After the wedding, the next thing you need to plan is the honeymoon. But, with...
How are you lovely people? If you are in the UK is the current heat wave getting you all hot and bothered or are you managing to stay cool? I’m not a lover of the hot weather I have to admit, my little red head does tend to over heat, however I’m not going to say a bad word about having such glorious sunshine, it certainly beats the bleak winter we had, so let the sunshine stay I say! On with today’s wedding and I am taking you to Dorset for the glorious wedding of Jodi and Sam. This fun loving couple where lucky enough to get married on Sam’s family farm. They really got stuck into their wedding planning and managed to make a lot of it themselves from the origami cranes to the table decorations. From the tractor ride to the ceilidh, this wedding is full of fun and many, many smiles. Big thanks to Sasha Weddings for the photos.
Jodi and Sam were married on 30 July 2022, the ceremony was held at St George’s Church in Dorchester, Dorset, with the reception -at their family’s farm in Dorchester, Dorset. ‘It’s where Sam’s family live. Wherever we got married, whether it was London or Dorset, we knew more than one group of family or friends would have to travel. So we picked Dorset to be in the countryside and give people of extending their stay and making a holiday from it. Having the wedding on our family’s farmland meant that it felt like we were at home and made for a really relaxed environment. We also thought it would be cheaper, but actually by the time you hired the marquee, toilets and equipment it probably didn’t save us that much. But we loved that we could bring everyone to see the farm. We had 200 for the ceremony and evening and 160 for the reception. It took 6 months to plan.’
How they met
We met at our church a year and a half before we got married. Because we met during Covid we spent most of our early dates walking around parks and chatting because that’s all we were allowed to do. It meant we got to know each other really well very quickly.
It was at Sam’s parents farm on a cold January afternoon. We went for a walk up to the top of the farm where there are amazing views into the valley. Sam got down on one knee and proposed. I said yes and then we had a 30-40minute wait for it to get dark before Sam’s dad let off an amazing firework display off the back of the pickup truck! He drove in a big circle around us as the fireworks were going off. It was both amazing and hilarious at the same time. Very special.
How did you allocate your budget?
We tried to be sensible and set our self a maximum and kept track as we went along.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
To be honest, we tried to save on everything. The main thing that was important to us was having as many people with us as possible and therefore we tried to save money elsewhere to enable us to do that.
Where we could we bought from the high street and where we could save money by making it ourselves, or through generous friends we did.
So marquee and food costs were high to cater for everyone we wanted there. My dress was expensive, but my parents kindly gifted this to me.
We also didn’t want to scrimp on a photographer because we knew the photos would be what we took away with us from the day.
How did you choose your photographer?
We actually just found Sasha online, just through Google. It was my Dad that found her website and then got in touch initially. When he shared the website with us we really loved her style which felt informal and relaxed, while also being beautiful.
We couldn’t be happier with the results. She did an amazing job and was also great to have with us on the day, going with the flow and being prepared to climb fences, jump in and out of trailers to get the best shots.
Paloma Blanca, bought at Love Me Do Brides, Walton on Thames (who were absolutely great to buy from. I bought a dress on my first visit, having not tried anywhere else).
My shoes were ASOS, which no one saw all day, so I was pleased I didn’t spend a fortune on them.
I wore some pearl earrings I bought from MagsJewelStudio on Etsy.
I also had a veil made my best friend and one of my Maids of Honour, Freya. She glues pearl beads all over it and it was beautiful.
In the evening, I swapped my veil for a pearl headband from Accessorise.
And the suit? And bridesmaids?
Suits – River Island
Bridesmaid dresses – Yumi Clothing
Theme or colour scheme
Green, pink and orange. It sounds very loud (and maybe it was) but it worked!
The plan was to do all the flowers ourselves, with the help of Sam’s cousin and my bridesmaids. But a few weeks before the nursery we were planning to buy the flowers from had a huge fire and stopped taking orders, which was a bit of a nightmare.
In the end, my best friend did loads of googling and managed who got in touch with a florist. It turns out they couldn’t help, but they kindly recommended Green Valley Flowers who turned out to be super local to where the wedding was. Heather grows flowers on her farm and the flowers she sells will be mixed colours from what is growing in season. We asked Heather to make up a bridal bouquet and then she provided mixed buckets of loose flowers from which we made button holes, bridesmaid bouquets, table flowers and larger flower arrangements for the church.
I wasn’t able to pick colours, but it turned out the other order that Heather had basically wanted the opposite colours to me.
The flowers turned out to be even better than they would have been if we had got them from the nursery. And it was wonderful that we could support a small local business.
Our main decoration for the tent was hanging 200 or so origami cranes that I folded ahead of the wedding. We threaded them on to fishing wire and hung them from wire wreath rings. They were interspersed with paper pompoms.
On the tables we had coloured runners down the centre with flowers and lights in jars that were decorated with pressed dried flowers, many of which had been made at my hen do. Each place setting had a small origami crane in patterned origami paper, with people’s names written on brown parcel tags decorated with hearts we cut out of spare wedding invites.
We had a catered buffet for the main course by a company called Loose Moose. It was Asian Fusion food as we had mentioned to the caterer that I was half Chinese. The food was delicious and we’ve had people tell us it was the best food they’ve ever had at a wedding.
For pudding, we bought deserts from Cook which were amazing. No one realised until we told them later and they were so impressed.
Sam’s mum also made small scones and we had some brownie bites from a small business which were handed out when guests arrived at the farm with Pimms and homemade elderflower cordial.
In the evening we cooked bacon on the BBQ and did bacon butties.
We really weren’t bothered about a wedding cake and almost didn’t have one. We were convinced by the family friend, Maria, who was co-ordinating the wedding reception on the day as she said it would help to fill people up if they were still hungry! She runs a lovely business called Message Muffins and it was through her business that we sourced a simple, but delicious Victoria Sponge. Maria then decorated it with fresh fruit, flowers and some left over paper cranes.
We had a ceilidh band called the Shipsters. Because it was such a beautiful day, we set the band up outside on a hay trailer as a stage. Everyone danced outside all night. The best thing about a ceilidh is that even the people who hate dancing give it a go and have a fun time.
Who supplied the stationery?
The stationary was one of my favourite details of the wedding. One of my best friends and bridesmaids, Zoe Guy, designed them for me. We had an evening together where I explained what I wanted and she made them up and found the perfect fonts and colours.
I didn’t want traditional invites, so we used block colours and had bright pink envelops sealed with a white wax seal.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
The next day we drove to Pembrokeshire in Wales which was beautiful. As we were booking the honeymoon during a fresh wave of Covid we didn’t want to risk booking something abroad and having it cancelled.
In the end, it was one of the best decisions not to go abroad because we were so tired and were so glad we didn’t have the hassle of travelling.
Nearly all of it was handmade or homemade – which was just the way we wanted it. We did so many details ourselves, with the help of some very talented friends.
The speeches were amazing and were certainly a highlight. They were funning and moving – so many people still talk about how great they were.
Also, Sam’s dad drove us back from the church to the farm in a hay trailer pulled by a tractor. We had most of our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (and our photographer) in the trailer with us and it was such a one-off experience as we drove through Dorchester, stopping traffic.
Another highlight moment was that my sister-in-law sang ‘I Will’ by the Beatles as I walked down the aisle. She is extremely talented and it was a very beautiful moment.
Advice for other couples
As soon as you wake up on the day of the wedding, let it go. You’ve done all you can so just enjoy it and don’t worry about it. We had so many amazing people helping us that all the stress of organising was totally lifted from our shoulders and we could just really relax. And that’s saying a lot when we planned and organised every detail ourselves without venue staff or a huge catering team. We were so grateful to precious family friends that stepped in to help do that for us.
If you have to hire plates and cutlery, get return dirty so your family don’t have to do loads of washing up. I was so glad I found a good company that offered that service.
I think the biggest surprise (in the best way) was how awesome a day we had. I think we both thought we would be stressing or thinking about things, but we really didn’t. We just had the best and most fun day ever.
It’s liberating capturing real life. I am a full-time wedding photographer and this is what I do best. Wedding is a very special day and I know capturing weddings is a huge responsibility. I really enjoy being there to capture beautiful, fun, emotional moments of the day. You won’t find me running around telling people what to do, I observe and am there where emotion happens. I am an alternative and informal wedding photographer based in London and cover all of the UK and worldwide.
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