Remember summer? Maybe not, but if I think back to the sunniest of weddings from 2017, this one is up there in the top five. Tucked away in the Northamptonshire countryside, The Kings Head at Wadenhoe sits by a quiet stretch of river, shaded by willows; the perfect setting for a bohemian wedding! Danielle + Martin are the faces behind Fineshade Films and last year I got to work with them as well as shoot their day; it really is an honour to be trusted by another wedding supplier to do such an important job on their wedding day.
How did you meet?
We went to middle school and secondary school together. Hit it off in sixth form when the seed of a mutual love of raving had begun to sprout. Actual nineties raving. Knocked around together for about 5 years on and off but too young and it didn’t work out.
Fast forward 12 years, a daughter each and both single again and we reconnected when Martin started teaching Media (I’m an English and Media teacher).
Tell me your proposal story:
Martin had a broken back. We were pretty housebound. There was a Haribo ring. I wore it for a day and a night then I had a shower and it melted off. We went shopping together for a replacement once he was up and running again.
Why did you choose the venue you chose for your wedding day?
We both wanted something really family focused and relaxed. Having 3 kids means we don’t get out as much as we’d like and we really liked the idea of a big party and didn’t fancy having much in the way of traditional wedding-y type things. I’ve personally never been drawn to following tradition (in fact I hate being told what to do), have never been the girl who dreamed of a big wedding and I very much like to do things my own way. And that’s exactly what we got! It was perfect for us.
Also having 3 girls, it was really important for them to have a fun day. It was amazing having them there as our flower girls. The girls said it was like they married each other too! It was the day we officially became a family hence we all walked back down the aisle together.
The pub had a river running down the bottom of the lawn and there’s loads of willow trees. It’s one of our favourite pubs so why not get married there?! Both totally fell in love with the idea of having an outdoor ceremony under the willow trees and by the river. Once we sourced the venue and the beautiful tipis, all I could think about was having beautiful lighting everywhere at night-time. It became a bit of an outdoor-in /indoor-out theme. We wanted the lighting from inside to carry on outside and the beautiful riverside greens outdoors to be carried through indoor too.
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
I used Pinterest loads to get the aesthetic right for us. It was really important for me to feel “myself” on our day so I kept jewellery minimal and our attire relaxed. It took a while to find my dress as I had a clear idea of what I wanted but found it hard to find “the look” locally. In the end I picked up a sample from an outlet in Birmingham. My bridesmaids – I let them pick their own dresses but gave them a very loose brief of floor-length and pale hues/neutrals. I can think of nothing worse than having one of my best mates in a dress she didn’t feel comfortable in. So this worked brilliantly – we were all happy.
My personal style is quite understated so I wanted to carry that through. My make up I did myself- I went for a consultation in Mac and bought a load of make up- which I’m still using everyday so win-win 🙂 Mart’s suit he sorted online- again, we were after something more relaxed and a blue linen 3-piece fit the bill perfectly.
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
The vision from the start was always minimal and natural. It was all about greenery from the start – our florist Michelle at Eden Flowers was INCREDIBLE and was totally on the same page throughout. As we got the bridesmaids sorted, we decided to add some lilac and cream hues to the bouquets but that was about it really. She “got me” from the start so we both sort of let each other run with it and built on each other’s ideas as things progressed. I had this idea of a green canopy hanging from the hall ceiling and I desperately wanted it but kept getting extortionate quotes. Michelle came in SO reasonably plus she was so easy to work with.
A very happy accident occurred when my work colleague told me of her fiancé Dan and Prism events. Again a crucial element – the lighting was just breath-taking at night-time. The fairy lights ran through the canopy ceiling in the hall and up and through the willow trees outside. They created this incredible cascading waterfall effect to mirror the hanging branches. So beautiful.
Music was another area of massive importance to us. Martin started DJing in his teens and produced his own music (with an old friend called Ben – them going by the name of Welfare for the Digital for anyone that’s interested!) Music has always an been important part of our relationship – hence Martin meticulously planning hours and hours of Spotify playlists to create the right ambience throughout the stages of the day and into the night
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
Martin’s speech. Jesus. Unexpected. Best part of the day and possibly best moment of my entire life? Up with meeting my girls for the first time. I think my initial reaction was a bit off-key though. I remember him saying…. “So, I wrote you a poem…” I had an involuntary, loud and entirely inappropriate reaction of “Oh no!” I was genuinely horrified. But then he read it and I was blown away! It was amazing. I don’t know why I doubted him. The first thing I did when I got home was dig out the copy of it, reread it, screenshot it and put the papers somewhere safe. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve looked at it since. Writing a poem for your English teacher wife/wife to be who hates rhyming poetry or anything cheesy is no mean feat and then doing it in front of 100 people… that was my best bit.
Hannah giving us the brilliant idea of having speeches outside was genius too. Loved being heckled by the boat going past.
I just asked Martin and he just said his best bit was “turning round and seeing you there.” Awwww.
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
Came across Hannah on line and thought her work was fab. In fact, I didn’t even contact anyone else! We met up and had a good chat and I had no doubts at any point about booking her. In between meeting her and our own wedding, we had the opportunity of working with her while shooting Guy and Scott’s wedding which was great as Martin then got to meet her too. On the day, she was totes profesh and was just great to have around! And the PHOTOS. We couldn’t have asked for more- we are both over the moon with them. Our favourite is the one of us all as a family closely followed by the one of baby G having his nappy changed on the lawn with me in the foreground. Not sure who photobombed who! I doubt you’re going to be able to see it on this blog post either for child protection reasons but trust me and G’s parents when we tell you it’s up there with the best wedding photographs.
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
DO WHAT YOU WANT. It’s YOUR day. Try not to feel the pressure of other people’s ideas of what should happen when. Enjoy the process. Make it your own. One thing I DIDN’T do which I do regret is I forgot to take my time down the aisle. I’d spent so long worrying about timing it correctly that when I came around, I forgot to enjoy it… After all that worrying, we still got the time slightly off. We were close to running out of song so ended up pelting it down there like Godzilla was on our tail. Shame. Wish I’d just been present, slowed down, taken it in and enjoyed it.
You’re obviously going to have a photographer but I’d also say definitely have your day filmed if you can. We have the raw footage of our whole day which is just priceless. Will get around to editing it one day but it’s the best looking through it on a Sunday morning now and again.
Oh- also -if you have kids I advise getting ready away from them on the wedding morning if you can possibly swing it. We were very lucky and managed to wangle having them collected and taken home early eve on the wedding night. We really felt like we could enjoy catching up with friends and family and party once the kids had gone. Grandparents kindly stayed at our house with the kids and we stayed away from home on our wedding night. It was a really nice balance.
Lastly, we hired a silent disco to get around noise pollution/issues! Would highly recommend it. You can take requests from friends and family before hand and really personalise it. THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN.
A riverside bohemian wedding
Shout out to the following suppliers…
Hair: Grace Benjamin / Bridal Gown Designer: Willowby / Bridal Gown supplier: The Dressing Rooms, Halesowen