As we reach the half way point of the week I am taking you off...
Yay it’s Friday! I hope you are all as excited as I am? This afternoon we meet up with Kirra again and today we are discussing the Food! I LOVE food and really do think it’s one of the most important aspects of the wedding, so getting the food right is very important. Today Kirra talks us though her food choices. Be warned though if you are hungry this post will make you really hungry! Lots of photos of very yummy ideas!
Hi everyone! Gosh, it may seem like time goes slowly when it’s all grey and rainy outside, but in terms of wedding planning time is flying! This has been a month of feeling like lots of little (and some big) elements of our Wedfest have started getting sorted so it’s feeling more and more like something that is actually going to happen rather than this fabulous imaginary thing we keep talking about. In the evenings after our baby goes to bed I sit there stamping luggage tags, reading wedding blogs and emailing suppliers. Weirdly I find it a really relaxing thing to do of an evening, hopefully it will stay that way!
My wedding dress arrived (can’t wait to tell you all about it, I get a little thrill every time I think about it), and is in a safe place where Tim won’t see it waiting to get fitted for the final touches. We haven’t got the bridesmaids dresses yet, so I will wax lyrical about all things fashion in a future post! What I can tell you though is that I’ve been emailing with the lovely Charlie Ryrie at the Real Cut Flower Garden who is going to make me a flower crown for my hair to go with the dress. My multi-talented friend Jo has started her own card company called Stickman designs and has very kindly designed us our very own wedding stickman drawing to use for our wedding stationery as an early wedding present. She was there on the tour where we started going out and was traveling in the orchestra with us for the entire first year of our relationship so knows us very well and has designed the most gorgeous drawing. I will post it when the invites are finished but can show you the card that she gave us when we had our “We’re engaged & having a baby” party that inspired us to ask her if she could draw one for our wedding.
The last piece of very exciting news is that some friends of mine who will be coming over from Australia for the wedding are currently traveling around Nepal, so are going to get lots of Tibetan prayer flags for us there and bring them over. That feels really special… To have the prayer flags chosen by friends and brought direct from their travels where they will fly on our wedding day. With that and Jo’s drawings, it kind of sums up what we want our wedding to be all about.
( photo source )
It’s been really lovely reading the other Boho brides blogs every Friday. We all seem to be at similar stages of planning. Having spent all last week concentrating on designing and ordering the supplies for our Kraft pocketfold invites (inspired by previous Boho bride Becki’s brilliant tutorial), it was amazing to see that another Boho bride, the lovely Kate, is doing the exact same thing! Just goes to show how useful and inspiring Becki’s original design was. We ordered some custom made stamps are still finalising what we’d like to use on the cover, so I’ll show you the finished product once they are all shiny and printed.
In other plans, I have jotted down all the tasks that we will need to do before the wedding on a few pieces of A4 paper and stuck them up on the fridge so that we can tick them off one by one. We keep thinking of more so the list hasn’t reduced by that much yet (!) but it’s a work in progress and is useful to see it all written down so that we can pace ourselves over the coming months.
Apart from all that… getting all the invitation stuff on the go and making our Wedfest website for all the information we can’t fit on the invites… the main exciting bit of planning this month has been all about the food!
When we first thought of what we wanted our wedding to be we always knew that we didn’t want to have a formal sit down dinner as, apart from it not really being our style, we knew it wouldn’t fit into our £5000 budget. I got excited pinning ideas on Pinterest for alternative food inspiration and we went through a few versions of what we thought might work (we both love street food and initially had grand plans of a few little funky vans serving nosh & booze, but even with it being a much more affordable option than formal catering, still couldn’t find any options to work within our budget due to initial hire costs). In the end after doing our sums we worked out that what we will go for is a cross between a summer festival and a laid back village fete, so have worked out food to match.
The only downside was that I was getting pretty stressed doing all the food planning myself when we were planning on sourcing all the ingredients and DIYing the whole lot whist trying to look after a tiny baby on not much sleep. Although it seemed like a great plan to start with, I have realised over the last couple of months that it would be a lot more work and stress than I anticipated, especially since we have sadly had a bit of a negative reaction from a couple of rather high maintenance family members about our more informal wedding style so more of the work was going to fall to fewer people. After getting myself in a bit of a state trying to work out how to collate all the ingredients for the meals, where to buy them from, what the amounts would need to be, who would prepare them, serve them etc, I decided to really investigate whether getting some help would be out of budget and discovered that actually we could afford to get some help with it all, hooray! A few emails later and we have a pretty fab food plan, so here it is:
Our Wedfest High Tea will be in our blue & white stripy tent which we are hiring from Ashley Events and will be erecting in a field at our venue. I am SO excited about this. We booked it after seeing a wedding that had used this tent and then saw that another wedding at our venue used the same one last summer and it looks fantastic, definitely has the festival vibe.
Our venue offers a vintage crockery set to hire so that is easily sorted and also includes all tables, chairs, tableclothes & glassware. We really wanted to use local produce for our meals so contacted Fine Country Lifestyle that sells lovely produce that is not only high quality but is luckily within our budget. Carolyn there has been incredibly helpful with helping us create sharing platters of West Country produce for a Ploughmans lunch. A close family friend has already made us a huge batch of her lovely apple chutney to use for the lunch and we will be having sharing platters of:
I was initially thinking of having no alcohol apart from at the speeches for the High Tea just to give everyone a break as there will be a lot of celebratory libations flowing throughout the day, but the general consensus has overwhelmingly been that we should have wine so Merchant have a great party planner tool on their website that helps you work out how much booze you will need for your number of guests. I’m also collecting these nice bottles to put homemade elderflower presse in as well though for something non-alcoholic.
After seeing lots of examples on blogs and pinterest of dessert tables where guests have contributed a cake or baked goodie, we decided to have our own Great Wedding Bakeoff (LOVE the Great British Bakeoff!) and ask guests to bring along something if they fancied it. This has been a tough one to work out how to word the suggestion on the invitations. We don’t want anyone to feel pressure to bring anything but rather are suggesting it for those friends that we know will love the idea. I’m hoping we’ve struck the right tone with our suggestion. We just want the whole thing to be fun, no stress, very relaxed. I love the idea of people getting involved and having something they created be part of what makes our day so great. Lots of our friends have already got excited about this so it has made me feel better about the few difficult family members that had made us suddenly doubt our lovely plans.
There will definitely also be scones and jam (with Devon clotted cream of course)… My bridesmaid Tamar is giving us lots of her Mum’s homemade strawberry jam to use and we are still working out where to get the best scones from locally. Haven’t worked out whether to have those on little cake tiers on each table or whether to have a special ‘Scone Table’! I keep thinking of more and more things that I would love to make for the dessert table but can predict that we probably won’t have much time for baking the week before the wedding. Am keeping them all in mind though just in case I get the chance to make something. My mum has already decided to make us a pavlova for it, an Aussie classic!
After that we are hoping that the sun will be shining enough for everyone to go outside onto picnic blankets and enjoy a few hours of Devon late afternoon summer with kegs of local ale & cider that we will get delivered at the beginning of the week so we can let them settle by the Wednesday (I didn’t know about this until an ale enthusiast friend told us).
Then in the evening it will be time for a Hog Roast provided by Shaun at Piglet Cottage. They came highly recommended to us by our venue and takes the pressure of us trying to source all the meat for the BBQ otherwise. We have decided to set up the BBQ next to the Hog Roast and have that serving the vegetarian and fish options so that we still have a bit of an Australian BBQ vibe in there. Piglet Cottage will be providing the Hog Roast plus their home made cider apple sauce, stuffing and home baked rolls. We will be making our own salads to go with it all, we are thinking of tasty cost-effective ones that wont be too difficult to make for 80 people. So far our ideas are things like tomato & mozzarella salad with fresh basil, cous cous salad, green bean salad, potato salad and through Piglet Cottage we have found some lovely edible flower salads from Maddocks Farm that can be delivered to the house the day before so we are definitely going for that too.
Making sure our wet weather plan would still be something fitting the vibe of what we want the wedding to be has been really important and having the tent thankfully means that come rain or shine the meals should still be able to go just as we planned.
In the evening we are going to have to have a cash bar from 9pm till midnight as we just can’t afford to provide free alcohol all day, but everyone we have spoken to so far seems to totally understand that. The house has its own bar which we will be decorating and stocking ourselves with beer, wine, cider and soft drinks, and want to serve signature cocktails for our guests. We haven’t decided yet what they will be and how to serve them: pre-mixed, make on the spot or DIY cocktails with instructions. Any suggestions for great wedding cocktails send them my way! We will set up tea and coffee with timtams (legendary Aussie biscuit that Tim LOVES) and some stroopwafels (when I lived in the Netherlands I got addicted to these!) in our chill out room for those needing a nice cuppa too.
The only thing we haven’t worked out yet is where to get our big jammy naked wedding cake from and at what point in the day to have it. We like the idea of having it as dessert after the Hog Roast maybe set up in the room where all the music will then be happening. We are torn between the idea of baking it ourselves or buying the separate sponges and putting it all together in the morning or getting someone else to do it for us. Again it’s the budget considerations that are coming into play, but everything seems to be working out really well so far so I’m sure we will find the right solution to make the jammy, icing sugar and flower covered cake of our dreams. If anyone has any good reasonably priced recommendations for the Exeter area please let me know.
All of this food talk so far has been about the ‘main’ wedding day, but we are having a 3 day Wedfest, what about the other days? Well we weren’t able to cater food for a whole 3 days BUT we think we’ve worked out a way to make it just as lovely as we’d like it.
We are going to be providing breakfast to all our guests staying at the venue. Eggs from a local farm shop, loads of bread and jam for toast and good coffee. Not fancy but fun and yummy!
On the first day of ‘official’ festivities after setting up everything for the next day, we are inviting all our guests to drive over the moors (I cannot describe how beautiful that drive is, our jaws dropped when we first saw the view), to an historic pub that we love with great food for an evening of meeting and getting to know each other for our two families, and an extra chance for us to catch up and chat with all our guests. The pub has great local ales and cider and yummy food that our guests can buy there. We are making little welcome packs for our guests with a map and general info about the wedding and area, and are telling everyone to make sure they have a designated driver if they will be sampling the local beer!
The day after our ceremony and big reception we are calling our Official Day Of Recovery. I love a good BBQ-ed breakfast and Tim is rather partial to a good British fry up, so we are combining the two and making everyone bacon & egg butties and mugs of tea (or strong coffee if needed!) on the BBQ for brunch, providing it’s not pouring with rain. You can fit so much onto a BBQ at once that it makes it a really good option when potentially making brunch for up to 60 people and my Dad is pretty nifty at a BBQ breakfast (one of the things I always look forward to when visiting him in Australia). Any leftovers will be also served up for lunch and our sunny weather plan is to have everyone recovering on picnic blankets down by the gorgeous lake on the estate, having a cricket match and setting up the lawn games again for a touch of possibly hungover giant jenga (!), whilst any particularly hardy souls can go for a dip in the lake. In the evening we are booking a fish and chip van to come to the venue and everyone can buy their dinner on site before settling down to watch some classic film (yet to be decided, any suggestions?) at our moonlight cinema on the lawn. Hopefully we will get some popcorn organised as well
So that’s our food plans so far. I’m so relieved that we have made the choice to get some help with it all as it had become a much bigger task than I originally anticipated and now we know that the food is sorted, no stress. Having the food suppliers booked is making the whole thing seem so real now. Every little element of the wedding that is now coming to fruition is making it that bit more exciting and real with each job we tick off that To Do list.
Thanks for reading and till next time, Happy Planning!