Brides-to-be, if you’ve already started planning your wedding, you know how complex and frankly stressful...
We were on holiday with my bridesmaids down in Devon when Kelly emailed with the news about being a Boho Bride-To-Be, so there was much celebration! I feel really excited and honored to be blogging for you and can’t wait to share this journey with all you fellow brides out there.
My fiancee Tim and I first met when I was distinctly under the weather recovering from the flu, standing in the queue for a flight to Australia at Heathrow airport on Christmas Day in 2007. We are both professional musicians with lots of mutual friends so found we had plenty to talk about and as the flight ended up being delayed by 24 hours (!!!) we had quite a bit of time standing around together to chat. I thought he was brilliant and obviously really handsome but was seeing someone at the time as well as being pretty flu-y so my thoughts were more centered around getting some sleep on the plane! We said goodbye and went our separate ways until meeting at Heathrow airport AGAIN in October 2009 when we ended up on a 7 week tour to the USA playing Star Wars In Concert with a London orchestra we both work for. Both being decidedly vague it took several hours to remember that we had actually sat next to each other on a flight all the way to to Australia before, but after that all it took was one night chatting in a bar in Greenville South Carolina and one breakfast date the next day that went on for 6 hours and we both knew that we’d found the person for us. Never thought it could happen like that! By the end of that first week we were going out and ended up travelling the world together on various tours for the next year, seeing incredible places together and playing with great artists in amazing venues. Now we live in our lovely little flat in London with our mega friendly cat Maru and our new baby boy Jamie (who had the impeccable sense of timing to be born on International Star Wars Day this year… May the Fourth be with you!).
Tim proposed to me after 3 years together on Boxing Day 2012… After being in all these incredibly romantic potential proposal locations around the world Tim wanted to do something spectacular but in the end couldn’t wait any longer so after a relaxed evening in the pub got down on one knee in our living room before I’d even taken my coat off. It definitely had the surprise element! Of course I said yes straight away and we have given ourselves until August next year to plan the wedding so we can concentrate on becoming parents, save up, and give family time to organise flying in from Australia.
I had always imagined being married in a barn or a vineyard or on the top of a mountain somewhere, but all the venues that suited our needs unfortunately didn’t suit our budget! In our quest to have as awesome a wedding as possible on a low very homemade budget (we’ve just had a baby & are saving for a house deposit so our budget is £5000 with some very generous help from my lovely Mum), we found Colehayes Park on the edge of Dartmoor National Park & fell in love with it. We drove down there 4 weeks before I gave birth to our little boy so we were really hoping it would work out as we wanted the venue sorted before our baby arrived. The moment we drove in dappled light down the tree lined driveway and saw the breeze rippling over the lake, we knew it was perfect. Rebecca & Ellice there have been incredibly friendly and helpful with recommendations for local suppliers and people love it so much that they have formed a Facebook group offering tips and advice to future Colehayes brides! You book the house for the week and have free reign of the estate to make your own DIY wedding with family & friends. With some guests flying in from Australia it will be brilliant to all be there celebrating together for the week. The moment we saw the old British cork oak tree and woodland grotto, not to mention the little island in the middle of a gorgeous lake (!!) we knew we could have the wedding in the countryside that we hoped for. Yay!
Our colour scheme is just basically Colour colour colour! We are using Tibetan prayer flags to hang all over the space where we are having the ceremony (also used as aisle runners). My favourite flowers are sunflowers so we will be incorporating these but with lots of blue and white wildflowers too (cornflowers, chamomile, mint, the odd peony etc). The different events at the wedding each sort of have their own colour scheme which has evolved by accident. The drinks reception in the garden has bunting made by my friend Holly in retro vintage style patterns (a bit more village fete-y), then our afternoon tea and evening BBQ are in a blue & white striped circus style tent that we are going to be using a Bollywood influenced colour scheme for with paper lanterns & streamers (am making sari fabric table runners) mixed with bric a brac style elements. Plain fairy lights, fire pits and festoon lighting everywhere in the evening and a pure white colour scheme with fairy lights and lanterns in the woodland grotto chillout area. That’s the plan, am working on a rainy Plan B just in case!
With that in mind I guess our theme is just incorporating all the things that we love and are special to us. Sort of Great British Bakeoff meets Bollywood meets Secret Garden Party! A bit boho with the outside humanist ceremony under a tree, a bit rock ‘n roll with Tim’s guitar case as the Card box, festival style lanyards (if I manage to make them!), guitar pick confetti on the tables in the bar & a wedding full of world class musicians jamming, Oz meets Blighty with a recovery day cricket match and BBQ manned by Aussie rellies cooking local produce and a touch of Star Wars influence in there somewhere of course.
The plan so far is that after doing the legal bit ourselves, the Devon wedding goes over 3 days with guests staying or camping at the venue or surrounding B&Bs. Day 1 involves all setting up together and a meet & mingle at the lovely local pub in the evening. Day 2 is our humanist ceremony & hand blessing (we are writing it ourselves with family & friends officiating) outside under the oak tree. Guests will arrive to a drink & cupcake (I am cupcake mad) and rather than having readings we are typing out poems & readings we love and pinning them on twine between trees in the woodland grotto chillout area with photos of us over the years in there too, so guests can read them at leisure before & after the ceremony. Then a drinks reception on the lawn with garden games, before we move to the tent for a DIY afternoon tea on vintage crockery. We want either a naked jammy victoria sponge wedding cake or a big tiered wedding pavlova! Then it’s picnic blankets & deckchairs on the lawn, welly wanging, local ales & cider with a BBQ for dinner. The house has its own bar which we are decorating with cheesy vintage record sleeves, old coffee sacks, more fairy lights and candles in teacups, so later we will move inside for loads of amazing music provided by our guests (musicians there include folk, jazz, afrofunk,top west end big band players, world class classical musicians & electronica musos so it’ll definitely have a festival flava). Tim also used to be in a fab wedding band in music college days so they are having a reunion! Day 3 is bacon butties & mugs of tea, Aussie vs Brits cricket match and if the weather holds, a moonlight cinema in the evening. We are hoping to book the Flippy Chippy fish and chip van to come in the evening so everyone can get their dinner onsite. We are making our own invites, doing loads of DIY & at the moment the biggest concern is how I can try on wedding dresses so soon after giving birth! I am a bit obsessed with the Ir de Bundo collection from Raimon Bundo & Yolancris designs, so am on a mission to work out a way to do it within budget somehow!
This is, at least, the current plan, so am looking forward to making it a reality. We are seriously excited and have already geeked out over the planning of it all. My next challenge is sending out our homemade Save The Dates and getting down to some serious financial spreadsheet action as we start pricing up all the food options (we had lots of fun munching on various pies, cakes & cheeses down in Devon last week in the name of research) . It will be so lovely to share our plans and preparations with all you Boho Brides and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Till next time xxx
Photo source: Picnic food (Photographer Kari Bellamy) / DJ / Guests with Picnic hampers / Circus marquee (Photographer Blooming Photography) / Great Wedding Bake off / Hay bales (Photographer Nathan Maddigan Photography)/ Beer bottles (Photographer Taylor Lord) / Cream tea (Photographer Kim Hawkins) / Table decoration (photographer Mari’s Paradise Images ) / Headpiece.