A reception at an outdoor wedding venue when there’s been more rainfall in the last three days then Kent has had for months might sound like some couples stuff of nightmares… No dramas for Chloé and Dave though, who planned their gorgeous outdoor DIY wedding at Bridge Cricket Club last August and every time I spoke to them and asked them about wet weather contingency, they shrugged and smiled… What will be will be. So rain it did and fret they did not; Chloé had her wellies and everyone had their macs and they drank home made cocktails and munched on home reared goat and mother nature treated us to the most beautiful evening light and all was well. I’ve known Dave since he was knee high to a grasshopper, and while I’ve only known Chloé for a fraction of the time, it was evident that planning a DIY wedding was so incredibly them. Responsible and sustainable, without unnecessary frills, with beautiful wedding vows, incredible music and full of the people and things they love and hold so near to them. A cracker of a day and *the* lesson in DIY wedding planning.
A DIY WEDDING
How did you meet?
At University, we were in most of the same music groups, even though Dave didn’t do music!
Tell me your proposal story:
I bought Chloe’s engagement ring through Etsy and waited impatiently for eight weeks for it to arrive. It arrived on a Saturday morning and I couldn’t wait any longer so suggested we went for a walk and a picnic that afternoon. In true British fashion it poured with rain at lunch so we ate our picnic on a blanket on the floor. I knew Chloe would be to excited to eat so I proposed once she had had plenty of food!
Why did you choose the venues you chose for your wedding day?
We wanted a religious blessing but not a full service as it was a bit too much like David’s day job (singing in the cathedral choir). We found a beautiful building set in public gardens for our civil ceremony then moved to a local cricket ground for a blessing ceremony and the reception. This meant that our close family could be at both but all our guests would see us making vows and exchanging rings.
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
They were cheap, practical and beautiful. Chloe’s dress was from eBay and my suit from ASOS. I have worn my suit many times since and Chlo plans to dye her dress to use again. We both splashed out a bit on nice shoes and Chloe also bought her dream wellies.
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
We did as much of the wedding as possible ourselves growing the flowers, making table decorations, signs and slaughtering one of our goats for the evening food. We just wanted people to have a good time so provided loads of games and stuff to do and adults and kids alike just ran wild. As David proposed over a picnic and to keep our costs down we asked everyone to bring their own picnic for the afternoon and we all sat about for hours eating (and drinking) ourselves silly. Our colour theme was set by the flowers we could grow for that time of year so oranges, blues and browns featured heavily.
What was your first dance and why did you choose it?
We found a four piece Mariachi band to play at our reception. We were able to request two songs to be arranged in a Mariachi style so chose We have all the time in the world by Louis Armstrong and Rick Astley’s Never gonna give you up. Our first dance was to the former and Hannah took a picture of David’s hands on my arse to prove it…
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
There were so many its difficult to narrow down. We managed to arrange for both the registrar and priest conducting our ceremonies to be close friends which made the formal parts even more poignant. Our wonderful choir sang beautiful music that we had chosen. Eating our own meat. Spending relaxed informal time with so many close friends and family members and perhaps most importantly marrying each other! It was pretty jammy.
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
Because she is fucking awesome! Also because David and Hannah are old friends having been head choristers of the boys and girls choirs of Norwich Cathedral at the same time. We loved Hannah’s style and how it captures intimate and funny moments.
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
Do what you want to do and don’t listen to anyone else. We wanted our day to be a reflection of what is important to us and so many people have praised it since for its simplicity and effectiveness. We found spending money on the things that really mattered and cutting back on the extras meant we got what we wanted without spending a fortune. A fab photographer is certainly one of these things. We have spent hours looking back over all of our photos.