When you know, you know. And I remember the night the Jo and AJ’s email dropped into my inbox and I knew immediately I was going to love their wedding. The order of the day was a village fete wedding on the village green opposite the pub where AJ grew up in the sleepy village of Medbourne in Leicestershire. Everyone mucked in to put on a proper good bash, and it’s safe to say that Medbourne didn’t know what had hit it. Take a little read about this gorgeous pair and their incredible wedding day.
A village fete wedding
How did you meet?
We met in halls at the Uni of Birmingham 9 years ago! AJ lived in the flat downstairs from me so we met on the first day of University.
He took his time but we got together the following year.
Tell me your proposal story:
We were on holiday for my birthday on a Scandinavian trip. We had been to Copenhagen and absolutely love it despite the February weather!
We then had a few days in the hills near Oslo. We had been on 2 mile sledge run in the day time and had loads of fun and we had organised to go to the opera in Oslo that night. After the performance AJ took me up onto the snowy roof top of the building ( he is an engineer and loves cools buildings – the Oslo opera house is particularly cool) and got down on one knee in the snow ! It was about minus 15 so his hands were pretty shaky anyway without the nerves!
Why did you choose a village fete wedding for your wedding day?
AJ’s family have always lived in Medbourne village and they ran the pub there for many years. They now live next door very much still at the heart of the village community! It is a really beautiful setting with the brook and wooden bridges and the ancient church.
Being brought up in a village pub meant that the whole village played a part in AJ’s upbringing and it meant a lot for us to get married in this setting. We hired a very large glass topped marquee to fit on the village hall green.
What was it you loved about your outfits and accessories that made you choose them?
Jo is from near Harrogate in Yorkshire and was very keen to have a Yorkshire theme to the day too. The boys were therefore suitably dressed in Harrogate tweed suits .
My dress was the first dress that I tried on in a little independent shop in Ilkley. I wanted something pretty but fairly casual that I could enjoy wearing for the whole day. I did try others on afterwards but in the end went back to the first dress I had tried on!
Tell me about the vision you had for your wedding including your theme/colour scheme/styling/flowers:
We wanted a Yorkshire theme to the day this was shown by coming out of the church to ‘Ilkley Moor Ba Tat!’ also in the types of food – with local Yorkshire pork pies, cheese and gins. We made sure there was plenty of white Yorkshire roses too.
For the colour scheme we wanted lots of greenery with white flowers and chose for a a racing green for the bridesmaid dresses which was really flattering!
I was still keen for a rustic country look. My wonderful mum is an amazing cake maker and decorator so she made our cake. As if that wasn’t enough she and a family friend enrolled on flower arranging courses to make the bouquets and button holes. As for the rest of the flowers and greenery in the marquee and around the arches – it was again a village affair. My sister and our wonderful friends collected 45 wheel barrows worth of greenery from local gardens to create the look!
What was your first dance and why did you choose it?
Our first dance was ‘As you are’ by Rag n Bone Man. We had seen him at a gig in Copenhagen on the trip where we got engaged. The lyrics are really beautiful.
What were the most wonderful parts of the day for you?
The church service itself was very special for us. Jo’s vicar form Harrogate was able to be part of the ceremony too which was really lovely.
We were met from the church by the Heavy Beats Brass Band – a modern new Orleans style brass band who we have seen perform many times in Birmingham. They marched us and all 200 guests down the village tow path to the marquee singing the Black Eyes Pea’s ‘Lets get it started’. The village didn’t know what had hit it ! Despite a bit of drizzle – it set the tone for the rest of the day – loads of fun !
Why did you choose Hannah Hall Photography as your photographer, and what was your experience of your photography on the day?
We chose Hannah because we wanted natural photos without lots of time spent posing for formal pictures. We saw her 2017 mash up slideshow online and absolutely loved her style.
We arranged a meeting with her and after a coffee knew that she was the right person to capture our day ! It is a really important day and your photographer spends practically the whole day with you so it’s important that you get on- Hannah was like one of our wedding guests helping out with the girls hair, finding missing bouquets as well as capturing really special moments. We love our photos – they are better than what we had hoped for!
What would be your best bit of advice to other couples planning their wedding?
Do it your way! Everyone has their own opinion on how you should have your wedding day – but it is so important to remember to have a day that you will really feel comfortable and truly enjoy !
For us we tried to do lots of little touches, which did add to the day – but on reflection try not to worry too much about the small details as long as you are surrounded by friends and family with good food drink and music you can dance to – they are the things that you will remember !
Take Hannah’s advice – don’t spend too long on formal photos; for us the most important thing was spending time with your guests and really making the most of the day – it goes so quickly !!
Jo + AJ’s village fete wedding happened with the help of the following talented beans…
Dress: Daughters of Simone from The Aisle Ilkley / Gents: Vintage Suit Hire Company / Cake: Jo’s mum Jill
Caterers: The English Indian / Entertainment: Heavy Beat Brass Band + Groove Anatomy / Second shooter LEGEND: Parrot & Pineapple