A natural country wedding in Oxfordshire – a ‘romantic home-grown wedding’ were the words of the bride herself. Wink, is a stylish girl who writes for numerous interiors and decor magazines in the UK so its no surprise that she managed to pull off such a beautiful, stylish wedding and more importantly to do it on a budget.
The bridal procession in the church
I suppose that is the exact point of this site – to give people unique wedding ideas, advice and tips to have the wedding that they want to have without it needing to cost the earth. It can cost the earth if you want it too, but its amazing what you can do with nature, friends (preferably creative ones!), family, laughter, a bit of love and a bit of inspiration from other people’s weddings…. so read on (its her words not mine)
Its all about getting the friends and family involved……
As a child, my favourite book was Brambley Hedge’s Summer story, which tells the tale of two loved-up mice, Poppy Eyebright and Dusty Dogwood, who tie the knot in rustic splendour beneath the wild honeysuckle on a raft floating downstream. Sadly my Mum and Dads’s house in the country doesn’t stretch to a river, and my fiance Ned’s handy work wouldn’t stretch to a raft for 150 guests, but I wanted to try to recreate some of the country charm I had always associated with Poppy Eyebright’s nuptials, without getting too carried away with the tweeness of it all.
Table plan with spotty napkins, nightlights and sweet peas
It was a tall order to tick all of my boxes: natural, countrified, ecological, home-grown or home, rustic, yet stylish without being twee!
We went for long trestle tables, an old fashioned marquee with poles on show (not for pole dancing, although there’s a thought), seasonal flowers, fairy lights, bunting, and as many home made trimmings as possible.
A summer wedding was key because to save the planet (and lets face it money) I wanted to keep things seasonal, but wanted masses of flowers. Whenever family friends offered help, we simply asked for flowers – whatever they could forage from their own and nature’s garden. We ended up with sweet peas, honeysuckle, cosmos, roses and hydrangeas by the wheel barrel load, plus all manner of bushy greenery from the hedgerows. We hardly spent a penny on extra flowers.
Table arrangements - fresh, locally sourced flowers
When it came to food, again we wanted seasonal fare as far as possible – a hog roast with late summer roasted veg and salad and a home made wedding cake (choc with white choc icing), decorated with autumn berries (recipe to follow).
White chocolate and summer fruit homemade wedding cake
Decoration-wise, we did as much as we could ourselves. We twined ivy and fairy lights around the marquee poles, used old terracotta pots for vases, filled with honeysuckle and sweet peas and beech leaves from the hedges. For place names we wrote on large ivy leaves with silver pens, and for lighting we scattered tea lights in tiny glass vases (IKEA). I’d always wanted reams of bunting of but however I tried, I couldn’t find it for less that £5 a metre, and our budget certainly couldn’t manage £500 for bunting alone. So I went to a local fabric shop and bought loads of different coloured gingham material. My mother in law lovingly cut out about 1000 triangles of each and stapled them on to the longest ribbon of gingham you have ever seen. Lets just say, we weren’t short of the stuff, and we still use it now – and my daughter Lily has it hanging in her bedroom.
Wedding bunting, foliage and fairy lights
One of our greatest finds were some end of line spotty napkins from Woolworths – for £2 for 5 each they turned out cheaper than hiring them for caterers, and we got to keep them –Lily has just had them at her first birthday party.
Everybody said we had the quintessential country wedding, and to veer away from over tweeness we made sure the cocktails were flowing and the music was rocking all night. As far as I remember the Brambley Hedge mice didn’t do their first dance to Prince’s Kiss.
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