Well, a month has passed since our magical day and we have now moved abroad. Although I am awaiting our video and official pictures I have decided to write a report to keep the day alive in my memory! Here is one of the official photos that we have:
The Venue: we knew that we didn't want a hotel wedding. Our main issue is that I am Christian and really wanted a Christian wedding but in my finance's area of Shropshire. He has never attended church and I didn't want to be married by a stranger in an unknown church. In the initial days of our wedding planning, a friend told me that she was married by an unknown vicar who turned out to be a child molester! This made up our minds. One of my oldest friends is ordained. She agreed to marry us in an outdoor ceremony wherever we wanted. We would need to legally marry beforehand but this was fine with us.
We found our location - a stone circle in the sleepy village Of Weston Rhyn. We wrote to the owners of the land and they agreed that we could use it for our ceremony! Amazing!
Here is a pic of us being married by our amazing friend.
This is how the stone circle looked on the day.
We wanted to conserve its natural beauty and so we didn't put any chairs out!
The reception venue:
We weren't sure what to do about this one. I really, really didn't want a hotel. I hate marquees - I have seen some very lovely ones but they just aren't us as. We spent our first holiday in a yurt:
With this in mind, we really loved the idea of hiring a yurt. Then our friend one day suggested that we hold our reception on his father's farm! We couldn't believe it and agreed straight away. We then decided to set the date for July 27th 2013. This would give us my entire school holiday together and a very long honeymoon...or so we thought...
This is the best picture to show the view over Wales from the reception site. HOpefully I will find a better one at some point but for now...
Decorating the reception venue:
The main issue I had was getting into the stone circle from our transport without being seen by everyone. I did not want the first dight of my by my husband being me stumbling out of our VW van! Then I had the idea of hiding me behind a load of large ivory golf umbrellas:
I walked right up to an 'aisle' door which my amazing brother in law made and painted for me!
These are the doors and our friends practicing to check it all worked before I arrived!
This is the final event! It worked really well and meant I got the whole 'aisle' experience, with a vicar we knew AND to be outside. It was perfect!
You can see in the picture above that an aisle was made from some of the surrounding shrubbery! I had no idea that the prayer flags would be used to decorate the doors and they were amazing! THese are traditional buddhist flags which are used in Nepal, the country we moved to the day after the wedding.
We stood inside a cream petal heart as we married. I'm sorry for the sideways picture!
My brother in law made so many stunning signs like this one to direct guest to both our reception and ceremony. My husband's two brothers then went into local shops as well and asked if they could put up signs in the village too.
We also had a large wicker heart attached to the fence post of the stone circle. The florist the most amazing job. She has warned me that peonies were unlikely in July. I was amazing and delighted on the day to see that peonies were late this year and I had some! The flowers were one of my favourite things on the day and we sent them to a hospital after the wedding although I gave my bouquet to my 90 year old granny who, despite a recent stroke, travelled hundreds of miles to be there.
We wanted a VW to reflect our nomadic spirit... but we refused to pay £600 for a days hour. A friend came to the rescue. Although it is a more modern model, we were greatful for use of his white VW van and we needed it in the end because I decided to buy a load of balloons which came n the back with us to the venue!
We shared the van with this lot!
I'll add a pic of the van when I find better one!
My vow to not drink failed epically when our friend produced a bottle of Moet and some glasses for our journey to the reception! Oooops...
This is the reception venue on the morning of the wedding. My husband and his friends and family spent the whole week before setting it all up. The yurt is by Cheltenham Yurt Hire - they erected it. The bell tent is ours and contained all the boxes etc! The food was put inside some gazebos, the bar also. We also had another tent for dancing.
Before more wedding details, a few about the hen night! After a LOT of deliberating (a festival, rock climbing - my addiction - go ape and a few other things were rejected as I knw my friends wouldn't go for it) I decided on karaoke and a fun night of dancing followed by a day spa in a 5* hotel. I have been on some dire spa weekends so thought it would be easier to go to the Radisson Edwardian in Manchester which is an amazing spa. It also mant it wouldn't bsnkrupt my friends!
I had such a fun weekend. It was also my last weekend in my home city before moving abroad for 3 years. This is my BIL.
The week of the wedding:
was extremely stressful. I had to chase the estae agent for news of our deposit ( we got t all back!) pay final bills, pack and repack check in luggage, freaking out that I had forgotten something vital for our move to Nepal. The days were very long. MY husband was amazing and in the end I didn't do much of the setting up. We had kind of agreed this anyway as I had spent 18 months working out the minute details of the wedding. He is an events manager and has run a festival for 3 years so he was in his element. So many people kept asking me questions! As he was sleeping up at the site I had a week of trying to chill out but I didn't do too well!
The day before, we set up in the afternoon, then I went to the gym with my sister and MOH and ran for an hour, swam and hd my nails done. I felt human after that!
Oh...also on the Thursday (2 days before the wedding!) my sister and I travelled to Birmingham. I was getting my hands and feet henna-d and also to collect the cake! I am a vegan. Getting a vegan cake in Shropshire is no mean feat! £300 and a LOT of calls later, I located Sugar Bliss Cake Company in Birmingham who I fully recommend! Not a scrap of cake was left. We had a lemon, red velvet and a chocolate layer - all vegan and it was the yummiest cake I have ever eaten!
sorry, another upside down pic! I bought icing pens and our guests wrote messgaes onto our cake! WE also had a load of vegan cupcakes made by a friend. All the sweets were also vegan!
Wow what a totally unique wedding...looks fab...keep it coming.
Oh my life, your wedding looks absolutely beautiful. Love the idea of guests writing on the cake and the doors to the aisle are lovely. Can't wait to read the rest - congrats xx
More please!! Looks fantastic!
Absolutely stunning, I love the stone circle as a venue, amazing , totally unique (and I'm guessing, totally you two!). Congrats x
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments! Ok...to continue...
The day before: I spent the day before, as mentioned, getting my nails done (manicured not fake ones!) Then we had an evening as a family plus my MOH and a close family friend at the hotel we stayed at. As a vegan, eating out always poses problems so my 'last supper' consisted of a load of side dishes (eg salad and boiled veg!) with a large serving of prosseco wine...the hotel was in rural SHropshire and my sister, MOH and I hired out a cottage for the night.
My MOH and I managed to get lost on the morning of the wedding driving back to the hotel. We were only 10 minutes later than I had expected us to be so it was actually fine but we did freak out for a bit!
What I actually really wanted to do on the morning of the wedding was to go for a walk in the tranquil gardens and have ten minutes peace but alas - that didn't happen!
My dress is by the couture designer Kula Tsurdui. I had never heard of her before - I have heard she makes 2 or 3 of each dress only. I had actually fallen in love with this dress by the VWDC initially and called the White Closet in West Didsbury, Manchester. They didn't stock it but I made an appointment to go see the rest of the range just in case. I actually love all of the dresses in the Decades Collection and thought I would wear one...but that wasn't to be!
I loved the above dress but I knew I couldn't justify nearly £4,000 on a dress and I couldn't find this one second hand anywhere. My appointment at the WC was still 5 onths off (I booked the appintment a month into out 18month engagement) so I decided to go to their sample sale.
I literally walked in, saw my Kula and ut my name down to try it on. I think it was maybe a 'KAte Middleton' thing but the long, long queue of brides to be were all beelining for the lacey creations. I was the only person who wanted to try my dress and I'm glad because I knew the second it was on. I tried another lacey fishtail which was also lovely but not me. My mum and MOH started crying and I just knew! Then the next thing I knew, my mum had paid for it - I thought I was paying so that was amazing of her! I got nearly £3,000 off the original price, paying (or mum paying) £1,500 which was such a bargain or a raw silk 2 ever made dress!
This is the front of my dress - I don't have the professionals yet!
This one shows the back. I kept the ivory sash it came with, ditched the hideous bolero (which was incorporated into the corsages and my bouquet). I love the simplicity of this dress. You can't really see here but it had buttons on the back too.
Hair and makeup: This took a fair bit of effort. I couldn't find a freelance I liked in such a rural area without them travelling and costing a fortune so I contacted Toni and Guy in Oswestry. I am SO glad I decided to go to this hairdresser.
Sam, the senior stylist, totaly got my vision at the trial. I banned GHD curls and took a load of pictures I didn't like (!) My hair is a bit mad and I knew he would find it easier to work off what I didn't want (eg try anything else!) than what I liked (hair braids suitable for fine, straight hair - never happening!) He barrel curled it, brushed it out, pinned up the crown and put in two small fishtail pleats and secured my head-dress. Most of my hair was down and felt and looked like me. I felt like a boho Bridgit Bardot. Sam laughed when I told him because she had inspired the look in his mind!
My headdress was made by the florist. I got my makeup done by Sophie at Toni and Guy Oswestry and she was also amazing. We used MAC, bourjouis foundation (which was great. I was worried it wouldn't last but it had a fab finish!) and some Smashbox.
Henna: I had henna designs on my hands and on my feet. I had bare feet for the ceremony and Dune flip flop sandals for afterwards. My feet were adorned with anklet and a toe ring as well and my nails were painted a bright orange colour.
You can see the hand henna here. MY only other accessories were:
-my large amber ring bought for me by my mum
- engagement and wedding ring
- silver Indian bangles - every lady had one of these on her plate as a favour too.
- simple earings
- an antique necklace as seen above which was my great grandmothers.
I had a very strong vision of how I wanted to look on the day.
Bridesmaids: My sister wore s Ted Baker maxi dress with a firefly pattern and my MOH wore a dress by Coast in mint green. We didn't have a colour scheme but it ended up being roughly mint and pink! They wore silver sandals, and a drop elephant necklace in homeage to our move to Nepal!
Decorations at the ceremony: we kept it simple as the doors were a feature. We didn't have any songs because we weren't sure of how it would work outside; therefore the ceremony wasn't too long and we decided to have the guests stand.
Here you can see some of the stones which made up the ceremony venue - apologies for the sideways image!
Dried flower heart we married in,
Wicker heart with flowers I asked our florist ro create.
Hiding the barbed wire!
Here you can see the 'aisle', the doors and the prayer flags.
As stated previously, our minister friend married us. For readings we had:
Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare, read by my dad. I had my class design the reading to be read from as a homework which made the moment extra special. I think they were the best homeworks I have ever seen!
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.