Good morning everyone and welcome to another festival-filled week of inspiration here on the blog. I hope you had a gorgeous weekend, and if it was anything like mine, then it was full of romance, love and lots of dancing! I attended my one and only wedding of the year, (nearly all of my friends are wed already, so invitations are few and far between these days!), and it was glorious! Traditional church wedding followed by a cute DIY village hall reception with homemade favours, hessian bunting, a thousand fairy lights, the hippest band in town (think Stevie Wonder, cool pop classic remixes and sax and lead guitar centre stage battles!), girls vs boys dance off to Grease Lightning and Polaroid pic station. It was so much fun! And by the couple’s own admission, all pulled off on a super duper budget of around £7k. Incredible, heartfelt weddings really don’t have to cost the earth
On to today’s real wedding, which was submitted to us by Stevie Jay Photography, featuring gorgeous couple Sally and Christian. This pair absolutely love the outdoors which is what inspired them to create their festival inspired tipi wedding. With international guests, (the groom is from Germany and that’s where they first met at an adventure summer camp!), the ceremony was totally personalised to them with bilingual elements and handfasting. These days it’s sometimes hard to find a dreamy outdoor venue with a legal wedding license which is why so many brides now opt for personal blessings and humanist style ceremonies. It’s such a beautiful way of celebrating your love in a way that is totally unique to you!
Christian and I met in the Bavarian Forrest in 2011 at a Summer Adventure Camp where we worked as Camp Counsellors. We are naturally outdoorsy people – we love hiking, camping, nature and all things outdoors. We’ve been to so many weddings now that they were starting to blend into one. We wanted ours to stand out and be something memorable not just us but for our guests too.
Sally and Christian opted for a relaxed rustic vibe with good food and good music, all under the roof of a spectacular giant tipi at WedBarn in Halifax. Looking at their wonderful image collection, you would think they wed in some exotic location, as the sun shone and the sky shimmered sea blue for the whole day. Sometimes the UK weather really is on our side!
Here’s pretty bride Sally to tell us all about her festival-inspired, outdoor wedding to Christian….
Canadian Engagement by the Marina
We got engaged in Toronto, Canada. We’d been together for 4 years when Christian got down on 1 knee in a beautiful marina whilst we were out walking with friends one evening; a very cute little place that only locals seemed to know about. It was beautiful and you could see the CN tower in the background!
Tipi Wedding with a German Vibe
We were married at WedBarn, Delves Farm in Halifax. A good friend of mine advised me that one of her work colleagues was setting up her barn and the surrounding land as a wedding venue. We’d been looking for something outdoors as we met at a Summer Camp in Germany, so the outdoor tipi wedding vibe really suited us. We wanted people to camp but as so many of them were travelling from Germany, we though it best that they all stay in local hotels.
It’s difficult to describe our wedding theme – there were English and German traditions. The day most definitely had a rustic feel to it but it was also full of whimsical elements and had generally followed a relaxed festival style. It was FUN!
Bilingual Ceremony, Handfasting and Hay Bale Seating
We had a celebrant called Lucy Taylor who was just fantastic and embraced our bilingual wedding. Lucy encouraged us to do the ancient tradition of Handfasting which was wonderful, and she also read our love story in addition to our homemade vows and ring exchange. Our guests sat on hay bales with bunting décor hung all around courtesy of WedBarn who did all of the styling for us. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘A Thousand Years’ by The Piano Guys. It was perfect!
Antipasti Platters. Yummy Cakes and Wood Fire Pizzas
In terms of food there was no real theme – just a whole bunch of food that we liked. Catering Angels did the daytime food which was an antipasti platter of meats, cheeses, breads and oils, followed by a steak pie with mushy peas, red cabbage and gravy. In the afternoon we had The Tea Caddy who provided, tea, coffee and wonderful cakes, scones, and flapjacks. The evening food was provided by All Fired Up Pizzas and our wedding guests are still raving about the pizzas made by these guys – they were absolutely amazing, and all made onsite in their mobile wood fire oven!
Anna Sorrano Dress, Cathedral Veil and multi-style Ebay Bridesmaid Dresses
I wore an Ivory Anna Sorrano dress called Larissa that was teamed with an off the shoulder jacket called Kensington. I purchased everything from Wed2b in Leeds. The corseted style of the dress provided a very flattering fit, and I loved the idea of having a day and evening look. Hannah and Leanne from 3 Rooms did a wonderful job of my make up and went above and beyond helping me into my dress.
Christian wore a blue check 3 piece suit by Marc Darcy called Hilton bought from Jenson Samuel
The bridesmaid dresses were all bought from eBay, all different pastel colours to suit each of the girls – mint, dusky pink, pale blue, coral and lilac. I bought each of them an infinity necklace to wear on the day, and they all wore their own shoes.
Photographer with a big love for the outdoors
Stevie Jay Photography was our photography. We booked her early when she first started out. She advertised her love for outdoor weddings, so we knew she was definitely the right choice! On the wedding day we had a lot of fun as she led us through random fields and had us doing fun and silly things to get the right shots. Christian is not a natural poser, so Stevie’s candid and relaxed style worked perfectly for us.
Original and Fun Cake, Wild Flowers and Whimsical Vibes
Jo from White Rose Cake Design made our cake. She indulged our whimsical tastes and made an amazing cake, it tasted incredible as well! The Willow Garden provided our flowers and we went for them because as soon as we walked into their shop, we saw an abundance of wild flowers. I didn’t want a neat little bunch…. I wanted really wild flowers!
Stationery, Acoustic Guitars and Classic German Tunes
During the day we hired an Acoustic Guitarist called Leon Pashley. From the beginning he completely understood what we were going for in terms of style of music we wanted him to play. We all loved him and he was very reasonably priced. Gavin Jarvis was our DJ for the evening. He was fantastic and even threw in some German classics for us!
A small local company called Hand Maid made all of our stationary for the day, everything from the order of service, to menus and place settings, which also had to be in 2 languages. Natalie was fab, incredibly accommodating, and her rustic style was just what we were looking.
We chose ‘All of Me’ by John Legend as our first dance song. Christian was in the Army during the early years of our relationship, and served in a mission abroad in Kosovo. During his 5 month absence this song came out and it reminded me of him so I sent it across to him. Since then it has always been our song.
I can’t choose a favourite moment! Every detail of our wedding was how we wanted it to be – it was personalised and we made sure everyone involved, particularly the WedBarn Team and our suppliers, knew exactly what we wanted. We both loved every minute of it!
Don’t go for a package deal, think outside the box, do something different, do what you want. We trusted our coordinators at WedBarn and our celebrant implicitly. They took their time with us, got to know us, and we had several meetings over the 2 years of our engagement which was fantastic. If you have the right people around you the day will run without a hitch. Its your day….enjoy it!
The Line Up
Photographer: Stevie Jay Photography
Videographer: Art in Photography
Celebrant: Lucy Taylor
Bride’s Dress: Anna Sorrano
Bridal Shop: Wed2b
Groomsmen’s Suits: Suit Direct
Make Up: 3 Rooms
Caterers: Catering Angels | The Tea Caddy | All Fired Up Pizzas
Florist: The Willow Garden
Entertainment: Leon Pashley | Gavin Jarvis
Prop Hire: Wish Upon a Sparkle
Stationery: Hand Maid
Bouncy Castle: Fun Bounce
Cake: Jo from White Rose Cake Design,