Freya and Chris’s vibrant and laid back summer wedding is getting us in the mood for warmer weather and festival season! From the venue styling and stationery, to the men’s ties and the actual bar, this creative couple were not shy when it came to designing and creating a wedding with their own hands, to ensure their day was unique and personalised. This stunning DIY festival wedding has been beautifully shot by Neil Walker Photography and is sure to inspire brides- and grooms-to-be who want a rustic, down to earth and magical day. This gorgeous couple is beaming from ear to ear in every shot – the sign of a truely perfect wedding!
Chris surprised me by proposing underwater when we were scuba diving in Honduras. He even brought the ring down with him!
We got exactly what we aimed for! A gorgeous, vibrant, festival theme with lots of fun, laughter and dancing which we created ourselves – it was totally DIY!
My dress was made by a local dress designer Elizabeth van Stone, and my shoes were House of Fraser sandals.
Chris and I made each other’s wedding rings at a silversmithing studio, melting down old family jewellery. There was enough gold left over for Chris to make me some earrings which I wore on the day. My only other accessory was my great granny’s shawl, which I wore later on when it got cooler.
The Hair and Make Up
My bridesmaid Tabby did my make up – she did a great job! My hair was done by Serena, a local freelance hairdresser. I wore flowers in my hair and my veil was made by a family friend.
We got married in the village church where I grew up in West Sussex, followed by an amazing reception at my parent’s house – they have a magical garden for a wedding!
Our photographer was Neil Walker. He was brilliant in every respect for our wedding, especially his conscientious attention to detail – we love our photos so much! The fantastic photographs really catch the happy atmosphere and are like moments frozen in time for us to reflect on forever.
The Venue Decor and Flowers
The reception venue was my parents’ garden which we decorated in bright, primary colours. We set up marquees in the garden which we bought ourselves and built the bar, the dancefloor, the signs, the seats – we even built the eco toilets! Everyone, including us, camped on-site. We decorated the whole garden, the marquees, the outside seating areas, both for the daytime and so it had a great festival feel once it got dark too. This included homemade origami birds and jam jars wrapped in netting hanging from trees and bushes.
My dad grew many of the flowers in his garden and Chris’s mum travelled up with flowers from her garden in Somerset. Others came from friends in the village, but we did all the decorating and arrangements ourselves.
My bridesmaids were Tabby, Ruth and Jessie. They wore dresses from Coast and wore their own shoes and accessories.
Chris’s best man was Tom, and the ushers were Nick, Henry and Dave, as well as my brothers Hamish and Tots. I handmade all their ties.
Rather than having a sit down meal we served fantastic festival style food, provided by Spade & Spoon. Mari Hudson, a professional caterer who’s a family friend made the canapés. Our lovely cake was made by another family friend.
The Best Parts
The creative thinking when we were doing the planning. We found inspiration from Pinterest, family, friends, festivals which really helped with the planning. We made everything and designed the day and the venue to completely suit our theme which was perfect for us. We camped and made our own mini festival, which included a game of tug of war during the canapés, and we also asked people to bring fancy dress which we swapped and shared later (great photos)!
Advice From Brides-to-be
Relax and enjoy it! Don’t stress about the little things. In terms of doing things yourselves, do it if you enjoy it but always allow more time than you think you need. Pinterest was a great source of inspiration.
Ceremony Venue: St Giles Church, Graffham | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Van Stone | Wedding Shoes: House of Fraser | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coast | Grooms Suit: Suit handmade in Thailand | Catering: Spade & Spoon | Photographer: Neil Walker Photography | Band: Mowgli |
Lucy Leaper is our inspiration and bridalwear specialist! She has a degree in fashion design and 12 years experience in the fashion industry, including 3 and a half years as the manager of a bridal boutique. Lucy loves to hear every little detail about a bride's wedding plans and it is no surprise that the first thing she wants to know is what they're wearing!