Happy Monday morning to all you glowing Goddesses – the most amazing thing about all of this beautiful sunshine is the sun-kissed glow and freckles I’m sporting right now! Can’t we just have this weather spread out over the entire year so that I can keep the look? Pretty please? I hope you guys had some time to bask in the sun this weekend. Perhaps you were sipping bubbles at an outdoor wedding reception or maybe you were rolling through the summer streets of Brighton on your hen-do? Wherever you were and whatever you were doing, I hope this Monday morning isn’t too much of a struggle for you….
Today’s real wedding belongs to Cat and Andy, a fun, laidback couple from Herefordshire who took their festival wedding inspiration to heavenly lengths with giant tipis, high pole flags, string-hung lighting and flower crowns galore. The stunning bride Cat even wore flower wreaths around her ankles which she pulled off effortlessly. I can’t imagine this look working for all brides, but when you have a set of pins and slinky slimline ankles like this gal, anything is possible. She absolutely glows in her two-piece silk gown from Belle and Bunty and chose an all-natural look to match her simple and understated swirling gown. Isobel Murphy & Jenny Webb Photography captured the big day, set out in the couple’s local church with a delightful champagne reception at Broxwood Court followed by the mother of all festival-style receptions in her parent’s back garden! Yes, they fit all those tipis and tents in the garden – it can be done!
The personal touches in this wedding are super cute – garden gate seating plan, pictures of the couple on the wine bottles and a ton of DIY efforts, giving this wedding a massive DIY Festival Wedding status.
Let’s hand over to bride Cat to tell us all about her big day….
We wanted the whole day to be relaxed and full of fun. We decided there should be as few rules as possible and we really wanted to make the day as much about our guests as about us. Most of the wedding was DIY and we didn’t really want colour schemes or themes. Decorations were made with the help of family and friends and most of the decisions were made with lots of help from both of our sets of parents.
Down on One Knee
We had planned to go out for dinner one Friday night. I got home from work feeling a bit stressed and he had run me a bath. When I got out I came downstairs and he was playing our favourite song and there was champagne and a chocolate orange (my favourite) on the table. We had a bit of a dance and I said ‘thank you’ for being so nice. I sat down to pour some champagne and he said that I couldn’t drink it before I’d answered a question. When I looked up he was on one knee!
Beautiful Silk Two Piece Gown and High Street Block Heels
My dress was from Belle and Bunty. I’d been looking at different dresses online for months before I went dress shopping. I knew I wanted something simple and silk but was struggling to find the one. When I stumbled across the Belle and Bunty website I knew I would be buying one of their dresses! When I went to try them on and I could have honestly, happily worn about 4 or 5 of their designs as they were all so beautiful. I was really keen on getting a two piece so that I could easily wear the top again. I was so comfortable on the day which was really important to me and I knew that I needed a dress that I could jump around the dance floor in!
My shoes were fairly inexpensive from Pretty Little Thing. They were patent, nude, block heels. I was wearing floral ankle cuffs so I wanted shoes that would be fairly plain and that I could walk in easily! The florists I used made the most beautiful garland for my head with a floral comb to slip over my veil comb. For jewellery I wore some simple cream earrings from H&M and a floral arm cuff from Boohoo.
Married in Home Village Church with Reception in the Parent’s Back Garden!
Our ceremony was at Humber Church in Herefordshire near my childhood village and our champagne reception was at Broxwood Court– a stately home down the road from my parent’s house. Our main reception was in my parent’s back garden in Broxwood, Herefordshire. The church was chosen because of my local connection and the fact that my dad, uncle and grandparents are buried there.
Broxwood Court is owned by a couple who are friend’s of my parents. It’s not typically used as a venue for the public but the owners very kindly offered it to us for free! We couldn’t have been more grateful for the gesture and it was the perfect place to have our champagne reception and photos.
Handmade Order-Of-Service and Ceremony Signage
The orders of service were designed by me and printed and bound by my Mother-in-Law. I walked down the aisle to Joni Mitchell – ‘A taste of You’, which is mine and Andy’s favourite song. We had a couple of hymns and my Father-in-Law did a lovely reading called ‘On Your Wedding Day’ by an unknown author. We walked out of the church to Ray Charles – ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’. We had flowers decorating the church and some bunting made by my Aunty decorating the entrance. I created all the signs for the wedding and we had one hanging above the church door that said “this is the place.”
Groom, Bridesmaids and Outstanding Photographers
Andy bought his suit from Ted Baker. We ordered his suit online and when it arrived it was perfect. My bridesmaid’s dresses were from ASOS. I knew I wanted them in white/cream and when I saw them online I fell in love. They ended up being quite thin so one of my Aunty’s very kindly lined them to make sure no one felt too exposed!
Our photography was done by the very talented Jennifer and Isobel. They were brilliant, really putting us at ease and they were great fun on the day. We couldn’t be happier with the pictures and they managed to be everywhere without us even realising, capturing moments we had no idea would be caught!
Tipis, Tents, Mirrors, Rugs and Lanterns
We hired 4 tipi tents from The Tipi Hire Company. They were fantastic and had lots of nice finishing touches like mirrors, lanterns and rugs. Our giant tipi was from Tents 4 Elements . They were a company just down the road from our venue and were amazing. We knew we wanted a marquee but were looking for something a bit different and they definitely delivered.
Gold Sprayed Hula Hoops, Garden-grown flowers and bespoke personalised wine bottles
Our champagne reception included lots of bunting! The fabric bunting was made by me with some help from my friend Emily. A brilliant team of our friends dressed the space the day before the wedding and we couldn’t have done it without them! Our marquee had fairy lights, bunting and garland wreaths around the tent poles. I made a “just married” sign using hula hoops, metallic spray and fake flowers and a laser cut “just married” sign. The table centre pieces were pieces of wood that my stepdad cut from their garden. All of the tables in the marquee had white helium balloons tied with ribbon to jam jars that we sprayed with gold paint. The flowers for the marquee were all grown and arranged by my mum and picked from her garden. Each table had a gold sequin table runner that I got from eBay. As a surprise my parents re-labelled all of our wine for the tables with labels that had pictures of Andy and I on!
DIY Table Decor, Signage and Polaroid Table Numbers
The order of service was designed by me and printed and bound by my mother-in-law. Our table plan was made using an old fence that was in our garden. I created framed lists of the guests names and my stepdad hammered in nails for them all to hang off. Our place cards were brown parcel tags that I wrote the names of guests on, these were tied to the cutlery. The table numbers were polaroids of a brick in Brighton that says “candy” on it (a joke name that our friends call us – Cat/Andy – Candy!) The bottom of the polaroid had the table number written and they were pegged to the jam jars in the centre of the table. My sister made our party favours. She’s brilliantly creative and made paper fortune tellers for everyone.
Homemade Wedding Cake and Wild Flowers
I made our wedding cake myself with help from my mum. The bottom layer was a chocolate cake with cream and cherry jam covered with a chocolate ganache and the top layer was a Victoria Sponge with cream and strawberry jam, covered with a vanilla buttercream.
Our flowers were supplied by The Great British Florist. They were recommended by a couple of friends and as soon as I went for a consultation I knew we were in the right place. I wanted wild flowers that had varied colours with a base of cream and green as we didn’t have a colour scheme. I love flowers so I had a lot of ideas about how to incorporate these in to the day.
We made a day and an evening playlist on Spotify and spent the months before the wedding putting these together. It was so much fun! Our band was The Banana Splits. They’re a Brighton band (where we now live) and had played at our best friends wedding and were brilliant.
Veggie Chilli, Mango Curry and Brazilian Delights
We used Ashridge Delicious as our catering company. We have friends with lots of different dietary requirements and I knew I wanted big pan catering to fit in with the relaxed theme of the day. Ashridge were great, they cooked four dishes: A Vegetarian Chilli, A mango chicken curry, A Brazilian seafood dish and a Confit De Canard Cassoullet. Everyone said how amazing the food was, especially as they could go back for as many servings as they liked!
Our first dance ended up being to Blur – ‘Girls and Boys’. It was great fun jumping around the dance floor with all of our friends and family singing along.
The speeches. Every single one was brilliant and funny. I really wanted the women in my family to speak. They are such a huge part of who I am and often on wedding days it’s only the men who get to talk! My mum did a brilliant and hilarious speech about me and the seven deadly sins. My stepdad then said a few words which was really lovely. My sister sang a speech about us to the tune of the Pina Colada Song (one of our favourites!) and brought out jugs of pina colada for everyone to toast with.
All of the speeches were fantastic and something we’ll never forget.
Just do what you want to do and try not to be swayed by what your told is traditional/right. Also, weddings are expensive so spend money on the things you know you won’t regret paying for!
The Line Up
Photography: Isobel Murphy & Jenny Webb Photography
Reception Venue: Broxwood Court
Wedding Dress: Belle and Bunty
Shoes: Pretty Little Thing
Hair: Amy Bemand Hair
Accessories: H&M | Boohoo
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker
Catering: Ashridge Delicious
Flowers: The Great British Florist
Marquee: Tents 4 Elements
Tipi tents: The Tipi Hire Company
Band: The Top Bananas