Every now and again the most stunning elopement lands in my inbox. Today’s real wedding...
Today’s wedding took place on the hottest day of the year. I remember the date as it was Dexter’s 3rd birthday party, and I (along with a lot of other mums and dads) were celebrating in a very hot and sweaty play centre along with 30 other children….oh the joys! So that date of near heat exhaustion is forever etched in my memory. Luckily for Jo and Rob they were able to enjoy a lot of their wedding day outside and really make the most of the amazing weather. They chose a relaxed, chilled out day, filled with rustic touches, garden games and lots of fun. They were helped along by many of their friends and family, which proves you don’t need an enormous budget to have an amazing day. Big thanks to Lee Maxwell for the lovely images.
Jo and Rob were married on 17th June 2017 at St John the Baptist Church, Sampford Peverell in Devon and Uplowman Village Hall. “I grew up in Sampford Peverell and was christened at the church, so it was important to do me to do it there and for our wedding be a really local affair. It took us about a year and a half to plan but it wasn’t full on planning the whole time. We booked the main things like venue, photographer and caterers quite early on, then most of the other stuff happened in the final 8 months. We had about 130 guests including about 40 kids/toddlers/babies!”
How they met
It’s a bit of a funny one! We met at Uni in Liverpool, although we grew up only about 10 miles apart in Devon and our parents knew each other but we’d never met (that’s Devon for you!). We were part of a big group of friends at Uni, but we actually got together afterwards when we were travelling in Australia back in 2004 – 13 years ago!
Rob proposed after our first scan for our baby son Isaac. It was very unexpected, emotional and romantic.
Why did you choose your photographer?
I looked at various websites of local photographers and really liked Lee’s work and his documentary style. Lee was really friendly, helpful and responsive when I got in touch. We met up for a coffee and he was just a really nice guy who was easy to get on with and understood life with a baby/toddler. I felt happy that he was the right man for the job. We weren’t disappointed as we were really pleased with the photos and had lots of compliments on them.
Local dress maker Jayne at Lily and Louie. It was made bespoke for me and Jayne was amazing all the way through, coming to my house for fittings etc, which made life so much easier with a toddler in tow. I probably wasn’t the easiest customer as I didn’t really know what I wanted and kept changing my mind, but she was fantastic and created my perfect dress. It was so beautiful and comfortable and I had many compliments about it! My shoes were by Rainbow from John Lewis – I loved them but didn’t keep them on long as it was so hot! I bought earrings, necklace and bracelets from Accessorize.
Theme or Colour Scheme
It sort of kept changing! But in the end we went for a dusty pink and lilac with lots of natural foliage. We wanted the whole thing to have a very rustic, natural and slightly vintage feel.
The church flower ladies kindly decorated the church for free and we paid for the flowers. We had a lot of foliage from people’s gardens, lots of roses, stocks, peonies and lots of gypsophillia, lavender and rosemary. The bouquets and button holes were done by Emma at Brompton Buds and were absolutely beautiful. Again, I didn’t really know what I wanted and I was pretty indecisive but Emma got it just perfectly right!
Lots of flowers, foliage, bunting, fairy lights and home made touches by ourselves and lots of other people who kindly helped/ leant us stuff. We also had a kids room with various arts and crafts activities, a sweetie shop, pinata and some snacks.
Canapes and paella by Buen Apetito who are a local paella caterers based in Dawlish. They were so helpful and friendly throughout the whole process and really took charge on the day so that we could just relax. The food was amazing and we had a lot of compliments on it. It really was the most delicious paella that we had ever tasted.
The wedding cake was made by Sugar Mammas Cakery in Tavistock. It was really stunning and fitted well with the colours and feel of the wedding. It was also delicious and lots of people said it was the best cake they had ever tasted. We had St. Clements cake on the top layer, chocolate in the middle and Victoria sponge at the bottom. It went so fast we didn’t even get to try each layer!
We had a local folk band called ‘Wasp in the Apple’ playing as people arrived at the reception and later in the evening we had a local band called ‘The Lyrics” who were all fantastic.
Lots! We collected and decorated a lot of jam jars. We had a lot of help from friends and family members and people from the local community, so it felt like a real country village wedding which is just what we wanted. We borrowed lots of fairy lights and bunting which a friend kindly made us especially. A friend of the family decorated around the main doorways with foliage and flowers which looked stunning, and we also bought and borrowed lots of strawberry netting which friends helped drape around the doorways. We made lots of pom poms to decorate the hall and we were lucky to have some very creative, talented, kind and generous friends helping to make it look truly amazing.
It was all amazing! The whole day went so fast and we enjoyed every second.
A magical moment was driving from the church to the reception in our friend Sam’s classic MG that he kindly let Rob drive. It really felt like we were in a film and Rob said he felt like James Bond!
Walking in to the church was also a very special moment for both of us; seeing all our friends and family, getting to the reception and seeing how it had all come together, seeing all the kids having fun, people laughing and clapping at the speeches. Dancing our first dance, (once we got past the awkward bit), having photos in the field, it was all really truly amazing and well worth all the hard work!
Advice for other couples
People kept telling me to delegate with the planning which I wasn’t very good at. I’m a bit of a control freak, but it’s good advice if you can let go a bit and get people involved! We were so lucky having grown up in the village as so many people contributed for free. We did it all on a budget because we had so many of these generous people helping. People like to be involved and have a role and it really led to a feeling of a big community.
I would also say try not to get sucked in to all the hype and lose sight of what is important to you as a couple and be strict on budget. There’s so much pressure now, partly due to social media, to have these huge extravagant weddings which for most people are not achievable or realistic, and that can add stress. So decide what’s important to you and stick to it.
On the day itself, just try and be as present as possible. It really does go so fast so you just want to really enjoy it and soak it all up. You won’t get much time to talk to everyone so don’t expect to or worry about it. Just enjoy it!
That it really was so amazing and so much better than we dreamed! That it was all actually happening and that everything had come together so well. And it was SO HOT!
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