A Glastonbury Festival Themed Wedding At The Eden Project – Charli & Matt
Glastonbury themed tables, starry night sky, Dorothy shoes and an album/sugar skull/puddle wellies cake can only equal one thing. An incredibly awesome wedding! Oh and did we mention the groom and his groomsmen zip lined in? True story. Ladies and gents, brace yourselves because this is one hell of a beautiful wedding…
My husband and I work together, putting on huge events for a living. So we made sure the most important shindig we’ll ever plan – our wedding – was as extraordinary and fun to attend, as it was to plan.
One of the most vital factors of a wedding – or any event – is the venue. We always avoid traditional, run-of-the-mill locations, because the setting has such an enormous impact on a guest’s experience and sets it aside from other events/weddings.
We chose the stunning Eden Project in Cornwall, because it’s the most incredible venue we could find and I’m originally from down that way. It’s the largest indoor rainforest in the world and gives the look and feel of being outside, but is protected from Blighty’s weather with vast glass biomes, so I didn’t have to worry about getting a soggy bouquet.
Brilliantly, we didn’t have to pay extra to dress the venue, because the Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes are dazzling settings which also provide free entertainment, since guests can explore the various surprises among the flowers, from Tiki Huts to waterfalls!
Few people know that you can marry there, so it’s definitely memorable. It also perfectly fitted into our Glastonbury Festival theme and featured numerous, amazing touches, like the zip-wire that the grooms party arrived on and the impossibly cute eco-train that all of our guests arrived on. And they gave all of our guests free passes for them to return to The Eden Project for free another day, to dissuade them from ruining the surprise by visiting the venue before the wedding.
We called it “GLASS-TONBURY FESTIVAL” because we got together at Glastonbury – so it had a strong, festival theme – and my husband’s surname is “Glass.”
Capturing the moments…
We chose the award-winning Alan Law as our photographer, because we were blown away by the stunning, reportage style wedding photography he specialises in. We weren’t interested in sterile, set-up and posed shots. We love the beautiful way he captures real emotions and moments as they happen, to truly tell the story.
We barely notived he was there on the day, and after we received his incredible shots, it was clear why he has been won Best Reportage Wedding Photographer at the Westcountry Wedding Awards.
Our wedding was full of personal touches. In keeping with the “Glass-tonbury Festival” theme, we had amazing, festival-themed stationery by www.wedfest.co.uk . Instead of boring Order of Service leaflets, they made our guests some brilliant, “Glass-tonbury Festival” lanyards, with features like “Stage Times” for the timings of the event and “The Line Up” to list the bridesmaids, ushers, parents etc.
We clipped bubbles onto these lanyards for guests to blow, instead of confetti and all of the tables were named after places at Glastonbury, so the impossibly talented Jess Eaton (from www.eatonnott.co.uk) made us 12 amazing table decorations, each ingeniously recreating those areas of Glastonbury. So the top table was The Pyramid Stage, complete with the stage on grass which lit up. Or the rabbit hole, which had playing cards in an arc over a magical hole, decorated with red mushrooms.
We also designed brilliant, huge Glastonbury-themed maps for the table plan, with little touches, like a picture of some of our friends at Glasto and a picture of my grandad, who is no longer here, on the Pyramid Stage top table.
After the dinner, The Rainforest Biome was dramatically lit and opened and Baobab Fruit was picked from their tropical trees and freshly squeezed to make assorted cocktails for guests to enjoy as they explored the rainforest!
Our eccentric, actor friend Eden wrote and read an amazing and brilliantly funny poem, during our service, about our marriage and the grooms party arrived via the UK’s longest and highest Skyline Zipwire, to The Eden Project!
We also picked individual quotes from our favourite writers, comedians, actors etc which suited each guest, and put them on their tattoo-inspired place names.
Highlights of the day…
It’s so difficult to pick, but my favourite parts were probably:
My husband’s brilliantly funny and moving speech, which included a beautiful tribute to my late grandad, by playing his song Hit the Road Jack.
The walk with my dad to the Citrus Grove to Suede’s Wild Ones for the ceremony. The golden path towards the ceremony begins on a raised hill above the guests, so we caught glimpses of them through the trees as we made our way down, and they caught flashes of my white dress.
Knocking back champagne while getting ready with my lovely bridesmaids and mum, and then my dad’s quivering-lipped reaction when he first saw me in my wedding dress, before taking me to the wedding in our gorgeous, VW Campervan which had a driver who had chilled bubbly and glasses awaiting us inside.
The moment I first saw the faces of my guests, as I made my way down the aisle. I was advised to take my time and make eye contact with each row, and I’m so glad I did because it’s a really lovely feeling to look into their eyes during that emotional walk and know that your favourite people are all there for you.
One of our ushers doing a rolly-polly during the speeches and seeing my brother push my drunken husband around the Rainforest Biome in a wheel chair, where they were promptly told off by security… so my husband leapt out of the wheelchair and shouted: “It’s a miracle. The Rainforest has healed me.”
What advice would you give any other couples about planning your big day, or any tips for the day itself?
As people who put on boozy events for a living, we have a massive tip for your wedding wine purchases, which will save you huge amounts of money and ensure you get top-quality wines. Check out Naked Wines (www.nakedwines.co.uk), which supports top quality, independent wine makers around the world. Set up an Angels account shortly before you buy your wedding wine and pay as little as £20 a month towards your next order and you instantly get “wholesale prices” – often as much as 50% off – their wines, as well as big first-time customer offers and vouchers. This saved us a fortune and ensured we had phenomenal wines for the big day.
Above all else, our greatest advice is to enjoy every moment, from the planning to the day itself. It goes by so quickly, so savour every moment of the preparation and wedding. You’ll miss it when the dress has been hung up and the confetti has blown away. I wish I could do it all again… obviously, with the same chap.
Make sure that you and your bridesmaids pay attention when the wedding dress-maker talks you through the impossibly complicated buttons, zips, bustles and loops of your dress. I paid the price, by cutting off the loop which was supposed to attach my train to my arm, meaning that when it wasn’t attached to my bustle, it dragged through mud and puddles and made the blood drain from the dry-cleaner’s face when she took it in afterwards!
Venue: The Eden Project / Photography: Alan Law Photography / Videographer: Rob Garwood – Video / Wedding dress: Pronovias /Groom’s Suit: Tailor Made London / Groomsmen Suits: T M Lewin /Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Vivien Of Holloway /Handmade, Glastonbury-themed table decorations and white feather, bridal collar: Jess Eaton at EatonNott / Wedding cake: Conjurers Kitchen /Arrivals champagne and red and white wine for the tables: Naked Wines /Bubbly for toasts: Knightor /VW Campervan: Cornwall VW Wedding Hire / Wedding and Engagement rings: The Great Frog London / Custom-made and designed bridal shoes: Shoes Of Prey / Wedding Stationery: Wed Fest / Photo Booth Reception Photography: Rich Hendry /P Wizard DJs: Top Button Digital /
We know, we know, incredible right? And if those beautiful photos wasn’t enough, there’s totally an amazing video too…
What was your favourite part? I personally can’t get enough of those lights in the sky and the Glastonbury centre pieces! Bravo to everyone that was involved and a massive congrats to Charli & Matt!
Keep your eyes open too because we’re showing this creative couple’s honeymoon with you soon, and as you may have guessed by their wedding, it was no ordinary honeymoon….
Much Bespoke Love
EDITORS NOTE: This post was originally published on 3rd February 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.