Today’s real wedding sees us head across to North Wales for the gorgeous wedding of Alaw...
Today we are in Guildford for the very lovely farm wedding of Chloe and Mark. Chloe and Mark chose High Billinghurst Farm as it gave them the barn venue that they always wanted. It also meant that they could customise their day just as they wished. They went for a festival theme and kept the day relaxed and chilled out. Adding in an abundance of beautiful bright and colourful flowers, as well as some gorgeous decorations and details. They chose curry for their wedding breakfast, which set the tone for the rest of the night. A fun-filled party with lots of smiles and so much fun. Big thanks to Nikki Vandermolen for the fab images.
Chloe and Mark were married on 16th September, 2017 at High Billinghurst Farm in Dunsfold just outside Guildford. ‘We got legally married at Guildford Registry Office on the Friday which was very short and sweet. We then had a proper ceremony with a celebrant at High Billinghurst on the Saturday in front of all our friends and family. We worked with the celebrant to write our whole ceremony so this was really special to us. It was also great to make a whole weekend of it. We always wanted an informal barn wedding, somewhere where we could feel comfortable and ourselves. High Billinghurst Farm was the perfect venue for us because we could completely customise the day, it’s a blank canvas so we could bring in our own booze, caterers, entertainment and decorate it how we liked. They also have a glamping field which lots of our guests stayed in which was a nice touch. There were 110 day guests and an additional 30 in the evening. It took 16 months to plan.’
How they met
We met on the first day of university in the queue to register but didn’t get together until the end of our first year. We have been together for over 8 years.
I surprised Mark with a trip to Nice to say thank you for being such a great support to me whilst I had been unwell the previous year. Unbeknownst to me, Mark was already planning to take me away on a surprise trip to Italy around the same time. He decided that it would look less obvious if he proposed during a trip that I had planned for him and it worked, I had no idea it was coming. After dinner on our first night in Nice we were walking along the Promenade des Angles and Mark suggested we go down onto the beach. He proposed there during sunset and it was absolutely beautiful.
How did you allocate your budget?
The budget just kept growing and growing. Initially we wanted a modest wedding of around £20k. It ended up more like £40k but we don’t regret that now that it was such a perfect day. We lost some money along the way as we had to emergency change venues four months out from the big day. We were always adamant that we wanted a free bar, loads of food and lots of bridesmaids and groomsmen, so that’s probably where most of the budget went.
Where did you splurge and how did you save?
We had 9 bridesmaids, 1 bridesman, 3 flower girls, 2 page boys, 5 groomsmen and 2 best men. A very large bridal party! Having that many people to dress and buy presents for was probably our biggest splurge. We love all of our friends and family so much we just wanted everyone involved. We saved on invites, homemade decorations and the cake which my friend made for us.
Why did you choose your photographer?
We found Nikki Van Der Molen online and her photos instantly caught our attention. After meeting with Nikki it was clear to see how much pride she takes in her work and what a personal service she provides. We wanted really crisp clear pictures and nice natural shots rather than lots of group pictures. Nikki was incredible before, during and after the wedding. Providing advice, being discreet but direct on the day and the photos are so beautiful they speak for themselves!
I bought my dress in Hayley Elizabeth Bridal in Farnborough. The make is Enzoani, it was the first dress I tried on and I loved it. My shoes were by Rainbow and my hair vine was from Magpie Accessories in Maidstone. My mum had a pearl bracelet made for me out of my late Auntie Betty’s necklace which was such a special gift.
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The Groomsmen suits were from M&S and Mark’s suit was tailor made. The Bridesmaids dresses were from Lipsy.
Theme or Colour Scheme
The theme was bright and colourful, festival themed, relaxed and sparkly.
Our florist Kim from The Flower House Studio was incredible, she knew exactly what we were after when we asked for wild and bright / pinks and peaches. We also had an unusual flower in our bouquets it’s called early grey rose and matched our bridesmaid dresses perfectly.
We made a lot of our decorations ourselves, we had a pallet which we painted to show the running order of the day, a festival themed arrow sign and loads of artificial wisteria which we draped along the back wall at the end of the aisle. There was a lot of glitter, a polaroid station, flip flop basket and we used Ferrero Roche’s to hold the place name flags.
We love curry and spice, so we decided to have Indian food and served chilli martinis as our reception drink all done by Fionas Pantry.
My friend Leah made our cake, it was 4 tiers of beautiful deliciousness, she is so talented. We went for a mix of metallic and floral design.
Our wedding band were incredible – J Flat and the Sharps. They do a mix of funk, soul, motown, everything. The dance floor wasn’t ever empty and we have had so many compliments since.
Who supplied the stationery?
Rather than sending out invites, we made a wedding website on Wix. This saved us a lot of money and meant we could include a lot more information about the day. Here’s the link – www.haydenwedding2017.wixsite.com/markandchloe
We did a lot ourselves – the decorations, the website, we went on a booze cruise to France and bought all our wedding wine there. If you pre-buy through Majestic they pay for your crossing and the wine at Calais Majestic is much cheaper.
Our absolute highlight was the ceremony, it was such a special service. Our celebrant Miranda Ash asked us to write down what inspired us about the other person which she read out and my sister chose a beautiful reading to do. Following that the confetti moment was the most fun, we felt so elated!
Any advice for other couples
Don’t worry about the weather, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. For brides – get someone to pull you aside early evening to touch up your hair and makeup. You can never be too organised but once the day happens just roll with it. The hardest part of the whole day is making sure you speak to everyone, but don’t worry too much because people understand.
How much love and kindness other people bring to your wedding. It really makes you grateful for all the wonderful people in your lives.
My style is very natural, stylish and genuine. I like to capture plenty of documentary photos of the day combined with some beautiful relaxed portraits. I’m based in Surrey but cover the whole UK.