It’s Friyay! Oh yes people – its almost the weekend and yet again, it is going to scorchio! I am so looking forward to this weekend. We don’t have much planned but that’s what I like about it – maybe we’ll go out, maybe we won’t. Whatever we do, I will most definitely be sipping on some prosecco in the sun at some point.
Whether you are planning to lose a day on a beach, at a park, in a beer garden or, even better, at a wedding – we hope you all have an amazing one.
We have a lovely DIY outdoor wedding to share with you all today, captured by Love Heart Photography and featuring Eloise and Ash, two people with a love for nature, music and cider. In fact, it was cider that brought them together in the first place when they met at Arundel Festival whilst drinking a pint or two. It is no surprise then that cider played a big part in their wedding with their very own home brew being served in personalised bottles!
Eloise and Ash both work in the wedding industry so had a very clear idea of what they wanted; a big wedding inspired by their relationship and all the things they love to do. Inpsired by nature, their rustic countryside wedding took place at House on the Brooks in Pulborough where they spent a week with some of their closest family and friends. Their actual wedding was a two day affair with their ceremony and party on a Friday and a day of summer fete style games and live music on the Saturday. They had camping, lots of entertainment, not 1 but 3 different marquees and lots of handmade DIY details making their wedding very unique and personal to them.
Look out for their amazing wedding cake by Kasserina and Eloise very sound advice about wedding planning.
Enjoy lovely people…
Iceland, New York, Hot Springs and One Knee…..
Ash booked a surprise trip to Iceland and New York, and he proposed with one of his late mother’s rings in the Blue Lagoon hot springs. When we arrived back in the UK we went to a local jeweller in Chichester and chose the engagement ring together.
A Local Church, 3 Different Pole Tents and Camping….
We were married in our local village church in Poling, near Arundel. We took a short walk back to our garden to have a toast to Ash’s mum. Our reception was held in marquees at House on the Brooks in Pulborough.
House on the Brooks is a lovely self-catered accommodation owned by a friend which we hired for the full week of the wedding. Ash often fishes there, so it’s a place close to our hearts.
Ash owns a marquee company so we pitched various marquees in the surrounding gardens. We had an 80x40ft pole tent for our dance tent. 30x75ft pole tent for our dining tent, a 6m pagoda as the cloakroom/toilet tent and a 20x40ft catering tent for the caterers.
We also had camping. Some of our guests hired bell tents, including ourselves. Other guests brought their own tents, and we had a caravan and campervan too!
Trailing Bouquets and Personalised Buttonholes….
I put a lot of trust into our florist as I don’t have a great of knowledge about flowers. Ellen from The Enchanted Florist and I sat down and went through pictures of what I liked and didn’t like on Pinterest. I liked a natural looking trailing bouquet with not too many flowers, but a lovely mix of greenery. Ash asked my mum and one of his mum’s friends to make the 16 buttonholes with different elements of his hobbies and the countryside including; a pheasant feather, a fern leaf from the garden, a fishing fly, a fabric flower and a piece of corn from the farm.
A Greenery Canopy, Multi-Coloured Paper Lanterns and Festival Flags….
For our marquee decor, we asked our florist for some extra foliage, and the guys cut down a few branches from our garden, we installed foliage and greenery on ropes in the dining marquee as a greenery canopy and we strapped tree branches to the poles with festoon lighting for the evening.
For a backdrop behind our top table we made a copper archway and hung locally grown British Alstroemeria on fishing line.
For our dance tent, we installed multi-coloured paper lanterns and fairy lights to give a real party atmosphere. I hung my fairy light curtain and pegged lots of memory photos from childhood, of friends and family and since Ash and I have been together.
We also had festival flags leading the walkway to the marquees from the car park and shepherd hooks and lanterns leading to the camping.
Laid Back Photography….
Our photographer was easy to choose as we have worked with him before. Will from Love Heart Photography. He’s so laid back and down to earth and anything is possible. He’s got a great sense of humour and really truly cares about his work! He brought in another photographer for the day, Andy to help him shoot. He even came back on the Saturday with his wife and son to take a few extras and brought his Back to the Future car too!
Garden Games, A Photobooth and Plenty of Live Music….
We setup garden games outside as entertainment for our guests including tug of war, coconut shy, hook a duck, noughts and crosses and more! My dad organised ‘Olde English Games’ on the Saturday including, welly wanging, apple bobbing and an egg toss!
We booked a photobooth for the Friday night, which proved incredibly popular, we found that it brought old friends and new friends together to create some great memories. The company we used were fantastic as they double print, so they stick one photo in the book and ask guests to sign, and then give the other copy away. We then were given a memory stick of all the individual shots and mulitples too.
We had a friend of ours from the wedding industry Marvin Ford sing between the canapés and meal, he’s also married to our florist and works for the marquee company (he’s just been on Michael McIntyre’s Saturday night show)!
A good friend of ours and his band played on the Friday night, he does awesome covers, he does lots of local pub gigs and festivals.
Saturday night we had a local folk band sing my favourite, Mumford and Sons, Ash’s favourite, The Levellers and his mums favourite, Seth Lakeman. I even had rehearsed a surprise song and sung on stage with them in memory to Ash’s mum as it was her favourite song; The White Hare, Seth Lakeman. I have to say it was a little crokey from all the chatting and I had a stinking cold over the wedding!
Both nights we had friends DJ with our playlists and they definitely know how to get the party started!
Homemade Cider and Picnic Platters….
We made homemade cider and elderflower champagne for a toast back at our house after the ceremony, Vice Puddings provided sweet and savoury mini scones. The Naked Food Company provided our fantastic canapés including a mini yard of ale and pie and mini Yorkshire and beef. We then had lovely sharing picnic platters including a Vietnamese halloumi sub, New York Deli sub, homemade scotch eggs and sausage rolls, beautiful salads and pickles all served on log slices which we cut from a tree in our back garden. We then had a trio of our favourite desserts; mini lemon meringue pie, apple crumble and vanilla and honeycomb cheesecake.
For the evening food, we had West Sussex Hog Roast provide 3 pigs, roasted veg and French bread. We certainly had a lot of guests as Ash and I didn’t even get any hog roast, we were left with the crackling! They came back on Saturday morning to provide bacon sandwiches for the campers and returning guests. On Saturday during the day, we had 2 food companies provide street food from the marquee, which guests paid for. This included my favourite; fish and chips, Ash’s favourite; posh kebabs, and lots of other options. We also arranged our friends Pink’s Vintage Ice Cream to come along in the ice cream truck and serve ice creams to all our guests.
A Gorgeous Rustic Woodland Inspired Cake….
Originally, I didn’t want a cake, but my mum insisted that she’d pay and organise it, so I thought I’d get involved in case it was something weird and novelty! She found a perfect picture on the internet of a rustic but different cake. A gorgeous, authentic looking tree stump with little critters. Kas from Kasserina Cakes replicated the cake absolutely perfectly! Even to the mushrooms growing out the side and the little love birds on top, I still don’t know how she airbrushed the moss to look so real. She is a true artist! And obviously it tasted amazing too, we went for a traditional Victoria sponge, and it was incredible.
I handmade all our favours personalised to us. They included a beaded bracelet which I had made for the friends and family at Ash’s mums funeral. The bracelets had a fish bead on, as Ash’s loves fishing and my maiden name is Sole. We also made bird seed hearts as we have lots of birds in our garden which we feed. And we made wild seed pouches for our guests to sow wild seeds ‘for the butterflies and bees’ in their garden.
We both really loved our service, as it was so intimate, we were really tucked amongst our nearest and dearest and it was something we’ll never experience again. It was incredibly nerve wrecking, but when I hear the intro to my aisle song it gives me goosebumps! I blubbered the whole way up the aisle, Ash says he remembers watching my bouquet shake because I was so emotional. There’s no other feeling than seeing your friends and family turn around and stare at you walking up the aisle!
Partly advice as a bride and groom and also being in the wedding industry, I always advise that you get as much help as possible to set up. Even though we had 5 days to set up, and have great experience with the businesses, we needed all the hands we could to get the marquees up (14 hours with 14 guys!) and decorating, laying tables, setting up the games and deck chairs etc. We often have brides and grooms with fantastic ideas to decorate the marquees, we do advise because they are incredibly high and unsafe on a ladder, we would suggest hiring professionals to install decorations in the roof as we have experience with how to fix and how long it’ll take to install. It’s your wedding day and it’s not going to happen again, make it personal to you and don’t look back and regret not spending a bit extra on having something done professionally if you can budget it.
The Line Up
Photography: Love Heart Photography
Venue: House On The Brooks
Brides Dress: Catherine Francis
Groom: Grey’s Suit Hire
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Pole Tents: Tents N Events
Decor Hire: The Beautiful Day
Flowers: The Enchanted Florist
Friday Wedding Co-ordinator: Nicola Austin
Canpes and Picnic Platters: The Naked Food Company
Hog Roast: West Sussex Hog Roast
Bar: The Red Lion – Arundel
Photobooth: Instant Fun Photobooth
Toilets: Perfect Portables & Tru Blue
Generator: Toddy Power
Bell Tents: Beautiful Bells
Wedding Cars: West Sussex Classic Cars
Friday Band: Skedaddles
Friday DJ: DJ Eddie
Saturday Band: Iolar
Saturday DJ: Tony Jay Roadshows
Video Camera Hire: Shoot It Your Way