Good morning beautifuls! I hope you all had a lovely weekend full of family and fun. If you’re on my wavelength, you will be missing the sunshine…let’s hope it returns to us this week before summer is well and truly out! Maybe you used the rain as the perfect excuse to knuckle down and crack on with wedding planning? Or perhaps you had to brave the rainy streets for a hen-do? However you spent it, I hope the rain didn’t ‘rain on your parade’!
If you’re planning a low budget wedding then you will absolutely LOVE today’s real wedding. Featuring handsome Sam and beautiful bride Vicki, this wedding was created with imagination, a dose of simplicity and a whole lot of love by friends and family. DIY décor and homemade elements by their nearest and dearest meant that the couple were able to afford the wedding of their dreams and experience a truly personal wedding celebration in the Kentish countryside.
We just wanted a chilled out day that everyone could enjoy and wouldn’t cost the earth. We had a pretty tight budget for our wedding, with most of the money being spent on the registry office, photography and my dress! I was absolutely blown away by how much time people were willing to give to help us out. It helped us keep the costs low and made the day so much more personal.
Captured by Hannah from Verman Photography, this wedding took place in Vicki’s Grandmother’s country pub The Blacksmiths Arms. Full of rustic charm and quirks, the venue allowed space for an intimate ‘exchange of the rings’ ceremony and an ‘al fresco’ style dining reception. It really was the perfect setting and space for this small but seriously stunning wedding. And we just adore Vicki’s Milamira Bridal gown. I actually remember checking out this designer (and this exact dress!) when I was searching for my own wedding dress. The fear of buying online completely took over me so I didn’t go for it, but bride Vicki has proved that online gown shopping really is the way forward for boho-glam, budget savvy brides. I wish I’d done the same!
Let’s hand over to pretty Vicki to tell us all about her old countryside pub garden wedding to Sam….
Christmas Card Proposal
Sam proposed on Christmas morning in 2015 while we were staying with his family. After giving a few decoy presents, he went upstairs to get my “real” one and came down with a card. It just said “Marry Me?” inside and I looked up to see him down on one knee.
Allotment Grown Cornflowers, Daisies and Sunflowers
My mum grew all the flowers in her allotment. I loved the idea of having a mix of different types. My bouquet included cornflowers, daisies and sunflowers with foliage we collected from hedgerows and trees.
Loose Boho Curls and Natural Make Up
I had beautiful loose curls with tiny braids going round the back and we kept my make up look fairly neutral with rosy brown shades and a little smudge of eyeliner. I don’t usually wear too much make up so I didn’t want to cake it on. A friend of ours, Poppy, offered to do it for me.
Old Country Barn Wedding at Grandmother’s Pub
We were married at The Blacksmiths Arms, Wormshill, Kent. We were looking at barns near us in Hampshire, but the prices were just terrifying. My parents suggested The Blacksmiths Arms, which is actually my Grandmother’s country pub. They have a little garden and a very old barn at the back. It also came with Willow, the resident Great Dane who provided plenty of entertainment throughout the day.
Registry Office Wedding Followed by Barn Celebrations
We actually got married at the Maidstone registry office the day before, as the barn wasn’t licenced. Our family attended and we had pre-written vows – it was amazing! The next day we had an ‘exchanging of the rings’ ceremony. We kept it short and simple with no readings (we just felt like it wasn’t ‘us’), but we wrote our own vows this time. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of Ben Howard’s ‘Old Pine’, and the few friends and family members we had invited sat on haybales.
DIY by Family and Friends
Some of our family friends helped out on the day and they set up the tables for our buffet lunch. I’d given them some loose guidelines on how I wanted it set up, but when we came out of the barn, we were absolutely blown away by what they’d done. I am so grateful to them for doing such an amazing job. There were jars of flowers and pots of herbs down the centre of each table. We had mismatched wooden chairs that we cleaned up after finding them in the barn – these really added a bit of rustic charm.
Homemade Red Velvet Cake with Cute Hand Painted Toppers
Our friend Sophie made an incredible red velvet cake. Honestly, it’s the best cake I’ve ever had! It was decorated as a simple naked cake with fresh flowers and some cake toppers that I painted.
Al Fresco Dining
The original plan was to borrow a marquee from a friend to set up in the garden for eating. About 3 weeks before the wedding we discovered that it was actually a gazebo, which was only big enough for one table! So much stress! We ended up setting the tables up outside anyway and eating al fresco.
Simple Pasta and Home Baked Mini Desserts
My Grandmother’s partner Colin took care of most of the food on the day. We had a buffet of pasta (chorizo and tomato, and creamy pesto) with roasted veggies, new potatoes, salads and quiches. It was simple food but really tasty (although I could only manage 2 bites, I had no appetite on the day!)
One of our friends, Marion, baked loads of amazing deserts for us – mini cinnamon rolls, rocky road, strawberry tarts… when my friends talk about the wedding, they mostly just say how awesome the deserts were.
Russian Gown Designer, Flower Adorned Veil and High Street Heels
I wore the Icidora dress from Milamira Bridal. I actually saw the dress on Etsy years before we got engaged when I was looking for wedding dresses for my sister – I couldn’t get it out of my head. I tried some dresses on in a couple of shops but kept coming back to this one. Ordering a dress online was terrifying! But I loved it when it arrived, especially after it had been altered. Things weren’t quite perfect – the straps kept slipping down, and I could have done with some padding around the bust, but I think that’s just me being fussy! I wore chunky heeled sandals from River Island and a veil from Milamira accessorised with fresh flowers.
My bridesmaids chose their own dresses and I didn’t mind them having mismatched ones, but in the end they ended up picking the same one from Monsoon. Sam’s suit was from John Lewis (on sale!) and his shoes were from Next.
Friendly and Relaxed Photography
Hannah Verman from Verman Photography was our photographer and she was absolutely brilliant. She was so friendly and really set us at ease. It was lovely to have her and her assistant with us on the day, and the photographs really captured the atmosphere perfectly. Me and Sam can be a bit awkward in front of the camera, especially with the more posed photos, but in the end we just had fun and the pictures came out great.
Pastel Bunting and Fairy Lights
We moved back into the barn for the evening. It was decorated with pastel bunting that my mum had hand-crocheted, and fairy lights. Some of the antique bits and pieces were hanging on the walls, like an old suit of armour – it was a weird mix, but it made the space so interesting and unique.
I’m not sure if I can pick just one! Exchanging our vows and our rings was so romantic, but I also loved the 20 minutes we took to go for a walk just Sam and I. It was nice to take a little break and be together.
I guess my main piece of advice would is to focus on what really matters. I felt so stressed out in the lead up to our wedding and I worried about everything. Would people be too cold? Do we have enough drinks? Does my dress look okay? What if no one turns up?? But everyone was there to celebrate with us so of course they all had a great time. There’s always a million things to fuss over, but at the end of the day, its all about getting married to the love of your life!
The Line Up
Photographer: Hannah from Verman Photography
Venue: The Blacksmiths Arms
Dress: Milamira Bridal
Bracelets: Joli Joli Jewelry
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon
Bridesmaid’s Earrings: Statement Grey
Groom’s Suit: John Lewis
Groom’s Shoes: Next