When Lindsey and Jacques decided to renew their vows they knew there would be no place better than to hold their blessing on the farm where they met and still live in Stoke Poges, Berkshire. They both love being outdoors and Lindsey couldn’t picture shoehorning Jacques into a smart hotel or stately home as he is a South African Boer at heart! The other advantage was that they had constant access and an on-site work force on hand with willing help from their friends and neighbours! We heart the handmade details in the ceremony and can’t get enough of the mint green suitcase seating plan! Over to Lindsey to tell you more… “We wanted to get everyone involved and invested in the day and for people to have fun. People really seemed to love to help and own parts of the day. The underlying theme was a fusion of our nationalities, I tried to keep it subtle as I didn’t want it to be too gimmicky and dated I created a sort of crest from the South African Springbok and the English rose, which I used through the homemade stationary. I also had roses and protea’s (the national flower of SA) in my bouquet. The setting was obviously the English countryside, but the food was a very South African affair with the amazing Nyama boys cooking up a delicious wedding menu of springbok and boerwors starters and spit roasted pig with traditional sides. We sourced straw bales from a local farmer to help set the scene and create a chill out area. Nearly everything was locally sourced or home made.”
“I wanted to create a focal point for our ceremony with something natural. Jacques and I bought a living willow kit, which we planted in March, we both had frost bite by the end and I have an enduring memory of Jacques drilling into mother Earth with a masonry bit to make the holes for the poles. He joked looking out the window everyday was like looking at the gallows. Funny he still turned up though. We covered the place with fairy lights, flowers and paper pompoms. Paper decorations are a great way to add high volume drama fairly cheaply. My Mum and I also collected jam jars for the table decorations.” “Jacques used to be a sign writer and helped create some amazing personalised rustic looking signs for us in his man lab. I also manned up and got the power tools out using the mitre saw to cut and create 60 little rustic log place setting from a pine branch that came down last winter. My Dad bless him made it his mission to protect us from the wasps and made a whole bunch of homemade wasp traps. My friend Tejal and I sat down one weekend before and we spent some hours making around 70 paper pompoms of various sizes/colours to decorate the area. I visualised a huge chandelier in the main tent and the girls had great fun creating and hoisting it up on a piece of fishing wire a few days before! Preparing the site was also hilarious, Quinten our best man ingeniously hooked up our small trailer to the landlords lawn mower and we took a lot of rides on that thing moving items around the site. The flowers were a bigger undertaking than I anticipated. In the end it was a massive group effort Belle and I sat for hours preparing the wholesale flowers and chatting a few days before. Four of us, including my Dad sat around a kitchen table making the table decorations and then my Mum and sister in law Tiina made the buttonholes, corsages and bouquets on the day. My Mum is an amazing woman flower arranging is a hobby of hers, not only did she put them all together in the days before, but she also taught several people to flower arrange as we went. At the last minute the displays for the arch proved too heavy and Tiina jumped into to freestyle and decorate it solo. Simply amazing.” “Ravinder was recommended to us through a friend. She genuinely wanted to help make sure our day was amazing and helped from the early planning phases with advice, then getting hands on, on the day and working hard to get the most of the surroundings and light in such an unusual location. The end result has been fantastic with a series of classic images capturing the people and energy. It was through Ravinder that I also managed to find the excellent Harriet Bartley (hair stylist) and Dani Duffy (makeup artist) who both did a great job with my bridal hair and makeup. We also had an engagement shoot with Ravinder, which I would recommend everyone do. It meant we were comfortable with the camera and used to her style and direction. On the day it was that much easier to get the softer more romantic look and the photo session was much more efficient giving us more time to enjoy with our guests, while still achieving all the great shots we were after.” “My lovely friend Belle made a naked cake, which was layers of Brooklyn Blackout with marshmallow icing. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a lavender sponge. Jacques made several garden games, again in the man lab, including a giant connect 4. The flower girls dresses and shoes were from Next, with a Claire’s Accessories headband decorated by my Mum with gypsophila and the cardigans were from Asda. The maid of honour, Gabby’s dress was from Warehouse with sandals from Dune. I was lucky enough to find a Stewart Parvin dress for £250 in a sample sale. I wanted something very simple, so that I was wearing the dress not the other way around and to ensure it was a style that fitted with the relaxed, outdoors country feel of the day. The boys had off the peg suits from Debenhams, we were trying to keep an eye on the budget and this was only slightly more expensive than hiring, it also meant the guys had suits to keep and wear again. I tried to match the ties and buttonholes in with the colour scheme. One of the suppliers that really stood out to me was James Henton from Live Music Ltd, he was great! He made every effort to help me find someone we loved within our budget. Through him we booked the fabulous Beauty and the Beats.”
Our advice to future couples getting married would be…
“When choosing your venue bear in mind there are a lot of extras which you will need to consider if you don’t hold your wedding at a traditional venue. Things like microphones for speeches, a cake table and knife etc. but if you are looking for a personal day that you can craft yourself this is a great way to go. Have a back-up plan for poor weather, it only really hit me fully the day before when it was pouring, how much of a huge impact it would have on the space if the weather didn’t shape up. Make sure you clearly delegate roles to your friends and family in advance so you know they are comfortable with what they need to do in the build up and on the day. If there is something you really want to do then go for it and don’t give up at the first hurdle. I had my heart set on my Dad walking me down the aisle. The first church I enquired with wouldn’t allow it as we were already married. I then contacted another local reverend and he very kindly agreed to perform the ceremony under the open sky and our willow arch. Don’t lose sight of what really matters and get pulled into spending more than you can afford. Regardless of what you are wearing, or where you are, you will be standing in front of people you care about, making a commitment to the most important person in your world, you don’t ‘have to’ have anything else it’s just window dressing. Ensure you have someone sensible as a sounding board if you think you might be getting carried away. If you find one good supplier they can often recommend other suppliers to you with the same sort of style you are looking for.”
Some great advice from a fantastic couple I say!
Credit where credit is due: Photographer: Ravinder Crone / Bride’s Gown: Stewart Parvin / Groom’s Outfit: Debenhams / Entertainment: Live Music Ltd / Flower Girl Dresses: Next / Flower Girl Cardigans: Asda / Maid Of Honor Dress: Warehouse / Maid Of Honor Shoes: Dune
Much Bespoke Love