Beth and Danny made sure they included all of their favourite things in their festival-inspired wedding, from the all day live music to the glo sticks in the evening (I know – love!)
The colour scheme of pink, peach, mint and turquoise is particularly lovely as is the headpiece that’s Beth’s sister Laura made for her which included some of her Grandmother’s jewellery sewn into the detail.
And I know we say this a lot but there is so much laughter on display, you can tell that every single guest thoroughly enjoyed themselves, especially the bride and groom.
In The Garden
When we first got engaged we considered going abroad as I wanted a very ‘outdoorsy’ wedding but soon realised with the amount of people we wanted there finding a venue that would fit everyone would be difficult, so we decided to have it in my favourite place in the world, my Mum and Dad’s back garden, in the beautiful village of St Michaels on Wyre. They’ve always been great entertainers and hold brilliant parties so it was the obvious choice. At first they were a bit apprehensive about the sheer scale of the event but once I promised to have some cover, a solid floor and some posh portaloos they agreed. Our village also has a stunning 12th century church which we attend at Christmas and Easter when visiting Mum and Dad, and we know and like the vicar, Andrew, so that made the decision easy.
Finding the right marquee was not as easy, as I wanted a canvas one rather than plastic but we eventually found Wills Marquee’s a small family run company from Yorkshire, which supply stunning cream canvas marquees. The owners Chris and Lynsey, and the lads that set up the tent, could not do enough to help us, and worked well with the company that provided our solid floor, chairs, tables and heater, Evans Marquees, to ensure everything went swimmingly.
Danny told me ages ago that he doesn’t like it when brides come down the aisle looking nothing like themselves and caked in make up so I really wanted to look like myself and quite natural, but on a really good day! I did my own makeup but went for a couple of trials beforehand to get tips, and I was really lucky because my 30th was the same weekend as my Hen Party so my friends and family treated me to a couple of facials and bought me some Selfridges vouchers so I could buy some posh makeup for the day. I spent my vouchers on some Chanel Correcteur Perfection Concealer and some Rouge Coco Shine in ‘Boy’. I used my usual Clinique Perfectly Real foundation, Clinique Blusher and Clarins Instant Sunlight Bronzer. My best beauty bargain though is Rimmel Extra Super Lash Mascara (with the Curved brush) which is the cheapest mascara but the best! It doesn’t come in waterproof though so I slipped on some Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof afterwards just in case.
I decided not to use fake eyelashes in the end as I have pretty good eyelashes anyway and knew Danny hates fake things! I had chopped half a nail off the week before (on my ring hand) so spent ages trying to find an opaque nude that would cover the icky bit. My best friend Rachel did my nails with Chanel Rouge Noir on my toes and a cheap Asda nude nail polish on my hands. My sister Laws did my hair. I have naturally curly hair anyway but it’s very unpredictable and can be scruffy and frizzy most days. For the wedding I wanted a more groomed look. We did countless practices with various curlers to find the right size curl. I looked like I was advertising “Soul Glo” on several occasions but we managed to get the right look the week of the wedding by adding a few discreet hair extensions to bring the curls down to my normal length. I finished by popping a non drowsy antihistimine (to stop nervous rash) and lashed on my “signature scent” Penhaligon’s Lily and Spice, which is summer in a bottle.
Like A Glove
My dress was Manto by La Sposa. I tried it on in Mirror Mirror Boutique in Crouch End, London but it was way over budget, so I got quotes from other boutiques for both the dress and the alterations and Mirror Mirror matched the cheapest. It saved me about £400 so it was well worth doing! I wanted something ethereal that would still control my ample curves and the sample fit me like a glove so I went for that. I did feel fabulous on the day but I have to say I never had the eureka moment with a dress. It just got to the point where I had to buy one so I bought the nicest I could afford.
The bridesmaids were my sister in Laws, my best friends Rach and Ang and my niece Sarah was my little flower girl. The older girls were originally in beige dresses from River Island but a couple of weeks before the wedding we were worried about the fit and quality, so the girls each went out and bought a dress they felt fab in in different colours within the colour scheme. I only saw the new dresses 20 minutes before we left the house for the ceremony so you can imagine how pleased I was that they all coordinated so well and looked so gorgeous! Danny and his Groomsmen, Anto, Charlo and Jenks, all looked really handsome in their blue River Island Slim Fit suits. Danny got the waistcoat to look a bit different and the boys had navy braces. We finished off their suits and the Dad’s outfits with Liberty print Ties and pocket squares by Moss. Our nephew Rob looked dapper in a blue waistcoat and trousers from Monsoon and turquoise converse (hand dyed by his mum Katherine!)
The headpiece and veil was my favourite bit of my outfit. At first I wanted a Juliet Cap like my Mum had, so we bought a couple from charity shops and were going to re -cover them but when trying them on I just felt like I had a jewish skull cap on my head! I’d been looking at Art deco styles on the internet but they were all around £400. My sister Laura is incredibly talented in loads of ways and ended up making it using geometric beaded shapes she found in Dalston Market, and sewed my Grandma’s turquoise earrings (something Blue) and my Nana’s pearls (something Old) onto it. We found out that if you wash stiff net in abrasive cleaning substances it softens it, so we bought cheap plastic net and did that and the net came out feeling like and moving like really expensive silk net, which we were thrilled about! I had a real problem with my shoes as my feet are so narrow and I tried several pairs at my fittings before biting the bullet and buying Rachel Simpson Tilly’s, which were well over budget but were gorgeous, had a narrow fit, small heel and an ankle strap.
I kept my jewellery to a minimum apart from the wrist cuff my sister had made for my 21st and of course my gorgeous 1915 engagement ring.
The Garden Of Ireland
We had an English Country Garden/Irish Knees Up theme. The English guests were really excited about it being an Irish Wedding and the Irish guests were really excited about coming to “Blackpool” for a wedding, so we tried to combine bits of both. We had a seaside peep board (that I spent hours painting), Blackpool Rock for our favours, loads of Guinness and an Irish postbox that Danny made for our card box. The colour scheme of the wedding evolved to become Peach, Mint, Pink and Turquoise. We also had a bit of a Glastonbury theme as that’s where we met. A bit of everything we are and like really! Mum and Dad worked on the garden for months and our friend Dave lent us loads of outdoor fairy lights to get it looking magical.
Peonies and Hydrangea
I love all types of flowers so found it difficult to choose. I loved the structure and silvery green hue of succulents and love peonies, ranunculas and hydrangeas. Unfortunately the ranunculas were out of season but I could have the rest and so Poppies Flowers in Kirkham made up the most beautiful bouquets, buttonholes, and corsages for the mums and sisters. The boys had the succulents for buttonholes, the bridesmaids wore matching flowers in their hair and Sarah had a halo of gyp. The flowers in the church were done by our friend Liz, who also supplied all the flowers for the marquee, and other villagers. Rach and Ang arranged all the flowers into the jars the day before.
When I See You Smile
We had the ceremony at St Michaels Church which is the local church in Mum and Dad’s village. We go to Christmas and Easter Services there and know the Vicar well so it was the obvious choice. Rev Andrew is really chilled out and welcomed my Uncle Frank, who is a Jesuit priest, to be involved in the ceremony and allowed us to have non religious readings and music as well so we could really make it relevant to us. Danny’s sister Claire read Song of Soloman, Laws read an extract from “The Gargoyle” by Andrew Davidson and my Uncle Frank read and blessed the marriage. I walked in to Danny’s sister Katherine singing “When I see you smile” by Bic Runga, and we had rousing hymns like “Give me Joy in my Heart” and “Lord of the Dance”.
During the signing of the register we played an Irish sea shanty and we walked out to masses of applause, a Belle and Sebastian song and villagers ringing the bells, which was really special.
Danny and I love festivals and live music so we had some very talented friends, Richard Pepper and Elaine Glover, play guitar and sing for the drinks reception. A bit later we had a brilliant band called The Northern Monkeys, who rocked out with loads of tunes til the early morning! They played loads of Indie tunes that took us back to the 90′s and some classics for the oldies. We bought flip flops for people to dance in, glo-sticks from the pound shop and Pashminas for if people got chilly and they all went down a storm! Our first dance was the Iron and Wine version of ‘Such Great Heights’. After the band finished and the bar closed we brought out the cans, Baileys and guitars and had a sing song until 5am in the morning.
It took me ages to decide on food. I found it so difficult to find decent caterers in the Lancashire area that weren’t extortionately priced! We finally found Percivals from Bolton who were really helpful when choosing the menu. They helped me decide on mini English afternoon tea canapés and an Irish themed meal. We had mini scones, with jam and cream, tiny strawberry tarts and tiny triangle cucumber sandwiches, followed by a hearty meal of smoked salmon, Dublin bay prawns and Irish soda bread for starters , beef in Guinness with champ for main, and lemon tart for pudding (it’s one of my faves!). We also had an ice cream van and a sweetie table as well as our ‘Danny hearts Beth’ Blackpool rock favours.
Our friend Ruth is an expert in cheese so ordered a selection of beautiful cheeses, crackers and fig and nut chorizo from Andouret which they couriered to us and Mum ordered pork pies (they had D & B on the top in pastry!) to make up our evening nibbles. Our amazing cake was made by a family friend, another Ruth, who makes our Christmas cake every year and kept us in constant supply of the best flapjack ever in the run up to the wedding.
A Personalised Stamp
My sister spent a long time designing and making all the paper goods on her new Apple Mac which saved us a hell of a lot of money and meant we could put our own personalised stamp on things. Me and Danny wrote ‘our story’ and found graphics and fonts that complemented it and my sister designed the most incredible invite in black and white incorporating them all. She then went along the same lines with the order of service, menu cards, list of speeches and signage to and around the venue. It all looked amazing in the end. She also did name bunting for the back of each chair and bunting for the bar and ‘Acoustic Stage’ in bright colours, and a Glastonbury style table plan and table names. We puffed Pom Poms, collected hundreds of jam jars to paint turquoise to brighten the marquee and Dad and Danny made a photo board and a big B&D to go behind the band.
My best piece of advice is be aware how much work it is when you host a wedding in a marquee not attached to a venue and make sure you and your entire family is prepared for it, because you’ll need their help. In fact the whole village ended up chipping in with our day, doing gardening and lending us things. Also, get a good photographer as they are such a huge part of your day. Amy Murrell was great and really enhanced our day and the final photos were incredible. I also wasn’t going to have a videographer but am really glad we did now as you really want to relive moments and speeches after the day. We organised welcome drinks the night before and an England Vs Ireland Rounders Match the next day (I caught Dan out on the first bat!), which took the pressure off trying to get round everyone on the day.
The actual wedding day was amazing but my highlights were walking out the church married, the speeches and me and Dan turning out the lights at 5.30am in the morning when everyone had left, singing ‘I am the Resurrection’ at the top of our voices and revelling in how successful it all had been!
Brides Gown – La Sposa at Mirror Mirror
Brides Shoes – Tilly by Rachel Simpson
Grooms Suit – River Island
Blooms – Poppies Florist
Entertainment – The Northern Monkeys
Catering – Percivals of Bolton
Photographer – Amy Murrell
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Ok so I want cucumber sandwiches now. And strawberry tart. AND scones with jam and cream.
Delicious. All of it.
Big Irish Love