Standing in front of 150 guests at a wedding can feel daunting, which is why...
Well done everyone, you’ve made it to the end of the week! How are you all feeling? I am off to Cornwall today as it my mums 70th birthday this weekend so Nik, Dexter and I are off for a few days to help her celebrate. I can’t wait! To finish the week off in style I have this purple wedding with a school theme. I am seeing lots of purple drop into my in box at the moment but not many with a fabulous outdoor ceremony like this one. Carina and Lucas were lucky enough to hold their ceremony and reception at Carina’s parents house which gave them free rain on what ever sort of wedding they wanted. They threw tradition out the window and decided on an outdoor service with a registry office ceremony the day before to make it legal. Big thanks to Anna Morgan Photography for the images.
Carina and Lucas were married on 10th August at Ringwood Registry Office, the reception was held the day after at Carina’s parents home Linwood, New Forest. ‘There were many venues in the New Forest, but we felt we had to make compromises with every venue. Doing it in the parent’s garden allowed us to do what we wanted, with the added bonus of feeling familiar and comfortable. We think people shouldn’t be put off doing a registry office wedding and then doing a ceremony outdoor later. Make a weekend out of it we did and we had an amazing time. We had approximately 85 guests and it took about 10/11 months to plan everything’
How they met
We met when we were 12, on the 1st day of secondary school. We were friends for a long time and it wasn’t until we were 18 that we started dating properly.
I proposed to Carina in Rome. I disguised the reason behind the trip as a birthday present, so hopefully she didn’t pick up what I was planning. One day I took us for a picnic in a park in central Rome, sunny day in Easter holidays, spend a few hours relaxing and having lunch. Then I chose a moment went the park was quiet and with not many people around (I had the ring in my pocket everyday as I was worried that I was going to lose it!). She said yes.
How did you allocate your budget?
Suzanne our wedidng planner helped us allocate our budget, we weren’t sure how to divide up everything, so she was very helpful with that and pretty much all the logistics.
Why did you choose your photographer
It was a combination of budget and personality for us. We saw several photographer’s websites and their portfolios, so we interviewed the ones we liked. It wasn’t simply the pictures they took, but how comfortable we were going to be having someone around us all day taking pictures. With Anna, we found both. She was excellent! Both me and Carina really liked Anna and felt really comfortable with her doing the photography for us.
How did you choose your wedding planner
With Carina starting out in a new teaching job and with me being at medical school and my UCAT tests coming up we knew that we wouldn’t have time to commute to the New Forest every weekend to find venders and suppliers. We interviewed and chose Suzanne from RSVP weddings as she knew all the local suppliers and some really great ideas that we liked for our wedding.
Carina wore a Caroline Castigliano dress.
The Suit and bridesmaids
We had a purple colour scheme so, the ushers had purple socks and pocket squares the fathers had purple ties. Bridesmaids wore purple dresses from Coast which is Carina’s favourite colour. The mothers didn’t wear purple dresses but they did have a beautiful white/purple corsage.
I wore a purple checked shirt and a suit. The ushers and I wore suits as opposed to tails as I am not a fancy person at heart, a bit more laid back. For the same reason me and the ushers didn’t wear ties, but the fathers wanted to wear ties as it made them feel more comfortable and differentiated them from the ushers as we all wore the same suits. The cufflinks were specially made with our own logo. I made these myself. Well, made the logo and found a company on the internet to make them as I wanted to get a present for all my ushers, bestman and fathers. I made the cufflinks as well as giving them a pair of purple socks each.
The Theme and Colour Scheme
The wedding was divided up into different areas and given a school name.
The ceremony area was the assembly hall.
The area for the drinks reception and garden games (connect 4, etc.) was the playground.
The wedding breakfast was the dining hall.
The photo booth was the headmaster’s study.
Chalkboard signs were used to signpost the areas.
We got the flowers from the Arcade Flowers in Ringwood. They provided all the flowers for the ceremony, bouquet and centre pieces. They also had a nice idea of having test tubes hanging from the high centre pieces, with purple coloured water giving a medical/science theme.
The whole wedding took place at Carina parent’s house, though not in the house. The ceremony and drinks reception were in the garden, followed by a marquee reception.
The marquee fitted perfectly into an area of wild grass at the bottom of the garden so the marque was surrounded by fresh wild grass and had a small apple groove running parallel to it.
In the evening the marquee was up-lit along with some of the trees in the garden for a beautiful summer evening in the forest.
Food and wedding cake
Vanilla catering were outstanding. We had a Beef Wellington as our main and it went down very well with the guests. Aside from the excellent food, they also provided bacon baps at around 10.30pm for all the guests as an evening snack.
A little present we made for the guests were little Cake Pops. These were like lollipops, but with a small round chocolate cake with icing instead and this had our names and the date of the wedding on it – these were made by Cupcakes by Louise. For the cake we had a cupcake tower which was decorated with apples, report cards and pencils
A variety of music was used:
A solo guitarist for the ceremony and drinks reception, provide the music for Carina coming down the aisle and for us walking back up. Also provide a nice atmosphere to the drinks reception. Surprise singing waiters during the wedding breakfast. This was an idea by the Father of the groom to give the guests something to remember.
Live band, Walking Jukebox, for the evening music. We felt a live band would be more fun than a DJ or playlist and they definitely delivered as everyone loved them, classic disco and dance floor fillers! We liked their demos, but it was also the offer of learning a new song for us to play for our 1st dance that made us choose them. They learnt to play ‘I won’t give up’ by Jason Mraz live for our 1st dance and it was excellent.
Handmade or personal touches
We had our own school logo/shield designed, with a stethoscope for the groom as he is a medical student and a pencil for the bride as she is a teacher, then we had an ‘L’ and a ‘C’ in the other 2 squares.
I am originally from Sweden so we had the words ‘Alltid tillsammans’ as our motto – meaning ‘Always together’. This logo was used on all of the stationery and even the top of the cake.
The stationery was carefully thought through; library cards were used for the Save the Dates with details of ‘our story’, we found these ourselves online and used a template to make our story.
The Order of Services were printed on the back of paper airplanes which were thrown instead of confetti after the ceremony, an idea we saw on Pinterest but the designer we used for the rest of the stationary took the idea and made it work (i.e. designing the shape, the folds needed to make it work, etc).
The school theme ran through the table names as well, the tables were named by school subjects,Maths, English, History, etc.
Place cards had the logo on it with their names and doubled up as guest messages/wishes which were later hung on a tree provided by Arcade Flowers.
On each table there were ‘cheat sheets, doodles and more’ booklets which had information about each guest as well as the menu on the back cover page.
We thought this would be a good idea as I have many relatives coming from Sweden and many of our friends haven’t meet before, so it provided something to make them laugh and a potential ice-breaker.
Advice for other couples
People shouldn’t be put off doing a registry office wedding and then doing a ceremony outdoor later, make a weekend out of it – we had an amazing time.
Photography – Anna Morgan Photography
Dress – Exquisite Bridal Couture
Wedding Planner – Suzanne Prout
Guitarist – Michael Hulmes
Band – Walking Juke Box
Florist – Arcade Flowers
Catering – Vanilla Catering
Cakes and Cupcake Tower – Cupcakes By Louise
Celebrant – Grace the Day
Stationary – Kate Kelly Designs