Kate & Lloyd’s Rustic Outdoor Wedding
There’s something utterly magical about outdoor weddings. Kate and Lloyd’s relaxed & rustic day, complete with humanist ceremony in the woods and tipi-tent reception is packed full of inspiration – not just the pretty details – but also for the actual marriage part that is so often forgotten. A humanist ceremony allowed them to write their own vows and promises, and include friends and family that might otherwise have to watch on from the congregation. And yes, there are plenty of those pretty details! Ribbon streamers lining the route through the woodlands to the ceremony clearing, an incredible floral arch to exchange vows under, and jam jars covered in lace and filled summery fresh flowers, to the vibrant yellow colour palette, there are plenty of pinnable ideas to steal! On this gorgeous summer’s day, Hannah from Lifeline Photography captured their celebration with a relaxed, natural vibe and a golden glow.
Lloyd and I met in Aberdeen where we both worked at a special needs school. We didn’t actually get together until after I had moved back down to England. Lloyd came on a surprise visit to see me and things went from there! He proposed to me in a beautiful hotel by the River Thames.
We got married in the grounds of a lovely private house in Berkshire. We held both the ceremony and the reception there. It was special because we hired the house for 3 days so that we could spend extra time with our friends and family. It was lovely having everyone there in the run-up to the wedding to get everything ready together. It was the first time Lloyd’s family had all been together in many years. The grounds were perfect because there was woodland and we really wanted to get married outside in a woodland ceremony. There was a perfect little woodland trail leading around the side of the house and we had a band playing acoustic music in the sunny clearing where we held our humanist ceremony. After the ceremony the guests walked around the corner to the lawns to have a glass of champagne and greet the family. We had lots of garden games and some canapés to keep people entertained. We had two giant tipi’s in the grounds where we held our reception. They looked absolutely fantastic and created a wonderful atmosphere.
I had my dress made by Emma Louise Designs in Ascot. She was absolutely amazing and I can’t recommend her highly enough. I showed her a picture of a dress that I had tried on that I had liked and said the good and bad points about it for me. While I spoke she sketched an idea for a dress and it was perfect. Emma Louise is such a lovely, calm, accommodating person that she’s perfect to work with nervous brides! She has a wonderful eye for design and was happy to make any changes that I suggested along the way. I thought it would be a lot more expensive to have a dress made but it ended up being a similar price to buying one. I also bought my jewellery there and an umbrella in case it rained. I had my hair done at Toni and Guy in Maidenhead and I was fairly flexible with how it looked. I just said I wanted it to be loosely tied up with messy plaits, My sister, the chief bridesmaid had a similar style and the two flower girls had their hair curled and in pretty loose plaits. My bridesmaids were all dressed in yellow – that was my only specification on what they wore. We managed to find some lovely bright, pretty dresses from Dido Bridal on the internet and their prices were really reasonable. Although the theme was rustic we couldn’t resist having the groom and groomsmen in morning suits because it looks so smart and special!
Our main wedding colour was yellow, which was the colour of the bridesmaids dresses and all the flowers including buttonholes. Pinterest is absolutely brilliant for ideas and I pinned a million ideas on my boards that I used for inspiration. My sister is absolutely brilliant at décor and all the little details and works on many weddings. She came up with some fantastic ideas and also designed the invitations. The florist, Linz from White Horse Flower Company in Newbury was also great. She decorated the trees on the walk up to the reception with ribbons and she created us a lovely arch made from greenery and flowers. We used yellow and white flowers and I asked for simple, pretty flowers that looked like they had been picked in the garden. I wanted everything to be informal and relaxed. I actually ended up going for a bridesmaids size bouquet because I wanted it to look like I had just picked a bunch from the garden.There were jam jars everywhere filled with flowers and candles. We had brightly coloured bunting hanging from the tipi and a roaring fire inside the tipi to keep everyone warm.
Our photographer was Hannah Webster from Lifeline Photography. She was absolutely fantastic in every way! There was an engagement shoot included in the package and she drove all the way up to Scotland to shoot it because that was where we met. She arrived with cupcakes and made us feel completely relaxed, which is a skill because I hate having my photo taken! I felt much more comfortable about the wedding photos because I’d never seen such flattering pictures! She also came the night before the wedding to meet everyone and take a look at the venue, She just fit in so well with everyone and is a lovely person to have around. On the day of the wedding, she joined us in the hairdressers and I was so happy to have her and my sister with me all day because they are so positive and fun to have around. I would also recommend Hannah because she stayed until the bitter end taking fantastic photos whereas many photographers finish after the meal. Everything she does she makes special in her own way. I found her on the internet when I was doing some research on how much you should expect to spend on a good photographer and seeing the best packages out there.
My favourite moment was when we walked around the corner about to walk up the ‘aisle’ in the woodland and my 2 year old nephew, a pageboy, shouted out ‘WOW!!’ at all the people and pretty setting and I saw all my friends and family’s smiling faces.
Our first dance was At Last by Etta James.
We had a humanist ceremony and our humanist was Philip Scott. He was really great and the fact that he helped us completely write our ceremony made it particularly special. We included unusual parts like the warming of the rings, and lighting of candles and added lots of roles to include Lloyd’s son, Kai and other friends or family.