Wednesday 10 June 2015

A Boho Humanist Wedding with a Forest Ceremony

When I see a truly perfect wedding, I get goosebumps, and I literally can't wait to share it with you! Michael from My Beautiful Bride sent over these wedding photographs a few days ago, and I've been champing at the bit to get it edited and published as quickly as possible. Hanna and Paul celebrated their big day with a humanist ceremony in a forest. So far so rustic, but Hanna glammed it up with a s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g vintage sequinned gown, and colour-pop bridesmaids dresses in coral pink and lemon yellow. It's a feast for the eyes! I'm in love with their rural venue choice - Hawthbush Farm in East Sussex, and their freshly-picked flowers from the next door field. They managed to stay relaxed throughout their wedding planning, and you can really see the joy shining through Michael's pictures. Enjoy these shots, and don't miss the Reception pictures, coming later today!

We celebrated our big day on 14th June - a summer wedding. We chose Hawthbush Farm in East Sussex as our venue. It's stunning with a clearing where we hosted our marriage ceremony outdoors in the woods.

It was the second venue we visited. It was perfect because we had the farm for the whole weekend, meaning it felt more of an experience, than an in-and-out job like other weddings we've experienced. 

There was glamping and chic caravans on the farm for close friends to stay, and a more robust farm house for family. This meant we could host a BBQ for friends and family staying on the farm on the Friday night before the wedding.

After a day spent in boutique wedding dress shops on a Saturday with my mum and sister, I was exhausted from the very idea of any more wedding dress shopping, though I had discovered I wanted a 20s/30s silhouette to my wedding dress. 

My sister, and Chief Bridesmaid, told me we ought to go to a Miss Vintage Affair, a vintage wedding dress sale at Battersea Arts Centre the next day. Reluctantly I agreed to go and we brought fellow bridesmaid Alexis along too. 

After milling around for a bit, something sparkly caught my eye – a beautiful dress entirely covered in sequins. I knew it was the one! At once understated and dramatic – and not many people get married head to toe in sequins!

All our wedding flowers were picked the day before the wedding from a field adjacent to the farm. They wear amazing! The only instructions I gave were 'please can we have pink and yellow flowers included'. 

They were delivered on the day and it  was the first time any of us lay eyes on them! We were very relaxed as you can see! They were AMAZING!

We knew we wanted our wedding day to feel both special and relaxed in its energy. We didn’t want to get married somewhere that felt like a conveyor belt of weddings, instead we wanted a venue we could make our own. Hawthbush Farm gave us that opportunity.

Paul wore a tailored light grey three piece suit, with a yellow tie, in fitting with our pink and yellow theme.

Our humanist ceremony took place in the woods at the edge of the farm. Hanna's mum is Algerian, so one of the readings was a love poem in Arabic read by Hanna's mum, uncle and aunt. 

We had a cappella singing group 'The Treblemakers' singing before, and during the ceremony and then at the reception. They were awesome! They also sang me down the aisle to 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen – something I had always wanted to do on my wedding day. 

We also had a very unconventional reading from the film Frieda, which started with the line "I don't believe in marriage. No, I really don't. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it's a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it's a happy delusion....." - 

My younger sister Roann was Chief Bridesmaid, and then I had three others - two from university and one from my Masters. They wore coral pink dresses, teamed with bright lemon pashminas.

We chose Michael from My Beautiful Bride as our wedding photographer, and he was OUTSTANDING! He comes highly recommended. His photographs capture the essence of our wedding day experience. He pictured all the details of the day, as well as the overall story, while seamlessly blending in with our guests. 

He really was exceptional. His photos are the ultimate evidence, but he was also a really lovely person to have around on the day for all those intimate moments. Perfect.

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