Sandra and Bruno’s DIY Rustic Chic Wedding in France With a Romantic Bohemian Twist by Marie Marry Me
Today I am taking you off to the gorgeous South West of France for this...
Happy Monday folks! How was your weekend? I celebrated the wedding of my dear friends Rachel and Chris yesterday which was just lovely. It made a change to be at an actual real life wedding rather than writing about them – a real treat. Today’s wedding is a corker. Now it goes without saying that all weddings (you would hope) are filled with love and friends and family and all the things that mean so much to a couple, and this one, submitted by the lovely Laura Ellen Photography is no different. However this one, really made me want to be there amongst it all, to experience every bit. I imagined myself as a guest, watching Bridget and Sam say their vows under a big oak tree. I could sense a nip in the air and the warmth from sitting under blankets in the spring sunshine and I definitely wanted to throw some shapes on the dancefloor with all the other shape-throwers. A really ‘happy’ wedding to start the week. Enjoy!
Bridget and Sam were married on the 6th April at Swallowtail Hill Farm in East Sussex- the ceremony was held under an oak tree on the property. “We were looking for somewhere relaxed and informal – a friend of mine recommended the ‘Canopy and Stars’ website for a holiday, and I noticed they had a wedding section. Swallowtail Hill Farm was the first place we looked at, and the decision was easy- mainly because of their amazing glamping accommodation. It was a small wedding with just 60 guests, as this was only the second of our three weddings! We were also married in a registry office in Richmond, and a winery on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia.”
How they met
We met online, after my housemate dared me to join up (after a few wines one night at home). I love telling people how I met my husband after my very first online date.
Sam proposed at the Isabella plantation, at Richmond Park. It was where we went for our second date, and one of our favourite places in London. He was so nervous; he forgot to take his sunglasses off.
How did you allocate your budget?
Because of the whole three weddings thing, our money needed to be allocated very carefully. Venue hire was a big expense, as well as food and booze as both of these things are important to us. But we really tried to cut down on smaller details, like flowers and cake to save money.
Why did you choose your photographer?
Laura was recommended through another photographer- we loved her relaxed and informal style. She really managed to capture the fun and whimsical atmosphere we were looking for.
The dress and accessories
My dress was by Joanne Fleming design, a Brighton based designer. I had white ‘wedding’ wellies for the ceremony and tramping around the farm, and Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes for the marquee. My necklace was borrowed from my mother.
The suit and bridesmaids
My husband’s outfit was from Gieves & Hawkes, in Sloane Square. I didn’t want to force my sister, as my only bridesmaid, into any particular dress, especially as we live in opposite sides of the world. So I told her to choose whatever she wanted- luckily I loved it! It was from Alannah Hill, one of our mutual favourite Melbourne-based designers.
Nothing we did intentionally- we ended up with quite a ‘country fete’ feeling, but I think that was mostly because of the wellies everyone was wearing. A necessity on a muddy farm!
My mother in law did all the floral arrangements herself. My mother, sister, mother in law and myself all headed off horribly early one morning to Covent Garden Flower Market. I wanted more of a ‘wildflower’, casual feeling, which she arranged perfectly. She also made my bouquet.
Just the flowers, candles and the cake stands and teapots for the afternoon tea- and lots and lots of blankets. It was a bitterly cold day!
The food and wedding cake
We started off with afternoon tea and mulled wine before the ceremony. For dinner, we had a hog roast, which everyone assures me was absolutely delicious. I cannot remember a thing about the food! We didn’t have a wedding cake – that was one of the things we did without to save money. Instead, we put together an amazing cheese board, thanks to La Fromagerie in Marylebone. We both love cheese!
While Sam and I were off having our photos taken, we had a magician to entertain the guests. After dinner, we had a DJ, and a firepit outside.
Buy or DIY your stationery?
DIY- Sam’s brother was kind enough to design a lovely invitation, with a drawing of an oak tree, drawn by Sam’s mother. My mother then made all the placenames, with her beautiful calligraphy and a stamp of an oak leaf.
Personal or handmade touches
Just the invitations and the place-names.
Walking up the aisle together- we decided to skip the whole ‘giving away the bride’ thing and walk up together. Taking off around Swallowtail Hill Farm to take the photos. Sitting around the fire at the end of the evening, after most of the guests had left and it was just us and our friends.
Advice to other couples
Don’t stress about the small stuff. Spending more money doesn’t mean more fun, so concentrate on what is important to you as a couple, and focus on that.
The weather! The day before, we were setting up the marquee in the snow. The morning of the wedding was cloudy and drizzly. An hour before the guests arrived, the clouds cleared and we had one of those beautiful crisp, clear spring afternoons. The next day, it was back to cloudy and drizzly. It felt like it had been designed for us.