Bethan and Dave’s Laid Back DIY Woodland Wedding by Toast of Leeds

Happy Monday everyone and how are you all? I hope you had a good weekend? Mine was mostly spent getting the house back in order. The last of the upstairs deliveries arrived on Saturday, furniture and carpets are now in, so we are now back in our bedroom with all the boxes emptied and everything where it should be, which is wonderful after living out of boxes for the past month! Now the decorator is painting downstairs and tiling the kitchen and then the house is done!! Building work started in October so it will be 5 months once it’s all finished. I am never renovating, extending, decorating…anything again! So it’s another busy week here at Boho HQ, lots of amazing weddings and wedding related articles for you this week starting off with this splendid wedding from Toast of Leeds . Bethan and Dave managed to get married on their 3rd attempt (cheers Covid) but the wait was definitely worth it as this is one awesome wedding. Set in the Leeds woodland, the whole day is completely DIY, from the decor, to the flowers, to the brides dress that she made herself. Bethan and Dave wanted a big old music loving wedding, full of live entertainment for their guests to really have fun with and this they delivered. What a day, and what a way to start this Monday. Have a good one everyone!

A laid back, woodland wedding with a focus on food, booze, classic rock & soul. We wanted live music, a lot of dancing and for us to share this special day with our nearest & dearest.

Bethan and Dave were married on 25th September 2021 (After 2 postponements!) at Lineham Farm in Leeds. ‘We wanted a venue that would give us total freedom – We DIYed almost every single aspect of the wedding. We also wanted somewhere on site for guests to stay – the venue included 50 bunks in dorms for guests to use. We wanted our wedding to be a huge party, and Lineham Farm was perfect as it had no noise curfew – the beauty of seclusion! We had 90 day guests topped up to 150 for the reception. Originally, it would have been 16 months to plan, however this turned into 2.5 years with the pandemic!’

How they met 
If you ask Dave how we met, Bethan ghosted him twice on Tinder! If you ask Bethan we got talking on Instagram and bonded over our love of art! We had been together 3 years when we got engaged, and 5 and a half when we married.

The proposal
We were on our first ‘proper’ holiday together to Lindos, Greece (i.e. a week abroad instead of a weekend camping in the UK/a long weekend in Spain). During our time there it was also our 3rd anniversary of being together. We spent all day, every day on the beach where there was a 17th century church and small jetty where we watched weddings whilst sunbathing, and cheered as the couples left. It was a beautiful spot. Dave knew that was where ‘the deed’ would happen. On the evening of our anniversary, we’d booked to eat at the beach restaurant, when Dave led Bethan down on to the jetty and asked for a selfie (which he never does!) and dropped to one knee.
Later after our meal, a couple approached us – they saw it happen from the top of the hill and took photos. Bethan said the experience was so overwhelming she can’t really remember it happening, so this solidifies the memory perfectly.

How did you allocate your budget?
We started with our guest list – This allowed us to get a feel for how many people we’d need to feed and what size venue we’d need to go for.

Where did you splurge and where did you save?
We saved on MANY aspects of the wedding! The only things we didn’t DIY were the Venue, Music, Photography, Dancefloor & Food! The venue was definitely the biggest splurge as we had full access from Friday – Sunday and there was accommodation for 50 of our guests all included in the price.

How did you choose your photographer?
We wanted someone who could capture natural moments and not push for unnatural, cheesy poses. When we had a call with Shelly (Toast of Leeds) we knew she was the one. She was cheeky and a bit sweary – our kind of person to a T. From her website we could tell she has her unique, signature style and does it so well. Moody, and a bit gritty in places – but captures people’s emotions and the humorous parts of the day perfectly!

The dress
Bethan made her dress and veil herself (with fitting & emotional support from mum!). The dress fabric was purchased from Minerva Crafts and the pearl embellished veil fabric from eBay. Bethan did go to some dress shops to find a style she liked, but ended up basing it on a Stella McCartney design worn by Nicole Peltz on the red carpet! Everything was drafted from scratch and isn’t lying when she says blood, sweat and tears went into this dress!

The suit and bridesmaids
Dave gave the groomsmen a brief of ‘white shirt, black trousers & brown shoes, I’ll sort out the rest’. The Groom & Groomsmen wore grey blazers from ASOS and emerald green knitted ties to match the bridesmaids. The Bridemaids jumpsuits were also from ASOS, with one adjusted by the bride’s mum to be a dress to accommodate a baby bump.

Theme or colour scheme
When we got engaged, Bethan was studying embroidery at college. For her final project she killed two birds with one stone and based it on alternative weddings. From this she created a huge 3m x 3m banner based on KISS’s song ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You Baby’. The venue had a large white curtain we wanted to cover – so this banner was created for that space, so our colour scheme came from the deep greens and yellows featured in the banner.

An eclectic mix – all in the name of saving money! Bethan’s Bouquet was created by Sam at Hyde Park Flower Club by Dottie’s. Bethan created the Bridesmaid’s flower hoops using embroidery hoops, macrame cord & dried flowers. The venue was huge with a lot of space to cover, so the flowers we used dress the venue were purchased from B&M Bargain’s garden centre. Dave’s mum arranged different colours of dyed heather into terracotta pots painted by Bethan & Dave.

Aside from Bethan’s Banner, around 1000 pom poms were made by Bethan, her mum & mother-in-law. These were then strung from the beams in the venue.
Dave’s mum placed foliage cut from her garden around the venue on windowsills, and these were dressed with glass bottles with lights created by Bethan’s Auntie.
We got our money’s worth out of the cricut we own and created seating plans, table numbers and fun signs that were dotted around the venue. Our favourite was ‘no sides – just good vibes’.
The aisle was our favourite part of the decor, with potted XXX running down either side, and our guests seated on long wooden benches facing inwards to the ceremony so we didn’t both have our backs to them! At the end was a beautiful wooden wedding arch created by Dave, adorned with macrame plant hangers by Bethan and draped in white fabric. To finish off, hurricane jars with candles were scattered around the rug from our living room (it really tied it together).

Our wedding breakfast was made by a local caterer, a one woman band named Charley Ness. She created sharing platters that included, Smoked Salmon Pate, Limed Chicken Skewers and lots of vegan goodies including Baba Ganoush and BBQ Teriyaki Tofu Skewers. We felt that platters meant we could offer our guests lots of choice, and felt more laid back than a 3 course meal. In the evening we hired Duke’s Pizza for fresh wood fired pizzas. Our guests couldn’t stop talking about how good they were!

Wedding cake
Made by Dave’s Amazing Sister – It was all vegan friendly & gluten free! She made 3 cakes – Chocolate, Victoria Sponge and a very naughty Gin Infused Lemon Drizzle. She also commissioned a topper from Crafting Bird and it included fur babies Rory the cat & Thelma the dog.

Music … AAALLLL the live music! We kicked off our reception guests arriving at 3pm with Back Chat Brass Band who got everybody up and dancing – they led everybody down into the woods, which felt like the most unique, fun experience ever! Bethan is the singer in a wedding band of her own, so couldn’t turn down the opportunity to sing her favourite classic rock songs at her own wedding. To really fill the floor, we hired the amazing Dan Burnett & his band. We asked Dan to create a set of funk & soul classics to really get people to dance the night away. Dan’s piano skills and voice had everybody in awe, we didn’t want him to leave!

Who supplied the stationery?
This is another element we DIYed… Everything featured a little white rat to represent our surname Whitrick – White Rat!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Between getting engaged & married we got a puppy, and we want her to go everywhere with us! So between this and the pandemic, we stayed in the UK and booked a cottage on Airbnb in Northumberland. With our honeymoon being in early October & the UK we knew the weather may not have been on our side, so we made sure the Airbnb was super cosy (hello log burning stove!) and had self catering facilities so we could truly relax with movies, board games and our sketch pads!

Personal touches
The biggest personal touch we added was raising money for charity in memory of Dave’s father. Our venue allowed us to supply our own alcohol, but that would mean providing our own bar staff. We can’t remember how the idea came about, but we contacted the hospice who looked after Nick to see if they had any volunteers that would be willing to help. They served the food at our wedding breakfast and served drinks for 14 hours – and had a smile through every second!
In return we asked guests to donate £1 per drink. In the end we raised £2950 for Manorlands hospice and can’t thank the volunteers or our generous guests enough.

Special moments 
We couldn’t have dreamed of our ceremony being more magical… We were out in the woods with birds chirping, surrounded by our closest family & friends. And the celebrant we hired (Lisa Wilson) was simply incredible. When we postponed for the 2nd time, there were no registrars available for our latest date – so we decided to get legally married at the registry office a month before and go the celebrant route for our big wedding day.
For about 9 months before the ceremony Lisa took the time to get to know us through numerous zoom calls and questionnaires, and told our story packaged up in a wedding ceremony. She included anecdotes, inside jokes and really captured who we are as a couple.

Advice for other couples
Bethan – Speaking of celebrants – get one. No registrar on Earth could possibly give you the time, and attention to detail that a celebrant can. Your wedding day is about YOU, and so the ceremony should reflect that.
Dave – Whether you’re like us and are up for DIY or if you’d rather pay for everything to be done for you, find some money for a wedding coordinator to help you on the day. Luckily the venue’s manager doubled up as the wedding coordinator and we don’t know what we’d have done without her!

Biggest surprise 
People will tell you how tiring the day is, but nothing can prepare you for how exhausting it really is. Especially when you can’t sleep because of excitement, and get up at 4:30am to finish building the wedding arch (in the dark!) like Dave did.



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