Welcome to the weekend everyone! This one is a little sad for me as I...
Wow! Is it Thursday already? This week certainly is speeding by! I’ve been super busy putting the very last-minute details to the new blog, I really can’t wait to share it with you all on Tuesday evening. Today’s wedding is a gorgeous outdoor wedding. Admittedly there was a bit of rain but the weather didn’t put Anne and Patrick off having the outdoor ceremony that they had dreamed of! With friends and family all pulling together they created a wedding that suited their personalities. Full of fun, laughter, lots of origami stars made by Anne and the most gorgeous rainbow dress that has been dyed in the colours of a sunset. Big thanks to Chris and Helen from Scuffins Photography for the lovely images.
Anne and Patrick were married on 13th June 2015 at Rococo Gardens in Painswick and the reception was held at Patrick’s mum’s field in Longhope, Gloucestershire.
‘We are both quite a relaxed and laid-back couple so we were looking for a venue that reflected that. I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and always wanted to get married outdoors. We actually debated having the wedding in Cape Town, but we had to get married in June and as that is the middle of winter, it was about the same chance of rain there as getting married here in the UK! When I started my venue search, I was surprised at how far in advance venues are booked. I was also surprised at the response of some of the venues which seemed to indicate that several years of planning are required for the perfect wedding. Fortunately, the Rococo Gardens are as laid-back about weddings as we are and from the first moment we contacted them it just felt right. On our first viewing sealed the deal. Patrick and I are also very determined to do things our own way. Therefore, we also wanted a venue which we could tailor to our own needs. We really struggled with the numbers. As the ceremony was held in an outdoor venue with a backup venue that could only hold a certain number of guests in the event of torrential rain or hail, we needed to keep the numbers down for that part of the day. So 50 guests attended the ceremony. However, we could be more flexible with the reception (or after-party!) and 80 guests attended that part of the day.’
How they met
We met at my surprise 25th birthday party which was also an anti-valentine’s day party and we have been together for 6 years.
Patrick loves to set puzzles and I, luckily, love to solve them. So for my thirtieth birthday he took me on a clue-finding adventure from Nottingham to Edinburgh. Little did I know that the final clue would be a ring. He proposed at the Scottish Malt Whiskey society right at the end of the day and took my completely by surprise.
Where did you splurge/save
We spent money on things which were important to us. So food, photographer, my dress and Patrick’s suit. We saved by doing a lot of DIY – we did the invitations, website and decorations ourselves (and with help from friends!). Neither Patrick nor myself are huge fans of floral arrangements. So fairly early on in the planning I looked for an alternative. We also hired our glasses for free from Sainsburys. They did come as a random assortment, but that complemented the rest of our wedding so luckily was fine. We provided our own alcohol, soft drinks and snacks so saved a little there too.
How did you choose your photographer
Choosing our photographer was always going to be tricky as Patrick used to work as a graphic designer and was fairly particular about who we had. Thankfully I came across Scuffins, who does fantastic work. On our first meeting Patrick and Chris just hit it off instantly and we knew that they (Chris and Helen) would be perfect to document our day.
My dress was made by Wai-Ching, a designer in Seattle who specialises in dyed silk dresses. I made my own veil out of veiling material I got from Petersham’s. I’m not a high-heel person, so ended up just wearing flipflops!
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The suit came from Harvie and Hudson on Jermyn St, London. I was very lucky as my bridesmaids sourced their own dresses.
Theme or Colour Scheme
I had my dress which I chose to be dyed in the colours of a sunset so we worked around that. Otherwise we just went with what seemed right. We both have a good sense of colour so weren’t afraid of anything clashing.
Patrick’s mum very sweetly organised bouquets of mixed freesias (my favourite flower) for myself and my bridesmaids.
As I said, we aren’t a floral arrangement kind of couple, but I knew we’d need some kind of decoration. I came across a few weddings where they had used paper cranes to decorate their venues and decided to use origami to make my favourite shape as decoration. I started folding paper stars in all colours and later thought that stringing them up as bunting would be a good way of displaying them and brightening up the tents.
We also used the obligatory fairy lights wound around the tent poles and making their way across the entrance of the tents. To keep insects away and to add more light to the field, we used outdoor garden candles and lanterns.
After the ceremony at the Gardens we had a champagne cream tea for our guests. This was absolutely delicious, I was told by Patrick and guests as I sadly didn’t get time to taste very much of it!
Back at the reception we had nibbles and bubbly before tucking into freshly prepared on the premises wood-fired pizza and salads provided by the marvellous Wild Oven from the side of a brilliantly converted 4×4. Danni and her team were fantastic, being very flexible with the timing of pizza as we were running a little late on the day. Later on they provided fresh baked chocolate brownies with pouring cream and also helped us start our bonfire.
This was actually a surprise! Given that most of the venue was organised from scratch, when it came to sorting out a wedding cake we just couldn’t muster up the strength. Both Patrick and I had our hearts set on a cheesecake wedding cake. Actual cheesecake rather than cheeses. I just couldn’t find a baker who would make one for our anticipated 80 plus guests. Patrick’s mum came to the rescue after finding out that her local bakery – the Forest Bakehouse could do it no problem. I only found out on the morning of the wedding when she brought it home and set it up in the kitchen. It was beautiful and tasted divine.
There was actually quite a lot going on in the day which I didn’t realise at the time! We both play a lot of music and, luckily, know a lot of talented musicians as a by-product of this I guess! Given that there was a festival vibe to the wedding, we had friends perform in the evening and the super talented Miaoux Miaoux played an improvised solo set to headline for us.
Buy or DIY your Stationery
We DIYed our invitations as Patrick is particularly talented at design. And I put them all together with the finishing touches (by hand making a wax stamp for sealing the invites).
Personal or Handmade Touches
We did quite a lot ourselves or with the help of friends and family. I’ve already mentioned the paper stars which I started making way before we even had a venue planned. We also painted signs to direct guests to the field and help demarcate camping and toilets (and point out the sheep!). I hand dyed the best men and groom’s cravats and pocket squares to sort of match the colours of my dress. And my mum spent ages sewing them up for me as I ran out of time!
Ah so many! For me it has to be first seeing Patrick waiting at the end of the “aisle” at the Rococo Gardens, and in the morning, opening the beautiful wedding box sent by my friend in South Africa which contained all the somethings. (Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.) Also when Patrick’s dad saved the day by driving a tractor towing the alcohol into the party field.
Advice to other couples
Do what feels right for you. If you are doing a DIY venue make sure you pick suppliers whose ideas work with yours and then trust them to do a good job. And also take off your watch on the day!
The heart-shaped fireworks! Although I think we surprised a lot of our guests with our light dancing poi routine… Carefully prepared the evening before the wedding…