Two brides in Two Woods...our autumn 2018 festival wedding planning thread

So after reading some of your lovely planning threads I thought it would be a nice thing for me to do and get some ideas down, we are also making a scrapbook so I can keep this and keep a thread of it all...


So, a VERY short background to a very long story...I was previously engaged five years ago to my long term boyfriend, we broke up three months before the wedding, very sad and awful time. Fast forward 6 months and I meet someone else...a woman. Yep, it was a shock to me too!! But we are so happy. She is everything I never knew was missing from my life. Everyone says I am a different person now. She is different to me in that she isn't as girly as me (but not a tomboy either), and she loves heavy metal, whereas I love terribly cheesy music! But we are similar in lots of other ways. She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen so not quite sure what she is doing with me really! She was living across the other side of the country when we first met, but she moved in with me in London last year and the rest is history! 


We have been together three years and I thought it was about time, so I took her to Italy for her birthday, four days in Tuscany and three in the Cinque Terre. I had planned to propose on a picnic up up in the Tuscan hills somewhere, on her actual birthday in Florence. But she hated Florence! And I hated driving, so the moment never materialised. I was pretty much kakking myself all week carrying around this ring in my pocket, I have newfound respect for anyone that has proposed! In the end I did it at sunset overlooking the sea on our balcony apartment. I had had a book created with everything I loved about her, and us, in it, made a playlist and bought a ring made from reclaimed twigs. She is an outdoorsy, non-sparkly, non-girly girl and I agonised over the ring but she loved it. We almost missed the sunset as she was taking so long over her hair...she was like "why are you being so bossy, I am coming!" I cried before I could get the words out, she cried, and then we went out for dinner to celebrate! 

Will write up some details about the wedding venue we have chosen and the planning process so far later on...

Here are some pics of the ring/book




  • This is so lovely, and your proposal made me well up. Looking forward to reading more!

  • Thank you!


    So after sharing the news with our slightly shocked friends and family we didn't waste any time planning. We knew we wanted something really different, not anything too formally or showy. So we decided pretty soon we wanted a festival/relaxed feel to the day, ideally a tipi-style venue. 

    We saw tonnes of venues in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and the Cotswolds and narrowed it down to two until...

    The Venue - Two Woods

    We actually went to see a different tipi venue and they told us about Two Woods, a new venue based in West Sussex. We went to see it and that was it, nothing else compared! It is absolutely beautiful. They have a licenced outdoor area, you get married under these beautiful Redwood trees. Then you can have a festival feel reception in the meadows if you wish, or use their barn. We are going for something inbetween and having the daytime reception in the meadow then the evening reception in the venue's barn.

    The only decision left is who gets the bridal suite to get ready in?!! A consideration with two brides!! 


  • Lucy266Lucy266 Posts: 176

    Omg - those woods look beautiful. I have a similar proposal story to you, my husband carried a ring all around a group holiday in Poland - due to various factors there was never a good moment!  But you found the right moment on your hol- sounds lovely! 

  • Congratulation, looking forward to reading more! X

  • Congratulations to both of you, will be checking back for more! 

  • Thanks everyone!! 

    Bridesmaids and early planning

    Once we had paid the venue we booked the registrar. They gave me a choice between 1 or 3 and we thought 3 was a bit late so went for 1!

    I asked my sister and my two best friends to be bridesmaids, and R asked her sister. My sister was upset at first I didn't ask her to be maid of honour, but I explained that one of the girls was my best friend since uni, and my other bridesmaid had asked me to be her MoH for her wedding next year so I really couldn't rule anyone out! Plus R asked her sister so we would have had two MoH's! I did these cute little bags for them filled with bits and bobs they would need to be Bms!



    Our venue is dry hire during the day so we quickly found this really cool Kombikeg which is a retro camper guests help themselves to! We are so excited, now just need to decide what to put in the kegs! Maybe beer/cider/ale and a soft drink? We also are having a pimp your own prosecco table. 


    Caterers, dresses and other things are all still to be decided. We are sending out out save the dates this week and so proud of them so will send a pic as soon as they are ready! 

  • So we finally finalised our save the dates this week! Took us ages. We got a stamp made with a logo on it and I did the pictures in photoshop, then we printed it out on brown card. Finally we stamped little round wooden discs and then put different little wooden animals on the card. We added a magnet to the back. What do you think?!image

    We posted them yesterday after a few heated discussions about the final guestlist haha!!

  • Elz2017Elz2017 Posts: 316

    Those save the dates are gorgeous - perfect for your venue! Loving this thread already, think your future planning is going to be of great interest for idea pinching... 

  • Ah thanks! We are going to see the venue again on Saturday I can't wait! Will hopefully have some more ideas after that.

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    OMG KombiKeg is Amazing! and will suit your wedding so well! Love you save the dates too.

  • So we are now turning to dresses! It is slightly more difficult with two brides, we are trying not to find out what each other is wearing but obviously can't keep it a complete secret, and family are notoriously indiscreet! 

    I am pretty sure R is after a boho-style dress, and while I have an appointment to try some on this style, I am just not sure they will suit me. I have always thought I loved the 50s style tea length dresses but due to me almost getting married before in a tea length I wanted something different. However, walking past a bridal store on Saturday one caught my eye and I have been thinking about them again. 

    So I need help ladies!! 

    Firstly, do you think it matters if my dress doesn't "match" hers or the bridesmaids? For the bridesmaids we are going mismatched grey/purple boho.

    Would it be weird if I went for a tea length dress again?

    Also, as a bigger lady (UK size 16) do you think the boho/lace ones are a good idea? I have an appointment in January to try some dresses on but my four favourite ones I have "pinned" and keep going back to could not be more different. 

    Lastly, I LOVE the tulle blue/grey dress pictured here below but do you think it would be completely impracticable for an outdoor woodland wedding? 


    The other three I love are all a bit more suitable for the venue, and I love them all! How do I choose?!

    image  imageimage

    Thanks for your help in advance! 



  • MrsHowgateMrsHowgate Posts: 1,150 New bride

    I think you need to try the dresses on and see how they fit and feel and more importantly how they make you feel wearing them. My dress is everything I said I didn’t want in my dress but when I put it on I just knew! Dresses can be taken up to accommodate your woodland wedding so I wouldn’t worry too much about the tulle. Good luck x

  • MrsK2017MrsK2017 Posts: 230

    I just caught up with your thread - absolutely love your back story. I've a very firm believer in 'everything happens for a reason', and the rubbish bits help us realise how right things are, when we find the right person. 


    I'm not going to lie, I'm green with envy at your save the dates. They're absolutely amazing! And those dresses are beautiful, each in their own way. Like MrsHowgate2B said, just see what feels good on.

  • I love this story. It's amazing where life can take us :) x

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    All your dresses are lovely, especially the first one, maybe they go alter it to  a shorter length to make it easier to move around in?

  • Ah thanks so much everyone! I know I need to try all the dresses on before making a decision, I have made some appointments in the new year. I joined weightwatchers and wanted to lose some weight first but I do need to get a move on. I must admit I am in love with the floaty grey/blue one but others have tried to put me off saying it will get ruined. aghhhhh. Boho would fit the theme more, but I will have to see what they look like. xx

  • Music!

    So we booked our band! They are called festival folk and they can do acoustic and electric sets, so we are debating whether to have them do a set in the day too? think it would be great but it is just the cost at the moment.


    We really wanted to go down the bbq route but we had a disastrous tasting, the food was South African BBQ style and far too fatty and heavy for us. We are exploring a couple of other BBQ options but might now be going back to the idea of street food, which we love, but I am worried after reports from other people using vans that the queues will be too long.

    We did try some Lebanese sharing food that we loved, and could be served to the tables sharing-style, but do you think this would work? And is it wedding-y enough?

    Appreciate thoughts!

  • Hi. Looking forward to following your thread.

    I live the unconventional boho style it's already taking.

    In terms of the dress, I actually don't think it matters f they don't have the same style. Although I would probably go for around the same length to tie them together. That's what I am hoping to do with my bridesmaid dresses.  I also agree with the other girls that you need to try things on and see what you like. You might be surprised. I haven for my dress yet but dome of the dresses I like have a style I didn't expect would suit me. Also love the blue tulle and had it pinned to my Pinterest board. I think one could argue that any dress that is longer might be a problem on a forest floor. Unless you really mind it getting dirty though I don't think you should take that in consideration. Pick what you love and feel beautiful in.

    I am in love with your food ideas. Although I think the street food and Lebanese food are actually more interesting and better suited to your style.

    Can't wait to read more.

  • MrsS85MrsS85 Posts: 688 New bride

    I would speak to the food vans and ask them how long they take to serve people (then maybe add a bit more time on just to be safe!) Or could you do the food van with a platter style antipasti on the table that people could be picking at until it is there turn to go up?


  • The street food van sounds lovely, but I'd ask about serving times as MrsS85 suggested. How many people will be serving the food etc/how long preparation is things like that. But besides that I love that style of food x

  • redhair82redhair82 Posts: 289

    Hi everyone! So I went wedding dress shopping at the weekend, so exciting (although I did feel like c*ap with a cold and had TOTM so not ideal...but anyway...

    Zoe's bridal 

    the first shop I went to was Zoe's bridal in Canterbury. I say "shop" but it was actually a shed in her back garden!! I wasn't sure what to expect but getting changed in front of my bridesmaids and my mum and sister wasn't really it. They were very bridal-ly and not sure they fit the venue that well. Although one dress was only £400 and the skirt was a lovely light tulle. She was quite pushy though, trying to convince me to put a deposit down before the next bride nabbed it! You weren't allowed to take pictures here and couldn't wear heels. All in all not a pleasant experience really. 

    This was the only dress I liked here - and I wasn't too sure about the was a slightly different colour to the dress and was a little frayed. 


    Bridal Boutique of Jules

    Oh my goodness!! For any Kent brides I cannot recommend this place enough. A beautiful vintage boutique right near the seafront in Deal. The lady who owns it was SO lovely, she offered us tea and biscuits and water. She also had a lovely changing area, and tonnes of gorgeous accessories. You could try on any of her heels with the dresses (or bring your own), and she let me try on my favourites again, even offering to open on Sunday so I could come back and try again! 

    These were the two dresses I adored here:

    So boho, but I am really worried about the pure white skirt getting marked in the wood and even spilling something down it when getting ready! It was really stunning though, and minimised everything I hated. I didn't think high waists would suit my larger top half but it really did! 

    This was a bit art-deco style (minus the gloves). I adored the beautiful silk skirt, although I liked the top I did worry it made my top half look a little bigger than the first dress. I am also again worried about the silk skirt catching in the wood and fields! 

    What do you think?



  • Georgina74Georgina74 Posts: 299 New bride

    Hey! I'm loving the boho style! The first dress from Bridal Boutique of Jules is amazing and perfectly matches the image in my head for this wedding!

    I adore the save the dates and the street food van sounds amazing... you're going to have such a fun day! Can't wait to read more about everything you've got planned!

  • Amazing venue, love the street food and the camper van beer looks AMAZING!!!! First dress looks awesome.

    What I'm about to say goes against a lot of other advice - get the dress you love and don't worry about the mud. You're getting married in a stunning location - mud is part of the outdoors. Embrace it & pick a dress based on what you love :) 

    Looking forward to reading more.

  • Miaow8690Miaow8690 Posts: 298

    All of the dresses you have posted are lovely! I would say just pick something that you love and to heck with the mud! It’s not as if you’ll wear the dress again... And you want to look and feel comfortable for the day. You could always get a train pinned up until the ceremony and then just rock the mud afterwards-it’ll go well with the festival food trucks at least 😋 (ps love the trucks!)

  • redhair82redhair82 Posts: 289

    So...we have made some decisions this week...we sat down and banged a few out quickly! 


    We have found our caterer, a BBQ caterer, and this is our menu so far:

    The Antipasti Menu:
    Serrano, prosciutto, salami, chorizo, fresh mozzarella, cubed feta, stuffed peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, mixed olives, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes served with roasted garlic hummus, a beetroot and caper remoulade sauce, bruschetta and assorted rustic breads

    The BBQ Menu
    Served to the tables on compostable palm leaf platters, some items in bowls
    Pan Seared Fresh Scottish Salmon and King Prawns
    Teriyaki glaze with barbecued pineapple, cherry tomatoes and sesame seeds
    Grilled Chicken Breasts
    Marinated with lime, ginger and coriander
    Epic Cheeseburgers (or Pulled Pork Baps)Couscous salad with sun-dried tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, mint and lemon juice
    Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
    Baked potatoes accompanied by cheddar, butter, sour cream and chives

    Dessert is going to be an ice cream van and my mum's cake. Evening food is going to be cheese and biscuits. What do you think?!


    We are going to go for dried, rustic flowers. Lavender bunches for the bridesmaids:


    a wild rustic bouquet for us as bridal bouquets:


    and on the tables we are going to have lavender, and dried herbs in little jars/bottles. 


    Definitely getting there with the planning, just need to sort outfits now! 

  • ruthie1979ruthie1979 Posts: 794

    LOVE the sound of the food xxx

  • Food sounds wonderful - can I gatecrash 

  • The food sounds amazing, making me hungry reading it! X

  • GinAndBlingGinAndBling Posts: 928 New bride

    The food sounds incredible! I’m very jealous of your guests x

    Our planning thread: We're completely winging it.

    My weightloss thread: Diet denial! 
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