Maddie and Conor’s Earthy and Eclectic, Fun, Retro Style Wedding in Maryland.
What a wonderful wedding I have for you today! This fun filled retro loving wedding...
We are in my home town of Sheffield today for the most gorgeous woodland wedding, captured by the very lovely Jay Mountford. This venue is only ten minutes up the road from my house and it’s just perfect for a rustic laid back wedding, and that is just what today’s wedding is. Full of homemade details, this wedding shows that even if you are on a budget you can still have a wedding that is true and special to you. I just love the simplicity of this wedding, the lack of fuss and the love that is bursting out of the pictures, from both the couple themselves as well as their guests. Just perfect!
Corinne and Gareth were married on 27th April 2013 (the 4th anniversary of the date we met). At Ecclesall Woods, Sheffield and our house. We met on a Forest School training course and love the woods, we walk our dog regularly in this wood (it’s near to our house) and decided it was the perfect spot for our wedding. We had about 80 guests, 30 of which were children! It took a few months to plan
How they met
We met on a Forest School training course 4 years previously. It was a week-long residential course and on the first day I walked in and spotted Gareth and fancied him immediately so sat at his table. He also liked me immediately and showed it by asking too many (and mostly inappropriate) questions. I was actually 4 months pregnant at the time (and single) and really wasn’t thinking about meeting anyone, it was just amazing to meet Gareth and that we were so well suited. As the week went on we really were falling for each other but neither of us let on. He looked after me and we would share breakfast and go out for pub dinners in the evening. On the Thursday we went for a walk and he confessed his feelings and asked to see me again, I of course said yes! While we were on the course that week I was nicknamed Scuffer and Gareth has called me it ever since.
We went to Cleethorpes for the day with the kids. We played on the beach for a while and then had a walk. As we were walking along the top Gareth grabbed my hand and got me to look over the wall at the sand. He’d written “Scuffer, I love you, marry me?” in the sand and when I turned round he was kneeling down with a beautiful antique ring. It was lovely.
How did you choose your photographer?
I found Jay on Twitter when I first joined and basically stalked her and talked to her until she gave in and replied… So, once I made Jay be my friend we arranged to go down to The Black Country Living Museum to have an engagement/rock the frock photo shoot done. The photos were amazing, we loved that we felt like she wasn’t there and we were both relaxed in front of the camera (something we both dislike). We could never have had anyone else, had she not taken the pictures, she would have been a guest, but we’re so thrilled she took the photos!
I originally had a vintage dress I had found in an antique shop for £40. I loved it BUT by the time we arranged the wedding I was pregnant and I knew it wasn’t going to fit. I bought a very plain dress from Tiffany Rose (a maternity shop online) and initially wasn’t sure, but to be truthful it was all we could afford. In the end it was perfect. I added lace and sparkly bits. I wore a silver necklace Gareth had bought me a few years before. I wore my wellies, I had bought them earlier in the year with the wedding in mind. I also had white knitted wellie toppers that my mum made for me. I had on Paperself butterfly false eyelashes and they were so pretty!
The suit and bridesmaids.
Gareth wore a vintage suit he bought via Ebay and gorgeous boots that I persuaded him to buy from Aldo. We didn’t have bridesmaids/bestmen. My teenage son looked after the rings and wore lovely navy trousers, pale blue shirt and navy jumper all from H&M (and of course Converse!)
Theme or colour scheme
We really wanted a natural feel to the wedding and for it to be very child friendly. We decided the woods didn’t need much decorating as they are beautiful as they are. Quite by accident we ended up with a bit of a purple theme as this was the colour of my flowers.
My friend Emma (Orchis Floral Design) made my flowers as a wedding gift. I was really vague about what I wanted, I said I liked purple and white and that a spring/woodland feel would be nice. They were perfect, she made a bouquet, flowers for my hair and a buttonhole for Gareth.
Gareth made an arch in the woods out of willow and things our little boy had found The tables in the woods had vintage embroidered tablecloths Gareth’s Mum had collected for us in charity shops. Back at the house we had tissue paper pompoms hanging (thanks to the tutorial on here) and I made lots of bunting. We’d also made hanging tea light holders out of jam jars which looked very pretty in the garden but never got as far as having candles in as we didn’t continue late into the evening.
We ate sandwiches. We made them ourselves so kept it really simple, people had the choice of ham or cheese on brown or white bread. We’d had the idea to wrap them in brown paper with string around to keep them fresh, but also so they were like lovely little parcels. We bought a big box of apples from our local greengrocers, they only just made it bite free to the wedding as we found our youngest son at the kitchen table eating them in the morning. My sister, Mum and niece made cupcakes. My sister also made gorgeous coconut ice, which she packaged up. In the evening we served big pots of vegetable soup I’d made the day before. We also took cordials and water to the woods and back at the house there was tea and coffee. People brought their own alcoholic drinks to the house if they wanted them as it wasn’t something we could afford to provide.
We had bits and pieces for the children to do, like ribbon on sticks to wave around and den building in the woods. Mostly we let people get on with socialising! Back at the house we put some of our old records on.
Personal / DIY touches
There were lots of things really, the most personal bit was the wedding favours which Gareth spent months making! He whittles beautiful wooden spoons and we thought they would be lovely gifts so he would spend most evenings sitting in front of the fire making them. Everything was DIY, the venue wasn’t a hired one, it’s just a public woodland so we were limited as to what we could do.
• Finishing touches to me dress
• Wellie toppers
• Wedding favours
• Sticks for the kids to play with
• Dried flower confetti from flowers Gareth had bought me in the months leading up to the wedding
• The wedding arch
Our wedding wasn’t legal (we’re having a separate registry office bit) but we wrote the ceremony ourselves and my step-Dad performed it. We were so glad we did it this way as he was perfect. We had a traditional hand-fasting ceremony and exchanged vows we had written. My Mum read the poem “These Are the Hands” (making everyone cry) and we got all our guests to sing Bring Me Sunshine! At the end of the ceremony Gareth and I sang Anyone Else But You (the same version as at the end of the film Juno).
Our rings we bought via Etsy and they were made from steel (appropriate as we live and got married in Sheffield), they have a bark pattern on.
So many, but, I’d say my sister giving us a beautiful gift of a huge antique key (the key to a happy marriage), holding hands while my mum read the poem and both having tears in our eyes, my step-dad tying our hands together to represent the joining of our lives, the looks on our guests faces as we sang and our song at the end, looking round the woods and seeing the people we loved standing round under umbrellas while they ate their picnic!
Relax and enjoy it, all of it, the preparation, the day, the days following it. It shouldn’t be a stressful experience, keep it simple.
That it came together so wonderfully. We did surprisingly little planning and didn’t really have a vision of the day, we just thought it would flow in the end and it really did. We loved that guests just mucked in and carried stuff to and from the woodland site and then when people started to get a bit chilly headed back with our house keys to make themselves cups of tea!
What a beautiful intimate ceremony…. LOVE the food too, so simple. Proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful and truly meaningful wedding. Stunning photos as always Jay. *sigh*
Love the idea of the picnic – sandwiches wrapped in brown paper, so cute! And those favours… exactly what favours should be, a thoughtful gift that reflects the couple. So lovely that it was handmade by the groom. Looks like a fantastic day was had by all.
Gareth and I are on honeymoon on a canal boat this week and we’ve just managed to get internet access to look at the blog post. It’s made us freshly tearful, the photos are beautiful & really sum up our day. Thank you so much x
I was lucky enough to be a guest at this wedding – and I kept crying because it was just so perfect. I’ve known Corinne for a long time, and I’ve seen how happy Gareth makes her and know how perfect they are as a couple. They make me happy.
And Jay is the photographer I WISH we’d had for our wedding. Ours was terrible – but Jay is a genius.
Best wedding ever.
Lots and lots of lots of aceness. Every bride should wear a cardigan for starters. And sandwiches in brown paper? Love it! Congrats to the happy couple (and man alive do they look happy!) and well done Jay. She’s a bit good isn’t she? Top notch.
We were lucky enough to be guests at Corinne and Gareth’s wedding and it was the most beautiful, sincere and personal wedding I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend.
Everything was just perfect, from the woodland venue to the picnic lunch. The ribbons and sticks for the children are still being played with here and our precious spoon is the prized possession in our kitchen now.
It wasn’t a fancy schmancy wedding, we didn’t wear expensive clothes or guzzle champagne. There were no chair covers or posh table decorations. All those things were not important when you were at a wedding that was so full of joy and love.
Love to you Corinne and Gareth, we may not have been friends for long but you and your family have come to mean so much to us all.
Gorgeous wedding. The couple look so happy. The guests look so relaxed. Really beautiful!
This is a truly amazing post. Thank you for sharing it with us and for showing what a simply beautiful wedding you and Gareth had surrounded by those most important to you. The love you have for each other shines through. An inspiration to others about to embark on the same road. I wish you both and your family a glorious future together.
Ahhhh how much did I enjoy this wedding? Corinne and Gareth were just BRILLIANT. Wonderful to work with (“work”? It didn’t feel like “work AT ALL) and the fact that they just threw all their cares away and made to enjoy the day was perfection. Not a fussy wedding, just an absolutely beautiful one. Much love to Corinne & Gareth (and thank you everyone for the lovely comments!) xxx
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shot of the bride and groom’s shoes together, such a creative touch. I also adore wedding gifs, and this one was especially cute!
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