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Happy Monday everyone and how are you this lovely Monday? I hope you had a good weekend? Mine was lovely, I even managed a night out on Saturday which made a pleasant change. Did you get up to anything wedding related? I would love to hear about it if you did. We have our own Facebook group with nearly a thousand members where you can come and join lots of other Boho brides and grooms chatting all things wedding. It would be lovely to meet you and hear all about your wedding adventures. Camila and Benjamin are today’s gorgeous couple and they had quite the wedding. Rustic chic to start with and the most gorgeous barn wedding that soon turned into a Brazilian celebration. So much fun! Definitely a wedding that I wish I could have been a guest at. Oxana Mazur was there to capture the memories for us.
Camila and Benjamin were married on 19th May 2019 at St. Mary’s Chuch, Fairford with the reception at Cripps Barn in Cirencester. ‘Our decision was very much based on finding the perfect venue rather than picking a location first. From the very start, we knew we wanted to have our wedding outside of London. We really enjoyed the idea of having it in the countryside, somewhere with beautiful gardens where our friends and family could enjoy a weekend away. I (Camila) never dreamt about how my wedding day would be or look like, but as soon as we got engaged I suddenly had a very clear picture of what I wanted the venue to look like. When I saw Cripps Barn it was like someone had made my imagination into reality. We were reluctant to book it considering travel difficulties – it is a 2h drive from London and I had guests coming from Brazil. We even went to see a few other venues, but nothing could compare. We had 80 guests and it took 1 year and 3 months in the making.’
How they met
Ben and I were flatmates. We didn’t know each other before I moved into the house where he lived, but we quickly became great friends before realising that our feelings were deeper than just a friendship. It was a very intense relationship considering we already lived together from day one, but it also felt very easy and right from the start. We’ve been together for 6 years and 3 months now. We were together for 4 years and 4 months when he proposed and 5 years and 7 months when we got married.
Ben proposed to me at the George Harrison garden at the Bhaktivedanta Manor. I am a big Beatles fan and that was where he took me for our first official date. I really had no idea it was coming. After we arrived at the place we went for a walk in the gardens and we naturally started talking and reflecting on our relationship. I only realised something was up when I hugged Ben and he was shaking from top to bottom. After he proposed, we were both in such a state of elation that we went to a pub and downed a pint (it was still morning time).
How did you allocate your budget?
At the start of the process, I put together a rough estimate of costs to make sure we were comfortable with the figure. We used that as a base for everything and managed to keep it under our budget. There were two main things we didn’t want to save on: the food and the entertainment. Those were the two elements we felt were the most important, so we made we nailed it regardless of costs. Together with the venue hire costs, they made up around 60-70% of our budget.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
My dress was the biggest splurge and one I don’t regret at all. We also hired the London School of Samba and brought them from London to the Cotswolds which was a little bit of a splurge. We already had hired a band to play for the evening but I am Brazilian and we wanted to make sure we had a good mix of British x Brazilian elements throughout the day. We ended up saving a lot on elements that we created ourselves, such as the website, stationery, decorations and guests gifts.
How did you choose your photographer?
I looked at a lot of portfolios online but most of the time they felt too generic and samey with over-saturated photographs. We came across our photographer, Oxana, by a friend’s recommendation and I really loved her photography style. It felt refreshing and timeless and I am so glad we managed to have her on the day. The results were amazing and she was a rockstar during the day!
My dress was by Rue De Seine – I knew it was the one as soon as I saw a photo of it when they released the Wild Heart collection. Up until that point, I was sure I would choose a dress with a minimalistic style. My shoes were some ‘old’ shoes I had from ASOS. I just felt they worked so well with the dress and I wanted to be comfortable during the day. When the party started I swapped the high heels for white converse. I didn’t have many accessories, my dress was already quite busy, so I made sure my jewellery was simple and classic. My necklace was given to me by my childhood friend and bridesmaid who owns an amazing jewellery store (@suajoalheria) and I bought my earrings at Etsy, although I won’t remember the name of the shop.
The suit and bridesmaids
The suit was from Ted Baker. I didn’t want to have the bridesmaids dressed all the same. They all have their own personal style and I love them for who they are, so I wanted them to feel comfortable and be themselves during the day, rather than having them in a ‘uniform’. I gave them the colour to use as a guide and they chose their own dresses, which worked really well.
Theme or colour scheme
I am not sure we had a theme. I guess if I look at it retrospectively, we landed somewhere between rustic and boho, but we didn’t want to limit ourselves by strictly following a theme. Our colour scheme followed tones of blue, green, blush and burgundy.
When it came to flowers, I let Beth from Go Wild do her magic. I don’t understand much about flowers, so the only directions I gave her were the colours we were using and the fact that I wanted a lot of greenery and foliage. She works with Cripps Barn a lot which was great as she knew exactly what worked and what didn’t.
Aside from the flowers, we kept decorations to a minimum. Cripps Barn was already so beautiful, we didn’t feel we needed to add much to it at all. They placed candles around the venue, and to add a personal touch we had two stands with photos of us, from childhood to present and with the people we love. We also kept the table decor very simple with just foliage running through it and candles. We named the tabled with artists that we both love and listen to a lot together, and I created the 7’’ vinyl table names.
Food at Cripps Barn is unbelievably good. I still think about our wedding food.For the canapés we had, tomato and red pepper bruschetta, kale and chickpea bruschetta, padron peppers, honey roasted halloumi. For the starter, there was beetroot and goat’s cheese salad and sourdough. For the main, we had a mixed grill and baked potato with sour cream and a spinach and feat filo pie and carrot and beetroot rosti for the vegetarians. There was also a pickled watermelon, avocado and burrata salad with the main that was incredible! The dessert was chocolate fondant with mascarpone cream, which was also dreamy. In the evening we had pizzas by the wonderful Baz & Fred.
The wedding cake had a lemon curd filling with elderflower buttercream. My mum and I are keen bakers and decided we were going to bake the wedding cake. My mum used to bake wedding cakes, so this wasn’t the first attempt. Sadly, this was the biggest, if not the only, source of stress pre-wedding. If I could give any advice it would be, no matter how great of a baker you are, do not make your own!
We hired some lawn games for the garden for the day, which worked really well. Our guests loved playing it. For the evening we had a band, The Razor. They were awesome and got every single person there dancing. We also had the London School of Samba – they came in as a surprise in the evening. We even kept them secret from our parents, the only people who knew about them were the best man and maid of honor.
Who supplied the stationery?
The invitations were custom designed by Richard Vickers, who works with Ben’s sister. He nailed the design on the first time. Everything else was designed by me.
Yes, we wanted to include as many personal touches as possible throughout the day. One of them was the table names – we named them after artists and bands we both love and listen to a lot at home. I then created the 7’’ vinyls with a personalised label for each table.
We also built two circular stands with photos of us, from our childhood up until the present, and with our friends and family too.
Our wedding gift was a beer that was created and brewed by my father. We named it Something Borrowed, Something Brewed.
The ceremony was very special. We put a lot of thought into it, especially the songs we wanted to be played at each moment. We had a string quartet and a choir at the church. The whole ceremony felt special and very personal to us.
During the reception, having the London School of Samba storming in with their loud drums and the dancers surprising all the guests was one of the highlights. It was great to see everyone’s faces.
Advice for other couples
Make sure you plan things as they make sense to you as a couple and don’t feel restricted by what the tradition says. Also, remember that the day is for you, so try not to worry too much about what your guests will or won’t like. They will be happy to just share the happiness of the day with you.
I would also try not to get too carried away with Pinterest weddings. I had to take a step back a few times. They all look amazing, but you might end up incurring lots of extra costs for things that won’t make that much of a difference to your day.
And for the day, just try to take some time to have at least a few minutes just the two of you. The day gets very hectic and it goes in an instant.
The reverend leading our ceremony learnt a few words in Portuguese. It was very sweet of her and I was touched by the gesture.
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