Brides-to-be, if you’ve already started planning your wedding, you know how complex and frankly stressful...
Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have had a good week? Mine has been super busy as I have been working with a group of other mums to put together a Halloween event for all the children at Dexter’s school. I may have spent years planning weddings but planning a party for 180 children really is another level of organisation! All is good though and the party starts at 4pm today. Dexter is SO excited! The rest of the weekend is taken up with birthday parties and a trip to the theatre for me and Dexter to watch Alice in Wonderland. For now though, I have the last wedding of the week and it’s the turn of Hollie and Mike and their gorgeous woodland wedding that took place at The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall. The day is full of lots of pretty rustic touches, the flowers are gorgeous, adding a real burst of colour to the decor, I especially like the wooden backdrop that was made for them in the reception room. The whole day is full of DIY goodness, with so many friends and family pitching in and helping them make this a super personal wedding. Big thanks to Nathan Walker Photography for capturing the day for us.
Hollie and Mike were married on 25th August 2019 at The Woodlands at Hothorpe Hall in Leicestershire. ‘The gorgeous scenery, the general relaxed atmosphere and the fact that we could get married outside in amongst the trees. We also fell in love with the fact that we would be staying the night in a treehouse! We had just under 100 guests altogether, we were planning on and off for around 2 years.’
How they met
We have been together since May 2016. We met on Tinder and had a couple of mutual friends.
Michael proposed during a holiday to France. He had been planning it for a while and all of our friends and family knew about it. We went to a botanical garden in a little village called Samoens and he got on one knee and proposed in a small clearing. We had been to the garden before and he knew it was one of my favourite places in the world.
How did you allocate your budget?
We budgeted as we went along, always looking for good deals. Friends and family helped out a lot. We borrowed a lot of items, bought second-hand where possible and one of our bridesmaids made our gorgeous 3 tier cake, cupcakes and cookies.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We saved a lot on the outfits for the day. The bride’s dress cost around £120 and the bridesmaid’s dresses were an absolute steal at around £20 a dress in a sale. They were all from ASOS. Our baby’s dress was a gift from family. Our hair and makeup were done by friends. We also opted to not hire transport or a photo booth. Instead we all drove ourselves to the venue and let our photographer know how much we would love a lot of personal and candid photos of family and friends. There wasn’t too much splurging. Our photographer and the venue itself were our largest expenses as we saw these as being very crucial elements.
How did you choose your photographer?
We found Nathan Walkers blog and website and after meeting for an informal chat, we knew that his style of photography was exactly what we were after. It was important to us that the photos were relaxed and personal. The wedding was overrun with little children and was very informal. We had our 5 month old baby with us. There were lawn games and bean bags for people to relax on in the sun with a beer. We didn’t have a colour scheme. We wanted a photographer who would capture the fun and laid back atmosphere, without becoming frazzled by the lack of structure and the barefoot kids zooming around everywhere.
And your accessories and shoes? Dress by ASOS. Shoes New Look. Necklace was passed down through my Mum’s side of the family.
The suit and bridesmaids
Groom and groomsmen wore tweed suits from Moss Bros. Bridesmaids wore dresses by ASOS.
Theme or colour scheme
No colour scheme. The general theme was quite rustic and relaxed, lots and lots of flowers and foliage.
A rustic mixture of yellows and purples and pinks. We requested sunflowers and craspedia, and we absolutely loved the end result.
We hired a backdrop for behind the head table with MR AND MRS JEFFERY written across it. We had simple floral arrangements in jam jars on log slices as table centrepieces.
We had canapes and then a seated meal for the ceremony guests. We had a taco station in the evening with marshmallows to roast on the firepit.
Baked by one of our super talented bridesmaids.
We had a DJ in the evening, Paul McGuire of Wedding Jam. We had a selection of music specially tailored to us and our guests and we couldn’t have been happier with it.
Who supplied the stationery?
The groom’s brother is a graphic designer and helped to design the wedding invites. The custom illustrations on them were done by a local artist called Fiona. Our order of the day board and place cards were created by our good friend who is an illustrator and designer. I made the save the dates myself, out of luggage tags and pressed fern leaves.
There were so many personal touches all throughout the day. The save the dates and table games were homemade by Michael and I. The groom’s party wore cufflinks gifted by the groom. I wore a necklace that had been passed down multiple generations through my mum’s side of the family. The cake, cupcakes and cookies were baked by a bridesmaid. We had a large frame with childhood photos of Michael and I with all different family members who were at the wedding. Our save the dates were stamped with little pugs, as a tribute to our little dog who we would have loved to be there with us, but he would have been a bit overwhelmed if he had come to the wedding! Friends and family helped with stationery and planning and designing. It really really helps to have a creative bunch of pals.
Bride’s highlights: being walked down the aisle by my brother really meant a lot to me. The ceremony itself was gorgeous and I didn’t quite manage to hold it together during my vows. Groom’s highlights: The ceremony itself, the really funny and personal speeches, seeing everyone meeting and mingling and playing the homemade table game together.
Advice for other couples
Give yourself time to actually enjoy the day. As much of a cliché as it is, it really does go by at 100 miles per hour! Have friends and family to work together with the running of the day, so the responsibilities aren’t all on the bride and groom. Don’t be afraid to deligate responsibility! Also, remember: not everything will go according to plan! It all adds to the charm of the day.
The speeches! The bridal party had all made amazing speeches without the bride knowing, all about their friendships and adventures. The speeches from the groomsmen were touching and hilarious in equal measure!
I’m based in Nottingham and I live with my wife and two young children. I shoot in a documentary style for most of the day to capture wedding guests just doing their ‘thing’. What I love most of all is to catch a bit of downtime with my couples to create some fun, romantic and intimate shots.
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