Ask The Experts: How to Help Manage Wedding Stress
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Today I am taking you back to last September when the weather was still warm and summer was still among us! Aimee and Liam held their gorgeous outdoor Tipi wedding in the grounds of Woolley Park Estate, with an intimate outdoor ceremony in the woodland there, followed by a fun filled tipi reception. The whole day is super laid back having hosted a family BBQ the day before where guests could meet and get to know each other. A large proportion of them then stayed in bell tents on the grounds, making the most of the wedding weekend. This wedding is getting me excited for spring and has been captured beautifully by Jennie Colbourne
Aimee and Liam were married on 3rd September 2022 at Woolley Park Estate, Wantage in Oxfordshire. ‘(We got legally married the week before at the Cardiff registry office) When starting our planning, we ideally wanted a venue that included a lovely outdoor area. I found Forest Edge tipis online, we went along to their open day (only the 2nd place we had seen) and absolutely fell in love with the look of the tipis. We went to visit Woolley Park as that’s where the tipis are situated in September and loved the woodland area and countryside views. We had 70 day time guests and an extra 20ish to the evening. We got engaged August 2020 but didn’t start planning until after the winter (mostly because of lockdowns) in Spring so it took maybe 18 months to plan’
How they met
We were friends at school but didn’t become an item until we were 20/21. We had been together 8.5 years when we got married.
We were allowed to travel within the UK (August 2020) and went to Lynton, Exmouth for a weekend which is where we first went away together back in 2014. On the first day we went for a walk along the river and Liam proposed just after a big thunderstorm! The rest of the weekend was beautiful weather.
How did you allocate your budget
We prioritised a really good caterer and we really wanted a band. We spent a bit more than expected on bridesmaids dresses but they were so gorgeous it was worth it! We gave less of the budget to things like stationary which felt less important to us. We also didn’t spend tons on decorations as we felt the tipis and the outdoor setting was beautiful enough.
I think we just looked on Google! Jennies website and Instagram looked fab. Her style of a more relaxed approach suited us and we felt like she offered a great package. We met her for coffee and she was lovely so we went for it!
My dress is Lillian West and I got it from Laura May Bridal which is a gorgeous bridal shop in Cardiff (we moved to Cardiff in 2021). I got my earrings and necklace from Next. Shoes from Dune.
Theme or colour scheme
Not strictly but we went with forest green for bridesmaids dresses and some stationary.
The florists were wonderful and we left the brief quite vague, giving them freedom to be creative. I wanted the bouquets to be fairly loose and wild, which was definitely the case! We had flowers on the tables in gin bottles which we arranged ourselves (my bridesmaids were in charge of this and did a great job!)
We kept decorations to a minimum as we thought the tipis themselves were so beautiful.
We had sharing platters. Starters were pulled pork Wraps and louisiana style crab cakes, main was beef brisket, jerk chicken, sweet potato wedges, coleslaw and salad. Dessert was wedding cake! And then cheese and coffee after for those who wanted it. We had a pizza van in the evening which was amazing (especially leftover pizza the next morning!)
We provided the speakers and playlist for the ceremony, we also had a separate playlist for the meal but we had the most amazing band for the evening who kept us all on the dancefloor the whole night. They also DJ’d for us after their sets until late which was also good fun.
Who supplied the stationary?
We ordered our save the dates and invites from a website pureinvitation.co.uk but I designed/printed the menus and table names myself, and handmade the place names. We ordered the welcome board from etsy.
We went to Mauritius for 2 weeks about 6 weeks after the wedding which gave us plenty of time to chill out after the wedding.
we organised a BBQ the evening before the wedding at a pub and invited anyone who was in the area (ended up about 3/4 of the guests came!) It was great for our more distant family members and friends to meet each other before the wedding and afterwards everyone said it was a really great idea! We also arranged staying on site in the next field to the tipis in Bell tents with a few of our guests, which was really fun, especially going to a nearby farm shop for breakfast the next morning.
At dinner, we had our own sweetheart table separate to everyone else’s table which gave us a bit of time just the two of us. Although we spent a lot of the meal going to talk to people!
Advice to other couples
Think about what your priorities are early on – for us it was having things outdoors as much as possible (whilst preparing for British weather) and having a great band to encourage everyone to stay on the dancefloor! Having the wedding in the tipis meant we had a bit of a blank canvas – it was maybe a bit more stressful (and probably not cheaper) but it meant we had the freedom to choose our own suppliers.
That the weather held out – all week it was predicted to rain! Thankfully the rain only came the next morning when we were packing up!
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