This wedding is still a firm favourite, I know you are going to LOVE it and it’s perfect for inspiration! The lovely Kelly from Boho featured this wedding and I think the way she describes it is just perfect “It’s a Festival themed wedding held at the brides parents home, with the ceremony in the front garden and the reception in the back! It’s a real celebration of love, colour, vibrant patterns, DIY, and so much fun and laughter! Lauren and Jay really made their wedding a family and friends affair, with so many people pitching in and helping make their day a wedding to remember. From the amazing rag bunting, to the tie died table clothes, the whole look and feel of this wedding is bang on! With a glitter bar, dressing up area, Pizza ovens and a hot dog stand, everything about it is cool, relaxed and full of joy. Even the dogs got in on the wedding action.”
I’m totally starting from the beginning with this one, as I think it gives you a huge insight into how I work and the relationships I form with my couples. So, are you ready!!
Lauren and Jay sent me the loveliest email telling me all about their day, I remember reading it thinking ahhh this sounds amazing I hope they book! The details were just mapped out already over 12 months in advance, I absolutely LOVE my couples expressing what they want for their day without sticking to any fast rules! Lauren told me how she found me… “ Myself and a friend visited a vintage wedding fair in Bath about a year before the wedding. On entry there were some flyers on the desk for HEART FULL OF TEA. Jay and I decided to email Emma, and instantly there was a connection. We absolutely loved the photos she showed us of other weddings she had done, and she seemed so lovely, fun and laid back. On the day itself, Emma was just absolutely brilliant, it was like having a friend with us the whole day. She made us laugh, and feel relaxed, and was happy to work around us and fit in with our day. I cannot even begin to explain how happy, and lucky I feel to have such wonderful photos that really do capture our day. Originally this was going to be one of the places which we were going to try and save, perhaps not even have a photographer at all, but Emma was one of the best decisions we made. The photos we have are just the perfect way to relive the magic of the day.
Dam. No you’re crying!!! Keep scrolling for more of the story about their day.
Lauren and Jay met through work at a charity running a summer programme to help young people develop confidence and life skills. Lauren explains, “After the summer, we stayed in touch, sharing music with each other over Facebook. A couple of months later, Jay invited me to see a band that we both liked in Birmingham (where he was living at the time) and that’s where it started. We did the long-distance thing for a couple of years before Jay moved to Cheltenham, which is where we live together today”. I remember asking Lauren how Jay had proposed, I love hearing these stories, plus all the awkwardness that goes with it!
“Jay had been planning the whole engagement, to which I was obviously oblivious. He had arranged for us to go and meet some friends for drinks. We were supposed to be getting ready, but while Jay was in the bathroom having a shower, I had fallen asleep on the sofa. An hour or so later, Jay came down, looking smart and shocked that I had been sleeping, hurried me to the bathroom as we didn’t have much time! I quickly jumped in the shower, put on my dressing gown and wrapped a towel around my head. Jay said “can I give you an early Christmas present?” To which I declined. He continued to push and convinced me it was only a little something. He handed me his phone and told me to press play. He had made a video that included photos displaying some of the incredible things that we have done together, backed with one of our favourite songs. Throughout the video, captions popped up telling me how much he appreciated me and loved me, I sat in silence and watched it until the end. When it finished I was in a flood of tears, wearing a bright pink dressing gown, no make-up and a towel in my hair. He followed the video by saying, “I didn’t think it would make you cry, now would be the perfect time to pull a ring out, eh?” To which I laughed but then he did! He reached into his pocket and pulled out my engagement ring and if I wasn’t crying enough beforehand, I definitely was after seeing the ring!
I knew that Lauren and Jay were doing a lot of DIY elements for their day but I think as Lauren describes it’s a good idea to decide early on how you want to allocate your budget from the perspective of whats the most important part of your day. Lauren said, “We knew that we had about £10k that we were willing to spend. From there we picked out what our priorities were (music and tent), we would then simply use any leftover money for everything else and along the way, either doing stuff ourselves or receiving help from our generous and talented friends! Our biggest expense for the day was music. We knew that this would be the case early on, as this was a passion of ours. We spent a long time looking for the perfect band and finally settled on ‘Festival Nights’ for the evening entertainment and a talented folk artist ‘Chaz Thorogood’ for the afternoon music. Both of them were absolutely BRILLIANT”.
I remember our video chats fondly, these guys were always making something every time we spoke and I’d get a little sneak peak each time! Plus Einstein their dig would always make an appearance on the videos! “Together we made a lot of the signage and decoration for the day, we made over 200m of rag bunting!! Jay designed the site plan and invites, he also built our arch. I did most of the stationary with help from friend, putting to use a calligraphy class I took earlier that year. For the tables, my dad managed to find us 100 (foreign language) vinyls from a charity shop for £10, and myself and a friend used our new found calligraphy skills to write everyone’s name on each one. Jay and me also spent a few weekends making homemade linonchello, which we put in small bottles, with handwritten ‘drink me’ signs on for our favours. A good friend of ours baked us the THREE best cakes we could ask for. He took our favourite flavours (carrot, lemon and blueberry) and they literally disappeared in seconds. We wanted to have a sit down meal, without paying over the odds. So we thought – PIZZA! This turned out to be a great idea, quotes were much more reasonable and who doesn’t like pizza!?
As much as I love designer wedding dresses sometimes for a dress you wear once it’s a big amount of cash and kind of ends up being throw away. It’s obviously always a personal decision for example, I had a Benjamin Roberts dress for my day as being curvy I wanted something that was going to fit me well. But I think Lauren felt this kind of pressure too she said” I hated the thought of having to spend a lot of money on a dress which I would only get to wear for one day. After about one month of looking on ebay, I found a 70’s vintage dress which cost me the bargain price of… £22. A lovely lady down my road then made a few simple adjustments for me and hey presto, I had the perfect dress! On the morning of the wedding the heavens opened and I felt this was a sign to wear a pair of wellies that one of my bridesmaid’s had designed for me for my hen party. The wedding was also a festival theme, so felt that this fitted the theme perfectly! Jay didn’t want a traditional matching suit, he got the separate jacket and tweed waistcoat from Slaters and the trousers from H&M, finished off with his self-tied bowtie.”. Laurens’ dress was beautiful, it was really light so when then wind took it, all these layers would float in the wind, just perfect for the look she wanted!
I absolutely love Festival Weddings as so many of my couples are into their music and spend a lot of their time together attending gigs and festivals! I think it allows you to add in elements that you both love and still make your whole day unique, with a more party feel! Lauren and Jay wanted the day to be fun, colourful and informal, they made multicoloured rag bunting, huge rainbow festival flags, wacky signage and injected a bright and colourful elements to our day wherever possible. They also named their festival, which is ACE! Everyone then had a wrist band to wear on entry. They also gave out guitar pics to all the guests to get a drink from the bar which was hidden away in the enchanted forest! Lauren said “We even had a Glitter Station. I absolutely LOVE glitter, and it is an essential part of any festival! This went down so well, and by the end of the night everyone had glitter on them (even my grandma). We also had a fancy dress section, which didn’t come out until about 6pm. Both Jay and myself love fancy dress, and again this is a big part of festivals. This went down extremely well, and all the fancy dress had been taken and worn within about an hour.
Advice to other couples?
This wedding was so chilled and laid back I had to keep reminding myself I was there working! Mainly because also all of Lauren’s friends and family were uber friendly and I think their vibe had totally made everyone else just kick your shoes off and party! Lauren’s advice is “I think there is so much pressure now to have a big wedding and spend lots of money. But really it is just about celebrating your love, and having all your closest friends and family around. As long as it is what you as the couple want, all your friends and family will love it too. The ceremony was one of the highlights of our day as my brother did our blessing, and this meant that it was so personal, touching, funny and filled with love. We also wrote our own vows which I encourage everyone to do. They don’t have to be soppy, just personal to each other! We also have a dog, called Einstein, who is the other love in our lives. It was amazing and so lovely at how involved he could be. This was another plus in having the wedding at my parent’s house, it meant our dog, and their two dogs could be involved. Einstein was just so excited to see so many people, and get so much attention. He loved having his photo taken, and stealing everyone’s left over hotdogs at the end of the night. The photos we have with him, are something I will treasure for the rest of my life and just so happy he could be such a big part of our day! Just do your day how you want it and everything will just slip into place”.
HOW AWESOME! Thank you so much Lauren and Jay for working so hard to create something super special. I LOVED being part of your day. Are you planning a festival wedding? Then get in touch and tell me all about it.