Well hello Wednesday and how are you all as we reach the mid-point of the...
Yes it’s Friday. Thank goodness! I know it’s a cliché to say it, but my word January is going on FOREVER!! I’m certainly glad this is the last weekend of the month, roll on Spring! Have you any plans for the weekend? Mine are a mixture of children’s birthday parties, house admin and taking Dexter to the theatre. What about you? Do you have any wedding jobs to get done this weekend?
Moving onto today’s wedding, we have a super relaxed and laid back Devon wedding for you that takes place at the bride and groom’s friends’ own vineyard. A truly personal location as it was the venues first wedding that they hosted. Saskia and Max filled their day with lots of personal details and were helped out a huge amount by their friends and family. Big thanks to Howell Jones for the photos.
Saskia and Max were married on 8th September 2018 at Castlewood Vineyard, Musbury in Devon. ‘Castlewood Vineyard is a very special place to both of us and we have made lots of memories there whether picking grapes, going to the annual wine festival or having BBQ’s in the summer it is a really magical spot and is owned by one of our dearest friends – Rob Corbett. Over a glass of wine Rob casually offered for us to use it for the wedding. We knew it would mean a lot of extra work (no one has ever had a wedding there before) but it ticked all the boxes as we didn’t want to marry in a church or your usual venue so we decided to go for it! We had 150 guests in the day plus an extra 30 in the evening. It took 9 months to plan, we started planning in January 2018 having got engaged in November 2017.’
How they met
We met 20 years ago at school when we were just 11 years old. We became good friends and were close for a number of years then started our relationship when we were 23 in 2011
Max surprised me on a Thursday lunchtime when he showed up at work and whisked me off to the local airport. Max has a Private Pilot’s licence so we got in a little two seater plane and he proposed in the air above the place we grew up together & went to school. On landing Max had arranged for the airport fire service to do a water cannon salute across the runway (he is a firefighter at the airport). After this we stayed at the Mount Somerset near Taunton for the night.
How did you allocate your budget?
We were able to use friends for almost everything which was amazing and helped keep the overall cost down. We started by allocating the main costs such as marquee, food, drink & essentials such as toilets and lighting. We then made decision on what was really needed/we really wanted based on what we had left. We both felt that so much money is spent on unnecessary things at weddings so we thought carefully about how we spent the budget.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
One of the main expenses for us was alcohol as it was really important to us for everything to be provided for our guests and that booze was very free flowing. We really wanted sparkling wine form the vineyard (Castlewood) for the toast and we had little bottles of Jagermeister for favours.
We saved money by getting Sas’s mum and aunties to do the floral decorations in the ceremony tent which looked incredible – they even made all our bouquets. It was really important that everything was as natural as possible so we used a lot of houseplants to decorate the main marquee which we borrowed from friends.
Instead of a cake we had a cheesecake which we dismantled and served as the evening food with fresh bread & cold meats.
For seating during the ceremony we borrowed hay bales from the local farm and used scaffolding planks borrowed from RBS Scaffolding to go across them so all this was free.
For our outdoor tables next to the main marquee we got hold of some huge old cable drums from a local electrician – these looked great and were perfect for what we needed!
How did you choose your photographer?
The photographer was one of the most important things for us. Having worked as a wedding planner I have seen a lot of photos and know what I like and what I don’t. I spent a lot of time looking around but not finding anyone I liked, then a friend recommended Warren and we loved his photos as soon as we saw them – they were exactly what we were looking for!
My dress was from ‘Lovely’- a bridal boutique in Honiton, Devon. My Hair piece was from Etsy and my shoes were Kurt Geiger.
The suit and bridesmaids
The Suits Jackets & waistcoats were from Moss Bros – the trousers and shoes were from various. Bridesmaid dresses were from Misguided & Primark!
Theme or colour scheme
Not so much a colour scheme but we wanted a lot of greenery everywhere and not any coloured flowers. The boys were burnt Orange Ties which went well with the floral dresses.
For the bouquets I really wanted to keep it simple so we just had Gypsophila. In the ceremony tent we had a mixture of Ivy, weeping willow and eucalyptus. In the main marquee we had a mixture of indoor plants (i.e cheese plants, spider plants etc) and ivy down the tables – all of this was borrowed from friends/family for the day.
Very little as the clear marquee and the view was so beautiful we didn’t want to take away from this so we only had the aforementioned plants! That included macramé plants pots hanging from the marquee ceiling – we made all the macramé roping by following YouTube videos.
We had canapes during the drinks reception. We opted not to have a starter and instead had sharing food served in enamel bowls all the way down the long tables. That in included lots of different salads & roasted new potatoes and also roasted beef & pork. For dessert the girls had Crème Brulee and the boys sticky Toffee Pudding.
During the ceremony a friend sang James Bay – If I aint got you whilst another played the guitar. Sas made the playlists for the drinks reception then we had a band in the evening (Mr Jean) who were incredible!
Who supplied the stationery?
Our friend Ella McConnell is a graphic Designer and designed all our invites which we just got printed online. She also mande the confetti bags and did a reading during the ceremony. The name places we just wrote ourselves.
Our ceremony was the most personal thing of all. We opted not to go for a church or civil ceremony and instead took on the quite scary task of arranging out own ceremony (we got married legally two days before).
We had personalised labels on the bottles of sparkling Castlewood and we had napkins printed with our names and our hashtag #maximumsasisfaction
Our friend dried petals for us for confetti and made little bags for them also with this hashtag on!
The ceremony and the speeches were by far the most amazing parts – everyone speaking had made such an effort and made the whole room laugh and cry within their speeches!
Another favourite part was just as the sun was setting the vineyard owner who is a dear friend of ours drove us to the top of the castle in an old land rover defender (with Warren) where we had a couple of photos and a bottle of sparkling. It was 20 minutes of calm before the night really took off!
Advice for other couples
Don’t be scared to make your wedding a reflection of you as a couple – it’s not very easy to achieve this within the walls of a standard venue so don’t be scared to think outside the box!
We opted not to do a first dance and our friends surprised us by starting a conga line instead of this!
Hi there, I’m Warren and I run Howell Jones photography. I am based in Bristol and I have been photographing weddings for over ten years. Do I travel ? Absolutely, the only way I will not shoot a wedding is because I am already booked on that date or I cannot possibly get there in time. I do not mind where it is or which country it is in, I have photographed all over the world from the United States to Europe and from Africa to Australia, traveling is what I love doing. My style is more documentary, photographing the moments of the day is the most enjoyable part of my job, but I also respect the family photographs, the portraits and the little details.
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