Wednesday 29 April 2015

A 'Blooming' New Forest Autumn Wedding with DIY Details - Part 2

Take one wedding florist, add a graphic designer husband-to-be, and a group of insanely talented guests, and you have a wedding-made-in-heaven. Jen and Lee celebrated their big day in the autumn, and completely mixed up their wedding schedule, to make sure they didn't lose the light for their pictures. This inspired decision meant the party started straight away, and the lovely Ben Goode got to take these stunning portrait pictures in a gorgeous golden light. It's definitely an idea to steal if you're planning an autumn or winter wedding. As long as you don't mind seeing each other before the ceremony, then it's a winner! There's so many other brilliant details, you'll want to save every shot - from their giant, fairground-style, illuminated initials, to the CD favours made to look like mini-vinyls, and the chocolate brownie pyramid wedding cake. And did I mention Jen is a florist? Wedding flowers to die for! If you missed Part 1, don't!

We got married on the 6th October 2012, at East Close Hotel, near Christchurch in the New Forest. The ceremony and reception both took place here. 

Our photographer was Ben Goode - he did the pictures for a colleagues wedding and we loved them. As soon as we met him, and saw more of his work we were sold. His style was the perfect mix of discreet reportage and creative stuff.  He was SUCH a nice guy to have around on the day of the wedding too; lots of guests commented that they liked his relaxed attitude. Needless to say, we were blown away by the resulting photographs. He caught little moments of emotion that really made us laugh and cry.

We wanted a venue where we could have the whole day, so our guests didn’t have to travel after the ceremony and the party could start straight away. East Close Hotel was the perfect choice!

We had the whole place for the day, which felt exclusive and luxurious, but the hotel is small enough that we didn't feel we were rattling around. I loved that each room had a different feel, but all in line with our taste.

I was my own florist {Jennifer Poynter Flowers}, helped by the girls that I used to work with {from Arcade Flowers in Ringwood}. Flowers are obviously my thing, and I loved having the chance to create exactly what I wanted, with all my favourite autumn flowers and foliage. 

I included lots of roses, spray roses, gorgeous ‘Mambo’ lilies, velvety burgundy gladioli, astrantia, astilbe, poppy seed heads, several varieties of eucalyptus and beautiful pink snowberries. There was also lots of amazing trailing amaranthus which was grown for me by a local lady. She wrapped it all up in fleece every night through September in case of an early frost!

We were lucky to have lots of skills which allowed us and our friends to DIY lots of things… I’m a wedding florist, so the flowers were sorted… Lee is a graphic designer and hand-made all of our beautiful stationery… a friend made the cake… another friend is a DJ and offered to help with that…

My mum is a writer and crafted a very funny reading for the ceremony out of all our guests' tips for a long and happy life together {we asked them to include this with their RSVP}. This all obviously saved us some pennies, but also made the day so much more personal.

My husband designed all of our stationery. It was paired back and simple, concentrating on good design and nice typography {we're a little obsessed with typography!}. It had a slightly art-deco feel, but not too overt, and was mainly printed in black on thick grey card stock. The tables were named after classic print fonts and the signs sat on small silver metal easels that were only 80p each in Ikea and looked wicked. 

Having favours that doubled as place cards reduced the amount of stuff on the table {or 'table crap' as Lee called it!}. Everyone was given a CD of our 'guilty pleasures and firm favourites', as we both love music. I sing in a band, and Lee DJ's as a second job. 

The songs were listed on the back of the sleeve, and the front had the person's name and a little note thanking them for joining us. Lee painstakingly designed, printed, cut out ,and assembled the sleeves which took days. The CDs were burned onto disks that looked like mini 12inch records. 

I like to think people will find them in the glove box in ten years and remember our cool wedding ;-) For the kids we did little boxes in the same style with these awesome mini lego sets inside that they could make a personalised lego name plaque out of. It kept them busy during the speeches.

We weren't going to have a cake at all to begin with but our lovely friend insisted on making one as a present. We went for a big stack of chocolate brownies decorated with icing sugar and autumn figs. Everyone couldn't wait to dig in, and didn't have to because all the pieces were pre-cut…!

My advice to other brides? Everyone will have an opinion about your wedding, but they are only trying to be helpful and may not understand what sort of day you want to it to be…Try to be polite and consider their advice, but make sure you do plan the day your way.

We had a funny structure to the day because we wanted to get the bridal party together for photographs before the ceremony - being a late afternoon ceremony in autumn we were worried about the light, and also wanted to start celebrating straight away. We also weren't superstitious about seeing each other before the 'aisle moment'. A lot of people thought this was weird and unlucky, but we did it and it worked brilliantly - the photographer thanked us for it, and we didn't get struck by lightning!

Planning our wedding was great fun. It was ace to put together a big party for all of the most special people we know, and share our commitment with them. Also, after years working in the industry and seeing so many fab weddings, it was also really nice for me to finally organise my own!

Our first dance was James Vincent McMorrow's cover of Higher Love, which neatly segued into the 80s Steve Winwood original half way through. It was lovely and hilarious at the same time :-D

We splashed out on some amazing fairground-style giant illuminated initials to sit next to the dance floor. We got them from an artist called Andy Willett who makes shop and bar signs, and the quality was so good, that we now have them decorating our house - LOVE them. We soon realised how many of our friends have the same initials as us as they were all having their pictures taken with them in the evening!

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