Our wedding day
It’s been over three months since our big day and after reveling in all the photos, videos, cards, notes in our guestbook, hilarious pub quiz answer sheets and excellent portraits of us we thought it was about time we shared our wedding day on the blog!
If you read our “how to I do” you’d know our reception venue wasn’t approved for wedding ceremonies. We decided to have a blessing in the woods later that day but it was out of the question to marry on any other day. So we found Cressing Temple Barns in our quest for an alternative ceremony venue. We fell in love with the beautiful grounds and their spectacular walled garden.
I don’t think we were quite prepared for how emotional this first ceremony would be. All along we were saying it was the paperwork ceremony, that the emotion would be saved for the blessing, and this was just going through the legal stuff to make it all legit.
However, that feeling, right before you meet at the ‘alter’, that butterflies in your stomach anticipation, knowing you’re/they’re about to walk in – that “I’m about to get married” feeling – that is unlike any feeling you’ve felt before. It cannot and will not be replicated ever. It was the best feeling – so much adrenaline and even more so, love.
The ceremony was wonderfully performed by the registrars that made it so personal to us. They were so kind, so lovely, so professional, and despite having only met us just 15 minutes before the ceremony, made it so us. Tears were shed! Wow. So amazing. Marriage is great. Committing to your love, like that, incredible.
With just our nearest and dearest joining us for the first part of the day we booked a small local restaurant for our wedding breakfast. The food has always been incredible so we were excited to share our love of grain with our friends and family. They were so accommodating, able to cater to everyone’s needs and everyone had a great meal. We even tasked them to make a breakfast themed first course. Which they delivered: one hour egg, potato crumpet, ‘baked beans’.
Michelle, the Maid of Honour, gave a lovely speech whilst we all enjoyed cocktails and tucked into their famous homemade bread and butter. We can’t thank the team enough for providing such great service, food and ambiance for the occasion. They are a small team but worked hard to keep every thing running smoothly.
We loved every morsel.
We arrived at the venue, Captains Wood Barn, and were met by our photographer and videographer. We snuck off at 3pm for our couple shots in the wood whilst everyone else finished setting up the venue for us, thank you guys!!
The barn is beautiful so we took full advantage of the space. We worked with our suppliers to create a Moroccan style low seating area in the outdoor covered barn – somewhere to chill after dark. Inside we created a sofa area with ‘home movies’ screening, large communal tables & benches, a help yourself bar. The band was set up and the dance floor was clear and ready to cut shapes.
The venue looked incredible with the finishing touches in place. Set-up the day before was tough, but so rewarding. Months of planning, diy-ing and designing all paid off.
The woods looked magical. It was a bright sunny day so we got plenty of dappled light and our dream team capturing the day really exploited this.
Swoon. They’re really not awkward (although props to our photographer for making it easy) and best of all they capture a part of the day only we were there for. Memories to last a life time – captured.
Then the four of us got a little lost, hahaha!
Meanwhile our guests arrived and started to mingle.
Our blessing ceremony setting was in a lovely clearing in the woods. The first time we saw it was on a similar day weather wise and it blew us away. When we realised we couldn’t legally get married at the venue it actually made us excited about the possibilities of this space. We could kinda do what we wanted. No restrictions, ask who we want, say what we want and have who we want “bless us”, structure it however. Magic. So we both agreed within, a millisecond of realising this, we’d ask our dearest and oldest mutual friend – Christine.
She wrote the whole ceremony, sourced all the speeches and did a spectacular job. She made the whole thing a breeze for us and one less thing to worry about. Thank you. It was perfect.
We compiled a background playlist of some of our favourite acoustic songs, followed by the walk down the aisle song. Anders was walked in by her sister; we asked all the girls invited to be our flower girls and we had the faithful bridesmaids walk in front. The nerves were none existent, and we we’re able to take in and enjoy our emotional vows to one another fully composed – well almost. The overriding feeling was excitement; here we were doing it all again!
At the end of the ceremony we walked out to Love Me Do and put together a “walk out and confetti” playlist. We got all our guests to line up against the trees for our confetti. We walked down the aisle, doubly married, and walked the long way round the back of the clearing trying not to get lost again!
We then lead everyone back to the venue and the Pizza Van arrived just as we were wandering back.
We had emotional speeches from the Best Man, Matt and Dan’s dad. We also did a joint “thank-you” speech to everyone. Before we knew it we were into the evening entertainment. The tables were laid with pub quizzes written by one of the bridesmaids, Jenny. Draw a portrait sheet – meant for the kids – but all the adults entered and Mr and Mrs style quiz cards. We didn’t have a seating plan, ‘cos we didn’t have table service and people always naturally gravitate to who they want to sit next to anyway.
The venue offered us dray rides round the grounds which was a great addition – and our guests loved – such a unique extra included in the venue. We made a show reel of all of our adventures and vlogging misadventures too to screen in our cosy sofa area. There were homemade temporary tattoos – which by the end of the night most guests had ended up sporting a trendy neck tattoo. And we even had garden games.
Pizza was set up and ready to get serving. Some people got their pizza in minutes, then a swarm of people ordering meant it became a 45minute wait time. Luckily, bride and groom privilege meant we jumped the queue. We also laid on meze from M&S and cakes from our fave bakery, Crouch St Bakes.
Shortly after the ice-cream guys pitched up. We definitely had these guys too early, with the pizza delay not everyone got to enjoy a scoop. We did though. Of course we did. We could probably track our entire relationship through the scoops and tubs we have shared. We love the stuff. Saffron Ice Cream Co did not disappoint – maybe we can have a 10 year anniversary party and we have them solely cater the shindig.
Time for the first dance and probably one of the few traditions we were adamant we’d keep. We, of course, curated another playlist of love songs starting with our first dance, Held like Kites by Arcane Roots. We chose this song because the band has soundtracked our six years. We’ve seen them twice, bought every album and EP and even have the t-shirts. It was also the only way we’d be able to include them in the day. Plus it’s a corker of a song.
We then couldn’t decide what to play next so we included all of our favourite songs to compile the first dance playlist. Creating our own playlists over opting for a DJ was a great call. It took us many evenings to deliberate over the music we wanted, the order we wanted everything to be played and making difficult decisions when culling songs. But we got to hear every song we love and that had meaning to us and our relationship.
Before we knew it the Dandy House Band was up. The nerves were palpable but after a little sound check that turned into a jam that turned into the first song the band were in full swing and incredible. Watch our saved story over on Instagram to listen to a couple of the tracks.
The band was made up of very kind friends: the groom on bass, amazing vocals and keys from groomsman Jack, Christine’s talented other half, Mark, on guitar and drumming god, Ryan. We had to have live music to honour Dan’s gigging past and he hadn’t performed live in over a decade. He loved every minute of it and everyone was up and dancing. So special. Such an amazing experience.
Especially the mash up of I bet that you look good on the dancefloor and No diggity. What a moment when everyone cottoned on. Christine and I were ready for it having heard the rehearsals!
Then there was the marryoke – a questionable rendition of Martha and the Vandelli’s Heatwave by the girls and a group attempt at Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off. So much fun.
At 9pm our final playlist started and drinks were flowing! Some more than others as our poor videographer was coerced into a booze run. We clearly didn’t predict everyone would be loving the cocktails.
Our last bit of entertainment was the bonfire, also included in the price of our dry hire venue. Bob, the owner, awarded us the accolade of “the most people around the fire” the next day. And of course, we couldn’t miss an opportunity for sparklers and s’mores.
It was a beautiful way to end the day.
After this we just danced the rest of the night away.
The whole day was epic. Even reliving it typing this has been awesome. We know we’re biased but it really was the best day ever. Everyone we worked with to create the day was a dream. The spaces we created worked as we hoped and everyone just kept coming up to us saying how “Us” everything was. And we got to marry each other in our way. Marrying your best friend is one of the best feelings. The best.
Photography all from the majestic Jess Soper.
Dan and Anders x