’s soon – because this kind of loveliness is too special to miss. Lexi and Chris’s wedding had everything: an outdoor ceremony under an ancient tree with Chris’s military kit giving the occasion a certain gravitas… and Lexi is just STUNNING! They celebrated with a tipi reception and festival / fete inspired party afterwards, and the dancing went on until the early hours. Memories, hey? For now, let’s celebrate with this gorgeous pair.
Wedding photographer’s website
How did you choose your photographer?
We first found it important to decide on the style of photography that we wanted after meeting a few different photographers at wedding fayres. After determining that we wanted documentary-style wedding photos we searched for a few different Midlands wedding photographers that offered just that. We focused mainly on looking at their photography style and nothing else. We then met with Jonathan to discuss prices, dates, expectations and got on with him really well. It was important to us that we got on with our photographer, and we enjoyed that meeting so much that we decided to have an engagement photoshoot in one of our favourite locations so we could know what to expect from the wedding day. This was a fabulous way to get to know Jonathan, his style of working, and ensure that we were happy with our decision.
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
In a simple answer – YES!
Jonathan went above and beyond from the first meeting until the delivery of photos. On the wedding day our guests commented on how lovely he was as a photographer and how at ease he made every one feel. We were even asked how we convinced a family member to capture and photograph the wedding because of the rapport we both had with Jonathan. Not only is he a wonderful man, he seemed to manage to capture every moment of the day, we had one photographer but he seemed to be in three places at once documenting the laughs, the happy tears, and the questionable dancing of our amazing day. On top of all of that we are astounded at the quality of his work, the end product was phenomenal. Jonathan was definitely the right choice for us.
Videographer details if applicable – and any thoughts for other couples about having a wedding video?
We decided not to have a videographer as we knew we would display photos around our home, however we were unsure how often we would look back on a video. The photos are more than enough to transport us right back to that amazing day and those wonderful moments.
Tell us about your venue – what made this place special for you?
The Haybarn Wedding Venue is where we decided to get married. From the offset an outdoor wedding was really important to us. An opportunity to get together with our loved ones and make it about all of us in one place that we could truly customise to our style was important. The ability to pick our own suppliers, and use the site as we wanted with different themes was really important to us. A massive factor was that we had the site all weekend, and our friends were able to camp here too, so we turned our wedding day into a wedding weekend. Having this amount of freedom with time, and suppliers reduced the stress and allowed us to really customise our wedding. As well as all this, the site owner Dan was really helpful with liaising with the suppliers, providing advice, and being on call throughout the wedding day if we needed him.
Did you love wearing your outfits? How was the dress / suit shopping experience?
Chris was lucky as he wore his military uniform which he already owned.
Lexi decided on her dress in her second wedding dress day out with her mom and her Chief Bridesmaid. We went to a couple of shops in Birmingham, and I tried on about 15 dresses in total, and as soon as I tried on ‘the’ dress my mom said my face lit up and it just suited me perfectly. We left the shop with the dress that day. Having my mom and my Chief Bridesmaid with me really helped my confidence in buying a wedding dress as I was questioning whether to go for the one that I did, or a more festival-style wedding dress. The one that I went for really suited the Blues uniform, and I loved it.
Did you hire a florist? Tell us about any floral amazingness
We ended up hiring a local florist a recommendation through a friend. They were amazing in realising our vision of the tipi tables being turned into a whimsical wildflower meadow.
Did you hire a wedding planner?
No – we decided we didn’t need one as part of the fun of a wedding is planning it all together. We also have an amazing group of friends and family that offered to help the day run smoothly.
We really enjoyed the wedding planning experience, it was an amazing thing to do together and it made it special for us, and we involved our friends and family a lot which really made the wedding feel even more intimate.
As cake lovers here at English Wedding we’d LOVE to know who made your cake, and how delicious it was?
Our cakes were really special to us as they were made by the mother of the Best Man. Jennie is a wonderful woman with the largest heart, she is also essentially Chris’ adoptive mother. We asked her if she would consider baking a wedding cake for us as she is an amazing baker, and she tentatively accepted. This turned into a journey for all of us, with multiple phone calls to decided which cakes, toppings, decorations – you could tell none of us had ever done it before! But Jennie took everything in stride and even arranged a cake tasting for us when we popped round for a cup of tea. The end result was a beautiful cake table with three of our favourite cakes flavours, displayed on cakes stands made by Chris’ dad. This truly was a labour of love from some of our nearest and dearest, and they were the best cakes we’ve have ever had!
Tell us about any special personal touches, or creative projects you made yourselves
We did a few different things, we made the bunting from scratch, most of this was done over watching netflix with a glass of wine. We trawled through charity shops over months to find all of the glass jars for the tables, we made and hand painted the signs for the wedding. The cake stands were made by Chris’ dad. There are so many little things we did, even to the night before the wedding when the tipi had been constructed we had some friends helping is decide on the table layout and arranging the flowers on the tables. As wedding gifts we got our groomsmen and fathers personalised hip flasks and whisky glasses, of which a dram really helped calm the nerves. And for our bridesmaids we brought matching jewellery that was worn on the day. We could talk about every planning stage of the wedding as it is all so personal, really every decision has a personal touch to it for your wedding day .
Did you personalise your vows or have any wedding readings? What were they?
We had our best man marry us, it was important to note we were officially married by a registrar two days before. We wanted our best man to marry us on the day as he is one of our closest friends and we couldn’t ask him to be a bridesmaid and a best man, so we asked him to do everything else. He wrote and amazing wedding speech that brought every one to tears, and we can’t thank him enough for taking on the task and delivering above and beyond our expectations.
We also wrote our own vows, after spending months thinking about them we both wrote them a week or so before the wedding in a cafe and didn’t share them with each-other until the ceremony, that was one of the hardest things for us.
What was your first dance song? Why did you choose it?
We never had ‘a song’ that held any special meaning to us. So together we went on a massive trawl of potential songs, and by we I mean Lexi. She then gave Chris a series of options. The song we ended up choosing is ‘Five Years Later’ by Leo Stannard We both agreed that this one was the most ‘us’ song and the meaning behind the lyrics really resonated with how we feel about eachother and our relationship. We also made this even more special as we asked one of our bridesmaids to sing the first dance for us, which she did so beautifully.
Favourite wedding suppliers
Photographer – https://jscoates.com/
Bar – http://www.horseboxbar65.co.uk/
Venue – https://www.thehaybarn-weddingvenue.co.uk/
Tipi – https://katachiefs.com/
Florist – https://www.beckettsfarm.co.uk/farm-shop/pinks-florist/