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Today we are taking a trip to sunny Colchester for the gorgeous wedding of Jen and Adam. They chose a beautiful venue in Houchins Farm which gave them the freedom to hold a laid back, natural and bohemian wedding with an Australian theme due to their 2 years of travel there. They had rustic style decoration, including simple flowers in jars, long wooden tables, a donut wedding cake, an Australian inspired BBQ and wood fire pizzas. All of which was captured beautifully by Kathryn Hopkins
Jen and Adam were married on 17th July 2017 at Houchins Farm, Coggeshall in Colchester ‘We had originally planned to get married abroad but after spending the last two years traveling together we decided to come back to our roots and celebrate our marriage where we grew up, surrounded by our close friends and family. We had 70 guests and it took 18 months to plan.
How they met
We met through mutual friends and have been together almost six years. We have just spent the last two years travelling around Australia in a tiny campervan, being told by various people that if we can survive that together we can survive anything!
Adam proposed in Ibiza whilst we were watching the sun set over the magical Es Vedra, it really was beautiful.
How did you allocate your budget?
The most important things we allocated our budget to was the food & drink, the venue/accommodation and the photography. Then the rest of the budget went on flowers, wedding outfits and entertainment.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We saved money on the venue by booking it on a Monday and by not having a traditional wedding breakfast or 3-course meal but instead had a very informal banquet style meal followed by some sweet and savoury treats.
The venue gave us the option to rent out the farmhouse attached to it and we decided to splurge on this so that the wedding party could stay the night here. Because we got ready in the farmhouse we cut the cost of having traditional wedding vehicles.
Why did you choose your photographer?
We had seen photos from a friend’s wedding that Kathryn had taken and instantly knew she was the one for us. Kathryn has a talent for capturing everything so naturally, her style of photography suited our bohemian wedding and as we don’t enjoy posing for photos we knew that she would capture our day perfectly.
The suit and bridesmaids?
Grooms shirt: River Island which the groom customised by sewing on wooden buttons, Trousers: Hammond&Co at Debenhams. Braces & Shoes from Topman and bow ties from Debenhams. Bridesmaids were from ASOS
Theme or colour scheme
We wanted a natural, bohemian vibe to the wedding with a pretty colour palette of coral, lilac and lots of natural greenery. We both love nature and spending time outdoors so wanted to incorporate this and our love of travelling within the theme.
The flowers were a rustic mixture of fresh and dried flowers inspired by wildflowers. The style was loose and textured with tones of salmon, lilac and coral. The bouquets included large focal blooms of roses and dahlia, waxflower, thistles, wheat and feathers with lots of foliage like eucalyptus.
We used lots of natural, wooden elements such as handmade signposts, wooden ring boxes, wooden buttons sewn onto the grooms shirt and wooden stands for the cake and doughnuts. We hired long wooden trestle tables for the wedding breakfast decorated with jars of fresh flowers. We picked up some gorgeous crochet bunting from Australia and used this as a simple decoration throughout the venue. We also had a suitcase that had travelled quite a bit of Australia with us and we set this up for guests to put cards in.
BBQ (inspired by our time in Australia) Surf ‘n’ Turf Skewers, Cajun chicken, grilled Portobello mushrooms, Salmon Teriyaki & honey skewers with a garden salad and crusty breads. In the evening we had a mobile pizza oven serving woodfired pizzas to our guests from the back of a Land Rover!
Not being very traditional people we wanted something a bit different so we opted for a cheese tower and Krispy Kreme doughnuts as dessert.
One of our lovely friends basically formed a band to play at our wedding and they spent hours practising to get it just right, they played lots of classics with a jazz twist on instruments such as the double bass and a keyboard.
Who supplied the stationery?
As we were living in Australia at the time we decided to send our invites via email which the bride designed. We had a lot of compliments about the way we sent our invites as it was quite different.
Coming from a design background (bride) we knew that we wanted to do most of it ourselves. The signpost that was on the front gate where our guests had to walk in was personalised with all the different countries that everyone was coming from (there was a lot)! By making as much as possible ourselves, we cut costs and our wedding was very personal to us.
We rented out the farmhouse at the venue so enjoyed the relaxed time in the morning getting ready in there. We had chosen a song to walk down the aisle to that nobody had heard of at the ceremony so this made it even more special to us. (Angus&Julia Stone – The Wedding Song)
The fact that we didn’t have a seating plan for the wedding breakfast meant that people could sit wherever they wished and it actually made the feel of the room more intimate and kept with the relaxed vibe.
Advice for other couples
We tried to think about our day as one big party for us and all our loved ones and let it flow naturally rather than something that had to be very rigid. We didn’t have a formal dress code, allowing our guests to wear what they felt comfortable in and had a lot of comments from friends and family that it was the most laid back wedding they had been too, which was exactly what we set out to achieve.
Try not to stress about the little things, perfection is in the imperfections!
What was your biggest surprise of the day?
The ice cream van after the ceremony was a complete surprise from the Bride to the Groom as he loves ice cream and our guests loved it too as it was a hot day!
Kathryn is a wedding photographer living on the Essex Suffolk border, taking commissions locally and across the whole of the UK. She is known for her delicate and timeless photography, which has a romantic editorial feel.