Rustic Barn Celebration…
Today we have a gorgeous, woodland themed wedding to share with you, brought to us by one of our awesome photographers, Assassynation.
Simple, rustic and full of personalised, homemade details, Maddy & Alex really made it their own. Oh and that bespoke Liliia dress – stunning!
Name of the couple: Maddy & Alex
Venue: Monks Barn, Hurley
Maddy & Alex…
Tell us how you met…
We actually met online! Neither of us had ever been on a dating sight before yet we both felt ‘compelled’ to join up to this particular site on a chilly day in October 2015. Alex was the first message I received in my mailbox. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the simplicity of the message “Hi, how are you?” but clearly there was something there to draw me in further! We began chatting and instantly struck up a connection. Two weeks later we went on our first date for coffee in my local town. Two coffees, a walk by the river and dinner later we were on our way to being an official couple.
What were your main hopes for the day…
When we first started discussing the type of wedding we wanted we realised we were on opposite ends of the spectrum – Alex would have been more than happy with a simple registry office with minimal guests whereas I wanted something where we could celebrate with all of our friends and family… and where I could feel a bit like a princess for the day! In the end we agreed on a rustic woodland theme and kept to a relatively small budget considering the size of our guest list which we kept to a minimum but still came out at 105 people (big families!). We decided to throw out all of the typical conventions and plan a wedding that was ‘us’. Alex wanted not much to do with it (events aren’t his forte) so he gave me a list of his requirements (which were pretty much ‘Hog Roast’ and ‘No hats or fascinators’) and I set to work with making the rest of it fall in to place.
What was your favourite part of the day…
I really loved the speeches, Alex, Marcus (best man) and my Dad had all written really excellent speeches, they were funny, sweet and had everyone involved. I particularly loved my dads, as when he was putting each page of his speech down after reading it he kept on setting the sheets alight on the candles! This was particularly hilarious as he was the designated fire marshal for our wedding!!
I just loved the day as a whole, being surrounded by our closest friends and family was really magical. Knowing that everyone is there for you and to wish you well in your marriage is so special.
How was your day unique…
I don’t feel our wedding was particularly unique or cutting edge but it was completely right for us and our family and friends. It was a relaxed chilled out day with LOADS of personal details which made it all the more special. Having our three year-old daughter involved in the ceremony was really special. She helped tie the knots around our hands during the hand fasting part of the ceremony.
What was your budget…
£10,000 (actual spend was more like £11,000)
What was your biggest expense…
Photography! I’m a photographer myself and I really value the cost of decent photography.
We also splashed out on having a videographer, Frank, who created a sweet three minute video along to one of our favourite songs. It’s a lovely keepsake.
Another big expenditure that was well worth it was hiring Rosemary to be our officiant. She composed the whole wedding and made it so personal to us. She coped really well with my lack of organization and made the whole ceremony amazing. She really made me feel at ease and was so personal compared to a standard council registrar.
How did you save money…
Oh my goodness I tried to save on everything! I wasn’t prepared to compromise on the overall look of the wedding so I had to find lots of clever ways to brings costs down. We didn’t bother with wedding cars and just used our own which saved a small fortune, we didn’t use table linen and instead used paper table cloths with 2m lengths of hessian as runners, we used builders scrim as chair bows costing about £20, my dress was custom made by the talented Liliia and absolutely stunning yet was far cheaper than any I had seen in the bridal shops, our bridesmaids dresses were from Singapore and were 50% of the cost of ones over here, the guys wore separate shirts, waistcoats and trousers which were pretty cheap but looked really effective (primark trousers for £8? Yes please!), producing our own candy bar instead of serving desserts saved a lot of money also. We also opted to return home instead of spending money on a hotel as it made much more sense to us to begin married life in our own home.
What was it like working with your photographer…
I booked Sassy way before I had the venue or even the date of the wedding! Alex and I both agreed that we couldn’t see the point in spending so much money on other items if they weren’t going to be captured properly. I’m so happy with our decision as we have some truly stunning photographs to remember our day by. The day itself went by so quickly and the photographs have helped us to remember each little detail.
Any advice to couples about to get married…
Definitely spend a good portion of your budget on photography, you’ll only regret it if you don’t. Photographers don’t come cheap (and it’s for good reason! The hours involved, the kit, the talent, the post-production etc) if you can’t afford an amazing photographer for the whole day then pay for a few hours of really amazing photography rather than a whole day of mediocre photography. Also make sure you get on with your photographer as they will be with you the whole day! Sassy became a friend and a valued confidant!
Consider going unplugged! We banned any social media postings from our wedding and as a result the majority of our guests kept their phones away for the day and were all fully present. We also have some beautiful photographs from our photographer without camera screens blocking the way and got to share our first professional photos on social media before any half-closed eye, blurry shots were posted by guests.
Organise the day so that you can let go and truly enjoy every moment! Designate specific people who you can trust for jobs and to keep an eye on things so that you and your partner can enjoy each other and the day properly.
Lastly, if you can, find a husband or wife who LOVES wedding planning…it might be easier haha!
Some wise words there…Congratulations guys, and a big thanks to Assassynation for sharing with us!
Videographer: Frank Miller
Officiant: Rosemary Ceremonies
Bride’s Dress: Liliia
Bride’s Shoes: Melissa by Vivienne Westwood
Bride’s Headpiece: Flowers chosen from the markets in London, created by Stemtation Flowers
Bride’s Jewellery: Necklace – Tiffany
Make Up: Fabio Sarra
Groom’s Attire: An eclectic mix of Topman, Primark and Asos with some workboots thrown in for good measure!
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Daintyard
Cake: Made by Alex’s Auntie, Dawn.
Flowers: New Covent Garden Flower Markets, arranged by Maddy’s Mum.
Stationary: Designed by Maddy
Lighting: Oak Wood Events
Hog Roast: Gabriel Machin