THIS DIY WEDDING IS THE EPITOME OF COUNTRYSIDE CHIC
When it come to finding a wedding venue, Robyn and Tom knew they wanted to find something extra special for their big day. But with quite a set idea on theme, this couple were not about to go the traditional route with their barn wedding. Keen to compliment the venue they opted for something a little different, branding it ‘Countryside DIY chic.”
“On the first day back at work after getting engaged, I was pleasantly surprised that my emails were going mad, only it wasn’t angry customers, it was my new Fiancé excessively spamming me with potential venues.” Robyn began.
“Over the coming weeks we made the postman our enemy, after brochure upon brochure slid through the letterbox. We did the boring stuff; drew up the budget, got a broad idea of location (somewhere between our hometowns of Birmingham and Hartlepool) and started enquiring about viewing days. We were devastated to find out that quite a few venues we loved had set caterers who were way out of budget…back to the drawing board.”
“Then Knockerdown cottages came up advertised as a wedding weekend where everyone could stay on site… I actually didn’t think about it any further until the visit.” She explained.
“We drove up to Derbyshire from London and it was a gorgeous wintery day in March, sunshine, blue skies, rolling hills. THE works. It just felt right. The site is a collection of 17 holiday cottages with a hall, drinks room, spa and pool on site. It allowed us to have everyone we loved for a whole weekend. It felt like us. We took a week to mull it over. Saw no other venues and paid the deposit. Classic Watson-Smyth all in, no regrets.”
“I had quite a set idea on theme and as much as I wanted a cool edgy vibe of industrial brick walls, I had seen too many barn weddings with hessian everywhere. I was also anxious that the theme must be complementary to the site; which leant itself to a theme I am now branding “countryside DIY chic.” She laughed.
“Un-apologetically influenced by Pinterest we settled on greens and white with foliage everywhere possible. I poured my soul into signs, favours and tit bits. These touches filled me with the hope that my guests would see how much it meant to me that they made the effort to celebrate the day with us.”
“Tom and I chose suppliers through a mixture of heart and head. Sometimes the heart won i.e. the florist and Photographer then other times the head won i.e.Costco cheese tiers and self-decoration of the venue.”
Our photographer Elle of Winnginton + Coe, was a friend on Facebook, from years gone by? Somehow our friendship groups had crossing. Although we didn’t keep in touch, I couldn’t bring myself to make a Facebook cull and lose out; (lets be honest) stalking her amazing photography I think I would have particularly begged Elle to do our photography even if she hadn’t set up a business photographing weddings. It paid off to have someone on the day that totally ‘got’ what tom and I wanted, and it meant the world.”
“Our DIY ranged from 8 pub sized black boards, painted, sprayed and posca penned to a place setting come favour of a 7 inch vinyl. These vinyl’s were carefully selected to each guest with an artist that we knew they loved, and the sleeves were custom decorated by myself.” Robyn told us.
“DIY wise the pinnacle was probably made by one of our friends, who built us an arch (THAT we got married under) and decorated it with ivy and flowers from his own garden.”
“As I said in my speech (WOOP #girlpower) to make the wedding happen took a village, a blooming massive village of our loved ones. Tom and I were the generals leading the charge; tasking trusted maid of honour/ best man/ father/ mother or friend with numerous projects. From engagement to wedding the whole thing took 13 months and to be honest there were multiple times during that where we didn’t do a lot. The big push was definitely in the final months post Christmas and before the wedding. As hard as it is, and admittedly I didn’t do this very well, the secret is… Delegate!”
“My main worries were from a visual aspect. I wanted the venue to look good, not just good, GREAT, and it did…until the wind picked up and the snow came in and my lanterns and ivy fell down. Moral of the story; do not worry about the things you cant control, (again easier said than done). The second worry that plagued Tom and I was the cost of the wedding to our guests. Last year I attended 5 weddings! 5, this meant we didn’t go on holiday and as much as I loved every single one of them, we were very conscious of the costs involved when you attend a wedding as a guest. With this in mind and the wedding weekend/ holiday vibe we were pitching for. Tom and I budgeted to provide food in the guests cottages for the majority of the weekend one humongous trip to ‘Bookers’, some staff food from work (I luckily work in the food industry) and a willing group of volunteers to distribute food to the individual cottages, meant that our 100 guests had breakfast provided for the 3 day weekend and an evening meal.”
“Set a budget and work as hard as you can to it. Tom and I are big believers that although we had both been fantasizing about our wedding for years (we had already been together 7 years before getting engaged), that it wasn’t worth getting bankrupt over. In this vein we had a few areas which we prioritised and areas where we were willing to compromise or be more creative to get to where we wanted to be. For example I found an amazing vintage shop in Greenwich (Elizabeth Avery) where the service made me feel like a princess, but the cost didn’t make me faint. Plus I loved the idea of the dress having some history and personality. At £600, after reading the average wedding dress costs £1500 it meant that budgeted money was freed up for a band! Which ties into my second point of advice… Have fun! If your anything like me, it may be the most amount of money you’ve ever spent on anything. So above all things enjoy it. Fall over on the dance floor? Style it into a move… Snow means guests staying off site get stranded…put some pillows down and have a sleepover… ”
“Drinks wise pace yourself, its probably not popular to admit this on a blog, but I was forever being handled drinks throughout the day, and If I’m completely honest was a little more drunk than I would have liked on the night. BUT, hey, you only get married once right?”
“When I think back to March 17th all I can think about is the feeling of warmth that I felt; laughing joking and crying with everyone that Tom and I love that make our lives worth living, and I don’t think you can really get better than that.”
Dress: Elizabeth Avey I Flowers: Nadia Di Tullio I Photography/Videographer: Winnington + Coe I Caterer: Butlers Pantry I Cake: Tania Nadarajah I Hair: Georgias Hair I Makeup: The Beauty Tree I Band: the epics I Grooms Suit: Slaters I Best Men Suit: Debenhams Hire I