Sorry, that was a lie.. ‘countryside wedding on a £15 budget’ is definitely not true.

IT WAS RAUCOUS.

But sadly, you can’t get married for £15, I’d love to tell you otherwise but I wanted to get your attention and it was one of the funnier answers to the questionnaire I provided Gabs with!!

 

brie-wearing-sunglasses-dancing-tipi-wedding-essex-wedding-photographer

I coerced Stew (that’s the groom) into booking me whilst drunk on some high octane Belgium beer, the rest is history.  I may even make it a staple for all potential bookings, I feel my turnaround rate would be INSANE.

It’s actually really difficult to write about this wedding in the usual way, main reason being, although they are my clients, they are also friends.  Much as I want to use loads of Google friendly words so lots of people see my site and book me, I just don’t think it’s going to happen with this one!

So, the first bit..

THE PREP.

Stew got ready at his parent’s farm in Tillingham, Essex, this is where the meal and reception was to be held, I popped over to see him first and was met with a hive of activity, the tipis were already up and tables laid but there was still SO much to do before kick off!

 

Gabs was at at the AirBNB with her mum, sister and nieces, Charlotte Dodds was in charge of all the hair and make up and was already well into the swing of things by the time I arrived, we got to check on Stew & Gab’s cat Cleo in her cattery via weblink (personal highlight of the day for me!) Gab’s dress was hung ready and waiting along with beautiful Sash and Veil..er..veil and Freya Rose shoes.  I felt it necessary to put the engagement ring on the shoes, don’t ask me why, but I did it.  Wedding photographers do stuff like that.  We can’t help it.

 

THE CEREMONY.

Stew & Gabs had a church ceremony in the centre of Tillingham.  ”This was a complete haze” said Gabs, ”I was just super nervous and wanted to get to Stew ASAP” I asked if they had any advice about having a church ceremony; ”cut down on hymns! – I remember thinking GEEZ we have another 2 choruses and 2 verses!!”  It was a mega hot day, like UNBELIEVABLY HOT, so, whilst the ceremony was really lovely, everyone was super excited to celebrate the couple in their own special way back at the farm!

 

THE GOOD BIT.

After the ceremony we all schlepped down the road to Stew’s parent’s farm, Stew & Gabs weren’t too fussed about having posed portraits, so I waited until they were a little more tipsy before persuading them to get their model on.  At the farm guests were fed and watered, and pimms’d and beer’d and wine’d whilst basking in the scorchio sun, laughing, congratulating and waiting for the ploughman’s lunch that was imminent.  The tipis were full of such beautifulness, the flowers were INCREDIBLE, family members helped the couple get the setting ready, so much work went into it right down to the washing out of the jars for the candles, it was really beautiful and welcoming and so wonderful to shoot.

 

 

THE GOOD BIT PART 2.

After munching on some lovely scrummy nosh, we were treated to some pretty bloody brilliant speeches, then it got awesomely messy.  It was also Gab’s 30th birthday so partying was pretty much top of the agenda, with a whole host of DJs who just happened to be guests, an incredible sound technician (also a guest) and a Void sound system, they nailed it.  I’ll add some more words from the bride and groom below, along with supplier details.  I was so honoured, excited and happy to be a part of this amazing day.  These two are such special people, it was an incredible celebration, we are all still talking about it 5 months later!!

 

SUPPLIER INFO:

DRESS – Boutique was Rock the Frock Bridal, brand was Soon Bride, veil was Sash & Veil.  Shoes – Freya Rose

HAIR & MAKE UPCharlotte Dodds

STEW’S OUTFITPaul Smith head to ankle, ankle down – Oliver Sweeney

MAID OF HONOUR – Gab’s maid of Honour was her sister, she wore a royal blue dress from Hobbs, Gabs said of this outfit choice ”I was happy for any colour, as long as it suited her, that was really important, to make sure she was comfortable and looked stunning, which she 100% did.  I wasn’t putting her in some washed out prom dress.

FLOWER GIRLS – ”Our nieces were our flower girls – we got some really cute dresses from Next, something loose so they weren’t sweltering.  also made sure they were dresses they could wear again for a party”

WEDDING CAKEEgg And Moos ”Abbie was amazing from start to finish, with consultations up until the day, she made these incredible sugar flowers.  I’ve kept a few of the survivors as mementos”

FLOWERSLily & May.  ”Claire was incredible, just got what we wanted and went with it – we wanted COLOUR and all the colours as it was a summer wedding – didn’t want baby pinks and whites, she got it!  Felt like I was walking down the aisle with a rainbow in my hand, they were just stunning.  The list of flowers, herbs, plants, the lot, was crazy but it all came together amazingly”

STATIONERY – This was left to the Groom and a little to Gab’s mum; ”Stew created all of our save the dates, invites, table plan, order of service – he’s a dab hand at graphic design and photoshop, so this saved us a bomb!!  Our place names were white envelopes, my mum kindly wrote everyone’s name on each one and stuffed a scratch card inside – we were desperate for someone to win big, alas, I think someone got a tenner max!  She even went to the trouble of wax sealing each one with our initials”

CATERERSSerendipity Street and Burger Bear UK – ”We wanted easy-going food as it was summer and also, because Stew proposed to me whilst we were having a picnic, it was important for us to have something personal on the day, whether our guests knew that or not, so went for a picnic style ploughman’s affair” Burger Bear UK supplied the most delectable burgers later on in the evening!

”A friend of ours works for a booze distributor so again, that saved a fortune!”

TIPISEvents Under Canvas

MUSIC – ”We had a couple of our friends who happen to do this for living, so we were lucky enough not to have to fork out a hug sum, as long as they were fed and watered (with booze!) they were happy!”

TRANSPORT – The flower girls and maid of honour were taken to the ceremony by good friend Rob in his trusty ‘Diane’.  The Bridal car was hired from ”A guy called Steve of Barratts Classic Cars

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY? – ”ALL OF IT – no honestly, the whole day just went in a flash and I couldn’t stop smiling from when I woke up till I passed out!”

HOW WAS THE PLANNING? – ”The best thing about it was that it felt as important as the day itself, it throws up some problems you have to face and resolve together, so to us, it felt like this was part of the marriage.  Perhaps we would have done things differently but then it wouldn’t have been ‘our’ day – weird things happen that you look back on and go ‘WHAAAAA?’ but then, that makes your day!”

ANY ADVICE TO PEOPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? – ”Be prepared to get stressed but REMEMBER why you are doing this  and breathe – don’t let other people get too involved, let them help but not dictate – it’s your blooming day so do what you want.  Don’t let it get bigger than it needs to be, nothing is perfect.  Don’t drink too much BEFORE and EAT!”

THE END!