With just 3 sleeps left before the big day I have to say I am...
We have the most gorgeous of weddings to share with you today, it even has its own name ‘J+J’s festival of Love’. James’ family home is a working farm so it seemed only right to hold the wedding on his parents’ land and it proved to be the perfect backdrop. Coupled with the most amazing July weather, James and Jemma struck it lucky and were able to hold the whole reception outside, which gave it the perfect outdoor vibe! With clean and stylish stationery, which then was mirrored in the signage and table decor, and not one but 5 bands, this festival wedding really is one of the best I have seen in a long time. Big thanks to Kirsty from This and That Photography for the fab images.
Jemma and James were married on the 16th July 2016 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Silchester in Hampshire. ‘James’ family home in Silchester which is a working farm with lots of lovely land, gorgeous gravelled drive way and flower garden with lots of colourful roses. Perfect for the relaxed, outdoors festival vibe we wanted to go for. We then had our ceremony at Silchester Church, St Mary the Virgin which again had close family ties for James and is a lovely small country church. We had 150 guests in the day and 220 in the evening. The wedding took 10 months to plan’.
How they met
We both met 7 years ago when we were working together, we met through mutual colleagues, we were friends for a while before we starting dating. We worked together to create a charity event which we spent a lot of time on together, we realised we made a great team and now we’ve ended up a great team in life, not just at work.
A very romantic surprise proposal at midnight at the top of Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, London by our house. Beautifully candle lit across the top of the hill with a musician acoustically playing live who was someone we saw in a bar on our first anniversary and loved.
How did you allocate your budget?
We created our maximum budget and worked backwards from that. Adapting scaling things up and down accordingly to meet this eventually.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
A lot on music and main stretch tent/furniture as we wanted to invest to really bring the festival theme to life as well as the photography and videography to capture it.
We also made sure food and drink was top notch but bought the cost down with a BBQ instead of three course formal dining and made our own bar so booze was cheaper to supply.
We haggled a lot as the scale of the wedding was so big we really needed to and were really lucky, most people gave us amazing discounts as we got them so excited to be involved, we also got a lot of local/friends of friends to be involved where we could. Not possible for all – but that worked well for us for sure! It was amazing how much loved and excitement was poured into the day by all involved. We’re incredibly thankful for that.
How did you choose your photographer?
We chose This &That Photography because we had seen previous work throughout the years that we thought would really fit the style of our wedding. Kirsty’s style is relaxed and informal which make the experience more enjoyable, we got some stunning photos that really reflected our day and captured everything perfectly.
How did you choose your videographer?
We chose our videographer through a weird twist of fate. James chose that he would like to do his stag at a smaller more boutique festival called HogSozzle. One of the things that really sold it in to him was the awesome trailer for the festival. By chance we happened to meet David through a work colleague who was the same videographer who films Hogsozzle festival. We booked David for our day and he definitely didn’t disappoint.
Theme or Colour Scheme
Natural – whites, nudes, silvers with lots of green foliage.
From Little Miss Mollies flowers who did such an amazing job, we had white roses and lots of foliage, ruscus, eucalyptus etc. There was a main bridal bouquet and individual bouquets for all the bridesmaids. The church had very simply a single white rose on each pew end and some green foliage, mainly ruscus over the arch which we got married under in the church. I Very much favour simplicity when it comes to flower arrangements so this style really reflected (mainly the brides) personal taste and we weaved this in with the neutral colour palliate of the day.
In keeping with simplicity it was very natural – lots of foliage all over the tables and white lighting across the marquees. We also had lots of foliage and green plants potted across the field, with our ‘J&J Festival” branding in black and white to compliment the festival theme.
BBQ by a lovely local Butchers, Uptons of Bassett for lunch and a big Hog Roast for the evening with Choc Cake, cheese board and roasted Marshmallows for afters. We chose them because they were a small independent butchers who are obsessed with the quality of the meat all sourced by local farms which we loved and wanted to draw in this ethos as part of our day.
A lovely simple white fondant cake over three tiers with and chocolate and buttercream filling we then draped eucalyptus and cut figs on the tiers. A local cake maker based in Bramley called Crumbdiddilies had provided this for us.
As we love live music and most of our ‘date nights’ consist of us going to see new and established artists a festival themed wedding with all live music just made perfect sense for us. 5 Bands/Musicians:
Designed by our good friend and graphic designer Simon Stevens, he smashed it. Printed online by Solo Press.
Our own branding = J+J Festival of Love. Everything from the invites, church programs to the festival schedule and shot glasses were all branded. We made a lot ourselves also, our church petal cups, polaroid cut outs and flags – again all handmade. We are both in marketing so we naturally loved creating our own brand for our wedding day, we are so pleased with it and loved every part of it.
Special Moments or Highlights
Of course getting ready with my best friends and seeing my Mum/Dad in the morning, so much happiness and excitement. The ceremony with such a great vicar he had good energy and really impressed everyone, that just added to the very emotional moment of getting married. It was incredible making our entrance into the festival tent after the ceremony with 150 our our friends and family waiting for us, cheering and applauding. The speeches were fantastic and had everyone in fits of laughter from start to finish! Having everyone we love in one place having a great time. It’s a pretty special feeling. Then our musicians were brilliant, one of the other we loved every second of it. Another highlight was also that most people stayed over in festival tents and we had bacon butties and celebrations all over again the next day so the fun continued!
Advice for other couples
We worked together which was such a great feeling on the day to know we had both worked so hard to make it happen. Both having input I would give as advice to make it really personal to you both is a great feeling. Second to that would be if you are having a DIY/home wedding with lots of guests a wedding co-ordinator for the day would be a great investment, we wished we had.
The biggest surprise was we managed to remain pretty stress free on the day! Oh, and the UK weather held out too!
Super relaxed, snow loving, smiley, heart of my sleeve story teller based in Hampshire covering the whole of the UK and Europe.