I think the fact that Jay and I had both worked in the event industry really helped when it came to planning our wedding. We both had a very similar vision of a relaxed but incredibly fun day with family and friends. To help us stick to our budget but get what we want we made three lists:
1. The absolute necessary list
Marriage license fees, venue, and legal stuff went on this list.
2. We really want
This list featured things like welcome drinks for guests, and hair and make up appointments.
3. Love to have
Our final list featured the little extras that made our day super special and these things didn’t always have a cost associated to them. It featured everything from scented candles to a window of photographs of our grandparents who couldn’t be there with us.
And so we set about tackling the lists! Once the absolutely necessary list was sorted we moved onto the next. To speed things up, we adopted a ‘see it, like it, book it’ approach and provided it fitted in with the budget we’d set ourselves – we went for it. We really wanted the day to be personal to us and so a lot of our suppliers turned out to be people we already knew, friends or friends of the family. Those that we didn’t already know in advance we found in Belle Bridal Magazine
and at their wedding fayre at Wynyard Hall
We were also very lucky that Crook Hall supplied lots of the things we knew wanted inclusive. Our beautiful mis-matched vintage tea sets and cutlery was all provided by them and they even helped supply the table decoration stands (mis-matched between tree trunks and slabs of slate) and wine bottle candle holders. These added in alongside myself and my Mom’s vintage jam jars and coffee pots which we decorated with twine and hessian from the farm looked exactly as I imagined.
Our stationery was designed and printed by my friend Debbie
. As well as invitations and the order of the day, she painstakingly helped me re-draw all the maps of Crook Hall so our guests could feel free to truly explore all the house and gardens. We also created a special ‘fairy trail’ for the younger guests, that highlighted where the fairies of Crook Hall might have left chocolate coins – this was one of the best things we did and kept the kids entertained for hours!
My make up was done by my lifelong friend Victoria
– having known each other since school, I knew she’d know exactly what I wanted. I didn’t even have a trial I was that confident! Julia
from Kerry Wedding Hair joined us to whip my hair up into an updo and I decided to go with wearing a veil and covered the top of it with one of my Grandma’s vintage hair combs.
The bar was open all day but as well as welcome drinks, we managed to add post-ceremony drinks and canapés and more for our guests to ensure no one got hungry or thirsty throughout the entire day. Each drink I asked Crook Hall to style into different glasses from jam jars to flutes depending on the type of drink we were serving.
Crook Hall is full of the most beautiful decorations and ornaments anyway but we added some extra special personal touches. My Mom provided lots of sweet pea scented candles which added to the fragrance from all the flowers. We created a memory window with photos of loved ones who are no longer with us and added their favourite colours in the form of roses that grew in my Grandparents garden. Robins have always played an important role in my family, (as we were encouraged as children to believe when my Granddad passed he had turned into a robin) so we had a couple hidden in various places. The highlight of my day was when a real robin flew right in front of us as were having photos taken.
We didn’t want the fuss or drama of having ‘roles’ so we had two flower girls and Jay had a best man… though my brother did take the role of Maid of Honour upon himself and delivered the most hilarious and lovely speech. Our flower girls (more photos to come) wore the most sweetest dresses that matched incredibly well with mine from Sainsburys
! They were an absolute bargain in the sale at £15 each – we even bought an extra one which my Mom managed to chop down and make into a beautiful dress for Jay’s niece, Phoebe who was only one year old.
Our afternoon tea menu was bulked up by opting for a gentleman’s size portion and despite a lot of apprehension from some who prefer a bigger feed – it went down really well. We later served bacon and sausage sandwiches with salad and fries for supper, with cake for afters of course.
Music was always going to play a massive part of our day and I’m so glad we picked the songs we chose and the people we did to play them. My brother’s best friend, Matt is the most talented piano player and played a piano version of Taylor Swift’s – Love Story for me to to walk up the aisle to. This was meant to be a surprise for Jay as he loves TS but he found out just before. Matt also played Your Hand in Mine by Explosions in the Sky as it’s my absolute favourite piece of music, so moving and was also a nod to one of my best friends who couldn’t make the big day. Once the ceremony was over, it only seemed fitting to walk back down the aisle together to Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered! The music didn’t stop there as one of Jay’s close friends Tom Butler
, who is from Seattle and has played all over the world, played in the gardens throughout the afternoon for us. He made me smile on so many occasions changing the lyrics of songs to about us and keeping my Mom happy with her shout outs. Before he finally played our first dance, Death Cab for Cutie’s – I Will Follow You (kindly changing the first line to ‘be mine’ rather than die). It was the most perfect song and the perfect person playing it, Jay made me giggle throughout the whole thing and though it was the part of the day I’d dreaded – it was one of the bits I most enjoyed.
The day absolutely flew over and I’ve only mentioned a small portion of our suppliers and friends who helped make it so amazing. If you’re planning a wedding this year and trying to stick to a budget, it really doesn’t mean that you can’t have the day of your dreams. Create your lists, work through them in order of priority and it pays off. TBC.
All photography credit to Jade @ Gasp Photo Co