real wedding: last-minute colourful country pub wedding {michelle & danny}

When he finally gets down on one knee, holding that pretty, sparkly ring out and asking you that all important question, sometimes you don’t need to faff around with the intricacies of wedding planning, and you just want to get on and do it!  Michelle and Danny planned their wedding in less than three months, including their gorgeous daughter throughout their day (even adding a mini flower-girl to the cake topper!).  Their pretty, colourful country pub wedding is fantastic inspiration for those of you thinking ‘why wait’, with the bride and groom making most of the gorgeous details themselves.  The rustic, country garden theme even meant they could arrange their own flowers, using a mix of different charity shop finds, vases and ceramic jugs!

Their day was captured by German-born wedding photographer Anne Schwarz.  Now based in the London, she specialised in documentary-style photography, capturing your day naturally as it unfolds.

Danny and I met when we were 7 at middle school but we didn’t really become good friends until our late teens. We first got together as a couple when we were 22 and I think our close friends were quite relieved that we finally did! 6 years later (after many break ups and make ups!) we had our beautiful daughter Matilda Rose… and of course she was my gorgeous little flower girl.  We got married at Guildford register office. We wanted a small and informal ceremony so this seemed perfect.

Our reception was at the Half Moon Pub in Windlesham – an idyllic country pub and a perfect venue for the relaxed country garden wedding that we had in mind. We both grew up in the local area and had been to the pub many times before so it felt part of us.  My dress was from a local bridal shop and was the last one left from old stock. I didn’t get that ‘this is the one’ feeling when I tried on dresses like other brides, and I was up against the clock as we only booked the wedding with eleven weeks to go! I had always had an idea in my mind that I wanted a dress that was a one off, I liked the base and shape of the dress and I had a vision of how it could be altered to make it unique. I wanted to have more fabric added to make it feel soft and romantic. I found a local seamstress and she made my dreams come true! She added another layer a soft Georgette fabric to the skirt and changed the waist to a gathered band of soft fabric. The final dress was more than I could have dreamed of.  Danny wore a lovely black suit with a crisp white shirt and black polka dot tie, as did the Best Man.

I knew that I wanted to make as much as I could myself to give our day that personal touch, so to start with I bought some wedding magazines and saved the bits that I liked the look of. I also did many hours of research online.  Wedding blogs are a great source of inspiration! I got my wedding cake idea from a magazine and I’m so glad I spotted it. I didn’t want a traditional wedding cake with flowers. The peg dolls were perfect and so easy to make, we even had a mini Matilda peg doll standing alongside the bride and groom. My cake was made by two lovely ladies at St Johns in Woking and then I decorated it myself with different pieces of lace.  I wanted to have reams of coloured bunting hanging from the ceiling and a good friend of my sister in law had made bunting for her own wedding and offered me the use of hers! I was thrilled and am still so very grateful to her. The bunting looked beautiful and completed the look that we wanted. I made everything I could: our invitations, the place mats, the favours (little fabric bags with mini Cadbury milk chocolates inside, tied with string and a ‘with love’ label

I did my own flowers for the tables with the help of my mum, my sister-in-law Maria and good friend Sara. We went to our local garden centre the day before the wedding and I just picked the flowers I liked the look of (with lots of help from my mum!). It was crazy, there were flowers everywhere!!! I collected different vases from charity shops, friends and relatives in the weeks leading up the wedding. Some were cut glass, some were ceramic jugs, others were large jam jars! It all added to the relaxed, miss match feel of the wedding. One of the jugs was one that I painted at a ceramics cafe on my hen do! My sister in law Maria made us some padded hearts with Bride and Groom sewn to the front. They were lovely and looked great hanging from the head table. She also made us some bride and groom dolls which are now hanging in our kitchen.  Another idea that I got from a wedding magazine was to have a postcard line instead of a guest book. I collected different postcards in the weeks leading up the wedding and we tied a long piece of string up above the cake table. Our guests wrote their messages on a postcard and pegged it to the line. By the end of the night the line was full of cards and looked fab! The cards are now kept in a special memory box and will be treasured forever.

What was your first dance, and how did you choose the song? 

Our first dance song was Fyfe Dangerfield – Shes always a woman. It has such beautiful lyrics and sends tingles down my spine when I hear it. Danny had broken his ankle 6 weeks before the wedding and only had the cast removed a week before! The first dance was a bit awkward for him as his foot was very sore but he managed it and as we danced it felt like we were the only people in the room. A treasured memory.

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding?

If you’re having children at your wedding give them a party pack to keep them occupied during the speeches. We gave out colouring books and stickers which the kids loved. Ask for help! That’s what your best man and maid of honour are for. Ours were fantastic and we couldn’t have done it without them. Try to make it personal, it’s the personal touches from our day that our guests loved the most. The day is a celebration of your love and ultimately the best party you’ll ever have! You don’t want to look back and think I was too stressed to enjoy it or my feet hurt so much I can’t remember much else!



photographer ~ Anne Schwarz

dress ~ Gill Cripps

shoes ~ Next

bridesmaids dress ~ Mango (customised)

flower girl dress ~ Monsoon (customised)

stationery ~ DIY

flowers & decor ~ DIY

makeup ~ Sarah Pearce

venue & catering ~ The Half Moon, Windlesham

cake ~ Lynda Brain and Diana Pinto at Salvation Cakes decorated by the bride


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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What a gorgeous wedding. The bride looked absolutely stunning. A gorgeous dress and such beautiful flowers. I really like the idea of postcard messages and the peg doll and groom on the cake. Amazing what can be done in such a short space of time.