This afternoon we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
Today I am filling your Tuesday with some super pretty summer wedding goodness. Katie and Nicholas held a gorgeous outdoor ceremony, followed by a party filled tipi reception at Wasing Park in Berkshire. They wanted their day to be chiiled out and full of fun and by the looks of these fabulous photos sent in by Tony Hart Photograph it certainly was that. I just love the homemade touches, the photo filled table plan, the subtle blush colour scheme and of course those beautiful flower crowns. I do love a tipi wedding. I don’t think I will ever tire off featuring them on the blog, they just sing summer to me! Enjoy.
Katie and Nicholas were married on 6th July at The Secret Walled Garden, Wasing Park in Berkshire, ‘Nick and I are pretty relaxed and we knew that a more traditional venue wouldn’t suit us. We have always loved tipis so wanted to find a venue where we could have a tipi and a completely blank canvas. We looked at lots of fields but as soon as we saw the walled garden we knew it was the one for us. It was a blank canvas but one that was filled with gorgeous blooms and so many different areas to use during our day. Wwe had 136 guests. After we got engaged we both landed jobs in Dubai. We had about 4 months to try and get as much of the wedding sorted as possible. We had to make decisions quickly as we didn’t have the time to ponder over the small stuff. We did as much as we could in 4 months, moved to Dubai and then forgot about it for around 8 months! And then around 3 months before the wedding we got back on with sorting the final bits.’
How they met
Nick and I met through our mutual friend Bekka who was a bridesmaid at our wedding. They went to university together. We got together when we were fresh out of uni and it didn’t work out. Years later we bumped into each other and things were different that time. Neither of us wanted anything too serious but a year later we brought a house and moved in together! Funny thing is we don’t really know how long we’ve been together but we would take a guess at around 6 or 7!
We are both teachers and it was a Friday. My Deputy Head Laura, came into my class with an envelope for me, she said I had to open it in front of her. Inside was a card and it said I needed to go home ASAP. I left school about 30 minutes early and drove straight home. When I got home there was a bunch of flowers on the bed. Now Nick had always told me that men only buy flowers when they’ve cheated or done something wrong. I began to wonder if this was an elaborate way of telling me some bad news..but it wasn’t! The card attached told me that a taxi was coming in 30 minutes. So I got changed and sure enough the taxi came, it dropped me off at The Thames in Kingston where Nick was waiting for me. He had hired a boat and had a wicker picnic hamper. He parked the boat up and I thought he was going to ask as he had started rummaging around in the hamper, but he pulled out a peking duck wrap! Anyway, after I’d eaten the wrap he did pop the question, to which I obviously said yes! After he’d arranged for dinner at a gorgeous restaurant near us.
How did you allocate your budget?
We found it really hard to think of a reasonable budget because we had no idea how much things cost. We soon began to get an idea, which helped us to work out what was important to us. Things that were important to us we spent on. We did give ourselves a rough budget but towards the end we really lost track of it…
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
The tipi was definitely more than we had anticipated but it was important to us so we went for it. We also spent on food and drink – we really like to eat and have a good time! We tried our best to save on decorations for the table and inside the tipi. Whilst we were in a gorgeous garden we wanted the inside of the tipi to be like the outside, inside. Nick’s mum has the most incredible group of friends who all grew flowers for us. The day before the wedding they all came to the venue to arrange them into glass jars which we had decorated ourselves. We both really appreciated all of their help, they are amazing!
How did you choose your photographer?
As we were moving to Dubai we were in a hurry to get everything sorted. We looked online and found Tony. We absolutely loved his portfolio and were so relieved when he said he was still available. We love his documentary style. Neither of us wanted to have lots of posed static shots or a really awkward couples photoshoot. Tony captured the essence of our day, without being obtrusive and it was actually great to have him around to be part of it. One of my friends has already booked Tony for her wedding and I am sure there will be many more!
Marnie Dress by Watters. Flower Crown by the florist. I totally forgot to get shoes so ran into Aldo 2 weeks before and got a gold pair of sandals. I treated myself to some pearl earrings from Dubai and a ring bracelet from ASOS. I got my white henna from Bohomoon.com
The suit and bridesmaids
Suits Ted Baker. Bridesmaid dresses were all from ASOS too.
Theme or colour scheme
Just sort of went for what we liked. It ended up being blush colours.
I wore a flower crown, along with all of my bridesmaids and flower girl. As they were all wearing a different dress I wanted them to have something in common. Bouquets were blush colours too, whatever was in season.
The grounds itself was gorgeous so we didn’t need too much. For the ceremony we had a flower arch which we absolutely loved! For the wedding reception we had picnic blankets and a roll top bath tub filled with beers. My mum made the most gorgeous bunting to hang on the tipi, inside we had fairy lights and hoops twisted on the posts.
We wanted our wedding to be as social as possible so all of our food was sharing. Sausage and Pear were incredible at this and there was so much! A selection of anti pasti for starters, BBQ meat, salad and sides for main and then crumble, ice cream and chocolate cake.
A naked wedding cake, also by Sausage and Pear, decorated with flowers.
The Confidentials were our wedding band and they were awesome. They did a massive range of genres to get everyone on the dance floor. They also did an acoustic set at the reception.
We deigned the order of service, menu and table numbers ourselves and had them professionally printed. Our wedding invite were by ‘Rosie at Rose Cottage’ from notonthehighstreet.com. We sent her pictures of the venue and ourselves which she drew onto out invites. We loved how personal they were.
As well as the stationery, we also made our table plan of the funniest photo of each guest that we could find. We printed them onto polaroid’s and loved people finding their place! The venue really was just that. We did it all ourselves and obviously with the help of our friends and family.
Other than getting married and spending time with our family and friends. I particularly loved the speeches. They were hilarious and had everyone in stiches! Nick loved our walk from the ceremony to the confetti throwing. It was the only time we spent alone that day (about 2 minutes!) but we were just like “we did it, we’re married!”
Advice for other couples
Do it your way. It’s your wedding and make it that! Make it personal and it will say something about who you are as a couple. Also enjoy the planning, no one likes a bridezilla!
That it didn’t rain and my dad arrived on time!
I’m based in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire and have been shooting weddings for roughly the last decade. I approach every wedding primarily as a heartfelt life experience, rather than a photoshoot and therefore I’m much more interested in documenting the day than directing it. I tend to talk in terms of a wedding day ‘narrative’ and like to say that I’m a professional spectator you commission to help you remember your day!